“Dearest Mary thou hast left us,
Here thy loss we deeply feel,
But ‘tis God who hath bereft us,
He can all our sorrow heal.”
(The Friend, June 1853)
Isaac Davis and John Young arrived in Hawai‘i at the same time (1790 – on different boats.) Isaac Davis (Welch) was the sole survivor of the massacre of the crew of The Fair American; John Young, British boatswain on the Eleanora, was stranded on the Island of Hawai‘i.
“Young and Davis would have been killed had not Kaoanaeha, a high lady, fallen in love with Young and by her intercession with the King saved the lives of both sailors. Kaoanaeha was the most beautiful woman on the Island of Owhyhee and was the admiration of all the sailors who visited Karakakooa Bay.”
“She was the only daughter of Keliimaiki, the favorite brother of the great King, Kamehameha I. John Young and Kaoauaeba were soon married. King Kamehameha appreciated the superior talents of the white men and made them high chiefs.”
“When the navigator Vancouver visited the island, in 1793, he was entertained by King Kamehameha and John Young, who was then the King’s chief counselor. Young built the first house on the island of Hawaii, and its ruins are still to be seen. It is of stone.”
“Here Young and Kaoanaeha lived and died, and here their daughter, Fannie Young Kekelaokalani was born.” (NY Times, February 14, 1886)
Fanny married twice, first to Henry Coleman Lewis (they had a daughter Mary Polly Paʻaʻaina;) then Fannie married High Chief George Naʻea (Emma, their daughter, was Paʻaʻaina’s step sister – Emma later married Alexander Liholiho and became Queen Emma.)
Paʻaʻaina was hanai (adopted) by John Papa ʻIʻi and his wife Sarai; ʻIʻi served as kahu (caretaker) to Princess Victoria Kamamalu.
Paʻaʻaina, Emma and twelve others eventually (at varying times) entered the Chief’s Childrens’ School. The main goal of the school was to groom the next generation of the highest ranking chief’s children of the realm and secure their positions for Hawaii’s Kingdom.
Seven families were eligible under succession laws stated in the 1840 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i; Kamehameha III called on seven boys and seven girls of his family to board in the Chief’s Children’s School.
In May 1843, Paʻaʻaina was the last girl to enter the boarding school; she was 10 years old which was relatively old (the last boy “William Pitt” Kinaʻu entered in 1844.)
The children were taught reading, spelling, penmanship, arithmetic, geometry, algebra, physics, geography, history, bookkeeping, singing and English composition.
King Kamehameha III founded the Chief’s Children’s School (Royal School) in 1839. The school’s main goal was to groom the next generation of the highest ranking chief’s children of the realm and secure their positions for Hawaii’s Kingdom. King Kamehameha III “ask(ed) (missionary) Mr Cooke to be teacher for our royal children.”
In this school, the Hawai‘i sovereigns who reigned over the Hawaiian people from 1855 were educated, including: Alexander Liholiho (King Kamehameha IV;) Emma Naʻea Rooke (Queen Emma;) Lot Kapuāiwa (King Kamehameha V;) William Lunalilo (King Lunalilo;) Bernice Pauahi (Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop founder of Kamehameha Schools;) David Kalākaua (King Kalakaua) and Lydia Liliʻu Kamakaʻeha (Queen Liliʻuokalani.)
The Chiefs’ Children’s School was unique because for the first time Aliʻi children would be brought together in a group to be taught, ostensibly, about the ways of governance.
(After his experience running the school teaching and training Hawai‘i’s future monarchs, Amos Cooke then co-founded the firm Castle & Cooke which became one of the “Big Five” corporations that dominated the early Hawaiian economy.)
Paʻaʻaina was a pupil in the Royal School for seven years where she endeared herself to her teachers and fellow pupils.
Then, she married Mr James Augustus Griswold on December 30, 1851, in Honolulu. Unfortunately, the marriage was short-lived; she became ill.
“Her sufferings during her last sickness were extreme. She felt conscious of danger, and, as far as human eye could see, prepared herself for her departure.”
“She took a calm and effecting leave of her friends that were present, and sent her last message to absent ones. She expressed the wish that others whom she loved would prepare while in health for the trying hour of death.” (The Friend, June 1853)
She died at Honolulu, May 28, 1853. Her only child was a daughter named Mary Paʻaʻaina Griswold. (Kravitz)
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