FEBRUARY 7, 1827


Born at Kauiki, Maui, circa 1768, he was a grandson of Kekaulike, King of Maui. Adopting the name William Pitt after his contemporary, the Prime Minister of Great Britain William Pitt the Younger, he was often addressed as Mr. Pitt or Billy Bitt. Kalanimoku served as Kamehameha I’s chief minister & treasurer possessing great abilities in both governmental & business affairs. Well liked, trusted & respected, he was called “the iron cable of Hawaiʻi.” His many wives included Likelike and Akahi. In 1819, he was baptized a Roman Catholic aboard the French ship Uranie and led an army to quash the revolt of Kekuaokalani at the December 1819 Battle of Kuamoʻo. Kalanimoku served as regent with Queen Kaʻahumanu when Kamehameha II traveled to London in 1823, and to Kamehameha III after Kamehameha II’s death in 1824. He died at Kamakahonu (home of Kamehameha I) in Kailua Kona, on the island of Hawai’i.

  “Barbara del Piano, “Kalanimoku: Iron Cable of the Hawaiian Kingdom, 1769–1827,” Hawaiian Journal of History, volume 43, 2009 Honolulu, Hawaiian Historical Society.  Retrieved:  7/12/2022, HJH43_1-28.pdf (hawaii.edu)
Painting:  Louis Choris (1795-1828), 1816. Public Domain.   

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