On the one hand this letter, begun December 7, 1900 and finished two days later, is much like any bit of personal correspondence between two friends. The writer discusses her health and the death of a mutual friend; talks of missing the snow on the ground and reminisces about the last time she saw the addressee.
However, just below the surface remains the fact that this letter, composed by Queen Liliÿuokalani, comes seven years after she was deposed and two years after Hawaiÿi was annexed by the United States. As such, it is a compelling, first-person document of both the Queen’s personal state and the state of her nation: At one point, she thanks her friend for her “kind wishes of success at the coming legislature,” noting that “Mr. Wilcox” (i.e., Robert Kalanihiapo Wilcox, Hawaii's first delegate to Congress) “will have arrived at Washington when this reaches you.”
Perhaps most compelling of all are the Queen’s remarks regarding four youths who happen to be in the room with her as she writes this letter: “They enjoy themselves in their own free innocent way because they know no care or sorrow and all love me—but how long will it last, poor mortals, for they do not know what is in store for them. I hope they may never know hardship and poverty.”

Extent (Pages, Duration, Dimensions)

2 pages

Is Part Of

Hawaiian Collection, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Library

Page Location