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Links to Hawaii

By Linda Ulleseit
September 11, 2020
Maui History Engraving American Boat Hawaiians in Canoe

Hawaii is a source of fascination for visitors to the islands. Its tropical beauty is very different from any other place in the United States, and its history is unique, too.

 Hawaii’s first residents arrived about 2,000 years ago by canoe from Tahiti. Europeans arrived in 1778 with British Capt. James Cook, who named it the Sandwich Islands. Cook was killed in 1779 during a quarrel with Hawaiians over missing boats. Even so, the British flag was raised over Hawaii in 1794. Great Britain’s claim was never ratified, but Hawaiians took advantage of the ostensible protection of the British by including the British flag in a corner of the Hawaiian flag, commissioned in 1810 by King Kamehameha.

Queen Lilu’uokalani

King Kamehameha established a monarchy that lasted most of the nineteenth century, despite invasion attempts by the Russians in 1815 and the French in 1849. Hawaii became a stopping point for whalers in the Pacific and traders exporting sandalwood. The Hawaiians built up their treasury by taxing these visitors.

Christian missionaries arrived in Hawaii from New England beginning in 1820. They codified the Hawaiian language and began converting islanders, especially after Mormon missionaries came on the scene in the 1850s. 

People from all over the world came to Hawaii to work on the sugar plantations, created by Americans, and they stayed to create a multi-ethnic society. Chinese laborers began arriving in 1852 to work on sugar plantations. The Japanese followed in 1865, the Portuguese in 1878, Koreans in 1903, and the Filipinos in 1906. While most of the immigrants were men who worked in the fields, the Portuguese and Koreans brought their entire families.

In 1893, a coalition of businessmen and sugar planters staged a coup and dethroned Queen Lili’uokalani. A Hawaiian republic was formed, a counter revolution failed, and the U.S. annexed Hawaii in 1898. In 1900, Hawaii officially became a territory of the United States, making all Hawaiians American citizens. The first application for statehood came in 1919. There would be 48 more tries before Hawaii finally became a state in 1959.

For links to a diverse collection of information about Hawaii, visit the Kapiolani Community College Library online.

If you are lucky enough to be on Oahu, visit the Iolani Palace, America’s only home to royalty. To immerse yourself in Hawaiian history from the very beginning, visit Bishop Museum.


Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

Hawaiian Statehood, The Honolulu Republican (Honolulu, T.H.), July 14, 1900, Image 2, Col. 3

No Statehood for Hawaii, The Honolulu Republican (Honolulu, T.H.), July 14, 1900, Image 2, Col. 3

Delegate Wilcox Much Too Previous, The Honolulu Republican (Honolulu, T.H.), July 17, 1901, Image 1, Col. 7

Ridicules the Idea of Statehood for Hawaii, The Honolulu Republican (Honolulu, T.H.), August 08, 1901, Image 1, Col. 4

Hawaii and Statehood, The Honolulu Republican (Honolulu, T.H.), August 11, 1901, Image 4, Cols. 3-4

Delegate Wilcox Impassionate Address to Hawaiians, The Independent (Honolulu, H.I.), July 10, 1902, Image 1

Hawaii and Statehood, The Hawaiian Gazette (Honolulu [Oahu, Hawaii]), January 01, 1909, Image 4, Col. 1

Must Wait for Our Statehood, The Hawaiian Gazette (Honolulu [Oahu, Hawaii]), July 26, 1910, Image 1, Col. 2

Statehood for Hawaii, The Hawaiian Gazette (Honolulu [Oahu, Hawaii]), August 05, 1910, Image 4, Col. 2

Not everyone was excited about Hawaii as a state.
Not everyone was excited about Hawaii as a state.

What Other Say of Statehood, The Hawaiian Gazette (Honolulu [Oahu, Hawaii]), September 30, 1910, Image 4, Col. 2

Time to Campaign for Statehood Here, The Hawaiian star., January 11, 1911, SECOND EDITION, Page THREE, Image 3

Hawaii and Statehood, The Hawaiian Gazette (Honolulu [Oahu, Hawaii]), March 24, 1911, Image 4, Col. 1

Massachusetts Papers Howl at Idea of Hawaii Asking Statehood, Evening Bulletin (Honolulu [Oahu, Hawaii]), June 17, 1911, Image 15, Col. 1-3

Hawaii Wants Statehood, The Washington Times (Washington [D.C.]), February 12, 1919, FINAL EDITION, Image 2, Col. 6

Drive of Freedom Plan of Our Isles, The Washington Times (Washington [D.C.]), April 06, 1919, NATIONAL EDITION, Image 11

Linda Ulleseit
Written by Linda Ulleseit

Linda Ulleseit writes award-winning heritage fiction set in the United States. She is a member of Historical Novel Society, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and Women Writing the West as well as a founding member of Paper Lantern Writers. Get in touch with her on Instagram (lulleseit) and Facebook (Linda Ulleseit or SHINE with Paper Lantern Writers).

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