Today in History - February 9th. 1834 - Kamehameha IV, King of the Hawaiian Islands

Alexander Iolani Liholiho was born on February 9th. 1834 in Honolulu on the
island of O'ahu.

His parents were High Chief Mataio Kekuanao'a (Royal Governor of O'ahu)
and princess Elizabeth Kina'u. As a child, Alexander was adopted by his
uncle, King Kamehameha III who decreed Alexander heir to the throne. He
also raised him as Crown Prince.

Alexander Liholiho - Source picture: Wikipedia


Alexander Liholiho was educated by Amos and Juliette Cooke at the
Chiefs' Children's School (later known as the Royal School) in Honolulu.

Alexander Liholiho played the flute and the piano, he enjoyed singing, acting
and cricket. At the age of 14 he left the Royal School and went to the law
School. When he was 15, he went on a trip to England, the United States and
Panama. From this trip he recorded some events in a journal.

Alexander spoke French and English and he was well received in
European society. He met Louis Napoleon of France and Prince Albert,
husband of Queen Victoria as well.

In 1855 Alexander became King Kamehameha IV. Around that time the
American population in the Hawaiian islands continued to grow and this
brought political pressure in the Kingdom. Alexander strongly felt that an
annexation would mean the end of the monarchy.

In 1856 Alexander married Emma Rooke. She was the granddaughter of
John Young, a Royal advisor and companion. In 1858 their first child
was born. He received the name Albert.

Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom was Albert's godmother (by proxy)
at his christening in Honolulu.
On August 27th. 1862 Prince Albert died at the age of 4.

Alexander and Emma were interested in healthcare and education for
their subjects. They were concerned that foreign ailments and diseases
like leprosy and influenza were killing the native Hawaiian
population.

On November 30th. 1863 Alexander died of chronic asthma, he was
succeeded by his brother, who took the name Kamehameha V.
Alexander became only 29 years old. Queen Emma remained active
in politics.

Alexander and Emma are both honored with a feast day on the
liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church in the United States of
America. This is on November 28th. They called it the 
Feast of the Holy Sovereigns.
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