Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hawaii Mourns the Death of Their Beloved Ka'iulani - March 6, 1899

March 6th, 1899 marked the end of an era; Hawaii's most beloved Hawaii/Scot, Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Cleghorn passed away. It was an unexpected shock for the Hawaiian nation. Some said she had a weak heart, but Ka'iulani was strong. She loved the outdoors where she surfed, paddled and practiced the ancient Hawaiian art of Lua. Although she became ill after encountering a storm on the Island of Hawaii, no one believed it would lead to her death.

The New York Times read: "Princess Ka’iulani died March 6 of inflammatory rheumatism contracted several weeks ago while of a visit to the Island of Hawaii. The funeral of the Princess will occur on Sunday, March 12, from the old native church, and will be under the direction for the Government. The ceremonies will be on a scale befitting the rank of the young Princess. The body is lying in state at Ainahau, the Princess’s old home. Thousands of persons, both native and white, have gone out to the place, and the whole town is in mourning. Flags on the Government buildings are at half mast, as are those on the residences of the foreign Consuls."

The old native church, the Times refers to is Kawaiaha'o Church.

Colonel MacFarlane, a family friend, noted, "The heart weakness, was the result of shock; the direct consequence of the blow that struck the young girl of scarce 19 when a cablegram announced that her promised kingdom had been wrenched away from her."

Death did not come easily to Ka'iulani. She fought it till the end. Today, Princess Ka'iulani can be remembered as a heroine of Hawaii and a shining light for the young people of the islands.

Read more about Ka'iulani - Her Life & Times.

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