Following the violent overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, Queen Lili'uokalani sought to not only restore her right to the throne, but to provide a voice for the Hawaiian people. Deposed for her efforts to assert Hawaiian sovereignty, Lili'uokalani reflects on growing up on the island of Oahu and the sadness with which she has been forced to leave everything behind.
About the Author:
Lili'uokalani (1838-1917) was the last and only queen of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Born in Honolulu to a prominent chief and chiefess, Lili'uokalani was adopted and raised by a chief advisor of King Kamehameha III. Lili'uokalani was baptized as a Christian and educated at the Royal School. Declared eligible to succeed to the throne, Lili'uokalani married John Owen Dominis, an American who was later appointed Governor of O'ahu. After her brother's death in 1891, Lili'uokalani ascended to the throne, marking the beginning of a brief reign with which she would attempt to create a new constitution restoring power to the monarchy and granting voter rights to the poor and disenfranchised. In retaliation, and with the help of Hawaiian oligarchs, American led forces overthrew the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893, bringing an abrupt end to Lili'uokalani's rule. In 1895, following the failed Wilcox rebellion, Lili'uokalani was placed under house arrest and forced to abdicate, leading to the annexation of Hawaii by the United States in 1898. During her imprisonment, Lili'uokalani wrote Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen (1898), an autobiography detailing her life and appealing for her reinstatement as queen. In addition, while she was Princess of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Lili'uokalani wrote the popular song "Aloha 'Oe," (1878) now a symbol of Hawaiian sovereignty and identity.