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Sanford B. Dole

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Title: Sanford B. Dole  
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Subject: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Hawaii), Ministry of Finance (Hawaii), George R. Carter, William Owen Smith, Territory of Hawaii
Collection: 1844 Births, 1926 Deaths, 19Th-Century National Presidents, Governors of the Territory of Hawaii, Hawaii Republicans, Hawaii Supreme Court Justices, Hawaiian Republic Foreign Ministers, Heads of State in Oceania, Heads of State of Former Countries, Independent (Kuokoa) Party Politicians, Kingdom of Hawaii Judges, Kingdom of Hawaii People, Members of the Hawaiian Kingdom House of Representatives, Members of the Hawaiian Kingdom Privy Council, Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, Punahou School Alumni, Republic of Hawaii Politicians, Territory of Hawaii Judges, Williams College Alumni
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Sanford B. Dole

Sanford Dole
1st Territorial Governor of Hawaii
In office
14 June 1900 – 23 November 1903
Appointed by William McKinley
Preceded by Position Established
Succeeded by George Carter
President of Hawaii
In office
4 July 1894 – 14 June 1900
Preceded by Position Established (Liliuokalani as Queen)
Succeeded by Position Abolished
Personal details
Born 23 April 1844
Honolulu, Kingdom of Hawaii
Died 9 June 1926 (aged 82)
Honolulu, Hawaii
Political party Republican Party
Spouse(s) Anna Prentice Cate Dole

Sanford Ballard Dole (April 23, 1844 – June 9, 1926) was a lawyer and jurist in the Hawaiian Islands as a kingdom, protectorate, republic and territory. An enemy of the Hawaiian royalty and friend of the elite immigrant community, Dole advocated the westernization of Hawaiian government and culture. After the overthrow of the monarchy, he served as President of Hawaii until his government secured Hawaii's annexation by the United States.


  • Early years 1
  • Bayonet Constitution 2
  • End of the monarchy 3
  • President of the republic 4
  • Governor and federal judge 5
  • Family and legacy 6
  • References 7
  • Further reading 8

Early years

Dole was born April 23, 1844 in Honolulu to Protestant Christian missionaries from Maine in the United States. His father was Daniel Dole (1808–1878) principal at Punahou School and mother was Emily Hoyt Ballard (1808–1844). His mother died from complications within a few days of his birth. Dole was named after his uncle, Sandford K. Ballard who was a classmate of his father's at Bowdoin College (and brother of his mother) who died in 1841.[1] He was nursed by a native Hawaiian, and his father remarried to Charlotte Close Knapp in 1846. In 1855 the family moved to Kōloa on the island of Kauaʻi, where they operated another school.[2]

Dole attended Punahou school for one year, and then Williams College in 1866–1867. He worked in a law office in Boston for another year, and although he never attended law school, he received an honorary LL.D. degree from Williams in 1897.[3] In December 1880 he was commissioned as a Notary Public in Honolulu. Dole won the 1884 and 1886 elections to the legislature of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a representative from Kauaʻi.[4]

Bayonet Constitution

In June 1887 local businessmen, sugar planters and politicians backed by the Honolulu Rifles forced the dismissal of the cabinet of controversial Walter M. Gibson and adoption of the 1887 Constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii. It limited voting rights to literate men of Hawaiian, European, or American descent while imposing income and wealth requirements to vote for the House of Nobles, thus effectively consolidating power with the elite residents. In addition, it minimized the power of the monarch in favor of more influential governance by the cabinet. Dole and other lawyers of American descent drafted this document, which became known as the "Bayonet Constitution".[5]

King Kalākaua appointed Dole a justice of the Supreme Court of the Kingdom of Hawaii on December 28, 1887, and to a commission to revise judiciary laws on January 24, 1888. After Kalākaua's death, his sister Queen Liliʻuokalani appointed him to her Privy Council on August 31, 1891.[4]

End of the monarchy

Provisional Government cabinet, (left to right) James A. King, Dole, W. O. Smith and P. C. Jones

The monarchy ended on January 17, 1893 after the Committee of Safety on January 14, he helped draft their declaration.[6]:589

Dole was named president of the Provisional Government of Hawaii that was formed after the coup, and was recognized within 48 hours by all nations with diplomatic ties to the Kingdom of Hawaii, including the United Kingdom.[7] His cabinet (called the "executive council") included James A. King as minister of the interior,[8] William Owen Smith as attorney general,[9] and banker Peter Cushman Jones as minister of finance. Dole acted as minister of foreign affairs himself until February 15, 1894.[4] Later Samuel Mills Damon would serve as minister of finance.[10]

With Grover Cleveland's election as President of the United States, the Provisional Government's hopes of annexation were derailed for a time. Indeed, Cleveland tried to directly help reinstate the monarchy, after an investigation led by James Henderson Blount. The Blount Report of July 17, 1893, commissioned by President Cleveland, concluded that the Committee of Safety conspired with U.S. ambassador John L. Stevens to land the United States Marine Corps, to forcibly remove Queen Liliʻuokalani from power, and declare a Provisional Government of Hawaii consisting of members from the Committee of Safety.

On November 16, 1893, Albert Willis presented the Queen with Cleveland's request that she grant amnesty to the Revolutionists in return for reinstatement. The Queen refused, and, according to Willis, demanded capital punishment for those involved. On December 23, unaware that Cleveland had referred the matter to Congress, Willis presented the Provisional Government with Cleveland's demand to restore the queen to the throne – the Provisional Government refused.

Queen Liliuokalani wrote in her book Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen, that she did not demand capital punishment.[11]


Political offices
Preceded by
as Queen of Hawaii
President of Hawaii
1893 – 1900
Republic of Hawaii annexed by United States
Territory of Hawaii established
Territorial Governor of Hawaii
1900 – 1903
Succeeded by
George R. Carter
Legal offices
Preceded by
Morris M. Estee
US District Court Judge
Succeeded by
Horace W. Vaughan
  • Ethel Moseley Damon (1957). Sanford Ballard Dole and his Hawaii: With an analysis of Justice Dole's legal opinions. Published for the Hawaiian Historical Society by Pacific Books. 
  • Helena G. Allen (June 1988). Sanford Ballard Dole: Hawaii's only president, 1844-1926. A. H. Clark Company.  

Further reading

  1. ^ Nehemiah Cleaveland; Alpheus Spring Packard (1882). History of Bowdoin college: With biographical sketches of its graduates, from 1806 to 1879, inclusive. J. R. Osgood & Company. p. 487. 
  2. ^ Hawaiian Mission Children's Society (1901). Portraits of American Protestant missionaries to Hawaii. Honolulu: Hawaiian gazette company. p. 73. 
  3. ^ Williams College (1905). General catalogue of the officers and graduates of Williams college, 1905. The College. p. 178. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Dole, Sanford Ballard office record". state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Retrieved September 9, 2010. 
  5. ^ David W. Forbes (2003). Hawaiian national bibliography, 1780-1900. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 232–233.  
  6. ^  
  7. ^
  8. ^ "King, James A. office record". state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Retrieved September 10, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b "Attorney General office record" (PDF). state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Retrieved September 10, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Minister of finance office record" (PDF). state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Retrieved September 10, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b  
  12. ^ Andrade Jr., Ernest (1996). Unconquerable Rebel: Robert W. Wilcox and Hawaiian Politics, 1880-1903. University Press of Colorado.  
  13. ^ William Adam Russ (1992). The Hawaiian Republic (1894-98) And Its Struggle to Win Annexation. Associated University Presses. pp. 71–72.  
  14. ^ Elizabeth H. Ryan, ed. (1918). Reports of causes determined in the United States District court for the district of Hawaii. Hawaiian Gazette company. p. iii. 
  15. ^ William Disbro (November 6, 2001). "Mission Houses Cemetery, Honolulu, Hawaii". Retrieved September 9, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Dole, Edmund Pearson office record". state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Retrieved September 3, 2010. 
  17. ^ """James Drummond Dole "The Pineapple King. Jamaica Plain Historical Society. Roxbury Latin School. April 2008. Retrieved September 9, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Patriot Dole". The Friend LXVI (3) (Honolulu). March 1906. p. 3. 
  19. ^ "Sanford Ballard Dole". Dole Middle School web site. April 23, 1956. Retrieved September 9, 2010.  (Dedication speech)
  20. ^ Princess Kaiulani at the Internet Movie Database


In Hawaiian, the pale and hair-like Spanish moss is called ʻumiʻumi-o-Dole, meaning "Dole's beard".

Dole Middle School, located in Kalihi Valley on the island of Oʻahu, was named after him in April 1956, about a century after his father founded the school in Kōloa.[19] In the film Princess Kaiulani, his role was played by Will Patton.[20]

Cousin Edmund Pearson Dole (1850–1928) came to Hawaii to practice as a lawyer in 1895, and became Attorney General of Hawaii from 1900 to 1903.[16] Sanford Dole was the cousin once removed of James Dole who came to Hawaii in 1899 and founded the Hawaiian Pineapple Company on Oahu, which later became the Dole Food Company.[17] James' father Charles Fletcher Dole also came to Hawaii in 1909.[18]

Dole with family members.

Family and legacy

In March 1899 Theodore Roosevelt as judge for the US District Court after the death of Morris M. Estee. He served in that post until December 16, 1915, and was replaced by Horace Worth Vaughan.[14] He also served on commissions for Honolulu parks, and the public archives.[4] He died after a series of strokes on June 9, 1926. His ashes were interred in the cemetery of Kawaiahaʻo Church.[15]

Governor and federal judge

Dole, on left, continued as Governor of the new Hawaiian Organic Act of 1900.

Queen Liliʻuokalani provided a more detailed story of the events from her perspective in the later chapters of her book.[11]

Dole's government weathered several attempts to restore the monarchy, including an attempted armed rebellion, the January 24, 1895 counter-revolution. Leader Robert William Wilcox and the other conspirators were captured and sentenced to death, but had their sentences reduced or commuted by Dole. The Queen abdicated and swore allegiance to the Republic of Hawaii in February. While under arrest, she wrote, "I hereby do fully and unequivocally admit and declare that the Government of the Republic of Hawaii is the only lawful Government of the Hawaiian Islands, and that the late Hawaiian monarchy is finally and forever ended, and no longer of any legal or actual validity, force or effect whatsoever."[13]

Lorrin A. Thurston declined the presidency of the republic, and Dole was chosen to lead the government instead. Dole would serve as the first and only president from 1894 to 1898. Dole in turn appointed Thurston to lead a lobbying effort in Washington, DC and secure Hawaiʻi's annexation. Dole was successful as a diplomat – every nation that recognized the Kingdom of Hawaii also recognized the republic.

President of the republic

President Dole and the Cabinet of the Republic

The Provisional Government held a constitutional convention and on July 4, 1894, established the Republic of Hawaii.


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