Kauikeouli, Kamehameha III, consulting about Select Schools

It was at this time that Kauikeouli, Kamehameha III, was seriously consulting with his chiefs about establishing a select school for the children of royal and chiefly families.

The site was already provided by the king, being on the lot where the old barracks now stands. It took more than a year to construct the building, which was one of adobe of the old Spanish style, a square edifice enclosing a central court. With the assistance of Dr. Judd the choice of teachers and a general manager was made, Mr. Amos S. Cooke and his wife, of the missionary colony, being the first ones in charge of the institution. It was made a boarding school so that the teachers would have the im-mediate and full control of the pupils.

Seven boys and seven girls were selected from the highest chief families in the realm. The boys were the three sons of Kinau and Kekuanaoa, Moses Kekuaiwa, Lot Kamehameha, and Alexander Liholiho; William Lunalilo, son of Kekauluohi and Kanaina; James Kaliokalani and David Kalakaua, ,sons of Kapaakea and Keohokalole, and Peter Young, son of Kaeo and Lahilahi. The girls were Jane Loeau and Abigail Maheha, daughters of Liliha III and her husband Namaile; Bernice Pauahi, daughter of Konia and Paki; Emma Rooke, daughter of Kekela and Naea; Lydia Kamakaeha, daughter of Kapaakea and Keohokalole; Victoria Kamamalu, daughter of Kinau and Kekuanaoa and Elizabeth Kekaaniau, daughter of Laanui and Owana,

As Victoria Kamamalu was only two years old at the opening of the school, it was deemed necessary that her “kahus,” John li and Sarai his wife, should attend her in school residence. The tuition was principally in English. From time to time the Cookes required assistant teachers. French and Spanish tutors were also introduced, the older scholars forming their classes.

For ten years the Royal School continued according to the original design, but the great responsibility was beginning to tell on the health of our dear instructor. Mr. Cooke was compel-led to seek an entire change and rest. Most of us left for our own homes but still attended the school. The tuition was taken up by a Mr. Fuller, who had already started a school of his own with children from some of the most respectable families, foreign and Hawaiian, resident in Honolulu. Then the name of Honolulu Academy was given to the school, which, however, continued only for a short time.

When Mr. Fuller gave up teaching, the Government, with Mr. Richard Armstrong as Minister of Instruction, started to build the later Royal School (supplanted a few years ago by the present modern edifice), thinking it most appropriate to name it such since Victoria Kamamalu, Liliuokalani and a few other children of chiefs of a younger generation had not as yet finished their education. Mr. George Beckwith, Mr. Armstrong’s son-in-law, was put in as instructor of that school, and all the pupils that had attended the old academy were admitted to it.

In forming the old genuine Royal School, the future positions of some of the pupils were already decided. Moses and Lot were respectively to hold the governorships of Kauai and Maui. Victoria, who had been betrothed in infancy to William Lunalilo, was to hold the premiership third in line from her mother Kinau, and Luna-lilo as her husband would fill the office of governor of Oahu after Kekuanaoa’s death. Alexander Liholiho was already regarded as heir presumptive to the throne, for Kamehameha III had lost his only son in infancy. The governor-ship of the Island of Hawaii lay in abeyance for future nomination.

Undoubtedly our parents had their own secret plans and expectations regarding all our futures, but, truth to tell, among that princely throng only one of the supposedly well-laid schemes was carried out. This singular instance not only gladdened the hearts of the parents concerned but of the community at large, being no less than the marriage of King Kamehameha IV and the High Chiefess Emma Rooke. The others formed alliances with other chief families and prominent American families that had decided to make their homes in this happy land, the “Paradise of the Pacific.”

But it is sad to relate that out of that most promising group of youthful scions of Hawaii’s nobility descendants of the royal houses of Keaweikekahialiiokamoku of Hawaii, the Piilanis and Kamalalawalus of Maui, the Kakuihewas and Kaleiomanuias of Oahu and the Manokalanipos of Kauai there remains but one survivor to cherish the reminiscences of those dear, sweet days of long ago, and that one the writer of this small literary souvenir of Hawaii’s most palmy times.

When the death of our dear father occurred at his favorite home at Waialua, I was still a minor and attending school as such. We were fortunate to have still living some members of our mother’s family, her twin sister and two brothers, who grasped the occasion to claim their right to take me to their home and protection. Before this ‘ could be arranged notice had to be given to the king and chiefs that, owing to failing health, Mr. Cooke with his family was going to change his residence from the school to the mission neighborhood.

Eventually a guardian was appointed in the person of John li, a justice of the Supreme Court, who was also administrator of my father’s estate. Upon arriving at maturity I was advised to claim my portion of my father’s estate. When I called on my guardian for this purpose, he astounded me with the information, “There is not much property that I know of which belonged to your father.”

Being young and unsuspicious I turned to-ward home little suspecting the wrongs inflicted on myself and brother. How we had been wronged remained a mystery until several years afterward, when a very confidential retainer of my father’s took sick and, fearing that death might overtake him at any moment, despatched a boy to our home in town urging me to come to his bedside, as he wished to ,see me once more before the end came.

Early next morning, in company with one of my uncles and accompanied by Kuokoa’s boy, I rode post-haste to Waialua, reaching there about 4 or 5 o’clock in the afternoon. We found the old gentleman awaiting our arrival in great anxiety. After we had partaken of some food the household was summoned to evening prayers as usual, by the sick man’s couch, and after delivering the blessing of God he turned and addressed me thus:

“My dear young Alii, I have been a traitor to you and your cause. I have been false to my haku, your beloved father, who brought us to this new residence aside from our own loved land of Waimea, the birthplace of your dear father and his ancestors before him. He placed in my hands a book, which you will find in your room, containing a list of lands to be presented to the Land Office just newly created to secure the legal award of title as ordained by law. I did not follow your father’s command, but listened to the tempter.”

Such were the words he spoke before a dozen of us who had congregated before him. And furthermore he said, “All the lands that I possess as presents from your father it is my wish that they be returned to you after the death of my wife.”

Little did we suppose that those words would be his last. About 2 o’clock that night we were aroused from deep slumber with wailing from his room. Life had fled. We remained for two days after the funeral of Kuokoa, then, with John li and our party, started homeward bound to our dear old Honolulu.

For years my father’s old devoted kahus remained and watched over the loved spot where once my father dwelt. Nothing could induce them to sever the tie binding them to the place they cherished for the sake of their lamented master. But there came a change.

One of his people who lived in the Koolau district, by name Kuaea, was invited by the people of Waialua to become the pastor of the old Hawaiian church there. Upon application to me for permission to live on the old homestead, arrangements were immediately made to build him a nice home. His flowing speech and pleasant delivery won the hearts of his congregation and his popularity became famous. It extended to Honolulu and, with a larger salary offered him by the old Kaumakapili Church; he was induced to change his residence to the metropolis. He gave up the house that he had built on my premises as a token of thankfulness.

Then it was that my interest in Waialua began to awaken. Years and experience had grown on me. We required a country residence and, with the kind help of my husband, made many improvements on our small holding which had been long neglected. I found the climate of my childhood’s home (for I first saw the light there) far excelled in salubrity any other place on the Island of Oahu. What with the delicious bathing in the placid waters of Anahulu flowing past our door {where now the stately and popular Haleiwa Hotel stands), many a happy hour was spent with women and children swimming around one in joyous glee.

I must confess that I was loath to take my leave of that sylvan-like spot to assume the cares and responsibilities awaiting me in town. No won-der it had such a hold upon my dear father’s life.

Years and experience! Yes. People to whom my father had entrusted lands of his came to me giving information such as that Kamakau for one lived on the land of Waihee, East Maui, knowing no other lord over him but Laanui, who held sway over other places in the district of Hana. Kapena’s brother was another, holding lands at Lahaina. Laanui, a namesake of my father, was put in charge of the Kapapala land (now in possession of Mr. Julian Monsarrat). Many other properties might be mentioned, among them the Panalaau land of Eleele on Kauai, which my father received as his bounty for tailing sides with Kamehameha against Kaumualii, king of Kauai. This land my father had entrusted to the care of one of his retainers named Wahineaea, a relative of Kuokoa.

But what recompense have they rendered to the children of Laanui? Nothing, but robbery from first to last. Not one inch of ground was marked to denote that once it belonged to Laanui, their kind friend and benefactor.

Waialua, as you have seen and read, was honestly acquired by Laanui, not only in exchange for his patrimonial estate of Waimea by intrigue and cunning on the part of that greedy despot, Kamehameha, but by virtue of sincere love and affection from his wife Piia. Who are the owners of that fair land now? Bishop Estate everywhere, as one of Victoria’s possessions. Thank God we have outlived those days of misery and bitterness.

It was on the appeal of my aunt, who said we had enough to live on, that I refrained from starting litigation for the recovery of our rightful inheritance.

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