United the Hawaiian Islands to become Hawai‘i’s first King
(c. 1758 to 1819)
Kamehameha (Kalani Pai‘ea Wohi o Kaleikini Keali‘ikui Kamehameha o ‘Iolani i Kaiwikapu kaui Ka Liholiho Kūnuiākea) was a man of tremendous physical and intellectual strength. In any land and in any age he would have been a leader.
The impress of his mind remains with his crude and vigorous laws, and wherever he stepped is seen an imperishable track. He was so strong of limb that ordinary men were but children in his grasp, and in council the wisest yielded to his judgment. He seems to have been born a man and to have had no boyhood. He had a harsh and rugged face, less given to smiles than frowns, but strongly marked with lines indicative of self reliance and changeless purpose. He was barbarous, unforgiving and merciless to his enemies, but just, sagacious and considerate in dealing with his subjects. He was more feared than loved and respected: but his strength of arm and force of character well fitted him for the supreme chieftaincy of the group, and he accomplished what no one else could have done in his day.”
King David Kalakaua speaking of Kamehameha