Kepakemapa 23: Kalahala ʻana ʻo Kepelino Kahōʻāliʻi

September 23, 1876: Pardoning of Kepelino Kahōʻāliʻi

Kepelino was a staunch supporter of Queen Emma. Credit: Honolulu Advertiser Library Archives

On September 23, 1876, the Privy Council met to recommend to his majesty, King Kalākaua, to pardon a number of prisoners. Of those prisoners listed for consideration was “Kahoalii,” who had been sentenced to death for treason. “Kahoalii,” formally known as Zepherin “Kepelino” Kahōʻāliʻi Keauokalani was a Native Hawaiian cultural historian famous for authoring Kepelino’s Traditions of Hawaii.  Kepelino’s treason case was connected to Queen Emma and his support for her candidacy for the throne in the 1874 monarchical election against Kalākaua. Rioting immediately ensued. After the queen’s loss, Kepelino became involved in an unsuccessful plot to overthrow Kalākaua.

Below is a chart containing the names and crimes of the prisoners considered for pardon.

Chart contains names derived from Privy Council Minutes 1875-1881.

Relevant excerpts from the Privy Council minutes in ʻŌlelo are provided below, followed by a short transcription. Kepelino’s pardon was published in the Hawaiian Gazette on October 4, 1876.

A ua hooholo ia —
Hoike mai ka Loio Kuhina i keia Olelo Hooholo, Hoohoholoia– Na ka Moi, ma ka Aha Kukamalu, e kalahala aku i ka poe nona na inoa malalo iho, e hoopaa inei ma Kawa. Aiana (Pake), Kakuahewa, Hulu, Alohikea, Kahoalii, John Padeken, H Padeken, Kailiuakea(?), Hapa, ame Kawika.

Noi mai His Ex. W.L.(?) Green e hooholo pakahi ma keia pae inoa. A ua ae ia. Ua hooholoia e kalahala Ka Moi ia Aiana (Pake), Ua Hooholoia e Kalahala Ka Moi ia Kekuahewa. Noi mai His Hon. C.C. Harris a Hooholo like, e kalahala ia ka poe kipi elima ma ka manawa hookahi, Oia o Hulu, Alohikea, Kailiuakea, Hapa, a me Kawika. Ua Hooholoia e kalahala i keia poe elima.

Ua hooholoia e kalahala ia John Padeken a me H. Padeken, e ka Moi–