Fourth of July in Hawaii, 1894.


A Very Tame Celebration.

All true Americans residing in Honolulu, regret the manner in which their national holiday was celebrated. The bastard attempt of Mr. Dole to mix local politics into the ceremony with which Americans at home or absent remember the day on which a legitimate and a truly popular republic was born, resulted in a dead failure.

The town has never on a similar day presented a more quiet and peaceful front. The Hawaiians who generally have been lively participators in celebration of America’s National day staid at home, and refused to join the crowd who were forgetting the lofty principles of the great republic by rejoicing in the establishing of a rich man’s oligarchy.

The usual sports took place in different places. Boat racing, athletics, baseball, target-shooting, and fireworks. It is noteworthy that good “Americans” delighted mostly in the display of Japanese fireworks. Minister Willis and Mrs. Willis held a reception at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. A detachment of the National band was in attendance. A number of prominent Hawaiians paid their respects to the American Minister.

A number of buildings in town were decorated. They all looked like cheap booths at a village fair. Castle & Cooke took the first prize. The roof of their building had been draped in the manner of a funeral poll, and with the floral decorations looked very much like an overgrown coffin. The Inter Islands Steamship Company got the second prize. The good American, John Ena, had exerted himself, and his decorations would really have been graceful—like those he accepted from King Kalakaua—if he had possessed sufficient tact to omit the pictures of Washington and Dole. Mr. Waterhouse from Van Diemens Land had forgotten the Hawaiian flag on his building. He is getting awfully American, don’t you know. It was noted though, that he, this time remembered to keep his “adopted” flag away from the British coat-of-arms which he impudently displays on his building. The Bell Telephone building was very handsomely decorated. Mr. Godfrey Brown deserves great credit for his tasteful display of the colors of France. The main inscription was new and refreshing. Our reporter might not have got it down correctly, but he says it was something like this: “United we stand. Our dividends fall.” The drapery arranged like curtains in a maison de plaisir was very suggestive, and the trade mark of Anheuser Bush Brewery which appeared as the main decoration was very appropriate. E. O. Hall & Son (very limited) had a magnificent decoration. Geo. Washington looking like a North American “Injun” turning his back to a large picture of Judge Lyman, or Horace Crabbe, or Captain “Kid” Cooke. It was impossible to see which was which owing to the breeze that made the pictures and the flags and the whole building look like they were all on a spree. P. C. Jones had the only decent 4th of July decoration. He didn’t sport Dole’s picture, Washington was god enough for him. Many other good Americans made fine displays. Mr. Hopper decorated his Chinese-American rice-mill with a $1.25 American flag. Probably he couldn’t afford anything better. The great flag of Tim Murray’s floated in harmony with the yellow dragon of China across the street, and lots of other “Americans” hung out their bunting.

When the evening came and the Mariposa arrived, the town was as dead as the proverbial door nail. W. O. Smith was the only American at large.

(Hawaii Holomua, 7/5/1894, p. 2)


Hawaii Holomua, Volume III, Number 155, Page 2. July 5, 1894.


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