HONOLULU (KHON2) – Black history has deep roots in Hawaii dating back to more than 200 years. Historians believe the Black community has influenced different Hawaii institutions like founding schools and advising Hawaiian Royalty. 

Historians believe the earliest Black settlers came to Hawaii in the late 1700s to early 1800s. Later, Black immigrants ventured to Hawaii working in the whaling industry.

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For many Black settlers coming to Hawaii, it was a way to seek new opportunities that were not available to them due to slavery in America. 

Hawaii in the 1800s offered a new culture for Black people that did not encourage racial discrimination giving Black settlers a chance for freedom. 

The National Park Service highlights influential Black settlers that came to Hawaii and had a significant impact during the 1800s.

Anthony D. Allen was born into slavery in the late 1700s. At 24 he bought his freedom and came to Hawaii where he eventually became an advisor and steward to Kamehameha the Great.

He became a successful businessman and started the first bowling alley in Hawaii. He also built the first carriage road up to Manoa Valley and ran the first hospital for American seamen in Honolulu. 

Thoman McCants Stewart came to Hawaii in the late 1800s. He helped draft the Organic Act of the Territory of Hawaii after the overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy. 

Historians believe he was influential and helped the Native Hawaiians fight to regain their Kuleana lands. 

Stewart’s daughter graduated from Oahu College and later became Hawaii’s first Black principal. She continued her father’s work by influencing and helping the education system. 

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For more information about these influential Black settlers and their contributions to Hawaii head to the National Park Service’s website