Edmund Pearson Dole

Edmund Pearson Dole (February 28, 1850 – December 31, 1928) was a lawyer from New England who served as the first Attorney General of the Territory of Hawaii, and argued a case up to the U.S. Supreme Court. He also wrote several novels.

Edmund Pearson Dole
Attorney General of Hawaii
In office
June 14, 1900  February 1, 1903
GovernorSanford B. Dole
Preceded byHenry Ernest Cooper
Personal details
Born(1850-02-28)February 28, 1850
Skowhegan, Maine
DiedDecember 31, 1928(1928-12-31) (aged 78)
Keene, New Hampshire
Spouse(s)Eleanor Gallagher


Edmund Pearson Dole was born February 28, 1850 in Skowhegan, Maine. His father was classical language teacher Isiah Dole (1819–1892), and his mother was Elizabeth Todd Pearson (died 1851).[1] Dole graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut in 1874. He married Gertrude Ellen Davenport in 1878. He studied law under Charles Robinson, Jr., graduated from law school at Boston University, and was admitted to the bar at Suffolk County, Massachusetts. He practiced as a law partner of Farnum Fish Lane in Keene, New Hampshire. He served as Cheshire County Solicitor in 1880 and 1881, similar to a modern District Attorney.[2] He wrote a book trying to explain the law profession to the public in 1887. He then moved to Seattle in 1890. In 1891 he was offered the position of dean of a new law school in Spokane.[3]

His cousin Sanford Ballard Dole had become president of the Republic of Hawaii and wrote to him for help.[4] By June 1895 he was practicing law in Honolulu,[5] and acting as assistant to Henry Ernest Cooper as Attorney General of Hawaii.

Dole published a novel The Stand-By in 1897 with a hero who promoted Prohibition but was in love with the daughter of a brewer. It received praise from the Honolulu press:

Its woof of romance richly colored with incident and episode is struck into a warp of informing fact relative to one of the leading questions of the age.[6]

The New York Times, however, saw a more political message:

...as Mr Edmund P. Dole would have it, or as it seems to be written within the lines, the Republicans are the only lawabiding people on God's earth, the only virtuous, self-respecting souls, and the Democrats—quite the opposite. There is a tinge of fanaticism, then, in Mr. Dole's Romance.[7]

Dole replaced Cooper as attorney general on June 14, 1900.[8] He also published his second novel Hiwa: a tale of ancient Hawaii in 1900.

Dole married Eleanor Gallagher, daughter of Bernard Gallagher of San Francisco, on September 5, 1901,[9] and they divorced in 1902. His ex-wife then became a singer in New York City.[10][11]

He resigned as attorney general on February 1, 1903, to argue a case in the U.S. Supreme Court at the request of Philander C. Knox who was US Attorney General.[12] Federal District Court Judge Morris M. Estee had overturned the conviction of Osaki Mankichi because he was never indicted by a grand jury, and was convicted by a simple majority of a jury instead of unanimously. Estee ruled the court proceeding denied the accused rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution.[13] The case had the implication of invalidating many legal procedures during the time between July 1898 when the Newlands Resolution annexed Hawaii by the United States, and April 1900 when the Hawaiian Organic Act established a territorial government. The Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 that the continued operation of the Republic of Hawii legal system was valid during the transition period.[14] Dole lived in Washington, DC for two years, then moved back to Seattle and practiced law again there. He died December 31, 1928 in Keene.[15]


  • Edmund Pearson Dole (1887). Talks about law: a popular statement of what our law is and how it is administered. Houghton, Mifflin and Company.
  • Edmund Pearson Dole (1897). The stand-by. The Century Company. ISBN 978-1-103-94299-2.
  • Edmund Pearson Dole (1900). Hiwa: a tale of ancient Hawaii. Harper. ISBN 978-0-554-41369-3.
  • Edmund Pearson Dole; Osaki Mankichi; Hawaii. Office of the Attorney General; United States. Supreme Court, United States. District Court (Hawaii) (1901). In the Supreme Court of the United States: In the matter of the application of Osaki Mankichi for a writ of habeas corpus. Appeal of the Territory of Hawaii from the District court of the United States in and for said territory. Hawaiian Gazette Printing Company. Brief for appellant


  1. Bowdoin College Library (1895). Bowdoin College Library bulletin including the obituary record and the reports of the librarian: No. 1-4. June 1891-June 1895. Bowdoin College Library. p. 87.
  2. Wesleyan University; F. W. Nicolson (1883). Alumni record of Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn. Middletown Connecticut. p. 491.
  3. "News in Brief". The Herald. Pullman, Washington. August 21, 1891. Retrieved September 3, 2010.
  4. Ethel Moseley Damon (1957). Sanford Ballard Dole and his Hawaii: With an analysis of Justice Dole's legal opinions. Published for the Hawaiian Historical Society by Pacific Books. p. 344.
  5. "Edmund P. Dole, Attorney at Law". Evening Bulletin. Honolulu. June 18, 1895. Retrieved September 3, 2010.
  6. "Edmund P. Dole's Story: Good Literary Work by our Deputy Attorney General". Evening Bulletin. Honolulu. May 19, 1897. p. 1. Retrieved September 3, 2010.
  7. "Fiction of the Season: Novels and Short Stories of Varying Degrees of Merit" (PDF). New York Times. May 15, 1897. Retrieved September 3, 2010.
  8. "Dole, Edmund Pearson office record". state archives digital collections. state of Hawaii. Archived from the original on April 3, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2010.
  9. "Comes from Honolulu to Claim his Bride: Attorney General E. P. Dole of Hawaii is Here to Wed Miss Eleanor Gallagher". San Francisco Call. September 4, 1901. Retrieved September 3, 2010.
  10. "A Theatrical Innovation" (PDF). New York Times. May 30, 1903. Retrieved September 3, 2010.
  11. "Eleanor Gallagher Will Become a Chorus Girl: Divorced Wife of Former Hawaiian Attorney General to Go on the Stage". San Francisco Call. May 30, 1903. Retrieved September 3, 2010.
  12. Franklin Harper (1913). Who's who on the Pacific Coast: a biographical compilation of notable living contemporaries west of the Rocky Mountains. Harper Publishing Company. p. 163.
  13. "Appeals to Washington: Transition Cases Go to Highest Court". Hawaiian Gazette. November 19, 1901. Retrieved September 3, 2010.
  14. Albert H. Putney (1908). United States constitutional history and law. Illinois book exchange. p. 455.
  15. "Vital Records of Keene, New Hampshire - Deaths - 1927-1928". Keene Public Library. Retrieved September 5, 2010.
Government offices
Preceded by
Henry Ernest Cooper
Territory of Hawaii Attorney General
Succeeded by
Lorrin A. Andrews
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