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Sanford Ballard Dole

Sanford Ballard Dole

The American statesman Sanford Ballard Dole (1844-1926) was president of the Republic of Hawaii and, after its annexation to the United States in 1898, first governor of the Territory of Hawaii.

Sanford Dole was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on April 23, 1844, the son of Protestant missionaries from New England. He grew up on the Hawaiian islands of Oahu and Kauai and went to missionary schools run by his father. He left the islands to attend Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., where he spent a year. After another year in a Boston law office, he was admitted in 1868 to the Massachusetts bar. But that same year he returned to Honolulu to practice law. He showed a good deal of interest in community affairs and often wrote for newspapers. In 1873 he married Anna P. Cate of Maine.

Dole was elected to the Hawaiian Legislature in 1884 and 1886 as a Reform party member. In 1887 he became a leader in the movement that wrested a new constitution from King David Kalakaua, reducing his power. The King, under pressure from his ministers, appointed Dole associate justice of the Supreme Court. Dole's legal decisions were marked by clarity and grace of style, and his dissents were noted for their vigor.

Dole served as a justice until 1893, when he reluctantly accepted leadership of a revolutionary movement that overthrew Queen Liliuokalani, who had succeeded her brother Kalakaua. She had tried to proclaim a new constitution that would return personal power to the throne. Dole became president of a provisional government that sought annexation to the United States. When President Grover Cleveland tried to restore the Queen (after charges that the United States had helped overthrow her), Dole wrote one of his most important state papers eloquently denying Cleveland's right to interfere. With no prospect of quick annexation, the Republic of Hawaii was formed on July 4, 1894. The constitution named Dole president to serve until 1900.

Hawaii's support of the United States in the war with Spain in 1898 turned the balance in favor of renewed annexation efforts already under way. In 1898 President William McKinley signed a joint congressional resolution of annexation and appointed Dole a member of the commission to draft laws governing Hawaii. In 1900 McKinley appointed Dole as first governor under the Organic Act for the Territory of Hawaii. Dole served until 1903, when he resigned to become judge for the U.S. District Court for Hawaii. In 1916 he retired to private practice.

Dole is generally credited with a deep, sympathetic understanding of the native Hawaiians, although some persons might consider his attitude toward the Hawaiians slightly patronizing and paternalistic.

Further Reading

E. M. Damon, Sanford Ballard Dole and His Hawaii (1957), based on primary sources, is sympathetic and uncritical. The account was undertaken at Dole's express wish. Dole tells his own story of the dramatic last years of the kingdom in his Memoirs of the Hawaiian Revolution (1936), edited by Andrew Farrell.

Additional Sources

Allen, Helena G., Sanford Ballard Dole: Hawaii's only president, 1844-1926, Glendale, Calif.: A.H. Clark Co., 1988. □

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Dole, Sanford Ballard

DOLE, SANFORD BALLARD

"The uprising of a small people maybeas inspiring as the uprising of a great nation."
—Sanford B. Dole

Sanford Ballard Dole was a prominent figure in the creation of Hawaii as a republic and its annexation to the United States. Dole was born

in 1844. His parents were American missionaries assigned to Hawaii, and Dole was raised and educated there. After attending Williams College and his admission to the Massachusetts bar in 1868, he settled in Hawaii and began his law practice.

In 1884 and 1886, he served in the Hawaiian legislature. His first act of dissension against the existing monarchy was as a leader of the Bayonet Revolution in 1887. As a result, the power of the monarchy was reduced and a more equitable constitution was adopted.

Also in 1887, Dole sat on the bench of the Hawaii Supreme Court as an associate justice.

In 1893, Queen Liliuokalani refused to recognize the limitations imposed upon her by the 1887 constitution. An insurrection occurred and the queen was overthrown. Dole left his post as justice to become the leader of the revolutionary provisional government that replaced the monarchy.

The republic of Hawaii was created in 1894, and Dole acted as its president. He began his efforts for the U.S. annexation of Hawaii, but his first attempts were thwarted by President grover cleveland, who opposed the deposition of the monarchy. Dole wrote a treatise defending the revolution and its results but to no avail. He was finally able to achieve annexation under the administration of President william mckinley in 1898. Dole continued to serve as president throughout these years.

With the annexation of Hawaii completed, Dole became the first governor of the newly formed Territory of Hawaii. He performed these duties from 1900 to 1903.

In 1904, Dole returned to the judiciary and served as justice of the U.S. district court for Hawaii until 1915. He died in Hawaii in 1926.

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"Dole, Sanford Ballard." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Dole, Sanford Ballard

Sanford Ballard Dole, 1844–1926, Hawaiian statesman, b. Honolulu, of American missionary parents. After education in the United States he returned to Hawaii and became prominent in public life. A leader of the revolution that in 1887 secured a more democratic constitution, Dole became justice of the supreme court under the new government. He looked with disfavor upon the revolution of 1893 that overthrew Queen Liliuokalani, but once it was accomplished he was willing to accept the office of president under the provisional government. The application of the revolutionists for annexation to the United States was refused by President Cleveland, who, after sending James H. Blount to investigate, demanded the restoration of the queen. Dole's reply, in which he defended the revolution and denied Cleveland's right to interfere, was one of his ablest papers. A constitutional convention was then held (1894), and the republic of Hawaii was created. Dole was declared the first president. His administration, during which he made efforts to secure annexation, was successful in spite of attempts at a counterrevolution and difficulties with Japan concerning immigration. After the islands were annexed in 1898 during McKinley's administration, Dole headed a commission to Congress to recommend legislation for Hawaii. The report included the draft of a bill which became the Organic Act of 1900. Dole was appointed first governor of the Territory of Hawaii in 1900. He resigned in 1903 to become U.S. district judge for Hawaii.

See biography by E. M. Damon (1957).

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"Dole, Sanford Ballard." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Dole, Sanford Ballard." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved December 11, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/dole-sanford-ballard