(c) January 2015 by
Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.
The book is James L. Haley, CAPTIVE PARADISE: A history of Hawaii (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1st ed., November 2014). 352 pages plus 53 more pages of endnotes, bibliography, and index; plus 37 preliminary pages. Hawaii Public Library call number H 996.9 Ha; multiple copies scattered among various branch libraries.
This book review consists of the notes I took while reading each chapter of the book, including quotes from the book and my personal reactions. My primary interests in the book were (a) to learn interesting facts about Hawaii's history which I was not previously aware of; (b) to discover whether the book is fair and balanced on topics related to current controversies regarding Hawaiian sovereignty; and (c) to identify and debunk whatever significant errors of fact there might be, or propagandistic biases which report only one side of the story in order to bolster a narrative favorable to the attempt to "liberate" Hawaii from the United States and reinstate it as a sovereign independent nation. My notes, quotes, and comments are all directed toward those three aspects.
SUMMARY OF THE BOOK REVIEW
The title "Captive Paradise" is a red flag. It should warn readers that this book has a strongly-held viewpoint and is not a fair and balanced history of Hawaii. But it is very well written and provides numerous fascinating tidbits that will probably be new information even for readers who are quite knowledgeable about the subject.
I give this book 2 stars instead on only 1, because it is very well written, filled with fascinating and little-known but important details, and has some valuable footnotes. I give this book 2 stars instead of 5, because the author began the project with the all-too-common academic prejudice already firmly in place that Hawaiian sovereignty was stolen by an imperialist United States which used religious and cultural indoctrination to colonize the minds of the natives and then used force to invade, overthrow the monarchy, and illegally annex Hawaii -- and then the author selected those facts which bolstered his prejudice while ignoring facts that would discredit it. Like Keanu Sai or Tom Coffman, James Haley has written a piece of propaganda whose nasty conclusion is couched in an appearance of scholarly inquiry.
Author James Haley is honest to describe his book as a narrative history, meaning it is a story told for a purpose and not a dry, neutral scholarly or academic footnote-studded recitation of facts. It's more accurate than pure fiction, and also more accurate than the mix of fact and allegorical storytelling found in what Hawaiians call "mo'olelo." But it's far from a straightforward scholarly history. It's not a pseudo-historical novel with made-up characters like James Michener's "Hawaii", but it's also not a thoroughly documented academic work like the three-volume book by Ralph S. Kuykendal, "The Hawaiian Kingdom." Haley's book is more detailed on many topics than "Shoal of Time" by Gavan Daws, and makes more interesting reading on those topics; but is less fair to the annexationists than Daws overall. There's a lot to learn from this book, but also plenty of caution to keep in mind that important parts of the story are going untold when they are contrary to the author's bias.
Fair warning to readers: When it comes to discussion of current controversies about Hawaiian sovereignty, this book is strongly biased in favor of the independence movement. The bias comes not in the form of bombastic rhetoric, but rather in the manner of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, by selecting which events and publications to report on while ignoring things from a different perspective. The first portions of the book describing history from 1778 to perhaps 1850 are reasonably balanced; but as history moves more toward the preliminary revolution of 1887 (Bayonet Constitution), the final revolution of 1893, and annexation of 1898, the book becomes ever-more biased in a low-key but insistent and increasingly strident way.
Haley says he originally intended to write a book only about Hawaii's annexation to the U.S., in which case his title "Captive Paradise" clearly indicates that he holds the same prejudice as nearly all the overwhelmingly leftwing members of academia. But he then says he recognized the need to look back to the overthrow of the monarchy in order to understand annexation, and then further back to the role of the missionaries in promoting the overthrow, etc. Of course, from Haley's perspective events in Hawaii got worse and more unjust as the years passed by, while from my perspective Haley's book got worse and more unjust as the chapters passed by.
A more appropriate title for this book would be "How Hawaii Became Americanized" -- such a title would be more dispassionate and neutral, leaving open the possibility that Americanization happened in ways that were pono (righteous) even if controversial. But that was not a conclusion the author was willing to consider; and of course the title "Captive Paradise" fits the prejudices of most professors and students and is a more flamboyant title to bolster book sales.
In an introductory section Haley is honest to admit that he was warned by a "distinguished history professor friend" not to be overly critical of precontact Hawaiian cultural practices such as human sacrifice and infanticide, and not to criticize today's sovereignty movement; because then he would have trouble getting into graduate school where political correctness rules. Haley implies that he has written a fair and balanced book because, on the one hand he does display the courage to expose and criticize elements of the ancient culture, while on the other hand he pushes the conclusion about the sovereignty movement being well justified, as demanded by academia and by street activists. But balancing halfway between disappointing political activists on a minor point about the past and pleasing them on a major point about Hawaii's future is not the way a history book should be written.
In the first paragraph of the book's preface Haley shows his prejudice as well as his penchant for twisting the facts by writing such phrases as "the needs of American imperialism" and "how the United States got its hands on the Kingdom of Hawaii." Right there is a direct falsehood because what was annexed was not the Kingdom of Hawaii but rather the Republic of Hawaii five years after the Kingdom government was overthrown; and there is also an indirect falsehood of implying that the U.S. "got its hands" on Hawaii as though it was an act of reaching out and illicitly grabbing rather than an act of agreeing to accept an offer to be annexed that was initiated by Hawaii. On page 299 Haley actually uses more colorful language to describe "how the United States got its hands on the Kingdom of Hawaii." Discussing ex-queen Lili'uokalani's letter of protest and surrender, Haley says "By alleging American collusion in surrendering power, she had in effect slammed the lid down on the cookie jar with the American hand still inside it." With rhetoric like that, Haley need not worry about getting accepted into graduate school, especially at the University of Hawaii Political Science Department, or the Center for Hawaiian Studies -- they will love him!
Author Haley's bias is easily recognizable when he uses the ugly word "coup" to label the surprisingly non-violent revolution of 1893; and when he consistently and repeatedly uses the very ugly word "junta" to label the revolutionary Provisional Government and its internationally recognized successor, the Republic of Hawaii. Both of those governments were extraordinarily gentle in their treatment of the ex-queen and her royalist supporters even when they staged a violent attempted counterrevolution two years later. None of the rebels or their leaders got executed and nobody spent more than a year in prison. The royal family was not gathered together and shot like the Russian Tsar, and their supporters were not executed by guillotine as in the French revolution. Even the royalist newspapers were suspended only for about six weeks and then allowed to resume publishing royalist propaganda and personal attacks against the leaders of the revolutionary government. What "junta" has ever behaved so generously toward the people it ousted in a "coup"?
There are numerous references to the Blount Report including links to the internet. The Blount Report was written by one man with royalist sympathies at the request of royalist supporter President Grover Cleveland. Blount spent his time in Honolulu living at the royalist hotel next door to the Palace, conducting only informal private interviews mostly with royalists and not under oath. But Haley's book treats the Blount report like dogma, whereas his book has only a couple of dismissive disparaging brief mentions of the Morgan Report even though it mostly contains testimony under oath before a committee of the U.S. Senate in open session with severe cross-examination of witnesses by Senators on opposite sides of the issue. The Morgan Report directly discredits the Blount Report, including sworn testimony from witnesses who said that Blount had falsely reported things which the witnesses said they had never said to Blount when Blount had interviewed them privately in Honolulu. The 808-page Morgan Report should have been given at least equal weight with the Blount Report in Haley's book; the pros and cons should have been discussed; and readers should have been provided with the internet link to the Morgan Report at
The Haley book has citations and references to the book by Noenoe Silva "Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism" but not even a citation to the detailed book review discrediting it at
Jon Kamakawiwo'ole Osorio's book "Dismembering Lahui" and Michael Dougherty's book "To Steal a Kingdom" are references, but Haley never mentions Thurston Twigg-Smith's book defending the 1893 revolution and 1898 annexation: "Hawaiian Sovereignty: Do the Facts Matter?" now out of print but available in pdf format at
Haley's bibliography mentions two scholarly journal articles by William A. Russ dealing with Hawaii immigration, labor, and the sugar industry in the 1890s. But Haley does not include the two very important major scholarly books by Russ which would provide strong rebuttal to some of Haley's writing: "The Hawaiian Revolution 1893-1894" (302 pages); and "The Hawaiian Republic (1894-98): And Its Struggle to Win Annexation" (398 pages).
The book follows a roughly chronological order from a time somewhat before Captain Cook's "discovery" until annexation; with a final chapter of 16 pages briefly outlining the Territorial period and statehood focusing mostly on Caucasian racism (but not Hawaiian racism), the native renaissance, and native quest for self-determination. Throughout the book certain themes are emphasized where Haley clearly displays why his book is a historical narrative, i.e. storytelling, rather than a scholarly recounting of facts.
Here are Haley's constantly recurring thematic conclusions:
Before Captain Cook arrived, native Hawaiians had a highly developed society and culture which included barbaric practices such as human sacrifice and infanticide. Chiefs owned all the land and ruthlessly exploited commoners including such customs as taking 2/3 of what they produced and forcing them to labor on projects for the chief or community. Chiefs could arbitrarily murder any commoner on a whim, whether for personal vindication of jealousy, or because the commoner had stepped on the chief's shadow, or because the chief needed to meet a quota of sacrificial victims for the temple to please the gods. Such horrors continued for several decades after Cook's arrival and even occasionally Kamehameha completed his conquest and after after the missionaries arrived. Haley tells how the high priest of the human sacrifice heiau at Kealakekua Bay confessed decades later (after Christianity was established) that he knew the religion was false but murdered the victims, in conspiracy with the chiefs, for the purpose of keeping the commoners oppressed and intimidated.
Captain Cook "discovered" all 8 major islands in 1778. His two ships at first traded with natives offshore at Kaua'i in January, having no physical contact but raising and lowering trade goods in baskets on ropes. Then Captain Cook sailed his ship to Ni'ihau (easily visible from Kaua'i) while Captain Clerke's ship stayed at Kaua'i. Cooke's men went ashore on Ni'ihau staying overnight due to rough surf, and they had sex with very eager women. Clerke's men also had sex at Kaua'i. The ships then went to Alaska but returned in Fall, spent weeks circling various islands, going ashore on Maui and at Kealakekua Bay on Hawaii island. When Cook saw native women with syphilis he blamed his men for having started it on Ni'ihau; but Haley thinks syphilis may already have been brought many decades previously by shipwrecked Spanish, Dutch, Chinese, or most likely Japanese sailors as described in Hawaiian oral tradition.
Kamehameha The Conqueror used British guns, ships, and military advisors to slaughter not only enemy soldiers but also tens of thousands of innocent commoners, bringing all the islands under his control by 1810 through destruction, surrender, or intimidation. He began a booming sandalwood royal monopoly to get European and Asian luxuries, to such an extent that nearly all the sandalwood was gone. Some commoners died from starvation because their chiefs had forced them to collect sandalwood instead of their normal work of fishing or growing taro. When he died in 1819 his two sons (the new king and the heir-apparent), his favorite wife, his sacred wife, and the high priest worked together and abolished the old religion.
In 1820 the first group of Calvinist missionaries from New England fortuitously arrived, not knowing the old religion had already been abolished. They came because Hawaiian natives had found their way to Connecticut several years before, were taken in by generous families, converted to Christianity, and begged the missionaries to come. Four natives including the Crown Prince of Kaua'i accompanied the first group of missionaries, and several other natives accompanied some later groups. They rapidly infused literacy and Christianity among chiefs and commoners as a total of twelve groups came during 28 years.
The original missionaries and their wives were good people and genuinely cared for the natives. But some of their Hawaii-born children and grandchildren became selfish and wealthy landowners and business owners partly because the missionary board in New England cut off financial support, forcing them to fend for themselves.
Some of the missionary descendants became leaders in kingdom politics and, together with American businessmen, conspired with American government officials. U.S. Marines landed without permission and [according to Haley] overthrew the monarchy, leading to the annexation of Hawaii to the U.S. despite native protests.
There were numerous interracial marriages and affairs, both between Chiefly native women and wealthy American businessmen, and between native peasant women and Euro-American or Asian sailors or plantation workers. But racism from Caucasians (primarily Americans but some Europeans) against natives increased during the 1800s and into the 1900s. The Massie case in 1931 caused trouble between whites and natives, and on the mainland it delayed statehood by 2-3 decades because mainland whites drew the conclusion [illogical from the facts of what happened] that natives were violent and uncivilized.
Today's independence movement is angry and vigorous but disunited. Numerous groups are at odds over policy and leadership. Nostalgia for the chiefly days is pervasive among sovereignty activists but is unfortunate. "Modern cultural sensitivity obscures an important fact: Hawaii never was a paradise." (pg 351)
Haley's final words: "Hawaiians have another important concept: Ho'oponopono -- reconciling, the making right of a bad situation. In the ancient days there were ceremonies to achieve it, to cleanse the minds of anger or selfishness, and to come together earnestly and in good faith to rectify and satisfy. Hawai'i deserves to have it made right." (pg 352)
The book contains several flat-out falsehoods and many half-truths, along with biased selections of what to report, and slanted interpretations.
Perhaps the most outrageous falsehood, stated in its most blatant form, is on the book's dust jacket flap: "But the success of the ruthless American sugar barons sealed their fate, and in 1893 the American Marines overthrew Lili'uokalani, the last queen of Hawaii." Anyone who has studied the events of January 1893 knows that the American Marines did NOT overthrow Lili'uokalani. They marched past the palace on their way out of town to where their officers hoped the troops could spend the night, and dipped the U.S. flag in respectful salute to the Queen who watched them from her palace balcony. They returned to a building located down a side street away from the palace, and stayed in that building for the rest of their time in town except for two small groups who went to guard the American legation and the home of the diplomat Minister Stevens. They never patrolled the streets, did not point their guns at the palace or any person, did not take over any buildings, did not enter the palace grounds, and gave no food or weapons or ammunition to the revolutionaries. They were there as peacekeepers in case rioting or arson threatened American lives or property; but those things never happened and they were not needed. Testimony under oath and cross examination, before a Senate committee, confirms these facts as can be seen in the Morgan Report.
Another obvious falsehood on page 320 says "The Morgan Report held the provisional government blameless in the coup and laid all the fault on the queen, without ever sailing to Hawai'i or interviewing a single witness who was not partial to the revolution." The most obvious falsehood is the statement that the Morgan committee did not interview any witness who was not a supporter of the revolution. Minister Blount himself, author of the infamous Blount report highly favorable to the royalists, gave lengthy testimony in person before the committee (and other witnesses testified under oath that Blount had lied in the Blount report about what they had said to Blount in Honolulu). The most lengthy and detailed testimony before the Senate committee was from W.D. Alexander, a scholar and administrator who had held high positions under several kings. There were democrat Senators on the committee who opposed annexation and severely cross-examined pro-annexation witnesses, and men from the USS Boston, under oath.
An example of a very important misleading half-truth is this quote from page 300: "At the new government headquarters [Ali'iolani Hale] Sanford Dole endorsed the queen's provisional cession of authority. He could have rejected it and insisted on an abdication, but it didn't occur to him that by accepting her wording, he was submitting the revolution to American approval and setting in motion another year's controversy." Really? Did President Dole actually sign the document? (Haley provides no evidence or citation.) Did he merely "endorse" it meaning only that he acknowledged receiving it? Haley seems to be saying that by signing it Dole agreed to what it said, meaning that he agreed that the U.S. would have the authority to reinstate Lili'uokalani as queen. Clearly that is not what Dole had in mind; but it is Haley's wishful thinking and Haley's attempt to spin the story so the reader will believe that Dole agreed to a U.S. binding arbitration of the revolution as though it was a dispute to be settled rather than an accomplished fact. Neither Kuykendall nor Daws reported anything other than the fact that Lili'uokalani had her surrender/protest delivered to the Provisional Government at Ali'iolani Hale where it was time-stamped [but it was not delivered to any U.S. representative despite her assertion in the document that she was surrendering to the U.S.].
An example of Haley portraying something as an injustice when it was actually normal practice still observed today: Haley complains that the election of delegates to the Constitutional Convention to write a Constitution for the Republic of Hawaii required voters to be Hawaii-born or naturalized citizens of Hawaii [thus disenfranchising nearly all Asians], and to affirm allegiance to the government [something native royalists refused to do]. But there's nothing wrong with such requirements for voting. The U.S. today, like most nations, allows only native-born or naturalized citizens to vote [not illegal Mexicans, for example]. And when someone is "sworn in" to become a government official, even as low as a one-day clerk handing out or collecting ballots in an election, he/she must raise the right hand and swear "to support and defend the Constitution of the United States [and of the State of Hawaii] ..."
Haley makes many attempts to sway readers' opinions not by the concepts or facts he describes but by the use of pejorative language. A minor example is his persistent use of the word "coup" to refer to the revolution of 1893. A more nasty example is his persistent use of the word "junta" to refer to the revolutionary Provisional Government and his continued use of "junta" to refer to the permanent, internationally recognized government of the Republic of Hawaii, whose leaders had never been military officers (except in the way President Obama has authority over the U.S. military -- would we describe the U.S. government as a "junta"?).
In conclusion: I'm awarding this book two stars out of a possible five. It deserves credit for being well written and providing fascinating information which most readers probably didn't know. However, it has a strong bias in portraying the initial revolution of 1887 (Bayonet Constitution) and the final revolution of 1893 (overthrow of the monarchy) as being legally and morally wrong and the work of Americans hell-bent on annexation. That bias pervasively shapes the way Haley tells about earlier periods of Hawaii's history where Haley over-emphasizes facts or opinions which help build to his final conclusion while ignoring or downplaying others that would lead to a different conclusion. I have no problem recommending the book for people who have already read other books on Hawaii's history and are familiar with arguments favorable to the view that the revolution and annexation were historically, legally, and morally justified. But it would be very unfortunate if this were the first or only book someone reads about Hawaii's history. The independence movement, along with efforts to create a fake Indian tribe and give it federal recognition, are so virulent in today's Hawaii, and so pregnant with evil for our current dialog and hope for a future of unity and equality, that we do not need a book like this one to pollute the minds of people who read it when they are uninformed or innocently suggestible. The universities, public schools, and news media are already fully cranked up as propaganda machines even without this book. To understand the danger, read my own book "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State." 27 copies are scattered among branches of the Hawaii Public Library to be borrowed free of charge. The detailed table of contents and entire Chapter 1 are available, and a link is provided to purchase a copy direct from the publisher, at
HOW I BECAME AWARE OF THE BOOK AND WHY I DECIDED TO READ AND REVIEW IT
A colleague suggested I might like to include the book in a list of recommended Hawaiian history "stocking stuffers" for Christmas. What initially caught my attention and alerted me to the likelihood that the book might be a work of secessionist propaganda is its title: CAPTIVE PARADISE. If the author believes that Hawaii is somehow held captive then his book is probably a biased narrative describing how Hawaii was wrongfully colonized, or invaded and subjugated, along with an attempt to elicit public sympathy for liberating it. The title "Captive Paradise" reminded me of another book for which I provided a detailed hostile review: Aran Ardaiz, "Hawaii the Fake State: A Nation in Captivity" published in 2008 by "Truth of God Ministry" in Hawaii -- see my detailed review with extensive quotes at
I looked at the Haley book's bibliography (Amazon.com "look inside" feature) and noticed Haley's citation of Michael Dougherty's book "To Steal a Kingdom" published in 1992 in Waimanalo Hawaii just in time to cash in on the expected massive protests in January 1993 for the 100th anniversary of the overthrow of the monarchy -- Dougherty's book is entirely propaganda and unworthy of citation except as an example of sovereigntist revisionism.
The Wall Street Journal review cited in an Amazon blurb says "He places in its proper perspective the shameful deposition in 1893" -- but I, Ken Conklin, don't see the Hawaiian revolution of 1893 as shameful at all. The WSJ blurb also says "... missionary-born Sanford Dole of Dole Pineapple ..." Yes, Sanford Dole's father was a missionary; but Sanford had no connection with Dole Pineapple -- that's a common falsehood -- the company's founder James Dole was a distant cousin of Sanford, and came to Hawaii only in 1899 (after Hawaii's annexation) when he founded Dole Pineapple. The extended WSJ Amazon blurb says "...and in 1893, the American Marines overthrew Lili’uokalani, the last queen of Hawaii...." which is entirely false and is also one of the most aggressively asserted lies in among the sovereigntists.
Of course a Wall Street Journal review might not accurately reflect what's in the book; and posting it on Amazon.com might be merely a bookseller's way to sensationalize the book to increase sales. But it was clear that I needed to actually read the book to find out. The first thing I did after getting the book was to read the dust jacket flap, which includes this sentence: "But the success of the ruthless American sugar barons sealed their fate, and in 1893 the American Marines overthrew Lili'uokalani, the last queen of Hawaii." A book's author would never allow such a statement on the dust jacket unless he agrees with it. So that's when I decided to read the book carefully and write a review exposing whatever major falsehoods might lie inside.
What follows is a very detailed review of every chapter of "Captive Paradise" including numerous lengthy quotes and my own rebuttals accompanied by internet links. The frequency and length of my rebuttals increase as the book reaches its later chapters, because that's where Haley's drumbeat for Hawaiian sovereignty becomes loudest.
THE PRELIMINARY PAGES, INCLUDING IMPORTANT BUT LITTLE-KNOWN FACTS ABOUT CAPTAIN COOK'S ARRIVAL(S) IN HAWAII
There's an 8-page Preface where the author, James Haley, describes how hard it is to write a Hawaiian history book in a way to navigate safely between the Scylla of telling historical facts that ethnic Hawaiians find insulting or uncomfortable vs. the Charybdis of politically correct but factually false historical revisionism. But then Haley steers firmly toward Charybdis even in the first paragraph by referring to "American imperialism" and promising to describe "how the United States got its hands on the Kingdom of Hawai'i." And right there is a direct falsehood because what the U.S. annexed was the Republic of Hawaii, not the Kingdom of Hawaii five years after the Kingdom government was overthrown; and there is also an indirect falsehood of implying that the U.S. "got its hands" on Hawaii as though it was an act of reaching out and grabbing rather than an act of agreeing to accept an offer to be annexed that was initiated by Hawaii.
Haley says that early in his book-writing project he consulted a "distinguished history professor friend" who warned that Haley would find it hard to get accepted into graduate school if he persisted in writing about "the pervasive oppression of the common people by their own chiefs and kings before Americans ever showed up." The professor friend explained that "race, gender, and exploitation have ruled the scholarly paradigm for thirty years, and are entrenched for probably thirty more. ... and he has disciplined himself to teach and write in that vocabulary." Haley says "... what I found was an intellectual community in near riot over control of the narrative. 'Revisionism' ... is a given feature now of American history as presented in the academy. Hawai'i, however, has placed the phenomenon in a pressure cooker, by its isolation from other fields of history, by the long suppression of the native culture and the suddenness of a rich profusion of studies that incorporate it." Haley also confesses that he told his professor friend that Haley was "finding little to change my opinion that the 1893 overthrow was indefensible."(pp. xiii-xiv)
So Haley ended up where he began. He studied Hawaiian history looking for and paying attention to the facts and sources which bolstered his initial views that native chiefs had oppressed their commoners before the white man came (a view which Haley thinks today's Hawaiian activists dislike), and that the 1893 overthrow was indefensible (a view the activists love to hear). He ended up holding the same two views with which he started, together with a boatload of footnotes to support them. He apparently thinks that his book is fair and balanced because one view (about native chiefs oppressing commoners) is something ethnic Hawaiians don't want to hear while his other view (about American Marines overthrowing the Queen and grabbing Hawaii) is what ethnic Hawaiians do want to hear. But no. That's not fair and balanced. He's right about the first view and wrong about the second. He should have studied history with an open mind, and arrived at conclusions supported by the facts regardless of what he thinks ethnic Hawaiian sovereignty activists or academic department heads want to hear.
After eight pages of hand-wringing and catharsis explaining that he's trying to be objective but that he's really acceptable for a job in academia because he's on the side of the sovereignty activists, Haley then provides more than 400 pages of valuable historical information, some of which might come as a surprise to readers who have only scratched the surface of Hawaii's history.
The preliminary pages include a list of the monarchs, their dates of reign, and family relationships.
Four pages are devoted to lists of the passengers in each of the twelve companies of missionaries to Owhyhee from 1820 to 1848. Most casual readers of Hawaii's history are unaware that there were several native Hawaiians who traveled with the missionaries and their wives on their journeys from New England to Hawaii. Those journeys took place in close quarters on small ships during non-stop voyages of many months all the way from New England around the bottom of South America and across the Pacific. Even readers who know about the four natives in the first mission in 1820 (Thomas Hopu, John Honolii, William Kanui, and Crown Prince George Kaumuali'i of Kaua'i) might be surprised to discover three more in the second mission in 1823, three more in the third mission in 1828, and two more in the ninth mission in 1841. [Information not in this book: The birth name of the Prince was Humehume, but when his father the King sent him to America in 1804 to get an education the King gave his son the name George because that was the name of the Prince of Wales, heir to the throne of England at that time.]
There was great respect and affection between the missionaries and the Hawaiian natives in service to the God they shared. They worked closely together to create a written Hawaiian language, to translate the Bible into Hawaiian, and to enable the missionaries to become fluent in Hawaiian so they could preach to huge crowds of natives.
Today's Hawaiian sovereignty activists like to say the missionaries (a) came without being invited, (b) stripped the natives of their ancient religion, and (c) foisted Christianity upon them. But all three of those assertions are false.
(a) The four natives in the first group of missionaries had spent several years becoming Christians at Yale University and surrounding towns, and pleaded with the Board of Foreign Missions to send missionaries to rescue their fellow natives from their heathen ways. The story of Opukaha'ia (Henry Obookiah) is especially compelling, although he died before the first group was ready to leave. Crown Prince George Kaumuali'i was son of the King of Kaua'i, so it might be said that he had the authority to extend an official invitation, even though the natives back home, including his father, were taken by surprise when the missionaries showed up. For a large webpage about Opukaha'ia and his role in persuading the missionaries to come to Hawaii, including text of his memoir book, see
(b) Many people in Hawaii today are unaware that the natives in Hawaii overthrew their ancient religion in 1819, the year before the missionaries arrived, by order of King Liholiho Kamehameha II, Queen Ka'ahumanu, Queen Keopuolani, and Kahuna Nui (High Priest) Hewahewa. By the time news about the overthrow of the Hawaiian religion could reach New England, the missionaries had already departed for Hawaii; so the missionaries were astonished when they arrived to a nation without a religion and desperately in need of one -- theologians in New England later attributed that timing to a miracle whereby God paved the way for them. Some of that history is told in the webpage on Opukaha'ia cited above. To his credit author Haley describes in considerable detail how the natives pleaded with the missionaries to come; and how the old religion was overthrown in Hawaii by the natives the year before the missionaries arrived; but Haley does not mention that today's general public is unaware of these facts and that professors of "Hawaiian studies" downplay them if indeed they mention them at all. Probably most people in Hawaii today believe the missionaries overthrew the old religion; and academics who know the correct chronology are happy to let the public go on believing that falsehood because it helps demonize the (Caucasian, American) missionaries as destroyers of Hawaiian culture.
(c) The vast majority of native chiefs and commoners eagerly embraced Christianity within a few years, and the ruling chiefs adopted some of the Christian moral principles as laws of the Kingdom.
In reviewing a later chapter we'll see how book author James Haley handles these facts (a), (b), (c). But at least in the preliminary pages he provides the fact that there were natives who accompanied several groups of missionaries, including Crown Prince George Kaumuali'i.
23 of the preliminary pages are devoted to a description of Captain Cook's arrivals in Hawaii, including some little-known facts about how long he circled several islands, which islands he and his men stepped ashore on, and where the men had sexual intercourse. Book author James Haley has the courage to discuss with skepticism whether Captain Cook and his European crew were responsible for bringing syphilis to Hawaii which began a huge genocide, or whether earlier shipwrecked sailors from Japan were to blame for that. Today's Hawaiian grievance industry -- especially the independence activists -- like to blame Caucasians (and especially Americans) for all bad things that happened to native Hawaiians (even though Captain Cook and nearly his entire crew were Englishmen). For an example of that, see a book by David Stannard entitled "Before the Horror: The Population of Hawaii on the Eve of Western Contact." Stannard (longtime unmarried "partner" of racist demagogue Haunani-Kay Trask) claims that before Captain Cook's arrival there were 800,000 native Hawaiians, but diseases brought by Europeans and Americans cut them down to below 40,000 -- a genocide of 95% during little more than a century. Stannard's methods of calculation are questionable. Boiled down to an oversimplification, he seems to say that other indigenous peoples who were more accurately counted shortly after first contact in more recent times soon lost 95% of their populations to Western diseases to which their bodies had no immune defenses; and since we know the native population of Hawaii in the late 1890s was about 40,000, therefore they must have numbered about 800,000 when Cook arrived so that the presumed 95% reduction would result in the eventual 40,000.
Haley tells facts reported by other sources but perhaps not known by many readers. On January 18, 1778 English explorer Captain James Cook and his two ships "discovered" Hawaii when they saw the island of O'ahu. They continued sailing west and on January 20 they arrived at the east side of the island of Kaua'i. They did not go ashore or have physical contact, but they traded with the natives, giving nails in return for food, by using baskets raised and lowered on ropes. Then they drifted toward the west and dropped anchor in the shallow bay at Waimea. Natives came onto Cook's ship. A chief and a priest held Cook's hand, prostrated themselves, then stood up. Cook gave the priest a knife. A native stole a meat cleaver and headed for shore with other natives in a canoe; Cook's men fired muskets but the natives escaped with the cleaver. When the first English small boat slid onto the beach a native (who might have been a chief) saw the iron boat hook and tried to steal it, but Lt. John Williamson shot and killed him. The natives carried his body away and there were no repercussions. Thereafter the natives and Cook's men traded actively and honestly.
"During their days at Waimea Cook went ashore three times" and visited temples and a burial ground for sacrificial victims. Cook then took his ship "Resolution" to Ni'ihau, easily visible to the west, while Captain Clerke and his ship Discovery remained at Waimea and met the King and Queen.
On Ni'ihau, Cook sent three boats of armed sailors ashore to find provisions. The surf increased, making it necessary for the men to stay ashore overnight. "Cook knew what would happen. ... Tolerant of his men's needs, he was also conscious of his role in empire building, with a sincere exertion to limit the spread of sexual diseases from his crew to native populations. But the English quickly learned how aggressive the women of these islands could be. This culture had developed a keen sense of eugenics, and to mate with a superior person was greatly desired. On Kaua'i, according to Lieutenant Williamson, the women 'used all their arts to entice [the sailors] into their Houses & even went so far as to endeavor to draw them in by force.' Cook had only allowed men with no venereal symptoms ashore on Kaua'i, although he knew that was no guarantee, but now with twenty stranded on Ni'ihau, infection was sure to be introduced. On Ni'ihau, Cook left behind a gift of diversified diet: seeds of pumpkins, onions, and melons, a ram goat and two ewes, and an English boar and sow. Then, in company with Discovery, he sailed north... [to Alaska]" (pg. xxxii)
Cook's two ships explored California and Alaska looking for the "Northwest Passage", but failure and bad weather sent them back to Hawaii.
For two months the two ships coasted the islands of Ni'ihau, Kaua'i, and O'ahu. After a year at sea the sailors were "almost crazy" to get ashore, but Cook insisted on exploring offshore making coastal maps and ocean depth charts. Cook continued to Moloka'i, then Lana'i, then Kaho'olawe "a desert that lay in the rain shadow on the leeward side of an island called Maui"; and finally Hawaii Island. Thus Cook had "discovered" and mapped the locations and coasts of all 8 of the main Hawaiian islands. Note that author Haley has the courage to describe Kaho'olawe as being a barren desert, explaining that it is in the "rain shadow" of nearby Maui. Today's sovereignty activists are in love with Kaho'olawe. They blame its absence of water on the fact that the U.S. Navy used the small island as a practice target for naval guns until their protests stopped the bombing and forced the U.S. to spend $400 Million removing unexploded bombs. The activists are laboring hard trying to make this "sacred" island bloom in expectation it will be handed over to a future sovereign nation of Hawaii as described in a bill passed by the legislature. So it takes some bravery for Haley to describe it as already a desert at the time of Captain Cook [don't blame the Americans], and to explain why it has always gotten very little rain [not because the Americans blew up the trees].
"At Maui, Captain Cook found a sheltered anchorage and finally allowed the natives aboard. A quick examination of the eager women showed many of them to be infected with syphilitic chancres; Cook was heartsick that the venereal disease his men had left on Ni'ihau only a year before [actually 10 months] had raced all the way through the chain -- ample evidence of the sexual libertinism of this native culture. But there was no need to deny his men their pleasures, either, and the women were led belowdecks to vent their enthusiasm in mating with this alien species of white and obviously very powerful men." (pg. xxxv)
"That English sailors introduced syphilis to Hawaii has become an indispensable element of historical recitation, but in justice to Cook, he only assumed that his men were the origin of the disease he found on Maui because he believed that he was the first outsider to discover the islands. There was in fact an extensive native tradition that there had been contacts previous to his.[note #16: See Braden, "On the Probability of Pre-1778 Japanese Drifts to Hawaii," 86, and works there cited.] Of the Spanish, Dutch, Chinese, and Japanese candidates who may have landed and brought the disease before Cook did, the latter are the likeliest possibility. Syphilis had been introduced into Japan more than 250 years before, perhaps as many as two-thirds of Japanese sailors were infected, and demographers estimate from three to twelve instances of storm-driven Japanese ships becoming marooned on Hawai'i before Cook. So venereal disease in Hawai'i may have predated Cook and come from a different vector entirely. [note #17: Dye, Population Trends in Hawai'i before 1778," 15] Cook, however, assumed that the responsibility was his, and once the women of Maui were sated, Cook provided them with what medicines the era afforded." (pg. xxxv)
Cook then sailed to Hawaii Island, "Over a period of weeks the Resolution and Discovery sailed in a clockwise direction down the northeastern and southeastern sides, and then north up the western side" (pgs xxxv - xxxvi) before landing at Kealakekua Bay. Haley explains that this direction of travel was what would be expected of a returning god Lono, who had descended to Earth on a rainbow to marry a beautiful woman, and who had made his home at Kealakekua, which means The Road of the God. Eventually Lono left in a large ship with tall masts and large square white sails, just like the ones on Captain Cook's ships (and just like the "banners of Lono" paraded at the opening and closing of Makahiki festivals in ancient times and during modern revival reenactments).
In a lengthy note #20 Haley describes the controversy whether the natives really regarded Captain Cook as the god Lono, providing references to the work of Marshall Sahlins (who says they did) vs. Gananath Obeyesekere (who says they did not). Haley himself does not take sides in this dispute.
Suppose Cook's men actually were the first to bring syphilis to Hawaii, which happened on Ni'ihau in late January. Did venereal disease spread all the way from Ni'ihau in January, hundreds of miles by canoe to Maui and have time to incubate and become easily visible in random women's genitals by November? But also, if that happened, then the shocking (to natives) story of the visit to Kaua'i and Ni'ihau by white men in January, which was also makahiki season, would also have traveled to Maui and to Kealakekua at least as fast as the disease. Furthermore, Cook circled Maui and landed on Maui and even visited with King Kalaniopu'u near Hana at a time when the war between Kahekili and Kalaniopu'u was suspended because of Makahiki. So it's reasonable to wonder why the news of white men visiting Maui did not travel rapidly to Kealakekua, only a two day trip by canoe (the ocean between Maui and Hawaii Island is only 30 miles wide), so Cook's arrival there would not have been a surprise. Note #20 does try to explain that the visit of white men to Kealakekua during makahiki season was far more significant than the visit of white men to Waimea Kaua'i, and to Ni'ihau, during makahiki season a year earlier, because Kealakekua had been the home of Lono and the place to which legend said he would someday return. Nevertheless, the news of first contact between white men and natives was surely a shocking and amazing story which would have been passed hundreds of miles from the western end of the archipelago to the eastern end more easily and more rapidly than the venereal disease. So it's disappointing that author Haley does not discuss or at least point out these discrepancies. The preliminary pages of the book have informed us about many little-known and historically significant facts, some of which are controversial or "politically incorrect".
CHAPTER 1. "THE LONELINESS OF A GOD"
This chapter is devoted to a description of Kamehmeha's life and how he came to power. Author Haley provides a fair and balanced description of events, with some emphasis on the role of American ships and sailors. The concluding sentence is: "In good part American-armed, Kamehameha was now undisputed king of Hawai'i Island, and he could stand in his birthplace of Kohala and gaze with confidence across the thirty-mile-wide channel at Maui." (pg 19)
Haley says the meaning of the Hawaiian word "Kamehameha" is "The loneliness of a God." But usually the name is translated more simply, as "the lonely one." Haley does mention that he got that name as a child when it was observed that he preferred to play alone. Haley also describes the prophecy at the time he was born that he was destined to become ruler of the entire Hawaii Island, which made him a threat to the ruling chiefs. So he was put under a death sentence and therefore his mother gave him in hanai to a relative far away and outside the jurisdiction of the chief who had imposed the death sentence. That's another reason Kamehameha was "the lonely one." But after 5 years that chief removed the death sentence and welcomed him back.
The book describes Kamehameha's youth and training to be a warrior; skill with dodging and catching spears. He was a high ranking chief under King Kalaniopu'u who ruled the portion of Hawaii Island where Kealakekua is; thus Kamehameha accompanied Kalaniopu'u aboard Captain Cook's ship when in arrived there. Kamehameha saw all the metal, paying special attention to the guns and cannons, and knew he could conquer the island if he could get the weapons. So for many years he constantly traded for weapons, including ships, and built a huge stockpile.
Haley describes how relations soured between the natives and the white men. When the natives gave Captain Cook the luakini heiau Hikiau as a camp to gather astronomical data, Kalaniopu'u placed a kapu on it forbidding women from going there; but the women and sailors were voracious for sex and violated the kapu which made the natives suspicious, wondering why gods would desecrate the sacred place. When a sailor got sick and died, the natives began wondering whether the white men were really gods. There were episodes of outright disrespect when sailors ordered natives to do a chore and natives did it very slowly or not at all, and then the sailors had to do it themselves while the natives watched; and on a few occasions natives threw rocks at the sailors. "After a stay of 18 days, Cook sailed the ships away to find a better anchorage on Maui ... But then on February 4  gale-force winds cracked the Resolution's foremast." (pg. 8). Cook decided to go back to Kealakekua where he knew the terrain and thought he had friendly relations with the natives, and arrived there on February 10. But Makahiki had ended, food had run out, the natives were back to normal labors, and the natives wondered why a god would get a broken ship's mast. There were increased thefts of iron, and sailors ashore to get water were stoned and driven away.
On February 14 natives stole the Resolution's cutter [small boat]. Cook went ashore to recover it along with a lieutenant and nine marines. He planned to invite King Kalaniopu'u onto the Resolution and hold him hostage for return of the cutter; but the natives refused to let the King go aboard. Things got rowdy. "Cook was compelled to fire one of his double musket barrels, but the gun partially misfired and the ball struck a warrior's body mat harmlessly. The crowd surged forward, but a musket volley from the marines drove them back, leaving several dead. As they were reloading and Cook's three small boats stood in to rescue them, Cook killed another native with his second barrel. One of the warriors lunged at Cook with a large stone dagger, but he evaded the thrust. ... Cook was stabbed in the neck and was hen overwhelmed, clubbed, and repeatedly stabbed facedown in the surf. Four of the marines also died ..." (pgs 9-10)
The natives backed off, and treated Cook's body respectfully as they would for a high chief. "They baked his body in an imu, or underground oven, but only to make the flesh easier to remove from the bones. They did not eat him, as some British sailors came erroneously to believe -- although three children did come across Cook's heart, which had been placed in a tree fork to dry, and believing it to be a pig's heart helped themselves. Cook's bones were washed and wrapped, for to the Hawaiians, the bones of a powerful man held enormous mana." (pg 10)
Kalaniopu'u went into hiding in a cave. His nephew Kamehameha showed peaceful intentions by sending to the ship a huge pig, but many natives gesticulated, mooned, and threw stones at the sailors. "Captain Clerke, now in command ... asked for the return of Cook's body, he received a parcel that, when opened, contained to everyone's horror only 'a piece of human flesh from the hind parts.' Seeing a man among the crowd on the shore waving Cook's hat, Clerke opened up with his four-pounders, scattering the people with some casualties including, it was learned, an injury to Kamehameha, who learned firsthand the power of the weapons he had been coveting. But only after a village was sacked and burned were more of Cook's remains handed over -- skull, scalp, feet, long bones, and his hands (recognizable from the distinctive scars of old wounds) -- which were given burial at sea. With Resolution's foremast repaired, Clerke sailed out of Kealakekua Bay on the evening of February 22, 1779." [note #15: There is an alternative theory of Captain Cook's death: that it was an assassination carried out on the order of Kamehameha. See Valdemar R. Wake, "Who Killed Captain Cook?" Australian Quarterly 75, no. 3 (May-June 2003).] (pgs 10-11)
The remainder of Chapter 1 contains interesting details about the generally-known facts of how Kamehameha rose to power. When Kalaniopu'u died, his son Kiwala'o became king. But Kamehameha was given custody of the war god Kuka'ilimoku, plus authority as high chief of Waipi'o Valley. Plus he had powerful lineage, including having po'olua (two fathers) Kahekili and Keoua (it remains disputed which was was the biological father, but Kamehameha could legitimately claim both lineages -- he insisted it was Keoua, and he ordered that anyone who publicly said it was Kahekili should be put to death). Haley tells the well known story of how Americans Simon Metcalfe and his son Thomas were captains of the two ships Eleanora and Fair American, the trading dispute between Britain and Spain (Nootka Crisis); how a dispute arose between Simon and a local high chief who happened to be a cousin of Kamehameha's mother, how Simon had the chief flogged; how these events led to the Olowalu massacre and the significance of Olowalu as a pu'u honua. Thomas Metcalfe in the Fair American went to Kohala to trade, and the chief whom his father Simon had flogged took revenge on Thomas and his entire crew and killed them all except for Welshman Isaac Davis whose life was spared because of his bravery. Isaac Davis, the Fair American (including all its cannons) were given to Kamehameha. Later on Simon Metcalfe, unaware of the murder of his son, went to Kealakekua Bay to trade, and sent ashore his English boatswain, 48-year old John Young. Kamehameha wanted to keep secret what had happened to the Fair American, so he detained Young on shore, placed a kapu to stop any canoes from visiting the Eleanora, and was eager to dragoon the sailors into his service. Metcalfe demanded return of John Young to no avail, and left for China after a few days. Young and Davis were given the choice by Kamehameha: serve me or die. Later they tried once to escape but when caught they acquiesced and served Kamehameha for the rest of their lives, showered with land, power, and high chiefesses as wives.
** Ken Conklin's comment: Unfortunately author Haley does not at this point explain that Isaac Davis was later poisoned, probably by order of Kamehameha, when Davis secretly sided with King Kaumuali'i of Kaua'i during negotiations for Kaumuali'i's surrender. And most significantly, Haley does not describe the importance of John Young (Olohana), his son (Keoni Ana), and his granddaughter (Queen Emma) in the history of the royal dynasty nor the fact that John Young's bones are the oldest bones in Mauna Ala (the Royal Mausoleum) where his tomb has the shape of a miniature heiau and is guarded by a pair of pulo'ulo'u (sacred taboo sticks).
Haley describes the arrival of several British, French, and American ships before 1790. He explains how Kamehameha acquired Ka'ahumanu and Keopuolani as two more of his wives and why they were significant (Keopuolani was only age 12 so he did not have sex with her yet, but she had the greatest mana and highest rank of any chiefess, and therefore the two sons he later sired with her became the next two Kings of Hawaii). He explains the prophecy that persuaded kamehameha to build the enormous heiau Pu'ukohola near Kawaihae, with a human chain of thousands passing rocks 14 miles, during a period of a year. He explains how Kamehameha invited his major enemy Kaoua to come to the dedication of Pu'ukohola, and then slaughtered him and his high chiefs as they stepped onshore, and used them as human sacrifices in the dedication ceremony. Haley notes that "Keoua gashed himself, thinking to make himself unacceptable as a sacrifice, but it did him no good, for mana resided in the bones that survived decomposition." Actually, the oral tradition is that Keoua didn't merely "gash" himself, he castrated himself. It's also surprising that Haley is so arrogant he would discredit the effectiveness of Keoua's method for making himself unsuitable to be a sacrifice, as though Haley knows more about mana and the preferences of the gods than Keoua knows and is willing to suffer for.
CHAPTER 2: " 'DISOBEY, AND DIE' "
British explorer George Vancouver, who had been with Captain Cook, returned to Hawaii in 1792. He seemed proud of Kamehameha but refused to give or sell any weapons to him or any other chiefs. Vancouver gave Kamehameha some cattle from America, and Kamehameha turned them loose with a kapu prohibiting anyone from killing any cattle for ten years, this allowing them to multiply and become a very large herd.
Isaac Davis and John Young proved their loyalty and valuableness. Author Haley says today's scholars credit Kamehameha with generosity for his treatment of them "rather than dwell on the unpleasant terms of their cooperation -- service or death -- which might be seen as somewhat coercive. In any event his actions prove the sophistication of Kamehameha's governing style, of pairing punishment with reward, of the ability to maintain his focus on a distant objective that he perceived to be important to his goals. Shrewd and patient, he grew his strength." (pg. 21)
Kahekili died in 1794, dividing his kingdom between his son Kalanikupule (who controlled O'ahu) and his brother Ka'eo (who was given Maui). Ka'eo promptly invaded O'ahu, but Kalanikupule rearmed himself from three trading ships, and lured Ka'eo into battle in the Pearl River estuary where Kalanikupule could also rely on help from British boats. Ka'eo was killed and Kalanikupule thereby controlled both Maui and O'ahu. On January 1, 1795, Kalanikupule's warriors swarmed two of the trading ships that had previously helped him, killed their captains and enslaved their crews (the third ship escaped to China although the captain and several sailors were killed by a cannon shot before the escape succeeded. The officers and men of the two captured trading ships were able to kill or eject all the natives, putting King Kalanikupule ashore. The crews sailed the ships to Kawaihae, left letters for John Young telling what had happened, "and by one native account disgorging the last of their armaments for the benefit of Kamehameha" before sailing for China. (pg. 22)
"Kamehameha was ready. When Vancouver returned for a third visit, Kamehameha 'ceded' Hawai'i to the British Crown, probably in his own mind for purposes of counting on their protection. With Kahekili dead and Maui exhausted, he invaded in 1795, with ten thousand men in twelve hundred war canoes. The campaign was short but bloody, and Maui was soon his. ... Kamehameha turned his attention to O'ahu, which was still ruled by intelligent, ruthless Kalanikupule ... [who] had laid in more firearms, including artillery, from traders. ... " (pg 22) Kamehameha's army landed in Honolulu and pushed Kalaikupule all the way up 1,000 feet to Nu'uanu Pali overlook. Kalanikupule chipped gunports into the high ridge, where he fired his cannons into Kamehameha's advancing army. Kamehameha sent part of his army to Kane'ohe where they climbed the mountain and stopped Kalanikupule's cannons. Kamehamehas army then cornered Kalanikupule's army, pushing 400 warriors over the cliff to their deaths. "LaterKamehameha's men moved through the bodies at the foot of the Pali, slicing off their heads so that the mana would accrue to gim. Two generations later, Amewrican hikers at the foot of the Pali found skeletons in abundance, but no skulls; their burial place was discovered generations later during highway excavation. Kalanikupule himself escaped and lived for months as a fugitive, but was eventually captured, taken to the Big island to Kuka'ilimoku's heiau on the Hill of the Whale [i.e., Pu'ukohola], and sacrificed." (pgs 22-23)
Keopuolani, Kamehameha's "sacred wife" with greatest mana and highest rank of anyone in Hawaii, was now old enough for sex, and was present on O'ahu during the battle of Nu'uanu Pali. Kamehameha now consummated his marriage with her. He was uncomfortable with her because she outranked him [he was obligated to crawl in her presence] so they did not live together, but they had an "open marriage" where he agreed she could have other men and she agreed to be always available to him whenever he wanted her. "During her life Keopuolani bore fourteen children, four of them by kamehameha, of whom three lived: two sons, Loholiho, born about 1797; Kauikeaouli, probably born in 1813; and a daughter, Nahi'ena'ena, born in 1815." (pg 23) Footnote 4 explains that there are conflicting accounts of the number and paternity of Keopuolani's children, and one of her other names was Makuahanaukama, meaning parent of many children.
All that remained for Kamehameha to conquer was Kaua'i (and tiny Ni'ihau), 60 miles from O'ahu. Kamehameha built a 40-ton ship, which left O'ahu with a huge flotilla of war canoes around June of 1796, but soon returned "in disarray. Kamehameha seems to have put it out for public consumption that his force was disabled by storms in the nororiouslt turbulent channel, but the story touted on Kaua'i was that the vaunted Conqueror did land, and his warriors were defeated on the beaches. Early informants remembered a dozen of Kamehameha's warriors, captured in the Battle of Koloa Beach (today's Mahaulepa Beach), being taken to kaua'i's Polihale heiau and sacrificed to the war god. (pgs 23-24)
Kamehameha returned to Hawaii Island to suppress another rebellion, leaving Isaac Davis in charge of O'ahu (as a sort of Prime Minister). Kamehameha sat back for seven years, creating a stabilized central government with Kalanimoku running it (who took the name Billy Pitt after Britain's Prime Minister) -- he was first-cousin of Ka'ahumanu. Peace and stability resulted in great wealth handed up to Kamehameha in taxes and tribute from the chiefs who got it from their commoners who no longer feared sudden terror and death. Kamehameha also imposed a monopoly on foreign trade, adding to his wealth. Large foreign ships preferred Honolulu harbor to Kona, so Kamehameha moved to Honolulu for several years.
In 1803 Kamehameha was ready to try again to conquer Kaua'i. Kaumuali'i prepared his defenses, but also built a large modern ship to flee far away in case of defeat. But Kamehameha's army, and the people of O'ahu, suffered huge losses to an epidemic (probably Asian cholera) that had arrived on a ship.
"Incapable of believing that the gods had deserted him, the king ordered the kahunas to open a search to discover who had broken a kapu and caused such a calamity. At length three men were found who had eaten forbiddenfoods; they were apprehended, their limbs snapped, their eyes gouged out, and then they were sacrificed at a Waikiki heiau. It was an unusually gory offering, for human sacrifice in Hawai'i was not generally as sanguine as it was, for instance, in Mesoamerica. The usual mode of dispatch was strangulation, often after the victim was tied to a tree. Occasionally, however, and particularly in older times, sacrifice could be much more vivid, depending on the nature of the ceremony. At Mo'okini heiau at Kamehameha's birthplace in Kohala, a defeated chief might be strung upside down, so that the kahunas could anoint themselves in his sweat before he was bludgeoned and gutted. The gruesome fate of these three hapless kanakas must have been a measure of Kamehameha's wrath and determination to make an example." (pgs 25-26)
Kamehameha stayed on O'ahu, close to Kaua'i. In June 1804 two Russian ships arrived at Kaua'i, and also King Kaumuali'i sent his son, the Crown Prince, to America to be educated. Kamehameha sent word that he would leave Kaumuali'i in control of Kaua'i so long as Kaumuali'i would acknowledge Kamehameha's sovereignty and pay tribute. But remembering what had happened to Keoua, Kaumuali'i didn't want to go to visit Kamehameha. And he was right to be afraid. Some of Kamehameha's chiefs, knowing the Conqueror would not approve, were planning to assassinate Kaumuali'i.
For about two years Kamehameha and Kaumuali'i traded gifts and assurances. Captain Nathan Winship was used as a mediator to bring Kaumuali'i to O'ahu. "Fearing to be massacred, some Kaua'i chiefs still held back, but Winship, leaving his first mate behind as hostage, bore Kaumuali'i and a retinue over in late March or early April 1810. In his own canoe Kamehameha was rowed out to meet him, with a suckling pig in his arms as a gift, and said, "Homai kou lima" (Give me your hand). After days of feasting and trust-building, Kaumuali'i offered to cede Kaua'i and Ni'ihau to Kamehameha, who in turn gave Kaumuali'i a feather stole centuries old with the teeth of sacrifices as trim, conveying their mana to the recipient. So that sealed the bargain. But the chiefs of Kaua'i didn't want to have another layer of tribute added to their burdens; and some of Kamehameha's chiefs still wanted to poison Kaumuali'i. Isaac Davis, whom Kamehameha had made governor of O'ahu, learned about the plot in time to warn Kaumuali'i, but then Davis himself was poisoned. Davis' daughter Betty later married Kaumuali'i's son Prince George.
Kamehameha was now undisputed king of the entire archipelago. "Amassing his empire was accomplished by twenty-eight years of blood, terror, and at the end, negotiation. Honored today as the "unifier" of the Hawaiian islands, that characterization has been softened by time, and serves a modern need. In his own day he was feared and despised as widely as he was revered." (pg 28)
Kaumuali'i was unhappy as merely a vassal. In 1815 a Russian fur trader arrived with a German ship captain (Schaeffer) with plans to capture as much trade as possible with profits for himself instead of Kamehameha. There was a hope to acquire Kaua'i/Ni'ihau, and the rest of Hawaii, as a Russian colony. Kamehameha was initially not worried. But in 1816 two more Russian ships arrived, and Schaeffer started to build a Russian fort in Honolulu. Kamehameha sent John Young to put an end to the project. Kaumuali'i "offered the Russians huge land and trade concessions if they would help him conquer the islands that were, he said, rightfully his -- all of them, save Hawaii [Island]. Schaeffer's delusions of grandeur only inflated; he gave Russian names to Kaua'i geography, sent out surveyors, and began erecting fortifications. Two things toppled his empire. The first was a port call by Otto von Kotzebue (son of the famous German playwright) in a Russian ship, who expressed his shock to Kamehameha at Schaeffer's audacity, and assured him that Russia had no territorial ambitions in his islands. Second, the king, now six years stronger than when he made his peace with Kaumuali'i, sent his command to Kaumuali'i to evict Schaeffer or face the consequences. Finding safety the better part of ambition, and learning that Schaeffer had no standing, Kaumuali'i became again the obedient if reluctant vassal, and thew the Russians off his island." (pgs 28-29)
The final five pages of this chapter discuss the growing trade with Europe and China, and the resulting prosperity of Kamehameha and the chiefs who enjoyed luxuries previously unknown in Hawaii. They enjoyed the onions, melons, and pumpkins that grew from the seeds given by Captain Cook during his landing on Ni'ihau; and the cattle given by Vancouver; and the especially the fruits brought by Spanish sailor Don Francisco de Paula Marin. Kamehameha gave Marin land in Honolulu where Marin settled and planted a vineyard and coffee. Hawaii's sandalwood was of lower quality than what Fiji and the Solomon Islands had; but when their sandalwood was exhausted Hawaii became a big producer of it for trade with China. Kamehameha took control of it, gave the Winship brothers a monopoly on trade in return for their paying Kamehameha 1/4 of the profits. The British/American War of 1812 threatened to interfere with Hawaii's China trade, but Kamehameha made use of ships under the flag of neutral Portugal. Kamehameha earned even more money when he discovered that other nations charge piloting and dockage fees to foreign ships. "Academic discussion of the sandalwood trade usually treats it as an exponent of American exploitative imperialism, but once the scent of profit was in the air, there is no question that Kamehameha knew how to cash in with little prompting from American traders. Thus the king went into the sandalwood business, for cash and luxury goods, but he never lost his eye for weapons. ... Kamehameha could even pay cash for ships, such as the 175-ton Lelia Byrd, which became his flagship." (pg 32)
Americans made huge profit, paying Kamehameha 10-15 thousand dollars for a shipload of sandalwood which they sold in China for 40-60 thousand. Kamehameha himself got addicted to the sandalwood trade, forcing his tenants to leave their fishponds and taro patches to go harvest sandalwood, and also squeezing money from his chiefs who extorted it from their own tenants. Quite soon there was no food, and the commoners were eating herbs and ferns to stay alive. Kamehameha noticed, and told his tenants to go back to growing food. And when he noticed that sandalwood was getting hard to find, he put a kapu on taking younger, smaller trees.
Kamehameha spent his final days living in Kailua Kona, slowly declining while kahunas chanted for him. The kahunas prescribed human sacrifices [to enlist the gods to cure him], but he forbade it. He died on May 8, 1819.
CHAPTER 3: "THE SUICIDE OF KAPU"
The story of Kanawai Mamalahoe (Law of the Splintered Paddle) -- Probably 1783, Kamehameha in canoe with crew goes on pillaging expedition along shore in Laupahoehoe lava fields north of Hilo; sees a couple of fishermen and pursued them; Kamehameha's foot gets stuck in lava crevice; one fisherman turns and attacks Kamehameha, hitting him on head with paddle which shatters; fisherman does not kill Kamehameha but runs away; Kamehameha realizes his own behavior was wrong and proclaims a kapu that henceforth elderly, women and children may lie down to sleep by the roadside without fear of harm. Later, when the fisherman was brought before to be punished, Kamehameha pardoned him. "It was the first crack in a social system that, for the kanakas since time immemorial, had been rooted in terror. Word of the protective kapu spread, but also the knowledge that it was virtually unenforceable. It was ancient to Hawaiian culture that in their ubiquitous warfare, if an enemy force was defeated, they would fall upon their families, hacking and pillaging to the point of gory surfeit ..." (pg 35)
Author Haley then makes a smooth transition illustrating that point by describing the story of Opukaha'ia. When Kamehameha's warriors overran a village in Ka'u, the 12-year-old escaped with his parentsand baby brother, hid in a cave. When they came out for water, some soldiers chased them, caught the boy and baby, and began torturing them in order to get the father to surrender. Father and mother were cut in pieces. Boy put baby on his back and ran; warrior threw spear which ran through the baby and into the boy's back. Boy's injuries not deadly, boy old enough to be useful, so the warrior who had killed his family adopted the boy. Later it was discovered that the boy, Opukaha'ia, was the nephew of a priest of Lono, and the priest demanded possession of the now-14-year-old boy and took him to Lono's Hikiau Heiau at Kealakekua Bay to be trained to become a kahuna, memorizing chants and protocol of human sacrifices. "In 1809, while visiting his one surviving aunt, he hid in terror as men invaded the dwelling and dragged her away. She was accused of violating a kapu and thrown from a cliff to her death." (pg 36) Now about 16 years old, Opukaha'ia decided to escape, and swam out to an American trading ship from New Haven, Connecticut, and pleaded with the captain. The captain was afraid to cause trouble and sent the boy back to the priest to ask permission. The priest "locked the boy in his room" but since it was a grass hut the boy was able to escape back to the ship. The ship captain sent a pig to the priest as a gift for the boy. Already on the boat was another native boy, Hopu, serving as cabin boy. Hopu's mother had wanted to kill him on the day he was born because she despaired over incessant raiding and terror; sister realized mom's intention and stole baby Hopu to raise him with her husband; returned Hopu to parents when he was 4. When he was 8 raiders took everything the family owned, parents ran away to Kealakekua Bay to start over. A year later mother did and boy Hopu joined the ship's crew as cabin boy.
Eventually the ship returned to New Haven with both boys on board, after sailing to the U.S. west coast for furs, then to Hawaii, then to China, etc. At one point Hopu fell overboard and the ship's crew turned the ship around and rescued him a couple hours later, which impressed Hopu that they valued human life, even the life of a cabin boy. The ship stopped in New York, where the boys saw women for the first time and were shocked that women and men were eating together. In New Haven Opukaha'ia lived with the ship captain's family; Hopu lived with a medical doctor but soon became a sailor. Hopu was gone for several years, got shipwrecked more than once, served on an American ship in the War of 1812, was captured and imprisoned, but made it back to New Haven.
The well-known story is told that one day Opukaha'ia was sitting on the steps of a building at Yale University weeping. A passing student asked him what was wrong, and he said "No one will give me learning." The passerby turned out to be Edwin Dwight, nephew of the college president. And so Opukaha'ia got instruction, expressed horror at the lifestyle in Hawaii, became a fervent Christian. He spent time with a student studying for a doctorate in Divinity. Opukaha'ia pleaded with him to go to Hawaii and preach. He was finally taken in by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions [Congregationalist Church], studied theology, learned to read the Bible in Hebrew, and translated Genesis directly from Hebrew into Hawaiian.
Hopu was already becoming a Christian, and approached Opukaha'ia to clarify his knowledge and asked that they pray together in their native language, which they did for the first time ever. Hopu and Opukaha'ia then discovered that Crown Prince George Kaumuali'i was in the area, living with John Honoli'i who had joined a ship's crew and came to Connecticut. And they met with William Kanui, whose father was one of the few O'ahu chiefs to survive the Battle of Nu'uanu Pali and who escaped to Kaua'i to become a servant of Kaumuali'i. The five Hawaiians were enrolled in a religious school in Lichfield until spring 1817, and then the new ABCFM missionary school in Cornwall.
In 1818 Opukaha'ia caught typhus, and six weeks later died on February 17 after the other 4 Hawaiians pledged to him to return to Hawaii to put an end to the old religion. Opukaha'ia's strong faith and death galvanized the churches throughout New England in supporting the effort to send missionaries to Hawaii. On October 19, 1819, the brig Thaddeus sailed with Rev. Hiram Bingham (age 30) in charge, accompanied by Rev. Asa Thurston, Rev. Samuel Ruggles, the wives of the reverends, teacher and printer Elisha Loomis, medical doctor Thomas Holman, farmer Daniel Chamberlain with his five children, Samuel Whitney, plus the wives of all the white men; plus the four Hawaiian natives; and of course the ship's crew.
Meanwhile back in Hawaii. In 1818 Kamehameha told a Russian ship captain the he objected to the name "Sandwich Islands." He wanted each island to be called by its Hawaiian name, and the entire group to be known as Hawai'i because that was the name of Kamehameha's own home island. However, on official documents, the name "Sandwich Islands" continued for 20 more years.
Kamehameha's favorite wife was Ka'ahumanu, whose weight was estimated at 500 pounds. She was gracious, fun, hospitable, shrewd and forceful. He named her Kuhina Nui (principal adviser and effectively co-ruler), because he knew his oldest son and next king Liholiho was dissolute and not very impressive.
The dying Kamehameha had ordered that there be no human sacrifices to help him survive; so when he died, the new king Liholiho followed that precedent and ordered no human sacrifices, which ordinarily would have happened to commemorate the death of a great king.
Liholiho returned to Kailua Kona for his investiture as king. He wore a feathered mantle, and a hat from Britain. His guards were armed not with spears but with muskets. Ka'ahumanu stood with him and announced that he and she would rule together. "She realized there was only one way for her to maintain her power, and that was to destroy the kapu system ... -- to gut the whole system and destroy it, to pull down the altars, burn the idols." (pg 44) She had seen that foreigners broke the kapu rules with no problem and lived better lives than natives, and the gods had not prevented massive death from disease. "It seemed perfectly plausible that in overthrowing the system, she had a rich new life to gain, and -- apart from her life -- only some old wooden statues and rockpiles to lose." (pg 45)
Kamehameha's favorite wife and co-ruler Ka'ahumanu was joined by Kamehameha sacred wife Keopuolani (mother of the new king Liholiho) in the determination to destroy the old religion. During the feast after Liholiho's installation "Ka'ahumanu in feather regalia, leaning on the Conqueror's tall spear, told him [Liholiho], 'If you wish to observe kapu, it is well and we will not molest you. But as for me and my people we intend to be free from kapu. We intend that the husband's food and his wife's food shall be cooked in the same oven, and that they shall be permitted to eat from the same calabash. We intend to eat pork and bananas and coconuts. If you think differently you are at liberty to do so, but for me and my people we are resolved to be free. Let us henceforth disregard kapu.' [note # 21 Alexander "Overthrow of the Ancient Tabu system," 21] ... Liholiho stared at her, perhaps drunk, perhaps in shock, perhaps incredulous that she might just have pronounced her own death sentence. But he said nothing. At that moment Keopuolani put her hand to her mouth, signaling her assent ... Liholiho was demoralized by the prospect, and his response was to absent himself. Thwarted only briefly, the queen mother then importuned her younger son, Keuikeaouli [who would become king after Liholiho], who was only six, into taking food with the women, all but daring the men to do something about it. And they backed down, unwilling to challenge her ni'aupi'o rank." (pgs 45-46)
Liholiho went to nearby Honokohau to dedicate a new temple. But everyone was so drunk on rum that the sacred prayers could not be said correctly, and the temple remained not dedicated. A messenger arrived from Ka'ahumanu saying this god would not be respected at Kailua; thus asserting her control. Liholiho loaded his rum and retainers onto his ship and sailed aimlessly off the Kona coast for a two-day drunken party. Meanwhile Ka'ahumany lobbied important chiefs and succeeded in getting High Priest Hewahewa on her side. She then sent canoes to bring the king back to Kailua, and since there was no wind the canoes towed the king in his ship back. "Again he was offered food with the women, and this time he relented. The shattering event was called 'ai noa, 'the free eating.' The gods were dead, the only known time in the history of the world when a people threw over a long-established religious system with nothing to replace it." (pg 46)
Author Haley spens an entire page speculating why top-ranked Keopuolani was willing to go along with overthrowing the kapu system, even though she had been a major beneficiary of it. Haley also describes how some chiefs clung to the old gods and refused to abolish kapu. Headed by Kekuaokalani they took their weapons and went to Kealakekua Bay where they fought a brief civil war. The two queens Ka'ahumanu and Keopuolani appointed Kamehameha's prime minister Kalanimoku to lead an army, with muskets, to destroy them -- a hard thing for him to do because his sister Manono was the wife of Kekuaokalani. The rebels were driven down to the shore where men in canoes shot them, including one canoe with a small cannon commanded by Ka'ahumanu herself. Kekuaokalani and his wife Manono were both killed in the battle.
Liholiho and Ka'ahumanu decided that to preserve stability in the fact of all this chaos they would let the chiefs keep their lands and not do the redistribution that had been normal after a change in rulers. And they also ended the king's monopoly on sandalwood, so each chief could profit from it. Thus the chiefs eagerly cut down all the sandalwood they could find, including young saplings. Fulfilling the wish of Kamehameha that the line of future kings should come from one of his sons by sacred wife Keopolani, Liholiho married his half-sister Kamamalu and also Kamamalu's sister Kina'u, both as huge as Ka'ahumanu.
Meanwhile the Thaddeus was sailing with the missionaries and Hawaiian natives aboard. On January 26, 1820 (more than three months after departing) they entered the Straits of Magellan to sail around Cape Horn in cold and very windy weather. In March, in the Pacific, the ship was unable to make progress for several days due to lack of wind. On March 30 they finally sighted Hawaii Island after 160 days at sea. They sent a small boat ashore at 9 AM. "At four in the afternoon the boat returned, 'with news of King Kamehameha's death; and that the worship of Idolatry and other heathenish customs are entirely abolished. Such glad news we were not prepared to receive. Truly the Lord hath gone before us in mercy.' " (pg 52) [note #33 citing the journal of Lucia Ruggles Holman]
CHAPTER 4: "ABHORRING A VACUUM"
This chapter spends much time discussing details of which missionaries went where, and how they fared in relations with the natives -- topics I choose not to dwell upon. But here are some highlights more relevant to my interests.
"Hawaiians who were not impressed with the missionaries took to referring to them lightly as haole (without breath -- that is, unable to speak the language [note #4 citing Geschwender, "Portuguese and Haoles", 516], a term that evolved into a more dismissive epithet for any white foreigner, but particularly Americans." (pg 55)
The Binghams and Thurstons, with chiefs and interpreters, walked to the Nu'uanu Pali, and onward to Kane'ohe to preach. "At their first comprehension of Bingham's purpose -- the natives heard these alien people talking sternly in the presence of their native retainers about God and what he required -- the crowd became restive in the fear that some of them were about to be sacrificed. Of course, threatening people with hellfire in the hereafter was in reality less urgent than the possibility of being tied to a pole in a heiau and strangled, so the missionaries were already an improvement from the kanakas' standpoint." (pg 56)
In Hilo, Ka'ahumanu had a big black pet pig also named Ka'ahumanu, which came into the thatched storage hut being used for church service, and the pig was given more deference than some of the natives.
The queen mother Keopuokalani was on her deathbed in September 1823. She had accepted Christian teaching to the extent that she reduced the number of her husbands to one -- Hoapili, while separating from another one, Kalanimoku, with whom she remained friends. At the end she spoke with each of them separately, saying the gods of Hawaii are false, I have given myself to Christ, I wish to be buried in a coffin in the earth in the Christian way. ... She instructed her son the king Liholiho to protect the missionaries, serve God ... Ellis and Ruggles baptised her, and she died on September 16. The chiefs who were present used rocks from a nearby heiau to build a wall around her grave, hauling the rocks on their own shoulders while their commoners accompanied them bearing kahilis.
Liholiho and the chiefs found the British to be more likeable than the American missionaries, so Liholiho decided to travel to England 10 weeks after his mother's death. Liholiho and wife Kamamalu went along with Boki, governor of O'ahu and his wife Liliha. It took from November to May 1824 to reach England. King George IV "almost wrecked the careful empire building of Cook and Vancouver when he delayed having to grant an audience to the 'damn'd cannibals.' " (pg 59) Kamamalu died of measles on July 8; and king Liholiho died of measles on July 14. It took until March 1825 for the news to get back to Hawaii.
Less than a month after Liholiho and Boki had left, Ka'ahumanu ordered the chiefs to enforce a new law to honor the Sabbath day by doing no travel, no work, and no gambling.
As a small child living with her aunt near Kealakekua Bay, and while learning the rules of kapu, Kapi'olani wondered why bananas should be forbidden to women, and ate some. She was niece of Kalaniopu'u, and her mother had been a wife of Kamehameha. Because she was only a small child and because of her high status, her life was spared; but her favorite servant boy who had brought the bananas to her was sacrificed at the heiau Pu'uhonua o Honaunau to appease the gods. "Ironically for Mau [the servant boy], this temple was among those few designated as a City of Refuge; had he escaped and made it there on his own, he could have claimed sanctuary, been purified, and departed in safety." (pg 60) Kapi'olani grew up large and fierce, with many lovers. After Kamehameha's death she worked with Keopuolani and Ka'ahumanu to kill the old religion. "The first time a missionary called on her, she was found lying on a mat with her two husbands, all of them drunk and nearly naked." (pg 60) But before long she was a strong convert to Christianity.
After Liholiho and Boki had left for England, Kapi'olani decided to prove her faith. Despite the abolition of the old religion there were still pockets of resistance where people practiced it in secret -- especially at Kilauea, where the fire goddess Pele lived in the boiling lava pit Halema'uma'u. Kapi'olani went there in November 1824 to a large house built for Christian services by a missionary. Instead of arriving by canoe, she chose to walk 60 miles, barefoot, and acquired a large number of followers along the way. They heard the Pele kahunas predicting her destruction. "Loudly proclaiming her trust in God and Jesus Christ, the high chiefess picked her way five hundred feetdown the precipice of Halema'uma'u to meet her fate at the lake of fire. ..." (pg 61) She emerged with only the bruises from walking. The kahunas were very unhappy, and it was a terrible blow to the old religion. News traveled around the world. In January 1841, Rev. Dr. Gerrit Judd went down to Halema'uma'u in the interest of science to get a sample of molten rock in a frying pan. A sudden upwelling of lava made him flee into a cave, and when the lava kept rising, he was rescued by a native who pulled him up at the last moment. "Another few seconds and Hawaiian history would have taken a significantly different track." (pg 62)
In England the Hawaiian royal couple got a fancy funeral and were interred temporarily in the Church of St. Martin in the Fields, guarded against a rumor of theft for display in a circus. An American whaler had brought news of their deaths before the HMS Blonde brought the caskets home in May 1825. In October, having been chastened by their deaths and reminded of her own mortality, Kapi'olani was baptized. But she still respected her obligations as guardian of her culture, as shown by her conduct in 1829 in caring for the bones from the Hale o Keawe at Pu'uhonua o Honaunau.
The bones of the kings had been placed there during about 200 years, guarded by very scary wooden idols outside. At every stage of building it (every post, every rafter) there were human sacrifices. At every stage when more bones were prepared, and also at every nee interment of bones, there were more human sacrifices. [note #9 to Alexander, 'The Hale o Keawe at Honaunau', 159-61.] In 1825 Ka'ahumanu had allowed ship's officers to remove many of the ferocious idols and take them to England for display; and thereafter the Hale o Keawe fell into disrepair.
In 1829 Kapi'olani and her husband heard about the building's condition. Kapi'olani and Mrs. Laura Judd were the first women ever allowed to enter inside. Seeing the bad conditions, Kapi'olani wept. After consulting Ka'ahumanu, she rescued the bones. Eleven sets of remains went into one coffin and twelve into another; and they were hidden in a cave and rocked over, as in ancient times. Then the mausoleum was pulled down without a trace remaining. (pgs 63-64)
"Some years after her conversion she [Kapi'olani] was visiting with Laura Judd, who asked her how, specifically, her servant Mau, who had procured bananas for her during her childhood, met his end. Kapi'olani did not know, but sent for the kahuna, who was still alive, to further explain the incident. When he arrived he answered that the boy was taken into the heiau at Honaunau and strangled at the altar. That was the traditional mode of dispatch for sacrificial victims. 'Those were the dark days,' he further admitted to Mrs. Judd and the high chiefess, 'though we priests knew better all the time. It was power we sought over the minds of the people to influence and control them.' [note # 11 to Judd, "Honoulu Sketches", 76-77] Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, temple and City of Refuge, was one of the most important heiaus of the Big Island. For one of its kahunas to admit that the whole regimen of kapu was nothing more than a con to manipulate the people was a shattering admission, and a powerful weapon to hand the missionaries." (pg 64)
While the British ship HMS Blonde was still in port (which had brought the dead king Liholiho and Kamamalu back home), tensions rose between its captain and Hiram Bingham. The captain wrote that Bingham had inserted himself into all political and cultural matters and was establishing American influence and interests in Hawaii. But the missionaries continued gaining ground -- so much that they were running short of supplies to convert the natives.
More missionaries and wives arrived -- totaling more than 120 by the last group in February 1848. Ka'ahumanu often reminded tham that they depended on her favor. "She was willing for her people to put their eternal faith in God, but she also expected it [Christianity] to cement their earthly loyalty to herself. ... She attended church, but arrived in a great carriage pulled, in default of horses, by a dozen puffing lackeys." (pg 67)
Back on Kaua'i, George Kaumuali'i had fallen away from Christianity into a dissolute lifestyle. He tried to re-establish Kaua'i's independence. He and some chiefs stole guns and powder on August 8, 1824, but failed to capture the fort. Ten days later Kalanimoku and his army on Kaua'i captured him and brought him to O'ahu where he lived under house arrest until dying of influenza the following year.
Ka'ahumanu treated the missionary wives like they belonged to her. She ordered them about, demanded one of them live with her and attend to her needs; and she sometimes took one or another wife onto her lap like a child.
Captain Cook, and the missionaries, were impressed by the great differences in size between the chiefs, and the commoners who vastly outnumbered them. The whites speculated that chiefs and commoners might have descended from conquering vs. conquered ancestries.
"The missionaries' concern for the commoners as much as the ali'i manifested itself in a particular crusade that receives scant attention now, against the native practice of infanticide. Culturally sensitive modern scholars give the subject a wide berth, either omitting it altogether, mentioning it only in passing, or dispensing with it quickly and matter-of-factly without lingering on its moral valence. But to the newly arrived Americans, the realization that overworked or sometimes merely disinterested native mothers thought little of throttling unwanted newborns, or more commonly burying them alive barely outside their houses, was unspeakable." (pg 70) Author Haley notes that Englishman William Ellis had seen the same practice on Tahiti, where he knew parents who killed 3 or 4 children while keeping one. And Ellis wrote that they did so to protect a right to idleness; the trouble of attending to their needs. Charles Stewart wrote "We have the clearest proof, that in these parts of the islands where the influence of the mission has not yet extended, TWO-THIRDS OF THE INFANTS BORN, PERISH BY THE HANDS OF THEIR OWN PARENTS BEFORE OBTAINING THEIR FIRST OR SECOND YEAR OF AGE! [emphasis in original] ... " [note 27 to Stewart, "Journal of a Residence", 251] ... Ultimately Kalanimoku endorsed the missionaries' remonstrations against killing babies, and Ka'ahumanu proscribed infanticide in 1824, reinforced by statute in 1835." (pg. 71)
Author Haley writes that some of the missionaries lived lavishly, especially when compared with the miserable poverty of the native commoners; and interfered and lorded over them. But he also notes that the native ali'i were even more abusive. He tells that one impoverished commoner had a small pig, fed it secretly until it grew large, slaughtered it and cooked it, at which time a caterer of the royal household happened to come by, took a seat until the pig was cooked, and then carried it away without hesitation or apology.
CHAPTER 5: "THE NEW MORALITY"
This chapter is mostly devoted to tensions and occasional violence caused by the sexual morality demanded by the missionaries, imposed as law by some of the chiefs, and resisted by foreign sailors and many native women. Ka'ahumanu issued a decree on September 21, 1829, signed by the 16-year-old king Kauikeaoulu Kamehameha III, banning "mischievous sleeping" (sex outside of marriage). The law legitimized existing relationships declaring them to be marriages, but prohibited new ones. And in 1840 Ka'ahumanu banned hula, which was a major blow to the culture.
Discussion of the emotional and sexual love between Kauikeaouli and his full-sister Nahi'ena'ena, the only daughter of Kamehameha with sacred wife Keopuolani. Nahi'ena'ena went to Maui and told Keuikeaouli not to come because the missionaries would disapprove. Kauikeaouli was in deep despair and tried to slit his throat at the Pearl River, but was rescued by Drs. Judd and Rooke. To try to break up the relationship Nahi'ena'ena was betrothed to and reluctantly married the son of Kalanimoku on November 25, 1835, with Rev. William Richards presiding. When she became pregnant two months later, Kauikeaouli declared the baby to be his, and proclaimed it heir to the throne; it would have the highest mana in all Hawaii. The baby was born on September 17, 1836, but died only a few hours later. Nahi'ena'ena was deeply depressed and died December 30. Kauikeaouli sat by her coffin for many weeks, until he finally released her body on April 12, 1837, to be returned to Maui for burial with her mother. Kauikeaouli needed a wife to comfort him and for reasons of state, and married Kalama, a minor chiefess of Maui, on February 14, 1837, even while Nahi'ena'ena was still unburied. Kina'u, the Kuhina Nui, opposed the marriage. Kauikeaouli then fathered a son, Albert, by Nahi'ena'ena's close childhood companion Jane Lahilahi Young.
Discussion of the prevalence of homosexual relations among older men and teenage boys in longstanding relationships (aikane), in many districts more frequent than sex between men and women. Author Haley points out that a few decades ago it was politically incorrect to bring up this topic and ethnic Hawaiians were ashamed of it; but in recent years they affirm it defiantly because there's nothing to be ashamed of in Hawaiian culture. Haley says some newly arrived missionaries, proudly displaying their newly learned Hawaiian language skill, and thinking aikane simply referred to close male best friends but not including sex, would announce to a local chief their desire to become his aikane.
Discussion of how natives observed conflict among Caucasians regarding sex and liquor, as huge numbers of traders and whaling ships passed through Hawaii, and as native women began accepting money for sexual favors they had previously given freely and eagerly, while missionaries strongly protested. A high chief in Hilo was sexually promiscuous but his wife became a Christian and objected. She got a divorce on August 16, 1840 and because she was the innocent party she could remarry as soon as she wished, but the chief could not remarry so long as she lived. Six weeks later the wife died, and autopsy found an inflamed stomach. The chief had given her "medicine" which was poison, which had been prepared for him by a Hawaiian sailor friend of his. Both men were sentenced to death and hanged before a crowd of 10,000 -- a high chief whose word in the old days had meant life or death was now executed for murder.
Discussion of the massive output of printed material by the single press at the Mission Houses. Lahainaluna school founded. David Malo's protest over the king appointing too many haoles to government posts; Malo's allegorical warning about big fishes coming in from the deep waters and swallowing up the little fishes.
CHAPTER 6: "BECOMING LITTLE AMERICANS"
One of the themes pushed by today's Hawaiian independence activists is their assertion that there has been a conspiracy since the annexation of 1898 to brainwash Hawaii's people into viewing themselves as Americans rather than citizens of the (still-independent) nation of Hawaii. The alleged brainwashing took the form of requiring children to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of every school day; to teach about George Washington rather than Kamehameha as founder of the nation; to use the word "mainland" instead of "continent" or "U.S."; to give greater prominence to American culture and news about the U.S. than to Hawaiian news and culture; etc. A few sovereignty activists have also included this allegation in complaints to the International Criminal Court accusing the U.S. of the "war crime" of forcing assimilation upon a nation (Hawaii) held under belligerent military occupation (just as China invaded Tibet, overwhelmed the native Tibetans with settlers from China, and suppressed the Tibetan language and culture). Those sovereignty activists will rejoice at Chapter 6 of this book, and all the remainder of it, where author James Haley traces the beginning of Hawaii's alleged forced assimilation to the U.S. all the way back to the work of the American missionaries in the early 1800s.
In fact Chapter 5 was already the start of Haley's narrative on this topic, where he briefly described how John Coffin Jones Jr. at age 24 was appointed in April 1821 to serve in Honolulu as the official U.S. "Agent for Commerce and Seamen at the Sandwich Islands." Chapter 5 had described how an American ship captain John Diell established the American Seamen's Friend Society, which built a bethel at King and Bethel streets, along with a library and museum ; and he founded and hosted the Sandwich Islands Institute, a learned society whose members paid dues and were expected to contribute at least one scholarly essay per year. A 300 pound bell was donated by ship captains, chiefs, and the king. U.S. agent John Coffin, struggling for prominence, organized the Oahu Amateur Theatre where the first play was presented in 1834 in the large wood-frame 'Iolani Palace and the stage manager was the king.
Chapter 6 begins by describing how eagerly the natives wanted to learn to read, and to embrace Christianity. In the natives' minds, literacy and Christianity were seen as two sides of the same coin. To fill the demand for teachers/preachers, natives began performing both functions throughout the islands. Lahainaluna Seminary was founded on Maui, with David Malo among the students, and also Timothy Ha'alilio who later became the kingdom's first foreign diplomat, and also Boaz Mahune who became secretary to the king and a main contributor to writing the 1839 Declaration of the Rights of Man and 1840 Constitution. Soon Samuel Kamakau joined the students and later wrote his famous newspaper articles describing previously secret aspects of the old Hawaiian religion and culture. The missionaries' second printing press arrived in 1834 and was installed at Lahainaluna, where it was used for printing the first newspaper in Hawaii, which was the school newspaper.
Discussion of how centuries of inbreeding among the chiefs had resulted in inability to produce children who lived to adulthood. Kamehameha III was already 26 and had no heir apparent. He wrote a list of candidates for an heir, trying hard to find direct descendants of The Conqueror but having difficulty partly because some of the genealogies were uncertain -- for example both The Conqueror and Princess Ruth were po'olua (two fathers because it was disputable which was the biological father).
Once the list of succession was compiled, the king then created the Chiefs' Children's School to educate the children on the list; it was built starting June 28, 1839 on the site of today's Iolani Palace barracks. Amos Starr Cooke and wife Juliette, who had arrived two years before, were chosen to lead the school; assisted by native John Papa I'i, at age 40 a long-trusted advisor and teacher to the ruling chiefs. Each child had been spoiled rotten because of royal privilege, and each had as many as 20 servants; but at school no servants were allowed and the children had to perform menial chores despite initial objections from parents. "The school convened in early May 1840, with eleven noble children ranging in age from three to eleven; the other chosen ones entered as they became old enough. Among them were four future kings, a queen regnant [Lili'uokalani], a queen consort, and a kuhina nui." (pg 99) The kids were scared and cried themselves to sleep. They were not allowed trips home, but their parents were allowed to visit the school.
Six months after the school opened, a murderer condemned to be executed, who was imprisoned in the fort near the school, asked to see David Kalakaua who was only six years old. The Cookes felt that it would be a good lesson in the Biblical principle of an eye for an eye, so they allowed the prisoner to speak with Kalakaua. Only later did the Cookes find out that this man was High Chief Kamanawa II who had murdered his wife by poisoning so he could remarry. "Kalakaua was his grandson; the future king witnessed the execution of his grandfather -- a traumatic event for the little boy that cannot help but have shaped his internal conflict between the old life and the new that played out so painfully during his later seventeen years as monarch. For common Hawaiians the double execution -- Kamanawa was hanged with his accomplice -- was no less shocking. [Ken Conklin now emphasizes the remainder of this quote to call attention to author Haley's political viewpoint, blaming American missionaries for the fact that a native king and ruling chiefs had adopted laws which punished chiefs on the same basis as commoners and imposed the death sentence for murder committed in furtherance of adulterous sex. But look how Haley makes it all the fault of the missionaries, and what today's sovereignty activists would call the colonization of the mind. Haley is saying Americans now had taken power over native kings and chiefs.] FOR GENERATIONS THE HIGH CHIEFS HAD HELD LIFE-OR-DEATH POWER OVER KANAKAS, AND HERE WAS ONE OF THEM, THE GRANDSON OF NO LESS THAN KAME'EIAMOKU THE CONQUEROR'S RIGHT HAND, DANGLING LIFELESS AT THE END OF A ROPE BY THE WILL OF THE WHITE MISSIONARIES. WHAT A PRECIPITOUS CHANGE IN POWER THAT WAS, WITH THE GALLOWS THE NEW HEIAU, AND THOSE WHO VIOLATED THE NEW KAPU WERE THE NEW SACRIFICES, EVEN HIGH CHIEFS. THUS TO THE PERSUASION OF THE PULPIT WAS ADDED THE COMPULSION OF THE NOOSE." (pg 100)
Kamehameha III was intensely vested in the school, "with his four adopted children all enrolled. He actually moved in next door to the school, into a large frame house built by his brother-in-law Kekuanaoa, of timbers that Ka'ahumanu salvaged from the Hale Keawe [the bone mausoleum at Pu'u Honua o Honaunau] when it was pulled down. ... it became known as the first 'Iolani ("Royal Hawk") Palace. ... Kekauluohi, the present kuhina nui, had a grass house erected on the grounds so that she could sojourn in proximity with her son William Lunalilo." (pgs 101-102) The children acquired outstanding proficiency in English. "Kamehameha III's eldest nephew Moses Kekuaiwa [heir apparent to the throne], and his two brothers Lot [future Kamehameha V] and Alexander "often slipped out at night to drink and carouse, enduring Amos Cooke's lectures and whippings only to slip out again.... the royal students' sexual capers drove the Cookes to distraction. The Royal Council eventually ordered Moses's expulsion from the school; his death shortly after from measles left his brother Prince Lot Kapuaiwa next in line to the throne. The Cookes' contest of wills with Moses was little compared to the battles they had with Lot. At twelve he fell heavily in love with Princess Abigain Maheha, fourteen. Being willful ali'i children, everyremonstrance, coercion, and punishment the Cookes could devise failed to keep the pair apart, and Abigain became pregnant. For her shame, she was forced to marry not just a commoner but her mother's gardener ... (The child of Lot and Abigain did survive, and that line continues, so there remain on Kaua'i living direct descendents of Kamehameha I. Owing, however, to the introduced concept of legitimacy, they were excluded from further consideration.)" (pgs 103-104)
"After ten years of schooling, the operation came to a close with what the Cookes considered a success, the marriage of their last student (and one of their more peaceable ones) Bernice Pauahi to Charles Reed Bishop of New York on May 4, 1850. ... Without the training received at the Royal school, however, its graduates would never have made the impression on, and gained the respect of, the world's royal courts, or conducted the affairs of their nation as ably as they did. ... The school most certainly did fail to turn its pupils into little Americans, but the education they received empowered those students in their later noble or royal lives to preserve their culture, and that was the nation's success." (pgs 105-106)
The missionaries were very reluctant to let their own children be educated in the common Hawaiian schools because the language of instruction was Hawaiian rather than English and especially because of the rampant sexuality in those schools. Samuel Whitney had brought back from Tahiti some stories of the bad consequences of sexual mingling between whites and natives in the schools there. But it was also expensive for the missionaries to send their children back to New England to be educated in boarding schools. So in 1841 they organized a school for their own children at Punahou. "The first class was held on July 11, 1842, making it the first English-language school west of the Rocky Mountains .. The first teachers were Daniel and Emily (Ballard) Dole of Maine ... Emily Dole died on April 27, 1844, four days after giving birth to their third son, Sanford Ballard Dole ... William and mary Rice of the Ninth Company transferred from Maui to supervise the boarding students. William Richards undertook to turn the school into a college where graduates of the Royal School could complete their education. ..." (pg 108)
CHAPTER 7: "A SWEET TASTE"
Before 2000 years ago Hawaii had about 2700 plant species, mos of them endemic (found nowhere else). When the Polynesian explorers came from Marquesas and later Tahiti, the brought plants associated with their gods: coconut, banana, bamboo, sugar cane, etc. Captain Cook brought onions, pumpkins, melons. More visitors and settlers brought more plants from around the world. The HMS Blond, bringing the bodies of Kamehameha II and Kamamalu back home, brought numerous fruit and nut and coffee trees from England and from Rio de Janeiro where it stopped along the way.
The first people in Hawaii who thought of commercial production of sugar were from China -- the first ones arriving in 1788. In 1802 a Chinaman was seen making sugar on Lana'i. Boki had a sugar mill in Manoa in 1826; Prime Minister Kalanimoku (Boki's older brother) moved it to Honolulu; and after Kalanimoku died Boki formed a new partnership with four white men and converted sugar mill into a rum factory. But Ka'ahumanu, having converted to Christianity, decreed it illegal to produce rum, and the missionaries refused to allow their carts to be used to haul sugar if it was to be used to make rum. Boli opened a hotel and store in downtown Honolulu, exporting to Tahiti and Alaska. A huge debt owed by some chiefs, including Boki, was to be repaid in sandalwood, which was now scarce in Hawaii but plentiful in the New Hebrides. Boki and 400 men in 2 ships set sail, but he was never heard from again and only 20 of the men ever returned. Some say Boki died at sea, or "more likely just sailed away from his problems and started over near Samoa. [emphasis added by Ken Conklin to highlight author Haley's snarky anti-American comment] THUS BOKI, IRONICALLY THE CHIEF WHO MORE THAN ANY OTHER CLUNG TO THE TRADITIONAL WAYS AND ITS PRIVILEGES, BECAME PROBABLY THE FIRST REFUGEE FROM AMERICAN-STYLE DEBT." (pg 112)
The first large American-owned sugar plantation was established in Koloa Kaua'i in 1835 by Ladd & Company of Honolulu, on 980 acres leased for 50 years for $300 per year. Ladd was not a missionary, but his partners had family relationships with them. "The Ladd family Web site acknowledges that the missionaries interceded for them in acquiring the lease on Kaua'i. [emphasis added by Ken Conklin to highlight author Haley's snarky anti-American comment] IT WAS AN ACT THAT SEEMED HARMLESS AT THE TIME, BUT IT WAS A STEP ONTO THE SLIPPERY SLOPE OF INTERFERING WITH THE GOVERNMENT, SOMETHING THEIR MISSIONARY MANDATE PROHIBITED, BUT THAT, AS THEY GREW MORE ACCUSTOMED TO THEIR INTERPRETATION OF GOD'S LAW BEING EQUATED WITH THE LAW OF THE ISLANDS, BECAME EASIER TO RESORT TO." (pg 113) Commoner natives were paid enough to work on the plantation that they worked there and ignored their traditional duty to labor for their chiefs, causing the chiefs to send thugs to intimidate the commoners, but stopped the thuggery when the king and governor got after them.
The plantation built housing for the laborers and then started growing coffee, banana, and taro in addition to cane. There was nowhere nearby for workers to spend their money, so workers were paid in scrip which could be spent at the company store. That system became normal as other plantations were developed; but it became abusive when plantations were near enough to outside stores that workers could have used cash to shop outside but were forced to buy things only at the company store. Ladd & Co. began shipping sugar and molasses to the U.S.; then other missionaries on Kaua'i set up mills which ground cane for native growers who paid the mills a share of their crop.
The missionaries wanted a more diversified economy including manufactured clothing, with profits used to support schools and other good works. The Sandwich Islands Mission wrote a message to the ABCFM accompanied by a testimonial from the council of chiefs and signed by the king and high chiefs asking them to send carpenter, tailor, mason, machinery-makers, etc. and promising to protect and support them. William Richards personally carried it to Connecticut to ABCFM. But in the face of the economic Panic of 1837 the ABCFM refused the proposal, and thereby removed the ability of the missionaries to manage Hawaii's economy in benevolent ways and leaving the economy "to the tender mercies of the business community." (pg 115) Silk and cotton were tried but failed; wheat and corn were able to be grown but never became popular. The cattle industry, which George Vancouver had helped get started, grew and proepered, including exporting of beef.
Kamehameha III persuaded William Richards to resign from the mission to become his advisor. Peter Brinsmade became the American commercial and seamen's agent, and worked with Ricjards to create a stock company to bring into cultivation all the idle lands in Hawaii, with a government contract good for 100 years. Richards agreed but only on condition that the contract would say that it would be observed only if Hawaii remained an independent nation. That stipulation was inserted because there were so many warships making friendly port calls in Honolulu and the government was feeling threatened. Richards thought it would be good to have foreign investors have an incentive to demand their home governments respect Hawaiian sovereignty.
Brinsmade went to Washington and met with Secretary of State of State Daniel Webster asking him to formally recognize the Hawaii government. He then went through Britain to France where he again met William Richards and the native budding diplomat Timothy Ha'alilio, to seek French recognition. Brinsmade went to Belgium and on May 16, 1843 Belgium and Hawaii signed a contract. But very soon after that news arrived that Kamehameha III had ceded the government to Great Britain. Nobody knew the circumstances, and the British were very surprised! But Brinsmade's deal included the clause that it would be valid only if Hawaii remained an independent nation. So King Leopold of Belgium suspended the deal and Brinsmade anxiously hurried to London to find out what had happened.
CHAPTER 8: "CAPTAINS AND CANNONS"
This chapter begins with many details about infighting among several factions in Honolulu. In England during the visit of Hawaii's king Liholiho and queen Kamamalu who died there, a French purser had stolen a large amount of Liholiho's traveling cash, and escaped undetected. In Paris he persuaded the French government that he was important in Hawaii and he persuaded them to back a French colonizing venture. On his way back to Hawaii, while in California, he found out that his theft had been discovered, and he disappeared again.
Pope Leo XII had created the office of Prefect Apostolic for the Sandwich Islands, under the governance of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Three priests and six lay brothers arrived in Honolulu on July 7, 1827. There were already Catholics in Hawaii, including Boki and Liliha who were baptized on the HMS Blonde when it delivered the bodies of Liholiho and Kamamalu. Francisco de Paula Marin was also Catholic. The Calvinist missionaries regarded Catholicism as only slightly better than the paganism of earlier days, with idol worship etc. Ka'ahumanu, nor an ardent Protestant, tried to find Boki, a Catholic, to send the Catholics away; but Boki could not be found. The priests and their ship slipped away inconspicuously two days later. Boki was planning to assemble an army to overthrow Ka'ahumanu, but the king had them both come for tea and defused the situation. Boki left on his sandalwood expedition and disappeared forever, leaving Liliha as governor of O'ahu. The king and queen were visiting other islands, and Liliha heard they were planning to depose her. So she assembled a small army to meet them when they returned. But her father Hoapili defused that. The chiefs blamed the Catholics for all the trouble and forced the two recently arrived priests to leave. When Catholic residents complained there were no priests to give sacraments, the chiefs persecuted them with beatings and jailings.
After Ka'ahumanu died some wondered whether Liliha would become the new kuhina nui, but instead the Conqueror's daughter Kina'u (half-sister of the king) was appointed. She was also an anti-Catholic Calvinist. Catholicism was banned at the end of 1837. 67 Catholics who had taken refuge in Boki's stronghold in Wai'anae were marched to Honolu; the 13 of them who did not recant were set to hard labor. Several times Hiram Bingham, Gerrit Judd, and others advised the king and chiefs not to persecute anyone for his faith, but the persecution continued. When a priest arrived the following year Kinau refused permission to land;but then a French scientific ship arrived and a British captain also interceded. The priest was allowed to land but on condition that he only minister to resident Catholics and not preach to the natives. The two previously expelled priests also returned in April 1837, an were allowed to stay only when French and British captains interceded. Kina'u got the king to sign a total ban on Catholicism in December 1837. On April 4, 1839 Kina'u died, and a week later her main supporter against the Catholics also died. Two months later Kamehameha III issued a verbal order, but not in writing, to end the persecution.
On July 10 1839 a French warship with 52 guns arrived under Captain Laplace. His orders were to restore French dignity. He demanded freedom to practice catholicism, payment of $20,000 for the honor of France, and a salute of 21 guns to the French flag. Kamehameha III returned urgently from Maui, agreed to Laplace's terms, and also agreed that frenchmen accused of crimes could only be tried by juries approved by the French consul; and agreed that Hawaii was open to import of French wine and brandy at a tax of only 5%. Honolulu business leaders were happy to see the Calvinists insulted.
Hiram and Sybil Bingham left on August 3, 1840, having been recalled by ABCFM because of his interference in government affairs. He hoped to return but ABCFM refused to allow it and he ministered instead to an African-american church. Sybil died at the end of February 1848; Hiram remarried, and died in New Haven in 1869 at age 80.
Hawaiians were shocked on February 10, 1843 when the British frigate Carysfort, 925 tons and 26 guns, arrived in Honolulu under command of Lord George Paulet.
Kamehameha III was hurriedly summoned back from Maui. William Richards and Gerrit Judd had previously resigned from their missionary work and were now working as close advisers to the king. Richards and Ha'alilio were in Europe negotiating joint recognition of sovereignty from Britain and France.
The king named Judd to speak for him and meet with Paulet but Paulet refused to see him. Paulet issued demands which must be met by4 PM the next day of Paulet would open fire on Honolulu. British residents took refuge with all their valuables on an empty ship in the harbor, and Americans did likewise on the USS Boston. The king agreed to the demands but under protest. Paulet kept adding more demands.
Two weeks later it became clear that the British wanted the king to cede Hawaii to Britain. The Hawaiian cabinet had internal differences over what to do . Finally the king pronounced "I will yield the breath of my kingdom, and trust ... to the magnanimity of the British government to redress the wrong and restore my rights." The king cleared his response with Paulet, who agreed on February 24 that if the islands were ceded provisionally, he would not consider an appeal to London to be a hostile act.
"A ceremony was agreed for the next day, at the fort. In making the news public it was ironic, almost comical, that Kauikeaouli used the high oratory of the ancient chiefs to express his own powerlessness. 'Hear ye! I make known to you that I am in perplexity by reason of difficulties into which I have been brought without cause. Therefore, I have given away the life of the land ... but my rule over you, my people, will continue, for I have hope that the life of the land will be restored when my conduct is justified.' Simpson and Paulet were furious with him. The Hawaiian flag was lowered, and the Carysfort's band played 'God Save the Queen' as the Union Jack was raised. ..." (pg 131)
The king went back to Maui filled with grief. Paulet shut off every means of communication between the king and foreign countries. He made himself head of a governing commission, with Judd and others named by Paulet.
Author Haley then tells the well-known story about how Dr. Judd wrote an appeal to the British government in secret at night in the royal tomb using Ka'ahumanu's coffin for a table; the king was brought back secretly at Waikiki to sign the appeal, which was sent to Washington, London, and to the British squadron chief at San Blas Panama.
On July 25 the HMS Dublin arrived, a huge ship with 50 guns and the flag of Admiral Richard Thomas, commander in chief of the British Pacific Fleet. With Lord Aberdeen's policy statement in hand, Thomas wrote to Kamehameha III: "the Commander-in-Chief of her Britannic Majesty's ships and vessels in the Pacific ... as the highest local representative ... hereby declares and makes manifest that he does not accept of the Provisional Cession of the Hawaiian Islands, but that he considers His Majesty Kamehameha III the legitimate King of those islands: and he assures His Majesty that the sentiments of his Sovereign towards him are those of unvarying friendship and esteem, that Her Majesty sincerely desires King Kmehameha to be treated as an independent sovereign, leaving the administration of justice in his own hands."
Author Haley then describes one version of the meeting between Thomas and the king on July 31, 1843 resulting in the king saying his famous statement, now the motto of the State of Hawaii: "Ua mau ke ea o ka 'aina i ka pono" officially translated as "The life of the land is preserved in righteousness." There was a service of thanksgiving at the missionaries' Kawaiaha'o Church, followed by a huge luau at the king's summer house Kaniakapupu in the hills of Nu'uanu.
Unfortunately Haley downplays the importance of the American missionary when he does not describe in full the heroism of Rev. Dr. Gerrit Judd, nor how he walked side by side with the king from what is now Thomas Square to Kawaiaha'o Church where the king spoke his famous one-liner. For details about that, and also about Rev William Richards' leadership of the mission to Europe that resulted in the joint agreement of Britain and France to recognize Hawaii's independence, see
Haley says there's one sour note. Admiral Thomas did not do the restoration of sovereignty from a sense of justice nor from outrage at what Paulet had done. Likely it was jealousy that the youthful Paulet had gone outside the chain of command (i.e., Thomas) and corresponded directly with London. "When William Richards returned to Hawai'i he imparted to Samuel Castle that he had been told -- he dis not remember if by Lord Aberdeen himself or by his undersecretary -- 'that if Admiral Thomas had not restored the flag, the British government would not have done so.' " (pg 135)
Haley notes that the preciousness of Hawaii's independence became even more clear when news came of what happened in Tahiti. The French had seized Tahiti and all its islands and declared it a protectorate and deposed Queen Pomare.
** Ken Conklin's note: See DEED OF CESSION of Hawaii by Kamehameha III to Captain Paulet, February 25, 1843 at
** See also the following extract from an article, published in Harper's magazine for September, 1883, prepared by Mr. Marshall, a special envoy of Kamehameha III to the United States and England, to arrange for the revocation of the acts of Lord George Paulet in occupying Hawaii as territory of Great Britain.
CHAPTER 9: "A NATION AMONG NATIONS"
This chapter begins by giving statistics about Honolulu in the 1840s which show how much it has embraced Western culture and become a crossroads of the Pacific since the time of Captain Cook. How many tradesmen, how many arrests for various types of crime (806 for fornication, 211 for theft, and less than 100 for all others). Chinese satin, English wool, cigars from Manila or Havana. Etc. The government adopted a penal code, and officials took lessons in lawmaking and administration.
Declaration of Rights in 1839; first Constitution in 1840. "God hath made of one blood all nations of men, to dwell on the face of the earth in unity and blessedness. These are some of the rights he has given alike to every man and every chief: life, limb, liberty, the labor of his hands, and production of his mind ..." This fundamental equality under the law for chiefs and commoners was a huge advance from the old days of kapu and absolute authority of chiefs. King and kuhina nui as co-rulers, and a house of legislative representatives elected by the citizenry, were important advances toward democracy.
1844 New Yorker John Ricord was the first lawyer to become resident of Hawaii; he became attorney general after two weeks of residence, and renounced his American citizenship to become a subject of the king. Second lawyer in Hawaii was William Little Lee, also from New York, became chief justice of the Supreme Court. James Jackson Jarves, age 22 became editor of the official government newspaper, "The Polynesian. Scottsman William Wyllie had tried to seize California and make it a British colony; but then he came to Hawaii and became foreign minister.
Rehash of the events of 1843 whereby Hawaii representatives in Europe and America got recognition of Hawaii's independence.
William Richards died November 7, 1847, and the he left his wife and children with so little money that the government took pity and gave her a house site and annuity.
Description of relations with France: the French ambassador had a low opinion of "this Lilliputian kingdom negro king whose life is mostly wasted in orgies with stable grooms." Seven times he asked for a French warship to come to Honolulu to vindicate him. In August 1849 a French warship did arrive, 52 guns, commanded by Rear Admiral Tromelin, who met with the king and Judd, and Kekuanaoa and Wyllie. But then the French ambassador told Tromelin a list of complaints, and said the honor of France is at stake. Wyllie said Hawaii was not aware of any issues between France and Hawaii, but if there are any, please specify them. Tromelin said that was an insult, and if justice is not done, we will use the means at our disposal to obtain complete redress. Tromelin gave Wyllie a list of 10 items, mostly absurd, and written only in French which Wyllie did not know (one of the items was that Hawaii should adopt French as an official language for commerce). Kamehameha III told Hawaii's people that if the French reach in your pocket, let them take your keys; but don't otherwise volunteer them. Tromelin went onto his ship and prepared for action, training his guns on the fort. A small U.S. ship maneuvered between Tromelin's ship and the fort to prevent firing on it, because there were many sick U.S. sailors in the fort. Tromelin did not shoot. Instead he sent boatloads of armed sailors who stormed the fort and easily won because it had been evacuated; they spiked the fort's guns and threw gunpowder into the harbor. The king and his cabinet waited in the palace. The French totally trashed Kekuanaoa's house, including the keepsakes of his dead wife Kina'u. Tromelin had the French priests post hanbills in Hawaiian announcing he had come in peace but insisted on getting the Hawaiian government to comply with the terms of the previous agreement. In the end he left, taking as prizes the King's yacht Kamehameha and some ancient artifacts. Hawaii told the French the damages were $100,000. France considered whether to pay, but decided not to.
The king and Council of Chiefs decided to send Judd to France, taking along the king's two oldest nephews and future kings Lot, 18, and Alexander Liholiho, 14 to broaden their education from the Royal School. The trip to France produced no results; but during that time another French warship arrived and made more threats. A British warship refused to protect the Hawaiians because of Britain's relations with France. An American small warship was asked to delay its departure date to protect American interests.
"Of the three great powers netted in Hawaiian affairs, France seemed insane, Britain had acted honorably in restoring the kingdom after the Paulet outrage but was now proving unreliable. That left the United States, which had already recast much of society in its own image and had imparted a constitutional government, but had never made any move to seize the country. And Kamehameha had in his back pocket the statement of the American secretary of state, John M. Clayton, that the United States would protect the islands even unto war. The very evening of their last frustrating interview with Miller [British], the king signed a new decree placing the country under the protection and flag of the United States -- but only provisionally. The document was shown to Luther Severance before being sealed and given to him, to open officially in the event he observed the American flag flying over the fort." (pg 152)
** Note by Ken Conklin: See Treaty of Annexation by Kamehameha III at
Miller heard about the king's plan, and warned against even thinking about annexation to the U.S. because the U.s. abuses the natives of the countries they take over. Perrin (France), outgunned and outmaneuvered, signed an interim agreement with Wyllie and left for France to get more instructions. In Washington Daniel Webster was back at the State Department and issued a statement that the U.S. still honored its 1842 agreement recognizing Hawaii independence and had no further ambitions, but would never agree to let France or Britain take Hawaii. Webster pledged that the U.S. would maintain its Pacific fleet strong and ready to protect Hawaiian integrity if needed.
"In the conquest of paradise, much has been written of American avarice in annexing Hawai'i later in the century. Much less has been written of the fact that here, in the first instance, it was French thuggery and British vacillation that drove Hawai'i into American arms." (pg 153)
CHAPTER 10: "THE GREAT MAHELE"
R.C. Wyllie was foreign minister of the kingdom, but also had other valuable activities. He established a plantation at Hanalei Bay (Kaua'i) hoping to grow coffee; but when that was unsuccessful he switched to sugar cane. He also created the beginnings of a national archive by saving every paper coming to him or being sent out by him, creating 58 numbered volumes by the time he retired.
The industrial age was changing Hawaii. In 1840 The first lighthouse was built in Lahaina. American officers took a hot air balloon ride. The king established a public school system. A law was passed to require reporting of contagious diseases. Unauthorized burials were prohibited in Honolulu. The first case of leprosy showed up although Dr. Baldwin couldn't figure out what it was. A volunteer fire department was started, using fresh water piped to a tank near the harbor. In 1845 mail service began between San Francisco and Honolulu. A regular schedule of interisland mail began in 1851, and for several years the government provided free postage for natives to encourage reading and writing. A photo studio was opened before such service was available in most of Western U.S.
In May 1847 the first paddle wheel steamship arrived (no sails!). A 275-seat Thespian Theater was opened; it failed, but then the Royal Hawaiian Theater opened and continued for decades. The Seamen's Bethel was now a public library with 300 books and a reading room. Social events and dance parties increased.
In May 1842 a Treasury Board was established with John Papa I'i, Timothy Ha'alilio, and Dr. Judd. By the end of 4 years the national finances were well organized and the national debt was eliminated. The Treasury Board also began to reorganize the recording of land ownership.
Author Haley says the most fundamental change generated by the 1840 Constitution was the idea that the king held the land not for himself but in trust for the whole people -- a huge change from the old days when each king redistributed land however he wished. The Treasury Board began figuring out which lands the king would keep for himself and which would go to the government.
Attorney General Ricord prepared a series of organic acts to organize the structure of government departments. There were to be 5 departments: Finance, Foreign relations, Interior, Law, and Public instruction. Those 5 ministers, plus the four [county] governors would comprise the king's privy council. Another organic act established the Board of Commissioners to Quiet Land Titles -- the Land Commission -- to create fee simple ownership. The fact that higher chiefs could take land away from lower chiefs and commoners caused people to feel insecure and have no incentive to work hard or to make improvements on the land. Since people did not have money they paid taxes in the form of vegetables or days of labor. A few landholders began paying wages to laborers, who then did not owe taxes and became "floaters" -- they moved freely to where they could earn money.
Discussion of how the Mahele was done. It required surveys, but some surveyors did not do their jobs correctly and some gave extra land to their friends. It required registration; but some chiefs were lazy about doing it.
The decline of native population was a major problem. Measles, whooping cough, etc. were decimating whole villages, leaving land vacant and unclaimed. Medicine supplies ran out. Schools and churches were closed or nearly empty. The king appointed December 6, 1848 "as a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer to Almighty God" but the diseases kept going for 6 mote months; 10,000 people died and the population was cit by 10%. Samuel Kamakau thought it was closer to 30% dead. And that was before smallpox arrived.
About 10,000 commoners applied for the land they had been cultivating, and they received a total of about 30,000 acres. "This was less a miscarriage of justice than it seems at first, for the few acres of one kuleana given to a kanaka was fertile, arable land, whereas vast tracts of the chiefly or royal lands were taken up with lava flows, escarpments, or other features that were not materially productive." (page 164) But some tenants received too little land to be able to sustain their families, and some had their cases decided by surveyors who were overly favorable to the chiefs whose land was being taken for the commoners.
"But the real poison pill that doomed the Great Mahele was not the small size of average plots awarded to kanaka families. It was the passage, a few weeks before the Kuleana Act, of the Alien Land Ownership Act." (pg165) Foreign investors had wanted to develop large farms or factories but felt insecure in their land holdings without a deed. The Mahele solved that problem; but foreigners were still forbidden to own land in fee simple, until the new Alien Land Ownership Act was passed. Passage of that Act, plus fee-simple ownership of kuleana lands by commoners who didn't know how to behave as owners, caused many commoners to sell their lands to wealthy foreigners newly empowered to buy it.
1848 was not only the start of the Mahele. It was also the year when the ABCFM withdrew financial support from the missionaries. For many years there had been disagreements among Board members over the purposes of the missions. In the end those who thought the missionaries should focus entirely on preaching won the struggle, and cut support for the Hawaii missions because the missionaries were now heavily involved in business, politics, medical help and social work rather than preaching. The Hawaii missionaries also had not raised up very many native converts to the point where they were ready to be full-fledged ministers, and that was regarded as failure by the Board. In 1847 the ABCFM reduced the salaries to the missionaries to less than half of what the Board was paying to missionaries in Asia, to begin weaning the Hawaii missionaries off of support. Some of the missionaries got jobs, some took in boarders, some returned to New England. In Fall 1849 Castle and Cooke had long conversations with their wives and decided to form a partnership and use the mission's supply base as capital to begin operating a business. Their plan was to sell supplies to other missionaries at cost, but to sell to the general public for profit. It took a whole year for a single exchange of letters between Hawaii and New England, so it was hard to negotiate. Both Castle and Cooke became naturalized subjects of the king in 1850, and their new partnership Castle and Cooke got wholesale and retail merchant licenses on June 3, 1851 and signed their partnership agreement two days later.
In Kohala, Hawaii Island, Elias and Ellen Bond offered a deal to ABCFM -- they would keep working for no salary if the Board would turn over to them ownership of the mission complex they had worked so hard to build. But the Board demanded $500 for it. So the Bonds figured out to use the terms of the Mahele to simply take over the mission property! They wrote plantation rules consistent with their missionary views: No manufacturing of booze, no card playing, no fighting, no whipping wives, no gossiping, and all plantation workers are requested to attend church at least once every Sunday.
"Much has been written of the missionary families' success, and that success was largely attained in later years through exploitation of native and imported labor and devious politics. It is worth remembering that those charges are better leveled at their children and grandchildren. The missionary generation itself entered business uncertainly and unwillingly; for many of them, like Elias Bond, the requirement for self-sufficiency was molded around their desire to continue as missionaries, and in the case of Castle & Cooke, to aid them in that effort." (pg 171)
CHAPTER 11: "THE ANGLICAN ATTRACTION"
Kamehameha III died December 15, 1854 at age 41, having reigned for nearly 30 years. He had no legitimate children in line for succession. Author Haley reminds us that the missionaries had changed the course of Hawaiian history by imposing the requirement for legitimacy. "As with the banishment of Lot's 'illegitimate' daughter and her mother, Princess Abigail Maheha, from the Royal School, and as with excluding Princess Ruth Ke'elikolani from the succession because she was po'olua [i.e., either of two men could be the father and nobody could figure out which], the missionaries unwittingly sent Hawaii forward with a weakened dynasty." (pg 172)
Next in line were two nephews of the king. The elder was Lot ".. but he was stubborn, hotheaded, somewhat antisocial, and the king did not think that he would make a success of ruling the country. By his will and the council's approval the throne passed instead to the younger nephew, Alexander Liholiho, who was just twenty." (pg 173) The missionaries were worried because both of them had been troublesome while at the Royal School. Alexander had shown up at school with 30 servants and was terribly spoiled. Missionary Amos Cooke had to beat him frequently.
On trip to France, England, and America Alexander and Lot, supervised by Judd, had a bad experience with American racism. The French and British had treated them well. But in America, while boarding a train from Washington to New York, Alexander had gone aboard first, to find their seats. The conductor nastily ordered him to get out because he was in the wrong carriage. But then someone whispered in the conductor's ear and the conductor told Alexander he could stay. Alexander followed after the conductor and asked why he had initially told him to get out, but he would not say. Alexander later found out the conductor had taken him for someone's servant on account of his dark skin. He wrote in his diary "The first time I ever received such treatment, not in England or France, or anywhere else. But in this country I must be treated like a dog to go & come at an American bidding" (pg 174)
"Throughout his reign as Kamehameha IV, Liholiho's judgment of Americans remained fixed: They were pompous, arrogant, overbearing, and often unjust in their treatment of others different from themselves." (pg 174) Judd realized that as a youth Alexander had been burdened with many religious obligations in addition to schoolwork, all contributing to a hardening of the heart. Haley describes some examples where Alexander and the missionaries disagreed over holidays, laws for remarriage of divorced people, etc. but where Alexander found a diplomatic way to compromise.
On June 19, 1856 Alexander married Emma Rooke, granddaughter of John Young, who had grown up at Pu'ukohola. The short procession from palace to Kawaiaha'o Church looked very Western except for kahilis, and except for the commoners on the street who fell on their faces as in the old days. At the request of Alexander and Emma, the Congregationalist minister performed an Anglican marriage service in the Congregationalist church, to the consternation of the Calvinists. Haley describes the political and religious orientations of the three bridesmaids (Anglican vs. Congregationalist, British vs. American), one of whom was Lydia Kamaka'eha (the future Queen Lili'uokalani).
Kamehameha IV was worried about how close his predecessor had come to annexing Hawaii to the U.S. So he kept Scottsman Wyllie as foreign minister. When Chief Justice Lee went to America for health reasons, Alexander entrusted him to try to get the U.S. to sign on to the British/French agreement to respect the independence of Hawaii. In 1855 Lee met President Pierce and Secretary of State Marcy. Previously the U.S. had refused to go with the British/French agreement simply because the U.S. was unwilling to enter into treaties generally. This time the U.S. refused because of concerns over events in Cuba. Lee died a year later. The king sent Elisha Allen to the U.S., who negotiated a reciprocity deal for sugar which the Pierce administration supported, but it failed in the Senate because of opposition from Southern sugar planters.
A treaty was finally reached between France and Hawaii in March 1858.
In January 1858 Kamehameha IV took a trip to Kealakekua to collect the two caskets of bones from 23 ancestors that Kapi'olani had previously rescued in 1829 and had sealed in a cave. He brought them back to Honolulu on a British warship where they were guarded by torchlight, and gave them to his father and kuhina nui Kekuanaoa for interment in the newly built Royal Mausoleum. The commoners were distressed over the moving of the bones, and their worries got credence when the ship captain died from bronchitis five days later; and eventually his successor was murdered.
On May 20, 1858 Emma gave birth to a son, and showed her preference for British by naming him Albert in honor of Britain's Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. Kamehameha IV then named him crown prince.
In September 1859 on a recreational trip to Maui, exertion from riding up Haleakala caused a terrible asthma attack to the king, who returned to Lahaina. He wrongly suspected that his wife Emma was having an affair with his secretary Henry Neilson. The following night the king went to the house where Neilson was staying and shot him. Next day the king deeply regretted his action, and paid for the best medical attention for Neilson; later the king wrote to Neilson and apologized and acknowledged Neilson had not been doing anything wrong. Kamehameha IV decided to abdicate. But Foreign Minister Wyllie wrote a letter to the King begging him not to abdicate. The king stayed in office, but Neilson lived for 30 more months as an invalid, causing the king to feel very depressed. Sometimes the king personally tended to Neilson's care.
The king did not want spiritual help from the Calvinists. Instead he turned to the Anglicans, and asked Wyllie to establish an Anglican church in Honolulu. Wyllie wrote to the Hawaiian consul in London to begin the process; Kamehameha IV pledged land for the church and parsonage; Wyllie conveyed the king's wish that the Episcopal clergyman to be sent to Hawaii should be "eminently liberal in all his principles and ideas." Haley discusses infighting between Hawaii's calvinist missionaries and Wyllie and English episcopalians over just how liberal or conservative the Episcopalian minister should be.
Following a smallpox epidemic that killed 2500, Kamehameha IV proposed to the legislature raising money to build a hospital. The public was asked to contribute.
The king and queen and baby Albert took a vacation at Wyllie's plantation at Hanalei Bay, and Wyllie renamed the plantation Princeville in honor of Albert. Wyllie encouraged Emma to write to Queen Victoria, and they began a long and affectionate correspondence.
In England plans moved slowly for a church in Hawaii. They decided since Hawaii was already a Christian nation, send them not merely a missionary but a bishop with clergy under him -- a prefabricated hierarchy. Hawaii's king and queen planned to have Albert baptized by the expected bishop. Queen Victoria agreed to be godmother and arranged to send a huge silver christening vessel. But the wheels turned slowly and there were delays.
One day baby Albert, now 4 years old, threw a tantrum over a pair of shoes he did not like. The king suddenly poured cold water on him to stop the tantrum. On August 19, 1862 Albert got a fever and stomach ache and goy increasingly sick. Queen Victoria's proxy came and found him dying. No Anglican bishop or clergy had yet arrived, so Ephraim Clark of Kawaiaha'o Church performed an Anglican baptism on August 23, and Albert died on August 27, 1862. The king blamed himself; and had also been grieving what he did to Henry Neilson. He was deeply depressed. The hysterical Emma blamed Kapi'olani, who had been in charge of Albert at the time when the king had doused Albert; and for the rest of her life Emma refused to attend any social function where Kapi'olani would be present, except for obligatory state events. But the baby's symptoms were consistent with appendicitis and his death probably could not have been prevented.
Anglican Bishop Staley, age 39, and wife and staff finally arrived on October 11, 1862. Charming and intellectual. Kamehameha IV and Emma were baptized and confirmed, then Wyllie and the king's father Kekuanaoa, and David Kalakaua and others. "It was a time for the American Calvinists to lick their wounds, but in fact the death of the toddler Albert Edward was a nail in the coffin of the British future in Hawaii, and the American reclamation faced one less obstacle." (pg 188)
CHAPTER 12: "USEFUL MARRIAGES"
Author Haley says that during the U.S. Civil War the Hawaii king proclaimed neutrality as the national policy, but most of the people favored the North, including the white businessmen who were mostly from New England, and the natives. About 40 young men from Punahou school volunteered for the North, but many of them found the same racist prejudices in the army that Prince Alexander Liholiho had encountered on the train. For example a half-white boy age 18 was among Hawaii's nobility but the army assigned him to a Negro regiment. He was captured early in the war, sent to Libby Prison in Richmond Virginia, and found that Confederate soldiers and officers were especially hostile to Negro prisoners; and he died.
The few Hawaiian natives who signed up with the Confederacy did so because they had been crew members on whaling ships, which the South especially targeted for capture. The captives had to choose between joining the rebel crew or being put in irons and put ashore in some wilderness area.
Wyllie used Hawaii neutrality to expand trade with the North, especially because the North needed Hawaiian sugar due to the fact that nearly all the sugar produced in America came from the South. The price went five times as high as before the war.
The Anglican church in Hawaii became more popular when the king translated the Anglican Book of Common Prayer into Hawaiian and gave it to the bishop.
In 1850 ten Mormons had come to Hawaii after their search for gold in California failed. They focused mainly on preaching to the natives, and set up a fort and City of Joseph on Lana'i in 1853.
Discussion of the background of Walter Murray Gibson and his exploits with the Mormons in Hawaii and with the chiefs and government.
Brief mention of Catholic Father Damien de Veuster who arrived in Spring 1864 (by then Hawaii already had a Catholic bishop, and cathedral in Honolulu).
Kamehameha IV died from asthma (and a "broken heart") on November 30, 1863, at age 29. Emma and the chiefs postponed his burial for 2 months to wait for the completion of the Royal Mausoleum, and his body lay in state in the palace throne room where Emma led prayers morning and night in Hawaiian language so the natives could understand. [this was, of course, the old palace]
The afternoon when Kamehameha IV died, the Council and kuhina nui proclaimed Lot as Kamehameha V. He refused to take the oath of office under the existing  constitution, because he wanted certain royal prerogatives back. Lot called for a special convening of the legislature in July to revise the constitution. They deadlocked over controversial articles; Lot dismissed them, abrogated the existing constitution and said "I will give you a Constitution." He proclaimed and signed it on August 20, 1864. It rescinded universal male voting rights and instead imposed both literacy and property requirements. It also abolished the office of kuhina nui, and abolished the requirement to have the approval of the privy council. Thus, when he took the oath of office the same day, he held enormous power. He chose former French consul Varigny as finance minister, Scotsman Wyllie as foreign minister, American C.C. Harris as attorney general, and former U.S. consul Elisha Allen as chief justice; and lesser posts were also multinational.
During his first year leprosy began spreading, and he decided to deal with it urgently. He established the leprosy colony on the Kalaupapa peninsula of Moloka'i. In a few years more than 800 people had been sent there to die, mostly natives but also a few Caucasians. The only ali'i sent there was Peter Ka'eo, Emma's cousin who had served in the house of nobles and on the privy council. The kingdom government gave very little support to the colony, where conditions deteriorated "to the unimaginable." The Catholic Church didn't want to assign a priest to go there; but Damien went willingly and then stayed after giving up his right to be rotated out.
Lot had been betrothed to Bernice Pauahi since early in his life. But she had become friendly with banker Charles Reed Bishop. Her parents tolerated the friendship but strongly opposed her marrying him when it became clear she loved him. Lot's father Kekuanaoa sided with her parents and demanded Pauahi marry Lot, but she refused. She wrote letters disengaging herself from Lot, and shared them with missionary Amos Starr Cooke. [who had been the teacher of both of them at the Royal School] Cooke wrote that Pauahi's letter to Lot said she would comply with her parents' wishes and marry Lot in accordance with their commands, but it would make her unhappy because she did not love him and he did not love her. Then she wrote to Governor Kekuanaoa and said that if they wished her buried in a coffin she would submit to them; that she would as soon they buried her as promise to marry Lot. In the end Lot released Pauahi from their engagement saying he was not worthy of her.
"Lot's refusal to consider marriage, heavy as that was in import to the kingdom, was only one manifestation of the state that matrimony in the kingdom had come to. Many of the highborn were torn between Christian sacrament and their ancient chiefly rights, and this fell harder on the women, who were now expected to be virtuous Victorians like their European models. ..." (pg 197) Discussion of Monsarrat's, caught by Lot with his pants down in a bedroom with Kamamalu in the palace during a dinner party. There had been talk of Kamamalu marrying Kalakaua, but now that was off the table "although in the old days her sexual experience would not have been an issue.." ... Lunalilo and Kamamalu were in love with each other, but genealogists warned that if they married and made a baby the baby would outrank children of any other royals including Lunalilo and Lot. So Kamamalu was doomed to limbo. "... The impending doom of the Kamehameha line was self-inflicted." [by their insistence on adhering to ancient social and religious concepts] (page 198)
Mixed-race marriage had major effects on Hawaii politics and land ownership. In England and America women usually could not own land; whereas in Hawaii women chiefs owned huge amounts of it. In Hawaii before the Mahele, and until the Alien Land Ownership Act, foreigners could not own land, and even after the ALOA it was easier and cheaper for a foreigner to get land by marrying its konohiki. However, it was a one-way street -- in the Anglo mind, it was fine for a white man to marry a native woman, but very demoralizing to whites when a white woman was possessed by a native man no matter how highborn he might be. The marriage of Charles Reed Bishop and Bernice Pauahi was truly a love match without mercenary motive. At the opposite extreme was the marriage of Lydia Kamaka'eha and John Owen Dominis. Hebasically dumped her at Washington Place "in the contemptuous care of his mother, who was an arrant racist. ... [He fathered] an illegitimate boy by his wife's servant Mary Purdy Lamiki 'Aimoku." and his physician said he was a serial philanderer. ... "Lydia partly blamed herself for her apparent inability to have children, and later adopted the bastard son and, according to one account, considered trying to pass the child off as their own, which would have been illegal." (page 200)
Lydia's biological younger sister, Miriam Likelike, married Scottsman Archibald Cleghorn, who became governor of O'ahu. But his their marriage became bitterly angry which made things awkward to raise their daughter Victoria Ka'iulani (presumptive heir to the throne after Lili'uokalani) born after 15 years of marriage.
Some land-rich but financially poor ali'i women also did well by marrying wealthy white men; for example, Abigain Kuaihelani married Scotsman James Campbell the year he sold Pioneer Mill for half a million dollars. Together with the Mahele, these interracial marriages caused much of the land of Hawaii to pass out of purely native control.
In May 1865 Emma gathered a group of friends and sailed to Acapulco, Panama, then changed ships and continued to Danish West Indies and finished at Southampton. She spent a lot of time with Queen Victoria including an overnight at Windsor Palace. Then to the French Riviera, where Hoapili took a French mistress, and he and his wife were sent back to Hawaii. Then to Paris to meet Napoleon III, then to U.S. on way back to Hawaii. Emma received a 13-gun salute in New York harbor, and was received by President Andrew Johnson in the Red Room at the White House -- the first queen to visit there.
In March 1866 Samuel Clemens arrived (Mark Twain) in Honolulu. He was present for the month-long mourning for Kamamalu's funeral, which the king allowed to be done in the ancient way with throngs of natives weeping and wailing on palace grounds and in the streets. The king quashed legislation that would have allowed sale of liquor to natives. Twain noticed the king rode his horse at whatever hours of day or night he wished, without guards or fanciness, and was respected and beloved by the people. Twain noticed the decline of native population and wrote [emphasis by Ken Conklin to highlight author Haley's viewpoint] "THE TRADERS BROUGHT LABOR AND FANCY DISEASES. IN OTHER WORDS, LONG, DELIBERATE, INFALLIBLE DESTRUCTION, AND THE MISSIONARIES BROUGHT THE MEANS OF GRACE AND GOT THEM READY. SO THE TWO FORCES ARE WORKING HARMONIOUSLY, AND ANYBODY WHO KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT FIGURES CAN TELL YOU EXACTLY WHEN THE LAST KANAKA WILL BE IN ABRAHAM'S BOSOM AND HIS ISLANDS IN THE HANDS OF WHITES." (pg 205)
In 1869 British Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and third in line to the throne, came to Honolulu. He asked to see authentic native culture. Kamehameha V assigned the job to Lydia Kamaka'eha, now age 31. At her Waikiki estate she put on a luau that included native sports, chants, and hula; it lasted 6 hours. Princess Ruth Ke'elikolani [440 pounds] attended. Haley says the American newspaper "Gazette" expressed displeasure at the whole event, calling the program a "relic of heathenism" and was also unhappy that numerous Hawaiian women had been invited but not their Caucasian husbands. Prince Alfred handed out valuable souvenirs. Later the king hosted a grand ball at the palace, and Emma partnered with Alfred for most of the evening. When Alfred's ship sailed the Hawaiians honored him by loading his ship high with souvenirs as they would have done in the old days -- tapa cloth, taro, pineapples, pork.
In 1872 the king laid the cornerstone for Ali'iolani Hale across from the palace.
CHAPTER 13: "MOUNTAINS OF SUGAR"
"Whaling, which once anchored the islands' commerce with the outside world, had peaked in the early 1850s. But the decline in the number of whales, then losses of Northern ships to Confederate raiders, and the discovery of petroleum all damaged the industry. In April 1871 many of the remaining vessels sortied from Honolulu for the Arctic. Hunting was poor; they stayed too long and were trapped by ice. The crews were rescued, but thirty-nine ships with their cargoes were crushed and lost. Late in Lot's reign, fewer than fifty whalers a year called at Honolulu and Lahaina for supplies and recreation. The only resource on the horizon that could fill this gap in the economy was sugar." (pg 208)
Whaling had taken resources from the ocean but not from the land. Sugar, however, made a huge footprint on the land. The sugar industry began growing rapidly after the Alien Land Ownership Act was passed. "In 1866 Hawaii exported more than 8800 tons of sugar, and the nation achieved its first positive balance of payments." (pg 209) Instead of traditional small subsistence farming Hawaii now had a plantation economy with large-size enterprises. Plantation owners began importing Asian laborers -- 180 Chinese in 1852; and tens of thousands as time went on. The wage of three dollars per day was about double what they would have earned at home.
In 1867 a 1500-ton steam-powered U.S. warship Lackawanna made a friendly visit to Hawaii. But some Hawaiians felt intimidated by its two "monstrous eleven-inch Dahlgren smoothbores, two nine-inch smoothbores, and a battery of smaller but still modern and imposing howitzers and rifles. ... The ship's captain, William Reynolds, was a former resident of the kingdom who had issued statements favoring American annexation of the islands that the king found seditious, and Reynolds was persona non grata. Hawaii announced that it would not take up consideration of the [reciprocity] treaty until the warship was recalled." (pg 211) With fortunate good timing Lackawanna got orders to survey Midway. On July 30, 1867, the day the ship sailed away, the king called a special session of the legislature which approved the treaty 33 to 4. Only a few days later the ship returned and stayed for 8 months -- the first time Hawaiians felt an American warship to be a threat even though it was not intended to be one. The reciprocity treaty was supported in the Senate by President Andrew Johnson, but controversies over his impeachment and the follow-up to the Civil War caused the treaty to fail in the Senate.
In 1862 Congress had passed a law barring American ships from transporting Asian laborers; and an 1867 resolution required the State Department to file protest with countries which imported contract laborers into the Western Hemisphere or adjacent islands. In 1868 the U.S. minister in Hawaii complained when 50 Japanese laborers had been transported to Hawaii. The Hawaii government replied that Hawaii had just established a national immigration bureau to prevent labor abuse, and furthermore the 50 Japanese laborers were not actually coolies because they did not sign labor contracts before they left Japan. The U.S. seemed ready to accept that explanation; but then the Japanese government, which had no regular representation in Hawaii, asked the American and British ministers to watch over the welfare of Japanese, and cited evidence that conditions were not favorable to the workers. The sugar planters still had strong ties to the missionaries but were now businessmen looking for profit. Castle & Cooke reminded the U.s. minister that before the U.S. revolution more than half the American colonialists had been indentured servants or were descended from them.
"One of the most astonishing stands against it [contract labor] came from a polite but presumptuous upstart, Sanford Ballard Dole, son of Daniel and Emily Dole of the Ninth Company of missionaries. He had been born in the kingdom, nourished by a native wet nurse, and grew up in Koloa, which was a prime sugar area." ... Attended Punahou school, then sent to Williams College in Massachusetts and worked for a Boston law firm for a year. Dole was 25 and just returned from America when there was a large public meeting in Honolulu in October 1869 where planters and their agents praised the Chinese workers as industrious and reliable and saying that labor contracts were advantageous to the Asians' well-being. Then Dole spoke and opposed the system from principle because he thought it was wrong and "Tried in the balance of the 'free and equal rights' principle [of contract law] the contract system is found wanting." (pg 214) Another missionary son, Albert Francis Judd, supported Dole, who had attended Punahou, got a Yale degree and a Harvard law degree. Henry Whitney also spoke up siding with Dole -- Whitney was son of the Whitneys from the first company of missionaries and was one of the first white children born in Hawaii and was now age 45, bookstore owner, and publisher of the Pacific Commercial Advertiser newspaper. The business community did not like Whitney's outspokenness, and withdrew their advertising from his newspaper, causing Whitney to sell it. Whitney started the Hawaiian Gazette, and later founded the Hawaiian language Ka Nupepa Kuokoa.
[Emphasis added by Ken Conklin] "A QUARTER OF A CENTURY ON, BOTH DOLE AND JUDD WOULD PLAY IMPORTANT ROLES IN THE OVERTHROW OF THE HAWAIIAN MONARCHY. MANY SCHOLARLY ARTICLES HAVE BEEN WRITTEN TRYING TO DEFEAT THE POPULARLY HELD BUT ERRONEOUS NOTION THAT THE REVOLUTION WAS DONE IN SERVICE OF THE SUGAR INDUSTRY. THE REVOLUTION SUFFERED FROM MANY MORAL FAILINGS, BUT THE STANDS TAKEN BY THE JUNIOR DOLE AND JUDD [see paragraph above], AND A FEW OTHERS, ARE THE FIRST EXHIBIT THAT BENEFITING SUGAR WAS NOT ONE." (pg 214)
Kamehameha V passed age 40 and took progressively less care of himself. He gained weight to almost 400 pounds. On the morning of his 42nd birthday, December 11, 1872, on his deathbed, he knew he needed to name an heir and successor to the throne. His attorney general was there with him. His close friend John Owen Dominis (hisband of the future Queen Lili'uokalani) wrote down portions of what happened. The king sent for his lifelong friend Bernice Pauahi Bishop, and told her that he wanted her to be the next monarch. She twice refused, saying there are others, especially Lot's sister, Princess Ruth Ke'elikolani, who should have it by right. But Lot said she was unsuitable, perhaps because of her uncertain ancestry but also probably her combative style, defiant paganism, and contempt for foreigners. Pauahi still refused the throne, and the king died an hour later.
The constitution of 1864 which the king had proclaimed, required that when no royal successor had been named, the legislature must decide. William Lunalilo had high ranking genealogy and for that reason the Kamehamehas had sabotaged his romance with Kamamalu because if they had children those children would have outranked them all. Lunalilo then had sought to marry Lydia Kamaka'eha [Lili'uokalani], but she refused at the urging of the Kamehamehas. "William Lunalilo therefore gimped through adulthood as a lonely alcoholic bachelor, and was far gone in both drink and tuberculosis at the time the whole matter landed in the legislature." (pg 217)
Lunalilo announced he would accept the throne only on condition there would be a vote of the people to confirm it. The only opponent was Kalakaua. Lunalilo relied on his royal rank but also wanted the people to vote, and pledged to restore the more democratic constitution of 1852. Kalakaua ran an american-style campaign lobbying legislators for support, spreading stories about Lunalilo, and making far-fetched promises. Kalakaua got a committee of genealogists to say that Lunalilo's genealogy was less than perfect, but Lunalilo nevertheless remained popular. The popular vote was only a nonbinding referendum, because the legislature must decide. There were worries that there might be violence if Lunalilo won the popular election but Kalakaua were successful in getting the legislature to elect himself. So both the American and British consuls requested warships to protect their citizens, but only a U.S. warship arrived in time. The referendum overwhelmingly favored Lunalilo, whose supporters then thronged the grounds of the legislature. A supporter of Lunalilo succeeded in passing a otion that members sign their ballots, thus guarding against any skullduggery by Kalakaua. The vote was unanimous for Lunalilo, except for John Owen Dominis, Kalakaua's brother-in-law, who abstained. Lunalilo took the oath of office as king on January 8, 1873, but was a man broken by alcoholism and by bachelorhood [caused by disapproval by the Kamehameha descendants of his possible spouses for fear his children would outrank them].
The subject of a reciprocity treaty with the U.S. arose again. But it seemed unlikely because Southern Senators were once again reacquiring political power as post-civil-war reconstruction was ending. Henry Whitney, publisher of the Pacific Commercial Advertiser, had an idea. He suggested offering America a 50-year lease on the Pearl River basin in exchange for importing Hawaiian sugar duty-free.
Toward the end of his life Kamehameha V had planned to go to the U.S. for medical treatment. As a courtesy the U.S. sent a large new massively armed wooden steam frigate to transport him. The ship's admiral had orders to use the port call into a goodwill visit. Also aboard were Lt. Col. B.S. Alexander, Corps of Engineers, and Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield, commander of the Division of the Pacific. "What no one in the islands knew was that they were on a secret mission, 'for the purpose of ascertaining the defensive capabilities of the different ports and their commercial facilities, and ... to collect all information that would be of service to the country in the event of war with a powerful maritime nation.' So far from their interest in Pearl Harbor being coincidental, their orders also warned, 'It is believed the objects of this visit ... will be best accomplished if your visit is regarded as a pleasure excursion ...' " (pg 220) The Colonel of engineering could estimate how much blasting and dredging would be needed to service a fleet, where to put a coaling station, etc.
Henry Whitney, now publisher of the Hawaiian Gazette, explained that a lease would benefit the kingdom by postponing indefinitely all efforts by foreign powers to annex Hawaii, while also obtaining for Hawaii all the benefits claimed by the advocates of annexation "and will guarantee our national independence under our native rulers as long as the treaty may continue." [Book author Haley considers this concept absurd]. Lunalilo was persuaded to support the idea, but large and angry public demonstrations against it might have let Lunalilo know he had made a mistake.
The kingdom had no military other than household guards. But there was a mutiny. 14 loyal troops sided with the government; 40 rebels barricaded themselves in the barracks with a 6-pounder cannon seized from the palace yard. Haole families in the neighborhood fled; natives filled the streets cheering the rebels. Kalakaua came on the scene offering himself as mediator. In the end the rebels were discharged and barred from further service, and the whites were put in charge of the armory. But, author Haley says, it must have occurred to the whites that it was significant how quickly the natives had stormed to support the mutiny and thus how much resentment lay just beneath the surface.
Lunalilo followed his own instincts and the popular uprising and withdrew his support for the reciprocity concept of leasing Pearl Harbor in exchange for no U.S. tax on Hawaiian sugar. And he kept his promise to restore the right to vote for all men regardless of literacy or property.
Lunalilo was very ill and barely conscious when an election of the legislature was held on February 2, 1873; and he died from pneumonia the next day. The old legislature had not yet been dismissed, so the privy council had to decide which legislature would choose the new king. They chose the incoming legislature. "One matter of which Lunalilo made certain before he expired was not to be buried with the Kamehameha kings at Mauna 'Ala [Royal Mausoleum]. His bitterness at their refusing him their sister still burned. He was instead laid to rest in a small, stately Victorian mausoleum in the Kawaiaha'o churchyard, inscribed simply LUNALILO KA MO'I, 'Lunalilo the King.' " (pg 223)
In 1873 there was only one person still alive in Hawaii from the first company of missionaries who landed in 1820 -- Mrs. Lucy G. Thurston. She always maintained the New England lifestyle, and had just finished her book of memoirs of early Hawaii. She lived for six more years, and composed her own epitaph: "She hath done what she could." Author Haley says that could equally have memorialized all the missionaries.
[Emphasis added by Ken Conklin for the remaining text of Chapter 13] "IT WAS TRUE THAT THEY IMPOSED A FROWNING AND ALIEN MORALITY ON THE NATIVE CULTURE, BUT THEY HAD ALSO TAUGHT AND DOCTORED, PASTORED AND BEFRIENDED. IN THEIR OWN MINDS THEIR MOST IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION WAS TO GIVE THE HAWAIIANS A FAITH TO REPLACE KAPU AND SACRIFICE, BUT THEY ALSO GAVE THEM A WRITTEN LANGUAGE AND LITERACY RATE THAT WAS NOW THE HIGHEST IN THE WORLD. THEY GAVE THEM A HEAD START ON PRINCIPLES OF CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT TO WHICH THEY MUST HAVE COME LATER THAN SOONER ANYWAY. AND NOW SOME OF THEIR SONS -- DOLE, JUDD, WHITNEY -- MAINTAINED A LOOKOUT FOR THE INTEGRITY OF THE KINGDOM. BUT THERE WAS ANOTHER ELEMENT THAT WOULD WRECK IT ALL. THAT WAS THE SONS AND GRANDSONS WHO INCREASINGLY DOMINATED THE ISLANDS' ECONOMY. THEY WERE POSSESSED OF AN INFLEXIBLE CERTAINTY THAT THEIR MORAL RIGHT WAS ONLY AUGMENTED BY THEIR FINANCIAL MIGHT. THEY MISTOOK, HOWEVER, THEIR OWN GREED FOR THE SENSE OF PURPOSE THAT FIRED THE FIRST MISSIONARIES. NOW THERE WAS DAVID KALAKAUA, WHO WOULD MAKE SWEET DEALS WITH THEM IF THEY WOULD MAKE HIM KING. AND HE WOULD FIND THAT IN MAKING HIS EASILY-GIVEN PROMISES TO THE 'MISSIONARY BOYS,' HE WAS MAKING A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL."
CHAPTER 14: "TAFFY TRIUMPHANT"
This chapter opens with a discussion about the election fight between Emma and Kalakaua to see who would be monarch to succeed Lunalilo. Emma's genealogy was superior to any rival, although the fact that her grandfather was John Young and therefore she was 25% Caucasian disqualified her in the eyes of some natives. Once again Kalakaua, as he had done in the contest with Lunalilo, hired genealogists to publish a claim that his genealogy was superior to Emma's, and once again he staged an American-style campaign with some crookedness and subterfuge. Emma was beautiful; Kalakaua was overweight with the nickname "Taffy." They had been students together at the Royal school; she was only a few months older than he, but he always seemed to be behind her in their shared lessons; she spoke excellent English while he struggled with it. She had grown up in the genteel home of a Caucasian medical doctor while "he lived closer to the life where the chief took what he wanted -- until he saw his grandfather hanged for it." (pg 229) And in their election contest, at age 38, the comparison between them was still mostly the same. Kalakaua pandered to the Americans but he had also in his youth headed the Young Hawaiians whose motto was "Hawaii for the Hawaiians." There was a feeling that if elected Kalakaua would try to do a good job despite his faults; but that if Emma was elected she would favor the English.
Kalakaua paid his back-dues to the Masons and began attending meetings again. This time the election would be entirely in the legislature with vote of the people. It was a very short campaign -- Lunalilo had died on February 3 and the legislature met to chose his successor on February 12. "American political interests could not have come to dominate Hawai'i without first capturing the culture, and Kalakaua's lobbying in the legislature gives some vivid examples of how complete the transformation had become. One of Kalakaua's backers there was the hapa haole John Adams Kuakini Cummins, the 'Lord of Waimanalo,' who previous to casting his vote against Emma offered that 'I believe in beautiful women and fine horses, but no petticoat shall rule me.' " (pg 230)
The legislature met in Ali'iolani Hale. A large crowd of Emmaites gathered in front. Kalakaua got 39 votes; Emma got 6. Everyone realized that Kalakaua had won against the will of the people by ingratiating himself with the legislators. When Lunalilo had been elected by the legislature there had been a popular vote for him which Kalakaua had been unable to overcome by skullduggery; but this time there had been no popular vote. The result was announced. A delegation of 5 legislators left the building to take a carriage ride to inform the new king. But then the crowd roared and became an outraged mob which tore the carriage apart while the delegation ran back inside. Wheel spokes became clubs as the mob rushed into the building. Most of the 80 policemen present joined in with the mob and destroyed the legislative chambers. One legislator who was known as a supporter of Kalakaua was thrown out of a window and then killed where he landed. Foreign Minister Charles Reed Bishop, Governor Dominis, and Kalakaua requested the British and American consuls to land troops from their warships. About 75 came ashore from the sole British ship and about 150 from the two American ships. The Americans cleared Ali'iolani Hale and the square outside, while the British marched up to Emma's summer home and dispersed her supporters gathered there.
"It was the most violent rioting that Honolulu had ever seen. At one point Kalakaua sent a message to the queen dowager, asking her to request her partisans to disband, but she refused. The tension was slow to dissipate; that night was punctuated by breaking glass and gunshots. [Emphasis added by Ken Conklin to highlight author Haley's editorial] THAT KALAKAUA OPENED HIS REIGN BY PLACING HIMSELF IN FURTHER DEBT TO THE AMERICANS PLAYED A SUITABLE OVERTURE; THAT WAS A CENTRAL THEME OF HIS SEVENTEEN YEAR TENURE." (pg 232)
Kalakaua named his successors to the throne in this order: his younger brother William Pitt Leleiohoku II; his younger sister Lydia Kamaka'eha; their youngest sister Miriam Likelike. Explanation of how Kamaka'eha got that name and then the name Lili'uokalani. He then took a traditional trip around the islands, and composed words for the national anthem. The anthem praised Kamehameha as the guardian, which he hoped would make the Kamehameha descendants approve of him, even though he was not a descendant and most who were descendants "viewed him as something between a civil servant and ambitious grabber." (pg 233) Kalakaua was also reinventing Kamehameha less as conqueror and more as unifier, even though he had killed tens of thousands. Walter Murray Gibson, ex-Mormon, had by now rehabilitated himself and was a legislator. Gibson sparked a project to commission the famous statue of Kamehameha to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Captain Cook's arrival. Description of how the statue was made, how the ship carrying it sank, and a second one came to Ali'iolani Hale. Also how pictures on postage stamps spread advertisements for Hawaii around the world. Also how Kalakaua was interested in astronomy.
Kalakaua fulfilled a pledge to the sugar planters by traveling to America in 1874 to get a reciprocity treaty. He was the first reigning king from anywhere in the world to visit the U.S. He addressed a joint session of Congress and was guest of honor at a state dinner hosted by President Grant. By early 1875 the outlines became clear. Pearl Harbor would not be leased; but Hawaii would guarantee that no other nation would get a reciprocity treaty either. Hawaiian rice and sugar wound go into the U.S. duty free. The U.S. Senate approved it on March 18, 1875 and Kalakaua ratified it a month later. But some elements also needed approval from the House, which changed a few provisions, which had to go back to the Senate and then to the Hawaii legislature. By August it was all done.
The old wooden Iolani Palace was falling apart because of insects, and Kalakaua commissioned construction of a new one. He also decided to take a trip around the world, appointing Lili'uokalani as regent in his absence, and sailed on January 20, 1881. He went first to San Francisco and met with sugar refiners there. Then to Japan, arriving Yokohama March 4, and stayed in the Imperial Palace a week later, making an agreement for an increase in Japanese laborers. He visited the naval academy, an arsenal, civil engineering school, paper factory, printing office, and more. He proposed a marriage between Ka'iulani and a Japanese prince; but the Japanese disliked the idea of interracial marriage and politely said the prince was already betrothed.
Kalakaua was deeply in debt financially to the sugar planters, and there were rumors that one reason for his trip around the world was that he might try to sell Hawaii to some other country. This issue was taken very seriously by U.S. officials. President Garfield said a sale of Hawaii by Kalakaua would be a breach of the 1875 reciprocity treaty. Blaine sent messages to U.S. ambassadors in Europe to head off any attempt by Kalakaua to sell or mortgage Hawaii. Secretary of State Blaine told the French minister to the U.S. that Hawaii is of such importance to the U.S. that the U.S. would never allow any other nation to have control of Hawaii. Blaine said the same thing to the British minister Sir Edward Thornton, who passed it up the British foreign ministry, who sent Thornton's report to the British commissioner in Honolulu, James Wodehouse, who showed it to Emma, who was shocked; and showed it to Archibald Cleghorn, who showed it to his wife Likelike, who showed it to her husband John Dominis, who showed it to his wife Lili'uokalani. Two English-language newspapers in Honolulu had British editors, and Wodehouse was successful in getting them to feature the topic in their newspapers along with editorials criticizing the U.S. Wodehouse also wrote to a British naval squadron in British Columbia (Canada) asking them to send a warship to Honolulu. Wodehouse hoped he had driven a wedge between U.S. and Hawaii. But British Foreign Minister Earl Grantville in London was horrified at Wodehouse's meddling, and stopped what Wodehouse had started, reprimanding him.
In China Kalakaua visited Tientsin and Peking and got a big concession about Chinese labor which the sugar plantation owners would find extremely upsetting. The Chinese agreed to stop sending men to Hawaii without their wives, and also the right of Hawaii to restrict, return, or remove the large influx of Chinese to Hawaii just as the U.S. had that same right regarding Chinese laborers in the U.S. In Hong Kong Kalakaua learned about the smallpox outbreak in Honolulu and considered returning, but a letter from Dominis that the king answered from Singapore assured him the danger had been contained.
Kalakaua's single greatest expense was the manufacture of badges for the royal orders he was awarding to world leaders. But he said it was justified because european monarchs had all been doing the same thing, and he needed to keep up with them.
From Cairo Kalakaua wrote to Lili'uokalani, regarding 293 deaths of Hawaiians from smallpox, wondering whether prayer was to thank God for killing them or to thank God for sending them to heaven rather than to hell. Kalakaua said he had never believed in the power of prayer and therefore never allowed himself to be ruled by the church.
In Italy he met King Umberto I and Pope Leo XIII, and then toured other European capitols being greeted as a fellow monarch. He then traveled to the U.S. and back to Honolulu arriving on October 29.
Iolani Palace was close to completion, costing about as much as an entire annual budget of the nation. The electric lights and generator had doubled the cost of the building, but put the palace ahead of the White House. The palace was inaugurated on December 27, 1882 with a fancy banquet, followed by a coronation 6 weeks later on the 9th anniversary of Kalakaua's becoming king. The coronation festivities also included dedication of the Kamehameha statue at Ali'iolani Hale.
William N. Castle, son of missionary Samuel Castle, filed criminal obscenity charges against William Auld, an aide to Kalakaua, who had designed the program that accompanied the hula performance. "The judge had the court cleared as witnesses clarified the meanings of the verses in Hawaiian that were chanted in praise of certain body parts." Auld was convicted and fined. (pg 244)
The chapter ends with a brief description of Kalakaua's revival of hula and Mark Twain's 1866 appreciation of it.
CHAPTER 15: "A VOICE LIKE DISTANT THUNDER"
This short chapter (only 11 pages) is devoted to Princess Ruth Ke'elikolani, a very large (6 feet 440 pounds) woman who was said to have a voice like distant thunder.
Soon after Kalakaua was inaugurated as king, he reorganized the list of royal succession to place his own brother and sisters at the top, which eliminated the last two chiefly descendants of Kamehameha, Bernice Pauahi (Bishop) and Ruth Ke'elikolani, who were no longer "Royal Highnesses." Ruth got even with Kalakaua. In her will she had bequeathed her vast Kamehameha lands to her hanai son, whom Kalakaua named in the royal succession, William Pitt Leleihoku. But he died in 1877 at age 23. Ruth went to court and got back her lands. This left Kalakaua with very little land or money and the king was forced to "beg, borrow, and plead throughout his reign for money from sugar barons, leading to the disaster of the Bayonet Constitution in 1887. Usually only glossed over in books of Hawai'i history, Princess Rith actually provides an intriguing glimpse into the what-ifs, had the monarchy pursued a more native path to development." (pg 247)
People defiantly kept addressing Ruth in affectionate royalistic terms including "The Heavenly Reverence" and "My Leader" because of "her lifetime of championing the native culture in defiance of the country's inexorable transformation in to a Western exponent." (pg 247) By 1870 39 of 58 of the Calvinist churches were served by native ministers with only 1/4 of the native people belonging to them. Some belonged instead to Catholic, Anglican, Mormon, etc. denominations and many (including Kalakaua and Ruth) went back to older ways, drinking awa and maintaining collections of ancient artifacts.
Description of Ruth's distinguished po'olua genealogy, and series of highborn hanai parents; and her son who was educated at the Royal School but died at age 16 in an accident. Her second husband was Isaac Young Davis, grandson of the famous Isaac Davis; he and Ruth often had physical brawls and ended in divorce. Her face and demeanor and voice were fierce she was vehemently anti-Western, never converted to Christianity, eloquent in English but refused to speak it so Caucasians who wanted to talk with her had to bring an interpreter. Anti-American natives regarded her as their mentor, which embarrassed Kamehameha III who moatly excluded her from his activities but compensated by naming her as governor of Hawaii Island in 1855. she remained governor until Kalakaua became king and he dismissed her.
Description of how Ruth snookered American sugar baron Claus Spreckels out of $10,000 in a deal for "her" half of the crown lands (which belonged to the monarch and not to her); but Spreckels went to the government and got a 24,000 acre ahupua'a on Maui in return for giving up his bogus claim to the crown lands.
Story about Mauna Loa's eruption in November 1880. Many natives had never converted to Christianity, so when lava threatened Hilo in 1881, they asked Ruth, who was governor of their island and who also had never converted to Christianity, to make a sacrifice to Pele to stop the lava. There are many conflicting stories of exactly what Ruth did, but on August 9 the lava stopped.
When the new 'Iolani Palace was being built as ordered by Kalakaua, Ruth hired her own architect to build an equally splendid house for herself in Honolulu to deliberately outshine the palace; and she staged a luau for 1,000 people and an evening ball on February 9, 1882 perfectly timed to upstage Kalakaua's new palace. Ruth's engraved invitations included a generic crown and were entitled "Ka Mea Kiekie, Ka Alii Ruth Keelikolani; i.e., Her Royal Highness, the Chiefess Ruth Keelikolani. But Ruth preferred living in her grass house on her estate at Hulihe'e Palace in Kailua Kona, where she died at 9 AM on May 24, 1883, which was also Queen Victoria's birthday. She was entombed in the Kamehameha crypt at Mauna 'Ala, the Royal Mausoleum. Ruth bequeathed her entire estate to Bernice Pauahi for the purpose of keeping it intact in the Kamehameha family -- 353,000 acres equal to 10% of the entire country. Book author Haley concludes that although the Americans intent on cultural Westernization and grafting of Hawaii onto America had regarded her as a somewhat comical figure, the native commoners and chiefs regarded her as a protectress of island culture who guaranteed its preservation by keeping her vast land holdings in the Kamehameha family.
CHAPTER 16: "QUEEN AT LAST"
After Princess Ruth's death, Bernice Pauahi Bishop began living at Ruth's enormous house. Pauahi's health began declining. She went to San Francisco where a specialist diagnosed breast cancer. She returned to Honolulu and died on October 16, 1884. Pauahi's will left numerous lands to Lili'uokalani. She left nothing to Kalakaua, who had to finnce his lifestyle and the government on his own, placing him ever-deeper into debt to the sugar barons. Kalakaua asked his sister Lili'uokalani to give him some of her lands and she refused.
Queen Emma began to decline not long after Pauahi's death, and died April 24, 1885. For a month of mourning she lay in the house of her hanai father Dr. Rooke. But [Ken Conklin's emphsis added] AN INCIDENT OCCURRED, ALMOST STUNNING IN ITS BAD TASTE, THAT EXHIBITED THE REACH IF NOT THE IMPUDENCE OF AMERICAN ARROGANCE. ... her business manager, Alexander Cartwright, and several others spirited her remains away to Kawaiaha'o, the church of the American Congregationalists and the last place in the country Emma would have wished to lie." (pg 258) Their justification was that Rooke house wasn't large enough to handle the expected huge throngs of mourners, and the Anglican cathedral [St. Andrews] had only begun construction; but there was great indignation among the Emmaites and also Lili'uokalani.
Kalakaua was mostly agnostic in religion. But he acquired a strange religious figure as an advisor. Abraham Rosenberg claimed to be a rabbi and carried a Torah around. Maybe he was teaching Kalakaua about Jewish tradition and history during their many long nighttime hours together; but most observers suspected he was Kalakaua's soothsayer. Author Haley tries to explain why Kalakaua liked Rosenberg so much. Maybe his chanting reminded Kalakaua of Hawaiian chanting. Maybe Rosenberg added Talmudic interpretation to Old Testament stories with which Kalakaua was already familiar, making Rosenberg appear to have greater expertise than the missionaries whom Kalakaua detested. Maybe Kalakaua was impressed with linguistic similarities between Hebrew and Hawaiian that had impressed Opukaha'ia 70 years earlier. The newspapers poked fun at Rosenberg calling him "Holy Moses." He left without explanation.
Emma was a devout Christian, but even she did not completely abandon the old ways. Emma admitted in a letter to her cousin that after a period of fasting and praying that God would place her on the throne, a young lamb was sacrificed and Emma drank a glass of brandy with three drops of its gall and three drops of blood from its heart. The ritual had been prescribed by Ruth's kahuna and was sent by Ruth's servant.
Kalakaua was deep in debt to the sugar planters. He had gotten the reciprocity treaty they demanded, and the sugar industry had become huge. Hawaii exported 8800 tons in 1866, which increased dramatically to 130,000 tons in 1890. Some plantations covered 3,000 acres and employed 1,000 laborers. Wells and irrigation ditches changed the path of rivers and went through mountains.
Discussion of the Big Five, the mutual cooperation of the sugar planters, and how some companies went all the way back to the sandalwood trade. The American market was eager for all the sugar Hawaii could send, so the sugar companies cooperated rather than competed with each other, sharing irrigation ditches and mutually supporting political candidates and judges favorable to their needs. Subsistence agriculture and local villages vanished as natives increasingly worked for wages on plantations.
Chinese immigration greatly increased, and native women began marrying them instead of native men, producing hapa children. Nearly half the Chinese men stayed in Hawaii after their plantation contracts expired, moving to the city and using their hoarded wages to buy businesses that competed against both Hawaiians and Caucasians. By 1884 there were 18,254 Chinese in Hawaii comprising 1/4 of the entire population. Despite Kalakaua's efforts to stop unmarried Chinese men from coming, 94% of them were unmarried. Story of Sun Yat-sen who came to Maui to work for his uncle who had a 6,000 acre ranch was was known as the King of Maui. Story of Chun Afong, one of the first Chinese to arrive in 1849, who became Hawaii's first millionaire. Story of Tong Yee who made a fortune withhis own sugar plantation near Hilo, married a native chiefess, and had a daughter named Emma Aima who became a leader in the fight against annexation. ** Ken Conklin's note: Emma Aima became the second wife of Joseph Nawahi, a scholar, attorney, newspaper publisher, Minister of Foreign Affairs, had a long political history in the kingdom legislature, was one of the six who voted for Emma against Kalakaua, was imprisoned in 1895 for being a soldier in the Wilcox attempted counterrevolution, fought annexation. Emma Aima has descendants living today, including the sovereignty activist Meyer sisters (Manulani, Maile, and Meleana) who continue to fight annexation. See "Dr. Sun Yat-sen and his views about Hawaiian sovereignty" at
See also information about the central role of the Meyer sisters in "The Lili'uokalani Cult" at
and the academic work of Manulani Meyer in "Hawaiian Epistemology and Education" at
Chinese immigration was slowed by the Chinese government's concern over abuses to workers in the "coolie" trade, and by the Hawaii government's unhappiness with so many unmarried workers; so Hawaii looked for laborers from elsewhere. Workers from other Polynesian nations blended in with natives but were lazy; Portuguese were white and brought their families, but expected higher wages. Attention turned to Japanese, who preferred to bring over their picture-brides rather than marry native women.
Discussion of Kalakaua's deal with Spreckels to produce one million silver coins. Discussion of the bribery scandal involving granting of an opium license to Chinese man named Aki. Discussion of national celebration of Kalakaua's 50th birthday in November 1886 at both Kawaiaha'o Church (known as the chiefs' church) and Kaumakapili Church (known as the commoners' church). Discussion of Kalakaua's founding of the Hale Naua Society to promote "the ancient science of Hawaii" which the Pacific Commercial Advertiser newspaper said was to "revive and vitalize the customs and usages of the barbarous and savage past." The Society was also limited to people with native blood, which aroused suspicions.
"Reversion to heathen barbarity or preservation of indigenous culture was a matter of perspective" (pg 266) But the various scandals, and elevation of Walter Murray Gibson to Premier, pushed the pro-America group to action and they created a secret society of their own, the Hawaiian League, headed by Lorrin Andrews Thurston, grandson of missionaries Asa Thurston and Lorrin Andrews, and graduate of Punahou and Columbia University law school. They began meeting in January 1887, and soon had 400 members led by the Council of Thirteen whose names were never written down. One faction favored reforming the government or else creating a republic; the other faction favored annexation to the U.S. The annexationists narrowly lost, so some British and hapa haoles were also attracted to the Society. Nevertheless Thurston's strong personality attracted followers. The Honolulu Rifles, formed in 1884, became a militia for the Hawaiian League, drilling and marching in parades and available in to the government in emergencies. Canadian Volney Ashford became captain and drill instructor, leading the Rifles to victory in drilling competitions against other volunteer drill groups. On March 25 the Honolulu Rifles drilled before the king, privy council, legislators, and foreign diplomatic corps. They now had grown to two American companies and one Portuguese.
The Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria took place at Westminster Abbey on June 21, 1887. Hawaii sent a delegation headed by Queen Kapi'olani, with Crown Princess Lili'uokalani and her husband Governor Dominis, and the king's chamberlain Curtis Iaukea. On April 12 they sailed for San Francisco and then went by rail to Washington where President Grover Cleveland (first term) gave them a big reception. Lili'uokalani spoke excellent English, but Kapi'olani not so much. Kapi'olani also had not attended the Royal School and so was not aware of the niceties of royal protocol. Nevertheless Queen Victoria gave high precedence to Kapi'olani and Lili'uokalani. At the banquet King Albert of Saxony and a crown prince who later became Emperor Wilhelm II of Prussia objected to sitting next to the Hawaiians because they assumed them to be Negroes. But Victoria assigned the Prince of Wales to escort Kapi'olani and the Duke of Edinburgh to escort Lili'uokalani. ** Ken Conklin's note: Now follows a quote showing that author Haley is not afraid to do the politically incorrect thing by saying that Lili'uokalani told lies in her memoir and her book. "IN HER MEMOIRS LILI'U OMITTED THE ENTIRE INCIDENT -- NOT THE ONLY ARTFUL DISSIMULATION IN HER BOOK -- AND MAINTAINED SHE AND THE FUTURE KAISER WILLY WERE ENGAGED IN LIVELY DISCOURSE FOR THE DURATION" (pg 270) [note #21 cites "Hawaii's Story", 156-57; and the note continues as follows: "Giles St. Aubyn in 'Edward VII Prince and King' (New York: Atheneum, 1979), 249, allows that the future kaiser survived the meal, but was so 'furious' at being seated with what he took to be Africans that he quit the gathering early 'in a huff.' Loomis, 'For Whom are the Stars?',33 notes how purposeful Lili'uokalani's selective memory could be, citing the example of her claim of having no option but to sign the controversial lottery bill before the coup that deposed her." ** Conklin's note: Lili'uokalani had actually been the main instigator in pushing the lottery bill through the legislature to generate cash, along with the opium licensing bill and the distillery bill.
Discussion of the political crisis caused by several scandals all happening together. Premier Gibson sent a ridiculous floating embassy to the king of Samoa on a tramp steamer manned by just-released juvenile delinquents, proposing a federation between Hawaii and Samoa. The Samoan king agreed but then that prompted Germany to seize Samoa as a colony. The opium bribery depositions hit the newspapers at the same time. The scope and aims of the Hawaiian League also became public. The cabinet council met on May 23 and passed resolutions asking the attorney general and secretary of war to take steps to "secure the country." The newspapers reacted so ferociously that the council authorized the attorney general to prosecute th newspapers for defaming the king. Kalakaua asked the American government minister Merrill for advice. Merrill told Kalakaua that his poor financial management had caused overwhelming opposition to him and that he must change his cabinet [especially Gibson]. Kalakaua fired his cabinet at one o'clock in the morning.
The Hawaiian League went public and hosted a mass meeting in the Honolulu Rifles armory. Sanford Dole and Lorrin Thurston read a statement of 5 requirements they would demand of the king including removal of the present cabinet. Charles Bishop attended and read a letter from Kalakaua agreeing to the demands and naming as prime minister the #1 choice of the League -- he was English, which would deflect criticism that the coup was purely American. The Hawaiian League wanted a new constitution and Thurston began writing one. Volney Ashford and a squad of Honolulu Rifles arrested Prime Minister Gibson and were ready to hang him but Thurston stopped it; later Gibson was put on a ship for San Francisco. Thurston was now Minister of Interior in the new cabinet, edited the current 1864 constitution and got it ready for the new cabinet to present to Kalakaua on July 6, 1887. "Upon reading it Kalakaua discovered that he had not been dethroned but he had been defanged." (pg 271) Discussion of how Kalakaua's powers had been greatly reduced. Kalakaua's new attorney general Clarence Ashford, brother of the Honolulu Rifles colonel Volney Ashford, described how Kalakaua was sullen and silent as the new constitution was read to him. Kalakaua struggled with himself. But the rebel cabinet was inside the room and the rebel militia was outside, so the king signed it.
The reciprocity treaty was set to expire in 1883, but both sides extended it one year at a time. In 1885 there were rumors the Americans would demand lease or even ownership of Pearl Harbor as the price to renew it. In Fall 1887 Kalakaua was politically weak, and it was clear that Hawaii needed the treaty to continue. So Kalakaua gave in, and on November 29, 1887 the renewed reciprocity treaty was signed, which included an American lease on Pearl Harbor.
News of the worsening Hawaii political crisis reached Kapi'olani and Lili'uokalani in London "but the coup was only two days old and the new constitution four days from being signed, when the queen and crown princess left England on July 2." (pg 274) They were happy to hear about Gibson's downfall, but heard the full story when they landed in Honolulu on July 26. They found Kalakaua deeply depressed, and Lili'uokalani was upset at how his reign was in ruins. She also opposed the leasing of Pearl Harbor for 8 years to get reciprocity.
During Summer 1890 the Reform Party broke apart and fell. Kalakaua left for San Francisco to recover his health, but died on January 20, 1891. News did not reach Hawaii until the ship carrying Kalakaua's body actually arrived. Lili'uokalani was proclaimed ruling queen on January 29, 1891. Her husband died the following August, age 59. Her marriage had not been happy. Lili'uokalani had handsome young Hawaiians as lovers, and also enjoyed cigars.
After the funeral Lili'uokalani received the diplomatic corps. The American Minister "John L. Stevens was seventy, a Maine man and Unitarian Universalist preacher, with white hair, sunken cheeks, and hollow eyes, as much of his chinless face as possible hidden under a scraggly white beard. ... Stevens was a boor who less and less privately advocated U.S. annexation of the kingdom. Where other countries' representatives had expressed their condolences and wishes for a happy reign, Stevens, with one leg swung over a chair arm, lectured her on the boundaries of her constitutional authority. Of course he couched his pedantry in phrases such as, he was happy to believe that she understood her limitations, but it was hard to think that he would have spoken to his own servants much differently. Lili'uokalani was deeply offended." (pg 276) ** Ken Conklin's note: Author Haley provides no footnote or source for his very nasty characterization of Minister Stevens' words, posture, or demeanor. May we assume this is merely Haley's personal prejudice against Stevens?
The chapter finishes with a description of Lili'uokalani's opening of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum of Hawaiian antiquities and natural history. Charles Bishop established the museum as a memorial to her, and he worked hard on the details of its construction. He curated and improved the collection, living at Ruth's huge house where the things were stored. The museum also included Emma's cultural treasures. And Bishop got help from scientists regarding the natural history of the Pacific -- flowers, birds, fish. It rapidly expanded with new halls added in 1894, 1897, and later; becoming the Smithsonian of the Pacific. It also included a room to display the royal feather kahilis [the same room as today].
CHAPTER 17: "THE COUP"
The chapter begins by describing how Lili'uokalani had shown strong leadership and determination when she governed as princess regent while Kalakaua tok his trip around the world in 1881 (ten years before Kalakaua died) -- she had closed the ports to stop the spread of smallpox, shut off exports and blocked the influx of laborers. The Hawaiian-American business community had not liked these actions and regarded her as anti-business. "It was perhaps no accident that when they moved against Kalakaua with the Bayonet Constitution, they did it when she was out of the country. Now as queen, she did not wait for them to strike; she assembled her brother's haole cabinet and asked for their resignations" (pg 279) The cabinet refused to resign, citing the constitution which said cabinet ministers could only be dismissed on a vote of no-confidence by the legislature. But the queen said that surely a new sovereign at the start of her reign should be entitled to choose her own cabinet. She took her case to Albert F. Judd, the new chief justice of the Supreme Court, and she added her opinion that the holdover cabinet had performed in a way that was "hurtful to the standing of a good and wise government."
Charles Bishop, now living in San Francisco, heard about the controversy and sent unsolicited advice to the queen, that she should not force out the cabinet because they would take all the blame for bad things and get very little credit for good things. Bishop said the court would probably uphold the cabinet's right to remain, but they would resign anyway.
** Ken Conklin's comment: Book author Haley now presumes to imagine what thoughts went through the mind of Lili'uokalani, but he does not provide any evidence that these were her thoughts; rather, in my next three paragraphs of notes, Haley is expounding on his own theory about why she decided to stop fighting the holdover cabinet.
Haley points out that Kalakaua, her brother, had won the election against Emma partly by opposing the "petticoat rule" that would happen if a woman were monarch. Also during the years since then Hawaii had become more Westernized, so that the dictatorial style of Kamehameha V in throwing out the old constitution and proclaiming a new one would no longer be acceptable.
Haley adds that the issue of race had become much uglier than before. The missionaries in 1820 were relatively free of racism against the natives and would have felt the same need to instruct them in religion and civilized conduct even if the primitive natives had been living in newly discovered islands of Scandinavia (i.e., white skin). The missionaries had found the natives to be quick and intelligent and to have achieved the highest literacy rate in the world in less than a generation. But the second and third generation of haoles were different. "In their minds it was but a small step from saying that the Kalakaua government was corrupt to saying that dark races are not capable of enlightened self-government. ... the new queen, focused upon the recovery of meaningful royal power, had little notion of what a powerful obstacle she would face in simple racial prejudice." (pg 281)
Haley adds that the native population had continued its downward drift rapidly and inexorably. The census of 1890, for the first time, showed that immigrants and island-born non-natives (49,368) outnumbered the surviving native Hawaiians, including those of mixed-race (40.662). [Lengthy note #4 cites census date showing steady decline of natives from 58,765 in 1866 to 40,662 in 1890; expresses Haley's opinion that Kalakaua's efforts to restore native culture made them feel free to abandon Western doctors and return to native practitioners. Citation to Kent, "Charles Reed Bishop" quotes Bishop writing to Lili'uokalani shortly after her accession: "The decrease of Hawaiians ... is caused mainly by two things: intemperance, and the influence of Kahunas. ... The children are better cared for and are doing better than in times past, but the adults and old people are behaving badly."]
Haley then returns to describing historical facts about Robert William Wilcox' hapa haole background; and how Kalakaua took him on the ship going around the world and dropped him off in Italy for military training; the Hawaii government called him back due to lack of money to support him; he led an "ill-advised putsch against the Bayonet Constitution that cost seven lives and in which Kalakaua refused to get involved; when Lili'uokalani became queen Wilcox and John E, Bush sought government appointments from her and then when she refused they led lots of their party against her advocating a native republic less beholden to sugar, and they spread the rumor that she had taken her new half-Tahitian marshal of the kingdom Charles B, Wilson as a lover.
Haley adds that when she became queen the U.S., led by Senator William McKinley of Ohio, removed all tariffs on imported sugar but gave a two cent per pound bounty to domestic producers; thus McKinley and his allies wrecked the reciprocity treaty without breaking it, and "the Hawaiian sugar growers were looking over a precipice not too different from what Kalanikupule saw at the Battle of Nu'uanu Pali." (pgs 282-282)
Lili'uokalani very shrewdly manipulated the legislature into dismissing cabinets she wanted to get rid of and appoint new ones. The Hawaiian League responded by forming a new clandestine group whose name made clear its objectives: The Annexation Club. The 1892 legislature was highly contentious because of the gutted reciprocity treaty. Discussion of the lottery and opium bills intended to raise money for the government but opposed by Americans on moral grounds.
Lili'uokalani had grown up in the Royal School taught by missionaries. She had become a devoted Christian, with her own pew in Kawaiaha'o Church. But the missionaries were a cold, dour people, and their lifestyle conveyed that the enjoyment of life was sinful. They were morally opposed to lotteries and opium. "Nor did the Americans' hypocrisy escape her notice: They did not seem to mind working the Chinese to death, but they spun into a moral tizzy at the thought of opium." (pg 284) She wrote that lotteries were introduced into Hawaii by Christians from a Christian land where lotteries enabled them to build monuments, universities, and legislative buildings.
Discussion of how Kalakaua had never abandoned the occult, and Lili'uokalani now also continued that with Fraulein Wolf, a German medium and fortune-teller, who did card-reading with the queen in a way to persuade her in favor of a lottery company that had made money in Louisiana. Wolf told the queen which men to appoint to her next cabinet who would support a lottery. Wolf told the queen that if the lottery bill passed, the queen would personally gain $15,000 to $20,000 per year -- a bribe. The bill passed and she signed it.
** Ken Conklin's note: There were actually three bills which were passed by the legislature at the demand of the queen, that greatly disturbed the Christian community: Haley discussed the lottery bill and the opium bill (and Haley explained how the queen would receive an annual bribe from the results of the opium bill). But Haley never mentions the distillery bill which Lili'uokalani also pushed through the legislature for financial reasons, despite the fact that all the kings and many chiefs and commoners had suffered grievously from the debilitating effects of alcoholism.
Lorrin Thurston was on a business trip to the U.S. but also visited Washington on behalf of the Annexation Club to find out whether U.S. sentiment favored annexing Hawaii. He met with James Blount [Democrat], chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, who "thought Thurston was a seditious little troublemaker and gave him short shrift.." (pg 285) Thurston then met with [Republican] Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Tracy, and with Secretary of State James G. Blaine, who had recruited Minister Stevens for the Hawaii post. It would have "seemed too conspiratorial for President Benjamin Harrison to himself receive Thurston, but those two cabinet officers carried his case to the president and returned with an explicit statement of U.S. position: 'If conditions in Hawaii compel you to act as you have indicated, and you come to Washington with an annexation proposition, you will find an exceedingly sympathetic administration here.' " (pg 286; quote cites footnote #10 citing Thurston "Memoirs of the Hawaiian Revolution", 23-32).
** Ken Conklin's note: The remaining 14 pages of this chapter discuss details of the revolution that overthrew the monarchy, from January 12 to 17, 1893. Haley refers to it as a coup, not wanting to dignify it as a revolution. On the other hand, Haley never had a problem referring to the Bayonet Constitution of 1887 as a revolution.
On Thursday January 12, 2893, the queen engineered a no-confidence vote forcing her cabinet to resign, and she installed a new cabinet to govern until the legislature would return in the Spring. The legislature's work was done, and they ended the session on Saturday January 14.
The queen had been working behind closed doors on a new constitution. She had given it to Arthur Peterson a month earlier for suggestions and he gave it back to her with no comment. She now installed him as attorney general. During the session of the legislature just finished she had tried and failed to get the legislature to call a constitutional convention. So it was no secret she was working on a new constitution. The question was whether she would make it happen my the methods prescribed in the existing (bayonet) constitution, or whether she would follow Kamehameha V's precedent of proclaiming it unilaterally [but illegally!]. On Saturday she met with her new cabinet in the Blue Room of the palace, informing them she would proclaim her new constitution. "In it she would restore the vote to native Hawaiians ..." (pg 287) ** Ken Conklin's note: HALEY HAS JUST STATED A FALSEHOOD. THE VOTE WAS NEVER DENIED TO NATIVE HAWAIIANS. THE BAYONET CONSTITUTION, AND ALSO THE 1864 CONSTITUTION BEFORE IT THAT KAMEHAMEHA V UNILATERALLY PROCLAIMED, HAD LITERACY AND PROPERTY REQUIREMENTS WHICH HAD THE EFFECT OF STRIPPING LOWER-CLASS NATIVES AND NON-NATIVES OF THE RIGHT TO VOTE; BUT THERE WAS NEVER IN THE HISTORY OF HAWAII A CONSTITUTION OR LAW WHICH STRIPPED ALL NATIVE HAWAIIANS OF THE RIGHT TO VOTE. Haley also adds that the queen's proposed new constitution would restore to the queen her powers under the 1864 constitution to appoint all the members of the House of Nobles, and her acts as queen would no longer need the advice and consent of her cabinet.
"Her four American ministers, in office for two days, were staggered. Most gravely shocked was Peterson. Born in the islands ... previously served King Kalakaua as assistant attorney general and then attorney general toward the end of his reign ..." ** Ken Conklin's note: HALEY HAS JUST STATED A HALF-LIE. HE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT PETERSON WAS BORN IN HAWAII; THEREFORE HE WAS A SUBJECT OF THE KINGDOM BY BIRTH; AND ALTHOUGH HIS FATHER HAD COME FROM PLYMOUTH MASSACHUSETTS, PETERSON HIMSELF WAS A HAWAIIAN, NOT AN AMERICAN. HIS LOYALTY WAS TO HAWAII, AS SHOWN BY HIS PARTICIPATION IN HIGH GOVERNMENT OFFICES UNDER KALAKAUA. HALEY MAKES THE SAME FALSE INTERPRETATION OF MANY SOVEREIGNTY ACTIVISTS WHO LABEL ANY CHILD OF AN AMERICAN AS AN AMERICAN, EVEN THOUGH BORN AND RAISED IN HAWAII AND SERVING THE MONARCHS LOYALLY. HALEY CONTINUES: "[Peterson's former law partner, W.A. Kinney, now practiced in the office of William O. Smith -- whose partner was Lorrin Thurston." ** Ken Conklin's note: HALEY FAILS TO MENTION THAT KINNEY, SMITH, AND THURSTON WERE ALL BORN AND RAISED IN HAWAII AND SUBJECTS OF THE KINGDOM, DESPITE THEIR ANCESTRY FROM AMERICA. AN EVEN MORE SIGNIFICANT ERROR IS HALEY'S TREATING ALL THE QUEEN'S CABINET MEMBERS AS THOUGH THEY ARE PURELY CAUCASIAN BY RACE. Haley goes on to say that "Before her sucker-punched ministers could recover, the queen further informed them of her intention to announce the new Constitution after she dismissed the legislature, first to an assemblage in the throne room, and again to the people from the palace balcony. Bowing themselves away from this audience, Attorney General Peterson and Interior Minister, John F. Colburn, beat a hasty retreat from the palace. ... Whether it was an act of betraying the queen's plan (she later called it treason) or whether it was because they genuinely did not know where else to turn, they entered the law office of Lorrin Thurston." (pg 287) ** Ken Conklin's note: HALEY, IN HIS ZEAL TO BLAME AMERICANS FOR OVERTHROWING THE MONARCHY, CONTINUES TO GIVE THE IMPRESSION THAT ALL CABINET MINISTERS LACK HAWAIIAN BLOOD; HALEY FAILS TO MENTION THAT INTERIOR MINISTER JOHN F. COLBURN AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER SAMUEL PARKER WERE HAPA -- IN FACT, PARKER HAD 3/4 NATIVE BLOOD, THE SAME AS QUEEN EMMA. HALEY ALSO FAILS TO MENTION THAT PETERSON AND COLBURN, WHO HE SAYS MERELY "BEAT A HASTY RETREAT" FROM THE PALACE, ACTUALLY WERE FLEEING FOR THEIR LIVES -- CREDIBLE TESTIMONY UNDER OATH IN THE MORGAN REPORT SAYS THAT, BUT HALEY APPARENTLY CHOSE NEVER TO READ THE MORGAN REPORT BECAUSE IT'S NOT MENTIONED IN HIS BOOK AND CONTAINS SWORN TESTIMONY THAT WOULD BE INCONVENIENT TO HALEY'S NARRATIVE.
Haley continues his narrative, saying that Thurston had returned to Hawaii with assurances of American sympathy for annexation. So Thurston told Peterson and Colburn to oppose the queen but endure her fury for the moment. He told them not to resign because then she could replace them with others who would do her bidding, including signing on to her new constitution and making it appear legal.
As noon approached Lili'uokalani and her entourage made a procession from the palace across the street to the legislative chamber at Ali'iolani Hale, where members and dignitaries awaited the usual ceremony to end the legislature. "Most noticeable about the assemblage was the absence of its representatives of American ancestry, the core of the Reform Party. ... [As she entered] her view of the harbor was blocked by the neighboring music hall and she could not see the white, 3300-ton U.S. armored cruiser Boston slipping back through the narrows into Honolulu Harbor ... her two black eight-inch guns protruding from their blast shields, one on the bow and one on the stern, and the lesser five- and three-inch guns jutting like thorns down the length of her gun deck." (pg 288) OH MY GOD, HALEY, HOW MELODRAMATIC CAN YOU BE? AS YOU YOURSELF SAY, THE QUEEN'S VIEW WAS BLOCKED BY THE MUSIC BUILDING, SO SHE COULD NOT HAVE SEEN THE SHIP NOR BEEN INTIMIDATED BY IT. BUT YOU HAVE SET THE TONE WHERE WE CAN HEAR THE MUSIC PLAYING FROM THE MOVIE "JAWS" AS THE SHARKS APPROACH THE UNSUSPECTING PEOPLE IN THE BOAT.
Haley notes that the Boston had left Honolulu a few days before for gunnery practice and to take U.S. Minister Stevens on a visit to Hilo. Haley then repeats the allegation by royalists [in the Blount Report] that Stevens and Thurston had laid a trap to provoke the queen into action because they knew she would be likely to proclaim her new constitution when the Boston was not present; and that Stevens ordered the ship back to Honolulu as soon as he heard the rumor that the queen was about to act. [** Ken Conklin's comment: TESTIMONY IN THE MORGAN REPORT SAYS THAT STEVENS HEARD NO NEWS DURING THE TRIP THAT HE HAD NOT ALREADY BEEN AWARE OF WHEN THE TRIP STARTED, AND HE DID NOT KNOW WHAT THE QUEEN WAS DOING UNTIL THE SHIP WAS ANCHORED BACK IN HONOLULU AND SOMEONE TOLD HIM.]
Ship captain Wiltse decided he needed to stay aboard, but sent Lt. Lucien Young to observe the ceremonies in the legislature. Haley quotes Young as later writing about the ceremony in demeaning and racist terms; but Haley's book had no quotes around what Young allegedly wrote, and no citation to any writings by Young in any footnote or bibliography.
Among the queen's retinue at the ceremony was Supreme Court Justice Sanford Ballard Dole, looking very distinguished. "Observers always thought that he conveyed great dignity. It was Lorrin Thurston and others who had prosecuted the revolution of 1887 and forced the king to sign the Bayonet Constitution but it was Dole whose later approval made it seem solemn and acceptable." (pg 290) After the ceremony there was a receiving line. Lt. Young reported the queen received him coldly; but Haley notes it was probably her first indication that the Boston had returned. Haley says "She would naturally be sorry to see the ship back so quickly; any day that Minister Stevens was out of Honolulu was a good day." (pg 291) The queen and attendants crossed to the palace and into the throne room with its two thrones on a canopied dais, two tall kahilis, and a kapu stick "to create a sacred space" in deference to tradition despite Hawaii now being a Christian country.
Haley notes that the queen had had a successful session of the legislature, passing her opium and lottery bills to provide income for the government in the fact of the sugar tariff disaster (again Haley fails to mention the distillery bill) and that she had successfully manipulated the legislature to have the cabinets she wanted. Haley notes that Kuykendal wrote that if she had been satisfied with her accomplishments she might not have lost her throne. But she felt a need to take back power, and "Once again in Hawaiian history, royal overreach led to mayhem." (pg 292)
In the palace a procession of formally dressed natives entered the throne room. They were members of the Hui Kala'ia'ina [sic], a patriotic movement, and carried a fancy folio with the new constitution. The queen decided to have the cabinet also sign it. She summoned them to the Blue Room, but they made her wait for three hours while Thurston coached them; and then they arrived and refused to sign it. Lili'uokalani was furious. Later someone said she threatened to tell the crowd outside that it was he cabinet members who were refusing to sign it, bearing in mind how there was a riot after Emma lost to Kalakaua and a legislator had been thrown out of a window and then murdered by the crowd. Attorney General Peterson insisted the cabinet was loyal but the queen must not do this dangerous unconstitutional thing, because it would only give the annexationists the excuse for a revolution. She backed down. At 4 PM she went back to the throne room and told the people that she was ready to declare a new constitution but had met with obstacles, and could not now do so. She then climbed the staircase and stepped out onto the balcony and told the crowd that obstacles had arisen and they should go home with hope because in the next few days she would proclaim the new constitution.
Haley notes that Lorrin Thurston and members of the Annexation Club were in the crowd, and some could speak Hawaiian, but Haley correctly says the Hawaiian language is ambiguous. She had said "Ua keia mau la". Did she mean the next few days, or in a short time, or merely sometime? They decided not to take a chance, and went to William O. Smith's law office.
"Harking back to the French Revolution and the goodwill that might buy them from the United States, they formed a Committee of Safety ... which decided that the time had come to abolish the monarchy and establish a provisional government. They therefore set to work at what they did best -- drafting documents." (pg 294)
The next day [Sunday January 15] the Committee of Safety talked with Peterson and Colburn who didn't want to go that far; and some royalist leaders they checked with believed that the queen's pledge that she would wait should head off doing such a drastic thing. The word went around that there would be an antigovernment mass meeting on Monday January 16. Lili'uokalani sent an urgent message to Minister Stevens asking whether she could rely on American protection, but Stevens declines to give her that assurance. Some royalists advised the queen to declare martial law and arrest the conspirators, but she feared that would ignite fighting. So she simply called a competing mass meeting for Monday.
"On Monday afternoon, January 17" (pg 295) ** Ken Conklin's note: That's a typographical error -- should be Monday January 16] several hundred royalists gathered in Palace Square having been warned to be peaceful and give no excuse for intervention. "Wilcox and Bush, who were back in the queen's camp, addressed them, and read a statement that Lili'uokalani had issues, declaring that she would make no further attempt to change the constitution except by the means provided in the existing one." (pg 295)
That morning the Committee of Safety had sent a letter to Stevens pleading for intervention to protect American lives and property. Author Haley portrays them as realizing they were committing treason and asking Stevens whether he would protect them. Late in the afternoon three members of the Committee of Safety, including Thurston, went to Stevens' residence. Stevens assured them that it was the queen who had committed a revolutionary act and had placed herself beyond his protection. He told them "He would send for the marines when they asked for them, and once they had secured the public buildings, he would recognize their provisional government. Another messenger went out to the USS Boston to make sure of Captain Wiltse's position. And Captain Wiltse was not just aware of the ferment in Honolulu, he was alive to the much, much larger question of America acquiring an empire, and the role forecast for the U.S. Navy in such a venture." (pgs 295-296)
** Ken Conklin's comment: The Morgan Report has considerable testimony, under oath and cross examination, from ship's officers and enlisted men, and from Stevens and Blount, which establishes a different narrative of who said what, when, and where as events unfolded. Notice at the end of that quote that author Haley is setting up Captain Wiltse to be a knowing and highly motivated exponent of American imperialism -- see the next paragraph and what Haley concludes about Wiltse. It's almost as though Haley is setting up Wiltse instead of Stevens to be the bad guy of the Hawaiian revolution, as though Wiltse was a rogue military leader without whom the Hawaiian revolution would never have happened. Haley seems to be forgetting about the corruption and incompetence of the Kalakaua/Lili'uokalani regime, and Thurston, and the queen's cabinet, and the Committee of Safety, and the economics of sugar, etc. as he takes off in a wild flight of fancy focusing on Wiltse.
Author Haley spends most of two pages discussing the concept of "Manifest Destiny" and its belief in the superiority of democracy, laissez-faire capitalism, and the inevitability of America's westward expansion. With the continent now under American control all the way to California, the next step would be Hawaii. Discussion of Captain Alfred Mahan, President of the Naval War College, and his paper on American sea power. "Scholars have noted that what Uncle Tom's Cabin did for abolitionism half a century before, Mahan did in 1890 for imperialism ... And Hawaii, whose people had been grafted to that of the United States seventy years before, and whose economy had been grafted to that of the United States twenty years before, was now in the crosshairs to become the first asset of an American empire. Mahan considered himself a naval theoretician, not a historian, but in his historical writing he advanced the Hegelian 'Great Man' theory and noted the times when strong men of conviction, in the right places and times, had wrought great changes in the story of civilization. In this tiny corner of the globe, such a well-placed man was Captain Wiltse of the USS Boston." (pgs 296-297)
The queen's mass meeting at Palace Square, and the Committee of Safety's mass meeting at the armory, were both underway at the same time. Haley says Thurston's rhetoric was a dud, and the Committee of Safety sent word to Stevens that they were not yet ready; "But it was too late. Triumphant that his moment had finally come, Stevens had already sent for the marines." (pg 297)
By 5:30 in the afternoon the royalist meeting had already dispersed, and the queen had gone to her residence upstairs in the palace when a disturbance became audible outside. U.S. troops were landing on the wharf. Author Haley describes their guns and armaments. He describes how they formed up and marched through Palace Square [they actually marched along King Street between the palace and Ali'iolani Hale, but Haley has been consistently calling all that area "Palace Square" throughout the book.]
Haley describes that the troops saw the queen on the balcony and gave her a marching salute -- arms port, drooping of colors, and ruffles on the drums. He says they then separated into two small squadrons --one went to the American legation and the other turned up Nu'uanu toward Stevens' residence -- while the large remainder went to the opera house next to Ali'iolani Hale. ** Ken Conklin's comment: But anyone who knows the layout of that part of Honolulu will realize that Haley is leaving a lot out, and the troop movements he describes do not make sense logically. And his short description of the troops' movements leaves out very important details described in sworn testimony in the Morgan Report about the main body of troops heading out toward Wai'alae and then, not finding the bivouac they expected, coming back to spend the night not in the music building but at Arion Hall which was behind the music building, away from "Palace Square."
"Thurston worked feverishly all night on a declaration of causes and justification for the coup; others set about trying to find a president for the new junta." (pg 298) ** Ken Conklin's comment: Haley tries to sway readers' emotions by using the word coup instead of revolution, and junta instead of provisional government.
Thurston was not suitable to be president. The revolutionaries asked Dole, who resigned as Supreme Court justice and then accepted the presidency. "With the backing of the U.S. Marines and Honolulu Rifles, the junta took control of the public buildings which they found virtually deserted, and proclaimed the new government." (pg 298) A delegation from the "junta" called at the palace to request the queen's abdication; but she refused. She then remembered that twice before in kingdom history a junior officer of a foreign government had seized the country but the foreign power had given it back. So she excused herself and then returned saying an appropriate document was being prepared. She ceded her authority, but only provisionally, handing power not to the coup plotters but to the United States. "By alleging American collusion in surrendering power, she had in effect slammed the lid down on the cookie jar with the American hand still inside it." (pg 299) Haley says her household guard and volunteer rifle companies might have outnumbered the revolutionaries 2-to-1 [** doubtful] But she did not want bloodshed on her conscience. And with Marshal Wilson's assent, the annexationists disarmed 270 Royal Hawaiian troops.
** End notes by Ken Conklin, until the next chapter review begins
An important book disputes the narrative in James Haley's book and provides a very different narrative, especially on the topic of the revolution of 1893 that overthrew the monarchy. See
Thurston Twigg-Smith, "Hawaiian Sovereignty: Do the Facts Matter" now out of print but available in pdf format at
It's interesting that James Haley never mentions Twigg-Smith's book in his bibliography nor index nor any of this chapters or endnotes, despite the fact that it was published in 1998 and thus easily available for anyone claiming to study all sides of the controversies.
A shorter summary of a narrative at odds with Haley can be found in a 36-page amicus brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008 regarding the question whether the U.S. apology resolution prohibits the State of Hawaii from selling any portion of the lands Hawaii ceded to the U.S. at annexation, without permission from ethnic Hawaiians. The Hawaii Supreme Court had ruled unanimously that the answer was no, but the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously overruled it. The amicus brief can be downloaded from the America Bar Association website:
On the afternoon of January 17, 1893, the heavily armed militia of the revolutionary Provisional Government took control of the Government Building on King Street, and read a proclamation abrogating the monarchy. They took over the Treasury, all the other government buildings, and the Honolulu police station. They disarmed the Royal Guard. That same evening, January 17, Lili'uokalani sent a representative to the offices of the Provisional Government in the Government Building, carrying her letter of surrender, which included a protest against the presence of U.S. peacekeepers. Lili'uokalani did not deliver her surrender/protest to the U.S. "Shortly after dark [June 17], the Honorable W.H. Cornwell, minister of finance in the Queen's Cabinet, called at the Government Building to bring the Queen's written surrender, signed by the Queen and all the members of her Cabinet. This document contained a protest against the presence of American forces on shore ..." [from Sanford B. Dole's diary as quoted on page 252 of "S.B. Dole and His Hawaii" by Ethel M. Damon, 1957] Liliuokalani clearly felt it was important for her surrender letter to be delivered to the Provisional Government, because otherwise she feared that the Provisional Government would launch attacks against her. She knew she had nothing to fear from the 162 U.S. peacekeepers, which is why she didn't bother to deliver any surrender to them.
The 162 U.S. peacekeepers landed on January 16 to protect American lives and property, and to prevent rioting and arson, at a time when royalists and revolutionaries were holding competing mass meetings and it was clear a revolution would soon happen. The U.S. peacekeepers never patrolled the streets, never took over any buildings, never gave weapons or food or other assistance to the revolutionaries. They gradually returned to their ship during the ensuing several weeks; and however many remained were sent back to their ship on April 1 by order of the newly arrived U.S. Minister Blount. The U.S. never exercised any of the governing authority which Keanu Sai claims it was given by the "Lili'uokalani assignment." The U.S. never acknowledged or agreed to Lili'uokalani's alleged assignment of governing authority to it, and did not exercise any such authority.
On January 17, 1893 everyone already knew the results of the U.S. Presidential election of November 8, 1892. Incoming President Grover Cleveland (Democrat isolationist) was a personal friend of Liliuokalani, so she expected he would help her. That's why she claimed to be surrendering to the U.S. rather than to the Provisional Government that had actually won the revolution. Claiming to surrender to the U.S. was merely a shrewd political ploy by a savvy politician smart enough to know it's better to surrender to a far-away but powerful friend who will help to undo the surrender rather than to the closeup enemy who had actually defeated her.
A ruler can delegate powers or authority to anyone she wishes; but such a delegation of authority has no force or effect unless the recipient agrees to such delegation. The U.S. never made such an agreement. Furthermore, Lili'uokalani's monarchy had already been overthrown; whereupon she no longer had any governmental authority to delegate to anyone.
CHAPTER 18: "THE INSCRUTABLE MR. BLOUNT"
'Iolani palace began a transition from royal residence to government capitol. The House of Reprentatives would meet in the throne room; Senate in the blue room. Lili'uokalani took many of the royal souvenirs of her reign to her private home at Washington Place; other family members took royal keepsakes to Cleghorn's 'Ainahau, under construction for Ka'iulani to live in.
"At the new government headquarters [Ali'iolani Hale] Sanford Dole endorsed the queen's provisional cession of authority. He could have rejected it and insisted on an abdication, but it didn't occur to him that by accepting her wording, he was submitting the revolution to American approval and setting in motion another year's controversy." (pg 300)
** Ken Conklin's comment: Did President Dole actually sign the document? Did he merely "endorse" it meaning that he acknowledged receiving it? Haley seems to be saying that Dole agreed to what it said, meaning that he agreed that the U.S. would have the authority to reinstate Lili'uokalani as queen. Clearly that is not what Dole had in mind; but it is Haley's wishful thinking and Haley's attempt to spin the story so the reader will believe that Dole agreed to a U.S. binding arbitration of the revolution as though it was a dispute to be settled rather than an accomplished fact. Neither Kuykendall nor Daws reported anything other than the fact that Lili'uokalani's surrender/protest was delivered to the Provisional Government [but not to any U.S. representative].
"Whatever Minister Stevens's posture of good faith about doing his duty and protecting Anerican citizens and property, on February 1 he revealed his true bearing, and the object of his labors, in a letter to President Harrison's secretary of state, John W. Foster: "The Hawaiian Pear is now fully ripe and this is the golden hour for the United States to pluck it." (pg 301)
** Ken Conklin's comment: Stevens' letter does not establish that he was part of a conspiracy; only that two weeks after the revolution overthrew the queen, Stevens now realized that there is an opportunity to do an annexation. Some of today's sovereignty activists like to quote what Stevens said without mentioning that it came after the revolution, not before it.
The Provisional Government (Haley keeps calling it the "junta") sent five representatives to Washington, where the Harrison administration worked with them to write a treaty of annexation signed on February 14. But the timing was bad because the Harrison administration had only a couple weeks remaining, to be followed by President Grover Cleveland, who withdrew the treaty from the Senate shortly after taking office.
Haley notes that things might have turned out differently if the queen had abdicated in favor of her niece Ka'iulani [Victoria Cleghorn, daughter of Likelike]. Haley reports Ka'iulani's trip to Washington in March at the behest of her father as though there was a real possibility that Ka'iulani might still become queen [** Conklin's comment: but of course that's silly because the revolution was not reversible by anything the U.S. might do, short of an armed invasion.] She met with the new President Cleveland and others, trying to give the impression that she was pressing for Lili'uokalani's restoration and not for Ka'iulani's own ascension.
Haley once again raises the topic of Manifest Destiny, saying that many Americans, led by Captain Alfred Mahan, felt that the advance of America's westward expansion should not end at California but continue through the Pacific.
President Cleveland chose outgoing chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, James Blount, as his special emissary to go to Hawaii and investigate what had happened. Haley discusses the suspicious politics of the appointment, but describes Blount as a "dogged investigator." Haley says Secretary of State Gresham cabled Stevens, and Cleveland cabled Dole, that fact-finder Blount was being sent; but the full scope of Blount's authority was told only to the commander of U.S. naval forces in Honolulu, admiral John Skerrett.
** Ken Conklin's note: Haley refers to Blount's "authority." But in fact Blount had no authority at all. John Stevens, the holdover U.S. minister to Hawaii, was still the official U.S. minister. Cleveland was only in his first week in office, and had not yet submitted Blount's name to the Senate for confirmation. In fact, Blount's name was never submitted. Blount was merely Cleveland's personal representative. Cleveland called him Minister Plenipotentiary With Paramount Powers, so his perceived status would outrank Minister Stevens, whose official title, confirmed by the Senate years earlier, was Minister Plenipotentiary, which gave him the authority to act as though he was President -- even though he did not have the pretentious and absurd appellation of "Paramount Powers."
As Blount's ship passed through Honolulu harbor, "the first ship she passed was a sobering one: the Japanese armored cruiser Naniwa, dispatched to Hawaii at first news of the coup with sufficient marines to protect Japanese citizens. British-built to Japanese specifications and armed to the teeth, the 300-foot, 3700-ton Naniwa was the most powerful cruiser on earth at the time she entered service ... would be more than a match for the newer USS Boston ..." (pg 305-306)
A phone call from the Diamond Head lookout had alerted people in Honolulu that the U.S. ship was arriving. A group of monarchists, mostly native and waving Hawaiian flags; and a group of annexationists, mostly white and waving U.S. flags, were at the dock to welcome the U.S delegation who would hear the case for annexation. [** Haley admits the issue was annexation, not restoration of the monarchy] "The crown believed that the American commission to hear the case for annexation would consist of General Schofield, Admiral Brown, and an authority on international law, Justice Thomas M. Cooley of Michigan. Thus the consternation was general when the commission proved to be the single former congressman from Georgia, a 'commonplace, rather sullen-looking man of sixty, clad in ill-fitting clothes of blue homespun and a Panama hat' accompanied by his wife and secretary." (pg. 306) The Annexation Club had rented a fancy mansion with servants; and the ex-queen had sent her personal carriage to take him to his hotel; but Blount politely declined both in order to appear neutral. Blount called on President Dole and handed him a letter from President Cleveland, which said that Blount spoke for the U.S. and his authority was paramount.
"From his cottage at the Hawaiian Hotel, Blount began taking testimony from virtually all comers. By the third day he had heard enough to order Dole to lower the American flag and restore the Hawaiian." (pg 307) ** Ken Conklin's comment: Blount never took "testimony" -- his guests did not take an oath. More importantly, the Morgan report includes testimony that the Provisional Government had asked Minister Stevens to authorize raising the U.S. flag alongside the Hawaiian flag atop Ali'iolani Hale (the government building) and that both flags flew there together to assure Americans and Europeans that they would be protected against threats of violence and arson. So it was not a matter of lowering the U.S. flag and "restoring" the Hawaiian flag; rather, it was a case of simply lowering the U.S. flag and leaving the Hawaiian flag where it was already.
Numerous natives went to visit Blount at his hotel, including commoners who had lost their right to vote because of [literacy and property requirements in] the bayonet constitution of 1887, and they gave Blount a petition with 7,000 names protesting annexation.
"In his report Blount criticized Stevens' overhasty recognition of the Provisional Government and noted that the sailors and marines of the Boston had been positioned in the city not for the protection of American property but to support the ongoing coup. ... Stevens was recalled ... Secretary of State Gresham awarded his [Stevens'] credentials to Blount, making him both special commissioner with paramount powers, and minister as well. ... When the Blount Report was made public in July, its shock waves rattled all the interested parties. ..." (pg 309)
Blount's work was done and he returned home. Cleveland appointed Albert Willis to replace him. "President Cleveland was frank in his assessment that Minister Stevens had had no justification for offering American support for the coup, but his encouragement once offered made the United States responsible to a degree for the rebels' safety. Thus Willis asked whether she [Lili'uokalani] would grant amnesty to the Americans who staged the coup, in exchange for Cleveland's help, perhaps even intervention, in regaining her government. In a thoughtless moment the former queen, a Christian woman who could have saved her throne if she had taken some lives when she had the chance, finally bridled. The 'Americans' who seized the government were born in the islands, subjects of the crown, and 'American' only by ethnicity, or had become naturalized." [** Ken Conklin's comment: Haley finally admits these facts! But Haley has always referred to the revolutionaries as Americans, and continues to do so] "She would not grant such an amnesty. She mauy have said, or at least Willis came away believing that he heard her say, they should be beheaded. Whatever the exact exchange was, the story gained currency in the press that Lili'uokalani had vowed to take their heads as in the old days." (pgs 310-311)
** Ken Conklin's comment regarding beheading: The ex-queen having said she would behead the revolutionaries, got a lot of bad press. Haley quotes the Massachusetts Republican Party platform of 1894 including the campaign plank "No barbarous Queen beheading men in Hawaii." Haley spends a page trying to rescue her by raising doubts that she actually said that. Haley says that it's true Kamehameha did take heads of enemies for sacrifices on temple altars, but the heads were taken only when harvested from corpses after battle. Haley adds that the usual means of capital punishment in ancient times was strangling, and in recent times was hanging. It's peculiar that Haley tries to claim the ex-queen never said what she said, especially when Willis, who was on her side, and had been in the room with her and heard her say it, persisted that that was what she had said. It seems clear that Haley is trying to salvage Lili'uokalani's reputation and portray her opponents as circulating scurrilous lies about her, simply because Haley is on her side regarding the revolution. The ex-queen had said in her autobiography that she had never said she would behead the revolutionaries, and Haley tries hard by golly to back her up! But Haley is wrong about beheading as a cultural practice in the old days. Sheldon Dibble, "Manner of Inflicting Punishments", page 122 wrote: "Some of the criminals, more especially those whose crime was some violation of their religious tabus or prohibitions, were seized either secretly or openly by the officers of the priests, and dragged to the temples, where they were either stoned, or strangled, or beaten to death with clubs, and then laid on the sacrificial altar; their carcasses were left to putrefy, and their bones to bleach. The majority of all executions, were probably for some violation of the religious tabus; others were for incurring the displeasure of chiefs, and not a few in conformity with their usages of private revenge. [emphasis added by Ken Conklin] AFTER THE INTRODUCTION OF EDGE TOOLS, AND ESPECIALLY AXES, INTO THE ISLANDS, BEHEADING SECRETLY IN THE NIGHT, BECAME ANOTHER FORM OF EXECUTION. THE LAST INSTANCE OF THIS KIND, TOOK PLACE DURING THE REIGN OF LIHOLIHO, AND SOME TIME AFTER THE RESIDENCE OF MISSIONARIES ON THE ISLANDS. THE KING WAS JEALOUS OF A CERTAIN PERSON OF DISTINCTION, THAT HE HAD IMPROPER INTERCOURSE WITH ONE OF HIS WIVES. WITHOUT ANY TRIAL, OR ANY PUBLIC SENTENCE THE KING SENT AN EXECUTIONER IN THE NIGHT, WHO FOUND THE CRIMINAL ASLEEP, HIS WIFE LYING BY HIS SIDE. THE EXECUTIONER GENTLY REMOVED THE WOMAN'S HEAD ONE SIDE, AND THEN WITH A BROAD AXE SEVERED THE HEAD OF HER HUSBAND FROM HIS BODY. EXECUTIONS WERE ALWAYS ANCIENTLY IN THIS FORM, THAT IS, OF ASSASSINATION, AND PERFORMED IN THE MOST BARBAROUS AND RUDE MANNER."
Haley then explains that on December 18 Lili'uokalani backed down and indicated that an amnesty might be possible, but she was too late. President Cleveland sent a lengthy message to to Congress, accompanied by the Blount Report, claiming that without skullduggery by U.S. Minister Stevens and the troops from the USS Boston there never would have been an overthrow of the monarchy and a Provisional Government. Haley says that Cleveland's message disregarded the fact that Stevens' actions had carried out the policy of the administration of Benjamin Harrison, who had appointed Stevens.
Haley then finishes the chapter by describing how the Provisional Government, realizing that it would not achieve annexation during the next four years of the Grover Cleveland presidency, would need to write a constitution for a permanent Republic of Hawaii. For advice President Dole turned to John W. Burgess of Columbia University, widely acknowledged to be the father of political science in the U.S. Haley describes Burgess as an expert at creating a government structure which would appear democratic while keeping an undesirable majority of the population oppressed. What should be the rules for who could vote for delegates to the constitutional convention and for passage of the resulting document? They must be (a) Hawaii-born or naturalized citizens, and (b) pledge allegiance to the Provisional Government.
** Ken Conklin's comment: Both requirements are in place in the U.S. today, and there's nothing wrong with them. In Hawaii of 1894 the practical effect of requirement (a) was to eliminate nearly all Asians from voting. Haley simply says it would eliminate all Asians; but that ignores the fact that over a thousand Chinese and some Japanese has become naturalized citizens of the kingdom. Requirement (a) in today's U.S. has the effect of stopping millions of illegal aliens, mostly from Mexico, from voting; but it is not considered wrong. In Hawaii of 1894, the practical effect of requirement (b) was to stop a majority of natives from voting, because they supported restoring the monarchy and therefore refused to pledge allegiance to the government for which a constitution was being written. But again, that's the policy in the U.S. and is not considered anti-democratic. Every person registering to vote, and every candidate for public office and government employee, is expected to take an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States ..." Foreigners, or people hostile to the existing government, cannot vote or participate in it.
** End notes by Ken Conklin regarding this chapter:
U.S. Minister Albert Willis, and President Grover Cleveland, made major efforts in December 1893 to intimidate the Provisional Government and President Sanford Dole. Haley only briefly mentions the exchange of letters between Willis and Dole in a last-ditch effort to gat Dole to step down and restore the queen; and Haley does not mention at all the very heavy-handed gunboat diplomacy by the U.S. Navy which came to be known as "black week." Why does Haley downplay the exchange of letters, and not mention "black week" at all? Because these events prove that President Cleveland and Minister Willis were far more belligerent and interventionist in promoting the royalist cause than Minister Stevens ever had been in supporting the annexationists. These events also prove that the Provisional Government was strong enough to maintain law and order with no help at all from the U.S., and in the face of major threats from a hostile U.S.
Here is a letter dated December 19, 1893 from United States Minister Willis demanding that President Dole disband his government and restore the ex-queen to the throne. That demand letter, together with a preliminary note from President Dole demanding to know what was happening, can be found at:
Here is President Sanford Dole's letter of December 23, 1893 refusing the U.S. demands:
"On December 14, 1893, Albert Willis arrived in Honolulu aboard the USRC Corwin unannounced, bringing an anticipation of an American invasion to restore the monarchy. With the hysteria of a military assault, he stimulated fears by staging a mock invasion with the USS Adams and USS Philadelphia, directing their guns toward the capital. Willis' goal was to maintain fear of the United States to pressure the Provisional Government into forfeiting the island back to the queen or at least to maintain a US invasion as a possible reality, carrying out this to the limit of the Navy remaining officially neutral. He stated there were more than 1,000 men of military age in the city the Provisional Government was arming. Willis ordered Rear Admiral John Irwin to organize a landing operation using troops on the two American ships. He made no attempt to conceal preparations of the operation, as men readied equipment on deck. The next shipment of mail, news, and information was yet to arrive aboard the Alameda, so until then the public was uninformed of the relations between Hawaii and the U.S. Sanford B. Dole, President of Hawaii attempted to quell the anxiety by assuring the public there would be no invasion. On January 3, 1894 public anxiety became critical which gave the incident its name, the “Black Week”. As the anticipation of a conflict intensified in Honolulu Irwin became concerned for American citizens and property in the city, considering he may actually have to land troops to protect them if violence erupted in retaliation for the crisis. The Commanders of the Japanese HIJMS Naniwa and the British HMS Champion asked to join the landing operation, like Irwin, to protect lives and property of their respective nationalities. On January 11, 1894, Willis revealed to Dole the invasion to be a hoax."
See also: William M. Morgan Ph.D., PACIFIC GIBRALTAR including the following quotes from Chapter 9: "Unaware that is political bosses had thrown in the towel, Willis strove mightily to get the restoration policy back on track. The denouement -- popularly called Black Week -- began at dawn on December 14. The Corwin, with Gresham's revised instructions aboard, arrived flying the American flag, ... [end page 132, begin page 133] which caused a great crowd of Hawaiians to gather at the landing. Everyone expected a message to order Willis to restore the queen immediately, by force if necessary. ... While the legation staff decrypted the short cipher, thousands of people thronged the wharves hoping to see the Americans land. The captains of the British warship Champion, the Japanese cruiser Naniwa, and the USS Adams came aboard the Philadelphia to decide who would guard which portions of the city. Captain Evan Rooke of the Champion expected forcible restoration and promised one hundred British tars for patrol after he secured the British legation and the Anglican church, where Her Majesty's citizens might take refuge. Captain Barker readied the Philadelphia's landing parties' boats in the water beside the cruiser and guns and supplies stacked on deck. ..." (page 133)
"Sanford Dole called this tense situation 'warfare without the incidence of actual combat.' Willis intentionally prolonged the psychological offensive. He knew that only the threat of force might induce the provisional government to resign." (page 133)
CHAPTER 19: "COUNTERCOUP AND ANNEXATION"
Book author Haley mentions two well-known facts about the Constitution of the Republic of Hawaii -- it required voters to be able to read and write (either Hawaiian or English), and to own at least some real estate or have a minimum level of income; and it required voters to sign an oath not to support not to support a restoration of the monarchy. Haley also mentions two little-known facts about the Constitution and the Republic -- there were [at least] five native Hawaiians in the group of 37 delegates who wrote the Constitution; and the British and other major powers quickly recognized the new government. But Haley fails to provide detailed information on these points, or cite sources where readers can get the details.
** Note by Ken Conklin: Full text of the Constitution, and names of the delegates who wrote it, are available at
** Note by Ken Conklin: At least 20 nations on 4 continents formally recognized the Republic of Hawaii as the de jure (legitimate) government, as can be seen in letters personally signed by their Emperors, Kings, Queens, or Presidents in 11 languages. The letters are in the Hawaii archives. Photos of those letters and accompanying documents (most also have English translations) can be seen at
** Author Haley continues referring to the government of the Republic of Hawaii as "the junta" even though the Provisional Government now had morphed into the Republic of Hawaii with a Constitution written by an elected commission and with formal recognition by heads of state from around the world.
An attempted counterrevolution led by Robert Wilcox and Volney Ashford (formerly colonel in the Honolulu Rifles) was planned for January 7, 1895. But Republic leaders were tipped off on January 6, and a gunfight in Waikiki caused the death of Charles L. Carter, a leading annexationist.Some of the rebels ran into the hills but were captured within two weeks.
Lili'uokalani was arrested on January 16, and confined in a second-floor bedroom at the Palace, with a private bathroom and materials for quilting and music. Her private home at Washington Place was searched, revealing an arms cache buried in a flower bed -- thirty or more rifles with a thousand rounds of ammunition, coconut-shell bombs, swords, and sidearms." (pg 318) She was tried in a military tribunal and sentenced to five years at hard labor and a $5,000 fine. Prince "Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole got a one-year prison sentence and had his photo taken in prison stripes; 191 others were tried; Wilcox and four others were sentenced to death. Lili'uokalani finally abdicated in the hope that it would save the lives of the condemned. ... there was little stomach in the country for the harsh sentences, and all went free by the following January, except for the ex-queen. After eight months confinement in the palace, she was placed under house arrest at Washington Place for five months more, and confined to the island for another eight." (pg 319)
** Note by Ken Conklin: On January 24, 1895 ex-queen Liliuokalani signed a five-page letter of abdication and a one-page oath of loyalty to the Republic of Hawaii. All the documents were very strongly and decisively worded. Six witnesses including her personal attorney and her cabinet ministers signed a statement certifying that she had freely and voluntarily signed in their presence. Notary W.L. Stanley also notarized the documents. Knowing that at least 19 nations had already recognized the Republic of Hawaii, and that the attempted counter-revolution by Robert Wilcox had been crushed earlier in the month, Liliuokalani decisively ended any hope for the monarchy and pledged her loyalty to the Republic. Thus Liliuokalani herself formally recognized the Republic — her abdication and loyalty oath belong among the letters whereby heads of government around the world (including Liliuokalani for those who believed her position as head of state for the Kingdom of Hawaii was still viable) gave de jure recognition to the Republic as the rightful government of Hawaii. All the documents described in this paragraph are in the Hawaii archives, and photos of them are available at
In the U.S. election of November 1896, Republican William McKinley was elected President. Republic of Hawaii ambassador Lorrin Thurston and annexation commissioners William Kinney and Francis Hatch went to Washington and in June 1897 negotiated a Treaty of Annexation. Ratification would require a 2/3 vote -- 60 of the 90 Senators. Supporters counted 58 votes but were never able to get the 60 they needed.
Author Haley discusses the politics in the Senate, and mentions the Morgan Report for the only time in his book, but does not provide any mention of it in his bibliography, and no internet link (although he did mention the Blount Report numerous times in several chapters including a link to it). Haley bombastically says "... the Senate had discarded James Blount's hotly critical report and replaced it with a shameless whitewash of the coup authored by the new chairman of the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, John Tyler Morgan of Alabama, who was a perfect combination of racist and imperialist to meet the new republic's needs. The Morgan Report held the provisional government blameless in the coup and laid all the fault on the queen, without ever sailing to Hawai'i or interviewing a single witness who was not partial to the revolution." (pg 320)
** Comment by Ken Conklin: HALEY TELLS SEVERAL LIES IN THAT QUOTE. THE MORGAN REPORT DID NOT HOLD THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT BLAMELESS AND LAY ALL THE FAULT ON THE QUEEN -- RATHER IT SAID THAT AT THE TIME OF THE REVOLUTION THERE WAS AN INTERREGNUM; I.E., THERE WAS NO EFFECTIVE GOVERNMENT IN PLACE BECAUSE OF THE RECENT HISTORY OF CORRUPTION, CONSTANT TURNOVER OF CABINETS, LACK OF AN EFFECTIVE MILITARY IN THE FACE OF A STRONG NON-GOVERNMENTAL MILITIA, ETC. HALEY SAYS THE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE NEVER WENT TO HAWAII (TRUE) AND NEVER INTERVIEWED A SINGLE WITNESS WHO WAS NOT PARTIAL TO THE REVOLUTION. (FALSE!!) MINISTER BLOUNT HIMSELF, AUTHOR OF THE INFAMOUS BLOUNT REPORT HIGHLY FAVORABLE TO THE ROYALISTS, GAVE LENGTHY TESTIMONY IN PERSON BEFORE THE COMMITTEE, AND OTHER WITNESSES TESTIFIED UNDER OATH THAT BLOUNT HAD LIED IN THE BLOUNT REPORT ABOUT WHAT THEY HAD SAID TO BLOUNT IN HONOLULU). THE MOST LENGTHY AND DETAILED TESTIMONY BEFORE THE SENATE COMMITTEE WAS FROM W.D. ALEXANDER WHO HAD HELD HIGH POSITIONS IN THE KINGDOM GOVERNMENT. THERE WERE DEMOCRAT SENATORS ON THE COMMITTEE WHO OPPOSED ANNEXATION AND SEVERELY CROSS-EXAMINED PRO-ANNEXATION WITNESSES UNDER OATH, AS CAN BE SEEN IN THE 808-PAGE MORGAN REPORT AT
Once she was free to travel, Lili'uokalani went to Washington D.C. and stayed there 6 months, mortgaging Washington Place to raise money. "Unable to get a private audience with McKinley, the ex-queen, shortly before leaving for New York, crashed McKinley's weekly reception for the general public in the White House. After sending her card -- "Liliuokalani of Hawaii" -- upstairs, an usher showed her and her suite to a group of chairs in a corner of the East Room farthest from the waiting file of well-wishers and patronage seekers. The president appeared and greeted his way through the hundred or so waiting to bend his ear to their particular needs. Lili'uokalani rose as he approached, and she wrote that they chatted amiably for several minutes. Only Mrs. McKinley's illness, said the president, prevented him from inviting her up for a more private visit. In her mind one head of state paid an informal social call on another; McKinley was the one who needed to explain why he had agreed to steal her country." (pgs 320-321) ** Ken Conklin's comment: Haley clearly thinks Lili'uokalani was still reigning queen and should have been treated that way by McKinley. But in fact she was merely a private individual like any other "patronage seeker" -- indeed, she had less right to see the president than anyone else in line, because she was not even a citizen of the U.S. -- yet. Haley shows his true colors when he concludes "MCKINLEY WAS THE ONE WHO NEEDED TO EXPLAIN WHY HE HAD AGREED TO STEAL HER COUNTRY." Steal her country? What nonsense Haley! There was a revolution done entirely by local residents of Honolulu who belonged to a strong armed militia, while U.S. peacekeepers waited in barracks in case of rioting but were not needed. The victors bravely held on despite astonishing efforts by U.S. diplomats and Navy to intimidate them. There was clearly no theft of a nation.
In Honolulu news spread about the Treaty of Annexation, and Senator Morgan's plans to visit Honolulu in September. Haley describes the two native huis but once again, as previously, uses incorrect placement of 'okinas in the name of one of them, showing it's not a typographical error but evidence that Haley does not understand the basics of the language. He correctly names one group, the "Hui Aloha Aina" (but leaves out the 'okina that should come at the beginning of "'Aina") and then names the other one the Hui Kala'ia'ina." (It should be Hui Kalai'aina). Haley says the two groups called a mass meeting at Palace Square for September 6, 1897. But Haley does not mention that the Treaty of Annexation was on the agenda for the Senate of the Republic of Hawaii to ratify on September 9, 1897, which is why the protest meeting was called.
Discussion of the two huis and their collection of signatures on two petitions, one opposing annexation and one demanding restoration of Lili'uokalani as queen; and how the signatures were sought by leading anti-annexationist natives traveling throughout the islands. The leaders of the huis were surprised that the ex-queen had left Washington, and asked her to return, which she did. Meanwhile 4 native leaders of the huis took the 21,000 signatures on petitions opposing annexation to Washington.
Senator Pettigrew of South Dakota, an important Republican with an interest in indigenous cultures, invited the Hawaiians to attend the opening of the Senate session on December 6. Haley says Pettigrew, like a few other senators, was inclined to break with his party on matters of conscience -- "a sinful habit for which the South Dakota legislature booted him from the Senate two years later."
The four hui leaders met with Lili'uokalani at her hotel on December 7, 1897. They decided that the petition of the "Hui Kala'ia'ina" [sic] which called for restoration of the monarchy should be dropped, both because the U.S. was not generally favorable to monarchies and because that petition might see to be at odds with the other one opposing annexation.
On December 8 the four leaders met with Senator George Hoar, Republican of Massachusetts, at his home. He had supported annexation three years previously, based on the naval theories of Alfred Mahan. Hoar, age 71, was "a lion of conscience" in the Senate, and was in favor of giving voting rights to women, freed slaves, and American Indians. He was changing his mind about America becoming a colonial power, snatching other nations instead of spreading American ideals. The four leaders told the story of Minister Stevens' collusion with the "missionary boys"; the USS Boston and marines ... Hoar was familiar with the Blount Report and the subsequent "whitewash" of the Morgan Report; not it seemed to Hoar that Blount was right. Hoar told the Hawaiian delegation to entrust their petition to him, and to be in the Senate gallery the following day. Hoar took the floor on December 9 and read into the record what the petition said; and he had the document accepted for consideration with the proposed treaty.
Description of the heavy lobbying on both sides of the annexation question. Thurston's protest attempting to discredit the petitions, and his 83-page tract explaining why the annexation of Hawaii was important to the U.S.
** Ken Conklin's note: See full text of Thurston's 32-page protest alleging fraudulent signatures, duplicate signatures, alteration of ages of young children signers, etc. at
Senator Turpie, head of the Democrat caucus, submitted a proposal that the question of annexation must be put to a vote of the people of Hawaii; but Republicans defeated that.
"With time and argument, and 556 pages of petitions signed by Hawaii's highly literate native population -- more literate by a large percentage than Americans on the mainland -- support for the annexation treaty fell in the Senate from fifty-eight votes to forty-six, far fewer than the sixty needed for passage." (pg 330)
** Ken Conklin's note: A careful study of lobbying and publicly reported whip counts in the Senate in 1897 shows that the Hawaiian anti-annexation petition did not actually change the mind of any Senator. See Chapter 15 of William M. Morgan Ph.D., PACIFIC GIBRALTAR: U.S. - JAPANESE RIVALRY OVER THE ANNEXATION OF HAWAII, 1885-1898 (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2011). Detailed book review with lengthy quotes is at
Discussion of the U.S. battleship Maine blowing up in Havana Harbor killing 276 American sailors; on April 25 Congress issued an authorization for McKinley to use the Army and navy to force American will on Spain; how Spain's decline made its colonies ripe for taking; how the U.S. would need a mid-Pacific secure location to resupply coal to warships going to the Spanish Philippines. "With a two-thirds majority lacking in the Senate, the expansionists seized on a stratagem last employed when the United States annexed the Republic of Texas in 1845. The U.S. Constitution is not specific on how territory may be annexed; in 1845, when the treaty majority was lacking, Texas was annexed by joint resolution. which required only a simple majority of both houses. ... resolutions were reported out of the Senate and House on March 16 and May 17, respectively ... at the end sugar was not the reason for the overthrow of the monarchy. Most of the sugar planters actually opposed annexation, for the reason that bringing in the American exclusion law would put an end to importing more Chinese labor. Growing sugarcane on American soil would not, in their minds, adequately compensate them for the declining number of coolies. ... War with Spain was now underway ... The House approved the annexation resolution by 209 to 91 on June 15, and the Senate by 42 to 21 three weeks later." (pgs 330-331)
** Ken Conklin's note: The Spanish-American war raised public awareness of the importance of Hawaii, but was not a primary reason why Congress passed the resolution to accept Hawaii's offer to be annexed. See Morgan, PACIFIC GIBRALTAR cited above.
In the end Senator Hoar voted in favor of annexation. Haley spends several pages gnashing his teeth in perplexity trying to rationalize why Senator Hoar, whom Haley had called the "lion of conscience" in the Senate, voted for something Haley so strongly disapproves of. Could it be because annexation was the right thing for America and the right thing for Hawaii? Haley would never admit that!
Some reasons Haley attributes to Hoar in an exercise of mind-reading: The natives had 5 years to stage a counterrevolution to restore the queen but had shown they were very weak when they tried it; the natives were a dying race whose remnant wanted only to fish, eat tropical fruit, and be left alone; McKinley persuaded Hoar that it would be bad for America if Japan came to control Hawaii; Japanese laborers were now flooding into Hawaii ... "The Japanese minister in Washington, Toru Hoshi, secretly cabled Foreign Minister (soon to be Prime Minister) Shigenobu Okuma, 'strictly confidential ... I desire to submit to your consideration ... that taking advantage of the present strained relations between Japan and Hawaii a strong naval armament should be at once dispatched for the purpose of occupying the islands by force.' " (pg 334)
"The ignobility of the Hawaiian coup is a matter of history. It is also necessary, however, to look at the islands' subsequent annexation in light of those imperialist times ... [Kalakaua had preferred Japan over Hawaii, offering Ka'iulani in marriage to the Japanese crown prince] ... Japan's performance as an imperial power over the next half century, however, gives sufficient hint of what horrors Hawaii was spared at not becoming a Japanese protectorate." (pg 335)
As the annexation was working its way through Congress, back in Hawaii the government and pro-annexation group extended themselves in welcoming Amwrican soldiers and sailors en route to the Philippines. The Dole government offered 100 volunteers to fight in Cuba. Princess ka'iulani offered the grounds of her 'Ainahau estate for the recreation of American soldiers and sailors.
Lili'uokalani returned on August 2 and ten days later shuttered herself and family into Washington Place during the annexation ceremony at the palace.
** Ken Conklin end-note for this chapter: See this important webpage: Treaty of Annexation between the Republic of Hawaii and the United States of America (1898). Full text of the treaty, and of the resolutions whereby the Republic of Hawaii legislature and the U.S. Congress ratified it. The politics surrounding the treaty, then and now.
https://www.angelfire.com/big09a/TreatyOfAnnexationHawaiiUS.htmlSEE MORE WEBPAGES ABOUT HAWAIIAN SOVEREIGNTY ISSUES
CHAPTER 20: "ANGRY LU'AUS"
"With annexation in 1898 the capture of paradise was accomplished." (pg 337) Princess Ka'iulani died in 1899 at age 23. The presumptive heir to the throne became Prince David Kawananakoa, Kapi'olani's nephew, who had been betrothed to Ka'iulani. On January 6, 1902, Kawananakoa married Abigail Campbell, daughter of Kauihelani Campbell who had been a leader in assembling the Ku'e petitions opposing annexation.
At a Mardi Gras ball in Honolulu, Lili'uokalani announced "I may no longer be queen, but I have jewels fit for a queen" and then fitted Abigail Campbell with a diamond-studded girdle and pearl rope, and then she lifted the Hawaiian crown from a box and put it on Campbell's head. In the next three years Abigail produced daughter, son, daughter, while Kawananakoa helped create the Hawaii Democrat Party. When David died in 1908, son Edward David Kalakaua, age 4, became the heir presumptive.
Robert Wilcox won the first term as Hawaii's Territorial Delegate in Congress but his term was not productive.
Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanai'anaole [sic, misplaced 'okina] was brother of Edward, and became Territorial Delegate, having run for office as a Republican [and repudiating Wilcox' racist Home Rule Party, although book author Haley does not discuss this]. Kuhio died in his 10th term on January 7, 1922. His bill for Hawaii statehood, which was the first, was unsuccessful; but his Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920 bill was successful.
** Ken Conklin's note: Kuhio had a major falling out with Lili'uokalani. He demanded she should give him a very valuable property in Waikiki rather than donate it through her will to her Queen Lili'uokalani Childrens Trust. When she refused, he filed a lawsuit to have her declared mentally incompetent and to have himself declared her guardian. See "JONAH KUHIO KALANIANAOLE v. LILIUOKALANI, Supreme Court of Hawaii, 23 Haw. 457; 1916." at
Lorrin A. Thurston mellowed and bought the Pacific Commercial Advertiser newspaper. After World War 1 he backed legislation to restrict Japanese language schools, but the U.S. Supreme Court struck it down. He was a leader in establishing Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Jack London sailed to Hawaii in 1907 in his own 35-foot yacht with wife and small crew; he visited the leprosy colony on Moloka'i for two days including 4th of July with the residents; and authored an article "The Lepers of Molokai" which showed the colony in a more positive way and was praised by Thurston. But later London wrote "Koolau the Leper" describing in detail the horrors of the disease and terror of natives trying to escape capture; and Thurston publicly vilified him. While in Hawaii London stayed in a beach house in Waikiki, learned to surf, and wrote a magazine article about it which established Hawaii's identity as a surfing mecca.
Founding of Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe Club; and surfing club led by Duke Kahanamoku.
In 1907 London became friends with Prince David Kawananakoa; went fishing by torchlight.
Famous photo of Lili'uokalani seated with Sanford Dole and Territorial Governor Lucius Pinkham, with Henry Berger (40 years conductor of Royal Hawaiian band) standing behind them. Haley notes that "The legislature had voted her a pension of four thousand dollars per year and the income from a large sugar plantation that had belonged to her brother -- but she did not regard that as much compared to the losses for which she had repeatedly sued, without success." (pg 343)
** Ken Conklin's note: In 1909 Lili'uokalani filed a lawsuit against the United States seeking money for the ceding to the U.S. of "her" crown lands during the annexation. The court ruled in 1910 that the crown lands were never her personal property but under Kingdom law had been the property of the government with income used to support the head of government (the monarch). Full text of Lili'uokalani's complaint, and the court decision, plus accompanying exhibits including the Treaty of Annexation, can be seen at
"On their return visit to Hawai'i in 1915, Jack and Charmian London were presented to her [Lili'uokalani] at a New Year's Day party. Charmian was struck by the former queen's 'narrow black eyes [which] gave the impression of being implacably savage in their cold htred of everything American ... I offered her a dubious paw, which she touched gingerly, as if she would much prefer to slap it.' " (pgs 343-344)
On November 11, 1917 the ex-queen died. On December 20, 1928 Elizabeth La'anui Pratt died at age 94, great grandniece of Kamehameha The Great and last surviving graduate of the Royal School.
"Considering that Hawaiian annexation was far less about sugar than it was about denying a coaling station to a frightening new generation of Japanese battleships, the United States was quite slow to actually develop Pearl Harbor. ... The first attempt at a drydock was nearly completed when it spectacularly collapsed, and World War I had come and gone before it was fixed and finished." (pg 344)
Discussion of natives becoming "strangers in their own land." The Massie case (1931); prejudice against natives. "Race relationsin Hawai'i probably reached their lowest ebb ever as the kanakas realized what American justice would mean for them. Of equal significance, the scandal set the campaign for statehood back by decades -- not because of any perceived deficiency in the justice system, but because it caused members of Congress to question whether it was any benefit to the country to admit a state populated by violent, dark-skinned people." (pg 345-346)
Tourism bolstered by ocean liners and airlines.
Race relations in World War II affected by the fact that 1/4 of Hawaii's people were full or part Japanese. Their heroism was an essential ingredient in overcoming racial prejudice. In 1946 the U.S. supreme Court ruled that wartime martial law in Hawaii had been unconstitutional. Multiracial composition of Hawaii's U.S. Senators and Representatives.
Hawaiian renaissance. John Dominis Holt, hapa haole, book "On Being Hawaiian" plus a novel, short stories, history of the monarchy, and treatise on traditional featherwork. Haley says that Holt's disparaging of some ancient Hawaiian cultural practices and embracing of some cultural elements to blend with modern life caused trouble for him among the more radical elements of the Hawaiian cultural renaissance; but by the time he died in 1993 he was gaining acceptance in academia and the new cultural elite.
"... history itself often seems poorly understood by the angriest of [ethnic Hawaiian] partisans. In a time-transport back to those [ancient] days, a native Hawaiian would stand 99 chances in 1,000 that he or she would be a fisherman and taro digger, even more impoverished than now, and, subject to chiefly whim or sacrifice, tied to a tree and strangled. That does not excuse the overthrow, which was indefensible. But political appeals to Hawaii's history could use a reality check. There were no good old days. To the independence movement after the turn of the twenty-first century, the boot heel of oppression is increasingly seen in virtually every aspect of the American presence, no matter how much respect was intended." (pg 349)
Discussion of several examples of cultural renaissance and dissatisfaction. Waikiki War Memorial and Natatorium stands on [desecrates?] site of Papa'ena'ena heiau, where Kamehameha sacrificed the conquered chiefs of O'ahu after the battle of Nu'uanu Pali; and in honoring all Hawaii people who died in World War I, including native Hawaiians, the monument actually glorifies American domination and its architecture is inappropriate. Clinton apology resolution of 1993 on centenary of overthrow. 1993 Repatriation of bones of Henry Opukaha'ia reburied in cemetery of Kahikolu Church near Kealakekua Bay from whence he had escaped the butchery by Kamehameha's warriors two centuries previously. Restoration of 'Iolani Palace, including return of many objects that had been sold after the overthrow. Bombing stopped on Navy's target island Kaho'olawe in 1994 and island returned to control of Hawaii where it is designated as an environmental and cultural reserve.
Today's independence movement is angry and vigorous but disunited. Numerous groups at odds over policy and leadership. Nostalgia for the chiefly days is unfortunate. "Modern cultural sensitivity obscures an important fact: Hawaii never was a paradise." (pg 351)
Final text at end of book:
"Over generations as an American territory and then state, Hawaiians have often struggled to maintain the spirit of aloha -- the 'face of breath', from the ancient greeting of inclining close in greeting, and sharing the air. That is the most famous part of their culture, and mainlanders have come to expect that of them. But Hawaiians have another important concept: Ho'oponopono -- reconciling, the making right of a bad situation. In the ancient days there were ceremonies to achieve it, to cleanse the minds of anger or selfishness, and to come together earnestly and in good faith to rectify and satisfy. Hawai'i deserves to have it made right." (pg 352)
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