“Nothing resembling political parties developed in the Islands until the reign of King David Kalākaua in 1874. Over the next 20 years, prior to the overthrow of the kingdom, they existed as relatively unstable organizations with shifting memberships, and acted as rallying points for individuals and groups opposed to or in support of the monarchy.” (Pratt & Smith)
Some suggest from then, on, there was a ‘Missionary Party’ – suggesting it was made up of missionaries, and/or their descendants. That is not true; there was no formal ‘Missionary Party’ – in fact, in part, “(Native Hawaiians) sarcastically termed Americans ‘the Missionary Party.’” (LaFeber)
“By Missionary party is not meant that the members of it are missionaries, but that they are descendants of the early missionaries who went to the islands and because of the opportunities offered them became very rich. The descendants are not missionaries, but are mostly politicians and business men.” (Honolulu Republican, September 19, 1901)
“The Anglo-Saxon has made this country; he has not only improved his own condition, but he has that of the native as well … If the Anglo-Saxon has done all this, if he has so benefitted the native race, there should be some recognition of his services at the present he is ignored, the man who has done everything for this country is slighted and put aside; his wishes are systematically opposed.”
“An attempt has been made to try and call the Anglo-Saxon party, or better the commercial and agricultural party, the Missionary party, and papers abroad have been weak enough to be taken in by the claptrap.”
“There is no ‘missionary party’ any longer, that is a thing of the past: the opposition to the present administration, the opposition to the Palace party is composed of anything but so called ‘missionary’ elements, it is made up of the hard headed, hard handed pioneers of our national industries: …”
“… all that these men want is to have their due share in the direction of affairs; bearing the burden and heat of the fight they demand, and they have a right to demand that their views should receive careful attention.” (Hawaiian Gazette, August 23, 1882)
“The Anglo Saxon race have always been a pushing race and the Americans are the most pushing of all. When Americans get the treasury and the resulting power about a dozen of them could control the world. Why is it that those islands are ruled by the smallest minority that over controlled a nation?”
“We hear considerable about the ‘missionary party.’ Now there are two meanings to the term missionary. The first missionaries went there filled with a zeal and fire to save the people; they were the cream of the Earth.”
“But they took their families with them – and missionaries are usually blessed with large families and these young men born and brought up upon the islands soon gained the confidence of the natives gained riches and became more and more arrogant as the time wore on.”
“They sought power and the natives were soon deprived of their natural rights. We are apt to condemn the fathers for the sins of the children and to this day the term missionary party is tided as a reproach.”
“The children are very different from the noble band of Christian workers who came from Boston seventy or more years ago and are wealthy, powerful and arbitrary. The whole history of the political changes of the islands is the history of the progress of these sons and daughters of missionaries and the simple natives have been so influenced and over awed that today they are strangers in their own halls of legislation.” (The Independent, Match 26, 1897)
“It is admitted on all hands that the term ‘missionaries,’ so far as the word applies to Christian missionaries, is very far from applicable or appropriate … This name may not be literally applicable …” (Letter Opinion, Daily Bulletin, September 4, 1888)
“(There is a) political weapon of the vulgar and reactionary prejudice against what is popularly but improperly termed the ‘missionary party,’ this phase of the Government’s Polynesian policy will appear in its true light as the rankest hypocrisy.” (Daily Bulletin, January 22, 1886)
The Hawaiian Islands Mission Ended in 1863
Over the course of a little over 40-years (1820-1863 – the “Missionary Period”,) about 184-men and women in twelve Companies served in Hawaiʻi to carry out the mission of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) in the Hawaiian Islands.
At its General Meeting from June 3, 1863 to July 1, 1863, the Sandwich Islands Mission of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mission (ABCFM) met to discuss the future of the Mission. They formed the “Board of the Hawaiian Evangelical Association”.
“After twenty-one days of debate, the result was reached with perfect unanimity, and the Association agreed to assume the responsibility hitherto sustained by the Board. This measure was consummated by the Board in the autumn following, and those stations no longer look to the American churches for management and control.” (Missionary Papers, 1867)
In effect, “The mission has been, as such, disbanded and merged in the community.” (1863)
Control was passed to the Hawaiian Evangelical Association (which was formed in 1853); in 1959 it joined the United Church of Christ and later became known as the Hawai‘i Conference United Church of Christ.
Rufus Anderson, Foreign Secretary of the ABCFM, in his July 6, 1863 letter to Kamehameha IV notes, in part: “I may perhaps be permitted, in view of my peculiar relations to a very large body of the best friends and benefactors of this nation, not to leave without my most respectful aloha to both your Majesties.”
“The important steps lately taken in this direction are perhaps sufficiently indicated in the printed Address …. I am happy to inform your Majesty that the plan there indicated has since been adopted, and is now going into effect, — with the best influence, as I cannot doubt, upon the religious welfare of your people.”
“My visit to these Islands has impressed me, not only with the strength, but also with the beneficent and paternal character of your government. In no nation in Christendom is there greater security of person and property, or more of civil and religious liberty.”
“As to the progress of the nation in Christian civilization, I am persuaded, and shall confidently affirm on my return home, that the history of the Christian church and of nations affords nothing equal to it.”
“And now the Hawaiian Christian community is so far formed and matured, that the American Board ceases to act any longer as principal, and becomes an auxiliary,— merely affording grants in aid of the several departments of labor in building up the kingdom of Christ in these Islands, and also in the Islands of Micronesia.”
“Praying God to grant long life and prosperity to your Majesties, I am, with profound respect, Your Majesty’s obedient, humble servant, R. Anderson”
Elections and Formal Political Parties
The following list the subsequent elections, candidates and associated political parties.
- Election of Lunalilo (1873) – Lunalilo vs Kalākaua
- Election of Kalākaua (1874) – Kalākaua vs Queen Emma
- Election of 1884 –National (Hawaiian) vs Independent (Foreign)
- Election of 1886 –National (Government) vs Independent (Opposition)
- Special Election of 1887 – Government (Anti-Reform) vs Reform Party
- Election of 1890 –National Reform Party vs Reform Party
- Election of 1892 –National Reform Party, Reform Party, Liberal Party & Native Sons of Hawaii
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Please give citations for the quoted paragraphs so that the reader can look them up and read it in context!