Assisting with Land Rights
The Crown Lands [Aina Leialii] were lands of Kauikeaouli that he set aside for himself and his descendants, when he divided the lands of his Kingdom between himself, the Alii, and the makaainana. In 1865, it was decided by the Supreme Court [Ahahookolokolo Kiekie] that these lands would be inherited by the person who sits on the Throne. The Legislature just passed a law to establish a managing Commission which will put these lands in order. Being there are no descendants of Kamehameha I that are living, therefore, the lands will now go to the people, that is they were released by the Legislature to help the Chief Executive [Luna Hooko kiekie] in his office.
Being that this office is no more and is of naught at this time, those lands are under the jurisdiction of the Government.
The acreage of the Crown Lands is 900,000, when all is totaled, and those are some of the finest lands of this Archipelago.
Much is leased out at very low costs, and when these leases are over, the lease costs will go up substantially.
The gains from these lands is said to be $70,000 a year, but in a short time from now, it will go up greatly from that total.
It is important that these lands always be protected from the hands of the land hungry and the covetous, but be given for the benefit of Kauikeaouli’s own makaainana. This proposal was raised in this past February, and was something greatly desired by the Provisional Government [Aupuni Kuikawa], and perhaps it will pass.
- The head of each Hawaiian family and every person who votes in the Hawaiian election, who is at this time not a land owner will be given from five to twenty acres from the Crown Lands.
- The kamaaina of each area will have the right to choose first, before people from outside the area.
- Quite land titles will be given to the makaainana for his lifetime and to his heirs after him, with the exception that he cannot sell or mortgage it for a loan.
- When a place in this archipelago no longer has a person living on it to whom it was settled, nor his agent or his heir, then it will return to the Government. An example of this was carried out in Olaa, Hawaii, and it is still going on.
The thought behind this is that every Hawaiian family will have a home that cannot be lost to debt, and they cannot be kicked off those places. It is true, the Hawaiians are actual farmers as were their parents. Honolulu is called the cemetery of their people.
As farmers who weed and plant upon their own land, they will live happily, and be much healthier. This is the true path toward “Increasing the Race” [“Hooulu Lahui”].
The increase of benefits that will accompany annexation is a reason to excite those who want a house and farm to plant their place with coffee and fruit trees; and in exchange, those natives of the land with land and homes will support the new Government.
Each person that really wants a job will have work, and just as the Bible states: “He can lay under his grape vine and under his fig tree; and none shall bother him nor make him afraid.”
W. D. Alexander.
(Kuokoa, 4/29/1893, p. 1)