Today’s ‘Timeline Tuesday’ takes us through the 1890s – Kapi‘olani Hospital is formed, Kalākaua dies, Overthrow, Annexation, Pali Road is completed and the first Beachboys organization is formed. We look at what was happening in Hawai‘i during this time period and what else was happening around the rest of the world.
The future seemed uncertain for Princess Kaʻiulani when she headed to the Island of Hawai‘i for the wedding of her friend Eva Parker. “They have taken away everything from us and it seems there is left but a little, and with that little our very life itself. We live now in such a semi retired way, that people wonder if we even exist any more. I wonder too, and to what purpose?” (Kelley) Then, the sad news, “Princess Ka‘iulani is dead.”
“Her young life went out at two o’clock this morning (March 6, 1899,) at her residence, Waikiki. The sad event had been feared for more than a month, and deemed hourly imminent for a week past. It was about four months ago that the Princess was first attacked with the illness that has cut her off in the springtime of life.” “(F)rom her cradle to the end of the monarchy, Princess Kaʻiulani was regarded as ‘the hope of the nation.’” “From her infancy she was known as the heir presumptive to the throne of Hawaii, and at the accession of Queen Lili‘uokalani was proclaimed as the Heir Apparent.”
Today’s ‘Timeline Tuesday’ takes us through the 1870s –first Kamehameha Day, Reciprocity Agreement, Lili‘uokalani writes Aloha ‘Oe and Iolani Palace is started. We look at what was happening in Hawai‘i during this time period and what else was happening around the rest of the world
John Leavitt Stevens, journalist, author and diplomat, was born in Mount Vernon, Maine, August 1, 1820. In 1870, Stevens accepted the position of United States Minister to Uruguay and Paraguay under President Grant. In June, 1889, Stevens was appointed Minister to the Hawaiian Islands, his title soon after being changed to Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary.
Stevens supported annexation by the US and in December 1893, he wrote ‘A Plea for Annexation’ in The North American Review where he concluded, “To say that we do not need the Hawaiian Islands as a security to our immense future interests is but the babble of children or of incompetent men.” President Cleveland, following his inauguration, withdrew and question of annexation. Stevens resigned and returned home. He died February 8, 1895 at his home in Augusta Maine.
On the afternoon of January 24, 1895, ex-Queen Lili‘uokalani had an official document to be presented to the Executive of the Republic of Hawai‘i. In part, it states, “After full and free consultation with my personal friends and with my legal advisors, both before and since my detention by military order in the Executive building, and acting in conformity with their advice, and also upon my own free volition … First. In order to avoid any possibility of doubt or misunderstanding, although I do not think that any doubt or misunderstanding is either proper or possible, I hereby do fully and unequivocally admit and declare that the Government of the Republic of Hawai‘i is the only lawful Government of the Hawaiian Islands … Second. For myself, my heirs and successors, I do hereby and without any mental reservation or modification, and fully, finally, unequivocally, irrevocably, and forever abdicate, renounce and release unto the Government of the Republic of Hawai‘i and the legitimate successors forever all claims or pretensions whatsoever to the late throne of Hawai‘i …””
When Lili‘uokalani went to trial two weeks after signing the abdication document and loyalty oath (February 8, 1895,) she told the tribunal, “Before the 24th of January, 1895, the day upon which I formally abdicated, and called upon my people to recognize the Republic of Hawai‘i as the only lawful government of these Islands, and to support that government … I was not intimidated into abdicating, but followed the counsel of able and generous friends and well-wishers …” However, 3 years later (1898,) Lili‘uokalani’s book, ‘Hawai‘i’s Story by Hawai‘i’s Queen,’ states, “The idea of abdicating never originated with me. … My persecutors have stated, and at that time compelled me to state, that this paper was signed and acknowledged by me after consultation with my friends whose names appear at the foot of it as witnesses. Not the least opportunity was given to me to confer with anyone”. However, consistent with Lili‘uokalani’s 1895 statements, Alfred Stedman Hartwell confirms that he was asked by Neumann, Parker and Wilson to secretly write the abdication statement and that Lili‘uokalani and her advisors had participated in the drafting and editing of it, noting, … “three separate drafts made with changes to meet suggestions they brought to me from her. No one else but Stanley, my confidential clerk, knew of this until she formally acknowledged the instrument before a notary, in the presence of Neumann, Parker, Irwin, Widemann, Iaukea and myself.” Hartwell suspects the claim that she was ‘deceived’ “was said for her by (Julius Parker), who helped Lili‘uokalani write her book.