The Life and Times of Kamehameha
The Life and Times of Kamehameha presents a century-old series of articles by William Drake Westervelt, published in English language periodicals between 1903 and 1925. It reveals familial and diplomatic relationships among the chiefs of the various islands and districts. Fierce battles, pivotal moments, and political maneuvers paved the way for Kamehameha’s consolidated rule of all the islands of Hawai‘i. The events described in this text open a window, not only into ancient Hawai‘i, but also into the early years of the Twentieth Century. Illustrations by Dietrich Varez depict Kamahemeha’s legendary feats, mythological figures, and the lifestyle and activities of ancient times.
Born under a stormy sky in Kohala, on the island of Hawai‘i, an infant chief was whisked away and raised in seclusion. No one is sure of the exact year of his birth, but it is known he arrived amid prophecies of greatness and change. Diligently trained in warrior arts, ali‘i protocol, and priestly rituals, he became known as Kamehameha, The Lonely One. Legendary warrior and kingdom builder, he was a brilliant strategist and a shrewd negotiator, a man of vision and wisdom. Uniquely positioned by heredity, grooming, and timing, he united war-torn lands, created codified laws, established trade with foreigners, and brought a time of peaceful prosperity to a swiftly changing society. The founder of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i, Kamehameha I died on May 8, 1819, in Kailua Kona, leaving behind a unified realm and an extraordinary legacy.