MARCH 21, 1804


Born circa 1736, he was key in raising Kamehameha I to the throne of Hawaiʻi and served in a role similar to Commander in Chief or Prime Minister.  Son of a chief, the name, Keʻeaumoku, meant “Island-climbing Swimmer.”  In 1782, at the Battle of Mokuʻōhai near Keʻei, Kona, he led Kamehameha’s warriors to victory over Kamehameha’s cousin, Kīwalaʻō, who was killed.  George Vancouver, during his Expedition (1791–95), was convinced by Keʻeaumoku to trust Kamehameha, leading to return visits and an alliance with the British.  Keʻeaumoku married Nāmāhānaʻi Kaleleokalani, widow queen of the late king of Maui.  Their children were influential at the beginning of the Hawaiian Kingdom.  Their great-grandsons, Kamehameha IV, Kamehameha V and Lunalilo ruled Hawaii from 1855 to 1874.  While preparing for an invasion of Kauaʻi island against King Kaumualiʻi, an epidemic (likely cholera) hit Kamehameha and many of his troops, killing thousands. Among them was Keʻeaumoku.  

Source:  “KEEAUMOKU PĀPAIAHIAHI,” People Pill.  Retrieved 1/16/2020, Https://Peoplepill.Com/People/Keeaumoku-Papaiahiahi/
Image:  Hawaii Land Cover Analysis project, NOAA Coastal Services Center, 1999-2001.  Simulated true-color image of the island of Hawai'i from Landsat 7 satallite.  Public Domain.

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