PERSONAL REMINISCENCES OF OLD-TIME HAWAII AND NOTED ACTORS IN STIRRING DRAMA
How Many of the Chiefs Joined in the California Gold Rush and Died of Frontier Hardships; Terrors of Smallpox Scourge of 1853 When Thousands Died Throughout Islands
By MARY JANE FAYERWEATHER MONTANO
(Continued from last Sunday)
CAPT. GEORGE BECKLEY, my grandfather, concerning whom I dwelt at length in the beginning of my story of olden Hawaii, keeps well in the foreground of my thoughts, for not only was he the first haole to become a member of our Hawaiian family, but he played an important part in the affairs of the Hawaiian Islands, for whenever the King held council (and I am referring to Kamehameha the Great), he called his haoles in, and Captain Beckley was one of them.
In 1870, whilst I was on a visit to Kona, Hawaii, visiting the home of Judge Hoapili, at Keauhou, we went to see our alii, Ruth, at Hulihee. She pointed out to me the large hau tree back of the house, the old royal palace, and said:
RACED WITH KAMEHAMEHA
“That is where your hanai (foster chief, and meaning Kamehameha the Great) held council, and that is where your grandfather, George Beckley, sat in council with the other haoles.”
Long before George Beckley married Ahia, so I have been told, and at various times when he called at Hawaii after his voyages, he learned to ride the holua, or Hawaiian sled. That is how the friendship began with the king, for he raced with the king many times, and I know this is true, because the grandfather of Lot Kaulukou, whose name was Lonoikaaualiioleokamoku, was crippled by my grandfather’s sled. If Captain Beckley had not been a friend of the king’s he would have been killed by those Kona fighters. I have heard this often from the lips of my own people, and from those of Lota Kaulukou, the judge. He married my cousin, Ana Luapana Kanaina, (whose father was judge of Kau), a cousin of Charles Kanaina, father of King Lunalilo.
LEFT QUAINT WILL
My grandfather’s will is an interesting document, and throws considerable light on the ownership of lands and affairs in those days, nearly a hundred years ago, for his will is dated April 9, 1826. It is on file in the local archives building. It reads:
“In the name of God, Amen:
“I, George Beckley, being of weak body but of sound mind and memory, do hereby make and declare my last Will and Testament. First, I bequeath unto my children and the mother of my children my personal property and all the lands I now hold (under the government of these Islands), to be equally divided among them, and it is my wish that the mother of my children may have the management of the same until my eldest son, William, is of age, and then it is my wish and will that my eldest son, William, may have the management and direction of the same.
“Second, I wish that my son William may be under the direction of the young King, and in case he, my son William, may wish to go to the Spanish Main, it is my desire that he may go, and return again to these Islands.
“Third, I wish my daughters to be under the direction and guardianship of Capt. Alexander Adams, to do and advise for them as he may think fit and proper, and I request my executors to have my body decently interred in the house I have commenced building, as he may think most advisable; and I hereby appoint Capt. Alexander Adams to be my executor of this, my last will and testament.
“Oahu, Sandwich Islands, April 9, 1826.
“(Signed) GEORGE BECKLEY.
THE LANDS HE LEFT
This is the list of the lands that George Beckley left in charge of Capt. Adams for his wife and children:
First, Ahupuaa of Muliwai, planted with awa; Hawaii;
Second, Kealahewa, island of Hawaii;
Third, Kaliawa, a deep-sea fishing right at Kalihi-kai;
Fourth, Kalele o Kaliawa;
Fifth, The land of Liliha, at Kalihi-kai, kula and kalo land; and eight acres planted in a square with lauhala in the center, with grass houses and sheds where the canoes were kept;
Sixth, Kaawaawa, Kalihi kalo land and water rights;
Seventh, Wailele, Manoa, 30 acres;
Eight, Halaaniani on both sides of Alakea Lane;
Ninth, land of Hawi, Kohala, Hawaii.
One third of the lands given by Kamehameha the First, had to be returned to the government. The land of Hawi, on Hawaii, was given to the youngest son and namesake of Captain George Beckley. His name was Capt. George F. Hoapili Beckley, captain of the schooner Akamai, one of the first Hawaiians that ever sailed a modern ship.
When Dr. G. P. Judd was a minister under Kamehameha III, he called a meeting of the members of the council and told them that the government had no lands. He proposed to the council that all persons that King Kamehameha I, had given lands to, must return one-third of the land’s value, so my father Abram Henry Fayerweather, for my grandmother, Ahia Beckley, and her children, gave back Muliwai and awa planted lands, and Kealahewa, both lands on the island of Hawaii, running from the mountains to the sea, valued as one-third of the Beckley estate.
The estate of Kamakahonu Kane, son of the High Chiefs Kekapalahaole (k), and Walawala (w), who was the daughter of Naiole [Naeole] was also divided. He received from his mother, Walawala, her war gift from Kamehameha comprising the island of Mokolii, off the windward shore of Oahu, the ahupuaa of Kualoa and Kaneohe. Walawala brought over the wives of Kamehameha’s warriors with her fleet of canoes. They were the “I”, the “Mahi” and the “Palena”. They were all settled in Manoa Valley while Kamehameha’s armies were being prepared for the battles. The east ridge of Manoa Valley, called Waahila, was called Kapala Luahine and it is called so until this day, after the old chiefess. He had other lands on the island of Hawaii.
In what is now the city of Honolulu he owned the site where Sachs’ block is today at the corner of Fort and Beretania streets.
The king asked Kamakahonu Kane to give him the lands of Kualoa where the sacred drums and heiau were located. To Kamakahonu it was asking a great deal. He would have parted easily with any other land but that. He together with other chiefs, one of them my grand uncle, Kekapala, brother of Ahia, and husband of the High Chiefess Kailipakalua, grand-aunt of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, and may other chiefs, met
(Continued on Page 10)
(Honolulu Advertiser, 12/10/1923, Second News Section, p. 9)