JUNE 24, 1899


Born Kapiʻolani Napelakapuokakaʻe, December 31, 1834, in Hilo, Hawaiʻi, her names meant “The Arch [of] Heaven” & “The Sacred Flesh of Kakae.”  At 16, she became ward of King Kamehameha III.  Married in 1852 to High Chief Bennett Nāmākēhā, uncle of Queen Emma, she was the Queen’s foremost lady-in-waiting.  Widowed by 1860, she soon married David Kalākaua, member of the House of Nobles & Privy Council of State for Kings Kamehameha IV & V, and Lunalilo.  After Lunalilo’s 1874 death, Kalākaua became King, and Kapiʻolani, Queen Consort.  She focused on the health of Hawaiians, established Kapiʻolani Maternity Home, visited Oahu’s Kakaʻako Branch Hospital, and improved living conditions for lepers on Molokaʻi.  In 1887, she led a delegation that met with President & Mrs. Grover Cleveland and attended Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, but left when Kalākaua was forced to sign the Bayonet Constitution.  After his death in 1888, Kapiʻolani left public life to her residence Pualeilani in Waikīkī.

Source:  Horace Wright, “All Hawaii Mourns the Death of Kapiolani,” The San Francisco Call, 7/5/1899.  Retrieved 5/18/2020, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1899-07-05/ed-1/seq-12/
Photo:  A. A. Montano (1847-1913), circa 1877.  Public Domain. Source: Hawaii state archives. Call Number: PPWD-15-7.024. 

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