August 5, 1839: Instructions from Kauikeaouli and Kekāuluohi to Keaweamahi
In this letter dated August 5, 1839, certain instructions are directed to Emiri Keaweamahi, interim governor of Kauaʻi. The letter provides a fascinating look at governance, and the King’s concern that some makaʻāinana were being oppressed and mistreated. In the first paragraph, he and Kekāuluohi state that a father of three children should not be permitted to work on kōʻele labor days, and that he should cultivate for the children. The letter further instructs on the proper treatment of those who are weak and blind. The letter’s instructions provide in no uncertain terms the necessity of reading the laws. Below is a short excerpt from the two page letter, followed by a transcription.
Honolulu, Augate 5. 1839
Auhea oe e Emiri Keaweamahi, ke hoole aku nei au, a me ke Alii nui, i ka hele ana ona makua kane i a kolu keiki i na la koele o ke Alii, a me kona konohiki, aole lakou e hele i ka hana ia mau la; e mahiai oia na na keiki a laua, mai keakea wale aku ia mau makua, pelaaku ahiki i ka nui loa o na keiki, e like me ke kanawai.
Eia kekahi, o ka hele ana o ka poe nawaliwali, a me ka maka po i ua mau la koela la, a me ka hemo ana o ko lakou aina i keia manawa, a me ka hookaumaha wale aku i ka poe i manao e mahiai makahi i mahi oleia mamua; mai keakea wale ia lakou, o ka helehelu pinepine ole kekahi i ke kanawai o na konohiki, a me . . . .