Ianuari 3: No nā Hale o Bachelot

January 3, 1832: Regarding Bachelot’s Houses

Oʻahu residents might recognize the name Bachelot from the road that intersects with Kuakini Medical Center. Not many realize, however, that the name is directly tied to a nineteenth century incident that resulted in French and British naval warships imposing a blockade on Honolulu harbor.

In 1827, Roman Catholic Priest Alexis Bachelot led the first mission to the Hawaiian Kingdom. Upon his arrival, he soon realized that the Hawaiian government was hostile towards Catholic missionaries.  Bachelot stayed for a few years before being deported by Kaʻahumanu, the kuhina nui (regent). Bachelot returned in 1837 after the death of Kaʻahumanu. However, shortly after Bachelot’s arrival, Kauikeaouli summarily had him removed and confined to a ship for several months. See Blog Posting (http://blog.hawaii.edu/punawaiola/2018/10/23/%ca%bbokatoba-23-he-mea-hoike-i-ka-kapena-beleker-hana-ana/#more-844).  The long-term impacts from this incident were dramatically displayed two years later in the Laplace Affair. See Blog Posting (http://blog.hawaii.edu/punawaiola/2018/07/16/iulai-12-17-ku%ca%bbikahi-me-farani-kuikahi-e-hooki-i-ke-kaua/).

In a letter authored by F. Giraeid (partially obscured) dated January 3, 1832, it discloses a conversation with Bachelot regarding the care of his houses. A portion of this letter is provided below, followed by a transcription.

This is to certify that Mr. Bachelot in a conversation with me when I was in Oahu told me if the Government of Oahu should send him away he would go to California so as to be near those islands, that he should leave his houses in the care of the carpenter as he expected to return at a future period in case circumstances turned out to his liking.

F. Giraeid

Kauai Jan. 3 1832.