The History of Hawaii
The first known European to visit Hawaii was a Spanish navigator named Gaetano, who charted the islands in 1555. Hawaii was forgotten by Europeans, and then rediscovered in 1778 by British explorer James Cook. Captain Cook named Hawaii “the Sandwich Islands” after his sponsor, John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, the inventor of the sandwich.
In 1779 Cook visited one of the islands and left, then returned to repair a broken mast. A boat was stolen from one of Cook’s ships, and Cook and his men decided to detain a chief until the boat was returned. A fight broke out between the Hawaiians and Europeans, and people were killed on both sides, including Captain Cook. Despite such disputes, outsiders continued to visit Hawaii, and the islands became a hub for traders and whalers.
Kamehameha the Great
The birth date of King Kamehameha I, also called Kamehameha the Great, is not known. According to legend, there was a bright star in the sky when he was born; this may have been Halley’s comet, which was visible in 1758. Believing that the star portended the birth of a fearsome conqueror, a chief named Alapai tried to have the baby killed, but the child was secretly rescued and brought up in isolation. Kamehameha means “the lonely one.”
As an adult, Kamehameha became chief of the northern half of the island of Hawaii. Eventually he brought the entire island under his reign. The other Hawaiian Islands were controlled by other kings, but Kamehameha conquered and united them, becoming ruler of all the islands by 1810.
Although the king didn’t allow non-Hawaiians to interfere in island politics, he was accepting of foreigners and their innovations, such as muskets and nails. During his reign Hawaii became an important center of the fur and sandalwood trades. Pineapples were first brought to Hawaii from Spain in 1813, and coffee was first planted in the islands in 1818, the year before Kamehameha I died. (Macadamia nut trees weren’t introduced until 1892).
In 1883 a statue of King Kamehameha I was unveiled in Honolulu by King David Kalakaua. It was a duplicate; the original, cast by Thomas Gould, had been lost at sea. It was eventually recovered and placed near Kamehameha’s birthplace. Another duplicate can be found in the Statuary Hall in Washington DC.
Kamehameha II and Kamehameha III
After Kamehameha the Great’s death in 1819, his 22-year-old son Liholiho became King Kamehameha II. However, his stepmother, Queen Kaahumanu, was the power behind the throne.
The first Christian missionaries came to Hawaii shortly after Kamehameha I’s death. Queen Kaahumanu converted to their faith. (Kamehameha II did not.) At that time Hawaiians wore little clothing, but the missionaries convinced the queen to adopt a loose, cool version of a Victorian gown. It was so much easier to wear than most Victorian gowns that Hawaiian women exclaimed, “Holo! Ku!” meaning, “We can run in it! We can stand!” So the gown was called the holoku.
Eventually Christian missionaries developed the Hawaiian alphabet and made some changes. The name Kamehameha was originally Tamehameha; the missionaries are said to have changed the T to K.
As Hawaii became a Christian nation, Hawaiian royal women were growing extremely self-conscious about their Hawaiian looks. They were uncomfortable with their dark skin color, broad features, and Rubenesque bodies in which their mothers and grandmothers had been so much at home.
Their very physical manifestation was a rude and constant reminder of the fact that no matter how Westernized of manner they might be, they would always be seen first and foremost as a Hawaiian squaw. By the close of the nineteenth century, royal women were going in two different directions in response to their looks, and thus inter-marriages between the two races began.
In 1824, while visiting Hawaii, Liholiho and members of his party came down with measles, for which Hawaiians had no immunity. Liholiho’s favorite wife died. Heartbroken, Liholiho also died. Their bodies were returned to Hawaii for burial, and in 1825 Liholiho’s brother Kauikeaouli, who was still a child, became Kamehameha III.
Queen Kaahumanu served as Kamehameha III’s regent until her death in 1832. She was a strong and cunning ruler. Under her influence Kamehameha III became a Christian and banned traditional Hawaiian beliefs and practices, such as hula.
In 1839 Kamehameha III guaranteed religious freedom to the people of Hawaii. He was also responsible for transforming the kingdom into a modern constitutional monarchy. The 1840 constitution gave male citizens the vote and established a representative legislature. By 1843 France, England and the United States had recognized Hawaii as an independent nation.
By now Hawaii was a center of the whaling industry. Commercial sugar cane production began in Hawaii in 1835, and became especially important to the economy after whaling declined in the 1860s. Hawaii’s prosperity made it desirable to both Americans and Europeans. Kamehameha III offered to place his islands under Queen Victoria’s protection, but she refused for political reasons. In the 1840s America tried to annex Hawaii, but Kamehameha III thwarted this effort.
Kamehameha IV and Kamehameha V
Kamehameha III died in December 1854 and was succeeded by his nephew (and adopted son) Alexander, who reigned under the name Kamehameha IV. To prevent the annexation of Hawaii by the United States, he developed diplomatic and trade relations with other countries. He also tried to slow the influence of Christian missionaries.
European diseases were taking a serious toll on native Hawaiians. According to one estimate, there were a million native Hawaiians at the start of the 19th century; in 1990 there were 138,000. Because many native Hawaiians were dying and others objected to working on sugar plantations, workers flooded into the islands from other Asian countries. This is why modern-day Hawaii has such a diverse population.
Kamehameha IV’s wife was named Queen Emma. Her father was a chief, George Naea; her mother, Fanny Kekelaokalani Young, was the daughter of Kamehameha I’s niece Ka’oana’eha and the king’s British counselor John Young. Emma was adopted by her aunt and uncle Grace and Thomas Rooke, who had no children of their own. (Grace Kamaikui Rooke was Emma’s maternal aunt.) Emma spoke both Hawaiian and English, and was a good musician and horsewoman. Before her marriage, some people said she was not worthy to be queen because she was partly white, but she became a popular queen. She helped establish a hospital to help combat the diseases devastating Hawaiians. It was named Queen’s Hospital in her honor and still stands in Honolulu.
Alexander and Emma had one son, Prince Albert – the last child ever born to a monarch of Hawaii. In 1862 Albert died of a brain fever. He was four. The king and queen were devastated by their son’s death. Queen Emma spent four days sitting beside his grave. To honor Albert the king gave Emma a new name, Kaleleokalani, meaning “The flight of the heavenly chief.” When the King died the next year at the age of 29, supposedly of asthma and a broken heart, Queen Emma changed her name to the plural Kaleleonalani, “flight of the heavenly chiefs.” (According to rumor, Kamehameha IV was poisoned, but this has never been proven.)
Kamehameha IV’s successor was his older brother Lot, who reigned as King Kamehameha V. He replaced the constitution with one that gave him more power, improved the balance of trade in Hawaii, and increased foreigners’ power.
Lot was so fat at the end of his life that he couldn’t leave his palace. He never married. He had once been engaged to Princess Bernice Pauahi, the last descendant of Kamehameha I, but she married businessman Charles Bishop instead. Kamehameha V tried to name Princess Bernice as his successor, but she didn’t want to be queen. She is remembered as a philanthropist who left money to establish Kamehameha Schools for Hawaiian children.
Lunalilo and Kalakaua
King Kamehameha V died on December 11, 1872. He was the last king of the Kamehameha dynasty. The Hawaiian legislature met to choose a new monarch. Prince William Lunalilo, a descendant of a half brother of Kamehameha I, was selected to be the new king.
Lunalilo never married, although he was engaged for a while. He had many foreign advisors, but also had true concern for his own people. After a little over a year as king he died of consumption, leaving his estate to needy Hawaiians. Some believe that he, too, was poisoned because of his concern for the Hawaiian people.
Once again the Hawaiian legislature met to choose a new monarch. Dowager Queen Emma was considered, but David Kalakaua was chosen instead. Kalakaua was a chief. He was of royal blood, being descended from a cousin of Kamehameha the Great. He was well-educated, intelligent, and equally at home with Hawaiians and foreigners. But Queen Emma felt his lineage was less royal than hers, and her supporters were not pleased by the legislature’s choice. They rioted and the British Marines had to be called in to control them.
In 1874 Kalakaua went to Washington to negotiate a reciprocal trade treaty. Hawaiian sugar poured into America and American money poured into Hawaii. But the king tried to increase the power of the monarchy, which threatened the interests of foreign businessmen. In 1887 several hundred foreigners formed a secret group called the Hawaiian League. Many members also belonged to the Honolulu Rifles, a militia organization. They intimidated Kalakaua into accepting a new constitution, known as the Bayonet Constitution. It stripped the king of power, making him a figurehead, and permitted white foreigners to vote in elections. Japanese, Chinese and other Asian residents of Hawaii were not permitted to vote.
In 1889 a man named Robert Wilcox led an uprising against the new constitution. The uprising was put down by Cabinet troops, but Wilcox became a hero to native Hawaiians. At his trial for conspiracy, an all-Hawaiian jury found him not guilty.
Kalakaua was accused of squandering Hawaiian money in order to live like European royals. During his long absences from Hawaii his sister Liliuokalani ruled as regent. He and his wife, Queen Kapiolani, traveled the world and threw expensive parties. In 1891, while visiting San Francisco, the king died of kidney disease.
Kalakaua’s sister Lydia Liliuokalani was the last Hawaiian monarch. The third of ten children, Liliuokalani had been adopted at birth by Abner and Konia Paki. Abner was an advisor of Kamehameha III and Konia was descended from Kamehameha I. At the age of four she entered the Royal School, originally called the Chief’s Children’s School, where she learned to speak English fluently. Her adoptive sister was Princess Bernice, to whom Kamehameha IV had wanted to leave his throne.
Young Liliuokalani enjoyed horseback riding, tea parties, and singing and song-writing. She was part of the court of Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma, and for a time was engaged to future king Lunalilo. Eventually she married John Dominis, the son of an American sea captain. The marriage was not happy, and they had no children.
Liliuokalani was a courageous and intelligent woman. During her brother’s reign she served as regent of Hawaii during his absences. She was over 50 when she became queen of Hawaii. Her husband became governor of Oahu and Maui, but died after just seven months. Liliuokalani never remarried. She named her niece, Princess Kaiulani, as her heir. Kaiulani was away at school in London at this time.
A strong nationalist, Liluokalani tried to replace the Bayonet Constitution with one which would favor native Hawaiians, but was intimidated her into letting the old constitution stand. In 1892 the Hawaiian Legislature passed a law permitting the import and sale of opium. The bill favored Chinese businessmen, and Americans were enraged when the queen signed it, although according to the Bayonet Constitution she had no choice but to sign every bill the legislature passed. She was also castigated for signing a bill that legalized the lottery.
U.S. minister John L. Stevens conspired with other non-Hawaiians to overthrow the queen. In January 1893, armed troops were sent ashore from a warship in Honolulu Harbor, and Liliokalani was forced to surrender. A provisional government took control of Hawaii.
The queen’s heir, Princess Kaiulani, went to Washington to appeal for help. Her dignity impressed President Cleveland, who ordered an investigation of the revolution. The report he received convinced Cleveland that the queen should be returned to her throne. He made a speech to congress condemning the overthrow of the monarchy, calling it “a misuse of the name and power of the United States.” Cleveland refused to annex Hawaii because the majority of Hawaiians were not in favor of it.
In 1894 the Republic of Hawaii was established with Sanford Dole as its president. In 1895 native Hawaiians, led again by Robert Wilcox, revolted in an attempt to return the queen to power. After 10 days of fighting, Wilcox and most of the other royalists were captured. They were sentenced to death, but saved by intervention of the U.S. government.
Firearms were discovered buried in the queen’s flower garden, and she was arrested. For eight months she was held prisoner in one room of the Iolani Palace. She was charged with misprision of treason (knowing about treason and not reporting it). Her trial by military tribunal was held in the former throne room of her palace. The queen was found guilty and sentenced to a $5,000 fine and five years of hard labor. The sentence was not carried out, however. She abdicated in 1895.
On New Year’s Day, 1896, Wilcox and the other royalists were released. Queen Liliuokalani was not freed until later that year. Upon her release she went to Washington and was warmly welcomed by President Cleveland. But Cleveland was unable to help her. “I am ashamed of the whole affair,” he wrote later.
The queen’s heir, Princess Kaiulani, died in 1899 at the age of 23. Liliuokalani continued to live in Hawaii. She regained some of her crown lands, received a pension from the state, and also had income from the properties she owned. She attended most state occasions. But she didn’t attend the ceremonies marking the U.S. annexation of Hawaii because she didn’t want to see the Hawaiian flag lowered and the American flag raised.
In 1917 Liliuokalani had a stroke and died in Honolulu. She was 79. Today she is remembered as the composer of over 100 songs, including the famous “Aloha Oe.” There is a statue of the queen, sculpted by Marianne Pineda, at the State Capitol in Honolulu.
In 1898 Hawaii was finally annexed by the United States, and in 1900 it became a U.S. territory. On August 21, 1959 it became the 50th American state. In 1993 Congress and President Clinton formally apologized for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii.
Rulers of hawaii
Kamehameha I (1810-1819)
Kamehameha II (1819-1824)
King Kamehameha III (1825-1854)
King Kamehameha IV (1854-1863)
King Kalakaua (1874-1891)
Queen Lili’uokalani (1891-1917)
The polynesian Image
The albinos and their media, in their never-ending efforts to give the impression that the world looks like them. Have relentlessly featured images of their mulattoes, as well as Mongol mulattoes, as being indicative of Pacific populations.
The Lapita Voyage is an expedition that sailed on the migration route of the ancient Polynesians under the direction of Klaus Hympendahl. It follows the migration of the Polynesians from the Philippines on to the Indonesian Moluccas islands, along the north coast of Guinea, the Solomon Islands through the archipelago and the islands of Tikopia and Anuta. The Albinos have tried to convince the world that these places are now inhabited by their mulattoes – lets see if it’s true.