Monday, December 16, 2013

Gerrit P Judd

In 1828, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mission (ABCFM) sent 20-people in the Third Company of missionaries to Hawaiʻi, including four ministers and their wives.

A physician and his wife accompanied the ministers, Dr. Gerrit Parmele Judd and Laura Fish Judd.  Dr. Judd was sent to replace Dr. Abraham Blatchely, who, because of poor health, had left Hawaiʻi the previous year.

Judd, a medical missionary, had originally come to the islands to serve as the missionary physician, intending to treat native Hawaiians for the growing number of diseases introduced by foreigners. He immersed himself in the Hawaiian community, becoming a fluent speaker of Hawaiian.  Judd soon became an adviser to and supporter of King Kamehameha III.

In May 1842, Judd was asked to leave the Mission and accept an appointment as "translator and recorder for the government," and as a member of the "treasury board," with instructions to aid Oʻahu’s Governor Kekūanāoʻa in the transaction of business with foreigners.

Up to that time there was no real financial system. The public revenues were received by the King and no distinction was made between his private income and that which belonged to the government or public.  Judd, as chairman of the treasury board, was responsible to organize a public accounting system.    (Hawaiian Mission Centennial Book)

As chairman of the treasury board he not only organized a system, he also helped to pay off a large public indebtedness and placed the government on a firm financial footing. (Hawaiian Mission Centennial Book)

In early-1843, Lord George Paulet, purportedly representing the British Crown, overstepped his bounds, landed sailors and marines, seized the government buildings in Honolulu and forced King Kamehameha III to cede the Hawaiian kingdom to Great Britain.

Paulet raised the British flag and issued a proclamation formally annexing Hawaii to the British Crown.  This event became known as the Paulet Affair.

Judd secretly removed public papers to the Pohukaina mausoleum on the grounds of what is now ʻIolani Palace to prevent British naval officers from taking them. He used the mausoleum as his office; by candlelight, and using the coffin of Kaʻahumanu as a writing desk, Judd wrote appeals to London and Washington to free Hawaiʻi from the rule of Paulet.

His plea, heard in Britain and the US, was successful, and after five-months of occupation, the Hawaiian Kingdom was restored and Adm. Thomas ordered the Union Jack removed and replaced with the Hawaiian kingdom flag.

Judd stood beside the King on the steps of Kawaiahaʻo Church to announce the news, translating Admiral Thomas’ declaration into Hawaiian for the crowd.

In November 1843, Judd was appointed secretary of state for foreign affairs, with the full responsibility of dealing with the foreign representatives.  He was succeeded by Mr. RC Wyllie, in March 1845, and was then appointed minister of the interior.

By that time, the King had become convinced that the ancient system of land tenure was not compatible with the progress of the nation, and he resolved to provide for a division of the lands which would terminate the feudal nature of land tenure (eventually, the Great Māhele was held, dividing the land between the King, Government, Chiefs and common people.

As part of the Māhele, on Judd's recommendation, a law was passed that provided for the appointment of a commission to hear and adjudicate claims for land. Such claims were based on prior use or possession by the chiefs and others; successful claims were issued Awards from the Land Commission.

In 1846, Judd was transferred from the post of minister of the interior to that of minister of finance (which he held until 1853, when by resignation, he terminated his service with the government.)

In 1850, King Kamehameha III sold approximately 600-acres of land on the windward side of Oʻahu to Judd.  In 1864, Judd and his son-in-law, Samuel Wilder, formed a sugar plantation and built a major sugar mill there; a few remains of this sugar mill still exist next to the Kamehameha Highway.

Later, additional acreage in the Hakipuʻu and Kaʻaʻawa valleys were added to the holdings (it’s now called Kualoa Ranch.)

In 1852, Judd served with Chief Justice Lee and Judge John Ii on a commission to draft a new constitution, which subsequently was submitted to and passed by the legislature and duly proclaimed

It was much more complete in detail than the constitution of 1840, and separated the three coordinate branches of the government in accordance with modern ideas.

Judd wrote the first medical book in the Hawaiian language. Later, Judd formed the first Medical School in the Islands.  Ten students were accepted when it opened in 1870, all native Hawaiians (the school had a Hawaiians-only admissions policy.)

Judd participated in a pivotal role in Medicine, Finance, Law, Sovereignty, Land Tenure and Governance in the Islands. Gerrit P Judd died in Honolulu on July 12, 1873.

“He was a man of energy, courage and sincerity of purpose. He was an able physician, and he developed great aptitude for the administration of public affairs. The benefit of his talents was freely and liberally given to a people who he knew needed and deserved assistance.”  (Hawaiian Mission Centennial Book)

The image shows Gerrit P Judd.  In addition, I have included other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Google+ page.

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