Island History

Editor’s note: This is Part 2 of the story of Ko‘olau, a leper, and his wife Pi‘ilani, who fled government quarantine and lived on the lam in the Kalalau Valley.

Shortly after arrival in the Kalalau Valley, Ko‘olau’s son Kaleimanu also began to show signs of Hansen’s disease.

Ko‘olau’s troubles continued to mount in 1893 when Waimea Deputy Sheriff Louis Stolz and Penikila, a Waimea constable, entered the valley to gather the lepers for deportation to Moloka‘i.

Stolz and the lepers met makai, and all agreed to go except Ko‘olau, who asked if Pi‘ilani could come with him. When Stolz replied, “No, your wife cannot go with you, only the lepers shall go and nobody else,” Ko‘olau told Stolz in deadly seriousness that he would not go alone.

A couple of days later, Stolz left Kalalau Valley but returned in a few days with armed policemen to gather the lepers and capture Ko‘olau.

It was then that Stolz received a warning sent by messenger from Ko‘olau that any man trying to capture him “will do so at the peril of his life.”

On the evening of June 27, 1893, Ko‘olau and Pi‘ilani were keeping watch outside the house in which they’d been hiding with two young men named Kala and Iwa.

Between the hours of 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., they heard the footsteps of two men approaching. Then they heard a gun being cocked.

Soon, Stolz and Pa‘oa, a leper Stolz had captured mauka, appeared. Ko‘olau pushed Pi‘ilani behind him, took aim and fired his rifle at Stolz.

Stolz fell to his knees, and Pa‘oa, noticing that Stolz’s gun was cocked, shouted, “Shoot!”

Ko‘olau fired again, and this shot killed the sheriff.

Later, a man named Kaumeheiwa paddled his canoe from Kalalau to Mana to inform H.P. Faye’s of Stolz’s death. Faye relayed the news by telephone to George N. Wilcox, then Acting Sheriff on Kaua‘i.

In next Friday’s Part 3, provisional soldiers come ashore from a government steamer to capture Ko‘olau.


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