Piilani, Kaluaikoolau, and Kaleimanu, from the pen of C. B. Hofgaard, 1916.

The Story of Piilani

At the recent meeting of the Kauai Historical Society, Judge C. B. Hofgaard, of Waimea, read the following article on the above subject:

Mrs. Piilani Kaluaikoolau died at Waimea, Kauai, on Sept. 1, 1914, after a lingering sickness and was buried the next day.

Only a few of the kamaainas among the haoles knew that she was with us and none of the younger generation of foreigners knew who she was. Piilani was the wife of Kaluaikoolau, generally called Koolau, the leper. She was with Koolau when he shot L. H. Stolz, Deputy Sheriff of Waimea, she was with him, when he stood off successfully the soldiers of the Hawaiian army, that were sent to catch him dead or alive, and she was with him when he defended his hiding-place in the pali of Kalalau; she stayed with him after the army had left and was with him constantly till his death, dug singlehanded his grave and singlehanded buried him. Her only child sickened and died in her arms while she was living in the wilderness and she and her husband buried the child.

Piilani was born at Kekaha in the year 1864. Her parents were Hoona, a man from Papaikou, Hawaii, and her mother was Kepola, a woman from Kekaha. In her childhood, she lived with her parents at Kekaha and her house was on the Mana side of the church of Kekaha. She grew up a tall, straight girl resembling her father, who is still straight for a man between seventy and eighty. She was a very goodlooking woman in her younger days and had in a great measure the litheness of the young people of her race, and she kept youthful in appearance and actions till a few years before her death. She was sick a great part of the time during the last two years of her life.

She was married to Koolau in 1881, by Father Rowell, and she and her husband always lived happily together. They had only one child, a boy by the name of Kaleimanu, who was born in 1883 and contracted his father’s dreaded disease and died while they were living as a outlaw, in the mountains of Kalalau.

Her husband, Koolau, was born in Kekaha in 1862, his parents were Kaleimanu and Kukui. He went to school with Father Rowell in Waimea from 1868 and when he came out of school he worked first with Francis Gay and later for V. Knudsen. In 1891 and 1892 there was a great activity by the authorities to get all the lepers and send them to the leper settlement at Molokai. In the fall of 1889 and possibly before, we had noticed that my friend Koolau began to show signs of the dreaded disease on his cheeks. I said “my friend” Koolau, and the reason is, that he was often my companion on hunting trips in the Puukapele region. Koolau was a splendid hunter, a fine marksman and an excellent man with the lasso; besides this he was a pleasant companion. He knew all the country west of Waimea canyon and all the haunts of the wild cattle, and when we had Koolau in the party, we were sure to find game. In a couple of years the disease developed quite noticeably, and in 1891 and 1892 when the gathering of the lepers started, he was in a bad state, and Mr. Stolz, the deputy sheriff, told him to go to Doctor Campbell and be examined. He was pronounced a leper and Stolz told him to get ready to go to Molokai. Koolau did not object and asked Stolz to leave him a few days to settle his affairs and Stolz acquiesced, as he had confidence in Koolau’s good faith.

Some of the lepers in the Waimea and Makaweli valleys had armed themselves and showed some resistance to the authorities and others had escaped to Kalalau valley.

The horror of going to Molokai and be separated from his wife and child must have preyed on Koolau’s mind and succumbing to the entreaties not to leave his wife, Koolau consented to break his word with Stolz and run away to the valley of Kalalau, where the several lepers were living in the hope that the authorities would leave them there alone, like what had been done on the island of Niihau, where they had a small colony of lepers at Kawaihoa on the western end of the island, which colony had been left alone for a number of years.

One dark night Piilani, her husband Koolau, their son Kaleimanu, Piilani’s mother Kepola and her sister Kinoulu’s daughter, Ida, started from Kekaha over the mountain to Kalalau. Kua Papiohuli went along to take back all the horses. I think no other man would have undertaken to go across the Kilohana of Kalalau in the middle of a dark night but Koolau. I found it a difficult place to find your way in in the day-time, as the place is practically flat and there were cattle-trails in all directions. The party struck the top of Kalalau valley just before daylight. They had some breakfast and Kua Papiohuli started back to Waimea with the horses. It was a cold damp day. Piilani and the others started down the trail, Koolau carrying the child in a sling that he made from his shirt. To go up or down the old trail from Kilohana into Kalalau was a task of endurance for any mountain-climber and it speaks well for the endurance of Piilani and her mother to get down to the bottom unassisted. The old trail is impassible now. In Kalalau Koolau and family first stayed with some friends and he worked in their taro-patches as payment for the food he got for himself and his family.

Shortly after coming to Kalalau, Piilani’s boy, Kaleimanu began to show signs of leprosy.

They stayed quietly in Kalalau till one day in 1883, when Piilani was startled by meeting Louis Stolz followed by Penikila, one of the police constables of Waimea. They had come down the pali to where Koolau and family lived at Nohoeiki’s house in Kalalau. She greeted them and had a long talk with them. After a while Stolz asked her where her husband was and she told them that Koolau had gone to work in the taro-patch. He then asked at what time she expected him back, to which Piilani answered that sometimes Koolau come home at noon and sometimes in the evening. Stolz told her that he was going makai and that he wanted to see Koolau and requested her to tell Koolau to come makai and see him.

Piilani had sad forebodings and began to cry and her son Kaleimanu asked her, why she cried. She lifted up the child and covered its face with kisses and could not answer the child’s question in regard to the reason for her weeping. Just then Koolau came and saw her crying with the child in her arms. He thought something had happened to the child. She said nothing had happened to the child, but threw her arms around Koolau’s neck and told him about Stolz’s visit, and Koolau tried to comfort her.

On the second day after her meeting with Mr. Stolz, the word was passed around that all the lepers were ordered by him to come makai and all the lepers and their friends went there, and they all agreed to go to the leper settlement, except Koolau, who stood up before Mr. Stolz and said: “I ask you, if you agree to let my wife go with me. I will not leave her, as we are as one, and I shall not leave her, till death does us part.”

Mr. Stolz said: “No, your wife cannot go with you, only the lepers shall go and nobody else.”

Koolau said: “Then I refuse to go to that strange place and leave the wife that I have vowed to stay with. My wife and I have sworn to be as one, when we married. I will not go alone.

Koolau was angry and deadly honest and maintained that the government had no right to separate a man from his wife and put him in a place like a prison.

Two days later, Mr. Stolz and party returned to Waimea, and all the lepers with exception of Koolau prepared to go to the leper settlement. Koolau and Piilani returned mauka and they had often visitors, and Koolau told them all to get ready, but for himself, he had decided to stay with his wife and child

(Concluded in next issue.)

[This account as told by C. B. Hofgaard continues in the 12/26/1916 issue and concludes in the 1/2/1917 issue.]

(Garden Island, 12/19/1916, p. 6)

The Story of Piilani

The Garden Island, Volume 12, Number 51, Page 6. December 19, 1916.

“Missionary Herald,” 1821–.

 Here is another reference available online. This publication was put out by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM), reporting home to America on their work throughout the world. Of particular interest to us is what they say about Hawaii. Here for instance is an article appearing in the year of the overthrow, 1893.

The position taken by the United States Secretary of State in regard to affairs at the Hawaiian Islands is simply astounding. That he should suggest that the United States interpose for the restoration of the late Hawaiian Queen seems almost incredible. Even were it admitted, as it is not, that our representatives at Hawaii afforded unwarrantable aid to the revolutionary party, it is a strange suggestion that, after this lapse of time, our government should reseat upon the throne one who had forfeited all her rights to it, and whose influence was only detrimental to the interests of the islands. The so-called royal house of Hawaii has been its curse for years. Queen Liliuokalani had yielded to the corrupting influences which every decent man had recognized as becoming more and more potent in political affairs at the islands, and by influences which she knew how to exert on the worst classes, she secured the passage of the bill giving a home on Hawaii to the infamous Louisiana Lottery which had been driven out of the United States. Restrictions upon the opium traffic, so necessary for the welfare of Hawaiians, were removed. A faithful cabinet was displaced and men of no character were placed in power. But the final act, which was practical…

(Missionary Herald, 12/1893, p. 510.)

 

The position taken...

The Missionary Herald, Volume LXXXIX, Number XII, Page 510. December 1893.

…suicide of the monarchy, was the attempt on her part to abrogate the Constitution and by sheer force establish a new one of her own making. Even her subservient ministers refused to endorse the scheme, yet she insisted upon it and sought to incite the populace to stand by her in her autocratic plans. It was then that all the better classes united as one man and deposed her. Never was there a revolution more warranted by facts, never was one more peacefully accomplished, and a queen of worthless character was set aside and the monarchy by its own act came to an end. If Minister Stevens or the commander of the Boston erred in judgment in any transaction, which we are not prepared to admit, yet there is no valid ground for the interference of our government to reverse the revolution months after it was consummated. We do not speak here of the political question as to what it is expedient for the United States to do in reference to a protectorate or to annexation. Opinions of these points may differ, but it would seem as if there were no room for difference of opinion in regard to this question of reestablishing the old monarchy on Hawaii. The best portion of her citizens have asked for some form of connection with the United States. Our government has a perfect right to say yes or no to all these proposals. And the Provisional Government at Honolulu has a right to say to us, “Either accept our proposal or hands off.” We regret to be obliged to speak in such terms of propositions that come from our national administration. We certainly should not do so did we not believe that any attempt to restore the Hawaiian Queen to her throne would be a gross outrage, and would be followed by the most serious consequences to the moral and religious interests of the islands, as well as to their material prosperity. We cannot think that our people will tolerate any intervention which has for its object the replacing upon the throne of a sovereign whose influence will be only for evil.

(Missionary Herald, 12/1893, p. 511.)

Continue reading

On Aloha Aina, 1893.

“Breathes there a man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own my native land.”
(Scott.)

Many of those who support honestly the present state of affairs, have done so in the full hope and belief, that thereby the flag of their country—the Stars and Stripes—will float over the land in perpetuity. Not a single Hawaiian, however, even those few whose signatures to annexation petitions (not 200 in number and mostly convicts.) have been bought or forced by necessity from them, desires to see any foreign flag replace his own. Continue reading

Mourning for the end of the Provisional Government? 1894.

Flags in Mourning.

On this day, the 30th of May, the House of Representatives opened with flags at half staff, showing that this was a day of mourning for this provisional government, being that their life under this temporary government is almost at an end.

(Nupepa Ka Oiaio (puka pule), 6/1/1894, p. 2)

He Welona Hae Kanikau.

Nupepa Ka Oiaio (puka pule), Buke IV, Helu 22, Aoao 2. Iune 1, 1894.

The Hawaiian Moses? 1893.

“THE MISTAKES OF MOSES.”

We refer, of course, to the Hawaiian political Moses, who has recently broken camp, and set the faithful in motion through sea, desert and wilderness to the Land of Promise, beyond the shadow of the Throne. Yes! We refer to the Hawaiian political Moses, but whether his other name is Dole or Thurston, has not, at this writing, fully transpired. Still, the doubt as to his other name is a merely nominal doubt, not affecting the merits of the case. And as the original state—man of that name was not gifted with immunity from error, so neither has the Hawaiian Moses, even during his very brief pilgrimage, avoided all mistakes. It should ever be the part of a friend to note his friends’ infirmities, and, by bringing them mildly to their authors’ notice, suggest their reform, or convey a warning against their repetition.

———

We are all aware of the high pressure of seeming necessity under which the present government was formed. We can therefore appreciate, to some extent, the causes of the neglect to observe, towards the numerous Native element, those marks of regard and confidence without which no government can hope to endure in Hawaii. We repeat, that the pressure of the occasion must be the excuse of the gentlemen at the head of the movement for their seemingly unfriendly, and even hostile attitude toward the entire Native race, in the ordering of early events under the new dispensation.

———

The exclusion of Hawaiians from a participation in the beneficent project not only seemed, but was, and is complete. There may have been, and no doubt were reasons, seemingly sound to those who adopted them, for such a course,—reasons of which the public cannot judge, because the public know them not. Yet it would seem that one of two propositions must be true; viz.: either the Hawaiians were needlessly, and, therefore, harshly excluded from such participation in the reforming of their own government, or else the entire race were deemed by the leaders to be unfit to participate in such an enterprise.

———

If the former of the above propositions be true, one would naturally expect the mistake to be rectified at the earliest opportunity. That it has not been rectified would seem to stamp it as having been no mistake, but a course deliberately adopted, for, note the opportunity to retrieve the error, (if error it had been thought to be) in the filling of the four vacancies in the Advisory Council, on the 21st inst. It was then, as seems to us, the manifest duty of the government to seek out and appoint to those vacancies, men of Hawaiian blood, whose brains, interests and loyalty to the new idea bespoke than as deserving of such honor and confidence.

———

The failure of the government to attempt to bring even one Hawaiian to a seat at the Council Board is susceptible of only one of two meanings:—1st, that no Hawaiian could be found possessing those qualifications, or, 2nd, that the government were determined to ignore and exclude them, in any event.

———

If such exclusion was premeditated and malicious, the less said of it the better, as it is self-condemnatory. If on the other hand, there be no native Hawaiian fit to occupy a seat in the government councils, with what degree of candor or confidence can the Provisional Government request of expect the United States to incorporate our country into itself? What a commentary upon that request is the action of the government itself, in thus excluding from their confidence the entire aboriginal race, more completely than the Mongolian is now excluded from the Union. Forty odd thousand Hawaiians on these shores, and not one, (in the opinion of the government,) entitled or qualified to have a voice in the government of his native land. What a text for the American enemies of annexation, and how they will use it!

(Liberal, 1/25/1893, p. 2)

"THE MISTAKES OF MOSES."

The Liberal, Volume I, Number 39, Page 2. January 25, 1893.

C. C. Moreno on missionaries, 1893.

A Misunderstood People.

MORENO ON THE MISSIONARIES.

Editor Post: For several years your public-spirited paper has published correspondence and statements submitted by me about Hawaii in which was foreshadowed the present state of affairs. The revolution which has just taken place is the inevitable result of missionary rule; the long-standing and deep-rooted cause of the unrest.

The missionaries in Hawaii, as in China, Japan, and elsewhere, consider that country as their open hunting grounds, regardless of the rights, customs, wishes, and priviliges of the natives and of stipulations.

I positively know that the self-appointed four chiefs of the Provisional Government in the Hawaiian Islands and the five commissioners coming to Washington to negotiate a treaty of annexation are, without a single exception, missionariesʻ confederates. Not a single native Hawaiian is with them, therefore, they cannot be considered as the representatives of the Hawaiian nation, of which they are aliens and enemies, but only as the emissaries of one side (or of a higher), which is not the right side.

The truth about Hawaiian affairs has never reached the State Department and that is the reason why, in the department, the knife has always been taken by the blade instead of by the handle in dealing with the Hawaiian question.

The United States always sent third rate politicians as ministers and consult to Honolulu, hence the erroneous information about Hawaii. I have on the spot studied Hawaii and the Hawaiians, their troubles with the missionaries of all creeds, and when distant from the islands I have kept an uninterrupted correspondence with the leaders of the Hawaiian nation, such as the Hons. Wilcox, Bush, Testa, Kaai, Kapena, Kaunamano, Kimo Pelekane [James I. Dowsett], and others.

My views on the Hawaiian question I explained at length to President Hayes and Secretary of State Evarts, to President Cleveland and to Assistant Secretary of State Porter: later, to Senator Morgan and to Congressman McCreary, and these are the statesmen that ought to dispose of the Hawaiian question and render justice to the weak, ill-treated, honest, and generous Hawaiian people that have been continually misrepresented, misjudged, and grossly wronged.

In accordance with the good order of things the coming self-appointed and self-styled Hawaiian commissioners, with more appearance than substance, should not be received by the United States authorities, because their self-attributed mission to Washington is based only upon selfish and malignant motives.

This will be a good opportunity for the great people of the United States to show their sentiment for fair play and generosity toward the unfortunate, harmless, friendly, and oppressed Hawaiian people, worthy of sympathy and of help in this their hour of national distress.

Celco Cæsar Moreno.

(Liberal, 2/25/1893, p. 2)

A Misunderstood People.

The Liberal, Volume I, Number 48, Page 2. February 25, 1893.

Writing on the wall, 1894.

The Day of Happiness is a Day of Sadness.

On this day, those who took our beloved land by force rejoice, and it makes a full years since they’ve feasted wastefully of the fertile soil of our mother land. This day is one of happiness for the circle of missionaries, plunderers of land, and overthrowers of the Hawaiian Kingdom, as well as for those who enter join their circle.

It is true, they will indeed rejoice; however, along with this joy, there is hurt within. Look at Belshazzar [Belehazara] the one whose boast went, “Am I not Belshazzar, the builder of the Great Babylon? Look at its shiny walls, its beautiful images, and its Throne has authority and might.”

However, let us recall, O Hawaiian Lahui, his story; what is known? it is this: That night, everyone was joyous, and drinking wine from cups sacred to Jehovah, Almighty God; and they praised Belshazzar for his great beauty. However, while the rejoicing was going on, there was seen part of a hand writing some words on the wall of the house—Mene, Mene, Setela, Uparesina; You have been weighed on the scales and have been found wanting. It was these astonishing words which caused a fear to fall over everyone in the house; and as for the king Beshazzar, he was shaking with trepidation at this amazing portion of a hand.

And that is what we are saying: the day of joy of the Government of the P. G. [Provisional Government], is the day that sadness will come; for we have seen their actions done over the past year. They were not actions done to move this land forward, but actions that were clearly harmful as well as squandering. Therefore O Pious Ones, do not forget to remember Jehovah, God, and he shall help us.

Puuwaialoha [“Loving-heart”]

(Leo o ka Lahui, 1/17/1894, p. 2)

Ka La o ka Hauoli oia no ka La o ka Luuluu.

Ka Leo o ka Lahui, Buke II, Helu 856, Aoao 2. Ianuari 17, 1894.

Workings of the Provisional Government, 1893.

INDEPENDENCE DAY OF THE PORTUGUESE.

An Association of the Portuguese honored their independence day on the evening of Friday last week, in their club house on the streets of Alapai and Punchbowl [Puowaina]. Amongst this group of Portuguese were seen some with soldier uniforms like that of the Americans that were supplied by the P. G. This is the astonishing thing about this: these Portuguese soldiers of the Government of the P. G. went to celebrate their independence, and yet they are insistently trying to wrench that right from Hawaii. This is like the missionary family of these days who we’ve seen holding the Bible in one hand while with the other hand, carrying out treachery to the people to whom they taught not to break the Ten laws of God.

(Leo o ka Lahui, 12/4/1893, p. 2)

LA KUOKOA O NA PUKIKI.

Ka Leo o ka Lahui, Buke II, Helu 826, Aoao 2. Dekemaba 4, 1893.