Clarice B. Taylor writes more on the Beckleys, 1960.

Clarice B. Taylor’s

Tales about Hawaii

Hoʻopololei: Beckleys

Well I did it. I fell into the common error of confusing the Beckley names.

In the July 5 installment of the story on the Beckley family, I said “Emma Nakuina was the mother of Fred Kahea Beckley.” By making the error, I learned something new.

The Beckley names are confusing because the names are repeated in each generation and sometimes among cousins.

Confusion is compounded by altering the sequence of the name. For instance Captain George Beckley and Ahia named their eldest son Frederick William Malulani Beckley. Continue reading

Clarice B. Taylor on the Beckleys, 1960.

Clarice B. Taylor’s

Tales about Hawaii

Captain George Beckley and Family

The Beckleys are a proud family. They have a right to be.

Their story is well known because each generation of Beckleys has produced a writer, one who could tell the family stories and keep them before the public. The most prolific of these writers was the late Ahuena Davison Taylor, wife of the late A. P. Taylor.

Beckleys married writers. Prominent was the late Emma Nakuina, mother of Fred Kahea Beckley, who wrote authoritative legends and a paper on the old water right system of ancient Hawaii. Continue reading

Mary Jane Fayerweather Montano story part 2 continued, 1893.


(Continued from Page 9)

together at his town home on Fort street, and decided as they had heard about the gold rush in California, they would go there to dig gold, because of the taking of their lands in Hawaii.

They went to California and never returned. They all died over there. My aunt Maria Kaiponuikaipoliilii Beckley, was the wife of the High Chief Kamakahonu Kane, and when she was left a widow with her orphan son, George Kekapalahaole II, she called that home (Fort street), Maunakula, meaning “Mountain of Gold.” That is where she lived and she died there about 1887 or 1888.


I remember as a child seeing these magnificent Hawaiians as they sat there in the shade of the mango trees, on soft mats, in just their malos, because they were at home, a happy lot, all seated and chanting one another’s chants, and using their eyes and hands to interpret the songs. They were all so cheerful because they felt they would bring home a great deal of wealth, not only for themselves, but to share again with their king.

But the Great Mahele, after all, was just, for the Government could not be effectual without lands and finances, but it imposed many hardships on the chiefs who were dispossessed of many of their lands that were dear to them. Had it not been for the spears of these chiefs and their loyalty to their king, Kamehameha I, there would not have been so early a consolidation of the group.


Captain Beckley’s children, as he wrote their births in his family Episcopal prayer book, which is still in Honolulu, were:

William, August, 1814; Mairia January 25, 1817; Nancy, January 25, 1818; Mary, October 1, 1820; George F., January 1, 1823. then comes an entry with no date of the year: “April, this day, Saturday, Emiline Marie Guadalupe was born at sea in lat. 28.40 North, and Long. 116.40 W., at 1 o’clock p.m.”

I am writing of this will, to show you how methodical Capt. Beckley was. The will and the list of this property were in the hands of Alexander Adams and at the request of my father, Abram Fayerweather, he gave the will over to him.

Coming back to the time I returned to Honolulu from Kohala and became acquainted with my own father and my mother: The first school I attended while my parents were alive was that conducted by Mrs. Gummer and her mother, Mrs. Davis, a select school. It was on King street almost to the corner of Alakea. The house was owned later by the MacIntyres, father and mother of Hugh MacIntyre. My little classmate was Rebecca Meek, youngest daughter of my father’s friend, Captain Meek. She became Mrs. Horatio Crabbe, wife of the chamberlain of Kamehameha V.


When I look back to my first coming back to Honolulu, I realized how much I had to learn of the ways of my father’s house. First I had to be dressed in little white dresses in the afternoon, with shoes and stockings. Goodbye to my little calico muumuus. After being dressed I was fussed about uncomfortably until I would go out to the well where there was a big tub of water, duck my head into it, throwing my wet hair back, dripping the water all over my pretty dress. My poor beautiful mother would open her large, black eyes and call out to the servants to bring me in and change my dress. It was repeated many times to her vexation until I got used to it.

There was one thing I never forgot. The retainers said that the clouds that blew from the east came from Hawaii, so at every opportunity when I could leave the other children I would run back of the house and look for those clouds, and weep for my Hawaii home.

I would watch my sisters at the table and imitate them, and soon learned to do as they did, for I had only learned the ways of my Hawaiian people at the table. Sometimes I would make a mistake and my mother would say:  “Abram, look at her; it is not my fault; you gave her away; I didn’t.”


Father’s cook was a Hindu. He was a puzzle to me. He would pick me up and say: “Miss Mary you mustn’t eat too much butter, you see me, I am dark, that’s for eating too much butter.” I wondered how butter could make me dark, for at Little Mexico, which was my uncle’s ranch on Hawaii, our Spaniolas always made butter for us to eat, and I wasn’t black.

After I had been placed with the family of Consul Reynolds, by the Masons, my father’s cousin, Mrs. Horton Knapp, who afterwards became Mrs. Daniel Dole, came and saw that our dresses were nicely arranged for our going to Mr. Reynold’s school. She was the stepmother of Sanford B. Dole, who afterwards became president of the Republic of Hawaii, and the first governor of the territory of Hawaii. I was so proud to feel  that one of my people helped to bring him up.


I have told much about my having been taken away from my mother shortly after I was born and raised by my foster mother. The custom of adoption was a great thing amongst the Hawaiian gentry. Not only children, but grown folks were adopted, as Capt. George Beckley was adopted by the king, as a son. Kinau Judd Wilder was claimed by Queen Kinau and called after her, although Dr. Gerrit P. Judd, her father, would not give her up. Hawaiians would not only adopt one another as friends, but as brothers. Hence the mixup in some genealogies.

Adoptions caused unusual loyalty. They were bound to stand by one another’s lives in time of battle. If one was captured and taken prisoner, the other friend or brother would surely see that his adopted brother’s life is spare, if he knew that he was a captive. If that captive were at court he would be given all the distinction and honor of his rank.


I have heard it told of the sworn friendship of great cousin of mine (Kupunakane). His name was Kalaualu. During the battle of Nuuanu, in 1795, he was with the right wing of the army in the mountains above the valley, serving with High Chief Keikioewa. He is what the Hawaiians called, Kanaka o ke ‘lii’, one of the younger brothers.

The upena, or net, had been drawn from one side of Nuuanu Valley to the other, drawing it all around Kahaukomo. The royal twins, Kameeiamoku and Kamanawa and their younger brothers were on the left wing. Keikioewa ha decided to give no quarter, and told his men so, although his king, Kamehameha the First, had asked him not to kill Kalanikupule, King of Oahu, if he found him.

Keikioewa’s men descended down to Waimanalo and as they went, Kalaualu captured a most handsome young chief by the name of Kahakaiomakaiwa, sometimes called Kukui, a young Kauaian, who was part Oahuan, and a relative of the King of Oahu. He had come over from Kauai, landing on the Koolau side of Oahu, to help the Oahuans. It would have been death for him had Kalaualu not adopted him as his friend and pleaded with Keikioewa for his life, which was spared.

He was afterwards taken to Hawaii by Keikioewa and given a wife of the island of Hawaii. He was the ancestor of Levi Kukahi, who is employed at the Honolulu post office, and was at one time private secretary to King Kalakaua for the Naua society.


Speaking of Kalaualu, it was he and his wife Kaunuohua, who reared Alexander Iolani Liholiho. They were his nurses. Kalaualu planted bananas in every valley on the islands for his young prince, because it was the latter’s favorite fruit, so that when he went to these places he would have bananas to eat. At the time of George Kaumualii’s rebellion on Kauai, Kalaualu went over with High Chief Keikioewa, and was killed there. He was buried at Kapaaula with the rest of those who perished. He was a homely man. When the Kauaians saw Kalaualu they asked: “O wai te la” (Who is that?). The answer came from another Kauaian, “O, te tanata o te ‘lii’ he piipii luna a he moowini lalo,” (meaning “The man of the chief Keikioewa. He is curly at the top, (meaning the head), and spindly down below, (meaning spindle legged).

Kalaualu, like Kaha, father of Ahia Beckley, (whose wife, Makaloao, was the aunt of Kalaualu) was given a portion of Kalihi from the mountain to the sea, by Kamehameha the First, after the battle of Nuuanu. His wife, Kaunaohua was married again to that fine old man, Major Moehonua, and it was known later as a part of the Moehonua estate.

During the battle of Nuuanu, Kaha was with his king, Kamehameha the First, like all of the Kohalas but when he saw the Oahuans fleeing, he chased after them, up the valley. He left his king at Laimi. As they climbed the mountains, “flying” as the Hawaiians said, he followed. The birds were frightened by the stampede. As he attempted to capture an Oahuan, an owl flew at him, and clawed at his face. He stood and struck his spear on the ground to balance himself, when he saw he was on the edge of the precipice, and the Oahuans were surging over. He went all the way back to his king and cried out to him: “E kalani e, kalele anae ala ke Oahu!” (The Oahuans are flying over the cliffs like mullets).

Then the King said: “Kaha, from this day your name is Huha o ke Kaua a Kaua,”meaning the “reporter of the battle,” and he was called Huha ever afterward until his dying day, and never again Kaha. There is one man in Honolulu today who is named after this warrior of Kamehameha. He is Eaton Huha Magoon, assistant United States Attorney.


The great epidemic of smallpox occurred in 1853, which I remember from several incidents in my own life. The first case was reported and all the schools were closed. No one was allowed to wash our clothes, so we had to do the best we could. I remember our clothing hung on a line for a week, forgotten, and everybody must be vaccinated by a Doctor Smythe, whose place of business was on Smith lane. By watching him I learned how to make scratches on my arm, and then put some of the matter from the vaccine on my arm. I had vaccinated many little boys and girls with a piece of glass as a knife, and doctor Smythe called me “Little Doctor.” During my lifetime I have often wondered how many I may have saved, for it was awful to see big cartloads of men and women taken away, never to come back. I think the toll of death from Hawaii to Kauai was many thousands. Some did get well but, O, their faces were all rotted with pockmarks.


The Chiefess Kinoole, who was Mrs. Benjamin Pittman, wrote in one of her poems on the return of the people:

Ai inoino ke akua maunauna ka nahele
O ke ao hanuunuu kupukupu hawea

(The Gods have badly eaten the woodland
And they are like the uneven clouds
Or the drill flower, with uneven pointers.

Doctor Hunter, Mr. Reynolds’ Fort and Merchant streets, on the physician, located on the corner of Waikiki side, where Castle & Cooke now have their office, made camphor bags for us children to wear during the epidemic, and told us to smell the bags so that we would not be sick. We used to watch the dead wagons going by, filled with the dead, and the Hawaiian children used to be hanging on the back of those carts, just for a prank, but very thoughtless.

Rev. Lowell Smith, I have heard used to go into where the sick were and administer medicines to them.  He used to give sweet oil to rub on their bodies so they would not be pockmarked.

(To be continued.)

(Honolulu Advertiser, 12/9/1923, Second News Section, p. 10)


Honolulu Advertiser, 68th Year, Number 12,905, Second News Section, Page 10. December 10, 1923.

Mary Jane Fayerweather Montano story part 2, 1893.


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


(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: Continue reading

Mary Jane Fayerweather Montano tells her story, 1923.

Granddaughter Of Capt. George Beckley, Kamehameha’s “Field Marshal” Tells Of His Colorful Career In Hawaii


Englishmen, Americans, Russians and Men of Other “Haole” Nations Move In Interesting Array Through Reminiscences of Grande Dame of the Old Regime.

Vivid pages of history of the Hawaiian Islands the period when Englishmen, Americans and Russians when ashore from trading ships and men-o’-war of foreign nations, during that romantic period preceding the arrival of the first American missionaries in 1820, for to them must be given the credit for revealing the first glimpses of the civilization of the outer world to the subjects of Kamehameha, the Iron Man of the Pacific.

While much has been written of a few of the early foreigners, particularly of John Young and Isaac Davis, who remained in the service of the Conqueror for decades, and of navigators who visited the Islands on semi-official and official cruises, yet the stories of many who lived here were practically untouched by the early writers. What may have caused them to minimize the roles they played in the formative civilization period, has never been made plain.


Possibly the glamor of the Godly mission in which the American missionary-historians were engaged, their zeal in carrying the gospel to every part of the Islands, their desire to preserve the actual history of the Hawaiian people themselves, in view of the fact that Kamehameha, the greatest of all Hawaiians, had died just before they arrived, and with the feudal era, brilliant and picturesque already passing, made them stress upon those phases of life and merely mention what the foreigners had done.

It is one of these foreigners, Captain George Beckley, an Englishmen, that Mrs. Mary Jane Fayerweather Montano, his granddaughter, writes. She has written of her recollections of her grandfather, the story as she heard it from the lips of her mother and other relatives, for her mother was the daughter of Captain Beckley and Ahia, a high chiefess, who married the foreigner, the romance of whose meeting and marriage forms an interesting bit of history of the Islands.


She writes of Capt. Beckley, of whom Prof. W. D. Alexander in his History of the Hawaiian Islands, describes as the first commander of the fort which was erected at the time of Kamehameha the Great at the foot of Fort street; whom Kotzebue, the Russian navigator, describes as his host and guide, appointed by Kamehameha, during his visit to Honolulu in 1816; whome his granddaughter and several historians, including Thomas G. Thrum, credit with being the designer of the Hawaiian flag, the flag which was first carried on a Hawaiian vessel to foreign ports, particularly to China, by Captain Adams, about 1816; the Englishman who had a stone house in Honolulu years before the missionaries arrived and upon the walls of which were beautiful paintings, one of which was a rare Madonna and The Christ, supposed to be of Florentine or Spanish origin.

Mrs. Monatno, who is now 83 years of age, a Hawaiian poetess, and author of many Hawaiian melodies, retains a vivid memory of her childhood and of many of the interesting episodes of Hawaiian history of which she was an eye-witness, or concerning which she heard the tales from her Hawaiian relatives. This is her narrative:—(Editorial Note.)


CONCERNING the coming to Hawaii of my grandfather, Capt. George Beckley, I think it was before the year 1805, as it was between 1810 and 1811 that Capt. Beckley and Capt. W. Sumner were walking in Kohala, on the island of Hawaii, when they saw two beautiful Hawaiian girls being chased by a cow, descendent of the herd left here by Captain Vacouver as a gift to Kamehameha. The two captains interposed, drove the cow away and saved the girls from harm. One of the girls was Ahia, who afterwards became my grandmother, and the other was  Keakuaaihue, afterwards the mother of William and John Sumner. The girls were so grateful that they invited the young men to their home.The sea captains fell in love with them. Captain Beckley asked Kaha Huha o ka kaua a Kamehameha for the hand of Ahia, and Captain Sumner made a similar request for the hand of Keakuaaihue, both of which were granted.


In 1812 Captain Beckley returned to Kailua where Kamehameha the Great was then residing. A rumor reached Kohala that a Hawaiian chiefess in Kohala was endeavoring to have her daughter marry Captain Beckley. Ahia’s father loaded two canoes with pigs, chickens, poi, potatoes and other edibles, and sailed to Kailua. Kamehameha asked him the reason for this visit. Kaha replied that he came first to see his king, and also to take his “son-in-law” home. The king asked if Captain Beckley was the little girl’s intended husband. If so, he granted him leave to take the Englishman with him. Continue reading

Death of Mary Ann Kaaumokulani Kinoole Pitman Ailau, 1905.


AILAU—In Hilo, Hawaii. February 11, 1905. Mrs. Mary Ann Kaaumokulani Kinoole Pitman Ailau, daughter of the High Chiefess Kinoole and the late Benjamin Pitman, and widow of John Keakaokalani Ailau, aged 67 years.

Mrs. Ailau was known from one end of the group to the other, and in Boston and many of the Atlantic watering places.

She was born at Hilo 67 years ago, and with the exception of a number of years spent in Boston and New England completing her education, she always resided in the islands. She was a daughter of Benjamin Pitman a capitalist, who resided both in Hilo and Honolulu. The Pitman home was at the corner of Alakea and Beretania streets, on the site now occupied by the C. Q. Yee Hop building.

The Pitmans came here from Boston, where they were well connected. Mrs. Ailau’s father-in-law also resided here for a number of years. Her father married the High Chiefess Kinoole, daughter of the High Chief Hoolulu. Continue reading

Admiral George Beckley donates Mooheau Bandstand, 1905.



On the morning of the 2nd of January, Mooheau Park in Hilo was entered with fitting pomp. President Holmes of the Board of Trade [Papa o na Hana] gave a speech, and Admiral Beckley read his response, and then Attorney Le Blonde spoke. The song, Mooheau March was played by the band, and the Admiral received many thanks and there was held a luau. That evening, there was a great ball.

[I wonder what this march sounded like composed special for this event by Joaquim Carvalho. For more on Professor Carvalho (and if you can read Portuguese) see this page on Portuguese immigration and band music in Hawaii nei.]

(Kuokoa, 1/6/1905, p. 5)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XLIII, Helu 1, Aoao 5. Ianuari 6, 1905.

More mele from Mary Jane Montano, 1927.


Mr. Solomon Hanohano, Editor of the Kuokoa Newspaper:—Please publish the following mele from times past, when the land was filled with alii.

This is a name song [mele inoa] for the royal one Ahumanu [Kaahumanu], which was inherited by Kaumakaokane II, the mother of Kuakini (John Adams Cummins) during the youth of Kaumaka, and that royal woman [Kaahumanu] then called Kaumakaokane, by the name Papaleaiaina.

This name is the name that Kalaniahumanu [Kaahumanu] called the Royal One, Paiea Kamehameha I, and it is answered to today by the granddaughter of the Hon. J. A. Cummins, that being Matilda Papaleaiaina Walker Constable.

It would be best that these jewels of Hawaii nei be shown, for some of us will live on as teachers for the impertinent questions, as like the one who questioned in the Advertiser newspaper, about my dear brother, the Hon. J. A. Cummins, the “backbone” [iwikuamoo] of the chiefly ones who have passed into the next realm.

Kaumakaokane he inoa,
Hanau a koa he kupuna,
Eia ua aliiwahine nei,
Ke holo mai nei o ka moku,
Me ka hae o kau weloweloula,
Ku’ilua ka pu,
He aloha ia,
Aole i ike ka haole,
Wahi a Kalanikauleleiaiwi,
Iwi ka maka,
Holoholo ka onohi,
Lele ka puuwai i ka makemake,
I ka wai olu o Lanipo-e,
Nau ke ku’i haukeke ka auwae,
I hemahema i ka wa kamalii,
O ko’u wa naaupo no ia,
E laua la e,
Papaleaiaina kuu aloha e—
O kau ka haili aloha i o’u nei,
O ka welelau o kuu lima ka i pa aku,
Pa i ka lihi o Kilauea.

And here is the genealogy of the lei to adorn the neck of Ahia (Mrs. Capt. George Beckley), that being John Adams Cummins.

Liloa is the father who dwelt with Akahiakuleana, born was Umi. Umi, dwelt with Piikea, born was Aihakoko, Kumulaenuiaumi. Kumulaenui, dwelt with Kumunuipawalau, born was Kekapuhelemai; Kekapuhelemai dwelt with Piilani, born was Lonoikauakini.

Lonokauakini, dwelt with Kapukaheiau, born was Lonoikahaupo; Lonoikahaupo, dwelt with Ninauaiwi, born was Kekapalakea. Kekapalakea dwelt with Kelahuna, born was Kowali; Kolwali dwelt with Kaumaokaokane, born was Keaweaua. Keaweaua dwelt with Kaahaiku, born was Keauiaole; Keauiaole dwelt with Liloa, born was Kaumakaokane, Kameeiamoku.

Kaumakaokane (f) dwelt with Thomas Cummins, born was John Adams Cummins.

Kelahuna (f) is a descendant of Kelahunapaikua (m) and Ahia (f) and Kelahunapaikua (m) is a child of Kakuhihewa and Kolimoalani, that being Koaekea (f), the grandchild of Akahinuikameenoa (f), the woman that I placed a kapu upon.

Kelahuna (f) is the younger sister of Kamehaiku, these being female alii of Kau, Hawaii, and Kamehaiku is the woman of Keeaumoku, the father of Kaahumanu who slept with Kalanianoano and begot Kanehoa, the grandfather of Kaleianoano, Hoapili, and so forth, as well as Jesse Hakainai [Makainai ?], and so forth.

Sincerely, this is I

Ako-kuia ka hale lehua o ka manu,
Kauwewe i ka liko o ka ohia,
He uanoe he uaawa no ka mauna,
Uli ka nahele o Ookuauli,
Uli ka nahu hoomau a ka makani,
A makani a lei a lea,
Lea i na kauna ami a ka ua,
Alohi Maukele anapa i ka la e,
Okioki a hoe,
O ke aho no ia a ka ua Polohinalo,
A pikipiki ka lei,
Me he nu’a kapa la,
Popo ka lei a waiho malie,
Nana aku o kuu apana hala iuka o Panaewa,
Mamina ino no kuu kula lehua,
A’u i kawili mua ai,
Ua maka-pa ua eena ka manu,
He ena kai olohia ia no ke kanaka e—

The is the origin of my name from the heavenly one, Kauikeaouli; Kekulani is the name appended to Keoni Ana Opio [John Young, Jr.] when Kauikeaouli died and returned.

E o mai oe i kou inoa e Kekulani,
O ka lani no ka i ku,
I ka papa holu i ka makani,
A o oe no ke o mai e,


(Kuokoa, 3/31/1927, p. 1)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LXVI, Helu 13, Aoao 1. Maraki 31, 1927.