Charles Burnette Wilson dies, 1926.


Father of Mayor Ends Notable Career, Which Included Activity in Prominent Public Positions During Stirring Events of Kingdom, Republic and Territory of Hawaii

Charles Burnette Wilson, one of the notable figures during the reigns of King Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani, who was marshal of the kingdom from 1891 to 1893, and was the last to surrender armed resistance to the provisional government forces on January 17, 1893, died at 12:25 o’clock yesterday morning at the residence of his son, Mayor John H. Wilson, at Kaimuki.


Wilson was a picturesque figure, politically and physically, regarded as one of the handsomest men in the late monarchy period. He has been ill the past two years, and a partial paralysis prevented him speaking in his last days. He was conscious to the end, and endeavored to give some final words of advice, apparently to his son. His words were disconnected, but among them were “…don’t worry…”


The funeral services will be held at 10 o’clock this morning at Silva’s mortuary parlors, Nuuanu and Vineyard streets, Rev. Akaiko Akana, pastor of Kawaiahao church, officiating. Interment will be in the old family plot at Kawaiahao churchyard. The pallbearers will be Col. Curtis Piehu Iaukea, Clarence Macfarlane, John Townsend, J. J. Smiddy, Charles Lucas and Carl Mett.

David Trask, sheriff of Honolulu, is expected to send a squad of police to accompany the funeral cortege, as Mr. Wilson was in command of all the police officers of the kingdom from 1891 to 1893.


During the exciting incidents between January 14 and 17, 1893, when Queen Liliuokalani had stirred up a hornet’s nest by her declaration that she would proclaim a new constitution, which drew together practically all of the foreign interests in opposition and resulted, on January 17, in a combined movement to dethrone her, Wilson requested several times from the queen’s cabinet that he be permitted to utilize his police forces and arrest what were termed by the royalists the ringleaders of the effort to overthrow the monarchy. Each time he was told to remain quiet and take no action. Wilson at one time threatened to take matters into his own hands and proceed to arrest Sanford B. Dole, Lorrin A. Thurston, W. R. Castle and  many others who had been chosen by mass meetings of foreign citizens to assume charge of the opposition.

After 2 p. m., January 17, 1893, when the opposition had actually taken possession of the government house and proclaimed the establishment of a provisional government and the dethronement of Liliuokalani, there was a considerable correspondence between John Stevens, the United States minister resident, and Marshal Wilson, the final note from the minister stating that he had recognized the provisional government as a de facto government. Not until then did Wilson give up his hope that he would be permitted to line up his police and resist the opposition movement.


That afternoon, by proclamation, he had been relieved of his office as marshal, as Liliuokalani and her cabinet had been relieved of their offices and emoluments, for by that proclamation monarchy was dead. Therefore Wilson had the honor to be the last marshal to serve the monarchy, although Gen. J. F. Soper, who was marshal in the 80’s under King Kalakaua, is still living.

In the investigation afterwards by Commission J. H. Blount, sent to Honolulu by President Cleveland to inquire into the causes of the overthrow and into the charges by

(Continued on Page 2, Col. 1)

(Advertiser, 9/13/1926, p. 1)


Honolulu Advertiser, 70th Year, Number 14,198, Page 1. September 13, 1926.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s