UNKNOWN PHOTOGRAPHER. Queen Liliuokalani, last queen of Hawaii. ca. 1891
Hawaii was a unified and independent kingdom from 1810 until 1893. It was ruled by six kings in the Kamehameha dynasty until 1891. With the death of her brother, Liliuokalani was proclaimed queen, but her reign was short lived. In January 1893, a coup led by Sanford Dole took over the Hawaiian government and pressed the U.S. government to annex the islands. Two years later, after a failed insurrection by Queen Liliuokalani’s supporters to return power to Hawaiian royal rule, she was charged with treason and put under house arrest. In exchange for a pardon for her and her supporters, she resigned. The queen also composed more than 160 songs during and after her reign.