“E oni wale no ‘oukou i ku‘u pono ‘a‘ole e pau.”
“Endless is the good that I have given you to enjoy.”
Don Francisco de Paula Marin made numerous notations in his diary from 1818 to 1825 of the epidemics of colds and flu among the Hawaiians and reported, ‘many people died.’ (Van Dyke) Both Kamehameha and Ka’ahumanu may have come down with it. (Parker)
It was Kamehameha’s intention to remain on O‘ahu until his death, but he became suspicious of conspiracies among the younger chiefs. Even if they were sons of his old advisors, and they took the place of their fathers on the council, he was not confident in their loyalty.
They were gaining more and more agricultural land and followers in the districts allotted them. Trading with the foreigners also increased their personal arsenals. This power shifting alarmed the great chief and so in the year 1812 he decided to move his capitol back to Kona with him.
Kamehameha required all weapons to be placed on his own western vessel, the Keoua (formerly the Fair American) for transport to Hawaii Island. The chiefs were allowed two attendants each and were told to follow his vessel in separate vessels. (Parker)
“The view of the king’s camp was concealed only by a narrow tongue of land, consisting of naked rocks, but when we had sailed round we were surprised at the sight of the most beautiful landscape.”
“We found ourselves in a small sandy bay of the smoothest water, protected against the waves of the sea; on the bank was a pleasant wood of palm-trees, under whose shade were built several straw houses …”
“… to the right, between the green leaves of the banana-trees, peeped two snow-white houses, built of stone after the European fashion, on which account this place has the mixed appearance of a European and Owhyee village”.
“(T)o the left, close to the water, on an artificial elevation, stood the morai (heiau) of the king, surrounded by large wooden statues of his gods, representing caricatures of the human figure.” (Kotzebue, visiting in 1816)
‘I‘i describes that the “King erected three houses thatched with dried ti leaves,” a sleeping house (hale moe) and separate men’s (hale mua) and women’s (hale ‘āina) eating houses.”
Kamehameha first moved into the former residence of Keawe a Mahi. He then built another house on the seaward side of that residence, that was referred to as hale nana mahina ‘ai.
This house was built high on stones and faced directly upland toward the planting fields of Kūāhewa. Like an observation post this house afforded a view of the farm lands and was also a good vantage point to see canoes coming from South Kona and from the Kailua vicinity. (Rechtman)
Fishing was the occupation of Kamehameha’s old age at Kailua. He would often go out with his fishermen and when there had been a great catch of aku or ‘ahi he would give it away to the chiefs and people, the cultivators and canoe makers. (Kamakau)
At the onset of his illness, Kamehameha was treated by his kahuna. When the illness would not yield to their treatment, a ship was sent to Honolulu for Marin, a Spaniard who had no formal medical training, but had some basic Western medical knowledge.
Marin, noted in his diary, April 15, that a ship arrived at Honolulu that day from Hawaii seeking him ‘to cure the king;’ Marin reached Kailua four days later and stayed there until after the death of the king; his services proved ineffectual. (Kuykendall)
During Kamehamehaʻs illness the kahuna had suggested human sacrifices to appease, or pacify, the gods so that they might prolong Kamehamehaʻs life. To this Kamehameha said, “No! The men are kapu [sacred] for the king!” By king he meant his son and heir, Liholiho. (Williams)
About ten o’clock he took a mouthful of food and a swallow of water. Ka-iki-o-‘ewa then asked him for a last word, saying. “We are all here, your younger brothers, your chiefs, your foreigner (Young.) Give us a word.”
“For what purpose?’ asked the chief. “As a saying for us” (I hua na makou.) “E oni wale no ‘oukou i ku‘u pono ‘a‘ole e pau (Endless is the good that I have given you to enjoy.”)
Nearby, crouched sadly in silence, were John Young, his friend for almost thirty years; High Chief Hoapili; High Chief Kalanimōku; Queen Ka‘ahumanu; the heir Liholiho and others close to the king. Hours later, at two o’clock on the morning of May 8, 1819, Kamehameha passed away at Kamakahonu, Kailua-Kona. (Williams)
Fourteen years Kamehameha fought to unite the islands and he ruled twenty-three years. When he died his body was still strong. his eyes were not dimmed, his head unbowed, nor did he lean upon a cane; it was only by his gray hair that one could tell his age. (Kamakau)
The period of mourning began in Kailua-Kona. It lasted about ten days and was called kūmākena (‘to mourn loudly for the dead.’) When the people learned that Kamehameha I was dead, many fell to their knees, crying and wailing. They became hysterical and expressed their grief in painful ways.
The kapu was not enforced at this time so there was not only sadness and grief but disorder and confusion, as well. The kapu normally governed what the people could and could not do. (Williams)
Immediately after the death of the Kamehameha, his son Liholiho, heir to the throne, went away with his personal attendants to Kawaihae, Kohala, where he remained until Kailua, defiled by death, had been purified. After about a week, he returned for the purpose of being proclaimed king. (Kuykendall) (Image by Brook Parker.)