William Dewitt Alexander

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William Dewitt Alexander

Birthplace: Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA
Death: Died in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Rev. William P.Alexander and Mary Ann Alexander
Husband of Abigail Charlotte Alexander
Father of Arthur Chambers Alexander; Agnes Baldwin Alexander; William Douglas Alexander; Henry Edward Mansfield Alexander and Mary Charlotte Alexander
Brother of Samuel Thomas Alexander; James McKinney Alexander; Anne Elizabeth Alexander and Emily Whitney Baldwin

Occupation: College President/Surveyor-General
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William Dewitt Alexander

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_DeWitt_Alexander (see below)

William Dewitt Alexander, son of Rev. William P. Alexander, was b. in Honolulu on Apr. 2,1833. He m. July 18,1860, with ABIGAIL CHARLOTTE BALDWIN, dau. of Dwight Baldwin and Charlotte Fowler. They were residing, 1875, at Punahon, Oahu.

Children were: William Douglass (1861), Arthur Chambers (1863), Henry Edward Mansfield (1868), and Mary Charlotte (1874).

He was President of Oahu College, twelve years, and was in 1876 Surveyor-General of the Hawaiian Islands.

  • The Baldwin genealogy from 1500 to 1881 (1881)

Author: Baldwin, C. C. (Charles Candee), 1834-1895

Subject: Baldwin family
Publisher: Cleveland, O, [Leader printing company]
Possible copyright status: NOT_IN_COPYRIGHT

Pg. 602



William DeWitt Alexander (April 2, 1833–February 21, 1913) was an educator, author and linguist in the Kingdom of Hawaii and Republic of Hawaii. He then constructed maps for the Territory of Hawaii.


Alexander was born in Honolulu April 2, 1833. His father was missionary William Patterson Alexander and mother Mary Ann McKinney. He was named after William Radcliffe DeWitt (1792–1867) a Presbyterian pastor of his mother, who convinced her and her brother Edmund McKinney to become missionaries. He graduated from Punahou School in 1849, and traveled to New England to enroll at Yale. He received a BA degree from Yale in 1855 as Salutatorian, a Master of Arts in 1858, and was a member of Skull and Bones. He returned to Hawaii and joined the faculty of Punahou School as a professor of Greek and history. He married Abigail Charlotte Baldwin (1833–1913), daughter of missionary Dwight Baldwin in 1861. He became the fourth president of Punahou (then called Oahu College) in the summer of 1864, replacing Cyrus T. Mills. Mills and his wife Susan Tolman Mills then founded Mills College. During this time Alexander published books on Hawaiian history and the Hawaiian language. His younger brother Samuel Thomas Alexander founded Alexander & Baldwin with his wife's brother Henry Perrine Baldwin. The swimming pool and athletic field at the school are named for Alexander family members.

In spring 1871 Alexander became Royal Surveyor-General, and Edward Payson Church replaced him as president of Punahou. On November 6, 1874 he was appointed to the Board of Education, and then in 1896 Commissioner of Public Instruction. After Hawaii was annexed into the United States in 1898, Alexander was surveyor of the Territory of Hawaii. He assisted the U.S. National Geodetic Survey mapping the islands. He was a founding member of the Hawaiian Historical Society (during its second incarnation in 1893) and served as its first corresponding seretary. He wrote many articles for its journal.

Yale awarded him an honorary Doctor of laws degree in 1903. He died February 21, 1913 at the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu. He and his wife are buried in the cemetery at Kawaiahaʻo Church, across the street from where he was born.


Daughter Mary Charlotte Alexander (1874–1961) wrote a biography of both her grandfathers and a history of Hawaii.

Daughter Agnes Baldwin Alexander (1875–1971) became a follower of the Bahá'í Faith and author. She learned the Esperanto language and moved to Japan.

He had sons William Douglas Alexander (1861–1936), Arthur Chambers Alexander (1863–1954), and Henry Edward Mansfield Alexander (June 10, 1868—August 22, 1900).

William Douglas (sometimes called W.D. Alexander Jr.), was in San Francisco during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. He survived with only a few important papers stuffed in his coat.

Arthur became a professor of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley and authored his own textbook.


William DeWitt Alexander (1891) [1864]. A short synopsis of the most essential points in Hawaiian grammar. Press Publishing Company Print. http://www.ulukau.org/elib/cgi-bin/library?c=synopsis&l=en.

William DeWitt Alexander (1891). A brief history of the Hawaiian people. American Book Co.. ISBN 9781142041304. http://books.google.com/books?id=Fds3JhdHlnsC.

William DeWitt Alexander (1896). History of later years of the Hawaiian Monarchy and the revolution of 1893. Hawaiian Gazette Company. http://books.google.com/books?id=pD9CAAAAIAAJ.

William DeWitt Alexander (1900). Hawaiian Society Sons of the American Revolution yearbook. Hawaiian Gazette Company. http://books.google.com/books?id=B6E5HQAACAAJ.

William DeWitt Alexander (1902). Hawaiian geographic names. United States Coast and Geodetic Survey. http://books.google.com/books?id=6Wf4PgAACAAJ.

William DeWitt Alexander (1907). Oahu college: list of trustees, presidents, instructors, matrons, librarians, superintendents of grounds and students, 1841-1906. Historical sketch of Oahu college. Hawaiian Gazette Company. http://books.google.com/books?id=GxADAAAAYAAJ.

"Papers by "Alexander, W. D. (William De Witt), 1833-1913"". Hawaiian Historical Society. http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/browse?type=author&order=ASC&rpp=20&value=Alexander%2C+W.+D.+%28William+De+Witt%29%2C+1833-1913. Retrieved 2010-04-30.

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William Dewitt Alexander's Timeline

April 2, 1833
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA
May 26, 1861
Age 28
August 22, 1863
Age 30
June 10, 1868
Age 35
January 2, 1874
Age 40
July 21, 1875
Age 42
February 22, 1913
Age 79
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA