21 autograph letters, plus 2 by his wife Charlotte and 1 by his daughter Lorna, mostly written to Lorna and Edward B. Watson. Honolulu, 15 January 1917 – 21 January 1939
24 letters, various sizes of 4to and 8vo, 80 pp. with 19 envelopes; a few slight tears and stains.
Fine group of intimate letters during the period just prior and during his appointment as secretary of the territory of hawai’i, as well as in retirement
Curtis Pi’ehu Iaukea (1855-1940) was connected with the monarchy, for a time as personal assistant to King Kamehameha III, until its overthrow in 1893. He served in a variety of diplomatic posts in Russia, Europe, India and Japan. After 1909 he was managing trustee of the Liliuokalani Trust and business representative for the former Queen. He was appointed Secretary of the Territory in 1917, and often served as acting governor until his retirement in 1921. He became chairman of the Hawaiian Homes Commission from 1933 to 1935.
The present letters provide his personal view of his work, the impending involvement of the U.S. in World War I, and his life on Oahu in retirement. The collection consists of the following:
1. Iaukea, C.P. AL, signed “Grandpa and ma”. To Lorna and Edward Watson. Honolulu, 15 January 1917. 4 pp. plus envelope and two news clipping regarding the events mentioned in the letter. “Last Wednesday, the wires flashed the news that President Wilson had submitted by name to the Senate for confirmation as Secretary of the Territory of Hawaii ... Whether I am confirmed in office or not, I rejoice in the fact that I have been singled out by the Administration to occupy a position second only to the Governor, a distinct honor that all Hawaiians should appreciate. ... It has been many years since a Hawaiian has received a Presidential appointment."
2. Iaukea, C. P. AL, signed “Grandpa.” To Lorna and Edward Watson.. Honolulu, 12 March 1917. 14 pp. plus envelope. “The Queen’s declining health will require us to be near her more or less ...[discusses real estate investment in Waikiki] ... My confirmation seems to have been lost in the shuffle as I haven’t heard anything more about it since the announcement was given out ... It’s a month ago and more now and nothing more said about it. ... Personally I don’t much care for the office – but to be urged to take it and then be turned down, that’s what I don’t like about the proposition.”
3. Iaukea, C.P. AL, signed “Grandpa”. To Edward B. Watson. Honolulu, 20 March 1917. 5 pp. plus envelope. “You will be pleased to know that after weeks of waiting, my nomination as Secretary of the Territory of Hawaii has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate. ... This is an honor that I never expected to enjoy, but as it has come unasked and without seeking on my part, I felt that I would not be doing right as a Hawaiian to refuse such a high and distinctive office at the hands of the President.”
4. Iaukea, C.P. AL, signed “Grandpa and Ma.” To Edward Watson. Honolulu, 22 May 1917. 4 pp. plus envelope. “I have been in office now since the 3rd of this month and familiarizing myself with the duties required of me. I find them rather light with lots of spare time to do other work not strictly belonging to this office. Some of the Governor’s for instance. When he requires a little assistance in the way of answering letters etc. ... Her Majesty is getting very feeble and compelled to remain in bed most of the time. ... Preparations are being made to register all persons coming within the requirements of the Military Law just passed by Congress. Conscription is a new thing in Hawaii and may take some little time to bring the Hawaiians to a better understanding of their responsibilities and loyalty to the United States as American subjects. ... It looks as if the United States is in for a long and bitter struggle with the Allied powers in putting an end to Germany’s ambition to rule the world. There isn’t any question as to the result but the pity of it all is that thousands and maybe millions of innocent lives with untold wealth will have to be sacrificed to attain the desired end.”
5. Iaukea, C. P. AL signed, “father”. To Mrs. E.B. Watson “Lorna”. Honolulu, 29 January 1918. 5 pp. plus envelope. “Tell Ed that I received his letter dated January 9th... He seems to think that things do not look encouraging for an early peace and feels that the war will last through 1918. If so, then it will be because the United States is not fully prepared to strike the blow that will bring the Hun to his knees ... It can only be a question of time when Germany will be humbled before the world, never again to be the power that she has been.”
6. Iaukea, C.P. AL, signed “Grandpa and grandma.” To Edward B. Watson. Honolulu, 10 April 1918. 2 pp. “The litigation over the Queen’s Estate is still pending and my presence here is mandatory. ... And then there is the Secretaryship of the Territory, an office I cannot leave without permission of the Department of Interior in Washington.”
7. Iaukea, C.P. AL, signed “C.P. Iaukea.” To Edward B. Watson. Honolulu, 22 May 1918. 2 ½ pp. plus envelope.
8. Iaukea, C.P. & Mrs. AL, signed “Grandma & Grandpa” in a single hand. To Edward B. Watson. Honolulu, 19 June 1918. 4 pp. With envelope with printed return address “Secretary of Hawaii, Executive Building, Honolulu.” Plus two news clipping recording some events mentioned in the letter. “We have been somewhat on the qui vive since Secretary Lane and party arrives. Being head of the department under which the Territory of Hawaii is, we naturally have to put ourselves at his service ... So far the secretary’s time and attention have been mostly given to land matters, a question that has always been a sore one between the homesteaders and the sugar interests. ... Mr. Lane is to give his views on the land question when the new Governor is inaugurated on the coming Saturday 22 June. ... There has been under consideration by the Trustees and Kuhio’s attorneys a proposition to compromise the suit and put an end to the litigation. The terms have been agreed on and will be submitted for the Court’s approval next Monday.”
9. Iaukea, C.P. & Mrs.. AL, signed “Grandpa and Grandma” in a single hand. To Edward B. Watson. Honolulu, 1 October 1918. 1 p. plus envelope.
10. Iaukea, C. P. AL, signed “Grandpa.” To Lorna. Honolulu, 9 December 1918. 4 pp. plus envelope. “A real hurricane struck Honolulu on Tuesday last and damage to property was very great. Trees, electric light poles and telephone lines lay scattered everywhere. Up to the time of writing there are no lights or telephone service up Nuuanu way.”
11. Iaukea, C.P. AL, signed “father”. To Lorna. Honolulu, 3 March 1930. 2 pp. plus envelope. [re: his wife’s cataract surgery]
12. Iaukea, C.P. AL, signed “Grandpa.” To Edward Watson. Honolulu, 4 March 1930. 1 ½ pp. plus envelope.
13. Iaukea, Charlotte. AL, signed “Mother.” To Lorna. Honolulu, 4 March 1930. 3 pp.
14. Iaukea, C. P. AL, signed “Father”. To Lorna. Honolulu, 8 March 1930. 1 ½ pp. plus envelope.
15. Iaukea, C. P. AL, signed “Father”. To Lorna & Edward Watson. Honolulu, 12 March 1930. 1 p.
16. Iaukea, C. P. AL, signed “Grandpa.” To Lorna and Edward Watson. Nuuanu Valley, 14 March 1930. 3 ½ pp.
17. Iaukea, C.P. Telegram. To Lorna Watson. Honolulu, 17 March 1930. 1 p. Content in code, revealed in 19 March 1930 letter.
18. Iaukea, C.P. AL, signed “Father.” Honolulu, 19 March 1930. 1 ½ pp. plus envelope.
19. Iaukea, C.P. AL, signed “Mother and Grandpa.” To Lorna and Edward Watson. Honolulu, 7 April 1930. 2 pp. plus envelope.
20. Iaukea, C. P. AL, signed “Father & Mother.” To Lorna. Honolulu, 29 May 1930. 2 pp. plus envelope.
21. Iaukea, C. P. AL, signed “Daddie.” To Lorna. Honolulu, 15 July 1930. 1 ½ pp. plus envelope.
22. Iaukea, C. P. AL, signed “Grandad.” To Lorna & Edward Watson. Nuuanu, 15 September 1930. 3 pp. plus envelope and 3 news clippings.
23. Iaukea, Charlotte. AL, signed “Mother.” To Lorna. Honolulu, 13 September 1932. 7 pp. plus envelope.
24. Watson, Lorna. AL, signed “Lorna.” To Curtis P. Iaukea. Milton, Massachusetts, 21 January 1939. 8 pp.
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