Letters to the Editor | September 2022


“Ua mau ke ea o ka ʻāina i ka pono,” according to the state of Hawaiʻi, translates as “the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.” That has been the state motto for more than a century. Consider, then, the following manaʻo.

In 1843, British Consul Richard Charlton (1791-1852) and Lord George Paulet (1803-1879), commander of the British frigate Carysfort, demanded “provisional cession” of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi to Great Britain in order to settle land claims made by Charlton against the monarchy. On Feb. 25, 1843, the Hawaiian flag was lowered and replaced by the British flag.

On July 26 of that year, Rear Adm. Richard Darton Thomas, R.N. (1777-1851), arrived in Hawaiʻi on HMS flagship Dublin to rescind cession under Paulet and to restore the monarchy to Kamehameha III (Kalanikauikeaouli, 1813-1854).

On July 31, 1843, the Hawaiian flag replaced the British flag, and Kamehameha III in one sentence spoke words of thanks at Kawaiahaʻo Church – words that described relief from the five-month rule of Lord George Paulet. Taken in context with the events of 1843, the monarch’s words stated succinctly, “Ua mau ke ea o ka ʻāina i ka pono – the sovereignty of the nation is preserved in justice.”

ʻAnakala Hinano Brumaghim

There is a need to archeologically research for potential artifacts located in what was Victoria’s Kanaka Row, which was named for the Hawaiians who lived there about 170 years ago.

The community was established on the north end of the James Bay tidal mudflats that were filled in to build the Empress. Plans call for the construction of a Telus building at that location.

My personal interest in the article is that a part of my ancestry is Hawaiian, stemming from my great-great-grandfather William Mahoe, who worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company on the northwest coast, including at Fort Victoria, during the mid- and early 1800s and was buried on Salt Spring Island in 1881.

Did my ancestor live or frequent Kanaka Row? I don’t know, but I believe the area deserves a search “for treasures linked to the rich but little-known history of Kanaka Row.” In addition, it deserves a plaque to note the history of that location and the peoples who once lived there.

Larry Bell
Cobble Hill, Victoria, Canada