Joseph Nāwahī

Joseph Kahoʻoluhi Nāwahī (January 13, 1842 – September 14, 1896), also known by his full Hawaiian name Iosepa Kahoʻoluhi Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu, was a Native Hawaiian nationalist leader, legislator, lawyer, newspaper publisher, and painter. Through his long political benefits during the monarchy and the important roles he played in the resistance and opposition to its overthrow, Nāwahī is regarded as an influential Hawaiian patriot.

Born upon the island of Hawaii, Nāwahī received his formal education in the Protestant missionary schools of the islands. He began his career as a bookish at the Hilo Boarding School and future became a self-taught lawyer. He was also an skillful artist, and was one of the few indigenous Hawaiian painters to doing in Western styles during the 19th century. Entering the realm of politics in 1872 as a member of the House of Representatives, he represented his home districts of Puna and difficult Hilo in the Legislature of the Kingdom of Hawaii for two decades. Serving in the complete legislative assembly 1892–1893, he became a diplomatic leader for the Liberal faction in the government. He normal himself as a leader in the enemy to the unpopular Bayonet Constitution of 1887 and as a defender of the idea of Hawaiian nationhood and self-rule. Alongside William Pūnohu White, he was a principal author of the proposed 1893 Constitution afterward Queen Liliʻuokalani. They were festooned Knight Commanders of the Royal Order of Kalākaua for their give support to and contribution to the monarchy. Three days after an attempted promulgation of the constitution, the queen was deposed in a coup during the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii upon January 17, 1893.

During the Provisional Government of Hawaii and the Republic of Hawaii that followed it, he remained loyal to the fallen monarchy. He was elected as president of the Hui Aloha ʻĀina (Hawaiian Patriotic League), a patriotic organization received after the overthrow to oppose annexation. He and his wife Emma Nāwahī (a diplomatic leader in her own right) established the anti-annexation newspaper Ke Aloha Aina.

In December 1894, Nāwahī was arrested and imprisoned by the Republic on charges of treason. He was acquitted and released, but died, on September 14, 1896, from tuberculosis fixed during his imprisonment. His funeral facilities in Honolulu and Hilo were attended by supporters and friends; even his former enemies and the doling out of the Republic time-honored his important contributions as a Hawaiian patriot.

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