WESTERN WAR MACHINERY IN KING KAMEHAMEHA’S KINGDOM?
On December 22nd, in 1871, Kamehameha V chose June 11th as the day the Hawaiian kingdom would honor his grandfather, King Kamehameha “the Great.” Unlike other monarchs before him, King Kamehameha conquered the Hawaiian islands and brought them under his ruling authority.
Though other ruler’s also had gun power at the time of his conquests, they didn’t utilize it the way he did. King Kamehameha obtained guns long before he began his attacks on other chiefs but his plans to unify the islands took off when he found two men named John Young and Isaac Davis. They were foreign, western, allies who helped him rise to power with war machinery that included cannons and muskets.
Davis’s ship was attacked by a Big Island chief and his entire crew died. He was said to be the only survivor. Davis was rescued and not only became one of King Kamehameha’s trusted advisors, but also a close friend. Young was also a sailor. After going ashore to see what Happened to Davis’s ship, he was detained by King Kamehameha and within a couple days his own crew left Hawaii without him. He met Davis, and also became an advisor and confidant of the king.
Both men offered western strategic battle advice and ended up serving as commanders of King Kamehameha’s infantry. They had voices of influence over most circumstances in the Hawaiian Kingdom under the king’s ruling and also taught the king’s men how to operate and maintain the weapons that were acquired on Davis’s ship.
Today you can find petroglyphs at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park on the Big Island that distinctly show images of muskets and men. King Kamehameha became a skilled warrior at a young age, but after witnessing the first attacks of Captain Cook's sailors using firearms, he was said to be intrigued by the powerful weapons. This proved true when his army grew to nearly 11,000 armed warriors and over 900 war canoes by 1795.
Though many Hawaiians lost their lives in the battles won by the king, the islands were unified and brought under his single ruling. On June 11th, Hawaiians remember the powerful warrior King Kamehameha was, the strategies and war machinery that aided in his inspiration, and his efforts of bringing the Hawaiian islands together.
Samara Towers does We Are More's PR & Marketing which includes writing our blogs! She was born and raised in Hawaii and graduated from Corban University with a Bachelors Degree in Creative Writing. She produces content to give our audience more insight and opinions on technical solutions big and small.