The Kawananakoa Family on the Mainland United States
After the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, the Hawaiian royal family lost their sovereignty, but were still socialites. U.S. mainland newspapers covered the Kawananakoa family, the heir presumptive to the throne of the Hawaiian Kingdom, as they traveled through the mainland.
Prince David Kawananakoa and Abigail Campbell’s Wedding
Prince David Kawananakoa married Abigail Campbell, daughter of industrialist James Campbell on January 6, 1902. California newspapers covered their simple, informal wedding at the Occidental Hotel, California, and described their kiss:
“When the ring had been placed on the bride’s finger, and the solemn words of the … sacrament of the church spoken, the blushing princess yielded her hand to her husband, who gravely kissed it. Then her cheek was claimed by a dozen men friends who claimed the happy privilege of the moment, and by her women intimates, who overwhelmed her with good wishes.”
A few days earlier, Abigail’s mother, Abigail Kuaihelani Campbell, married Colonel Samuel Parker.
During their honeymoon, the newly weds visited Omaha, Nebraska. At the train station, Kawananakoa walked around, chatting “freely with all who approached him.”
The newly weds also visited Washington D.C. and were heading to San Francisco, where they would sail to Honolulu. Prince Kawananakoa said they did not have any political or business-related reasons to visit Washington D.C. and were not trying to regain the crown lands.
He said, “In fact, I never expect to get them back.”
Kawananakoa said he and Parker were not married a couple of months ago, but now had wives. Earlier, the prince visited his old playmate, “Miss Edith Campbell” (most likely Abigail Campbell) in San Francisco: “I never hoped to consummate the marriage at this time, but it all came out unexpectedly well, and we were married at San Francisco shortly after I arrived.”
In 1908, “distinguished Hawaiians” Prince David Laʻamea Kahalepouli Kinoiki Kawānanakoa Piʻikoi, his father-in-law Colonel Samuel Parker, and John Baker arrived at Washington and Oregon to hunt bears for a few months. They brought enough guns and ammunition to “wipe out every bruin in both states,” five-year-old Princess Abigail Helen Kapiʻolani Kawānanakoa, and two accompanying maids. The San Francisco Call described her as “exceedingly pretty” and the “brightest child on board the ship.”
This trip was one of David’s last, as he died four months later.
Princess Abigail Campbell Kawananakoa Moved to San Francisco
After her husband’s death, Princess Abigail’s mother, Princess Abigail Campbell Kawananakoa, moved back to San Francisco. There, “one of the most capable hostesses in the west” took over the J.S. Merritt home in Presidio terrace, where she would entertain as she did in Honolulu.
In Honolulu, Princess Kawananakoa was known as “one of the primal figures in Honolulu society” and hosted teas, luncheons, and dinners for prominent Americans and Hawaiians. She also actively participated in community activities: She spent a lot of time at polo grounds and race courses, judged in horse shows, and did a lot of church and religious work.
Princess Kawananakoa Attends Wedding and King George’s Coronation in London
Princess Abigail Campbell Kawananakoa visited the mainland to attend the wedding of her cousin, Anna Douglass Graham, and Jay Gould II. Graham was the granddaughter of Mrs. Herbert Vos, the former Princess Kaikilani before marriage. The Colfax Chronicle describes Princess Kawananakoa’s presents as “unique and beautiful.”
A few days later, Princess Kawananakoa sailed for London and attended King George’s coronation. The Colfax Chronicle reported she went with her “many beautiful gowns, but the most gorgeous and valuable of her sartorial possessions is a cloak made entirely of the brilliant plumage of species of small bird which is now nearly extinct.”
– Alice Kim
Articles from Chronicling America
“Miss Abigail Campbell Becomes Happy Bride of Prince David. Hawaiian Girl Married Queen Liliuokalani’s Nephew – Lavish Decorations and Breakfast Greet Wedding Guests”
The San Francisco call, January 07, 1902, Image 9
“Prince and His Bride: How Alii Wedded the Hawaiian Heiress”
The Pacific commercial advertiser., January 18, 1902, Image 9
Omaha daily bee., February 01, 1902, Image 7
“Distinguished Hawaiians Come to Hunt Bear: Colonel Parker, Prince David and John Baker Arrive on the Siberia”
The San Francisco call., May 15, 1908, Page 20, Image 20
“Sugar King’s Heir to Remain in City: Princess Kawananakoa Takes Merritt Home in Presidio Terrace for Residence”
The San Francisco call., September 18, 1909, Page 7, Image 7
“The Princess Kawananakoa: This Beautiful Hawaiian is a Distant Cousin of Young Jay Gould’s Bride”
The Colfax chronicle, July 22, 1911, Image 7
“Prince Kawananakoa Here”
Omaha daily bee., February 01, 1902, Image 7