January 2, 1836: Emma Rooke was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. High Chief George Naea and Fanny Kekelaokalani Young were her parents, and Kamehameha I’s advisor John Young was her grandfather on her mother’s side. Chiefess Grace Kamaikui Young Rooke and Thomas C. B. Rooke adopted her under the Hawaiian tradition of hanai.
June 19, 1856: Emma married King Alexander Liholiho, known as Kamehameha IV, and became the queen of Hawaii. In a ceremony in both Hawaiian and English, they exchanged their vows before 3,000 people.
May 20, 1858: Emma gave birth to her son Prince Albert Edward Kamehameha.
1859: Emma established the Queen’s Hospital, known today as Queen’s Medical Center.
August 27, 1862: Her son Prince Albert died, and Emma and Kamehameha IV went into mourning.
November 30, 1863: Emma’s husband King Kamehameha IV died, and Emma became the queen dowager.
1874: After the death of King Lunalilo, Emma ran for Queen of Hawaii against David Kalakaua. She was pro-British while Kalakaua was pro-American. While the majority of the native Hawaiian people supported her candidacy, the Legislative Assembly chose Kalakaua by 39-6. Angered Hawaiians started a large-scale riot, and the British and American troops quelled it.
April 25, 1885: After headaches and convulsions, Emma died at age 49 in her Honolulu home with her friend Miss Peabody attending her.
Articles on Chronicling America
“Past Week: The ‘Wizard of the North'”
Polynesian, November 12, 1859, Image 2
“Marriage: Of His Majesty Kamehameha IV”
Pacific commercial advertiser, July 2, 1856, Image 2
“‘Royalty in the Republic’ — A Queen Approaching”
The evening telegraph, August 10, 1866, FOURTH EDITION, Page 4
“Another Royal Guest”
The Louisiana Democrat., May 22, 1872, Image 3
“Departed: Death of Dowager Queen Emma”
The Pacific commercial advertiser., April 27, 1885, Image 2
“The Dead Queen: The Obsequies Last Sunday–A Splendid Pageant”
Saturday press., May 23, 1885, Image 2
– Alice Kim