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  • Race, Power, and the Dilemma of Democracy:Hawai‘i’s First Territorial Legislature, 1901

The terms upon which the annexation shall be made, we are perfectly willing to leave to the United States Government to determine. There is one condition that we very much desire shall be contained in any agreement that may be determined upon, and that is that the right of suffrage shall be restricted. We want no universal suffrage on the islands. We don’t want a territorial government in which there shall be a Legislature elected by the votes of all the people.

—William Richards Castle, New York Times, 4 February 1893

The evening of 12 August 1898 found the men who led the Republic of Hawai‘i in a boisterously celebratory mood. A large crowd of foreign diplomats, U.S. naval officers, local businessmen, and social elite had gathered for an official reception at ‘Iolani Palace—the former residence of Hawaiian monarchy.1 Hundreds of incandescent lights draped the building’s facade, lending a luminescent glow to the palace yard. A magnificent pyrotechnical display of fireworks filled the skies above. Inside, lights drew attention to the elegantly uniformed orchestra of the government band stationed in the Grand [End Page 1] Hall and promenade music wafted throughout the building. At nine o’clock sharp, a receiving party, which included the Republic’s president, Sanford Ballard Dole, and U.S. Rear-Admiral Joseph N. Miller, descended the majestic koa wood staircase and began to greet the patiently waiting guests. One by one the line-up of foreign visitors and Honolulu’s privileged were admitted into the Throne Room. The party went on past midnight with the Evening Bulletin of the following day describing it as “something that belonged properly to the imagination—to those rare dreams that come to people in love with the whole universe.”2

Earlier the same day, at the stroke of noon, a gunner’s mate from the USS Philadelphia, G. N. Pratt, hoisted the American flag to the top of a pole fronting the same building as part of a ceremony marking the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands to the United States.3 This daytime event, however, was dominated by an uneasy reserve. No vote on the annexation of Hawai‘i had taken place in the Islands—all sides agreed that the results would be heavily against the measure—and the union of the two nations had been described by prominent figures in both countries as a theft.4 The royalist newspaper Ke Aloha ‘Āina described the day in an article titled, “Kaumaha Na Lani Kaumaha Pu Me Ka Lahui” [The Sadness of The Skies is One With the Sadness of The People5], saying, “aohe wa kaumaha i ike ia mai kinohi mai e like me keia la, iwaena o ka lahui” [no sadder time has been known amongst the people from the beginning of time until today].6 Even the staunchly pro-annexation Pacific Commercial Advertiser termed the event “solemn” and commented, “No man who is a man escaped a pang of sentiment or sorrow when there descended from the State building for the last time the flag of a nation that has so long held an honorable and noteworthy place in the great family of the greater commonwealths.”7

But now the deed was done. The city welcomed the calming embrace of dusk, and, for the men of the transitioned government, there was release. An arduous five-year struggle by the minority “long-suffering whites”8 in Hawai‘i had achieved a consummation of their union with the United States, and the victory was cherished well into the night. Their ebullience, however, was short-lived. The sobering reality that greeted the former oligarchy the morning after their late-night celebration was that inclusion in the United States could mean [End Page 2] a much broader participation of the populace in governance. Their fears became a reality when, despite pleas for the continuation of restrictions on Native Hawaiian suffrage, the commission drafting the territorial Organic Act granted franchise to male citizens who were “able to speak, read and write the English or Hawaiian Language.”9 The minority whites, who had led the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government and pushed determinedly for annexation to the United States, now faced the ironic quandry that their long-awaited victory had brought with it much greater challenges to their control.

The formation of a territorial legislature in Hawai‘i marked a critical transition from the preceeding seven years of oligarchic rule. Political union with the United States threatened the currently nascent hegemony of the ascendent minority white community in the Islands. In response, white leaders sought to craft a race-centric narrative that posited native incompetence as an answer to why democracy should not prevail in an American territory. A starkly racist characterization of the native-dominated territorial legislature, as incapable of governance, worked alongside a problematic twentieth-century historiography of Hawai‘i to leave a uniform history of this important inflection point that separated more than a millennium of native rule from a now more than century-long period of non-native dominance.10

An examination and analysis of the 1901 Territorial Legislature in Hawai‘i, through both native and English-language sources, provides a revealing look at the employment of race as a political tool used to denigrate native leadership and argue against democracy during this crucial struggle for political control of America’s newest territory. Hawai‘i’s first territorial legislature has been disparaged in modern published sources with its native leadership characterized as incompetent, ineffective, and shallow. In contrast, the primary-source record of that body reveals a competent, prepared, and engaged native leadership addressing foundational concerns of their constituents through the drafting and support of numerous legislative bills. It conveys a story of legislative leaders hamstrung by a territorial system in which two of the three governmental branches, the judiciary and executive, were appointed. A bitter struggle between these appointed and elected factions resulted in the neutering of much of the agenda of the native-led legislature. The discrepancy between the narratives [End Page 3] speaks volumes about the larger elision of Hawaiian voice and action in published histories of Hawai‘i.


A research paradigm that preferences English-language sources has long dominated the production of historical narrative concerning Hawai‘i. More recently, issues surrounding the exclusion of native-language sources in the construction of narratives about Hawai‘i and Hawaiians have come to the fore. Work that accesses, presents, and interprets these materials is contesting previous understandings, rearticulating histories, and rediscovering previously elided figures. This vital widening of the historical lens has lent significant contrast and complexity to histories of Hawai‘i. While the exclusion of native-language sources is a part of the formula that produced a problematic characterization of the 1901 Territorial Legislature, more direct interjections of racial bias played an even more significant role in the resulting historical narrative.11

By the mid-twentieth century, negative racial stereotypes concerning native competence in political leadership had become widely accepted in Hawai‘i, masking a five-decade record of native rule over, and guidance of, a modern, progressive nineteenth-century Kingdom of Hawai‘i. This master narrative concerning native political aptitude has a genealogy built partially upon the problematic characterization of the last example of native-led governance in Hawai‘i, the 1901 legislature. The 1968 publication Shoal of Time by Gavan Daws—likely the top-selling general history of Hawai‘i ever produced—characterizes the native-led 1901 legislature as “worse than anyone thought it could be” and says of the native legislators of the Independent Home Rule Party, “Even their most serious efforts were frivolous.”12 With more than seventy different bills introduced by native legislators to choose from, the author picked out the three that seemed the most “frivolous” to describe their general efforts, and no others, ignoring a plethora of extremely relevant and productive work. The section closes with the comment: “As long as the Home Rulers could elect three out of four members of the legislature nothing much would be accomplished.”13 The influential 1990 text, Land and Power in Hawaii: The Democratic Years by George Cooper and Gavan Daws [End Page 4] seemed to erase altogether the existence of this significant instance of native political leadership and action, introducing their history of democracy in Hawai‘i from 1900 forward by failing to even mention the native Home Rule movement: “In the territorial Legislature from 1901 all the way up to World War II, Republicans outnumbered Democrats massively. …”14 While the stated fact is true, a political history that begins in 1901 and does not mention the initial domination of the Independent Home Rule Party works to support a teleologic paradigm of non-native dominance and the erasure of native influence and action.15 This, perhaps unintentional, late-twentieth century elision of prominent native voice demonstrated the success of the earlier intentional narrative.

In one of the only published examinations of the 1901 legislature—a chapter titled “The Record of the Home Rule Party” within a political biography of Robert W. K. Wilcox—Ernest Andrade claims that the Independents “refused to declare their legislative objectives” prior to the opening of the legislature and that “In the absence of such statements, it was easy to conclude that the main purpose of the Home Rule-dominated session was simply to embarass Dole and the government held over from the days of the republic.”16 This characterization of native legislators lacking a substantative agenda and being motivated by mere spite is reflective of the purposeful narrative published within the Republican-supportive English-language press of the period. Andrade describes native “insistence on doing legislative business and carrying on debate in both English and Hawaiian” as an example of “obstructionist or delaying tactics.”17 This interpretation of the use of Hawaiian language as a political ploy of Native Hawaiian representatives omits the crucial context that a significant portion of those elected legislators did not speak English.18 It also fails to acknowledge the fact that the preservation, study, and use of the native langauge in courts, government bodies, and schools—an agenda supported by petitions from native voters around Hawai‘i—had been a publically stated plank of the Independent Home Rule Party heading into the session. Andrade cites Daws’ comment that the native-led legislature was “worse than anyone thought it could be” and adds, “this comment generally reflects contemporary opinion.”19 He sums up the work of Hawai‘i’s first territorial legislature by writing that the “Incompetence and egotism” of the native-led Independent [End Page 5] Home Rule Party led to the defeat of their most significant legislative work.20 The original sources used in this article controvert these assertions.

The general absence of the subject of race in Andrade’s chapter on the Home Rule Party is a glaring omission, considering that the topic dominated the public narrative produced by the party’s detractors. The multiple, overtly racist cartoons that appeared on the front pages of differing newspapers are not mentioned, nor the near daily critiques imbued with racial characterizations both subtle and blatant. Instead, the only illustration used is a cartoon depicting native legislators as money-hungry government employees seeking the “financial bonanza” of a legislative salary.21 In a circular process, the later acceptance and normalization of racial characterizations concerning Native-Hawaiian leadership and political acumen worked to reify the earlier historical statements and claims of the white minority. These historical narratives were later accepted, even amidst the presence of contrary sources, because they fit a common understanding of the racial groups they profiled. The white leadership at the turn of the twentieth century crafted a narrative that would not be significantly challenged until nearly a century later. The “Hawaiian Renaissance” of the 1970s contested preset ideas and engendered an academic and cultural review of the historical record with a confidence that questioned rather than accepted the prevailing narrative.

The work of scholars and writers such as Noenoe Silva, Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua, ku‘ualoha ho‘omanawanui, Noelani Arista, Sydney Iaukea, Victoria Nālani Kneubuhl, Bryan Kuwada, Marie Alohalani Brown, and many others has begun to acquaint us with some of the many Native Hawaiian intellectuals, writers, and political leaders of the nineteenth century. By continuing the work of uncovering the more complex, contextualized histories of Hawai‘i’s past, we can begin to face its future more adeptly and honestly.

Race and the Historical Narrative

There are hardly 2,000 of us ‘able bodied’ men who are trying to hold the fort of ‘white civilization’ here against 80,000 or more, who oppose us.

Pacific Commercial Advertiser 1898 [End Page 6]

A mid- to late twentieth-century historiography of the interaction between whites and native peoples in Oceania, fronted by Alan More-head’s “Fatal Impact” theory, narrated a swift, near ubiquitous, and inherent domination by whites in the lands they explored. It also created a binary of white conquerors and native victims. In Hawaiian history, challenges are being made on many fronts to the formerly dominant, teleological narrative that posits an inherent progression from the 1820 arrival of American Protestant missionaries to an 1893 coup that replaced native rule with a white-led oligarchy. A focus on native agency is complicating, and in some cases significantly redefining, acts previously characterized simply as examples of white imposition.22 Important historical discussions regarding a current under/over focus on native agency in ongoing histories continues.

A re-evaluation of the character and position of both the white-led oligarchy and the native electorate in Hawai‘i circa 1900 is a fundamental component of the analyses made in this article. While the former narrative of the 1893–1898 move from native to white rule has been significantly redefined, the August 1898 annexation claim by the United States remains cast in most histories as the penultimate step in bringing about the end of native rule in Hawai‘i.23 The normalization of eventual white rule within histories of power and politics paint these men as a confident group, seemingly both omnipotent and omnipresent: in truth they were often deeply insecure about their position and their plans.

The January 1893 coup d’état was an act of treason—several of the men involved, including Sanford Dole and Lorrin Thurston, were Hawaiian subjects—backed by a very small percentage of the Islands’ population. If unsuccessful, a sentence of death awaited the conspirators. The group self-admittedly never planned on taking up the task of running the nation, but instead counted on near immediate annexation to the United States.24 Within weeks their plans went awry when incoming U.S. President Grover Cleveland pulled the delivered annexation treaty from Congress and ordered an investigation into the affair. The decidedly minority oligarchy barricaded its governing headquarters and waited for the results of the inquiry. The official investigation not only defined their actions as “an act of war”25 but also delivered an official demand of the U.S. president that they step down in favor of a restoration of the native queen. While the coup leaders would [End Page 7] manage to hang onto power, their struggle for incorporation into the United States—a resolution that they believed would fortify white control—was a goal that would continue to elude them and, when consummated, would, once again, not go as planned. The formative laws of the territory re-enfranchised a great number of Native Hawaiians and left the white community a minority of the electorate once again.

A significant factor in the general acceptance of earlier narratives is the over-stating of white presence and action in Hawaiian history. This has left the public with general misunderstandings that continue to appear in rhetoric and print.26 For the entirety of the nineteenth century, non-whites always made up at least ninety percent of the population of the Islands. At the time of the 1893 coup, whites made up approximately six percent of Hawai‘i’s population and faced a much larger and engaged native populace. Later histories have afforded this small minority a confidence of action that was simply not present. The record of the white-led oligarchy in Hawai‘i reveals a culture of insecurity that resulted in a group forced, by native action, to stretch the boundaries of its own moral underpinnings.

An Uneasy Narrative

If color is ever to rule Hawaii—which God forbid!—that color must be white.

—Editorial, Pacific Commercial Advertiser 28 April 1900

Making the argument that a few thousand whites should rule over a territory that numbered more than 100,000 residents was an uncomfortable position for many of the “Sons of the Mission.”27 It was made more difficult by incorporation into a nation whose government had been declared to be “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”28 Nonetheless, it was an argument that needed to be made. At stake was control of this vital chain of islands in the center of the Pacific: its abundant undeveloped lands, its potent and expanding business opportunities, and its military strategic usefulness.

Speakers and writers filled church pulpits, meeting halls, and newspaper columns, in both Hawai‘i and on the U.S. continent, with rhetoric centered on a racial theme that claimed Native Hawaiians were inherently unfit to lead. Rev. Sereno Bishop wrote in the [Washington] Evening News: [End Page 8]

These facts make it of the highest importance that the present domination of American influences should not be destroyed by any unwise legislation on the part of Congress opening the suffrage in Hawaii widely to the less worthy and more shiftless elements of the population.29

The Maui News continued the theme with an editorial that declared:

Senator Morgan of Alabama holds that true liberty and republican institutions will be strengthened and restored by depriving the ignorant, irresponsible, incapable and unpatriotic element in the south from participating in the affairs of the State. That is doubly true in Hawaii. …30

William DeWitt Alexander, historian and president of the Board of Education in Hawai‘i, adopted a patronizing tone for his argument:

While the native Hawaiians should always receive the kindest consideration, and are entitled to a voice in their government, the time has gone by when they should be entitled to claim supreme control of the destiny of that country.31

Despite their efforts, white leaders in the Islands were unsuccessful in persuading the U.S. to curtail native voting in the new territory. Control of the legislature would be decided by an election in which Native Hawaiian voters greatly outnumbered whites. They had lost an important battle, but the war would continue. The white leadership was left to the tactic of universally criticizing any native politcal action and hoping for a later reversal of policy. Rev. Bishop, lamenting the defeat and offering a hint of future tactics, left a parting shot in another Washington, DC paper. He wrote that the coming election might serve as “a plain object lesson on the floor of [the U.S.] Congress of the unfitness of Hawaiian natives for unqualified suffrage” and spoke of the “base and unfit character” of what would probably be a native majority in the coming territorial legislature. In concluding, he castigated the commission for rejecting appeals for restricted suffrage:

That rejection was due to a lack of discrimination between a race of elevated capacity and culture like the Americans and a race of partially [End Page 9] developed intellect and character like the Hawaiians, who, although the foremost of the Polynesians, are still immensely behind the white race in natural capacity and acquired culture.32

On 14 June 1900, the Hawaiian Organic Act went into effect and the territory’s first electoral showdown—to determine representatives in the territorial legislature—was scheduled for the coming 6 November. With this crucial legislative election only months away, it was time to organize a campaign.

Political Parties in Hawai‘i—1900

The incorporation of Hawai‘i into the governmental framework of the United States threw the Islands’ political scene into a frenzied turmoil. Various local leaders moved quickly to morph their current political structures—clubs, parties, and informal support groups—into official affiliates of the two dominant American political institutions: the Republican and Democratic parties. Members and supporters of the former oligarchy were at the center of Hawai‘i’s nascent Republican Party, while “anti-Dole” annexationists were joined by several prominent native political leaders in looking to the Democrats to help bolster their political voice. The overwhelming majority of Native Hawaiian voters, however, demanded a third option, a party keenly focused on Hawai‘i’s interests. To this end, an independent party was formed. All agreed that while the role of organized political parties in Hawai‘i since the 1893 coup had been relatively negligible, moving forward, they would be of vital importance.

Republican Party of Hawai‘i

As the realities of incorporation into the United States began to take hold, the men who had been running Hawai‘i since the 1893 coup looked to evolve their current political establishment into an institution that could access powerful Washington connections in order to assist in the Americanization of the Islands. Nearly all of these men had been members of the American Union Party, formed on 4 March 1894, with a platform that centered on efforts to secure political union between Hawai‘i and the United States of America. The party itself had developed as an outgrowth of a merger of the Islands’ [End Page 10] annexation (Union) clubs and the American League. While they had come together over the purpose of annexation, the group contained sometimes oppositional factions: the two central ones being a “missionary party” led by Dole and his supporters in government, and the more radical American League members who distrusted Dole and the mission sons.33 The Evening Bulletin declared the American Union party, “The party that put the Cabinet in office, the party that packed guns and held them there, the party that has been the back bone and motive power of annexation, the party that made annexation to the United States possible.”34

Republican clubs had been holding informal meetings in Honolulu, Hilo, and some other districts since midyear 1896. The official Republican Club of Hawai‘i was founded on 3 April 1900 “to promote in every legitimate way the success of the Republican party, its principles and candidates.”35 The Advertiser noted that there were approximately fifty men gathered: “One was a Hawaiian, two were Portuguese, three were American negroes, and the others were whites of differing nationalities.”36 Weeks later, on 20 April, the club reorganized as the Republican Party of Hawai‘i, an official branch of the national Republican Party. The organizers and central committee included men such as Lorrin A. Thurston (leader of 1893 coup), Clarence L. Crabbe (wealthy ship owner and port surveyor of Honolulu), B. F. Dillingham (businessman and industrialist), and Ed Towse—a “Maine native who had moved to the Wyoming frontier with his Indian-fighting father and, being an adventurous type, had been attracted to Hawaii at age twenty-six by the 1893 revolution.”37 The main body of the party consisted mostly of an eclectic group of sugar planters, mechanics union members, and small business owners who had done well under the white-led government. J. M. Vivas, a significant later addition to the party, was a lawyer and leader of the Portuguese community in the Islands that had been crucial in casting pro-government votes for the Republic. As with the earlier American Union Party, the competing factions of Dole loyalists and those who thought him too unwilling to share power existed within the Republican Party. On 19 June 1900, a convention was held where a slate of candidates in the upcoming election was decided upon. Well aware that a victory in the coming election depended on drawing native votes, the party chose the wealthy native, Samuel (Kamuela) Parker, to top the ticket as their candidate [End Page 11] for Hawai‘i’s delegate to the U.S. Congress. Parker, a major landowner with influential friends and business partners, had served in the Privy Council of King Kalākaua and as Minister of Foreign Affairs for Queen Lili‘uokalani.

Democratic Party of Hawai‘i

Sanford Dole and his most trusted associates had held tight to the reins of power since the January 1893 coup that seized control of the Islands. Now, more than six years later, with Dole having headed all three of the successive iterations of government, the Native Hawaiian and Asian populations were not the only ones feeling left out of the political loop. “Anti-Dole” whites fell into two major catagories: those who felt that he had consolidated power among a small and select group of friends and business partners, and “anti-missionary” whites who believed that his strict Christian beliefs had shaped an overbearing government that often worked as an impediment to small business interests. These elements were joined by a relatively small but significant group of Native Hawaiians who felt that the most effective route to power was through a political party that had ties to the federal government in Washington.

A founding meeting of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i was held on 16 May 1900 in Progress Hall at the corner of Fort and Beretania streets in downtown Honolulu. Dr. John S. McGrew, Annexation Club president, organized and chaired the meeting. McGrew was referred to as the “Father of Annexation” for his early and active support but had been given no leadership role within the ruling oligarchy and had become one of the government’s fiercest critics. Having previously derided “the excesses of the Kalakaua regime” of the 1880s, he now contended that Dole and his allies had become even more corrupt.

The white “anti-missionary” faction within the Democratic Party was represented by men such as Charles J. McCarthy. Although also a key member of the anti-Kalākaua group, McCarthy was not antinative leadership. He was elected to the House of Nobles in 1890 and became a supporter of Queen Lili‘uokalani when she came to power in 1891. During the January 1893 coup, McCarthy resisted the actions of the Committee of Thirteen that overthrew the queen and was listed on an order from that body of men to be arrested in [End Page 12] the case that troubles broke out among the people. He voiced strong complaints about the mixing of Puritan edicts and state law; as a bar owner, he was particularly perturbed with the constant anti-saloon programs of the Dole faction. McCarthy also strongly contested the promotion of the immigration of “Oriental” laborers by the planter group within the Republican party, seeing it as destructive to the progress of the Islands.

A third group of Democrats consisted of Native Hawaiians who believed that the most effective route to power was through a party with national ties. Several high-profile native leaders made this argument to the people including Edward Kamakau Lilikalani (former member of the Privy Council and multiple-term congressman), John Edwin Bush (newspaperman and former Cabinet member of King Kalākaua), and John Henry Wise. Wise, a staunch royalist, had been arrested following the 1895 attempt to unseat the Republic government and ended up, with seven others, serving the longest sentence of anyone among the more than three hundred men arrested. In a campaign editorial published in Ke Aloha ‘Āina, Wise argued: “O ka aoao Kalaiaina Kemokalaka, oia no ka aoao o Kalivilana, ke mea i hooikaika e hoihoi ia mai ka nohoalii o Hawaii nei. …” [The Democratic Party is the party of Cleveland, who encouraged the restoration of the Hawaiian monarchy. …] and “Ka poe Republika” [Republicans] were “ka poe nana i aihue ke Kuokoa o Hawaii” [the ones who had stolen Hawai‘i’s independence].38

Ka Aoao Kuokoa Home Rula (Independent Home Rule Party)

The vast majority of native voters refused to see the approaching election in Hawai‘i as simply an extension of American politics. They stood firmly behind the idea of creating an independent party that had at its core a mission to serve the immediate needs of a local constituency. The tremendous political struggles of the past decade had engendered popular and well-organized native political associations. Ka Aoao Kuokoa Home Rula was a direct descendent of that active political legacy.

In the aftermath of the private militia-led imposition of the 1887 Bayonet Constitution, a special election to fill a new legislature delivered a victory to the anti-Kalākaua Reform Party. Native political leaders were cognizant of the fact that a formal association of native [End Page 13] voters would need to be organized in order to remain a potent voice in Hawaiian governance. Ka ‘Ahahui Kalai‘āina Hawai‘i [The Hawaiian Political Association] was founded at a mass meeting in Honolulu on 22 November 1888. The society quickly grew into the largest and best organized political association in the Islands. It led attempts to replace the Bayonet Constiution by organizing petition drives and electing candidates who supported the move. In 1893 the group was a central part of the queen’s attempt to promulgate a new constitution.

Ka Hui Hawai‘i Aloha ‘Āina [The Hawaiian Patriotic Association] was founded on 4 March 1893 in response to the January 1893 coup and subsequent efforts to have the nation annexed to the United States. Its founding officers were Iosepa Kaho‘oluhi Nāwahī (president); John A. Cummings; J. K. Kaunamano; and J. W. Bipikane. The group’s constitution announced its primary purposes:

O ka hana a keia Ahahui oia ka malama ana a me ke kakoo ana, ma na keehina hana maluhia e kue kanawai ole, i ke kulana Kuokoa o na Pae Aina o Hawaii, a ina he mea hiki ole ke malamaia ko kakou Kuokoa, alaila, o ke kakou hana oia ka hooikaika ana i na hana kue ole i ke kanawai a me ka maluhia e hoomau ia ai ka Pono Kivila o na kanaka Hawaii a me na Kupa makaainana.39

The object of this Association is to preserve and maintain, by all legal and peaceful means and measures, the independent autonomy of the Hawaiian Archipelago; and, if our independence cannot be maintained, our object shall be to exert all peaceful and legal efforts to secure for the Hawaiian people and Citizens the continuance of their Civil Rights.

Ka Hui Hawai‘i Aloha ‘Āina became a central platform, both domestically and internationally, for native voice and action.40 The group organized and delivered testimony to U.S. Commissioner James Blount during his investigation of the 1893 coup, and submitted anti-annexation petitions and protest memorials to the U.S. president and Congress through 1898. The work of Hui Aloha ‘Āina and Hui Kalai‘āina was a fundamental cause of the defeat of the second proposed treaty of annexation.41

During the month of May 1900, the two existing native political associations held meetings throughout the Islands to discuss the [End Page 14] question of their support in the upcoming election. A three-day convention opened on 6 June in Honolulu for the purpose of considering formal political organization under the new conditions. The associations’ two presidents, David Kalauokalani of Hui Kalai‘āina and James Kaulia of Hui Aloha ‘Āina, co-chaired the meeting and were joined by fifty-six delegates from around the Islands, forming a broad central committee. A motion “That the Hawaiians should stand as an independent or home rule party” gained unanimous appproval. Party planks were debated and a finalized platform was set around a central theme of “Ka Pono Kaulike o Ka Lehulehu” [Equal Rights for the Multitudes].42 Kaulia, elected the new party’s first president, proposed, “Let us work for the greatest good of the greatest number and let us not consider whether a man’s skin be white or dark. Let us have justice toward all.”43 As the first morning of the convention drew to a close, Vice-President Kalauokalani announced an adjournment in order that party leaders might call upon Queen Lili‘uokalani.

Party officers and representatives walked the several blocks to Washington Place, her personal residence. Queen Lili‘uokalani had taken a noncommittal public stance on the coming election—her nephew Prince Kawananakoa headed the Democratic ticket—but her deep interest and devotion to her people remained blatantly clear. Ke Aloha ‘Āina carried the eloquent words she shared that afternoon with leaders of the new Home Rule Party:

Aloha oukou: Aole au i manao eia no oukou ka lahui ke hoomanao mai nei Ia‘u, oiai, he umi makahiki i hala ae nei e ku ana Au44 he Makuahine no oukou ka lahui, a i keia manawa, ua noho mana mai la o Amerika Huipuia maluna O‘u a me oukou Kuu lahui, he mea ehaeha no Ia‘u na haawina i ili iho maluna o kakou, aka, he mea hiki ole ke pale ae, ua hoohamama ia mai Ko‘u manao, mamuli o na haawina a Amerika i hana mai nei no ka lahui Hawaii, a oia pono Ka‘u e a‘o aku nei e nana mai no ka lahui i na alakai ana a na alakai o ka lahui, oia o Mr. Kaulia a me Mr. Kalauokalani, ua ili maluna o laua ke koikoi no ka nana ana i ka pono o ka lahui elike me ke Kanawai a Amerika i haawi mai nei, a o ka loaa ana i ka lahui na pono a me na pomaikai no na hanauna aku a kakou o keia mua aku, o ka loaa ana no ia Ia‘u oia pono hookahi.

Aole o kakou kuhi‘na aku i koe, koe wale ae la no keia pono akea i [End Page 15] haawi ia mai e Amerika ia oukou ka lahui, e hopu a paa, a na oukou e hooponopono no kakou no keia mau aku.45

Aloha to all of you. I did not think that you, the people, were still thinking of me, as ten years have passed since I stood as Mother to you all, and at this time the United States of America rules over me and all of you, my beloved people. It is a thing of great pain for me, the burdens that have fallen to us, but it is something that cannot be prevented. My thoughts have been expanded due to the actions of America in what they have given the Hawaiian people [the vote] and I now advise, that the people should look to the guidance of the leaders of the people—Mr. Kaulia and Mr. Kalauokalani. It has fallen to them, the responsibility for watching over of the rights of the people granted by the laws handed down by America, so that the people will receive the rights and benefits for generations to come, and myself similarly.

We have no other way than this expanded right that has been granted by America to all of you, the people, seize it and hold it fast. It is for all of you to make right this future for all of us.

Kaulia responded, both for the assembled group and those not present:

E Kalani: Ma ka aoao o na Elele a me Kou lahui, ke lawe nei makou me ka manao laahia loa i ka leo Alii a omau iho maluna o ko makou umauma a me Kou lahui, a e lilo hoi ia mau huaolelo Alii i pae mai nei i mea e alakai ia ai Kou lahui no na pono a me na pomaikai ma keia mua aku, a me ka pono o na hanauna o Kou lahui e hoea mai ana.

Your Majesty, on behalf of the delegates and Your people, we accept as sacred the thoughts and message of the Ali‘i and bind it to our breasts and the breasts of Your people, and may these words of the Ali‘i that we have heard become something that guides Your people concerning the rights and blessings of the future, and for the benefit of the generations of Your people to come.

Wāhine Koa (Women Warriors): Native Women as Political Actors

Despite the fact that by 1900 Queen Lili‘uokalani held no formal decision-making power over her people, the Independent Home Rule Party sought out her blessing and guidance as it moved forward. [End Page 16] This and other broader acts of the party at this time open up the relevant and significantly unexplored topic of the role of women in the political events of this period. The seminal work of Noenoe Silva has in recent years shed light on previously elided organized resistance by native women to the annexation of Hawai‘i.46 Her work has brought to the fore knowledge of the existence of the 11,000-member Hui Hawai‘i Aloha ‘Āina o Nā Wāhine [Women’s Patriotic Association]—which Silva explains “was not a women’s auxiliary, but an active political entity that drafted and sent protests to foreign governments and organized mass meetings”47—and documented key players within that association and their actions. The broad and potent involvement of native women in the struggles for their nation continued after the absorption of the Islands into the political structure of the United States. The significant presence of native women at the fore of political activities during the crucial transition period of 1898–1901 set them apart from their white contemporaries.

Women were generally absent from Republican and Democratic Party rallies, and were certainly not part of the decision-making bodies of these political institutions. In contrast, native women of the Home Rule Party hosted rallies; served as featured rally speakers; organized and participated in political outreach; were chosen as official delegates to the party’s convention; served on the party’s board of directors;48 and also comprised an official committee of the party’s executive body. Sub-committees of women took charge of campaigns in some of the more rural areas around the Islands, including east Maui, Moloka‘i, and Lāna‘i, vowing to “do everything they can for the Independent HR Party.” Kaluapalaoa Kama, a voting delegate from Lā‘ie village to the June 1900 founding convention of the party and member of its board of dircetors, was assigned the moniker “Wahine Koa” (Woman Warrior) by Nūpepa Kū‘oko‘a. This “wiwo ole” (fearless) woman warrior from Lā‘ie took the podium at the convention and addressed her fellow delegates, saying:

E na Elele, Aloha oukou! … aia ma ko oukou mau lime [lima] he baloka hookahi. Aole i loaa ia makou ia pomaikai, nolaila, ua hooholo makou, e hoonee aku i ka makou poe kane a pau loa, e hele imua a ma ka pahu baloka e hoike ko lakou aloha i ka aina makua. Aole makou e hooki ana a hiki i ko lakou hana ana ia mea.49 [End Page 17]

Aloha Delegates!. … in each of your hands is a single ballot. We [women] did not receive this blessing, therefore, we decided, to push all of our men to go forward and at the ballot box to display our aloha for the motherland. We will not stop until they do that.

Newspaper accounts noted that the native women of the Independent Party planned to follow their husbands to the polls on election day to assure that they voted the correct way.

In the closing week of a tight campaign the push was on to turn out as many voters as possible. The Independent Home Rule Party held two final rallies; women were featured speakers at both. Five days prior to the election, on 1 November 1900, a magnificent torch-lit march and rally in Honolulu culminated under the night sky of Queen Emma Square. The Independent, a newspaper supporting the Democrats, reported that the crowd consisted of “over 3000 stalwart Hawaiians” and admitted “Nothing more imposing has been seen in Hawaii than the parade of the Independents last evening.”50 Placards and illuminated signs extolling the virtues of Home Rule filled the air. The paper explained, “We are fighting the Independents on account of the leader they have chosen but we admit that their organization beats everythng here, and that the Hawaiians, misled as they are, know how to do politics.” An orator of the Home Rulers remarked on the prevalence and importance of women in their struggle: “I am glad to see so many ladies here tonight. We owe our greatness to our mothers. Remember we owe the credit of all this to our mothers.”51 The Independent, in its own separate section, noted the appearance on the bandstand of Mrs. Fanny Kepo:

The Hawaiian lady from Kauai who spoke of [sic] the meeting of the Independents last evening is probably the first woman who has appeared on a public platform to make a political speeches [sic] in Honolulu. She spoke goood sense and was given a hearty reception by the enthusiastic audience, yet we are not in favor of having women mix in politics—except, of course they belong to our party.52

The attempted comic endnote to the blurb only highlights the discrepancy between the roles of women within the differing parties.

The Home Rulers, in a final appeal to voters on the eve of the election, held a torch-lit rally on the site of the ruins of the recently burned [End Page 18] Kaumakapili Church in Honolulu. The evening of poltical speeches was opened by Mrs. Abigail Kuaihelani Campbell, former leader of Hui Aloha ‘Āina o Nā Wāhine, and Mrs. Kepo. The Pacific Commercial Advertiser described the native from Kaua‘i as having delivered “a rousing speech, urging the natives to stand united and vote for Wilcox and the rest of the Independent ticket.” The Independent Party member had reminded the men gathered before her, “You have the right to vote. And with that right we can build up the nation again.”53


Honolulu is on the eve of the most important period in all her history.

Honolulu Republican [newspaper]

An intense atmosphere filled the streets of Honolulu as voting for the 1901 Territorial Legislature approached. White leaders in Hawai‘i saw retention of control over the lawmaking body as vital to their plans for a hegemonic dominance over the Islands. It had been clear from the outset of the midsummer campaign that the Republicans—the party of the present government and the moneyed business class—were in a position of considerable strength. Democrats could boast of having several prominent local leaders among their ranks but public support for the party was unconvincing and they were a long shot to win any significant number of legislative seats. The largest potential voting bloc in the coming election was the native electorate, a large portion of which had been disenfranchised since the 1893 coup.54 The 1894 election under the Republic of Hawai‘i had produced a governing body selected by less than three percent of the Islands’ population.55 The single-party 1897 election generated the lowest voter turnout in Hawai‘i’s history; on O‘ahu, only nine-tenths of one percent of the population participated in the process.56 The strength of the two well-organized native patriotic associations and their new local party was indisputable, and they could count on winning the large majority of native votes. The question was whether Republicans had siphoned off enough native voters to win. At the center of Republican appeals was the insistence that aligning with their party would offer access to the White House and those likely to be in charge in Washington.

Both the Republicans and Home Rulers radiated an optimistic [End Page 19] exuberance throughout the campaign, and as the fateful day drew close the Republican press sought to assure its readers of a coming victory. The Advertiser ran a front-page column titled “Republican Victory Sure” that declared, “An avalanche of Republican enthusiasm descended on Honolulu last night with such force as to leave no doubts in the minds of those who witnessed the splendid parade of the stalwart Republican voters and listened to the patriotic speeches at the Drill Shed later, that Samuel Parker will be elected to Congress.”57

In the early morning hours of 6 November 1900, eager voters across Hawai‘i began making their way toward their local polling stations. Voting was to begin at 8 a.m. but when territorial police arrived at polling stations at 6:30, trying to get their own voting out of the way, lines had already formed. Government offices were closed for the day and business was at a near standstill for what the Independent termed “the most momentous election ever in Hawaii nei.”58 On the streets one could gauge support by observing the milling crowds. Home Rulers were distinguished by their “Kuokoa” hatbands, Republicans wore yellow ribbons, and Democrats displayed a party badge on their chests that was described as having “a kahili and crossed tabu sticks in yellow on a white ribbon.”59 The first voter at O‘ahu’s fourth precinct station, located inside the Royal School, was the governor of Hawai‘i, Sanford Dole. A couple of miles away, at the corner of Punahou and King streets, Robert Wilcox, accompanied by his wife, cast his vote in precinct one. When the polls closed at five p.m. that evening, over ten thousand voters—more than three times the number in the previous election—had joined these two political leaders in choosing Hawai‘i’s new legislative representatives.60

The Republican Party held its strongest position in the metropolis of Honolulu, and the ballots counted there during the day afforded the government party reason to crow. The Evening Bulletin carried the headline “Landslide for the Republicans” and declared, “It was early reported that the Independent ticket was being murdered relentlessly.”61 The Hawaiian Star confirmed that Parker and the Republicans were on “easy street.”62 The O‘ahu returns launched anticipatory celebrations and the next morning’s Advertiser heralded the headlines, “Bob Wilcox Beaten,” “A Majority Probable in Both Houses,” and “Monarchical Democracy Shown to Be as Dead as a Herring.”63 [End Page 20] By mid-day the mood among government supporters had begun to shift. The schooner Eclipse had arrived in Honolulu from Maui with returns that showed Wilcox significantly ahead on that island. As more returns filtered in from other islands over the next several days, an Independent Home Rule victory began to take shape. When final tallies were made, Robert Wilcox and the Independents had won every island except O‘ahu and dominated Hawai‘i’s first territorial election. Independents claimed majorities in both chambers, winning nine of fifteen seats in the Senate and twenty-two of thirty in the House of Representatives.64 The white-led government’s fears had been realized.

News of the Home Rule victory made waves not only in Hawai‘i but on distant shores as well. The San Francisco Call reported, “News of the result of the election … produced much depression among all whites, as Wilcox was strongly opposed by Republicans and Democrats alike.”65 Although white leaders had publicly trumpeted confidence leading up to the election, a defeat was certainly not completely unforeseen. In fact, two weeks prior to the election, Rev. Bishop had penned a column in the Washington Star predicting a Home Rule victory:

It is the base and ignorant character of a probable majority of the coming legislature that gives us the most serious ground for apprehension. Our best hope is that such a majority will be less than two thirds, which would enable them to override a veto of the governor.66

Several U.S. papers brightened the hopes of white leaders in Hawai‘i when their continuing calls for restricted suffrage were republished in Honolulu papers. The Washington Bee declared, “It is likely, as a result of the election, that congress will be asked to establish some limitations upon the voting privilege.”67 The tactic now for Dole and his supporters would be to work towards future restrictions on voting by disabling the coming legislature as much as possible while simultaneously attacking it for a lack of production.

These men wasted no time in launching their rhetorical attack on this limited re-establishment of native rule, and time-worn racial tropes were the main weapons. The first post-election issue of The Friend responded to the election results with a vitriolic column titled [End Page 21] “The Heathen Party” that accused Wilcox of working to revive a licentious and destructive behavior embraced by Queen Lili‘uokalani and King Kalākaua. It characterized Wilcox’s supporters as consisting of “all that baser native element which clings to the degraded past in opposition to our grandly developed Christian civilization.”68 The mission paper closed by explaining about Wilcox: “Inflated by victory at the polls, he now seeks to head his people in a downward orgy of vice and debauchery.” This and other initial attacks offered a small sample of what was to be a near-daily barrage once the native-led legislature got under way.

Home Rule Preparation

As the din of victory celebrations waned, the officers of the Independent Home Rule Party set to the important task of preparing for the coming legislative session. Representatives-elect were called to Honolulu six weeks early for meetings in order to craft a legislative agenda.69 The work began with an 8 January 1901 convention at Foster Hall. Representatives from around Hawai‘i, including several women delegates, joined officers to form a broad, sixty-eight-member board of directors.70 A resolution was approved finalizing an important passing of the political torch to this new native entity: “Be it Resolved, That the societies known as the Aloha Aina and Kalaiaina societies are hereby merged into one party to be known hereafter as the Indepedent Home Rule Party.”71 The board worked to create drafts of legislation to be introduced in the coming session, using party plans as guidelines. Petitions from districts around the Islands were considered and an unofficial priority ranking of bills followed.

Significant preparation for the coming law-making session continued after the closing of the legislative workshop. Independent Party leaders took tours and ran audits of several different governmental departments and facilities in order to be familiar with current conditions within a government that they had been locked out of for the past seven years. They inspected the Honolulu Police Department, O‘ahu prison, and the insane asylum. They spent weeks questioning department heads regarding number of personnel, pay, and assigned duties. They asked about the distribution of medicine, the salaries of meat inspectors, and the current number of leprosy patients. In early [End Page 22] February, the Home Rule Party called a meeting to begin organizing fire claims against the government resulting from the Chinatown fire of the preceding year—an issue that involved many Chinese residents who had been generally left out of even the current political reorganization.

Opening of the Legislature

Despite the persistent attempts of the former Republic of Hawai‘i government to rid the Islands of references to, and memories of, the recently passed monarchy, the Territory’s legislative birth was thick with imagery that spoke of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s national past. The horse-drawn carriages arriving at ‘Iolani Palace, the site of the new legislature, made their way through either Kauikeaouli, Kīna‘u, Hakaleleponi, or Likelike gates.72 Dapperly attired territorial representatives, dressed in black Prince Albert coats, black trousers, white ties, and white gloves gathered around desks recently installed in the Palace Throne Room. By 9:30 a.m. every visitor’s seat was taken and the room was filled to the doors. A newspaper commented that the decorum of the Home Rule members “set a good example for American legislators in the States.”73

At ten o’clock sharp, Frederick William Kahapula Beckley Jr., a Home Rule delegate from Moloka‘i, called Hawai‘i’s first territorial legislature to order. Beckley was the son of Fred Sr., former governor of Kaua‘i, and Emma Kaili Beckley Nakuina, the first female judge in Hawai‘i and curator of the Hawaiian National Museum. Fred Jr. had graduated with the inaugural class at the Kamehameha School for Boys in 1891 and was well-versed in the ancient customs and arts of his ancestors, having been tutored by his knowledgable mother. Now, at the age of twenty-six, he was elected vice-speaker of the House of Representatives.74 Beckley was joined in the stately room by many other accomplished native intellectuals, academics, historians, and business professionals. This group of men, soon to be painted as incompetent, ignorant, child-like, and even as subhuman, in fact included leaders from the fields of education, business, church, government, and politics; many were members of the Hawai‘i Bar Association, and several had served in previous legislatures.

Beckley’s colleague from Maui, the lawyer and legislator William [End Page 23] Pūnohu White of Lāhainā, was another respected native leader. It was White, along with Iosepa Nāwahī, who had led attempts within the 1890 legislature to replace the 1887 constitution, a governing document implemented through a white milita-led coup and despised by natives and many others. William White became co-chair of the Liberal Party in 1892 along with Nāwahī and these two men became central authors of the new constitution proposed by Queen Lili‘uokalani the following year. In her own later autobiography, Queen Lili‘uokalani praises Sen. White for maintaining a strict fidelity to the wishes of the people by whom he had been elected and, speaking of him and Nāwahī, she explained:

Figure 1. “Independent Home Rule Party leaders White, Russel, and Testa Open Hawai‘i’s First Territorial Legislature With Dignity” Ka Nūpepa Kū‘oko‘a 22 February 1901.
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Figure 1.

“Independent Home Rule Party leaders White, Russel, and Testa Open Hawai‘i’s First Territorial Legislature With Dignity” Ka Nūpepa Kū‘oko‘a 22 February 1901.

The behavior of these two patriots during the trying scenes of this [1892–93 legislative] session, in such marked contrast to that of many others, won them profound respect. They could never be induced to compromise principles, nor did they for one moment falter or hesitate [End Page 24] in advocating boldly a new constitution which should accord equal rights to the Hawaiians, as well as protect the interests of foreigners. The true patriotism and love of country of these men had been recognized by me, and I had decorated them with the order of Knight Commander of Kalakaua.

Indeed, on the morning of 14 January 1893, just prior to meeting with her cabinet to promulgate a new constitution that would once again see native control of the nation, the queen knighted White and Nāwahī as Ke‘a Ho‘ohanohano o ka Mō‘ī Kalākaua.

Another Maui legislative colleague, Raymond Hoe Makekau, had served as the Lāhainā delegate of Hui Aloha ‘Āina and was lauded for delivering eight hundred signatures on petitions against annexation to a convention in Honolulu. He served as a deacon at Ka ‘Ekalesia o Waine‘e [Waine‘e Church] in Lāhainā and was arrested and went to jail in July 1893 for fighting, along with over ninety percent of the congregation, to oust the church’s pastor who had been preaching pro-annexation and anti-monarchical rhetoric from the pulpit.

Joseph Apukai Akina, a prominent Chinese-Hawaiian lawyer from Waimea, Kaua‘i, was referred to by the English-language press as “one of the best versed Hawaiian scholars.” He had served in the kingdom legislature under King Kalākaua and Queen Lili‘uokalani and now became the first man to hold the office of Speaker of the Territorial Legislature. Akina was an expert on Hawaiian herbal medicine and was put in charge of a department of the Board of Health that oversaw that field.

Samuel K. Mahoe, a founder of the Home Rule Party from Hawai‘i Island, was considered by many “one of the best known and most prominent of the old generation of Hawaiians.”75 He had served in three previous legislatures and was head of the committee that presented a petition to King Kalākaua in 1890 asking him to request the legislature to call a constitutional convention to replace the Bayonet Constitution. He served as an editor at the Hawaiian-language newspaper Ka Nūpepa Kū‘oko‘a.76

A Struggle for Control

Battles erupted soon after the ceremonial opening of the territory’s initial law-making session. The stage had been set with a Home Ruleled [End Page 25] legislature prepared to make a significant shift in government priorities and executive and judicial branches that sought to stifle any planned accomplishments of the native party.

The use of Hawaiian language within the legislature became an immediate source of contention when lawmakers voted to elect an interpreter for the House of Representatives. Governor Dole insisted that the Organic Act clearly mandated the sole use of English during official business—a significant problem for those native representatives who did not speak English.77 The fact that Hawaiian was being spoken had been reported by the secretary of the Territory, Henry E. Cooper, who had been sent by Dole to observe the actions of the House and had set up his own desk on that body’s floor. Rep. Beckley protested the presence of Cooper as an infringement on the required separation of the distinct branches of government; he reminded Dole that the House already had a secretary who recorded everything and sent the transcripts to the governor. The presence of Cooper was particularly galling to many of the native legislators. Henry Cooper was an American lawyer who had moved to Hawai‘i in 1890 and quickly become involved in politics. He was a leader of the Hawaiian League, a secret all-white organization whose members swore an oath “to keep secret the existence and purposes of this League to protect the white community of this Kingdom”78 and was the one chosen, during the January 1893 coup, to read the proclamation of an abrogation of the monarchy and establishment of a provisional government. Rep. Beckley made a motion to eject Cooper from the House that was passed by that body. Cooper refused to leave and the situation grew heated. Territorial judge A.G.M.Robertson promised federal soldiers would be sent to keep the governor’s observer at his desk on the House floor. The matter was resolved when Cooper eventually removed himself. Tensions calmed somewhat after that first week, but the business of political battle between the leaders of the legislature and Governor Dole and his supporters continued unabated.

In this environment it did not take long for the rhetoric of native incompetency to make it to Republican newspaper front pages. The near daily barrage from the Pacific Commercial Advertiser, Maui News, and Hawaiian Gazette included comments such as “The Home Rulers [End Page 26] are trying to do their duty, and their earnest but fruitless efforts are pathetic almost to tears. The truth is that they do not know either what or how to do, and it is unfortunate for them and for the people of the Islands they were elected.”79 In April the Maui News declared, “The farce has continued long enough”80 and claimed, “It is a luminous truth that the home rule party, with the best intentions in the world, has proved a monumental failure as a law making power.”81 The element of race in the attacks on the native-led legislature was not always veiled. The Friend printed an editorial on the legislature that explained, “The blame is with Congress, who blindly gave the undeveloped and childish masses of the Hawaiians unqualified suffrage. … The natives are to be pitied, still more this unfortunate Territory which has fallen into the hands of such incompetents.”82 The mission paper was certainly not alone in using harsh and provocative rhetoric in order to push an agenda that sought to lead to new restrictions on voting. The Hawaiian Gazette left no room for misinterpretation about where it stood on the issue of native competence. In its 30 April 1901 issue, the paper went to print the cartoon in fig. 2 across its front page.

The depiction of the native-led legislature as a group of monkeys, swinging from the branches of a jungle, was accompanied by the recently released poem of Rudyard Kipling from his series, The Jungle Book. A stanza of the caption reads “Jabber it quickly and all together! Excellent! Wonderful! Once Again! Now we are talking just like men.” This demeaning attack linking the use of Hawaiian language by Native Hawaiians to sub-human behavior was only one of the many tools used by white leaders to question native competency. The Gazette was not the only paper to use a visual platform to make its contentions both clear and memorable. As the legislative session came to a close on 29 July, the Advertiser—owned by Lorrin A. Thurston, a leader of the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy—offered readers a front-page cartoon titled “The Circus Leaves Town” with a wagon stenciled with the words “Hawaiian Simian Circus Ltd.” following a path marked by a sign pointing “To The Woods.”83

The Hawaiian Star—a paper founded in 1893 to promote the agenda of the provisional government—joined in the racist attacks with a cartoon concerning a bill to license traditional native healers. A dark-black character wearing a ti-leaf skirt, with over sized lips and a [End Page 27]

Figure 2. The white minority’s portrayal of the native-led 1901 legislature—ten days in. Hawaiian Gazette 30 April 1901.
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Figure 2.

The white minority’s portrayal of the native-led 1901 legislature—ten days in. Hawaiian Gazette 30 April 1901.

[End Page 28]

Figure 3. “They did their little best; what if their efforts came to nix! They kept the whole world laughing, at their anthropoidal tricks.” 20 July 1901 Pacific Commercial Advertiser.
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Figure 3.

“They did their little best; what if their efforts came to nix! They kept the whole world laughing, at their anthropoidal tricks.” 20 July 1901 Pacific Commercial Advertiser.

bone through his top hat, holds a license in one hand and a briefcase with a saw and hammer sticking out of it in the other. The cartoon is captioned “When The Kahunas Get Diplomas.”84

Setting a Native Agenda

The native Hawaiian is easily led. He clings to the white man as the vine clings to the oak.

—Edwin Norris, 1900 [End Page 29]

One of the most persistent and pernicious myths of Hawaiian history is that Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) passively accepted the erosion of their culture and the loss of their nation.

—Noenoe Silva, 2009

In a matter of less than six months, across a group of islands connected only by sea travel, Native Hawaiians organized a new political party, campaigned against an oligarchic government supported by wealthy business interests, and achieved a convincing victory at the polls. These active and determined citizens had gained new political clout and they intended to use it.

The primary-source archival record relating to Hawai‘i’s first territorial legislature reveals an active, resolute, and persistent attempt by elected Native Hawaiian representatives to address a plethora of concerns critical to their constituents. At this site of power, for the first time since a white oligarchy seized control seven years prior, the shaping of Hawai‘i’s future could take a decided turn toward a native agenda. The now seemingly inescapable reality was that the absorption of Hawai‘i into the American republic was marching forward, but native efforts could be made to moderate and shape that assimilation.

As soon as the territorial legislature convened, native leaders launched a prepared agenda that addressed the needs of their people and, importantly, others who had been disenfranchised. Native legislators introduced bills that would remove taxes from taro lands and poi production; promote the use and study of Hawai‘i’s native language; organize local government into counties, decentralizing power away from the appointed governor; allocate government appropriations for poor students to study at top universities abroad; create a commission to visit the leprosy patients on Moloka‘i for the purpose of gaining information on how their situation could be improved; create an appropriation to compensate those who had lost property in the government-sparked fire that had ravaged Chinatown the year prior; create public libraries so that information, literature, and knowledge could be accessible to maka‘āinana [commoners]; offer protection for native birds and wildlife; appropriate monies for repairs to the Royal Mausoleum at Nu‘uanu; award a government pension to Queen Lili‘uokalani; and many more. A small selection of those native-sponsored bills are listed as follows. [End Page 30]

TARO / POI—Legislation: Senate Bill 87—To encourage the cultivation of taro.

From and after the passage of this Act, and for the term of five years from the first day of January 1902, all taro plants; taro lands planted with taro; and all mills, machinery, appliances, tools, and buildings used exclusively in the care, cultivation and/or preparations of poi for market, shall be and hereby are exempt from all taxes.85

Sponsor—Representative Achi, 3rd district (O‘ahu).86

This bill addressed a deeply significant and timely issue in the native community. The production of poi had declined precipitously throughout Hawai‘i and even the government’s own Board of Health had been unable to procure a steady supply to send to the leprosy patients on Moloka‘i. Prices rose quickly as did the voices of those who struggled to obtain this native staff of life that held so much cultural and practical significance. The Evening Bulletin reported that taro “was not only going steadily up in price but was in danger of disappearing altogether”87 while the Pacific Commercial Advertiser ran an article asking, “What of Taro? Taro, Taro, Taro! Who has any taro for sale?”88

HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE—Legislation: House Bill 55—To Restore Hawaiian Language in the Schools.

An act to amend Section 123 of the Civil Laws, as compiled in 1897, relating to the teaching of the English and Hawaiian languages in public and private schools.89

Sponsor: Representative Ka‘auwai, 6th district (Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau).90

This bill sought to reverse an 1896 act passed by the Republic that mandated that the language of instruction in all schools be English. It proposed a bilingual education for Hawai‘i’s students with the teaching of Hawaiian language in conjunction with English in all public and private schools—a later amendment would strike out the inclusion of private schools. The legislature recorded receiving a great number of petitions praying the bill would pass, and columns such [End Page 31] as “To Perpetuate Native Tongue” reported that “The rapidly dying out Hawaiian language will have a champion in the lower house.”91 The Evening Bulletin explained, “The subject is one of great interest to Hawaiians. It is felt by the natives that their language has been totally ignored.”92 The preservation and use of a quickly disappearing native language was a central plank in the Independent Home Rule Party platform.

HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE—Legislation: House Bill 70—To provide for the use of the English or Hawaiian language in the practice of the circuit courts of the Territory of Hawai‘i.

An act to provide the carrying on of the English or Hawaiian language in all the courts of the Territory of Hawaii.93

Sponsor: Representative Kaniho, 6th District (Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau).94

This bill sought to preserve the use of Hawaiian language as an option in the courts of the territory. Trials in Hawai‘i’s courts included many native defendants and some lawyers, like Kaniho himself, who were not proficient in English. The English-only court system prevented the administration of justice for these legal citizens. In a letter to the editor, written almost two decades after the introduction of this bill by Representative Kaniho, Z. P. K. Kawaikaumaiikamakaokaopua celebrated current legislative efforts to preserve Hawaiian language, reminded his contemporaries how vital their native language was, and credited Kaniho for his actions in 1901.

E, auhea mai oe e kuu i‘o ame kuu koko, kuu lahui aloha, i ikeia mai no oe he Hawaii, a he lahui kanaka, i kau olelo.

Ke haawi nei au i kuu hoomaikai i ka Mea Hanohano H. M. Kaniho, ka mea mua nana i hookomo aku i keia bila kanawai i kona makahiki mua i komo ai.95

Hear me, my flesh and blood, my beloved people. You are known as a Hawaiian, and a nation, by your language.

I give my gratitude to the Honorable H. M. Kaniho, the first one to submit this bill in his first year there. [End Page 32]

HAWAIIAN STUDENTS ABROAD—Legislation: House Bill 31—To Provide for and to Regulate the Sending of Youths to the Mainland or Abroad to be Educated.

The Secretary of the Territory of Hawai‘i with the concurrence of the members of the Board of Education, shall select worthy poor youths to send to the United States or abroad to be educated, from the select schools established in the Territory. …96

Sponsor: Representative Kumalae, 4th district (O‘ahu).97

This bill sought to have the secretary of the Territory, with concurrence of the Board of Education, select poor youth with academic distinction to be sent abroad to top universities to encourage the development of leaders in important fields in the Islands. It called for the selection of three youths from the Island of Hawai‘i, two from the Islands of Maui, Moloka‘i, and Lāna‘i, four from the Island of O‘ahu, and one from the Islands of Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau. The bill set the fields of study as law, medicine, surveying, civil engineering, and teaching.

DECENTRALIZED GOVERNMENT—Legislation: House Bill 48—Providing for and creating certain counties in the Territory of Hawai‘i, and providing for a form of Government for such counties.

An Act relating to the establishment of municipal and county government in this Territory.98

Sponsor: Representative Raymond Hoe Makekau, 1st district (Hawai‘i Island).99

The “County Bill” was perhaps the most politically significant of the bills proposed and passed by native legislators in the first territorial legislature. County government under this bill would remove from the governor the power to appoint local administrators and justices. This legislation had been a central project of the Independent Party leaders, and in January a special drafting committee for county government had begun working out the plan. They saw the bill as a crucial redirecting of power away from minority whites and to the more [End Page 33] numerous native constituencies. The Home Rule Party held public rallies in support of the bill as it made its way through committees and readings in the House and Senate. A 24 April Hālāwai Maka‘āinana (Mass Meeting) at Haimoeipo Square in Honolulu included speeches by all of the party leaders. Ke Aloha ‘Āina reported that the large, fervent crowd passed a resolution stating:

E hooholoia: Na na makaainana o ke Teritori o Hawaii ma Haimoeipo Kuea (kahua paikau), ma ke ahiahi Poakolu, Aperila 24, 1901, ma ia apono lokahi ana, ke kakoo nei makou e hooholo koke ia ka Bila Okana Aina e waiho nei i keia wa imua o ke Senate, ma ke ano o ko makou makemake ia a me ko makou hoola ia kue i ka mana kuwaena.100

Resolved: By the assembled citizens of the Territory of Hawai‘i at Haimoeipo Square [drill shed], on Wednesday evening, 24 April 1901, by unanimous approval, we support the immediate passage of the County Bill now set before the Senate, as expressing the will of the people, and as a decision against centralized power.

The stakes were clear to everyone and opposition to the bill was straightforward: the staunchly Republican Maui News admitted, “The only objection which is felt on Maui to the proposition of establishing a county government here is that the Hawaiians are in so large a majority that they will fill all the elective offices with Hawaiians.”101 The Evening Bulletin added, “Municipal charters from the Home Rule Legislature elected would mean that Wilcox & Co. would name all the mayors and alderman.”102

With this bill, native leaders within the legislature also intended to send their own symbolic message to Governor Dole, his supporters, and all those who had supported the end of rule by the native chiefly class. House Bill 48 not only created five counties in the Islands, it officially named those counties in honor of past Ali‘i Nui. The islands of Maui, Moloka‘i (with the exception of the leprosy patient settlement at Kalaupapa), Lāna‘i, Kaho‘olawe, and all other islands within a limit of three nautical miles from their shores, would be henceforth known as the County of Lili‘uokalani; the islands of Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau, and all other islands within a limit of three nautical miles from their shores, would be known as the County of Lunalilo; O‘ahu, and all other islands within a limit of three nautical miles from its [End Page 34] shores, would be known as the County of Kalohana; all portions of the island of Hawai‘i lying in the districts known as Hilo, Puna, and Ka‘ū, and all other islands within a limit of three nautical miles from their shores would be known as the County of Kauikeaouli; and all portions of the island of Hawai‘i lying in the districts known as Hāmākua, North and South Kohala, and all other islands within a limit of three nautical miles from their shores, would be known as the County of Kamehameha.103

Knowing the implications, Republicans fought intensely to delay, obstruct, and kill the County Bill but were unsuccessful. Territorial House Bill 48, the “County Bill,” passed both the House and Senate on 26 April 1901. The following morning’s Maui News announced in an article titled “Liliuokalani County” that “Word was received from Honolulu by wireless telegraph yesterday, that the county bill has passed the Senate, changing the name of Maui to Liliuokalani and changing the county seat to Lahaina.”104

The headline was a bit premature. While the County Bill did pass the territorial legislature, Governor Dole had no intention of signing it into law. With an outright veto, there was a still a chance for the sponsors to gather a two-thirds majority to override. Four days remained in the legislative session. Dole took advantage of rules stipulating that by simply waiting ten days without signing, he would kill the bill through a pocket veto and there would be no chance of an

Figure 4. Independents honor their Ali‘i Nui while chipping away at white rule. Maui News, 27 April 1901.
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Figure 4.

Independents honor their Ali‘i Nui while chipping away at white rule. Maui News, 27 April 1901.

[End Page 35]

override. During the interim, native legislators hounded the governor and at one point officially requested a written answer to the disposition of the bill. He did not reply.105 The 1901 legislative session came to a close without the County Bill becoming law.

In addition to the bills mentioned above, others were introduced, sponsored, and supported by native legislators throughout the session. These included: reparations to Chinese who had lost property and valuables in the government-set Chinatown fire; bills to improve the lives of leprosy patients at Kalaupapa, including one that appropriated monies to purchase a new boat to insure the delivery of poi and other essentials; the establishment of a territorial university; numerous road and building bills; an equalizing of pay for native and Caucasian teachers in the territory; an increase in the salary of police officers at Kalaupapa, for which the residents had petitioned; a reduction in the price of fish. The bills mentioned highlight a small portion of the legislative efforts of native representatives in the 1901 Territorial Legislature; a total of fifty-one bills were introduced in the Senate and one hundred and twenty-six in the house.

In the end, only a small portion of the legislative agenda, nineteen bills, was passed by both houses and sent to the governor for his signature. There were many reasons for the low production, including ones that might be fairly attributed to mistakes of the Independent Party and its representatives—most notably, an overreaching agenda. Several significant factors were beyond their control. The Independent Home Rule Party was stifled by determined opposition tactics within the legislature and ultimately by an appointed governor with veto power over legislation. It also faced the need to construct new procedures and policies, work with a new set of governing rules, within a new form of government (territorial), under a new constitution. It was allotted only sixty days for the law-making session as opposed to the normal ninety.106 Severely frustrated, Independent Party representatives passed a House concurrent resolution on the final day of the session that included a memorial to the president of the United States asking for the removal of Governor Dole from office.107 It charged that he had hindered the work of the session by his hostility toward the legislature, withheld vital information and reports that were called for, and refused to cooperate with lawmakers. The resolution further stated Governor Dole had “subverted the [End Page 36] principles of American government to the service of a class instead of for the good of the whole people.”

Native leaders of the 1901 legislature were neither incompetent nor intimidated. These men, chosen to represent the people of Hawai‘i, had supported their nation in significant ways prior to getting the call to serve in this capacity. In the lead up to the opening of the legislature in which they would serve, they had prepared diligently and during this brief law-making session they had worked determinedly to fulfill the kuleana [responsibility] bestowed upon them by their constituents. These native leaders of the first territorial legislature had continued a dedicated and determined legacy of service to their people.


We declare to them [Native Hawaiians] that the Anglicized civilization is settled in this country and is inevitably to prevail.

The Friend, August 1887

A mid- to late twentieth-century historiography of the interaction between whites and native peoples in Oceania narrated a swift, near ubiquitous, and inherent domination by whites in the lands they encountered. It shaped a generalized binary of powerful white dominators and less-adept native victims. The relatively recent inclusion of native voice and action, in a variety of forms, has structurally upset the former problematic paradigm while greatly enhancing our understanding of these interactions and complicating our histories. In a recently completed doctoral dissertation focusing on Hawai‘i, Willy Kauai explains:

While white people were active and influential in politics, they never held the majority of government. The first instance in which white people had control of the country was in 1893 when the US military invaded and then belligerently occupied the kingdom. As previously demonstrated, despite being the minority, the voice of “haole” is often placed at the center of 19th century law and politics. Framing history in this way has resulted in minimizing aboriginal autonomy. …108

Current ideas of the supposed historical inevitability of white dominance in the Islands carry with them erroneous understandings concerning [End Page 37] the native-led nineteenth-century Hawaiian Kingdom. They most often exaggerate white presence and capabilities while concomitantly degrading native capacity and action. Non-native overreach and attempts at dominance in the Islands were consistently challenged throughout the period that followed the arrival of the first white men to settle here in the late eighteenth century. Through everything, a competent and engaged native populace steadfastly retained, and maintained, its connection to “ko mākou one hānau” [the lands of their birth].

This essay focuses on the critical period of transition after a white-led oligarchy had been established in Hawai‘i and was working to retain control while being incorporated into the politcal structure of the United States (1898–1901). When the native monarchy was overthrown in a January 1893 coup backed by U.S. forces, Native Hawaiians filed diplomatic protests, organized, testified, and succeeded in achieving the dismissal of a treaty of annexation. When a second treaty was promoted in 1898, amidst the Spanish-American War, Native Hawaiians once again actively engaged the issue: delivering the prolific “kū‘ē” anti-annexation petitons to the U.S. Congress. They succeeded a second time in killing a treaty of annexation as their voices and testimony helped prevent the neccessary two-thirds vote for approval. Only through the closed-door decisions of a U.S. administration to subvert constitutional requirements on annexation did the long-desired act of U.S. dominance in Hawai‘i come to fruition in August 1898. After demanding the right to vote as citizens, a native constituency sought to crack the tight hold on power established by the white oligarchy. Afforded that opportunity, Native Hawaiians launched yet another organization drive, created an Independent Home Rule Party, and succeeded in soundly defeating the governing party.

Faced with a political defeat and challenges to its agenda of white hegemony, the government party turned to a racial argument that centered on claims of an inherent Native Hawaiian incompetency—an ironic assertion coming from the sons and grandsons of white missionaries who had more than four decades earlier proudly declared, “The present appearance of the Hawaiian Parliament would do credit to any legislative body. It is not without reason that the Hawaiian nation claim for themselves a rank among the civilized of the [End Page 38] earth.”109 Moving forward, the story of the determined work of intelligent, accomplished, and devoted native leaders from every island was overwhelmed by racist assertions and histories drafted from the pens of the eventual victors. The elision of the actions and voices of Native Hawaiian legislators, their constituents, and supporters during the period edified the teleologic narrative that posited a natural ascension of non-native power in Hawai‘i.

Accepting complex histories populated with both dominance and successful resistance not only affords mana [power, authority] to the excluded men and women of formerly elided narratives, but also can provide reassuring and reifying genealogies of leadership, ability, and achievement to those involved in current struggles for justice. Po‘e aloha ‘āina o Hawai‘i [Hawaiian patriots] at the turn of the twentieth century provide us an example of unwavering commitment, unending action, and perhaps most importantly, never-forsaken dreams.

Ronald Williams

Ronald Williams Jr. PhD is a faculty member at the Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, UH Mānoa. He holds a masters in Pacific Island Studies and a doctorate in history. He has published in both academic and public forums on varied topics. A focus of his work is historiography in Hawai‘i and the past elision of Native voice and Native-language resources.


The author would like to thank the readers of drafts of this work, including both anonymous readers and professors Shalanda Baker and Alohalani Brown.

At the author’s request, the standard practice of italicizing Hawaiian words in English text is not followed in this article. This change is intended to acknowledge Hawaiian as a Native, and not foreign, language in Hawai‘i. There is a present and healthy debate over the use of Hawaiian diacritical markings in the names of past institutions and newspapers. I have included them, except within quotes, in order to remain consistent with their use elsewhere in the article.

All translations in this essay are those of the author.

1. The grand building, of American Florentine style, was completed by Mō‘ī [King] Kalākaua in 1882 and served as architectural testimony to nationhood. It was bestowed with the name ‘Iolani in honor of the late mō‘ī, Alexander Liholiho (Kamehameha IV). After the January 1893 overthrow of Queen Lili‘uokalani, the palace was occupied by the leaders of the new government and referred to as the “Executive Building.”

2. “Evening of Flag Raising,” Evening Bulletin, 13 August 1898, 1.

3. The legality of the annexation of Hawai‘i by congressional resolution instead of treaty has been challenged by a growing number of scholars and authors. See: Noenoe Silva, “I Kū Mau Mau: How Kānaka Maoli Tried To Sustain National Identity Within the United States Political System,” American Studies 45:3 (Fall 2004): 30, 41; ‘Umi Perkins, “Teaching Land and Sovereignty—A Revised View,” Hawaiian Journal of Law and Politics 2 (Summer 2006); David Keanu Sai, “The American Occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom: Beginning the Transition from Occupied to Restored State” (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Hawai‘i, 2008); [End Page 39] Tom Coffman, Nation Within: The History of the American Occupation of Hawai‘i (Hawai‘i: Koa Books, 2009); Willy Daniel Kaipo Kauai, “The Color of Nationality: Continuities and Discontinuities of Citizenship in Hawai‘i,” (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Hawai‘i, 2014).

4. Senator Richard F. Pettigrew, floor of the United States Senate, 3 July 1898. Iosepa Kaho‘oluhi Nāwahī, “Ke Ohohia nui o ka Lahui!!” Ka Leo o ka Lāhui, 3 Iulai 1894, 2.

5. The word “lāhui” can carry meanings of both nation and/or race. Unless the intention seems clear, the word “people” is used in this piece.

6. “Kaumaha Na Lani Kaumaha Pu Me Ka Lahui,” Ke Aloha ‘Āina, 13 ‘Aukake 1898, 3.

7. “Flags Changed,” PCA, 13 August 1898, 1.

8. “A Wonderful Week,” F, February 1893, 9.

9. U.S. House of Representatives, A Bill to Provide a Government for the Territory of Hawai‘i, 56th Congress, 1st session, 1900 HR 2972, article 60. Other requirements include citizenship, having attained the age of twenty-one years, and a one-year residency. The income clause of Republic of Hawai‘i elections, requiring that a voter earn $1500 a year or possess property valued at $3000, was removed.

10. For more on this problematic historiography see Noenoe Silva, Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance To American Colonialism (Durham: Duke University Press, 2004); M. Puakea Nogelmeier, Mai Pa‘a I Ka Leo: Historical Voice in Hawaiian Primary Materials, Looking Forward and Listening Back (Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press, 2010); Ronald Williams Jr., “‘Ike Mōakaaka, Seeing a Path Forward: Historiography in Hawai‘i,” Hūlili: Multidisciplinary Research on Hawaiian Well-Being 7 (2011).

11. While accessing the Hawaiian-language materials relevant to this essay adds essential voice, context, and content, the evidence of the work and record of the native-led legislature was available to English-only readers also. I note this to emphasize the point that later histories seem to have accepted without close scrutiny some of the contentions made by the government of the time because they fit common beliefs concerning native competency.

12. Gavan Daws, Shoal of Time (Toronto: Macmillan, 1963), 294–95.

13. Daws, Shoal of Time, 295.

14. George Cooper and Gavan Daws, Land and Power in Hawaii: The Democratic Years (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i 1990), 3.

15. While it is true that the Home Rule Party would lose its majority in the following legislature and disband in 1912, to remove them altogether from the political picture supports ideas of inherent non-native dominance.

16. Ernest Andrade, Unconquerable Rebel: Robert W. Wilcox and Hawaiian Politics, 1880–1903 (Niwot, CO: University of Colorado Press, 1996), 201.

17. Andrade, Unconquerable Rebel, 1996), 203. Noenoe Silva critiques this assertion also in: Noenoe Silva, “I Kū Mau Mau: How Kānaka Maoli Tried To Sustain National Identity Within the United States Political System,” American Studies 45:3 (Fall 2004): 24. [End Page 40]

18. Information on language can be gleaned from the 1900 census in Hawai‘i that has boxes for “Can Speak English” box 24 and “Can Speak Hawaiian” box 25. “Twelfth Census of the United States. Census of the Hawaiian Islands.”

19. Andrade, Unconquerable Rebel, 213.

20. Andrade, Unconquerable Rebel, 213.

21. Andrade, Unconquerable Rebel, 211.

22. See B. Kamanamaikalani Beamer, “Na Wai ka Mana? ‘Ōiwi Agency and European Imperialism in the Hawaiian Kingdom.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Hawai‘i, 2008 and Donovan Preza, “The Empirical Writes Back: Re-examining Hawaiian Dispossession Resulting from the Māhele of 1848.” M.A. thesis, University of Hawai‘i, 2010 among others.

23. Noenoe Silva writes of the birth of the Home Rule Party and the struggle leading up to the election of 1900 in “I Kū Mau Mau” (2004); Henry K. Iwasa wrote a brief unpublished paper, “The Home Rule Party: Its Short Life and Decline,” that is held at the University of Hawai‘i’s Hamilton Library; Davianna Pōmaika‘i McGregor wrote an unpublished dissertation, “Kūpa‘a i ka ‘Āina: Persistence on the Land,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Hawai‘i, 1989 that examines relevant issues. This article builds on and extends those previous works.

24. “Provisional Government Proclamation of January 17, 1893” clause 2, FO & Ex, AH.

25. Hawaiian Islands. Report of the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, with accompanying testimony, and Executive documents transmitted to Congress from January 1, 1893 to March 10, 1894, (Washington: Govt. Print. off., 1894) page 1253.

26. One example is a 2010 newspaper article describing research on Hawai‘i’s role in the U.S. Civil War. The article reported: “[Professor] Vance also estimates there were about 5,000 American missionary families living in Hawai’i at the time of the Civil War.” William Cole, “Native Hawaiians served on both sides during the Civil War,” Honolulu Advertiser, 31 May 2010. Accessed online 10 January 2015.
A census of ABCFM missionaries produced by historian Rhoda Hackler lists a total of 148 missionaries sent to Hawai‘i in the entirety of the mission from 1820 to 1902. By 1861, the time of the American Civil War, there had been 112 missionaries sent to Hawai‘i, some of who had died or returned to the U.S. While there are no exact accounts of how many missionary families were present circa 1861, the number is most likely under one hundred and even the number of total family members is likely under five hundred; even this broader inclusion is less than ten percent of the figure quoted.

27. “Sons of the Mission” was a term used by those both inside and outside of the church to describe the descendants of the original American Congregationalist/Presbyterian missionaries to Hawai‘i, a group that made up a significant portion of the men that led and supported the overthrow of native rule.

28. Abraham Lincoln, “Gettysburg Address, Hay Draft, 1863.” John Hay Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Accessed online 10 January 2015 at [End Page 41]

29. Rev. Sereno Bishop (“Kamehameha”), “Question of Suffrage,” [Washington] Evening Star, 27 January 1899. HMCS has scrapbook, “Letters by Kamehameha, 1895–1904,” by S. E. Bishop

30. Maui News, 15 June 1901, 2. John Tyler Morgan, a six-term U.S. Senator from the state of Alabama who was described by W. D. Alexander as “the ablest advocate of annexation in Congress” and who was appointed by U.S. President William McKinley to the commission that created the Organic Act for the Territory of Hawai‘i, is listed in an honorific history of the Ku Klux Klan as the “Second Grand Dragon of the realm of Alabama (Invisible Empire).” Susan Lawrence Davis, Authentic History, Ku Klux Klan, 1865–1877, American Library Service (New York: American Library Service, 1924).

31. William DeWitt Alexander letter to J. J. Morgan, 17 February 1894, Alexander Letters, HHS. Alexander, W. D., Papers: Letters.

32. Rev. Sereno Bishop (“Kamehameha”), “Forecast of S. E. Bishop,” [Washington] Evening Star 17 October, 1900. Republished in HG, 23 November 1900.

33. “No Missionaries Wanted,” Hawai‘i Holomua, 3 March 1894, 2. Andrade (1996) has a helpful section on the contention between these two groups; pages 138, 147.

34. “Party and the Officials,” [Honolulu] EB 22 September 1898, 4.

35. “Republican Club Now,” PCA, 4 April 1900, 1.

36. “Republican Club Now,” PCA, 4 April 1900, 1.

37. George Chaplin, Presstime in Paradise: The Life and Times of The Honolulu Advertiser, 1856–1995 (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1998), 99.

38. John H. Wise, “Ke Kulana o Ka Aoao Demokarata,” Ke Aloha ‘Āina, ‘Aukake 25, 1900, 2.

39. Ka Hui Hawai‘i Aloha ‘Āina, “Ke Kumukanawai,” Hui Aloha ‘Āina Manuscript Collection, HHS.

40. For more on Hui Aloha ‘Āina see: Noenoe Silva, Aloha Betrayed.

41. “Memoriala A Ka Lahui,” Ke Aloha ‘Āina, 17 Sepatemaba 1898, 3.

42. “Ka Aoao Kuokoa o ka Lahui,” Ke Aloha Āina, 9 Iune 1900, 2.

43. “Convention of Hawaiians Lean to Independent Action,” [Honolulu] EB, 9 June 1900, 10.

44. Capitals

45. “Ka Leo Alii Imua O Na Elele A Ka Lahui,” Ke Aloha ‘Āina, 9 Iune 1900, 2.

46. Noenoe Silva, Aloha Betrayed.

47. Noenoe Silva, “I Kū Mau Mau: How Kānaka Maoli Tried To Sustain National Identity Within the United States Political System,” American Studies 45:3, (Fall 2004): 15.

48. “Natives In Convention Lay Plans For Severance From The Haole,” HG, 8 June 1900, 2.

49. “Hooholoia ke kukulu ana i Aoa Kuokoa Rula Home,” Ka Nūpepa Kū‘oko‘a, 8 June 1900, 1.

50. “Political notes,” Independent, 2 November 1900, 3.

51. “Home Rule Party At Square,” HG 2 November 1900, 1. [End Page 42]

52. “Political notes,” Independent, 2 November 1900, 3. While a very unusual scene for the Democratic supporting Independent, Mrs. Kepo was not the first woman to speak in this capacity. As previously noted, Mrs. Kaluapalaoa had spoken at the Independent Party convention in June.

53. “Wilcox Men Noisy,” PCA, 6 November 1900, 1.

54. Native Hawaiians virtually disappeared from the voting booths 1893–1900 partly because of new restrictions, such as an income clause, put in by the white-led oligarchy, but mostly because both the Provisional Government and Republic required an oath of allegiance that included foreswearing support for the monarchy in order to vote.

55. Robert C. Schmitt, “Voter Participation Rates in Hawaii Before 1900,” HJH 5, (1971): 52. This was the 29 October 1894 election.

56. Robert C. Schmitt, “Voter Participation Rates in Hawaii Before 1900,” HJH 5, (1971): 52. O‘ahu is the only island for which statistics are offered.

57. “Hot Time In The Old Town Last Night,” PCA, 26 October 1900, 1.

58. “Election Day,” Independent, 6 November 1900, page 2.

59. Hawaiian Star, 2 October 1900, p1.

60. “Report of the Governor of The Territory of Hawaii to the Secretary of the Interior 1900” (Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. off., 1900) Election results, 67. 10,163 votes were recorded from Hawai‘i’s six districts.

61. “Landslide For Republicans,”[Honolulu] EB, 6 November 1900, 1.

62. “First American Election Day In Hawaii Opens Bright and Cool—Voters Early at the Polls,” Hawaiian Star, 6 November 1900, 1.

63. PCA, 7 November 1900, 1.

64. Different numbers for the makeup of the legislature can be found. The discrepancies revolve around the fact that four representatives were considered “Independent Democrats” and one was considered an “Indpendent Republican.”

65. “Hawaii’s Delegate To Congress May Be Refused A Seat,” San Francisco Call, 17 November 1900, 3.

66. Rev. Sereno Bishop (“Kamehameha”), “Forecast of S. E. Bishop,” [Washington] Evening Star, 17 October 1900. Republished in HG 23 November 1900.

67. Boston Globe, December 1900. Reprinted in Honolulu Republican, 14 December 1900.

68. “The Heathen Party,” F, December 1900.

69. Hawaiian Star, 12 February 1901, 1.

70. “Home Rulers Now Solid,” [Honolulu] EB, 8 January 1901, 1.

71. “Home Rulers Now Solid,” [Honolulu] EB, 8 January 1901, 1.

72. Kauikeaouli Gate was named in honor of King Kamehameha III and under the monarchy was used for ceremonial occasions; Kīna‘u Gate was named for the mother of kings Kamehameha IV and Kamehameha V and was used by tradesmen; Hakaleleponi was named for Queen Kalama, wife of Kamehameha III and used by servants and retainers of the royal household; Likelike was given the name of Princess Likelike, sister to King Kalākaua and Queen Lili‘uokalani and reserved for private use by the royal family. [End Page 43]

73. “Law Makers Begin Their Arduous Work,” [Honolulu] EB, 20 February 1901, 1; “Throne Room Crowded,” Hawaiian Star, 20 February 1901, 1; “First Territorial Legislature In Initial Session Yesterday,” PCA, 21 February 1901, 1.

74. Fred Beckley also became the first professor of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawai‘i in 1921.

75. “Aged Statesman Dies At Hospital,” PCA, 5 Dec 1909, 1.

76. Many of the other native legislators elected to the 1901 Legislature had equally impressive resumes; space concerns prevent printing biographies of more than a few.

77. The legislators ended up using both languages, with a translator who was reported to often skip large pieces of speeches or bills, but Hawaiian prevailed.

78. Lorrin A. Thurston, Memoirs of the Hawaiian Revolution (Honolulu: Honolulu Advertiser Publishing Company, Ltd., 1936), 608.

79. “Honolulu At A Glance,” Maui News 18 May 1901, 3; reprinted in “Where The Blame Lies,” PCA, 5 June 1901, 11; and “Maui News on Legislature,” F, June 1901.

80. “Maui News on Legislature,” F, June 1901, 2.

81. Maui News, 20 April 1901, 2.

82. F, June 1901, 99.

83. “The Circus Leaves Town,” PCA, 20 July 1901, 1.

84. “When The Kahunas Get Diplomas,” PCA, 21 March 1901, 1.

85. Honolulu Republican, 16 April 1901, 1.

86. Hon. William Charles Achi was born in Kohala, Hawai‘i to Lum Achi and Kinilau Lualoa. He was the great-great grandson of Puou, one of the warriors of Kamehameha I, through his mother. He was President of Hawaiian Land Co. in 1901 and in February 1901 he purchased the Kapi‘olani Tract to build a new suburb. He attended Hilo Boarding School, Lahainaluna, and O‘ahu College and later studied law in the office of William R. Castle. He was admitted to the bar in February 1887.

87. “Taro Is Now Threatened,” EB 19 June 1901, 1.

88. “What of Taro?” PCA, 15 March 1901, 6.

89. Journal of the House of Representatives (Honolulu: Bulletin Publishing Company, 1901), 128. Section 123 of the 1897 Civil Laws was the codification of an 1896 law which stated: “The English language shall be the medium and basis of education in all public and private schools, provided that where it is desired that another language be taught in addition to the English language, such instruction may be authorized by the Department, either by its rules, the curriculum of the school, or by direct order in any particular instance.”

90. Rev. Isaiah Kalunakānāwai Ka‘auwai was born in ‘Ualapu‘e, Maui. In 1896, he was ordained a minister and served as pastor at Kapa‘a Hawaiian Church on Kaua‘i until his death in 1937.

91. “To Perpetuate Native Tongue,” [Honolulu] EB, 7 February 1901, 8.

92. “To Perpetuate Native Tongue,” [Honolulu] EB, 7 February 1901, 8.

93. Journal of the House of Representatives (Honolulu: Bulletin Publishing Company, 1901), 128. [End Page 44]

94. Henry Mose Kaniho was born to Mahiailiilii and Kaiwikuamoookekuaokalani at Honomakau, Kohala Akau, Hawai‘i. He studied law and was admitted to the bar April 1901.

95. “Ka Olelo Hawaii,” Ka Nūpepa Kū‘oko‘a, 18 June 1920, 3.

96. Journal of the House of Representatives (Honolulu: Bulletin Publishing Company, 1901), 871.

97. Jonah Kumalae was born in Honolulu and educated at Makapala School and the Kohala Royal School. He served as a schoolteacher at Nāpō‘opo‘o and later owned and published the Hawaiian-language newspaper, Ke Alaka‘i O Hawai‘i. He became a famous craftsman and businessman in the making of ukulele.

98. Journal of the House of Representatives (Honolulu: Bulletin Publishing Company, 1901), 53.

99. Raymond Hoe Makekau was born in Lāhainā, Maui to Abel Keliionuuanu Makekau and Mele Kahiwa Swinton Makekau. He and his father both served as trustees at Ka ‘Ekalesia o Waine‘e and were part of a struggle over control of the church in the summer of 1893. He and more than sixty other supporters of Queen Lili‘uokalani from the Waine‘e congregation were excommunicated from the church after their attempt to oust the pastor. The Rev. Adam Pali was a staunch annexationist and supported the overthrow of the queen.

100. “Keikei Kulana Hale Wili Wale Iho No Aohe Mea Hana o Loko,” Ke Aloha ‘Āina 27 Aperila 1901, 1.

101. Maui News, 9 February 1901, 2.

102. [Honolulu] EB, 24 November 1900, 6.

103. “An Act Providing For and Creating Certain Counties in the Territory of Hawaii, and Providing a Form of Government For Such Counties, 1901,” Dole Manuscript Collection, AH.

104. “Liliuokalani County,” Maui News, 27 April 1901.

105. The County Bill was killed by pocket veto. The Independents demanded, and after a struggle got, a special extra session of the legislature but were unable to get enough votes to pass the County Bill. By the time county government was shaped by an act of the legislature in 1903, the native party no longer held a majority in either house.

106. For context, the Massachusetts and Connecticut legislatures—not their first by far—of the same year each ran more than one hundred and twenty days.

107. Journal of the House of Representatives (Honolulu: Bulletin Publishing Company, 1901), 488.

108. Willy Daniel Kaipo Kauai, The Color of Nationality: Continuities and Discontinuities of Citizenship in Hawai‘i. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Hawai‘i, 2014, 46.

109. “Address of Rev. Hiram Bingham Jr.,” Fifth Annual Report of the Hawaiian Mission Children’s Society, 18 (Honolulu: H. M. Whitney, 1857). [End Page 45]

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