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Volume 2, Issue 5, March 27, 2017
Various projects and being temporarily under the weather have accounted for the extended delay between my last newsletter and this one. However, now that things have settled down, this issue focuses on a royal palace in Hawaii. It was the home of the last reigning monarch prior to statehood, and is a significant example of blending and preserving cultures.
Cynthia Collins
Cynthia Collins 

Iolani Palace
Iolani PalacePrior to Hawaii becoming a U.S.territory and our 50th state, it was an independent nation ruled by a monarchy. Construction on the royal residence, known as Iolani Palace, began in 1879 for King Kalakaua and his wife, Queen Kapiolani, after an older palace by the same name was demolished. The new Iolani Palace had all the modern conveniences from indoor plumbing to the newly invented telephone. In 1882, the royal family moved in and the palace quickly became the center for diplomatic, artistic, and cultural events.

The king was not only a patron of the arts and culture, but also negotiated trade agreements and treaties between the U.S. and the Kingdom of Hawaii. He was fluent in English and Hawaiian, and promoted both Hawaiian and Western culture. He saw to it that Hawaiian oral traditions were preserved in writing and encouraged public performances of native folk dances.

After his death in 1891, he was succeeded by his sister, Queen Liliuokalani. Like her brother, the queen promoted the arts. As an accomplished musician and composer, she wrote numerous songs of which some have become lasting favorites. She held a ball in the palace just for children that included costumes and popular dances of Europe and America. Despite her popularity, a group that had support from the American Minister to Hawaii overthrew the monarchy in 1893. The queen was later forced to abdicate and was under house arrest in Iolani Palace. President Bill Clinton issued a formal written apology 100 years later to the Native Hawaiians for the overthrow. This apology was a signed Congressional resolution.

The Throne Room, Iolani PalaceToday, the palace is a museum dedicated to the history and culture of Hawaii. Tours include the fully restored first and second floors and are available as either self-guided audio or led by docents. Palace grounds contain gardens and outer buildings as well as monuments. Classes and concerts at the palace take place throughout the year. This site in downtown Honolulu is an opulent feast as well as a historic illustration of the blending of cultures. Photos of the palace interior are available here.
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The Unicorn Tree
The Unicorn Tree by Cynthia Collins

A teenage girl whose brother is lost at sea –

The diary of a nineteenth-century woman –

And the special place that binds them…

For reviews, excerpts, and summary, see

The Unicorn Tree is listed on the 2016 Winter Reading List of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators  (SCBWI) under grades 9-12.

Ghost story and maritime adventure...
Available at
Photo credit: Iolani Palace Exterior and Iolani Palace Throne Room: courtesy of Iolani Palace.

All articles in this newsletter are by Cynthia Collins. The featured historic site section contains general information. The other articles may not be reprinted without written permission. Subscriber lists are not sold or given to any third parties and historic sites are not charged for being featured. To suggest historic sites for future issues, request article reprint permission, or any comments/questions regarding this newsletter, please contact Cynthia Collins.
Copyright © 2017 Cynthia Collins, All rights reserved.

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