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".
Photograph of Lunalilo by Menzies Dickson
|King of the Hawaiian Islands |
|Reign||January 8, 1873 – February 3, 1874|
|Investiture||January 9, 1873 |
|Born||January 31, 1835|
Pohukaina, Honolulu, Oahu
|Died||February 3, 1874 (aged 39)|
Haimoeipo, Honolulu, Oahu
|Burial||February 28, 1874|
Royal Mausoleum at Mauna ʻAla (temporary)
November 23, 1875
|House||Keōua Nui / Kamehameha|
William Charles Lunalilo was born on January 31, 1835 in a two-story house made of coral brick, an area known as Pohukaina, now part the grounds of the ʻIolani Palace in Honolulu. His mother was High Chiefess Miriam Auhea Kekāuluohi (later styled as Kaʻahumanu III) and his father was High Chief Charles Kanaʻina. He was grandnephew of Kamehameha I by blood and the monarch's stepson by marriage to his mother. His grandmother was Kalākua Kaheiheimālie, sister of Kamehameha’s favorite wife, Queen Kaʻahumanu. This made him both, a second cousin as well as first cousin to King Kamehameha V, King Kamehameha IV, and Princess Victoria Kamāmalu through their mothers: Kekāuluohi and Kīnaʻu (later styled as Kaʻahumanu II) who were half-sisters. Lunalilo translates as Luna (high) lilo (lost) or "so high up as to be lost to sight" in the Hawaiian language. He was also named after King William IV of the United Kingdom, a great friend of the Hawaiian Royal Family.
He was declared eligible to succeed by the royal decree of King Kamehameha III and sent to the Chief's Children's School (later called the Royal School) when it was founded by missionaries Amos Starr Cooke and Juliette Montague Cooke. Learning to speak both Hawaiian and English, he gained a mastery of English literature and love of Shakespearian soliloquies. According to one of his classmates Elizabeth Kekaaniau, Lunalilo was groomed to one day assume the Governorship of Oahu after Kekūanāoʻa's death.
Before the Great Mahele Lunalilo's holdings of 239 ʻāina were second only to Kamehameha III. As a result of the Mahele, he relinquished 73 percent of his land. As of 1848, at the age of thirteen, he was still one of the largest landowners after the King, inheriting the land and personal property given to his mother and grandmother by Kamehameha I. In 1850 Lunalilo gave up another large amount of land to the government reducing his holdings to 43 lots.
Affectionately known as "Prince Bill," he was one of the royals (besides Kalākaua and Liliʻuokalani) to write music. He composed Hawaii's first national anthem, "E Ola Ke Aliʻi Ke Akua," which was Hawaii's version of "God Save The King". He wrote the song in fifteen minutes in a contest hosted by newspaper publisher Henry Whitney in 1862 for the birthday of Kamehameha IV. He won the contest and was awarded ten dollars.
He was betrothed to his cousin Princess Victoria Kamāmalu, a popular choice among the Hawaiian people except for Victoria's brothers. They both refused to have her marry him. Their children would outrank the House of Kamehameha in family rank (mana). There were two failed attempts of marriage between the two. Lunalilo composed the Hawaiian song ʻAlekoki for his unrequited love. After Victoria, he briefly courted the hand of Liliʻuokalani, but she broke off the engagement on the advice of Kamehameha IV. Liliʻuokalani would eventually marry American John Owen Dominis and Victoria Kamāmalu would die unmarried and childless at the age of 27 in 1866. Another alleged prospective bride was a maternal cousin Miriam Auhea Kekāuluohi Crowningburg, who married a German-American settler instead.
During his reign as king, it was proposed that he marry Queen Emma, the widow of Kamehameha IV, but this proposal came to nothing due to Queen Emma's devotion to her late husband. They remained friends and it was said he considered naming her as his heir before he died. According to Emma's cousin Peter Kaʻeo, there were gossips that the King would marry a Tahitian chiefess from Bora Bora. Although never marrying, the king took Eliza Meek (1832–1888), the hapa-haole daughter of Captain John Meek, the harbor pilot of Honolulu, and sister-in-law of his chamberlain Horace Crabbe, as his mistress.
King Kamehameha V, the last of the Kamehameha kings, died on December 11, 1872 without naming a successor. Under the Kingdom's 1864 constitution, if the king did not appoint a successor, a new king would be elected by the legislature from the eligible Hawaiian royals still alive. The other candidate was David Kalākaua. Lunalilo was the more popular of the two. His grandfather was Kalaimamahu, a half brother of Kamehameha I and was thus a cousin of King Kamehameha V. His grandmother was Queen Kalakua Kaheiheimalie, sister of Queen Kaʻahumanu. Because of this, many people believed the throne rightly belonged to Lunalilo since the only person more closely related to Kamehameha V, Bernice Pauahi Bishop, made clear she did not want the throne. Another contender was Princess Ruth Keʻelikōlani who was a half sister to King Kamehameha V. She was a favorite among the Hawaiian chiefs because of her adhering to the old Hawaiian ways. She was governess of Hawaii and refused to speak English even though she was fluent in it. Her genealogy, however, was too controversial and few people considered her suitable to take the throne. This left Kalākaua and Lunalilo, and of the two, Lunalilo was greatly favored. So great was Lunalilo's popularity that some people believed that Lunalilo could have simply walked into the capital and declared himself king. Lunalilo, however, insisted that the constitution be followed. He issued the following message six days after the death of Kamehameha V:
"Whereas, it is desirable that the wishes of the Hawaiian people be consulted as to a successor to the Throne, therefore, notwithstanding that according to the law of inheritance, I am the rightful heir to the Throne, in order to preserve peace, harmony and good order, I desire to submit the decision of my claim to the voice of the people."
Lunalilo, unlike his more conservative opponent, wanted to amend the constitution to make the government more democratic by removing property qualifications for voting. It was decided that there would be a popular election to give the people a chance to have their voices heard. However, because the constitution gave the legislature the power to decide who would be the next king, the popular election would be unofficial. Lunalilo urged the people of the Kingdom to have their voices heard.
The popular vote was held on January 1, 1873 and Lunalilo won by an overwhelming majority. The week after, the legislature unanimously voted Lunalilo king. It has been speculated that the reason for the unanimous vote was because each legislator was required to sign his name on the back of his ballot, and the legislators were afraid to go against the wishes of the people. Queen Emma later wrote in a letter that hundreds of Hawaiians were ready to tear to pieces anyone who opposed Lunalilo.
At Lunalilo's investiture ceremony, held on January 9, 1873 at Kawaiahaʻo Church, the courtyard was filled to capacity and a large crowd watched from outside. Because Lunalilo's popularity was so great, and because he became king through a democratic process, he became known as "The People's King."
When Lunalilo assumed the duties of the king, a huge change in the government's policy began to form. His predecessor, Kamehameha V, had spent his reign increasing the powers of his office and trying to restore the absolute monarchy of his grandfather, Kamehameha I. Lunalilo, however, spent his reign trying to make the Hawaiian government more democratic. He started by writing to the legislature, recommending that the constitution be amended. He wanted to undo some changes that his predecessor had made when he enacted the 1864 Constitution.
For example, the Kingdom legislature prior to 1864 met in two houses: The House of Nobles and the House of Representatives. The members of the House of Nobles were appointed by the King and the Representatives were elected by popular vote. Lunalilo served in the House of Nobles from 1863 through 1872. Under King Kamehameha V, the two houses of legislature were combined into one. Lunalilo wished to restore the bicameral legislature. He also wanted to add a provision to the constitution that required the king to include a written explanation to accompany any veto by the king. He wanted cabinet ministers to be heard in the House of Representatives.
The King also wanted to improve Hawaii's economic situation. The Kingdom was in an economic depression, with the whaling industry rapidly declining. Commerce groups asked the king to look at sugar to improve the economy and recommended that a treaty be drawn with the United States to allow Hawaiian sugar to enter the nation tax-free. To make such a treaty, many thought that the Kingdom would have to offer the Pearl Harbor area to the United States in exchange. There was much controversy over this, with both the public and in the legislature. When Lunalilo saw this opposition, he dropped the proposal.
During Lunalilo's reign, a mutiny took place in the small Hawaiian army. Some members of the army revolted against the drillmaster and the adjutant general. The king interviewed the troops involved in the mutiny and he persuaded them to lay down their arms. Following this, the king disbanded the army. From that point on, the Kingdom had no armed forces until King Kalākaua restored them.
King Lunalilo had some bad health habits; for example, he was an alcoholic. Around August 1873, Lunalilo contracted a severe cold which developed into pulmonary tuberculosis. In hopes of regaining his health, he moved to Kailua-Kona. A few months later, on February 3, 1874, he died from tuberculosis at the age of 39, at Haimoeipo, his private residence in Honolulu. Lunalilo had reigned for one year and twenty-five days.
On his deathbed, he requested a burial at Kawaiahaʻo Church on the church's ground. He wanted, he said, to be "entombed among (my) people, rather than the kings and chiefs" at the Royal Mausoleum in Nuʻuanu Valley. This was due to a feud between Lunalilo and the Kamehameha family over his mother Kekāuluohi's exclusion from the list of royalty to be buried there. Thus, on November 23, 1875, his remains were taken from the Mausoleum, where it had rest temporarily awaiting the completion of the Lunalilo Mausoleum, to the completed tomb on the grounds of Kawaiahaʻo Church. His father requested a second funeral and a 21-gun salute from Kalākaua like during his first funeral. Kalākaua granted the second funeral but refused to allow the 21-gun salute. During this procession, eyewitness reports stated that a sudden storm arose, and that twenty-one rapid thunderclaps echoed across Honolulu which came to be known as the "21-gun salute."
Like his predecessor, Lunalilo did not designate an heir to the throne. It was said he had intended for Queen Emma to succeed him, but died before a formal proclamation could be made. The most prevalent explanation of this delay is regarding his democratic principles: he wished to have the people choose their next ruler. However, the constitution of 1864 had charged the legislature, not the people, with the task of electing the next king. In the end, Kalākaua of the House of Kalākaua was voted to succeed Lunalilo as king. The election provoked the Honolulu Courthouse riots in which supporters of Queen Emma targeted legislators who supported Kalākaua; thirteen legislators were injured, with J. W. Lonoaea the only one to die from his injuries.
In his will, Lunalilo set aside lands for the establishment of the Lunalilo Home, the first charitable trust established by a Hawaiian aliʻi trust, to house the poor, destitute, and infirmed people of Hawaiian descent, with preference given to older people.
|Makakaualii||Kapulaoa||Palila Nohomualani||Moana (w)||Keōua|
Father of king Kamehameha I
Father of Kaʻahumanu
Half-brother of Kamehameha I
Kuhina Nui of the Hawaiian Islands
(July 27, 1794 – June 7, 1845)
Founder of the Hawaiian Kingdom
King of the Hawaiian islands
William Charles Lunalilo,
King of the Hawaiian Islands
(January 31, 1835 – February 3, 1874)
| King of Hawaii
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.Bill Aliʻiloa Lincoln
Bill Ali'iloa Lincoln (March 21, 1911 — September 9, 1989) was a Hawaiian hula singer and musician, noted for his soaring falsetto.He recorded under the Bell Records label with his group Bill Ali'iloa Lincoln and His Hawaiians. Their hits included "Ke Ala Nui Liliha", "Ku'u Lei Liliha", "Moku O Keawe", "My Yellow Ginger Lei" (1955) and "Mauna Loa".
John Kameaaloha Almeida was influential in launching Lincoln's career.
In 2008 a notable compilation of hits from the 1930s-1970s was released, Hawaii's Falsetto Poet, a title which referred to his nickname.There is a Bill Lincoln Record Shop in Hawaii on 304 Lewers Street in Honolulu. The club where he performed is named La Hula Rhumba, located at 744 Lunalilo Street, also in the Hawaiian capital.Lincoln received the Hawai'i Academy of Recording Arts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 and was inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame in 2006.Charles Kanaʻina
Charles Kanaʻina (Kanaʻina II c. May 4, 1798 – March 13, 1877), officially referred to as His Honour and His Highness, was an aliʻi (hereditary noble) of the Kingdom of Hawaii and father of William Charles Lunalilo, the 6th monarch of the Kamehameha Dynasty. Kanaʻina was a descendant of several figures from ancient Hawaiian history, including Liloa, Hakau and Umi-a-Liloa of Hawaiʻi Island as well as Piilani of Maui. He served on both the Privy Counsel and in the House of Nobles. He was named after his uncle Kanaʻina, a name that means "The conquering" in the Hawaiian Language. This uncle greeted Captain James Cook in 1778 and confronted the navigator before he was killed.
His wife Miriam Auhea Kekāuluohi was a widow and niece of Kamehameha I. She was also married to Kamehameha II before he converted to Christianity and gave up all but one wife. Kanaʻina and Kekāuluohi lived in a traditional aliʻi style home in a sacred neighborhood in Honolulu called Pohukaina near Kekūanāoʻa, Kaʻahumanu and their offspring. The compound would eventually become the Iolani Palace (the official Royal Residence of the Hawaiian Royal Family) and Palace Walk when Kekūanāoʻa built Hale Aliʻi in the center of the families estates as a gift to his daughter Victoria Kamāmalu. Kanaʻina kept his property at the palace until his death and would be the only original owner to do so while the Palace was in use, living there through five monarchs, from the 1820s to 1877. Kanaʻina's son, William Charles Lunalilo, was named by Kamehameha III as an heir to the throne of the kingdom and ascended in 1873 while his father still lived. Lunalilo died only a year later, three years before his father's death on March 13, 1877. Having not re-written his will, which left everything to his son who had predeceased, Kanaʻina died intestate. Probate hearings proceeded for 5 years. On final adjudication his property was auctioned with the proceeds going to several of Kanaʻina's cousins including Ruth Keelikōlani and Bernice Pauahi Bishop.E Ola Ke Alii Ke Akua
"E Ola Ke Aliʻi Ke Akua", translated as God Save the King, was one of Hawaii's four national anthems. It was composed in 1860 by Prince William Charles Lunalilo, who later became King Lunalilo. Prior to 1860, the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi lacked its own national anthem and had used the British royal anthem God Save The King. A contest was sponsored in 1860 by Kamehameha IV, who wanted a song with Hawaiian lyrics set to the tune of the British anthem. The winning entry was written by the 25-year-old Lunalilo and was reputed to have been written in 20 minutes. Lunalilo was awarded 10 dollars which he later donated to the Queen's Hospital. His composition became Hawaiʻi's first national anthem. It remained Hawaiʻi's national anthem until 1866, when it was replaced by Queen Liliʻuokalani's composition He Mele Lāhui Hawaiʻi .Edwin Oscar Hall
Edwin Oscar Hall (1810–1883) was a businessman who was appointed Minister of Finance by Kamehameha III, serving in that capacity for one year. He was subsequently appointed Minister of the Interior of the Kingdom of Hawaii on January 10, 1873, by King Lunalilo. After Lunalilo's death, he remained in the position until Kalākaua replaced him on February 17, 1874 with Hermann A. Widemann.Eliza Meek
Eliza Meek (March 3, 1832 – February 8, 1888) was the daughter of Captain John Meek, an early American settler of the Kingdom of Hawaii. In her early youth, she was renown for her equestrian skills on her father's land. She later became the royal mistress of King Lunalilo and formed a contentious relationship with Queen Emma of Hawaii and was rumored to be the main obstacle between a possible marriage between the two. Along with a group of other members of the royal court, Eliza accompanied the king to Kailua-Kona during his last illness and remained by Lunalilo's side until his death from tuberculosis on his return to Honolulu on February 3, 1874. Little is known about her later life; Eliza was financially well-off until her death on February 8, 1888.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.House of Keoua
The House of Keōua Nui (Hale O Keōua Nui), or simply House of Keōua, is the extended royal family of Ancient Hawaii from which the reigning family of Kamehameha I and Lunalilo were descended.Interstate H-1
Interstate H-1 (abbreviated H-1) is the longest and busiest Interstate Highway in the US state of Hawaii. The highway is located on the island of O‘ahu. Despite the number, this is an east–west highway; the 'H'-series (for Hawaii) numbering reflects the order in which routes were funded and built. H-1 goes from Route 93 (Farrington Highway) in Kapolei to Route 72 (Kalanianaole Highway) in Kāhala. East of Middle Street in Honolulu (exit 19A), H-1 is also known as the Lunalilo Freeway and is sometimes signed as such at older signs in central Honolulu. West of Middle Street, H-1 is also known as the Queen Liliʻuokalani Freeway; this name is shown on some roadmaps. It is both the southernmost and westernmost signed Interstate Highway in the United States.Kalākaua
Kalākaua (November 16, 1836 – January 20, 1891), born David Laʻamea Kamananakapu Mahinulani Naloiaehuokalani Lumialani Kalākaua and sometimes called The Merrie Monarch, was the last king and penultimate monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. Succeeding Lunalilo, he was elected to the vacant throne of Hawaiʻi against Queen Emma. He reigned from February 12, 1874, until his death in San Francisco, California, on January 20, 1891. Kalākaua had a convivial personality and enjoyed entertaining guests with his singing and ukulele playing. At his coronation and his birthday jubilee, the hula that had been banned from public in the kingdom became a celebration of Hawaiian culture.
During his reign, the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 brought great prosperity to the kingdom. Its renewal continued the prosperity but allowed the United States to have exclusive use of Pearl Harbor. In 1881, he took a trip around the world to encourage the immigration of contract sugar plantation workers. Kalākaua wanted Hawaiians to broaden their education beyond their nation. He instituted a government-financed program to sponsor qualified students to be sent abroad to further their education. Two of Kalākaua's projects, the statue of Kamehameha I and the rebuilding of ʻIolani Palace, were expensive endeavors but are popular tourist attractions today.
Extravagant expenditures and his plans for a Polynesian confederation played into the hands of annexationists who were already working towards a United States takeover of Hawaiʻi. In 1887, he was pressured to sign a new constitution that made the monarchy little more than a figurehead position. He had faith in his sister Liliʻuokalani's abilities to rule as regent when he named her as his heir-apparent following the death of their brother, William Pitt Leleiohoku, in 1877. After his death, she became the last monarch of Hawaiʻi.Kaʻiulani
Victoria Kawēkiu Kaʻiulani Lunalilo Kalaninuiahilapalapa Cleghorn (October 16, 1875 – March 6, 1899) was heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii and held the title of Crown Princess. Kaʻiulani became known throughout the world for her intelligence and determination. After the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893, she visited the United States to help restore the Kingdom; she made many speeches and public appearances denouncing the overthrow of her government and the injustice toward her people. While in Washington, D.C., she paid an informal visit to U.S. President Grover Cleveland and First Lady Frances Folsom Cleveland Preston, but her efforts could not prevent eventual annexation.Lunalilo Mausoleum
The Lunalilo Mausoleum (also called Lunalilo's Tomb) is the final resting place of Hawaii's sixth monarch King Lunalilo and his father Charles Kanaʻina on the ground of the Kawaiahaʻo Church.Lunalilo Party
The Lunalilo Party was a political party in Hawaii, formed to support William Charles Lunalilo in the Royal Election of 1873 in which he won against David Kalākaua. He was known as being liberal, pro-democracy, and pro-American.Makiki
Makiki is an area of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, located northeast of downtown Honolulu, stretching east to west from Punahou Street to Pensacola Street and north to south from Round Top Drive/Makiki Heights Drive to Lunalilo Freeway. Punchbowl, an extinct tuff cone, and Tantalus, overlook the Makiki.Miriam Auhea Kekāuluohi Crowningburg
Miriam Auhea Kekāuluohi Crowningburg Kamai (c. 1839–1899) was a high chiefess during the Kingdom of Hawaii. She was a cousin of King Lunalilo and namesake of his mother Kekāuluohi, however was rarely referred to as Kekāuluohi II.National Party (Hawaii)
Not to be confused with the Hawaiian National Reform Party
The Hawaiian National Party also known as the Young Hawaiian Party, King's Party or Government Party was a political party in Hawaii under King David Kalākaua, formed to support him in the event of a second election held after the death of Lunalilo.
After the death of Lunalilo the Royal Election of 1874 was held. Queen Emma and her party the Queen Emma Party ran against Kalākaua, but he won. Kalākaua was leader of the party. After winning the election, he put members of his party in appointed positions and they were a powerful bloc in the kingdom legislature.
The party emphasized central authority, expanded foreign relations, and a nationalism that stimulated what became known as the First Hawaiian Renaissance. The party was usually associated with government workers.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.Political party strength in Hawaii
The following table indicates the party of elected officials in the U.S. state of Hawaii:
Lieutenant GovernorThe table also indicates the historical party composition in the:
State House of Representatives
State delegation to the U.S. Senate
State delegation to the U.S. House of RepresentativesFor years in which a presidential election was held, the table indicates which party's nominees received the state's electoral votes.
The parties are as follows: Home Rule/Aloha Aina (HR)
National Reform (NR)
Jacksonian Party (J)
No Party (NP)
Parties without Wikipedia articles:
Constitution Party of Hawaii, Free Energy Party of Hawaii, Hawaii Marijuana Party, Hawaii Natural Law Party, America's Socialist Party in Hawaii, Poé Party of Hawaii, Employees Today Party of Hawaii, Hawaii Kingdom Party of Hawaii
Each office is shown as the first year after taking office, except for terms that the successor’s term begins the year after the predecessor’s term or for terms that began and ended within the same year.Royal Guards of Hawaii
The Royal Guard of the Hawaii National Guard is an Air National Guard ceremonial unit which re-enacts the royal bodyguards of the Kingdom of Hawaii in the 19th Century and disbanded when the monarch fell at the end of the 19th Century. The original 50 men unit was reestablished by King Kalakaua to guard the King; previously the guards had been disbanded by Lunalilo after the barrack mutiny of 1873.
The current Royal Guards were created in 1962, a unit is made up of Hawaiian resident Hawaii Air National Guardsmen, who are either full Hawaiian or part-Hawaiian ancestry. The current unit is ceremonial unit only and serves the Governor, for official State functions and other public functions, and descendants of the Hawaiian royalty for ceremonial functions. The latter, however, is not as frequent as the former.
In 1963, the Royal Guards consisted of 14 men and grew to the current strength of 42.
|Ancestors of Lunalilo|