Today, September 2nd, is the birthday observation of Lydia Liliʻu Loloku Walania Kamakaʻeha, known commonly as Queen Lili’uokalani, who was the last reigning monarch of the Hawaiian Kingdom. She was also the first and only female monarch of the kingdom.
Aloha Lā Hānau e Liliʻuokalani
When Kamehameha V died in 1872 with no heir, the 1864 Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom called for the legislature to elect the next monarch. Following a non-binding referendum and subsequent unanimous vote in the legislature, Lunalilo became the first elected king of Hawai’i. Lunalilo died without an heir in 1874.
In the election that followed, Liliʻuokalani’s brother, David Kalākaua, ran against Emma, the dowager queen of Kamehameha IV. The choice of Kalākaua by the legislature, and the subsequent announcement, caused a riot at the courthouse.
This political division amongst the privileged elites in the island never healed, and led to the eventual takeover by Sanford Dole and supporters in 1893.
UPDATE 9.8.22: With the passing of Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain, we can imagine how life in Hawai’i would be today had Queen Lili’uokalani not been greedy and power-hungry. The People in the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1887 demanded a new constitution from King Kalākaua. They were doing the work. The monarchy taxed the people, along with business and plantation owners, to pay for the kings, queens, princes, princesses and 1,000s of staff. The People wanted more control over the kingdom.
Queen Lili’uokalani said, “No!” The People said, “Then go!”
Native Hawaiians, called Kanaka Maoli, tell a distorted history today. Kamehameha I killed or murdered over 250,000+ Polynesians during his 30-year war campaign. At the Battle of Kepaniwai in 1790 in the Iao Valley, Kamehameha used weapons of mass destruction to murder so many Maui Polynesians that the Iao river became blocked by dead bodies and waters ran red with Polynesian blood. Modern Kanaka spokespeople hide this horrid and tragic past.
Kanaka claim Kamehameha was “uniting” the kingdom. This rationale is used today by Russian President Violent Vlad as he murders Ukrainians. People are not united at the point of a gun.
Kamehameha Schools Teaches a False, Hurtful History
Lydia Lili‘u Loloku Walania Wewehi Kamaka‘eha was born on September 2, 1838 to Analea Keohokālole and Caesar Kapaʻakea. Immediately after her birth, Liliʻu was hānai by Laura Konia and Abner Pākī. Liliʻu was a scholar, philanthropist, and prolific and extraordinary composer. Liliʻuokalani was named heir to the throne on April 11, 1877 and it was then that Kalākaua asked that she add “of the heavens/of the chiefs,”to her name so that her status as crown princess was recognized. She became queen upon his death and was sworn in on January 29, 1891. Liliʻuokalani ruled during intense change. She worked to restore the powers of the monarchy. A coup supported by the US military removed her from the throne on January 17, 1893. [NOTE: US military did not SUPPORT a coup. Kamehameha Schools teaches false history] People of Hawaiʻi remained steadfast in support of their queen. Liliʻuokalani’s motto was “E ʻonipaʻa i ka ʻimi naʻauao," (Be steadfast in the seeking of knowledge). Given her leadership during some of the most challenging events facing the Kingdom and its peoples, it is often shortened to “Onipaʻa,” to stand firm. A short article published in the February 8, 1893 edition of the Hawaii Holomua affirmed “O ke aloha o ka lāhui ua onipaʻa,” “the love of the nation is steadfast.”
On January 17, 1893, in a letter to the Daily Bulletin’s editor, an American asked, “The landing of troops from the Boston furnishes a guarantee that the persons and property of American citizens will be safe from violence.”
Let’s remember some of the queens accomplishments and related history provided by Adam Keawe Manalo-Camp
20 facts about Queen #Liliuokalani of Hawaiʻi
- She tried to found an all women’s bank.
- She come up with a microlending program for women.
- She believed in the right to vote for everyone, including women.
- Upon her death, all of her lands and personal belongings were sold to fund a trust for orphans and indigent kids.
- As Queen, she used the Throne Room to provide lectures to women about history, law, and science by other women.
- When pastors tried to ban Buddhist priests, she lobbied for acceptance. When the Buddhist priests held a celebration on Buddha’s birthday, she attended to show her support.
- She experienced racism first hand and was refused service in 4 NYC hotels for being “colored”.
- The Queen was fluent in Hawaiian and English, but also had been tutored in German.
- She supported unions and intervened with strikes in support of the workers.
- She sued the US for her Crown Lands but lost the case.
- She was the first Hawaiian female author to have published an autobiographical book, “Hawaiiʻs Story by Hawaiiʻs Queen”.
- She composed over 150 songs including “Aloha ʻOe”, “The Queen’s Prayer”, and the former national anthem, “He Mele Lāhui”.
- She met most of Europeʻs rulers during Queen Victoriaʻs Golden Jubilee.
- She was imprisoned in her own palace and the guards had to call her by a number.
- She sewed quilts and flags. She quilted a “crazy quilt” with details of her life while imprisoned in case she would be executed. Right before she passed in 1917, she sewed and donated a flag to the Hawaiʻi Red Cross.
- She was patron of the first homesteading association.
- She and her sister-in-law, Queen Kapiʻolani, sent funds to homesick and stranded Hawaiians in Utah and other places in the US to come home.
- She was a staunch supporter of St Damien of Molokaʻi which led to conflicts with her own pastor at the time.
- She had adopted kids.
- She was an accomplished pianist and organist at Kawaiahaʻo Church and later helped the music ministry at St. Andrew’s Cathedral when she became an Episcopalian.
Summarized History of the Hawaiian Kingdom
In 1778, British Captain Cook arrived on Kaua’i. In 1780, Kamehameha defied King Kalani’oapu’u, who choose his son for next king, and went to war for 30 years against Polynesians.
Kamehameha partnered with the British to acquire military strategy, long guns and cannons. Kamehameha used this technology and knowledge to MURDER Polynesians. Outsiders did not. Kamehameha formed HIS kingdom by killing Polynesians. Outsiders did not do this.
One battle on Maui witnessed so many dead Polynesians due to Kamehameha’s British cannons that the Iao river was blocked and water ran red. What a guy Kamehameha was!!! Life of murder and violence. He had a part in killing Captain Cook.
The Kanaka (Native Hawaiians) also recorded the FIRST crime in this history with outsiders by stealing one of Cook’s boats. Criminals and thieves! Cook was killed attempting to get British property returned.
After Kamehameha V, the Kamehameha dynasty ended. House of Kalākaua ascended to the throne. This political decision was bitterly contested. There was political infighting. In 1887, local people demanded David Kalākaua sign a new constitution.
Business and plantation owners were doing the work. The monarchy was taking from their profits. Kalākaua could have fought. Didn’t. He surrendered and accepted the new economic and political arrangement.
The monarchy assumed a ceremonial role, as we see in England today. Could have worked. Legislature would govern like a Parliament; monarchy would have influence, but not be the direct decider in government and business strategies.
Kanaka culture, tradition and customs would flourish, and Kalākaua thrived in this role … he immediately left to tour the world and recruit more labor and business to the islands. The monarchy invited millions of outsiders to Hawai’i until Kalākaua’s death in 1891.
In 1893, David’s sister, Lydia, threatened revolution and planned to undo the 1887 constitution. Those in power accused her of treason, and booted her from the ceremonial throne. They formed a provisional government.
In 1894, they held elections. Sanford Dole became president of the Republic of Hawai’i. Dole and supporters overthrew the Hawaiian Kingdom — not the USA, as is commonly repeated wrongfully in the islands today. The 47+ nations that had recognized the Hawaiian Kingdom immediately recognized the new Republic of Hawai’i.
In 1895, Lydia formerly abdicated the throne to free friends and supporters who were being held for treason. The House of Kalākaua again surrendered!
In 1898, the USA turned the Republic of Hawai’i into a protected territory (along with Puerto Rico, Philippines and other islands). The Kanaka government had been unable to protect these islands from 500 local Honolulu Rifles.
U.S. officials were concerned how officials would fend off Russia, China, Japan or other nations. The USA had strategic and legal interest in Pearl Harbor. There was too much political infighting and instability in local government.
Disease ravaged the Kanaka population. About 600,000 lived in the islands in 1700; only about 25K-40K remained by 1900. Guns, Germs and Steel (Jared Diamond) changed the world due to Clash of Civilization.
In 1920, Kanaka Prince Jonah Kuhio called for Hawai’i statehood. In 1959, local people in Hawai’i voted to become the 50th USA state. Puerto Rico still maintains its independence. The Filipinos declared war against the USA in 1898 and earned their independence in 1946.
Elizabeth Keka’aniauokalani Laanui posted this Remembrance
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Ko’olau of Kaua’i. I am the Defiant One
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