Don Francisco de Paula Marin (known to the Hawaiian as “Manini”) was a Spaniard who arrived in the Hawaiian Islands in 1793 or 1794 (at about the age of 20.) Manini’s nickname appears to be the closest way that the Hawaiians could pronounce his name.
Marin spoke four languages (he arrived fluent in Spanish, French and English, and learned Hawaiian) and was employed by Kamehameha as Interpreter, Bookkeeper and part time Physician (although he had no formal medical training, he had some basic medical knowledge.) He also served as purchasing agent for the arms that proved decisive to Kamehameha’s victory of the Battle of Nu‘uanu (1795.)
Among his several children, Marin had a daughter, Antoinette Francesa Marin, who was born on October 6, 1832 in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi.
Her father died in 1837 and Antoinette was hānai to Dr Thomas Charles Byde and Grace Kamaikui Rooke; he was one of three physicians in Honolulu in the 1830s. (Santa Cruz Sentinel, December 14, 1941) (Emma, later Queen Emma, was also adopted by the Rookes.)
Antoinette later married Lyman Swan (born on February 26, 1823 at Jefferson County in Watertown, New York,) a partner in Swan & Clifford. “In 1848 (Ornan O Clifford) came to Honolulu and shortly after entered into co-partnership with Lyman Swan in the baking business, at the corner of King and Fort streets.” (Hawaiian Gazette, May 28, 1884)
In April of 1853, Antoinette gave birth to the couple’s first child, Olivia (“Lily,”) and the young Swan family appeared to be living a life of prosperity and promise in Honolulu. (Dunn & Stoner)
Thrum notes Swan and Clifford were consignees to the first cargo of ice to the Islands that came from Sitka, per brig “Noble,” in October, 1854.
But as often would be the case with Lyman Swan throughout his life, appearances were often deceiving. Business records for Swan & Clifford indicate that while the chandlery was doing a booming business, income was not keeping up with expenses.
Apparently, unbeknownst to his partner, Swan was forging $40,000 in promissory notes and leaving over $80,000 in unpaid bills. A $5,000 reward was offered for information on his whereabouts. (Anderson)
Clifford declared his innocence. (Dunn & Stoner) Lyman left town and headed for California.
“Swan & Clifford bought and refitted the condemned bark George for whaling and trading … the senior member of the firm taking passage by her, on departure, to evade the impending crisis in their affairs in consequence of his own questionable transactions.”
“In the fall the vessel reported at San Francisco with 500 bbls oil, where Mr Swan remained. The ship on arrival here was seized by the marshal for the assignees and in due time was sold, as she lay”. (Thrum) Lyman was apprehended in Alameda.
All of the forged bills had been executed in Swan’s handwriting. While Hawaiian authorities tried to extradite Swan, he was never to return to the islands. He endured several years of both civil and criminal cases against him in San Francisco (he was found guilty on several, but not all, counts;) it’s uncertain if he was sentenced to any time in prison. (Dunn & Stoner)
Somehow, he managed to bring Antoinette and daughter Lily to California during his court cases, where the family first resided in San Jose. (Dunn & Stoner) Then, the family settled in Santa Cruz in around 1857.
They are considered one of the ‘Pioneers’ of Santa Cruz; Lyman was one of the signatories of the Constitution and Roll of Members of the Society of Pioneers of Santa Cruz County.
Swan returned to his roots and opened a bakery on Pacific Avenue; the Swans were popular and widely respected pillars of the Santa Cruz business community.
The family purchased a large plot of land in downtown Santa Cruz, at what is now the corner of Front and Cathcart Streets, that backed up to the San Lorenzo River. At least two of the Swan sons, Frank and Alfred, then in their twenties, joined in the family business. (Dunn & Stoner)
But the Swan marriage was not a happy one. Lyman Swan’s larceny may have long been hidden from the Santa Cruz community, but he couldn’t hide it from Antoinette, whom he had shamed with his activities in Honolulu.
Antoinette decided to return to the islands for lengthy periods of time and was Queen Kapiʻolani’s Chambermaid for approximately 5-years. (Santa Cruz Sentinel, October 3, 1905) She returned to Santa Cruz.
When Princes David Kawānanakoa (Koa,) Edward Keliʻiahonui and Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole, nephews of Queen Kapiʻolani, were schooled at St Matthew’s Hall in San Mateo in 1885, they were placed under the careful eye of Antoinette Swan.
When the Swan home became too crowded, the princes boarded at the nearby Wilkins House, located half a block away, on Pacific and Cathcart streets. (Dunn & Stoner)
The three princes are noted in the first account of surfing anywhere in the Americas: “The young Hawaiian princes were in the water, enjoying it hugely and giving interesting exhibitions of surf-board swimming as practiced in their native islands.” (Santa Cruz Daily Surf, July 20, 1885; Divine)
“Mrs Antoinette Don Paul Marie Swan was courtly in manner, and had a charm in her dealing with people that won many friends.”
“She was a kind neighbor and a devoted mother, loved by her children.” She was clearly a well-liked and widely respected member of the community. (Santa Cruz Daily Surf, October 2, 1905; Dunn & Stoner)
She died on October 1, 1905 at the age of 72 and was buried at the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) Cemetery. (Society of California Pioneers of Santa Cruz County)