A Celebration of Women Writers

"Chapters VI-XV." by Liliuokalani, Queen of Hawaii (1838-1917)
From: Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen (1898) by Liliuokalani, Queen of Hawaii (1838-1917)

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom



EARLY in December, 1872, occurred the death of Prince Lot, as he was often called, even after his accession to the throne under the title of Kamehameha V. On the 10th of that month my husband and I were summoned to the palace to attend the dying monarch; one by one other chiefs of the Hawaiian people, with a few of their trusted retainers, also arrived to be present at the final scene; we spent that night watching in silence near the king's bedside. The disease was pronounced by the medical men to be dropsy on the chest.

At nine o'clock on the day following we were drawn up in a little circle about his bed. Among other considerations forced upon us at this solemn moment was that of a successor to the throne, which, respecting the right of nomination, rested with the king. Those present were his half-sister, the Princess Ruth, Mrs. Pauahi Bishop, Mrs. Fanny Young, the mother of Queen Emma, and myself, all eligible candidates in the female line. At the doors of the apartment were Prince William Lunalilo and my brother, David Kalakaua, also heirs presumptive to the throne, while watching at a respectful distance were retainers of these chiefs. The attorney-general, Hon. Stephen H. Phillips, Hon. P. Nahaolelua, afterwards a member of my brother's cabinet, my husband, General Dominis, Kamakou, and two women in attendance occupied the space between us and the doors. Although nearing the end, the mind of the king was still clear; and his thoughts, like our own, were evidently on the selection of a future ruler for the island kingdom, for, turning to Mrs. Bishop, he asked her to assume the reins of government and become queen at his death. She hesitated a moment, and then quietly inquired why His Majesty did not appoint as his successor his sister, the Princess Ruth Keelikolani, to which question the king replied that the princess would not be capable of undertaking with success the responsibilities of government, to which Mrs. Bishop rejoined, "Oh, but we will all help her to the best of our ability." Having obtained her opinion, he next turned to Nahaolelua, and demanded of him who would be the proper person to be named for the succession. To this the counsellor gave a very truthful, yet scarcely fortunate response, saying, "Any one, may it please Your Majesty, of the chiefs now present." The king again hesitated, and in the intervening time, the messenger whom all must obey was gaining entrance to the death-chamber; from the effort to provide for the future rule of the kingdom he relapsed into unconsciousness, and passed away without having named his successor to the throne.

The foremost candidate for the vacancy was undoubtedly the king's first cousin, Prince William Lunalilo; and in the matter of birth nothing could be said adverse to his claim. His mother was Kekauluohi, niece and step-daughter of Kamehameha the Great; he was popular, and of an amiable, easy disposition. But there were grave reasons why the choice was injudicious, and indeed hardly constitutional; for Prince Willliam's personal habits even at this time were such that he was under the guardianship of Mr. Charles R. Bishop, the banker, his property being out of his own control, while he received from his guardian an allowance of only twenty-five dollars a month as spending money. His selection was chiefly due to the influence of the representatives of the single island of Oahu, but having once been announced, was accepted with the usual cheerfulness and good faith displayed by the Hawaiian people, who have always been loyal subjects to any one of their own acknowledged chiefs.

His cousin, Kamehameha V., had such advisers as Mr. R. C. Wylie, Mr. C. C. Harris, Mr. F. W. Hutchinson, Hon. S. H. Phillips, and others, all men of ability, but not associated with what is known as the missionary party. On the ascension of Lunalilo, this latter party showed a determination to control the king, and by subjecting his weakness to their strength, to influence the fate of the Hawaiian people and the destiny of the Islands. They succeeded in securing the following cabinet: Hon. Charles R. Bishop (Foreign Affairs), E. O. Hall (Interior), R. Stirling (Finance), A. F. Judd (Attorney-General); two out of these four were from families who landed upon our shores with the single intention to teach our people the religion of Christ. The policy of the new cabinet was distinctively American, in opposition to that which may properly be called Hawaiian; the latter looking to the prosperity and progress of the nation as an independent sovereignty, the former seeking to render the Islands a mere dependency, either openly or under sufficient disguise, on the government of the United States. Then, as at the present day, the entering wedge was the concession of a harbor of refuge or repair at Pearl River. The proposition created great excitement, and was vehemently opposed by those of native birth; for patriotism, which with us means the love of the very soil on which our ancestors have lived and died, forbade us to view with equanimity the sight of any foreign flag, not excepting the one for which we have always had the greatest respect, floating as a matter of right over any part of our land. There is a gentleman still living at Honolulu whose boast is that he was the father of the project to annex Hawaii to the American Union. It may, therefore, be perfectly permissible to mention here that the Pearl Harbor scheme of 1873 is declared with good reason to have originated with him, – Dr. John S. McGrew, – and was then openly advocated by him as a preliminary to the obliteration of the native government by the annexation of the whole group to the United States. But in the midst of the discord produced by the agitation, the king's health began to fail rapidly; and at his express wish the project of the missionary party at that time to enter into closer relations with their own country was laid aside until a more convenient season. A change was recommended to Lunalilo; and arrangements were made for a trip to the largest island, Hawaii, noted with us for its high mountains and the favorable influences of its climate on the health.

By the advice of Dr. Trousseau, the king's physician, it was decided to go to Kailua; and thither went the royal party. Besides Dr. Trousseau, the king's chamerlain, Mr. Charles H. Judd accompanied us; then there were Kanaina, the king's father, Queen Emma, Princess Likelike, Mrs. Pauahi Bishop, Kapiolani, afterwards queen by virtue of marriage with my brother Leleiohoku, my younger brother, some others perhaps – and myself. The Hawaiian Band of native musicians also were with us; and every attempt was made to divert the mind of the king from his malady, and insure a favorable change. During our stay we were often visited by emissaries from Honolulu, urging upon the king the appointment of a successor, or praying him to return to the capital for the consideration of the subject, to all of which suggestions he appeared to be at least indifferent, if not absolutely opposed. In fact, he said openly enough that he himself owed his scepter to the people, and he saw no reason why the people should not elect his successor. I suppose it is no secret, but really a matter of history, that the person most ambitious to succeed him in the rule of the Hawaiian nation was Emma, the widow of Alexander Liholiho, Kamehameha IV. She and a number of her retainers were with us during our entire stay, although she had taken advantage of residence there to make some excursions in the neighborhood. Amongst these I especially recall a trip she made to the mountain, Hualalai, to visit the celebrated temple of Ahuaumi. This place once devoted to our ancient worship is a wonderful pile of rock, built by one of the kings of past centuries, and its construction was comparatively a short work, and yet each single stone must have been raised by a multitude of strong hands and muscular arms, passed from one set of laborers to another until it found its location in the structure; and the whole building thus completed was consecrated by Umi to the gods, and used for purposes then deemed most sacred. Visitors usually make this one of the celebrities to be seen if they are near enough to its location; but I regret to say there must have been those in the vicinity who had no respect for sacred antiquities, for a number of these stones, so laboriously erected, have been torn down, and from them a goat-pen has been built.

It was not long, however, that any of our party could indulge in recreation, for the rapid failure of the health of the king rendered it necessary for some one of us to be always watching with him. When it came to be the turn of Queen Emma, she urged him in plain language to nominate her to assume the reins of government at his decease; but his determination appeared to be unchanged to leave the selection to the people. Even when I was by his bedside, doing my duty as one of those chosen by birth to stand near during his dying hours, Queen Emma did not cease from her persistency, but again broached the subject of succession, and spoke to the king of the great importance to his people of naming an heir to the throne. The indelicacy of this persuasion from a Hawaiian point of view will be understood by those who have studied our national customs. He made her no reply, but turned from her as he lay on his bed. It was considered best that he should return to Honolulu, to which reluctantly he consented; so, accompanied by the chiefs and their attendants, we returned with him home. As long as he retained consciousness he insisted that the selection of a successor should be left to the people, and even his ministers were powerless to change his determination; and with a full intention of allowing the succession to be settled by ballot rather than by his constitutional right of appointment, he passed away, apparently without pain. Indeed, so peaceful was his end that the appearance of death began long before its reality, and the marshal of the realm, supposing the king to be dead, undertook the draping of the palace; scarcely had the long festoons of crape been hung upon the outer walls when it was discovered that the king was living. It was not thought best to remove these emblems of mourning, for their use might be appropriate at any moment; so an attempt was made to cover or conceal them and they were really in position about two day before the final scene.

Although Queen Emma was not named by the king as his successor, it was found that he had liberally remembered her in his will. A most important proviso of that instrument was the fund left for the founding of the Lunalilo Home for aged and indigent Hawaiians. This institution admits those of both sexes, the men being in one department and the women in another. It is well managed, and its inmates are happy and contented, so much so, indeed, that they often conduct themselves as if youth and hope were still their portion, and from the sympathy of daily companionship they wish to enter the closer tie of matrimony. This they are permitted to do without severing their connection with the institution, and there is a separate department provided for those who have thus agreed to finish their journey of life together.




THE contest for the succession which resulted in the elevation of my family – the Keaweaheulu line – to royal honors is of course a matter of history. Since the king had refused to nominate his successor, the election was with the legislature. It must not be forgotten, however, that the unwritten law of Hawaii Nei required that the greatest chief, or the one having the most direct claim to the throne, must rule. The legislature could not choose from the people at large, but was confined to a decision between rival claimants having an equal or nearly equal relation in the chiefhood to the throne.

Queen Emma's claim was not derived through her own family, but as the widow of Liholiho, one of the Kamehamehas. The great-grandfather of Kalakaua (the other claimant), and Kamehameha I. were own cousins; and, as I have already noted, it was to this anscestor and to other chiefs of our family that the late dynasty had owed its succession, and the uniting of the kingdoms of Hawaii under one government.

Now, it is not denied that Queen Emma had a rightful candidacy. It has already been seen that the king hesitated, and finally failed to decide between her rights and those of our family to succession. It was not the duty of the legislature to determine the question.

From the fact that Queen Emma was a resident of Honolulu, the capital, and the immediate scene of the election, has arisen the impression that she was the real choice of the Hawaiian people. She naturally had about her a considerable personal following, scheming for office, and a large body of retainers, all within the city and environs; and hence could there make a formidable showing. She had also, of course, partisans here and there throughout the Islands. Her canvass was, however, limited almost exclusively to intrigue within the city, while Kalakaua and his friends sought the suffrages of the country people and their representatives. Each party was vigorous in its own way, and there was great excitement. It cannot be said that either party felt much assurance as to the result, until the vote was actually declared. But Queen Emma herself seems never to have doubted that she must be the chosen sovereign; and it was policy for her advisers to flatter her expectation, upon which their own fortunes hung. For this she should rather have our sympathy than our reprobation. Her active candidacy was legitimate, and compatible with public spirit. But for her subsequent course there is little justification. Her disappointment assumes too personal a manifestation to be excused in the representative of royal responsibilities. It is therefore because of its political consequence that I deem it proper to record here what will doubtless seem to the public, from any other point of view, a mere detail of feminine pettiness.

It is a fact that Queen Emma ardently desired and hoped to succeed King Lunalilo, and that during the time that he lay unconscious, with life barely perceptible to those of us who stood nearest him, she was busily whispering among her friends the details of her plans. I was presently informed that she purposed to supersede General Dominis by Mr. F. S. Pratt as governor of Oahu, and that various other government positions had been promised. But if our party attended with its eyes to the intrigue, it at least maintained silence until the king died, and his remains were removed to Iolani Palace, and laid in state in the Red Chamber on the royal feather robe of Princess Nahienaena, the sister of Kamehameha III.

The legislature assembled in the old court-house, now the merchandise warerooms of Hackfeld & Co., the shipping merchants. At the first and only ballot it was found that David Kalakaua was elected, receiving thirty-nine votes to the six votes cast for the rival candidate, Queen Emma.

The vote, no doubt a surprise to Honolulu, being declared to the people who surrounded the legislative halls, was received with acclamation, mingled with shouts of disapproval. Naturally, the partisians of Queen Emma, being residents of Honolulu, and some of them inspired with liquor, were easily incited to riotous action. They were re-enforced by her own dependants, who came to their assistance from her residence. This was between three and four o'clock of the afternoon of the 12th of February, 1874.

An attack was made by the mob on the legislature; furniture was demolished; valuable books, papers, and documents which belonged to the court or to the attorney-general's office were scattered abroad or thrown from the windows. Clubs were freely used on such unlucky members of the assembly as could be found within the walls, and some were thrown through the open windows by the maddened crowd. Many men were sent to the hospital for treatment of their broken heads or bruised bodies. But this was not an expression of the Hawaiian people; it was merely the madness of a mob incited by disappointed partisans whom the representatives of the people had rebuked.

In the mean time, the newly elected King Kalakaua, the Princess Likelike, and myself were quietly awaiting returns in the house which had been the residence of Queen Emma while her husband was the reigning monarch. At this date she resided in the house of her mother, Mrs. Fanny Rooke, and we were the only occupants of the mansion of Liholiho. There was complete tranquility also at Iolani Palace, where the late king's remains still lay in state, a few soldiers only being on guard about the chamber in which rested all that was mortal of the deceased monarch.

Presently a lady, Miss Hannah Smithies, came into our presence, and abruptly told my brother that he was the king of the Hawaiian people. He could not believe the matter already settled, and leaving us, walked out a little distance with an idea of meeting some one to confirm or deny the report; he soon returned, closely followed by Mr. Aholo and Mr. C. H. Judd, who not only brought him the same news, but informed him of the disturbances at the court-house, from which they said they had but just escaped with their lives. These two friends were followed by Hon. Charles R. Bishop, Minister of Foreign Affairs under the late king, who warmly congratulated my brother on his ascension to the throne, and confirmed the statement that a most serious riot was in progress in the business part of the city. No dependence could be placed on the police nor on the Hawaiian Guards; these had proved unfaithful to their duties to preserve order, and had in some cases joined the partisans of Queen Emma in their riotous actions. So Mr. Bishop asked the king's advice as to whether it would not be wisest to appeal at once to the foreign vessels of war, of which there were three in the harbor, that they might land their forces and restore tranquility to the city.

In view of the fact that a riot was in progress, that the halls of justice were in possession of a mob rendered irresponsible by the use of liquor, and that night was approaching, when incendiarism might be feared, my brother, the king elect, my husband, the late Governor Dominis, and Hon. Charles R. Bishop, Minister of Foreign Affairs, united in a request to Hon. Henry A. Pierce, the American Minister, that armed men might be landed from the American ships Tuscarora and Portsmouth, to sustain the government in its determination to preserve order, and protect the lives and property of all residents of the city of Honolulu. A force was also landed from the British man-of-war Tenedos, whose commander, Captain Ray, being absent on shore, the responsibility was assumed by his executive officer, Lieutenant Bromley. Commander Belknap and Commander Skerrett of the United States forces took possession of the square on which the court-house is built; and on seeing this, the mob melted silently and entirely away. The armed marines subsequently, at the request of the Hawaiian authorities, guarded the treasury, arsenal, jail, and station-house. The British marines were marched to the residence of Queen Emma, and, after dispersing the rioters assembled there, they occupied the barracks and guarded the palace itself. There was no permanent damage done by the disturbance. The Hawaiian people are excitable, but not given to bloodshed or malignant destruction of property.

I may here remark that the action of United States Minister Henry A. Pierce has been quoted as furnishing a precendent for that of Minister John J. Stevens. Nothing could be more incorrect. When the town was in danger, and the lives and property of all classes in peril, even then, until written request was made by the king, by the governor of Oahu, and by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, no interference was made by foreign war-ships. When armed forces were landed it was to sustain and protect the constitutional government at a mere momentary emergency from a disloyal mob. The constitutional government of 1893 and the governor of Oahu not only made no request to Minister Stevens, but they absolutely protested against his actions, as an unwarranted interposition of foreign forces in a dispute which had arisen between the queen and a few foreign residents. It was on the request of these latter that Minister Steven's acts were based, at a time when, save for differences of political opinion, the city was perfectly tranquil. Even had there been a disturbance, no one but the government could have authorized the employment of alien troops.

Governor Nahaolelua of Maui, one of her trusted adherents, had left the house early to carry to Queen Emma the news of Kalakaua's election. When she learned the result from the lips of one of her own friends, she could no longer doubt its truth, though it was unexpected and unacceptable. On the day following the riot she set for Mr. Nahaolelua, and demanded of him if it were not possible to ask for another vote in the legislature on the question of the succession. What might have been the result had he consented to this, cannot be told; for while the matter was in discussion at Queen Emma's residence, there broke in upon their deliberations the booming of the salute of twenty-one guns, indicated that my brother Kalakaua had taken the oath of office. This would have made any further opposition nothing less than treason, and the matter was consequently dropped.

Queen Emma never recovered from her great disappointment, nor could she reconcile herself to the fact that our family had been chosen as the royal line to succeed that of the Kamehamehas. All those arrested for disturbing the peace the day of the election were her own retainers. Two days after the trouble she came to the palace, and used her influence with King Kalakaua to have them released. As the king went to the audience chamber to receive her, he spoke to the queen and myself, asking us to be present and assist at the reception with himself; but before we could comply with his wishes she had seen him, made her request, and then withdrew hastily from the rooms without awaiting the entrance of Queen Kapiolani or myself. Why she should cherish such bitterness of spirit against the queen is past my comprehension. Queen Kapiolani had been aunt to Queen Emma, having been the wife of her uncle Namakeha, and had nursed the young prince, the son of Alexander Liholiho, although her rank not only equalled, but was superior to, that of Queen Emma, the child's mother.

The sweet disposition and amiable temper of Queen Kapiolani never allowed her to resent in the least the queen dowager's bitterness, nor would she permit herself to utter one word of reproach against the mother of the child she had herself so dearly loved. In this respect my brother's wife showed her truly Christian character, and there were occasions when the lack of courtesy on the part of the Queen Emma became something very like insult. For instance, it is the custom with the members of the highest families, the chiefs of the Hawaiian people, at such time as it is known that any one of their rank is ill, to go the house of the chief so indisposed, and remain until recovery is assured, or to be present at the deathbed, if such should be the result. On these occasions, if Queen Emma met Queen Kapiolani, who, of course, from this date became, as my brother's wife, the lady of the highest rank in our nation, she would studiously avoid recognizing her. Many and many a time did Kalakaua make the effort to bring about a reconciliation between the two ladies; but although Queen Kapiolani would have assented to anything consistent with the dignity of womanhood, Queen Emma would not make the least concession. Even in the very residence of my brother, visiting the palace at the invitation of the king, if the queen were present she avoided recognizing her, and would at times rise and leave when Queen Kapiolani entered, saluting no one but the king as she retired; although this was an outrageous impertinence to the queen under her own roof, it was through Christian charity ignored by its recipient. Notwithstanding this persistent anger, my brother-in-law Hon. A. S. Cleghorn, prevailed on his wife, the Princess Likelike, to continue the acquaintance. I confess that my own patience with such displays was not equal to a like forbearance; and, as I would not stoop to court her favor, nor could accept, without proper and dignified notice, her overbearing demeanor towards myself, Queen Emma never forgave me my own rank and position in the family which was chosen to reign over the Hawaiian people. It did not trouble me at all, but I simply allowed her to remain in the position in which she chose to place herself.


Kalakaua never forgot to invite Queen Emma to all the entertainments given at the palace, and on state occasions he strove to do her the highest honor. At the opening or closing of the legislature a seat was reserved for her appropriate to her rank as queen dowager, but she never showed the king in any way that she appreciated his courtesy.



MY brother's reign began on Feb. 12, 1874; and on the fourteenth of the same month he appointed, by the consent of the nobles under the twenty-second article of the constitution of 1864, our younger brother, William Pitt Leleiokoku, his successor to the throne. The prince became regent during the first absence of Kalakaua from his kingdom, on a tour abroad of which I shall soon speak. He was a very popular young man, about twenty years of age, having been born on the 10th of January, 1854. But the amiable prince was not to live to ascend the throne, or even for any extended enjoyment of those social pleasures in which he bore so prominent a part. He died on the 10th of April, 1877, having been in the position of heir apparent for about three years. He had the same love of music, the like passion for poetry and song, which have been so great a pleasure to me in my own life, as well as to our brother, King Kalakaua. He had a taste for social pleasures, and enjoyed the gay and festive element of life. During the absence of the king, there were three separate clubs or musical circles engaged in friendly rivalry to outdo each other in poetry and song. These were the friends and associates of the prince regent, those of the Princess Likelike, and my own friends and admirers. Our poems and musical compositions were repeated from one to another, were sung by our friends in the sweetest rivalry, and their respective merits extolled: but candor compels me to acknowledge that those of Prince Leleiohoku were really in advance of those of his two sisters, although perhaps this was due to the fact that the singing-club of the regent was far superior to any that we could organize; it consisted in a large degree of the very purest and sweetest male voices to be found amongst the native Hawaiians. They were all fine singers, and these songs, in which our musical circles then excelled, are to be heard amongst our people to the present day. And yet it still remains true that no other composer but myself has ever reduced them to writing. This may seem strange to musical people of other nations, because the beauty and harmony of the Hawaiian music in general and of these songs in particular have been so generally recognized. But as soon as a popular air originated, it was passed along from its composer to one of his most intimate friends; he in turn sang it to another, and thus its circulation increased day by day. It was not long before every one had the same knowledge of the new melody as happens in communities where a new and favorite air is introduced by an opera company. With other nations music is perpetuated by note and line, with us it is not. The ancient bards of the Hawaiian people thus gave to history their poems or chants; and the custom is no different to this day, and serves to show the great fondess and aptness of our nation to poetry and song.

I will now return to the date of the departure of my brother, King Kalakaua, to the United States. Yielding to the wishes of those residents of his domains who were from American or missionary stock, my brother had organized the negotiation of a treaty of closer alliance or reciprocity with the United States; and even before leaving home he had commissioned Judge Allen and Minister Carter to submit such a treaty to the American government. To advance the interests of this movement by his personal presence, he accepted passage for himself and his suite on the ship-of-war Benicia, and sailed for San Francisco in the autumn of 1874. My husband, the late General J. O. Dominis, and the United States Minister Henry A. Pierce accompanied him on his travels. One of the officers of this steamship was Lieutenant Whiting, who received permission to accompany King Kalakaua to Washington. He is now a commander, and has since married Miss Afong, one of a large family of children, all girls, whose mother is one of our people, but whose father was a rich Chinese resident, now returned to his native land. From the moment of landing my brother made friends, and was treated with the kindest consideration by the American people of all classes. There was a very strong feeling of friendship between the king and the late General U. S. Grant. It amounted almost to recognized fraternity.

The result of this visit is well known. It secured that for which the planters had gained the endorsement of the king; it resulted in the reciprocity treaty of Jan. 30, 1875. So this, one of the first official acts of King Kalakaua, was very satisfactory to the party in power; but even then there were a few who protested against the treaty, as an act which would put in peril the independence of our nation. The impressions of the people are sometimes founded upon truth; and events have since proved that such was the case here, – that it was the minority which was right in its judgment of the consequences of the Hawaiian concession of 1875 to the power of the foreigner.

On Oct. 16, 1876, at the house on Emma Street, was born to Princess Miriam Likelike (Mrs. A. S. Cleghorn) the child now known to the world as the Princess Kaiulani. She was at once recognized as the hope of the Hawaiian people, as the only direct heir by birth to the throne.

Kaiulani was only six months old when my brother, Prince William Leleiohoku died; and it was evident that the vacancy must be instantly filled. The Princess Ruth, daughter of Pauahi and Kekuanaoa, who had adopted Leleiohoku, had asked of the king if she herself could not be proclaimed heir apparent; and this suggestion was placed before the king's counselors at a cabinet meeting, but it was objected that, if her petition was granted, then Mrs. Pauahi Bishop would be the next heir to the throne, as they were first cousins. At noon of the tenth day of April, 1877, the booming of the cannon was heard which announced that I was heir apparent to the throne of Hawaii.



FROM this moment dates my official title of Liliuokalani, that being the name under which I was formally proclaimed princess and heir apparent to the throne of my ancestors. Now that this important matter had been decided by those whom the constitution invests with that prerogative, it became proper and necessary for me to make a tour of the islands to meet the people, that all classes, rich and poor, planter or fisherman, might have an opportunity to become somewhat acquainted with the one who some day should be called to hold the highest executive office. The first journey undertaken was that of encircling the island on which the capital city of Honolulu is situated; we therefore started from our home to make the trip around the coast-line of Oahu, a tour of nearly one hundred and fifty miles, following the roads which wind along on the brink of the ocean. This we proposed to do on horseback; although my carriage, where I could rest if required, accompanied the party. Our cavalcade was a large one; my immediate companions being my husband, General J. O Dominis, governor of the island, and my sister, the Princess Likelike, wife of Hon. A. S. Cleghorn, who was attended by her personal suite. But large numbers are no discouragement to Hawaiian hospitality, especially under the additional inspiration of the love and loyalty to their chiefs; so the people opened their doors with an "Aloha nui loa" to us in words and acts, and wherever we went a grand reception awaited us on arrival. Our route was first to the eastward, past Diamond Head, Koko Head to the point of Makapur, then turning to the northward and around to Waimanalo, where we found ourselves the guests of Ah Kua, a very wealthy Chinaman, who owned a large plantation there devoted to the cultivation of rice. Intelligence of our approach must have travelled faster than we had ridden; for as soon as our cavalcade drew near to this estate we were greeted with a discharge of firecrackers and bombs, let off to do honor to the presence of the heir to the throne and her companions. There was no cessation of the salutes during the feast of good things which had been spread by Ah Kau for our refreshment, to which and to the professions of loyalty on the part of our host, we did ample justice. From thence we proceeded to Maunawili, the beautiful residence of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Boyd, whose doors were already opened for our reception; and here we spent the night and remained an entire day, enjoying the entertainment prepared for us, which can be described in no better terms than by saying that we received a royal welcome indeed. Our progress continued on the day following through Kaneohe, our noonday rest being at the house of Judge Pii, where a generous lunch awaited us on the moment of our arrival. The people of that entire district had congregated to do us honor, and showed us in every way that there was no doubt or disloyalty in their hearts. Yet, while still at Kaneohe, a letter was received by the Princess Likelike from her husband, in which that gentleman advised his wife to return to Honolulu, and stated it was his opinion that if it was the purpose of my tour to meet the people and cultivate their love, the time spent on the route would be wasted because they were all zealous partisans of Queen Emma. My sister acquainted me with these views of her husband, and asked my advice as to her course. I did not wish to influence her in any way, and therefore left it to her option to continue the journey with me, or to take Mr. Cleghorn's advice. But we had already advanced far enough on our pathway amongst the people to prove that her husband had made a great mistake, for no heir to the throne could have been more royally received by all than I had been. The princess had not failed to notice this, and as we proceeded it was still more apparent; the most zealous of Queen Emma's people, now that the question had been officially decided, hastened to do us honor. So, after due consideration, Princess Likelike decided that she would not return. A decision she had no after occasion to regret, and was one which made me very glad; for she was welcomed and showered with marks of favor by the very adherents of Queen Emma, of whose disappointment she had been warned by her husband. It would be tiresome to others, perhaps, should I go on and describe with minute particulars the steps of our party as they passed around the island. From place to place the reception was the same, cheerful, hearty, and enthusiastic, – Kahuku, Waialua, Makahao, Waianae, and so on to our latest stopping-place, which was with Mr. James Campbell and his sweet wife at Honouliuli. He had the advantage of a little more time in his preparations for our reception than was possible to some of our other places of rest, and had spared no pains to give us an ovation in every way worthy of himself and his amiable companion. The result was a manifestation of kind feelings and generous hospitality such as, even at this distant day, cannot, no, nor ever will be, effaced from my memory. From thence we started for Honolulu; and as it was noised abroad that the party would enter the city, there was scarcely space for our cavalcade to pass between the throngs of people which lined our way. From Leleo to Alakea Street it was a mass of moving heads, through which only slowly could our carriages, horses, and outriders pass. It was understood and accepted as a victorious procession; and out of sympathy for the disappointed dowager queen, our people refrained from noisy demonstrations and loud cheering, and instead the men removed their hats, and the women saluted as we passed.

I have been thus careful in reviewing this my first trip as heir to the throne, both because it is a pleasure to recall the memory of that epoch in my life, and further that I may speak with pride of the continued affection, of the unshaken love, of these my people. In some nations the leaders, the chief rulers, have gone forth through districts conquered by the sword and compelled the people to show their subjugation. Our progress from beginning to end was a triumphal march, and might well be described as that awarded to victors; but there were no dying nor wounded mortals in our track. We had vanquished the hearts of the people, they showed to us their love, they welcomed me as Hawaiians always have the ruling chief; and to this day, without the slightest appeal on my part, they have shown that their love and loyalty to our family in general, and to myself in particular, have known no change nor diminution, even under the circumstances, now so different from those of twenty years ago.



IN the early part of the year 1878 I was not in the enjoyment of my usual good health; and my physician Dr. Tisdale of Oakland Cal., advised a trip to that coast, trusting that the change might be of benefit to me. At this date steam communication was not as frequent nor as convenient as has since been established; yet we had very comfortable and pleasant accommodations on the steamer St. Paul, on which we departed. I was accompanied by my husband, General Dominis; and amongst the agreeable company on board were Mr. and Mrs. Wm. F. Allen, Mr. Nott, who married Miss Mary Andrews, and Mr. C. O. Berger, who married a daughter of Judge Weideman. Besides these, I recall the names of Mrs. J. I . Dowsett and her son, J. I. Dowsett, both deceased and Mrs. C. B. Wilson. The trip was made in nine days; and at its termination I obtained my first view of the shores of that great country, the United States, of which land I had heard almost without cessation from earliest childhood. If first impressions be accepted as auspicious, surely I found nothing of which I could complain on this visit; for many prominent citizens of the great city of the Pacific coast came to do us honor, or entertained us during our stay. Amongst these were my husband's old friend and playmate of earlier days, Governor Pacheco; also Mr. Henry Bishop, brother of Mr. Charles R. Bishop, who married my sister Bernice; Mr. H. W. Severance, at that time in the consular service of the Hawaiian government at San Francisco; Mr. R. S. Floyd and wife, the gentleman being connected with the great observatory established through the munificence of the late James Lick; Mr. and Mrs. Toler of Oakland; Mrs. Haalelea and Mrs. Coney (at this time residing at Oakland with the children of Mrs. Coney); and many others, who united to give us a delightful introduction from the islands of the tropics into that land with whose history we have been so intimately connected. The first welcome of strange shores is not often forgotten by the traveller, however numerous may be the subsequent experiences; so these flattering attentions were most sincerely appreciated then, and have never ceased to awaken emotions of gratitude in my heart.

While we did not travel extensively through the State, yet our visit to Sacramento must not be passed by without a word; for many were the visitors who called to welcome us while staying at the Golden Eagle Hotel. Amongst these I recall the name of Mr. H. S. Crocker, a prominent citizen; then there was Mrs. Charles Crocker, whose home we visited. She occupied a most elegant mansion; and in its pleasant surroundings, and the generous hospitality with which we found ourselves entertained, the welcome there was not unlike that I have noticed in my account of our tour around our island home. Where all are so perfect, it seems scarcely possible to distinguish one feature above another; yet her art-gallery made a great impression on me at the time, and I can see again, as I recall the past, the many beautiful paintings by prominent artists with which it was adorned. They were works of genius indeed, so true to nature and so lifelike; but they were far too numerous for me to try at this day to recall them by name. The least detail of her grand and beautiful residence was nothing less than perfection. The floors were paved with artistic designs in tiles of while, of blue, and other colors. There were apartments devoted to several branches of natural history, and the cabinets of stuffed and mounted birds, as well as of quadrupeds and animals in great variety, interested and amused me as if I had been a child taken to a museum of curiosities. The whole collection must have been of great value, and it has given me pleasure to learn that since my visit it has been turned over to the State of California for the delight and information of future generations.

From thence we returned to San Francisco, and after a month's absence prepared for our homeward voyage, which was made on the steamer Wilmington, Captain Fuller, now harbor-master by commission of the present rulers of the port of Honolulu. The ocean air, charming company, that cordial welcome of friends which so quickly dispels the sense of loneliness one feels when a stranger in a strange land, all had combined to prove the wisdom of my physician's advice; and I returned in most excellent health and my accustomed good spirits.

During the summer of that year, 1878, my husband and I visited the island of Maui, and while General Dominis was for a brief time recalled to Oahu, my brother, His Majesty Kalakaua, came to Maui especially to have an interview with me. He was always kind enough to seek my opinion on questions of public interest, but this trip was undertaken for the special object of consulting me about some appointments to official positions then under discussion. It was at Wailuku, where my husband had left me at the residence of Hon. H. Kuihalani, that the king arrived with a few attendants. I recognized his great consideration for me in this act, and his deference to my opinion; for had he so wished, these appointments could have been made without the least consultation and the names of his selections would have been known to me only through the regular channels of information to all, and the king would have been spared a trip from his capital to another island. He spoke to me about the appointment of Mr. Charles H. Judd, whom he proposed to nominate to the office of chamberlain, and further to that of special agent for the management of the crown lands. Both of these offices were held by my husband at this time. That of chamberlain was only temporary, but the other had been his official position since the days of Kamehameha V.; and under his administration of the leases and revenues of these lands, both during the reign of that monarch and ever since, all things had been considered very satisfactory. The king's proposition to withdraw both of these appointments from General Dominis in order to confer them upon another caused me much anxiety, and I must confess no little indignation. But I restrained these feelings, and replied to the king with proper meekness, telling him as my sovereign that whatever seemed best to him ought to be done, and that it was clearly his privilege to act upon his own views of what was right in the matter. He then asked me in plainer terms if I had no opinion to offer to him, to which I replied that I had; and then went on to inform him that this Charles H. Judd, whom he was now to bring into favor by public office, and by placing him nearer to his person, had worked against him, and had opposed his nomination to the throne of the sovereigns of the Hawaiian Islands. Mr. Judd had not been content with silent opposition, but had gone over to Koolau and openly canvassed that district in the interest of Queen Emma. When he heard that my brother had received the majority vote of the legislature, he then with soft words returned to try the arts which we call "to malimali," to ingratiate himself into the royal favor. My honest opinion having been demanded of me by the king, it was given in the above terms; and I added, "I see that Mr. Judd has been successful; he schemed for favors at your hands; he has obtained what he coveted, and procured of Your Majesty the displacement of my husband, although General Dominis has been faithful to every trust, a constant and true friend of yours for years, and a loyal follower to this very day of his removal." My husband's absence gave me the right and the courage to speak thus plainly to the king. "Well," he replied, "say that I have made my appointments, what is there remaining that I can do for you, my sister?" To this I answered that I would be pleased if he would appoint Governor Dominis to be governor of Kauai and of Maui in addition to the office he held, the governorship of Oahu. The king most cheerfully consented, and I wrote at once to my husband telling him just what had been said and done; my letter not only met his approval, but he showed it to Hon. C. C. Harris, who commended me in the highest terms for the stand I had taken in the discussion of this delicate and difficult matter.

It was with good reason that I had selected the office of governor of Maui as a token of the king's appreciation of the constant loyalty of my husband. Independent of his fitness for the position by reason of his long experience on the island of Oahu, it was well known that the ruling governor, Moehonua, could not live for any length of time; he was dropsical, and the disease was approaching its final stage; so I could indicate my preferences without feeling that I was asking that any person should be displaced to please me. The very next mail from the island brought the intelligence of the governor's death. He was a most estimable man, far superior to many of a corresponding rank, which was not of the highest; yet he was a good specimen of the Hawaiian race, of noble birth and patriotic sentiments. On the confirmation of the appointment to General Dominis, he appointed Hon. Mr. Aholo as his secretary and lieutenant-governor of the island, to which we immediately proposed to make a visit; for we had heard that the people were extremely contented and even enthusiastically pleased with my husband's appointment. The experience of this visit would seem to most abundantly prove the wisdom of the king's choice of General Dominis. Our people feel that in honoring their chiefs, in respecting those who are legitimately their rulers, they are doing not only a duty, but a pleasure to themselves. It was only needful to let it be known that the governor of their island accompanied by the heir to the throne was to be with them, to give the signal for the opening of every door, and the most cordial greeting by every wayside. Consequently the unremitting attentions shown to us by all classes of the people, the many tokens of kindness received by us on that journey, are still and always will be gratefully cherished in my heart. It may be interesting to some to read the names of those who at that time, nearly twenty years ago, were residents of this island. There were the Hon. and Mrs. Aholo, Mr. and Mrs. Hayselden, Mr. A. Fornander, Mr. and Mrs. Nahaolelua, Hon. Adam Kakau, Mr. and Mrs. Kuihalani, Mr. and Mrs. John Richardson, Mr. and Mrs. Everett, Mr. W. H. Corwell and his family to two generations, Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Daniels, Mr. and Mrs. James Makee, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Turton, Mr. and Mrs. Unna, and representatives of the distinctively missionary families of the Alexanders and the Baileys.

To go over in detail the steps of our tour would be to repeat that which has been written of my trip around the island of Oahu; so I will only say that the above families, and many others not mentioned by name, absolutely vied with each other in making us welcome, and providing a generous hospitality for our entertainment. The mere mention of these names recalls to me with sadly interesting vividness the past in my native land, when those of Hawaiian and of foreign birth were united in a common love of country, and only too eager to compete with each other for the privilege of showing to us their loyalty and love.



IN the year 1880 Miss Helen Aldrich of Berkeley, Cal., made me a visit. She was the daughter of Mr. W. A. Aldrich, a banker, who had married a first cousin of my husband, Elizabeth, the child of Mr. R. W. Holt. Shortly after her arrival we took a trip to the largest of our islands, Hawaii, on which is situated that volcano called with truth one of the greatest natural wonders of the modern world. I was attended by my retainers, and after a short and pleasant voyage we arrived at the port and chief city, Hilo. As though to illuminate in honor of my visit, on the night preceding our ascent of the mountain a bright glow was seen on the top of Mokuaweoweo. This was the portent which preceded that great flow of lava which soon commenced from Mauna Loa, and took its course down the sides of that mountain towards the city of Hilo. We were thus witnesses from the very beginning of one of the most extensive and long-continued eruptions which has ever been recorded in history, for it was protracted over a period of eleven months. Early on the morning following we started on horseback on our journey to the crater of Kilauea, where we arrived about five o'clock the same evening. This is not, as some strangers suppose, a mountain by itself, totally distinct from the general volcanic system of Mauna Loa. That word in our language signifies the great long mountain, and the nature of the elevation well deserves the term; for in height, 13,700 feet, it is exceeded by few in the world, while in extent it includes about one-third of our largest island. The eruptions are not usually from the summit, but generally through fissures in its sides. One of these is the crater lake of Kilauea, a region of perpetual fire, of an activity more or less pronounced, yet never entirely extinct, and situated some twenty miles or so east from the summit, at an elevation of about four thousand feet. It is one of the few, if not the only one, of the volcanoes in the world which can be visited at the periods of its greatest displays without the least danger to the observer; because it is always possible to watch its bubbling fires from a higher point than their source. It is not the lava from the burning lake which makes its way down the mountain, but that from other places where the concealed fires of Mauna Loa burst forth.

There is now a modern hotel at a spot commanding a good view of the points of interest; but at the date of this visit we were received and made very comfortable in a large grass house with thatched roof, under which some forty persons could have been accommodated. Here we were most hospitably received, our tired horses were cared for and sheltered near to our resting-place, and we did ample justice to the evening meal which had been provided for our company. After our refreshment, darkness quickly succeeded the setting of the sun (there being no long twilight, as in more northern climates); so we spent the evening in watching the fiery glow in the crater, the brilliance of which seemed to be spreading along the level floor of the pit. From a flooring of light and heat the surface changed at times to billows of actual fire; then jets burst up or fountains played high in air, standing by themselves a moment like burning columns; then steam intervened to stifle the flames. Mist following this, the crater was for a while hidden from our sight, and nature's gorgeous fireworks suspended. At one of these intervals we retired for the night; but at two o'clock we were all awakened by our host to see an exhibition such as has seldom been furnished for the inspection of any of the many tourists who visit that region. This was a most brilliant illumination at the summit of Mauna Loa itself; and far from lessening, its manifestation seemed to render more vivid, the fires of the crater of Kilauea. The mists had cleared away in that direction, and we thus had the good fortune to watch on one and the same occasion the outbursts of light at the summit and the jets of dancing flame in the sides. It was a night never to be forgotten by any of our party, and well worth the time and labor of the journey, were there no more to be enjoyed. That which was nearest to us, the rising, boiling sheet of liquid fire, seemed to show no abatement by reason of the vent at the mountain-top, but in its agitations disclosed each moment sights more and more wonderful to our gaze. The next day was spent by our party in descending the crater to the very limits of its seething fires, but I remained at the hotel. They were all provided with some offerings to Pele, the ancient goddess of fire, reverenced by the Hawaiian people. This custom is almost universal, even to the present day. Those born in foreign lands, tourists who scarcely know our ancient history, generally take with them to the brink of the lake some coin or other trinket which, for good luck, as the saying is, they cast into the lava. Our people, the native Hawaiians, have no money to throw away on such souvenirs of the past; but they carry wreaths of the pandanus flower, leis, made like those seen aboard the steamers at the departure of friends, necklaces, and garlands of nature's ornaments, which are tossed by them into the angry waves of the basin. As I have mentioned this incident, my thoughts have gone back to that paragraph wherein I wrote of the overthrow of the superstitious fears of the fire-goddess through the brave acts of my aunt, Queen Kapiolani, when she defied the power of the elements at this very spot. So, to prevent misunderstanding now, perhaps it would be well to notice that this propitiation of the volcano's wrath is now but a harmless sport, not by any means an act of worship, very much like the custom of hurling old shoes at the bride's carriage, or sending off the newly wedded couple with showers of rice; usages which form a pleasant diversion in the most highly cultivated and educated communities. After a day spent in watching the activity of the crater, the party returned to our hotel, weary, hungry, and ready to enjoy the refreshment and repose of which they were in need. One night more was spent at the volcano house of the olden time, and then we all started on our ride down the mountain for the city of Hilo. The display had not diminished in extent nor in its strange, wild beauty. The lake in the crater was still boiling, and over Mokuaweoweo the location of the opening was easily distinguished by the brilliant glow of light. But turning our backs on these natural wonders, nature was perhaps more lovely in the charms by which she lined our pathway towards the sea; for this road is justly considered to be one of the most beautiful exhibitions of the scenery of the tropics in Hawaii, and our cavalcade passed between lines of verdure or flowers enchanting to the eye and fragrant to the sense; there were the bright blossoms of the lehua, both yellow and red varieties, and other plants or trees shading and pleasing each of us as we advanced. Although we did not arrive at our destination until about five that afternoon, and were quite fatigued with our long ride, yet it had been an excursion of great enjoyment, and I am sure no one of the company was other than satisfied with it.

The great increase in the lava flow which subsequently took place had not at this time threatened the peace of the city; so our return to our friends was made the signal for a round of social pleasures. A grand entertainment in honor of the visit of the heir to the throne was given by Mr. and Mrs. Luther Severance; and it afforded me much satisfaction to show to my California cousin some examples of the generous style of the hospitality of those days, in which those of foreign or of native birth vied with each other in a friendly rivalry of good things. Judge F. S. Lyman was then lieutenant-governor of the island, and with his amiable wife showed us all the attention in his power; then there were Judge Akao and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Governor Kipi and their agreeable family. The family of Mr. D. H. Hitchcock, especially his wife and daughters, were also most kind and attentive to me and those who accompanied me. If, in these reminiscences, I should fail to name those who have made such occasions pleasant, it must be accepted simply as an unintentional omission, the names I have given being but examples of that universal kindness received by me from all. Just as we were leaving our kind entertainers, Sir Thomas Hesketh arrived in the port on his own yacht for a visit to the island; he was accompanied by Hon. Samuel Parker, whom he had invited to be his guest during this excursion. The regular steamer of passenger service between Hilo and Honolulu received me and my company for our return to Oahu, where we arrived in safety; and not long after my cousin, Miss Aldrich, took her departure for her home, with, I am sure, some very pleasant memories of the natural beauties and social pleasures of life on the Hawaiian Islands.




IN the early part of the month of January, 1881, a message through the telephone reached me at my private residence at Washington Place, that my presence was required immediately at Iolani Palace. I answered the summons at once; but on my arrival the king was not to be found at the palace, but I eventually discovered him in a long building adjacent thereto, in which were kept some of his favorite boats. He was selecting some oars for the boat named the Kanoelani, and while still engaged on this work he communicated to me his wishes and instructions. He notified me that he expected soon to sail on his trip around the world, and that he desired me to assume the control of the government, and the charge of public affairs as regent, during his absence. He then went on to inform me that he had already held a meeting of the cabinet council on this matter, at which it had been proposed by the members that there should be a council of regency, of which I should be the head; but that the action of the council should be required for the full exercise of authority. This is an important page in Hawaiian history, because it shows how persistently, even at that date, the "missionary party" was at work to undermine at every point the authority of the constitutional rulers of the Hawaiian people. As the king had sent for me with the express purpose of asking my opinion, I gave it in terms too plain to admit of the least misunderstanding between us. I told him that I did not admit either the necessity or the wisdom of any such organization as that of a council of regency. I then proceeded to explain my reasons for this opinion, saying that if there was a council of regency, there would be no need for any regent. In case such a body were to be commissioned to govern the nation, who, then, would be the chief executive? in fact, why was any such individual required at all? To these considerations the king gave careful attention, and appeared to see that my views of the situation were founded upon reason and justice. The result of this informal conference was, that before his departure I was appointed sole regent, with the functions of the reigning sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands during his absence. On the 20th of January, 1881, accompanied by Mr. C. H. Judd and by Mr. W. M. Armstrong, both from missionary families, amidst the salutes of the shipping and the booming of cannon, His Majesty Kalakaua took his departure, being the first of the sovereigns of the nation to undertake a tour of the globe.

In nothing has my brother been more grossly misjudged and even slandered by those whose interests he had at heart than in this journey. Probably he did have some love for travel, some sense of pleasure in visiting foreign lands – who amongst us had not felt the desire to see the great and beautiful world which God made, and on which man has built so many magnificent cities and works of art? Why should he not have felt this interest? But the master motive for this enterprise was the good of the people of the Hawaiian Islands over whom he had been called to rule. I have already spoken of his visit to Washington for the purpose of assisting at the ratification of the reciprocity treaty. That negotiation successfully carried through by his commissioners created a new want in his domains. The sugar-fields demanded laborers, and at this time it was a problem to decide from whence these could be obtained. Soon after landing at San Francisco, the king first visited Japan; from there he proceeded to China; with the statesmen of both these nations, including the celebrated Li Hung Chang, my brother conferred upon questions of international interest, but more especially in regard to the emigration of their subjects from their territory to the sugar plantations of our islands. While he was thus working for the prosperity of the residents of his kingdom, and for an immigration which should result in the wealth of those of foreign ancestry or affiliations, they were accusing him of a reckless spending of money, and of the waste of time and revenues in foreign travel. From China the king went on to Siam, where he was most royally entertained by the ruling monarch; then to India, whose climate, resembling ours, caused him to be in favor of initiating an emigration thence to our cane-fields. Nothing, however, resulted from his examination of the chance of employing the coolies of India; but China and Japan have since then sent many laborers to our plantations. We know now what imported or contract labor means. It must be remembered that at this date the experiment was in its infancy, and the question was to find some class of laborers who would not suffer in our tropical climate at field labor. The conclusion cannot be avoided, that if my brother had indeed sought his own pleasure rather than the good of all residents under our flag, his family would be in their hereditary rights to this day. By his liberality to those of American birth he inaugurated the treaty of reciprocity; by his investigations and solution of the problem of labor he gave them the opportunity to raise sugar at an enormous profit; and he thus devoted the earlier part of his reign to the aggrandizement of the very persons, who, as soon as they had become rich and powerful, forgot his generosity, and plotted a subversion of his authority, and an overthrow of the constitution under which the kingdom had been happily governed for nearly a quarter of a century. This was accomplished by them in 1887, as will be seen when I reach that date in my recollections. After his studies of the labor question in the East, my brother made a tour of the chief countries of civilized Europe, returning by way of Washington, and in every place receiving from all classes many marks of personal attention or national courtesy. He arrived home on the 29th of October, 1881; and this was naturally followed by my immediate resignation of the office of chief ruler, which I had held for nine months and as many days.



BUT there are a few matters of interest during this time of which I must now speak. King Kalakaua had been gone but a few weeks when the startling news was in circulation that the small-pox had broken out in the city. It was supposed to have been introduced from China; but our past experience with the disease had shown us how fatal it might become to the Hawaiian people, and whatever the inconveniences it became necessary at all hazards to prevent its spread. Summoning the cabinet, I had all arrangements perfected to stay the progress of the epidemic. Communication between the different islands of the group was stopped. Vessels were absolutely prohibited from taking passengers. A strict quarantine of all persons infected or under suspicion was maintained; and so scrupulously and energetically were these regulations enforced, that when they were relaxed and quarantine raised, it was found that no case had been reported outside the place of its first appearance. But it was a serious thing to confine its ravages to the city of Honolulu, in which there were some eight hundred cases and about three hundred deaths.

After the privileges of travel were restored to all alike, I had a desire to visit Hilo again; and so, with a large company of retainers, as was fitting to my regency, I started on this excursion. Mrs. Pauahi Bishop, the Princess Ruth, Mrs. Haalelea, and their immediate attendants, had preceded me; and I invited the Royal Hawaiian Band of native musicians to form part of my retinue, not for my own pleasure especially, although music forms to me a great part of the enjoyment of life, but because I wished to bring with me, to my friends and my people on that island, a delight which I knew to them was quite rare, and in which I was quite sure all would find much satisfaction.

It was in the month of August, six months after I had watched the commencement of that lava flow which is now celebrated in the history of that region of wonders. I found Mauna Loa was still alarmingly active, and that three streams of molten fire were creeping down its sides, so that the good people of Hilo were living in daily apprehension that the fiery element would reach their doors, their houses be consumed, and their lives, perhaps, imperilled by the rivers of flame. It was a grand and beautiful sight, in spite of the suggestion of danger, as you rode along the borders of the lava stream, which had chosen the channels of the watercourses or filled the basins where these had formerly spread themselves out into pools of refreshing fluid; their origin, even when rolling along, or falling as a great cascade into some hollow, which was soon filled up with the melted elements of the earth's centre, making one level plain where had been channels or pits in the earth's surface.

In some directions it seemed to be miles in width and of a length up the mountain-side to the summit of which the eye could not reach; while at night the surface of moving fire resembled a plain on which was situated a large city in conflagration. It was a display of fireworks of nature's manufacture such as has been seldom seen in the world, and which never could be seen excepting at the base of Mauna Loa. There was intense excitement at Hilo, for it was not known how soon the on-coming rivers might reach the city; yet there was a fascination in the display, or in the danger, which drew thousands out to watch the streams of moving flame. Some of the spectators were doubtless attracted by motives of curiosity, others were prompted by their fears; but of one thing there could be no manner of doubt, all were vividly, even if painfully, interested. There have always been features peculiar to the flow of lava from this region which can scarcely be explained by natural causes; while this our grand volcano is capable of inspiring fears which cannot be concealed, yet it is no less a fact that it has never been destructive to human life, nor made havoc with property. At this very time, while the people of Hilo were flocking to the sides of the immense river of molten lava, as it steamed down the mountain-sides on its way to the sea, or watching from the banks bordering the seething mass the course of its flow, it would creep up sidewise on the rise of a hill, with no apparent cause for the action; or nearing a stone wall it would surge upward, filling in solidly the topmost crevices at an elevation of perhaps three feet from the soil, instead of running downward and to the lower level, or pouring itself into the hollows and lowest places. The residents of Hilo, who lived in their handsome houses constructed of wood and so easily inflammable, on finding that time did not abate the extent or volume of the flow, lived in terror of losing life and property, dreading at any moment to see the fiery river turn its course towards their dwellings. Consequently the churches were opened, meetings were held, and earnest prayers offered to the Almighty Ruler of the elements that he would spare the people from the great misfortune which threatened to overtake them. To one of these prayer-meetings I received a special invitation, and attended with my suite. In the course of about a week thereafter, there was no doubt in the attitude of the volcano; its flow had been stayed, and the volume of the lava was diminishing although for another week sparks of light or streaks of flame were here and there to be seen, but the great danger was over. Naturally, devout men remembered the days of fervent prayer, and said that the God to whom they had cried at the moment of peril had listened to the supplications of his people, and delivered them from threatened evil.

On the next arrival of the steamer Kinau from Honolulu, my sister, the Princess Likelike, joined me, and by the same steamer we with our entire retinues took departure, intending to visit Kau, where the people, in anticipation of my visit had made great preparations for a reception; but on arrival of the steamer at Kaalualu, Mr. George Beckley, the purser of the steamer, requested me earnestly not to land, assigning as his reason that the stay of the steamer there would be very short, not over a few minutes, and that she could not be longer detained. To my knowledge the people had already arranged for my promised visit with lavish hospitality, so I did not like to disappoint them, as there was to be a grand luau. I therefore requested the Princess Likelike to go ashore and represent me on the occasion, which she kindly did; but the assembled multitudes were excessively disappointed that I could not be present, and expressed to my sister their sentiments of keen and sincere regret. Leaving that landing-place, our steamer proceeded to Hookena, where corresponding tokens of welcome awaited our arrival, and where the people had come together to show to me their friendship. Here I was met with the same objections on the part of the purser, who would have prevented a landing if he had been able to do so; but the crowds on shore were determined not to be disappointed, and as for myself, I shared their intention that the grand preparations made for my entertainment should not be in vain. Besides, there were special causes for my resolution that this district should not be passed by. It was at that time distinctively Hawaiian. The pure native race had maintained its position there better than in most localities. There had been no introduction of the Chinese amongst the people, nor had any other race of foreigners come to live near their homes. The Hawaiian families had married with Hawaiians, settling side by side with those of their own blood. Thus it was that only on Hawaii, and in no other part of the group of islands, could there be found a district so thickly populated, where the population was so strictly of my own people, as this to which I was now a visitor. This made it peculiarly interesting to me; and my reception, and enjoyment of the welcome of the inhabitants, were all that one could have desired. From thence my progress continued, first to Keauhou, then Kailua, and last of all Kawaihae; of these, and in truth of all the districts at which we had touched in our progress from Hilo, it may well be said that each had vied with the other in friendly rivalry, each had striven to outdo its neighbor in the grandeur of its preparations made for my entertainment. It was not the flattery of words; their loyalty and love were expressed by everything which was done to render my stay attractive, each person assisted at the welcome, and the parting was a sorrow to all my faithful friends. Amongst the larger landholders who did all possible to make my stay on Hawaii pleasant was Hon. Samuel Parker, who with his family most cordially received and hospitably entertained us at his seaside residence there. He spared no pains in his efforts to furnish my table with all which the most fastidious taste could desire; there were fish from the sea in great variety and of delicious freshness, many of the other delicacies, such as "opihi" for example, being especially Hawaiian in use or origin. All these were furnished from the vast estates on the island owned by Mr. Parker or subject to his control, and time would fail to speak of the many other attentions or numberless kindnesses shown by him. Mr. Parker became my Minister of Foreign Affairs under the latest cabinet commissioned by the constitutional monarchy of the Hawaiian Islands. After a most delightful journey, and many happy days spent on the island of Hawaii, I returned to Oahu, glad, as most tourists are, to find myself once more at my own home, and to settle down to my domestic life at Honolulu.

Another necessary excursion, however, had already been planned for me; namely, a trip around the island of Oahu, at the very outset of which there arrived news of an event which stirred the world with horror; this was the assassination of President Garfield. The stores were at once draped in mourning, meetings expressive of sympathy for the family of the deceased president, and of regret at his untimely end (which we shared with the American people), were called at once by those of his nation, but were attended by both Hawaiians and foreigners. To one of these, which was to be held in the large Congregational Church on Fort Street, on the evening of the 6th of October, I think, I was especially invited to be present; but, as before the sad intelligence of his death was received all arrangements had been made for my tour, I did not feel that these could well be changed, and I therefore sent a note of regret, expressing to those in charge the assurance of my sympathy with the object for which the meeting had been called.



THEN leaving Honolulu attended by some few of my retainers, I went first to the residence of Mr. J. A. Cummins, a gentleman who subsequently undertook a diplomatic errand for me to the city of Washington, and who in 1895 was suspected and even punished by the present rulers of Hawaii for participation in the attempt to smuggle arms for possible use by the people desiring a return to the monarchical form of government.

At that time the possibility that the monarchical form of government could be overthrown would have been incredible, and my visit to Waimanalo was simply the occasion of a renewal of that social welcome and hearty entertainment such as had attended me everywhere since my nomination to the Hawaiian throne. In fact, I might claim with reason that the future hopes of the Hawaiian people were with my party. I was accompanied by my sister, the Princess Likelike, who had with her the little child-princess Kaiulani and that infant's governess, Miss Barnes; Mr. J. H. Boyd was of the number of our attendants. After a generous lunch at Waimanalo, on the estate of Mr. Cummins, we left for Maunavili, the country-place of Mr. and Mrs. Boyd, in whose hospitable mansion we passed the night, and left our gentle hostess regretting that our stay had been so short; but events proved that my tour was not to be extended far beyond her residence, for we had proceeded on our way to Kaneohe but a few steps, when a singular accident happened to my carriage. My horses were driven by Mr. Joseph Heleluhe, and in some unaccountable manner the reins of one of the horses became entangled in the bit of another. We were descending the steep side of a hill, and the result was that the driver had no longer control of the animals. Consequently the carriage came down the hill with such velocity that I was thrown violently out, and landed between two rocks; but fortunately there was a bit of marshy ground where I struck. It was a matter of immediate wonder that my life had been spared. Certainly no one could have been nearer to instant death. This had been witnessed from the homestead of our hosts; and Mr. Cummins, arriving on the scene almost immediately, sent for a stretcher, which was sent at once from the residence of Mrs. Boyd. On this I was placed, and the litter raised upon the shoulders of four men; thus was I carried all the way to Waimanalo. Mr. Cummins, having preceded the sad procession, met us at the foot of the hill with a wagon. It was a sorrowful breaking-up of what had promised to be a delightful journey. Messages were immediately sent to all the points on the island I had intended to visit, informing the people of the accident which had befallen me, and notifying them that it would be useless to go on with preparations for my reception, as it was the intention of those who had charge to send me at once to Honolulu. So, under the kind care of Mr. Cummins and Mrs. Kaae, the wagon was driven to the wharf, where the little steamer Waimanalo, belonging to Mr. Cummins, awaited me. All that tenderest care and kindest heart could suggest was done to make me comfortable by my kind hosts; and the cavalcade of retainers, with which I had come out so gayly, followed in demure silence. Despatches had also been sent to Honolulu; and my husband, Governor Dominis, and the princess's husband, Hon. A. S. Cleghorn, were acquainted with the particulars of the accident. Mr. Cummins, Mr. Kaae, and Mr. Frank Harvey, assisted by other friends, saw that I was put on board the steamer with as little pain or inconvenience as possible. My sister and little niece were by my side; and all the company were safely accommodated on board the Waimanalo, which at about three o'clock that afternoon steamed out to sea. After a smooth and uneventful run we drew near the wharf at the foot of Fort Street, in the port of Honolulu. It was nine o'clock at night when the little craft got alongside the wharf, where crowds of people awaited her arrival. The night was fine and clear; the moon was shining brightly. As the boat was fast, I turned my eyes toward the shore, and saw a line of soldiers drawn up to receive me. When the litter was taken from the deck and placed in a wagon, I discovered that these men were to draw my carriage to the place prepared for my reception. When all had been made ready, the word was given to proceed, and the procession started. To me it was a solemn moment, one which can never be forgotten, – the shops and houses of the merchants still draped with crape in memory of the fallen president at Washington, the crowds of native Hawaiian people which lined the way, their respectful silence broken only by their smothered sobs or subdued weeping, and with it all the steady, measured tread of the soldiers who were drawing the wagon on which I had been laid by my devoted friends. Although I had suffered much, was still in pain, and not out of danger, yet in it all there was the sweet assurance for which much can be borne, – the blessed consciousness that all this manifestation was because my people loved me. My husband was walking by the side of my wagon, and the tramp of the soldiers was growing shorter as we neared our home, while the throng of sympathetic followers who had attended our march grew less only when we reached our very doorway. My return thus to my people and my family from the very border of death left an impression upon me which is too sacred for any description.

On arrival I asked to be placed in one of the cottages on our grounds, preferring to occupy this small, one-story house rather than to be carried upstairs to the more commodious apartments of the great house known as Washington Place. My wishes were complied with at once by my kind husband and faithful attendants.

The nature of my injuries was such that a long rest was required. At first it was thought my back was broken by my fall; for when I endeavored to rise after recovering from the first shock, it was impossible to do so, nor could I change in any way my position until assisted by my followers, Mr. Heleluhe being one of the first to offer me aid. Even then, when depending upon their strength of arm as they tried to raise me, the least exertion or motion gave me the greatest pain. My physician, Dr. Webb, arrived at the cottage at Washington Place about the same time as myself, although he had been a long distance in search of his patient. The moment he received news of the accident he had ridden to Waimanalo, a distance of twelve miles by the shortest route, and not finding me had at once returned. He made a careful examination of my condition, and was relieved to find that the injuries to my back were no more serious than a very severe wrench and strain. He was a homoeopathist, and left some medicines to be administered, directions to be followed by my nurses; and watches were to be regularly set, and relieved by night and by day. At the end of three weeks I was not yet able to raise myself, or even sit up in my bed; so finally it was the opinion of my medical advisers that I should make a great effort and persevere in spite of the pain, lest I should become bedridden. These instructions were followed out with a result which proved the wisdom of the course recommended; for I was soon able to ride about in my buggy, still weak, but improving slowly.

But the process of recovery was very gradual, and only successful by the most constant care and great patience of my attendants. These were divided into watches of three hours each, and three persons were always at my bedside. To one of these was assigned the duty of waving the kahili, or long-plumed staff of state, the insignia of royalty; to another that of using the fan for my comfort, both of these being women; while to the third, a male attendant, belonged the duty of doing any necessary errands, and of making my female attendants comfortable in whatever way their needs might require. Whenever I was lifted, or even turned, it was done by the strong yet tender hands of six men, three on each side. Had these been nurses trained by years of experience to manage the sick they could not have proceeded with more skill and gentleness; so quietly and gradually was my position changed that I could scarcely perceive the movements, which were such as to give me the least pain. It was the same when it was judged best for me to leave my bed. By the strong arms of my native attendants I was lifted in a sheet, then easily laid on an extended but movable chair, which was raised to an erect posture without the least strain on my muscular system. Even when I began to move about the room my dependence on my faithful retainers did not cease, and with one on each side it was almost impossible for me to fall. From the reclining-chair I was transferred without movement or strain to my carriage, and taken from it in the same manner, thus securing change and fresh air with no exertion to myself. My position was not without its amusing side, even at the most critical moments; for when I was supposed to be asleep or unconscious, conversations or little actions would take place in the sickroom which were perfectly understood by me, but of which I was supposed by my attendants to have no knowledge whatever. When scarcely able to sit up I was consulted about the mottoes with which it was the intention to crown the triumphal arches throughout the city at the approaching return of my brother, the king, from his tour around the world; and it was a great satisfaction to me to receive such marks of deference while I lay a helpless invalid.

All classes of adherents had been represented in the watchers about my bedside. There were Colonel C. P. Iukea, Colonel J. H. Boyd, Major Anton Rosa, Governor John T. Baker, Mr. C. B. Wilson, Captain Leleo, Mr. Joseph Heleluhe, Mr. Isaac Kaiama. These and many others had their watches in the invalid chamber, while Hon. Samuel Parker and Mr. Charles Williams were present from time to time. Most of these gentlemen were accompanied by their wives as assistants in their kind offices. Princess Ruth and my sister, the Princess Likelike, were daily visitors.




IT was during this period of convalescence that my regency was brought to a close. With that enthusiasm always shown by the Hawaiian people in doing honor to their sovereigns, the grandest preparations were made throughout the islands to welcome the arrival of the king. In Honolulu the joy was general, and the foreign element was well represented in the festivities. The streets were given up to the people, and were crowned with triumphal arches. Before the day of his expected landing at the wharf, the most elaborate preparations had been made to give him a royal greeting. The mottoes, in the selection of which numberless parties had consulted me, were displayed in every part of the city, and there was an especial arch designed for each district of the island of Oahu.

The long-expected day came; and there was a long cavalcade of horsemen in attendance on the king, who rode ahead, accompanied by the gentlemen of his personal staff. Outriders and aids were seen on every side. A week was devoted to the festivities of the reception. Iolani Palace was not available; for the old building had been pulled down, and the new one was not then completed, although in process of erection. So the king with his queen, Kapiolani, occupied a smaller building which is named Kinauhale. It was in this building that during my brother's absence I had conferred the order of Kalakaua on two persons distinguished in the Roman Catholic Mission, both of them now having passed to their reward, – Hermann, the Bishop of Olba, and Father Damien, the leper priest.

When the festivities of my brother's return were over, I moved to my Waikiki residence, accompanied by some of my retainers or attendants, amongst whom I might mention Mrs. Kapena and Miss Sheldon. In the course of a very few weeks, and under the beneficent influences of this change, I had recovered my strength, and was able to walk without assistance. Hamohamo is justly considered to be the most life-giving and healthy district in the whole extent of the island of Oahu; there is something unexplainable and peculiar in the atmosphere at that place, which seldom fails to bring back the glow of health to the patient, no matter from what disease suffering. In order to encourage the people who might be semi-invalids to resort there, I have always left open my estates on that shore, so that the air and the sea-bathing, the latter most essential in our climate, might be enjoyed without any charge by all who choose to avail themselves of the privilege. I have also caused trees to be set out, both those whose fruit might be of value and those of use for shade alone, so that the coast might become attractive to chance visitors. When it is the malolo season, the fishermen living in my neighborhood will go to my beach to launch their canoes, and push off two or three miles into the incoming surf to catch the flying-fish; it is a very exciting sport, and at the same time it is a means of livelihood to them. Nor are they the only people benefited by this free fishing-ground. Most of their catch is taken to the markets of the city. Some part is brought in, and landed on the beach at "The Queen's Retreat," where whole families of visitors are often to be found passing the day in rest or pleasure. These have brought with them an abundance of our national dish, the wholesome poi and perhaps have added bread and butter and wine, and stores of other nice things; to these they may now, if they wish, join the sweet and toothsome flying-fish. Oftentimes they make a further purchase of the latter to carry home for the family supper. Political events have brought me leisure, and from the view through the porticos of my pretty seaside cottage, called Kealohilani, I have derived much amusement, as well as pleasure: for as the sun shines on the evil and the good, and the rain falls on the just and the unjust, I have not felt called upon to limit the enjoyment of my beach and shade-trees to any party in politics; and my observation convinces me that those who are most opposed to my system of government have not the least diffidence about passing happy hours on domains which are certainly my private property. To watch the families of the Royalist and the Provisionalist mingling together, sharing each the other's lunch-baskets, and spending the day in social pleasures at the "Queen's Retreat," one would never suspect that racial or political jealousy had any place in the breasts of the participants. While in exile it has ever been a pleasant thought to me that my people, in spite of differences of opinion, are enjoying together the free use of my seashore home.

The king having resumed the executive office, affairs of state were no longer committed to my charge. But I was in a position to observe that our industries were moving along on the high road to prosperity, and that with a fair degree of harmony between the king and his ministers, our government was administered smoothly, and in a manner conducive to the welfare of all his subjects, whether native or foreign born. But there are a few events of the days of my regency which, ere I pass on to another era, may be worthy of mention.

During the king's absence, and while Mr. H. A. P. Carter was Minister of the Interior, he notified me one day that there was a death-warrant awaiting my signature. This was the first time it had been forcibly brought to my notice that the executive held the power of life and death, and it seemed to me a most terrible thing that I should be obliged to sign an order which should deprive one of my fellow-mortals of life. I simply could not do it, and so said to Mr. Carter. He regarded it as only an official act; but I asked the cabinet if they could not devise some other method of punishing the culprit in order to spare me the pain of signing the death-warrant. Minister Carter tried as best he could to convince me that in no event would I be held responsible, that any mistake or culpability would rest on the shoulders of the cabinet, and I need not feel in the least degree responsible. But he failed to convince me. I told him that I would take the matter into consideration, and notify him if, after thinking it over, I could conform to his views. Two weeks, perhaps three, went by, and I had never felt that I would in this case attend to my official duty. Finally Minister Carter again pressed the subject upon my attention; reminding me of the fact that the matter had been considered and judged, that the cause of justice was delayed, the sentence unexecuted, and that it was absolutely my duty to sign the warrant, which I finally did, but with the greatest reluctance.

In the month of July, while the king was absent, Chief Justice C.C. Harris, a man who in many ways had been prominent, died; there were some elements of peculiar sadness in the death of Judge Harris. His wife, a daughter of a former chief justice, Allen, was at the time under restraint in another room of the same house, being hopelessly insane. His death made it necessary for me to appoint some person in his place. The first associate was at that time Mr. Albert F. Judd, and the second Mr. L. McCully. At one of the public functions in the government building at which I was expected to preside, there occurred an incident which will suggest the eagerness for distinction and precedence manifested at the time by prominent representatives of the "Reform" party. At such state occasions there were seats assigned to the ladies of the cabinet at the right of the king's dais. The wives of ministers had the front row of seats. (In times of more ancient date the first seats of honor were always taken by the native Hawaiian chieftesses; but by "Reform" regulations, especially in the reign of King Kalakaua, his family were the only natives of rank present, so it became a very easy matter to provide for them.) Directly behind the seats of the cabinet ladies were placed those intended for the ladies of the justices of the supreme court. On this occasion, I being the regent, my sister Likelike stood at my right, my husband (who had a right to the title of prince although he never assumed it, but preferred to be called governor or general), accompanied by Hon. A. S. Cleghorn, father of the little Princess Kaiulani, were at my left.

As yet no appointment had been made by me to the vacant place on the bench of the supreme court, because I had consulted my brother, the absent king, and was awaiting a reply. But Mr. A. F. Judd had instructed his wife that she should occupy a seat with the cabinet ladies, and even to take the first seat, thus assuming precedence over all. It was a surprise to Minister Carter on entering to find the seat which belonged to his wife occupied by another person. After a little discussion betwixt them, the question was referred to me for decision. I immediately said that the seat belonged to Minister Carter's wife, and suggested that Mrs. Judd resume the place which belonged to her with the other ladies of the associate judges of the court, adding that she was no more at present than the lady of the first associate justice. "But," expostulated her husband, "I am as good as chief justice already, as I am to be appointed to that office;" and then he proceeded to demand of me if I had not already received notice of his appointment. I replied that I had not, and that my decision of the question of precedence was announced. Then, as the assembly was in readiness to proceed with its duties, although Mrs. Judd obstinately refused to yield the place which belonged to the wife of Minister Carter, I turned my attention to other and more important matters.

While I was a prisoner in Iolani Palace, now called Executive Building, it seems that the little comedy of precedence was re-enacted under the "Republic" in the rooms beneath mine, at the assembling of the legislature. Minister Cooper arrived with his wife; and to his astonishment and anger, there was Mrs. Judd again, seated in the place which should have been reserved for Mrs. Cooper. In order to secure the coveted precedence, Mrs. Judd had arrived very early, secured for herself the seat of honor, and, as before, absolutely refused to leave it. Words passed between the chief justice and the minister. Mr. Judd claimed that he was the highest officer in the islands. To which Minister Cooper retorted that he held no cabinet position, and was certainly out of place among cabinet ministers; while he, Cooper, as the minister of foreign affairs, should be entitled to the first place in the government after that held by the president himself. The disputants did not on this occasion send to me for an opinion on this perplexing question. Had they done so I should have decided without a moment's hesitation that the position of Mr. Cooper was the correct one, according to the usages of nations, whatever may be the relative rank in republics as between the executive and judicial departments. But it would seem from this second occurrence that the passion for dignity and place is not confined to courts of royalty or to those who sustain them.


Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

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Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom