Daily Honolulu press

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The four-page general circulation Daily Honolulu Press was published in English in Honolulu every morning except Sundays from September 1, 1885 through June 1886. Published by Louis T. Valentine and edited by Thomas G. Thrum and Arthur Johnstone, the paper represented a continuation and merger of Thrum’s Morning Guide and Saturday Press. The Daily Honolulu Press (sometimes titled the Honolulu Daily Press) featured local, national, and international news items; editorials; advertisements; shipping schedules; passenger lists; and import and export logs. The paper was available for 5 cents per copy or for an annual subscription rate of $6.

Thrum was a firm supporter of the missionary descendants and pro-American, pro-annexation merchants who sought to curb King Kalakaua’s constitutional powers and advance their own agenda in the islands. "The chief aim of the Honolulu Press," Thrum declared, "will be to foster and protect Hawaiian interests while especial attention will be given to individual industries and plantation enterprises." As he did in the Saturday Press, Thrum consistently used the paper to denounce the king and his policies, and on January 1, 1886, he implored citizens to hold Kalakaua accountable for what he regarded as a failure to lead: "We expect our rulers to promise and forget to perform…but upon the people the nation relies and upon them the future glory or disgrace of the Kingdom must rest."

Immigration, sanitation, and the threat of cholera were prominent themes in the pages of the Daily Honolulu Press--and the three were often linked. "The prevalence of cholera in Spain and Japan, and the knowledge that it is a portable disease, following always in the line of travel, and preferring localities in direct proportion as they are low in attitude, overcrowded by inhabitants, and insanitary in their condition, has led many to fear the possibility of its being introduced into these Islands." In September 1885, Thrum launched an informal campaign to urge the government to impose stricter limits on immigration and to prevent the spread of disease by cleaning up Honolulu streets. "There is no city in the world where poverty and slovenness [sic] drag their filth to the very door-steps of the private residence, the commercial-mart and kingly-palace as is done in Honolulu." Thrum called on the government to take immediate action in these matters.

The last available issue of the Daily Honolulu Press included a full-column advertisement soliciting subscribers and advertisers and restating the publisher’s goals of making it the Kingdom’s "leading paper"--with no mention of intent to cease publication. While it seems unlikely that the Thursday, June 3, 1886 issue was the last published, no further issues are currently available.


To download high quality JPEG2000 images of the newspaper pages, go to the Library of Congress Chronicling America website [http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85047264/issues/]