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On the Passing of Simona Petero Kalama, 1875.

Cover Image: Masthead of Ka Lahui Hawaii published on December 9, 1875.

Aloha Nūhou Monday!

S. P. Kalama Waiawaawa was one of the standouts among the graduates of Lahainaluna. He was not only highly intelligent and well respected as seen in the following accounts printed in the Lahui Hawaii newspaper, but he was artistically gifted as well.

Image: “Hon. S. P. Kalama,” Ka Lahui Hawaii, December 9, 1875, p. 3. [Image currently online.]

Hon. S. P. Kalama

On Thursday night of last week, this friend left behind the hardships of this life at 65 years old. He is a man who was known to all; he belonged to a select group of this lāhui; he was one to deliberate over the great problems of the nation of the Kamehamehas during their days; he was a member of the privy council; and for a number of years he was a member of the law-setting legislature of the nation. He was a member of the committee which was selected because of the debt. His character was known by the people. He was a man who had a modest heart. His explanations were clear and good, and he was a deep thinker. He worked as hard as he could for his nation, and the lāhui. He desired greatly for progress and prosperity to come of the responsibilities placed in his hands, and he was always respected for following closely the rules of his chosen professions. Preparations were made for the laying to rest, and at the time mentioned above, we were saddened at the news that he had passed. On Saturday of that same week, his remains were carried for the last time and deposited in its place. With the family is our anguish, and with the lāhui and the nation, our grief.

(Lahui Hawaii, 12/9/1875, p. 3)

Image: “He Moolelo no S P Kalama,” Ka Lahui Hawaii, December 9, 1875, p. 3. [Image currently online.]

A Sketch of S. P. Kalama.

Kalama was born at Kalamawaiʻawaʻawa in Nāpoʻopoʻo in Hawaiʻi, in the year 1822. Ailaau was his mother and Petero Kaaia his father. When Peleuli and Kawelookalani were dwelling with their grandchild Kekauʻōnohi at Lahaina, they were the chiefly overseers of Kalama’s parents. He lived in Lahaina during his childhood. When he grew older, he entered the school of Miss Ogden [Maria Ogden] and the school of E. Spaulding [Ephraim Spaulding] and the school of A. Chapin [Alonzo Chapin]. He was famous among all the children for his intelligence and his skill in arithmetic and penmenship, and he was very skilled in cartography in globe form or in sections.

He entered Lahainaluna College in the year 1835, and graduated in 1839. He was was in the first class in intelligence of the knowledge being taught at the College. But as for his physical body, he was mischievous; and in his repentance, the teachers of the College put him in the church in the year 1838.

When he graduated from the college, he lived under his chiefly overseer and administered to his businesses and when Kekauʻōnohi became the chief over Kauaʻi in 1842, S. P. Kalama became the clerk for the income of the island of Kauaʻi as well as her personal income. When Kekauʻōnohi and Keliʻiahonui became chiefly stewards for the King in 1846, S. P. Kalama was the secretary for that position. This was the time when the land commissioners were established, and he became secretary and surveyor for the land commissioners.

When the Act to Organize the Executive Departments was enacted, the King chose S. P. Kalama as circuit court judge for Honolulu. He sat in the legislature in the House of Representatives for two terms for Hanalei, and three or four perhaps terms for Honolulu.

During the reign of King Kamehameha IV. He was selected as a member of the privy council; and he became a member of the fire brigade, a member of the Fire Engine Company of the Prince of Hawaiʻi, Number 4. He spent almost a year and some with a stroke and he was paralyzed from head to foot on his right side. After this extended illness, he was astonished by his own soul for battling the enemies that oppose his Redeemer. And he was startled by the voice of his beloved teacher, Rev. Dibble, as if he were calling to him. He died at Kunawai, Honolulu, on the 2nd of December, at 9 P. M.


(Lahui Hawaii, 12/9/1875, p. 3)

Image: Maui from the anchorage at Lahaina; Lahianaluna Seminary, Maui, Hawaiʻi. ca. 1838. Engraving by S. P. Kalama, Bishop Museum Archives. SP 201569

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact 

Image: He Palapala Honua no ka Poepoe. A Global Map of the Earth; Lahainaluna Seminary, Maui, Hawaiʻi. 1836. Drawn by S. P. Kalama, Bishop Museum Archives. Q 205570

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact

This post is part of He Aupuni Palapala: Preserving and Digitizing the Hawaiian Language Newspapers, a partnership between Bishop Museum and Awaiaulu with assistance from Kamehameha Schools. Mahalo nui loa to Hawaii Tourism Authority for their support. Learn more about this project here.

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