The will of Bernice
Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the great-granddaughter
of Kamehameha I and the last descendent of his royal line,
died of cancer Oct. 16, 1884, at the age of 52. She owned
about one-tenth of Hawaii's land at the time, and her will
created what today is known as Kamehameha Schools/
Bishop Estate. Following are excerpts from the document,
last revised a week before her death, that pertain
in particular to the establishment of Kamehameha
Schools and the selection of trustees
for the Estate:
Know all Men by these Presents, That I, Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the wife of Charles R. Bishop, of Honolulu, Island of Oahu, Hawaiian Islands, being of sound mind and memory, but conscious of the uncertainty of life, do make, publish and declare this my last Will and Testament in manner following, hereby revoking all former wills by me made:
Thirteenth. I give, devise and bequeath all of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate real and personal, wherever situated unto the trustees below named, their heirs and assigns forever, to hold upon the following trusts, namely: to erect and maintain in the Hawaiian Islands two schools, each for boarding and day scholars, one for boys and one for girls, to be known as, and called the Kamehameha Schools. I direct my trustees to expend such amount as they may deem best, not to exceed however one-half of the fund which may come into their hands, in the purchase of suitable premises, the erection of school buildings, and in furnishing the same with the necessary and appropriate fixtures furniture and apparatus. I direct my trustees to invest the remainder of my estate in such manner as they may think best, and to expend the annual income in the maintenance of said schools; meaning thereby the salaries of teachers, the repairing buildings and other incidental expenses; and to devote a portion of each years income to the support and education of orphans, and others in indigent circumstances, giving the preference to Hawaiians of pure or part aboriginal blood; the proportion in which said annual income is to be divided among the various objects above mentioned to be determined solely by my said trustees they to have full discretion. I desire my trustees to provide first and chiefly a good education in the common English branches, and also instruction in morals and in such useful knowledge as may tend to make good and industrious men and women; and I desire instruction in the higher branches to be subsidiary to the foregoing objects. For the purposes aforesaid I grant unto my said trustees full power to lease or sell any portion of my real estate, and to reinvest the proceeds and the balance of my estate in real estate, or in such other manner as to my said trustees may seem best. I also give unto my said trustees full power to make all such rules and regulations as they may deem necessary for the government of said schools and to regulate the admission of pupils, and the same to alter, amend and publish upon a vote of a majority of said trustees. I also direct that my said trustees shall annually make a full and complete report of all receipts and expenditures, and of the condition of said schools to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or other highest judicial officer in this country; and shall also file before him annually an inventory of the property in their hands and how invested, and to publish the same in some Newspaper published in said Honolulu; I also direct my said trustees to keep said school buildings insured in good Companies, and in case of loss to expend the amounts recovered in replacing or repairing said buildings. I also direct that the teachers of said schools shall forever be persons of the Protestant religion, but I do not intend that the choice should be restricted to persons of any particular sect of Protestants.
Fourteenth. I appoint my husband Charles R. Bishop, Samuel M. Damon, Charles M. Hyde, Charles M. Cooke, and William O. Smith, all of Honolulu, to be my trustees to carry into effect the trusts above specified. I direct that a majority of my said trustees may act in all cases and may convey real estate and perform all of the duties and powers hereby conferred; but three of them at least must join in all acts. I further direct that the number of my said trustees shall be kept at five; and that vacancies shall be filled by the choice of a majority of the Justices of the Supreme Court, the selection to be made from persons of the Protestant religion.
17th I give unto the trustees named in my will the most ample power to sell and dispose of any lands or other portion of my estate, and to exchange lands and otherwise dispose of the same; and to purchase land, and to take leases of land whenever they think it expedient, and generally to make such investments as they consider best; but I direct that my said trustees shall not purchase land for said schools if any lands come into their possession under my will which in their opinion may be suitable for such purpose; and I further direct that my said trustees shall not sell any real estate, cattle ranches, or other property, but to continue and manage the same, unless in their opinion a sale may be necessary for the establishment or maintenance of said schools, or for the best interest of my estate. I further direct that neither my executors, nor trustees shall have any control or disposition of any of my personal property, it being my will that my husband, Charles R. Bishop, shall have absolutely all of my personal property of every description. And I give unto my executors named in my said will full power to sell any portion of my real estate for the purpose of paying debts or legacies without obtaining leave of Court; and to give good and valid deeds for the same, the purchasers under which are not to be responsible for the application of the purchase money.
Codicil No. 1
Oct. 4, 1884
4th Of the two schools mentioned in the thirteenth article of my said will, I direct the school for boys shall be well established and in efficient operation before any money is expended or anything is undertaken on account of the new school for girls. It is my desire that my trustees should do thorough work in regard to said schools as far as they go; and I authorize them to defer action in regard to the establishment of said school for girls, if in their opinion from the condition of my estate it may be expedient, until the life estates created by my said will have expired, and the lands so given shall have fallen into the general fund. I also direct that my said trustees shall have power to determine to what extent said school shall be industrial, mechanical, or agricultural; and also to determine if tuition shall be charged in any case.
Codicil No. 2
Oct. 9, 1884