The lowering of the Hawaiian flag at the American takeover.
A Historical Moment…
On January 17, 1893, as a quiet night fell across the Hawaiian Islands, the monarchy of the Hawaiian Kingdom came to an end. In protest, Queen Lili‘uokalani wrote: “I, Lili‘uokalani, by the Grace of God and under the Constitution of the Kingdom, Queen do hereby solemnly protest against any and all acts done against myself and the constitutional government of the Hawaiian Kingdom, certain persons claiming to have established a provisional government of and for this Kingdom. That I yield to the superior of the United States of America …” The Hawaiian monarchy came to an end with the Queen’s surrender. Despite widespread tensions and the menace posed by the presence of U.S. troops in front of ‘ Iolani Palace, the overthrow occurred without bloodshed. A Provisional Government was established with Sanford Dole, a American missionary descendant, as its president.
The Queen and her supporters did not give up easily. It was she, who with great dignity, argued that the kingdom was lost to people “who insisted upon hiding their notices under the guise of friendship for the Hawaiian people…They point to the noble causes of liberty and freedom,” she wrote. “Yet they [the Provisional Government] refuse to grant this liberty and freedom to the Hawaiian people.”
Arrested in 1895 and accused of misprision of treason, Lili‘uokalani was confined for eight months in a small room on the top floor of ‘ Iolani Palace. In Hawai‘i’s Story by Hawai‘i’s Queen, she wrote, “My own home became my prison.” It was during her confinement that she composed many songs, among them Ke Aloha O Ka Haku or The Queen’s Prayer, a song she wrote for her niece Princess Ka’iulani, heir apparent to the throne. Lili‘uokalani died in 1917 in Honolulu at the age of 79.
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