Liliuokalani (Hawaiian: "Liliokinauokalani") (September 2, 1838November 11, 1917) was the last monarch and only queen regnant of the Kingdom of Hawaiokinai.


Early life

The last sovereign queen of Hawaiokinai was born on September 2, 1838, in a grass hut outside Honolulu. She was born, Lydia Liliu Loloku Walania Wewehi Kamakaokinaeha, Lydia Liliuokalani Paki, and was also known as Lydia Kamakaokinaeha Paki, with the chosen royal name of Liliokinauokalani; she was later named Lydia K. Dominis.

Liliuokalani's birth mother was High Chiefess Analea Keohokalole and her birth father was High Chief Caesar Kaluaiku Kapa'akea. In accordance with Hawaiian tradition, she was adopted at birth by Abner Paki and his wife, Laura Konia (a granddaughter of King Kamehameha I).Islands. [cite book
last1 = Nee-Benham | first1 = Maenette K. P
last2 = Heck | first2 = Ronald H.
title = Culture and Educational Policy in Hawai'i: The Silencing of Native Voices
publisher = Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
date = 1998
pages = 98
isbn = 0805827048
] Liliuokalani’s childhood years were spent studying and playing with her foster sister Bernice Pauahi, the Pakis' natural daughter.

The Premier Elizabeth Kinau had developed an eye infection at the time of Lili'u's birth. She gave her the names Liliu (smarting) Loloku (tearful) Walania (a burning pain) Kamakaokinaeha (sore eyes), translated as "Lydia Smarting Tearful Anguish the Sore Eyes". Her brother changed it when he named her Crown Princess, calling her Lili'uokalani, "the smarting of the royal ones".cite web
last = Kelley
first = D. E.
title = Historical Collections of The Hawaiian Islands - Queen Lili'uokalani and her Music - Part 1
work = USGenWeb Archives Special Projects
publisher = USGenWeb Archives
date = 2007-01-05
url =
accessdate = 2008-09-14

Liliokinauokalani received her education at the Royal School (originally known as the Chiefs' Children's School), and became fluent in English. She attended along with her two elder brothers James Kaliokalani and David Kalakaua.


On September 16, 1862, Liliokinauokalani married John Owen Dominis, who became Governor of Ookinaahu and Maui. Although Liliokinauokalani's named successor was her niece Victoria Kaokinaiulani (1875–1899), Kaokinaiulani predeceased her. She had hanai children, Lydia Ka‘onohiponiponiokalani Aholo, Kaiponohea `Ae`a son of a retainer, and John Dominis `Aimoku her husband's son by another woman.

Crown Princess

In 1874, Lunalilo (who was elected to succeed Kamehameha V) died and left no heir to succeed to the throne. In the election that followed, David Kalakaua, Lili'u's brother, ran against Queen Emma, the widowed Queen of Kamehameha IV. Liliuokalani sided with her family on the issue and a quarrel developed between the Kalakaua family and Queen Emma. Lili'u denied Emma had any claims to the throne other than those derived from her dead husband. The Kalakaua family strongly stated that Kaleipaihala was the ancestor of Queen Emma rather than Kealiimakai because this would give the dowager Queen no claim as the great-grandniece of Kamehameha the Great. Each party view saw themsevles as the greatest chief and the rightful heir the throne of the Kamehamehas.

In the election that followed, Kalakaua won a majority of the vote of the Legislature and was anointed the new king of Hawaii. Queen Emma never forgave Lili'u and her position in the family which was chosen to reign over the Hawaiian people. Lili'u said: "It did not trouble me at all, but I simply allowed her to remain in the position in which she chose to place herself."

One of the first act of the Kalakaua was to name his brother heir-apparent and also granting other royal titles to his two surviving sister Liliuokalani and Likelike. With Lili'u's younger brother's death in 1876, the position of heir-apparent became vacant. Princess Ruth Keelikolani offered to filled the spot of her adoptive son; and this suggestion was placed before the king's counselors at a cabinet meeting, but it was objected that, if her petition was granted, then Mrs. Pauahi Bishop would be the next heir to the throne, as they were first cousins.

At noon of the tenth day of April, 1877, the booming of the cannon was heard which announced that Liliuokalani was heir apparent to the throne of Hawaii. From this point on she was referred to as Crown Princess with the name Liliuokalani, given to her by his brother. One of her first act as Crown Princess was to tour the island of Oahu with her husband, sister, and brother-in-law.

In April of 1887, Kalakaua sent a delegation to attend the Golden Jubilee of England's Queen Victoria. Britain had long been a valued ally of Hawaii, and it was thought proper that Queen Kapiolani, along with Crown Princess Liliuokalani and her husband John Owen Dominis, attended the festivities celebrating Queen Victoria's fifty years on the throne. [Linnea 1999, p. 59] It seemed to be a great success, with the Hawaiian royals accepted as equals of the reigning family of the civilized world. This was especially important because Kamehameha IV had met with much prejudice in America just after the Civil War because of his dark skin color. All of Liliuokalani's reports of the Jubilee were glowing as were the newspaper accounts of the honors bestowed upon the Hawaiians. Never had so many ruling monarchs and heads of government gathered in one place as descended upon London in 1887. However, Queen Victoria's journals, which were made public decades later, add a sobering footnote. She reported that both the King of the Belgians and the King of Saxony refused to accompany Princess Liliuokalani to the Jubilee Supper because she was considered "colored". This created a behind-the-scenes furore until Queen Victoria herself commanded her son Albert to accompany the Hawaiian princesses. [Linnea 1999, p. 60] Tidings of trouble in Hawaii brought Liliuokalani and the royal party back from Europe. While on the trip, she learned of the Bayonet Constitution that Kalakaua 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 Hawaii at once. [History of the Hawaiian Kingdom By Norris W. Potter, Lawrence M. Kasdon, Ann Rayson] The "missionary boys" had offered her the throne and a part in a conspiracy against the King. Liliuokalani refused.


Liliokinauokalani inherited the throne from her brother Kalākaua on January 29, 1891. [Kuykendall, R.S. (1967) The Hawaiian Kingdom, 1874-1893. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. p. 474] Shortly after ascending the throne, petitions from her people began to be received from the two major political parties of the time, mainly 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, [The Bayonet Constitution was named because it had been signed by the previous monarch under threat of violence from a militia composed of armed American and Europeans calling themselves the "Honolulu Rifles"] by drafting a new constitution that would restore the veto power to the monarchy and voting rights to economically disenfranchised Native Hawaiians and Asians. [Daws, G. (1974) Shoal of Time: A History of the Hawaiian Islands. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. p. 271]

Threatened by the queen's proposed new constitution, American and European businessmen and residents organized to depose Liliokinauokalani, 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 businessman like Charles R. Bishop, expressed an anxiety concerning a female head of state. [See "Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen".]


On January 14, 1893, a group composed of American and Europeans formed a Committee of Safety in opposition to the Queen. As these events were unfolding, the Committee of Safety, speaking for American citizens living in Honolulu, expressed concern for their safety and property. United States Government Minister John L. Stevens summoned a company of uniformed U.S. Marines from the USS Boston and two companies of U.S. sailors to take up positions at the U.S. Legation, Consulate, and Arion Hall. On the afternoon of January 16, 1893, 162 sailors and Marines aboard the "USS Boston" in Honolulu Harbor came ashore under orders of neutrality. One historian 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. [Russ 1992, p. 350 ]

The Queen was deposed on January 17, 1893 and temporarily relinquished her throne to "the superior military forces of the United States". [Dougherty, Michael. "To Steal A Kingdom"] She had hoped the United States, like Great Britain earlier on in Hawaiian history, would restore Hawaii's sovereignty to the rightful holder. The Queen issued a statement yielding her authority to the United States Government rather than to the Provisional Government:

quote|I Liliuokalani, 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 a Honolulu and declared that he would support the Provisional Government."Now to avoid any collision of armed forces, and perhaps the loss of life, I do this under protest and impelled by said force yield my authority until such time as the Government of the United States shall, upon facts being presented to it, undo the action of its representatives and reinstate me in the authority which I claim as the Constitutional Sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands. [cite book
last = Kuykendall
first = Ralph S.
authorlink = Ralph Simpson Kuykendall
title = The Hawaiian Kingdom
publisher = University of Hawaii Press
date = 1967
pages = 603
volume = 3 -- The Kalakaua Dynasty, 1874-1893
isbn = 0870224336

The Queen continued:

quote|Now, my people, hear these words of mine that I say to you in our dark hour. Hold yourselves up high and be proud. For each and everyone of you has much to be proud of in yourselves and in your people. Hold fast to that pride and love you have for your heritage and your country. Yes, your country. For your nation—okinaOnipaokinaa. Hold fast! [cite web
last = Alameida
first = Roy
title = `ONIPA`A
work = Northwest Hawai`i Times
publisher = Northwest Hawai`i Times
date = 2007-01-05
url =
accessdate = 2008-09-19

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 Liliokinauokalani 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 reported that she said she would have them beheaded - she denied that specific accusation, but admitted that she intended them to suffer the punishment of death. [ [ Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen, CHAPTER XL] ] 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 U.S. Minister Willis demanded her reinstatement by the Provisional Government. The Provisional Government refused. Congress responded to Cleveland's referral with a U.S. 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. [Kuykendall, R.S. (1967) The Hawaiian Kingdom, 1874-1893. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. p. 648.] The accuracy and impartiality of both the Blount and Morgan reports has been questioned by partisans on both sides of the historical debate over the events of 1893. [Russ 1992, p. ?] [cite book | last = Kinzer | first = Stephen | coauthors = | title = Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change From Hawaii to Iraq | publisher = Times Books | date = 2006 | pages = | month = | isbn = 0805078614 ] [ [] Media Matters: "Limbaugh repeated false claim that U.S. was "strictly neutral" in overthrow of Hawaiian queen"] [ [ Hawaii Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand] by Bruce Fein]

On July 4, 1894, the Republic of Hawaiokinai 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 Hawaiokinai 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. ["The Pacific Historical Review", Vol. 52, No. 3 (August 1983), pp. 292-311 "Morality and Spite: Walter Q. Gresham and U.S. Relations with Hawaii"]


Liliokinauokalani was arrested on January 16, 1895 (several days after a failed rebellion by Robert Wilcox) when firearms were found in the gardens of her home, of which she denied any knowledge. She was sentenced to five years of hard labor in prison for this and fined $5000, but the sentence was commuted to imprisonment in an upstairs bedroom of okinaIolani Palace, where she composed many famous songs. After eight months, she abdicated her throne in return for the release (and commutation of the death sentences) of her jailed supporters, including Minister Joseph Nawahi, Robert Wilcox, and Prince Kuhio.Fact|date=October 2007 The charge of treason for which they were sentenced to death by the Provisional Government was the same charge that Lili'uokalani had insisted be held against the Committee of Safety for their act of deposing her. She 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). She went home to Washington Place, where she lived until her death in 1917 due to complications from a stroke. She was 79.

Upon her death, Liliokinauokalani dictated in her will that all of her possessions and properties be sold and the monies raised would go to the Queen Liliokinauokalani Children's' Trust to help orphaned and indigent children. The Queen Liliokinauokalani Trust Fund is still in existence today.



Liliokinauokalani was an accomplished author and songwriter. Her book, "Hawaiokinai's Story by Hawaiokinai's Queen", gave her view of the history of her country and her overthrow and therefore became the first Native Hawaiian female author Fact|date=May 2008. Liliokinauokalani was known for her musical talent. Lili'u is said to have played guitar, piano, organ, 'ukulele 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:

Liliokinauokalani helped preserve key elements of Hawaii's traditional poetics while mixing in Western harmonies brought by the misionaries. A compilation of her works, titled "The Queen's Songbook," was published in 1999 by Liliokinauokalani Trust.


The story of Liliokinauokalani inspired the composer Paul Abraham for his operetta "Die Blume von Hawaii". [ [ Joachim Reisaus, The Return of "Blume von Hawaii" to Leipzig, (German)] ]


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boxstyle_2=background-color: #fb9;
boxstyle_3=background-color: #ffc;
boxstyle_4=background-color: #bfc;
boxstyle_5=background-color: #9fe;
1= 1. Liliokinauokalani of Hawaii
2= 2. High Chief Caesar Kapaokinaakea
3= 3. High Chief Analea Keohokalole
4= 4. High Chief Kamanawa II Opio
5= 5. High Chiefess Kamokuiki
6= 6. High Chief Aikanaka
7= 7. High Chiefess Kamaokinaeokalani
8= 8. High Chief Kepookinaokalani
9= 9. High Chiefess Alapaokinaiwahine
10= 10. unknown
11= 11. unknown
12= 12. High Chief Kepookinaokalani
13= 13. High Chiefess Keohohiwa
14= 14. High Chief Kahoalani Eia
15= 15. High Chiefess Keakaula
16= 16. High Chief Kameokinaeiamoku
17= 17. High Chiefess Kamakaeheikuli
18= 18. High Chief KalaninuiokinaIamamao of Kau
19= 19. High Chiefess Kaolanialiokinai
20= 20. unknown
21= 21. unknown
22= 22. unknown
23= 23. unknown
24= 24. High Chief Kameokinaeiamoku
25= 25. High Chiefess Kamakaeheikuli
26= 26. High Chief Keaweaheulu of Waianae
27= 27. High Chiefess Ululani of Hilo
28= 28. High Chiefess Kapalaoa
29= 29. High Chief Makakaualii
30= 30. Prince Ahaula of Hawaii
31= 31. Prince Kawehe of Hawaii

Source: [Liliuokalani 1898, Appendix E]



*cite book
last = Irwin
first = Bernice Piilani
title = I knew Queen Liliuokalani
publisher = Native Books
origdate = 1960
date = 2000
isbn = 1883528186

*cite book
author = Liliuokalani
title = Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen
publisher = Charles E. Tuttle Company
origdate = 1898
date = 1988
isbn = 0804810664

*cite book
last = Linnea
first = Sharon
title = Princess Ka'iulani: Hope of a Nation, Heart of a People
publisher = Eerdmans Young Readers
date = 1999
isbn = 080285088X

*cite book
last = Lowe
first = Ruby Hasegawa
title = Liliokinauokalani
publisher = Kamehameha Schools Press
date = 1993
isbn = 0873360184

*cite book
last = Russ
first = William Adam
title = The Hawaiian Revolution (1893-94)
publisher = Susquehanna University Press
origdate = 1959
date = 1992
isbn = 0945636431

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