Kamehameha III

Kamehameha III

Infobox Hawaiian Royalty
name =Kamehameha III
title =King of the Hawaiian Islands

reign =6 June 182515 December 1854
(age in years and days|1825|6|6|1854|12|15)
predecessor =Kamehameha II
kuhina nui =Queen Kaokinaahumanu Kaokinaahumanu II Kaokinaahumanu III] Keoni Ana
successor =Kamehameha IV
spouse =Queen Kalama Jane Lahilahi Young unmarried Nahienaena marriage unrecongnized by Missionaries
issue =Prince Keawe Aweokinaula-o-Kalani Prince Keawe Awe'ula-o-Kalani II Albert Kuka'ilimoku Kunuiakea
full name =Keaweawe`ula Kiwala`o Kauikeaouli Kaleiopapa Kalani Waiakua Kalanikau Iokikilo Kiwala`o i ke kapu Kamehameha
titles ="HM" The King
"HRH" The Prince
royal house =House of Kamehameha
royal anthem =
father =Kamehameha the Great
mother =Keopuolani
date of birth =birth date|1813|8|17|df=y
place of birth =Keauhou at North Kona, Hawaii
date of death =Death date and age|1854|12|8|1813|8|17|df=yes
place of death =Honolulu, Oahu
place of burial =Mauna Ala Royal Mausoleum|

Kamehameha III (born Kauikeaouli) (August 11, 1813?–December 15, 1854) was the king of Hawaii from 1824 to 1854. He was Hawaii's longest-reigning monarch. His full Hawaiian name was Keaweawe`ula Kiwala`o Kauikeaouli Kaleiopapa and then lengthened to Keaweawe`ula Kiwala`o Kauikeaouli Kaleiopapa Kalani Waiakua Kalanikau Iokikilo Kiwala`o i ke kapu Kamehameha when he ascended the throne. He was Hawaii's first Christian King and it was under him that Hawaii transitioned from an pagan abosulte monarchy to a Christian constitutional monarchy with the signing of not one but two of Hawaii's Constitution in 1840 and 1852. He was the longest reigning monarch in the 99 years of history of the Kingdom, ruling for 29 years and 192 days, although in the early part of his reign he was under a regency by Kaahumanu and later by Kaahumanu II.

Early life

Born on August 11, 1813 at Keauhou Bay, on the Big Island of Hawaii, Kauikeaouli was the second son of Kamehameha the Great and the high Chiefess Keopuolani. Kauikeaouli was 11 years younger than his brother Liholiho, who ruled as Kamehameha II. He was born Kauikeaouli (placed in the dark clouds) Kaleiopapa Kuakamanolani Mahinalani Kalaninuiwaiakua Keaweawe`ulaokalani (the red trail or the roadway by which the god descends from heaven). He was delivered stillborn at birth but Kapihe, the kaula (prophet) of Chief Kaikio`ewa was summoned and he revived him declaring the baby "alive". Kauikeaouli was cleansed, laid on a consecrated place, fanned, prayed over and sprinkled with water until he breathed, moved and cried. The prayer of Kapihe was to Ka`öhohiokalä, "Child of God". Kamehameha III chose to celebrate his birthday on March 17, in honor of his admiration for St. Patrick of Ireland.

It’s said that Kauikeaouli had a troubled childhood. He was torn between the Christian guidelines imposed on the kingdom by the kuhina nui (prime minister) Kaahumanu and the desires to return to the ways of old Hawaii. Under the influence of Oahu governor Boki, Kauikeaouli turned to alcohol in a clear rejection of the Christian standards of morality.


Kauikeaouli was only 11 when he ascended to the throne in June 6 1825, 11 months after the death of Liholiho. For the next seven years, he was guided by Kaahumanu and the high chief William Pitt Kalanimoku. From 1824 to 1832, real political power was in the hands of his stern mother and regent, Ka'ahumanu. When Kaahumanu died in 1832, she was replaced by Kauikeaouli’s half-sister, Kina'u. Elisabeta Kinaokinau died when Kauikeaouli was only 25, and the young king found himself consumed by the burdens of kingship.

When Kauikeaouli came to the throne, the native population numbered about 150,000, which was already less one third of the Hawaiian population at the time of Captain Cook’s arrival to Hawaii in 1778. During his reign, that number would be halved again, thanks in part to a smallpox epidemic.

In 1839, under a French threat of war, Roman Catholicism was legalized and the first statutory law code was established. He also enacted the Constitution of 1840, Hawaii's first. Two years later, he moved the capital from Lahaina to Honolulu.

In 1843, a British commander named George Paulet pressured Kauikeaouli into surrendering the Hawaiian kingdom to the British crown, but Kamehameha III alerted London of the captain's rogue actions which eventually restored the kingdom's independence. It was during this brief period of uncertainty that the king uttered the phrase that eventually became Hawaii’s motto: "Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono"—"The life/sovereignty of the land is perpetuated in righteousness." Less than five months later, on July 29th, British Admiral Thomas rejected the commander’s actions and the kingdom was restored to Kauikeaouli. This date November 28 was celebrated thereafter as Ka La Ho'iho'i Ea, Sovereignty Restoration Day, an official national holiday of the kingdom.

One of his most important acts was the Great Mahele of 1848 which redistributed land between the government, king, nobles, and commoners. Most commoners were ignorant or unaware of the program and lost out on the distribution. Foreigners were also allowed to own land in Hawaii for the first time. In 1849, French admiral Legoarant de Tromelin sacked and looted Honolulu after the king refused his demands. Kamehameha III's last major act was the Constitution of 1852 which greatly liberalized politics

In May 16, 1853 King Kamehameha III, proclaimed the Hawaiian Kingdom as a Neutral Country as to Crimean War in Europe.


Kauikeaouli married Kalama a chieftess of no relation to him. Previous Hawaiian kings and queens practiced incest in the royal court. His brother Liholiho and his half-sister Kamamalu were the half-sister and brother couples. This practice was to preserve mana or spiritual power within the family. He had loved his sister Nahienaena but the union was opposed by the missionaries. After his sister's death, he married Kalama. He and Kalama had two children Prince Keaweaweokinaulaokalani I and Prince Keaweaweokinaulaokalani II who both died while infants. He and his mistress Jane Lahilahi, a daughter of John Young his father's advisor had twin illegitimate sons; Keoua, who died young, and Albert, who lived to adulthood.

Later years

As the years passed, Kauikeaouli found himself resigned to the changing landscape of Hawaii. His rebellious nature softened as his authority was compromised by outside influences. In 1854, he had his foreign minister, Robert Wyllie, "ascertain the views of the United States in relation to the annexation thereto of these Islands."

Kauikeaouli died on December 15 of that same year. He was 41.He was succeeded by his nephew and adopted son, Alexander Liholiho as Kamehameha IV.

External links

* [http://www.aloha-hawaii.com/hawaii/kamehameha+iii Helpful resource on the life and reign of King Kamehameha III]
* [http://www.nokaoimagazine.com/features/6_4/Mokuula_The_Kings_Island.html Moku‘ula: The King’s Island]
* [http://www.hawaiihistory.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=ig.page&PageID=400 Kamehameha III (Kauikeaouli) 1814-1854]
* [http://www.keouanui.org/Kamehameha3.html Biography from the Hawaiokinai Royal Family's official site]
* [http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/kauikeaoulistpatricksday.html Kauikeaouli chose St. Patrick's Day to be his official birthday.]
* [http://oahuxyz.com/ROUTES/HISTORY/HS_GALLERY_HTML/025.htm Kauikeaouli and Nahienaena]
* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=10957 Kamehameha III] at Find a Grave
* [http://hotspotshawaii.com/nalostuff/May96/Kamehameha3.html Kamehameha III: An Excellent King]
* [http://home1.gte.net/makapal1/page6.htm Kamehameha III]
* [http://starbulletin.com/2007/03/08/features/memminger.html Kamehameha III isn't King Street king]
* [http://www.kalena.com/huapala/Kauikeaolani.html Kauikeaouli]
* [http://www.huliheepalace.org/history_kamehameha3.htm Ka'opa Spring - Kauikeaouli, Kamehameha III]
* [http://www.kaahelehawaii.com/pages/culture_alii.htm Na Aliokinai – The Royal Chiefs]
* [http://www.aloha-hawaii.com/hawaii/kamehameha+iii/ Aloha-Hawaii.com]
* [http://2k.si.edu/2ksearch/Low_Artifacts.asp?ObjectData_Action=Find('ID','r717') Photograph of Kamehameha III]
* [http://www.maltergalleries.com/archives/auction01/Auction79/Lot373.jpgKamehameha III coin]
* [http://www.picturehistory.com/product/id/9411 PictureHistory Kamehameha III]

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