SEPTEMBER 16, 1823


Born of high rank circa 1778 and raised on Maui by her grandmother Kalola, Keōpūolani married Kamehameha I in 1795.  Like Kamehameha’s chief wife Ka’ahumanu, she rebelled against the old ways.  When Keopuolani’s daughter Nāhienaena was born, she kept her near rather than hand her over to another chief to raise as was custom.  On the day after her husband’s death in 1819, she ate coconuts, previously forbidden to women, and she sat down with the chiefs for a meal.  She approved of the missionaries and studied Christianity, had her two younger children learn to read and write, wore Western clothes, and had furniture in her house.  As her health failed in 1823, she moved her family back to Maui.  Baptized while on her death bed, she was considered “the first fruit of the mission.”  Her children included Liholiho, later known as Kamehameha II; Kauikeaouli, later known as Kamehameha III; and Princess Nāhienaena (c. 1815–1836).

Source:  “Keopuolani (c. 1778–1823),”, 2002.  Retrieved 7/13/2019,
Illustration:  The American Tract Society, circa 1855.  Public Domain in U.S.:  Pre 1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 100 years or less

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