Jane Loeau

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Jane Loeau
Born (1828-12-05)December 5, 1828
Waimea, Kauai County, Hawaii
Died July 30, 1873(1873-07-30) (aged 44)
Puunui, Honolulu, Hawaii
Spouse John Robert Jasper
(m. ?; div. ?)
Marvin Seger
(m. 1855; div. ?)
S. L. Kaelemakule
(m. 1862)
Issue Paki-liilii Kaelemakule
House Kekaulike
Father Kalaniulumoku
Mother Kuini Liliha

Jane Loeau (December 5, 1828 – July 30, 1873) was a Hawaiian chiefess during the Kingdom of Hawaii who attended Chiefs' Children's School also known as Royal School.

Early life[edit]

She was born December 5, 1828, at Waimea, Kauai, the daughter of High Chief Kalaniulumoku and High Chiefess Kuini Liliha. Her mother was the royal governor of Oahu and was politically powerful during the regency of Kaahumanu. She was descended from Kahekili II, Moi of Maui, and High Chief Hoapili through her mother. She had a half-sister Abigail Maheha who also attended Royal School. She was adopted or hānaied by Ahukai (Kaukualii).[1][2]

She was one of the first to attend Chiefs' Children's School. She was chosen by King Kamehameha III to be eligible to sit on the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Taught by Amos Starr Cooke and his wife, Julliete Montague Cooke, to eat, dress, and speak like European or American children. At the age of eleven, she was the eldest girl at the school. On Sundays it was customary for boys and girls to walk side by side to church; Jane walked beside Moses Kekūāiwa, the eldest boy at the school and brother of Alexander Liholiho and Lot Kapuaiwa, so there may have been hope for them to be married. In her school days, she was a closed friend of Bernice Pauahi,[3]:28 who was the only girl at the school around her age. She and Bernice often played on the piano, teaching the younger girls how to sing and play the piano and among them was the young Lydia Kamakaeha, who would be Hawaii's last queen and a great composer.[4]:581[5]:140


She was known for her good looks and lively ways.[6] When she turned eighteen she left school. On September 2, 1847 she married John Robert Jasper, a young American attorney from Virginia. The marriage had the sanction of the Privy Council.[5]:140 Their wedding party was held at Chiefs' Children School and was a festive event. Seventy-five were present, including King Kamehameha III, Queen Kalama, chiefs, chiefesses, the privy council, ministers of state, consuls, missionaries and other foreigners.[3]:82 Her marriage to John Jasper was not a happy one as noted later on by her school teacher Mrs. Cooke in her diary:

Jane's marriage with Mr. Jasper turns out to be a sad affair. He is, and has been, very intemperate and she has not been any better for it, and now he has forbidden any one trusting her on his account. The probability is that they will be divorced....[7]

Their marriage was one of greatest scandals in Honolulu in those days and was a continental source of gossips.[6] As Mrs. Cooke predicted their marriage eventually ended in divorce,[8] and he died on April 29, 1851.[9] She married for the second time to Marvin Seger on March 15, 1855.[10] Seger was a Honolulu businessman with a shop on Maunakea Street. This second union also ended in divorced and Loeau petitioned to be able to remarry.[11] She remarried on December 6, 1862 to S. L. Kaelemakule in a ceremony officiated by Reverend Artemas Bishop in Honolulu.[12] With her third and last husband, she had a son named Paki-liilii Kaelemakule.[13]

Later life and death[edit]

She later moved to Lahaina but returned to Honolulu where she lived out the rest of her life in relative obscurity.[3]:81 Loeau died in July 30, 1873 at Puunui, Honolulu. While still considered strong of body, she had been feeling chest pains after bathing and the condition resulted in her early death.[2] Her body was laid to rest in the cemetery at Kawaiahaʻo Church.[14]

In a letter to her cousin Peter Kaʻeo, Queen Emma complained about the tastelessness of their former classmate's obituary written by Ka Nūhou, which was only a brief account of her genealogy, and the lack of respect she was given.[6] The Hawaiian press was much more sympathetic. On August 6, 1873, her husband S. L. Kaelemakule wrote an article along with a mele kanaenae (traditional Hawaiian chant) on Ko Hawaii Ponoi in honor of her. In it he described her and their marriage:

We were together for 10 years, 7 months, and 25 days in the covenant of marriage in peace and happiness. We did not leave one another, but it was the angel of heaven who has separated us, and I live with sadness and never-ending regret. She is one of the royal descendants of Hawaii nei, born of alii “Papa.” From ancient times, her rank was of royalty, but she humbled herself, befriended and warmly welcomed newcomers, she was loving, and she was kind in actions and words, and she was a follower of the Lord.[15]


  1. ^ Sheldon Dibble (1843). History of the Sandwich Islands. Lahainaluna: Press of the Mission Seminary. p. 330. 
  2. ^ a b "Ka make ana o Jane Loeau". Ko Hawaii Ponoi. August 6, 1873. Retrieved May 26, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Krout, Mary Hannah (1908). The Memoirs of Hon. Bernice Pauahi Bishop. New York: The Knickerbocker Press. OCLC 4683252. 
  4. ^ Hiram Bingham I (1855) [1848]. A Residence of Twenty-one Years in the Sandwich Islands (Third ed.). H.D. Goodwin. 
  5. ^ a b Samuel T. Armstrong (1848). The Missionary Herald: Volume 44. American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. 
  6. ^ a b c Kaeo, Peter; Queen Emma (1976). Korn, Alfons L., ed. News from Molokai, Letters Between Peter Kaeo & Queen Emma, 1873–1876. Honolulu: The University Press of Hawaii. pp. 44–45. ISBN 978-0-8248-0399-5. 
  7. ^ Amos Starr Cooke, Juliette Montague Cooke (1970) [1937]. Mary Atherton Richards, ed. The Hawaiian Chiefs' Children's School. C. E. Tuttle Company. p. 342. 
  8. ^ Rosemary I. Patterson (2006). Kula Keiki Aliʻi: A Novel Partially Based on the Effect of the Chief's Children's School on Hawaii's Monarchs (2 ed.). Booksurge LLC. p. 57. ISBN 1-4196-4875-6. 
  9. ^ David Lawrence Gregg (1982) [1853-1858]. Pauline King, ed. The Diaries of David Lawrence Gregg: an American Diplomat in Hawaii, 1853-1858. Hawaiian Historical Society. p. 553. 
  10. ^ "Marriages: Oahu (1832-1910)". state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  11. ^ "Divorces: First circuit page 478". state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  12. ^ "Mare". Ka Nupepa Kuokoa. 20 December 1862. Archived from the original on 27 May 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2014. 
  13. ^ Edith K. McKinzie and Ishmael W. Stagner (1983). Hawaiian Genealogies: Extracted from Hawaiian Language Newspapers. 1. University of Hawaii Press. p. 42. ISBN 0-939154-28-5. 
  14. ^ "Nu Hou Kuloko". Ka Nupepa Kuokoa. August 2, 1873. Retrieved May 26, 2014. 
  15. ^ Kaelemakule, S. L. (August 13, 1873). "He Moolelo no Jane Loeau". Ko Hawaii Ponoi. Retrieved May 26, 2014.