|Official seal of the State of Hawaii|
August 21, 2016 marks the 57th anniversary of Hawaiian statehood. What does this have to do with Massachusetts, you may ask?! Missionaries who graduated from the Andover Theological Seminary (established in 1807 on the campus of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts) played a pivotal role in the story of the “Americanization” of Hawaii that ultimately led to the establishment of our 50th state in 1959. Hiram and Sibyl Bingham and Asa and Lucy Thurston were the first company of New England missionaries to lead a mission to the then Sandwich Islands, as we call now the Hawaiian Islands, for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (which was also founded in 1810 in Massachusetts by recent graduates of Williams College).
Some notable items include:
- A Residence of Twenty-one Years in the Sandwich Islands, by Hiram Bingham, 1855.
- A Dictionary of the Hawaiian Language, by Lorrin Andrews, 1865.
- Narrative of a Tour through Hawaii, or Owhyhee, by William Ellis, 1827.
- Hawaii's story, by Hawaii's Queen, Liliuokalani, 1898.
- Hawaii and its People: the Land of Rainbow and Palm, by Alexander S. Twombly, 1899.
- Hawaii, U.S.A. and Statehood: History, Premises and Essential Facts of the Statehood Movement, 1951.