Lucius E. Pinkham

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Lucius Eugene Pinkham
Lucius Eugene Pinkham - standing.jpg
4th Territorial Governor of Hawaii
In office
November 30, 1913 – June 22, 1918
Appointed by Woodrow Wilson
Preceded by Walter F. Frear
Succeeded by Charles J. McCarthy
Personal details
Born (1850-09-19)September 19, 1850
Chicopee, Massachusetts
Died November 2, 1922(1922-11-02) (aged 72)
San Francisco, California
Political party Hawaiʻi Democratic Party

Lucius Eugene Pinkham (September 19, 1850 – November 2, 1922) was the fourth Territorial Governor of Hawaii, serving from 1913 to 1918. Pinkham was the first member of the Democratic Party of Hawaii to become governor.

Early life[edit]

Pinkham was born September 19, 1850 in Chicopee, Massachusetts. His parents were Lucius Moulton, a cotton mill proprietor, and Caroline Smith (Fiske) Pinkham.[1] He attended public schools in Boston and Hartford, Connecticut. Although he intended to attend Yale, a horseriding accident prevented him from walking for several years and he never attended college. Pinkham arrived in Hawaii in 1892 to build a coal handling plant for Oahu Railway and Land Company, and then went to California in 1894. From 1898 to 1903 he was manager of Pacific Hardware, another family business of Benjamin Dillingham.[2] He also oversaw well projects for the sugarcane plantations.

Hawaii Board of Health[edit]

On April 13, 1904, Pinkham was appointed President of the territorial Board of Health. While President of the Board of Health, he developed the idea of dredging the marshlands of Waikīkī via a two-mile long drainage canal. Although the idea was approved by the Board of Health, no action was taken on the proposal. His achievements included improving the conditions of the lepers at the Molokai settlement, economically reducing the occurrence of bubonic plague and cholera in Hawaii.[1] He was removed from the Board of Health on April 12, 1908.

Territorial Governor of Hawaii[edit]

Despite having no previous political experience,[1] U.S. President Woodrow Wilson appointed Pinkham territorial governor of Hawaii on November 29, 1913, succeeding Governor Walter Frear. He was the first governor from the Democratic Party of Hawaii.

In 1917, the deposed former monarch of the Hawaiian Islands, Queen Liliʻuokalani, died and was buried at the Royal Mausoleum of Hawaii. The construction of what would become the Ala Wai Canal and the drainage of the Waikīkī marshlands are credited for enabling the development of Waikīkī as a tourist center, and are considered to be one of the most enduring legacies of Pinkham's tenure.[3] Pinkham also worked aggressively to improve the military defense of Hawaii.[1]

He voluntarily resigned from his position[1] and was replaced by Charles J. McCarthy on June 22, 1918.[4]

Pinkham died November 2, 1922 in San Francisco, California.


  1. ^ a b c d e White, J.T. (1921). The National Cyclopædia of American Biography Vol 17. p. 446. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  2. ^ H. Brett Melendy (1983). "The Controversial Appointment of Lucius Eugene Pinkham, Hawaii's First Democratic Governor". Hawaiian Journal of History. 17. Hawaii Historical Society. pp. 185–208. hdl:10524/373. 
  3. ^ Michael Tsai (July 2, 2006). "Lucius E. Pinkham". Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved 2010-04-25. 
  4. ^ "Pinkham, Lucius E. office record". state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Retrieved 2010-04-25. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Walter F. Frear
Territorial Governor of Hawaii
1913 - 1918
Succeeded by
Charles J. McCarthy