Part I: Queen Kapiolani and Princess Liliuokalani’s Trip to the United States

Part I of II – Traveling to the White House (Preceding Part II)

How do you get from Hawaii to England? For over half a year in 1887, Queen Kapiolani and Princess Liliuokalani had to sail to San Francisco, California, travel on land through the United States, and sail from the East Coast to England and back.

The royal dignitaries definitely got coverage in the U.S. newspapers, from what they did, wore, and said to their mannerisms and physical appearance. People flocked to see them, and government officials even greeted them. After all, royalty rarely came around their areas back then, and Kapiolani was even the first queen from another country to visit Washington D.C.

As this trip was her first to the U.S. East Coast, Kapiolani enjoyed the novelty and excitement of traveling, but complained about feeling homesick.

Kapiolani brought along Liliuokalani to serve as Kapiolani’s interpreter. Even though Kapiolani was raised to understand English, she would speak only Hawaiian. Newspapers noted that Liliuokalani was fluent in English while Kapiolani spoke “clumsily.”

Their entourage for the trip included Liliuokalani’s husband General Dominis, C.P. Iaukea, Governor of Oahu, Colonel J.H. Boyd, Mr. Sevellon Brown, Captain D.M. Taylor, and Lieutenant C.R.P. Rodgers, and four servants.

On their way from San Francisco, Kapiolani and Liliuokalani stopped over at Salt Lake City. Thirty minutes before their train arrived, a crowd of people started to gather at the depot. Several hundred people, including pupils and teachers, greeted the Hawaiian dignitaries. The Salt Lake Evening Democrat describes the crowd’s ovation for the pleasantly surprised Queen Kapiolani:

“… as the cars stopped the crowd gathered around the coach, eager to get a glance at the Queen, a line was formed in the rear car and quite a number passed through the coach to shake the royal hand. The Queen received them all with a gracious smile, in recognition of the courtesies shown her.”

Utah dignitaries and their families welcomed Kapiolani and Liliuokalani, including Mayor James Sharp, John Thomas Caine, delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, and city council members. Greeters from the Mormon community included Angus M. Cannon, president of the Salt Lake stake of the Latter Day Saint Church, and his sixty-five guests, including fifteen Native Hawaiians and missionaries from Hawaii.

As the train left the depot, the band performed “Yankee Doodle,” and Kapiolani waved her handkerchief from the window to the crowd.

Going eastward, Kapiolani and Liliuokalani stopped over at Chicago. When they arrived at the train station at 2 p.m., no government officials greeted them, and the hundreds of passengers from incoming trains did not notice them. Instead, “an idle crowd of railroad men, a few dozen curiosity hunters, and two or three persistent reporters” greeted the royal dignitaries.

At Baltimore, the entourage met Minister Carter and representatives of the State, War, and Navy departments, and they all went to Washington D.C. together. There, the entourage met U.S. President and Mrs. Grover Cleveland.

Read Part II: Queen Kapiolani and Princess Liliuokalani at the White House

– Alice Kim

For more information: Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen Liliuokalani

Articles from Chronicling America

“The Royal Party”
Sacramento daily record-union., April 28, 1887, Image 3

“The Queen Received: Her Majesty Kapiolani and Suite Arrive at the Depot and Are Given an Ovation”
Salt Lake evening Democrat., April 29, 1887, Image 4

“The Island Queen: The Dusky Sovereign Royally Received” – Queen Kapiolani
The Salt Lake herald., April 30, 1887, Page 8, Image 8

“The Kanakas’ Queen: Kapiolani and Suite in Chicago, Enroute to Washington and to the Jubilee of Queen Victoria”
Fort Worth daily gazette., May 06, 1887, Page 9, Image 6

“A Royal Curiosity: Queen Kapiolani’s Arrival Creates a Sensation in the East”
Sacramento daily record-union., May 04, 1887, Image 1


One Comment on “Part I: Queen Kapiolani and Princess Liliuokalani’s Trip to the United States”

  1. […] began playing, soldiers marched on the grounds and a tea party for children got underway, hosted by Princess Liliuokalani and Princess […]

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