Sanford Ballard Dole and His Hawaii: With an Analysis of Justice Dole's Legal Opinions

By Ethel M. Damon | Go to book overview

Chapter V
HONOLULU
1869-1873

BETWEEN its backdrop of climbing green mountains with open valleys and its foreground of changeless, yet ever-changing blue ocean, the straggling village of Sanford Dole's birthplace and boyhood bore only distant resemblance to the busy seaport and capital city where he was to spend the rest of his life.

As a lad of twelve, from the slight elevation of Punchbowl Hill, his eyes had once followed the lines of Honolulu which looked, he concluded, like nothing so much as a dull checkerboard of dusty lanes and cross lanes marked here and there by a few houses, bare of green leaves save lines of coconut tufts or groups of spreading kou and wiliwili trees near the sea, with here and there thickets of hau arbors; also the feathery algaroba at the Roman Catholic Mission on Fort Street with its many seedlings scattered out across the plains as wispy shrubs of wild kiawe along paths where Punahou boys, taking cows back to the village or out again to Manoa pasture, had thrown broadcast out of their pockets seeds from the Cathedral parent tree. Slender mangoes were growing taller, also two young monkey-pod trees of about Sanford's own age--one still shading the Library of Hawaii even today. Shade was at a premium in the dusty village of a hundred years ago. Even then, however, the tall lad of twelve, gazing down from Punchbowl, saw too with his mind's eye the transformation which the magic of Ka-ne (benevolent god of hidden waters) might some day create on that arid, yet sheltered lee shore.

In the forenoon of Saturday, February 6, 1869, as the schooner Nettie Merrill approached from Kauai, passengers on her deck could make out many shrubs, and taller trees beginning to

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