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EDEF 352 - History of Education in Hawaiʻi: A Brief History of A Brief History

A Brief History - Cover

A Brief History of the Hawaiian People

W.D. Alexander's A Brief History of the Hawaiian People was a widely used textbook in Hawaiʻi's public schools for over 30 years. It was thus an influential book, and it had a bit of a controversial history.

1. The original textbook was published in 1891, before the overthrow. It was reprinted once (noted by W.P. 2 on the title page verso). Its frontispiece featured a photograph of Queen Liliʻuokalani, and its title page said it was "Published by order of the Board of Education of the Hawaiian Islands." Forbes 4240. OCLC 00467153. Record here.
2. In 1898, after the overthrow, an unauthorized edition was printed, with multiple deletions and changes noting the overthrow, including a new Chapter 37 that began with, "The troubled reign of Liliuokalani lasted less than two years. She was desirous of increasing the powers of the crown, and adopted a reactionary policy which brought her into conflict with the progressive whites."
The unauthorized changes had been made by the publisher, the American Book Company, and the Hawaiʻi Dept. of Public Instruction objected to them after receiving them. It is not clear whether this edition was used in classrooms. This edition is noted by W.P. 3 on the title page version. Forbes 4861. OCLC 1016252131. Record here.
3. In 1899, a new edition revised by W.D. Alexander was published. Among the differences between the unauthorized version and this edition, the above-quoted passage from Chapter 37 was changed to, "The troubled reign of Liliuokalani lasted less than two years. Its history shows that she was determined to renew the political contest which had been going on during the preceding reign, and to abolish all the restrictions that had been imposed on the power of the crown." This edition is noted by W.P. 4 through 8 on the title page verso, and Appendix A updated through 1896. Forbes 4992. UHM holds no copies of this edition.
4. Additional printings of this textbook continued to be published. The main text appears to have been unchanged. The different printings are distinguished by changes to the Appendices. I have been focusing on Appendix A, Population. W.P. 9 and W.P. 10 were updated through 1900. OCLC 16328585. Record here.
5. Printings with Appendix A updated through 1910 include W.P. 11. OCLC 16328664. Record here.
6. Printings with Appendix A updated through 1920 include W.P. 16 and 17. OCLC 11837585 and ocm11837585. Record here.