Governors of Kauai

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The Governor of Kauaʻi (Hawaiian: Kiaʻaina o Kauaʻi) was the royal governor or viceroy of the island of Kauaʻi and island of Niʻihau during the Kingdom of Hawaii. The Governor of Kauaʻi was usually a Hawaiian chief or prince and could even be a woman. The Governor had authority over the islands of Kauaʻi and Niʻihau, and it was up to the governor to appoint lieutanant governors to assisted them. The governor had replaced the old alii aimokus of the islands, but the sovereignty remained with the king. The first governor was the last king of, Kaumualiʻi and it was not until his death in 1824 that Queen Kaʻahumanu and King Kamehameha II took control from his sons.


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 Governor of Kauaʻi[edit]

# Name Picture Birth Death Assumed Office Left Office Years in office Notes Monarch
Vassal ruled by ex-King Kaumualiʻi of Kauai from 1810 to September 16, 1821.
1 Maihinenui Said to be the sister of Kaumualii Kamehameha II
2 Kahalaiʻa Luanuʻu  ? April 27, 1826 circa 1824 circa 1825 1 Kamehameha II
Kamehameha III
3 Kaikioʻewa circa 1765 circa 1839 circa 1825 April 4 or 10, 1839 14 Kamehameha III
4 Emelia Keaweamahi November 24, 1848 April 4 or 10, 1839 circa 1842 3 Governor Kaikioʻewa's widow Kamehameha III
5 Kekauʻōnohi
Kikuanoki, by H. B. Martin.jpg
circa 1805 June 2, 1851 circa 1842 circa 1845 3 Kamehameha III
6 Paul Kanoa
Charles Furneaux - Paul Kanoa.jpg
circa 1802 November 10, 1885 October 21, 1846 January 4, 1877 31 Kamehameha III
Kamehameha IV
Kamehameha V
7 John Edward Bush
John Edward Bush.jpg
February 15, 1842 June 28, 1906 January 4, 1877 circa 1880 3 Kalākaua
8 Frederick William Kahapula Beckley
Frederick William Beckley (PP-68-1-013).jpg
November 26, 1845 January 7, 1881 August 16, 1880 January 7, 1881 1 Kalākaua
9 Paul Puhiula Kanoa
Paul P. Kanoa in 1886.jpg
June 10, 1832 March 18, 1895 January 12, 1881 circa 1886 5 Governor Kanoa's hānai son Kalākaua
10 Lanihau July 31, 1886 circa 1888 2 Kalākaua
11 William Hyde Rice
William Hyde Rice (vol. 2, 1921).jpg
July 23, 1846 June 15, 1924 February 8, 1892 February 28, 1893 2 Liliuokalani

See also[edit]