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Overview of time periods in Hawaii's post-contact history

List all short stories from Hawaii's Timeline

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On December 27, 1850, King Kamehameha III signed an ordinance establishing the Honolulu Fire Department, the first fire department in the Hawaiian Islands and the only fire department in the United States established by a ruling monarch. Read More.

Post Office set up in Honolulu.

Honolulu officially declared a city.

Lot Kamehameha, the future Kamehameha V, travels to California and British Columbia.

French Navy corvette Serieuse under Captain Cosnier arrives with commissioner Emile Perrin aboard. Perrin again presents the demands of French rear admiral Tromelin to the king, including equality of worship.

John Young's son James Young Kanehoa and widow Kaonaeha die.

Princes Lot and Alexander Liholiho return from their trip to the United States.

First fire department law also requires each city householder to keep at least two buckets ready and on hand for use against fire.


Kuleana Act grants 28,600 acres to 11,000 native kanaka maoli (72% left landless).

Adoption of Masters and Servants Act allows engagement of urgently needed foreign contract workers.

Act allows foreigners to own land.

Farmers, planters and interested persons form Royal Hawaiian Agricultural Society. They plan to recruit laborers from outside Hawai'i and send agents to China. Most Chinese coming to Hawai'i arrive from the Kwangung district.

The Islands export 750,238 pounds of sugar and 129,432 gallons of molasses.

$1,035,000 worth of imports arrive in Hawai'i; exports total $443,000.


Thomas Square opens, the first public park in the Islands.

First documented sailing race run between Honolulu and Lahaina by schooners Mario and Kamoi.

Hurricane kills five and destroys property on Maui.

Royal Hawaiian Agricultural Society founded.

In the earliest known reference to general anesthesia in the Islands, Dr. Charles H. Wetmore, the mission physician in Hilo, administers ether to his wife as she is giving birth to their first child.

Rowe's "Olympian Circus," the first of its kind, arrives in Honolulu.

First Mormon missionaries arrive.


Nathaniel Hawthorne writes The Scarlet Letter.

Rudolf Clausius defines the second law of thermodynamics.


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