Today’s ‘Timeline Tuesday’ takes us through the 1850s – Kuleana Act, Smallpox Epidemic, death of Kamehameha III and growth in rice cultivation. We look at what was happening in Hawai‘i during this time period and what else was happening around the rest of the world.
Kalākua (also Kaheiheimālie) (c. 1778–1842) was daughter of Keʻeaumoku, a chief from Hawaiʻi Island and Namahana, from the royal family on Maui. She was described as physically being ‘tall and gigantic,’ like her siblings. Her siblings included Queen Kaʻahumanu, Hawaiʻi Island Governor John Adams Kuakini, Maui Governor George Cox Kahekili Keʻeaumoku II and Lydia Namahana Piʻia. She first married Kalaʻimamahu, the younger brother of Kamehameha I. Her first daughter, Kekāuluohi, became Kamehameha’s youngest wife.
Kekāuluohi later married Charles Kanaʻina. By Kanaʻina, had a son William Charles Lunalilo (future king of the Islands.) Kalākua married Kamehameha I and had four children: their two sons died as infants; the oldest daughter, Kamāmalu, became wife of Liholiho (Kamehameha II,) and the youngest daughter, Kīnaʻu, later became Kuhina Nui. Kīnaʻu later married Mataio Kekūanāoʻa; they had several children, including Lot Kapuāiwa (Kamehameha V,) Alexander Liholiho (Kamehameha IV) and Victoria. She later married Hoapili. Kalākua was mother of two Queen consorts and grandmother of three future Kings.
“Centuries ago, when the rest of the world went to battle in iron clothing, the great seven-foot warriors of Hawaii donned gay war capes, fashioned of thousands of colorful feathers. … The principal colors used were red and yellow. The more yellow, the higher the rank of the wearer.”
Generous Hawaiian chiefs often gave ‘ahuʻula as token of their friendship. During the British warship Calypso’s three-and-a-half-month stay in Hawai‘i beginning on Oct. 2, 1858, its surgeon, WH Sloggett, was presented with a royal feather shoulder cape by King Kamehameha IV in gratitude for medical service he’d rendered the seriously ill King. He hung it at his home in England.
Hānaiakamalama was the summer home of Queen Emma. John Young II (Keoni Ana) bought it in 1850 and named the home “Hānaiakamalama” (after a favorite family homestead in Kawaihae.) Queen Emma inherited it from her uncle, John Young II, in 1857.
Later, the Water Works was looking to use the site for filter beds for the water system. The water works plan waned and thoughts of a park at the site were considered. Hānaiakamalama was saved from demolition by the Daughters of Hawaiʻi. Today, Hānaiakamalama is open to the public with docent-guided tours.
In 1838, John Adams Kuakini built Huliheʻe as his primary residence. When Kuakini died Huliheʻe passed to his hānai son, William Pitt Leleiōhoku. Leleiōhoku died a few months later, leaving Huliheʻe to his wife, Princess Ruth Keʻelikōlani. Kamehameha IV (Ruth’s half-brother) signed a lease with Princess Ruth for Huliheʻe; the King and Queen Emma moved to Kona for a 4-month stay in 1858. In May, 1861, Lady Jane Franklin, widow of a famed explorer, visited the palace. When King Lunalilo became ill, Princess Ruth and Queen Emma urged him to recover at Huliheʻe; he later returned to Honolulu and died shortly thereafter.
Princess Ruth died in her hale pili at Huliheʻe. Shortly after King Kalākaua finished building ʻIolani Palace (1882,) he purchased Huliheʻe from Pauahi’s estate in 1885 and turned Huliheʻe into his summer residence. Kalākaua died in 1891 and his wife, Queen Kapiʻolani, inherited the palace. Upon her death in 1899, the property went to her nephews, Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole and Prince David Kawānanakoa. In 1925, the Territory of Hawaiʻi purchased the property then turned it over to the Daughters of Hawaiʻi to run it as a museum (which they continue to do today.)