“The foreigners came to these resorts to find women”. (Kamakau)
“It had been the custom, from time immemorial, on the death of any great chief, especially of the king, for the people to give themselves up to universal licentiousness; – to the indiscriminate prostitution of females; – to theft and robbery; – to revenge and murder.”
“The first stand against these heathenish practices, was made by Keōpūolani, the first native convert, herself a chief woman of the highest distinction, who, in expectation of her own death, strictly charged her children and attendants to have her funeral conducted upon Christian principles.” (ABCFM Annual Report)
In the early nineteenth century, makaʻāinana women flocked to the European ships and port towns in large numbers to partake in the lucrative trade in sexual services. This was one of the few ways that makaʻāinana could acquire foreign goods since the aliʻi controlled other forms of trade. (Merry)
Many Hawaiian women boarded the ships coming to port here. They did not think that such associations were wrong … The husbands and parents, not knowing that it would bring trouble, permitted such association for foreign men because of the desire for clothing, mirrors, scissors, knives, iron hoops from which to form fishhooks and nails. (ʻIʻi; Merry)
The first attempt to change the sexual behavior of Hawaiian women was an attack on prostitution with European seamen. This endeavor earned the missionaries the undying hostility of the small but growing mercantile community and the visiting shipping community while failing to eliminate the sex trade. (Merry)
“One of the few chiefs who opposed the missionaries and their preaching, Boki fought against Kaʻahumanu’s new laws that prohibited the practice of the old religion”. (Kanahele)
In December, 1827, drafted by Kaʻahumanu and scrutinized for Christian propriety by Hiram Bingham, the crimes proscribed were murder, theft, adultery, prostitution, gambling, and the sale of alcoholic spirits. Boki opposed actively the passage of any such laws.
“Boki’s obstructionism may be traced to the fact that he had something of a vested interest in all but the first two of the offensive activities.” (Daws)
“The latter prohibition especially aggrieved (Boki) because drinking was one of his pleasures and he himself owned and operated several grog shops in Honolulu.” (Kanahele)
“(H)e speculated in local and foreign trade, sugar-making, tavern-keeping, and commercialised prostitution. None of these businesses except the last was profitable.” (Daws)
“By 1828, he had become openly allied to the two chief elements of antagonism to the regent and the missionaries.”
“The leading one of these elements was the combination of lewd and intemperate whites, headed by the British and American consuls, in order to break down the new laws against prostitution and drunkenness.” (Missionary Herald, 1905)
“Boki … became the friend of … foreigners and they would ply him with liquor and when he was intoxicated give him goods on credit.”
“Thus he would buy whole bolts of cloth and boxes of dry goods and present them to the chiefs and favorites among his followers, and these flattered him and called him a generous chief.”
“In this way he became even more heavily indebted to the foreigners for goods than the King (himself, through his) purchases.” (Kamakau)
For a time, Kamehameha I lived at Pulaholaho (later called Charlton Square,) later high chief Boki, built a store through which to sell/trade sandalwood near Pakaka, where Liholiho also built a larger wooden building. (Maly)
“Boki also established several stores in Honolulu where cloth was sold, ‘Deep-in-debt’ (Aiʻenui) they were called because of his heavy debts.”
“At Pakaka was a large wooden building belonging to Liholiho. Boki’s was a smaller building which had been moved and was called ‘Little-scrotum’ (Pulaholaho.)”
“The foreigners, finding Boki friendly and obliging, proposed a more profitable way of making money, and both Boki and Manuia erected buildings for the sale of liquor, Boki’s called Polelewa and Manuia’s Hau‘eka.” Boki’s place was also called the Blonde Hotel.
“Since Liholiho’s sailing to England, lawlessness had been prohibited, but with these saloons and others opened by the foreigners doing business, the old vices appeared and in a form worse than ever.”
“Polelewa became a place where noisy swine gathered. Drunkenness and licentious indulgence became common at night …. The foreigners came to these resorts to find women”.
“In 1826 the cultivation of sugar was begun in Manoa valley by an Englishman. Boki and Kekuanao‘a were interested in this project and it was perhaps the first cane cultivated to any extent in Hawaii. “
“When the foreigner gave it up Boki bought the field and placed Kinopu in charge. A mill was set up in Honolulu in a lot near where Sumner (Keolaloa) was living.” (Kamakau)
Boki incurred large debts and, in 1829, attempted to cover them by assembling a group of followers and set out for a newly discovered island with sandalwood in the New Hebrides. Boki fitted out two ships, the Kamehameha and the Becket, put on board some five hundred of his followers, and sailed south.
Just prior to Boki’s sailing in search of sandalwood, the lands of Kapunahou and Kukuluaeʻo were transferred to Hiram Bingham for the purpose of establishing a school, later to be known as Oʻahu College (now, Punahou School.)
These lands had first been given to Kameʻeiamoku, a faithful chief serving under Kamehameha, following Kamehameha’s conquest of Oʻahu in 1795. At Kameʻeiamoku’s death in 1802, the land transferred to his son Hoapili, who resided there from 1804 to 1811. Hoapili passed the property to his daughter Kuini Liliha (Boki’s wife.)
Sworn testimony before the Land Commission in 1849, and that body’s ultimate decision, noted that the “land was given by Governor Boki about the year 1829 to Hiram Bingham for the use of the Sandwich Islands Mission.”
The decision was made over the objection from Liliha; however Hoapili confirmed the gift. It was considered to be a gift from Kaʻahumanu, Kuhina Nui or Queen Regent at that time.
Boki and two hundred and fifty of his men apparently died at sea.