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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 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 
Children's Society. 

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. 

Missionary Rooms, 

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 
system, ----------- 





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 
her, 1' 


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 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.— 
Funeral.^Conoluaion. ------- 

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 

his wife. 

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 



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. 



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 
with Keopuolani. 

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- 


■ KliOl'UOLANi. 

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- 



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 



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 



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 
year 1819. 

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 ?" 



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- 



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 
accompany her. 

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," 



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 
future state. 

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 



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. 



"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 



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 
stay out." 

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 
Jesus Christ." 

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- 



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 



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 
tongues !" 

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 
Christian cause. 

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 



, 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, 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. 



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 



Her sickness.— Is visited by the missionaries. — 
Charge to Karaimoku, and Keeaumoku. — Her 



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 
night there. 



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 



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 
charge reepei,!; 

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 



"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. 



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 
receive me." 

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 



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 



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 



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. 





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." 



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 



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 
Funeral Procession. 

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 
and Kaplolanl. 






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 



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. 




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 



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 
deep ravines. 

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 
Oahu 20,000. 

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 
burning mountains. 

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. 



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 
Jesus Christ. 

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. 



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 



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 
Tauai, one. 

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 



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 ' ' 



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. 


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 
ia orero, 

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. 




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. 



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 


'., j^,-'. 

" < ~* ' • , ,' " "., < ^. i^;*.