Kamehameha V

Kamehameha V (December 11, 1830– December 11, 1872), born as Lot Kapuāiwa, reigned as the fifth monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi from 1863 to 1872. His motto was "Onipaʻa": immovable, firm, steadfast or determined; he worked diligently for his people and kingdom and was described as the last great traditional chief.[2] His full Hawaiian name prior to his succession was Lota Kapuāiwa Kalanimakua Aliʻiōlani Kalanikupuapaʻīkalaninui.[3]

Kamehameha V
Kamehameha V, retouched photo by J. J. Williams
King of the Hawaiian Islands
ReignNovember 30, 1863 — December 11, 1872
PredecessorKamehameha IV
Kuhina NuiVictoria Kamāmalu, Kaʻahumanu IV
BornDecember 11, 1830
Honolulu, Oahu
DiedDecember 11, 1872 (aged 42)
Honolulu, Oahu
BurialJanuary 11, 1873[1]
IssueKeanolani (illegitimate)
Full name
Lota (Lot) Kapuāiwa Kalanimakua Aliʻiōlani Kalanikupuapaʻīkalaninui
HouseHouse of Kamehameha
Ulumāheihei Hoapili (hānai)
Nāhiʻenaʻena (hānai)
Kalākua Kaheiheimālie (hānai)
ReligionChurch of Hawaii
Kamehameha V's signature

Early life

Prince Lot Kapuaiwa (PP-97-9-007)
Prince Lot Kapuāiwa, traveling abroad in 1850.

He was born and given the name Lot Kapuāiwa December 11, 1830. His mother was Elizabeth Kīnaʻu and father was Mataio Kekūanāoʻa. His siblings included David Kamehameha, Moses Kekūāiwa, Alexander Liholiho, and Victoria Kamāmalu.[4] Kapu āiwa means mysterious kapu or sacred one protected by supernatural powers. He was adopted using the ancient Hawaiian tradition called hānai by Princess Nāhiʻenaʻena, but she died in 1836. He was then adopted by his grandmother Queen Kalākua Kaheiheimālie and step-grandfather High Chief Ulumāheihei Hoapili.[5]:26 His childhood was difficult; he felt that his hānai parents treated him as a stranger in their house, and that the adoption had deprived him the love of his mother. Throughout his life he would have a deep dislike for this tradition as it could be later seen by his anger at his half-sister Ruth Keelikolani giving away her second son Keolaokalani to Bernice Pauahi Bishop.[6]

It was planned that he would be Hoapili's heir as Governor of Maui, although this never happened.[7] Since King Kamehameha III declared him eligible for the throne, he was educated at the Royal School like his cousins and siblings. He was betrothed to Bernice Pauahi at birth, but she chose to marry American Charles Reed Bishop instead.

After leaving school (Kamehameha Kapalama in Hawaii), he traveled abroad with his brother Alexander Liholiho. With the supervision of their guardian Dr. Judd, Lot and his brother sailed to San Francisco in September 1849. After their tour of California, they continued on to Panama, Jamaica, New York City and Washington, D.C. They toured Europe and met with various heads of state including French president Louis Napoleon, British prince consort Albert, and US president Zachary Taylor and vice president Millard Fillmore.


From 1852 to 1855 he served on the Privy Council of State, and from 1852 to 1862 in the House of Nobles. He was Minister of the Interior from 1857 to 1863, chief justice of the supreme court from 1857 to 1858, and held other offices.[8] His more charismatic younger brother Prince Alexander Liholiho was chosen to become King Kamehameha IV in 1854.[9] In 1862, he was officially added to the line of succession in an amendment to the 1852 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Lot and his heirs, follow by his sister Princess Victoria and her heirs, would succeed in the case his brother died without any legitimate heirs.[10] The change was made shortly before the death of Prince Albert Kamehameha, the only son of Kamehameha IV.

New constitution and new laws

He came to power on November 30, 1863, after his brother's death, but refused to uphold the previous constitution of 1852. In May 1864 he called for a constitutional convention. On July 7, 1864 he proposed a new constitution rather than amending the old one. The convention ran smoothly until the 62nd article. It limited voters to being residents who passed a literacy test and possessed property or had income qualifications. On August 20, 1864, he signed the 1864 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii and took an oath to protect it. The constitution was based on the original draft but 20 articles were deleted. When he appointed Charles de Varigny, a French national, as minister of finance in December 1863,[11] Americans in Hawaiʻi were convinced that he had adopted an anti-American policy. In reality, his foreign policy remained the same. Later de Varigny became minister of foreign affairs from 1865–1869.

He was the first king to encourage revival of traditional practices. Under his reign, the laws against "kahunaism" were repealed. A Hawaiian Board of Medicine was established, with kahuna members, and la'au lapa'au or Hawaiian medicine was again practiced.[12] He brought kahuna practitioners to Honolulu to document their remedies.[13]

In 1865 a bill was brought before the legislature permitting the sale of liquor to the Native Hawaiians. Kamehameha V surprised the supporters of bill, saying "I will never sign the death warrant of my people." Alcoholism was one of the many causes of the already declining population of the native Hawaiians.[14][15]

Growth in travel to Hawaii

Growth in travel to the islands increased during Kamehameha's reign. Mark Twain came in March 1866 aboard the Ajax. He stayed for four months under his real name, Samuel Clemens, writing letters back to the Sacramento Union describing the islands. Twain described the king:

He was a wise sovereign; he had seen something of the world; he was educated & accomplished, & he tried hard to do well by his people, & succeeded. There was no trivial royal nonsense about him; He dressed plainly, poked about Honolulu, night or day, on his old horse, unattended; he was popular, greatly respected, and even beloved.[16]

Queen Victoria sent her second son Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh on a state visit in 1869. He appealed to Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany, who sent Henri Berger to organize the Royal Hawaiian Band, a gift of music from the king to his people.[17]


His sister and only named Heir Apparent to the throne, Crown Princess Victoria Kamāmalu had died childless in 1866 and through the remainder of his reign, Kamehameha V did not name a successor. He died on December 11, 1872 while the preparations for his birthday celebration were underway. As Lot lay bedstricken, he answered those that came to visit him: "The Good Lord cannot take me today, today is my birthday". He offered the throne to his cousin Bernice Pauahi Bishop who refused, and died an hour later without designating an heir.[18] He was buried in the Royal Mausoleum of Hawaii at Mauna ʻAla.[19]

He was the last ruling monarch of the House of Kamehameha styled under the Kamehameha name. Before his death Kamehameha V stated

The throne belongs to Lunalilo; I will not appoint him, because I consider him unworthy of the position. The constitution, in case I make no nomination, provides for the election of the next King; let it be so." With no heir at his death, the next monarch would be elected by the legislature. Kamehameha V's cousin William Charles Lunalilo, a Kamehameha by birth from his mother, demanded a general election and won. The legislature agreed and Lunalilo became the first elected King of the Hawaiian Kingdom.[20]


He founded the Royal Order of Kamehameha I society and the Royal Order of Kamehameha I decoration on April 11, 1865 named to honor his grandfather.[21]

The Prince Lot Hula Festival is named for him. It was held the third Saturday in July since 1977 at his former home called Moanalua Gardens.[22]

In February 1847, a female student at the Royal School Abigail Maheha was expelled and wed in a hastily arranged marriages due to a scandalous pregnancy.[23] Some speculate that the sixteen year-old Kamehameha V or his seventeen-year-old brother Moses Kekūāiwa was the father of Abigail's daughter Keanolani, who left living descendants. Evidence to support this claim include his financial support of Abigail's husband Keaupuni, veiled conversations the Cookes had with Abigail and Lot dated months before the pregnancy was discovered, and entries from the period which were torn out of his school journal.[24][25][26][27]


  1. ^ Isabella Lucy Bird (1894). The Hawaiian archipelago: six months among the palm groves, coral reefs, and volcanoes of the Sandwich islands. G. P. Putnam's sons. p. 417.
  2. ^ Kaiulani Kanoa-Martin (2007). "Ali`iolani – Mele Inoa for Kamehameha V". Hawaiian Music and Hula Archives. Retrieved 2010-01-24.
  3. ^ Comeau 1996, p. 4; "United States of America: Hawaii: Heads of State: 1810–1898". Archived from the original on May 13, 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2016.; "King Kamehameha V". Kamehameha Festival.
  4. ^ Peterson, Barbara Bennett (1984). Notable Women of Hawaii. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. p. 325. ISBN 0-8248-0820-7.
  5. ^ George S. Kanahele (1999). Emma: Hawai'i's Remarkable Queen: a Biography. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-2240-8.
  6. ^ Liliʻuokalani (Queen of Hawaii) (July 25, 2007) [1898]. Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen, Liliuokalani. Lee and Shepard, reprinted by Kessinger Publishing, LLC. ISBN 0-935180-85-0.
  7. ^ Sheldon Dibble (1843). History of the Sandwich Islands. Lahainaluna: Press of the Mission Seminary. p. 292.
  8. ^ "Kamehameha, Lot office record". state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved November 25, 2009.
  9. ^ Will Hoover (July 2, 2006). "King Kamehameha V". The Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved 2010-01-24.
  10. ^ "Articles of Amendment of the Constitution, proposed and passed pursuant to the 105th Article of the Constitution". The Polynesian. Honolulu. August 16, 1862. p. 3.
  11. ^ "de Varigny, Charles office record". state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2010-01-24.
  12. ^ Chun, Malcolm Naea. Must We Wait in Despair? The 1867 Report of the 'Ahahui La'au Lapa'au of Wailuku, Maui on Native Hawaiian Health (First Peoples Productions, 1994)
  13. ^ Chai, Makana Risser. Na Mo'olelo Lomilomi: Traditions of Hawaiian Massage and Healing (Bishop Museum, 2005)
  14. ^ Alexander, William DeWitt (1895). A Brief Sketch Of The Life Of Kamehameha V. Third Annual Report of the Hawaiian Historical Society for the Year 1895. Honolulu: Hawaiian Historical Society. pp. 10–11.
  15. ^ Lyman, Rufus A. (1895). Recollections of Kamehameha V. Third Annual Report of the Hawaiian Historical Society for the Year 1895. Honolulu: Hawaiian Historical Society. pp. 12–19.
  16. ^ Mark Twain (1997). Edgar Marquess Branch (ed.). Mark Twain's Letters: 1872–1873. Volume 5. University of California Press. p. 565. ISBN 978-0-520-20822-3.
  17. ^ "Bandmasters of the Royal Hawaiian Band". Royal Hawaiian Band official web site. City and County of Honolulu. March 28, 2008. Archived from the original on May 29, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
  18. ^ Kanahele, George S. (2002) [1986]. Pauahi: The Kamehameha Legacy. Honolulu: Kamehameha Schools Press. pp. 110–118. ISBN 978-0-87336-005-0. OCLC 173653971.
  19. ^ Parker, David "Kawika" (2008). "Crypts of the Ali`i The Last Refuge of the Hawaiian Royalty". Tales of Our Hawaiʻi (PDF). Honolulu: Alu Like, Inc. p. 27. OCLC 309392477. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 11, 2013.
  20. ^ United States. Department of State (1895). Foreign Relations of the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. pp. 986–.
  21. ^ Paul K. Neves. "Kamehameha Hall Nomination form". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  22. ^ "Prince Lot Hula Festival: Historical Background". Moanalua Gardens Foundation. Retrieved 2010-01-24.
  23. ^ Amos Starr Cooke and Juliette Montague Cooke (1970). Mary Atherton Richards (ed.). The Hawaiian Chiefs' Children's School: a record compiled from the diary and letters of Amos Starr Cooke and Juliette Montague Cooke by their granddaughter. C. E. Tuttle Co. p. 279.
  24. ^ Keawe, J. H. (July 31, 1903). "He Kamehameha Oiaio Oia". Ka Nupepa Kuokoa. XLI (31). Honolulu. p. 1. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  25. ^ Kam, Ralph Thomas (2017). Death Rites and Hawaiian Royalty: Funerary Practices in the Kamehameha and Kalakaua Dynasties, 1819–1953. S. I.: McFarland, Incorporated, Publishers. pp. 70–72. ISBN 978-1-4766-6846-8. OCLC 966566652.
  26. ^ Kaomea, Julie (2014). Education for Elimination in Nineteenth-Century Hawaiʻi: Settler Colonialism and the Native Hawaiian Chiefs' Children's Boarding School. History of Education Quarterly. 54. New York: History of Education Society. pp. 123–144. doi:10.1111/hoeq.12054. ISSN 0018-2680. OCLC 5571935029.
  27. ^ Walker, Jerry; Ahlo, Charles; Johnson, Rubellite Kawena (2000). Kamehameha's Children Today. Honolulu: J. Walker. p. 78. OCLC 48872973.


Further reading

External links

  • "Kamehameha V". Biography from Hawaiʻi Royal Family web site. Kealii Pubs. Retrieved 2010-01-24.
Royal titles
Preceded by
Kamehameha IV
King of Hawaiʻi
Succeeded by
1864 Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom

The 1864 Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom abrogated the 1852 constitution issued by King Kamehameha III. It dramatically changed the way Hawaii's government worked by increasing the power of the king and changing the way the kingdom's legislature worked. It was Hawaii's constitution from 1864 through 1887, during the reigns of kings Kamehameha V, Lunalilo, and Kalākaua.

Aliʻiōlani Hale

Aliʻiōlani Hale is a building located in downtown Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, currently used as the home of the Hawaiʻi State Supreme Court. It is the former seat of government of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi and the Republic of Hawaiʻi.

Located in the building's courtyard is the famed gold-leaf statue of Kamehameha the Great.

Archeological Sites at Kawela

Archeological Sites at Kawela are a number of archeological sites at or near the settlement of Kawela on the southern coast of Molokaʻi, the northernmost of the islands of Maui County, Hawaii. It was the site of two battles in Hawaiian history.

Ferdinand William Hutchison

Ferdinand William Hutchison (c. 1819 – May 20, 1893) was a British physician and politician in the Kingdom of Hawaii who became a cabinet minister to King Kamehameha V. He was president of the Board of Health from 1868 to 1873 and was instrumental in the early development and management of the leper settlement of Kalaupapa. His surname is often misspelled as Hutchinson.

He Mele Lahui Hawaii

"He Mele Lāhui Hawaiʻi" ("Song of the Hawaiian Nation") was composed by Liliʻuokalani in November 1866 at the request of Kamehameha V, who wanted a national anthem to replace the British anthem "God Save the King". It replaced Lunalilo's composition "E Ola Ke Aliʻi Ke Akua" as the national anthem. Liliʻuokalani wrote: "The king was present for the purpose of Criticising my new composition of both words and music, and was liberal in his commendations to me on my success. He admired not only the beauty of music, but spoke enthusiastically of the appropriate words, so well adapted to the air and to the purpose for which they were written. This remained in use as our national anthem for some twenty years or more when my brother composed the words Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī."Liliʻuokalani's memoir, Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen, stated: "In the early years of the reign of Kamehameha V. he brought to my notice the fact that the Hawaiian people had no national air. Each nation, he said, but ours had its statement of patriotism and love of country in its own music; but we were using for that purpose on state occasions the time-honored British anthem, "God save the Queen."

By July 1867, the song was printed and was available for purchase in Honolulu, becoming the first of her compositions ever published. This decidedly Christian song served as the national anthem for ten years until her brother, by that time reigning as King Kalākaua, set it aside in favor of his own composition, "Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī", in 1876.

House of Kamehameha

The House of Kamehameha (Hale O Kamehameha), or the Kamehameha dynasty, was the reigning Royal Family of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi, beginning with its founding by Kamehameha I in 1795 and ending with the death of Kamehameha V in 1872 and Lunalilo in 1874. The kingdom would continue for another 21 years until its overthrow in 1893 with the fall of the House of Kalakaua.


Kalihi is a neighborhood of Honolulu on the island of Oʻahu in Hawaiʻi, United States. Split by the Likelike Highway (Route 63), it is flanked by downtown Honolulu to the east and Mapunapuna, Moanalua and Salt Lake to the west.

Kalihi is the name of the ahupuaʻa (ancient land division) between Kahauiki and Kapālama in the Kona (now Honolulu) district of O'ahu. The ahupua'a consists of Kalihi Uka, Kalihi Waena and Kalihi Kai. Historically, Kalihi Kai was the site of the former Leprosy Receiving Station, where those suspected of leprosy were examined prior to treatment or being sent to Kalaupapa on the island of Molokaʻi. Kalihi was also known for its fishponds, ʻĀpili, Pahouiki, Pahounui, ʻAuiki, and Ananoho, near the present Sand Island Access Road (Route 64) all of which have since been filled in. The harbormaster of Kamehameha I, Captain Alexander Adams, maintained a residence near the ʻĀpili pond.

The name comes from ka lihi which means "the edge" in the Hawaiian language, and was used for districts on other islands as well.

Located at 21°20′10″N 157°52′35″W,

it was thought to be named by Prince Lot (the future King Kamehameha V in 1856.Kalihi Valley has been carved by Kalihi Stream; it is narrow and steep in its upper reaches (with source around 21°22′29″N 157°48′55″W, but widens out to flatlands as it approaches Honolulu Harbor, with its mouth at 21°19′51″N 157°53′26″W.The lower valley has been a residential area for a considerable time and is home to numerous tracts of older houses. It becomes commercial and maritime close to the water.

Kalihi is famous for Pele's family such as her sister, mother, and the wife of Wakea. In this region of Honolulu, they had many adventures. One that she saved Wakea (her husband) "who was being taken away for sacrifice, by embracing him."

Kamehameha V Post Office

Kamehameha V Post Office at the corner of Merchant and Bethel Streets in Honolulu, Hawaii was the first building in the Hawaiian Islands to be constructed entirely of precast concrete blocks reinforced with iron bars. It was built by J.G. Osborne in 1871 and the success of this new method was replicated on a much grander scale the next year in the royal palace, Aliʻiōlani Hale. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on 5 May 1972.

It was named for King Kamehameha V who built a number of other public buildings during his reign.The building served as a post office until it was converted into a district court office in 1922. In 1976 it was restored by the architects Anderson & Reinhardt as an example of the European Neoclassical architecture and new methods of construction during the Hawaiian Monarchy.


Keanolani (July 7, 1847 – June 30, 1902) was a Hawaiian chiefess (aliʻi) of the Kingdom of Hawaii. She was the illegitimate daughter of Abigail Maheha and King Kamehameha V, who reigned from 1863 to 1872, and was born during a liaison between the two when they were students at the Chiefs' Children's School (later renamed the Royal School), a boarding school run by American missionaries for students of Hawaiian royal descent. Keanolani was raised by her father's half-sister Keʻelikōlani. Her illegitimate birth and unacknowledged parentage prevented her from succeeding to the Hawaiian throne when her father died without naming an heir, thus ending the reign of the House of Kamehameha. In 1873, she became a mistress of her uncle by marriage William Hoapili Kaʻauwai. In 1874, she became a supporter of the newly elected House of Kalākaua. She married and left descendants. Her name is also often spelled as Keano or Keanu. In one source, she is named as Keauoʻokalau.


Mataio Kekūanaōʻa (c. 1791 – November 24, 1868), formally referred to as His Honor or His Highness, was a governor of the island of Oʻahu, father of two kings, Kamehameha IV and Kamehameha V, and held the office of Kuhina Nui as did his wife, Kīnaʻu and their daughter, Victoria Kamāmalu. His first name is the Hawaiian form of Matthew. Kekūanaōʻa translates as "the standing projection" in the Hawaiian language.

List of bilateral treaties signed by the Hawaiian Kingdom

Many bilateral treaties were signed by the Hawaiian Kingdom.

List of monarchs of Hawaii

Kamehameha I established the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1795 after conquering most of the Hawaiian archipelago. In 1810, Kaumualii became a vassal of Kamehameha I, who therefore emerged as the sole sovereign of the island chain of Hawaiʻi. His dynasty lasted until 1872, and his Kingdom lasted until 1893, when Queen Liliuokalani, of the Kalākaua Dynasty, was deposed by the pro-United States led overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii. The monarchy was officially ended on January 24, 1895, when Liliuokalani formally abdicated in response to an attempt to restore the royal government. On November 23, 1993, the Congress passed Public Law 103-150, also known as the Apology Resolution, acknowledging the American role in the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. President Bill Clinton signed the joint resolution the same day.


Lunalilo, born William Charles Lunalilo (January 31, 1835 – February 3, 1874), was the sixth monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii from January 8, 1873 until February 3, 1874. Due to his popularity and status as Hawaii's first elected monarch, he became known as "The People's King".

Merchant Street Historic District

The Merchant Street Historic District in Honolulu, Hawaii, was the city's earliest commercial center.

Ministry of Finance (Hawaii)

The Minister of Finance (Hawaiian: Kuhina Waiwai) was a powerful office in the Kingdom of Hawaii, the Provisional Government of Hawaii and the Republic of Hawaii from 1842 to 1900. It made up one of the four offices of the monarchical or presidential cabinet which advised the Head of State of Hawaii on executive affairs. During the monarchy, ministers were also ex-officio members of the Privy Council and the House of Nobles in the legislature. During the republic, ministers were ex-officio members of both houses of the legislature. The head of state had the power to appoint the ministers but later Hawaiian constitutions limited the power the head of state had in removing the cabinet ministers by requiring a vote of no confidence from a majority of the elective members of the legislature. All acts of the head of state had to be countersigned by a minister.

Moanalua Gardens

Moanalua Gardens is a 24-acre (97,000 m2) privately owned public park in Honolulu, Hawaii. The park is the site of the Kamehameha V Cottage which used to be the home of Prince Lot Kapuāiwa, who would later become King Kamehameha V. It is also the site of the annual Prince Lot Hula Festival, and the home of a large monkeypod tree that is known in Japan as the Hitachi tree.

Paul Nahaolelua

Paul Nahaolelua (September 11, 1806 – September 5/15, 1875) was a Hawaiian high chief who served many political posts in the Kingdom of Hawaii, including Governor of Maui from 1852 to 1874. In his long political career, Nahaolelua served under the reigns of five monarchs: Kamehameha III, Kamehameha IV and Kamehameha V, Lunalilo and Kalākaua.

Royal Order of Kamehameha I

The Royal Order of Kamehameha I is an order of knighthood established by Kamehameha V in 1865, to promote and defend the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. Established by the 1864 Constitution, the Order of Kamehameha I is the second order of its kind in Hawaii.

Victoria Kamāmalu

Victoria Kamāmalu Kaʻahumanu IV (November 1, 1838 – May 29, 1866) was Kuhina Nui of Hawaii and its crown princess. Named Wikolia Kamehamalu Keawenui Kaʻahumanu-a-Kekūanaōʻa and also named Kalehelani Kiheahealani, she was mainly referred to as Victoria Kamāmalu or Kaʻahumanu IV, when addressing her as the Kuhina Nui.


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