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.
Oʻahu residents might recognize the name Bachelot from the road that intersects with Kuakini Medical Center. Not many realize, however, that the name is directly tied to a nineteenth century incident that resulted in French and British naval warships imposing a blockade on Honolulu harbor.
In a letter authored by F. Giraeid (partially obscured) dated January 3, 1832, it discloses a conversation with Bachelot regarding the care of his houses. A portion of this letter is provided below, followed by a transcription.
January 3, 1839: Letter from John Papa ʻĪʻī to Captain Grimes
In a previous blog post, we celebrated Justice John Papa ʻĪʻī’s birth. ʻĪʻī first served in the household of Kamehameha I as an attendant in 1810. He later went on to become a prominent member of the Privy Council and the House of Nobles. He also served as superintendent of schools on Oʻahu, and treasurer for the Kingdom. On January 15, 1848, ʻĪʻī was named the second associate justice of the Hawaiʻi Superior Court. He then served as second associate justice of the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court from December 6, 1852 – February 16, 1864.
In a letter authored by ʻĪʻī below dated January 3, 1839, he questions Captain Grimes about certain statements that Grimes purportedly made to Aluli (John Coffin Jones Jr.). A transcription of this short letter is provided below, followed by a translation completed by the Hawaiʻi State Archives.
In a previous post, we discussed Boki (Kamāʻuleʻule), a noted chief during the reigns of both King Kamehameha I and Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha II). Boki was frequently involved with various mercantile and shipping business ventures. Prior to his departure on the ill-fated voyage in 1829 that claimed more than four hundred lives, Boki had “fitted out and dispatched the brigs Ainoa [known as Ennore by foreigners] and Kamehameha to Manilla and Canton in charge of the chief Manuia. Among the articles sent to the Chinese market in this venture were about a thousand seal skins and five or six hundred piculs of sandalwood.” Thirty-Seventh Annual Report of the Hawaiian Historical Society for the Year 1928 20 (1929) (available online).
While in Canton, the brig Ennore was sold at auction on January 1, 1829. Below is an excerpt from the account sheet describing the transaction.
November 30 – December 3, 1829:
Regarding Boki’s Expedition (Part 2)
As described in the previous post, Boki decided to embark on a sandalwood expedition to settle the chiefs’ debts. Preparations for two ships, the Kamehameha and the Keokoʻi (also known as Karemoku or Kalaimoku) commenced. The directions to the commander of the Keokoʻi were set forth in a letter signed by Boki and Kauikeaouli. It directed the ship to go to “certain islands” and “prevail on the inhabitants to Except[sic] of our protection by them taking the oath of alegiance[sic] and allowing our colours to be hoisted and for them to concider[sic] themselves under our protection . . . .” In short, this letter indicates that this was not a mere expedition—but rather a voyage of conquest.
November 30 – December 3, 1829:
Regarding Boki’s Expedition (Part 1)
Boki (Kamāʻuleʻule) was a noted chief during the reigns of both King Kamehameha I and Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha II). As explained by Dr. Puakea Nogelmeier, from 1825 to 1829, Boki was known as a formidable political and economic figure of singular importance in the Hawaiian Islands. M. Puakea Nogelmeier, Boki: The Challenges of a Ruling Chief 1 (n.d.) (unpublished M.A. thesis, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa) (on file at Mānoa’s ScholarSpace). Boki acted as a “counterpoint to the rapidly growing influence of American missionaries in Hawaiian government and society. His cultural conservatism, his ties to the British and his involvement in trade placed him in conflict with his fellow chiefs’ growing acceptance of puritan Christianity.” Id. Continue reading “Nov. 30 – Dek. 3: No ka Holo ʻana o Boki (Mahele 1)”
During the kingdom era, Lā Kūʻokoʻa, or Independence Day, was a former national holiday celebrated on November 28 to commemorate the signing of the Anglo-Franco Proclamation. This document recognized the independence and sovereignty of the Hawaiian nation by Great Britain and France. Two major historical events led to this proclamation.
As explained in a previous blog posting, in 1839, Captain Laplace arrived in Hawaiʻi under orders to put an end to the persecution of Catholics in the Hawaiian Kingdom. This event, known as the Laplace Affair, resulted in Kauikeaouli being forced to issue the Edict of Toleration on July 17, 1839. The kingdom paid $20,000 as compensation and as a guarantee of their “future conduct towards France.”
Kauikeaouli, anticipating future diplomatic issues with foreign nations, dispatched a delegation to the United States and Europe to secure recognition of Hawaiʻi’s sovereign independence. Unfortunately, while the delegation was away, Lord George Paulet, captain of HMS Carysfort arrived in Hawaiʻi, and acting without authority, unilaterally seized the kingdom. On July 31, 1843, Rear Admiral Richard Thomas of the British Navy ended five months of occupation in Hawaiʻi. The national celebration of Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea, or Sovereignty Restoration Day, was established to commemorate this momentous occasion. See previous blog postings: Iulai 31: “Mele Hoihouana,”Iulai 31: “Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea,”Iulai 31: “He Olelo Lokomaikai,”Iulai 29: “Leka a Peirce a me Brewer iā Kauikeaouli.”
A few months later, the British and French governments formally recognized the Hawaiian Kingdom’s independence in a joint declaration signed by Lord Aberdeen and the Comte de Saint-Aulare, representatives of Queen Victoria and King Louis-Phillippe. A transcription of the English declaration is provided below.
November 21, 1829: Letter from Captain Finch to Kauikeaouli
Captain W. B. Finch of the USS Vincennes departed for the Pacific on September 3, 1826. Thomas Truxtun Moebs, America’s Naval Heritage: A Catalog of Early Imprints from the Navy Department Library 104 (2000). It returned on June 8, 1830, successfully completing the first circumnavigation of the globe by a U.S. warship. Id.
Upon Finch’s arrival to Hawaiʻi, he paid a diplomatic visit to King Kauikeaouli. He presented gifts to the king and communicated a letter written in English and Hawaiian. See Foreign Office & Executive – Chronological File, 1790 – 1849 1829 Nov 21. In that letter, Finch made a number of suggestions to the king, including to consider promulgating laws in consultation with all of the foreign residents with whom he had confidence. He further suggested that Kauikeaouli conduct a semi-annual or annual meeting of the great chiefs, to attend to state affairs. Id. The letter also stresses the importance of learning the English language. A side-by-side presentation of this portion of the letter is provided below.
O kahi o kou aina ma ka honua, he wahi maikai no ia, aole ike pono ia ka pono nui o ia wahi ma ia hope aku, i keia makahiki aku, a i kela makahiki aku mahuahua ka maopopo ia oe ka pono o kou wahi, no laila ke olelo hou aku nei au ia oe e ao oe i ka olelo English, malaila weheia ke kula nui loa o ka ike, a i ko hana pono ana me ia naauao, e hookumu oe i inoa kaulana, aole e make i ka wa e pau ai ko Hawaii nei pae aina.
The geographical position of your inheritance is so peculiarly favorable that no one can foresee the degree of importance it is to attain; every year its additional consequence will be apparent to you; therefore I again repeat, acquire the English language, which will open an unlimited field of knowledge to you; in the right use of which, you may found a name more imperishable and enduring than the Islands of Hawaii.
As described in a previous blog posting, Commander Edward Russell of the H.M.S. Actaeon secured an agreement at gunpoint which permitted British residents to settle on land obtained with the king’s consent. The Hawaiian and English versions of this controversial treaty were provided in previous blog postings (Māhele 1 and Māhele 2). In the record provided below, it lists the names of those who witnessed the treaty between the Hawaiian and British governments. A transcription follows.
As described in a previous blog posting, Commander Edward Russell of the H.M.S. Actaeon secured an agreement at gunpoint which permitted British residents to settle on land obtained with the king’s consent. Below is the Hawaiian text of this controversial treaty (available in Foreign Office & Executive: Chronological File, 1790 – 1849 1836 Nov n.d. 7, 16). In the previous post, the English language version of this treaty is provided.