Journey of the Alii, Queen Liliuokalani, to the Colony of Kalawao.
To the Editor of the “Daily Ko Hawaii Pae Aina,”
J. U. Kawainui,
At 10 at night on this past Sunday, April 26, 1891, the steamship Likelike left the wharf of Ainahou, taking upon her deck beloved Hawaii’s favorite, to see the group of the lahui who are in pain and great suffering. There were three hundred or so people on this tour. Here are the dignitaries who went:
Queen Liliuokalani, Prince Keliianaole [Kalanianaole], Prime Minister Sam Parker, President D. Dayton, Agent of the Board of Health, Lalana, Hon. J. Nawahi, Hon. L. W. P. Kanealii, Hon. D. W. Pua, Hon. J. K. Hookano, E. Lilikalani, Hon. J. G. Hoapili, French Commissioner, Portuguese Commissioner, Mr. and Mrs. C. Clarke, Joseph Heleluhe, Mrs. Limaheihei, Mrs. Pamahoa Kalauli, Mr. and Mrs. S. M. Kaaukai, Mrs. L. Keohokalole, A. Mahaulu, Bishop Wills, Father Leolono, J. N. K. Keola, G. W. Kualaku, Tamara Meekapu, Mr. and Mrs. Auld and daughters, Mr. and Mrs. Ailau, Band Master Berger and 31 band members, two haole women, Mrs. Makanoe and father, Mrs. Kuihelani, Mahoe, Malaea Kaaipeelua, Lula Kahelemauna, Mrs. Akau and the many others for whom I have don’t have their names.
The ocean was fine, there wasn’t much wind, but there was enough wind to carry the favorite one, landing before her makaainana who suffer in pain. The light of the queen of the night shown down beautifully; the wheel of the princess, the younger sister, Likelike [referring to the ship], pushed against the sea of Kaiwi, the beloved sea, like a child carried before the friends in misfortune; eyes searching the tips of the waves for land, with sorrowful tears for their birth land. At 6 in the morning, on Monday, April 27, 1891 they landed at the harbor of Kalaupapa.
The mast in the aft of the Likelike flew the crown flag, announcing here I am with a heavy heart for all of you. The town of Kalaupapa was spread out before us, from the seaside to the uplands, with cliffs surrounding, lined up on the west side of the town.
The land was astir with people at the harbor wanting to embrace with tears the Queen and her people; and likewise the alii, the Queen, and her people wanted to do the same.
The ships anchor was let down and it was announced that the first canoes to come by would take all the band members ashore, and then the rest with the Queen. At that time i moved to go along on these canoes, and my wish was fulfilled. There were two skiffs that carried the band members and when we were almost at shore, the people of that land saw me along with my beloved who lies in the sand of Papaloa.¹
I left this place on the 4th of August, 1890, at 8:30 a.m.; it has been 8 months, and I have reunited with my beloved, through this fine endeavor, it must be praised.
When we were being rowed ashore, the schooner, Robaloe of Hon. D. Kahanu was at the harbor, and upon its deck was the captain and the sailors, who honored this expedition of the Queen, with blazing torches on its deck. When we landed, we saw the arches from the supervisor, W. H. Tell, done by the speedy head carpenter, B. Reid, along with the letter painter, John Kamano; the first arch read, “Aloha to the Queen,” and it was decorated with fragrant leaves of the forests by the committee of J. Kahaulelio and C. Kopena. That was the first arch at the head of the bridge, and at the east corner of the storehouse, stood an arch with the words, “Strive for the Summit” [“Kulia i ka nuu”].
When the crown flag was taken down, it was known by the people who were to set off gun salutes to the Queen, who were at Kiokio, on the road that went up to Kalae; they were lead by the artillery officer, John Gaiser, a German. The canon fire roared among the cliffs, and the boom resounded louder than the artillery of Kakaako; a 21 gun salute was given for the Queen.
When the alii came to shore, the suffering people were speechless at the heavenly one appearing before them, like a dream occurring while they slept and then disappearing, but when they awoke from this sleep, the loving visage of the alii was still there. The skiff of the Queen landed, being rowed by the boat crew [boki kolu] that came along on this ship from Honolulu.
And when the steps of the Alii tread upon the land, the national anthem was sung by the 6 band members and 2 drummers of the Society of United Hearts of Kalawao [? Hui Puuwai Lokahi o Kalawao] in a circular building standing atop the spring called Lenalena—this is the spring of the friends whose bones rest in this foreign land, with stories painful to hear being told under the lead of Charles Manua, Jr. There was a kokua and five children who were afllicted with this pitiful burden, also there were the cries of the land and the skiffs bringing the passengers to land.
There was no one who could withhold their tears as a result of the great aloha felt; the heavenly one’s tears flowed forth, and those of the Prince welled up. The tears of the Prime Minister fell as well as those of the members of the Board of Health, when their eyes fell upon the natives of these islands beset in sorrow. When the band was done playing, the Royal Hawaiian Band played as we are accustomed to hear, and when they were through, the Queen passed through the first arch along with her attendants, which I earlier described at the head of the wharf, and walked over the wharf as if it were a road and arrived at the storehouse of the Board of Health. The Queen passed before it, and arrived at the eastern corner of the second arch shown before; there they came up to the hack of the nuns, which the Queen, Prince Kalanianaole, and Minister S. Parker were taken on by J. Kahaulelio to the home of the luna, W. H. Tell. And when Hawaii’s Queen, who governs the archipelago of Hawaii, arrived as a guest, the third arch at the gate of the luna’s yard welcomed her with the painted letters: “Aloha to You O Heavenly One.” Through this gate, before the lanai, was the blazing torches of Iwikauikaua, and on the 4th arch were the words: “The Motto of Your Kingdom is ‘Pono.'” The Queen entered the home of the superintendent, W. H. Tell and his wife who were sitting in the parlor of the home, and who were calling out to the Woman Ruler to come inside. Then the entourage who came to see first-hand the fate of the patients, took shelter within the house. They lounged on the lanai and in the parlor of the home which was festooned with the greenery of the pali, whose sweet fragrance wafted to the sea travellers, leaving them with no reason to fault this land, and with the exhaling of the breath of the wondrous Queen of the Hawaii’s monarchy from times long ago, for which Hawaii has only seen ruling kings until the seventh ruler [Kalakaua] that passed on, and the eighth of the rulers of the Hawaiian archipelago and the eight sea; we now have a royal one, a sacred one, a woman ruler. And at this time of great wonder, with Her aloha, she came here first to see this group of her people who are crying, and to share with them the motto of Her rule which we all hold firm in our hearts. Right, and making right [O ka pono a me ka hoopono hoi], is the motto of her rule, and that is why the Queen started her path, as we are seeing now, for Kalawao. And the Queen and her people hold fast to the words of the great book: “What are riches, if we gain everything, and lose our lives?”
W. H. Kahumoku,
Honolulu, April 28, 1891.
¹It seems that W. H. Kahumoku’s wife died there not that long prior to this visit.
(Kuokoa, 5/2/1891, p. 3)