John Papa ʻĪʻī

John (Ioane) Kaneiakama Papa ʻĪʻī, Henry L. Chase, pre-1870. Bishop Museum.

John (Ioane) Kaneiakama Papa ‘Ī‘ī was an esteemed statesman and royal adviser, who ultimately served four consecutive monarchs, from Kamehameha I to Alexander Liholiho (Kamehameha IV). Born in Waipi‘o, O‘ahu, in 1800, ‘Ī‘ī became one of the missionaries’ first students in Hawai‘i, studying with Asa and Lucy Thurston, and with Hiram Bingham.

‘Ī‘ī took a number of influential positions in government, and was appointed to the Board of Commissioners to Quiet Land Titles. Under Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha III), the Board determined land-tenure claims during a period of changing views on land use and ownership. He published a series of cultural essays in the Hawaiian-language newspaper, Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, which were later translated and published as Fragments of Hawaiian History. ‘Ī‘ī died on May 2, 1870, in Honolulu.

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