JUNE 2, 1851


Born at Lahaina, Maui, circa 1805, Kekau’onohi was a granddaughter of Kamehameha I. She married her uncle, Kamehameha II. After his death in 1824, she went to live with half-brother Kahalaiʻa Luanuʻu, then-governor of Kauaʻi. In 1832, she married Kealiiahonui, a son of Kaua‘i’s last king. In 1840, Kekau’onohi became governor of Kauaʻi (1840-45) as well as a member of the House of Nobles and Privy Council. After the Great Mahele (land division) in 1848, she became the 2nd largest land holder in Hawai’i after the king. During an 1846 visit to Hawai‘i, British Admiral Henry Byam Martin noted:  “She sailed into the room with all the pomp and majesty of Q. Elizabeth. Her dress . . . a very transparent muslin shirt — through which those parts of her person, which in most countries are covered, were very visible.” When Kekau’onohi died in Honolulu, she was noted as “the last of the old stock of chiefs — one of the best of them — good natured, benevolent, liberal and generous.”

  Hank Soboleski, “Princess Kekauonohi, Kaua‘i's fourth governor,” The Garden Island, 3/10/2013.  Retrieved 11/10/2021, Princess Kekauonohi, Kaua‘i's fourth governor - The Garden Island
Photo:  Author and date unknown.  Public Domain. Source: Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum archives.

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