Report of Kalakaua’s death from the “San Francisco Chronicle,” 1891.

KALAKAUA DEAD

Last Hours of the Hawaiian Monarch.

Solemn Scenes at the Royal Bedside.

The Succession and the Political Situation.

Sketches of the Dead Sovereign and of the Heirs to the Throne.

Kalakaua I., King of the Hawaiian Islands, is dead. He expired at 2:33 o’clock yesterday afternoon in his room at the Palace Hotel, where for three days he had lain unconscious on his bed. Surrounding him at the moment of his death were Col. Macfarlane, the King’s Chamberlain; Col. Hoapili Baker, His Majesty’s Equerry-in-waiting; Hawaiian Consul McKinley, Admiral Brown, U. S. N. Rev. J. Sanders Reed, Rev. F. H. Church and a number of personal friends of the King. Immediately after the death, Admiral Brown notified the Secretary of the Navy of that fact, Mayor Sanderson was also notified, and he called a meeting of the Supervisors for 9 o’clock this morning to consider proper action in the matter. The remains were embalmed and this afternoon they will be removed to the mortuary chapel of Trinity Church, where they will be guarded by a detail of United States soldiers.

At the Deathbed.

The Scenes in the Chamber of the Dying Monarch.

It was a pitiful and most impressive scene. The dying monarch lay gasping upon his bed, his emaciated body heaving convulsively with each of his labored respirations. At the bedside stood two ministers of the Gospel, physicians of the body had given way when they had come to the sad conclusion that Kalakaua was beyond mortal aid. Seated at the head of the bed, clasping the left hand of his King was Col. Baker, Kalakaua’s Aid-de-camp, whose strong frame was bent with sorrow, and who with great difficulty kept back the flood of tears which trembled in his eyes. Bending over from the right side was Col. Macfarlane, Chamberlain of the King. The suspense of the last few days had almost prostrated him, and his face bore traces of weeping. Crouched upon the floor against the wall near the bedside were the King’s valet Kahikina, an Hawaiian youth, and Kalua, a young girl from the Gilbert islands, who had been a most devoted servant to Kalakaua. They formed part of his suite on his arrival here.

Only a light coverlet of rich brown design covered the body of the King. In his struggles to throw off the firm reaper who was gradually pressing more heavily upon him, Kalakaua had thrust his arms out upon the bed. During the forenoon his faithful servant Kalua, in an endeavor to make the King as comfortable as possible, had placed beneath his chin a wide soft scarf of blue silk. There it remained until the death, seeming as it rose and fell upon the bright red undershirt to be symbolical of the wavering between this and the great beyond of the spirit of the stricken King.

Kalakaua was possessed of great vitality, and to the last he resisted the destroyer with a persistence which excited the wonder of the medical men, who knew that the King’s time had come. Though for three days past he had been unconscious and life had apparently been kept in him merely by the stimulants applied internally through natural channels or hypodermically, his constitution seemed determined to keep the spirit with the trembling body. Even after the physicians had relinquished all hope and, knowing that he must die, had ceased to apply stimulants, he continued to struggle on.

During the morning Drs. Woods, Watts, Sanger and Taylor were in attendance.

They consulted and announced that in their opinion the King would not live more than a few hours. He had then been unconscious for nearly forty hours, with the exception of one brief moment in the early morning, when he recognized Admiral Brown and spoke to Colonel Baker saying:

“Well, I am a very sick man.” Continue reading

Last words of the King, 1891.

Kalakaua’s Last Words Preserved by Phonograph.

Outside the little circle of immediate friends and attendants upon the late King Kalakaua who were admitted into the sick chamber it is not known that for the ten days prior to the monarch’s death an Edison phonograph stood near the bedside. Many who saw the instrument daily never suspected its character or use, and during the excitable days preceeding the King’s death, during which every nerve was taxed to its greatest tension, the innocent-looking little machine reposed in its shaded corner unnoticed and unobserved by all except the King’s chamberlain and his secretary. Continue reading