The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Reverend and Mrs William Hoapili Kaauwai

Reverend and Mrs William Hoapili Kaauwai

A carte-de-visite portrait of the Reverend William Hoapili Kaauwai, the first Episcopal deacon ordained in Hawaii and his wife, Mary Ann Kiliwehi. In 1865 the couple accompanied the widowed Queen Emma of Hawaii on her trip to England, William as her chaplain and Mary Ann as her Lady-in-Waiting.

According to his obituary, William Hoapili Kaauwai ‘was our friend, and we sincerely deplore his death. He was, when we first met him in 1861, a young chief of great promise; and when he went to England with his wife, to accompany Her Majesty, Queen Emma, he was regarded abroad as a noble specimen of his race. Her Majesty the Queen of England honoured him by inviting him to deliver a discourse in the Royal Chapel at Windsor before the Court assembled at the Castle; and he was subsequently honoured by an invitation to dine with Her Majesty, Queen Victoria and some noble company. But perhaps the trip to Europe was disastrous in its results to Hoapili. He who went away such a loving husband, came back jealous and discontented, and unhappy till the day of his death. He sailed from London to New Zealand, and formed a friendship with Tamare the kingly Chief of the Maoris; and he planned a scheme to establish a colony of Maoris in Hawai’i. He was full of noble ideas for the welfare of his country; and although he fell away of late years; yet we must say that our friend Hoapili was in his best days, by his intelligence, and fine looking person, a most noble Hawaiian; and his death is a loss to his country.

‘He had received from His Majesty the appoint of Royal Chamberlain, and he was packing up in order to remove to the Palace, when death suddenly called upon him as he sat in his chair, and was giving an order, on Monday at noon the 30th March’ [Nuhou, 7 April 1874].

Photographed by W. Jeffrey of London.


Code: 125706
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© Paul Frecker 2018