|Location||Bounded by King, Beretania, and Victoria Streets and Ward Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii|
|Area||6.5 acres (2.6 ha)|
|NRHP reference #||72000423|
|Added to NRHP||April 25, 1972|
Thomas Square is a park in Honolulu, Hawaii named for Admiral Richard Darton Thomas. The Privy Council voted to increase its boundaries on March 8, 1850, making Thomas Square the oldest city park in Hawaii.
Honolulu is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Hawaii. It is an unincorporated part of and the county seat of the City and County of Honolulu along the southeast coast of the island of Oʻahu. The city is the main gateway to Hawaiʻi and a major portal into the United States. The city is also a major hub for international business, military defense, as well as famously being host to a diverse variety of east-west and Pacific culture, cuisine, and traditions.
Hawaii is the 50th and most recent state to have joined the United States, having received statehood on August 21, 1959. Hawaii is the only U.S. state located in Oceania, the only U.S. state located outside North America, and the only one composed entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean.
Admiral Richard Darton Thomas was an officer of the British Royal Navy who served during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and went on to become Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Station in the 1840s.
In February 1843 Lord George Paulet on HMS Carysfort seized and occupied the Kingdom of Hawaii during the Paulet Affair.
Admiral Lord George Paulet CB was an officer of the Royal Navy.
HMS Carysfort was a sixth-rate sailing frigate of the Royal Navy, launched in 1836 and named for the Earl of Carysfort, who had been a former (civilian) Lord of the Admiralty. Her captain, Lord George Paulet, occupied the Hawaiian Islands for five months in 1843. She was decommissioned in 1847 and finally broken up in 1861.
The Kingdom of Hawaiʻi originated in 1795 with the unification of the independent islands of Hawaiʻi, Oʻahu, Maui, Molokaʻi, and Lānaʻi under one government. In 1810, the whole Hawaiian Islands became unified when Kauaʻi and Niʻihau joined the Kingdom of Hawai‘i voluntarily and without bloodshed or war. Two major dynastic families ruled the kingdom: the House of Kamehameha and the House of Kalākaua.
On July 26 Admiral Richard Darton Thomas sailed into Honolulu harbor on his flagship HMS Dublin. He became Local Representative of the British Commission by out-ranking Paulet. His intention was to end the occupation. On July 31, he held the Hawaiian flag in his hands as he officially transferred the islands back to King Kamehameha III who said the words Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono in a speech during a ceremony to mark his restoration. Roughly translated from the Hawaiian language it means "The sovereignty of the land is perpetuated in righteousness" and has become the state motto of Hawaii, incorporated into the Seal of Hawaii. The British flag set was pulled down and the Hawaiian flag was raised, followed by a series of 21 gun salutes from the Fort, the British ships Carysfort, Dublin, Hazzard, the American ship Constellation, and lastly by guns at the park.
HMS Dublin was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 13 February 1812 at Rotherhithe.
Kamehameha III was the third king of the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1825 to 1854. His full Hawaiian name was Keaweaweʻula Kīwalaʻō Kauikeaouli Kaleiopapa and then lengthened to Keaweaweʻula Kīwalaʻō Kauikeaouli Kaleiopapa Kalani Waiakua Kalanikau Iokikilo Kīwalaʻō i ke kapu Kamehameha when he ascended the throne.
Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono is a well-known Hawaiian phrase which was adopted in 1959 as the motto of the state of Hawaii. It is most commonly translated as The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.
Kamehameha III later named the place where the ceremony was held in Downtown Honolulu "Thomas Square" in Admiral Thomas's honor and dedicated it as a public park.
Downtown Honolulu is the current historic, economic, governmental, and central part of Honolulu—bounded by Nuʻuanu Stream to the west, Ward Avenue to the east, Vineyard Boulevard to the north, and Honolulu Harbor to the south—situated within the City of Honolulu. Both modern and historic buildings and complexes, many of the latter declared National Historic Landmarks on the National Register of Historic Places, are located in the area,.
After the Privy Council demarcated Thomas Square's enlargement on March 8, 1850, the park was still merely a dusty field. A "cheap fence" was installed around 1873.Oats were sown and harvested and algaroba (kiawe) trees were planted soon after 1873, but there was still little shade at the park. It was around this time that the merchant Archibald Scott Cleghorn (husband of Princess Miriam Likelike, father of Princess Kaʻiulani, and brother-in-law of Kalākaua and Liliuokalani) began stewarding Thomas Square and Emma Square (the only two parks in Honolulu at that point). By 1883, Cleghorn had approved Robert Stirling's park design which laid out a series of circles and semi-circles for paths. Since Honolulu's treasury was in "dire condition" at the time, Cleghorn brought banyan trees from ʻĀinahau, his Waikiki estate, to plant and create more shade. He also asked his friends for money to design and build a bandstand, seating, and add more planting. Within several years, the bandstand was designed and installed by Mr. F. Wilhelm while more shrubs and trees were planted. The improved park celebrated a successful grand opening on April 7, 1887 where the Royal Hawaiian Band performed to a huge crowd.
Archibald Scott Cleghorn was a Scottish businessman who married into the royal family of the Kingdom of Hawaii.
Miriam Likelike Kekāuluohi Keahelapalapa Kapili was a Princess of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi, sister of the last two ruling monarchs, mother of Princess Kaʻiulani, last heir to the throne, and mistress of the ʻĀinahau estate. She shared the same name with Likelike, an earlier Hawaiian chiefess.
Victoria Kawēkiu Kaʻiulani Lunalilo Kalaninuiahilapalapa Cleghorn was heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii and held the title of Crown Princess. Kaʻiulani became known throughout the world for her intelligence and determination. After the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893, she visited the United States to help restore the Kingdom; she made many speeches and public appearances denouncing the overthrow of her government and the injustice toward her people. While in Washington, D.C., she paid an informal visit to U.S. President Grover Cleveland and First Lady Frances Folsom Cleveland Preston, but her efforts could not prevent eventual annexation.
In 1925 it was made into a park managed by the City and County of Honolulu.
In the early 1930s, the Parks Boards commissioned and adopted a renovation landscape plan by Catherine J. Richards and Robert O. Thompson. The renovation included a mock orange hedge along the curbs, flower beds bisecting a central walkway, and a terraces and coral wall parallel to Beretania Street.It was during this renovation period in 1932 that The Outdoor Circle donated the central memorial fountain, dedicating it to the late Beatrice Castle Newcomb, who had been the President of the Outdoor Circle from 1922 to 1929.
In 1938, The Daughters of Hawaii then unveiled a plaque to commemorate the historic flag-raising event.
In 1942, the US Army built barracks at Thomas Square to quarter troops during World War II.It received $50,000 in 1966 for a renovation that included an expanded comfort station, a new coral walkway from Beretania Street, and tree-pruning to thin out the canopies to allow for more light and air.
It was added to the National Register of Historic Places listings in Oahu on April 25, 1972. It is state historic site 80-14-9990.
Beginning in 2011, the Northern side of Thomas Square became an encampment site for (De)Occupy Honolulu, a Hawaiʻi affiliate of the Occupy movement. As such, regular protests and police conflicts have become a feature of the area.
July 31 is celebrated as Lā Ho'iho'i Ea or Restoration Day holiday.The pathways in the park are shaped in the form of the British flag. A fountain is in the center of the square, surrounded by trees. Across the street is the Honolulu Museum of Art.
On July 31, 2018, a 12-foot high bronze sculpture of "Kamehameha III" by artist Thomas Jay Warren and a flagpole flying the Hawaiian flag were dedicated at Thomas Square in a ceremony honoring the 175th anniversary of the restoration of Hawaiian sovereignty in 1843. The sculpture was created by Oregon artist Thomas Jay Warren for $250,000 allotted by the Mayor's Office of Culture and the Arts and is part of Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s plans to revamp the park.
Mauna ʻAla in the Hawaiian language, is the Royal Mausoleum of Hawaii and the final resting place of Hawaii's two prominent royal families: the Kamehameha Dynasty and the Kalākaua Dynasty.
Washington Place is a Greek Revival palace in the Hawaii Capital Historic District in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. It was where Queen Liliʻuokalani was arrested during the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Later it became the official residence of the Governor of Hawaiʻi. It is a National Historic Landmark, designated in 2007. The current governor's residence was built in 2008 behind the historic residence, and is located on the same grounds as Washington Place.
The Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew, also commonly known as St. Andrew's Cathedral, is a cathedral of the Episcopal Church in the United States located in the State of Hawaii. Originally the seat of the Anglican Church of Hawaii, it is now the home of the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii. It is affiliated with St. Andrew's Schools, which consists of the main girls' K-12 school, the coeducational Queen Emma Preschool and a boys' preparatory school (elementary).
Kamehameha Day on June 11 is a public holiday in the U.S. state of Hawaii. It honors Kamehameha the Great, the monarch who first established the unified Kingdom of Hawaiʻi—comprising the Hawaiian Islands of Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui, and Hawaiʻi. In 1883 a statue of King Kamehameha was dedicated in Honolulu by King David Kalākaua. There are duplicates of this statue in Emancipation Hall at the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C. and in Hilo, island of Hawaiʻi.
The Great Seal of the State of Hawaii was designated officially by Act 272 of the 1959 Territorial Legislature and is based on the territorial seal. Modifications to the territorial seal included the use of the words "State of Hawaii" at the top and "1959" within the circle. Provisions for a seal for the state of Hawaii were enacted by the Territorial Legislature and approved by Governor William F. Quinn on June 8, 1959. The passage of the Admission Act in 1959, admitted Hawaii as the 50th State of the United States of America on August 21, 1959.
John Young was a British subject who became an important military advisor to Kamehameha I during the formation of the Kingdom of Hawaii. He was left behind by Simon Metcalfe, captain of the American ship Eleanora, and along with a Welshman Isaac Davis became a friend and advisor to Kamehameha. He brought knowledge of the western world, including naval and land battle strategies, to Kamehameha, and became a strong voice on affairs of state for the Hawaiian Kingdom. He played a big role during Hawaii's first contacts with the European powers. He spent the rest of his life in Hawaiʻi. Between 1802–1812, John Young ruled as Royal Governor of Hawaii Island while King Kamehameha was away on other islands. He organized the construction of the fort at Honolulu Harbor. The Hawaiians gave him the name ʻOlohana based on Young's typical command "All hands ".
Kaniakapūpū, known formerly as Luakaha, is the ruins of the former summer palace of King Kamehameha III and Queen Kalama on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Built in the 1840s, and situated in the cool uplands of the Nuʻuanu Valley, it served as the king and queen's summer retreat after the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii moved from Lahaina to Honolulu in 1845. It was famous for being the site of a grand luau attended by an estimated ten thousand guests during the 1847 Hawaiian Sovereignty Restoration Day celebration. The palace had fallen into ruins by 1874; no records exist about its condition in the intervening years. Rediscovered in the 1950s, the site was cleared and efforts were made to stabilize the ruins from further damage by the elements and invasive plant growth. The site remains officially off-limits to the public and trespassers are subjected to citations, although the site is not regularly monitored.
Anna Rice Cooke was a patron of the arts and the founder of the Honolulu Museum of Art.
Thomas Charles Byde Rooke was an English physician who married into the royal family of the Kingdom of Hawaii. He built a mansion called the Rooke House in Honolulu that became popular with political and social leaders of the Kingdom.
William Hillebrand was a German physician. He traveled the world, including over 20 years in the Hawaiian islands. In 1850, Hillebrand lived at what is now Foster Botanical Garden in Honolulu. He also became known as a botanist.
Richard Charlton (1791–1852) was the first diplomatic Consul from Great Britain to the Kingdom of Hawaii (1825–1843). He was surrounded by controversies that caused a military occupation known as the Paulet Affair, and real estate claims that motivated the formalization of Hawaiian land titles.
The Paulet affair was the five-month occupation of the Hawaiian Islands in 1843 by British naval officer Captain Lord George Paulet, of HMS Carysfort.
The Chinatown Historic District is a Chinatown neighborhood of Honolulu, Hawaii known for its Chinese American community, and is one of the oldest Chinatowns in the United States.
Hawaiian Sovereignty Restoration Day is a former national holiday celebrated on July 31 in the U.S. state of Hawaii, which commemorates the restoration of sovereignty to the former Kingdom of Hawaiʻi following the occupation of Hawaiʻi by Great Britain during the 1843 Paulet Affair. It is still celebrated today by proponents of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement as a day of resistance against what sovereignty advocates consider an ongoing American occupation of Hawaiʻi.
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