Kaumualii was the last independent Alii Aimoku (King of the islands) of Kauai
Kauai or Kauai, known as Tauai in the ancient Kaua'i dialect, is geologically the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands. With an area of , it is the fourth largest of the main islands in the Hawaiian archipelago, and the 21st largest island in the United States. Known also as the "Garden Isle",...

 and Niihau
Niihau or Niihau is the seventh largest of the inhabited Hawaiian Islands in the U.S. state of Hawaii, having an area of . Niihau lies southwest of Kauai across the Kaulakahi Channel. Several intermittent playa lakes provide wetland habitats for the Hawaiian Coot, the Black-winged Stilt, and the...

 before becoming a vassal of Kamehameha I
Kamehameha I
Kamehameha I , also known as Kamehameha the Great, conquered the Hawaiian Islands and formally established the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1810. By developing alliances with the major Pacific colonial powers, Kamehameha preserved Hawaii's independence under his rule...

 of the unified Kingdom of Hawaii
Kingdom of Hawaii
The Kingdom of Hawaii was established during the years 1795 to 1810 with the subjugation of the smaller independent chiefdoms of Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lānai, Kauai and Niihau by the chiefdom of Hawaii into one unified government...

 in 1810. He was the 23rd high chief of Kauai, reigning from 1794-1810.
Although he was sometimes known as George Kaumualii, he should not be confused with his son who is more commonly known by that name.


Kaumualii was the only son of Queen Kamakahelei
Kamakahelei , was Alii Aimoku, or Queen regnant, of the islands of Kauai. She was the 22nd ruling chiefess of Kauai reigning from 1770 - 1794. In some historical reference she has been described as a regent for her sons Keawe and Kaumualii...

, 22nd Alii Aimoku of Kauai and Niihau, and her husband, Alii Kāeokūlani (c. 1754–1794), regent of Maui
The island of Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands at and is the 17th largest island in the United States. Maui is part of the state of Hawaii and is the largest of Maui County's four islands, bigger than Lānai, Kahoolawe, and Molokai. In 2010, Maui had a population of 144,444,...

 and Molokai
Molokai or Molokai is an island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is 38 by 10 miles in size with a land area of , making it the fifth largest of the main Hawaiian Islands and the 27th largest island in the United States. It lies east of Oahu across the 25-mile wide Kaiwi Channel and north of...

. Kāeokūlani was the younger son of Kekaulike, the 23rd Alii Aimoku and Moi of Maui. He became the co-king and effectively ruler of Kauai by his marriage. When Kamakahelei died in 1794, he passed their titles and positions to the 16-year-old Kaumualii, who reigned under the regency of Chief Inamoo until he came of age. His first wife and queen was his half-sister Kawalu of Oahu
Oahu or Oahu , known as "The Gathering Place", is the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands and most populous of the islands in the U.S. state of Hawaii. The state capital Honolulu is located on the southeast coast...

. His second wife was his niece Kaapuwai Kapuaamoku of Kōloa
Koloa, Hawaii
Kōloa is a census-designated place in Kauai County, Hawaii, United States. The population was 1,942 at the 2000 census. Kōloa is often incorrectly translated as native duck, which is the correct translation for the similar-looking koloa . Kōloa has no known translation...

, and finally the queen regent Kaahumanu (1768–1832), Kamehameha's widow.


Kauai and Niihau had eluded Kamehameha's control since he first tried to add them to his kingdom in 1796, a year after Kaumualii became king. At that time, the governor of Island of Hawaii
Hawaii (island)
The Island of Hawaii, also called the Big Island or Hawaii Island , is a volcanic island in the North Pacific Ocean...

 led a rebellion against Kamehameha, forcing him to return home. Kamehameha tried again in 1803, but disease ravaged his armies, and he called a retreat to heal his men and work on his strategy. Over the next years Kamehameha amassed the largest armada Hawaii had ever seen: foreign-built schooners and massive war canoes, armed with cannons and carrying his vast army. Kaumualii decided to negotiate a peaceful resolution rather than resort to bloodshed. The move was supported by Kamehameha as well as the people of Kauai and the foreign sandalwood
Sandalwood is the name of a class of fragrant woods from trees in the genus Santalum. The woods are heavy, yellow, and fine-grained, and unlike many other aromatic woods they retain their fragrance for decades. As well as using the harvested and cut wood in-situ, essential oils are also extracted...

 merchants on the island, whose trade was hurt by the constant feuding. In 1810, Kaumualii became Kamehameha's vassal, and all the islands were united for the first time. Kaumualii continued to serve as Kamehameha's governor of Kauai
Governors of Kauai
The Governor of Kauai was the royal governor or viceroy of the island of Kauai and island of Niihau during the Kingdom of Hawaii. The Governor of Kauai was usually a Hawaiian chief or prince and could even be a woman. The Governor had authority over the islands of Kauai and Niihau, and it was up to...


In 1815, a ship from the Russian-American Company
Russian-American Company
The Russian-American Company was a state-sponsored chartered company formed largely on the basis of the so-called Shelekhov-Golikov Company of Grigory Shelekhov and Ivan Larionovich Golikov The Russian-American Company (officially: Under His Imperial Majesty's Highest Protection (patronage)...

 was wrecked on the island. In 1816, an agreement was signed by Kaumualii to allow the Russians to build Russian Fort Elizabeth
Russian Fort Elizabeth
Russian Fort Elizabeth is a fort on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. It was the last remaining Russian fort on the Hawaiian islands, built in the early 19th century by the Russian-American Company as the result of an alliance with High Chief Kaumualii to gain influence in Hawaii...

. Construction was begun in 1817, but by fall of that year Russians were expelled. Perhaps Kamehameha feared they would support Kaumualii in a bid for independence.

In 1817 he married Kekaihaakūlou who became known as Deborah Kapule.

Kamehameha I died in 1819, and the Hawaiians grew fearful that Kaumualii would sever Kauai's relationship with the united Hawaii. Kamehameha's widow Kaahumanu was the effective political force in the kingdom. On September 16, 1821 the new young King Kamehameha II
Kamehameha II
Kamehameha II was the second king of the Kingdom of Hawaii. His birth name was Liholiho and full name was Kalaninui kua Liholiho i ke kapu Iolani...

 arrived and invited Kaumualii aboard. That night they sailed away to Honolulu, where Kaumualii was effectively under house arrest. To make the domination clear, Kaahumanu forced him to marry her, to ensure the island chain's union. They remained officially married until his death on May 26, 1824 but had no children. By his wishes, his body was taken to Maui
The island of Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands at and is the 17th largest island in the United States. Maui is part of the state of Hawaii and is the largest of Maui County's four islands, bigger than Lānai, Kahoolawe, and Molokai. In 2010, Maui had a population of 144,444,...

, and buried in the cemetery at Wainee Church
Waiola Church
Waiola Church is the site of a historic mission established in 1823 on the island of Maui in Hawaii. Originally called Wainee Church till 1953, the cemetery is the final resting place for early members of the royal family of the Kingdom of Hawaii....


Kaumualii was popular both among his people and foreigners who visited and worked on his islands. Captain George Vancouver
George Vancouver
Captain George Vancouver RN was an English officer of the British Royal Navy, best known for his 1791-95 expedition, which explored and charted North America's northwestern Pacific Coast regions, including the coasts of contemporary Alaska, British Columbia, Washington and Oregon...

, who had given the young king a flock of sheep as a gift in 1792, was thanked with a lavish banquet and described his host glowingly. Kaumualii was described as handsome, likeable, and courteous, as well as a capable leader. He was sincerely mourned by the people of Kauai.


After Kaumualii's death in 1824, his son by a commoner, George "Prince" Kaumualii Humehume
Humehume , known by many different names during his time, such as George Prince, George Prince Kaumualii, Tamoree or Kumoree by American writers, was a son of the king of part of the Hawaiian Islands. He traveled widely, served in the U.S...

 (1797–1826), also known as George Tamoree, attempted to re-establish the independence on Kauai, but was also eventually captured and taken to Honolulu. Humehume died of influenza in Honolulu and his only issue was a daughter by Elizabeth Peke Davis named Harriet Kawahinekipi Kaumualii
Harriet Kawahinekipi
Harriet Kawahinekipi Kaumualii was a Hawaiian noble during the Kingdom of Hawaii.She was a high chiefess as the granddaughter of Isaac Davis Aikake, the royal advisor to King Kamehameha I. Some also consider her a Princess of the kingdom of Kauai being granddaughter of King Kaumualii.-Early...

. Humehume's half-brother Aaron Kealiiahonui was also forced to marry Queen Kaahumanu. Kaahumanu would later abandon Kealiiahonui and embrace Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, taking the name "Elizabeth". Kealiiahonui later married Princess Anna Keahikuni-i-Kekauonohi the Governess of Maui and Kauai who was a widow of Kamehameha II
Kamehameha II
Kamehameha II was the second king of the Kingdom of Hawaii. His birth name was Liholiho and full name was Kalaninui kua Liholiho i ke kapu Iolani...


King Kaumualii's granddaughter Kapiolani
Queen Kapiolani
Queen Kapiolani formally Esther Kapiolani or Esther Kapiolani Napelakapuokakae, was married to King David Kalākaua and reigned as Queen Consort of the Kingdom of Hawaii.-Life:...

 (1834–1899) of Hilo (also known as Esther or Julia Kapiolani, eldest daughter of Kaumualii's daughter Princess Kekaulike Kinoiki) married David Kalākaua
Kalākaua, born David Laamea Kamanakapuu Mahinulani Nalaiaehuokalani Lumialani Kalākaua and sometimes called The Merrie Monarch , was the last reigning king of the Kingdom of Hawaii...

. In 1874, the couple was elected by the Hawaiian legislature as King and Queen of the Hawaiian Islands, as king Kalākaua and Queen Kapiolani. Her youngest sister Princess Victoria Kuhio Kinoike Kekaulike (1843–1884) of Hilo was later appointed Governor of the island of Kauai, Princess and Royal Highness. Her other sister Princess Virginia Kapooloku Poomaikelani
Virginia Kapooloku Poomaikelani was a member of the royal family of the Kingdom of Hawaii.-Life:She was born at Piihonua, Hilo, Hawaii Island on April 7, 1839, the second daughter of Princess Kinoike Kekaulike of Kauai and High Chief Kūhiō Kalanianaole of Hilo.She was sister to Queen Kapiolani who...

 (1839–1895) succeeded her sister as Governor of the island of Kauai and was made Guardian of the Royal Tombs.

Princess Victoria Kūhiō Kinoike Kekaulike progeny are regarded by some as "legitimist" claimants to the crown of the Hawaiian monarchy. Her children included:
  • David Laamea Kahalepouli Kawānanakoa
    David Kawananakoa
    Prince David Laamea Kahalepouli Kinoiki Kawānanakoa Piikoi , was the patriarch of the House of Kawānanakoa. He was in the line of succession to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii around the time of the kingdom's overthrow.-Life:...

  • Edward Abner Keliiahonui
    Edward Keliiahonui
    Edward Abnel Keliiahonui Piikoi was a prince of the Kingdom of Hawaii. His second name was probably based on "Abner", but sounds for "r" and "l" are used interchangeably in some dialects of the Hawaiian language.-Early life:...

  • Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaole
    Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana'ole
    Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaole Piikoi was a prince of the reigning House of Kalākaua when the Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown by international businessmen in 1893...


Only David had descendants, called the House of Kawānanakoa
House of Kawananakoa
The House of Kawānanakoa, or the Kawānanakoa Dynasty in Waiting, are presumptive heirs to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii.-Origins:...


Hawaii Route 50
Hawaii Route 50
Route 50 is a road that stretches from Route 56 at the junction of Rice Street in Lihue to a point approximately 1/5 mile north of the northernmost entrance of the Pacific Missile Range Facility on the western shore of Kauai. It is the longest numbered road on the island of Kauai is named...

 on Kauai is named "Kaumualii Highway" in his honor.

External links

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