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

List all short stories from Hawaii's Timeline

Sources for Hawai‘i Timeline


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Life in Hawai‘i Business & Economy Arts & Science World Events

First legislative session under Kamehameha IV passes act "to remodel the Department of Public Instruction" by abolishing office of Minister of Public Instruction and forming a Board of Education consisting of a president and two directors appointed by the king. The first Board of Education is headed by Prince Lot Kamehameha.

Robert C. Wyllie, Minister of Foreign Relations, makes first report under reign of Kamehameha IV.

William Pitt Leleiohoku, brother of future king David Kalakaua, is born.

High chief Paki, father of Bernice Pauahi, dies in Honolulu.

Frenchman Charles Varigny arrives with his family in Hawai'i where they live for 14 years. Varigny serves as an interpreter, secretary and acting French consul. In 1863, Kamehameha V appoints him minister for finance.

According to the Honolulu Polynesian, a letter from New York City takes 35 days to arrive in Honolulu traveling via St. Blas and Mazatlan, and then various trading vessels.


Scheduled sailing packet service between Hawai'i and the mainland introduced by Regular Dispatch Line.

Pre-western system of land tenure ends.

Samuel Savidge and Henry May establish the first real grocery store in Hawai'i.

Second effort for a Reciprocity Treaty with the United States obtains Marcy and Lee's signatures but is not ratified.

First flour exported from the Islands, a total of 463 barrels.

The Islands export 289,908 pounds of sugar and 38,304 gallons of molasses.

$1,383,000 worth of imports arrive in Hawai'i; exports total $412,000.


Methodist Episcopal Church organized in Hawai'i.

General William Miller brings the Chinese banana from Tahiti.

Dr. William Hillebrand introduces the royal poinciana tree.

Major eruption of Mauna Loa, with a lava flow threatening destruction of Hilo, begins.

Varieties Theater burns.

Harvey Hitchcock - the first to establish a mission station on Moloka'i - dies on the island where he served so many years.

Ka Buke a Moramona, first edition of the Book of Mormon in a Hawaiian translation by George Q. Cannon, is published.


Walt Whitman publishes the first version of Leaves of Grass.

David Livingstone finds Victoria Falls on the River Zambezi.


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