Timeline of Governors

HAWAII’S Change from Monarchy to Government


King Kamehameha  I

July 1782 – 8. May 1819

23 years, 342 days

  • * November, 1736   † Mai 8, 1819
Kamehameha I, also known as Kamehameha the Great, was the founder and first ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii.
A statue of him was given to the National Statuary Hall Collection in Washington, D.C. by the state of Hawaii as one of two statues it is entitled to give.

King Kamehameha  II

20.May 1819 – 14.July 1824

5 Years, 55 Days

  • * November 1797   July 14, 1824

Kamehameha II is best remembered for the ‚Ai Noa, the
breaking of the ancient kapu (taboo) system of religious
laws six months into his reign when he sat down with Kaʻahumanu and his mother Keopuolani and ate a meal together. What followed was the disbanding of the social class of
priest and the destruction of temples and images.

King Kamehameha  III

6.June 1825 to 15.December 1854

29 Years, 192 days

  • * March 17, 1814   † December 15, 1854

Under his reign Hawaii evolved from an absolute monarchy
to a constitutional monarchy with the signing of both the
1840 Constitution, which was the first Hawaiian Language
Constitution, and the 1852 Constitution. He was the longest reigning monarch in the history of the Kingdom.His goal was the careful balancing of modernization by adopting Western ways, while keeping his nation intact.

King Kamehameha  IV

11.January 1855 – 30.November 1863

8 Years, 321 days

  • * February 9, 1834   † November 30, 1863

On January 11,1855 Alexander took the oath as King Kamehameha IV,succeeding his uncle when he was only 20 years old.His first act as king was to halt the negotiations his
father had begun regarding Hawaii’s annexation by the United States.

Kamehameha V

30.November 1863 — 11.December 1872

9 years, 11 days

  • * December 11, 1830   † December 11, 1872

Kamehameha V, reigned as the fifth monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. His motto was „Onipaʻa“: immovable, firm,
steadfast or determined; he worked diligently for his people and kingdom and was described as the last great traditional chief.

royal descent Lunalilo

8.January 1873 – 3.February 1874

1 years, 26 days

  • * January 31, 1835   † February 3, 1874

When Lunalilo assumed the duties of the king, a huge
change in the government’s policy began to form. He spent his reign to trying to make the Hawaiian government more democratic. He started by writing to the legislature that the constitution be amended. He wanted to undo some changes that his predecessor had made when he enacted the 1864 Constitution.

King Kalakaua

12.February 1874 – 20.January 1891

16 Years, 342 days

  • * November 16, 1836   † January 20, 1891

Kalākaua, sometimes called The Merrie Monarch, was the last king and penultimate monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. Succeeding Lunalilo, he was elected to the vacant throne of Hawaiʻi against Queen Emma.

Queen Liliʻuokalani

29.January 1891 – 17.January 1893

1 years, 353 days

  • * September 2, 1832   † November 11, 1917

In the presence of the cabinet ministers and the supreme court justices, Liliʻuokalani took the oath of office to uphold the constitution, and became the first and only queen Hawaiian Kingdom until the overthrow  on January 17, 1893.

Provisional Government of Hawaii

17.January 1893 – 4.July  1894

The Provisional Government of Hawaii, abbreviated „P.G.“, was proclaimed after the coup d’état, by the 13-member Committee of Safety under the leadership of its chairman Henry E. Cooper and former judge Sanford B. Dole as the designated President of Hawaii. It replaced the Kingdom of Hawaii after the overthrow of Queen Liliʻuokalani as a provisional government until the Republic of Hawaii was established on July 4, 1894.

Republic of Hawaii

4.July 1894 – 14. June 1900

5 years, 323 days

The Republic of Hawaiʻi was a short-lived one-party state, when the Provisional Government of Hawaii had ended, and August 12, 1898, when it became annexed by the United States as an organized incorporated territory of the United States. In 1893 the Committee of Public Safety deposed Kingdom of Hawaii overthrew Queen Liliʻuokalani after she rejected the 1887 Bayonet Constitution.

Sanford B. Dole

14.June 1900 – 23.November 1903

3 years, 161 days

  • * April 23, 1844   † June 9, 1926
  • Republican

Sanford Ballard Dole was a lawyer and jurist from the Hawaiian Islands as a kingdom, protectorate, republic, and territory. A descendant of the American missionary community to Hawaii, Dole advocated the westernization of Hawaiian government and culture.

George R. Carter

23.November 1903 –  15.August 1907

3 Years,  265 days

  • * December 28, 1866    † February 11, 1933
  • Republican

Carter was the second elected to the Hawaii Territorial Senate from Oahu in 1901. While a territorial senator, he was sent to Washington as an unofficial agent to discuss territorial matters with President Theodore Roosevelt.

Walter F. Frear

15.August, 1907 – 30.November, 1913

6 Years,  106 days

  • * October 29, 1863   † January 22, 1948
  • Republican

Walter Francis Frear was a lawyer and judge in the Kingdom of Hawaii and Republic of Hawaii, and the third Territorial Governor of Hawaii

Lucius E. Pinkham

30.November 1913 – 22.June 1918

4 years, 171 days

  • * September 19, 1850   † November 2, 1922
  • first Democrat

was the fourth Territorial Governor of Hawaii. Pinkham was the first member of the Democratic Party of Hawaii to become governor.

Charles J. McCarthy

22.June 1918 – 5.July 1921

3 YEAR, 13 days

  • * August 4, 1861 – † November 26, 1929
  • Republican

He was the fifth Territorial Governor of Hawaii and a member of the House of Nobles in 1890, supporter of Liliuokalani and ironically a captain in the pro-annexation Honolulu Rifles. He also was a territorial senator 1907-12 and treasurer 1912-14 before becoming chief executive. He was co-founder of the Hawai’i Democratic Party.

Wallace Rider Farrington

5.July 1921 – 6.July 1929

8 Years, 1 day

  • * May 3, 1871  † October 6, 1933
  • Republican

Wallace Rider Farrington was the sixth Territorial Governor of Hawaii. Prior to his term, he was editor of The Honolulu Advertiser and Honolulu Star-Bulletin newspapers.

Lawrence M. Judd

6.July 1929 – 2.March 1934

4 Years, 242 days

Lawrence McCully Judd was a politician of the Territory of Hawaii, serving as the seventh Territorial Governor. He was devoted to the Hansen’s Disease-afflicted residents of Kalaupapa on the island of Molokaʻi. He also was the 41st Governor of American Samoa.

Joseph Poindexter

2.March 1934 – 24.August 1942

6 years, 175 days

  • * April 14, 1869  † December 3, 1951

In the immediate aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Poindexter placed the territory under martial law and allowed the U.S. military to form a military governmenth.The military government would continue until 1943. After his term expired

Ingram Stainback

Ingram Stainback

24. August 1942 – 8.May 1951

8 years, 257 days

  • * May 12, 1883  † April 12, 1961

In 1942, Roosevelt picked Stainback to step into the unusual role of governor of the Hawaiin Islands during wartime. Taking over from Governor Poindexter, Stainback was given more far-reaching authority under the Hawai`i Defense Act. Among other tasks, he reorganized the Office of Civilian Defense to better handle wartime needs.

Oren E. Long

8.May 1951 – 28.February 1953

1 Year, 297 Days

  • * March 4, 1889   † May 6, 1965
  • Democrat

After statehood was achieved he served in the United States Senate, one of the first two, along with Hiram Fong, to represent Hawaii in that body. Long was the only non-Asian American U.S. Senator from Hawaii until the appointment of Brian Schatz to the position in 2012.He was the tenth Territorial Governor of Hawaii.

Samuel Wilder King

28.February 1953 – 26.July 1957

1 Year, 297 Days

  • * 17. December 1886   † 24. March 1959
  • Republican

Samuel Wilder King was the eleventh Territorial Governor of Hawaii. He was a member of the Republican Party of Hawaii and was the first of native Hawaiian descent to rise to the highest office in the territory.

William F. Quinn

29.August 1957 – 21.August 1959

1 Year, 357 Days

  • * July 13, 1919   † August 28, 2006
  • Republican

William Francis Quinn was an American lawyer who served as the 12th and last governor of the Territory of Hawaii. Quinn was the last executive appointed by an American president, after American rule of the Hawaiian Islands began after the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893.

William F. Quinn

21.August 1959 – 3. December 1962

3 Year, 104 Days

  • * July 13, 1919   † August 28, 2006
  • Republican

He was the first governor of the State of Hawaii. Originally appointed to the office by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was also the last Republican to serve as governor until Linda Lingle in 2002. Quinn appeared as a guest panelist on the television program What’s My Line. He was the recipient of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, a papal knighthood conferred by Pope John Paul II.

John A. Burns

3.December 1962 – 2.December 1974

11 Years, 364 Days

  • * March 30, 1909   † April 5, 1975
  • Democrat

Burns became a resident of Hawaii in 1913. He served as the second governor of Hawaii. He played a leading role in stimulating the state economy and attracting foreign tourism and investment. His many achievements include the promotion of Hawaii as a center for oceanography, construction of the new State Capitol building and more.

George Ariyoshi

2.December 1974 – 1.December 1986

11 Years, 364 Days

  • * March 12, 1926
  • Democrat

George Ariyoshi, born as Ryoichi Ariyoshi, is an American lawyer and politician who served as the third governor of Hawaii. He is Hawaii’s longest-serving governor and the first American of Asian descent to serve as governor of a U.S. state.

John D. Waiheʻe III

1.December 1986 – 5.December 1994

8 Years, 4 Days

  • * May 19, 1946
  • Democrat

John Waiheʻe was the first American of Native Hawaiian descent to be elected to the office from any state of the United States. John Waiheʻe served as the fourth governor of Hawaii.He pushed the state of Hawaii to adopt Hawaiian as an official language.

Ben Cayetano

5.December 1994 – 2.December 2002

7 Years, 362 Days

  • *November 14, 1939
  • Democrat

Ben Cayetano is the first Filipino American to serve as the fifth governor a state governor in the United States.

Linda Lingle

2.December 2002 – 6.December 2010

8 Years, 4 Days

  • * June 4, 1953
  • Republican

Linda Lingle is an American politician, who was the sixth governor of Hawaii. She was the first Republican governor of Hawaii since 1962. Lingle was also the first female governor of Hawaii and its first Jewish governor.

Neil Abercrombie

6.December 2010 – 1.December 2014

3Years, 360 Days

  • * June 26, 1938
  • Democrat

Neil Abercrombie is an American politician who served as the seventh governor of Hawaii.

David Ige

December 1, 2014 – present

? Years, ? Days

  • *January 15, 1957
  • Democrat

David Yutaka Ige is an American politician serving as the eighth governor of Hawaii. A Democrat, he previously served in the Hawaii State Senate. In the 2014 gubernatorial election, he won the Democratic primary over incumbent Governor Neil Abercrombie, and the general election over Republican nominee Duke Aiona.


Governors of Oahu



c. 1796 – c. 1815

  • * ?   † ?

No information available

Isaac Davis ʻAikake

?? –  April 1810

  • * c.1758   †  April, 1810

Isaac Davis was a British advisor to Kamehameha I who was one of European settlers that helped form the Kingdom of Hawaii. He arrived in Hawaii in 1790 as the sole survivor of the massacre of the crew of the Fair American. He brought western military knowledge to Hawaii and played a prominent role during Hawaii’s first contacts with the European powers. He was known to the Hawaiian as ʻAikake.

Oliver Holmes

ca. 1810  –  ??

  • * November 2, 1777   †  August 6, 1825

Third Governor of O’ahu under Kamehameha I. Son of Simeon Holmes and Mercy (II) Weston Holmes.Husband of Mahi Kalanihooulumokuikekai.

Lydia Namahana Piʻia

? – 18..

  • * c. 1787   † September 12, 1829

Lydia Nāmāhāna Kekuaipiʻia was a wife of King Kamehameha I of Hawaii. She was the daughter of Keʻeaumoku Pāpaʻiahiahi, and her sisters Kaʻahumanu and Kalākua Kaheiheimālie were also Kamehameha’s wives. Kamehameha and Kaʻahumanu later arranged Piʻia to marry Gideon Peleioholani Laʻanui, who was ten years her junior

Boki Kamāʻuleʻule

18..  –  December 2 , 1829

  • * c. 1780     † December 2nd, 1829
  • Boki (left) in a painting by John Hayter

Boki was the fifth governor of Oahu’s. He was perpetually caught between traditional and foreign cultures. He and his brother Kalanimoku were the first Hawaiian chiefs to get baptised as Christians, and at times he appeared to be a devout believer.

Kuini Liliha

December, 1829  –  April 1, 1831

  • * c. 1780     † August 25, 1839

Kuini Liliha (c. 1802–1839) was a High Chiefess (aliʻi) and noblewoman who served the Kingdom of Hawaii as royal governor of Oʻahu island. She administered the island from 1829 to 1831 following the death of her husband Boki.

John Adams Kiiapalaoku Kuakini

April 1, 1831 – c. 1833

  • * c. 1789     † December 9, 1844

John Adams Kiʻiapalaoku Kuakini was an important adviser to Kamehameha I in the early stages of the Kingdom of Hawaii. He was responsible for contributing to the infrastructure among other changes in the Kona District during this era.

Elizabeth Kīnaʻu Kaʻahumanu II

c. 1833?  –  April 4, 1839?

  • * c. 1805     † April 4, 1839

Princess Kalani Ahumanu i Kaliko o Iwi Kauhipua o Kīnaʻu, also known as Elizabeth Kīnaʻu was Kuhina Nui of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi as Kaʻahumanu II, Queen regent and Dowager Queen.

Mataio Kekūanāoʻa

November 17, 1846 –  February 18, 1864

17 Years, 93 Days

  • * c. 1793     † November 4, 1868

Mataio Kekūanaōʻa, formally referred to as His Honor or His Highness, was a governor of the island of Oʻahu, father of two kings, Kamehameha IV and Kamehameha V, and held the office of Kuhina Nui as did his wife, Kīnaʻu and their daughter, Victoria Kamāmalu. His first name is the Hawaiian form of Matthew.

John Owen Dominis

February 18, 1864 –  October 4, 1886

22 Years, 228 Days

  • * March 10, 1832     † August 27, 1891

General and commander of the Hawaiian Army. During the California gold rush, he spent a year working as a clerk in San Francisco, then returned to Honolulu. On September 16, 1862, he married Lydia Kamaka’eha (Paki). He served as secretary to Kings Kamehameha IV and V, and was appointed royal governor of Oahu and Maui by King Kamehameha V.

Curtis Piʻehu Iʻaukea

October 4, 1886 – August 5, 1887

 277 Days

  • * December 13, 1855    † March 5, 1940

Colonel Curtis Piʻehu Iaukea served as a court official, army officer and diplomat of the Kingdom of Hawaii. He later became an influential official for the subsequent regimes of the Provisional Government and the Republic and the Territory of Hawaii.

Antone Rosa

April 12, 1887 – July 7, 1887

93 Days

  • * November 10, 1855   † September 9, 1898

Antone Rosa was a politician, lawyer and judge of the Kingdom of Hawaii and Republic of Hawaii. He served as Attorney General of Hawaii, and as a private secretary and vice chamberlain to King Kalākaua.

Archibald Scott Cleghorn

July 7, 1887 – July 26, 1887

19 Days

  • * November 15, 1835    † November 1, 1910

Archibald Scott Cleghorn was a Scottish businessman who married into the royal family of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Archibald took over his father’s business and turned it into one of the most successful mercantile chains in the islands. (Fahrni). On September 22, 1870, Archibald married Princess Likelike.

John Owen Dominis

August 5, 1887 – August 23, 1888

1 Year, 18 Days

  • * March 10, 1832   † August 27, 1891

“On the accession to the throne of Prince Lot as Kamehameha V, (Dominis) was at once appointed his private secretary and confidential adviser, which position he occupied during the entire reign.”


August 23, 1887 – March 2, 1891

3 Year, 191 Days

King David Kalakaua was forced to signe the new constitution,the law of the “Bayonet Constitution”. King Kalakaua was the last reigning Hawaiian monarch—the last to wield independent political power. The new constitution was written by white businessmen and lawyers who wanted the kingdom to be part of the United States. This group, Hawaiian League, was supported by an armed militia called the Honolulu Rifles.The „Hawaiian League“ were affiliated with Hawaii’s giant, lucrative sugar and pineapple plantations.

John Owen Dominis

August 5, 1887 – August 23, 1888

1 Year, 18 Days

  • * March 10, 1832 † August 27, 1891

Royal Governor of Oahu and Maui – Lieutenant General and Commander in Chief,
Quartermaster General and Commissioner of Crown Lands – Legislator in the House of Nobles –
Royal Commander of royal orders (e.g. Royal Order of Kamehameha and the Royal Order of Kalākaua) – Member of the King’s Privy Council, Board of Health, Board of Education, and Bureau of Immigration

Archibald Scott Cleghorn

November 11, 1891 – February 28, 1893

1 Year, 109 Days

  • * November 15, 1835 † November 1, 1910

He married Princess Miriam K. Likelike who was 19 years old, sister of David Kalākaua. Archie also became known as Hawaiʻi’s Father of Parks and served as Oʻahu Parks Commissioner; he was landscaper for ʻIolani Palace.In addition he was the lead landscaper for Kapiʻolani Park. Kapiʻolani Park was dedicated on June 11, 1877 and named by King Kalākaua to honor his wife, Queen Kapiʻolani. It was the first public park in the Hawaiian Islands.

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