He stood before the officer of the government and said, “I first ask whether my wife will be allowed to go with me, the one I swore before Almighty God to care for, to become one blood with me, from whom only death could part me?” Denied, he replied, “the cord of my love for her is to be cut, and I am commanded to break my sacred promise before God and live alone in a strange land”.
He was born in 1862; his name, Kaluaikoʻolau, may be translated as ‘the grave at Koʻolau,’ a commemorative name and, as fate would have it, prophetic. He was a cowboy from Kekaha, Kauai. In 1881, at the age of 19, he married Piʻilani (age 17.) A year later, they had a son, Kaleimanu. Koʻolau and his young son contracted leprosy; rather than going to Kalawao (Kalaupapa,) Koʻolau hid in Kalalau.