Lecture on John Henry Wise offered Saturday

A lecture on a man said to be the first Native Hawaiian to play college football in America will be presented by a University of Hawaii professor at 11 a.m. Saturday at Hale Keopuolani in Lahaina.

“Claiming Christianity: John Henry Wise and the Roots of a Native Christian Patriotism” will be the topic of the illustrated research presentation by Ronald Williams Jr., who is an instructor in the Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies at UH-Manoa.

Wise was sent to Oberlin College in Ohio as a 20-year-old student from the inaugural class at Kamehameha Schools for Boys. He began playing football for the school in 1891.

After three years of evangelical training at Oberlin, the native of Kohala on the Big Island returned to Hawaii, where his queen had been dethroned and his nation annexed, a news release about the lecture said.

During his life, he would become a territorial senator, newspaper editor and UH professor.

The presentation is free and open to the public as part of an event co-sponsored by Hawai’inuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at UH-Manoa and Na Kia’i o Waine’e in Lahaina.

Hale Keopuolani is located at 535 Wainee St.