Woman Making History #56: Queen Lili'uokalani

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queenl.jpgQueen Lili'uokalani as the last queen of the Hawaiian islands. She was born in 1838 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her birth parents were high chief Kapaakea and chiefess Keohokalol, but she was adopted at birth by Abner and Konia Paki. She was enrolled in the Royal School at age 4, where she became part of the royal circle attending Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma. In 1862, she married John Own Dominis, who became governor of Oahu and Maui. They had no children, and Dominis died soon after Lili'uokalani assumed the throne.

In 1891, Lili'uokalani became queen when her brother, King Kalakauam, died. Shortly after becoming queen, she attempted to put forth a new Hawaiian constitution, stretching the power of the monarchy and the native Hawaiian people. Her government was overthrown, she was deposed, and provisional government was instituted. The American Cleveland administration commissioned a report and found that her overthrow was illegal, offering to put her back on the throne if she offered amnesty to everyone responsible for the coup. Due in part to the queen's original instance that the perpetrators of her overthrow be punished (she later reversed this position), she never regained her throne. Instead, in 1894, Hawaii was declared a republic, and in 1898 it was annexed to the United States.

Lili'uokalani reported made several failed attempts to regain her crown, had some legal trouble due to possession of firearms, then finally accepted life as a private citizen. She wrote a history of her country, Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen (1898) and several songs. She died in 1917.

University of Illinois at Chicago
Hawaii State Government


i love u Lili'uokalani! u r my idol.

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