Auguste Marques

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Dr. Marques

Dr. Auguste Jean Baptiste Marques was a scientist, diplomat, and writer who lived in Hawai'i. He was President of the Aloha Branch and served as General Secretary of the Australian Section of the Theosophical Society based in Adyar, Chennai, India.

Early life and work

Dr. Marques was born at Toulon, France on November 17, 1841. His father John, a general in the French army, was half Spanish and half French. His mother, Augusta Cooke, was half English and half Scottish, the daughter of a British general. Marques spent some of his boyhood in Morocco and Algiers. He completed study of medicine at the University of Paris, but his mother persuaded him for some unknown reason not to take the degree. He did complete a doctorate in science from the University of Lisbon. For a time he worked at the bureau of agriculture in Paris, but "after his mother's death in 1875, when he was 34, he began a prolonged world tour."[1]

During his travels, he arrived in Hawai'i on December 30, 1878 on the City of Sydney, and decided to stay.[2] He became a naturalized American citizen after Hawai'i became a protectorate of the United States.

Civic activities

After arriving in Hawai'i,

He soon helped found the Honolulu Library and Reading Room Association, later Honolulu's first public library, and he actively promoted fund-raising efforts, purchased books, and organized a music department. A self-proclaimed advocate of Portuguese interests in his early years in Hawai'i, Marques established the Anti-Asiatic Society to work for the restriction of the immigration of Japanese and Chinese laborers. After reading Blavatsky's Isis Unveiled in 1885, he became interested in Theosophy, traveling to Europe in 1888 to further his research on the topic.[3]

After his exposure to Theosophy, he dropped his anti-Asiatic activities. He taught music, then French at Oahu College and Punahou Preparatory School during the years 1883-1891.[4] An active supporter of the Hawaiian royalty, he served a one-year term as a member of the Hawaiian legislature in 1890.[5][6]. He was director of the Honolulu Symphony Society, and played the viola.[7][8] He wrote for many periodicals about Hawaiian culture and mythology. He also edited the Portuguese language newspaper 0 Luso Hawaiiano during the years 1885-1888 and the journal A União Lusitana-Hawaiiana.

An area in Honolulu became known as "Marquesville" when Dr. Marques sold lots of land on long-term credit to Portuguese immigrants. He petitioned the Board of Education to establish an English-language school for the settlers' children, with the Portuguese language taught for one hour each week.[9]

For his civic efforts, Dr. Marques received many awards and orders of merit from several governments. King David Kalākaua rewarded his work on leprosy. In 1883, Marques became a "Companion of the Loyal Order of Kapiolani" – the first recipient of that honor.[10] A large bronze plaque marks the location of the artesian well that he established in April 1880 to supply water for Marquesville.

Theosophical Society involvement

In February 1894, Dr. Marques worked with Mrs. Mary E. Foster to establish the Aloha Branch of the Theosophical Society, and he became its first President and host of weekly meetings. Mrs. Foster's brother Mark Robinson, a prominent banker and invester, was also involved; he hosted Theosophical gatherings at his home. They organized lectures and classes, and several other study groups.[11] During the 1890s, Dr. Marques frequently contributed articles to Mercury and other Theosophical periodicals. From 1899-1901, Dr. Marques served as General Secretary of the Australian Section, and he traveled to India as a delegate.

Dr. Marques conducted investigations into the subtle aspects of human existence, and wrote about them in his 1896 book The Human Aura.

A book has now appeared, which goes a step further than any of the former, delving deeper into the mysteries of man. It is the Human Aura, by Mr. A. Marques, S. D. Mr. Marques is no visionary dreamer; what he writes is the result of a careful investigation by himself, assisted by M. McElroy, and the result is put down in a terse and condensed style. It is a book which needs careful study, both intellectually and intuitionally, because we can never fully comprehend the mysteries of the Astral Plane, before experiencing them ourselves.[12]

This review, written by Axel Wachtmeister, goes on to describe Marques' presentation of the tenfold Pythagorean division of human principles; the sevenfold division frequently used by Theosophists; a very fine diagram as a frontispiece; and an appendix dealing with the auras of plants and of magnets. "Of special value are also the few hints the author gives the reader as to the use of clairvoyant faculties and their misuse."[13]

In December, 1901, Alexander Fullerton reported that Dr. Marques had resigned his membership. The reason is not known.[14]

Diplomatic positions

King David Kalākaua sent Marques on a diplomatic mission to Russia in 1886. Around 1907, Dr. Marques became Acting Consul in Hawai'i for France, and Vice Consul for Spain. For over 20 years, he represented the interests of France as Consular Agent and then Consul. He also became, at the same time, Consul for Panama (1909); and Vice Consul for Belgium (1914) and Russia (1908-1918). He worked out of his residence at 1928 Wilder Avenue in Honolulu.[15]

Marriage to Evelyn

At the age of 56, Dr. Marques married a remarkable woman, Evelyn Mary Oliver, on June 7, 1900.

Born in Canada in 1863, Evelyn Oliver had come to Hawai'i from Canada in 1889 as a publisher's representative. She soon became interested in providing a sales outlet and a source of income, for Hawaiian women's handicrafts.[16]

To this end, she established and managed a shop, the Women's Exchange, for at least the years 1904-1910.[17] During a period that her husband was ill, she assumed his responsibilities as Consul for France. She was also an active worker for women's suffrage, joining the Women's League of Voters of Hawaii.[18]

Later years

Dr. Marques died on March 13, 1929 in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi at the age of 87.


Dr. Marques wrote numerous articles for Theosophical journals, mostly during the 1890s. The Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals lists 42 articles by or reviews of books by A Marques. Two of his lecture transcripts were distributed through the American Section's Lecture Bureau, under the titles "Why We Should Study Theosophy" and "The Medicine of the Future."[19]

He also wrote several books and pamphlets:

  • The Human Aura. San Francisco: Mercury Publishing Co., 1896. A copy of this work is in the Boris de Zirkoff Papers, Records Series 25, Theosophical Society in America Archives. Available online at Internet Archive and Hathitrust.
  • Scientific Corroborations of Theosophy. San Francisco: Mercury Publishing Co., 1897, 1908. This is a study of the scientific validity of Theosophy, billed as "A vindication of the secret doctrine by the latest discoveries." The fourth edition, published in 1897, stated that it was from a lecture by "A. Marques, D. Sc., President Aloha Branch T.S." and was "Revised, Amplified, and Printed by request of the Chicago Theosophists for White Lotus Day with an introduction by Mrs. Annie Besant." The subheading is "or H.P.B.'s Secret Doctrine Vindicated by the Progress of Science." The fourth edition is available at Hathitust and Google Books. A 1898 review states that translations in whole or in part of the booklet had been made in French, Spanish, Italian, German, and "several Hindoo vernaculars."[20]
  • The Population of the Hawaiian Islands: Is the Hawaiian a Doomed Race?: Present and Future Prospects. Honolulu: Hawaii Holomua Print, 1894. 41 pages. Examination of the population and demography of Hawaii, written in response to the overthrow on the Hawaiian government in 1893. Published in the Journal of Polynesian Society 2.4 (December, 1893), 253-270. Available at JPS.
  • Culture et préparation du sisal (henequen): étude faite aux îles Havai. University of California Libraries, 1909. Available at Hathitrust. 96 pages.
  • Une industrie nouvelle en Hawaï: la fécule des Fougères arborescentes. Paris: Émile Larose, 1922. 7 pages.
  • L'ananas; culture et industrie: étude faite aux îles Hawaii. Paris, A. Challamel, 1909. 46 pages.
  • Culture des hydnocarpées, en Hawaii pour le traitement de la lèpre. Paris, E. Larose, 1923. 4 pages. Cover title./ "Extrait de l'Agronomie Coloniale, Bulletin mensuel de l'Institut national d'agronomie coloniale, Aout 1923, no. 68."/ "Nouvelle serie no. 34."

Additional sources

  • Bouslog, Charles S. "Dr. Auguste and Evelyn Marques." The Hawaiian Journal of History 26 (1992), 157-164. Available at University of Hawai'i eVols library.
  • Dr. Marques's papers for 1852-1891 are held by the Bishop Museum Archives (Honolulu, Hawaii). "Correspondence, writings by Marques and others, notes on Malay, Ponape, and Polynesian languages, and other topics, vocabulary of the Palau language compiled by J.S. Kubary, maps, newspaper articles, and other papers. Includes material relating to Marques's interest in the natural history of the Pacific Area, King David Kalakaua's theory of studying the earth in segments separated by lines of latitude, and the mythological continent of Lemuria."


  1. Charles S. Bouslog, "Doctor Auguste Jean Baptiste and Evelyn Oliver Marques, The Hawaiian Journal of History 26 (1992), 158-159. Available at University of Hawaii at Manoa Library.
  2. Charles S. Bouslog, "Doctor Auguste Jean Baptiste and Evelyn Oliver Marques, The Hawaiian Journal of History 26 (1992), 160. Available at University of Hawaii at Manoa Library.
  3. Frank Karpiel, "Theosophy, Culture, and Politics in Honolulu, 1890-1920," The Hawaiian Journal of History 30 (1996), 180. Available at this website.
  4. Oahu College School Catalog, 1891.
  5. Frank Karpiel, "Theosophy, Culture, and Politics in Honolulu, 1890-1920," Hawaiian Journal of History 30 (1996), 181. Available at this website.
  6. Honolulu City Directory, 1890
  7. "Auguste Jean Baptiste Marques," Mamiya Heritage Medical Center. Available at Wayback Machine.
  8. Honolulu City Directory, 1904.
  9. Charles S. Bouslog, "Doctor Auguste Jean Baptiste and Evelyn Oliver Marques, The Hawaiian Journal of History 26 (1992). Available at sequence=2 University of Hawaii at Manoa Library.
  10. "Auguste Jean Baptiste Marques," Mamiya Heritage Medical Center. Available at Wayback Machine.
  11. Frank Karpiel, "Theosophy, Culture, and Politics in Honolulu, 1890-1920," Hawaiian Journal of History 30 (1996), 180-181. Available at this website.
  12. Axel Wachtmeister, "The Human Aura" Mercury 3.6 (February, 1897), 188-189.
  13. Ibid, 189.
  14. Alexander Fullerton, "Notices" The Theosophic Messenger 4.3 (December 1901), 37.
  15. Honolulu City Directories, 1903-1928.
  16. Charles S. Bouslog, "Doctor Auguste Jean Baptiste and Evelyn Oliver Marques, The Hawaiian Journal of History 26 (1992). Available at sequence=2 University of Hawaii at Manoa Library.
  17. Honolulu City Directories, 1904-1910.
  18. Charles S. Bouslog, "Doctor Auguste Jean Baptiste and Evelyn Oliver Marques, The Hawaiian Journal of History 26 (1992). Available at sequence=2 University of Hawaii at Manoa Library.
  19. "List of Lectures" The Theosophic Messenger 3.8 (May, 1902), 199.
  20. "Book Reviews," Mercury 4.12 (August, 1898), 441.