The newspapers may not always report “the truth,” but they are a priceless source for historical information, 1864, Today, and Tomorrow.

The newspapers are someplace we should be looking at for other ways to look at Hawaiian history.

Newspapers, unlike books were relatively easy to come by (whether it was by subscription, or by sharing with a neighbor).

Most people could not afford to publish books, but many people had the means to purchase pen and paper and envelope and stamp, so that they could send in their thoughts to be printed. And many in fact did. They wanted the truth as they knew it to be known by all. And because newspapers were printed regularly, it was easy to immediately comment on errors appearing in the pages of the paper. There are often heated debates over everything and anything from genealogy, to mele, to why you should not lend money to that man or woman who left a marriage bed. These debates not only took place in a single newspaper title, but often ran in totally different newspapers and sometimes even in both Hawaiian and English publications.

The information given by S. W. B. Kaulainamoku appearing in the previous post for instance is contested a month later by P. S. Pakele. He says, “…it is for you all to see which one is true, with my thought that perhaps the one who published earlier is right, and perhaps not; the same with this, perhaps it is right, and perhaps not; my confidence is with you all.”

Many generations of Hawaiians contributed information to the newspapers, because they knew that the information they submitted was not only for them at the time but more importantly for Hawaiians of today and tomorrow.


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