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Volume 5.2 1997
ISSN 1048-3721
This page was last updated on 03/15/99



Michael G. Vann


"Hawaii," Jack London once observed, "is a queer place."2 What disturbed this progressive writer about the islands was a racially determined socioeconomic system in which the indigenous people were displaced and thousands of impoverished Asian immigrants toiled in the tropical sun for the material benefit of a small, white elite. London may not have known, however, that this colonial social order did not come into being without a struggle. On February 13, 1874, High Chief David Lonoikamakahiki Keolo Keoma Kalakaua Kapaakea ascended the throne of the Hawaiian kingdom. Despite the work of Hawaii’s last king to guard his nation’s independence, the next two and a half decades saw domestic and external forces erode the sovereignty of his nation to the point where U.S. annexation was all but inevitable. The demographic collapse of the indigenous population and the seemingly uncontrollable waves of migration to the islands threw the very definition of the Hawaiian state into question.

While the archipelago did not officially come under U.S. control until August 12, 1899, a state of informal empire and dependency dictated the course of Hawaiian history throughout King Kalakaua’s reign (1874-1891).3 The Kalakaua dynasty did not resign itself to its inevitable loss of independence. Rather, the Merry Monarch’s tenure was the last feasible attempt to maintain the sovereignty of the Hawaiian monarchy and of the people of Hawaii against enemies from outside and within the realm. At no point in Kalakaua’s rule was this struggle more evident than during Prime Minister Walter Murray Gibson’s New Departure administration (1882-1887). In 1887, when the domestic enemies of the monarchy staged a coup known as the Bayonet Revolution, exiled Gibson, and imposed their Bayonet Constitution upon King Kalakaua, the fight to keep Hawaii independent was lost. The Yankee planters and merchants had successfully disenfranchised the vast majority of the Hawaiian people and turned Kalakaua’s domain into a white-dominated constitutional monarchy. While in the years to follow there was a series of dramatic events, including the 1893 overthrow of the monarchy, the 1894 creation of a white Hawaiian republic, and the 1898 U.S. annexation, the events of the mid-1880s sealed the islands’ fate.

The New Departure’s quest to preserve the Hawaiian nation by reinvigorating the Kingdom was a conscious attempt to create a state-centered Hawaiian nationalism. The increase in royal pageantry, the elevation of the Hawaiian language, the attempt to make Hawaii a Pacific power, the adoption of specific immigration and health policies, and the revival of Hawaiian culture were all part of Gibson’s plan to keep the Kingdom viable as an independent and coherent nation. The entire New Departure can be seen as an effort to create an "imagined community,"4 a political community from which the Hawaiian state could be defended and the hostile white settlers, or haole,5 could be attacked. Membership in this community was elective and open to all willing to become naturalized citizens of the Kingdom: here was a vision of the Hawaiian nation diametrically opposed to the haole political vision of white rule in a settler-dominated colony of the United States. The invention of Hawaiian nationalism was a product of the sovereign government’s struggle with an insidious strain of U.S. imperialism, both within the islands and in the larger global context. The immediate response of the white community to this perceived threat was the formation of a self-image that stressed moral decency, austerity, thrift, incorruptibility, and hard work. This mentalité was based upon both the haole Puritanical heritage and their hostility to the confidence, energy, and pageantry of the monarchy. While denying the legitimacy of the Hawaiian state and denigrating Hawaiian culture, the settler reaction promoted white rule as the only means of establishing order and morality in the islands.

This essay is not an attempt to invalidate Hawaiian nationalism in the past or the present.6 Rather, it explores the role of nationalism as one of several government strategies that were employed to resist annexation. Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger’s discussion of the political uses of nationalism provides grounds for considering this phenomenon not as the pure expression of patriotic sentiment, but as a useful tool in the construction of the nation-state.7 While Yankee economic hegemony was quickly achieved in the islands, political domination remained outside of the haole’s grasp. The King and his "Minister of Everything"8 used the political space provided by the informal colonial context to contest the growth of white power in the islands and assert the sovereignty of the Hawaiian state. In the end, the conflict was decided by the military and economic strength of the wealthy planter elite.

The historiography of Hawaii is a developing field that has often been closely connected to events in the islands. The first narratives of the demise of the Hawaiian monarchy were the product of those who had taken part in its overthrow. The writing of their "histories" was the final act of conquest: the intellectual consolidation of rule.9 Given the privilege victors have in telling the tale and silencing the vanquished, these narratives are often best seen as primary rather than secondary sources. As temporal distance grew, professional historians took it upon themselves to present scholarly studies of the Hawaiian past.10 While these works are commendable for their presentation of detail and chronology, dissent, protest, opposition, and transgression were often marginalized, and the growth of U.S. influence in the islands, culminating in annexation and statehood, was presented as a linear and coherent historical trajectory. The result was a haole-centric narrative in which the native Hawaiians and Asian immigrants receded into the background, and there was no analysis of the racist, socioeconomic power structure created by white domination. In reaction to this Eurocentric and teleological approach, a recent wave of scholars, answering E.P. Thompson’s call to rescue the historically oppressed from the "enormous condescension of posterity,"11 have sought to write Hawaiian history from the bottom up by using social history to fill in the gaps in the work of the previous generation of scholars. Branches of this historiographic intervention have connections to current struggles in the fiftieth state and acknowledge the political implications of writing history.12

This essay, which explores the issues of citizenship, the nation-state, and race, is a complement to recent bottom-up scholarship on Hawaii. As the colonial ideology of the haole dominated the islands for decades, its construction as a racist attempt to delegitimize the Hawaiian state must be factored into the cultural legacy of the islands. Colonialism, as Albert Memmi noted, involves a dualism between the oppressed and oppressor: the whole cannot be understood without understanding both parts.13 Recent work on the construction of "whiteness" in both colonial and non-colonial societies has highlighted the need to analyze this often neglected aspect of the dialectic of racial oppression. Since white culture and ideology have been considered hegemonic in the context of settler colonialism in general, and in Hawaii in particular, they have been seen as normal and thus not in need of serious critique.14 The result has been either a void or the survival (and repackaging) of the undeconstructed self-portrait of the white colonists. Theorists such as Ann Stoler have attempted to rectify this situation by placing "new emphasis on the quotidian assertion of European dominance in the colonies, on imperial interventions in domestic life, and thus on the cultural prescriptions by which European women and men lived."15 The following essay offers a critical reconsideration of the haole mentalité as a response to the Hawaiian state’s attempt to maintain its sovereignty.


In the second half of the nineteenth century, the Reciprocity Treaty, redistribution of land, demographic trends, and influx of new wealth for certain elites within the nation combined to undermine Hawaii’s freedom of action and increase its dependency on the United States. This situation rapidly undermined the monarchy’s political and economic power, placing the island chain in the shadow of the rising U.S. informal empire. Hawaii became a U.S. colony years before the 1899 annexation, functional and structural colonialism preceding formal and legal colonial rule.16 The nexus of demographic collapse, economic restructuring, and racial tensions must be understood if one is to comprehend the competing ideologies of Hawaiian nationalism and the haole response.

The single most important event in Hawaii’s slide toward the U.S. orbit was the Reciprocity Treaty, created in 1875 and signed by the U.S. government in September of 1876.17 The treaty provided for a tariff system whereby Hawaiian raw sugar was fed directly into the preferred U.S. market where it would be refined and distributed. It pushed Hawaii toward a single cash-crop economy similar to those found in Central America and the Caribbean. Aside from the treaty’s direct economic rewards, the U.S. proponents acknowledged several other benefits. These included the islands’ geo-strategic position and economic potential as a market for U.S. goods. More importantly, U.S. legislators argued that the Reciprocity Treaty would lead to an influx of Yankee capital and citizens, thus enhancing U.S. political and economic power. For adherents of Manifest Destiny, the treaty was one more step in the natural U.S. expansion westward and the extension of U.S. political control by economic means.18 The new power dynamic of dependency was understood by its creators.

In the words of the Hawaiian historian Kuykendall, the Reciprocity Treaty acted as an "uninhibited pituitary gland" for the sugar industry and for the islands’ economy.19 The industry expanded at an astronomical rate, eclipsing all other businesses yet encouraging overall growth. The numbers of acres planted with sugar cane bear witness to the hyper-acceleration of the industry: 12,225 in 1874; 22,455 in 1879; 39,350 in 1882; 60,787 in 1889; and 125,000 in 1898.20 The earlier imposition of Western-style land division and private property ownership encouraged the native elites [ali’i] to sell or lease large tracts of land previously utilized by commoners.21 This disruption resulted in the rapid decline of native subsistence farmers (a crucial component to an independent economy), radical alteration of land-use practices, and the growth of the single cash-crop economy subservient to the capitalist world system. The planters were able to dominate Hawaiian agriculture, leaving the Kingdom with few alternative sources of income.

The economic and social position of the kanaka commoner [maka ai’nana] rapidly deteriorated as the islands’ economic system shifted from pre-Cook autarky to plantation-oriented capitalist agriculture. With the Great Mahele [Division] of the mid-nineteenth century, the kanaka elites and commoners stopped the traditional mountain-to-sea division of the land, began to mark individual plots, and leased or sold them to sugar growers.22 The Hawaiian concept of land parcels offered a dramatic contrast to the plantation system of landholding that spread across the fertile plains and gentle hillsides. The traditional system ensured maka ai’nana access to the various ecological zones of the islands: coastal areas for fishing and collecting, valleys and flat lands watered by mountain streams for irrigated taro (kalo, the root from which the staple food poi was made) fields, and upper valleys and mountain rain forests for hunting and collecting. The changed land-use patterns physically and legally hindered the accessibility of crucial areas of pre-capitalist production. In a literal as well as metaphorical sense, the traditional and modern land-use patterns were at right angles. As the commodification of land terminated the previous system of livelihood for the majority of the Hawaiian people, some found wage labor in the growing port city of Honolulu, while the majority became agricultural proletarians on the plantations. In both cases, they lost their traditional cultural and socioeconomic identities as they sought new roles in the modern sector.23 It was this newly déraciné population that the monarchy sought to mobilize against the haole planters.

Closely tied to changes in land use were stunning demographic trends. Biology had a profound and tragic impact on the native populations of the Pacific. Lacking immunities to the numerous diseases brought by Western explorers, merchants, whalers, and missionaries, the native Hawaiian population experienced a devastation comparable to that of the indigenous American and other Polynesian populations.24 From roughly 300,000 at the time of Cook’s arrival in 1778, the population shrank to 80,641 in 1849, and to 45,000 in 1876.25 Even though the islands’ population reached its nadir in 1872 at 56,897 and experienced a steady growth for the next century, the Hawaiian people continued to diminish in numbers.26 The statistics regarding the relative weight of the Hawaiian population are equally startling. Up to the mid-1860s, at least nine of every ten inhabitants of the islands were full-blooded Hawaiians. Ten years later they accounted for only 75 percent. In 1884, only six years after the three-quarters figure was established, they reached minority status at 49.7 percent. Several months before his own death, Kalakaua received the news that the remaining 34,436 Hawaiians composed only 38.2 percent of his Kingdom’s people.27 Considering that the initial demographic crash occurred in the space of a generation and continued to take its dreadful toll on the children and grandchildren of the survivors, one can scarcely fathom the psychological impact upon ordinary Hawaiians, let alone the monarch responsible for them.

Among the many results of this decline was the inability of kanaka labor to meet the needs of the growing plantations (explained as a product of Hawaiian laziness in the planters’ rhetoric). The immediate response was the importation of Chinese laborers to work the plantations, with Japanese, Portuguese, Puerto Rican, and some Northern European laborers to follow in decades to come. Desperate Chinese fleeing the turmoil of the Taiping Rebellion quickly filled the lowest rung on the Kingdom’s social ladder.28 Becoming a significant segment of the population in 1878 when the 6,045 Chinese replaced Caucasians as the second-largest ethnic group, this community had more than tripled to 18,254 by 1884. At this point they made up 22.6 percent of the islands’ people.29 While most Chinese resided in the islands for only the length of their contracts, increasing numbers chose to stay. Prominent Chinese found success as merchants in Honolulu, serving the needs of the community and helping to expand the urban center.30 The economic success of individual Chinese vexed the racist, white business community.31 Nonetheless, the majority of the Asian immigrants were exploited and impoverished by the functions of the racially stratified split-labor market in which one’s race determined one’s position on the plantation.32 Unlike immigrants of American and European ancestry, Asian immigrants were not granted the right to vote in 1887 and were explicitly excluded after the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.33 While the decrease in the population of pure Hawaiians continued, there was a substantial rise in part Hawaiians as intermarriage with Asian immigrants became more common.

As the importation of labor created a racial caste system and split-labor market in the Hawaiian socioeconomic structure, the community of white settlers became increasingly powerful. Descendants of missionaries 34 and recently arrived entrepreneurs leased or bought land for sugar cultivation and opened businesses in Honolulu. While variation and stratification existed, the haole settlers dominated the most powerful economic and social positions. Race was a qualification for membership in this group, and membership provided many privileges and opportunities that could overcome class issues. Fredrickson’s concept of "Herrenvolk society," a colonial situation in which the prestige bestowed upon the dominant ethnicity smoothes over any internal economic rifts and divisions, is an appropriate description of the social system.35

The population of European descent remained small throughout the nineteenth century. Haole residents did not exceed 2,000 until the 1860s. At this point the missionary families dominated the white community, which made up under 4 percent of the islands’ people. The situation changed with the signing of the Reciprocity Treaty. Most noticeable was the sudden influx of Portuguese. Recruited by the Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association, these impoverished immigrants left difficult conditions in Europe and the Azores to fill newly created positions as field supervisors (luna or foremen) on the plantations. While only 486 Portuguese were in the islands in 1878, they reached 9,967 in 1884 and 12,719 in 1890; 0.8 percent, 12.3 percent, and 14.1 percent of the population, respectively.36 Being poor, Catholic, and of a darker complexion, they were kept at a distance from the WASP haole community and served as a buffer zone between the clearly "white" and "nonwhite." To the missionary stock were added some 3,000 Americans and Northern Europeans between 1878 and 1884. The new arrivals, combined with the decrease in the Hawaiian population, gave the 6,612 members of the haole community a proportional weight of 8.3 percent in 1884.37 But of course this tiny elite exercised disproportionately strong economic and social power.

While old-time haole, kama ai’na, were often linked to Hawaiian royal families by marriage and business projects, the 1880s saw an increased polarization between whites and Hawaiians. As the growth of a substantial noncitizen population provoked serious debate amongst the haole over the issue of to whom the Hawaiian state was accountable, the monarchy began to question the loyalty of alien whites. Despite their economic success in the islands, many haole held on to their foreign citizenship, while those who chose to become citizens of the monarchy exploited its political advantages for the haole community. Yet the haole were not satisfied by their combined socioeconomic power. Frequently political aspirations were frustrated by the small number of naturalized, and thus voting, whites and the inability to mobilize the voting kanaka population for their purposes. It appeared that white political desires had been sated in 1887 when the Bayonet Constitution extended voting rights to literate noncitizen residents of American and European ancestry who could meet substantial property qualifications.38 On the contrary, this initial success only fueled the haole political greed. Before a decade was to pass, force would be used to install a white republic.

Jack London captured the tragedy and irony of this history in the opening paragraph of a short story set in Hawaii:

Hawaii is a queer place. Everything socially is what I may call topsy-turvy. Not but what things are correct. They are almost too much so. But still things are upside down. The most ultra-exclusive set there is the ‘Missionary Crowd.’ It comes with rather a shock to learn that in Hawaii the obscure, martyrdom-seeking missionary sits at the head of the table of the moneyed aristocracy. But it is true. The humble New Englanders who came out in the third decade of the nineteenth century, came for the lofty purpose of teaching the kanakas the true religion, the worship of the one only genuine and undeniable God. So well did they succeed in this, and also in civilizing the kanaka, that by the second or third generation he was practically extinct. This being the fruit of the seed of the Gospel, the fruit of the seed of the missionaries (the sons and grandsons) was the possession of the islands themselves—of the land, the ports, the town sites and the sugar plantations. The missionary who came to give the bread of life remained to gobble up the whole heathen feast.39


Here is the essential paradox of Hawaiian history: the material dispossession of the Hawaiian people by the forces who claimed to provide their moral salvation. Such a situation had profound cultural implications for the political conflicts of the 1880s.40

After the signing of the Reciprocity Treaty by the U.S. government and the Kalakaua monarchy, both the peopling of Hawaii and the transformation of land ownership and use were determined by the needs of the sugar industry. The treaty incorporated Hawaii in the U.S. informal empire decades before formal legal annexation. While the treaty allowed for quick economic conquest, political success was not ensured. Indeed, this very speed and surreptitiousness produced a colonial context that was not solidified by formal rule and was thus open to contestation. In this fluid situation, the competing discourses of the haole settlers and the Hawaiian state used the issues of nationality and citizenship either to seal or to repeal the informal colonialism of dependency.


It is rather ironic that a haole immigrant joined King Kalakaua in a partnership to reinvigorate the Hawaiian monarchy by attempting to create a nationalist movement. Arriving on June 30, 1861, as an agent of the Mormon Church, Walter Murray Gibson had a long and dubious reputation as an adventurer. With a shadowy past stretching from the Carolinas to New York, Guatemala, Brazil, Sumatra, Western Europe, and Salt Lake City, he came to Hawaii late in life and decided to make a final and permanent home in the islands. Gibson’s life, which has been characterized as a search for a personal empire in distant lands, reads like a pulp adventure novel with tales of cradle switching, gunrunning, Dutch imprisonment, a conspiracy to revolt with Sumatran princes, and other mischief.41 After breaking with the Mormon Church (in the process swindling the Latter-day Saints out of title to most of the island of Lanai), Gibson was naturalized as a citizen of the Kingdom and entered Hawaiian politics. Due to his Southern roots and curious dealings with the Mormons, Gibson was not well received by WASP-dominated haole social circles. His turn toward the Catholic Church after the quarrel with the Latter-day Saints did not help. Nonetheless, his career did not suffer. He began as an editor and publisher of newspapers in 1873; he then served as a lesser elected official in the Hawaiian government from 1878 to 1882, when he was appointed prime minister. He remained prime minister until 1887. Alienated from the dominant white community and inspired by romantic notions about "native" peoples, Gibson adopted the role of populist defender of the Hawaiians against the haole elites. Breaking the caste barrier earned him the title of race traitor in addition to many of the other epithets that he bore throughout his life.42 As with much of Gibson’s personal history, the exact motives for Gibson’s alliance with the Hawaiian monarchy remain murky.

As a champion of the native cause in the Kingdom’s politics, Gibson proposed numerous policies and programs, some of which were concrete and practical while others had greater symbolic importance. Throughout his career, Gibson focused on the state of the Kingdom’s population, the domestic and international perception of the Hawaiian monarchy as a legitimate institution and state, and the survival of Hawaiian culture. Each of these was explicitly linked to an attempt to overcome the evils of Hawaiian dependency and its domestic and international implications. Critical evaluations of Gibson, which were often linked to his political opponents, have dismissed him as cynically playing populist politics for personal gain. While it is impossible to deny this argument entirely, it must be recognized that he did provide the Hawaiian community with a strong political voice and did pass meaningful legislation aimed at improving its situation. Gibson’s administration was not unlike the Latin American caudillo regimes or the political machines and bosses of contemporary U.S. cities. While these were attacked as corrupt patronage systems by their progressive and reformist critics, they were able to deliver tangible material benefits to their otherwise neglected and isolated constituencies. In return, they monopolized power bases that their opponents could not touch.43

Gibson’s own racial background provides further insight into the nature of the new political community that he and Kalakaua sought to create. Their vision allowed for an elective membership in the Hawaiian state. If one chose to become a naturalized Hawaiian citizen and placed one’s allegiance with the sovereign Hawaiian government, then entry was allowed. However, if one chose to remain an outsider or maintained alien connections, then citizenship was barred. The result was to be a hybrid nation-state of natives and immigrants with a revived population and culture, Hawaiian at the core but multicultural in practice. Such a vision was a realistic response to the kanaka demographic crash and the inevitable repopulation of the islands through immigration. It was also a direct confrontation of the settlers’ dream of white Christian rule. The conflict of the 1880s can be seen as the clash between two diametrically opposed political ideologies: elective and inclusive versus racially exclusive. The image of the Kalakaua-Gibson New Departure partnership needs to be revised in this light.

The condition and number of the Kingdom’s citizens was a chief concern of Gibson’s from the early 1870s. For the plight of the shrinking kanaka population, Gibson proposed two plans of action. The first was immigration to the islands of "cognate peoples." Gibson sought to attract races that would be, in his eyes, compatible with the Hawaiian people. He favored the Malays of Southeast Asia, Hindus from India (he had an eye on developments in British Fiji), and other Pacific Islanders over the Chinese who were already flooding the islands.44 Preference was given to "Pacific island races who invigorate the dwindling Hawaiians" as opposed to a "servile Asian labor force." Importantly, these immigrants were not to be simply men with short-term contracts, as many of the Chinese coolies were.45 Again, historical statistics show alarming demographic developments. Immigration to the plantations created a serious gender gap in the islands. The ratio of males to 1,000 females rose from 1,254 in 1872; to 1,428 in 1878; and 1,775 in 1884. Even more disturbing was the figure of unmarried males to females, which jumped from 1,983 in 1872; to 3,011 in 1878; to 4,714 in 1884; and a stunning 5,452 in 1890.46 To remedy the imbalance, Gibson promoted the importation of entire families as well as artisans and mechanics. Nor were these immigrants to remain isolated, as intermarriage and the spread of Hawaiian blood were to be encouraged. The goal of immigration was assimilation into the Hawaiian community, not simply a racially defined temporary labor force for the split-labor market.47 There was a vision of a more vibrant and complex economy and culture stemming from this state-encouraged diversity.

This policy was a direct attack on the interests of the planters. While both the planters and the Gibson Administration under Kalakaua were responding to the labor shortage on the plantations, it was not in the interests of the plantocracy to increase the political weight of the native population via intermarriage and other alliances. On the contrary, a labor force of transient and racially distinct aliens could be kept in a very weak position in terms of political power and labor organization.48 As Gibson’s promotion of nonwhite settlers would undermine haole political ascendancy, it was met with firm opposition that finally manifested itself in the Bayonet Constitution’s provisions, which effectively disenfranchised the maka ai’nana and formally excluded all Asians.49 Furthermore, a diverse and vibrant society threatened haole cultural hegemony over the allegedly defeated Hawaiians and docile Chinese. Gibson’s talk of Malay and Indian immigrants had serious implications for Hawaii’s international position. Since South Asia was a British possession and the Dutch controlled the East Indies, immigration from these sources would lead to increased British and Dutch interest and influence in the Hawaiian islands. As this would threaten the United States’s growing power in the Pacific, the staunchly pro-U.S. haole had further cause for alarm.50 Such policies would harm the growing metropole-colony relationship that the settlers were trying to cultivate. For the haole, Gibson’s immigration policies were a double edged sword: used in one direction they would cut the plantocracy’s domination within Hawaii and when swung back they would sever their ties to the United States. Such an immigration-based development project had serious implications for the haole’s social status and privileges. A vibrant, complex, and multilayered society would undermine the racially defined plantation-style social structure that undergirded the material rewards loved so much by the sons and daughters of the missionaries.

Gibson’s second plan of action to revive the kanaka population was to improve this community’s health conditions. His Sanitary Instructions for Hawaiians, written in 1878, linked the decline of the Hawaiian people with the coming of the whites, their diseases, and their disruption of the previously healthy conditions under which the Hawaiians had lived.51 In addition to giving practical advice to the Hawaiian community, the book’s underlying message was that their wretched conditions were not due to some moral flaw (an argument central to the thinking of haole like the Reverend S.E. Bishop 52) but to the very presence of the haole, their domination of the islands, and the new social and material conditions that were a result of external intervention in the islands. It was implicit in Gibson’s work that subjugation and degradation of the Hawaiian people were the products of the newly created political, economic, and social order. When, as prime minister, Gibson sought to help the Hawaiian victims of leprosy, he considered it his task to dispel the idea that the disease was a "badge of shame" for the Hawaiians, a sign of their inferiority, and a physical manifestation of their moral decay.53

In this text, he called upon patriotic Hawaiians to preserve their race and recognize the threat to their independence. If their population was allowed to dwindle, he warned that annexation by an imperial power was certain.54 His specific advice, while primarily drawn from his reading of European and U.S. literature on health care, suggested "preserving much that is good of ... ancestral life" and combining it with the beneficial aspects of Westernization.55 This call for a hybridization of cultures and practices contrasts dramatically to the dominant haole discourse, embodied in Bishop’s work, which promoted assimilation as the only solution to the Hawaiian people’s plight. Gibson went so far as to call for a renaissance of traditional ritualized games and athletics, practices that the missionaries had worked so hard to banish a few decades before. In order to "inspire the remnant of the race to wake up to a little of the old spirit in the way of manliness and courage," he encouraged "a revival as much as possible of the ancient amusements." The political and military significance for the endangered Hawaiian state was clear.

It is not necessary, or expected, that you should train to be warriors of the olden time. But let the youth of the nation keep up the bold surf riding, the dexterous kui jousts, the hill-side coastings, the ball rolling and throwing, the wrestling, the running, the leaping, and diving, and other athletic sports; and thereby an increased vigor of health will be promoted, national spirit aroused, and if danger menaces a Hawaiian Sovereign, he may hope to have, as in the days of the Conqueror, a few stout thewed and bold hearted followers to defend a nation’s cause, and win, at least, a world’s praise for Hawaiian manliness.56


By invoking the image of the "warrior" and the "Conqueror" [Kamehameha], Gibson sought to mobilize a militant nationalist sentiment to defend the monarchy. His message explicitly linked health care and cultural practice with political action.

Thus, Gibson’s program for the health of the Hawaiian people had a practical as well as a symbolic and cultural function. He wanted to liberate them from the medical as well as social stigmas of their poverty. By doing so, he could remedy the inferiority complex imposed upon the Hawaiians by the missionary discourse of native/pagan deficiency.57 In a Fanonian fashion, the removal of the colonial stigma had obvious political and social implications. Defusing the discourse of inferiority allowed the native population to fight the haole elite as political equals.58 The fight for improved health care for the Hawaiians had a further political linkage as many Hawaiian voters blamed the smallpox outbreak of 1881 on the failure of the haole elite to meet the needs of their electorate.59 By becoming a champion of health care, Gibson took a populist line that won him much political credit at the expense of the haole politicians.

Admittedly, Gibson’s text did contain a rather strong paternalist sentiment. Yet it was free of the underlying contempt for the Hawaiians so central to the haole rhetoric. Bishop and other haole critics focused upon the failings of the Hawaiians (of which the moral failure was paramount) in the search for the cause of their current situation and offered no concrete solutions to their plight other than the adoption of Western ways. Despite a condescending "save-our-brown-brother" attitude, Gibson provided the Hawaiian reader with specific medical advice. The overt moral condescension of Bishop’s text was absent. The difference was one of control and domination versus instruction and coalition-building.

Another of Gibson’s driving concerns was the domestic and international perception of the Hawaiian monarchy.60 By stressing its legitimacy and adding grandeur to the institutions of the Kingdom, Gibson was working to create a sense of nationalism among the Hawaiian people. To achieve this Gibson promoted the use of ceremonial symbolism, tried to make Hawaii a Pacific power, and did his best to keep the annexationists at bay while still reaping the benefits of reciprocity. Ranger and Hobsbawm’s concept of the "invention of tradition" is a useful tool in understanding this enterprise, as it focuses the analysis upon the function and goals of ceremony rather than on the ceremony itself.61

One of the most frequent haole criticisms of the Gibson administration was its lavish spending on King Kalakaua and the royal family. The construction of Iolani Palace, the erection of the famous statue of Kamehameha I (which symbolized the warrior tradition), the extravagant coronation ceremony (nine years after Kalakaua had taken the throne), the minting of the King Kalakaua silver pieces (a dubious fiscal move), and the spending of money on the Royal Hawaiian Band all seemed to the white settler community a waste of precious tax revenue, much of which was collected from the wealthy planters.62 The complaint was that these projects, which reeked of corruption and of currying favor with the King, were far from the course of responsible state management that the administration should be following. Furthermore, these descendants of missionaries distrusted the transformation of the "barbarian chief" into a nationalist hero.63 The state’s use of symbols of a national discourse and mythology in which the haole were not included caused much anxiety among the white community. At the same time, the administration was spending large sums on projects with European motifs, which in and of themselves were not alienating to the haole. At first glance, many of these seem to be bizarre cultural juxtapositions. Yet, if they are considered in their larger political context, they reveal an essential aspect of Kalakaua and Gibson’s struggle: the fight to win recognition of the Kingdom as a legitimate member of the international family of nations. The combination of old and new, of Hawaiian and European, illustrates the invented nature of the monarchy’s project.

Iolani Palace is a rather odd structure to have become a central symbol in the struggle for Hawaii’s sovereignty. Famous to American television audiences in the 1970s as the fictional headquarters of Steve McGarrett’s "Hawaii Five-O," it is a square, three-story structure made of stone. Its facade has ornate Corinthian columns, arched doorways, and a regal flight of stairs to the grounds below. The interior décor uses carved wood relief over the windows, numerous chandeliers, intricately decorated ceilings, luxurious carpets, and an imposing master staircase to produce a regal, yet decidedly Western, atmosphere. Gift portraits of various European monarchs, a traditional Old World form of diplomatic recognition, are prominently displayed, as are elegant glass and silvery finery. Aside from the superficial decorations, such as the kahili, kapu sticks, and other moveable traditional symbols, one is hard pressed to identify what is Hawaiian about the palace. Actually, this is the point. The palace is an artifact of an international style of nineteenth-century royalty. As a site for receptions of foreign dignitaries, occasions of royal pageantry, and the official business of the King, it had to conform to certain standards. In the last third of the nineteenth century, European culture set these universal standards. State structures are invested with meaning and significance, yet the message they convey depends upon the audience. Iolani Palace’s message was two-fold. Internationally, it argued for Kalakaua’s place in the family of nations, specifically of crowned heads. Domestically, it warned those who might doubt the permanence and solidity of the monarchy that it was here to stay.64 In this context, the use of Western motifs makes perfect sense. The culturally incongruous Iolani Palace stands in contrast to other Western-style structures built in the colonial tropics. Unlike most colonial cities, this aberration was not imposed by conquest but was adopted as a form of resistance.65

The King’s body was also used in this manner. As in the European rituals on which it was modeled, the 1883 coronation ceremony was designed to symbolize Kalakaua’s personification of the Hawaiian state. The procession used both traditional Hawaiian and modern European symbols of royal power. Kahili and kapu stick bearers marched ahead of the King and Queen before they received their English-made crowns. Liliuokalani’s memoir recounts the acquisition of Parisian finery for the ladies-in-waiting, "all attired in black velvet trimmed with white satin," who participated in the ceremony and the soirée.66 The King’s famous official photographs depict him in a European-style uniform with a Prussian spiked helmet. His body was regularly adorned with various crosses and medallions based upon European motifs.

Kalakaua’s much-criticized tour of the world was also a means of using the body of the King to project a political message.67 As the first crowned head of state to circumnavigate the globe, he was received with respect in the independent Asian nations of Japan, China, and Siam, as well as in Western Europe and Washington, D.C. That he was treated as a weaker member, but a member nonetheless, of the international family of royalty was of great significance at home and abroad. His personal contact with other kings granted a royal form of diplomatic recognition. Such royal state visits were continued throughout the New Departure period. One of the more important was Queen Kapiolani’s attendance at Queen Victoria’s 1887 Jubilee, a trip cut short by news of the settler coup against Kalakaua and Gibson. Liliuokalani’s lengthy account of this royal visit places great importance on the fact that the entire royal family was treated with respect and as equals by their European counterparts.68 That the Hawaiian royal family could move with ease in European and Asian royal circles was an affirmation of their status. Furthermore, it established an international or universal context for Kalakaua’s rule that firmly rejected the haole image of the King as an isolated and backward barbarian chief.

As Gibson and Kalakaua’s chief concern was maintaining the independence of the Kingdom, they decided to respond aggressively to the eroding position of other sovereign Pacific nations. In addition to the United States, the influences of Great Britain, France, and Germany in the region (and, of course, in the world) were growing during Kalakaua’s reign. Fearing imperialist threats to his small realm, Kalakaua was persuaded by Gibson to acquire a navy (one ship, the Kaimiloa, a former guano carrier) and to promote a Hawaiian-led Pacific federation amongst the various Polynesian archipelagoes. The "Hawaiian Protest" of 1883 called for an end to great-power annexations and proclaimed Hawaii a protector of "sister islands" in the Pacific.69 In 1886, Hawaii sent the Kaimiloa to Samoa as a show of force to support Samoan princes faced with possible German annexation. The scheme failed when the drunken crew mutinied and the ship had to be rescued by a trailing German gunboat. Fortunately, the mission was stopped before Gibson provoked the angry Bismarck to use force against the meddlesome Hawaiian state.

Despite the mission’s setbacks, it illustrated the attempt to make Hawaii a power in the region and to convince the great powers that it was not simply a piece of real estate ripe for acquisition. Presenting the Kingdom as an aggressive power had domestic implications as well. The monarchy wished to be seen as a defender of native rights against the haole, in Hawaii as well as in the Pacific region (this is similar to the Third-Worldist discourses of leaders such as Sukarno in the 1960s). At the same time that this strategy rallied Hawaiian nationalist support to the throne, it directly attacked the settler elite’s position. By illustrating an anti-Western position in foreign policy, Kalakaua and Gibson were sending a message to Westerners within the island chain. As many of the haole actively favored a metropole-colony relationship with the United States, the implications of fighting colonialism in "sister islands" were directly opposed to the interests of the settlers. The fact that tax money collected from the sugar plantations was used for these schemes further angered the fiscally conservative settlers.70

While acknowledging that the Reciprocity Treaty put the Hawaiian state in a subservient and dependent position, Gibson and Kalakaua recognized that the sugar industry was vital to the islands’ economic life. Thus, the task was to reap the fiscal benefits of this relationship while maintaining Hawaii’s sovereignty. To modify the cash-crop dependency of the islands, Gibson encouraged the diversification of the Hawaiian economy and agriculture. In 1890, after Gibson’s fall, Kalakaua was still calling for diversification (an issue that has not ceased to trouble the islands); unfortunately, he was far too late and this move was mocked by Thurston in his memoir.71 Gibson also sought to wrestle Hawaii free of the death grip of the established planters by courting a non-settler planter, Claus Spreckles, the founder of the California sugar trust. By granting him vast tracts of land and unprecedented water rights in Wailuku, Maui, Gibson and Kalakaua received access to Spreckles’s capital at favorable rates, thus freeing the monarchy from accountability to the tax-paying haole community. This move greatly angered the haole elite: they resented the preferential treatment of a newcomer who was so willing to work with the Hawaiian government. Gibson and Kalakaua’s alliance with Spreckles marked the point of no reconciliation between the prime minister and the planters.72 Regardless of the fact that the alliance with Spreckles did nothing to break Hawaiian dependence on the United States, it did undermine the position of the plantation owners. Furthermore, it illustrates the search for an alternative economic relationship: engagement with international capitalism, rather than the encroaching colonialism of dependency.

A final means of slowing the annexationist movement that was pulling the archipelago into the U.S. orbit was the Hawaiian use of British and U.S. rivalries.73 On several occasions, Kalakaua and Gibson played the two great powers off each other. The 1881 rumor that Kalakaua would sell part of Hawaii to the British and the loan negotiations with the British government illustrate this tactic.74 As the majority of the haole community was American and directly benefited from the islands’ dependency on the United States, any move towards the British was viewed as a serious threat. Again, the monarchy was attempting to present itself as an independent player in the international community of nations.

The survival of Hawaiian culture was both an end and a means for Gibson and Kalakaua. The Merry Monarch clearly recognized that with the combination of population decline and imposition of American and Asian cultures, the culture of his people could soon be extinct. Thus a Hawaiian revival was undertaken. The renaissance of the hula [dance] and mele [song or chant], arts suppressed by the Puritan missionaries from New England, and the inclusion of the Hawaiian language in state education were manifestations of the struggle over culture.75 The shock of the haole community at the performance of "hulas of more than questionable nature" at Kalakaua’s coronation luau serves as testament to the struggle to control Hawaiian culture.76 Gibson’s own bilingual newspaper, Ka Nuhou Hawaii, used both the English and Hawaiian languages to spread Hawaiian culture and to prevent the disappearance of the native tongue, as well as to agitate politically.

Kalakaua himself took an active role in the cultural revival. The appellation "Merry Monarch," given to him by his opponents, was intended as a derogatory comment upon his supposed preoccupation with singing songs and watching hula girls. Yet the King rightly saw that these were not trivial issues. Culture had strong political significance for Kalakaua. Hula and mele were excellent mediums for communicating specifically and exclusively with the Hawaiian audience. Access to language, as well as to a wider cultural understanding, provided a discursive space that the haole could not enter. Through the performing arts Kalakaua worked to instill a nationalist sense of pride in his people. He composed a national anthem, Hawaii Pono’i, whose political implications were the unity and legitimacy of his Kingdom.77 The King also authored and published a collection of folklore. Under the guise of ethnology and cultural preservation, his work had a political significance.78 The King portrayed the Hawaiian people as possessing a noble and rich historical tradition of their own. His stories glorified the dignity and strength of various individuals as well as the Hawaiian religious and cultural tradition. One story, "The Iron Knife," tells of the early shipwreck of Japanese sailors in the islands and their successful integration into Hawaiian society. Kalakaua made two arguments with this tale. Read in the contemporary international context, the political subtext of this story alludes to a non-American-oriented past and thus a possible independent future for the islands. At the same time, Kalakaua provided an example of how immigrants to the islands should behave.

These cultural moves were political tools for the King and the Prime Minister. One hundred and ten years before Benedict Anderson, Gibson was well aware of the importance of language in creating an "imagined community."79 The Hawaiian language, in which Gibson was proficient (rare among whites in the islands), could be used by the government to include or exclude selected groups from the nationalist discourse. Language delineated clear boundaries around the political community that the administration was attempting to solidify. As Anderson argues, language provides strong powers of psychic mobility. Reading enables isolated or localized individuals to imagine themselves as part of a larger community. The déraciné maka ai’nana could become a citizen of the Hawaiian nation. Such a psychological process is essential to the formation of the modern nation-state. The combined use of traditional means of communication, such as hula and mele, and modern forms, such as newspapers and political pamphlets, indicates a level of sophistication on the part of Kalakaua and Gibson that historians have yet to recognize.

Mary Louise Pratt’s concept of the "contact zone" as "social spaces where cultures meet, clash, and grapple with each other, often in contexts of highly asymmetrical relations of power, such as colonialism, slavery, or their aftermaths as they are lived in the world today" helps to conceptualize the use of Western and Hawaiian cultural practices as a method for communicating the monarchy’s message of resistance to several audiences.80 In this context of colonial bilingualism and multiculturalism, the native operates in multiple and overlapping systems of understanding, while the colonist is limited by his monocultural perspective. Such a tactic indicates the inclusive, rather than exclusive, nature of the new political community. In addition to defining membership, language could be used to mobilize native support that the haole elite could not tap. Clearly this was a weapon in the fight against the settler community’s hegemony and was recognized as such by Gibson. That Gibson’s haole opponents did not translate their anti-Gibson propaganda, such as the tract The Shepherd Saint of Lanai, into Hawaiian shows their failure to appreciate the power of language and the distance that separated the haole and kanaka communities.81 With the spread of Hawaiian as a written language, Gibson and Kalakaua could monopolize certain electoral groups and mobilize those previously excluded from political discourse. Culture, by providing political tools, equaled power.

Thus the Gibson administration’s policies concerning immigration, the perception of the monarchy, and Hawaiian culture served two functions. The first was a response to specific problems and concerns in the Kingdom. The second and more important was the struggle against the system of Hawaiian dependency that allowed the white settler community to exercise near hegemonic political and economic power. Implicit in the struggle against haole domination was the creation of a nationalist movement of Hawaii’s citizens that sought to reconfigure the discrepancy between haole and kanaka power.


Faced with a king and a prime minister bent on using native nationalism as a political tool, the haole elite considered themselves forced to react. The King’s opponents sought to delegitimize native rule with a reactionary, anti- Hawaiian discourse and nationalist pretensions. The ideology of the settlers’ nationalism was based on their supposed moral and responsible character as opposed to the alleged corruption, incompetence, and immorality of the Hawaiian community under Kalakaua’s reign. While the settler elite wished to avoid the appearance of a haole-only opposition, the exclusion of Asians and the vast majority of the kanaka and part-Hawaiian population from the anti-government organizations demonstrates that the racially united front was a sham.82 The members of the Hawaiian League, Planters’ Labor and Supply Company, and Honolulu Rifles, who made the 1887 coup possible, strove to present their actions as a means of defending the interests of all the residents of Hawaii against a decadent, unfit, and isolated ruler. That the haole elite was provoked into action against Kalakaua and Gibson has been the central tenet of the settler mythology.

The analysis of well-known and generally neglected documents published by the enemies of the monarchy sheds light on the mentalité of the haole anti-Hawaiian discourse.83 These sources, which include memoirs, satirical plays and poems, and political speeches and pamphlets written by the "Revolutionaries," indicate a concerted effort to rationalize the actions taken against the Hawaiian state. By repeating the central themes of corruption, incompetence, hubris, and immorality, the haole ideology sought to delegitimize the government. While such rhetoric was a political reaction to the Hawaiian revival, it also reveals important aspects of settler culture (most notably their idealized self-image and racist contempt for the Hawaiians). These texts indicate the extent to which culture had become politicized in the 1880s.

Both Sanford B. Dole and Lorrin A. Thurston, two leaders of the haole "Revolution" and the annexationist movement, go to great pains in their memoirs to stress the corruption of Kalakaua and Gibson. Indeed, their writings read more like the tabloid press than the recollections of esteemed attorneys and political visionaries. Thurston (who always uses the term "regime" instead of "dynasty," "monarchy," or "administration") frequently repeats the point that the haole were forced to act against the King because of his behavior.84 By blaming the victim for the crime, the settler mythology allowed for their absolution from sin; while they may have made revolution, they did so against tyranny and decadence. Furthermore, Dole and Thurston presented their actions as the legitimate and natural outcome of historical evolution. Thurston went so far as to argue that "the Kalakaua era was the most detrimental influence since Hawaii entered the ranks of civilized nations." The only praise that he can muster for the last king of Hawaii is that Kalakaua provoked the annexationist movement that led to incorporation of the islands into the United States.85 If one remembers the racially exclusive "Herrenvolk democracy" that the settlers created, the praise for the victory of the republic over the monarchy appears as a cynical manipulation of history.

The charge of corruption is the basis of Dole’s satirical plays Vacuum and The Grand Duke of Gynbergdrinkenstein. What little plot there is centers around graft committed by the King and court of some mythical isles. Vacuum, the shorter of the two, portrays the King (Emperor Skyhigh) as more concerned that he be paid in gold, rather than silver, than he is with affairs of state. His chief advisor, Balaver (Gibson), calms him by saying that the minting of the new Skyhigh Silver Dollar (the Kalakaua Silver Dollar) will be worth the full value of gold. Skyhigh is then informed of Balaver’s illegal currency manipulation and behind-the-scenes maneuvers that will benefit the conspirators. Later Balaver admits to his cohorts that the only policy he has ever had is "the policy of—er—keeping in office." He goes on to say that he is the one who really controls the Kingdom. As for the monarch, "as long as he is humored with money, state ceremony, salutes, flags, royal orders, and other foi de roi, he is happy and imagines he is governing the empire."86 The play ends with a note from Skyhigh dismissing Balaver and his cronies. It is interesting to note that this work holds out the possibility of reconciliation with Kalakaua if he were to dismiss those who were leading him astray.

Dole’s longer musical The Grand Duke of Gynbergdrinkenstein also focuses on corruption but gives the Kalakaua figure substantially more agency. Here Minister of State Nosbig (Gibson 87) takes a much more active role in the plot to swindle Herr Von Boss (Spreckles) and the taxpayers. Dole has his Kalakaua character quip to the Gibson figure such lines as "Let it pass, The man who preaches honesty’s an ass, Not fit for politics." This play, with its stronger condemnation of the government, ends with the entire administration fleeing the islands with an angry mob at their heels. Exactly who this mob is composed of is not made clear, perhaps this is an act of modesty on Dole’s behalf. Regardless, the fictional threat of violence in this political fantasy was a hint of real events to come.

Associated with the charges of corruption were the oft-repeated cries of incompetence. Indeed, in many areas these accusations overlapped. Dole’s satires portray the men surrounding Kalakaua as either thieves, imbeciles, or both. In the cast of characters for The Grand Duke, he lists "Princes, Governors, Colonels, Majors, Captains, Lieutenants, TWO PRIVATE SOLDIERS" (emphasis in original). Here Dole is commenting upon the supposedly absurd level of patronage in the Kingdom. Promotions and officials titles were passed out without regard to past performance or ability, resulting in an army composed of numerous officers and few soldiers. In Vacuum, Nosbig explains the situation when he describes the Hawaiians as "simple and ignorant people ... easily managed; a little patronage intelligently distributed, their hereditary vanity and prejudices judiciously handled, and the deed is done."88 This passage is telling. Considering that the audience was fellow haole and not the kanaka population, such remarks have meaning on two levels. First, they view Gibson as a swindler, willing to use whatever means were at his disposal in his quest for power. Second, on a more fundamental level, they illustrate that the author and audience saw the Hawaiian people as childlike and easily led astray. A figure such as Gibson was successful precisely because he could dupe the kanaka and play upon their greed and vanity. This discourse is thus a condemnation of both Gibson and the Hawaiian people. The implied solution would be white rule based upon the values of thrift and duty; values apparently alien to the Hawaiian community as depicted by Dole.

The haole opposition regularly charged Kalakaua with vanity and an inflated sense of self-importance. Gibson’s use of ceremony and symbolism gave critics such as Dole the material to work with. Situating the plays in the "Palace of the Flying Fish," the corrupt distribution of the "commission of Knight Companion in the Imperial Order of the Cocoanut," references to foolish attempts at military glory, and the Kalakaua figure’s fascination with a coin minted in his own image are all direct commentary upon specific New Departure policies designed to build up the legitimacy and sovereignty of the Hawaiian monarchy. The reinterpretation of these moves as comic-opera foolishness appealed to the missionary cultural ethics of sobriety and thrift. At the same time, it ridiculed the vision of a political order in which the white settlers were not dominant.

Dole was not alone in this literary-political subversion. In 1883, George W. Stewart wrote a thirty-two-page poem mocking the coronation of Kalakaua.89 "The Crowning of the Dread King" was clearly a view of the ceremony from a haole perspective for a haole audience. Its pretensions to the epics of antiquity, complete with regular Greco-Roman references, are juxtaposed with the apparently humble and pathetic reality of the Hawaiian monarchy. The recurrent image of the sun dispelling the barbaric savagery of the nocturnal reveries is a metaphor for the conflict between Christian civilization and pagan decadence. The light into darkness motif was common in the discourse of European imperialism at the time.90 As if charges of paganism were not sufficient, Stewart dehumanizes the hula in honor of Kalakaua with the use of reptilian adjectives.91 The dance itself is composed of "snake-like motions" in which the dancers, whose intensity grows to a frenzy of sensuality and excess, are described as "writhing serpents." The scene contains "all the weirdness, all the madness, of a Bacchanalian riot." The crowd, and this is evidently only the Hawaiians and not the white spectators, is "lost in pleasure, mad with license" and "drunk with unrestrained abandon, frenzied they grow with excitement." The coronation ceremonies, which were of several days’ duration, are dismissed as "days of sporting, nights of hula. Nights of hula, days of sporting."92 No mention is made of the dedication of the Kamehameha statue, the twenty-one-gun salutes, the Western-style crowning ceremony, the neoclassical décor, or the presence of the haole elite (some of whom greatly enjoyed the festivities 93). As Stewart clearly chose to ignore every aspect of the ceremonies that was based upon European forms of legitimacy, his account silenced the very rituals designed to communicate the King’s legitimacy to whites in the islands and abroad. The omission of the Christian elements of the ceremony, such as the prayer offered by Reverend Mackintosh, indicates his desire to recast the affair as strictly pagan.94 The coronation was transformed into merely several days of "wild disorder" and "writhing hula," a purely native event. While the contempt for the Hawaiian culture is breathtaking, its use to delegitimize the state is devious.95

Like Dole, Stewart’s work sheds much light on the haole mentalité. In the whites’ eyes, Hawaiians were unfit to rule themselves because they were corrupt, inefficient, and vain. However, these were merely symptoms of a larger problem. To the missionary-descended elite, the kanaka were victims of their own moral flaws. Hawaiian immorality was responsible for their current situation (not the socioeconomic and biological revolution started by contact with the outside world). As the Reverend Soreno E. Bishop argued, native unchastity, drunkenness, superstition and pagan idolatry, and ill health were the product of their own culture. Only instruction and education from a white, Christian government could arrest the decline of the Hawaiian population.96 In short, the Hawaiians had to be remade in the whites’ image if they were to survive. Left to their own, the Hawaiian people’s moral flaws would destroy them. The assumption of power by the whites was thus in the best interests of the kanaka. Political and cultural hegemony were the "White Man’s Burden."97

It is essential to the narrative of Hawaiian history to understand that because haole settlers and planters could not rule Hawaii alone, the force and legitimacy of the U.S. government were necessary to ensure their hegemony in the islands. Thus, there was a component of the haole settler ideology that increasingly saw their community as a colonial community of the United States. This is to say, the descendants of the missionaries, the planters, and the other entrepreneurs who made their home in the islands created for themselves an "imagined community." Their sense of self was the product of an economic system that connected them to the United States yet was expressed in the idealized vision of a shared historical and cultural experience. In this view, the white community in Hawaii was a long-lost cousin of the thirteen colonies. This relationship was based upon both the nature of Hawaiian dependency and the haole community’s perceived need for protection from the native population.98

Paradoxically, the Hawaiian renaissance and Kalakaua’s nationalist agenda both threatened and strengthened the reactionary counterculture of the settler community. The monarchy’s actions only assured the haole of their moral and racial superiority. However, a white supremacist mentalité was not enough to conquer the islands. When words and ideas were unable to produce the desired outcome, force and coercion conquered the islands for the Yankees. As Mao observed, power comes out the barrel of a gun. Discourse paved the way for the revolt, then provided the moral rationalization of conquest after the fact.


Faced with the destabilizing impact of demographic collapse, mass migration, and a dependent position in the emerging global economy, the Hawaiian monarchy struggled to maintain its sovereignty. A Hawaiian nationalism, based on practical and symbolic government policies, was created to break the economic stranglehold within which the haole elite and the U.S. government held the islands. Unfortunately for the Hawaiian people, the economic power of the white settlers and their support from the United States overcame the quest for true sovereignty. Externally, the Reciprocity Treaty brought Hawaii into the orbit of the U.S. informal empire. Internally, Kalakaua and Gibson’s vision of a new Hawaiian state could not withstand economic, political, and demographic assaults. While the haole community had the money and resources to stop Hawaiian resistance, it needed to create a nationalist mythology to rationalize its domination and solidify the conquest. Thus, haole nationalism held that the men of 1887, 1893, and 1898 were saving the islands from the chaos and excesses of native rule. White political, economic, and cultural hegemony would embody every virtue that the Hawaiians were depicted as lacking.

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1 I would like to thank Tyler Stovall, Bruce Thompson, Edmund Burke III, Doug Vann, the Colonial Collective Study Group, and the Dissertation Support Group for their time and effort in reading and critiquing the various stages of this essay. I am deeply indebted to several staff members of the Bancroft Library at U.C. Berkeley, the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, and especially the Inter-Library Loan office of McHenry Library at U.C. Santa Cruz. A section of this essay was presented at Revisioning Culture: Transforming Academic Theory and Practice, University of California at Santa Cruz, April 9, 1994. The inspiration for the title comes from Robert Darnton’s essay "Publishing: A Survival Strategy for Academic Authors" in The Kiss of Lamourette: Reflections in Cultural History (New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1990) 94-103. This article is dedicated to the memory of Sean K. Peiper (1968-1989) who could teach me more about Hawaii and aloha over a six-pack of beer at the beach than any book could.

2 Jack London, "Good-by, Jack," Tales of the Pacific (London: Penguin, 1989) 111-20.

3 For the concept of "Informal Empire," see Ronald Robinson and John Gallagher, "The Imperialism of Free-Trade," Economic History Review 6 (1953): 5-6 and Africa and the Victorians: The Official Mind of Imperialism (New York: St. Martin’s Press Inc., 1961); and for "Dependency" see Andre Gunder Frank, Capitalism and Underdevelopment (New York: Monthly Review, 1967) and Theotonio Dos Santos, "The Structure of Dependence," in K.T. Fann and Donald Hodges, eds., Readings in US Imperialism (Boston: P. Sargent, 1971) 225-36. Noel Kent, Hawaii: Islands Under the Influence (New York: Monthly Press Review, 1983) is the most sustained application of this perspective to Hawaiian history.

4 Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 1983).

5 Originally meaning "stranger," this term has come to signify individuals of European extraction. It is used here without the hateful connotations with which it is often associated. See Haunani Kay-Trask’s essay "The Politics of Academic Freedom as the Politics of White Racism," in Haunani-Kay Trask, From A Native Daughter: Colonialism and Nationalism in Hawai’i (Monroe: Common Courage Press, 1993) 225-39 for a discussion of the heat that this term can generate.

6 See Roger M. Keesing, "Creating the Past: Custom and Identity in the Contemporary Pacific," Contemporary Pacific 1.1 and 2 (1989): 19-42 and the angry response from Haunani-Kay Trask, "Natives and Anthropologists: The Colonial Struggle" in Contemporary Pacific 3.1 (1991): 111-17 for the debate over the formation and use of tradition in contemporary political movements.

7 Terence Ranger and Eric J. Hobsbawm, The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1983).

8 A derogatory historical appellation derived from a Gilbert and Sullivan tune; Jacob Adler and Robert M. Kamins, The Fantastic Life of Walter Murray Gibson: Hawaii’s Minister of Everything (Honolulu: U of Hawaii P, 1986) 141.

9 The works of two second-generation settlers and conspirators in the overthrow of the Hawaiian state, Lorrin A. Thurston, Memoirs of the Hawaiian Revolution (Honolulu: Advertiser Publishing, 1936) and Sanford B. Dole, Memoirs of the Hawaiian Revolution (Honolulu: Advertiser Publishing, 1936), are the best examples of this history-according-to-the-victors genre. Queen Liliuokalani, Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen (Honolulu: Mutual Publishing, 1990), originally published in 1898 but long neglected, offers a markedly different perspective on the same events.

10 Ralph S. Kuykendall, The Hawaiian Kingdom, 3 vols. (Honolulu: U of Hawaii P, 1967), originally published in the late 1930s, is often seen as the authoritative text of Hawaiian history. It is also completely focused on political history. Dr. Haunani-Kay Trask pointed out to me (in a brief private conversation after a talk she gave at the University of California, Santa Cruz) that Kuykendall never learned the Hawaiian language, thus placing his scholarship on the Hawaiian people in a rather suspect light. Gavan Daws, The Shoal of Time: A History of the Hawaiian Islands (Honolulu: U of Hawaii P, 1968) and Lawrence H. Fuchs, Hawaii Pono (New York: Harcourt Brace and World, 1961) are the most notable popular histories of the islands. Both continue Kuykendall’s main arguments and deviate only by adding some cultural and social perspectives. The overt racism of the haole domination is left relatively unexplored. It is important to note that all of these works begin with the Western contact, leaving pre-Cook Hawaii in the murky shadows of prehistory.

11 E. P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class (New York: Vintage Books, 1966) 12.

12 Rich Budnick, Stolen Kingdom: An American Conspiracy (Honolulu: Aloha Press, 1992); Michael Dougherty, To Steal a Kingdom: Probing Hawaiian History (Waimanalo: Island Style Press: 1992); Trask, From A Native Daughter; Lilikala Kame’eleihiwa, Native Land and Foreign Desire (Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press, 1992); Jane Okamoto Komeiji and Dorothy Ochiai Hazama Okage, Sama De: The Japanese in Hawai’i, 1885-1985 (Honolulu: Bess Press, 1986); Yukiko Kimura, Issei: Japanese Immigrants in Hawaii (Honolulu: U of Hawaii P, 1988); Karen W.F. Lee, "The Coming of the Chinese: The Early Immigrant Community in Hawaii," unpublished diss., 1990; and Ronald Takaki, Pau Hana: Plantation Life and Labor in Hawaii, 1835-1920 (Honolulu: U of Hawaii P, 1983). For a general overview of the historiography of subalternity, see Gyan Prakash, "Subaltern Studies as Postcolonial Criticism" American Historical Review 9.5 (Dec. 1994): 1475-90.

13 Albert Memmi, Portrait du Colonisé (Paris: Pyot, 1957).

14 See Judith Levine, "The Heart of Whiteness: Dismantling the Master’s House," Voice Literary Supplement (Sep. 1994): 11-6; Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, Vol. 1: Racial Oppression and Social Control (New York: Verso, 1994); David R. Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class (New York: Verso, 1991); Ruth Frankenberg, White Women, Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1993); and Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1992).

15 Ann Stoler, "Making Empire Respectable: The Politics of Race and Sexual Morality in 20th-Century Colonial Cultures," in Jan Bremen, ed., Imperial Monkey Business: Racial Supremacy in Social Darwinist Theory and Colonial Practice (Amsterdam: Amsterdam UP, 1990) 35.

16 That contemporaries recognized this insidious strain of colonialism as the danger that it was can be seen in Liliuokalani’s memoirs, Hawaii’s Story 177-80.

17 Kuykendall, The Hawaiian Kingdom, vol. 3, chapters 2-6 discuss its impact on several levels.

18 Kuykendall, The Hawaiian Kingdom, vol. 3, 35-37.

19 Kuykendall, The Hawaiian Kingdom, vol. 3, 46.

20 Kuykendall, The Hawaiian Kingdom, vol. 3, 62.

21 Sumner J. La Croix and James Roumasset, "The Evolution of Private Property in Nineteenth-Century Hawaii," Journal of Economic History 50.4 (1990): 829-53, and Daws, Shoal of Time 124-28.

22 See Kame’eleihiwa, Native Land and Foreign Desire, and Kent, Islands Under the Influence. For a markedly different perspective, see Thomas Kemper Hitch, Islands in Transition (Honolulu: First Hawaiian Bank, 1992) 48-57. Patrick V. Kirch and Marshall Sahlins, Anahulu: The Anthropology of History in the Kingdom of Hawaii (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1992) provides an excellent longue durée case-study of these changes in a valley on the north shore of Oahu.

23 Poverty, then, was essentially a cultural by-product of incorporation into the world system; see Immanuel Wallerstein, The Modern World System, III: The Second Era of Great Expansion of the Capitalist World Economy, 1730-1840s (San Diego: Academic Press, 1989); Andre Gunder Frank, Dependent Accumulation and Underdevelopment (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1979); and Walter Rodney, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (Washington: Howard UP, 1974). While wishing to avoid a romanticization of the pre-Cook situation, the sudden destruction of sustainable land-use practices for subsistence agriculturists by the imposition of plantations and the concept of "private property" redefined individuals as "poor" who had not been poor before. The situation is similar to that described in rural France by John M. Merriman in his essay "The Desmoiselles of the Ariège, 1829-1832," in John M. Merriman, ed., 1830 in France (New York: New Viewpoints, 1975) 87-118, and Peter Sahlins, Forest Rites: The War of the Demoiselles in Nineteenth-Century France (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1994). Frank Delima and Na Kalohe, a prominent local comedy group succinctly captured the haole impact in a satirical protest song where the haole state: "We’re gonna build on every inch of rock, and give you back the chicken pox."

24 David E. Stannard, "Disease and Infertility: A New Look at the Demographic Collapse of Native Populations in the Wake of Western Contact," Journal of American Studies 24.3 (Dec. 1990): 325-51 and Alfred W. Crosby, "Hawaiian Depopulation as a Model for the Amerindian Experience," Germs, Seeds, and Animals: Studies in Ecological History (Armonk: M.E. Sharpe, 1994) 120-47. In addition to Germs, Seeds, and Animals, Crosby’s The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492 (Westport: Greenwood Pub. Co., 1972) and Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1986) provide an excellent overview of the role of biology in the colonial context. Crosby’s discussion of the fate of the Maori people of New Zealand (Aotearoa) shows the many demographic similarities amongst the post-contact Polynesian societies.

25 There is a great deal of debate concerning the pre-contact population. La Croix and Roumasset 834-35 use 225,000; Patrick Kirch, Feathered Gods and Fishhooks: An Introduction to Hawaiian Archeology and Prehistory (Honolulu: U of Hawaii P, 1985) 286, estimates the population to have been 300,000; and David E. Stannard, Before the Horror: The Population of Hawai’i on the Eve of Western Contact (Honolulu: Social Science Research Institute, U of Hawaii P, 1989) argues that the figure was between 800,000 and 1,000,000. See also Robert C. Schmitt, Demographic Statistics of Hawaii: 1778-1965 (Honolulu: U of Hawaii P, 1968) and The Missionary Censuses of Hawaii (Honolulu: Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, 1973), and Trask From A Native Daughter 6-7.

26 Eleanor C. Nordyke, The Peopling of Hawai’i, 2nd ed. (Honolulu: U of Hawaii P, 1989) 19 and 178-79.

27 Andrew W. Lind, Hawaii’s People, 4th ed. (Honolulu: U of Hawaii P, 1980) 34.

28 For the context of Chinese emigration, see Jonathan D. Spence, The Search for Modern China (New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1990) 210-15 and Frederic E. Wakeman, Strangers at the Gate: Social Disorder in South China, 1839-1861 (Berkeley: U of California P, 1966).

29 Lind, Hawaii’s People 34.

30 Eleanor C. Nordyke and Richard K. C. Lee, "The Chinese in Hawai’i: A Historical and Demographic Perspective," Hawaiian Journal of History 23 (1989): 196-216.

31 Thurston, Memoirs 44-47 and Sanford B. Dole, Vacuum. A Farce in Three Acts. Written by S. B. Dole During the Reign of Kalakaua (Honolulu, n.d.) Act I.

32 See Ronald Takaki, Pau Hana Time, and Sumner La Croix and Price V. Fishback, "Firm-specific Evidence on Racial Wage Differentials and Workforce Segregation in Hawaii’s Sugar Industry," Explorations in Economic History 26.4 (Oct. 1989): 403-24.

33 Lorrin A. Thurston, A Handbook on the Annexation of Hawaii (St. Joseph: A.B. Morse Co., 1897) 25 and Kuykendall, The Hawaiian Kingdom, vol. 3, 172.

34 The old witticism about the missionaries coming to Hawaii to do good and doing very well indeed is a sarcastic yet accurate description of the second-generation haole.

35 George M. Fredrickson, White Supremacy: A Comparative Study in American and South African History (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1981) xi-xii, 154-55, and 166-67.

36 Nordyke, The Peopling 43-46.

37 Lind, Hawaii’s People 34.

38 Dole, Memoirs 58. Again, Fredrickson’s concept of the Herrenvolk society and its political form of "Herrenvolk democracy" are useful tools for describing this situation.

39 London, Tales of the Pacific 111-20.

40 Nor should it be forgotten today. For a passionate and politically committed discussion of the missionary legacy, see Trask, From A Native Daughter, especially the title essay, 147-59.

41 While Adler and Kamins present a sympathetic account of this complex and mysterious man’s life, the chapter on Gibson in Gavan Daws, A Dream of Islands (Honolulu: Mutual Publishing, 1980) 129-61 is critical to the point of character assassination.

42 Thurston, Memoirs 19, and anon., The Shepherd Saint of Lanai: Rich "Primacy" Revelations, Gathered from Various Sources and Produced in Historical Form for the First Time in the "Saturday Press," Dec. 24, 1881 to Jan. 21, 1882 (Honolulu: Thos. G. Thrum, 1882) 43-45.

43 Bradford Burns, The Poverty of Progress: Latin America in the Nineteenth Century (Berkeley: U of California P, 1980); Elmer E. Cornwell Jr., "Bosses, Machines, and Ethnic Groups," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 353 (1964): 28-34; and Bruce M. Stave and Sondra Stave, eds., Urban Bosses, Machines, and Progressive Reformers, 2nd rev. ed. (Lexington: D.C. Heath and Co., 1972).

44 The growth of the Chinese population was almost as stunning as the decline of the Hawaiian population. A recent study puts the numbers at 356 (0.5 percent of the islands’ total population) in 1853; 816 (1.2 percent) in 1860; 1,306 (2.1 percent) in 1866; 2,038 (3.5 percent) in 1872; 6,045 (10.4 percent) in 1878; and 18,254 in 1884, with an all-time high percentage of 22.7. Nordyke and Lee, "The Chinese" 202.

45 Nordyke and Lee, "The Chinese" 209-12.

46 Schmitt, Demographics Statistics 73 and 76.

47 Adler and Kamins, The Fantastic Life 81-82, 91, 99-102, and 130, and Kuykendall, The Hawaiian Kingdom, vol. 3, chapters 5 and 6.

48 Kuykendall, The Hawaiian Kingdom, vol. 3, 117.

49 Dole, Memoirs 58.

50 Kuykendall, The Hawaiian Kingdom, vol. 3, 131.

51 Walter Murray Gibson, Sanitary Instructions for Hawaiians, in the English and Hawaiian Languages (Honolulu: P.C. Advertiser Co., 1881) iii, xviii, and 49-51. It is interesting to note Gibson’s curious attempt to save the reputation of Cook in his denial that the explorer brought disease to Polynesia, 141-44 and 208-209.

52 Rev. S. E. Bishop’s racist and culturally hostile Why Are the Hawaiians Dying Out? Or, Elements of Disability for Survival Among the Hawaiian People (Read to the Honolulu Social Science Association, November, 1888) is perhaps the best example of the blame leveled at the Hawaiians for their condition. See also Thurston’s description of Hawaiian alcoholism and leprosy in the first three chapters of his memoirs.

53 Adler and Kamins, The Fantastic Life 154-55. Several Jack London’s short stories capture the cultural hysteria and fear that surrounded this affliction; see Tales of the Pacific, "Good-By, Jack" 111-20, "The Sheriff of Kona" 121-35, and "Koolau the Leper" 135-50.

54 Gibson, Sanitary Instructions xvi.

55 Gibson, Sanitary Instructions 205-206.

56 Gibson, Sanitary Instructions 204. While this patriarchal call to arms begs a gender analysis of the Hawaiian reception of this message, at least Gibson saw the value of the much maligned surfing lifestyle.

57 Bishop concludes his attack on Hawaiian culture by calling the hula and kahuna [traditional healers] "purely heathen institutions of the most pronounced and detestable type, and are totally incompatible with any true and wholesome civilization. They should be hunted down and exterminated like the venomous reptiles that they are, poisoning and slaying the people. Until this is done, I see little prospect of arresting the decrease of the Hawaiian people." Why Are the Hawaiians Dying? 17.

58 Frantz Fanon’s classic analysis of the colonized mind’s inferiority complex and the possibilities of its liberation is summed up in the following passage: "Thus the native discovers that his life, his breath, his beating heart are the same as those of the settler. He finds out that the settler’s skin is not of any more value than a native’s skin: and it must be said that this discovery shakes the world in a very necessary manner. All the new, revolutionary assurance of the native stems from it. For if, in fact, my life is worth as much as the settler’s, his glance no longer shrivels me up nor freezes me, and his voice no longer turns me to stone." The Wretched of the Earth (New York: Grove Weidenfield, 1963) 45. See also Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (New York: Grove Weidenfield, 1967).

59 Adler and Kamins, The Fantastic Life 126, and Liliuokalani, Hawaii’s Story 79.

60 See Niklaus R. Schweizer, "King Kalakaua: An International Perspective," Hawaiian Journal of History 25 (1991): 103-20 and Agnes Quigg, "Kalakaua’s Hawaiian Studies Abroad Program," Journal of Hawaiian History 22 (1988): 170-208 for discussions of the self-conscious policies designed to promote Hawaii as a member of the international community of nations.

61 Ranger and Hobsbawm, The Invention of Tradition 1-14.

62 The Shepherd Saint 45; Thurston, Memoirs 23-25 and 98; and Kuykendall, The Hawaiian Kingdom, vol. 3, 255-64.

63 Adler and Kamins, The Fantastic Life 139.

64 Several official photographs in the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum collection show the King’s Guard assembled in full dress symbolically protecting the Palace.

65 See Gwendolyn Wright, The Politics of Design in French Colonial Urbanism (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1991); Robert J. Ross and Gerard J. Telkamp, eds., Colonial Cities: Essays on Urbanism in a Colonial Context (Boston: M. Nijhoff, 1985); Nezar Al Sayyad, ed., Forms of Dominance on the Architecture and Urbanism of the Colonial Enterprise (Aldershot: Avebury, 1992); and Anthony D. King, Colonial Urban Development Culture, Social Power, and Environment (Boston: Routledge and Paul, 1976).

66 Liliuokalani, Hawaii’s Story 100-103.

67 William N. Armstrong, Around the World with a King (New York: F. A. Stokes Company, 1904); Schweizer "King Kalakaua: An International Perspective"; Liliuokalani, Hawaii’s Story 75-78; and Glenn Grant’s introduction to King David Kalakaua’s, The Legends and Myths of Hawaii: The Fables and Folk-Lore of a Strange People (Honolulu: Mutual Publishing, 1990) i-x.

68 Liliuokalani, Hawaii’s Story 116-76. She was actually seated next to the future Kaiser Wilhelm II, whom she described as "a most social neighbor, and an agreeable conversationalist, so that we kept up quite an animated flow of words." Hawaii’s Story 156.

69 Adler and Kamins, The Fantastic Life 151.

70 Thurston, Memoirs 25-28.

71 Thurston, Memoirs 35.

72 Adler and Kamins, The Fantastic Life 131-37. In his memoirs, Thurston warmly remembers the death threats that the haole sent to Spreckles when at residence in Honolulu, Memoirs 81-90. Sanford B. Dole’s satirical plays The Grand Duke of Gynbergdrinkenstein (Honolulu, 1886) and Vacuum indicate the settler hostility to the California sugar magnate and predatory capitalist Claus Spreckles and his supposed meddling in "their" islands. The plays also show the contempt and suspicion with which Kalakaua’s financial matters were viewed.

73 See Rhoda E. A. Hackler, "‘My Dear Friend’: Letters of Queen Victoria and Queen Emma," Hawaiian Journal of History 22 (1988): 101-30 and Ernest Andrade, Jr., "Great Britain and the Hawaiian Revolution and Republic, 1893-1898," Journal of Hawaiian History 24 (1990): 91-116 for broader context on the relations of the British and Hawaiian isles in the second half of the nineteenth century.

74 Kuykendall, The Hawaiian Kingdom, vol. 3, 238, and Thurston, Memoirs 90.

75 Elizabeth Buck’s Paradise Remade is an excellent study of this culture war and its political implications.

76 Thurston, Memoirs 23 and 48.

77 John Charlot, The Hawaiian Poetry of Religion and Politics: Some Religio-Political Concepts in Postcontact Literature (Honolulu: Institute for Polynesians Studies, Brigham Young University-Hawaii Campus, 1985). See also Amy Stillman, "History Reinterpreted in Song: The Case of the Hawaiian Counter-Revolution," Hawaiian Journal of History 23 (1989): 1-30 and Buck, Paradise Remade 118-19. Queen Liliuokalani, the King’s sister and author of "Aloha Oe," attests the significance of Kalakaua’s anthem in her memoirs, Hawaii’s Story 30-34.

78 Kalakaua, The Legends and Myths of Hawaii. The foreword by Glen Grant in this edition is very helpful in placing this work in its proper political context.

79 Anderson, Imagined Communities 41-49 and 66-79.

80 Mary Louise Pratt, "Arts of the Contact Zone," Profession 91 (n.d.): 34.

81 Adler and Kamins, The Fantastic Life 90 and 125.

82 Dole, Memoirs 50.

83 I am referring to Dole’s satirical plays and Stewart’s sarcastic poem. While both Helena G. Allen, Sanford Ballard Dole: Hawaii’s Only President (Glendale: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1988) 113-14 and Ethel M. Damon, Sanford Ballard Dole and His Hawaii (Palo Alto: Pacific Books, 1957) 194-95 mention Dole’s work in passing, they are dismissed as trivial political satires of no great consequence yet substantial amusement. As far as I know, no historians have used them as examples of haole racism and contempt for Hawaiian culture.

84 Thurston, Memoirs 1, 21, 22, 28, 43, 48, 64-65, 91, and 97.

85 Thurston, Memoirs 64-65.

86 Dole, Vacuum, Act III.

87 The rather juvenile comment upon Gibson’s pronounced nose by use of an anagram is perhaps the least mean-spirited aspect of Dole’s caricature; the regular coughing noise made by the Gibson figure and the description of this noise as "a sound like letting go of an anchor" are perhaps the most offensive as the man was suffering from tuberculosis, from which he was to die within the year.

88 Dole, Vacuum, Act III.

89 George W. Stewart, The Crowning of the Dread King (Honolulu: Thos. G. Thrum, 1883).

90 Joseph Conrad’s 1902 Heart of Darkness (New York: Penguin Books, 1985) is perhaps the best-known use of this image. It was a central tenet of Lugard’s classic manual for colonization: "[S]o in Africa today we are ... bringing to the dark places of the earth, the abode of barbarians and cruelty, the torch of culture and progress, while ministering to the material needs of our own civilisation." Frederick John Dealtry Lugard, The dual mandate in British tropical Africa (Edinburgh: W. Blackwood, 1922) 618-19.

91 This process is central to Fanon’s conception of the colonizer’s mental processes. "At times this Manicheism goes to its logical conclusion and dehumanizes the native, or to speak plainly, it turns him into an animal. In fact the terms the settler uses when he mentions the native are zoological terms. He speaks of the yellow man’s reptilian motions, of the stink of the native quarter, of breeding swarms, of foulness, of spawn, of gesticulations. When the settler seeks to describe the native fully in exact terms he constantly refers to the bestiary." The Wretched of the Earth 42.

92 Stewart, The Dread King 23-29.

93 Helena G. Allen, Sanford Ballard Dole 116, notes that Anna Dole, Sanford B. Dole’s wife of all people, wrote to her sister about the good times that were had. Photographs in the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum collection reveal numerous whites in attendance.

94 Liliuokalani, Hawaii’s Story 103.

95 Liliuokalani was cognizant of the haole attempt to undermine the political implications of the ceremony: "Naturally, those among us who did not desire to have Hawaii remain a nation would look on an expenditure of this kind as worse than wasted." Hawaii’s Story 105.

96 Bishop, Why are the Hawaiians Dying Out? 4-17.

97 Trask’s essay "From A Native Daughter" deals with the long-term legacy of this form of cultural imperialism, From A Native Daughter 147-60. Fanon writes: "The colonial world is a Manichean world. It is not enough for the settler to delimit physically, that is to say with the help of the army and the police force, the place of the native. As if to show the totalitarian character of colonial exploitation the settler paints the native as a sort of quintessence of evil. Native society is not simply lacking in values. It is not enough for the colonist to affirm that those values have disappeared from, or still better never existed in, the colonial world. The native is declared insensible to ethics; he represents not only the absence of values, but also the negation of values. He is, let us dare to admit, the enemy of values, and in this sense he is the absolute evil." The Wretched of the Earth 41.

98 Thurston, Memoirs 65. See David Prochaska, Making Algeria French: Colonialism in Bône, 1870-1920 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1990) for a similar experience with the pied-noir. Fredrickson’s White Supremacy is also useful in conceptualizing this phenomenon.

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