ʻOkatoba 12: “Hooheno no ka Loio Antone Rosa”

October 12, 1898: In Memoriam – Attorney Antone Rosa

Antone Rosa, 1888. Hawaii State Archives, Call Number: PP-96-13-08.

Antone Rosa, the celebrated Hawaiian lawyer, attorney general, judge, cabinet minister and politician passed away on October 12, 1898. He was memorably referenced as an “ʻahikananā” in Ka Buke Moʻolelo o Hon. Robert William Wilikoki. See Thomas K. Nakanela, Ka Buke Moolelo o Hon. Robert William Wilikoki (1890). In short, that term symbolically likened Rosa to a type of tuna–a fish known for its fierce fighting qualities.

Rosa was reportedly a brilliant and accomplished Hawaiian scholar. Death of Antone Rosa: Noted Hawaiian Lawyer Has Passed Away, Hawaiian Star, Sept. 9, 1898, at 1. Moreover, he had attained “a large and lucrative practice” and retained much of it “until overtaken by illness.” Id. Below is a resolution passed by the Hawaiʻi Bar on October 12, 1898. A short transcription follows.

Available in Judiciary Branch Records, Series 241: Records of the Clerks of the Supreme Court and First Circuit Court – Admin Records, 1898.


Whereas it has pleased Almighty God to remove from our midst Antone Rosa, a member of the Hawaiian Bar and one who held the position of Circuit Judge of the Third Circuit.

Resolved, That we the members of the said Bar, hereby express our appreciation of the fact that in his passing away, a great loss has befallen us, a loss of a tried and trusted official as well as a brilliant and valuable member of the Bar.

Resolved, That we hereby express to the family of the deceased our sincere sympathy with them in their bereavement: and further

Resolved, That the Court be requested to spread these resolutions upon its records.

October Term at Kohala 1898.