PRINCE JONAH KUHIO KALANIANAOLE
(Revised edition printed by permission of author.
Originally published by Hawaii County Library,
Hilo, Hawaii in 1962.)
Photograph - Courtesy Archives of Hawaii
Hawaii state Library System
Centralized Processing Center
The High Chief Kuhio was a descendant of Keawe II of the Hawaii Royal family; Laakea of the Hilo family and of the Maui family.
The descent from the Keawe line was through that famous queen, Kalanikauleleiaiwi, half sister and pio wife of Keawe II. By Kanekoa, of the Maui family, this Queen had a daughter Poomaikalani.
Poomaikalani was married to Elelule of the I family and had by him the High Chief Kuhio Kalanianaole.
The Kapumoe Chiefess Kekaulike Kinoiki and the High Chief Kuhio Kalanianaole had three daughters, the eldest being Kapiolani Napelakapuo-kakae who married King Kalakaua and had no children.
The second daughter, Poomaikelani Kapooloku, also died without issue.
The third daughter, Kekaulike Kinoiki, married the High Chief David Kahalepouli Piikoi.
The Piikoi chiefs were junior lines of the Kauai and Hawaii alii families.
The first Chief Piikoi of who we know was a close relative of King Kaumualii, possibly a half brother. His relationship was so close that we first learn of him as being Kaumualii's pipe lighter at the time the missionaries arrived. This Piikoi was an apt student of the new palapala and likeable person who readily became a Christian convert. He was so likeable that at the time Liholiho kidnapped Kaumualii, Liholiho asked Kaumualii to give him Piikoi as a personal attendant. Liholiho gave Piikoi (who took the Christian name Jonah) large estates on the Kaneohe side of the island and the tract of land lying on the Diamond Head side of McKinley High School.
His son, High Chief David Kahalepouli Piikoi, was a cousin of King Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani through his mother Kekahili. She was a half sister of the Chief Kapaakea, father of the King and Queen.
Kekaulike Kinoiki II and David Kahalepouli Piikoi had three sons: David Kawananakoa Piikoi, born February 19, 1868 in Honolulu; Edward Keliiahonui; and Jonah Kalanianaole, born March 26, 1871 at Koloa, Kauai.
The three boys lost their mother in 1884 when they were teenagers. They were then adopted by their alii aunt, Kapiolani.
So, it came about that after Kalakaua and Kapiolani ascended the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1874, the three great-grandsons of Kaumualii became heirs to the throne.
In naming the immediate members of his family as heirs to the throne, Kalakaua named his own brother and sisters first and gave each the title, Royal Highness. He then named the three foster sons of this wife and gave each the title Prince.
The position of the Princes as members of the royal family was confirmed by the constitution of 1887 which granted King Kalakaua and his heiress, Liliuokalani, the right to name their successors.
Many historians have said that Kalakaua made the three boys Princess by Royal Proclamation in 1883, the year of his coronation. However, Miss Maude Jones, custodian of the archives, has searched all the records and can find no confirmation of this. She says that by naming the Princes as members of his family at the time he ascended the throne, it was not necessary for the King to issue a proclamation. The title and position belonged to the Princes by right of birth. Their illustrious lineage speaks for itself.
PRINCE KUHIO'S EARLY YEARS
Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole, the youngest son of Kekaulike Kinoiki II and David Kahalepuli Piikoi, was born March 26, 1871 at Hoai, Kualu in the Koloa district of the island of Kauai. Hoai was the village seat of the ancient fishing village which lay on the Kalaheo side of the old Koloa landing place. The Prince was born in a grass house which stood in the area now preserved as a memorial to his name.
The family residence of the Piikois was normally on Oahu. The couple lived either on the High Chief's estate on the Kaneohe side of the pali or at the chief's two story house which was situated on the Waikiki side of the present McKinley High School campus.
The family consisted of three boys, Prince David Kawananakoa, Prince Edward Abel Keliiahonui and Prince Kuhio Kalanianaole. One of the highlights of their youth was the coronation ceremonies of Kalakaua and Kapiolani in which the two Princes participated as immediate members of the family. Upon the death of King Kalakaua, the Prince moved to Queen Kapionlani's residence, Pualeilani, at Waikiki. It was from this home that the Princes came and went to various schools.
The boys attended a private school, St. Alban's college, conducted by Alatau T. Atkinson, a noted educator who later became superintendent of public schools. Later they attended Punahou. During the years Prince Kuhio was a Punahou student, he was noted for his prowess as an athlete. He was a football star, a runner, rower and bicyclist. He regularly ran the 100-yard dash in ten seconds. He rowed under the colors of the Leilani boat Club. Prince Kuhio is said to have been the last alii trained in the higher art of wrestling, "lua'. He was an expert in the holds kapu to all other than alii.
From Punahou, the Princes were sent to Saint Matthew's School at San Mateo, California. Prince Edward Keliiahonui died in 1887, ending a promising career as a musician. After finishing their schooling at San Mateo, King Kalakaua sent the two Princes to the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester, England. In addition to studying agriculture, the Princes also took courses in business education. The Princes were in England at school during 1890 and 1891 returning in time to witness the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893. King Kalakaua's purpose in educating the Princes at the best schools and in England was to prepare them to hold high office in the kingdom, or to wear the crown. For this reason, he placed the Princes in clerical work in different government offices during vacations and between schools.
Upon their return from England, Prince David Kawanakoa was given a clerkship in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Prince Kuhio Kalanianaole was placed in Ministry of Interior and the Customs Service.
Queen Liliuokalani made Prince David a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Kalakaua and a member of the privy council of state.
There is on record in the Archives of Hawaii a letter on an Interior Department letterhead, dated October 26, 1889, signed by J.A. Hassinger, chief clerk, and addressed to H.M. Queen Kapiolani, in which is indicated the fact that Prince Kuhio, even at that time, showed a strong aptitude for public affairs.
Hassinger acknowledged receipt of a note from the Queen informing him that "at a late moment it was decided that H.R.H. Prince Jonah Kalanianaole should accompany his brother enroute for England per the S.S. Australia."
Hassinger added that "as Your Majesty did me the honor to confide him for a time to my care, I feel it my duty to testify to the fidelity with which he performed his official duties, and the earnest desire he evinced to become familiar with the business routine of the department during the short time he was with me.
"He had already make himself useful and I feel assured that this opportunity of going abroad and learning somewhat of the great world at large will not be lost upon one who shows so ready an acquirement, but added to his former school experience, will tend greatly to fit him for the duties of life.
"Trusting that with a higher record of honor he may be permitted to return in safety to Your Majesty, etc., etc."
Chief Clerk Hassinger wrote with a prophetic pen. Undoubtedly, he was impelled to write his praise of the young Prince, because Kuhio actually had applied himself in all seriousness to fulfilling the duties entrusted to him.
The revolution which deposed Queen Liliuokalani put an end to the careers for which the Princes had been educated.
Both retired to their foster mother's home at Waikiki and marked time.
Prince David, being of a quiet disposition, adjusted himself to the change and occupied his time with social affairs.
Prince Kuhio, being the aggressive type and a loyal and staunch supporter of his Queen. refused to bow to the revolutionary forces and headed into trouble when the Queen's supporters attempted to put her back on the throne in the abortive revolution of 1895.
The full story of the Prince's participation in the revolution was never told until after his death. In April, 1927, Prince Kuhio's widow placed a mass of documents and letters accumulated during the Prince's life into the Archives of Hawaii. In these papers is a written statement filed in the court of claims by the late Senator John H. Wise who also participated in the rebellion as a close friend of Prince Kuhio's. The paper tells the story of their part in the revolution.
The story began in the fall of 1894. The Blount report and the delay in annexation had fanned the hopes of the royalists who met secretly to raise money to buy arms and ammunition in the United states. The Prince was high in the councils of the plotters. He was first recruited as a participant in October of 1894, Prince Kuhio assisted in obtaining financial pledges aggregating $300,000. After the pledge were obtained, Kuhio and Wise had an audience with Liliuokalani and laid before her their plan for the revolution. This plan was as follows.
Wise should go to the Pacific Coast, ostensibly quitting Hawaii for good, but in reality for the purpose of recruiting services of 100 lumberjacks as the nucleus of the army of the revolution.
That Wise purchase 2,000 modern rifles and 400,000 rounds of ammunition, and two Gatling guns.
That upon the completion of arrangements Wise was to communicate with Kuhio, advising him of the date upon which the steam schooner would arrive in the channel between Oahu and Hawaii.
That upon receipt of this information Kuhio was to board the Kinau, a small steamer in inter-island service, with 25 men, upon the nearest regular trip between the islands.
that a second party of 25 picked men, commanded by Robert Wilcox, the revolutionist, should board the steamer Claudine, which was operating between Maui and Oahu.
It was planned that upon the arrival of these two steamers in the open channel, each of the parties was to seize the respective vessels lock officers, crews and passengers below hatches, and proceed to meet the steam schooner from Seattle. The Claudine was then to steam on to Maui, where 500 loyal supporters of the deposed Queen would be recruited and armed with weapons from the schooner.
The Kinau was to proceed to Hilo on a similar mission, and recruit 500 men there, thus giving the revolutionary leaders a force of 1,150 men.
Both inter-island ships were to return to Honolulu on a Sunday morning on schedule time, thereby eliminating all suspicion of the presence of a revolutionary force until the moment the vessels docked at the capital.
The army was to seize the government, imprison all officers of the provisional government, and bring about, by force if necessary, the restoration of Liliuokalani as Queen of Hawaii.
This plan, Wise says, was fully explained to the Queen by himself and Kuhio, and he adds that at the same time there was displayed to the Queen the list of subscribers to the $300,000 revolution fund, these subscribers "all being prominent inhabitants of the city of Honolulu, many of them being being prominent business men believed by officers of the Republic of Hawaii to be supporters of that government.
In his affidavit Wise states that these names were withheld "solely for the reason that no good purpose would be served by the disclosure of their names at this time."
It is said in the statement that during the recital of the plot the Queen listened attentively, "carefully considered same, asked questions as to various points thereof, and finally stated to affiant and said Prince Kalanianaole, that she did not approve of same, as she did not desire to bring about any bloodshed, and that she relied upon the government of the United States to bring about her peaceable restoration to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii."
However, the statement continued, at that very moment Major Seward, subsequently arrested and convicted of treason, was on the mainland of the United States, with the ex-queen's full knowledge and cooperation, purchasing the arms which were afterwards used in the revolution which actually took place.
There were many conferences after that in which Colonel Nowlein and others took part, and which concerned the proposed uprising. Colonel Nowlein suggested that Kuhio was too young to be given a commission in the insurgent forces. Wise asked Nowlein if there was any objection to the Prince working with him without a commission, and Nowlein replied there was none.
Early in January, 1895, the revolution plans moved along swiftly. The uprising was to take place on the night of January 3, but, owing to complications had to be delayed. This delay was apparently fatal to the successful conclusion of the plot.
Due to the discovery by officials of the Republic that the steamer Waimanalo had on board a quantity of arms purchased on the mainland by Major Seward, the revolutionary forces already assembled were disbanded.
Wise and Kuhio proceeded to the business section of Honolulu. They met Wilcox and were informed by him that he had been instructed by Colonel Nowlein to meet the steamer Waimanalo and tell the captain that the revolution plans had been discovered, including even the proposed landing place of the arms, and requested Wise and Kuhio to accompany him.
The trio at once went to the beach residence of Liliuokalani at Waikiki, obtained a canoe manned by two Hawaiians, and went out to the steamer. Upon coming alongside they found that the arms and munitions already had been loaded into two boats, which the ship had in tow.
The captain was instructed to put to sea and await further orders, but declined to do so. Wilcox then took command of the two ship's boats and headed toward Molokai until the Waimanalo was out of sight. Then the boats proceeded to the Kahala shore, about a mile from the residence of H.F. Bertleman, where the arms and muntions were buried in the sand, Kuhio assisting in the work.
It was agreed that an early meeting of the revolutionists was absolutely necessary, primarily for the purpose of formulating a new campaign plan. The meeting was arranged for 9 o'clock Sunday morning, January 6, The principal members of the insurgent party, including Kuhio, attended.
The plan was to seize all important building in town, including the police station and the telephone exchange, and it was agreed that the revolution would start at 7:30 in the evening of the same day, "at which time practically all officers of the Republic of Hawaii would be attending church, and the presence of a large number of Hawaiians on the street at such an hour would attract no attention."
Central Union Church was to be surrounded and the Republic officials taken into custody and imprisoned.
It is well known, however, that the government officials were cognizant of the plans of the royalists, and steps were taken to prevent the outbreak. Disloyalty in the ranks of the insurgents caused betrayal of the plans to the officers of the Republic.
It also appears that on the evening of January 6, after the arms and ammunition had been assembled at Kahala, Wise Kuhio and others were returning to town when they met the late Arthur M. Brown then Deputy Marshal of the Republic, who was sitting on his horse and looking into the Bertleman yard. Greetings were exchanged and the Prince and his party continued on their way.
Later in the evening Kuhio and wise left town together to join their forces, "but upon arrival at a beach hotel, situated in the Waikiki district, affiant's conveyance was held up by a body of armed police and citizens' guard, among who were Captain of Police Robert Waipa Parker and Charles Carter, member of the citizens' organization and affiant's business demanded by said Carter.
"That affiant stated he was going into said beach hotel premises and was permitted to proceed; that affiant and said Kalanianaole then left their conveyance and endeavored to proceed on foot along the beach to said point of assembly of the revolutionists, but were prevented from so-doing by a skirmish between the force of police and the said Captain Parker, and a small band of revolutionists stationed at the residence of H.F. Bertleman, which resulted in the death of said Charles Carter and the wounding of one or two said police, and which skirmish commenced just before the arrival of affiant and the said Kalanianaole, on the beach in front of the residence of the said H.F. Bertleman."
According to the statement, Kuhio and Wise endeavored to reach the assembly point via the government road, but were confronted by armed forces of the Republic. They remained in the vicinity all that night in the expectation that the revolutionary forces would successfully make their way into Honolulu and enable the two men to join them.
The revolutionary forces failed to advance and at daylight on Monday, January 7, the forces of the Republic opened fire on the positions taken by the insurgents.
Realizing the futility of endeavoring to reach the Royalists. Kuhio and Wise returned to Honolulu, and "both were subsequently arrested and charged with the offense of misprison of treason before the military commission empaneled for the trial of persons implicated in said revolution. Affiant (Wise) pleaded guilty to said charge."
Wise, in his statement, says that he was sentenced to prison for a term of three years and fined $100. His imprisonment was subsequently commuted and he was released by the government after spending about one year in confinement. His civil rights were restored upon his release.
He added that he was the only survivor of the seven persons who attended the revolutionary meeting of Sunday, January 6, 1895.
Kuhio was found guilty by the military commission, and served about a year as a political prisoner in the old Oahu prison which later became the county jail at Honolulu.
The story is told that when Prince Kuhio was arrested, a friend hurried to tell Queen Kapiolani the news. She is reported to have said, "Anyone who touches a hair of my boy's head will be cursed." Apparently, no one did touch a hair of his head, for throughout his life the Prince delighted in telling yarns of the days he spent in prison.
His release and pardon came on the same day the Republic released Queen Liliuokalani from imprisonment.
A year after his release, on October 8, 1896, Prince Kuhio married Elizabeth Kahanu Kaauwai, daughter of a chief. The young couple made a trip around the world in 1899, seemingly with the intent of settling in another country. They investigated the diamond mining business in South Africa, but did not invest. In 1901 after annexation they returned to the Islands.
to be continued....