Monday, May 24, 2010

Amanuensis Monday- The Boston Press reports on Queen Lil'uokalani's visit

I was unhappy, but not surprised to read the racist comments in the newspaper accounts of Lili’uokalani’s two visits to Boston. The people of Boston may have had the reputation as liberal reformers, but interracial marriage was still not acceptable in the mid 1800s. She made her first visit to Boston in 1887, when she was still a Princess accompanying her aunt, Queen Kapiolani, to Queen Victoria’s Jubilee (50th anniversary of her reign as Queen of England). Her second visit to Boston was in 1897, after being deposed, as a private citizen on her way to Washington DC to intercede on behalf of her people to overturn the annexation of Hawaii.

John Owen Dominis, Queen Lili’uokalani’s husband, had a cousin named William Lee (1826 -1906) a famous Boston bookseller and founder of Lee & Shepard publishing company. His mother, Laura (Jones) Lee was sister to my 4x great grandmother, Catherine (Jones) Younger, and also sister to John Owen Dominis's mother, Mary (Jones) Dominis. Lee published the Queen’s autobiography Hawaii’s story by Hawaii’s Queen in 1898, the same year that Hawaii was annexed by the United States. His second wife, Sara White (1849 – 1925) was a good friend to the Queen during her second Boston visit, in the wake of the overthrow. The newspapers were particularly nasty during this second visit.

Mrs. Lee was a socialite, one of the founding woman members of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (in 1897 they voted to admit the first 29 women members), and the wife of a well respected business man. She bravely stood up for her kinswoman and friend, Queen Lili’uokalani. The Boston Globe actually printed this as a pro-Lili’uokalani story, and the Queen repeated it in her autobiography. I don’t know if Mrs. Sara White Lee suffered any social repercussions because of this article that appeared in the Boston Globe newspaper, Dec. 4, 1897, but I am glad she said these words:

“Mrs. Lee talked about her friend Liliuokalani, whose name she said, signifies the preservation of the heavens, and gave an interesting description of Hawaii's history and the peculiar customs of the people.

She asserted that the native Hawaiians are more intelligent and better educated than they are generally credited with being; most of them being able to read and write their own language, and many of them being equally accomplished in English.

Their constancy and their trustful nature, she claimed, have been their misfortune. At one period, she said, Hawaii was governed by no laws save the Ten Commandments.

Mrs. Lee expressed the opinion that in view of the power wielded by the whites, and the little influence possessed by the natives at the time of the late revolution, it was no wonder the Queen wished to promulgate a new constitution to restore to her people some of the rights of which they had been deprived.

She said further: "I tell you from the bottom of my heart, I have never found a more devout and perfect Christian under all circumstances than Liliuokalani. I have never yet heard her utter an unkind word against those who persecute her.

I am an American by ancestry from the earliest days of the Massachusetts Bay colony, and I love the American flag, and would be the last to see it hauled down if rightly raised; but (here Mrs. Lee spoke with visible emotion) if a Captain Kidd or any other pirate should raise the American flag simply as a decoy in order to destroy, we should be the first to resent it.

I do not oppose annexation as such, but it grieves me to see the way our countrymen have gone to work to bring it about.

I believe the Hawaiians should have their independent government and that the natives should have something to say as to what that government shall be."

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Cartoon titled "School Begins" appearing in the magazine, The Puck, a US national magazine loosely connected with the Democratic Party, depicting Hawai'i, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Cuba, (all in the front row) being taught by Uncle Sam while the rest of the Latin American countries are seated behind them. Note that a Native American character is sitting in the corner, and an African-American character is cleaning the windows. 1898. Courtesy of “Hawaiian Monarchy” via Facebook.

Dalrymple. “School Begins”. Cartoon, color lithograph. [New York], Puck, 1898. Hawai'i State Archives. Kahn Collection 37:39 Caption: Uncle Sam (to his new class on civilization) - "Now, children, you've got to learn these lessons whether you want to or not! But just take a look at the class ahead of you, and remember that in a little while, you will be as glad to be here as they are!"

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Queen Lili'uokalani's relatives in Boston:

Owen Jones (about 1768 - 1850) and Elizabeth Lambert (about 1795-1834)married in Boston on 11 May 1793 at the 2nd Baptist Church, Eight children including:

1. Sarah Dargue Jones (about 1794- 1875) married Enoch Howes Snelling (1790 -1866), a North End glazier who helped supply and ship parts of Washington Place, Queen Lili'uokalani's residence in Hononlulu. Their son, Nathaniel (1823- 1902) held a party at his residence for Queen Lili'uokalani when she came to Boston.
2. Catherine Plummer Jones (abt 1799- 1828) married to Levi Younger (1786-1858) . My 4x great grandparents. Their descendants met with the Queen in Boston.
3. Mary Lambert Jones (1903 - 1889) married to Captain John Dominis (d. 1846 at sea), their son, and only surviving child, John Owen Dominis (1832- 1891) married Queen Lili'uokalani
5. Laura Williams Jones (abt 1809 - 1887) married John Lee (d. 1847), their son, William Lee (1826 - 1906) was the publisher of Queen Lili'uokalani's autobiography (Lee & Shepard of Boston) mentioned above (married to Sara White).
6. Ann Marie Jones (abt. 1811 - 1832) married to Robert William Holt (1792 - 1862), Holt was a business man in Hawaii, who remarried to Caroline Tauwati Robinson (1815 - 1891) and had a large family in Honolulu.

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Copyright 2010, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

2 comments:

  1. I am a great, great, great grand daughter of Caroline Tauwati Robinson (1815 - 1891). My name is Pohaikealoha Au. It's a pleasure to meet you.

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  2. Pohaikealoha Au, please contact me at vrojomit (at) gmail.com if you would like to be included in the large Holt genealogy database we are trying to build. There are several people in Oahu who are very interested in building the entire tree of descendants of Robert William Holt.

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