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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp624-625 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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The Chairman. Has that survey of the lands been completed?

Mr. Alexander. It is not completed.

The Chairman. Have you separated the individual holdings of the natives?

Mr. Alexander. Yes, to a very large extent. The individual holdings were surveyed in piecemeal along in the fifties. The work was badly done, but each of the homesteads issued to the natives was patented by surveyed metes and bounds. The largest lands, the chiefs' lands, were mostly awarded by name according to the ancient boundaries.

The Chairman. In the name of the tract or the name of the chief?

Mr. Alexander. The name of the tract. And every piece of land, large or small, down to the very smallest pieces, had a traditional name. It was an old country, not a new country.

The Chairman. At the time you entered upon this survey of the lands, did you find the separate holdings of the Hawaiian people established and recognized by the authorities of the Government?

Mr. Alexander. Yes, they were fully recognized.

The Chairman. So that what you did was to define these surveys upon paper, upon plats, and then patents would issue from the Government?

Mr. Alexander. Patents had been issued for the small holdings, for the homesteads, what the natives call kuleanas. Those were issued in the early period, beginning in the fifties.

The Chairman. Under which of the Kamehamehas?

Mr. Alexander. Kamehameha III.

The Chairman. Your work began under Kamehameha V?

Mr. Alexander. Yes.

The Chairman. I will ask you to give some idea of the arable quality of the lands that you surveyed on the islands.

Mr. Alexander. It is very difficult to give the amount.

The Chairman. I do not expect that; it is the quality that I ask for.

Mr. Alexander. There is a large proportion of mountain and forest land. On the island of Hawaii there are large tracts overflowed with lava.

The Chairman. Were these forests large? I mean heavy forests— what kind of forests were they?

Mr. Alexander. Tropical forests; some large trees, especially in the forests of Hawaii, out of which the natives used to make canoes. But they are nothing like the pine forests of the Pacific coast.

Senator Gray. Hard woods?

Mr. Alexander. Hard woods; some very fine cabinet woods.

Senator Gray. Would they use the trunks of those, too?

Mr. Alexander. Yes.

The Chairman. Some of those trees are very large?

Mr. Alexander. Some of them are.

The Chairman. A magnificent forest, or in spots?

Mr. Alexander. Pretty dense. It has a very thick undergrowth, tropical undergrowth.

Senator Gray. Heavy timber?

Mr. Alexander. The trees are not so very large, except in some of the large forests on Hawaii. The Government has taken great pains to protect the forests.

The Chairman. Are those forests valuable for domestic uses?

Mr. Alexander. I think for cabinet wood and for fuel. The Government ought to take great pains to preserve the forests. They are


arranging to protect them from cattle. Some of the districts have made arrangements with the private owners, planters, and others, to run a line of fences to keep the cattle out.

The Chairman. What have the cattle to do with the forests; do they eat them up?

Mr. Alexander. Yes, all the young trees, undergrowth, fern, etc. They became alarmed about that. It affects the water supply.

The Chairman. Has the Hawaiian Government taken steps to protect the forests?

Mr. Alexander. At the present time there is an arrangement made for fencing in part of the forests.

The Chairman. You mean the Government is to do it?

Mr. Alexander. Yes; the Government is to pay half the expenses. The planters agreed to do that.

The Chairman. So that you have a thorough forestry system?

Mr. Alexander. Not yet; beginning to have. And the Government has tried experiments in replanting, tried different kinds of trees.

The Chairman. Has the sandal root been tried? That is no longer a valuable article of commerce there.

Mr. Alexander. It is very rare.

The Chairman. Do they make shipments of other woods?

Mr. Alexander. I think they hardly pay.

The Chairman. Do they have mills?

Mr. Alexander. A few sawmills.

The Chairman. Are any of these mills owned by native Hawaiians?

Mr. Alexander. I think not.

The Chairman. Have they any other manufacturing establishments in Hawaii—notable ones, I mean?

Mr. Alexander. I could hardly state that they have any manufacturing establishments. Sugar engrosses everything, monopolizes everything.

The Chairman. What do you think of the prospects of coffee-raising in the islands?

Mr. Alexander. Very promising; just beginning.

The Chairman. You have been all over the islands as a surveyor?

Mr. Alexander. Yes; nearly all.

The Chairman. I am speaking in a general sense. You understand what the islands contain in forests and lands?

Mr. Alexander. I have a pretty good general idea.

The Chairman. There are no minerals in Hawaii?

Mr. Alexander. No, not in the common sense.

The Chairman. No iron?

Mr. Alexander. Not in paying quantities.

The Chairman. No coal?

Mr. Alexander. No coal. There is a little iron, but not in paying quantities.

Senator Gray. Is wood universally used as fuel?

Mr. Alexander. Not universally. The plantations use a little coal.

The Chairman. YOU do not need much fuel for the purpose of warming your houses?

Mr. Alexander. No.

The Chairman. The temperature is such that you do not need it?

Mr. Alexander. There are a few portions of the upper lands where they do use fires, but a very small portion.

Senator Gray. Is that true of the islands the year around?

Mr. Alexander. Of the year round.

S. Doc. 231, pt 6----40

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