Governors of Hawaii (island)

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For Governors of the U.S. state of Hawaii, see Governors of Hawaii.

The Governor of Hawaiʻi Island (Hawaiian: Kiaʻaina o na Mokupuni o Hawaiʻi) was the royal governor or viceroy of the Island of Hawaiʻi during the Kingdom of Hawaii. The Governor of Hawaii was usually a Hawaiian chief or prince and could even be a woman. There were no restriction of women in government in the House of Nobles or Governship of the islands. The Governor had authority over the island of Hawaii, the biggest island in the kingdom, and it was up to the governor to appoint lieutenant governors to assisted them. The governor had replaced the old alii aimokus of the islands, but sovereignty remained with the king.


In the 1840 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii it states:

There shall be four governors over these Hawaiian Islands - one for Hawaiʻi - one for Maui and the Islands adjacent - one for Oʻahu, and one for Kauaʻi and the adjacent Islands. All the governors, from Hawaiʻi to Kauaʻi shall be subject to the King.

The prerogatives of the governors and their duties, shall be as follows: Each governor shall have the general direction of the several tax gatherers of his island, and shall support them in the execution of all their orders which he considers to have been properly given, but shall pursue a course according to law, and not according to his own private views. He also shall preside over all the judges of his island, and shall see their sentences executed as above. He shall also appoint the judges and give them their certificates of office.

All the governors, from Hawaiʻi to Kauaʻi shall be subject not only to the King, but also to the Premier.

The governor shall be the superior over his particular island or islands. He shall have charge of the munitions of war, under the direction of the King, however, and the Premier. He shall have charge of the forts, the soldiery, the arms and all the implements of war. He shall receive the government dues and shall deliver over the same to the Premier. All important decisions rest with him in times of emergency, unless the King or Premier be present. He shall have charge of all the King's business on the island, the taxation, new improvements to be extended, and plans for the increase of wealth, and all officers shall be subject to him. He shall also have power to decide all questions, and transact all island business which is not by law assigned to others.

When either of the governors shall decease, then all the chiefs shall assemble at such place as the King shall appoint, and shall nominate a successor of the deceased governor, and whosoever they shall nominate and be approved by the King, he shall be the new governor.

List of Governors of Hawaiʻi Island[edit]

# Name Picture Birth Death Assumed Office Left Office Years in office Notes Monarch
Direct Rule by King Kamehameha I.
1 Mokuhia Appointed but assassinated soon after Kamehameha I
2 John Young ʻOlohana
John Young (Hawaii).jpg
circa 1742 December 17, 1835 circa 1802 circa 1812 10 Kamehameha I
Direct Rule by King Kamehameha I, later Queen Kaahumanu and King Kamehameha II.
3 John Adams Kiiapalaoku Kuakini
John Adams Kuakini.jpg
circa 1789 December 9, 1844 circa 1820 April 1, 1831 11 Kamehameha III
Kamehameha II
4 Naihe  ? December 29, 1831 April 1, 1831 December 29, 1831 8 months acting Kamehameha III
5 John Adams Kiiapalaoku Kuakini
John Adams Kuakini.jpg
circa 1789 December 9, 1844 circa 1833? December 9, 1844 11 second time Kamehameha III
6 William Pitt Leleiohoku I March 31, 1821 October 21, 1848 December 9, 1844 circa 1846 2 Kamehameha III
7 George Luther Kapeau  ? October, 1860 circa 1846 circa 1855 9 acting until July 1850
deputy was John Makini Kapena
Kamehameha III
8 Ruth Keʻelikōlani
February 9, 1826 May 24, 1883 January 15, 1855 circa 1874 19 Lt. Governor was Rufus Anderson Lyman Kamehameha IV
Kamehameha V
9 Samuel Kipi May 4, 1825 March 11, 1879 March 2, 1874 March 11, 1879 5 Died in office Kalākaua
10 Miriam Kapili Kekāuluohi Likelike
January 13, 1851 February 2, 1887 March 29, 1879 circa 1880 1 Kalākaua
11 Victoria Kūhiō Kinoiki Kekaulike II
Victoria Kinoiki Kekaulike.jpg
May 12, 1843 January 18, 1884 September 2, 1880 January 8, 1884 4 Kalākaua
12 Virginia Kapoʻoloku Poʻomaikelani
April 7, 1839 October 2, 1895 January 21, 1884 circa 1886 2 Kalākaua
13 Ululani Lewai Baker
Ululani Lewai Baker.jpg
circa 1858 October 5, 1902[1][2][3] October 15, 1886 circa 1888 2 Kalākaua
14 John Tamatoa Baker
John Timoteo Baker (PP-67-8-017).jpg
circa 1852 September 7, 1921 February 8, 1892 February 28, 1893 husband of Governor Ululani Baker Liliuokalani

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Death of Ululani". Evening Bulletin. October 7, 1902. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Died". The Hawaiian Star. October 8, 1902. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Last Governess of Hawaii: Death of Mrs. John T. Baker Announced to Have Taken Place". The Independent. October 8, 1902. Retrieved June 26, 2013.