Ianuari 8: Leka a Kauikeaouli iā John C. Jones

January 8, 1839: Letter from Kauikeaouli to John C. Jones

John Coffin Jones Jr., also known as Aluli, was the appointed U.S. Agent for Commerce and Seaman in Hawaiʻi since 1820. Jones was often involved in contentious business matters, but towards the latter part of the 1830s, his personal life became a matter of notoriety and public spectacle. As the letter authored by Kauikeaouli below indicates, Jones was removed from his long-term position on grounds of bigamy.

Jones first married Hannah Jones Davis, widow of his partner, William Heath Davis Sr., in 1823.  Apparently, Jones continued to live with Hannah, but also lived with Lahilahi Marin, the daughter of Don Francisco Marin. He purportedly had children with both women. In 1838, while in California, Jones married Manuela Carrillo and deserted Hannah and Lahilahi. Upon his return to Honolulu, Jones introduced Manuela as his wife. Thereafter, Hannah petitioned the Hawaiian Government for a divorce on grounds of bigamy.

In the previous blog post, John Papa ʻĪʻī wrote a letter to Captain Grimes about Aluli (Jones) and his wife. A few days later, this letter was written by Kauikeaouli. A transcript of this letter is provided below.

Available in Foreign Office and Executive Chronological File, 1790 – 1849 1839 Jan 3, 8, 12.

Na John C. Jones

Ua loihi kou noho kanakele ana ma keia pae aina me ka ae aku o koo nei poe alii. Ua hoino pinepine mai nei oe ia makou, a i keia wa iho nei ua mare papalua oe i ka wahine. Ia oe i hookolokoloiaʻi, hoino hou mai oe i oʻu mau alii. Nolaila, ke hoole aku nei au ia oe, aole au e ike hou aku ia oe he kanakele no Amerika huipuia. No koʻu manao ana i na lii o kou aina a no koʻu manao ana iaʻu iho, ke hana nei au i keia mea.

Lahaina Ianuari 8, 1839.

Na kau ke alii i kona inoa.