On taxation and leprosy patients, 1875.

The Leprosy Patients are Taxed!

Mr. Editor; Aloha:—

On the 2nd of this December, the Tax Assessor [Luna Auhau] of this island of Molokai came in person to the colony of Kalawao, the place of the castaways who are afflicted with wounds of an incurable sickness, that being leprosy [mai lepera], which is called he Chinese sickness [mai Pake].

Therefore, the Tax Assessor is acting as per his power under the Law; the taxing of animals, all except the body of man. And as such, I am announcing before all of our fellow people, that this is a major thing, because from the beginning of the enforcement of this law upon people afflicted with leprosy and who are set apart as based on the intent of the edict of the Board of Health; this is the first time this sort of thing has come before the patience, as it has almost been ten years that these people have been living as prisoners in the penitentiary of the law.

Through this, I am announcing clearly to all the people living all over outside of the boundaries of the land of the skeletons. This is astonishing that those dead to the law are being taxed. So if leprosy patients are taxable in this way, then those imprisoned in Kawa [the government prison] should be taxed, for they are better off than those living here in the Colony of Kalawao; those people, there is a given time when they will once again receive their Civil rights, but we here (the leprosy patience), we will not have a time when we are relieved, because the law follows after our steps, and takes from us even the tiniest of rights that we have.

This is the Era of King Kalakaua, and the character of the history of his reign is being prepared; so “Recognize your fellow man, and don’t waste your aloha on dogs.” Aloha no. SILOAMA.¹

Kalawao, Dec. 3, 1875

¹Siloama is probably a pen name; it is the Protestant church in Kalawao.

(Kuokoa, 12/11/1875, p. 4)

Ua Auhauia na mai Lepera!

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XIV, Helu 50, Aoao 4. Dekemaba 11, 1875.

4 thoughts on “On taxation and leprosy patients, 1875.

  1. I’m guessing the reference to ‘aloha on dogs’ may refer to a tax on dogs that was not all that popular; perhaps the author is saying, don’t waste your time trying to repeal the tax on dogs, worry about the humans here??

  2. Aloha Anita, the saying is actually a traditional proverb [olelo noeau], an entreaty that the one addressed should be kind to their fellow human beings. And i am not sure if the writer was playing with the dog tax idea, but that is interesting.

    • appreciate the olelo info; most likely the reference; was the tax link I was responding to; did not look up date of dog tax to match to letter; for researchers the dog tax (and similar taxes on horses, house type etc) are GREAT helps to knowing people’s life style & economic status; highly recommend checking the property tax records for anyone you’re tracing very helpful

  3. Pingback: More on the taxing of leprosy patients, 1876. « nupepa

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