Another genealogy blogger, Kim Von Aspern, author of the blog “Le Maison Duchamp” at http://lemaisonduchamp.blogspot.com/ recently wrote to me that she had seen an unusual news headline about “Queen Lila Kalei” in a South Carolina newspaper in 1894. I had seen similar accounts in many other newspapers, with varying degrees of accuracy about the incident concerning Queen Liliuokalani after she was forced from the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii. I’ll reprint them here, along with the Queen’s own words about that time in her life, and a timeline about her monarchy and her losing the throne, with Hawaii’s eventual annexation. You can draw your own conclusions.
Our Paper, Volume 10, by the Massachusetts Reformatory, Concord, Mass. 20 October 1894, Page 667 “Before the steamer Araw left Honolulu a rumor was in circulation that Queen Liliuokalani had gone crazy. The report was not credited, although for several days she had not left the house she was occupying”
The same article was also found in the Worcester Daily Spy, Worcester, Massachusetts, 15 October 1894, page 7, and also in the Patriot, Pennsylvania, 16 October 1894, page 8 “Queen Lil Reported Crazy”, and many other newspapers on GenealogyBank.com.
Boston Journal, Boston, Massachusetts, 16 October 1894, page 5
The Report to that effect in Circulation in Honolulu
Victoria, BC, October 15, Before the steamer Arawa left Honolulu a rumor was in circulation that Queen Liliuokalani had gone crazy. For several days she had not left the house she was occupying.
Washington, October 15- No information has been received in Washington confirmatory of the report that Queen Liliuokalani has become insane. It is not believed. For some days after the receipt of the intelligence that the republic had been recognized, the queen remained in her room, refusing to see anyone except intimate friends. More recent advices state that she suffered subsequently from slight illness, but the latest reports show her to have recovered. She is living quietly at her residence on the street in the rear of the national palace. It is believed that the new rulers of the republic will make the deposed Queen a suitable provision as soon as she manifests a disposition to cultivate good relations between herself and President Dole’s ministry.”
The same article was also found in the Boston Daily Advertiser, Boston, Massachusetts, 16 October 1894, page 5.
A different article from the Oregonian, 16 October 1894, page 2
“The Ex-Island Queen
There is no Disposition to treat Liliuokalani Harshly
Washington, October 15 – No information has been received in Washington confirmatory of the report that Liliuokalani has become insane. In well-informed circles it is not believed. The fact is known here that the queen is greatly chagrined at the action of this government in recognizing the new republic. Up to the very moment the official announcement of the recognition was received, she believed that it would be denied, and that President Cleveland either would assist her to the throne again or at least mediate in such a way between herself and the republican leaders as would leave her virtually mistress of the situation. For some days after the receipt of the intelligence that the republic had been recognized the ex-queen remained secluded in her rooms, refusing to see anyone except her intimate friends. More recent advices state that she suffered quite recently from slight illness, but the intent reports show her to have recovered. She is living quietly at her residence on the street immediately in the rear of the national palace. It is believed that the new rulers of the republic will make the deposed queen a suitable provision, and this will probably be done as soon s she manifests a disposition to cultivate good relations between herself and President Dole’s ministry. It is said that not only is there no disposition to treat her harshly, but, on the contrary, to accord to her every proper consideration.”
Queen Liliuokalani, in her own words:
"I found to my horror, when the newspapers came to Honolulu from the United States, that the President and the American people had been told that I was about to behead them all! There is an old proverb which says that "a lie can travel around the world while the truth is putting on its boots." That offensive charge was repeated to my hurt as often as possible; although I immediately send my protest that I had not used the words attributed to me by Mr. Willis in our informal conversation, and that at my first official interview with him I had modified (so far as my influence would go) the law of all countries regarding treason.” page 248
On Jan. 6, 1895, came the beginning of a revolt. For three months prior to that date my physician, Dr. Donald McLelan, had been in attendance on me, and, as I was suffering very severely from nervous prostration, prescribed electricity. For two years I had borne the long agony of suspense, a terrible strain, which at last made great inroads on my strength.” pages 263 – 264
14 January 1893 Queen Liliuokalani announced she would draft a new constitution to replace the “Bayonet Constitution” forced on her brother, the previous monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii.
15 January 1893 Marines from the cruiser Boston invade Honolulu and the “Committee of Safety” forces Queen Liliuokalani from the throne by 17 January.
31 January 1893 President Benjamin Harrison attempts to deny the Provisional Government from taking Hawaii, but the House and Senate deny his bill. The new president, Grover Cleveland sends James Blount to investigate.
18 December 1893 Blount’s report against the takeover is submitted to Congress. He agrees that Liliuokalaniis the constitutional ruler of Hawaii. Nothing happens. A counter revolution fails. Dole is now president of the Republic of Hawaii.
On 24 January 1895 Queen Liliuokalani signed her abdication. In October of that year she was tried for treason and sentenced to confinement in her room at Iolani Palace. During her confinement she composed the “Queen’s Prayer” and stitched the famous quilt on display today in the imprisonment room.
In 1896 she was freed but remained under duress at her nearby home, Washington Place.
12 August 1898 the US flag was raised in Honolulu signaling annexation. Liliuokalani remained secluded at Washington Place. Later that year she traveled to the United States to petition the president, and to visit her husband’s family in Boston.
1916 marked the year of Prince Kuhio’s lawsuit to unsuccessfully declare Liliuokalani incompetent and takeover her Waikiki land that she willed to her Hawaiian Children's Trust.
Queen Liliuokalani died on 11 November 1917.
|Queen Lili'uokalani with her grandchildren|
photo taken about 1917
Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole v. Liliuokalani, Supreme Court of Hawaii, 23 Haw. 457: 1916 http://www.angelfire.com/big09a/KuhioVLiliuokalani1916.html
Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen, by Liliuokalani, Honolulu, Hawaii: Mutual Publishing Company, 1990.
A blog post I wrote about Yellow Journalism and Queen Lili'uokalani
Another blog post I wrote about Queen Lili'uokalani and her Boston relatives, and their reaction to rumors in the press during her visit to Boston:
Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo