Losing a Kingdom

Today in history — August 12, 1898 — people gathered at Iolani Palace to celebrate the “U.S. annexation” of Hawaii. U.S. troops came ashore from Honolulu Harbor. But Queen Lili’uokalani was nowhere to be seen.

Instead, dressed in black in the Washington Place mansion, she and her family members and loyalists mourned losing their Kingdom, as she explained to newspaper reporter Alice Rix in an interview:

Alice Rix: “I thought perhaps you would go away—into the country.”

Queen Lili’uokalani: “Why? I came here to be near my people—to show them how to meet this. It has come upon us together—you understand? Together. I am not alone. My people lose their country; they lose their identity. Should I run away and shut my eyes and my ears when so many of them had to remain here in their homes? My home is also here, in Honolulu [Washington Place]. It gives us all courage to think of others. I remembered my people this day and they remembered me. We bore our trouble together. I did not leave my house….”

Read more about it in “How the Ex-queen Passed the Twelfth of August.”

“How the Ex-queen Passed the Twelfth of August.”
The San Francisco call, August 28, 1898, Image 17
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1898-08-28/ed-1/seq-17/

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King Kalakaua’s Silverware for Sale

This month in history — March 1916 — King Kalakaua’s silver knife and spoon and other “Hawaiian trinkets” were seen at a Los Angeles grocery window. The flatware was reportedly engraved with the monarch’s coat of arms.

Twenty-three years before after the overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy in 1893, royal heirlooms were sold off. Their whereabouts were unknown, and they included furniture, jewelry, fine China, sterling flatware, and paintings.

Read more about it in “Trinkets from Hawaii in Los Angeles Store Delight Street Goers.”

“Trinkets from Hawaii in Los Angeles Store Delight Street Goers”
Honolulu star-bulletin, March 22, 1916, Page 4
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82014682/1916-03-22/ed-1/seq-4/