julie kaomea on elimination and education in c19 hawai’i


Julie Kaomea, ‘Education for Elimination in Nineteenth-Century Hawai`i: Settler Colonialism and the Native Hawaiian Chiefs’ Children’s Boarding School’, History of Education Quarterly 54, 2 (2014).

bit in lieu of abstract:

On August 27, 1862, the much-loved crown prince and heir apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawai’i died tragically and inexplicably at the tender age of four. Prince Albert Edward Kauikeaouli Kaleiopapa, the beloved child of a long line of chiefs, was the only son of Alexander Liholiho (Kamehameha IV) and Emma Na′ea (Queen Emma). He was believed to be the last child to be born to a reigning Hawaiian monarch and the last hope of the Kamehameha Dynasty. Adored by the Hawaiian public, his birth was celebrated for days throughout the islands. Likewise, his untimely death was mourned for years to come as it left his parents heartbroken and the Hawaiian nation without a constitutionally recognized heir. One of the Hawaiian newspapers is quoted as saying, “The death of no other person could have been so severe a blow to the King and his people.” The following year, the King himself died of grief and despair.

There are many unanswered questions that shroud this young prince’s death. The most notable being the still unknown reasons behind his sudden and fatal illness. While others have retrospectively reevaluated Prince Albert’s medical diagnoses and how he may have contracted the illness, this paper examines what I believe to be a larger question surrounding the prince’s early demise, that is, why was he the sole member of his royal cohort? In a society where children, and particularly ali′i (chief or chiefly) children, were valued and cherished, why were there not more young ali′i of his generation?

Using settler colonialism as a theoretical framework, this paper links the dramatic, mid-nineteenth-century decline in ali’i births to the residential Hawaiian Chiefs’ Children’s School where Prince Albert’s parents, Alexander Liholiho and Emma Na’ea, along with fourteen other young ali’i of their generation, attended as children.


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