Hawaiian Unification and the Kamehameha's

Unifying the Islands - The Kamehamehas

His Royal Highness King Kamehameha the First

Also known as Kamehameha the Great, Kalani Paiʻea Wohi o Kaleikini Kealiʻikui Kamehameha o ʻIolani i Kaiwikapu kaui Ka Liholiho Kūnuiākea conquered the Hawaiian Islands and formally established the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi in 1810. By developing alliances with the major Pacific colonial powers, King Kamehameha preserved Hawaiʻi's independence under his rule.

"When Kamehameha (Paiʻea) was born, Alapaʻi ordered the child killed: one of his priests (kahuna) had warned him that a fiery light in the sky would signal the birth of a "killer of chiefs". Alapaʻi, nervous at the thought of this child eventually usurping his rule, decided to take no chances. Paiʻea's parents, however, had anticipated this. As soon as he was born, he was given into the care of Naeʻole, another noble from Kohala, and disappeared from sight. The chiefess Kahaʻopulani nursed the child along with her own daughter Kuakane. They raised Paiʻea for the first few years of his life. Five years after his birth, Alapaʻi, perhaps remorseful of his actions, invited the child back to live with his family. There under the guidance of his kumu (teacher), Kekuhaupiʻo, he learned the ways of court diplomacy and war. " -- Wikipedia

According to legend, Kamehameha lifted the 5,000 pound Naha Stone at age 14, and was the only person to ever lift it. The legend that goes with this particular stone is that the man who lifted it was the legendary warrior who would unite all of the islands. The prophecy was meant to be with Kamehameha. The Naha Stone now rests in front of the Hilo Public Library on the island of Hawaii.

Kamehameha Lifting the Naha Stone

Naha Stone in front of the Hilo Public Library on the island of Hawaii.

As the first king of the captured Hawaiian Islands, Kamehameha took several steps to ensure that the islands remained a united realm even after his death. He unified the legal system and he used the products he collected in taxes to promote trade with Europe and the United States. Kamehameha did not allow non-Hawaiians to own land; they would not be able to until the Great Mahele of 1848. This edict ensured the islands' independence even while many of the other islands of the Pacific succumbed to the colonial powers.

In fact, the Kingdom of Hawaii that Kamehameha established retained its independence, except for a five-month British occupation in 1843, until it was illegally annexed by the United States in 1898. It was this legacy that earned Kamehameha the epithet "Napoleon of the Pacific."

Kamehameha is remembered for the Kanawai Mamalahoe, the "Law of the Splintered Paddle", which protects human rights of non-combatants in times of battle. Its origins derived from before the unification of the Island of Hawaiʻi, in 1782, when Kamehameha, during a raid, caught his foot in a rock. Two local fisherman, fearful of the great warrior, hit Kamehameha hard on the head with a large paddle, which actually broke the paddle. Kamehameha was stunned and left for dead, allowing the fisherman and his companion to escape. Twelve years later, the same fisherman was brought before Kamehameha for punishment. King Kamehameha instead blamed himself for attacking innocent people, gave the fisherman gifts of land and set them free. He declared the new law:

"Let every elderly person, woman and child lie by the roadside in safety". -- King Kamehameha I

This law, which provided for the safety of noncombatants in wartime, is estimated to have saved thousands of lives during Kamehameha's campaigns. It became the first written law of the Kingdom of Hawaii, was included in the state constitution, and has influenced many subsequent humanitarian laws of war. It has been incorporated into national and international law around the world.

Although he ended human sacrifice, Kamehameha was to the last a follower of the Hawaiian religion and Hawaiian traditions (such as Lua,  a traditional Hawaiian martial art ). He believed so strongly in his religion and culture that he would execute his subjects for breaches of the strict rules called kapu. Although he entertained Christians, he did not appear to take them seriously.

The Hawaiian kingdom enjoyed a period of peace during Kamehameha’s reign. The king unified the legal system and used taxes to promote trade with the Americans and Europeans.

When King Kamehameha the Great died May 8, 1819 and his son, Liholiho, took the throne, his body was hidden by his trusted friends, Hoapili and Hoʻolulu. The mana, or power of a person, was considered to be sacred. As per the ancient custom, his body was buried hidden because of his mana. His final resting place remains unknown.

King Kamehameha II

King Kamehameha II
Kamehameha II, ʻIolani Liholiho

Kalani Kaleiʻaimoku o Kaiwikapu o Laʻamea i Kauikawekiu Ahilapalapa Kealiʻi Kauinamoku o Kahekili Kalaninui i Mamao ʻIolani i Ka Liholiho was born circa 1797 in Hilo, on the island of Hawaiʻi, the eldest son of Kamehameha I and his highest-ranking consort Queen Keōpuolani. He was groomed to be heir to the throne from age five.  He was named ʻIolani Liholiho. His first name meant "royal hawk" while his second and most referred name Liholiho means something that is glowing, shining, the shining issue, reflecting the glory of the heavens.  At age six or seven months he was in the care of Queen Kaʻahumanu (another wife of Kamehameha I), who was appointed as Liholiho's official guardian.

Liholiho officially inherited the throne upon Kamehameha I's death in May 1819. However, Queen Kaʻahumanu had no intention to give him actual leadership. When Liholiho sailed toward the shores of Kailua Kona (the capital at the time), she greeted him wearing Kamehameha's royal red cape, and she announced to the people on shore and to the surprised Liholiho, "We two shall rule the land." Liholiho, young and inexperienced, had no other choice. Kaʻahumanu became the first Kuhina Nui (co-regent) of Hawaii.

Kamehameha II is best remembered for the 'Ai Noa, the breaking of the ancient kapu (taboo) system of religious laws six months into his reign when he sat down with Kaʻahumanu and his mother Keopuolani and ate a meal together. What followed was the disbanding of the social class of priest and the destruction of temples and images.

Kamehameha I had bequeathed his war god Kū-kaʻili-moku and his temples to his cousin Kekuaokalani. Kekuaokalani demanded that Liholiho withdraw his edicts against the Hawaiian priesthood, permit rebuilding of the temples, and dismiss both Kalanimōkū and Kaʻahumanu. Kamehameha II refused. At the battle of Kuamoʻo on the island of Hawaiʻi, the king's better-armed forces, led by Kalanimōkū, defeated the last defenders of the Hawaiian gods, temples, and priesthoods of the ancient organized religion. The first Christian missionaries arrived only a few months later in the Hawaiian Islands.

He never officially converted to Christianity because he refused to give up four of his five wives and his love of alcohol. He (like his father) married several relatives of high rank, but he was the last Hawaiian king to practice polygamy.

Kamehameha III

King Kamehameha III
1824 - 1854 His Majesty Kalani Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III

Kamehameha III (born Kauikeaouli) (1813–1854) was the King of Hawaii from 1825 to 1854. His full Hawaiian name was  Keaweaweʻula Kīwalaʻō Kauikeaouli Kaleiopapa Kalani Waiakua Kalanikau Iokikilo Kīwalaʻō i ke kapu Kamehameha. 

King Kamehameha III raised the Kingdom into a Constitutional Monarchy and put Crown Lands into Royal Patents, which preserved the Land and the Mineral Rights for the Konohiki’s “for all time under International Law.” Kamehameha III did this through Divine Inspiration and foresight so that future generations would have the power to restore the Sovereign Kingdom of Hawaii to her rightful place in the center of the Family of Nations.

A commission to Quiet Land Titles was formed on February 10, 1846. This led to what is called the Great Mahele of 1848 which redistributed land between the government, king, nobles, and commoners. Foreigners were allowed to own land fee simple in Hawaii for the first time. 

Through the 1840s a formal legislature of the Hawaiian Kingdom and cabinet (government) replaced the informal council of chiefs. The chiefs became the House of Nobles, roughly modeled on the British House of Lords. Seven elected representatives would be the start of democratic government.  The cabinet consisted of a Privy Council and five powerful government ministers.

The Constitution of 1852 and subsequent legislation continued to liberalize politics. The court system was unified, instead of having separate courts for Hawaiians and foreigners. Local Hawaiian magistrates became Circuit Judges, and a Supreme Court was formed. Voting rules were formalized and the role of the House of Representatives was strengthened.

"The age of Kamehameha III was that of progress and of liberty - of schools and of civilization. He gave us a Constitution and fixed laws; he secured the people in the title to their lands, and removed the last chain of oppression. He gave them a voice in his councils and in the making of the laws by which they are governed. He was a great national benefactor, and has left the impress of his mild and amiable disposition on the age for which he was born." -- Kamehameha IV

When Kauikeaouli came to the throne, the native population numbered about 150,000, which was already less one third of the Hawaiian population at the time of Captain Cook’s arrival to Hawaii in 1778. During his reign, that number would be halved again, due to a series of epidemics.

King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma

King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma

King Kamehameha IV and his wife Emma were Christian rulers who encouraged the building of Christian schools and hospitals, and who contributed greatly to the spread of Christianity among the Hawaiian people. The King was worried by the growth of American political influence, directly connected with the work of American missionaries, many of whom openly favored annexation of the islands by the United States. He accordingly invited the Church of England to send missionaries and to establish a presence in Hawaii. (While touring England as a prince, he had attended worship services, and had been favorably impressed.) But, although the King's support of the Church of England was perhaps politically motivated, his support of Christianity was not. He and his wife were earnest in their devotion to both the material and the spiritual welfare of their  people. The King personally translated the Book of Common Prayer and much of the Hymnal into Hawaiian. Their only son died in 1863, and the King died, apparently of grief, on 30 November 1864. The Queen devoted the remainder of her life to charitable endeavors (Queen's Hospital, the largest civilian hospital in Hawaii, is largely her doing). She died in 1885.

Queen Emma is often remembered for her affection for all things British and her disdain for all things American:

"We have yet the right to dispose of our country as we wish, and be assured that it will never be to a Republic". -- Queen Emma

King Kamehameha V

King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma's successor, Kamehameha V, suspended the constitution and announced his intention to rule in the traditional autocratic manner. By the end of his life, he was too fat to walk unaided. He was the last of his dynasty. In 1893 Queen Liliuokalani was deposed and a republic proclaimed. In 1894, the republic acquired its first president, Sanford B. Dole. (His family is in the pineapple business.) In 1898, the United States, (having just acquired Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines in a brief war with Spain, and being in an expansionist mood) annexed the Republic of Hawaii at the request of the government thereof. US troops withdrew from Cuba (except for Guantanamo Naval Base) in 1902.     The Philippines became independent in 1946.     Puerto Rico, by vote of its inhabitants, has rejected both independence and becoming one of the United States, and has been since 1952 officially an "associated commonwealth," whose citizens are also citizens of the United States, free to travel between the two countries, voting in US elections when on the mainland, free of US taxes when on the island.     Guam has been a self-governing unincorporated US territory since 1950. Since the 1970's, there has been talk of giving it the same status as Puerto Rico.     Hawaii was made a territory in 1900 and a State in 1959.

"O my people! My countrymen of old! Arise! This is the voice!"
"Ho! all ye tribes! Ho! my own ancient people!
The people who took hold and built up the Kingdom of Kamehameha."
"Arise! This is the voice."
"Let me direct you, my people!
Do nothing contrary to the law or against the peace of the Kingdom."
"Do not go and vote."
"Do not be led by the foreigners;
they had no part in our hardships,
in gaining the country.
Do not be led by their false teachings." -- King Kalakaua

Queen Liliuokalani

Queen Liliuokalani
Queen Lydia Liliuokalani, last of the Hawaiian monarchs, Sept.2,1838 to Nov.11,1917

"The cause of Hawaii and independence is larger and dearer than the life of any man connected with it. Love of country is deep-seated in the breast of every Hawaiian, whatever his station."  - Lili`uokalani, Hawaii's last Queen
"Oh, honest Americans, as Christians hear me for my downtrodden people! Their form of government is as dear to them as yours is as precious to you. Quite warmly as you love your country, so they love theirs. With all your goodly possessions, covering a territory so immense that there yet remain parts unexplored, possessing islands that, although new at hand, had to be neutral ground in time of war, do not covet the little vineyard of Naboth's, so far from your shores, lest the punishment of Ahab fall upon you, if not in your day, in that of your children, for"be not deceived, God is not mocked." The people to whom your fathers told of the living God, and taught to call "Father," and now whom the sons now seek to despoil and destroy, are crying aloud to Him in their time of trouble; and He will keep His promise, and will listen to the voices of His Hawaiian children lamenting for their homes." -- Lili`uokalani, Last Queen of Hawai`i, This account she's referring to is located in the Bible I Kings 21:1-24

She gave no treaty or war to the terrorists who called their group "The committee of safety", (in fact, U.S. American "business" "men") who impersonated government officers to commit the crime of an international illegal fix of trade (1-17-1893) while her Sovereign Constitutional Majesty Queen Liliuokalani (above) was obstructed from her duties as Head of State. Her de jure Majesty continued to be Internationally recognized as the legitimate Head of State, (Constitution, Article 22) while an impostor calling himself "Sanford Ballard Dole" proclaimed that he was president of a "provisional government", (chartered 1-20-1893) and today, they call this group "State of Hawaii". 

"I Liliuokalani, by the Grace of God and under the Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Queen, do hereby solemnly protest against any and all acts done against myself and the Constitutional Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom by certain persons claiming to have established a Provisional Government of and for this Kingdom." -- Lili`uokalani, Last Queen of Hawai`i

A brilliant composer, a passionate leader and an intelligent, progressive woman of her time, Queen Liliuokalani obviously possessed a deep comprehension of the law of nations and international laws. Without a treaty by the Constitutional Sovereign nor a war to validate military conquest, she knew that there would be no way her nation could possibly be "acquired" and we would somehow, someday fulfill the faith that she left in us. She intelligently refused to accept a ludicrous offer from the foreign US President McKinley - under the guise of "giving back her nation" to take the liability of the treasonists criminals (for which hanging was the penalty) in 1893. Where most men would have quivered in their boots, she remained beautifully full of immovable strength and she held permanently to her de jure position of heavenly truth. She was an anointed Sovereign of most undeniable character and constitutional means, her charge continues to stand within the de jure jurisdiction and by true authority today in order to find lawful resolution. Her office is in hiatus, the Royal Patented Domain is intact and there awaits her charge to give life in liberty to the people she continues to protect by her actions one hundred and fifteen years ago.   

The self proclaimed "state of Hawaii" is the last successor in interests of criminal liability, only.

Although this picture was staged and meant to enhance the myth of an alleged "overthrow", the nationals of ko Hawaii Pae Aina (de jure identified Sovereign Constitutional Nation) know better. The truth is in her eyes.

Our Queen gave us her faith, that some day we would recognize the fact that we have lost nothing at all.  Many propaganda shots like this one shown above, orchestrated rhetorical scenes and literary fiction stories were circulated within the nation and in the de facto United States, to cause misinformation.

On March 8, 1892, John L. Stevens, the American minister to the Hawaiian islands, sent a letter to the American president. In this letter, Minister Stevens described his plan to subvert the lawful Hawaiian government by staging a false rebellion amongst the inhabitants of Hawaii. In the face of this "rebellion," Minister Stevens would call upon American military forces to occupy the island and "protect" American interests. Thus, Minister Stevens could invade a foreign country without the approval of congress. Moreover, he could occupy the kingdom and set up a provisional government to advance American interests exclusively. This would give America complete control of the lucrative Hawaiian agricultural industry.

On January 14, 1893, Minister Stevens and a small group of non-Hawaiians staged a "rebellion" on the island of Hawai'i. By design, American naval forces invaded the kingdom and imprisoned Hawaiian monarch Queen Lili'uokalani and high-ranking representatives of the Hawaiian government in the Iolani Palace. On January 17, 1893, a Committee of Safety representing American and European sugar planters, descendants of missionaries, and financiers deposed the Hawaiian monarch and declared the establishment of a provisional government. On February 1, 1893, Minister Stevens proclaimed Hawai'i to be a protectorate of the United States.

Queen Liliʻuokalani issued the following statement yielding her authority to the United States Government rather than to the Provisional Government:

I, Lili'uokalani, by the Grace of God and under the constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Queen, do hereby solemnly protest against any and all acts done against myself and the constitutional government of the Hawaiian Kingdom by certain persons claiming to have established a Provisional Government of and for this Kingdom. That I yield to the superior force of the United States of America, whose Minister Plenipotentiary, His Excellency John L Stevens, has caused United States troops to be landed at Honolulu and declared that he would support the said Provisional Government. Now, to avoid any collision of armed forces and perhaps loss of life, I do, under this protest, and impelled by said forces, yield my authority until such time as the Government of the United States shall, upon the facts being presented to it, undo the action of its representative and reinstate me in the authority which I claim as the constitutional sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands. -- Queen Liliuokalani, Jan 17, 1893

QUeen&Princessof Hawaii
Queen Liliuokalani, Princess Kaiulani, Prince David Kawananakoa shuttered up in Washington Place
mourning on the day of the flag of Hawaii was lowered down for the last time after the
Annexation of Hawaii to the United States - August 12, 1898 (Wikipedia)

"On December 18, 1893, President Grover Cleveland addressed the United States congress and acknowledged the deceitful work of Minister Stevens, saying, " The ownership of Hawai'i was tendered to us by a provisional government set up to succeed the constitutional ruler of the Hawaiian islands, who had been dethroned, and it did not appear that such a provisional government had the sanction of either popular revolution or suffrage."
Queen Lili'uokalani was imprisoned in the Iolani Palace under military guard as her people suffered the robbery of their self-determination, the theft of their lands, and the devastation of disease brought to the islands by the haole capitalists. She died broken-hearted, her prayers for justice and the redemption of her lands unfulfilled.
The former Queen of Hawaii appeals to President to withdraw the treaty:
WASHINGTON, June 17.–About 3 o’clock this afternoon ex-Queen Liliuokalani filed a protest in the office of the Secretary of State. It was delivered into the hands of Secretary Sherman by Mr. Joseph Heleluhe, representing the native Hawaiians. Mr. Heleluhe was accompanied by Capt. Julius A. Palmer, the American secretary of Liliuokalani. Mr. Sherman treated the bearers most courteously, but gave no indications of his action in the matter. The former Queen’s protest is as follows:
I, Liliuokalani of Hawaii, by the will of God named heir-apparent on the tenth day of April, A. D., 1877, and by the grace of God Queen of the Hawaiian Islands on the 17th day of January, A. D., 1893, do hereby protest against the ratification of a certain treaty which, so I am informed, has been signed at Washington by Messrs. Hatch, Thurston and Kinney, purporting to cede those islands to the territory and dominion of the United States.
In the wake of the manufactured coup, the Kana'ka Maolis were reduced to a pitiful handful of survivors. As our numbers dwindled, the American government secured a stranglehold on our stolen lands and sold them off to the highest bidders. This exploitation was foreign to us and we were defenseless against it. Soon there was little left to steal or subvert. Nothing was left of our laws and our government. We were a conquered people. World War II reminded the American government that the Hawaiian islands were a strategic resource as well as an economic one. Upon conclusion of the war, America began a campaign of propaganda and political pressure to absorb the wondrous islands of my kingdom into the American empire. On August 21, 1959, the American government completed the destruction of Hawaiian culture by incorporating our lands into the United States. In a political maneuver, the Kana'ka Maolis were offered only the options of choosing American statehood or continuing as an American territory. Our numbers were too few, our spirit too battered, and our political acumen too undeveloped for us to make a statement in opposition."  -- Edmund Kelii Silva, Jr.
E ola ka ha loa o ka ohana o Liliuokalani, ke Alii Moi wahine

Whereas, soon thereafter, when informed of the risk of bloodshed with resistance, Queen Liliuokalani issued the following statement yielding her authority to the United States Government rather than to the Provisional Government:

"I Liliuokalani, by the Grace of God and under the Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Queen, do hereby solemnly protest against any and all acts done against myself and the Constitutional Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom by certain persons claiming to have established a Provisional Government of and for this Kingdom.
"That I yield to the superior force of the United States of America whose Minister Plenipotentiary, His Excellency John L. Stevens, has caused United States troops to be landed a Honolulu and declared that he would support the Provisional Government.
"Now to avoid any collision of armed forces, and perhaps the loss of life, I do this under protest and impelled by said force yield my authority until such time as the Government of the United States shall, upon facts being presented to it, undo the action of its representatives and reinstate me in the authority which I claim as the Constitutional Sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands."-- Queen Liliuokalani

Done at Honolulu this 17th day of January, A.D. 1893.;

"She made it very clear here that this statement and her later abdication was procured under duress and force. In other words, it could not be treated by anyone as a valid surrender of sovereignty by the Native Hawaiian people at all. And she made that very clear in this language. So in other words she was simply bowing to superior power, but not as a matter of right or of law.
Your Queen, a very powerful person, made it clear that she was simply yielding to superior force, and thus preserving the rights of her people for the future, their right of self-determination, their right to restoration of their sovereignty. " -- Professor Francis A. Boyle December 28th, 1993
"The cause of Hawaii and independence is larger and dearer than the life of any man connected with it. Love of country is deep-seated in the breast of every Hawaiian, whatever his station." -- Lili`uokalani, Hawaii's last Queen

KONO Hiki, Ruling Chiefs of Hawaii

Princess Ka’iulani: Hawaii’s Island Rose

Victoria Kaiulani ,The People’s (Hawaiian) Princess

In a brief life filled with loss, Princess Ka’iulani established her legacy:

princessfeeding peacocks
Princess Ka' iulani feeding peacocks

Written in April to Kaiulani in the April of her age; and at Waikiki, within easy walk to Kaiulani's banyan! 

"When she comes To my and her father's, and the rain beats upon the window (as I fear it will), let her look at this page;  it will be like a weed Gathered and pressed at home; and she will remember her own islands, And the shadow of the mighty tree;  and she will hear the peacocks Screaming in the dusk and the wind blowing in the palms;  and she Will think of her father sitting there alone." - RLS 

The Island Rose 

Poem to accompany Princess Kaiulani's departure to Scotland, 

Inscribed in the red velvet album of the Princess 

Forth from her land to mine she goes,
The island maid, the island rose' 
Light of heart an bright of face: 
The daughter of a double race. 
Her islands here, in Southern sun, 
Shall mourn their Kaiulani gone, 
And I, in her dear banyan shade, 
Look vainly for my little maid. 

But our Scots island far away 
Shall glitter with unwonted day, 
And cast for once their tempests by 
To smile in Kaiulani's eye. 

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