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' .,^"."1. CvCio(.H(lc
LATK QUKEN *
SANDWICH ISi:.AI?DS. T
»*- f 4.
inga stall be thy ttrsing fathers, and their Qneers thy tnreiDg mothers' ^
PUBLISHED BY CROCKER & BREWSTER.
■^ef'-f -^4e.fee^..|^.^.^4- 44"fr#*?"^-?"'|'*|i'
'-1 ^>^/ -^^:..
. I XJ
"ZiugB shall be thy nnraiog tathore, and their QoeeBa thy nursing motheri"
PUBLISHED BY CROCKEB ft BREWSTER,
The present seems to be an appropriate time to
reprint this brief memoir of Queen Keopuolani,
the earliest convert to Christianity at the Hawaiian
Islands. She was a worthy compeer of Kapiolaiii
and Kaahumanu, and her life gave signal evidence
of the transforming power of the Gospel. This
narrative was drawn up.by Rev. W. Richards at
Lahaina in 1824. te.tfia* time the orthography of
the Hawaiian lan^age had not yet been settled,
but it has not been considered necessary to change
the original spelling, except in case of evident mis-
prints. The proceeds arising from the sale of this
littl ; book are to be given to the Hawaiian Mission
W. p. A.
This memoir was drawn up at the Sandwich
Islands, by one of the missionaries at Lahaina, and
was forwarded to tlie Prudential Committee of the
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign
Missions. All the material facts which it contains,
were derived from personal observation, or by con-
versation with the older cl.itfs of the islands, and
the work bears strong intern^: marks of being
throughout an authentic narrativ-e. As such, it is
sent forth by the Committee, with the hope that,
by the blessing of Almighty God, it will render
important service to that department of Christian
benevolence, which has for its object the moral
improvement of the heathen world.
This Memoir will probably be published by the
London Missionary Society, about the same time
that it issues from the press in this country.
Bostoti, Mass., June, 1825.
Her nativity and famlly.^Wars of Tarachameha.
— He lakes Keopuolani prlaODer, and makes her
his wife. — His conquests, ------ 9
Her children. — Veneration for her person. — Plural-
ity of hushands.— Humanity of her disposition. —
Human saerlflcea on account of her sickness.^
Nature of the ta'iii.^Keopuolani consents to its
abolition. — Further piioofs of the reverence in
which she wa-s held, and her consequent person-
al aacriflces in the destruction of the ancient
FROM THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE MISSION
TO HER LAST REMOVAL TO THE ISLAND OP
Consultation among tie chiefs, on the arrival of
the American missionaries.— Keopuolanl ap-
proves of their settlement.— Her temporary alck-
nesa.— Receives into her tamiiy a pious native
of Che Society Islands as a teacher.— Some ac-
count of her conversation.— Dismisses one of her
husbands.- Her manner of receiving the new
missionaries.— Removes to Lahaina and reguesta
cthat some of the missionaries would accompany
FROM HER ARRIVAL AT LAHAINA TO THE
COMMENCEMENT OF HER LAST SICKNESS.
Her kindness to the missionaries.— Daily worship
In her family.— 'Her diligence in study.— Her
desire for religious knowledge, and firm attach-
ment to the Christian religion.— Her exemplary
conduct— Erects a house for the worship of Jh-
toovah. --- -- -- ■■ -22
HER LAST SICKNESS, DEATH AND BURIAL.
Her sickness. — Is visited by the missionaries. —
Charge to Karalmoku and Keeaumoku.— Her
solicitude for her children,— Charge to the king
and her other children.— Her dying httpes.—
Desires Christian baplism.— Slie is admitted into
the visible churcli.— Her death— Wall i ngs.—
Briel remarks -on the Sandwicb Islands, and on tte
Christian Misaion which has been established
Hernativity and family.— Wars of Tainchameha.
— He takes Keopuolani prisoner, and makes her
Keopuolani was born in the year 1778. *t P^"
hoehoe. in the district of Wairuku, on the north-
east side of Maui, one of the Sandwich Islands.
Her name, like most other names in these islands,
was significant, and one which the people generally
would not venture to appropriate to themselves, or
their children :■ —
Ke - ' opu o lani.
The collecting of heaven.
Or, The gathering of the clouds of heaven.
She was often called by other names, as Kai,
(the sea,) Makuahanaukama, (the mother of
many children,) Kalanikauikeataneo, (the heavens
hanging cloudless.) Her original name, however,
and the one by which she was usually called, was
The family, from which she descended, by her
father, had governed the island of Hawaii.
(Owhyhee.) for many generations. The family
from which she descended by her mother, had
long governed Maui. (Mowee,) and for a time
had also governed Ranai, Morokai, and Oahu
IG MEMOIR OF KEUPUOLANl.
I-'or several generations, there had been fre-
([uent intoriiiarriages between the reigning fam-
ilies in diiferent islands, so that the two families,
from which Keopuolaiii descended, were nearly
connected with each other.
Her father's family had been particularly dis-
tinguished as far back as its history can be traced.
Her father's name was Kauikeaouli.* He was king
of Hawaii at the time of his daughter's birth, but
was slain, about two years after, in a sanguinary
battle with 'I'amehameha.
His fatiier, and Keopuolaiii's grandfather, was
Taraniopu, often called Taraiopu,** and was king
of Hawaii at the time it was visited by Capt. Cook,
in 1777. This was the king, whom that celebrated
navigator was leadmg by the hand on a visit to his
ship, when the jealous rage of the natives burst on
the innocent man, and terminated his enterprising
and useful lifer
All who have read the English history of the
death of Capt, Cook, will be pleased to know, that
the natives themselves give the same genera! ac-
count of it as was given by Capt. Cook's officers.
The wife of Taraniopu, and grandmother of Ke-
opuolani, was Kalola, daughter of the king of
Maui. She threw her arms about her husband's
neck, while he was walking with Capt. Cook, com-
pelled him to desist from his visit, and furnished
the natives an opportunity for commencing their
fatal attack. She was, also, the nurse and guard-
ian of Keopuolani during her early years.
The mother of Keopuolani was Kekuiapoiwa,
daughter of Keoua, a younger brother of Tara-
niopu. She was also half sister to Tamehameha.
At the time of Keopuolani's birth, her parents
were in Maui, on a visit to Kahekiri, who was the
uncle of Keopuolani, and at that time king of
Maui, Ranai, Morokai and Oahu.
01' KlLOFUOLANl. II
Kauilceaouii and his wife soon returned to Ha-
waii, leaving their infant daughter under the care
of her grautlmother Kalola, where she remained
until Maui was conquered by Tamehanieha in
The reader may perhaps^ inquire why she was
at this early period separated from her parents. It
should therefore be mentioned, that it is not cus-
tomary with the chiefs to bring up their own
A cliief, from tlie time of his birth, has a train
of attendants, almost as numerous as when he ar-
rives at manhood. He has, also, a nurse, or guard-
ian, and wherever he goes, although he may be
carried in his nurse's arms, one man follows hear-
ing a fiy-brush, another a fan, another an umbrella,
another a spit-box, another a pipe, and usually a
large company of other attendants, all of whom
anxiously wait the nod of the cliild. Thus it was
At tlie early age of thirteen, she became the
wife of Tamehanieha, the late king of all the
islands. The character, wars, and exploits of tiiis
celebrated man would afford sufficient matter for
a volume. In this place we can only mention two
or three circumstances respecting him.
He was the son of Keoua, a younger brother of
Taraniopu, and was not among the highest chiefs,
being only cousin to the reigning king. His
authority was confined originally to two .districts.
Even during his minority, he manifested a great
degree of enterprise and strength of character. In
the year 1790, he rebelled against his cousin Kaui-
keaouli who had been on the throne only two years,
and slew him in a sanguinary battle.
Taniehameha then went to Maui with all his
forces. Kahekiri, who has been already men-
tioned, to whom this island belonged, resided then
at Oahu. Tamehameha, therefore, succeeded in
taking Maui without much bloodshed. Keopuo-
lani, now twelve years of age, and celebrated for
her beauty, fell into liis hands as a prisoner.
Her grandmother immediately betrothed her to
the conqueror, who soon proceeded to the island
of Morokai. He had but just arrived when intel-
ligence reached him, that Keoua, a younger broth-
er of the king whom he had just slain, had risen
in arms, and was taking possession of Hawaii.
Tamehameha took his newly betrothed bride
and returned in haste to his own island, 'where he
soon succeeded in quelling the rebellion. Having
been jealous of this chief, he had made a treaty
with him. After the conclusion of the treaty, ac-
cording to the custom of the country, a pig was
slain, signifying that thus it should be done to the
party by whom it should be violated. When,
therefore, the vanquished chief was taken, he was
put to death ; though by some it is said, that it was
not in consequence of the king's order, who de-
signed to have pardoned him.
At this time Kahekiri sent from Oahu, saying
to Tamehameha, "You and I are friends. We are
brothers. Let us not fight. Come not to this place,
for if you come I must defend myself. You are
young and I am old. Wait till the black tapa cov-
ers nie. Then you will be king alone." Tameha-
meha respected his message.
After his death, Tamehameha repaired with his
forces to Oahu, where he met with a spirited re-
sistance from the chiefs of that island. But he
soon gained the ascendency, and, excepting Tauai,
(Atooi,) became king of ail the islands.
Her children. — Veneration for her person. — Plur-
ality of husbands. — Humanity of her disposi-
Mb^MOIR OF KEOPUOLANI. I3
tiott. — Human sacriUces on account of her sick-
ness. — Nature of the tabu. — Keaptioluni con-
sents to Us abolition. — Further proofs of the
reverence in which she was held, and her conse-
quent personal sacrifices in the destruction of
the ancient system.
After this Tamehameha took up liis residence
at Kairua, on the island of Hawaii. Keopuolaiii
became his wife in the year 1791. At seventeen
she was a mother; but her first son, bearing the
name of the present king, died at an early age.
Her second son, Rihoriho, the late king, was
born in the year 1796.
Besides these, she has borne nine children, five
sons and four daughters. Of her eleven chiklren
two only are living, Kauikeaouli, and Nahienaena,
the latter of whom now takes the name of her
Keopuolani, while her husband lived, usually
resided with him at Kairua. This, however, was
by no means their constant dwelling place, al-
though it was a favorite one. No chief on the
Sandwich Islands is confined to one, two. or ten
places of residence, and nearly all the high chiefs
divide their time between the different places of
importance. Thus it was with Keopuolani. A
part of her time she spent at Hawaii, a part at
Maui, a part at Oahu, and a part at Tauai,
Besides Keopuolani, Tamehameha had three,
and at one time, four, other wives. These all fol-
lowed him wherever he went. It does not appear
that Keopuolani was his particular favorite, ex-
cept as she was much the highest chief upon the
Agreeable to the practice of all the females in
the country, she accompanied her husband in all
his. battles. Her person was counted so sacred,
that her presence did much to awe an enemy.
She was permitted by the king to have another
14 MEMOXR OF KliOFUOLANI.
husband. Hers was not a privileged case, how-
ever, for nearly all the chief women, especially
tliose who are higher in rank than their husbands,
follow the same practice.
The second husband of Keopuolaiit was Karai-
moku (Krimakoo.) He sustained that relation
only a few years, and after him she chose Hoapiri,
who continued her' husband until her death, and
as such was evidently much beloved.
As a wife she was tender and affectionate. Her
sister queens now speak of her with admiration
on, account of her amiable temper, and mild be-
havior. For these qualities her husband was not
remarkable; and on this account her native excel-
lence shone with additional brightness. Often was
her compassion manifested towards those, who
had broken tabu*, violated the laws, or otherwise
incurred the king's displeasure. These, if their
crimes were not heinous, or if thej' had any reason-
able, excuse, always fled to her, and were safe
under her protection.
Many of the high chiefs, who have pursued a
very different line of conduct themselves, now say
to Keopuolani's praise, "She was never the means
of any person's being put to death." She was al-
ways remarkably strict herself in the observance
of tabu, although she was mild in her treatment of
tliose who had broken it.
About the year 1806, while at Waititi, in Oahu,
she was taken sick, and fears were entertained that
she would not recover. Various means were used,
but without any effect. At length a priest was
consulted respecting her, who immediately pre-
tended to tell the cause of her sickness. He had
just heard of some men, who had been eating
cocoa nuts, and had thereby broken tabu ; for in
those days cocoa nuts were prohibited to all com-
mon people. The priest said, that as Keopuolani
was (lescended from the gods, they were offended
MLMOIU OF KEOrUOLANI. 15
with the men, and had afflicted her witli a sick-
ness, from whicli she woukl not recover unless
the men were offered in sacrifice.
, According to the advice of the priest, orders
were immediately given by Taniehameha, that ten
men should be taken. The orders were obeyed,
and the men quickly obtained. A gracious God
saw best however to spare part of the number, and
to remove all excuse for sacrificing any. Before
the time appointed for offering them arrived, the
alarming symptoms of KeopuoJani's disorder
abated, and confident hopes of her recovery were
entertained. Seven of the intended victims were
consequently unbound, but the other three were
slain and laid upon the altar, which had before
often been stained with the blood of human vic-
tims. It would seem that Keopuolani had no
knowledge of these transactions until they were
After Keopuolani's recovery from the sickness
mentioned above, we know but little of her, until
the death of Taniehameha, and the accession of
Rihorilio to the throne, which took place in the
When the high priest of the island had given
his opinion in favor of abandoning idolatry, it ap-
pears that a general consultation among the chiefs
was held respecting this measure. They generally
expressed their dissatisfaction with the system;
and then, as Keopuolani had not been present,
Karaimoku and Kalakua went to converse with
her. She inquired particularly into the reason for
the course which they recommended, and at first
seemed unwilling to join them. "What," said she,
"is the fault of the system, that it should be dis-
continued, and what evil have our gods done to
us, that they should be burned ?"
l6 MEMOIR OF KEOPUOLANI.
A short account of the system they were about,
to abolish, will perhaps be acceptable in this place.
During tlie existence of the tabu, or days of pro-
hibition, no person except a chief, or priest, must
presume to eat a cocoa nut; no female must eat'
pork ; males and females must never eat with each
other, or even from the same dish ; and if by any
means a man was found upon a tree, or on tne
mast of a vessel, or in any other place over the
king's head, his life was forfeited to the gods. The
same was the case with a man who by accident
placed his hand over the king's head.
Besides the tabu above described, which were
perpetual, there were others embracing certain
days in the year, when no fishing canoe must be
seen in the water, nor any man out of his house.
At this time, also, the priests, taking some image
with them, usually went from island to island col-
lecting the taxes for the gods. The penalty for
breaking tabu was death.
When a sacrifice was wanted, and no criminal
could be found, they imposed a new tabu of such
a nature as to present a strong temptation to some
person or persons to break it ; perhaps it was laid
secretly, and then whoever should be so unfortun-
ate as to break it, was immediately seized, by per-
sons on the watch, and hurried away to the altar.
A foreign resident has told us, that, on one of
these days of restriction, he saw a canoe sailing out
in front of several houses, and upset by the surf.
One of the men afterwards appeared to be drown-
ing. An old man of tender feelings sprang from
his house to save the sinking man. fn an instant
he was seized by the servants of the priests, car-
ried to the adjacent temple, and there sacrificed.
In the mean time, the man apparently drowning
jumped into his canoe, and rowed away.
To these shocking practices Karainioku and Ka-
lakua alluded, during their interview with Keo-
puolani. She said, "You indeed speak very prop-
lIliMOlR OF KEOPUOLANI. 1/
erly. Our gods have done us no guotl ; they are
cruel ; let the king's wish and yours be gratified."
The person of Keopuolani had ever been count- ■
ed particularly sacred. At certain seasons no per-
sons must see her. In early life, she never walked
abroad except at evening, and all who saw her
walking at tliat hour, prostrated themselves to the
earth. Being held in such reverence, it was a
greater sacrifice in her to renounce the old system,
than in those who were less venerated * Provi-
dence seemed already to be preparing her mind for
the Christian religion, with which she was shortly
to be made acquainted.
Consultation among the chiefs, on the arrival of
the American -missionaries. — Keopuolani ap-
proves of their settlement. — Her temporary
sickness. -^Receives into her fanv'ly a pious
native of the Society Islands as a teacher. —
Some account of her conversation. — Dismisses
one of her husbands. — Her manner of receiving
the ne7i' missionaries. — Removes to Lahaina and
requests that some of the missionaries uunihl
says,— "The piece was in honour ot a captive princess
whose name was CrycowcuUeneaow. (Karailtaukealaneo,
one of Keopuolanl'a names,) and on her name being pro-
wore any ornament attove their waist, were obllg'ea to
take them otT, though the captive lady was at least sixty
miles off. Thia mark of respect was unoliservea by the
actresses who engag'ed In the services, but the instant
any one sat down, or at the close of the act, they were
also obliged to comply with this mvsterious ceremony,"
lO MEMOIR Ol' KEOi'UOLANI.
On tlie arrival of the American inissioiiaries in
April 1S20, all the chiefs were consulted respect-
ing the expediency of their establishment in the
islands. Some of the chiefs seemed to doubt ; but
Keopuolani without hesitation approved their pro-
posals. She ever after appeared friendly to the
mission, and favored the Palapala*. She did not,
however, devote herself to instruction until Aug-
ust 1822. Shortly after this period, she went to
Waititi in Oahu, where a protracted illness gave
her leisure, and seemed to lead her to think of a
During her sickness, she received visits from
the missionaries by her particular request, and
usually had preaching in her Ranai** on the Sab-
In February 1823, Keopuolani and her husband
Hoapiri expressed a desire to have an instructor
connected with them. They selected Taua, a na-
tive teacher sent by the church at Huaheine, in
company with the Rev. Mr. Ellis, to instruct them
and their people in the first principles of the Gos-
pel, and teach them to read and virrite. Their
choice met the approbation of the mission, and
with tliem Taua resided until the death of Keopuo-
lani. He proved a faithful teacher, and by the
blessing of God, we believe, he did much to estab-
lish her in the Christian faith. From him we have
received accounts of several of her questions, and
of his answers on the subject of Christianity.
One morning, when confined to her couch, with
many of the chiefs and people about her, she said
to them. "I wish you all either to retire, or be sil-
ent, for 1 desire to pray to Jesus Christ, and must
have no interruption." The chiefs immediately
began to laugh at her request, and seemed un-
willing to comply with it. With great resolution
MEMOIK OF KEOl'UOLANl. 19
she reproved them for their impiety, told tliem
they stiil kept their "dark hearts," and insisted
that her request should be granted. One chief
seconded her request, and thoiigli the others con-
tinued to oppose, she succeeded, and enjoyed a
season of prayer.
At another time, during the same ilhiess, a high
chief, whom she tenderly loved, came to her and
said, "Let us two drink rum together again, as
formerly. Enough of this new word. Let us cast
it away, and attend to it no more." Keopuolani
replied, "I will never adopt that evil custom. I
am afraid of the everlasting fire," She then turned
to Taua and said, "My heart is much afraid I shall
never become a Christian." He replied, "Why
what is in the way?" She said, "I think I am like-
ly to die soon." He replied, "Do you not love
God?" She answered, "O yes, I love — I love him
very much," Taua then communicated farther
instruction suited to her case. At the close of the
conversation she said, "Your word, I know, is
true. It is a good word ; and now I have found,
I have obtained a Saviour, and a good King, Jesus
At one time, when a larger number of people
than usual were present, she experienced a relapse
in her disease, and some of the spectators api^re-
hended she was near her end. She immediately
sent a messenger to Taua to come and pray with
her. When he arrived, the house and ranai were
filled with chiefs and people. Whai about to enter,
some of the chiefs stopped him at the door, and
tok! him he must not go in, for there was no room.
They then went to Keopuolani, and toM her it
would not be well to admit him, for be was a bad
man, and would tell her many lies. Slie said, "My
teacher is not bad; he tells me no lies;— let bim
come in, for I greatly desire to see bim." They
replied. "The house is full, there is no mom." She
said, "Then you must make room." They said.
20 MEMOIR OF ivEOPUOI.ANI.
"What do you want of this Tahitian?" She.
answered, "He is my good Christian teacher, and
now while I am sick, I desire that he may come
and speak to me, and pray with me." They said
again, "The house is full, he cannot come in." -She
said to them, "Why do you say there is no room?
There is room enough. I have done praying to my
old gods, to stones and wood, and my desire now
is, that while I He here, my Christian teacher
should come and pray with me to Jesus Christ."
Much conversation followetl, during which
some of the people, encouraged by a few of the
chiefs, threatened Taua's life. But he still re-
mained at the door, with the Gospels in his hand.
At length Keopuolani said, "Taua come into the
house and pray with me." Some of the chiefs were
still intent on stopping him, when the king ap-
proached saying, "Let him go in, and let all the
chiefs and people be perfectly quiet while the good
teacher of my mother prays to Jehovah."
When nearly recovered from this illness, she
called on one occasion to her teacher, and inquired,
what she should do, as she had two husbands.
He answered, "It is very proper for a woman
to have one husband, and a man one wife; but
Christian females never have more than one hus-
band." She said, "I have followed the custom of
my country ; but we have been a people of dark
hearts. I have had two husbands, but since I
thought it wrong, I have not desired more than
one. 1 wish now to obey Jesus Christ, and to walk
in the good way. Hoapiri is my husband.— my
only husband. The other man I will now cast
She then called him and said, "I have renounced
our old religion, the religion of wooden gods;T
have embraced a new religion, the religion of
Jesus Christ. He is my King and Saviour, and
him I desire to obey. Hereafter I must have one
husband only. I wish you to live with me no
MEMOIR OF KEOrUOLANI. 21
longer. In future you must neither eat with my
people, nor lodge in my liouse."
From the time of her sickness, she iiiaiiifested a
strong desire that her people might attend to in-
struction. She frequently advised them on tliis
subject; occasionally even conunaiided them. At
one time, a sermon was to be preached in her
house, and nearly all her attendants were out of
doors. She said, "Some people have ears, and
some have not. All those who have ears, are re-
quested to come in ; those who have no ears, mav
She did not entirely recover from the illness
already mentioned, until the arrival of the mis-
sionary reinforcement from America in April
While Mr. Bingham was conducting religious
service with her at Waititi one Sabbath morning,
intelligence was communicated, that the reinforce-
ment had arrived at Honoruru. At tlie conclusion
. of the service, Kekauonohi, one of the king's
' wives, returned, in company with Mr, Bingham,
to Honoruru, a distance of three miles, with a re-
quest from Keopuolani, Taumuarii, and other
chiefs, that the new teachers would meet them
there at the afternoon service.
Those who had the pleasure of being introduced
to her on that day, will never forget the mild and
beautiful expression of her coimtenance, wlien she
raised her head a little from her pillow to bid than
a joyful welcome to the islands.
_ As soon as she learned that a physician had ar-
rived she requested medical aid. Dr. Blatchely
visited her several times, and rendered essential
service, which was gratefully received.
At one time. Dr. Blatchely, in company with
Mr. Ellis, called upon her as they were on their
way to the king's residence. As they took leave,
she inquired where they were going. On being
informed that they were about to conduct evening
worship with the king, she said, "'It is very proper
that you should go and pray with my son. Pray
for him too. I love him much, and 1 greatly lic-
sire that he should become a good king and love
About the last of May, she made known to the
mission her intention of taking up her permanent
residence at Lahaina, in Maui, her native island.
Keopuolani specially requested, as did also the
king and chiefs, that missionaries might accom-
pany her. As Lahaina had been previously select-
ed for a missionary station, the missionaries were
happy to commence their labors there under such
auspices. Messrs. Richards and Stewart there-
fore accompanied her, resided near her, enjoyert
her patronage, and had the privilege of instructing
her until her decease.
Her kindness to the missionaries. — Daily ivorship
in her family. — Her ditigenee in study.^Her
desire for religious knowledge, and Urm attach-
ment to the Christian religion. — Her exemplary
conduct.— She erects a hou.^e for the -•t'orship of
On the 31st of May, Keopuolani arriveil in La-
haina, with Messrs. Richards and Stewart and
their families. On their passage she told them she
would he their mother ; and indeed .she acted the
part of a mother ever afterwards. On the even-
ing of Saturday, the day of their arrival, she sent
them as much food, already cooked, as was neces-
MEMOIR OF KEOrUOLAXI. 23
sary for their comfort at tlie time, and also for tlie
next day, whicli was the Sabhath.
Immediately on their arrival, she requestetl
them to commence teaching, and said, also, "It is
very proper that my sons (meaning the mission-
aries) be present with me at morning and evening
prayers." They were always present, sung a
hymn in the native language, and when nothing
special prevented, addressed through an interpre-
ter the people who were present, when Taua, or
the interpreter, concluded the service with prayer.
These seasons were usually interesting. Often in
conversation she would introduce the subject
which had been discussed, and ask important ques-
tions respecting it.
She spent a principal part of her time every day
in learning how to read, and notwithstanding her
age, numerous cares, constant company, and var-
ious other hindrances, made respectable proficien-
cy. She was indeed a diligent pupil, seldom weary
with study ; often spent hours over her little spel-
ling book ; and when her teachers rose to leave her,
rareiy laid it aside, but usually continued studying
after they had retired.
She was apparently as diligent in searching for
divine truth, as in learning to read, and eviden.tly
gave attention to her book, that she might kiifiw
more of her duty to her Maker.
She omitted no favorable opportunity of mak-
ing inquiries on such religious subjects, as were
from time to time presented to her mind. One
morning as Mr. Richards went to attend prayers
with her. she said, "I think much about the love
of Jesus Qirist, which you last night described to
us." She said she loved Jesus Christ much, and
immediately sent for an engraving, on which the
Saviour was exhibited on the cross. Mr. Richards
pointed to the man holding the spear, and said,
■ "wicked man." She immediately inquired the
characters of all who were represented there. The
24 MEMOIR OF KEOPUOLANI.
expression of her countenance, while she contrast-
ed tlie characters with each other, was such, that it
was noticed by all around; and the impression
made on her mind was never afterwards eradi-
Not many days after this, Mr. Stewart called on
her, and found her reclining on her settee, appar-
ently in deep thought, and giving no attention to
any thing alx>iit her. He heard a niimher of ex-
clamations in her own language, accompanied with
expressive gestures, as though she were in dis-
tress. Her exclamations were, "O the punish-
ments of wicked men ! They will cry for water, O
yes, they will cry for water ; but there will be no
water, none at all, not even a drop f<jr their
Many other similar accounts might be given,
but these are sufficient to show the impression
made on her mind by the truths which she heard.
She often spoke of the goodness of God in spar-
ing her life when she was sick, that she mi^t
learn more of the good way which leads to heaven.
She made many interesting inquiries respecting
the guilt of her ancestors who worshipped idols.
On one occasion she dosed these by saying. "The
great guilt is ours, who know the good *vay, but
do not walk in it."
So <lecided was her stand in favor of Christian-
ity, that she thereby incurred the displeasure of
many of the people, and of some of the chiefs. But
their opiwsition, instead of driving her from the
ground slie had taken, only gave her an ojDiwrtun-
ity of showing more fully the firmness of her prin-
ciples, an<l the strength of her attachment to the
Soon after she arrived at Lahaina, a high chief,
to whom she was greatly attached, came to her and
said, "You study too much ; it is not good. You
are an old woman, and it would be well for you to
study but little." She replied, "I am indeed an old
MEMOIR OF KEOrUOLAXI. 25
, and shall die soon ; I must therefore en-
deavor to learn fast, or I shall die before J obtain
the good I seek." The chief replied, "Well, you
ought not to build so niany houses. You have
built two houses for the missionaries and one large
meeting-house, and now you are about building a
school-house. All this is not well." She answered,
"Karaimokti says it is well, and Taua my teadier
says it is well and I am sure it is well." He said,
"No. Taua tells you lies ; he is a bad man, and you
had better send him away." She said, "You are
wrong ; he is not a bad man ; I shall not send him
away ; he tells me no lies, none at all."
Soon after this, this same chief proposed that
she should send away the missionaries, and give
up the whole system of instruction. Slie replied.
"Why? what is the wrong?" He said, "Their in-
structions are not good. They bind us too close.
They will not permit us to drink rum, or to do as
we formerly di<l. Their instructions are false and
bad. Let us do as we formerly did. It ilocs no
good to sing and pray. Let us, I say, <1() a.s we
formerly did, and drink a little rum together."
She replied, "Why do you call my foreign teach-
ers bad? They are good men, and I love them.
Their religion is good. Our old religion is good
for nothing. Their ways are al! good, and ours
are bad. Arc not their instructions the same as
formerly? You then said tJiey were good, and
told me I must regard them, and cast away all my
old gods. T have done as you said, and I am sure
I have done well. But you now' disregard the new
religion, and desire me to do the same. But T will
not. I will never leave my teachers. I will follow
their instructions, and you had better go with me.
for I will never again take my dark heart."
Soon after this, several chiefs combined to turn
her from the course she was pursuing. .They said,
"We have just learned the truth respecting these
new things, about which the missionaries tell us.
26 JlIiMOlR OF KliOl'L-OLANI.
We lind tliat a part of what they tetl us is true. It
is weM to attend to reading and writing ; but pray-
er, and preaching, an<l Saljbaths, are of no conse-
quence. We have been told, that in India they can
read and write very well, and have so much prop-
erty that all the people in England and America go
there after it ; and yet they keep their gods of wood
and stone just as they always did. Now our ad-
vice is, that we attend strictly to reading and writ-
ing, but that we give up prayer, preaciiing and
Sabbaths, for these will never increase our riches."
Before Keopuolani gave any answer, she sent
for Tana, and inquired respecting India, and then
replied; "the people of India are still heathens.
They are still in darkness of heart as we formerly
were. If you wish to keep your dark hearts, and
be heathens, and live like the people of Satan, then
live so, and give up the Sabbath and prayer, and
when you die go to Satan and the world of misery :
but trouble me no longer."
These examples are sufficient to shew with what
spirit she resisted the attacks, which were made
upon her by those opposed to Christianity.
To most religious duties with which she was
acquainted, she was particularly attentive. At
stated seasons she called on Taua to pray with her ;
but she desired him always to be near, that she
might easily call upon him at other times.
Taua has informed us that she spent the greater
part of one night in asking him questions, and in
prayer. She was at that time particularly anxious,
because she thought she did not know how to pray.
She said, "I knew very well how to pray to the
idols, but how to pray to Jesus Christ, I do not
know. You nnist pray for me." After he had
prayed, she added, "Now tell me about Jesus
Christ." He related the particulars of his cruci-
■ fixion, and.as he spake of the nails driven through
his hands and feet, she burst into tears, and ex-
clainiod, "'Stop, J can hear no iiiort; I and a!I my
people are wicked and cruel like those murderers."
Perhaps she in no case manifested a stronger at-
tachment to Christian duties than during a visit tu
Morokai. While on this visit, she had mucl) to
engage her thoughts and occupy her time. Yet
this venerable queen regularly retired every morn-
ing and evening, to offer up her prayer to that
God who seeth in secret.
On the Sabbath too, she gave evidence that she
needed not the example of others to induce her to
attend to the duties of the day. In the morning
she was in a house with the other chiefs, many of
whom were noisy, and some intoxicated. She
called Taua and said to him, "We are now away
from the missionaries, but we must not forget the
Sabbath, the day of God. Let us, with some of
the people, retire, that we may sing and pray."
They then went to a small house at a little distance
from the company, and enjoyed a season of wor-
ship there. At evening she said to one of the
chiefs, who had disregarded the day, "You and I
have each of us our Christian teacher. You form-
erly told me, that I must observe the new religion,
and keep the Sabbath. I have done so, bwt now
you neglect it. You do not love prayer; you do
not love the good way, nor walk in it. My heart
is sorry for you, and on your account I often weep
She approved of Christian burial, and was
anxious to introduce it among her people. f>n the
death of one of the inmates of Taua's family, she
requested Mr. Bingham, then on a visit to Maui,
to conduct the funeral service. Dressed in black
tapa, and followed by an attendant, bearing a black
kahili, she herself then attended as a mourner, and
appeared peculiarly interested in the exercises.
We have already alluded to the circumstance of
her erecting a Iiouse for the worship of God. Tliis
house was dedicated on the 24th of August.
MEMOIR OF KEOPUOI-ANI.
Those who then saw her will never forget the
expression of her countenance, as she heard the
translation of the hymn,—
Her conversation and her whole appearance on
this day, well became so solemn and interesting an
occasion. It was the first house ever reared to the
praise of Jehovah on the island of Maui, and al-
though Keopuolani little thought that after this
day she was no more to worship in the house she
had built, yet the joy she manifested,- the exertion
which she made to understand every word of the
sermon, the wishes she expressed to have all her
people enlightened in "the good way," conspire to
make us feel, that the Lord by his holy Spirit was
fast preparing her for himself.
Could she, with a prophetic eye, have looked
forward to her end, like the aged Simeon she
doubtless would have said, "Lord, now lettest
thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes
have seen thy salvation."
This sentiment indeed she often expressed,
when speaking of the gootlness of God in permit-
ting her to live to see his missionaries : often also
regretted that they had not arrived earlier. At one
time she said, "What a pity it is you did not come
. in the days of our childhood."
From the account already given, it will be seen,
that hers was not the religion of a sick-bed merely,
nor yet a religion assumed for the sake of gaining
, DEATH AND BURIAL,
Her sickness.— Is visited by the missionaries. —
Charge to Karaimoku, and Keeaumoku. — Her
MEMOIR OF KEOl'UOLANI. 29
solicitude for her children. — Charge to the king
and her other children. — Her dying hopes.—
Desires Christian baptism. — She is admitted in-
to the visible church. — Her death. — Wailings. —
Funeral. — Conclusion.
On the last week in August, Keopuolani began
to be seriously atFected by a local indisposition,
which soon seemed to relax her whole system, and
in her view was a premonition of her approaching
dissolution. On the first day of September, the
chiefs began to collect in consequence of her ill-
ness. This was agreeable to their universal cus-
tom. Whenever a high chief is taken ill, although
there may be nothing threatening in his illness,
all die chiefs assemble from every part of the
islands, and wait tlie result. Thus it was in Keo-
puolani's sickness. Vessels were despatched to
the different islands before there was any occa-
sion for alann. It was not many days, however,
before it was seriously apprehended that the dis-
ease would prove fatal.
■ On the evening of Tuesday the 8th, the cliiefs
and people were suddenly alarmed and supposed
her to be dying. The exclamation "t/a make Keo-
puolani," Dead is Keopuolani, was to be heard
through the village.
Although it was late in the evening, a messenger
was sent to inform the mission family, several of
whom immediately repaired to her house expect-
ing to see her die. As soon as she heard the voice
of the females, she raised her head a little, and
with a pleasant smile reached her hand to them,
and said "tnaitai," (good,) intimating that they
had done well in coming to sec lier at that late
hour. She added, "I love the Great God," and
soon after, "Great is my love to God." She re-
quested that one of the missionaries should stay
with her, and Mr. Stewart accordingly spent the
30 MEMOIR OF KEOPUOLANI.
In the morning she was a little better, and some
hope was entertained that she might recover. By
the king's direction, a vessel sailed immediately to
Honoruru for Dr. Blatchely. Her mind was still
active, and the counsel and instruction which she
gave to those about her, shewed tliat her senses
were unimpaired. She manifested a great degree
of solicitude for her children, several times calling
them to her side and giving them Christian advice.
She often conversed with her husband, Hoapiri,
on the goodness of God in sparing her life to see
his servants, to hear his word, and know his Son.
In her first interview with Karaimokii, after he
came to Lahaina, she said, "Great is my love to the
word of God, by which I hope my mind has been
enlightened. The word of God is a true word, a
good word. Jehovah is a good God. I love him,
and love Jesus Christ. I have no desire for the
former gods of Hawaii. They are all false. But I
love Jesus Christ. I have given myself to him to
be his. When I die, let none of the evil customs of
this country be practised at my death.* Let not
my body be disturbed. Let not my bones be sep-
arated and the flesh taken off, as in the days of
dark hearts ; but let my body be put in a coffin.
Let the teachers attend and speak to the people at
my interment. Let me be buried in the ground
and let my burial be after the manner of Christ's
people. I tiiink very much of my grandfather Ta-
raniopu, my father Kauikeaouli, my husband Ta-
mehameha, and all my deceased relations. They
lived not to see these good times, and to hear of
Jesus Christ. They died without knowing Je-
hovah the true God. They died depending on faUe
gods. I exceedingly mourn and lament on account
of them, for they saw not these good times."
*At the a*ath of chiefs, their bodies were alwava cut In
pleees, thp flesh burnt, and the hones preserved. Theae
were oommitted to the oare of some chief, and fl'iririK his
life were venerated, or indeed worshipped. When the
chief died who had the charge of the bones, they were
MKMOIR OF KEOPUOLANI, 31
Soon after she had said this to Karaimoku. she
called Keeaumoku, (Governor Cox,} and said to
him, "When I am dead, let it never be said that I
died by poison, by sorcery, or that 1 was prayed
to death ; for it is not so." There was much reason
for this charge, because it has been the universal
opinion, that chiefs usually died by these means.
It has been supposed, that if a priest could by any
means obtain the spittle of any person, he could
then succeed in praying him to death. For this
reason every chief had an attendant following him
with a box to receive his spittle, lest a priest should
get it and pray him to death._
A few days before her death, she called her hus-
band, and said to him "See that you take good care
of Nahienaena, (her young daughter,) See that
she is instructed in reading and writing, that she
may learn to love God and Jesus Christ. Do not be
weary in your attention to her, for it is a good
thing for her to learn the good way.
secrelly convened to 3om» unkno«n place and nothing
I for two Eenerations The prevalence
The common people are buried secretly in the night.
This praotH-e prevalH uniieraaliy throush the talands
except among the few who regard the InstrQctiona of the
The evil customs of which Keopuolant ipoke were
of the most criminal kind It had from time tmmemorlaj
been the practice at the death ot high chlefq tor all the
people to Indulge with Impunity and without restraint
In everv kin 1 oi wickedness They threw oft the little
clothing which they usually wore and none had even
custom to Bhield them from the Most open assault A
man might steal from any place with Impunity Neigh
bors who were at enmltj might take any revenge they
could get It waa no crime for a man to burn hia neigh
bors house nut out his eyef take hia hfe or that o(
any of his family Promtaeuoui lew lne=s rreiatled ex
Knofk njt out each others teeth waa a common and al
moat uriinrsal piaeUee during thr la\«i of mjurning
' death of a high chief In consequence of thes
r-F there arp few men to be found who have no
lon-p of their fore teeth
32 MEMOIR OF KEOJ'UULA.M.
"Take care of my people when 1 am dead. Be a
friend to them, and watch over their interests with
compassionate regard. After 1 am dead do not
you cast away the word of God, or tlie Sabbath
day. Neglect not prayer, neitlier cease to love
Jehovah, that lie may love you, and that we two
may meet in heaven. I think a great deal of my
sins and of the love of Jesus Christ. He is very
kind to me. I hope he will take me to his right
This, which took place only two or three days
before her death, was nearly tlie last conversation
she had with her husband.
The day before her death she conversed with
Karaimoku respecting her children. She said, "i
wish much that my two children Kauikeaouli and
Nahienaena* should know God, should serve him,
and be instructed in Christianity. I wish you to
take care of these my two children. See that they
walk in the right way. Counsel them. Let them
not associate with bad companions." She then
added, "And do you not neglect praying to God.
Cease not to regard the Sabbath. Commit no sin,
and love Jesus Christ, that we two may meet in
In the same interview, Karaimoku inquired of
her, if she did not wish to be baptized, like the
people of Jesus Christ. She said, "I do very much
wish to have water sprinkled on me in the name
of God before I die. I have already given myself to
Jesus Christ, I am his. I love him, and T much
wish to be like his people, and to be baptized in his
good name before I die."
Soon after this interview with Karaimoku, she
called the king and her other two children, and all
„. __ _ __ . _... . mitted to
.j.„.j.w.j HpHUnfr book which has been (irlnted. have
made some advancea In English, and, consiaerlng- their
advantages, are respectable scholars.
MEMUIU OK KHOPUDLANl. 33
the chiefs, and said to them, "1 am now about to
die. I shall leave my cliildren, my people, aiid
these lands, and I wish now to give you my last
She then turned to the king and said, "I wish
yon after my death to be a friend to all the friends
of your father, and to all my friends. Take care
of these lands which you have received from your
father. Exercise a tender care over the people.
Protect the missionaries, and be kind to them.
Walk in the straight path. Keep the Sabbath.
Serve God. Love him, and love Jesus Christ. At-
tend also to the word of God, that you may be
happy, and that we two may meet in heaven. If
you see any of the people going wrong, take care
to lead them in the right way, but I entreat you
not to follow them in the bad way, when your
mother is gone."
She then turned to the chiefs and said, "Watch
over the king my son. Exercise a guardian care
over him. But particularly I wish you to watch
over my two younger children. See that they are
brought up in the right way, that they are in-
structed in reading, tiiat they keep the Sabbath
day, that they both love God and pray to him. Pro-
tect the teachers who have come to this land of
dark hearts. Attend to their instructions. Cease
not to keep the commandments of God, to love
him, to obey his word, to regard the Sabbath and
all the means of instruction, and do not neglect
prayer to God. He is a good God. Our former
gods were false, but he is the God by whom we
may all live forever in heaven. I love Jesus
Christ. I hope he has loved me, and that he will
This was not her last charge, although when
she gave it, she supposed it would be.
On the morning of the day on which she died,
i Taua her teacher desired to converse with her,
j hut the people and some of the chiefs were much
34 MEMOIR OF KEOPCJOLANI.
Opposed to it, and were so angry with him for at-
tempting it, that he went and called Anna his as-
sociate. Anna said, "We must not be afraid. We
must talk with her now, or not at all. for we shall
never liave another opportunity." They then
pressed through the crowd of chiefs, and took
their seats beside Keopuolani.
Auna said to her, "How do you feel, as you are
about leaving the world?" She answered, "I re-
member what my teachers told me. I pray much
to Jesus Christ to be with me and take me to him-
self. I am now about to leave my three children,
my people, and my teachers. But it is not dark
now. It would have been, had I died before these
good times. You must pray for me, and all the
missionaries must pray for me. I love you. I love
them. [ think I love Jesus Christ, and I trust he
will receive me."
At this time, Messrs. Stewart and Richards
were without an interpreter, a circumstance pecul-
iarly trying. They were unable to converse with
her, or learn any of her feelings, except what they
could collect from the few words they understood.
They thought that she was a fit subject for bap-
tism, but they were unwilling to administer that
ordinance, without an interpreter, or some means
of communicating either with her, or with the
people, on so interesting an occasion. They were
also hoping that one of the missionaries would ar-
rive from Honoruru in season to administer that
holy ordinance. This hope was not entirely dis-
appointed, for early in the day in which she died,
Mr. and Mrs. Ellis and Mr. Ruggles arrived.
Her wish to be baptized was immediately com-
municated by the chiefs to Mr. Ellis, After con-
sultation, the mission family repaired to the spot
for the purpose of witnessing the adm-nist ration of
the ordinance. When they arrived, they found her
so weak, that they said to the chiefs, "Perhaps it
is not best that she should be baptized." The
MEMOIR Ot- KEOPUOLANJ, 35
king, in a most expressive tone, replied, "Why,
what is the harm?" He afterwards said, "I know
that this is only an external sign, but my mother
gave herself away to Jesus Christ before her sick-
ness, and now, because she is about to die, do you
refuse to sprinkle water upon her in the name of
Although they were well aware that it was too
late for her to receive any personal benefit from
baptism, yet, as they felt there was no impropriety
in administering it, they concluded to comply with
the earnest solicitations of the king and chiefs.
While waiting for the necessary preparations,
there was a sudden change in her appearance, and
many thought her dying. Her husband, and some
of the other chiefs, immediately set up a loud wail-
ing, and were instantly joined by the thousands
about the house, all of whom supposed, from the
lamentations which they heard, that she was dead.
Those, however, who sat round her couch, said,
she is not dead, and requested the missionaries
present not to leave the house. It was also an-
nounced to those without, that she was still alive,
when their wailings, and the irregularities which
some had commenced, ceased.
As soon as all was still again, orders were given
to the people by the king and Karaimoku to ab-
stain from every kind of irregularity whenever she
should die. They were told, too, that Keopuolani
had expressly forbidden it. After this she revived
a little, and the request that she should he bap-
tized was renewed.
Mr. Ellis made an address on the subject of
baptism, in which he stated the ground on which
it was administered to Keopuolani. He also told
what was necessary, in order to the proper recep-
tion of it ; and then he administered the ordinance.
Although there were others who gave evidence
of piety earlier than Keopuolani did, yet no one
36 MEMOIR OF KEOPUOLANl.
Iiad ever yet been baptized; so that Keopuolani
may be called the first fruits of the mission.
'I'he king aiid all the heads of the nation listened
with the most profound attention, and when they
saw that water was sprinkled on her in the name of
God, they said, "Surely she is no longer ours, she
formerly gave herself to Jesus Christ. We believe
she is his, and will go to dwell witli him."
This was done at five o'clock in the afternoon of
the i6th of September, 1823, and an hour after-
wards the Hawaiian convert fell asleep.
The king had previously inquired whether it
was wrong to weep. Being told that it was not,
he, with all the chiefs, joined in the loudest wail-
ings. These did not entirely cease till after the
funeral ceremonies. The principal chiefs desired
to have morning and evening prayers in their sev-
eral houses; and in time of prayer all was still
within the house, though out of doors the wailing
continued. For two days there was scarcely a
sound to be heard in Lahaiua, but the most deafen-
ing waiiings and the most bitter lamentations.
"Keopuolani was a mother to every body ! We
have all lost a mother !" were exclamations con-
stantly ringing through the settlement.
The people collected from every part of Maui to
join their tears and cries. Sometimes whole dis-
tricts were seen walking in single file, in most per-
fect silence, till they came within about a hundred
rods of the corpse, when the whole company at
the same instant commenced their mournful cries.
On the morning after her death, we were
awakened by the firing of minute guns from the
vessels in the roads. These were continued at
regular intervals, during the day.
The vessels also hung their colors at half mast.
A flag staff was erected in front of the bouse
where Keopuolani died, on which the national
banner was displayed.
MKMOIROF KEOI'U(JLAN[. 39
The cliiefs wished the funeral to he conducted
according to Christian custom.
The niimher of people, about the house dirt not
in the least diminish, hut rather increased until
after her remains were deposited.
Kuakini arrived from Hawaii in the afternoon,
and his meeting with the other chiefs it is impos-
sible to describe. The engraving on the opposite
page shows but a very small part of the whole
company, that met on the occasion, and the var-
ious attitudes, as there represented, were rendered
tenfold more shocking by the united wailings of
the people, which rang from one end of Lahaina
to the other.
On the morning of the i8th, a bell was brought
from one of the king's vessels, and hung beside
the chapel, for the purpose of giving notice of the
As the house was not sufficiently large to con-
tain the people, it was thought advisable that the
funeral service should be attended under a cluster
of beautiful Kou trees, where worship had usually
been attended previous to the erection of the build-
ing. A convenient platfonn was prepared for the
speaker, on which was placed a table, and chairs
for the missionaries. The circle was formed so
large, that it contained the corpse on the bier in
the centre, the bearers, pail-bearers, mourners, all
the chiefs, missionaries, and respectable foreigii-
Explanation of the Engraving, which ycprcxents
the meeting between Kuakini, Governor of Ha-
waii, and the relatives of Keopuolani.
young prlneeBS.— 5. Kameham
""--"'-- - "'-■ ■ 'i, Htaf<
la, wlff of Kiiaiiirii."
40 MEMOIR OF KEOi'UOI.AXl.
ers, surrounding the corpse. All \\ lio were in the
circle were respectably dressed, anil nearly all
wore some badge of mourning. It was computed,
that there were present at least three, perhaps five
thousand people ; and during the religious services,
they ceased their wailing.
Mr. Ellis preached from Rev. xiv. 13. "Blessed
are the dead which die in the Lord." The people
were attentive, and the chiefs listened with signs
of deep interest.
After service, a procession was formed, the
prince and princess, and Hoapiri and the king,
taking the lead as mourners, and after them the
chiefs according to their rank. The procession
was led by the foreigners who were present, next
to whom followed the missionaries in mourning
dresses, and directly preceding the corpse were
the favorite attendants of the deceased. Follow-
ing the chiefs was a large train of their attendants.
All in the procession, amounting to about four
luuidred, were dressed in European style, except
a few who fell in the rear after the procession first
moved. The path was thronged on everi' side, by
thousands of the people, who had never witnessed
any thing of the kind before.
Minute guns were fired from the ships in the
roads, and the bell continued tolling until the
corpse was deposited in the place prepared for it,
which was a new house built of stone and cement-
ed with mud, designed as a tomb for the chiefs.
During the whole time the most perfect order was
preserved, and we were reminded of the similar
processions, which we had frequently witnessed
in the land of our "Fathers' Sepulchres."
Temporary dwellings were immediately erected
by the chiefs around the house where she was laid,
and in them they resided for several weeks, as a
testimony of their affection for the deceased. They
spent nuich of their time in conversing al)out their
MEMOIR nv KEOi'L'OLANT. 4I
departed chief, and the charges she had given
them during her last sickness.
Whenever any persons arrived from any part
of the islands, they went and seated themselves
beside her tomb, and there indulged in grief and
Notwithstanding all the cliarges which she gave,
and all the light wliich has been communicated by
the missionaries, there are many superstitions pre-
vailing respecting her. Some of the people assert,
and appear to believe, that she has not gone to
heaven, saying that her soul had been seen by
many of the people living on her land. Nearly all
the chiefs, however, seem to believe, that she was
a child of God, and lives in heaven.
Thus ended the life of the Hawaiian convert,
and thus terminated the ceremonies attending her
death and burial.
Explanation of the Engraving representing the
1. Porelgners.— 3. Missionaries.— 3. Favorite attend-
ants of Keopuolanl. — t. Corpse; pall-bearers the (our
queens of Rfhoriho and two principal women.— 5. The
Prince and PrlnceBa.-B. The King and Hoapirl.— 7. Ka-
ralmoku and his brother Bokl,— g. King Taumuarli and
Kaahumami.— 9. Kuaklnl and Kalakua.— 10. Plla and
Wahlnepio.— 11. Kalkloeva and Keaveamahl.— 12. Nalhl
MEMOIR OF KEOl'tJOLANI.
In the cieafli of KeopHolani, the mission has suf-
fered a loss of no small mag^iiitucle. She stood
high in the afifections of the people, and was nat-
urally of a stable character. Her influence, there-
fore, was precisely such as is always of special
value to an infant mission. Her feelings toward
the mission she fully exhibited in her last charges
to the chiefs. In these she expressed no more than
she had always manifested when in health.
To the station, which she particularly fostered,
and at which she dwelt, her loss can be repaired
only by the Providence of God in raising up an-
other like her.
But though we feel our loss most deeply, yet we
rejoice in this striking display of divine grace, and
in the victory which has been gained over t!ie
superstitious and prejudices of heathenism.
We wish all who read these memoirs of Keopuo-
lani to call to mind, that she was once a heathen ; a
heathen, too, who was satisfied with the system of
idolatry, notwithstanding all its horrors. It was
for her that tlie altar was once stained with the
blood of human sacrifice, and had she and her peo-
ple remained unenlightened, the same murderous
altar would doubtless have been stained again at
her last sickness. Let the reader contrast these
two periods of Keopuolani's life. Let him remem-
ber, too, that it was the benevolence of Christians
that took away the sting of death, and opened to
her the gate of heaven.
O that we could speak to the readers of this tract
with Keopuolani's voice, or inspire them with her
feelings, when she said, "It is not dark now: it
would have been had I died before these good
Let the friends and supporters of missions to
MEMOIR OF KEOPUOLANI. 45
the heathen, into whose hands this short narrative
may fail, call to mind that their offerings fumisiied
a part of that Ught, which shone around her path
to the grave, and dispelled the darkness which
would otherwise have hung over it.
Let him, who thinks that the heathen will never
be converted, tell, if he can, why other heathen
cannot be converted, as well as the highest chief
upon the Sandwich Islands.
Yes, the heathen can be converted. Some of
them have been, and all will be, turned unto God.
"Yea, all kings shall fall down before Him, all na-
tions shall serve Him."
May all who read of Keopuolani, be encouraged
to new and vigorous exertions in that work, which,
though great and difficult, will, through the aid of
our Almighty Helper, surely result in the uni-
versal triumph of the Gospel.
BRIEF REMARKS ON THE SANDWICH ISLANDS, AND
ON THE CHRISTIAN MISSION WHICH HAS BEEN
The reader will doubtless be pleased to see
some further notices of the Sandwich Islands, and
of the mission which has been established there,
than could properly be introduced into the preced-
ing Memoir. Such notices, derived from sources
entitled to confidence, are here inserted.
The Sandwich Islands are ten in number, and
bear the following names, written according to the
orthography adopted by the missionaries, who
have given to the people of those islands a written
language, viz: Hawaii, Maui, Tahurawe, Ranai,
Morokai, Oahu, Tauai, Niihau, Taura, and Mora-
These islands are situated in the Pacific Ocean,
between i8° 50' and 22° 20' north latitude, and
154° 55' and 160° 15' west longitude from Green-
wich. They are extended in a direction W. N. W.
and E. S. E., Hawaii being the southeastern island.
The estimated length, breadth, and superficial
contents, of each island, is as follows :
Most of the islands are mountainous, and the
mountains rise sometimes to a great height, "f he
REMAEKS ON THE SANDWICH ISLANDS. 47
summits of Mounakea and Mounaroa, on Hawaii,
are not less than 14,000 feet high, thus ascending
into the region of perpetual congelation. That
these lofty piles had a volcanic origin, there can
be no doubt. The marks of ancient craters are
numerous upon them ; and on the side of Mouna-
roa, midway between the ocean and the summit,
is one of the most remarkable volcanoes in the
Hawaii exhibits much to the beholder that is
grand and sublime. Most of the other islands,
particulariy Oahu, Tauai and Maui, are pictur-
esque and romantic. Some portions of the islands
are remarkably fertile ; other portions have but a
scanty vegetation ; and others are nothing but bar-
ren lava. Oahu is probably the most luxuriant
island in the, whole group.
The lands most susceptible of cultivation, lie
generally within from two to seven miles of the
sea. The interior is broken into steep ridges and
The chief productions are sweet potatoes, taro,
and, in some of the islands, yams. Bananas, sugar-
cane, water-meions, musk-melons, cucumbers,
cabbages, beans, and the cloth-plant, are also cul-
tivated, together with a few oranges and pine-
The population of the islands is estimated at
130,000. Of this Hawaii contains 85,000, and
The islands are now subject to one government,
consisting of a king, and a considerably body of
chiefs. The government, in, all its branches, is
hereditary. The king is regarded as owning all
the lands, and possesses unlimited power. The
lands are divided among the chiefs, who hold them
from the king, on condition of paying tribute. The
e res ting desert pHon of this volcano,
1 from "the mlsstonaries
retprred to a Journa], to he soon puhllshpa in
'" of a Tour around Hawaii, by a Depu-
people again hold the lands from the chiefs, to
whom they pay a certain portion of the produce.
Within their own territorial limits, the power of
the chiefs is absolute. The operation of this sys-
tem upon the people, is said to be very oppressive.
The character of the inhabitants, so far as they
are unaffected by the instructions of the mission-
aries, is lamentably debased. Theft, treachery,
drunkenness, impurity, and infanticide, are awful-
ly prevalent. The social and domestic virtues are
little known. Polygamy is common, and murder
by poison is believed by the natives to be very
The ancient system of idolatry is partially des-
cribed in the memoir of Keopuolani. It operated
only on the fears of its votaries. Its requisitions
were severe, and its rites cruel and bloody. Gro-
tesque and horrid wooden figures, animals, and
the bones of chiefs, were the objects of worship.
Human sacrifices were offered whenever a temple
was to be dedicated, or a chief was sick, or a war
was to be undertaken; and these occasions were
frequent. The apprehensions which the people
had of a future state, were uncertain and fearful.
The lower orders expected to be slowly devoured
by evil spirits, or to dwell with the gods in the
The several professions, such as that of the fish-
erman, the tiller of the ground, and the builder of
canoes and houses, had each their presiding dei-
ties.. Household gods were also kept, which the
natives worshipped in their habitations. The vol-
canoes had, moreover, a superintending power, the
goddess Pele, who was much dreaded. One mer-
ciful provision, however, had existed from time
immemorial, and that was sacred enclosures,
places of refuge, into which those who fled from
war, or from any violent pursuer, might enter, and
there be safe. Some description of these will be
found in the Journal already mentioned.
REMARKS ON THK SANDWICH ISLANDS, 49
The history of the islands cannot be traced with
certainty to any distant period. The lirst chapter
of the preceding Memoir relates the principal
facts, that are known previous to the death of Ta-
mehameha I ; and more recent occurrences are fre-
quently alluded to, in other parts of the work.
The system of idolatry, so far as it was con-
nected with the government, was abolished by
Riho-riho, sometimes called Tamehanieha II, the
son and successor of Tamehameha I. This was
done in 1819, before Christian missionaries came
into his dominions, and was owing to three causes :
— First, a desire to improve the condition of his
wives, who, in common with all the other females
of the islands, were subject to many painful in-
conveniences from the operation of the tabu;*
secondly, the advice of foreigners, and some of the
more intelligent chiefs; and thirdly, and prin-
cipally, the reports of what had been done by Po-
mare, in the Society Islands. A few of Riho-riho's
subjects revolted, in consequence of this measure ;
but Karaimoku, his general, defeated them, in a
decisive battle at a place called Tuamoo, and peace
was soon restored. At this time, missionaries were
on their way from the United States, and, a few
months afterwards, arrived with the Gospel of
On the 4th of April 1820, Messrs. Bingham and
Thurston, the two clerical members of the mis-
sion, were introduced to the King at Kairua, the
principal place on Hawaii, where he then resided.
They laid before him the design of their embassy,
and requested permission to settie as religious
teachers, on the different islands. Some foreign-
ers opposed, and a few of the chiefs were not per-
fectly cordial; but Karaimoku, Keopuolani, and
others, were in their favor, and the King said, "Let
them remain a year, and we shall know what to
'Bee Memoir, p. IB.
50 REMARKS ON THE SANDWICH ISLANDS.
do." A part of the number accordingly took up
their residence at Kairua ; others went to Tauai,
of which Taumuarii (TamoreeJ was king ; but the
main body settled at Honoruru, on Oahu, where
is the most convenient and most frequented har-
bor for shipping in, the whole group of islands.
At the close of the year, the King left Kairua ;
when the missionaries, who had resided there for
eight months, removed to Honoruru.
The missionaries found the language altogether
unwritten ; and the great prevalence of liquid
sounds rendered it exceedingly difficult to settle
the orthography. They however applied them-
selves diligently to the work, and made continual
and very encouraging progress. An alphabet was
agreed upon, in which every sound had its appro-
priate sign. Every word is spelled exactly as it
is pronounced, and thus the art of reading and
writing the language is rendered simple and easy.
In the beginning of 1822, so much progress had
been made, that the printing press, which the mis-
sion had carried from this country, and which is
doubtless to become a mighty means of promoting
knowledge and holiness in the islands, was put
into operation, and the first sheet of a Hawaiian
spelling book was printed. This work was soon in
great demand among the natives.
But though considerable instruction had been
imparted, through interpreters, and by other
means, at the missionary stations, and during
tours on several of the islands ; none of the mis-
sionaries had made so much progress in the lan-
guage, as to preach to the natives without an in-
terpreter, until the arrival of the Rev. William
Ellis in the spring of 1822. He came from the
Society Islands, on his way to the Marquesas, in
company with the Rev. Daniel Tyerman and
George Bennet, Esq., who bad been sent as dep-
uties of the London Missionary Society to their
missions in the South Seas. Mr. Ellis had labored
REMARKS ON THE SANDWICH ISLANDS. 51
six years in the Society Islands, was well acquaint-
ed with the Tahitian language, and found the
analogy between that and the Hawaiian dialect so
great, that, in a few weeks, he was able to use the
latter fluently. He accordingly soon began to
preach the Gospel to large and attentive auditories.
With Mr. Elhs, came two Tahitian chiefs, who
were sent, with their wives, by the churches of
Huahine, as missionaries to the Marquesas. These,
immtdiately after their arrival, were invited to a
council, by the king and chiefs of the Sandwich
Islands, where it was discovered that various re-
ports, affecting the influence of the mission, were
totally without foundation. The natural conse-
quence was a great increase of confidence, on the
part of the rulers of the islands, in the American
The Sandwich Island chiefs invited Mr. Ellis
and the two Tahitians to take up a residence
among them. To the joy of all parties, this appli-
cation was successful. Mr. Ellis went to Huahine
for his family in the fall of 1822, and returned
with them on the 4th of the February following.
Thus strengthened, the progress of the mission
was much accelerated ; and an additional impulse
was given by the arrival, in April, of a new rein-
forcement of missionaries from this country.
There are now six missionary stations:— on
Hawaii, three; on Oahu, one; on Maui, one; on
At each of these places a church has been erect-
ed by the chiefs, and the public worship of God is
regularly attended on the Sabbath. Schools are
established at the several stations, embracing, in
the whole, more than a thousand scholars. In
many instances, ihe more forward pupils have
been sent into other districts as teachers, and the
ability to read and write is daily extending among
the people. Epistolary correspondence among the
chiefs, has become common. Scarcely a vessel
52 REMARKS ON THE SANDWICH ISLANDS.
passes from one island to another, without carry-
ing many letters, composed by natives in their own
language ; though, until convinced of the contrary
by the missionaries, they regarded the "speaking
letter" as a magical operation, quite beyond their
powers of attainment.
Besides the spelling-book already mentioned,
two thousand copies of a hymn book, containing
forty-seven "Songs to Jehovah the true God," in
the Hawaiian language, have been printed, and the
work is read by the natives with much interest.
Preparations are now making for the translation
and printing of the New Testament.
It is believed that every considerable chief on
the islands favors the missionaries, the meliorat-
ing tendency of whose influence is already to be
perceived in an edict prohibiting infanticide, and
in the mildness — altogether unprecedented in
those islands — with which the late war on Tauai
was conducted. Many of the warriors on the side
of the king, were from the schools at Honoruru ;
and the vanquished were not slain, but were sent
by Karaimoku to their lands, with injunctions to
attend to the "palapda," as the system of instruc-
tion is denominated. In some instances, the ob-
servance of the Sabbath has been enjoined by
authority. Marriage has been introduced in a few
cases, and also, as appears in the preceding Me-
moir, the Christian mode of burial. The two en-
gravings in the Memoir, place the customs of
Christianity and Heathenism in affecting con-
Keopuolani is a favorable specimen of what may
be made of the native character, under the influ-
ence of the Gospel. Taumuarii, king of Tauai,
who died in May 1824, is anoth^. A Memoir of
him is promised by one of the missionaries, and
may be expected at a future period. There are
also several living chiefs, whose exemplary lives
give great satisfaction to the n ' '
REMARKS ON THE SANDWICH ISLANDS. 53
Much indeed remains to be done : but there are
many animating encouragements to persevere in
Christian exertion. There is probably not a judi-
cious friend of the mission, whose expectations
liave not been transcended. The evidence that
Almighty God looks kindly upon the enterprise,
is overwhelming. Who is on the Lord's side ? Let
him not hesitate to lend his decided and generous
aid. Every thing is to be hoped from prompt and
vigorous action ; and much to be feared from vas-
cillatingand feeble efforts.
CORRESPONDENCE OF NATIVE CHIEFS.
Letter to Pita, a chief woman in Oahu, and sister
of Kaahumanu, written by Laanui, her husband,
who, after the attack upon Karaimoku at Tauat,
went dotvn with other warriors to his aid.
Waimea, September 7, 1824.
Aroha ware ,oe, e na kaikunane elua,
Eia kau vahi olero, Aole on wahi pio. Hoo-
rohe no au i ka oielo a ke Akua, a ka mea i olai
makou, nana i pali ka poka o makou, o ka Haku
o kakou ; o ko makou mea no ia i neie roai. I ke
kaua ana, a hee no ka enemi, o kou oki no iia, aole
au i heie i ka imi pio ; noho no au me ko kaikunane,
me Hoapiri. Hoi no ko kaikunane i Waimea, o ko
makou noho roa no ia, i ka nuku muliwai. Aole
roa au wahi pio iti e hooih aku aila hoi ia oe. Pau
Eia keia wahi olelo au ia oe. I hoonoho kb kai-
kunane ia oe i Oahu. a laila an e hoi aku. Aka
hoi i horo mai no hoi oe me ko kaikunane, aole hoi
ana. Nni roa kou aroha ia oe. Aroha o Haia.
Aroha oukou a pau roa. Pau no ia.
CtHieESPONDENCE OF NATIVE CHIEFS.
Waimea, September y, 1824,
To you and your two sisters affection only.
This is my communication. I have no captive.
I regard implicitly the word of God, of Him by
whom we live, who warded off the balls from us,
who is ouf Lord and yours, and through whom
alone we are without [captives.] In the midst of
the battle, when the enemy fled, there I left off. I
went not to search for captives. I remained with
your brother, with Hoapiri. When your brother
returned to Waimea, we returned, and when we
reached Waimea, there we abode, at the mouth of
the river. Therefore I have no captive at all to
send up to you. This word is finished.
Here is this word of mine to you. Should your
sister cause you to remain at Oahu, then will I
return. But should you come down with your
sister, I shall not return.
Great is my affection for you. Attachment to
Haia. Attachment to you all. It is ended.
Translation of a letter from Kaahumanu to Riho-
riho, late king of the Sandwich Islands, written
about a month after the latter had sailed on his
voyage to England, where he died in July 1824.
January i, 1824.
Rihoriho king of Hawaii ;
Attachment great to you two.*
We are dwelling in friendship with the steward
of your lands.
Let a ship come for me. Write ye two to me
when a ship comes this way.
There shall be houses for you ; three houses,
wooden houses; in Hiro** one house, in Maui one
•Meaning the King and Queen.
CORRESPONDENCE OF NATIVE CHIEFS. 55
house, in Oahu one house, 1 am recovered from
my sickness. I shall continue here, and should
sickness come, I shall be rewarded by your feel-
ings of kindness towards me.
One month have you been gone. In the second
month I am going to Hiro to abide.
Quickly let the ship come for me.
Under the influence of your brother,* all is
well in your lands here.-
Affection from Piia, Laanui, Eeka, Kaaoaoila,
•Karalmokii, so calied
" < ~* ' • , ,' " "., < ^. i^;*.