New missionaries, 1862.

[Found under: “NA MISIONARI HOU.”]

These are the names of the missionaries in the archipelago of Nuuhiva, and where they live.

At Omoa—Rev. J. W. Kaiwi and his wife, Hana Napaeaina [Napaeaena].
At Hanavave—Rev. L. Kuaihelani and his wife, Susana Kapuuhonua. Continue reading


News from the Marquesas, 1861.


In this issue, there is a letter from Rev. J. Kekela speaking of the difficulties of Paulo Kapohaku, at Heteani, pertaining to his house house burning; and the difficulties of Rev. S. Kauwealoha at Hanatekuua, pertaining to the abuse of the pagans [pegana] to the locals there; their belongings were stolen and thereafter they [the pegans] tore down S. Kauwealoha’s house and took all his belongings from within.

Continue reading

Hawaiians in the Marquesas Islands, 2002.

Our Honolulu

By Bob Krauss

Letters tell of forgotten Hawaiians

HIVA OA, Marquesas Islands—At Atuona, a tattooed Marquesas wearing a “Aranui Crew” tank-top pointed from the cargo deck down the pier and shouted, “Hawaiian.”

We walked over to a medium-sized man beside a pickup loaded with copra andshook hands with James Kekela. He is the descendant and namesake of a Hawaiian missionary to the Marquesas who was honored by President Abraham Lincoln for saving an American sailor from the cannibal pot. Continue reading

Zakaria Hapuku writes from Atuona, Hiva Oa, 1865.

From Z. Hapuku.

Atuona, Hivaoa,
Nov. 25, 1865.

Rev. L. H. Gulick, Aloha oe:—Because the skiff of the haole came to purchase food at our valley, therefore I am placing this letter of Aloha to you, and all the teachers from Hawaii to Kauai, and the churches of God. Continue reading

Death of Simeon Kaiu, 1835.


Waimea, September 26, 1835.

Aloha to you, O Tinker. This is my thought for you. One of our fellow travellers has recently died, Simeon Kaiu, he has died. He was not terribly sick, and he died. Perhaps one of his blood vessels severed in his chest, and he could not breathe, and he died. September 11 was the day he died. We know how he lived, when we travelled to Nuuhiwa and came back. His was as kindly as ever, as he did the work of the Lord. Simeon and Deborah [Debora] were in Wailua a few months ago spreading the word of God. They showed those ignorant ones of enlightenment. He lived there, where he died. He was a greatly beloved brethren on Kauai. He is much mourned for in this land. He is one of the first fruit picked here in Hawaii. He was baptized in the month of December, 1825. The baptism took place in Honolulu with Kaahumanu. From that time until he died, we know not of any wrong he committed, from what we saw he only did good. Simeona did not make clear what his thoughts were upon his leaving, for he died quickly. When he lived amongst us, we witnessed the fruit of the Spirit. Therefore we believe that he is doing well in that life. “Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.”—Luke xii—43.

By Whitney.

[According to S. M. Kamakau, on December 4, 1825, baptized were: E. Kaahumanu, Kalanimoku, A. Keliiahonui, Lidia Namahana, Kekuaipiia, Gikeona Laanui, Simeona Kaiu, Debora Kapule Haakulou, and R. Kalaaiaulu.]

(Kumu Hawaii, 10/14/1835, p. 165)


Ke Kumu Hawaii, Buke 1, Pepa 21, Aoao 165. Okatoba 14, 1835.

More on the life and passing of Naomi Kekela, 1902.


On the 30th of August, 1902, a most noteworthy woman of Hawaii was called to her reward. Her modesty was as great as her worth—and it seems fitting that some memories of her and the times in which she lived be prepared by one who knew her. Mrs. Kekela was the daughter of humble, faithful, church members of the Waialua, Oahu church; under the pastoral care of Rev. John S. Emerson. She was born in 1826, and spent her happy, care-free childhood attending the common schools of Waialua, in play hours roaming at will, the plains, the mountains and valleys, or sporting in the blue Pacific. But as she grew and had passed her ninth birthday her parents sent her, before her tenth, to enter the Girls’ Boarding School at Wailuku, Maui, or as they called it, “Kula Hanai Kaikamahine, ma Wailuku.[“] This boarding school was the forerunner of all the now successful seminaries for Hawaiian girls. The school was started by Rev. J. S. Green, but very soon passed to the care and responsibility of Mr. Edward Bailey, who managed all the business of the institution, but the matron and teacher of the girls was Mrs. Maria Ogden, who lived in a small two-story house on the premises. Mrs. E. Bailey assisted as she was able. Memory carries me back as I write this, to a visit made to this school in the early forties, when, as a child, I went with my mother and sisters to Maui. Landing from a schooner at Lahaina, we passed a pleasant week with the missionary families of Lahainaluna and Lahainalalo, and took the usual way to reach Wailuku. We embarked in a double canoe at midnight, under the wonderful, clear, star-lit heavens; and were paddled, close in shore all the way, in the shadow of W. Maui mountains, to Maalea Bay, where we landed on the wild rocks, surrounded with tall Pili grass, and soon were tucked away in maneles, and carried on the shoulders of stalwart Hawaiian men up to the mission station in Wailuku, where we met a warm welcome from Miss Og-

(Continued on page 11.)

(Friend, 10/1902, p. 6)


The Friend, Volume LX, Number X, Page 6. October 1902.

den and her school. Most vividly returns to me the memory of the long adobe thatched buildings, the dormitories, the school and dining-rooms, and the sight of that supper table to which we sat down. The company at the small square table of Miss Ogden, in the centre of the room, looking down on the long low tables of the girls, which were completely garlanded from end to end with wreaths or leis, of the fragrant Four-o-Clocks blossoms of many hues, which they cultivated in their own little flower-beds. All the girls stood by their places until they had sweetly sung together one verse, their “Grace before meat,” when they seated themselves all together, on the low backless benches, and attacked their bowls of poi and relishes in the usual way of the land, with their fingers. Always dipping their fingers before and after eating in bowls of clean water, which stood handy to all, on the table. Naomi was one of the girls amid that crowd, and she always retained a memory of “that visit of Mrs. Chamberlain and her little girls,” as her husband and children testify. After the meal the leis were heaped on the heads and shoulders of their guests. To this school-home in June, 1847, came a young student of Lahainaluna Seminary, Mr. James Hunnewell Kekela, (who had been a protege of the gentleman whose name he bore) and was also a native of Waialua. He had just graduated, and here, in the school-home of Naomi, at Wailuku, a beautiful wedding ceremony was observed. The minister who tied the nuptial knot was Rev. T. Dwight Hunt, who was then the missionary of the Hawaiian church in Wailuku. Later, he commenced preaching to foreigners in Honolulu, and was called from there to inaugurate a church in San Francisco in 1849, which is now one of the flourishing churches of that city. The young couple at once returned to Waialua, where Rev. J. S. Emerson had formed a separate church organization at Kahuku, Oahu, and very soon Mr. Kekela was ordained and placed over that church, this same being the very first church upon the islands to be placed under the care of a Hawaiian pastor.

(Continued on page 13.)

(Friend, 10/1902, p. 11)

den and her school.

The Friend, Volume LX, Number X, Page 11. October 1902.

They remained in Kahuku until 1853. Here their first little daughter was born and died in a few months of the first epidemic of measles,—and here was born the second daughter daughter, Maria Ogden Kekela, whose life and death are so well known to the H. M. C. Soc. When the Mission to the Caroline Islands was sent out in 1852, Rev. J. Kekela accompanied Rev. E. W. Clark as a delegate, and soon after his return to Oahu again, came the personal call to himself and Naomi to go as Foreign Missionaries. The story of the arrival of the Marquesas chief Matunui, with his Hawaiian son-in-law, in Honolulu with an appeal for the Gospel to be again sent from Hawaii to that savage cannibal people sounds like romance, and a most tremendous wave of religious and missionary enthusiasm spread all over the isalnds. The writer of this article, (when she had returned in 1854 from the United States from a course of education), received from her mother all the particulars of that wonderful time, of the public meetings, of the impression made by Matunui, of the choice of Rev. and Mrs. James Kekela to go as missionaries, of the great trial to the faith and love of Mrs. Naomi Kekela, in that it seemed that they should leave little Maria behind, of the final triumph of faith, when dear Mother Ogden had said, “I will adopt her as my own child,” their departure and many other facts.

Of Mrs. Kekela’s life at the Marquesas there is not time now to write much. It can be more fully dwelt on in future years when her husband’s heroic race is finished. But she never desired or asked to return to her native land for a visit, not even to see her beloved child! On one trip of the Morning Star, Miss Maria O. Kekela (after she had completed her course at Oahu College) was sent down to see her mother. Many children were born to them in the Marquesas—of whom Susan (who was also adopted by Miss Ogden and lived with her until Miss O’s death); James, who died a young man at Waialua; Samuel, adopted son of Rev. and Mrs. Kauwealoha, their associates, who had no children, who was educated by the H. M. C. Soc. at the farm school at Makawao, and who returned to his parents; and Rachel, educated at Mauna Olu Seminary under Miss Helen Carpenter, are best known here.

In 1899 it was deemed best by the officers of the Hawaiian Board that Rev. and Mrs. Kekela return to their native land, bringing their two youngest daughters and a number of grandchildren, to be educated in Hawaii. At the annual meeting of the Woman’s Board of Mission’s in June, 1899, it was the writer’s privilege to introduce with warm welcome, this beloved missionary mother to the large assembly; and we all listened to her words of greeting and mention of her life service with great delight, as translated to us by Rev. O. H. Gulick. Ten children in all were born to the Kekela family, seven of whom are now living. Nineteen grand-children are living, and thirteen great-grand-children. Mr. and Mrs. Kekela spent the first year after their return from the Marquesas in Kau, Hawaii, where Mrs. Maria O. Martin’s children were settled in happy and comfortable circumstances. Then they came to Oahu, to the home of their daughter Susan, a widow, at Waianae. Here Mrs. Kekela was called to her Heavenly Home very suddenly with heart trouble from which she had long suffered. The funeral was observed at Waianae, Sabbath P. M. August 31st. It was a matter of much regret that from the fact of death occurring so suddenly and so near the Sab-

(Friend, 10/1902, p. 13)

They remained in Kahuku...

The Friend, Volume LX, Number X, Page 13. October 1902.

bath no foreign pastor could attend the funeral, but the two native pastors, Rev. Messrs. Kaaia and Kekehuna [Kekahuna] made the services most appropriate and memorable.

Martha A. Chamberlain.

(Friend, 10/1902, p. 14)

bath no foreign pastor...

The Friend, Volume LX, Number X, Page 14. October 1902.

Reverend James Kekela plaque at Kawaiahao Church, 2013.
















[Kekela is buried in the cemetery of Kawaiahao Church in front of his daughter Maria. His wife Naomi however is buried at the Waianae Church.]

(Kawaiahao Church)

Kawaiahao Church

Rev. James Kekela Plaque, Kawaiahao Church

Introduction to the reminiscences of Hawaiian missionary James Kekela, 1901.


Rev. J. Kekelaokalani and Naomi

On the 22nd of May, 1821, at Mokuleia, Waialua Oahu, born of Awilinui and Kauwanui, his wife, was a big well filled-out baby with the blessings of the Heavens, and child was called by the name Kekelaokalani. This was the thirteenth of their children. Twelve were born prior, and with the [unclear phrase] of that fine offspring.

It was here that that child was raised until he was capable of understanding things for himself.

In the year 1832, Emerson, Sr. [Emekona Makua] arrived in Waialua, and in the following 1833 [unclear] he built a schoolhouse with his wife for the young men and women to enlighten them with knowledge. From among the first women to be taught there at that school was Kahaweli, the younger sister of the mother of that child. And following her, his mother as well attended the school until she was educated; and she began teaching the children the alphabet [Pi-a-pa], the beginnings of knowledge. It was this mother who guided him at that time in the knowledge about God and Sunday School, and it was thus that the sacred work of God was instilled a top the fontanel of the head [piko o ke poo] of this child, which is silver now, as in the picture above.

When that child was thirteen years old, being that he had received the beginnings of the light of true knowledge, he began to travel the width of the plain of Mokuleia for Waialua, with patience and without exhaustion, to receive the good teachings of the elder Emersons. In this year, those fine elders got great help in the form of Mr. Rose (Loke), a haole teacher. After one year of attending this school, Emerson went to Lahaina, and from there he told Kekelaokalani to come to Lahainaluna.

In August 1838, he entered Lahainaluna, and there he patiently remained for five years and he graduated in the year 1843. During those years at Lahainaluna, he learned everything about the true knowledge, as well as actual knowledge; and he remained, following the rules of the school, and as a result of his following the rules, he gained the full trust and total faith of the teachers.

After his days of learning were over, and he received his Diploma [Palapala Hoomaikai], Emerson, Sr. encouraged him to join the school for the clergy [Kula Kahunapule] that was started that very year. There were six students at the time, and Emerson wanted greatly for him to join. And because of the guidance of the righteous Spirit, he agreed, and so began his actual performing of the work of God. He spent four years at this work, and graduated with a Diploma from the teachers, in the year 1847.

When he received his Diploma, he married Miss Naomi, one of the educated young women of the time, and was living under the instruction of the teachers of the Girls’ School of Wailuku, Maui. After they were wed, he was sent to teach the Word of the Lord in the District of Kahuku, Oahu, and there he began his work with patience, with the word of life.

And he thus patiently continued as but a preacher; and when his readiness and progress was seen, he was ordained at his own parish.

From then until 1852, he strove to convert the Koolau Cliffs, and the fruits of his patience were many. When the head Missionaries saw his progress of his work, he was sent by the first Evangelical Convention held here on Oahu in the year 1852 as a Representative to travel to the places suitable to build parishes of the Lord in the Micronesian Islands.

He went to the islands of the South Pacific four times:

1. 1852—Went and returned that same year.

2. 1853—Went and returned in 1858.

3. 1859—Went again and returned in 1879.

4. 1880—Returned to his parish until this past year 1899, and came back, in feeble health.

Here is the entire story of his first excursion, copied from his journal:

[A long account follows. Perhaps i will post it here one of these days…]

¹Kekela was based in the Marquesas Islands, and not the Micronesian Islands.

(Kuokoa, 1/18/1901, p. 5)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke XXXIX, Helu 3, Aoao 5. Ianuari 18, 1901.

James Kekela retires, 1899.


After fifty years of the Rev. James Kekela and his wife carrying out missionary work, and after forty-six years of them telling the Gospel of Christ [Euanelio o Karisto] in the Marquesas [Makuisa], here they are returning to spend the rest of their days here in their homeland.

They are being accompanied by their children and grandchildren totalling 14. According to the last word heard, they will be carried by a schooner of 50 tons, chartered to return them home. This month they will leave the Marquesas, and in March they will arrive here. According to what the newspaper the Friend published about Kekela and his fellow missionaries:

Their good works which they have done have spread wide. Kekela was honored by Lincoln when he tried to save the life of an American officer [Jonathan Whalon].

Kekela, Kauwealoha, and Hapuku civilized the ignorant of the Marquesas, and their fame has spread to Tahiti and the colonies of France in the South and East Pacific.

Kauwealoha has no children, and will live there until he dies; but for Kekela, he has a big family, and according to his friends, he is bringing back a part of his family to the land of his birth.

[There are many many letters in the Hawaiian-Language Newspapers throughout the years from the Marquesas Islands written by these Hawaiian missionaries: James Kekela, Zachariah Hapuku, and Samuel Kauwealoha.]

(Aloha Aina, 2/18/1899, p. 5)


Ke Aloha Aina, Buke V, Helu 7, Aoao 5. Feberuari 18, 1899.