On the birthday of Kamehameha III, 1958.

The King’s Birthday: Was It in Spring Instead of August?

By EMMA LYONS DOYLE

The appearance in Hawaiian Holiday of an article on Kamehameha III two weeks ago revived interest among old timers in a question that in years gone by aroused both query and controversy.

Was Kauikeaouli’s birthday Aug. 11, or was it March 17?

The latter date until recent years this writer believed to be the correct one. It was known to have been observed during the king’s lifetime, with flag flying, celebrations and official calls.

Makua Laiana’s [Lorenzo Lyons’] journal, dated Waimea, March 17, 1849, records: “The King’s birthday. People ordered not to do any work. Public meeting, but Royal Proclamation disregarded by many.”

Kauikeaouli, it must be remembered, was born in a period when time was reckoned by the unwritten Hawaiian calendar, one that was established, detailed and well arranged, but so different from the later-adopted haole calendar that it would not be strange if confusion sometimes occurred.

The August date was affirmed by Fornander, and appears in Alexander’s Brief History of the Hawaiian People. Hawaiian Holiday’s article was timed and written in acceptance of these statements, and its length being limited, did not include mention of the controversy.

In August, 1847, there appeared in the Hawaiian publication Elele Hawaii [10/6/1847, pp. 99–100] an article by G. S. Keliumiumi, vehemently and poetically protesting the celebration of the king’s birthday in March.

He quotes Keaweamahi as one authority, and says in part, “Know then by this document the correct and the truth of King Kamehameha being born on the 11th day of the month of Hinaiaeleele, which is August…

David Malo, in 1847, also disputed the March date, saying he was present at Keauhou when the king was born. “I did not know how to reckon months at that time,” he wrote, but he cited a fishing season and certain events that would mark the period.

Fornander, in a chronological table that appeared in Hitchcock’s English – Hawaiian dictionary, says for 1813: “Kauikeaouli, afterward Kamehameha III, was born on Aug. 11 to Kamehameha and Keopuolani. The day of his birth, however was in after years conventionally fixed for March 17, but the above date is the testimony of his nurse, Emilia Keaweamahi, wife of Kaieoewa [Kaikioewa], Governor of Kauai. (Kamakau mentions Kaikeoewa as the infant’s protector.)

And now for a surprise!

Very unexpectedly, the writer has been given permission to use and extract from the journal of no less a person than John Young:

“Kawaihae, March, 1813.

“News came by bearer a few days hence of the birth of a child who will be declared kabu as an heir to this kingdom’s throne.

“Tamehameha is overjoyed. He declares a great feast and a number of sacrifices, and a time of great celebration.

“Mother and I go to celebrate. Grace is ill today. Fanny, John, James and the kahus shall go with me.”

As this journal probably has never seen publication, it may be that our story represents a scoop on a human interest item 145 years old, a journalistic triumph for a historian.

In any case, let’s hope March 17, 1959, will be duly celebrated. Twice within the span of a year is not too often to remember the good king.

(Advertiser, 8/24/1958, Hawaiian Holiday, p. 7)

Advertiser_8_24_1958_HH_7.png

Honolulu Advertiser, 102nd Year, Number 34,394, Hawaiian Holiday, Page 7. August 24, 1958.

Obituaries and Vital Statistics, 1835.

DEATHS.

Nov. 26. William Moxley of Ewa.

Dec. 25. Davida Tamehameha died in Honolulu. He was seven years old.

Dec. 16. Died in Honolulu was Olohana (Mr. John Young), he was a very old haole; he was ninety-three years old and lived in this archipelago for 46 years.

PEOPLE WHO DIED.

At Waialua these four months.

August, 0

September, 7

October, 5

November, 5

17

Those born.

August, 5

September, 0

October, 0

November, 2

7

By Laanui.

The people who died and were born in Kahuku these three months.

  died;  born

September, 4;  1

October, 0;  1

November, 4;  0

8;  2

By Kaihikapu.

(Kumu Hawaii, 12/23/1835, p. 207)

MAKE.

Ke Kumu Hawaii, Buke 1, Pepa 26, Aoao 207. Dekemaba 23, 1835.

History of the Hawaiian Flag. 1862.

“The Beautiful Flag of Hawaii,
Let it forever wave.”

The Hawaiian Flag

We are pleased and happy about the Hawaiian Flag printed above, and the people subscribing to Ka Nupepa Kuokoa will be delighted to see it. We display the Flag, urged to do so by our great aloha for our King, Queen, and Ka Haku o Hawaii, their son, as well as for our Nation. The love by the people for their flag of their country is customary, and when they see her fluttering, it fills their hearts with joy.

The printing of the Flag in a Newspaper is something new, along with the displaying of its colors*. This is something not done previously here, as well as in some foreign countries. Perhaps our friends will inquire as to who did this work. Some Hawaiians did the work, people from this Archipelago, and they were taught to do this in our Printing Office. Here is how it was done: Woodblocks were carved in the fashion of the flag using two blocks. When it was printed, first the blue was printed, allowed to set, then the red was printed. This printing was done solely by Hawaiians. Such is the intelligence of the kanaka maoli, and that is how we recognize it. If we are instructed to do any task under the sun, Hawaiians can do the same as the white-skinned people.

If you should want to see this, you should support Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, and urge your acquaintances and friends to pay the two dollars a year. If you would kindly help, you will see many things that will gladden and instruct you.

You, O fluttering Flag,
The proud blossom of Hawaii.
Established by Kamehameha the great,
With Spear in hand, with strength,
Flutter over Hawaii and Niihau, and give protection.
Beneath your wings,
So that the peace of Hawaii be known,
By her King and the people as well.
The cross on your crest that Britain holds dear,
The Nations of Europe also give acclaim,
You are the Flag of old,
The time of Kamehameha the great,
The bravest warrior of Hawaii,
He who joined the islands,
With unity from end to end,
Living as one in contentment,
Along with the Spear upon which he erected,
The steadfast Nation of Hawaii.
We rejoice, and rejoice for all time,
His famed accomplishments,
You wave there above,
The crown of Iolani, the king
While giving shelter,
To Emma, the Queen.
Along with Ka Haku o Hawaii.
The Royal child of Iolani and Emma,
And Kalohelani, the Regent, Victoria Kamamalu.
The loving aunt of the young lord, Prince Albert,
Do remember his His Highness, Lot Kapuaiwa,
Cleansing the fruit of the pandanus in the sea,
Your fluttering has garnered
The peace that allowed us to seek,
The knowledge that has come,
To the Hawaiian populace.
That year long ago.
You were taken from your proper place.
Not a year passed,
You were raised by the loving hands of Admiral Thomas.
The one you fondly recall,
On the day of his death when it approaches,
You will wave there, O beautiful Flag.
O symbol of Hawaii’s Independence ;
Here is your body, being brought.
Before your beloved people,
By the Newspaper called,
Ka Nupepa Kuokoa of Hawaii,
The Excellence of your Nation.
A garment that adorns the Hawaiian People,
Wave forever.
Over the beloved sea of Mamala,
We, Hawaii, will cherish always,
The eternal glory of thy name.
The Hawaiian Flag! The Hawaiian Flag!!
The Flag of the Islands of Kamehameha IV.

This Flag was first designed in the year 1816 for Kamehameha I.

The King, wanting a ship to sail to China to sell Sandalwood, searched along with John Young, Isaac Davis, and Captain Alexander Adams of Kalihi, who is still living, for a Flag for the ship. It was a man-o-war, called the Forrester, carrying sixteen guns. Kamehameha I owned the ship.

When the Flag was completed, the ship sailed to Macao. The Flag was puzzled over, and was not accepted as a National Flag. The ship was charged exorbitantly for harbor fees, the Sandalwood was sold for a loss, and the ship returned to Hawaii.

The King learned of this loss, and he said that a tax should be placed on the harbor of Honolulu like those of foreign lands. That is when duty was first charged for the harbor.

In 1843, the 25th of February, this Flag was taken down by Lord George Paulet [Lo Keoki], with the intent that this Archipelago be taken as a possession of Great Britain. The British flag was raised on flag poles all around the land, until the 31st of July of that year.

It was Admiral Thomas who restored the Flag, for he disputed the actions of Lord George Paulet.

[Notice the English column to the left, which gives a translation of the Hawaiian. It seems this issue of the Kuokoa was sent to home by many a missionary, to show the progress they were making…

*A word of clarification: This is not the first time color appears in a newspaper. For more on this topic, see Hana Hou Magazine, August/September 2011: “Read All About It!” by Ron Williams.

For more flag articles, just click here!]

(Kuokoa, 1/1/1862, p. 1)

"Ka Hae Nani o Hawaii...

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke I, Helu 6, Aoao 1. Ianuari 1, 1862.