Talk:Territory of Hawaii

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Hawaiian language dispute[edit]

For the debate on the use of Hawaiian-English spelling in this article and other Hawaii-related articles, please see Talk:Hawaii.

Article now redirected here[edit]

A previous article Hawaii Territory, now a redirect to this, said in its entirety:

"The Hawaii Territory was a territory of the United States from February 22, 1900 to 1959. It joined the United States following the abolition of the Hawaiian monarchy, during the brief existence of the Republic of Hawaii.
"During World War II the Hawaii Territory was governed by the United States military.
"On August 21, 1959 Hawaii was granted statehood, and became the 50th U.S. state."

Note the disagreement about the starting date.

Jmabel 18:12, 22 May 2004 (UTC)

Confusion about dates of establishment[edit]

The Territory of Hawai'i was established by the Newlands Resolution signed by both chambers of Congress on 7 July 1898. The law legally ceded all Hawaiian lands to United States sovereignty thus establishing the territorial entity. This is the date officially adopted as the establishment date by the State of Hawai'i, the Princess Pauahi Bishop Museum and the United States Congress. It is the date taught in all mandatory Modern Hawaiian History curricula taught in Hawai'i public schools.

The date of establishment is often confused, especially by mainland United States residents, as being 22 February 1900 or some other date falling within the year. This was the date of passage of the Hawaiian Organic Act, more formally known as An Act to Provide a Government for the Territory of Hawai'i which merely codified a system of government for the already existing entity called the Territory of Hawai'i.

Gerald Farinas 18:40, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

It seems that not only mainland residents were confused but also the Hawaiian territorial government itself. Just look at this image of the results of the Hawaiian vote on statehood:


Look closely at the affixed seal of the territory of hawaii and you'll see the date "1900". 17:47, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Delisted GA[edit]

This article did not go through the current GA nomination process. Looking at the article as is, it fails on criteria 2b of the GA quality standards. No references are provided and the citation of sources is essential for verifiability. Most Good Articles use inline citations. I would recommend that this be fixed, to reexamine the article against the GA quality standards, and to submit the article through the nomination process. --RelHistBuff 12:24, 9 August 2006 (UTC)


Was the Territory of Hawai‘i a incorporated territory, like other former territories on the North American continent before statehoods were granted? — Instantnood 13:09, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Military Governor[edit]

What about Lt. General Robert C. Richardson Jr. who was Military Governor of the Territory of Hawaii during World War II? Chris 21:25, 7 January 2007 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: rough consensus not to move. Andrewa (talk) 03:00, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Territory of HawaiiHawaii Territory

  • oppose - no reason given. The burden of proof should be on the person proposing the move. Without any reason given, it should stay where it is and effort instead might go into making it more complete. W Nowicki (talk) 14:59, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
  • support - use common name Hawaii Territory [1] - instead of legally "Territory of Hawaii" as for
  • Oppose WP:Naming conventions (country-specific_topics) recommends the "Foo of Country (noun)" format. On the other hand, I should note that every other territory in Category:Former organized territories of the United States uses the form "XYZ Territory". On the third hand, in the actual articles, the name is consistently given as "Territory of XYZ", both in the lede and in the box. Kauffner (talk) 02:45, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment : In "Foo of Country (noun)", "Country" refers to an independent state, which here would be the United States. The format applies to Foo of the United States, e.g. Territories of the United States. But United States is not included in the title of Hawaii Territory. If it would be included, then it would be Hawaii Territory of the United States. The Hawaii Territory article is an example of a Non-country geographic area (name) Foo (type). All U.S. counties fall into that category, and they use "Foo County" for the title even if the official or legal name is "County of Foo", e.g. the seal has "County of Hawaii", but the title uses the short form "Hawaii County". HawaiiLibre (talk) 08:58, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
        • The guideline says, "Articles which deal with an aspect of a country or region generally take the form "Foo of Country (noun)". So, no, independence isn't the test. It's always State of XYZ. Does anyone say "Hawaii State"? Why create a different usage for "territory"? Kauffner (talk) 11:58, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
      • Let's recap: You found a Flickr user by the name of "woody1778a" who uses the term. That isn't a reliable source. You also found a webmaster at the Library of Congress who informally uses the term on the "Today in History" webpage. We generally don't use a webmaster as the source for encyclopedia articles, we use actual publications. Try to find some more sources, and I'll consider supporting your proposal. Until then, I haven't seen anything in the literature that supports the move. Subjects and topics should not be forced into fitting into arbitrary Wikipedia naming conventions that have been imposed upon us without consensus. Viriditas (talk) 09:28, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
        • Yes, these are not official sources. They only document that people exist that use the designation "Hawaii Territory". I will have a look whether I can find something more official, but maybe I will not be able to. HawaiiLibre (talk) 09:40, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
          • On Wikipedia, we aren't concerned about people who use a term. We are concerned about specific people who use the term, namely reliable sources. This does not entail something that is "official", but rather a publication that is considered authoritative, such as a type of book, scholarly paper, or even a newspaper article. Do some research, and report back with what you find. Viriditas (talk) 09:42, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
            • The most official historic source I found so far is book from 1906 which lists states and territories and uses "Hawaii Territory". I am still searching for official sources that document the usage of the term "Hawaii Territory" after achieving statehood. I started a new section to collect findings, this section is listed below. HawaiiLibre (talk) 10:42, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
              • Again, I haven't asked you for a single "official historic source" (and I've already provided it on Anthony Appleyard's talk page). I've asked you for a reliable source. Do you understand? Not snippets of usage from random webpages, but actual articles, papers, books, encyclopedia entries, and essays on the subject—all of which are published by reliable sources subject to editorial review. We really aren't interested in these websites you keep offering, so please stop linking to them. Viriditas (talk) 10:47, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
                • I changed the article and now the references for "Hawaii Territory" only include publications issued by the United States Department of Commerce. HawaiiLibre (talk) 11:03, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
                  • I'm afraid you are confused. There are literally 500-1000 reliable sources documenting the term "Territory of Hawaii" as the most common usage. You haven't even offered one. That some sources, for the sake of brevity or publishing convention (such as a style guide used by a particular publisher) might use the term "Hawaii Territory" isn't in dispute. However, if you were familiar with the literature on the subject, or took some time out to visit your local library or simply do the research, you would find that the number of reliable sources that use the term "Hawaii Territory" is tiny when compared to "Territory of Hawaii". That some statistical sources have used the convention "X Territory" for consistency in a few publications is practically insignificant when we look at the scholarly literature on the subject. "Territory of Hawaii" is, by far, the common name. Right now, all you are doing is cherry picking usage, rather than actually examining how the sources use the term when discussing the topic. That is not how we do research. Looking at the current sources, I'm seeing 500+ RS that consistently use the term "Territory of Hawaii" in a discussion about the subject, and less than 50 that use "Hawaii Territory" in passing mention. Viriditas (talk) 11:12, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
  1. When you wrote "There is no such thing as Hawaii Territory" [2], it sounded as if you would deny the existence of the term in spoken or written language outside Wikipedia. I provided sources from outside Wikipedia.
  2. You complained the sources are not reliable [3], which does not make sense, since they only were used to document usage. But I admitted they are not official, which is distinct from reliable, [4], you specified the kind of material you would like: book, scholarly paper, newspaper [5]. I went on with the research and I provided one such document from the DoC, 1906. [6], [7]
  3. Then you write "I haven't asked you for a single "official historic source", and you write "I've asked you for a reliable source" [8]. I added two more documents [9], addressing the fact of "singularity". I changed the article references to only include official publications and told you so [10].
  4. Now you argue that the type of usage in the official reliable sources that I provided is not the correct type of usage. That it is only for brevity and style reasons. And you write about me as a person, saying " if you were familiar with the literature on the subject..." [11]. The subject is Wikipedia article naming, and the literature on article naming can be found at WP:MoS. For brevity and style reasons, Wikipedia would use Hawaii Territory, as did the Library of Congress, Department of Commerce, Federal Security Agency. Like them, Wikipedia would use the short name for the article title and the long name whenever it is most convenient. HawaiiLibre (talk) 12:16, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Nope. Wikipedia uses common names for article titles, and the majority of secondary sources do not use the term "Hawaii Territory" either in passing reference or about the topic. Your own "research" on this topic disproves your hypothesis. Unless you can provide a single source about the subject that uses the term consistently, I'm afraid this discussion is over. We don't cherry pick terms that are rarely used and then argue that this uncommon usage is a good justification for moving an article title. You've got it all backwards. Viriditas (talk) 13:06, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
My research does prove what it proves: There is such a thing as "Hawaii Territory", something you claimed to not exist.[12]. That "Hawaii Territory" is used more often than "Territory of Hawaii" in written documents may be your hypothesis, it is not mine and never was. You seem to confuse me with someone else or invented that claim to enhance your position. HawaiiLibre (talk) 13:39, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
You haven't done any research yet, and I've given you the tools to do them in the section below. So far, you refuse. All you've done is cherry picked your chosen term from a Google search, and when one compares it to the use of the term in the secondary sources, one realizes that you are full of hot air. You claim by default that the term "Hawaii Territory" is notable and important, but your own "research" demonstrates it is not. The common name as shown in the literature is "Territory of Hawaii", not the abbreviated form "Hawaii Territory". To remind you (since you seem to have forgotten), you started this charade when you requested that this article be moved to "Hawaii Territory", a term that is neither in wide usage or found in the majority of secondary sources on the topic. When given the research tools so that you could see this for yourself, you refused to use them, preferring to continue to cherry pick the term from Google. Facts. They are funny things. Viriditas (talk) 13:59, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Do you have any reliable sources for all your claims about my person? Where did I claim "that the term "Hawaii Territory" is notable and important"? What is your source for "You haven't done any research yet"? What is the source for "one realizes that you are full of hot air"? Source for "When given the research tools so that you could see this for yourself, you refused to use them"? HawaiiLibre (talk) 14:10, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
That's easy. Why did you ask Anthony Appleyard to move this article? Why are you still here requesting a move? Viriditas (talk) 14:21, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
Are you really? It doesn't sound like it. If you're accusing an editor of something, I think you should do it plainly. Rennell435 (talk) 10:17, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose, per the arguments and sources provided by Viriditas on the nominator's talk page. Rennell435 (talk) 10:17, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
    • I've never posted an argument or a source on the "nominator's talk page", so I assume your "support" should be counted as an "oppose". Viriditas (talk) 10:42, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
      • Facepalm! Changed the !vote. I added the diff to clarify. Rennell435 (talk) 07:27, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose per the official treaty and official incorporation, as linked by Rennell435. Softlavender (talk) 07:45, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Hawaii Territory[edit]

Documentation for the usage of the name "Hawaii Territory"

United States Department of Commerce

Federal Security Agency

United States Department of Agriculture

Library of Congress


If you find something more official, please add. HawaiiLibre (talk) 09:45, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Again, that's not how we use sources on Wikipedia. We don't cherry pick from primary sources that abbreviate titles as a style convention. We choose titles based on the most common usage by secondary sources first, then tertiary, then primary. You are misusing sources to support your own personal POV. That some sources might abbreviate the proper name for the sake of brevity or consistent style is not in dispute. What is in dispute is proper naming convention, which the majority of secondary sources use as "Territory of Hawaii", not "Hawaii Territory". I suggest you stick with Google Scholar, Google Books, and Google News as your baseline. Another good starting point is ScholarSpace and the UH Library. ScholarSpace roughly returns 160 hits for "Territory of Hawaii" and 30 hits for "Hawaii Territory". The UH Library returns 1000 hits for "Territory of Hawaii" and 4 hits for "Hawaii Territory". The UH research page will get you started on your journey. Please take a look at it. Viriditas (talk) 11:31, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
The standard way to determine common name is to ngram it, which I have done here. Kauffner (talk) 12:07, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
What you did is ngram with Google Books Ngram Viewer, a tool, if the name is descriptive, that omits all non-book usage. HawaiiLibre (talk) 12:18, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
We write Wikipedia articles from secondary sources. Ngram shows that the current article title ("Territory of Hawaii") is supported, and my suggestion that you use the ScholarSpace and UH Library tools to see this for yourself remains. Please do so. We don't use a Google search to pick and choose uncommon usage as you are doing. Viriditas (talk) 13:08, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Johnston Atoll, Palmyra Atoll, etc.[edit]

I happened to look at this article for the first time in a long while today, and noticed that the lead sentence says that the Territory, with the exception of Johnston Atoll, was admitted to the Union. I haven't changed this, but it looks like a problem. This apparently dates back to this June 2011 edit and it's not something I have fresh in my mind, so I think that other eyes are needed.

As I understand it, in July 1898 the Newlands Resolution annexed the "Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies" (the Republic of Hawaii) to create the Territory of Hawaii (see On April 30, 1900, the Hawaiian Organic Act was enacted, and article 5 of that Act made Hawaii an Incorporated territory (see

As I recall, but I don't have details handy, Palmyra Atoll was incorporated along with the main Hawaiian islands. When Hawaii was admitted as a State, the Hawaii Admission Act explicitly excluded Palmyra Atoll. The act also (and separately) says that the state "shall not be deemed to include the Midway Islands, Johnston Island, Sand Island (off-shore from Johnston Island), or Kingman Reef, together with their appurtenant reefs and territorial waters." These had been (I guess -- but I don't have the details handy) possessions of the Republic of Hawaii which had been annexed along with the Republic itself but which had become unincorporated territories (see and Territories of the United States#Incorporated unorganized territories).

The Statehood section of the article mentions the exclusion of Palmyra Atoll, contradicting the article's lead sentence.

It seems to me that this article ought to go further than it currently does to clarify the details about all this. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 04:42, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I had forgotten making this comment. I just came across it again today, and added some info to the article's lead section with this edit. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 02:01, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Territory of Hawaii/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Inline refs needed. —Viriditas

Last edited at 13:56, 12 June 2011 (UTC). Substituted at 07:50, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

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