David Kamehameha

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David Kamehameha
Prince of Hawaiʻi
Kamehameha Tomb at Mauna Ala by Cliff.jpg
The Kamehameha Tomb at Mauna ʻAla, his name is inscribed on the left side of the monument under "D. Kamehameha".
House House of Kamehameha
Father Kekūanāoʻa
Mother Kīnaʻu
Kaʻahumanu (hānai)
Kekāuluohi (hānai)
Born (1828-05-20)May 20, 1828
Honolulu, Oʻahu
Died December 15, 1835(1835-12-15) (aged 7)
Honolulu, Oʻahu
Burial Mauna ʻAla Royal Mausoleum

David Kamehameha (1828–1835) was a member of the royal family of the Kingdom of Hawaii.


Born May 20, 1828, he was the firstborn and eldest son of Mataio Kekūanāoʻa and Elizabeth Kīnaʻu. He was a grandson of King Kamehameha I through his mother and was named in his grandfather's honor and after the biblical king David, in respect to his parents' conversion to Christianity. He had three brothers, Moses Kekūāiwa (1829–1848), Lot Kapuāiwa (1830–1872), Alexander Liholiho (1834–1863), and a sister Victoria Kamāmalu (1838–1866). He had other siblings, an unnamed, elder half-brother from his mother's previous marriage to Kahalaiʻa Luanuʻu, who died young; and half-sister Ruth Keʻelikōlani (1826–1883), from his father's previous marriage.[1][2][3]:347 Laura Fish Judd, wife of missionary Gerrit P. Judd, described the prince as "a boy fine enough for any mother not of the seed royal to glory in."[4]

In the Hawaiian tradition of hānai, he was given in adoption to his "grandmother", Queen Kaʻahumanu, alongside Keʻelikōlani. David's birth had helped reconcile Kaʻahumanu to his mother's refusal to marry her half-brother, Kamehameha III, in accordance with the wishes of Kamehameha I. His aunt, Kekāuluohi, helped the old Queen take care of him.[3]:280[5] Queen Kaʻahumanu was the most powerful figure in Hawaii at the time, serving as kuhina nui (premier) and regent for Kamehameha III; she often found trouble in dealing with the young king's guardian, Boki, the royal governor of Oahu, who publicly accused her of scheming to place David Kamehameha on the throne, an accusation she denied.[6] When news reached her that Boki was coming to kill her, she said "I do not fear death planned by this son of ours, but he will have [come] himself to kill me and these grandchildren of mine who will stay by me." Luckily, Boki was convinced by David's father, Kekūanāoʻa, to give up his idea of declaring war on the dowager Queen.[3]:290–291 When he was four in 1832, Kaʻahumanu died of intestinal illness at her house in the Mānoa Valley, and afterwards, David was either raised by Kekāuluohi, although Kīnaʻu still had a hand in his upbringing.[4][7][8] Her mother succeeded as kuhina nui in Kaʻahumanu's place and styled herself Kaʻahumanu II.

He died of unknown causes on December 15, 1835 in Honolulu, in his mother's stone house near the present Iolani Palace.[1][4] He was laid to rest on the grounds of ʻIolani Palace (both the first and second palace had yet to be built) and later transported to the Mauna ʻAla Royal Mausoleum.[9][10] In 1836, Kapaʻakea and Keohokālole named their third son David Kalākaua, probably in honor of the premier's dead son.

Family tree[edit]


Kamehameha I
(The Great)
Miriam Auhea Kekāuluohi
Kaʻahumanu III
Elizabeth Kīnaʻu
Kaʻahumanu II
Mataio Kekūanāoʻa
Kalani Pauahi
Victoria Kamāmalu
Kaʻahumanu IV
Alexander Liholiho
Kamehameha IV
Lot Kapuāiwa
Kamehameha V

Ruth Keʻelikōlani


  1. ^ a b Abraham Fornander (1920). "Events in Hawaiian History". In Thomas George Thrum. Fornander Collection of Hawaiian Antiquities and Folk-lore. Bishop Museum Press. p. 317. 
  2. ^ Christopher Buyers. "The Kamehameha Dynasty Genealogy (Page 6)". Royal Ark web site. Retrieved October 28, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Kamakau, Samuel (1992) [1961]. Ruling Chiefs of Hawaii (Revised ed.). Honolulu: Kamehameha Schools Press. ISBN 0-87336-014-1. 
  4. ^ a b c Laura Fish Judd (1880). Honolulu: Sketches of Life. A. D. F. Randolph. pp. 34, 127. 
  5. ^ Katharine Luomala, University of Hawaii (1987). "Reality and Fantasy: The Foster Child in Hawaiian Myths and Customs". Pacific Studies. Brigham Young University Hawaii Campus. pp. 1–45. 
  6. ^ Kathleen Dickenson Mellen (1952). The Magnificent Matriarch: Kaahumanu, Queen of Hawaii. Hastings House. pp. 218–219. 
  7. ^ John Papa Īī, Mary Kawena Pukui, Dorothy B. Barrère (1983). Fragments of Hawaiian History (2 ed.). Bishop Museum Press. p. 158. ISBN 0-910240-31-0. 
  8. ^ Hiram Bingham I (1855) [1848]. A Residence of Twenty-one Years in the Sandwich Islands (Third ed.). H.D. Goodwin. pp. 341–342. 
  9. ^ "Royal Mausoleum". The Hawaiian Gazette. March 10, 1899. Retrieved June 28, 2010. 
  10. ^ Samuel P. King, Randall W. Roth (2006). Broken Trust. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 28–29. ISBN 0-8248-3014-8. 

External links[edit]