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The Honolulu Times (Honolulu, Hawai‘i)
“Righteousness Exalteth a Nation” was the motto of the monthly Honolulu Times from October 1902 to February 1911. The three-column paper was published and edited by Anne M. Prescott, author of the travel books Hawai‘i (1891) and Makapala-by-the-Sea, Hawai‘i (1899). It was one of four unrelated newspapers published under the same name at various times; the others were Henry L. Sheldon’s Honolulu Times (1849-51), Willard.K. Bassett’s Honolulu Times (1924), and Edward P. Irwin’s Honolulu Times (1929-40). Prescott did most of the writing herself, with some pieces contributed by outside authors and others quoted directly from other newspapers and sources. The first several issues were eight pages long with no advertisements; Prescott added four additional pages in 1903 to accommodate a variety of ads. The paper also occasionally published ship passenger lists and national and international news stories.
Prescott was one of the few women newspaper editor-publisher-proprietors in Hawai‘i during this period. While it appears that no particular religious or missionary group controlled the Honolulu Times directly, Prescott was clearly religious--probably an Episcopalian--and used the newspaper to propagate her religious views. To this end, she frequently included in the paper religious messages and excerpts from the Bible. Other content included poetry and prose, speeches, editorial commentaries, and even words of advice and tips for readers. In December 1902, she asked: “Have you joined the Y.W.C.A? Why not? It’s a mighty power in the land—‘Righteousness.’” Prescott also used the Honolulu Times to speak out on issues such as prohibition, which she favored, and socialism, which she opposed.
Prescott often expressed strong (and sometimes racist) opinions about Hawai‘i’s people and recent history and used the paper as a platform to disseminate what might be described as a “civilizing mission.” In a short excerpt in 1903 entitled “Offensive,” she deplored Japanese trash collectors: “The men who are appointed to drive and manipulate those delectable [sic] refuse carts in the early morn or dawn of day, must they continually bellow to that span of steeds to rouse the whole neighborhood?…Then again, why must we have several of those detestable, ’orrid Japanese carts in every street all day long?” Prescott’s views on Hawaiian sovereignty were somewhat conflicted. While she was on the one hand nostalgic for the days of the Hawaiian monarchy, she also supported Hawai‘i’s inclusion in the United States. In the last available issue of the Honolulu Times, she reprinted an excerpt from the Friend advocating Hawai‘i statehood: “The psychological time then has arrived for striking a blow for the larger liberty, wider influence and greater dignity of statehood.”
The stability of the Honolulu Times seems to have been tenuous at best--its offices were relocated at least three times over the newspaper’s short lifespan. It is not clear what became of the Honolulu Times, as no issues are available after February 1911.
Provided by: University of Hawaii at Manoa; Honolulu, HI