NHSC Diplomatic And Congressional History: From Monarchy To Statehood
- 1 Diplomatic And Congressional History: From Monarchy To Statehood
- 1.1 A. UNITED STATES-HAWAII RELATIONSHIPS AND TREATIES, 1875 to 1893
- 1.1.1 1875 Reciprocity Treaty
- 1.1.2 American Advisors' Influence
- 1.1.3 Events Leading to Cabinet Government, 1881 to 1887
- 1.1.4 Cabinet Government Formed
- 1.1.5 Events Leading to the 1887 Constitution 57/
- 1.1.6 Reciprocity Treaty Renewal—1887
- 1.1.7 Cabinet Government and Attempts to Regain Powers of the Monarchy, 1887 to 1891 104/
- 1.1.8 Annexation Movements: 1891 and 1892
- 1.2 B. THE FALL OF THE MONARCHY AND ANNEXATION OF HAWAII*
- 1.3 C. FURTHER ANALYSIS OF ANNEXATION
- 1.4 D. HAWAIIAN ADMISSION TO STATEHOOD COMPARED TO THAT OF OTHER STATES
- 1.1 A. UNITED STATES-HAWAII RELATIONSHIPS AND TREATIES, 1875 to 1893
- 2 DIPLOMATIC AND CONGRESSIONAL, HISTORY: FROM MONARCHY TO STATEHOOD
Diplomatic And Congressional History: From Monarchy To Statehood
A full review of the history of the relations of the United States with Hawaii and the native Hawaiians is necessary for an evaluation of Hawaiian native claims. In Part I of this Report, that relationship is traced from ancient times to 1875. This chapter continues the story and has four parts. First, it sets forth the history of United States-Hawaiian relations from 1875 through 1893. Second, it provides an analysis of the causes of the fall of the monarchy and annexation. Because this section is particularly sensitive and crucial to this study, the Commissioners have determined that review by a professional historian with qualifications in the relevant historical period is essential. Therefore, the section on United states-Hawaiian relations between 1893 and 1900 has been prepared by William Dudley, Chief of Research in the Historical Research Branch of the Naval Historical Center, and Lt. Donna Nelson of his staff. The Naval Historical Research Branch works primarily on research requests from all sources concerning U.S. Navy history from the eighteenth into the twentieth centuries. The Branch edits and publishes multi-volume series and other works on Naval history with particular emphasis on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The research staff, well-regarded in the field, assists scholars and the public by providing information and reviewing manuscripts. The Branch has an extensive library of naval and diplomatic history, and the researchers are careful, objective historians.
The third part of this chapter further analyzes annexation and compares the annexation process for Hawaii with those of other territories. The fourth part outlines the history of Hawaii's admission to statehood, and compares Hawaii's admission to the Union to that of other selected states.
A. UNITED STATES-HAWAII RELATIONSHIPS AND TREATIES, 1875 to 1893
The history of Hawaii and its relationship to the United States from ancient times to 1875 is set forth in Part I of this report (pages 147 to 167). The period from 1875 to 1893 was extremely important and eventful in the formulation of a relationship between the United States and Hawaii. During this span of time, turmoil occurred in Hawaiian politics concerning that relationship, which resulted in violent protests as well as a written treaty and agreement that cemented the bond between the two countries. The period also marked the end of an era as Hawaii moved from a royal monarchy to a republican form of government. One of the most important events occurred early in this period—the signing of the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 between the United States and the Kingdom of Hawaii.
1875 Reciprocity Treaty
Certain pre-1875 events affected the reign of King Kalakaua, which encompassed the period from 1874 to 1891. A reciprocal trade treaty between the United States and Hawaii:
- ...had been agitated at intervals for almost thirty years. In 1855, Judge Lee had secured endorsement of such a treaty in Washington, only to have it defeated in the Senate by Louisiana sugar planters. Kamehameha IV and his successor had favored it only as a lesser evil than annexation to the United States. 1/
King Kalakaua's predecessor, Lunalilo, had also been urged to negotiate a treaty of reciprocity by influential members of the sugar planters and non-native whites, as well as by cabinet members urging closer bonds to the United States. Lunalilo had originally agreed to introduce such a treaty in the name of the Hawaiians, in return for the support of these people. He backed down, however, when native elements and white pro-Hawaiians, such as American Walter Murray Gibson, urged him to do so. 2/ The main reason for this change in Lunalilo's policy was the issue of the lease or cession of Pearl River [Harbor] to the United States.
When Lunalilo died in 1874, the pro-reciprocity factions (also known as the Missionary Party and "kingmakers") became convinced that Kalakaua would support their cause. After public statements of goodwill toward each other,
- ...there were further secret conferences between Kalakaua and the "kingmakers" at which both sides gave pledges. It was agreed that in return for their support of money and influence he wouldpermit them to name his cabinet officers, and that he would go personally to Washington to ask for the reciprocity treaty in the name of the Hawaiian people. They in turn would not seek to lease Pearl River to the United States. 3/
King Kalakaua's rule of Hawaii was thus secured with the backing of non-native and pro-reciprocity factions. He ran in a plebiscite against Queen Emma, his chief rival for power. When the legislature confirmed his victory in that plebiscite, rioting broke out by the "Hawaii for Hawaiians" supporters of Queen Emma. The king quelled the riot with the aid of military personnel from both American and British ships harboring in Hawaiian waters at the time. The king then moved to win back the support of those who had been supporting Queen Emma, the majority of whom were on Oahu, by touring the Islands and calling for a revitalization of the native population and spirit. With this accomplished, Kalakaua turned to the matter of a reciprocity treaty with the United States. The king realized even without the urging of his erstwhile secret backers, that "if Hawaii were to survive economically as a nation, the tariffs and discrimination against Hawaiian sugar and coffee must swiftly be removed." 4/ These "levies had strangled Hawaii's American market—had virtually closed this main and most essential pool for exports." 5/
Kalakaua sought and obtained Hawaiian legislative approval of a reciprocity treaty in 1874. He then "appointed Chief Justice E. H. Allen, former United States Consul to Hawaii, and the Honorable H. A. P. Carter, island-born American, as special Commissioners to Washington to prepare the way for a visit by His Majesty to the capital." 6/ Shortly afterwards "Kalakaua, the first king ever to visit the United States, was received as a guest of the nation by President Grant and all the members of Congress." 7/
Although the king (and prospects for a treaty) were greeted amiably, one man, Claus Spreckels, a California sugarbeet grower, singlehandedly "organized Western opposition and enlisted the support of Southern sugarcane planters and Eastern refiners in tabling the treaty." 8/ As a result of this action, Hawaii's trade slowed to a standstill and a national depression began as sugar planters slowed or stopped their shipments, hoping that the taxes on their products sent to the United
States would soon be lifted. Relief was relatively slow in coming, but: "after a year, upon President Grant's insistence, the treaty got to the Senate floor, and...Spreckels himself appeared to lobby against it...the Senate went into executive session. At the secret meeting, Secretary of State Hamilton Fish's special clause was read, which he was inserting in the treaty—and which would eventually tie Hawaii to the United States." 9/
This special clause, which is found in Article 4 of the Reciprocity Treaty, stated:
- It is agreed, on the part of his Hawaiian Majesty, that so long as this treaty shall remain in force he will not lease or otherwise dispose of or create any lien upon any port, harbor, or other territory in his dominions, or grant any special privilege or rights of use therein, to any other power...10/
In a report of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, "the majority frankly conceded that the main reason why the treaty should be ratified by the United States was on account of the danger of British absorption of the islands." 11/ Senator John T. Morgan of Alabama confessed as well that the treaty had political implications: "The Hawaiian treaty was negotiated for the purpose of securing political control of those islands, making them industrially and commercially, a part of the United States" 12/ as well as preventing any other power from acquiring a foothold on them.
Evidently Kalakaua had not been (or at least claimed he had not been) aware that this clause would be a part of the treaty. When the British Commissioner to Hawaii complained to the king about these exclusive rights, Kalakaua answered: "...how can I answer you about something which I have neither read nor approved?" 13/ The king, however, eventually did agree to this clause and the "treaty was approved by both the United States and Hawaiian governments in mid-1875. In August of the following year, Hawaii learned that Congress had passed the legislation necessary to put the treaty into operation. About the only Americans in the islands who were displeased...were those who believed in annexation." 14/ Proannexationists were concerned that the reciprocity treaty would delay annexation.
American Advisors' Influence
Several Americans and other foreigners became close advisors to the king at about this time. Claus Spreckels (who had opposed the treaty) was one of them. He saw opportunity even in his defeat and "arrived in Hawaii aboard the vessel which brought the news that the treaty had finally been approved in Washington. With his money and relentless drive Spreckels soon became the most powerful sugar man in Hawaii." Spreckels also had other interests, such as banking:
- Once Kalakaua was in his debt he was also in his grasp, and Claus Spreckels was so important to the king that anyone who opposed his various deals, including cabinet members, was soon out of office. Eventually his hold on the government and business community was broken...15/
However, Spreckels remained a force in Hawaii, for many years. By 1884, he was known as "'the other king* of the Hawaiian Islands." 16/
Other private Americans, such as Walter Gibson, advised and swayed the king. 17/ Gibson, however, was
pro-Hawaii to an extreme that eventually almost cost him his life at the hands of planter backers (as well as bringing the king's reign to the brink of disaster). Through intermediaries, while the king was in the United States, and again upon his return to Hawaii (during an era of prosperity brought on by the Reciprocity Treaty), Gibson had proposed the building of an empire for the king and Hawaii. Gibson told Kalakaua, "Hawaii should be the hub of the Polynesian kingdom. Sire, you are standing today on the very threshold of the door marked 'Emperor of Oceanal'" 18/ Although this project was delayed for the time being, it remained in the king's mind, refreshed often by his advisors.
To increase his influence in persuading the king to implement Hawaiian programs, Gibson needed to enter politics. In 1878, he sought a seat in the Hawaiian House of Representatives and won at the head of the King's Party. His election was despised by the 'kingmakers," but hailed by the native Hawaiians whom he won to his side by his speeches of nationalism and proposals for their benefit. Almost immediately, Gibson suggested that the special favors granted to the United States under the 1875 Reciprocity Treaty be granted to Great Britain as well: "The matter of first importance to us is that the kingdom perpetuate its cordial relations with all other nations so as to guard its independence." 19/ The United States Minister to Hawaii, General J. M. Comly, "on intimate terms with the planters...at their request, reported to Washington that Gibson was a troublemaker and a dangerous man with great influence over the natives." 20/ Gibson, however, survived these threats to his tenure and became the "closest confidant of the king...In 1882, Kalakaua named Gibson as premier of the nation. For nine years this controversial figure would dominate both king and government." 21/
Celso Caesar Moreno, an Italian-American, also played a short, but critical, role in advising Kalakaua. The king had met Moreno while in the United States seeking support for the Reciprocity Treaty. Moreno had charmed the king with talk of a Polynesian empire, much like the one proposed by Walter Gibson. Moreno arrived in Hawaii in November 1879, while Gibson was away. He represented both the American government's interest for a trans-Pacific cable and the China Merchant's Steam Navigation Company's request to open commercial relations. Kalakaua was so enchanted with his visitor's reacquaintence and the revival of empire dreams that he asked Moreno to "resign your commission with this Hing Sing and become my foreign minister." 22/ The king also granted the Chinese company the subsidy it needed to establish commercial relations with Hawaii, but asked that Moreno keep his cabinet position secret until elections two months hence, when he would make the appointment public. On Gibson's return to Hawaii he recognized Moreno, but did not inform the king of his views on him. Moreno and Gibson then agreed to work toward the policy of establishing a Polynesian kingdom.
The main obstacle to this goal was the passage of "a ten-million dollar loan to finance the king's army and navy." 23/ This loan proposal brought an uproar from the planter lobby, which, through Representative Castle, charged "as surely as you vote for this measure, you hasten the end of the king's rule. We taxpayers will express our resentment in a concrete manner." 24/ Claus Spreckels also appeared at this time at the assembly and through his persuasive powers, supported by Castle, "headed off the very likely passage of the $10,000,000 loan; among the king's loyal Hawaiians, there were too many in Spreckels' employ." 25/
Shortly afterward the king told Gibson of his intentions to make Momno premier and foreign minister. Gibson seemed to be amenable to this idea, but he was actually furious and started a campaign through the newspapers to dislodge Moreno. Raising the ire of the planters, Gibson fueled a fire that resulted in Moreno and the king calling for Hawaiians to throw out or kill the planter sympathizers and foreign interest groups on the islands. 26/
As the threat of violence increased, the king had second thoughts and met with the United States minister, General J. M. Comly, who told him: "Unless Moreno is discharged, the diplomatic corps has agreed to ask their governments to send warships and intercede to protect the lives and property of their nationals." 27/ Faced with the possibility of war, intrusion on his sovereignty and:
- ...worried by public calumny, facing an angry and agitated American minister, Kalakaua at last caught the message. Reluctantly he dismissed Moreno. In appointing a new cabinet, the king again liberally sprinkled it with faithful and dependable Americans, and he retained the indispensable Gibson. 28/
Events Leading to Cabinet Government, 1881 to 1887
Before this confrontation had barely passed, it was announced at a January 11, 1881, meeting of the cabinet that the king planned to make a world trip. The purpose of this trip was "to explore ways by which peoples from other countries could be brought to Hawaii to help reverse the population decline." 29/ Among the people Kalakaua took with him, at the insistence of the planter lobby, were Charles H. Judd and William N. Armstrong, a former New York lawyer. who the king named "Commissioner of Immigration for the expedition." 30/
Word of the expedition caused concern to United States Secretary of State James G. Blaine, who feared that Kalakaua's taste for spending and need for funds might cause him to sell pert of his kingdom to a foreign country. 31/ Blaine wrote "to the American ministers in the countries the king intended to visit telling them to watch the activities of Kalakaua closely, and Instructed them to Inform any foreign power to which the king might offer to sell a portion of his kingdom that such a transfer would not be allowed by the United States." 32/ While visiting Italy, the king was met by the ousted Moreno. Armstrong and Judd discovered that Moreno was attempting "to get all the European countries to guarantee (the] independence of the Hawaiian Kingdom." Armstrong and Judd "warned the countries that any such action would be looked upon by America as an interference in her sphere of influence." 33/
The fears of a land sale were unrealized; the king never raised the subject on his tour. Instead, while the king admired other countries' wealth and cultures, Armstrong pushed the planters' view that only laborers were wanted in Hawaii, not a migration. The Advertiser, a pro-Hawaiian newspaper, commented: "[h]e is obviously endeavoring to hinder any migration except that of cheap plantation labor although his instructions from the king are that he is to bring families for repopulating the Islands." 34/ This point seemed to have been verified when, during the king's trip, ships arrived in Hawaii carrying "Chinese immigrants Armstrong had arranged as consignment for plantation labor;" 35/ those immigrants were found to be carrying smallpox. Even though the ships flew the yellow flag, "Board of Health President H. A. P. Carter, yielding to pressure by merchants and planters,
permitted all passengers to land." 36/ The resulting epidemic left 282 native and non-native Hawaiians dead. 37/
Shortly after Kalakaua returned to Hawaii, efforts were again undertaken by the planter lobby to eliminate Gibson from Hawaiian politics. These actions included a suit for libel against Gibson by William Armstrong for writing a letter published in a newspaper accusing Armstrong of "treason to the state." 38/ When this failed, efforts were made to defeat Gibson in the election of 1882. Complaints were made against his plans to finance projects like the completion of the royal palace, literary and cultural monuments to Hawaii, and free school education. These attacks did not succeed, either.
At this same time the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 was nearing the end of its seven-year life. The Sugar Planter Association sent a draft of a new treaty to William Lowthian Green, Minister of Foreign Affairs, with a clause that Pearl River be ceded to the United States. Green objected to this proposal, stating: "I do not believe that the proposal is a sound one...The United States had made no demand for [Pearl River]...they wish only that no other power should control it and that is what we all want." 39/
Green's response infuriated the Association, which secretly decided to depose him. To effect this decision, the Association chose to implement a plan, discussed a the time of the 1882 elections, that would entice Walter Gibson to their side. The proposal has been described as follows:
- The planters would tell the king to dismiss his Cabinet and make Gibson Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Then under a ruling already established by themselves making appointment ofthe rest of the Cabinet by the premier mandatory, Gibson was to permit the planters to name his colleagues—thus assuring planter control of the Government. 40/
Gibson, however, informed the king of the plan, and the king in turn secretly slipped this information to Green. Green, to aid the king, resigned, allowing Gibson to be named by the king "prime minister of ail the realm." 41/ Gibson immediately named persons suitable to himself and the king to the cabinet. William Green wrote later: "in a most remarkable circumstance...Gibson has been lifted into the highest political position in the Kingdom by the exertions of his bitterest opponents." 42/ With this accomplished, the question of the Reciprocity Treaty was allowed to rest for the time, and the treaty was neither extended nor abrogated: "As to the renewal of that treaty, after seven years the king seemed to be growing indifferent if not directly hostile." 43/
Financial matters became Gibson's and Hawaii's biggest problem. The planter lobby complained of the monies being used for Hawaiian cultural programs while the treasury remained low and business interests took a back seat. Each appropriation brought renewed protests from the opposition. Representative Aholo, representing the king's interests, "reminded that those same men had been made millionaires by the treaty secured by His Majesty: 'And now they object to him enjoying any of the money!'" 44/ Even with the planters' tax money, the treasury could not replenish itself fast enough. Gibson turned to borrowing and "once again Claus Spreckels, already holding Kalakaua captive in debt, offered...a loan of $2,000,000." 45/
Through all of his dealings with the king, Spreckels had begun to move toward the Hawaiian viewpoint on
issues, due to his huge financial investments and dependence on the kingdom. This alarmed the sugar planters’ They had been able in 1884 to bypass Spreckels' virtual monopoly on handling their sugar exports as "some of them marketed their sugar independently in the United States and, finding they could do so successfully, all were eager to break with him." 46/ In 1883, Premier Gibson had also promised Spreckels the monopoly on transporting Chinese immigrants—a monopoly that had already been promised to an American firm. Sanford Dole, in a December 1883 meeting of soon-to-be reformists, discussed renewal of the reciprocity treaty. He stated that Gibson's act of giving Spreckels a monopoly on transporting immigrants was "likely to endanger Hawaii's treaty relations with the United States at a crucial time." 47/
Attacks on Gibson's policies continued so unceasingly that he became "the sole issue of the 1886 legislative campaign." 48/ At this time "the king had at last wearied of domination by Claus Spreckels, the Opposition effected an alliance with the king and his party, and expressed distrust in the existing Cabinet." 49/ Spreckels1 hold over the king was thus finally broken, despite Gibson's protests. Two cabinets were dismissed and replaced with Gibson still as premier. Reform members had been voted into the Assembly in 1886, including Lorrin A. Thurston, who would play a major role in the formation of a republic.
Cabinet Government Formed
The reformers regarded themselves as a "morally righteous group" who finally took action against the king and Gibson for two main reasons: their attempt to create an empire, and the king's action on opium licenses. Concern focused on the "attempt to establish an Empire of Polynesia, with Kalakaua as ruler;" and on the fact that the king was "accepting money for the license to import opium from two different individuals." 50/ Although the opium license problem had far less world impact than the matter of creating a Polynesian empire, it raised the ire of the reformers from the start. Several of the reformists had gone home from the legislature on private business, whereupon "the Royalists seized the reins and by a bare majority passed an opium license bill which was signed by the king in spite of outspoken public protests." 51/ The problem was compounded when it was learned that the king had evidently accepted money for the license from more than one individual.
The other event that brought the reformers to action was the attempt to implement Gibson's dream for the king of creating a Polynesian empire. This dream had been given fresh impetus after the king's world tour, where he saw that his European fellow sovereigns had expansionist dreams as well. As a result:
- In 1880 a resolution was passed in the legislature which created a Royal Hawaiian Commissioner to represent the government to the peoples of Polynesia. Three years later the government sent copies of a policy statement to twenty-six nations stating that the various islands of Polynesia should be allowed to govern themselves and not be annexed by any major power. 52/
Although most nations disregarded this statement, Kalakaua decided in 1887 to implement his dream by sending a delegation to Samoa with the responsibility of "forming a political confederation." 53/ Germany was at the same time in the process of making Samoa a colony. When Bismarck learned of Hawaii's confederation, he sent angry messages to Washington demanding
that Hawaii not interfere. The U.S. State Department took action and "Kalakaua was ordered to cease and desist from all inflammatory acts in other territories." 54/
The damage to Kalakaua had been done. The opposition had had enough of his conduct and his over-spending. The Hawaiian League was formed in December 1886, consisting of reformers and part-Hawaiians. The goals of this secret opposition group were divergent; "the conservative members simply wanted to force Gibson out of office, while the radicals wanted to overthrow the monarchy and establish a republic or seek annexation to the United States." 55/ The membership, numbering about 400, was led by ruling officers called the "Committee of Thirteen." These leaders included Sanford Dole, Lorrin Thurston, W. R. Castle, and others who "announced, in Honolulu's newspapers, that it [the Hawaiian League] intended to dethrone Kalakaua—and that it had the armed might to do so." 56/
Events Leading to the 1887 Constitution 57/
The Hawaiian League acquired the Honolulu Rifles as a military ally in 1887. The Honolulu Rifles company:
- ...was organized in the spring of 1884 by a group of men reported to be "interested in the formation of a semi-military and social organization." It had the approval of the cabinet and of Kalakaua, who suggested the name for the company, and it became one of the recognized volunteer military companies of the kingdom. It was an all-haole company, and made its first public appearance on April 26, 1885...The early enthusiasm [for it] soon waned and the Rifles attained relatively little prominence or importance until after Volney V. Ashford was elected captain on July 28, 1886. 58/
The Rifles went through various reorganizations and added members to their totals so that "at the end of June , therefore, when the political crisis came to a head, the Honolulu Rifles consisted of a battalion of three companies commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Volney V. Ashford." 59/ Ashford, with his decided military bent and one of the Hawaiian League's future radicals, was a Canadian who came to Hawaii about the beginning of 1885.
It is impossible to ascertain the exact date that the Honolulu Rifles joined the Hawaiian League as their military ally. What is known is that Volney Ashford was their commander when the alliance occurred. Sanford Dole, an original member of the Hawaiian League, described the Rifles and their alliance with the League as follows: "A military organization of volunteers, young men of Honolulu, in several companies, a growth from the original Honolulu Rifles, was won to the support of the league, the commander, Colonel V. V. Ashford, becoming an enthusiastic advocate of its plans." 60/ Kuykendall states that: "in all probability it was not a mere coincidence that the rapid expansion of the Honolulu Rifles occurred simultaneously with that of the Hawaiian League." 61/
Because the Hawaiian League was a secret organization, its origins and early history can only be found in papers of its original members, who played an active part in the League. There are only three published accounts of the League, and "these accounts were written long after the events which they describe; Dole's in 1916, Ashford's in 1919, and
Thurston's in the period 1926- 1930." 62/ The objective of the league,
- ...as stated in section two of its constitution, was "constitutional, representative Government, in fact as well as in form, in the Hawaiian Islands, by all necessary means." Within the League there developed a radical wing and a conservative wing. The radicals favored abolition of the monarchy and the setting up of a republic; some of them wished to go further and seek annexation to the United States. The conservatives, on the other hand, favored retention of the monarchy, but wanted a change of ministry and a drastic revision of the constitution of the kingdom; for them a republic was a last resort, in case the king refused to agree to the reforms demanded. 63/
With respect to the issue of annexation, "Volney V. Ashford, not a very reliable witness, wrote to Commissioner H. H. Blount on March 8, 1893: 'The plan of the movement of 1887...embraced the establishment of an independent republic, with the view to ultimate annexation to the United States.'" 64/ But S. B. Dole, in a letter of December 23, 1893, to Minister A. S. Willis, said that the revolution of 1887 "was not an annexation movement in any sense, but tended toward an independent republic, but when it had the monarchy in its power, conservative councils prevailed..." 65/
At a later time, W. R. Castle wrote,
- There was a very strong element in the league determined to bring about annexation to the United States, but prior to the mass meeting which finally resulted in a revolution...this annexation element after a long and very bitter discussion, was defeated and the Hawaiians, meaning thereby those of Hawaiian birth, parentage and affiliation, procured a promise on the part of the league that its attempts would be confined to a reformed Hawaiian government, under sufficient guaranties to insure responsible and safe government." 66/
More important than these statements, however, is that the "strong support given to the 1887 movement by the British residents of Hawaii is good evidence that the idea of annexation was not a major factor in it." 67/
As noted previously, the opposition to the policies and actions of Kalakaua and his cabinet under Gibson motivated the formation of the Hawaiian League. The abhorrence of and opposition to Gibson and his policies is nowhere more evident than when the Hawaiian League's committee drafted and sent a set of resolutions to Kalakaua. The first resolution called for the dismissal of his present cabinet and the second specifically called for Walter M. Gibson's "dismis[sal] from each and every office held by him under the Government." 68/
The absence of any direct American involvement in the events that led to the Constitution of 1887 is fairly well documented. The management arid control of the Hawaiian League was vested in a "Committee of Thirteen," whose exact make-up "was a fairly well-guarded secret; it is known however, that there were occasional changes in its composition." 69/ It
appears that American nationals (that is, "American expatriates") comprised only a small part of the membership of the Committee of Thirteen since: 70/ "The feeling of dissatisfaction with the government and the desire for a change was shared by haoles of all nationalities and by some native Hawaiians." 71/ The editors of major newspapers in opposition to Kalakaua were largely British nationals. With respect to petitions that nationals sent to the American and British Ministers, there appears to be "no reason to believe that any of the governments appealed to would have ventured to interfere in the internal politics of Hawaii." 72/
H. A. P. Carter, the Hawaiian Minister in Washington, held a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Bayard on July 6, 1887, in the United States. Carter told Bayard that:
- ...the state of affairs In Hawaii was very critical, and he wished to know what would be the action of the commander of the United States vessels that might go there, or the action of the U.S. Minister, in case the other foreign powers were to land forces for the purpose of protecting their citizens against what he called "the mob" ...that if that was done, Major Wodehouse, British Minister,... who is an aggressive man, would no doubt move promptly to the defense of his people.... I [Bayard] said it was simply impossible for me to tell; that I could give no information upon a purely supposititious case...73/
Apparent American opposition (at least on the part of the U.S. Minister in Hawaii) is revealed in a letter written by Carter's son, Charles, to Bayard in 1894. He states:
- In June, 1887, my father...came to...Michigan, to attend my graduation...He was compelled to leave in the midst of the festivities because...he learned that it was the intention of the United States Government to send the warship Adams to Honolulu to protect the late King Kalakaua a his government from the anticipated Revolution predicted in the then latest despatches and he further told me that in consequence of his assurances to you, that the revolution was being conducted by his friends and would be in the best interests of Hawaii, that the orders to [U.S.] Minister Merrill and the warships at Honolulu were not to interfere with those conducting the revolt ...I have since learned from those [in] Honolulu that up to a short time before the revolt [was] consummated, Minister Merrill was indifferent if not hostile to the party of reform, but at the last moment changed in his expressions and did not interpose as had been feared...74/
Already confronted with considerable opposition to its financial policies and its "Oceana supremacy" aspirations (also known as the "Samoan policy"), in 1887, the Gibson Administration confronted an additional problem—rumors of bribery and graft concerning the granting of licenses to import opium. The Hawaiian Gazette, on May 17, 1887, printed a synopsis of twelve affidavits, including one by T. Aki, a Chinese rice-planter who failed to receive a license, even though a "present" of $75,000 had been given to the king. 75/ British Commissioner Wodehouse had informed his government five weeks earlier about these charges
and stated "the truth of which...no one hardly doubts... Great indignation is felt at the transaction." 76/ Wodehouse had written even earlier: "In view of the widespread and deeply seated feeling of dissatisfaction, amounting almost to hostility, with the manner in which the Government of this country is now carried on, it seems to me that a crisis must arrive before long." 77/
Against this backdrop, U.S. Minister Merrill forwarded, on May 31, a complete set of the affidavits of Aki and others to the Secretary of State in Washington. Minister Merrill also reported:
- public feeling has been intense against the King while the daily press has been outspoken in denouncing the King, the Ministry and nearly all officials throughout the Kingdom. Among the people, foreign residents especially, there has been aroused a feeling that a change must soon occur from the highest to lowest official. Of late I have heard it remarked that no change would be satisfactory unless it was one deposing the King, changing the Constitution and adopting a republican form of government. 78/
Merrill wrote shortly afterwards though that he had "quietly counseled [to Americans] moderation and the adoption of peaceful measures as the best method of bringing about a proper administration of affairs." 79/
On June 27, 1887, the day before Kalakaua dismissed his cabinet in hopes of heading off further trouble with the opposition, he made a request to see American Minister Merrill. Kalakaua proceeded to explain to the minister that he had sent for him, "to ask your advice, unofficially but as a friend, concerning the present political situation and I desire you to acquaint me with your ideas of the cause of excitement and what is best to be done." 80/ In his report back to Washington, Merrill stated that:
- I at once informed him that there were loud complaints against the manner in which the public funds were being expended, that instead of being expended on necessary internal improvements, such as dredging the harbor, repairing roads and bridges, they were being expended in the purchase and repair of a training ship and equiping her for an unnecessary expedition, the sending of a Mission to Samoa and maintaining unnecessary agents in foreign countries.
- I also informed him that from my observation, of late, there was great unanimity in the demand for the removal of his present Cabinet and the substitution of men well known in the Community and in whom the people had confidence, that there was much complaint among the people on account of the belief which was prevalent that His Majesty interfered with the actions of his Cabinet in all matters directly or indirectly affecting the revenues— especially in political elections, appointments and Legislative action, therefore there was much unanimity among the taxpayers that the Cabinet should be left to act independently and made responsible to the people direct.
- I informed him that I believed the retention of the present Ministry was daily intensifying the people and that, since he had
- frankly asked my opinion, I thought it was better for many reasons to heed the voice of the people especially those who were paying the taxes, had accumulated wealth in the country and were directly interested.
- In fact, I conversed with him for about one hour upon the foregoing and kindred subjects to which he listened with much apparent interest and when I rose to leave he remarked that it was now about 11 o'clock and that I would hear of changes in the Cabinet within 12 hours.
- On the following morning, June 28th I received information that Mr. Gibson and all the cabinet had resigned. 81/
From the above it can be seen that Kalakaua specifically called for the meeting with American Minister Merrill to ask for his advice. Nothing in the dispatch would indicate that Kalakaua asked for more than this, or that the American minister had demanded that Kalakaua change his cabinet officials.
Of this change in the cabinet, Kuykendall writes that: "Apparently the king and Gibson believed, or at least hoped, that a change of ministry, including the latter's removal from the government, would be enough of a concession to quiet the clamor for reform." 82/ However, this belief was not correct, a Hawaiian newspaper wrote:
- ...We are not in the humor to accept any compromise that will allow an opening for a reproduction in the future of what we have had too much of in the past. A real, complete, thorough change...is what the intelligence and respectability of the country want...Moreover, there must be a positive and undeniable guarantee of its continuance. The king must be prepared to take his own proper place, and be content to reign without ruling. We want capable, responsible Ministers, not irresponsible clerks. 83/
Reports that the king was attempting to form a coalition cabinet with W. L. Green and had called out the Honolulu Rifles to protect government buildings, generated still more opposition against him. The result was a public meeting of the king's opponents on June 30. L. A. Thurston read a set of resolutions prepared by the Committee of Thirteen of the Hawaiian League that included the commitment "to the policy of securing a new constitution," as well as calling for the dismissal of Gibson and the cabinet. 84/ The Committee of Thirteen presented these resolutions to the king, requesting a reply within 24 hours. 85/
On the morning of July 1st, Colonel Ashford and the Honolulu Rifles seized a shipment of arms sent to Hawaii, thinking they were intended for the king. Later that same morning, "after the firearms seizure, Lieutenant Colonel Volney Ashford, with a squad of the Honolulu Rifles, went to Gibson's residence, took him and his son-in-law Fred Hayselden into custody...[and] threats to hang Gibson were made by Lieutenant Ashford and other noisy radicals, but any such purpose was promptly vetoed by the executive committee of the Hawaiian League." 86/ These actions by the Honolulu Rifles indicate that during the evening of June 30 and the morning of July 1, 1887, the "control of the city of Honolulu was in the hands of the Honolulu Rifles who were acting theoretically, but not always in fact, under the direction of the executive committee of the Hawaiian League." 87/
With these events of the morning of July 1 in mind, Kalakaua called for a meeting of the foreign national ministers. American Minister Merrill wrote the following about this meeting:
- About twelve o'clock...His Majesty sent for the British, French, Portuguese and Japanese Commissioners and myself to meet him at the Palace.
- When all had assembled His Majesty, evidently being much alarmed, stated that an armed force had recently arrested a late member of his Cabinet, Mr. Gibson, and as armed men were patrolling the streets, and not knowing what the next act might be, he desired to place the control of the affairs of the kingdom in our hands.
- This offer we informed him could not be accepted and it was the desire of all the representatives of other powers that he should maintain himself in authority and as he informed us that he had agreed to the wishes of the people, expressed at the Mass Meeting the day previous, and would shortly so inform the Committee in writing, we advised him to at once authorize Mr. Green, if he was the person selected, to form a Ministry when it was believed affairs would assume a quiet attitude. We immediately retired and, passing down to the central portion of the city, assured the people that the King had acceded to their request and was now forming a Ministry with Mr. Green as Premier and no necessity for further excitment existed. 88/
From the above quoted dispatch it appears evident why the foreign ministers, including Merrill, did not want to accept Kalakaua's offer of "placing control of the Kingdom in our hands." The ministers, including Merrill, wanted Kalakaua to stay in authority and were convinced there was every reason to believe things would quiet down since he had agreed to the resolutions of the committee of the Hawaiian League. 89/
Kalakaua, after this meeting, signed and sent his acceptance of the resolutions to the committee. W. L. Green then sent, and the king accepted, a list of cabinet ministers that included W. L. Green, Godfrey Brown, Lorrin A. Thurston, and Clarence W. Ashford. American Minister Merrill wrote that all, except Thurston, were of British origin, and the "principal American merchants...generally coincide in the opinion that the present Ministers are satisfactory, and favorable to the welfare of this kingdom." 90/ Merrill's dispatch concerning the approval by the American merchants of the cabinet is especially noteworthy, since it was well known that the British wanted Hawaii to remain independent and not be annexed to the United States.
The Constitution of 1887 was not actually completed and signed by Kalakaua until July 6. The "new constitution, drawn by the committee and never submitted to the people, was handed to the king and he signed it." 91/ The "bayonet constitution," as it was known (written mainly by Lorrin A. Thurston 92/), made the king more of a ceremonial leader and effectively ended much of the monarchy's power. This was "summed up in the three words" that changed Article 31 of the prevailing 1864 Constitution from "To the King belongs the Executive Power" to the new constitution Article 31 which read "To the King and the Cabinet belongs the Executive power." 93/ The new constitution also incorporated property and income
requirements to vote and hold office that effectively brought control of the government within the sphere of the planters and merchants and: "In return for this drastic housecleaning, [Kalakaua] was allowed to keep his job as king." 94/
In defending the actions of the reformers in forcing the king's hand, Attorney General C. W. Ashford stated:
- If the New Constitution had been submitted to the Legislature it would simply mean that at the end of two years the king would say "This does not suit me," and kill it by absolute veto. There was only one way to proceed, and that was to arbitrarily force the King into giving us a better form of government. 95/
Reciprocity Treaty Renewal—1887
While the reformers had been in the process of revolt, the commander of the armed wing of the revolutionaries (the Honolulu Rifles), Volney Ashford, "had been selected by the Gibson administration to go to Canada to negotiate a reciprocal trade agreement with that country." 96/ This occurred only days before the reformers took over and raised questions as to whether Ashford had pocketed some of his commission pay for protection money for the king. Because of the timing, it is not clear whether the government had seriously intended to make such a treaty with Canada.
With regard to the Reciprocity Treaty between Hawaii and the United States on the other hand:
- Between 1883 and 1887, the reciprocity treaty had neither been terminated nor renewed by the United States. The Senate had, at first, been in [the] mood to scrap it, but the State Department, worried over Britain's and Germany's high interest in the Pacific, had insisted on keeping the vacuous treaty alive. Suddenly now, after Kalakaua had been ignobly driven to the corner, the United States asked for the renewal of the agreement. This time it formally demanded cession of Pearl Harbor to the United States. This time—insistently prodded by the reform cabinet—the chastened and worried king signed a new and changed state document. 97/
Prior to approval of this agreement, Secretary of State Blaine had instructed U.S. Minister Comly (in 1881) that the American Government would not permit the transfer of Hawaiian territory or sovereignty to any European power. 98/ This was followed in 1884 by a resolution from the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations that not only advised the President to extend the reciprocity treaty, but also suggested that Hawaii should be requested to permit the establishment of a "naval station for the United States in the vicinity of Honolulu." 99/ Despite this attitude on the part of the Senate, "the supplementary convention with Hawaii was not agreed to by the Senate during the continuance of President Arthur's term of office." 100/
Again on April 14, 1886, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations made a favorable report on the supplementary treaty of December 6, 1884. 101/ The Committee also recommended an amendment that would give the United States the right to establish a naval base at Pearl Harbor. Of this recommendation one author says:
- There was little doubt that members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations were anxious to forestall any attempt by a European Power to secure some means of control over Hawaii• The cession of Pearl Harbor as a naval station would definitely place the United states in a position of dominance in the islands, and this very fact accounted for the reluctance of the Hawaiian Government to make a favorable response to this Senate suggestion. 102/
This concern in the United States about foreign influence was exacerbated in late 1886 by rumors that Hawaii was going to float a $2 million loan, negotiated in England, that would "pledge the public revenues of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a collateral security for that loan." 103/ The United States felt this would interfere with their preferred rights gained under the 1875 Treaty. This situation, along with hints received of attempts to negotiate a treaty between Hawaii and Canada, was enough for the United States Senate to approve a new treaty of reciprocity with Hawaii on January 10, 1887. The king quickly approved it after the reformists' revolt.
Cabinet Government and Attempts to Regain Powers of the Monarchy, 1887 to 1891 104/
The remaining years prior to the establishment of a Provisional Government in 1893 were marked with sporadic attempts by the native Hawaiians to regain some measure of their power:
- The men who carried through the Revolution of 1887 thought they had, in the constitution of that year, formulated the conditions under which monarchy could continue to exist in the Hawaiian islands...But the Hawaiian monarchy did not willingly accept the role assigned to it by the Constitution of 1887. It wanted the sovereign to be not merely a glamorous symbol of the power of the nation but the actual repository and wielder of that power as he had been in earlier years. The conflict between these two concepts of government is the most important feature of the history of the remaining years of the kingdom. 105/
Under Article 80 of the new constitution of 1887, elections were required to be held within ninety days for nobles and representatives. A campaign preceded the election, which was to be held on September 12, 1887. Meetings were held by the opposition in which objections were raised to the suffrage provisions of the constitution (Articles 59 and 62), which excluded all persons of Asiatic birth from the privilege of voting. A Hawaiian lawyer, J. M. Poepoe, a leader of the native Hawaiians, also objected to the suffrage provisions and suggested a petition to the king. 106/
Resolutions were adopted a short time later by the opposition (that is, the natives) requesting that "the new Constitution be abrogated, and the old one reestablished; that all volunteer companies be forthwith disbanded and that all the arms and ammunition in possession of citizens be taken away from them." 107/ In response to these resolutions, the king replied: "the new constitution (his constitution) was better than the old and that it enlarged rather than curtailed the civil rights of the people." 108/ The king was later reported to have made
a speech in which he spoke "at some length regarding the changes that had lately taken place, advising the natives to go to the proper offices and take the oath to support the new Constitution and thereby qualify themselves to vote." 109/
The reformist (i.e., government) party won the election, and it "was clear that many of the native Hawaiians, especially on the outside islands, had voted for the reform candidates." 110/ It was noted, however, that on Oahu and in Honolulu there was strong native population opposition and that "it was the votes of foreigners, including the Portuguese, enfranchised by the new constitution, that gave the Reform Party its decisive victory." 111/
The reformers proceeded to either repeal or enact laws that further eroded the power of the king. However, Kalakaua still retained the power to veto legislation under the Constitution of 1887 and after the elections of 1887 promptly proceeded to veto five bills. One of these was "an act relating to the military forces of the kingdom (providing for a salaried brigadier general as commanding general, and transferring general supervision of the military from the minister of foreign affairs to the minister of the interior)." 112/ The Minister of Foreign Affairs at the time was Godfrey Brown, a friend of the king who had tried to disband the Honolulu Rifles and change relations between the cabinet and the king, in the king's favor. The enactment of this law was "understood to be a slap at Minister Brown." 113/ Princess Liliuokalani wrote in her diary on November 14, 1887, that: "John [her husband] and I discussed on the weakness of everyone. The King, the Court, the city wants to get rid of the Rifles and yet do not dare to. How Laughable." 114/
The veto power used by Kalakaua was questioned by the legislature and a resolution was passed on December 12, 1887, that circumvented the king's vetoes. The resolution stated that the enactments "do go upon their usual and ordinary course, becoming law at the expiration of ten days from the date of presentation to the king." 115/ Thus, the five bills became laws. However, Kalakaua took his case to the Hawaiian Supreme Court and in a test case heard on February 2, 1888, by a decision of 4-to-l the judges sustained the king's right to veto legislative acts "in pursuance of the power given him by the Constitution," which is "a personal one and does not require the advice and consent of the Cabinet." 116/
During this same period, suggestions arose that Kalakaua should abdicate in favor of his sister, Princess Liliuokalani, because of the sharp conflict between Kalakaua and his cabinet. The suggestion recurred, according to American Minister Merrill, in conversations the latter had with Ministers L. A. Thurston and Brown. Merrill reported to Bayard that Minister Brown had told him "the subject of the abdication of the King in favor of H.R.H. Princess Liliuokalani...was spoken of..." 117/ On December 20 and 23, 1887, Princess Liliuokalani was asked about the subject of taking the throne by members of the cabinet. Her answer to them, which she wrote in her diary was: "if it was particularly necessary if the King abdicated I would—if [the King] was doing wrong—I would but not till then. In the evening went and told the King." 118/
Accounts of this whole incident vary. According to Kuykendall:
- The account of this episode by Liliuokalani in her book Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen, pp. 186-189, is obviously quite inaccurate. The account by Thurston in his
- Memoirs of the Hawaiian Revolution, pp. 175-179, points out some of the discrepancies between Liliuokalani's diary and her book; but he makes no mention of the discussion within the cabinet and implies that there was none. 119/
Political accommodation was achieved, however, and the differences between the king and cabinet were ended for the time being with the appointment of Jonathan Austin to replace Godfrey Brown as Minister of Foreign Affairs and the appointment of Sanford Dole to the Supreme Court. 120/
However, the idea that Liliuokalani should take over grew because native Hawaiians and their friends considered the king far too submissive in the face of the demands of the reformers. 121/ Liliuokalani held meetings with her supporters and in 1888 wrote in her diary:
- [January 16:] W. comes to W. on matter of importances--I advise them to use only respectful words and no threats but to explain the situation to him [the king] how everything and the state of the country might be changed should he abdicate if only for a year, then he should take the reigns [sic] again, and reign peaceably the rest of his life. W. and W. went to the King and after explanations he told them he would think it over...[January 17:] W. told me the result of their proposition to the King—he said wait a while—I said yes, then wait. 122/
Further information concerning this event can be found in the records of the cabinet, where Thurston, on January 18, reported "information as to a native secret society organized with a view to removing the King and putting Mrs. Dominie [Liliuokalani] in his place." 123/ The minister of foreign affairs, however, assured the king "of "the support of the Cabinet against any effort to unseat him" if the king would abide by the cabinet and its advice. To this the king agreed, "but requested that no publicity be given to the matter, and to this the cabinet agreed." 124/
The king's expressed willingness to abide by the cabinet's advice did not last long. For example, the king fought the cabinet's attempt to change Hawaiian representation to London. The king's spirit of cooperation was also eroded by his fury at what he considered the cabinet's attempt to discredit him by implying he allowed the importation of liquor to sway votes. Furthermore, on October 1, 1888, the king appointed G. W. Macfarlane as his chamberlain, but the cabinet refused to recognize the appointment or pay his salary. British Commissioner Wodehouse wrote that it:
- ...would not be favorably regarded by the majority of the Foreign Residents: but would, on the contrary, tend to excite suspicion and distrust, as indicating a disposition on the part of His Majesty to recur, if possible, to a reactionary policy, Colonel Macfarlane being associated in their minds with Loan's and an extravagant Financial policy. For the Cabinet it would mean increased antagonism on the part of the King, and consequently, a widening of the breach already existing between His Majesty and His Ministers. 125/
Macfarlane's salary was finally paid when the Hawaiian Supreme Court decided against the cabinet on February 26, 1890. The Court "held, that the appointment of Chamberlain was personal to His Majesty, and did not require the approval of the Cabinet" and "that the salary of the office follows the title to it." 126/
The 1888 law concerning military forces, passed over the king's veto, was an additional concern for the king. V. V. Ashford was nominated to have a controlling power in the military. The British Commissioner wrote at this time that: "Colonel Ashford has recently made himself so notorious that he has lost the support of his party, and a considerable portion of the 'Rifles.'" 127/ Despite this, Ashford won the nomination, but the king refused to sign it, remembering Ashford's part in the events leading to the 1887 Constitution. The cabinet bypassed the king once again by saying Ashford was "constructively in command" without the signed certificate. (It should be noted here that Ashford's loss of favor with the reformists eventually led him into the camp of the opposition later on.)
The series of events chronicled above created the conditions that led to the insurrection of July 30, 1889. This insurrection was led by the same Robert W. Wilcox who was considered "the principal leader of the agitation among the Hawaiians" during 1887-88. 128/ Princess Liliuokalani had befriended and supported Wilcox during this period until his departure from Hawaii for the United States in early 1888. On his return to Hawaii in April 1889, Liliuokalani again befriended Wilcox and gave him permission to live in her unoccupied Palama residence. Sometime in June, Wilcox held the first of seven meetings in which the insurrection was planned. 129/
At the first meeting (consisting of "a small group of men, all haoles") Wilcox formed a secret society called "the 'Liberal Patriotic Association,' of which Wilcox was president and the Belgian Albert Loomens was vicepresident, its stated purpose being to restore the former system of government and the former rights of the king." 130/ The movement was believed to be largely financed by the Chinese and it was not until the fifth meeting that, "for the first time, native Hawaiians were admitted." 131/
The king and cabinet were warned of Wilcox's actions by both the American and British Ministers in early July. 132/ Despite this warning, British Commissioner Wodehouse wrote: "Meetings still continue to be held at the Princess's residence by Mr. Wilcox, who is purchasing arms wherever he can get them. It is strange that he is not arrested." 133/ The Hawaiian government made no arrangements to meet this crisis, in spite of its knowledge of Wilcox's activities. This inaction may be explained by American Minister Merrill's statement of August 1, 1889, that:
- ...it was recently ascertained on what seemed very reliable authority that no overt acts would be committed prior to the next general election in February, when it was thought the present ministers would be defeated at the polls. 134/
Wilcox, however, did not wait and on July 30, 1889, marched with his followers on Iolani Palace and occupied the grounds. Kalakaua was not at the palace and could not be enticed by Wilcox to return there. According to one author, Wilcox's objectives in this action were to "(1) replace the Constitution of 1887 with one similar to that of 1864; and (2)
to get rid of the Reform cabinet." 135/ It is unclear what his intentions were with regard to Kalakaua. It has been suggested that Kalakaua was in sympathy with Wilcox until he learned of Wilcox's plans to depose him in favor of Liliuokalani, although she denied this. 136/ In any event, the government mobilized after learning of Wilcox's actions, and before attacking told the foreign ministers "that they desired to fully inform us of their contemplated action in the present emergency" but, at Minister Merrill's suggestion, "endeavored to communicate with Mr. Wilcox before attacking." 137/
When this attempt failed, the firing began, and Wilcox and his men eventually surrendered. During the morning, when reports of firing were heard, Minister Merrill "requested Commander Woodward to send to the legation a body of marines," which was supplemented by others later in the day to serve "as a precautionary measure in the event any assistance to preserve order might be required." Quiet ensued during the night, and "early the following morning all the men belonging to the Adams returned to the ship." 138/ Wilcox's revolt was crushed in one day, but he won some measure of victory since he "was tried by a native judge as the law required and was acquitted." 139/
As a result of the insurrection and the king's continued objection to many of the cabinet's actions, a statement was drafted by the cabinet for the king's signature prescribing that: "the powers and responsibilities of the ministers and His Majesty should be clearly understood and precisely defined." 140/ The king objected to signing the statement at first but, at a meeting with Ministers Merrill and Wodehouse, he told them he had decided to sign. British Commissioner Wodehouse wrote of this meeting:
- Before leaving His Majesty, we explained the hope that he would now accept the role of a Constitutional sovereign, and leave responsibility of Government with his Ministers; anf I remarked that if the country was not satisfied with their conduct, the remedy lay in the polls in February next. 141/
From this time until the general election, further political problems occurred with rifts in the Reform Cabinet, opposition to renewal of the reciprocity treaty, and an anti-Chinese movement. Two major parties formed: the National Reform Party (on Hui Kalaiaina, headed by Robert Wilcox and supported by many haole aliens), whose goal was to revise the constitution and oppose both continued importation of Asian laborers and annexation to the United States; and the Reform Party, supporting the government. The intensity of the pre-election debate was so great that British Commissioner Wodehouse wrote: "The feeling of both parties is very bitter, and perhaps may bring about a collision." 142/
Wodehouse's fear of violence was such that the day before the election he convinced the recently-appointed American Minister Stevens to agree:
- ..."that Guards for the English and American Legations should be landed tomorrow morning from the English and American War ships now in the Port." Informed of this fact by Stevens, the cabinet ministers vigorously objected to such landing, saying that every precaution was taken to prevent disorder and that the government would provide special guards for the legations if such was requested The diplomats thereupon cancelled their plan and stated no guards would be needed. 143/
In spite of these fears, the election was peaceful. The opposition National Reform Party (or Hui Kalaiaina) won half the party seats in the Hawaiian legislature. The election was regarded as a victory by the opponents of the reformers in the government and a defeat of those who favored a policy of closer alignment with the United States. A reformer, W. D. Alexander, wrote the following concerning the election results on Oahu:
- One element, which turned the scales against us, was the strong anti-American feeling of the British and many of the Germans, to say nothing of the natives and half-whites. 144/
After the election, the National Reform Party was assisted further by the introduction of a resolution in the legislature "declaring a want of confidence in the ministry because of the dissension within the ranks." 145/ Although this resolution was not voted on, the cabinet resigned anyway and a new cabinet was appointed by the king. The new cabinet consisted of four ministers: one part-Hawaiian, one British by birth, and two born in the United States (one of whom was a personal friend of the king). 146/ Kalakaua had thus managed to remove the Reform cabinet.
Shortly afterwards, a resolution was introduced in the legislature asking whether the new cabinet would discuss the subject of a new constitution. The president of the legislature responded that the sponsor of the resolution "might as well ask the Ministers if they intended to hold a revolution." 147/ In spite of this block in the legislature, a mass meeting of citizens supporting a new constitution was held and committee meetings on the subject were subsequently held. These meetings were led by Robert W. Wilcox and others who presented a resolution to the king on August 14, 1890, calling for the "King to request the Legislature to enact a Law authorizing You to call Convention for the purpose of drafting a suitable and equitable Constitution for Your Kingdom..." 148/
On August 15, Kalakaua, without consulting his ministers, sent a message to the legislature referring to the resolution petition and stati--? that it was his "Royal Pleasure that the Legislative Assembly...take such measures as would carry out the intention of the people expressed in that Petition." 149/ This message and the bills that followed, forced the legislature to form a committee to consider the desirability of a new constitution.
As these events proceeded, America Minister Stevens wrote:
- The businessmen and the more responsible citizens of the islands are greatly disturbed. For good reasons they fear to have the country convulsed by such an issue. The English commissioner and the undersigned have been urged confidentially by the leading members of the cabinet and by the most conservative of the Legislature to counsel the King against the rash and dangerous step. 150/
Stevens and British Commissioner Wodehouse then agreed that they would talk to the king together. Of this meeting, Wodehouse wrote:
- We told the King that we came as His friends, and as the Representatives of two Powers who had the most friendly Relations with Him and that looking to the "large interests" which we had to protect, we thought that our duty to our Governments required us to point to His Majesty the disastrous
- results to Himself, and to His Kingdom which would, in our opinion attend any attempt to force through the Legislative Assembly such a measure as that recommended in His Message to that body on the 15th instant...
- We said, Whatever grievances Hawaiians might have to complain of under the present Constitution, and we did not say that there were none, a means for redressing them is provided by the Constitution. To go outside of that would be to get on dangerous and Revolutionary ground. The country, we said required peace, which meant prosperity. 151/
Kalakaua was so displeased with the diplomats' comments, particularly those of Wodehouse, that he asked that Wodehouse be replaced by "some person more lively to the British interest." 152/
The movement for a constitutional convention continued to the point where Robert Wilcox stated in the legislature on September 9, 1890, that:
- There was danger of another revolution and the streets being made sticky with blood, if the wishes of the people were to be persistently thwarted as at present. It would be a worse revolution than that of 1887, and some of the finest buildings in Honolulu would be blown up. He would take a hand in it himself... 153/
After this speech British Commissioner Wodehouse wrote: "My colleague [Stevens] and I, have, under these circumstances, called upon the commanders of our National Ships to hold themselves in readiness for any emergency." 154/ On September 25, 1890, Stevens wrote: "There are threats of attempts to constrain the Legislature by intimidation and violence. But at present writing it looks like a pacific solution by the approval of some Constitutional amendments..." 155/ The events did not turn violent, however, and relative calm ensued after the legislative committee considering the bill for a constitutional convention rejected it. Opponents of the bill believed that pending proposed constitutional amendments would "correct all the really objectionable features of the constitution." 156/
On January 20, 1891, King Kalakaua died and Princess Liliuokalani became queen. The queen immediately moved against the reformers by appointing cabinet members of her choice and giving Kalakaua a large state funeral. She also developed a plan (initially secret) for a new constitution for Hawaii. This would eliminate the "bayonet" constitution of 1887 and restore control of Hawaii to the monarchy and the natives.
Because many of Liliuokalani's policies were opposed to the goals of the reformers, "there was a marked increase in annexation sentiment" during 1891 and 1892. 157/ This sentiment contributed to the fall of the monarchy and the formation of the Provisional Government.
Annexation Movements: 1891 and 1892
When Liliuokalani ascended the throne, Hawaii was "in the beginning of an economic depression brought on by the recent change in the tariff law of the United States." 158/ Although the McKinley Tariff Act raising the tariff on Hawaiian sugar imported into the United States did not go into effect until April 1, 1891, an anticipatory reaction was already occurring in Hawaii.
Several courses of action for Hawaii were suggested in response to this new development. These included
actions to: (1) "abrogate the reciprocity treaty with the United States and then make a similar agreement with one or more of the British colonies in the Pacific;" or, (2) "seek to revise the reciprocity treaty in order to make it permanent...and provide for complete free trade." 159/ As it turned out, due to various obstacles, neither one of these courses was to become a reality.
The second approach, revision of the treaty, was the most desirable for Hawaii and a treaty was actually drafted. This draft treaty included the cession of Pearl Harbor, along with complete free trade, and was submitted to President Harrison, who took no action on it. On February 10, 1892, the Hawaiian Special Envoy to the United States, Mott Smith, learned that "the President would not submit this treaty...to the Senate" and that "his chief objection is that the policy of his administration is pledged to 'high protection,' while this treaty requires him to recommend 'free trade.'" 160/
The draft treaty caused a debate in Hawaii that lasted long after the original treaty attempt had failed. On July 9, 1892, Robert W. Wilcox (the leader of the 1889 rebellion) introduced a resolution in the legislature that called for a committee to be sent to the United States to "ascertain the disposition of the United States Government in regard to Pearl Harbor and in regard to some reparation due this country for the injury inflicted by the McKinley Bill,, and also to negotiate for the cession of Pearl Harbor for adequate compensation, and in general to use their best efforts to obtain closer relations with that country." 161/ Several days later Wilcox withdrew the resolution after native Hawaiians protested the request, although he indicated it was withdrawn because it could not be discussed while the ministers retained their places in the cabinet. 162/ Wilcox, however, again brought up the cession of Pearl Harbor in August 1892. This time he "hinted to the natives that he favored annexation to the United States rather than to see the country go down to destruction through the bad guidance of an unpopular Ministry." 163/
In the minds of some, an additional course of action was open to Hawaii to ease her economic problems—annexation to the United States. 164/ L. A. Thurston, in an editorial of 1884, had written:
- For many years there have been a few residents here who have desired the annexation of these Islands to the United States. Their reasons have been various; some believing that under that great Government the permanent interests of the Islands would be best secured; others that mere money could thus be made, and some have always been impressed with the instability and insecurity of the Hawaiian Government. But the majority of intelligent foreigners, and especially those born here of foreign parents, have contended for the independence of the Government. They have believed it to be far more for the interests of the native race that they should maintain an independent Government and a distinctive national existence...It is well known that the United States Government does not desire the annexation of these Islands; the accession of foreign territory is contrary to its policy; but it is certain that Government will not permit its interests here to be sacrificed, nor permit any other foreign Government to control here. When these Islands cease to be self-governing the United States Government will take possession. 165/
During 1891 and 1892, annexation sentiment increased due to Liliuokalani's policies and the defeat of the Reform Party in the 1890 elections. This defeat had discouraged many who saw the Reform Party as the only vehicle to ensure a stable government. They now looked toward the possibility of annexation as a solution. One of those who began to consider the possibility of annexation with increasing favor was L. A. Thurston, who by "1892 was an ardent annexationist." 166/ However, "up to the end of 1891 there was, it is believed, no organized group seeking to promote annexation to the United States." 167/
The elections of February 1892 were complicated by an increase in the number of political parties from two in 1890 (the Reform Party and the National Reform Party) to four in 1892. The Liberal Party, which included Wilcox and many followers of the National Reform Party, was opposed by three smaller parties, including the Reform Party and the National Reform Party. The Liberal Party slogan was "Hawaii for Hawaiians," 168/ and its goal was a republican form of government:
- The Liberal Party was the party of the opposition; its campaign orators continued the attack on the cabinet, the queen, and Marshal C. B. Wilson [an influential advisor to the queen] that had been started by [John E.] Bush and Wilcox in the spring of 1891, and these leaders continued to preach the doctrine of republicanism which, said Bush, was gaining favor among the Hawaiians because of the "present rotten condition of officialdom" in the kingdom, a/ In one speech Wilcox explained that "in times gone by he had been a staunch royalist, today he was in the same degree a Republican, he was a strong believer in freedom and justice and was in favor of a government of the people, by the people and for the people." b/ On another occasion he spoke of the "utter misgovernment of affairs at hone. Ignorant fools are conducting the Government. A 'blacksmith' [Wilson] is very influential with the Queen...He is too ignorant a man to be even trusted with any responsible Government position. It is a standing disgrace to the Hawaiian nation...We must all be loyal Hawaiians, and tell the Queen that her present Government is an injustice and a disgrace to the nation. We must not flatter her."c/ "To flatter the Queen would be to inflate her with her own importance, which would cause disastrous results." 169/
Neither the Liberal Party nor any of the other parties was able to win a majority of seats in the legislature in the 1892 election. The election results thus left the legislature in a weakened state. John E. Bush, a Liberal Party leader, wrote: "The practical defeat of the Liberal Party is the lost opportunity of the Hawaiians...It looks now as though the only hope for equal rights in this country lies in—shall we say it—annexation." 170/
During the last year of the Hawaiian monarchy the pace of events became more heated and feverish. Between the election of February 3, 1892, and the meeting of the legislature on May 28, 1892, two major developments occurred, "one overt and one secret, [that] were important elements of what Minister Stevens described as a feverish political situation: (1) an antigovernment agitation and conspiracy fomented by certain leaders of the Liberal Party, and (2) the formation and activities of an annexation club." 171/
The Government put down the Liberal Party conspiracy by arresting many of its leaders when the queen's marshal, "Wilson learned of the secret Hawaiian Patriotic League [and] succeeded in infiltrating it with spies who supplied him with information about the doings of the conspirators." 172/ Kuykendall points out that, given these events, it seemed "that the United States naval force in Honolulu Harbor was in fact affording protection to the queen's government against the menace of possible revolutionary actions by the Liberal faction." 173/
The second major development was the formation of the Annexation Club. According to Kuykendall, "The sole source of information about the origin and activities of the Annexation Club, a secret one—is Lorrin A. Thurston." 174/ Thurston indicated that the date of the Club's formation was January or February 1892. The object of the club "was not to promote annexation, but to be ready to act quickly and intelligently, should Liliuokalani precipitate the necessity by some move against the Constitution, tending to revert to absolutism or anything of the nature." 175/ The organization, which kept no records, was small— never more than seventeen members, thirteen of whom were, on January 14, 1893, appointed to a Committee of Safety that planned and directed the overthrow of the monarchy. 176/ The club members felt that they ought to "know beforehand the probable attitude of the United States Government toward annexing Hawaii," 177/ and Thurston visited Washington in order to get that information. Of his trip, Thurston wrote:
- Or. Mott Smith [special emissary of the Hawaiian Government sent to Washington to negotiate a freetrade treaty with the United States] volunteered to introduce me to the principal authorities, and was present when I met Senator Cushman K. Davis, Republican member of the foreign relations committee of the Republican Senate, and Representative James H. Blount, Democratic chairman of the like committee of the Democratic House of Representatives. My interview with Mr. Blount took place in his committee room at the Capitol, and lasted about a half-hour.
- When I had finished my statement, he said: I suppose that you have come to me because you want to know, in case action becomes necessary in Honolulu, what the attitude of the Democratic House of Representatives may be, if the matter comes up in Washington. I replied that he had stated the cast exactly. He went on: I do not know very much about this subject, but I can tell you this: if the question does come up, it will be treated here as a national one, and not as a Democratic [one]. I advise you to see Mr. Blaine, secretary of state, and see what he thinks. I explained that I intended to see Mr. Blaine, but that he was ill, and I had not seen him, although I hoped to meet him soon. All right, said Mr. Blount. You do so, and let me know what he says. I agreed.
- A few days afterward, I called at the State Department and presented James G. Blaine a letter of introduction from John L. Stevens, United States minister to Hawaii. I made a full explanation to Mr. Blaine: we had no intention of precipitating action in Honolulu but conditions had gone so far that we felt the maintenance of peace to be impossible; we believed
- that Liliuokalani was likely at any time to attempt the promulgation of a new constitution. If she tended toward absolutism, we proposed to seek annexation to the United States, provided it would entertain the proposal. A nucleus had been formed in Honolulu to bring the plan to a focus, should occasion arise; that nucleus had sent me to Washington to ascertain the attitude of the authorities there. Mr. Blaine asked: Have you talked to anyone else in Washington on this subject? I answered that I had, mentioning Senator Davis and Mr. Blount.
- Mr. Blaine said that he considered the subject of the utmost importance, and continued: "I am somewhat unwell, but I wish you would call on B. F. Tracy, secretary of the navy, and tell him what you have told me, and say to him that I think you should see the President. Do not see Mr. Blount again. I will attend to him. Come to me after you have seen President Harrison." In accordance with the request, I immediately met Secretary Tracy and reported my conversation with Mr. Blaine. Said Mr. Tracy: I do not know whether you had better see the President or not. But come with me, and we will learn what he thinks. We went to the White House. Mr. Tracy had me wait in an outer room while he spoke with the President. After about a half-hour, the secretary reappeared and beckoned me to accompany him outdoors. Then he spoke: I have explained fully to the President what you have said to me, and have this to say to you: the President does not think he should see you, but he authorizes me to say to you that, if conditions in Hawaii compel you people to act as you have indicated, and you come to Washington with an annexation proposition, you will find an exceedingly sympathetic administration here. That was all I wanted to know. 178/
Before he left the United States, Thurston wrote a letter to Secretary of State Blaine concerning the subject of "Annexation of Hawaii to the United States." Thurston not only described the current situation in Hawaii, but also the plan of action that would be pursued by the Annexation Club. This plan included: "securing the appointment of a Cabinet at the Islands, committed to annexation, and educating the people in favor of annexation; then, if sentiment in Washington was favorable when Congress assembled in December, proceeding to bring about annexation by action of the Hawaiian legislature." 179/ This letter, coupled with United States Minister Stevens' pro-annexation views, leaves little question that the United States Government became increasingly aware of impending annexation movements in Hawaii during 1892.
B. THE FALL OF THE MONARCHY AND ANNEXATION OF HAWAII*
Memorandum from William Dudley, Research Branch, Naval Historical Center, to Carol E. Dinkins, Chair, Native Hawaiians Study Commission Committee on Federal, State, and Local Relationships (Dated March 2, 1983)
*/ This section of the Report was prepared by William Dudley and Lt. Donna Nelson of the Naval Historical Center. See above, page 265.
Subject: Public Comments on Draft Report of Findings of the Native Hawaiians Study Commission
1. This replies to a request from your office that we respond to public comments to Part II.B., "The Fall of the Monarchy and Annexation of Hawaii," which was researched and written in this office at your request.
2. The written comments that you forwarded to this office were contained in letters and lengthy memoranda from Native Hawaiians or those who share their views. The general tenor of these comments was a critical reaction to the content and sources used in researching and writing the sub-chapter.
3. When your request was received last May, we responded within the guidelines of that request, namely: that within six to eight weeks we produce a 15 to 20 page, double-spaced report, footnoted, on "what forces caused the monarchy to fall and what forces led to the annexation of Hawaii to the United States as a Territory in 1898." The request also stated that "reliance on secondary sources will be sufficient for our review."
4. The account we produced was essentially a summary based on leading secondary works and a limited number of primary sources. Ralph Kuykendall's The Hawaiian Kingdom: The Kalakaua Dynasty (1967) was chosen as a principal source, for it is a well-balanced interpretation, based on multi-archival research with careful annotations. Printed primary sources such as the multi-volume Blount report, the Morgan report, and Lt. Lucien Young's account were consulted but were used carefully and sparingly, with their biases taken into consideration.
5. The types of critical comments varied widely. Several respondents sent accounts they considered more accurate. These statements were lengthy and detailed but the facts presented did not contradict those i our account. The response from the Hawaiian State Statistician remarked that "...the demographic, statistical and historical aspects of the study have been handled reasonably well, reflecting a satisfactory degree of competence and objectivity." The mo cogent criticisms argued that primary source research in both public and private archives was much to be preferred to reliance on secondary sources, and that several questions regarding the fall of the monarchy and annexation should have been treated in greater depth and detail. I concur with these sentiments. Primary sources are to be preferred in the research and writing of any historical account. Ideally, the scholar would travel to all archival institutions holding pertinent collections to see if any new facts or fresh perspectives could be found. Unfortunately, the six to eight week time limit, the lack of funds for travel, and the fact that this work was assumed for completion in addition to other work normally done by this office precluded any more extensive treatment.
6. Some commentators objected to the fact that federal historians were asked to provide research on a subject which involved the actions of the U.S. Government and its armed forces. The presumption here is that government historians could not be unbiased in the matter. Our report strove for objectivity and made no attempt to ignore or minimize the parts played by the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, or the American Minister to Hawaii, John L. Stevens. It is conceded, however, that it would have been more
appropriate had the Commission requested this work be undertaken by a non-governmental historian so that there might have been no question about the appearance or substance of objectivity. I recommend strongly that if the Commission feels additional work is needed with regard to the revision, amendment or re-writing of this chapter, it should be done by either an academic or an independent historian who has no administrative connection with the U.S. Government.
(signed) William S. Dudley
Setting the Stage
To summarize the previous section, the fall of the monarchy in 1893 was primarily the result of a power struggle between supporters of the monarchy, a group largely composed of persons of Hawaiian ancestry, and the monied haole group, or "foreigners," persons of American and European birth or descent. The Kamehamehas had been the last strong monarchs of Hawaii. In the latter part of the nineteenth century, as the kings weakened, the haole population gained in political influence and economic power. This set the scene for the ensuing conflict.
The Constitution of 1887 was a key in the changing scope of Hawaiian politics (see above, page 277). Major changes were that: although the king retained his right to appoint the cabinet, cabinet members could be removed only with the approval of the legislature; the king no longer had ax absolute veto, which could now be over-ridden by a two-thirds majority In the legislature; the House of Nobles was no longer appointed by the king but became elective offices; bot) nobles and legislators had to meet residence and property requirements, more stringent for the nobles; but th» most significant change was in the voting requirements. The vote was extended to all male residents of Hawaiian, American, or European birth or descent who met certain property, educational, and residence requirements and who took an oath to support the Constitution and laws. This extended the vote to foreign residents and naturalized citizens as well as to native Hawaiians. The property requirements for eligibility to vote for representatives were modest; but to vote for nobles, one was required to own "taxable property in this country of the value of not less than three thousand dollars over and above all encumbrances, or shall have received an income of not less than six hundred dollars during the next year preceding his registration for such election." 180/ This last requirement had the effect of placing the control of the House of Nobles (and thus the legislature) in the hands of the Reform Party, which was made up largely of Hawaiian-born Americans and Europeans, and resident foreigners. This group held most of the land and a majority of the businesses of the country. They could, therefore, meet the property requirements, while most of the native Hawaiians were disenfranchised.
In 1889, an attempt was made by a group led by Robert W. Wilcox, a
European-educated Hawaiian, to overturn the Constitution of 1387 by force (see above, page 282). The aim was to return to a constitution similar to that of 1864 in which the king had had a great deal more power. The insurrection was quelled, but this was the beginning of almost continuous political unrest. At this time the Hui Kalaiaina, a native political organization whose main objective was a restoration of the pre-1887 constitutional system, was formed. This party gained in strength as the Reform Party was weakened by internal dissension. In the elections of 1890 the Reform Party became the minority party, and its cabinet was forced out of office.
Once again, a move was made to revise the constitution, this time with the open support of King Kalakaua. This was naturally opposed by those who had gained so much under the new constitution. Rear Admiral George Brown, commanding the Pacific Squadron, described the situation in a letter to Secretary of the Navy B. F. Tracy, dated July 29, 1890:
- Sir: In reference to political matters in the Hawaiian Islands I have to report that since my last communication on the subject, No. 228 of June 26, 1890, many events have transpired in Honolulu which indicate that serious trouble, if not a revolution, is imminent, at no distant day. The Legislature now in session will not probably adjourn before the middle of September next, and until that time the discordant element in the National Reform Party (Hui Kalaiaina), as represented by several natives and half-castes in the Legislature, who were prominent leaders in the attempted revolution of July, 1889, will not cease their revolutionary discussions and movements either in the Legislature or in public meetings or the streets. Their efforts are now being made in favor of a constitutional convention, with a view of revising the present constitution, which was adopted in 1887...The presence of the force under my command has a marked influence on the would-b revolutionists, as while they are aware that I am here to protect the persons and properties of citizens of the United States, the general belief among them is that I will, in the event of a revolution, take a more decided stand in the interests of those opposed to them than I might be warranted in doing. The white residents and natives and half-castes who stand ready to oppose the revolutionists have every confidence in their ability to do so successfully, and take great ccmfort in the knowledge of an adequate naval force being present...181/
The king was persuaded to back down from his position favoring a new constitution, largely through the joint efforts of the American and British ministers (see above, page 285). Crisis was averted in this instance, but the events of 1893, almost parallel to the situation described by Brown, had a markedly different outcome.
Liliuokalani Ascends the Throne
The king's death in 1891 and the passage of the McKinley Tariff in the United States Congress later that year led to a new time of trouble in the kingdom. The new Queen Liliuokalani's reign was marked by an economic
depression brought about by the McKinley Tariff. Rear Admiral Brown reported on August 17, 1892: "The great depression in business matters in the Islands is being felt by all classes. Importations from the United States are extremely light and many vessels leave here in ballast..." 182/
Another major problem was the struggle for control of the cabinet. After the 1892 election, no one party had enough members to claim a clear majority (see above, page 287.) Four successful want-of-confidence resolutions were supported by various combinations of three parties (Reform, National Reform, and Liberal) in the first eight months of the session. Little business was accomplished until November, when a strong moderate cabinet led by George Wilcox was formed as a compromise. It appeared that some stability had at last been achieved.
A number of bills had been postponed during the turmoil. Among the most controversial were the Lottery Bill, the Opium Licensing Bill, and a bill calling for a new constitutional convention. The queen had reluctantly appointed this cabinet, and now a widening rift began to appear between the queen and her ministers. The first two above-mentioned pieces of legislation were supported by the queen, but vigorously opposed by her cabinet. Other clashes worsened the situation. By January 4, 1893, the queen's supporters felt confident enough to propose yet another want-of-confidence resolution. The measure was defeated by only a narrow margin. On January 10, the Lottery Bill passed over the opposition of the cabinet, and taking this as a sign, once again a want-of-confidence vote was called. In the ensuing debate, the feelings of the legislators were summed up by Representative Kamauoha:
- The Cabinet were honest and able men. There was no doubt that they possessed the confidence of the Community. They were men of integrity, who would be able to secure funds to carry on the government. But would they carry out the wishes of the Queen? Would they do what the Queen and the Hawaiian people wanted in regard to the Lottery, the Constitutional Convention, etc.? Would they do as the Queen wanted them to do? 183/
The resolution passed. A new cabinet was appointed by the queen, and on January 14, 1893, the legislature was prorogued.
Events of January, 1893
Constitutional reform had been a major campaign issue in the elections of February 1892; indeed it was a primary plank in the platform of the Liberal Party. Yet the resolution had failed to pass in the legislature of 1892, having been set aside while more pressing matters were attended to. Liliuokalani, as had Kalakaua, had felt severely hampered by the restrictions placed on the monarchy by the present constitution. Now, feeling that she had the will of the people and the support of her new cabinet, the queen decided to take matters into her own hands.
Since early 1892, she had been quietly making plans to revise the constitution. A draft had been prepared in October 1892 that generally reverted to the earlier constitution of 1864, but which gave the monarchy even more control. The queen had made no secret of her intentions. A copy of the document had been submitted to Attorney General Arthur Peterson for his recommendations. All of the cabinet members were aware of its existence, and at least two had promised their support prior to their appointments. 184/
With this in view, Liliuokalani planned to promulgate the new
constitution immediately following prorogation of the legislature. Members of the diplomatic community, the legislature, and other dignitaries were invited to the ceremony. Yet when it came down to signing their names and thus attesting their support, the cabinet refused. The queen later wrote, "They had led me out to the edge of a precipice, and now were leaving me to take the step alone. It was humiliating." 185/
The queen then reluctantly decided to wait until she had more official support; however, the news had spread. The members of the Annexationist Club, a secret organization that had formed during the last constitutional crisis in 1890 (see above, page 288), quickly met and decided the time had come to act on their beliefs. A Committee of Safety was formed under the leadership of Henry E. Cooper. All members of this committee were members of the Annexationist Club with the exception of George Wilcox, the former prime minister. Lorrin Thurston, one of the leaders of the club, proposed as the first order of business a resolution "that it is the sense of this meeting that the solution of the present situation is annexation to the United States." 186/ All but Wilcox approved the motion. Wilcox quietly resigned and returned to his home on Kauai.
The first action of the committee was to send three men, Thurston, W. C. Wilder, and H. F. Glade, to call upon the American Minister, John L. Stevens, to learn if "assistance could be afforded by the United States forces for the protection of life and property, the unanimous sentiment and feeling being that life and property were in danger." 187/ Lorrin Thurston reported back to the Committee that Stevens:
- ...had said that the United States troops on board the Boston would be ready to land any moment to prevent the destruction of American life and property, and regard to the matter of establishing a Provisional Government they of course recognize the existing government whatever it might be. 188/
Thurston also reported that when ask what requirements there were for being the "existing government" in Stevens eyes, Stevens informed him that whatever government was "actually in possession of the Government building the executive departments and archives, and in possession of the city, that was a de facto government proclaiming itself a government, would necessarily have to be recognized." 189/
Stevens' role in the Hawaiian revolution has always been controversial. He had held strong annexationist views from the beginning, and this was well known in the Hawaiian community. While he did not openly oppose the queen, from such statement as that quoted above it was obvious that he would not oppose a change. Stevens was careful not to offer aid, but he did promise to recognize any government that the committee might be able to establish. Other accounts indicate that Stevens had promised to support the Provisional Government with U.S. troops. There is some doubt of the validity of this assertion, as will be seen below. However, the approval of the American Minister, tacit or otherwise, was enough to bolster the Committee of Safety and to harden their resolve. By the evening of the 14th of January, recruiting and arming of a revolutionary force had begun and plans were under way to take over the government.
The royal government was aware of the Committee and of its purpose a early as Sunday, January 15th, yet nothing was done to break up the movement. It was generally believed by members of the cabinet that Steven
had indeed promised support and this was perhaps sufficient to dissuade them from any direct action. However, the government had a force of five hundred men, ten Gatling guns, and twelve pieces of artillery at its disposal. A landing party from the Boston could consist of at most one hundred seventy-five men and the Committee of Safety was assured of only about seventy-five men at that time. For whatever reasons, this day was spent in debate rather than action. 190/
On Sunday evening two cabinet members called on Stevens to find out if the rumors were true. Stevens made it clear to them that he would not support the queen in a conflict. That same day, members of the Committee of Safety also called on Stevens. Stevens reiterated "that while he would call for the United States troops to protect life and property, he could not recognize any government until actually established." He repeated that the troops when landed would not take sides with either party, but would protect American life and property. 191/
On Monday, January 16, a mass meeting was held by the Committee to garner support for their aims. On that day also, in an attempt to defuse the situation, Liliuokalani made a public announcement that no new constitution would be promulgated for the time being. Meanwhile, the Committee sent the following letter to John Stevens:
- We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Honolulu, respectfully represent that, in view of recent public events in this kingdom, culminating in the revolutionary acts of Queen Liliuokalani on Saturday last, the public safety is menaced and lives and property are in peril, and we appeal to you and the United States forces at your command for assistance. The Queen, with the aid of armed force and accompanied by threats of violence and bloodshed from those with whom she was acting, attempted to proclaim a new constitution; and while prevented for the time from accomplishing her object, declared publicly that she would only defer her action. This conduct and action was upon an occasion and under circumstance[s] which have created general alarm and terror. We are unable to protect ourselves without aid and, therefore, pray for the protection of the United States forces. 192/
This letter was delivered some time in the early afternoon. By four o'clock, following the mass meeting, the Committee decided that circumstances were such that any action on their part would have to wait until the next day. As it would be beneficial to their objectives to be established and recognized before any American troops landed, two men called upon Stevens and requested that the landing party be detained until the next day. At this point, it seems obvious that Stevens was trying to avoid the appearance of complicity because he informed them that arrangements had already been made and that there would be no alterations in the plans. The U.S. troops landed at five o'clock that evening.
Stevens had gone aboard the Boston at three o'clock with the following request: "In view of existing critical circumstances in Honolulu,
indicating an inadequate legal force, I request you to land Marines and Sailors from the ship under your command for the protection of the United States Legation, and the United States Consulate and to secure the safety of American life and property." 193/
Captain Gilbert C. Wiltse, commanding officer of the Boston, had been watching the situation closely since his return to Honolulu on the 14th of January. (The ship, with Stevens and his daughter as passengers, had been at gunnery practice off Hilo from January 4 to January 14.) When Stevens arrived, he found that preparations had already been made. A landing force had been organized and armed, and an order couched in terms of standard Navy policy had been issued to Lieutenant Commander Swinburn, who was to lead the force:
- ...You will take command of the Battalion and land in Honolulu for the purpose of protecting our Legation, Consulate, and the lives and property of American Citizens, and to assist in preserving public order. Great prudence must be exercised by both officers and men, and no action taken that is not fully warranted by the condition of affairs, and by the conduct of those who may be inimical to the treaty rights of American Citizens...194/
The landing force consisted of "one company of Marines, 30 men, under command of Lieut. H, L. Draper, U.S.M.C., two companies of Sailors, the first consisting of 34 men under command of Lieut. Charles Laird,...and the second consisting of 35 men, under command of Lieut. Dewitt Coffman...and two pieces of artillery, one short gatling and one 37 m/m H.R.C. (Hotchkiss Revolving Cannon)..." 195/
The Marines were detached to guard the Legation and Consulate, while the remainder of the men halted near the Palace until a place to bivouac could be found. At about 9:30 p.m., Arion Hall was obtained. This has been another point of controversy concerning the objectives of the landing force. Arion Hall was some distance from the concentration of American property, yet it was located immediately between the Government Building and the Palace. This would be an ideal location from which to participate in any conflict between the two forces. Though not one hostile move was made by the American forces, there is no doubt that their presence provided a psychological support to the revolutionists. As has been noted above, the cabinet and the queen were convinced that the American Minister and forces from the Boston were in support of the rebelling faction. No matter what their purpose, the mere presence of this armed force served to demoralize the monarchists and to dampen any threat of violence.
A protest was lodged by the local government, but Stevens refused to recall the men. At this point, Monday evening, the Committee of Safety still had not formalized its plans. Sanford Dole, an Associate Judge of the Supreme Court, and generally well respected by all factions, was invited to head the new government that was planned. He was not a member of the Committee of Safety and was not in favor of overthrowing the monarchy or of annexation. His arguments were for deposing the queen and replacing her with a regency in favor of Princess Kaiulani, the queen's designated heir. After much debate, argument, and soul-searching, Dole finally agreed to accept the position the next day.
By Tuesday morning the queen and her cabinet had positive information concerning the Committee of Safety and
their aims, as some of the cabinet members had been invited to join the Executive Council of the Committee. Still they made no move to halt the proposed revolution. Dr. William Alexander, an observer of the events, concluded:
- To judge from their conduct, the Queen's Cabinet was overawed by the unanimity and determination of the foreign community, and probably had an exaggerated idea of the force at the command of the Committee of Safety. They shrank from the responsibility of causing fruitless bloodshed, and sought a valid excuse for inaction, which they thought they found in the presence of the United States troops on shore, and in the well known sympathy of the American Minister with the opposition. 196/
By 2:30 on the afternoon of the 17th, the Committee had completed its preparations and began moving toward its objectives. Within fifteen minutes, the Committee of Safety had quietly taken control of the Government Building, which was virtually empty when they arrived. A proclamation was read from the steps by H. E. Cooper, designated vice-president of the new government, and the first phase of the revolution was accomplished as the Committee of Safety became the Provisional Government.
The new Provisional Government moved into the building and got down to work. Martial law was declared, all saloons were ordered to be closed, and messengers were sent to the diplomatic community to inform them of the change in government and to request recognition. Between four and five o'clock, a message was delivered to Dole from Stevens:
- A Provisional Government having been duly constituted in the place of the recent Government of Queen Liliuokalani and said Provisional Government being in full possession of the Government Building, the Archives and the Treasury and in control of the capital of the Hawaiian Islands, I hereby recognize said Provisional Government as the de facto government of the Hawaiian Islands. 197/
Other foreign ministers followed suit within days. Armed with Stevens' support, members of the Provisional Government called on the queen and demanded her resignation. After much protest, the queen yielded and signed the following document:
- I, Liliuokalani, by the Grace of God and under the Constitution of the Kingdom, Queen, do hereby solemnly protest against any and all acts done against myself and the constitutional government of the Hawaiian Kingdom by certain persons claiming to have established a provisional government of and for this Kingdom. That I yield to the superior force of the United States of America, whose minister plenipotentiary, His Excellency John L. Stevens, has caused United States troops to be landed at Honolulu and declared that he would support the said provisional government. Now to avoid any collision of armed forces and perhaps the loss of life, I do under this protest, and impelled by said force, yield my authority until such time as the Government of the United States shall, upon the facts being presented to it, undo the action of its representatives and reinstate me in
- the authority which I claim as the constitutional sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands. 198/
By thus phrasing her protest, yielding to the United States rather than to the Provisional Government, Liliuokalani had left open a door by which she might regain her kingdom. She nearly succeeded.
During the next two weeks, the Provisional Government worked to solidify its position. A commission was sent to Washington to request annexation. At the same time, a commission was sent by the queen to request a delay in any action until investigations could be made into the events of her overthrow.
Although Honolulu was apparently peaceful during the last days of January, rumors of counter-revolt were rife in the city. The Provisional Government's small military force would clearly not be effective against any major uprising. Consequently, on January 31, a formal request was made to Stevens to extend protection to the government pending negotiations in Washington. Stevens promptly complied. On February 1, 1893, the following order was given to Captain Wiltse of the Boston:
- The Provisional Government of the Hawaiian Islands having duly and officially expressed to the undersigned, the fear that said Government may be unable to protect life and property, and to prevent civil disorder in Honolulu, the Capital of said Hawaiian Islands, requests that the flag of the United States may be raised, for the protection of the Hawaiian Islands, and to that end confer on the United States, through the undersigned, freedom of occupation of the public building of the Hawaiian Government and the soil of the Hawaiian Islands, so far as say be necessary for the exercise of such protection, but not interfering with the administration of the public affairs, by said Provisional Government.
- I hereby ask you to comply with the spirit and terms of the request of the Hawaiian Provisional Government, and to that end to use all the force at your Command, in the exercise of your best judgment and discretion, you and myself awaiting instructions from the United States Government at Washington. 199/
Accordingly, that same day the American flag was raised over the Government Building and custody of the building was given over to U.S. Marines.
Stevens' actions were accepted up to a point by the State Department: "So far as your course accords to the de facto sovereign government the material co-operation of the United States for the maintenance of good order and protection of life and property from apprehended disorder, it is commended; but so far as it may appear to overstep that limit by setting the authority of the United States above that of the Hawaiian Government, in the capacity of Protectors, or to impair the independent sovereignty of that government by substituting the flag and power of the United States, it is disavowed." 200/
The Blount and Morgan Reports
There were no changes in the state of affairs until April 1 when Representative James Blount arrived at the islands on a fact-finding commission. Blount was under instructions from President Cleveland to investigate fully all aspects of the events that had taken place. As Stevens' role was under investigation, he was superseded
though at first not officially relieved, by Blount. Blount's instructions read, in part:
- To enable you to fulfill this charge, your authority in all matters touching the relations of this Government to the existing or other government of the islands, and the protection of our citizens therein, is paramount, and in you alone, acting in co-operation with the commander of the naval forces, is vested full discretion and power to determine when such forces should be landed or withdrawn. 201/
By this time, Captain Wiltse had been relieved as senior officer on the Pacific Station by Rear Admiral Joseph Skerrett. Wiltse was detached and ordered home on February 28, 1893. Blount ordered the Marines to return to the Boston (one company of sailors had already been withdrawn, the other remained on shore) and he ordered that the American flag be hauled down. On May 24 he officially replaced Stevens as Minister.
Blount remained in Hawaii until August 9 when he returned to Washington without waiting for a replacement. His lengthy report (nearly 700 pages) laid the blame for the revolution squarely on Stevens and recommended a restoration of the former government. Based on this recommendation, and at the urgings of Secretary of State Walter Gresham, the President ordered the new Minister to offer to aid Liliuokalani to regain her throne with the expectation that she would grant full amnesty to those who had opposed her. Liliuokalani's refusal to meet this requirement, coupled with the Provisional Government's emphatic refusal to consider such a move, negated the attempt. 202/ Meanwhile, it was noted that Blount interviewed neither the members of the Committee of Safety nor the officers of the Boston. There were complaints from those who were interviewed by him that their testimony was slanted in the final report. 203/
After receipt of this report, in a message to Congress on December 18, 1893, President Cleveland said, in part:
- ...The lawful government of Hawaii was overthrown without the drawing of a sword or the firing of a shot by a process every step of which, it may safely be asserted, is directly traceable to and dependent for its success upon the agency of the United States acting through its diplomatic and naval representatives.
- But for the notorius predilections of the United States Minister for Annexation, the Committee of Safety, which should be called the Committee for Annexation, would never have existed.
- But for the landing of the United States forces upon false pretexts respecting the danger to life and property the committee would never have exposed themselves to the plans and penalties of treason by undertaking the subversion of the Queen's government.
- But for the presence of the United States forces in the immediate vicinity and in position to afford all needed protection and support the committee would not have proclaimed the provisional government from the steps of the Government building.
- And finally, but for the lawless occupation of Honolulu under the false pretexts by the United States forces, and but for Minister Stevens' recognition of the provisional government when the United States forces were its sole support and constituted its only military strength, the Queen and
her Government would never have yielded to the provisional government, even for a time and for the sole purpose of submitting her case to the enlightened justice of the United States. 204/
In December 1893, a resolution was adopted by the Senate directing the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations to determine, "Whether any, and If so, what irregularities have occurred in the diplomatic and other Intercourse between the United States and Hawaii ..." 205/ The resulting report, the so-called "Morgan Report," reached a conclusion almost exactly opposite the Blount Report. Again there were complaints that not all the people involved had been interviewed and that important pieces of evidence were lacking. The truth lies somewhere between the two reports.
The Republic and Annexation Attempts
Meanwhile, it was evident to the Provisional Government that the political climate was not right for annexation. A more permanent form of government was necessary. Therefore, a constitution for the Republic of Hawaii was adopted on July 4, 1894.
The next few years were relatively calm and stable, yet the aim of the Hawaiian government remained annexation to the United States. Repeated overtures were made, but realization of their goals remained distant until 1897. A new administration in Washington would perhaps be more favorable to annexation. A commission was once again sent to negotiate a treaty. The terms of the treaty were agreed upon and the document signed on June 15, 1897. The treaty was unanimously ratified by the Hawaiian Senate on September 10, 1897. Although it had been introduced in the United States Senate in June 1897, no action was taken until December of that year. After much debate and many delays, the chances of the treaty receiving a two-thirds majority in the Senate appeared slim. On March 16, 1898, a joint resolution was substituted for the Senate bill. Thus the subject came before the entire Congress, where only a simple majority would be required in each House to pass the measure. 206/
The strategic value of the Hawaiian Islands in terms of naval and commercial interests had long been recognized. They lay in the center of the Pacific Basin, a logical point for refueling and resupply. Alfred Thayer Mahan had written in a March 1893 article for Forum that it "may be inferred the importance of the Hawaiian Islands [is] as a position powerfully influencing the commercial and military control of the Pacific, and especially of the northern Pacific, in which the United States, geographically, has the strongest right to assert herself." 207/ Mahan was not alone in his view. Other naval strategists such as Theodore Roosevelt and Commodore George Melville argued the importance of the islands to the United States as well as the importance of keeping any other nation from gaining a foothold there.
With Japan's emergence as a naval force to be reckoned with in the Pacific, and the growing threat of war with Spain, the strategic argument was popular in the United States, although commercial Interests were equally important. With America's entry into the war with Spain, and Rear Admiral George Dewey's operations and victories in the Philippines, the strategists' arguments became even more important. Although Pearl Harbor had been ceded to the United States in 1887, nothing had been done to develop the site as a naval base. The strategists argued that mere possession of that harbor did not ensure security as foreign interests could be encouraged in other points in the islands. At the beginning of the Spanish-American War, Honolulu represented the only coaling station
available to the United States in the Pacific, with the exception of Samoa which, geographically, was not as important. Victory at Manila Bay provided the impetus for victory for the annexationists in Hawaii. On May 4, 1898, three days after the Battle of Manila, the Newlands Resolution for Annexation was introduced in the House of Representatives. Although there was still a great deal of opposition, the Resolution finally passed on June 15, 1898. After more lengthy debate in the Senate, annexation was approved on July 6, 1898. Formal transfer of sovereignty occurred on August 12, 1898, when the Hawaiian Islands became a United States territory.
C. FURTHER ANALYSIS OF ANNEXATION
Why a Joint Resolution, Not a Treaty?
The reasons for the use of a joint Congressional resolution (the Newlands Resolution) rather than a treaty to annex Hawaii to the United States can be ascertained through the documented history of the annexation proceedings as well as by a review of world events that affected United States policies at the time. Several attempts to annex Hawaii to the United States had taken place prior to 1898, one as early as 1854. 208/ The treaty process was tried until the alternative joint resolution process succeeded in 1898. Although members of Congress and other government officials, as well as private citizens, advanced numerous reasons to use a joint resolution, the primary motivation was expediency. A joint resolution required only a simple majority of the Congress, whereas a treaty would have required a two-thirds majority of the Senate. 209/ The need for annexation, by whatever parliamentary means, was believed urgent to protect the strategic and military interests of the United States in the Pacific.
A short review of world events prior to debate and passage of the 1898 resolution clearly shows the sense of urgency its backers felt. A treaty of annexation was negotiated between the United States and Hawaii on June 16, 1897, and ratified by the Hawaiian Senate later that year. This treaty was submitted to the United States Senate on the same day it was negotiated, but "embroiled in the tariff and lacking a clear majority, much less a two-thirds vote of the membership, the Republican senatorial leadership delayed action." 210/ In the meantime, Japan protested against annexation as harmful to its nationals in Hawaii, who now made up the majority of the cheap labor force on the islands. President McKinley was fearful that Japan would take possession of Hawaii before the United States could annex it. On the subject of Japan, one author writes that in a conversation with Senator Hoar, McKinley stated that:
- "We cannot let the islands go to Japan... Japan has her eye on them. Her people are crowding in there. I am satisfied they do not go there voluntarily, as ordinary immigrants, but that Japan is pressing them in there, in order to get possession before anybody can interfere." McKinley from the first acted on the basis of his new policy with a consciousness of American defense, an appreciation of the desirability of Pacific possessions, and an awareness of the designs of other powers. That consciousness would settle into a hardened conviction that America must assume her destiny in the Philippines as well as Hawaii.
- The Japanese scare, however true or false, generated heat, but not enough to accomplish annexation. 211/
On the heels of the Japanese scare came problems with Spain as the United States became involved in the affairs of Cuba and the Philippines. Pro-annexationists also used this as an argument: "The expansionists were quick to point out that suffering Cuba tied in with Hawaii; it was America's destiny to redeem them both. As war with Spain loomed, Hawaii took on new strategic importance for the war in the Pacific." 212/
A listing of specific reasons for Hawaii's strategic importance were incorporated into both Senate Report No. 681, which accompanied an earlier proposed Senate joint resolution, and House Report No. 1355, accompanying the final proposed House joint resolution for Hawaiian annexation. These specifics included the prevention of an alien establishment in the North Pacific, thereby protecting the U.S. Pacific coast, and securing the commerce of the islands* A more important consideration was that the "...United States must act NOW to preserve the results of its past policy, and to prevent the dominancy in Hawaii of a foreign people...It is no longer a question of whether Hawaii shall be controlled by the native Hawaiian or by some foreign people; but the question is, What foreign people shall control Hawaii?" 213/
When war with Spain did come, claims for the strategic importance of Hawaii expanded to include arguments for a coaling station. It was argued that anything less than annexation would keep Hawaii neutral and allow other belligerents comfort. Most important of all was ensuring that Dewey's ability to defeat the Spaniards at Manila in the Philippines would not be weakened by lack of supplies. Representative Hitt was also concerned about a counterattack:
- For a war of defense the Hawaiian Islands are to us inestimably important, most essential, and in this light they have been most often discussed. The discussion in past years has attracted little public attention, because our people, until they were lately awakened by the war and the movement to re-enforce Dewey, have not thought much about the exposed situation of our western coast in case of war with a really great power or the necessity of possessing these islands confronting our Pacific coast.
- We learn fast in war time... 214/
President McKinley, "under such circumstances, feared interminable delays, and replaced the treaty...with a simple resolution which could be adopted by a simple majority." 215/ The fact that the administration felt there was a real possibility that the Senate would fail to ratify a treaty with the required two-thirds majority was noted by several members of Congress. Among them was Representative Crumpacker of Indiana, an opponent of annexation, who stated in the debate of June 14, 1898: "...the treaty required the assent of two-thirds of the Senators, and it became apparent that it could not command that assent, so it has been abandoned and this expedient invented..." 216/
In a remarkable display of candor and confidence, Representative Dolliver of Iowa, in favor of annexation, confirmed the comment of the Indiana Representative on both simple majority and expediency, by stating on the day the resolution passed the House that: "Now for the second time a treaty has been negotiated annexing these islands, and the opposition of less than a majority in the Senate has held up the treaty and we are driven to the
unusual expedient of a joint resolution of Congress to accomplish a thing which ought to have been accomplished nearly ten years ago" 217/
The proceedings in the Senate also confirmed the fear that the treaty lacked votes. Senator Morrill, during annexation debate, stated: "Here the Senate was informed about it after the Secretary had signed the treaty, but even the Senate did not permit itself to discuss it except in secret session until its paucity of votes was disclosed; and it came originally in the form of a treaty..." 218/ The argument for holding secret sessions was weak and the weakness of the argument is evident from reading the proceedings of this session of May 31, 1898, in which senators in the session questioned the secrecy of anything discussed there.
The proceedings of the secret session show that the proponents of annexation desired a secret session not because of concern for war security, but because they feared defeat of the proposed 1897 treaty of annexation. They used the war with Spain to provide "the heat that generated annexation." 219/ As Representative Alexander stated on June 11: "The annexation of the Hawaiian Islands, for the first time in our history, is presented to us as a war necessity." 220/ This idea was echoed by other legislators such as Representative Pearson who said: "I shall give my vote for this resolution for the same reasons that I supported the war revenue bill. I believe that this is a necessary step in the successful prosecution of the war with Spain." 221/
The final argument involved the appropriateness and constitutionality of the resolution, although Congressional debate on Hawaiian annexation did not concentrate on the constitutional authority of the Congress to annex territory, as it did with Texas. After discussion of this issue, the next section of this report considers the constitutionality question in the context of the lack of a plebiscite in Hawaii on the issue of annexation, as was the case in Texas. (See below, pages 305 and 312.)
Congressmen stated that the annexation of Texas by joint resolution was a precedent to be followed in the Hawaiian case. Mr. William Alden Smith of the House of Representatives commented on the annexation issue:
- While there can be no question, Mr. Speaker, but that treaty making was especially lodged by the Constitution in the President and Senate, and that the composition of the Senate was so framed that each State should have an equal voice, nevertheless, the exigencies which at times confront the Republic warn us of the importance of the popular branch of Congress, coming direct from the people; and the Texas precedent has made the votes of a majority of both branches of Congress sufficient. 222/
Representative Parker also stated that, in dealing with Hawaii, the proper means of annexation would necessarily come from Congress, rather than the treaty-making power. He gave the following explanation:
- It is well understood to be a proper exercise of the treatymaking power that a nation may contract to sell part of its lands which another wishes to buy, but it may well be doubted whether a government can by treaty contract itself out of existence...It may acquiesce, it may agree, but the authority over these islands will
- not be derived from that agreement so much as from the act of the United States in taking possession. 223/
Senator Bate remarked on June 30, 1898, "that it is an innovation upon all precedents known in the history of this country and its legislation that we should have a resolution from the House of Representatives before the Senate involving the precise question that is still pending in the nature of a treaty." 224/ To this nay be added the statement concerning McKinley's sentiments that, "He had thought of Hawaii for a year while the treaty languished in the Senate, and finally adopted the medium of a joint resolution for speed's sake though he still disliked its quality of evasion." 225/
President McKinley had evidently considered using a joint resolution to annex Hawaii as early as March 15, 1897. In a conference with former Secretary of State Foster and President Pro Tern of the Senate, William Pierce Frye, the President decided that because his party lacked a two-thirds majority in the Senate: "a joint resolution was best, since it required simple majorities in each house." 226/ However, after sudden negotiations for the Annexation Treaty of June 16, 1897, the treaty was introduced in the Senate instead. The President at this time "had now abandoned the joint resolution scheme because it smacked of weakness, and he wished to gauge opinion while the Treaty was debated." 227/
The joint resolution that was finally used to annex Hawaii was not introduced until world events made plain to the President and Congress that annexation was essential. All concerned viewed it as an expedient. The possibility that passage by a majority of the more representative House, as well as by the Senate, may have indicated greater public support than treaty ratification apparently was not discussed by those considering these issues.
A Comparison to Annexation of Other Territories
Inhabited territories, other than those lands ceded to the Federal Government by individual states, and except for Texas, were annexed by treaty until 1898. 228/ President Jefferson, in considering the territorial annexation of Louisiana in 1803, deliberated carefully whether he had the constitutional authority to annex. The Constitution prohibited the Federal Government from exercising all powers not expressly delegated to it, and was silent on the subject of territorial expansion. Amendment of the Constitution was possible, but Jefferson thought the time required to amend could have lost the purchase of Louisiana. He therefore entered into a treaty with France to purchase and annex the Louisiana Territory on April 30, 1803. At the same time he proposed "to procure a subsequent ratification of the act in a constitutional amendment that should make specific provisions for future acquisitions." 229/ Since the strict constructionists were in the minority, however, without amendment "the troublesome question was deemed to be settled in favor of the constitutionality of territorial acquisition for all time." 230/
The precedent set in the case of Louisiana was subsequently followed in other cases of annexation by treaty: Florida was acquired from Spain on February 22, 1819; California basically was acquired by conquest in 1846-47, followed by a treaty with Mexico on February 2, 1848; New Mexico and Arizona were included in the California treaty; additional
territory was added to Arizona by the Gadsden treaty with Mexico of December 3, 1853-June 30, 1854; and Alaska was annexed by treaty of purchase from Russia on March 30, 1867.
In addition, in 1867 the United States proposed to annex Denmark's islands of St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix by treaty. Those treaties contained a clause for the assent of the islands' people. The people assented, but the treaty failed. 231/ St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix were later annexed by treaty in 1917. A proposed treaty for Santo Domingo failed in 1870 when the clause for the assent of the people resulted in a rejection. The Congressional consideration of the Santo Domingo matter is helpful. After the failure of the treaty to pass the Senate in 1870, numerous attempts were made to pass a joint resolution to annex Santo Domingo, but the Senate resolution that finally passed called only for an investigation of the annexation subject. 232/ The House then proceeded to kill any hopes of annexation using the resolution approach by passing an amendment that stated nothing in the resolution shall be "understood or construed as committing Congress to the policy of annexing..." 233/ When the investigation report was submitted, promoting annexation, it was debated for several days and finally died because "it was impossible to obtain the approval of two-thirds of the senators for a treaty, equally impossible to get a majority vote in the House for a joint resolution." 234/
In addition to these annexations of territory by either treaty of purchase or conquest, the United States also acquired a large number of islands under the Act of August 15, 1856. 235/ This act provided that private American citizens could take possession of (uninhabited) islands for the United States under the principle of discovery. The principal object of such annexations was to secure the guano located on those islands. Approximately 70 islands became United States territory during the period of October 28, 1856, through June 21, 1894. 236/ In addition, the island of Midway was annexed by the Executive Office in 1868 under the principle of discovery, "to create a naval station there." 237/
Another means of acquiring territory was the Proclamation used by President Madison in 1810 to acquire "possession" of territory purchased by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase. 238/ The territory had been allowed to remain under Spanish authority since the treaty with France in 1803.
The annexation most analogous to that of Hawaii, however, was the annexation of Texas. Both were "independent foreign states" that became territories of the United States under joint resolutions. Texas assumed independence from Mexico and negotiated a treaty with the United States for annexation on April 12, 1844. This treaty was rejected by the United States Senate. In indignation, a powerful movement started in Texas favoring a treaty of alliance with Great Britain or possible reconciliation with Mexico. 239/ This movement aroused the people of the United States and, in consequence, a joint resolution passed both houses of Congress providing for the admittance of the territory of Texas into the Union as a state. The resolution left to the discretion of the President whether to accept Texas by treaty "or by articles of agreement with the Government of Texas under legislative authority, or by the act of a convention chosen by the people of Texas, under like authority." 240/ Texas preferred the convention method, and the matter was submitted to the people of Texas who voted in favor of annexation.
The Texas and Hawaii annexations were similar in several respects, therefore. A number of expatriated American citizens resided in both Texas and Hawaii. In each, a failed treaty attempt had preceded the annexation by a joint resolution. As stated in Senate Report No. 681 on the Hawaiian annexation, "This joint resolution [on Texas] clearly establishes the precedent that Congress has the power to annex a foreign State...either by assenting to a treaty of annexation or by agreeing to articles of annexation or by act of Congress based upon the consent of such foreign Government obtained in any authentic way." 241/ The argument had the tone of certainty, but those opposed argued against the precedent. 242/
Opponents noted that the body of the joint resolution annexing Texas did not contain the words "annex" or "annexing." Instead, the resolutions read: "'may be erected into a State,1 ...The proper title to the Texas resolutions is shown by the Congressional Globe to have been, 'Joint resolutions declaring the terms on which Congress will admit Texas into the Union as a State.'" 243/ Representative Mann replied in Congressional debate that: "It is not necessary to deny that the proposed annexation of the Hawaiian Islands constitutes a new departure in the policy of our Government, for whether it does or not makes no difference... the Republican party...has never shrunk from doing that which is right and advantageous because it might be called a new departure." 244/ To add weight to the argument, it was reported that one of the President's advisors stated: "the President has been very firm about it and means to annex the Islands anyway..." President McKinley himself told George Cortelyou: "We need Hawaii just as much and a good deal more than we did California. It is manifest destiny." 245/
The annexation differed, as well. In Texas, unlike in Hawaii, the people voted on annexation. 246/
Did Any Native Hawaiians Sign Annexation Documents?
Determination of whether any native Hawaiians signed the proposed 1897 annexation treaty first requires a definition of "native Hawaiians." Certain parties during the annexation debate attempted to define second and third generation whites born on the islands as "white natives." For example, it was argued that Lorrin A. Thurston, a member of the Hawaiian treaty delegation, whose parents were born in Hawaii, and Chief Justice Judd of Hawaii were "white natives of the islands." 247/ Most agreed, however, that "native Hawaiians" referred to the original aboriginal natives of the islands. This was clearly shown in the census breakdowns concerning Hawaii 248/ and in most of the documents presented concerning annexation.
However, the only way to determine definitively how many native Hawaiians were involved in annexation proceedings is extensive genealogical research. The Federal Archivist told the Commission that this is both time-consuming and expensive. The alternative approach, checking surnames, undoubtedly does not reliably identify the number of native Hawaiians present for legislative action.
The historical record, as detailed below, indicates that no more than six native Hawaiians 249/ were present in the Hawaiian legislature when the 1894 Constitution of Hawaii was adopted. This Constitution, valid until annexation, called for Hawaii's annexation. 250/ Hawaii had a long history of submitting requests for annexation to the United States, both informally and through negotiated treaties. 251/ How many of these earlier requests were actually supported by the native
population is a matter of conjecture, since none of Hawaii's constitutions called for a popular vote on annexation. Treaties were left to the head of state with approval of the legislature, 252/ as set forth in Article 32 of the 1894 Hawaiian Constitution. The proposed annexation treaty of 1854 was initiated by the king, a native Hawaiian. This proposal failed when he died and the new king rejected the treaty. 253/
One native Hawaiian was present and voted for the Hawaiian Senate resolution that ratified the Annexation Treaty of 1897 between the United States and Hawaii. 254/ This final act in Hawaiian participation in the treaty ratification process took place in a Special Session of the Senate of the Republic of Hawaii in September, 1897. On the first day of the session, September 8th, President Dole listed the following reasons for annexation: (1) a growing menace to the population by immigration; (2) the threat of great naval powers; (3) need for United States' development of resources; and (4) it was in the best interests of all people of Hawaii. 255/ A protest resolution was also submitted to the Hawaiian Senate, signed by fifteen natives, stating that a mass meeting had been held confirming that "the native Hawaiians and a large majority of the People of the Hawaiian Islands" were against annexation. 256/ On the second day of the session a report was submitted by the Committee on Foreign Relations endorsing the ratification of the proposed treaty of annexation and agreeing with the reasons for annexation presented by President Dole the day before. This report was signed by the committee, including J. Kauhane, a native Hawaiian, on September 9, 1897. 257/
The same committee also submitted a report on the native Hawaiians' protest, in which the committee concluded that it was based more on sentiment than real opposition and recommended that the protest be laid on the table, which it was. This report was also signed by the committee, including J. Kauhane, on September 9, 1897. 258/ The Hawaiian resolution for ratification of the annexation treaty was unanimously adopted by the Senate the same day. 259/ One of those senators voting to adopt the ratification resolution was J. Kauhane, who was also Vice-President of the Senate. Senator Kauhane was the only native Hawaiian who signed the annexation ratification resolution, 260/ the only instrument relating to annexation other than the Treaty of 1897.
In the Congressional debate on annexation, Representative Bland was asked directly whether "the Senate of Hawaii which ratified the treaty is composed largely of native Hawaiians?" The answer was: "Oh, Mr. Speaker, I am not speaking of natives or foreigners. There are a few white natives." 261/
Providing further evidence of lack of "native" participation in annexation proceedings was the so-called "monster petition" of 1897 262/ signed by approximately 29,000 native Hawaiians protesting annexation by the United States. This petition was investigated by the United States Congress and the subsequent report indicated that many names on it were fraudulent. 263/ A large portion of the 29,000 names on the list remained, however, and they represented the vast majority of the 31,000 "native Hawaiians" living on the islands. 264/ This figure may be compared with the 3,196 actual voters in the first election under the 1894 Constitution held in 1896, and the 2,687 voters for representatives in 1897. 265/
Congressional debate on annexation is filled with comments to the effect that it was known that most, if not
all, native Hawaiians opposed annexation. 266/ Senator Caffery informed the Senate on June 28, 1898, that "the people of Hawaii do not want annexation...When I speak of the people of Hawaii I speak of the native Hawaiians." 267/ He then submitted documents concerning an 1893 interview with a white Hawaiian born in the islands in 1850. This gentleman stated that if an annexation vote had been taken "it would be overwhelmingly defeated—almost to a man by the native Hawaiians..." 268/
The Organic Act, passed by the United States Congress, opened the way for an open electorate in Hawaii. With this development, Hawaiians sent to the U.S. Congress their first delegate, Robert Wilcox, a home rule advocate and leader of native Hawaiian insurrections in 1889 and 1895. Hawaii's first Territorial Legislature of 1901 was also composed largely of native Hawaiians and Home Rule advocates who proceeded to protest annexation by delaying bills, failing to pass the appropriation bill, and calling for Governor Dole's removal due to incompetence. 269/
D. HAWAIIAN ADMISSION TO STATEHOOD COMPARED TO THAT OF OTHER STATES
Hawaii was admitted to statehood in 1959 after more than sixty years as a territory. This section of the report includes a discussion of Hawaii's admission, a statement of Hawaii's boundaries at statehood, and a comparison of the history of admission with the admission history of several other states. The selected states, in the order of their statehood, are: Louisiana, Florida, Texas, Oregon and Alaska.
Under the Constitution, the acquisition of new territory was achieved by treaties with foreign nations, except for Texas and Hawaii, which were annexed by joint resolution. The usual course after annexation was the establishment of a territorial government, the adoption of a state constitution and government, and the request for admission. A few states did not establish territorial governments: Texas, Florida and California. 270/
Certain other requirements also became standard for statehood:
- (1) The inhabitants of the proposed new State are imbued with and are sympathetic toward the principles of democracy as exemplified in the American form of government.
- (2) A majority of the electorate wishes statehood.
- (3) The proposed new State has sufficient population and resources to support State government and at the same time carry its share of the cost of the Federal Government. 271/
While the move to incorporate the Hawaiian territory into the United States was an important step toward statehood, it was not an assurance for its realization. The extended period of time in which the islands remained in territorial status was notable, but it was not unique to Hawaii. Alaska experienced the same delay in achieving statehood. There were also other states with long territorial periods: Utah, 46 years; Arizona, 49 years; and New Mexico, 62 years. 272/
History of Hawaiian Statehood
Hawaii was annexed to the United States by Joint Resolution No. 55, July 7, 1898 (30 Stat. 750). The legislative record indicated that the
joint resolution for annexation was substantially the same as the treaty negotiated in the prior year with the Republic of Hawaii, which was duly ratified by its Senate. 273/
Soon after annexation, a territorial government was established for Hawaii under the Act of April 30, 1900 (31 Stat. 141). As early as 1903 the legislature of the Territory of Hawaii began to petition Congress for statehood. 274/ As in the case of Alaska, the question of statehood for Hawaii was the subject of numerous Congressional hearings and debates for many years. The proceedings in which Hawaiian statehood was discussed reflect that politics, both in the United States and on the islands, was a major factor in delaying Hawaii's transformation from territory to state.
The political situation in Hawaii was best summarized by John A. Burns, Delegate from Hawaii, in his article entitled, "Statehood and Hawaii's People." 275/ He described the Hawaiian achievement of statehood as the conquering of centralized government and the emergence of Hawaii's people. He admitted that the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893 was an unpopular event and that the Hawaiian people distrusted the new Provisional Government. Its rule was much more stringent than that of the monarchy since a large portion of the general public was prevented from voting, while power remained in the hands of the propertied class. Burns stated that the unpopularity of the annexation was not because of animosity toward the United States, but rather a resentment for the particular ruling party.
Directly after annexation, a commission was set up to compose an Organic Act for Hawaii. According to Barns, two Hawaiian members of the commission wished to add a property and income requirement to the educational qualifications for voting. This provision would have prevented the majority of the Hawaiian people from voting. The efforts of Senator Tillman of South Carolina blocked such a measure, however, and the Organic Act was passed in 1900 with only a literacy requirement for voters.
The Territorial government continued to be extremely restrictive. Even though the Territorial legislature had passed measures for erecting county governments, the Territorial executive repeatedly vetoed them. Finally, the situation evoked a Congressional investigation. This resulted in an ultimatum by Congress that called for the Territory to organize county governments quickly or Congress would do so. After this directive, the Territorial executive allowed a local government bill to pass.
Delegate Burns listed a number of other reasons why statehood was delayed for Hawaii: besides county government, the Hawaiian Homes Commission, the bill of rights, and other projects all involved excessive amounts of time. In addition to these reasons, the controlling economic and political groups strongly opposed statehood for their own interests. After amendments were made to the Agricultural Adjustment Act by the Act of May 9, 1934 (48 Stat. 670), placing strict limits on the amount of sugar imported from Hawaii into the continental United States, and extensive investigations were made into other Hawaiian affairs, the controlling groups were compelled to support statehood.
By 1935, Hawaiian statehood hearings had become more active. It was then suggested that a plebiscite be held to determine whether Hawaiian citizens approved of the statehood proposal. A plebiscite held in 1940 showed a majority of the residents of Hawaii favoring admission to the Union. At that point, however,
World War II temporarily delayed any further attempts for statehood.
The numerous proceedings on Hawaiian statehood proved time and time again that Hawaii had met all the criteria for admission. Desire for statehood was evidenced by the approval of the state constitution in the general election of November 1950, by a 3-to-2 margin. 276/
After the war, procrastination on Hawaiian statehood bills came mostly from the United States Congress. Alaska and Hawaii were in the midst of the same political struggle and their futures as territories or states were at the sole discretion of the Congress. Once the fight for Alaskan statehood had been won, it was evident that the last incorporated territory, Hawaii, would soon achieve the same status. Hawaii was finally admitted to the Union as a State by the Act of March 18, 1959 (73 Stat. 4).
The joint resolution of annexation did not define the boundaries of Hawaii, but merely accepted the cession made by the government of the Republic of Hawaii of "the Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies." The islands were listed as Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau, Kahoolawe, Molokini, Lehua, Kaula, Nihoa, Necker, Laysan, Gardiner, Lisiansky, Ocean, French Frigates Shoal, Palmyra, Brooks Shoal, Pearl and Hermes Reef, Gambia Shoal, and Dowsett and Maro Reef (Sen. Doc. No. 16, 55th Cong., 3rd Sess.).
The Admission Act of March 18, 1959 (73 Stat. 4) and the State Constitution define the boundaries as "all the islands, together with their appurtenant reefs and territorial waters, included within the territory of Hawaii...except the atoll known as Palmyra Island, together with its appurtenant reefs and territorial waters, but said state shall not be deemed to include the Midway Islands, Johnston Island, Sand Island (offshore from Johnston Island), or Kingman Reef, together with their appurtenant reefs and territorial waters."
Some question is presented regarding the status of Midway Island. The United States claims that it acquired Midway on August 28, 1867. The Hawaiian government, before annexation, claimed it had acquired Midway on July 5, 1859, prior to the acquisition by the United States. Thus, there is an academic question of whether the United States acquired Midway when it annexed Hawaii or whether it acquired Midway independently.
Palmyra Island was part of the territory that the United States acquired when it annexed Hawaii (see United States v. Fullard-Leo, 331 U.S. 256 (1947)), but is not now part of the State of Hawaii. Midway Island, Johnston Island, and Sand Island were included within the jurisdiction of the United States District Court for Hawaii by the Act of August 13, 1940 (54 Stat. 784) and it may be that the specific exclusion of these islands from the Admission Act and the Constitution was merely to overcome any presumption that might have arisen from the 1940 Act that these islands were in the Territory of Hawaii. In any event, it is clear that Palmyra Island was once part of the Kingdom of Hawaii and the Territory of Hawaii but is not now part of the State of Hawaii. Midway Island is not part of the State of Hawaii either; there is a question of whether it was part of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Midway, however, is part of the Hawaiian Island chain.
Comparison to Admission of Other States
The first parcel of land to be added to the United States under the powers of the new federal Constitution was the territory known as the "Louisiana Purchase." This land was purchased by the United States from France under the Treaty of April 30, 1803 (8 Stat. 200). The transaction was necessary for the continued success of the commercial traffic on the Mississippi River and especially for maintaining the important port at New Orleans. Popular support for the acquisition of the Louisiana territory was strong because the acquisition was viewed as a means of removing a large European power from America's doorstep and promoting national independence. This sentiment overcame whatever doubts were expressed by members of Congress as to the constitutional authority of the nation to acquire foreign territory. 277/
A significant section of the Treaty of Paris in 1803 was Article III, which stated:
- The inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incorporated in the Union of the United States, and admitted as soon as possible...
This provision anticipated the admission of the Louisiana territory in the near future. From the cession, two territories were erected and a temporary government provided for under the Act of March 26, 1804 (2 Stat. 283). An enabling act was then passed for the people of the Orleans Territory on February 20, 1811 (2 Stat. 641) so that they might form a constitution and state government and request admission to the Union. This goal was subsequently accomplished and statehood was confirmed by the Act of April 8, 1312 (2 Stat. 701).
The second area of land annexed to the United States by means of treaty was East and West Florida. This territory was ceded by Spain to the United States under the Treaty of Amity, Settlement, and Limits, February 22, 1819, and ratified by the United States on February 19, 1821 (8 Stat. 252). The necessity of the annexation of Florida was accepted under the same principle as Louisiana, that is, keeping the European powers at a safe distance from home. 278/
The treaty with Spain contained a provision under Article 6 similar to that in the Treaty of 1803 with France. It stated:
- The inhabitants of the territories which his Catholic Majesty cedes to the the United States, by this Treaty, shall be incorporated in the Union of the United States as soon as may be consistent with the principles of the Federal Constitution, and admitted to the enjoyment of all the privileges, rights, and immunities of the citizens of the United States.
In keeping with this agreement, a temporary government was established for Florida under the Act of March 3, 1819 (3 Stat. 523), superseded by the Act of March 3, 1821 (3 Stat. 637) following ratification of the treaty. In January 1839, Florida formed its constitution and state government and asked for admission into the Union, Florida statehood was confirmed by the Act of March 3, 1845 (5 Stat. 742), which also admitted the State of Iowa.
The acquisitions of Louisiana and Florida were reflections of a growing national policy described by John Gorham Palfrey, who stated:
- The acquisition must be read with all the facts; it expressed the national individualism; it was defensive, to preserve the national unity; a mere taking of adjoining land to protect the peace and prosperity at home; it was subjective, not objective. 279/
The circumstances surrounding the annexation of Texas were quite different from the circumstances surrounding acquisition of Florida and Louisiana. Texas was an independent republic and had been since about 1835. At that time, Mexico had begun losing control over the territory and the Anglo-Saxon settlers organized a provisional government of their own. From that point on, there had been constant struggles between the Texans and Mexicans. President John Tyler, in his message to the members of the 28th Congress during its second session, stated that the continued hostile relations between Texas and Mexico would only prove detrimental to the peace and prosperity of the United States. 280/ To avoid this, President Tyler offered a treaty of annexation to Texas that Texas found most agreeable. The Senate, however, did not ratify the treaty. Tyler claimed that the main objection to the treaty was that it was not put to a popular vote among the American people. Thus, he felt it his "duty to submit the whole subject to Congress as the best expounders of popular sentiment." 281/
The flavor of the Congressional debates in the 28th Congress, second session, on the proposition for the annexation or admission of Texas to the Union indicated that the question of slavery was the prime concern. To divert attention from the preeminent slavery issue, however, other arguments against annexation came into focus. These arguments included the constitutional power of Congress to acquire foreign lands, and the effect of the Texas annexation on the rights of Mexico and her possible response to such action.
While slavery was at the heart of the disagreement about the annexation of Texas, the constitutional question regarding the authority of Congress to annex by joint resolution, rather than treaty power, gained the most support from those in opposition. Were it not for an intendment to the joint resolution providing that the President could, if he deemed advisable, negotiate with the republic instead of proceeding with the resolution, the action might never have passed the Senate. 282/
Texas was ultimately annexed to the Union by Joint Resolution No. 8, March 1, 1845 (5 Stat. 797). The resolution of annexation anticipated immediate statehood for the Republic of Texas. Shortly thereafter, Joint Resolution No. 1, December 29, 1845 (9 Stat. 108) was passed, admitting the State of Texas into the Union. Discussions were brief in the 29th Congress on the resolution to admit Texas; however, a few remarks were made concerning the propriety of the action of Congress that effectuated the Texas annexation The dissenting members of Congress apparently became resigned to the majority opinion. 283/
The annexation of Texas was a prime example of the expression of the popular political and social conditions of the time. It was a rejection of Mexico's continued hostilities in the territory, an exercise of an inherent power of Congress, and a submission to the unyielding efforts of the annexationists.
The area of the Pacific Northwest, which had been known as Oregon
Country, was made popular by its fur trade. This industry gained the interest of the United States, Russia, Spain, and England. Spain, however, yielded her interest in that territory to the United States in the Treaty of 1819, and later, in 1824, Russia agreed to cease further settlements south of 54° 40'. This left the powers of the United States and Great Britain as final competitors for the vast territory. Prior to that time, the United States and Great Britain had entered into an agreement of joint occupation in 1818 (8 Stat. 248), which remained in effect for ten years. On August 26, 1827, the 1818 agreement was essentially renewed, but for an indefinite period of time with a provision that either party could terminate the agreement upon a twelvemonth notice. 284/
Settlement in the Oregon Country was slow until the early 1840's, when large groups of emigrants began making their way along the Oregon trail in search of more prosperous lives. It was this influx of American settlers that provided the impetus for the United States to define her claim in the Oregon Country against Great Britain. President Polk reoffered a division of the territory at the 49th parallel, but Great Britain refused. The United States then exercised her right to abrogate the Convention of 1827 while expressing her intention to fight for the territory that she claimed was rightfully hers by title. New negotiations were begun and Great Britain finally agreed to the division of the Oregon Country at the 49th parallel by the Treaty of June 15, 1846 (9 Stat. 869).
Oregon was provided with a territorial government under the Act of August 14, 1848 (9 Stat. 323). This action had been delayed in the Congress because of the heavily-debated slavery issue. The people of the Oregon territory then adopted a constitution and state government. Their application for admission into the Union was accepted by the Act of February 14, 1859 (11 Stat. 383). Th« State of Oregon was formed and the remainder of its territorial lands outside the newly-declared boundaries were made part of the Territory of Washington.
Alaska was purchased from the Russians under the Treaty of March 30, 1867 (15 Stat. 539) for $7,200,000. The treaty was not overwhelmingly well received, but with the persistence of Secretary of State Seward, it passed the Senate.
The quest for Alaskan statehood was a long and tedious battle. Alaska was first established as a "civil and judicial district" under the Act of May 17, 1884 (23 Stat. 24), and was not recognized under a territorial government until the passage of the Act of August 24, 1912 (37 Stat. 512). The legislative record showed that the first statehood bill was offered in 1916, followed in subsequent years by extensive hearings and testimony on the subject. At various times during this period, bills for Alaskan statehood had been acted upon favorably in both houses of Congress and in committees of each house. 285/ Ernest Gruening's book on The State of Alaska, indicated that Alaskan industrial interests and other partisan interests were strongly against statehood, and for maintaining the status quo. They caused considerable delay to Alaska's admission.
By the 1950's, even with party platforms supporting statehood for the last two incorporated territories, Alaska and Hawaii, resistance continued in the Congress. Senator Church described the situation as "the reluctance of Congress to share its
prerogatives, or to extend the legislative franchise." 286/ Members of Congress did not want their voices or votes to be undermined by the addition of new senators and representatives. Finally, these political obstacles were overcome in the 85th Congress and the State of Alaska was admitted into the Union by the Act of July 7, 1958 (72 Stat. 339).
DIPLOMATIC AND CONGRESSIONAL, HISTORY: FROM MONARCHY TO STATEHOOD
1/ Ethel M. Damon, Sanford Dole and His Hawaii (Palo Alto, Calif.: Published for Hawaiian Historical Society by Pacific Books, 1957), p. 141.
2/ Kathleen Dickenson Mellen, An Island Kingdom Passes (New York: Hasting House Publishers, 1958), pp. 8-10.
3/ Ibid., p. 14.
4/ Paul Bailey, Kings and Queens of Old Hawaii (Los Angeles, Calif.: Westernlore Press, 1975), p. 267.
6/ Mellen, p. 36.
7/ Damon, p. 141.
8/ Eugene Burns, The Last King of Paradise (New York: Pellegrini & Cudahy, 1952), p. 156.
10/ Act of January 30, 1875, 19 Stat. 625-626.
11/ Charles C. Tansill, The Foreign Policy of Thomas F. Bayard (New York: Fordham University Press, 1940), p. 370.
13/ Burns, p. 157.
14/ Edward Joesting, Hawaii: An Uncommon History (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc, 1972), p. 211.
15/ Ibid., pp. 211-212.
16/ Bailey, p. 269.
17/ Congressman Daniel Akaka, in his comments on the Commission's Draft Report, questions the interpretation in the Draft Report of events during Kalakaua's reign because of the emphasis placed on the role of Walter Gibson. He states: "If Gibson was in fact so important a figure, why was his participation in events ignored in first-hand accounts of the period...?" (Akaka'8 Comments, p. 5 ) . He adds: "I seriously question this interpretation of history and the emphasis placed on Gibson's influence with the monarchy" (Akaka's comments, p. 5.)
Walter Gibson's influence on the monarchy ended with his departure from Hawaii on July 12, 1887. He died shortly afterwards in the United States on January 24, 1888. (K. D. Mellen, An Island Kingdom Passes, pp. 200 and 212, (1958)). James H. Blount arrived in Hawaii for the first time on April 6, 1893 (Dispatch No. 1, Spec. Comm.). His duties, upon arrival in Hawaii, were to concentrate on taking and compiling evidence and testimony on the 1893 downfall of the Hawaiian Monarchy and formation of the Provisional Government, as well as the state of affairs in Hawaii at the time (E. M. Damon, Sanford Dole and His Hawaii, p. 258 (1957); Gresham to Blount, Correspondence No. 1, March 11, 1893 printed in H. Ex. Doc. No. 47, 53rd Cong., 2nd Sess. (1893)). It is self-explanatory that Blount himself could not have been the author of any first-hand account of the Kalakaua/Gibson era. Indeed, the scope of Blount's duties did not include any need to investigate this period.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, it can be pointed out that the Blount dispatches did discuss Gibson's participation in the events of the Kalakaua era. Not only did Blount
discuss Gibson, but he took testimony of first-hand accounts from people who were present in Hawaii at the time Gibson was, and who knew him.
Blount's papers include an interview he had with Hawaiian Chief Justice A. F. Judd on May 16, 1893 (Interview No. 28, p. 371 of Blount's report in House Ex. Doc. No. 47, 53d Cong. 2d Sess. (Dec. 18, 1893)). The questions were asked by Blount, himself, concerning Gibson and his power.
- Q. Did Gibson use the race feeling to obtain power, and to maintain himself in it?
- A. He did; and he also used flattery to the King to exalt his position. He fostered in the King's mind the idea of proclaiming himself emperor of the Pacific in connection with the Samoan affair.
The interview Blount had with M. M. Scott on April 10, 1893 went even further. It implied that Gibson's policies and influence not only caused the 1887 revolution, but that the impact of these policies were evident even in 1893 (Interview No. 46, Ibid., p. 488 (1893)). Blount again conducted the interview personally.
- Blount: What I want to know is this: Whether or not prior to 1887, and down to the revolution the controversies followed racial lines.
- Scott: This present revolution?
- Blount: Yes, were the contests generally parallel with racial lines?
- Scott: They were.
- Blount: Did these contests, parallel to what we have termed racial lines, grow out of the difference of opinion on questions of taxation or questions of taxation and legislation? How did they grow?
- Scott: No, they grew out of the office. Mr. Gibson advised it.
- Blount: Please bring that out.
- Scott: In the spring of 1882, when they held the election here, he advised it. He was the originator of the phrase "Hawaii for Hawaiians." He was a man of marked ability. He was the president of the board of education. He made speeches couched in careful language when the foreigners would see or hear them. He spoke Hawaiian well. His cry was "Hawaii for Hawaiians." He said to the people, the missionary has not been your friend. He leaves no outlet for you. He does not wish you to hold office. He [Gibson] puffed up Kalakaua with the idea that he could be emperor of all the Pacific Islands.
Regarding this and other comments, Blount sent a dispatch (Blount to Gresham, Correspondence No. 17, July 17, 1893, pp. 107-108, in H. Ex. Doc. No. 47, 53d Cong., 2d Sess. (1893)) which stated:
- The great stir in Cabinet changes commenced with the Gibson Cabinet in 1882. He was a man of large information, free from all suspicions of bribery, politically ambitious, and led the natives and some whites...
- It may not be amiss to present some of the criticisms against Kalakaua and his party formally filed with me by Professor W. D. Alexander...
- He gives an account of various obnoxious measures advocated by the king, which were defeated.
- In 1882 he says the race issue was raised by W. Gibson and only two white men were elected to the Legislature on the Islands.
Walter Gibson's influence over Kalakaua was also illustrated in passages of Gibson's diary as follows:
- Sat., Jan. 15—"Examined the Explorer [a ship]. Propose to purchase her as a Government vessel to send to Samoa to carry Bush on his several missions."
- Sun., Jan. 16—"A talk with the King about the Explorer. He said that Aholo and Kanoa were opposed to the purchase of her. It is too much my enterprise. These natives are opposed. I am sorry to have our Polynesian movement checked." (Jacob Adler & Gwynn Barrett, The Diaries of Walter Murray Gibson, (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1973), p. 114.
- Tues., Jan. 18—"Talked earnestly with the King about the purchase of the Explorer. He is convinced and with me. Told me to call a Cabinet early in the morning."
- Wed., Jan. 19—"A Cabinet Council at the Palace at 7:00 A.M. The King determined about purchase of Explorer—so decided in Council. I and Aholo, a Committee to make purchase. We went at 8 A.M. to Hotel and found Mr. Arundel. Concluded purchase for $20,000 in four installments, [sic] I have carried my point, and the Polynesian movement will not be checked." (Ibid., p. 115.)
- Fri., Jan. 21—"Completed the purchase of the Explorer—the vessel delivered to the Min. of Interior Aholo. I will now take charge of her as Secretary of the Navy—an empty title—but I will push this matter, our Polynesian confederation. Hawaii has the elements and prospects of a commanding Polynesian state— Kalakaua shall be a King." (Ibid., pp. 116-117.)
Lorrin Thurston and William Castle were also very familiar with Gibson. They were among the members of the Committee of Thirteen who specifically asked for his dismissal from the Kalakaua Cabinet in 1887. Wm. R. Castle, in his Reminiscences (published privately in 1960 per the University of Hawaii Library (Hawaiian Collection)), wrote at p. 77:
- It was said at that time that Moreno was going to organize and consolidate a union of all the Pacific Islands under Kalakaua as emperor. The same way that dreamer Walter Gibson obtained a controlling influence over Kalakaua by holding out wonderful pictures of a vast future of boundless wealth for us if his, Gibson's plans were carried. No doubt these alluring pictures accounted in part for his determined plan to create an army and navy with which to conquer the Pacific. Through his dreams or to appreciate the fact that with every opportunity in his grasp to render his name immortal by a wise and beneficent leadership he was instead making a wreck of his reign...
As for the books by Wm. A. Russ, the titles alone should explain Gibson's absence from them. They were entitled The Hawaiian Revolution, 1893-94 and The Hawaiian Republic, 1894-98. Gibson died in 1888.
The above comments also address views expressed in comments received by the Commission from Elmer Miller about Kalakaua's policies.
18/ Burns, p. 158.
19/ Mellen, P. 75.
21/ Bailey, P. 278.
22/ Burns, p. 165.
23/ Ibid., p. 168
25/ Ibid., p. 170.
26/ With respect to the statement that Celso Moreno and the king called "for Hawaiians to throw out or kill the planter sympathizers and foreign interests groups on the Islands," Congressman Daniel Akaka commented: "It is difficult to believe Kalakaua capable of such intrigue and scheming" (Akaka's Comments, p. 5).
Shortly after Celso Moreno was installed as a member of the Hawaiian Cabinet with the title of Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1880, posters in his support came out in all parts of Honolulu. They were addressed to "All true-born citizens of the country" and asked them to support Moreno: "His intention is to cast down the foreigners and put in their places the true Hawaiians..." (K. D. Mellen, An Island Kingdom Passes,p. 91 (1958); Copy of entire poster in Blount Rept., H. Ex. Doc. No. 47, 53rd Cong., 2d Seas., p. 183 (1893).
Robert W. Wilcox, a Hawaiian who supported Moreno and attended a mass meeting of citizens to discuss the Moreno appointment, proclaimed that "foreigners were stirring up confusion for their own evil purposes..." (E. M. Damon, Sanford B. Dole, p. 156 (1957)). Sanford Dole, who attended the mass meeting, reported his feelings to his brother George. Dole wrote: "Robert Wilcox...probably egged on by the king...appears to wish the destruction of white men..." (Ibid., p. 157).
A first-hand account by James M. Comly, the U.S. Minister Resident to Hawaii (1877-1882), discusses the Moreno incident of 1880 in some detail, particularly in Dispatch No. 122, dated 21 August 1880 from Honolulu. Comly reports that the British, American, "Hawaiian citizens who were natives of the United States," and German residents of Hawaii presented memorials "to interfere for the protection of [their] interests, and demand the dismissal of the new Cabinet, as a menance to [their] capital invested here." Comly, who had informed the king of strong opposition to Moreno, mentions a discussion held by him and others in which "the general impression seemed to be that Moreno intended personal violence if I did not give way."
With respect to the role of the king it appears that at the very least he was highly sympathetic to Moreno's points of view. Kalakaua stated to Minister Comly: "Mr. Moreno had shown himself to be a very entertaining companion, a man of large and novel views in political and state affairs; that he had been frequently surprised to find out how exactly Mr. Moreno's views coincided with his own; and that he [had] put him in office because of this harmony and sympathy..." (Comly Dispatch, No. 122).
The dispatches of Minister Comly pertaining to the Moreno affair and its sequel include Nos. 104, 113, 121, 122, 131, 136, 141 and 149. "The Moreno affair of 1880 is one of the most curious and at the same time one of the most important incidents in Hawaiian history...These dispatches of General Comly are an important contribution to the history of the reign of Kalakaua" (Hawaiian Diplomatic Correspondence, Historical Commission of the Territory of Hawaii,
Vol. I, No. 3, Ralph S. Kuykendall, p. 42 (1926). Note: Entire Dispatch No. 122 reprinted in Hawaiian Diplomatic Correspondence.)
27/ Burns, p. 168.
28/ Bailey, p. 285.
29/ Joesting, p. 213.
30/ Damon, p. 160.
31/ Joesting, p. 214.
33/ Mellen, p. 102.
34/ Ibid., p. 103.
35/ Bailey, p. 286.
36/ Mellen, p. 107.
37/ See comment received from Robert C. Schmitt, p. 3.
38/ Mellen, p. 115.
39/ Ibid., p. 120.
40/ Ibid., p. 121.
41/ Bailey, p. <187.
42/ Mellen, p. 122.
43/ Damon, p. 166.
44/ Mellen, p. 125.
45/ Bailey, p. 288.
46/ Mellen, p. 164.
47/ Damon, p. 175.
48/ Mellen, p. 169.
49/ Damon, p. 192.
50/ Joesting, p. 217. Congressman Daniel Akaka comments that the Draft Report on page 184, "indicates that the spark that ignited the annexationists was the signing of a bill to regulate the sale of opium and a bill to establish a lottery" (Akaka's Comments, pp. 5-6). In addition, it is asserted that these bills "...were merely used as excuses by the annexationists to bring down the Monarchy" (Akaka's Comments, p.6). Other commenters raised a similar point.
The draft report does not refer to the lottery bill until page 190, in the section on Liliuokalani’s reign. Moreover, the comments do not accurately reflect the chronology of events. The lottery bill was enacted in 1893—not in 1886-1887 which is the period discussed at pages 184-185 of the draft report. More importantly, the statement cited in support of these comments is a December 20, 1893 statement made with respect to conditions in 1893 and not events in 1886-1887. Finally, pages 184-185 of the draft report refer to the "reformers"—not "annexationists."
51/ Damon, p. 192.
52/ Joesting, p. 217.
53/ Bailey, p. 21.
54/ Ibid., p. 291.
55/ Joesting, p. 218.
56/ Bailey, p. 295.
57/ Senator Daniel Inouye and others commented that the Draft Report fails to inquire into the possible role of the United States Government in the adoption of the 1887 Constitution; i.e., the extent to
which the United States "condoned, participated in or enjoyed the benefits of the coercive activities of the American expatriate group" which is alleged to be chiefly responsible for the 1887 Constitution (Comments by Senator Daniel K. Inouye on the Draft Report of Findings of the Native Hawaiians Study Commission, pp. 14-15 (November 23, 1982)). This section is added to explain that role.
58/ Ralph S. Kuykendall, Hawaiian Kingdom, Volume III, The Kalakaua Dynasty, 1874-1893 (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1967), p. 350. Hereinafter referred to as "Kuykendall, Volume III."
59/ Kuykendall, Volume III, pp. 351-352.
60/ Sanford B. Dole, Memoirs of the Hawaiian Revolution, (Honolulu: Advertiser Publishing Co., Ltd., 1936), p. 48; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 352.
61/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 352. The foregoing information is not contained in James H. Blount's 1893 report. Neither Clarence Ashford "nor Volney Ashford, in the statement which he wrote for Commissioner Blount, say anything about the Honolulu Rifles and their part in the Revolution of 1887" (Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 704, note 27). This is a critical omission in light of the pivotal role of the Honolulu Rifles with respect to the adoption of the 1887 Constitution. Specifically, the Honolulu Rifles patrolled the streets of Honolulu and arrested Walter Gibson, Kalakaua's premier, just prior to the king's assent to the formation of the cabinet government. Kalakaua, who had called out the Rifles himself on June 30, 1887, to keep order, had unwittingly given official sanction to an army that he discovered shortly afterwards was unreliable. Fear of the worst convinced the king to sign.
Obviously, concealment of the data from Blount was beyond his control. The salient point is that the absence of this information from Blount's report, for whatever reason, tends to make it much less authoritative than its proponents contend it is.
62/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 703, footnote 9.
63/ Ibid., pp. 348-349.
64/ House Ex. Doc. No. 47, 53 Cong., 2nd Sess., p. 203; cited in Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 348, footnote.
65/ Ibid., p. 348, footnote.
66/ Quoted in A. D. Baldwin, A Memoir of Henry Perrine Baldwin, 1842-1911 (Cleveland, 1915), pp. 55-56; cited in Kuykendall, Volume III, pp. 348-349, footnote.
67/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 349, footnote. Emphasis added.
68/ Blount Report, H. Ex. Doc. No. 47, 53d Cong., 2d Sess., p. 331 (1893).
69/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 348.
70/ Ibid., p. 347; and Enclosure No. 5 to Dispatch No. 124 (Petition of American Citizens to Merrill), U.S. Department of State Archives, Dispatches, Hawaii (also in National Archives, Microcopy No. T-30, Roll 23). The names of only three members of the Committee of Thirteen appear on the petition of American citizens. Presumably, if there had been more than three American nationals on the Committee, the names of more than three members of the Committee would have appeared on the petition. This assumption is supported by the fact that the Hawaiian League-sponsored
"Reform Cabinet" (appointed in 1887) contained only one American expatriate—the grandson of original American Missionaries who had been in Hawaii since 1828. (See discussion above, p. 277 and Lorrin A. Thurston, Memoirs of the Hawaiian Revolution (Honolulu: Advertiser Publishing Co., Ltd., 1936), p. 277.)
Thurston added as well that "Among the leaders of the conservatives were the 'mission boys,' the sons and grandsons of the early American missionaries. Two of the strongest conservatives were Sanford B. Dole and P. C. Jones, members of the executive committee" (Ibid., p. 277). Thurston also stated: "Besides our own military [Honolulu Rifles], we had the support of the 'Drei Hundert,' chiefly composed of Germans, who were reputed to have served in the German Army" (Ibid., p. 141). Thus, the military wing of the League contained Germans and was commanded by a Canadian.
71/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 344.
72/ Ibid., p. 355.
73/ Memorandum written by Bayard after conversation with Carter, July 6, 1887, Hawaiian Legation, Notes from Vol. 3, MS Dept. of State; cited and quoted in Charles C. Tansill, The Foreign Policy of Thomas F. Bayard, p. 391.
74/ Bayard MS, Foreign Relations, 1894, Appendix II, pp. 660-662, 793-817; cited and quoted in Tansill, pp. 391-392. The above quote was cited to indicate the possibility that Minister Merrill was opposed to the reformers, though it cannot be determined. As pointed out in Tansill, p. 392: "There is nothing in the Bayard manuscript that would confirm this statement of Mr. Carter." From the conversation that Bayard had on July 6, 1887, it would appear that references to instructing Merrill not to help Kalakaua are probably false. What was interesting in the above quote is that Merrill was not considered an active ally of the reformers nor American warships an aid to their revolution.
75/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 353. Inclusion of this discussion of the Aki episode was suggested in comments received by the Commission on its Draft Report.
76/ Wodehouse to Foreign Office, No. 15, very confidential, April 12, 1887, British Public Record Office, Foreign Office 58/220; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 353.
77/ Wodehouse to Foreign Office, No. 10, confidential, March 16, 1887, British Public Record Office, Foreign Office 58/220; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 353.
78/ Merrill to Bayard, unnumbered, May 31, 1887, U.S. Department of State Archives, Dispatches, Hawaii (also in National Archives, Microcopy T-30, Roll 24, 1st letter on roll).
79/ Merrill to Bayard, No. 124, June 6, 1887, U.S. Department of State Archives, Dispatches, Hawaii (also in National Archives, Microcopy T-30, Roll 23).
80/ Merrill to Bayard, Dispatch No. 135, July 30, 1887, U.S. Department of State Archives, Dispatches, Hawaii (also in National Archives, Microcopy T-30, Roll 23).
82/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 358.
83/ Hawaii Daily Bulletin, June 28, 1887; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 358.
84/ Daily Herald, July 1, 1887, submitted as Enclosure 1 in Merrill to Bayard, No. 125, July 1, 1887, U.S. Department of State Archives, Dispatches, Hawaii (also in National Archives, Microcopy T-30, Roll 23).
85/ Ibid. See also footnote 89, below.
86/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 363; J. Adler and G. Barrett, The Diaries of Walter Murray Gibson (Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, 1973), p. 162.
87/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 364.
88/ Merrill to Bayard, No. 135, July 30, 1887, U.S. Department of State Archives, Dispatches, Hawaii (also in National Archives, Microcopy T-30, Roll 23).
89/ Sanford B. Dole explained concerning the committee bringing the resolutions to Kalakaua on June 30th that:
- The committee immediately called on the King, presented him with a certified copy, and informed him that he was given twenty-four hours in which to make reply. He gave oral reply that it was not necessary to wait; that he would accede now to all the demands. The committee said to the King that the meeting had given him twenty-four hours, and the committee would not change the requirement. Moreover, the committee stated, they wished a reply in writing (Dole, Memoirs of the Hawaiian Revolution, p. 55).
90/ Merrill to Bayard, No. 139, August 29, 1887, U.S. Department of State Archives, Dispatches, Hawaii (also in National Archives, Microcopy T-30, Roll 23).
91/ Mellen, p. 196.
92/ Joesting, p. 220.
93/ Thomas M. Spaulding, Cabinet Government in Hawaii, (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Occasional Papers, No. 2, 1924), pp. 1 and 8. Emphasis added.
94/ Bailey, p. 297.
95/ New York Herald, August 25, 1887, quoted in Daily Bulletin, September 7, 1887; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 371.
96/ Joesting, p. 220.
97/ Bailey, p. 299.
98/ Hawaiian Instructions, Vol. 2, MS, Dept. of State (November 19, 1881).
99/ Senate Executive Journal, Vol. 2, pp. 280 and 289.
100/ Tansill, p. 372.
101/ Senate Executive Journal, Vol. 25, p. 419.
102/ Tansill, pp. 377-78.
103/ Ibid., p. 379.
104/ Senator Daniel Inouye states that the Draft Report did not inquire into the "possible role" with regard to "thwarting subsequent efforts by native Hawaiians to overturn... [the 1887] Constitution in 1889 and to revise it in 1890" (Senator Inouye's Comments, pp. 14-15). The following 7 pages were added in response to that comment.
105/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 401.
106/ Daily Bulletin, July 20, 1887; Hawaiian Gazette, July 26, 1887; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 407.
107/ Hawaiian Gazette, August 9, 1887; Pacific Commercial Advertiser, August 15, 1887; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 407.
109/ Hawaiian Gazette, August 16, 1887; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 407.
110/ Daily Bulletin, September 13, 1887; Hawaiian Gazette, September 13, and 20, 1887; Pacific Commercial Advertiser, September 12 and 19, 1887; Damon, Sanford Dole and His Hawaii, pp. 204-205; W. D. Alexander to A. C. Alexander, September 17, 1887, in private collection; Merrill to Bayard, No. 141, September 19, 1887, U.S. Department of State Archives, Dispatches, Hawaii, Vol. XXIII, printed in For. Relations, 1888, p. 803; Wodehouse to Foreign Office, No. 30, political and confidential, September 27, 1887, British Public Record Office, Foreign Office 58/220; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 410.
111/ Daily Bulletin, September 16, 1887 (letter of "One Who Voted Straight Reform"); cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 410.
112/ Laws, 1887, passim; legislative proceedings reported in Honolulu newspapers; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 411.
113/ Wodehouse to Foreign Office, Nos. 30 and 35, political and confidential, September 27, December 20, 1887; Daily Bulletin, November 25, 26, 1887; Hawaiian Gazette, November 8, 15, December 13, 1887; Pacific Commercial Advertiser, December 5 (letter by "Reform"); Laws, 1887, pp. 60-64; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 411.
114/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 411.
115/ Ibid., p. 413.
116/ Everett v. Baker, 7 Haw. 229 (1888).
117/ Merrill to Bayard, No. 162, December 24, 1887, U.S. Department of State Archives, Dispatches, Hawaii (also in National Archives, Microcopy T-30, Roll 23).
118/ Liliuokalani, Diary, December 20, 22 and 23, 1887, in State Archives of Hawaii; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 415.
119/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 714, note 46.
120/ Merrill to Bayard, No. 166, January 14, 1888, U.S. Department of State Archives, Dispatches, Hawaii (also in National Archives, Microcopy T-30, Boll 23).
121/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 415.
122/ Ibid. It should be noted that Kuykendall, in reprinting these passages from Liliuokalani's diary, explained that "the two W's are believed to stand for Robert W. Wilcox and Charles B. Wilson."
123/ Record of Informal Meetings of the Cabinet Council, January 18, 1888; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 416.
125/ Wodehouse to Foreign Office, No. 76, political and confidential, September 28, 1888, British Public Record Office, Foreign Office 58/234; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 420.
126/ Macfarlane v. Damon, 8 Haw. 19 (1890).
127/ Wodehouse to Foreign Office, Nos. 70 and 73, political and confidential, August 4, 28, 1888, British Public Record Office, Foreign Office 58/234; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 422.
128/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 426.
129/ Ibid., p. 425.
132/ Merrill to Blaine, No. 253, July 26, 1889, printed in House Ex. Doc. No. 48, 53 Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 14-15; Commander E. T. Woodward to Secretary of Navy, July 27, 1889, printed in Ibid., pp. 459-460 (1893).
133/ Wodehouse to Foreign Office, No. 5, political and confidential, August 2, 1889, British Public Record Office, Foreign Office 58/242. "The portion of this dispatch quoted was written on or before July 27. From a rough draft dated July 16 in [the State Archives of Hawaii], British Consulate Records, it appears that Wodehouse received his first information from the king's brotherin- law, A. S. Cleghorn;" cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 426.
134/ Merrill to Blaine, No. 255, August 1, 1889, printed in House Ex. Doc. No. 48, 53 Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 16-18 (1893).
135/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 424
136/ Daily Bulletin, July 31, 1889, as Enclosure No. 1 in Merrill to Blaine, No. 255, August 1, 1889, U.S. Department of State Archives, Dispatches, Hawaii (also in National Archives, Microcopy T-30, Roll 24); see also Kuykendall, Volume III, pp. 426-427; see also L. A. Thurston, Memoirs of the Hawaiian Revolution, pp. 192-97. Kuykendall states that this suggestion is "incompatible with other known facts except on the theory of a double cross by Wilcox or the king" (p. 427), On the other hand, the Commission received the following comment from Helena K. Wilcox Salazar, granddaughter of the Hon. Robert W. Wilcox: "...I was appalled and truly amazed to read that my grandfather, the Honorable Robert W. Wilcox,' led the counter-rebellion of 1889 to restore Kalakaua to power. This is not true and gives the impression chat Kalakaua had the backing of the people.
"According to grandfather,
Kalakaua cared nothing about the
people, and according to Historian W.
D. Alexander, the people, in turn,
were indifferent as to Kalakaua's
"Historian R. S. Kuykendall informs us that grandfather led the counter-rebellion to 'replace Kalakaua with Liliuokalani'—after the Kalakaua-Pate scandals. Moreover, nor did grandfather lead the counter-rebellion of 1895 to restore Liliuokalani.
"As an alternate to the disastrous rule of the Kalakaua's, he told Commissioner Blount, he had sought rather to found a Republic." (See Appendix for comment.)
137/ Merrill to Blaine, No. 255, August 1, 1889 printed in H. Ex. Doc. 48, 53rd Cong., 2d Seas., p. 16 (1893).
138/ Merrill to Bayard, No. 255, August 1, 1889, printed in House Ex. Doc. No. 48, 53 Cong., 2d Sess., p. 17 (1893).
139/ Joesting, p. 242.
140/ Merrill to Blaine, No. 257, August 6, 1889, printed in House Ex. Doc. No. 48, 53 Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 18-19 (1893).
141/ Wodehouse to Foreign Office, No. 8, political and confidential, August 24, 1889, British Public Record Office, Foreign Office 58/242; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 431.
142/ Wodehouse to Foreign Office</u>, No. 2, political, January 17, 1890, British Public Record Office, Foreign Office 58/253; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III p. 453.
143/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 454, citing Record of Informal Meetings of the Cabinet Council, February 4, 1890.
144/ W. D. Alexander to A. C. Alexander, February 7, 1890, In a private collection of Alexander family papers; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 452.
145/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 460.
146/ Daily Bulletin, June 17, 1890; Pacific Commercial Advertiser, June 18, 1890; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 461.
147/ Dally Bulletin, July 2, 1890; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 462.
148/ Dally Bulletin, August 14, 15, 1890; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 462.
149/ Journal of the Legislative Assembly, August 15, 1890. The original message is in the Legislative file In the State Archives of Hawaii; cited and qualified by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 462.
150/ Stevens to Blaine, No. 30, confidential, August 19, 1890, U.S. Department of State Archives, Dispatches, Hawaii, Vol. XXIV, printed in House Ex. Doc. No. 48, 53 Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 67-68 (1893).
151/ Wodehouse to Foreign Office, No. 23, political and confidential, August 29, 1890, British Public Record Office, Foreign Office 58/2 53; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 403.
152/ Kalakaua to Robert F. Synge, "Strictly Confidential," September 19, 1890, British Public Record Office, Foreign Office 58/254; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III,p. 463. (Kuykendall notes that the British Foreign Office wrote on Kalakaua's letter that Wodehouse's "advice was sensible enough and has been approved.")
153/ Daily Bulletin, and Pacific Commercial Advertiser, September 10, 1890; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 464.
154/ Wodehouse to Foreign Office, Nos. 24 and 26, political and confidential, September 10, 20, 1890, British Public Record Office, Foreign Office 58/253; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 464.
155/ Stevens to Blaine, No. 3, September 25, 1890, U.S. Department of State Archives, Dispatches, Hawaii (also in National Archives, Microcopy T-30, Roll 25).
156/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 464.
157/ Ibid., p. 509.
158/ Ibid., p. 487.
159/ Ibid., p. 488.
160/ Mott Smith to Parker, December 2, 4, 16, 30, 1891; January 13, 30, February 10, 1892, in State Archives of Hawaii, Treaty Document File; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 499.
161/ Pacific Commercial Adverister, July 11, 1892; cited by Kuykendall, Volume" III, p. 503. 174/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 532.
162/ Daily Bulletin, July 14, 15, 1892; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 504.
163/ Pacific Commercial Advertiser, August 15, 1892; Daily Bulletin, August 15, 1892; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 504.
164/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 508.
165/ Bulletin editorial of August 27, 1884; cited by Kuykendall, olume III, p. 508.
166/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 510.
167/ Ibid., p. 514.
168/ Daily Bulletin, July 21, 1891; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 515.
169/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 519, citing (a) Ka Leo o Ka Lahui, November 24, 1891; (b) Ibid., October 9, 1891; (c) Pacific Commerical Advertiser, December 5, 1891.
170/ Ka Leo o Ka Lahui, February 5, 1892; cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 522.
171/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 523.
172/ Ibid., p. 529. 173/ Ibid., p. 526; refers to Mott Smith to Parker, December 30, 1891, State Archives of Hawaii, Treaty Documents.
175/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 532.
175/ Thurston, Memoirs of the Hawaiian Revolution, p. 229.
176/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 533.
177/ Thurston, Memoirs of the Hawaiian Revolution, p. 229.
178/ Ibid., pp. 230-232.
179/ Thurston to Blaine, May 27, 1892, with enclosed statement, U.S. Department of State Archives, Miscellaneous Letters, May 1892, Pt. IIj cited by Kuykendall, Volume III, pp. 536-537.
180/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 370.
181/ National Archives, Record Group 45, Area File 9, July-October 1892.
183 Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 580.
184/ Ibid., pp. 582-583.
185/ Merze Tate, The United States and the Hawaiian Kingdom (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965); p. 161.
186/ Ibid., p. 163.
187/ Ibid., p. 166.
188/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 588.
189/ James Blount, Report of the Commissioner to the Hawaiian Islands (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1893), p. 497.
190/ Tate, p. 168.
191/ Kuykendall, Volume III, pp. 590-591.
192/ Blount, p. 118.
193/ Area File 9, November 1892- May 1893.
196/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 598.
197/ Ibid., p. 601.
198/ Blount, p. 120.
199/ Area File 9, November 1892- May 1893.
201/ Blount, p. 2.
202/ Tate, pp. 242-246.
203/ Kuykendall, Volume III, pp. 624-631.
204/ Quoted in Tate, pp. 248-24?.
205/ Kuykendall, Volume III, p. 647.
206/ Tate, Chapter 8.
207/ Alfred Thayer Mahan, "Hawaii and Our Future Sea Power," The Forum XV (March, 1893), p. 7.
208/ H. R. Rep. No. 1355, 55th Cong., 2d Sess., p. 1 (1898). (Copies of previous proposed Annexation Treaties with U.S."of 1854 and 1893 and Reciprocity Treaty of 1875, pp. 91-97).
209/ C. Julien, America's Empire (New York: Panipheon Books, 1971), p. 53; 31 Cong. Rec, pp. 5920, 6003 (1898).
210/ H. Wayne Morgan, Wm. McKinley and His America, (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1963), p. 295.
211/ Ibid., pp. 295-6.
212/ Ibid., p. 296.
213/ H. R. Rep. No. 1355, 55th Cong., 2d Sess., p. 29 (1898). The Office of Hawaiian Affairs commented that the Commission's Draft Report " ...reasons that annexation by the joint resolution method was necessary because annexation was essential" (OHA's Comments, p. 17). OHA states that by the time the annexation resolution was introduced in Congress the Spanish-American War was "virtually over" and asserts that the joint resolution was utilized "because of strong opposition in the Senate to annexation" (OHA's Comments, p. 17). Similarly, Congressman Daniel Akaka submits: "It wasn't so much expediency that required a joint resolution in Congress as the fact that many Americans and their representatives did not support the annexation of a country whose government had been established and maintained with United States military force" (Congressman Akaka's Comments, p. 11).
In fact, the Draft Report acknowledges that there was strong opposition to the annexation of Hawaii in the United States Senate (Draft Report, pp. 203-204; Final Report, pp. 302-303). Furthermore, the comments ignore the distinction between the immediate reason for the interest in annexing Hawaii that prompted the use of a joint resolution—i.e., fear that unless the United States acted immediately some other foreign power would take over Hawaii--and the underlying reasons for interest in annexing Hawaii: the commercial importance of Hawaii, a fear of control of Hawaii by the Japanese, and protection of the Pacific Coast. These underlying reasons are evident from the Congressional debate on the joint resolution.
Theories of present-day historians that American commercial interests were the principal motivating force behind annexation (T. J. Osborne) or that anti-Japanese sentiment was the major driving force behind annexation (W. H. Morgan) (pointed out in Senator Daniel Inouye's Comments, p. 11) do not alter the fact that the underlying reasons for interest in annexation cited in the Draft Report, in fact, contributed to sentiment for annexing the Hawaiian Islands.
214/ 31 Cong. Rec., p. 5772
215/ Julien, p. 53.
216/ 31 Cong. Rec, p. 5920
217/ Ibid., p. 6003
218/ Ibid., p. 6141
219/ Morgan, p. 296.
220/ 31 Cong. Rec., p. 5785 (1898).
221/ Ibid., p. 5835
222/ Ibid., p. 6005
223/ Ibid., 5982
224/ Ibid., p. 6518.
225/ Morgan, p. 297. 226/ Ibid., p. 294. 227/ Ibid., p. 295.
228/ As sources for this section, see the Treaties and Acts relating to Territories Annexed; Treaties Proposed on Texas and Hawaii. See also S. Rep. No. 681, 55th Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 19-22 (1898), and 1898 Hawaiian Annexation Papers.
229/ 31 Cong. Rec, p. 5875 (1898).
230/ Ibid. This power has been affirmed in American Insurance Company v. Canter, 26 U.S. 511, 524 (1828); Mormon Church v. United States, 136 U.S. 1, 42-43 (1890); and other cases. See also S. Rep. No. 681, 55th Cong., 2d Sess., p. 46 (1898).
231/ See E. Oberholtzer, A History of the United States Since the Civil War, Volume II, (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1928), pp. 226-227.
232/ Cong. Globe, 41st Cong., 3d Sess., p. 271 (1870).
233/ Ibid., p. 416. (See also S. Ex. Doc. No. 17 and H. Ex. Doc. Nos. 42, 43, 41st Cong., 3d Sess. (1870).)
234/ Oberholtzer, p. 244.
235/ 34 Stat. 119.
236/ 31 Cong. Rec, p. 5878 (1898). (List of island names and locations.)
237/ Ibid., S. Ex. Doc. No. 79, 40th Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 1-3 (1868).
238/ Presidential Proclamation of October 27, 1810, 11 Stat. 761.
239/ S. Rep. No. 681, 55th Cong., 2d Sess., p. 1 (1898).
240/ Ibid., p. 2.
242/ 31 Cong. Rec, pp. 6012-6014, 6518 (1898); H. R. Rep. No. 1355, 55th Cong., 2d Seas., pp. 53-58 (1898).
243/ 31 Cong. Rec, p. 6518 (1898). Further, opponents of Hawaiian annexation claimed that the Texas plebiscite set the precedent for a popular vote on annexation by Hawaiians. The forces In favor of Hawaii's annexation, however, argued that the Act of the Texas legislature calling the convention made no provision for a popular vote. It was simply done at the discretion of the Governor. The Texas legislature's acceptance of the terms of the resolution, prior to the popular vote, had completed the annexation.
244/ 31 Cong. Rec, pp. 5845-46 (1898).
245/ Morgan, p. 296.
246/ Some commenters criticized the Draft Report's comparison of the annexation of Hawaii and Texas. For example, comments from Congressman Daniel Akaka state that the comparison is "too pat" and only serves to "mislead and confuse the history of the era." The comparison was in face first made In the 1898 Congressional debates, and the similarities and differences are accurately reflected in the Report.
247/ S. Doc. No. 214, 55th Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 8-9 (1898).
248/ H. R. Rep. No. 1355, 55th Cong., 2d Sess., p. 42 (1898); 31 Cong. Rec, p. 5987 (1898).
249/ The total of six native Hawalians is taken from a statement of Hawaii'8 Attorney General W. O. Smith (B. Damon, p. 296).
250/ S. Doc. No. 109, 55th Cong., 2d Sess., p. 35 (1898); Hawaiian Constitution of 1894.
251/ H. R. Rep. Mo. 1355, 55th Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 1-2 (1898).
252/ S. Rep. Mo. 681, 55th Cong., 2d Sess., p. 4 (1898).
253/ H. R. Rep. Mo. 1355, 55th Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 54-55 (1898); S. Rep. Mo. 681, 55th Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 3-4 (1898).
254/ Hawaii Sen. Jour, of Extra Sess. pp. 22, 239 (1897); J. Kauhane's obituary; Letter dated February 26, 1982, to John Hitzelberg, U.S. Department of Justice, from Agnes Conrad, State Archivist of Hawaii.
255/ Hawaii Sen. Jour, of Extra Sess., pp. 3-4 (1897).
256/ Ibid., pp. 10-11.
257/ Ibid., p. 15.
258/ Ibid., p. 21.
259/ Ibid., pp. 20 and 22.
260/ Ibid., p. 239; Letter, dated 2/26/82, to John Hitzelberg, Department of Justice, from Agnes Conrad, State Archivist. To answer the question on "native Hawaiian" signatures to annexation would ideally require checking the family histories of all the members of the Hawaiian Legislature and cabinet members. In lieu of this, the sources relied upon were documents cited here, the statement of the State Archivist, and an examination of names that appear to be Hawaiian, which may be how the State Archivist arrived at her conclusion that J. Kauhane was the only "native Hawaiian."
261/ 31 Cong. Rec, p. 5841 (1898).
262/ Cover pages of the "monster petition" are included in Archives annexation papers. This petition is also discussed in the Congressional debate; see 31 Cong. Rec, p. 6702 (1898).
263/ 31 Cong. Rec, pp. 5787, 5883-86 (1898); Treaty Annexation papers from National Archives.
264/ S. Rep. No. 681, 55th Cong., 2d Sess., p. 43 (1898); 1896 Census. 265/ 31 Cong. Rec, p. 6702 (1898).
266/ Ibid., pp. 6014, 6337, 6404, 6469.
267/ Ibid., p. 6404.
268/ Ibid., p. 6469.
269/ Damon, pp. 340-341.
270/  U.S. Code Cong. & Ad. News 2933, 2936.
271/ Ibid., p. 2943.
272/ Ibid., p. 2936.
273/ 31 Cong. Rec, pp. 5770-71.
274/  U.S. Code Cong. & Ad. News 1346, 1350.
275/ 105 Cong. Rec, pp. 14564-66 (1959).
276/ Ibid., p. 14565.
277/ John Gorham Palfrey, The Growth of the. Idea of Annexation, and Its Breaking Upon Constitutional Law, 13 Harvard L. Rev. 377-380 (1899-1900).
278/ Ibid., p. 380.
280/ Cong. Globe, 28th Cong., 2d Sess., pp. 4-5 (1844-45).
281/ Ibid., p. 4.
282/ Ibid., p. 363 (Mr. Crittenden).
283/ Cong. Globe, 29th Cong., 1st Sesa., p. 88 (1845-1846) (Mr. Webster).
284/ Convention with Great Britain, August 6, 1827 (8 Stat. 360).
285/ 101 Cong. Rec, p. 5882 (1955).
286/ 104 Cong. Rec, p. 7997 (1958).