Sanford B. Dole

Former advisor to Queen Lili‘uokalani and justice of the Hawai‘i judiciary, Sanford B. Dole assumed the role of President of the Republic of Hawai‘i. He later became Governor of the new Territory of Hawai‘i.

Sanford Ballard Dole (April 23, 1844 - June 9, 1926) was a politician and jurist of Hawai'i as a kingdom, protectorate, republic and territory.

Early years

Dole was born in Honolulu to a family of Caucasian Christian missionaries from New England in the United States. His cousin was the pineapple magnate James Dole who followed the elder Dole to Hawai'i in later years. Dole was part of a wealthy, elite immigrant community in the Hawaiian Islands that established a dominant presence in the local political climate. Serving as a successful attorney and friend of King David Kalakaua and Queen Lili'uokalani, Dole pursued and advocated the westernization of Hawaiian society and culture.

Bayonet Constitution

Dole participated in a revolution in 1887 which led to the adoption of the Bayonet Constitution written by Interior Minister Lorrin A. Thurston, stripping the majority of native Hawaiians of their right to vote while giving foreign white non-citizens those same rights and minimized the power of the monarch in favor of more influential governance by the Privy Council, the royal cabinet which was largely made up of American businessmen. Afterwards, Dole was appointed as a justice of the Hawai'i Supreme Court.


Sanford B. Dole, on the left, continued as President of the newly created Territory of Hawai‘i until the Hawaiian Organic Act of 1900 established a permanent territorial government led by a governor.

In late 1892, Dole was approached by several American businessmen and former ministers of the Privy Council with a proposal for the end of the monarchy. Dole, who had been a trusted advisor and friend of the reigning queen, was reluctant to take part but did so anyway. The group conspired to land the United States Marine Corps and forcibly remove Queen Lili'uokalani from power and declare a Provisional Government of Hawai'i consisting of members from the Committee of Safety. The group was successful in executing the plot in January 1893.

With an anti-imperialist elected President of the United States, the Provisional Government's hopes of annexation were derailed momentarily and was in danger of being removed from power and the monarchy restored. To prevent the restoration of the monarchy, as President Grover Cleveland had hoped to do, the Republic of Hawai'i was established by an act of a constitutional convention. Lorrin A. Thurston had declined the presidency and the duties fell upon Dole to lead the newly found nation. He would serve as the first and only president from 1894 to 1900.


Dole appointed Thurston to lead a lobby effort and secure annexation for Hawai'i in Washington, DC. He also squashed several rebellions by Robert William Wilcox to restore the monarchy but pardoned him after having been sentenced to death. Dole faced international difficulties as the republic created disputes between it and Japan over immigration policies.


President William McKinley appointed Dole to become the first territorial governor after Hawai'i had secured annexation. Dole assumed the office in 1900 but resigned in 1903 to accept an appointment to become a federal judge.

Preceded by :
Provisional Government of Hawaii
President of Hawaii
1894 - 1900
Succeeded by:
Territory of Hawaii