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No. 576, C. Brewer & Co., Honolulu, May 6, 1847
To William Richards, Esquire, President, &c, &c, &c.
Sir, We have the honor to submit for the investigation of the board of Commissioners of which you are President, our claims to the land occupied by us in the village of Honolulu, as a place of business. The land in question has been in the uninterrupted possession of our predecessors in business & ourselves, from the year 1826 to the present time, nor has our right & that of our predecessors to such uninterrupted possession ever been questioned or disputed to our knowledge. For a description of the land as enclosed & built upon & for the proofs of our title & possession, we refer you to the following enclosed documents, viz.
A. Certified Copy of Pierce & Brewer's letter to the British Commissioners for the Government of the Sand Islands, dated 6 May 1843, 2d paragraph.
B. William G. Conant's certificate, duly sworn to, that the land which we claim was given by the Chief, Kalaimoku to John Gowan, as a part remuneration for his services as one of the interpreters of the Sandwich Island Government, under the reign of Kings Kamehameha 1 & 2d.
C. John C. Jones' certificate (formerly U.S. Consul at this place) to the same effect as the foregoing.
D. James Hannewall's certificate that in the year 1826, he purchased of the late John Gowan, Interpreter &c. all his rights & title to the premises in question & that he held the same until 1833, when he sold the same to Henry A. Pierce.
E. Henry A. Peirce's certificate that he purchased the aforesaid premises from James Hannewell in 1833, and retained undisputed possession until 1843, when the same was purchased by C. Brewer & Co. of Pierce & Brewer. Also that a small portion of the land now occupied by C. Brewer & Co. was given to the late firm of Pierce & Brewer in 1839 as an equivalent for the damage sustained by them in consequence of the alterations in the streets by Governor Kekuanaoa.
F. Captain James Smith's certificate that the premises occupied by James Hannewell between 1826 & 1832 were in 1825 in possession of John Gowan.
G. Henry A. Pierce's letter to Messers Reynolds, Chamberlain & Hinckley, dated January 1, 1834 requesting them to appraise the property, comprising the stock of trade & the real estate, &c, &c.
H. The appraisement of the said Gentlemen of the Premises, &c.
I. Surveyor's Notes & plot of said land taken April 14th 1843.
In addition to the above documents, we can obtain, if necessary to establish our claim, the testimony of several; persons now residing in Honolulu, to the facts which are comprised in the said documents.
All which is respectfully submitted by, &c.
C. Brewer & Co.
Honolulu, Oahu, Sandwich Islands, May 6, 1843
To the Honorable, the Commissioners for the Government of the Sandwich Islands,
1. In pursuance of the Public Notice dated march 1, 1843, I beg leave to put in my claims for a certain enclosure situated in Honolulu, Island of Oahu, Sandwich Islands, which enclosure was purchased of me by Gorham H. Nye on 30th December 1831, & has been enclosed, built upon & uninterruptedly occupied by me ever since.
Said enclosure is bounded:
On Northwest 82 ft. 3 in. &
Northeast 107 ft. 8 in. by the public road
Southeast, 80 ft 9 in. by the premises belonging to the Estate of Thomas Crowall and on Southwest 103 ft. by the premises belonging to the Catholic Mission.
2. I also claim for myself & as attorney for William A. Peirce, a certain enclosure situated in Honolulu, Island of Oahu, which enclosure was purchased by H.A. Peirce of James Hunnewell on 1st September 1830; & has been enclosed, built upon & uninterruptedly occupied by H.A. Peirce, Peirce & Hinckly & Peirce & Brewer, ever since; said enclosure is bounded:
On Northwest, North & Northeast, 413 ft. 8 in. by the public road premises belonging to Haunot Holmes (Hannah) and again by the public road
On Southeast 282 ft. 8 in. by a lane & premises belonging to natives.
On southwest 171 ft. 2 inches by premises belonging to natives, and also by premises belonging to Robert G. Davis.
Also an unexpired lease of a piece of land situated in Nuuanu Valley, Island of Oahu as per Government lease dated 6th August 1839. Also an unexpired lease of a piece of land in Honolulu, Island Oahu as per Government lease, 31st December 1841 to P. Francis I Greenway & transferred by the assignees of the estate of F.J. Greenway to Peirce & Brewer on 23d August at 1842.
I also claim as attorney for Henry A. Peirce an unexpired lease of a piece of land in the valley of Nuuanu, Island of Oahu as per Government Lease, dated 19th February 1841.
Signed, Charles Brewer for himself & attorney for Henry A. Peirce.
Attest: a true copy from the letter book of Peirce & Brewer, William Baker, Jr.
Know all men by these presents that I, William G. Conant, a citizen of United States America & for many years in resident of the Sandwich Islands, between the years 1821 & 1828 do hereby certify that that part of the land formerly occupied by James Hunnewell as a trading establishment in Honolulu, Island of Oahu, & subsequently by H.A. Peirce, for the same purpose was given by the Chief Kalaimoku to John Gowen, a citizen of the United States as a part remuneration for his services as one of the Interpreters for the Sandwich Islands Government, when under the reign of the Kings Kamehameha 1st & 2d.
I also certify that it was the usual custom with those sovereigns to compensate foreigners for services rendered to the Government by giving them tracts of land as on equivalent. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my land & seal this 25th day of October 1846.
Witness to Signature Wm. Parsons Avis, William G. Conant
Unites States of America
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
City of Boston. Personally appeared before me Henry Clark, Notary Public residing is said city of Boston & made oath to the truth of the foregoing statement.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand & affixed by notarial seal this 5th November 1846.
Henry Clark, Notary Public.
Know all men by these presents that I, John C. Jones, a citizen of Boston, Massachusetts, United States America & for many years a resident of Honolulu, Oahu, do hereby certify, that that part of the land formerly occupied by James Hunnewell as a trading establishment in Honolulu, Island of Oahu & subsequently by H.A. Peirce, Peirce & Hinckley. Pierce & P. Brewer & C. Brewer & Co. for the same purpose was given by the Chief Kalaimoku to John Gowen a citizen of the United States as a part remuneration for his services as one of the interpreters for the Sandwich Island Government when under the reign of the Kings Kamehameha 1st and 2d. I also certify that it was the usual custom with those sovereigns to compensate foreigners for services rendered to the Government by given them tracts of land as an equivalent.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this 25th day of October 1846.
Witness to signature, C.S. Brown, John C. Jones
United States of America
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Suffolk [?] City of Boston, November 7th 1846.
I, Henry Clark, Notary Public for said city & county duly qualified, do hereby certify that John C. Jones, Esquire of this city, appearing before me on the day of the date hereof made solemn oath that the foregoing statement by him subscribed is just & true.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand & notarial seal the day & year above written.
Henry Clark, Notary Public
Know all men by these presents that I, James Hunnewell of Charleston in the state of Massachussetts [sic], United States of America, formerly residing & doing business at Oahu, one of the Sandwich Islands, between the years 1816 & 1831, that on or about the 25th of October 1826 purchased of the late John Gowan, an american citizen, one of the interpreters then residing at Honolulu, Island of Oahu, all his right & title to certain premises together with the buildings thereon, situated in the village of Honolulu & which had then been occupied by him for some years previous.
The said land & premises was held by me for a trading establishment until the year 1830 (interlined 33 JHS) when I sold the same to H.A. Peirce, his heirs & assigns who succeed ....
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.... to this Government for the amount of the above claims, and in case they refuse to comply with them, that they will cause these obstructions to our business to be removed of which we complain. Should they refuse to comply with either, we wish you to lay before Commodore Reid of United States frigate Columbia, the same, and in case he is not authorized to act, we have to request that you will refer our claim to the Government of the United States.
We have already remonstrated with the Government of these Islands in a letter to them dated February 22, 1839, a copy of which we now enclose, and have never received any answer, nor has there been any notice taken of our letter.
Respectfully, we remain
Peirce & Brewer
See letter in relation to this claim, page 18 [margin note:] literally an allodial put to vote and refused.
Freehold title voted on 15 October 1847
[No. 576, C. Brewer & Co.]
Documents relating to claim No. 576, C. Brewer & Co. continued from page 15
Messers William Richards & Timothy Haalileo.
Enclosed I send you a copy of document acknowledged before you this day, as it relates to my title to estate sold to Mr. H.A. Peirce [Pierce] & my understanding of the title by which lands were held at the Island. I have thought it would be acceptable to you.
Very Respectfully yours, &c,
Boston, 16 November 1844
N.B. The original I send to Messrs C. Brewer & Co.
Know all men by these presents, that I, James Hunnewell of Charlestown, in the State of Massachusetts, United States of America, formerly residing & doing business at Oahu, Sandwich Islands, between the years 1826 & 1831 that on or about 25th October 1826 I purchased of the late John Gowan, an American citizen then residing at said Island of Oahu, all his right of title to a certain tract or parcel of land situated in the Village of Honolulu, in said Island of Oahu, together with the buildings thereon.
Immediately after the purchase, I applied to Governor Boki, the then Governor of Oahu, requesting him to sanction the purchase, and confirm the title in me. He told me, he could could [sic] not give me any permanent title to the land, as the fee or title to all the lands on the Islands was vested in the King, that it was fast in him; and no one could alienate it from him, or in language to that effect, which corresponds with the understanding I have always had respecting the title of lands at the Islands, according to the ancient customs and laws of the land.
Governor Boki told me that Gowan had permission to build on the land; and that I should not be likely to be disturbed while I continued to occupy it or to hold it as others did at during [sic] the pleasure of the King.
When I sold the premises purchased of John Gowan I sold the buildings with all my right to the land, considering myself a tenant at will to the King; the fee of the land being permanent in him. But that although the right was reserved to the King, I did not expect that I, nor my successors would be disturbed while in the peaceable occupation of the premises, or so long as we comply with the customs and laws of the land. All my right, title and interest in said land were sold by me to Henry A. Peirce [Pierce], my successor in the premises, and in business at Oahu.
Given under my hand and seal at Boston, Massachusetts, United Sates of America, this 16th day of November 8144.
Witness to Signature
John C. Hunnewell
Note. It is difficult to distinguish the figure 2 from 1 in 1826 first referred to in the original document, JHS, secretary
No. 576,Mr. Pulua [C. Brewer], September 27, 1647
Lanai, sworn by the Word of God and stated, Hanuela [Honeywell] had come in the month of Oct. or Nov. probably, in the year 1826 and obtained that place, the place Pulua's [Brewer's] store is standing. He had wanted a lease with a certain foreigner to which the foreigner did agree, but the decision was with the chiefs. So they felt they should go to them, but I did not go with them, altho' I had heard that Hanuela [Honeywell] had attended to the necessary arrangements. Later a separate house was joined on the mauka side and the (foreigner) had thought the adjoining parcel was leased by Hanuela. After this the roads were built and a new section (of land) running to the road was granted. I have not heard that anyone has ever objected to him. He has lived there to the present time. That haole is Keoni Makapoopoo (John Gowan). He had lived with Kaumualii, the chief of Kauai, as an interpreter for the for the chiefs and for the foreigners of Honolulu here. I believe Hanuela [Hunnewell] had received this place from Poli. He had built a house there and I have seen him doing some work for the chiefs at that time. The chiefs did not pay too much attention to land then for the price of land was not quality in dollars. I think Hanuela had paid $400.00 and he had wanted three houses or two perhaps, two grass houses and one small mud hut. He had felt that those four hundred dollars would be for the land, huts and fence. I have not seen anyone objecting to him from that time to this day."
Kimo of Pakaka (James Robinson), sworn by the Word of God and he stated, "I came here in the ear 1822 and I have always lived here in Honolulu. I know Keoni Makapoopoo (John Gowan). Hehad lived at Pulua's place. I have seen him living together with the chiefs. I have not known that the foreigners have paid him as an interpreter. I have known that Hanuela had bought that place, but I have not known the amount of money as payment. I have known that Peirce was his assistant, then jointly with Pulua, then Pulua joined with Mashall and Mashall has joined with Williams at the present time. I had heard at the time the streets were being built that another section of land was exchanged for the one used for the street, which is the parcel with the gate of the lot close to the road leading I out of the fort. Kekuanaoa had agreed to let Pulua have that place. "
A.H. Faiweathe (Fayerweather), sworn by the Word of God and stated, " I came to Honolulu here in the year 1831 and at that time Peirce was living there and I lived under Peirce and with Brewer for eight years or a little more perhaps. Peirce lived on that land with Brewer and Brewer had interest in the land, houses and in the entire estate. I was the secretary of their estate at that time. The responsibility was mine whenever they went on trips.
Brewer had objections when the roads had been built and the original store had to be given up for the street and a new store building has been erected altho' on a new foundation. When Peirce and Brewer were going on a trip, the attendants had become apprehensive about the fence so they built a new fence. I had complained to the governor and he showed me where the fence should have been built. When Peirce died Brewer returned they complained to Baninameda (Brinsmade) for their trouble, thus they were given another section of land,that is the area leading out to Fort Street. The governor had thought of making a narrow street but Brewer had refused this, so the consul made arrangements and another (street) was given. These things were done when an important Kamakoa (commander?) had arrived. I have known all of these things because I had been their secretary; however, the small details I have forgotten perhaps. No one has ever denied this old property and at that time there was no law like there is now concerning estates."
Berinameda (Brinsmade), sworn by the Word of God and stated, "I landed here in July, in the year 1833, and Peirce had been living there before I had come here. I had a talk with Hanuela about buying a place for him here and he had asked me to explain to him the condition of his land. It is a good land like any other land in Honolulu here; however, Peirce did not tell me the condition of the houses, but there may not be any other good lands like this one and is worth $5000.00. He said that he would buy the houses and the lot for $5000.00 if this was accepted by him. He had wanted to really buy it like they do in America because he had not known how land is bought here. I have known that Brewer had always lived here. Peirce had told me that the Ladd property makai of here is a replacement for that place mauka and it is worth $6000.00 and I lived there as an American consul. Brewer had com-plained to me for their loss for the constructing of the street and had asked $3000.00 for the fence and property."
[Award 576; R.P. 1622; Fort St. Honolulu Kona; 1 ap.; .77 Ac.]