King Kamehameha III was the longest reigning monarch in the history of the Kingdom of Hawaii, ruling for 29 years and 192 days. He was born Kauikeaouli at Keauhou Bay, on Hawaii island. He was the second son of King Kamehameha I and his highest ranking wife, Queen Keopuolani of Maui. Early historians suggested he was born June or July 1814, but the precise date is not known; however, the generally accepted date is August 11, 1813.
Kauikeaouli had a troubled childhood being torn between the Puritan Christian guidelines imposed on the kingdom by the Queen Regent, his stepmother, and the desires to honor the old traditions of the kapu. Under the influence of friends he turned to alcohol, and the young king created the secret order of Hulumanu (Bird Feather), a group of Hawaiian men devoted to seeking pleasure in rebellion against the teaching of the missionaires. Settling down he returned to ways of the missionaries by 1835.
On June 6, 1825 when Kauikeaouli ascended to the throne, as King Kamehameha III, he was only about 11 years old. It was less than a year after the death in London of his brother, Liholiho, who was King Kamehameha II. When Kamehameha III came to the throne, the native population numbered about 150,000, which was already less than one third of the Hawaiian population when Captain Cook arrived in Hawaii in 1778. During his reign, that number would be reduced by 50%, due to a series of epidemics.
Under King Kamehameha III’s reign Hawaii evolved from an absolute monarchy to a Christian constitutional monarchy with the signing of both the1840 Constitution and 1852 Constitution. King Kamehameha III died on December 15, 1854.