Liliʻuokalani (Hawaiian pronunciation: liliˌʔuokəˈlɐni; September 2, 1838 - November 11, 1917), born Lydia Liliʻu Loloku Walania Wewehi Kamakaʻeha, was the last monarch and only queen regnant of the Kingdom of Hawaii. She was also known as Lydia Kamakaʻeha Pākī, with the chosen royal name of Liliʻuokalani, and her married name was Lydia K. Dominis.
1 Early life,
3 Crown Princess,
5 Overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom,
8 In popular culture,
11 See also,
12 Footnotes and citations,
14 External links,
Liliʻuokalani was born on September 2, 1838 to the High Chieftess Analea Keohokālole and High Chief Caesar Kaluaiku Kapaʻakea. In accordance with the Hawaiian tradition of hānai, she was adopted at birth by Abner Pākī and his wife Laura Kōnia. Liliʻuokalani's childhood years were spent studying and playing with her foster sister Bernice Pauahi, the Pākīs' natural daughter.
The Premier Elizabeth Kīnaʻu had developed an eye infection at the time of Liliʻu's birth. She gave her the names Liliʻu (smarting), Loloku (tearful), Walania (a burning pain), and Kamakaʻeha (sore eyes). Liliʻu's brother changed it when he named her Crown Princess, calling her Liliʻuokalani, "the smarting of the royal ones".
Liliʻuokalani received her education at the Chiefs' Children's School (later known as the Royal School), and became fluent in English. She attended the school with her two older brothers James Kaliokalani and David Kalākaua. Liliʻuokalani was one of 15 children.
On September 16, 1862, Liliʻuokalani married John Owen Dominis, who became Governor of Oʻahu and Maui. Her marriage to Dominis was an unhappy match. He was unfaithful to her and had many affairs, a fact that family friend and royal physician Georges Phillipe Trousseau tried to hide from her, but in 1882 Dr. Trousseau had to inform her that one of her household retainers was pregnant with her husband's son. Liliʻuokalani first reaction was to attempt to claim the child as her own, and making him in line to the throne, to spare her husband the embarrassment. She understood this was illegal and would undermine the integrity of the monarchy, but she wanted to protect her husband.
Although Liliʻuokalani's named successor was her niece Princess Kaʻiulani (1875-99), Kaʻiulani predeceased her. Liliʻuokalani had three hānai children: Lydia Kaʻonohiponiponiokalani Aholo; Kaiponohea ʻAeʻa, the son of a retainer; and John Aimoku Dominis, her husband's illegitimate son.
In 1874, Lunalilo, who was elected to succeed Kamehameha V to the Hawaiian throne, died and left no heir to succeed to the throne. In the election that followed, Liliʻu's brother, David Kalākaua, ran against Emma, the widowed Queen of Kamehameha IV. Liliʻuokalani sided with her family on the issue and when her brother was declared king, bitterness developed between Emma and the Kalākaua family.
Upon his accession, Kalākaua gave royal titles and styles to his surviving siblings, his sisters, Princess Liliʻu and Princess Likelike, and his brother William Pitt Leleiohoku, making him Crown Prince and heir to the Hawaiian throne as Kalākaua had no children of his own. Leleiohoku died in 1877, leaving no one to succeed him. Hawaiʻi did not follow European monarchies in setting a line of succession; heirs had to be lawfully begotten or chosen and approved by the legislature. Leleiohoku's hānai mother Princess Ruth Keʻelikōlani demanded that she be named heir as successor to her son's right, but Kalākaua wanted to keep the throne within his own immediate family and chose from his two remaining sisters. At noon on April 10, 1877, the sounds of the cannons were heard announcing Liliʻu as the newly designated heir apparent to the throne of Hawaiʻi. From that point on, she was referred to as "Crown Princess" with the name Liliʻuokalani, given to her by her brother, who thought her birth name was not regal enough for her future role as queen of Hawaiʻi. One of her first acts as Crown Princess was to tour the island of Oʻahu with her husband, sister, and brother-in-law.
In April 1887, Kalākaua sent a delegation to attend the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in London. While on the trip, she learned of the Bayonet Constitution that Kalākaua had been forced, under the threat of death, to sign. She was so upset that she canceled a tour of the rest of Europe and returned to Hawaiʻi at once.
Liliʻuokalani inherited the throne from her brother Kalākaua on January 29, 1891. Shortly after ascending the throne, petitions from her people began to be received through the two major political parties of the time, Hui Kala'aina and the National Reform Party. Believing she had the support of her cabinet and that to ignore such a general request from her people would be against the popular will, she moved to abrogate the existing 1887 Bayonet Constitution, by drafting a new constitution that would restore the veto power to the monarchy and voting rights to economically disenfranchised native Hawaiians and Asians. The effort to draft a new constitution never came to fruition, and it preceded the U.S. invasion, occupation and overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom government.
Threatened by the queen's proposed new constitution, American and European businessmen and residents organized to depose Liliʻuokalani, asserting that the queen had "virtually abdicated" by refusing to support the 1887 Constitution. Business interests within the Kingdom were also upset about what they viewed as "poor governance" of the Kingdom, as well as the U.S. removal of foreign tariffs in the sugar trade due to the McKinley Tariff. The tariff eliminated the favored status of Hawaiian sugar guaranteed by the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875. American and Europeans actively sought annexation to the United States so that their business might enjoy the same sugar bounties as domestic producers. In addition to these concerns, Lili'uokalani believed that American businessmen, like Charles R. Bishop, expressed an anxiety concerning a female head of state.
Overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom:
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overthrow_of_the_Hawaiian_Kingdom
On January 14, 1893, a group composed of Americans and Europeans formed a Committee of Safety seeking to overthrow the Hawaiian Kingdom, depose the Queen, and seek annexation to the United States. As the coup d'état was unfolding on January 17 the Committee of Safety expressed concern for the safety and property of American citizens. In response, United States Government Minister John L. Stevens summoned a company of US Marines from the USS Boston and two companies of U.S. Navy sailors to take up positions at the U.S. Legation, Consulate, and Arion Hall. On the afternoon of January 16, 1893, 162 sailors and U.S. Marines aboard the USS Boston in Honolulu Harbor came ashore under orders of neutrality. Historian William Russ has noted that the presence of these troops, ostensibly to enforce neutrality and prevent violence, effectively made it impossible for the monarchy to protect itself.
The Queen was deposed on January 17, 1893, and temporarily relinquished her throne to "the superior military forces of the United States". She had hoped the United States, like Great Britain earlier in Hawaiian history, would restore Hawaii's sovereignty to the rightful holder.
Queen Liliʻuokalani issued the following statement yielding her authority to the United States Government rather than to the Provisional Government:
I, Liliʻuokalani, by the Grace of God and under the constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Queen, do hereby solemnly protest against any and all acts done against myself and the constitutional government of the Hawaiian Kingdom by certain persons claiming to have established a Provisional Government of and for this Kingdom. That I yield to the superior force of the United States of America, whose Minister Plenipotentiary, His Excellency John L Stevens, has caused United States troops to be landed at Honolulu and declared that he would support the said Provisional Government. Now, to avoid any collision of armed forces and perhaps loss of life, I do, under this protest, and impelled by said forces, yield my authority until such time as the Government of the United States shall, upon the facts being presented to it, undo the action of its representative and reinstate me in the authority which I claim as the constitutional sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands.
-- Queen Liliʻuokalani, Jan 17, 1893
A provisional government, composed of European and American businessmen, was then instituted until annexation with the United States could be achieved. On February 1, 1893, the US Minister (ambassador) to Hawaii proclaimed Hawaii a protectorate of the United States.
The administration of Grover Cleveland commissioned the Blount Report, and based on its findings, concluded that the overthrow of Liliʻuokalani was illegal, and that U.S. Minister Stevens and American military troops had acted inappropriately in support of those who carried out the overthrow. On November 16, 1893, Cleveland proposed to return the throne back to her if she granted amnesty to everyone responsible. She initially refused, and it was controversially reported that she said she would have them beheaded -- she denied that accusation, but admitted that she intended them to suffer the punishment of banishment. With this development, then-President Grover Cleveland sent the issue to the United States Congress. She later changed her position on the issue of punishment for the conspirators, and on December 18, 1893 US Minister Willis demanded her reinstatement by the Provisional Government. The Provisional Government refused. Congress responded to Cleveland's referral with a US Senate investigation that resulted in the Morgan Report on February 26, 1894. The Morgan Report found all parties (including Minister Stevens), with the exception of the queen, "not guilty" from any responsibility for the overthrow. The accuracy and impartiality of both the Blount and Morgan reports have been questioned by partisans on both sides of the historical debate over the events of 1893.
On July 4, 1894, the Republic of Hawaiʻi was proclaimed and Sanford B. Dole, one of the first people who originally called on the institution of the monarchy to be abolished, became President. The Republic of Hawaiʻi was recognized by the United States government as a protectorate, although Walter Q. Gresham, Cleveland's Secretary of State, remained antagonistic towards the new government.
Liliʻuokalani was arrested on January 16, 1895, several days after the failed 1895 Counter-Revolution in Hawaii led by Robert William Wilcox, when firearms were found at the base of Diamond Head Crater. She denied any knowledge at her trial, defended by former attorney general Paul Neumann. She was sentenced to five years of hard labor in prison by a military tribunal and fined $5,000, but the sentence was commuted to imprisonment in an upstairs bedroom of ʻIolani Palace, where she composed songs including The Queen's Prayer (Ke Aloha o Ka Haku) and began work on her memoirs.
During her imprisonment, she abdicated her throne in return for the release (and commutation of the death sentences) of her jailed supporters, including Minister Joseph Nawahi, Prince Kawananakoa, Robert Wilcox, and Prince Jonah Kuhio.
Before ascending the throne, for fourteen years, or since the date of my proclamation as heir apparent, my official title had been simply Liliuokalani. Thus I was proclaimed both Princess Royal and Queen. Thus it is recorded in the archives of the government to this day. The Provisional Government nor any other had enacted any change in my name. All my official acts, as well as my private letters, were issued over the signature of Liliuokalani. But when my jailers required me to sign ("Liliuokalani Dominis,") I did as they commanded. Their motive in this as in other actions was plainly to humiliate me before my people and before the world. I saw in a moment, what they did not, that, even were I not complying under the most severe and exacting duress, by this demand they had overreached themselves. There is not, and never was, within the range of my knowledge, any such a person as Liliuokalani Dominis.
--Queen Liliuokalani, "Hawaii's Story By Hawaii's Queen"
Following her release, she was placed under house arrest for a year and in 1896, the Republic of Hawaiʻi gave her a full pardon and restored her civil rights.
She then made several trips to the United States to protest against the annexation by the United States and attended the inauguration of US President McKinley with a Republic of Hawaiʻi passport personally issued to "Liliʻuokalani of Hawaiʻi" by President Dole.
In 1898, Hawaiʻi became an incorporated territory of the United States during the Spanish American War and took control of the 1,200,000 acres (4,900 km) of land that formerly was held in trust by the monarchy and known as "Crown Land". This later would become the source of the "Ceded Lands" issue in Hawaiʻi.
In 1900, the US Congress passed the Hawaiʻi Organic Act establishing a government for the Territory of Hawaii.
From 1905 to 1907, the Queen entered claims against the U.S. totaling $450,000 for property and other losses, claiming personal ownership of the crown lands, but was unsuccessful. The territorial legislature of Hawaii finally voted her an annual pension of $4,000 and permitted her to receive the income from a sugar plantation of 6,000 acres (24 km²), which was the private property of her late brother before his election as king.
In 1910, Liliʻuokalani brought an unsuccessful lawsuit against the United States seeking compensation under the Fifth Amendment for the loss of the Hawaiian crown land.
The Queen was also remembered for her support of Buddhist and Shinto priests in Hawaiʻi and became one of the first Native Hawaiians to attend a Vesak Day (Buddha's Birthday) celebration of May 19, 1901 at the Honwangji mission. Her attendance in the celebration had helped Buddhism and Shintoism gain acceptance into Hawaiʻi's society and prevented the possible banning of those two religions by the Territorial government. Her presence was also widely reported in Chinese and Japanese newspapers throughout the world and earned her the respect of many Japanese people both in Hawaiʻi and in Japan itself.
She lived in Washington Place until her death in 1917 due to complications from a stroke. She was 79. She received a state funeral due to her status as a former head of state.
Upon her death, Liliʻuokalani dictated in her will that all of her possessions and properties be sold and the money raised would go to the Queen Liliʻuokalani Children's Trust to help orphaned and indigent children. The Queen Liliʻuokalani Trust Fund still exists today.
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_compositions_and_works_of_Queen_Liliuokalani_of_Hawaii
Liliʻuokalani was an accomplished author and songwriter. Her book Hawaiʻi's Story by Hawaiʻi's Queen gave her view of the history of her country and her overthrow; she became the first Native Hawaiian female author. Liliʻuokalani was known for her musical talent. Liliʻuokalani is said to have played guitar, piano, organ, ʻukulele and zither. She also sang alto, performing Hawaiian and English sacred and secular music. She would find herself in music. In her memoirs she wrote:
To compose was as natural to me as to breathe; and this gift of nature, never having been suffered to fall into disuse, remains a source of the greatest consolation to this day.... Hours of which it is not yet in place to speak, which I might have found long and lonely, passed quickly and cheerfully by, occupied and soothed by the expression of my thoughts in music.
Liliʻuokalani helped preserve key elements of Hawaii's traditional poetics while mixing in Western harmonies brought by the missionaries. A compilation of her works, titled The Queen's Songbook, was published in 1999 by the Liliʻuokalani Trust.
After Liliʻuokalani was imprisoned in the ʻIolani Palace, she was denied literature and newspapers, essentially cutting her off from her people. However, she was not forbidden from having a paper and pencil, so she could continue to compose music while she was in confinement. According to Liliʻuokalani, she "found, notwithstanding disadvantages, great consolation in composing".
Liliʻuokalani was a very peaceful woman, and believed in a peaceful resistance. She used her musical compositions as a way to express her feelings for her people, her country, and what was happening in the political realm in Hawaii. One example of the way her music reflected her political views is her translation of the Kumulipo, the Hawaiian creation chant. While under house arrest, Liliʻuokalani feared she would never leave the palace alive, so she translated the Kumulipo in hopes that the history and culture of her people would never be lost. Another of her compositions was Aloha Oe, a song she had written previously and transcribed during her confinement. In her writings, she says "At first I had no instrument, and had to transcribe the notes by voice alone; but I found, notwithstanding disadvantages, great consolation in composing, and transcribed a number of songs. Three found their way from my prison to the city of Chicago, where they were printed, among them the "Aloha Oe" or "Farewell to Thee," which became a very popular song". Originally written as a lovers' good-bye, the song came to be regarded as a symbol of, and lament for, the loss of her country.
In popular culture:
The story of Liliʻuokalani inspired Paul Abraham for his operetta Die Blume von Hawaii and its subsequent 1933 and 1953 film adaptations.,
Queen Liliʻuokalani was portrayed by Hawaiian actress Leo Anderson Akana in the 2009 film Princess Kaiulani about the life of the Queen's niece and heiress, Kaʻiulani.,
Princess Liliʻuokalani was portrayed by Australian singer Kate Ceberano in the 1999 film Molokai: The Story of Father Damien about the life of Father Damien.,
Ancestors of Liliuokalani
16. High Chief Kameʻeiamoku
8. High Chief Kepoʻokalani
17. High Chiefess Kamakaʻeheikuli
4. High Chief Kamanawa II
18. High Chief Kalaninuiamamao of Kaʻū
9. High Chiefess Alapaʻiwahine
19. High Chiefess Kaolanialiʻi
2. High Chief Caesar Kapaʻakea
20. High Chief Kaʻihelemoana
10. High Chief Kanepawale
21. High Chiefess Kaʻopa
5. High Chiefess Kamokuiki
22. High Chief Kaʻehunuiamamaliʻi
11. High Chiefess Uaua
23. High Chiefess Koʻi
24. High Chief Kameʻeiamoku (= 16)
12. High Chief Kepoʻokalani (= 8)
25. High Chiefess Kamakaʻeheikuli (= 17)
6. High Chief ʻAikanaka
26. High Chief Keaweaheulu of Waiʻanae
13. High Chiefess Keohohiwa
27. High Chiefess ʻUlulani of Hilo
3. High Chiefess Analea Keohokālole
28. High Chief Makakaualiʻi
14. High Chief Kahoalani Eia
29. High Chiefess Kapalaoa
7. High Chiefess Kamaʻeokalani
30. High Chief Ahaula
15. High Chiefess Keakaula
31. High Chiefess Kawehe
Several things have been named in honor of Liliuokalani.
Queen Liliuokalani, a former Boeing 737-297 airliner flown by Aloha Airlines, tailnumber N73711.,
"Queen Liliuokalani Center for Studies Services", a building on the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus.,
Liliuokalani Botanical Garden,
Liliuokalani Park and Gardens,
Queen Liliuokalani Freeway,
Queen Lydia Liliuokalani Elementary School, in Kaimuki, Hawaii, founded in 1912, it closed in 2011,
Queen Lili'uokalani Children's Center
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license