(c) Copyright 2001 - 2003 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved

SUMMARY: July 31, 1843 was the day when a British admiral sailed into Honolulu with a proclamation from Queen Victoria restoring sovereignty to the King Kamehameha III, following a five-month-long rogue British occupation. The day was celebrated as a national holiday for several years thereafter. Since 1985 this holiday has been revived by Hawaiian sovereignty independence activists who symbolically lower the U.S. flag and raise the Hawaiian flag, demanding restoration of sovereignty independent from the United States. Today's independence activists say their movement is about a nation, not a race. They point out that the Kingdom of Hawai'i was multiracial. But in celebrating this holiday, they systematically exclude the hero of the day, a medical missionary with no native blood who served as the King's closest advisor. Rev. Dr. Gerrit Judd almost single-handedly saved the Kingdom's sovereignty in the days following the British takeover, by writing the successful appeal to the British government. He did so in secret, at risk of his life, by candlelight at night in the Royal mausoleum, at a time when the King was suffering alcoholic depression. When Admiral Thomas sailed into Honolulu Harbor, Dr. Judd marched side by side with the King, leading a huge procession to Kawaiaha'o Church. There Dr. Judd stood beside the King on the chuirch steps and read the English-language petition to the crowd in fluent Hawaiian. Only then did the King give his famous one-line reply: "Ua mau ke ea o ka 'aina i ka pono" which is now the official state motto, officially translated as "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness." By removing non-natives from the pantheon of heroes of the Hawaiian Kingdom, today's sovereignty independence activists show their political movement is really about a race and not a nation. They seek independence for a nation of Hawai'i in which all races would be included, but everyone lacking native blood would be second-class citizens with severely restricted voting rights and property rights



July 31, 1843 was the day when King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III uttered his famous statement from the steps of Kawaiaha'o Church: "Ua mau ke ea o ka 'aina i ka pono." (Sovereignty has been preserved because it is righteous). For several years this date was actively celebrated as a national holiday: Ka La Ho'iho'i Ea (Sovereignty Restoration Day). Today's sovereignty activists like to say it was a national holiday for all the remaining years of the Kingdom. However, a book friendly to the activists' general viewpoint says otherwise. Helena G. Allen, "The Betrayal of Liliuokalani" (Glendale CA, Arthur H. Clark Co., 1982), p. 61, says the following:

"In the afternoon Kamehameha III went in a solemn procession with his chiefs to Kawaiahao Church ...A ten-day celebration of Restoration Day followed, and was annually observed. The last of the Restoration Day celebrations came in 1847. The missionary element in the government were thereafter to declare the celebrations 'too expensive.' ... A thousand special riders, five abreast ... were followed by 2500 regular horsemen ... arrived at the Nuuanu picnic ground in a pouring rain, with spirits undampened. ... It was to be the last of such Hawaiian festivities ..."

In recent years Hawaiian sovereignty activists for independence, led by Dr. Kekuni Blaisdell, have revived a celebration of this day at Thomas Square, usually on the Sunday closest to the actual date. In 2001, the commemoration was Sunday, July 29. But the activists called it Kanaka Maoli Restoration Day, violating both the literal meaning and the spirit of "Ka La Ho'iho'i Ea." Why must it be racial?

Today's Hawaiian sovereignty ethnic nationalists conveniently forget the heroic role of Rev. Dr. Gerrit Judd in restoring the sovereignty of the Kingdom. If Gerrit Judd had not taken strong action, the Kingdom would almost certainly have been lost in 1843. The independence activists say sovereignty is about nationhood and not race. But if that is true, then Gerrit Judd should be remembered on this day as a great hero of the Hawaiian people (nation, not race).

At the commemoration in 2001, two sovereignty groups set up separate activities at Thomas Square. The larger group, under the direction of Dr. Kekuni Blaisdell, held some ceremonies and hosted a number of speeches; but the name of Gerrit Judd was mentioned only by one speaker, and only in passing. The smaller group of about 5 people sent a speaker to the larger group who stated, among other things, that the restored nation welcomes all people to citizenship; but the multitude of banners associated with his citizen registration area referred only to kanaka maoli, "your ancestors," etc. and it would be extremely surprising if more than a token membership of non-kanaka maoli exists or would be tolerated.

When Lord Paulet forced the King to cede sovereignty to Britain, the King, suffering personal problems and a deep depression, was unable to take action. Dr. Judd, close friend of the King who held many cabinet positions over the years, wrote the appeal to the British government that persuaded Britain to send Admiral Thomas to Honolulu to restore sovereignty. Dr. Judd, risking his life, worked secretly at night by candlelight in the Royal Mausoleum (which was then on the grounds of 'Iolani Palace), using the coffin of Queen Ka'ahumanu as his writing desk. He persuaded the King to sign the document, and recruited an American merchant to take it to Europe. When Admiral Thomas later arrived in Honolulu with the proclamation restoring sovereignty, it was Gerrit Judd who stood side by side with the King on the steps of Kawaiaha'o Church. Dr. Judd, fluent in Hawaiian, took the English-language proclamation and read it loudly in Hawaiian, whereupon the King made his famous one-sentence reply.

Let us remember that the Kingdom of Hawai'i was multiracial, multiethnic, with full partnership, full voting rights, and full property rights; for non-natives who were either naturalized or born in the Kingdom. (See https://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/HanifinCitizen.html ) Thousands of their descendants still live here today. Let us remember that there were many patriotic non-native subjects of the Kingdom, such as Dr. Judd. Let us respect the equality and unity of all Hawai'i's people today. Please see

Today's Hawaiian sovereignty independence activists are seeking to "restore" an independent nation of Hawai'i where the only people with full and equal voting rights and property rights would be kanaka maoli (people with at least one drop of native Hawaiian blood). 80% of Hawai'i's people would become second-class citizens. See

The argument is that "indigenous" people deserve special rights (see
https://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/indigenous.html ) and that the Kingdom should be restored to the "Hawaiian people" from whom it was "stolen." (see
https://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/hanifinreparations.html ) These sovereignty activists forget kanaka maoli were already a minority of the population before the overthrow (by the first U.S. Census in 1900 only 26% had any Hawaiian blood). They forget that many non-natives had full voting rights and property rights in the Kingdom; all persons naturalized, or born in the Kingdom, regardless of ancestry, were fully equal with natives. Many non-natives were elected or appointed to the legislature; and most high government positions were held by non-natives appointed by the sovereign monarchs. Non-natives were full partners in the Kingdom. The sovereign Kings and chiefs exercised self-determination in making the choices they thought best, welcoming newcomers to become full partners. Today's activists who seek racial supremacy for kanaka maoli are disrespecting their ancestors' choices. See

Ethnic cleansing is no more acceptable when applied to history than when applied to the population of Bosnia. The kings gave non-Hawaiians full partnership in order to encourage them to come to Hawai'i, stay here permanently, and make major investments of capital, expertise, and labor. It would be wrong for today's people of native ancestry to exclude non-Hawaiians from full equality in the nation, just as it would be impossible for them to remove the non-native blood from their veins.

Here is a quote about Gerrit Judd from the Hawaiian history book by Gavan Daws, titled "Shoal of Time", p128

"Of all the white men in the Hawaiian government no one did more for the chiefs than Gerrit Judd. In formal procession at Honolulu he always marched closest to the king, and no matter how much this upset the other cabinet ministers the chiefs never begrudged him his place of honor. He had their unreserved confidence. He spoke their language fluently, looked after them when they were ill, translated state papers for them, and defended with all his considerable strength the right of the Hawaiian kingdom to be recognized as a sovereign nation."

In 2003 the University of Hawai'i Press re-published a medical book on human anatomy written in Hawaiian language by Dr. Gerrit P. Judd that was originally published in 1838. The book review in the Honolulu Advertiser of July 6, 2003 described Judd's intimate knowledge of Hawaiian language and his love for the Hawaiian people.


"Anatomia 1838," by G. P. Judd, translated by Esther T Mookini; University of Hawai'i Press, hardback, $26

By Wanda Adams
Advertiser Book Editor

This project of the Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence may seem remote and esoteric — a back-to-back translation and reproduction of Dr. Gerret P. Judd's book of anatomy, the first in the Hawaiian language.

But there is much both of value and of interest in the book, which illustrates how fluent Judd had become in his adopted language, such that he could make effective use of idiom and employ a plain and yet somehow elegant tone that is very Hawaiian.

He teaches through gentle questions and examples: "If a man was made without bones, such as a sea cucumber, loli, then how could he possibly stand up?"

The late O. A. Bushnell's introduction invites the reader to imagine the difficulties involved in this project for Judd and the Hawaiian students who helped him create the engravings for the book.

The book itself seems infused with the love of the man whose tombstone reads, "Hawai'i's Friend."

*** Ka La Ho'iho'i Ea (Sovereignty Restoration Day) is not the only Kingdom holiday which has been revived by today's Hawaiian sovereignty activists. Other Kingdon holidays have been revived AND HAVE BEEN SUBJECTED TO ETHNIC CLEANSING just like this one. For a wider exploration of this topic, see: HAPPY HOLIDAYS -- NOT SO HAPPY ANYMORE! ETHNIC CLEANSING OF HAWAIIAN HISTORY at:


Email: ken_conklin@yahoo.com