Joseph Oliver Carter, Jr., journalist, public official, diplomat, financier and philanthropist, was born in Honolulu on December 20, 1835 to Captain Joseph Oliver Carter and Hannah Lord. Carter attended school in Boston at an early age. After returning to Hawaii in 1847, he finished school and began employment with A. B. Howe in Honolulu. He later worked as a clerk in the post office and became associated with H. M. Whitney, a dealer in books and a cotton grower in Hawaii. Carter then began working for the Pacific Commercial Advertiser until 1872 when he was elected to the Hawaiian Legislature. He was appointed Registrar of Public Accounts in 1874, after having been financier to prominent families in Hawaii. In 1880 he went back to business life becoming cashier and correspondent for C. Brewer & Co. In 1891, he became president of the company. Throughout his life, Carter played an important role with Hawaiian royalty, the legislature and cabinet officers, often being called on for advice. He was the Privy Councilor to Queen Liliuokalani. During the 1893 Revolution, Carter sided with the Hawaiian people, working for their rights; he stood by the Queen's side. After the overthrow of the Queen, Carter resigned his position at C. Brewer & Co. due to political differences with his business colleagues and opened his own business. He continued to be in charge of the business affairs of the former Queen, as well as trustee of the James Campbell Estate, the B. P. Bishop Estate, the Kamehameha Schools, and various private accounts and estates.
In 1898, when the question of Hawaii annexation came up, Carter went to Washington D. C. as a member of a mission to the present the cause of the Hawaiians, who were against such action. Carter held various other positions including Board of Health of the Republic of Hawaii and superintendent and teacher at the Bethel Church. Carter married Mary Ladd, member of another prominent pioneer Honolulu family, in 1859. They had six children: Charlotte, Mary, Rachel, Joseph Oliver, Sarah, and Henry Cushman. Carter became blind in his last years, but continued his business dealings until his death on February 27, 1909. He was buried in Oahu Cemetery in Honolulu.
From the description of Papers of Joseph Oliver Carter, 1893-1935. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 762888194