Concerns, Changes, and Sorrows
Out of concern for Native Hawaiians, Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma founded the Queen’s Hospital, which is still in Honolulu as a lasting legacy. The king, like so many before him, was worried about the decrease of the Hawaiian population due to diseases like smallpox. They collected money and used their own funds to create a hospital that would focus mainly on the needs of Hawaiians. In 1860, the first stone building was built for just a little over 14,000 dollars.
Kamehameha IV took great interest in making other changes. A prison was built in Iwilei. A new customs house was built. A system of water pipes for the city of Honolulu was laid. A steamer, the Kilauea, made its first trip between islands. The growing of rice was tried for the first time, and, because it was a success, it was soon increased.
During Kamehameha IV’s reign there were three great eruptions of the volcanoes on the island of Hawai‘i. One crater poured out fiery-hot lava for fifteen months. The flow stopped just eight miles from Hilo, the second largest city in the island group. Four years later, another stream of lava flowed from the crater to the sea. Even the huge fishpond built in Kamehameha I’s time was filled with the thick lava.
Three years after Kamehameha IV and Emma were married, a son was born to them. They named him Albert Edward Kauikeaouli Leiopapa a Kamehameha. The birth of the son brought great hope and joy to the islanders. The prince was a handsome child, dearly loved by the king and queen. But, when he was only four years old, he fell ill and died. After the little prince died, Kamehameha IV was said to have lost interest in public life. He no longer went about among the people nor was he interested in the government.
Kamehameha IV had become a king at twenty, full of hope for himself and for his people. Just nine years later, one year after the death of his small son, he, too, died without leaving an heir to become king after him.