Mahele Documents

Claim Number: 00152
Claimant: Sumner, William, Captain
Other claimant:
Other name:
Island: Oahu
District: Kona
Ahupuaa: Moanalua, Honolulu
Ili: Kuilei
Statistics: 46961 characters 8724 words
No. 152 to 157, William Sumner, Senior, Claimant, Honolulu, July 25, 1846
F.R. 123-124v1

Gentlemen: I have the honor to forward to your honorable Board my following claims to land situated on this Island, viz.:

1. Land at Monaloa as per enclosure, A. Native Register, volume 1, page 136
2. 2. Land at Kahaohao, B. Native Register, volume page 137
3. One track of land called, or known by the name of Kuilei, situated on the district of Kona which was given to me by his Majesty, Kamehameha II for my services to the government, which said land I have cultivated and built upon, and which I have held for twenty-six years.

4. Also a certain enclosure situated in Honolulu adjoining the premises belonging to Kekauluohi; measuring 264 feet in length and 187 feet in breadth; which was likewise given to me by his Majesty, Kamehameha II, for my services to the government; which I have built upon and uninterruptedly occupied 26 years.

5. Also a certain parcel of land belonging to the above lot which I, at present occupy, situated between that and the residence of his honor Judge Andrews, measuring 207 feet in length and 185 feet in breadth together with;

6. Another certain piece of land located on the opposite side of the street from that on which I now reside, measuring 172 feet in length and 109 feet in breadth. Both these lots are based upon the same rights of tenure as that upon which I hold my other premises.

When called upon by your honorable Board I shall be ready to bring forward my witnesses & testimony relative to the above claims.
To the Commissioners for quieting land titles
Signed, William Sumner, Senior

N.R. 136-137v1
No. 152, William Sumner

Hoapilikane does hereby lease to William Sumner the kula and the kuahiwi of Moanlua for fifty-five years, from this day onward, and on this day William Sumner shall pay to Hoapili-kane, or his heirs, fifty dollars. Thus he or his heirs shall pay every year until the said term has ended. Then, William and his heirs shall occupy without /payment/, and he and his heirs shall not pay annual tribute. However, William Sumner may not sell said land; the land shall be inherited by his heirs born here in Hawaii. His animals shall continued to be looked after in this place of Moanalua, not at any other place, if they go there. The animals shall be looked after by the konohiki or they might be killed. But if the makaainana wish to go up for the wood for their houses, or firewood, they may go to fill their needs. Only the makaainana of Moanalua - not any others lest harm be done to the animals. If the animals are not looked after, as said, then everything in the kuahiwi shall be absolutely forbidden. None of the makainana of Moanalua can go up without permission of the man in charge of the animals. This is the penalty if the animals are not looked after. But, if the animals graze on the cultivated land of the makaainana, then the cattle /owner/ shall compensate up to the value destroyed. If the makaainana of Moanalua want to rent the uncultivated vegetation in a place which has been prohibited because of not taking care, one fourth of the revenue gotten by the renter shall be for William Sumner.

In witness whereof, we sign our names on the 6th day of November in the year of our Lord 1839, at Honolulu, Oahu.
Witness: William Richards

F.T. 108-119v1
Claims No. 152 to 157, William Sumner, [1846]

Peter Richmond, sworn deposed, I arrived at these Islands about 22 years ago. I came from Taunton[? Staunton?] Massachusetts, United States. I have been at Honolulu about 18 years at work as a carpenter. I have known Mr. Sumner ever since I have been here. In old times there used to be a high stick fence running along the ground where Kekauonohi's stone house is built; and commenced at Doctor Judd's inland fence, and running inland of the stone house near the line of the street, the fence ran up beyond the well which is on the premises of Kekauonohi; and comprised the houses about as far up as where the native straw house stands. I do not know how far the back fence extended. I can not say whether there was any cross fence or not. Some of Mr. Sumner's people lived in the large native house there. I do not recollect when the lane was opened. There used to be a path there; I cannot say whether the straw house was built by Mr. Sumner. The place where the young chief's school is, was owned by Canaan. About 1837 or 8 the main street was opened which intersects at right angles the street where General Miller resides, and the street which passes in front of the Palace. About the time the street was opened Mr. Sumner built a mud wall from the street above described running easterly. The same wall stands there at the present time, which is the mauka wall. At the time of the building of the wall the straw house was down. I believe the path has been a thoroughfare during 10 years past. I cannot say whether it was ever laid out for a street or a road, or by common consent that people passed over it. I knew Mr. Sumner a short time after my arrival here, and have always understood that the land where he lived belonged to him; not only that, but all that was included where the stick fence ran. Mr. Palmer was one who told me so. I have heard that Mr. Pitt applied to Mr. Sumner for permission to make a pathway which now leads up to the young chiefs place. I have heard people say so, among the natives. I cannot say who, but i have heard often of it. I have heard Captain Sumner six or eight years past often claim the ground.

(Note:) Mr. Sea states the present to be a verbal grant, depending on the occupancy.

(deposition continued) I have lived the first two years after my arrival here at the Fort, and afterwards with Jack Crowne. I have no connection with the parties. I have never lived with Captain Sumner. I could not point out to the surveyor where the fence ran within twenty or thirty feet; but I am sure it ran as far as the stone house. I could not say how deep the land was from east to west, but it was wider than Mr. Sumner's present premises. I do not know of any natives living on the ground at that time. I do not know who built the stick fence.

Kanui(Kanina) commenced building the stone house upon the ground about three years ago. I do not know if Mr. Sumner opposed any objections to the building of it. I never heard only thing of it. I do not know whether Mr. Sumner ever occupied the land since he built the mauka wall. I do not know whether he ever paid any taxes on it. I do not know who planted the sugar cane on the land.

Kauwila, sworn deposed, I have been wife of Mr. Sumner until about the time of the arrival of letters (about 1820). I do not know at what time Mr. Sumner took possession of his present premises, it was long before Karaimoku built his great yard. The place of Mr. Sumner was not given him by any person, it was an unoccupied place, and he went of his own accord and built there with the knowledge of the chiefs. He built a fence around his premises, it commenced near Doctor Judd's premises and ran up along the street. When Karaimoku was sick he asked of Mr. Sumner a pathway for him to go out through his yard and Mr. Sumner gave his consent to have the two parts separated by the path. At that period we were living on the mauka side of the pathway. I had another husband at that time, and we were all living there together, our two families. Mr. Sumner built the house where we, with my husband lived. My husband with Mr. Sumner dug the well. I left the place at the time Lot was born in 1831 or 2. At that time Kekauonohi sent us away. The wall was built before I left. I do not know on what ground Kelionohi [Kekauonohi] sent me away. I considered him as my chief. I was the servant of his chamberlain. There was no place to live after I left. The house was taken down and Mr. Sumner took possession of the materials & contents, timbers, boards, calabashes, &c and when I came back I found them in Mr. Sumner's yard. There was a wall at that time. I moved the materials & contents of [illegible] house through my women. Puhie was the man who [?]at my orders. Mr. Sumner was away at the time. The ser[vants] of Kekauonohi immediately occupied the land at the removal of the house. The name of the occupants was PO[illegible]. Mr. Sumner built the house and the fence for me.

Uilani, sworn deposed, I am living in the house of Mr. [Sumner]. I have been acquainted with Mr. Sumner from my child[hood]. When I first knew him he was living down here in the village. At that time the place where he is now living was entirely vacant. He went perhaps of his own accord and selected the place. When he went there to live, he fence in his premises with sticks. The boundaries on the mountain side was just back of a well. The boundary on the western side was about where the road now runs. The sea boundary was somewhere within Dr. Judd's yard, but was gradually removed at the request of Kinau until it reached the place where it now is. On the eastern side it extended into what was subsequently the yard of Karaimoku; he requested permission to extend his premises into Mr. Sumner's yard and obtained it. The space thus granted was considerable. There was no interior division of the land at that time. There was no fence at the time Karaimoku was living. I think that lane was been existing ten years. I think Mr. Sumner has not occupied any grounds mauka of that lane since the wall was built. I do not know the reason for Mr. Sumner's giving up that place. After he built that wall, his own people no longer lived on the other side, but went and lived in his own enclosure. I do not know anything relating to his tearing down the house. I knew of Kauwila living there. I was absent when she left the premises, and do not know precisely where it was. When Nahienaena died, Kauwila had left the premises, which was in 1836. I remember the house in which Kauwila lived. Mr. Sumner built the house. I heard Mr. Sumner say that Karaimoku asked him for a pathway at the time Lord Byron was here.

Same Claim continued, November 24 [page 111 bottom]
Robert Boyd, sworn deposed, I have lived on the Islands 24 years. I am an Englishman by birth. I knew Mr. Sumner about 3 weeks after my arrival, living where he now does since that time. The premises are bounded on the Southeast by the palace yard, on Northeast by a narrow lane, on Northwest by a broad street, on Southwest by the premises of Dr. Judd. Those were not the former boundary. There were houses on the lot when I went to live with him in 1822. There is no house not standing that was then. I was absent when the house in which he now lives was built. It was built previous to 1837. There was a thatch house in which he then lived, near the site of his present house, when I first knew him. There was a plastered mud house on the right hand side of the entrance to his then residence, which he used as a storehouse. That entrance was where his gate now is. There was a stick fence on the street side, as early as 1822. That fence commenced at the premises of Dr. Judd, and ran inland about northeast along the street, and ended a little farther than the alley, about 40 or 50 feet. On the Northeast side there was no fence. There was a stick fence on Dr. Judd's side, Southwest. There was a fence on the Palace side, Southeast. Mr. Sumner had no building beyond the land, except the well that I know of. The land on the Northwest side beyond the alley where the well is, was open to anyone to build upon it, at that time. Mr. Sumner could not have opposed anyone at that time building on that vacant space to the northeast if the chief had given his consent to anyone building there and even Mr. Sumner would have required the aid of a chief to sustain him in building there. The present lane was then a pathway. Before 1837 when I went away, there existed the present mud wall which bounds one [edge of page missing] the premises now in Mr. Sumner's occupation. I [missing - do not ] know why Mr. Sumner built the wall, except to [missing - enclose] his natural boundaries. It would be possible to [missing] cases, in enclosing a piece of land; that I might leave some of it out, but it would not be natural. About the well there was a small thatch house inland of it, and a man living in it named Powell. I asked him where he lived, he said with Captain Sumner or by him. I do not remember which. I did not know Kauwila. There was no other house on that side and no one living there that I know of.

In 1822 the whole block was an entire plain, including the palace. Dr. Judd's, Mr. Sumner's present residence & the land in dispute. In 1837 there were several persons living on the block in different parts; the Governor, Kinau, Mr. Sumner and some natives were living in different parts of the same block. I should think there might be about 15 acres on it. I cannot say that in 1822 anyone could take possession of land as they chose, but he must have the sanction of a chief. If a foreigner, he would make friends with some chief, and ask him to build a house for him, and given him so much money. The chief might ask the person so requesting where he would have it, by your pointing out the place, he knows whether he can built there better than the person who asked for it.

At that early day it was the usage to enclose as much of the land as the applicant saw fit and could pay for; the more he could pay for the better the chief would be pleased. There were no purchases at that time in 1822 in foreign understanding. The money was given to enable the chief to build the house for the applicant. In fact, Boki, was very angry with me on having understood that I drew up a paper for selling land by Mr. Kilday to someone else. Br. Boyd says it was understood by me from Boki, that when he sold land, he only sold the privilege of the land and improvements. I think natives did not ever practice at that day, selling the right of occupation and the improvements. I do not think until the passage of the present laws in creating this Board, the natives ever enjoyed that right at all.

An enclosure at that day constituted a circumscribing fence or wall. In 1837 I took notice that everyone was very careful to get all they could, because there were instances of several places being sold on valuation in that day (not the land, but the privileges of the site and improvements). I myself sold some at that time with the consent of the King (not the land but the privileges of the site and improvements). People began long before that time to enclose their fences, owing to the enhanced value of land. I do not know whether Mr. Sumner gave anything for the land. He used to navigate for the chiefs, and I suppose, that circumstance formed the basis of his possession of the land. I never heard that Mr. Sumner never objected to any improvements that had been made by others on the land inland of the present wall; except very recently that I heard from Mr. Sumner himself.

Mr. Boyd being asked to give his candid opinion in view of what he knew of the ancient usages of 1822 & 1837 and which existed until new provisions were made by the new laws in 1846; also in view of the situation and facts of the entire premise ....

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.... ed in (it). Sumner did not live there again but he built a fence and a house for me. I did not feel that it (land) would be for me, for he, Kekauonohi had said his land was for William Sumner.

Uilani's, wife of M. Grimes, sworn testimony: I am living on M. Grimes' property. I have known W. S. for many years and the first time I had seen him was when he had lived just below here and later, he moved to a plain which was idle and this had been probably on his own idea. When he was settled there, he built a wooden fence in the front of the side toward the mountain of the well and the boundary went further upland. That is correct for his property which was in the center of the land where Kauka [Judd] is living now. It was Kinau who asked to push off to the boundary of Kauka's [Judd] property where it is wide, then increase with Kalaimoku perhaps. Both said that a very small plain was lost and there is no lot between Kalaimoku and Wm. Sumner. It has been ten years from the time that place was turned into a road, to the present time and at this same time the property mauka was separated from W. S.' [William Sumner's] land. I do not know the reason for this but I have seen the work done by a Hawaiian for the land which he is living on now. There were no people mauka for they were living on his land. I did not see the demolishing of the grass hut, perhaps I had gone somewhere and I had heard that Kauila had lived there, but I don't know when he had left. Sometime before the death of Nahienaena in the year 1836, Kauila went away for the first time and I have seen the grass house that W. S. [William Sumner] had built for Kauila. I have also heard from W. S. [William Sumner] that Kalaimoku had asked for a road.

see page 15

N.T. 15-20v2
No. 152, W. Sumner, Honolulu, November 24, 1846, From page 13

R. Boyd's sworn testimony: I am an Englishman and 24 years is the length of time I've lived on this .land. I first knew W. So [William Sumner] when I first arrived here and he was living in the house he is living now.

The house which W. Sumner is living presently is southeast where the king's house stands, on the southwest is G. P. Judd's house, the north the wide road and on the east the narrow road; however, those were not the boundaries before. When I came he was living in his houses and these which are standing now are new houses. The old ones have been demolished and the solid one which is being occupied presently was built in the year 1837. The houses which he now occupies are close to the king's mud hut where he (king) lives now, and the wooden fence runs from Kauka's [Judd) property to the northeast and passing the small road about 40-50 ft. but not reaching the well.

There is no fence mauka, but there is a wooden one for the property adjoining Kauka's [Judd) land also. There is a lot on the southeast side. I have not seen anything that belongs to him on the side that is toward the mountain of the small road; how-ever, there is a well. If he feels that he wants to build a house for himself or to do this or that, he may do so.W. S. [William Sumner] cannot build a house mauka of the small road without the permission of the king. There is a small road there although it has not been fenced on either side. I think there was a fence there in the year 1837 by the small road, but I do not know the reason for this - perhaps to prevent others from the opposite side from entering. In the year 1822, a foreigner Paul by name had lived in the grass hut which was close to the well just back of here toward the mountain. I did not see Kauilas, yet there were many Hawaiians; no house, no fence and no people lived mauka of the small road, only the house which Paul had lived in, in the year 1822 was seen and adjacent lands were idle. There were many houses at that place in the year 1831. Kekuanaoa, Kalaimoku, Kinau and many other people in the year 1837 have seen the operations of that time as compared to the present. If a foreigner wanted a place to live, he became friendly with the king and he would receive (land).

Here was the way at that time; If a foreigner would receive land, he would first enclose with fence the portion he desired. In the year 1831 everybody wanted to have land because at that time it was common to buy many house lots. I was one of the buyers at that time, with the permission of the king. Earlier in the year 1831 it was the usual practice to enclose your property; I do not know how he had received his land. I had heard only that he was a sailor for the king and I have known personally that he was, very friendly with Kalaimoku and Poki. I think there was a total of 15 acres within all of those places which have been mentioned; and at that time land was not bought, not at all and this was not heard in the foreigner's tongue. House building was permitted there, but no foreigner in Honolulu here can say that land was bought at that time because Poki became angry at the mention of a land sale. Sometimes a king would receive a monetary gift; therefore, he would allow the donor to build a house; still no foreigner can say that the land was bought; and if a foreigner wants to transact a sale with another foreigner, he may do so with the things which were made by him and absolutely not the land. I think no Hawaiian has sold or bought land with another Hawaiian, nor sell by residing, and if the land must be acquired, it should be so on friendly terms.

I think that the transaction of land by sale has been very recent. At this time when the new law is, in effect, I have not heard that W. Sumner had refused anything while he was working mauka of his place where he is living now and if this had been approved, I think W.S. [William Sumner] would have built his fence ac-cording to his desires and by so doing would acquire that property. It appears to me that the way he had built the fence seems to say thus, "I do not want any other place!" I do not know of any particular activity or statement to this time by W.S. [William Sumner] pertaining to that property just above toward the mountain.

John Ii's sworn testimony: I had known W.S. [William Sumner] before Kalaimoku had built his fence for his property. The missionaries had arrived some time before, W.S. [William Sumner] was first to establish his property, later Kalaimoku worked on his land, the boundaries of which was by the government road going upwards to the property of Aneru Kaniana [Andrews] and running southeast. I have seen W. Sumner's property and the fence which ran directly to Kalaimoku's house. I think it was in the year 1825 that I had seen W.S.'s [William Sumner's] mauka land, which was enclosed with a wooden fence and appeared as if it were one. Kauila and her husband, Hookio, lived on that property. I do not know the property which was on the mauka side where Kekauonohi's stone house stands now, but I think they had joined together on one property with Keoua and his cousins for I have known only one house and seaward of Kekauonohi's stone house was for Kauila ma. The length of the house was altered so as to fit properly to the gate of the fence to the entrance. I have been there and Keona's house is just toward the mountain; he had some servants; the fence is the same and it was Kekauonohi who extended it further inland and into Aneru's property. I do not think there was a fence mauka but there was a wooden fence along the edge of the government road leading further inland. There was a wooden fence mauka of the narrow road and I do not know who built the fence but I have seen the houses.

I have seen the narrow road. There was an old road to the time Lord Byron arrived with the caskets bearing the royalty. Many Hawaiians have gone there up to this time according to what I've seen. The wooden fence was short, but Kalaimoku's fence had long lumber and the width of the narrow road is the same as that of this time. The right year was 1825 but I do not know who built that fence; I do not know who built to W.S.'s [William Sumner's] property but I had seen W.S. [William Sumner] living there. The well was successful which was on the side toward the sea of the house and Kauila with her husband Kekukahiko were living there in 1825.

Postponed to Tuesday, then work will resume. See page 34

N.T. 34-38v2
No. 152, W. Sumner, Honolulu December 1, 1846, From page 20

Ualani, wife of Grimes, sworn: A wooden fence is erected around on the side to the hills of Kauila's house. I have not known where Keoua lived. Mauka of the narrow road and close to the well was Kauila's house, with her gate right to the extended road. After Sumner had lived there, I saw one house toward the mountain for a foreigner. Before Sumner had erected a fence, after Kalaimoku had built a fence completely around and at the time Kauila had gone away, I was already gone. I did not see Kalaimoku was still living, and I was gone before his death.

D. Lyons Kiwalao sworn: I have lived here for 45 years. I have known W. S. [William Sumner] for 24 years. I have lived on the place I am living now.

The first time I had seen it (land), it was just a plain field and man is capable of developing this or that place that he wants. He has surrounded his land with a wooden fence and the property on the seaward side is close to G. P. Judd's place, on the northwest side near to the place where the lot is now, and on the mauka near to the road is the house of J. Dudoit. At that time Kauila's husband had a garden on the side toward the mountain and there was no road on the seaward side of the little road. There was only one house within that lot near to the well. Hookio and Kauila were the ones whom W. Sumner had given the house as property. Hookio and Kauila's rights are from Kinau. I do not know how long Kauila had lived in that house, nor do I know the reason for the separation. I do not know the time Kalaimoku's huge fence was built, but I did go to the island to get the lumber. It is not very clear to me (the boundaries) of Kalaimoku's big fence. I do not know when Sumner had built the mud wall on the inland side, but I think it was built when the roads were being built. That small road was built when Kalaimoku was ill. It is my feeling that that property mauka was not in Sumner's possession after that little road was built. I do not know for certain who owned that property toward the mountain because there were many people who had built houses after Kalaimoku's property had been divided. This was the reason for this action. Lord Byron (Bairani) asked Sumner to build a road so that it would be closer to go to Kalaimoku's place for it was too far to go on the seaward side. I did not hear from others that that place mauka was for him, but I have heard from him personally that the place mauka belonged to him.

Kilua sworn by the Bible: Sumner is my brother-in-law; I am a brother to Kauila and I am now living in Puuloa. I do not know the year I had first seen Sumner. I had first seen him at the place he lives on now after the death of Kamehameha I. I do not know who had given him (land) but it was Sumner who had built the fence, the side toward the sea and adjoining to Judd's place and the side by the road, which is the property and at this time it has been chopped for the road. On the mauka end there is a lot, on the makai is the footpath to Waikiki. The size of the mauka end is the same as the makai side. Previously, there were foreigners Manuel by name who had dug a well without success. They (two) went away and Kaiahua stayed there. There was no narrow road at that time. Work (road) began there at the time Kalaimoku had taken ill. It was he who had asked Sumner for a place where he could make his observations. We were the first to live on that property, Kauila, Hookio, Kilua and myself and our house was close to Kalaimoku's property. There was no other house there at that time and the well which we had dug was in front of the house. Sumner and his men helped us where-ever we had lack; he bought the lumber for the house which we, together with his men carried and built there, and we also did a new thatching. I do not remember how long we had lived there, but we had left before the death of Nahienaena. I do not know the reason for Kauila (plural) leaving, for I had left before them and went to Puuloa at the time of Kahalaia's death.

While Sumner lived there, he raised many plants but they were not safe from our thievery; therefore, he consulted with his wife about moving mauka and that he had all the necessary materials for a house. A fence was between (the lots) because Sumner felt that there would be more pilfering at the time Kalaimoku was still living. The property was in the foreground but at this time, it is mauka of the narrow road. He made his first wife live on that mauka land on her interest through him and for the work done on the plants. I do not know the reason my sister had gone away nor do I know the person who had worked on the property again after Kauila had gone away. I do not know, I have heard hearsay, but I do know about our life there. I also do not know who had made settlements after Nahienaena had died to the present time. My sister is now living in Puuloa.

This is the second year she has been living there and we did not believe the property was for us, but living is under Sumner. I did not see Kekauonohi and Kauila live together or their eviction. I have not heard why they went away after the death of Kinau. We are subjects of Kekauonohi at this time.

Kapunui sworn: I am a mother-in-law for Sumner, he has my daughter. I am living at Kaholaloa,that land belonging to Sumner. I had first seen Sumner when Kamehameha I was still living and he was living on the place he now lives. No one had given him (land) but he enclosed around the property. The section which is on the seaward side here is in G. P. Judd's place; the side that is on the road runs into the road and now the side toward the mountain has been moved from the cluster of houses occupied by Andrew (Aneru). We who are Sumner's own subjects have lived there. No other men have lived there. I do not know who had lived mauka of our place we now live for we had lived there for a long time and we are still living there now. The narrow road was built at the time of Kalaimoku. He was living when the property was separated as a garden area by a wooden fence. Kauila went to Puuloa very recently because she was sick.

N.T. 44v2 [SeeNo.191, Kekauonohi]

N.T. 310-311v3
No. 152, Wm. Sumner, From page 44, Vol. II

The son of Wm. Sumner had come today and brought a lease document dated November 6, 1839 and the signature of the king and Mr. Hoapili appear at the end of the document and by this token the land has been acquired by William Sumner for 55 years with an annual payment of $50.00 to be made by W. Sumner. The provisions made in the document were clearly understood; therefore, the witness for this land, William Richard, was not summoned.

[Award 152; no R.P.; Moanalua Kona; 1 ap.; 6918 Acs; see claim 191 for 30 years of Sumner's voyages]