AUGUST 6, 1851


Born in Lahaina, Maui, White was descended from Kaiakea, orator for King Kamehameha I.  As deputy sheriff of North Kohala, he gained a reputation for competence and integrity.  Representing Lahaina in the legislature (1890 & 1892), he was a leader for the Liberal faction that opposed the “Bayonet Constitution of 1887.”  With Joseph Nāwahī, he co-authored the proposed 1893 Constitution with Queen Liliʻuokalani.  After the queen was deposed on January 17, 1893, and the Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown, White remained loyal to the monarchy.  Returning to Maui, he helped organize native resistance and was elected in 1896 as honorary president of the Hui Aloha ʻĀina (Hawaiian Patriotic League) which unsuccessfully opposed annexation.  Following annexation, he was elected as a senator of the first Hawaiian Territorial legislature of 1901 for the Home Rule Party.  Afterward, however, his political fortunes declined and he moved to Honolulu in 1907 where he died on November 2, 1925. 

Source: “William Punohu White,” Up/Closed.  Retrieved 7/9/2019,
Photo:  James J. Williams (1853-1926), circa 1890.  Public Domain in U.S.:  Pre 1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 70 years or less. 

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