Kalākaua and Lili‘uokalani
Kalākaua decided it was important that he name the next ruler of Hawai‘i and not leave it to the people’s choice in an election. He named a younger brother, Leleiōhoku, as his successor. When the brother died soon after that, he named his sister, Lili‘uokalani, to be the next ruler. At once, she made a tour of the islands so that she could meet the people and give them a chance to know her. She even went to America and to London, England.
In 1881, Kalākaua chose to leave his sister to reign while he went on a trip around the world. It was the first time a king of any country had ever done this. He wanted to see how kings in other places lived and ruled. First, he and his party took a steamer to San Francisco and went from there to Japan, where he was the first king of a Western nation to visit. Before his trip was over, he visited China and other countries such as Egypt, Burma, and Italy, and returned to Washington, D.C. In foreign countries, Kalākaua saw things he had never seen before—palaces, crowns, and signs of richness in the courts. In Europe, he ordered furnishings for ‘Iolani Palace, which was built during his reign. From Great Britain, two jeweled crowns were created for the coronation he had planned when he returned home.
While Kalākaua was away, Princess Lili‘uokalani was praised for her careful rule, for her tact and dignity. She made many friends at her public receptions. But she had things to worry her. There was an epidemic of smallpox, and Mauna Loa had begun a huge eruption in 1880 that caused a river of fire to flow toward Hilo. The ground shook. At night, hundred-foot fountains of fire shot into the darkness.