In 1789, Simon Metcalf (captaining the Eleanora) and his son Thomas Metcalf (captaining the Fair American) were traders; their plan was to meet and spend winter in the Hawaiian Islands.
The Eleanora arrived in the islands first at Kohala on the island of Hawaiʻi. After a confrontation with a local chief, Metcalf then sailed to the neighboring island of Maui to trade along the coast.
Captain Simon Metcalf anchored his trading ship the Eleanora off shore, probably at Makena Bay, to barter for necessary provisions.
A chief stole one of Metcalfe’s small boats and killed a watchman. Captain Metcalfe fired his cannons into the village, and captured a few Hawaiians who told him the boat was taken by people from the village of Olowalu.
He sailed to Olowalu but found that boat had been broken up for its nails. (Nails were treasured like gems in ancient Hawaiʻi; they were used for fishhooks, adzes, drills, daggers and spear points.)
Chiefess Kalola, knowing the explosive nature of the situation, declared a three-day kapu on all canoes approaching the Eleanora.
When the kapu was lifted and Kalola’s husband Kaopuiki returned only the stolen boat’s keel and the watchman’s stripped thighbones, an enraged Metcalfe invited the villagers to meet the ship, indicating he wanted to trade with them.
However, he had all the cannons loaded and ready on the side where he directed the canoes to approach. When they opened fire, about one hundred Hawaiians were killed, and many others wounded.
Hawaiians referred to the slaughter as Kalolopahu, or spilled brains.
Olowalu Valley was a puʻuhonua and was renowned as a sanctuary for anyone fleeing oppression.
After the massacre, Metcalfe weighed anchor and sailed back to the island of Hawai’i.
This tragedy, termed the Olowalu Massacre, set into motion a series of events which left two Western seamen and a ship (the Fair American) in the hands of the ambitious Big Island chief Kamehameha.
John Young (off the Eleanora) and Isaac Davis (off the Fair American) befriended Kamehameha I and became respected translators and his close and trusted advisors. They were instrumental in Kamehameha’s military ventures and his ultimate triumph in the race to unite the Hawaiian Islands.
Several months after the massacre at Olowalu, Kalola watched the Great Battle of Kepaniwai from ʻIao Valley.
Kamehameha stormed Maui with over twenty thousand men, and after several battles Maui troops retreated to ʻIao Valley.
Kalola escaped through the Olowalu Pass and down to Olowalu, where she boarded canoes for Moloka’i.
On the island of Molokaʻi Kalola became ill and they could not carry out their original intention of going to Oahu to join Kahekili.
Kamehameha followed Kalola to Moloka’i and asked Kalola for Keōpūolani (Kalola’s granddaughter) to be his queen. Kalola, who was dying, agreed to give Kamehameha Keōpūolani and her mother Kekuiʻapoiwa Liliha, if he would allow the girls to stay at her death bed until she passed.
Kamehameha camped on Moloka’i until Kalola died, and returned to Kona with his high queen Keōpūolani. Later, both Liholiho (Kamehameha II) and Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha III) were born sons of Keōpūolani.
(Image shows Olowalu in the old days – from olowalu-net)
Today is United States’ Flag Day, celebrated on June 14.
The American flag consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton (referred to specifically as the “union”) bearing fifty small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternating with rows of five stars.
The 50-stars on the flag represent the 50-states and the 13-stripes represent the thirteen British colonies that rebelled against the British monarchy and became the first states in the Union.
The first flags were used to assist military coordination on battlefields. National flags are patriotic symbols with varied wide-ranging interpretations, often including strong military associations due to their original and ongoing military uses.
Since contact, various flags have flown over Hawai‘i.
The first “official” Hawai‘i flag was adopted in 1845, however prior to that various flags flew at various times.
All of the flags were hand-made back then; so, there might have been rather large variations in appearance.
Even in the late-Monarchy period, the appearance of flags varied a lot. Likewise, there is a possibility that some observers were wrong in what they saw and reported.
Visitors to Hawai’i pre-1845 reported different types of flags flying, including varying numbers of stripes, sometimes 7 or 9, for example. Observers also reported the colors of the stripes in different orders.
It is reported that Captain Vancouver gave a British Red Ensign to the king in the 1790s, which on later visits he found flying in places of honor.
Later, the Union Flag of Great Britain flew over Hawai‘i as its National Flag. The Union Flag (also known as the “King’s Colors”) of Great Britain was one of the flags used by the King’s forces during the American revolutionary War.
After that, the monarchy of Kamehameha I started to use a new flag, similar to the one used today by the State of Hawaii.
The flag’s origin can be traced to the War of 1812. At the time, King Kamehameha had been flying the British flag. American officers suggested the king show more neutrality.
Then, Kamehameha and his advisers collaborated on a new flag design, which combines elements from both the American and British flags.
This design had the Union Flag in the upper left quadrant with nine horizontal stripes alternating red, white and blue from the top. This flag was observed by Louis Choris in 1816.
For a short period of time, in 1843, Lord George Paulet, representing the British Crown, overstepped his bounds, landed sailors and marines, seized the government buildings in Honolulu and raised the British Union Jack and issued a proclamation formally annexing Hawaii to the British Crown. This event became known as the Paulet Affair.
On July 31, 1843, after five-months of occupation, the Hawaiian Kingdom was restored and Admiral Thomas ordered the Union Jack removed and replaced with the Hawaiian kingdom flag.
That day is now referred to as Ka La Hoʻihoʻi Ea, Sovereignty Restoration Day, and it is celebrated each year in the approximate site of the 1843 ceremonies.
At the opening of the Legislative Council, May 25, 1845, the new national banner was unfurled, differing little however from the former.
Eight stripes: first, fourth and seventh are silver represented by the color white; second, fifth and eighth are red) and the third and sixth are light purplish blue.
The stripes represent the eight major islands under one sovereign. The Union Jack represented the friendly relationship between England and Hawai‘i.
Subsequent annexation, territorial and statehood status caused the Hawaiian flag to fly with the flag of the United States.
In recognition of Flag Day, I have included images of some of the reported layouts of the Hawaiian and US flags flown over the islands in a folder of like name in the Photos section of my Facebook page.
In considering these, recall that prior to 1845, there was no “official” flag for Hawai‘i. Flags were given as gifts to the monarchs (which they then flew;) in addition, different monarchs had their own flag designs.
With this I also extend a special ‘Thank You’ to Kippen de Alba Chu and Dr. Douglas Askman from ‘Iolani Palace for their insight and assistance on Hawaiian flags.
Again, these are only general representations, because flags were hand sewn, people gave different flags over the years and there has been variation on flags in Hawai‘i.
Hānaiakamalama (Lit., the foster child of the light (or moon,)) now known as the Queen Emma Summer Palace, was the “mountain” home of Queen Emma, wife of Kamehameha IV.
The house was originally constructed by John George Lewis in 1848. John Young II bought it in 1850 and named the home “Hānaiakamalama.”
Queen Emma inherited it from her uncle, John Young II, son of the famous advisor to Kamehameha I, John Young I, in 1857.
Queen Emma was born Emma Naea in Honolulu on January 2, 1836, the daughter of a British aristocratic woman and a Hawaiian high chief.
She became the hānai child of Dr. and Mrs. T. C. and Grace Rooke, her mother’s sister who had no children of their own. Emma grew up speaking both Hawaiian and English, the latter “with a perfect English accent.”
At 20, Emma became engaged to the king of Hawai‘i, Alexander Liholiho, (Kamehameha IV,) a 22-year-old who had ascended to the throne in 1855. The couple had known each other since childhood.
In his first speech as king, Kamehameha IV stated the need for a hospital to treat the native population. Due to introduced diseases, the Hawaiian population had plummeted, with extinction a very real possibility.
To recognize and honor Emma’s efforts, it was decided to call the new hospital “Queen’s.”
Queen Emma used the home as a retreat where she could escape from the heat of Honolulu into the coolness of Nuʻuanu. It’s about 5-miles from Downtown Honolulu and 10-miles from Waikīkī.
It was through this land that Kamehameha the Great marched during what would become the Battle of the Nu‘uanu in April 1795.
Coincidently, Kamehameha was aided by foreigners, including John Young, Queen Emma’s grandfather, who provided the cannons and tactical know-how used in the battle.
This land, a portion of a grant known as Kaukahōkū, was originally designated as Fort Land; that is, it was set apart for the use of the Fort, probably as agricultural land. However, sometime in the 1840s Kekuanaoa, Governor of the island of Oʻahu, leased the land for private use.
The Summer Palace was modeled in the Greek Revival style. It has a formal plan arrangement, wide central hall, high ceilings and floor-length hinged, in-swinging shuttered casement window.
It is one-story, over a basement, and measures about 73-feet by 51-feet. The roof is hipped over the main portion of the home and gabled over the rear lanai that was converted to a room.
The large single room in the rear of the home, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh Room, was converted from a lanai in 1869, to prepare for the reception of the Duke during a visit to Hawai‘i.
The kitchen was a small structure apart from the house. Baths were taken through large tubs brought into the bedrooms by servants and filled with buckets of hot and cold water.
Three outhouses served the occupants; one reserved for the King and Queen, one for guests and another for servants.
The Summer Palace was saved from demolition by the Daughters of Hawaiʻi. Today, the Daughters preserve and maintain this residence and the Huliheʻe Palace in Kailua-Kona as museums open to the public.
The restored and furnished home of Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV offers a glimpse into the lifestyle of the Hawaiian monarchy.
The Daughters of Hawai‘i was founded in 1903 by seven women who were daughters of American Protestant missionaries. They were born in Hawai‘i, were citizens of the Hawaiian Kingdom before annexation and foresaw the inevitable loss of much of the Hawaiian culture.
They founded the organization “to perpetuate the memory and spirit of old Hawai‘i and of historic facts, and to preserve the nomenclature and correct pronunciation of the Hawaiian language.” (My mother was a Daughter.)
The property is open to the public, daily 9:00 am–4:00 pm; closed major holidays; Admission: Adult $6, Child 17 and under $1, Seniors $4; reservations required for groups of 20 or more.
The image shows Hānaiakamalama – Queen Emma Summer Palace. In addition, I have included other images of the property and Queen Emma in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook page.
Kamehameha Day was first proclaimed by Kamehameha V as a day to honor his grandfather, Kamehameha I.
I was curious about why June 11 was selected as the day to celebrate King Kamehameha I; I could not see the reason for the date.
Sometimes celebrations are based on the individual’s birthday … It is not clear what year, much less what day Kamehameha was born, so it probably didn’t relate to that. (However, many say the year was 1758.)
Sometimes, the day people died is the memorial/celebratory day … Kamehameha died on May 8, 1819, so it is not related to that.
Maybe the date relates to the day he became the ruler over all the islands … Negotiations between Kamehameha and Kaumuali‘i, in 1810, occurred around April (based on Isaac Davis’ death,) so it probably doesn’t relate to that.
I asked my friend Kepā Maly if he had guidance and he referred me to a translation of SM Kamakau, which states:
“The celebration of Kamehameha Day on June 11, came about in the following way.”
“On December 11, 1871, the birthday of Kamehameha V who was at that time ruling king, a public celebration was held with horse-riding and other sports.”
“It was agreed to make this celebration an annual event, but because of the uncertain weather in December to change the date to June.”
“Kamehameha V died soon after, and the holiday remained as a “Day in Commemoration of Kamehameha I,” (La Ho‘o-mana‘o o Kamehameha I.)”
So, while linked to Kamehameha V’s birth date, it boils down to having a celebration when the weather is better (6-months from King Kamehameha V’s birthday.)
The 1896 legislature declared it a national holiday.
Almost from its first observance this day was celebrated chiefly by horse races in Kapi‘olani Park, but the races eventually gave way to today’s parades of floats and pāʻū riders.
In 1939, Hawaii Revised Statute 8-5 under the Territorial Legislature of Hawai‘i created the King Kamehameha Celebration Commission.
In 1978 the legislature renamed this holiday King Kamehameha I Day.
On February 14, 1883, the Kamehameha statue was unveiled at Aliʻiōlani Hale during the coronation ceremonies for King Kalākaua. The customary draping of the Kamehameha Statue with lei dates back to 1901.
Kalanimōkū was a trusted and loyal advisor to Kamehameha I, Liholiho (Kamehameha II) and Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha III.)
Kalanimōkū was born at Ka‘uiki, Hāna, Maui, around 1768. His father was Kekuamanohā and his mother was Kamakahukilani. Through his father, he was a grandson of Kekaulike, the King Maui. He was a cousin of Kaʻahumanu, Kamehameha’s wife.
In various written documents Kalanimōkū’s name appears with various spelling. Sometimes he is called Kalaimoku, Crymokoo, Craymoku, Craimoku and Krimokoo. In documents personally signed by him, he spelled his name Karaimoku.
Kalanimōkū was made Prime Minister for Kamehameha I and held the same position during the reign of Liholiho and of Kauikeaouli, until his death.
He adopted the name William Pitt, because of his great admiration for the British Prime Minister, William Pitt the Younger. He was frequently addressed as Mr. Pitt or Billy Pitt.
He had great natural abilities in both governmental and business affairs. He was well liked and respected by foreigners, who learned from experience to rely on his words.
Captain George Vancouver described Kalanimōkū as someone possessing “vivacity, and sensibility of countenance, modest behavior, evenness of temper, quick conception.”
However, in his earlier years, Kalanimōkū was known for excessive drinking, and according to Kamakau, was the first Hawaiian chief to buy rum. This behavior appears to have stopped after his acceptance of the Christian faith.
In 1819, Kalanimōkū was the first Hawaiian Chief to be baptized a Roman Catholic, aboard the French ship Uranie, in the presence of Kuhina Nui (Premier) Kaʻahumanu and King Kamehameha II. Kalanimōkū had a passion for Christianity and later regularly attended services at Kawaiahaʻo Church.
Kalanimōkū witnessed and participated in some of the significant historic moments in Hawai‘i.
When Kamehameha set out to conquer O‘ahu in 1795, Kalanimōkū commanded a large segment of Kamehameha’s invading army.
In 1816, Kalanimōkū, with a group of warriors, found that the Russians had begun construction of a trading post/fort at the entrance of Honolulu Harbor and were flying the Russian flag. However, when confronted by Kalanimōkū’s warriors, they quickly departed and no hostilities took place.
Realizing the advantage of a fortification at the harbor’s entrance, Kalanimōkū issued a proclamation ordering people throughout the island to assist in the construction of a fort.
As Kamehameha’s health slowly declined, Kalanimōkū’s role increased; as treasurer of the kingdom, he supervised the collection of taxes and oversaw the lucrative sandalwood trade.
Kalanimōkū was one of several chiefs who treated Kamehameha as his illness worsened, and was present when Kamehameha died.
Following the wishes of Kamehameha’s sacred wife, Keōpūolani, Kalanimōkū took charge of matters, deciding who might remain with the body, and dispatching messengers to spread the news to all islands.
For his strong leadership and strength in a time of great turmoil, Keōpūolani declared Kalanimōkū the “iwikuamo‘o” (literally the spine or backbone,) defined as “a near and trusted relative of a chief who attended to his personal needs and possessions and executed private orders.”
Kalanimōkū, following ancient custom, offered himself as a death companion to the great chief he so idolized; he was prevented from carrying out his desire by other chiefs.
In 1819, when Liholiho proclaimed an end to the kapu system and Kekuaokalani and his wife Manono refused to accept the new order and vowed to go to war rather than abandon the ancient system, Kalanimōkū led an army against the revolt of Kekuaokalani in December 1819, in the successful battle of Kuamoʻo.
When the missionaries first anchored at Kawaihae, they invited some of the highest chiefs of the nation; Kalanimōkū was the first person of distinction that came to greet them.
Reportedly, Kalanimōkū developed an immediate and sincere liking for the New England missionaries. Throughout his life, they turned to him for assistance and their requests invariably met with positive results.
He served as regent along with Queen Kaʻahumanu, while Kamehameha II traveled to London in 1823, and to Kamehameha III after Kamehameha II’s death in 1824.
Kalanimōkū died at Kamakahonu (the former home of Kamehameha I) in Kailua Kona, Hawai‘i Island on February 7, 1827. He had only one son, William Pitt Leleiohoku I, who married Princess Ruth Keʻelikōlani.
His death was a great loss to the Hawaiian kingdom; he demonstrated loyalty and faithfulness toward Kamehameha I, his cousin Ka‘ahumanu, as well as Liholiho and Kauikeaouli.
For 4½ years, as Director of DLNR, my office was in the Kalanimōkū Building. At the time, I didn’t know of the profound positive impact Kalanimōkū had in Hawaiian history. I am glad I followed-up and learned a little more about him. (There is a lot more to tell about him; some bits have been added to other stories of his time and place.)
The image is Kalanimōkū, drawn by Alphonse Pellion in 1819. In addition, I have added a few more images of Kalanimōkū in a folder of like name in the Photos section of my Facebook page.