At that time she was born, children often were named in commemoration of an event. She was given the name Lydia Liliʻu Loloku Walania Wewehi Kamakaʻeha.
Kuhina Nui Kīnaʻu had developed an eye infection at the time of Liliʻu’s birth. She gave the child the names Liliʻu (smarting,) Loloku (tearful,) Walania (a burning pain) and Kamakaʻeha (sore eyes.)
“Very near to (the site of Queen’s Hospital,) on Sept. 2, 1838, I was born. My father’s name was Kapaʻakea, and my mother was Keohokālole; the latter was one of the fifteen counsellors of the king, Kamehameha III., who in 1840 gave the first written constitution to the Hawaiian people.”
“My great-grandfather, Keawe-a-Heulu, the founder of the dynasty of the Kamehamehas, and Keōua, father of Kamehameha I., were own cousins, and my great-grandaunt was the celebrated Queen Kapiʻolani, one of the first converts to Christianity. “
“She plucked the sacred berries from the borders of the volcano, descended to the boiling lava, and there, while singing Christian hymns, threw them into the lake of fire.”
“This was the act which broke forever the power of Pele, the fire-goddess, over the hearts of her people. Those interested in genealogies are referred to the tables at the close of this volume, which show the descent of our family from the highest chiefs of ancient days.”
“But I was destined to grow up away from the house of my parents.” (Lili‘uokalani)
As was the custom, Liliʻu was hānai (adopted) to Abner Pākī and his wife Laura Kōnia (granddaughter of Kamehameha I), who reared her with their birth daughter, Pauahi (born December 19, 1831).
“When I was taken from my own parents and adopted by Paki and Konia, or about two months thereafter, a child was born to Kīna‘u. That little babe was the Princess Victoria, two of whose brothers became sovereigns of the Hawaiian people.”
“While the infant was at its mother’s breast, Kīna‘u always preferred to take me into her arms to nurse, and would hand her own child to the woman attendant who was there for that purpose.”
“I knew no other father or mother than my foster-parents, no other sister than Bernice. I used to climb up on the knees of Paki, put my arms around his neck, kiss him, and he caressed me as a father would his child …”
“… while on the contrary, when I met my own parents, it was with perhaps more of interest, yet always with the demeanor I would have shown to any strangers who noticed me.”
“My own father and mother had other children, ten in all, the most of them being adopted into other chiefs’ families; and although I knew that these were my own brothers and sisters, yet we met throughout my younger life as though we had not known our common parentage. This was, and indeed is, in accordance with Hawaiian customs.” (Lili‘uokalani)
Lili‘uokalani lived on the property called Haleʻākala, in the house that Pākī built on King Street. It was the ‘Pink House,’ made from coral (the house was name ʻAikupika (Egypt.)) (It is not clear where the ʻAikupika name came from.)
The two-story coral house was built by Pākī himself, from the original grass hut complex of the same name at the same site; he financed the construction through the sale of Mākaha Valley (ʻAikupika would later become the primary residence of his daughter Bernice Pauahi and her husband, Charles Reed Bishop.)
“At the age of four years I was sent to what was then known as the Royal School, because its pupils were exclusively persons whose claims to the throne were acknowledged. It was founded and conducted by Mr Amos S Cooke, who was assisted by his wife.”
“It was a boarding-school, the pupils being allowed to return to their homes during vacation time, as well as for an occasional Sunday during the term.”
“I was a studious girl; and the acquisition of knowledge has been a passion with me during my whole life, one which has not lost its charm to the present day. In this respect I was quite different from my sister Bernice.” (Lili‘uokalani)
Founded in 1839 during the reign of King Kamehameha III, the original Chief’s Children’s School was in the area where the ʻIolani barracks now stand.
Mr. and Mrs. Amos Cooke, missionaries from New England, were commissioned to teach the 16 royal children (others who joined the Pākī sisters were Lot Kapuāiwa (later Kamehameha V), Queen Emma, King William Lunalilo and Liliʻu’s brother, David (later King Kalākaua.)
In 1846 the school’s name was officially changed to Royal School; attendance was restricted to descendants of the royal line and heirs of the chiefs. In 1850, a second school was built on the site of the present Royal School; it was opened to the general public in 1851.
The comments in quotes are from Liliʻuokalani from her book “Hawaiʻi’s Story by Hawaiʻi’s Queen, Liliʻuokalani.”
Fast forward … on the afternoon of January 16, 1893, 162 sailors and Marines aboard the USS Boston in Honolulu Harbor came ashore. The home that Liliʻuokalani was raised in (later known as Arlington Hotel) served as the headquarters for the USS Boston’s landing force (Camp Boston) at the time of the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, January 17, 1893.