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Queens reputation revisited at Pacific

More than a century later, some Hawaiians still resist statehood


Pacific University’s Center for Peace and Spirituality will attempt to reverse a century of miseducation when it presents a reenactment of an 1897 meeting between the Women’s branch of the Hawaiian Patriotic League (Hui Aloha ‘Aina o Nawahine) and the Hawaiian people at a time when the United States was trying to annex Hawaii.

According to the Hawaiian Civic Club website, kaleimailealii.org, most Hawaiians grew up learning that the queen was a weak leader who was overthrown in 1893, leading to Hawaii’s annexation to the U.S. in 1898. In fact, state club officials, there was never any Treaty of Annexation, so Hawaii’s statehood is still in question.Visit Pacific University for a presentation about the Hawaiian queen.

The queen’s reputation was also misportrayed, the site states:

“Queen Lili’uokalani was a very wise and courageous woman who forgave those who conspired against her and against the Hawaiian Kingdom. She endured imprisonment in her room at Iolani Palace for eight months, following the illegal overthrow. She believed that the United States would do the right thing and return her to her rightful place as Queen of the Hawaiian Kingdom. After more than a century, she continues to wait and we continue to carry her message forward.”

The meeting that will be reenacted Thursday led to an attempt by supporters of the queen to reinstate her and maintain Hawaiian independence. After the U.S. declared war on Spain, however, a joint Resolution of Congress was introduced to occupy Hawaii for purposes of prosecuting the Spanish-American War in the Pacific.

In 1993, the U.S. Congress passed a law apologizing for the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

The performance is free and runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, in the multi-purpose room of the University Center.

One of the people attending will be Dilley resident Pat Yoakum, who says she is related to the queen. According to Yoakum, the queen’s father was named Claghorn, which is Yoakum’s maiden name, and she was told he was a distant uncle. Growing up, she heard the story of the queen’s last stand from relatives. “I’ve grown up knowing about her. I have a children’s book about her. I have clippings. She died very sadly.”

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