James Campbell was born February 4, 1826, in Londonderry, Ireland. His parents were William and Martha (Adams) Campbell. William, descended from the Campbell clan of Inverary, Scotland, was a carpenter.
James’ father operated a furniture and cabinet shop adjacent to the home where he and his wife raised their large family. James was the eighth child in the family of eight boys and four girls.
In 1850, James came to Hawaiʻi. He settled in Lāhainā, Maui. He later married Abigail Kuaihelani Maipinepine (age 19) and soon after moved to a home on Emma Street in Honolulu, which Campbell purchased from Archibald S Cleghorn in 1878. (Now the site of the Pacific Club.)
As a personality, James Campbell was most often described as reserved and dignified. Tall and slender, he had a full beard and dressed in well-cut dark suits with a top hat.
Campbell was a partisan of Queen Liliuokalani at the time of the overthrow, and remained a Royalist to the end of his days.
The overthrow happened on January 17, 1893. Shortly thereafter, on May 12, 1893, Campbell and his wife Abigail welcomed a new daughter. The following is the daughter’s name song:
He Inoa No Royalist Kealohaalii Laakapu Campbell.
Imua e Kealohaalii Laakapu
A lei i ka lei o ka Lanakila
A he milimili oe na makou
He pua lei nani Aloha Aina
Ke kilohana oe nana i oni
Hoihoi ia mai ke Kuokoa
Eia Hawaii ua lokahi
Hookahi puuwai me ke aloha
Nana i nai a puni Hawaii
Ke Aloha o ka Aina hanau
O ka hana hanohano a ka Lahui
I lanakila mau oe Hawaii
O ka onohi hiwahiwa i ka puuwai
O Kealohaaina a e o mai.
Hakuia e na kaikamahine o ke Aloha Aina.
May 14, 1894. (Leo o ka Lahui, 5/17/1894, p. 3)
Name Of Royalist Kealohaalii Lakapu Campbell
Forward Kealohaalii Laakapu
And wear the crown of Victory
And you are dear to us
A beautiful Aloha Aina wreath
You are the one who moved
Returned from Freedom
Here in Hawaii there is unity
One heart with love
Look around Hawaii
The Love of the Motherland
The noble work of the Nation
May you always win Hawaii
It’s a unique touch to the heart
Kealohaina and will come.
Hosted by the daughters of Aloha Aina.
“She was born in a famous time; being that her mother is the President of the Women’s Patriotic League, and while they are fighting for the good of our land, at that time, Royalist was soon to be born.”
“When she was born, she was named Royalist, after Alohaalii. This is a fine name for her, being that her parents and all of Hawaii joined together in aloha for the Queen of Hawaii nei, the people, and the land.” (Leo o ka Lahui, 5/14/1894, p. 2)
The newspaper announced her baptism; “Royalist Campbell made 1 year old today, the small daughter and youngest child of Mr. and Mrs. James Campbell [Kimo Kamabela].”
“At 9:30 in the morning, she was baptized by the Lord Bishop of Honolulu [Alfred Willis], in the St. Andrews Church, before a large assembly. This is the first of their children to be baptized in the Church, the earlier ones being only at Kawaiahao.” (Makaainana, 5/14/1894, p. 8)
“Later at 2 o’clock p. m., there was a party to celebrating the first birthday, at the residence of Mr. James Campbell on Emma Street. All of the members of the Executive Committee of the Women’s Patriotic League [Hui Aloha Aina o na Wahine] were invited to visit for the birthday of Alohaalii Campbell.”
“We ask that the days of Royalist’s life be long, and that she live until old age. [Unfortunately it seems that Royalist Campbell, child of James and Abigail Kuaihelani Maipinepine, lives only a little more than a year more.] (Oiaio, 5/18/1894)
“Royalist Campbell dies, 1896. The youngest daughter of James Campbell died at 2:00 this p. m. This was the child Royalist M., aged 2 years, 8 months.” (Hawaiian Star, 2/29/1896, p. 3)
After a lengthy illness, Campbell died on April 21, 1900, in his Emma Street home. On the afternoon of his funeral the banks and most of the large business houses closed. He was buried in the family plot in Nuʻuanu Cemetery.