More from Puheemiki on C. Strawn in Kalawao, 1883.


The sun is shining; this wind is howling in the Koolau of Kalawao; their path lies to the west.

These days, it is the first time the brows of the cliffs of the mountains have been sighted, which are constantly blocked by floating clouds; the fields are constantly covered by gray mist; and the voice of the ocean constantly roars in the sea cliffs both night and day.

Our superintendent, C. Strawn, is secretly selling the house lumber that the Board of Health sent for the patients, at 3½ cents per yard, and hundreds of yards were sold on the 16th of this month. We just found out about this, we didn’t know from earlier.

The new church of the protestant brethren of Kalawao stands proudly, her walls are beautiful, and her bell tower is stands unobstructed; this was done skillfully under T. Solomoa [T. Solomona], but it is not completed.

Some major problems here in Kalawao were remedied by the agent of the Board of Health, R. W. Meyer, earlier this month; the claim for damages by W. H. Kala and J. K. Awihi against the Board of Health, for the seizing of their property by the Board of Health on the 18th of this past June, totaling $357.25; here is the deceitful thing: this important claim was hidden away by R. W. Meyer, and this was his decision. “The Board of Health was justified in the seizing of this property.” They two of them filed suit once again before a judge.”

Letters seen addressed outside to the Kuokoa or the Pae Aina¹ are torn apart; that is what I hear. This letter is being sent at Kalaupapa.  William Puheemiki.

[Does anyone know which Protestant church in Kalawao this would be being built in 1883?]

¹Ko Hawaii Pae Aina

(Kuokoa, 8/25/1883, p. 3)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XXII, Helu 34, Aoao 3. Augate 25, 1883.

Suicide in Kalawao, 1883.


O Ko Hawaii Pae Aina, Aloha oe:

I have something to report to you, and that is this: A man hung himself on the 21st of this June, in the jail here in Kalawao, at 2:25 p. m., and he is now left to rest. Perhaps it will be set right, perhaps not.

Here is why he hung himself; 1. The estate of this man was confiscated by the Board of Health, the the superintendent of the Lepers, C. Strawn. 2. The residence of this man was torn down by the officers of the Board of health as well as his clothes trunk by the orders of C. Strawn. 3. The property of this man was auctioned off to the public by orders of C. Strawn over two days. 4. This man was imprisoned in the jail for no reason for 4 days and 3 nights, at which point he hung himself. There are many witnesses to what was done.

This is all why this man was troubled. And so we are pained by this, for we were not brought here to die in jail; because it is enough that we are inflicted with leprosy; we don’t wish for more sickness to befall us or for us to die again in jail like this.

Therefore I ask before King Kaulilua,¹ the nation, the lahui, the makaainana from where the sun rises to where it sets, from that side to this, those who care for our dear lives, the descendants of our kupuna who were wounded by the barbed spears to unify you O Hawaii as one, for whom is said, “E mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono.”²

Please dismiss, transfer, and expell this haole C. Strawn from his job for the reasons shown above; and not just him, but those who plunder the wealth of you, O Hawaii; the people who drag you, O Hawaii into difficulties; and those who hold no aloha in their hearts for Hawaii. Don’t take your time, for your knowledge, O Hawaii, has climbed the heights of Hanalei, and you are qualified to occupy the highest positions of our government and be respected for your knowledge [e elieli ai kulana ia Ainaike.]

This is not said in spite, but for just cause [he wai o lalo]. Sincerely,

William Puheemiki, Jr.

Leahi Home, Kalawao, Molokai

June 25, 1883.

¹Kaulilua is another name for Kalakaua.

²”Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono,” is the famous proclamation of Kauikeaouli, Kamehameha III.

(Ko Hawaii Pae Aina, 7/7/1883, p. 4)


Ko Hawaii Pae Aina, Buke VI, Helu 27, Aoao 4. Iulai 7, 1883.