Princess Kaiulani’s Engagement Rumors
Wouldn’t you want to know the latest celebrity news? Princess Victoria Kaiulani was a celebrity. Newspapers reported where she went, what she did, and who she spent time with. In the 1890s, American newspapers speculated who the crown princess and heir apparent to the Hawaiian throne would marry.
Shortly after the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, The Hawaiian Gazette reported that Kaiulani was engaged to Clive Davies (who wanted to marry Kaiulani in the movie Princess Kaiulani), a son of her guardian Theo H. Davies. However, her father, Governor Achibald Scott Cleghorn, adamantly denied the report: “There is not a word of truth in it. It is absurd and preposterous.”
Four years later, the Kansas Journal City reported the rumor of Kaiulani returning home to Honolulu to marry another son of T.H. Davies, George Davies:
[T.H. Davies] is a very rich man, and all his wealth will go to his two sons. The Davies homestead has been remodeled recently, which is very significant to many people.
Nine months later, The El Paso Daily Herald reported Kaiulani was engaged to Captain Putnam Bradlee Strong, the son of ex-Mayor William L. Strong, of New York. However, this news was denied.
Then, The Times in Richmond, Virginia, reported Andrew Adams of Winchester, Massachusetts, was engaged to Princess Kaiulani and the wedding day was set:
“Andrew Adams … has outstepped the rank and file of the American hosts who have invaded Hawaii, in search of fame, opulence and glory, and has won, hands down, the prize which has long been the objective point of concentration.”
Kaiulani reportedly fell in love with the former reporter of The Hawaiian Star and accepted his proposal “without hesitation” and got him a position of superintendent of all the Ewa plantations “for her new master,” which required him to only “wear good clothes and draw a handsome salary.”
The Times also reported girls thought the 30-year-old Adams was “exceptionally good looking,” and the engineer’s son received many social invitations.
Kaiulani finally put the rumors to rest on February 3, 1898, when she announced her engagement to Prince David Kawananakoa. Unfortunately, her early death in the following year ended the possibility of marriage.
– Alice Kim
Note: In 1881, Kaiulani’s uncle King Kalakaua tried to create an alliance between Hawaii and Japan by arranging a marriage between Kaiulani and Prince Higashifushimi Yorihito. But the prince declined; he and a noble woman were already pre-arranged to marry. In 1894, her aunt, Queen Liliuokalani, wrote to her to marry either Prince David Kawananakoa, Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole, or Prince Komatsu Akihito of Japan. The princess replied she would marry only for love or to preserve the independence of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
“Kaiulani: Engaged to Clive Davies–Mr. Cleghorn Denies It”
The Hawaiian gazette, May 2, 1893, Page 5
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83025121/1893-05-02/ed-1/seq-5/Kaiulani at Honolulu, rumored to be planning on marrying Theo Davies‘ son
“Kaiulani in Honolulu: Hawaiian Princess Returns to Her Native Land–Perhaps to Be Married”
Kansas City journal, November 18, 1897, Page 2
Rumor of being engaged to Captain Strong
El Paso daily herald, August 27, 1898, SATURDAY SUPPLEMENT, Image 7
“Still Another Suitor is Seeking Princess Kaiulani’s Hand”
The Saint Paul globe, October 23, 1898, Page 14, Image 44
“An American Prince: Andrew Adams of Winchester, Mass., is Now Rumored Engaged to Kaiulani, and the Wedding Day is Set”
The times, October 23, 1898, Image 19