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The Daily Herald was published in Honolulu every morning except Sunday from September 1886 to July 1887. In its ten-month history, it provided editorial comment mildly critical of the Hawaiian monarchy and published local news and commentary on all of the Hawaiian Islands--including shipping information, numerous ads, and foreign news garnered from imported newspapers. Honolulu in the mid-nineteenth century was a modern city. Just before the Daily Herald appeared, on July 21,1886, the ‘Iolani Palace Square was illuminated by electric lights(two years before electricity was installed in the White House), and in 1888, electric street lighting would replace Honolulu’s gas lamps.
During these years, there were 16 newspapers publishing in English in the islands (along with 18 Hawaiian and several bilingual and Portuguese titles). A Canadian, Daniel Logan, edited the Daily Herald. Logan assured his readers in the initial issue that despite the widespread belief that he was venturing into an overcrowded journalistic field, he intended to accommodate "those--we believe a very large proportion of the community--who desire an independent morning paper, one designed to exist only on its merits, and on which the public may always rely for unbiased treatment of all public questions." Logan continued, "While independent in politics, the Daily Herald will not be neutral."
Though Hawai‘i was an independent monarchy at this time, political and economic power was held by pro-American businessmen and missionary descendents. Helen G. Chapin, author of Shaping History: the Role of Newspapers in Hawai‘i , characterized the English-language press as a part of the white or haole “establishment,” which represented less than one-quarter of the total population. In its four-page issues, the Daily Herald criticized both King Kalākaua and the haole interests holding power in the islands. For example, the paper pointed to such royal extravagances as sending an entourage to Queen Victoria's Jubilee, to the king's acceptance of bribes, as well as to misgovernment by self-seeking foreigners.
On July 6, 1887, King Kalākaua was forced by the Hawaiian League, a coalition of American and European businessmen, to accept the "Bayonet Constitution" which restricted the authority of the monarch and limited the rights of Native Hawaiians. Logan, however, supported the constitutional change, which he described as an "honorable revolution.".
On Saturday, July 30, 1887, it was announced that the Daily Herald would be succeeded the following Monday by the Daily Hawaiian Gazette (1887-88), which was published by the owners of a Honolulu weekly known as the Hawaiian Gazette. Logan continued in his position as editor of the new paper and went on to edit as well the Independent in 1895 and the Evening Bulletin in 1895-98.
Provided by: University of Hawaii at Manoa; Honolulu, HI