Aliʻi made friends with many of the haole (white foreigners) who stopped at or ended up living in the Islands. The Aliʻi appointed many to positions of leadership in the Kingdom. Here is a summary on a handful of them.
Isaac Davis and John Young arrived in Hawai‘i at the same time (1790 – on different boats) and they served Kamehameha I as co-advisors. Because of their knowledge of European warfare, they trained Kamehameha and his men in the use of muskets and cannons, and fought alongside Kamehameha in his many battles.
Davis became one of the highest chiefs under Kamehameha and the King appointed Davis Governor of Oʻahu during the early-1800s. He was also one of Kamehameha’s closest friends.
An observer noted in 1798 that, “On leaving Davis the king embraced him and cried like a child. Davis said he always did when he left him, for he was always apprehensive that he might leave him, although he had promised him he would never do it without giving him previous notice.”
When Captain George Vancouver visited Hawai‘i Island in 1793, he observed that both Young and Davis “are in his (Kamehameha’s) most perfect confidence, attend him in all his excursions of business or pleasure, or expeditions of war or enterprise; and are in the habit of daily experiencing from him the greatest respect, and the highest degree of esteem and regard.”
Vancouver also had a warm reception from Kamehameha. He noted in his Journal, “He (Kamehameha) instantly ascended the side of the ship, and taking hold of my hand, demanded, if we were sincerely his friends? To this I answered in the affirmative; he then said, that he understood we belonged to King George, and asked if he was likewise his friend? On receiving a satisfactory answer to this question, he declared that he was our firm good friend; and, according to the custom of the country, in testimony of the sincerity of our declarations we saluted by touching noses.”
In 1819, Young was one of the few present at the death of Kamehameha I. He then actively assisted Kamehameha II (Liholiho) in retaining his authority over the various factions that arose at his succession to the throne. Young was married twice; his hānai granddaughter was Queen Emma. Young was also present for the ending of the kapu system in 1819 and, a few months later, advised the new king to allow the first Protestant missionaries to settle in the Islands.
On October 23, 1819, the Pioneer Company of missionaries from the northeast United States set sail on the Thaddeus for Hawai‘i. Over the course of a little over 40-years (1820-1863 – the “Missionary Period,”) about 180-men and women in twelve Companies served in Hawaiʻi to carry out the mission of the ABCFM in the Hawaiian Islands.
In 1820, missionary Lucy Thurston noted in her Journal, Liholiho’s desire to learn, “The king (Liholiho, Kamehameha II) brought two young men to Mr. Thurston, and said: “Teach these, my favorites, (John Papa) ʻĪʻi and (James) Kahuhu. It will be the same as teaching me. Through them I shall find out what learning is.”
On October 7, 1829, King Kamehameha III issued a Proclamation “respecting the treatment of Foreigners within his Territories.” It was prepared in the name of the King and the Chiefs in Council: Kauikeaouli, the King; Gov. Boki; Kaahumanu; Gov. Adams Kuakini; Manuia; Kekuanaoa; Hinau; Aikanaka; Paki; Kinaʻu; John Īʻi and James Kahuhu.
In part, he states, “The Laws of my Country prohibit murder, theft, adultery, fornication, retailing ardent spirits at houses for selling spirits, amusements on the Sabbath Day, gambling and betting on the Sabbath Day, and at all times. If any man shall transgress any of these Laws, he is liable to the penalty, – the same for every Foreigner and for the People of these Islands: whoever shall violate these Laws shall be punished.”
It continues with, “This is our communication to you all, ye parents from the Countries whence originate the winds; have compassion on a Nation of little Children, very small and young, who are yet in mental darkness; and help us to do right and follow with us, that which will be for the best good of this our Country.”
In 1829, Kaʻahumanu wanted to give Hiram and Sybil Bingham a gift of land and consulted Hoapili. Hoapili suggested Kapunahou (although he had already given it to Liliha (his daughter.)) 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.
King Kamehameha III founded the Chief’s Children’s School in 1839. The school’s main goal was to groom the next generation of the highest ranking chief’s children of the realm and secure their positions for Hawaii’s Kingdom. The King selected missionaries Amos Starr Cooke (1810–1871) and Juliette Montague Cooke (1812-1896) to teach the 16-royal children and run the school.
In a letter requesting the Cookes to teach and Judd to care for the children, King Kamehameha II wrote, “Greetings to you all, Teachers – Where are you, all you teachers? We ask Mr. Cooke to be teacher for our royal children. He is the teacher of our royal children and Dr. Judd is the one to take care of the royal children because we two hold Dr. Judd as necessary for the children and also in certain difficulties between us and you all.”
In this school, the Hawai‘i sovereigns who reigned over the Hawaiian people from 1855 were educated, including: Alexander Liholiho (King Kamehameha IV;) Emma Naʻea Rooke (Queen Emma;) Lot Kapuāiwa (King Kamehameha V;) William Lunalilo (King Lunalilo;) Bernice Pauahi (Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop founder of Kamehameha Schools;) David Kalākaua (King Kalākaua) and Lydia Liliʻu Kamakaʻeha (Queen Liliʻuokalani.)
King Kamehameha III asked missionary William Richards (who had previously been asked to serve as Queen Keōpūolani’s religious teacher) to become an advisor to the King as instructor in law, political economy and the administration of affairs generally.
Richards gave classes to King Kamehameha III and his Chiefs on the Western ideas of rule of law and economics. Richards became advisor in the drafting of the first written constitution of the Kingdom in 1840. In 1842 Richards became an envoy to Britain and the US to help negotiate treaties on behalf of Hawaiʻi.
King Kamehameha III initiated and implemented Hawaiʻi’s first constitution (1840) (one of five constitutions governing the Islands – and then, later, governance as part of the United States.) Of his own free will he granted the Constitution of 1840, it introduced the innovation of representatives chosen by the people (rather than as previously solely selected by the Aliʻi.) This gave the common people a share in the government’s actual political power for the first time.
Kamehameha III called for a highly-organized educational system; the Constitution of 1840 helped Hawaiʻi public schools become reorganized. The King selected missionary Richard Armstrong to oversee the system. Armstrong was later known as the “the father of American education in Hawaiʻi.” The government-sponsored education system in Hawaiʻi is the longest running public school system west of the Mississippi River.
In May 1842, Kamehameha III asked Gerrit P Judd to accept an appointment as “translator and recorder for the government,” and as a member of the “treasury board,” with instructions to aid Oʻahu’s Governor Kekūanāoʻa in the transaction of business with foreigners. In November, 1843, Judd was appointed secretary of state for foreign affairs, with the full responsibility of dealing with the foreign representatives.
Robert Crichton Wyllie came to the Islands in 1844 and first worked as acting British Consul. During this time he compiled in-depth reports on the conditions in the islands. Attracted by Wyllie’s devotion to the affairs of Hawaiʻi, on March 26, 1845, King Kamehameha III appointed him the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The foundation of the Archives of Hawaiʻi today are based almost entirely upon the vast, voluminous collections of letters and documents prepared and stored away by Wyllie. Wyllie served as Minister of Foreign Relations from 1845 until his death in 1865, serving under Kamehameha III, Kamehameha IV and Kamehameha V.
Over the decades, the Hawaiian Kings and Queen appointed white foreigners to Cabinet and Privy Council positions; Kingdom Finance Ministers; Kingdom Foreign Ministers; Kingdom Interior Ministers and Kingdom Attorneys General. Several haole are buried at Mauna Ala, including: Young, Wyllie, Rooke (adopted father of Queen Emma) and Lee (Chief Justice of Supreme Court.)
A few of the royalty married white spouses; notably, Princess Bernice Pauahi married Charles R Bishop, Queen Liliʻuokalani married John Dominis and Princess Miriam Likelike (sister of King Kalākaua and Queen Liliuokalani) married Archibald Scott Cleghorn (their daughter is Princess Kaʻiulani.
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