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The four-to-eight page general circulation Hawaiian Gazette was published in Honolulu in English and some Hawaiian on a weekly basis from 1865 to 1893 and semi-weekly from 1894 to 1918. Over its 53-year existence, the paper reported on four Hawaiian monarchs, the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the annexation of Hawai‘i to the United States, and the establishment of the Territory of Hawai‘i. In addition to local and international news, it featured shipping schedules, import and export statistics, figures for worldwide sugar consumption, and a wide array of commercial advertisements.

The Hawaiian Gazette was a fervent advocate of the sugar industry and other American economic interests in Hawai‘i. Early on, these interests were in line with those of the Hawaiian monarchy; as such, the Hawaiian Gazette became the official newspaper of the Kingdom in 1865 under King Kamehameha V and was published by James H. Black and the Hawaiian government until 1873. In the mid-1870s, the paper turned decidedly anti-monarchy when the views of King Kalākaua and those of the local oligarchy--a powerful contingent of pro-American, pro-annexation sugar interests--began to diverge. The Hawaiian Gazette attacked Kalākaua’s government for what it regarded as wasteful spending on the King’s coronation ceremony and efforts to revive public performances of Hawaiian chanting and hula. It avidly supported the call for a new government, which was achieved in 1887 when the Bayonet Constitution effectively stripped the king of his power and secured the oligarchy’s political authority. At that time, the Hawaiian Gazette resumed its place as one of the government’s biggest advocates; indeed, several high-ranking members of the oligarchy, including William R. Castle and Sanford B. Dole, would oversee the newspaper in years to come. In January 1893, the paper was among several that refused to print Queen Liliu‘okalani’s protest against the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and painted her efforts to reestablish the Kingdom’s authority as illegal and counterrevolutionary. Following the Queen’s overthrow on January 17, 1893, the Hawaiian Gazette published the proclamation and orders of the new Provisional Government and began referring to Liliu‘okalani as Hawai‘i’s “ex-Queen.” Two weeks later, the paper asserted that it, together with the Pacific Commercial Advertiser , “contained the only true and extended account of the late revolution”and encouraged readers to sign the Provisional Government’s loyalty oath.

In 1903, the completion of the Pacific Cable revolutionized Hawai‘i’s news industry, and the Hawaiian Gazette started publishing current news from around the world. On January 6, only four days after President Theodore Roosevelt had relayed the first message to the islands via cable, the Hawaiian Gazette’s front page was filled with current national and international news, and by January 13 the paper was featuring stories acquired through Associated Press cablegrams. In the end, the Pacific Cable may have contributed to the Hawaiian Gazette’s demise as it struggled to keep apace with its two major competitors, the Pacific Commercial Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. The Gazette ceased publication in 1918.

Provided by: University of Hawaii at Manoa; Honolulu, HI