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Liliuokalani did not seem to take this narrow view of the revolution she had inaugurated.
The banishment or death of the white people and the confiscation of their estates was the final decree recorded in the Queen's heart and mind, as she freely stated to Minister Willis, and until this cruel work had been accomplished she held that her policy of revolution would be a failure. There is some ground for hope that these were not her sincere purposes or wishes but that in giving expression to them she was "playing a part." As opposed to such purposes, or to a Queen who could imagine them in the presence of the constitutional protection given to the rights and liberties of the people throughout this hemisphere, Americans should not hesitate in the support of a government de facto, set up to oppose her, because she had not made a formal surrender of a place where a few soldiers and policemen had been stationed, who were powerless to hold it against the people then under arms. It was an act of mercy to her and her retainers that they were not forced into the commission of acts of violence. An interregnum existed in the executive Government of Hawaii, which was caused by the effort of the Queen to destroy the constitution of 1887, and by the act of the people in accepting her will for the completed coup d'etat, and, in making that the occasion for supplying the executive department of the Government with a chief.
A careful investigation has failed to show that any conspiracy now exists that is directed to the virtual displacement of the Provisional Government. The personal efforts of the Queen seem to have been directed toward a provision for a safe and comfortable life, free from the anxieties of office and "the stress of her native subjects." Her power of attorney to Paul Newman and his mission to the United States indicate a reliance on the "arts of peace" rather than of war for indemnity for the past and security for the future. The opinions, or sentiments, expressed by her in the three interviews she had with Mr. Willis, in which she uttered the severest denunciations against the white race in Hawaii, and declared her willingness, if not her purpose, to confiscate their estates and to banish or to destroy them, while they are a seeming expression of the lofty indignation of an offended ruler, are so unsuited to the character of a queen crowned by a Christian and civilized people, and so out of keeping with her character as a woman who had received kindly recognition and personal regard from other good and refined ladies, that they shock all right-minded people in Christendom. The Government of the United States should willingly forbear to regard these utterances as her official expression of such designs upon the lives and liberties of those whom she would find in her power, upon her restoration to the throne, and accept them as a means adopted by her to convince Mr. Willis that her restoration to the throne was impossible, and was not in accordance with her wishes.
The President, on the first intimation of these harsh declarations of the Queen, at once laid them before Congress, and abandoned the further exercise of his good offices to bring about a reconciliation between her and those who were conducting and supporting the Provisional Government.
Mr. Willis, however, regarding his instructions as continuing to require his intercession beyond the point where the President considered that it should cease, held a second and third interview with Liliuokalani. After these interviews had closed, the Queen being still firm in her course, Mr. Carter, a trusted friend, obtained her signature to a pledge of amnesty, and made that the basis of his proposition
to Mr. Dole for the abandonment of the Provisional Government, which was summarily refused. This closed that incident. Mr. Willis, in what he did, obeyed what he conceived to be his instructions, and being so distant from Washington, it is a matter of regret, but not of surprise, that there was an apparent want of harmony between his action in continuing his interviews with Liliuokalani after the President had determined that the full duty of the Government had been performed.
The attitude of Liliuokalani at the conclusion of this proceeding is that of waiting for a pleasant retirement from the cares of public life, rather than of waiting for an opportunity to bring about a hostile collision with the people who support the new order of government in Hawaii.
In dealing with a grave subject, now for the first time presented in America, we must consider the conditions of public sentiment as to monarchic government, and we shall derive also material help from the light of English history. In the Western Hemisphere, except as to the colonial relation, which has become one of mere political alliance chiefly for commercial reasons, and does not imply in any notable case absolute subjection to imperial or royal authority, royalty no longer exists. When a crown falls, in any kingdom of the Western Hemisphere, it is pulverized, and when a scepter departs, it departs forever; and American opinion can not sustain any American ruler in the attempt to restore them, no matter how virtuous and sincere the reasons may be that seem to justify him. There have been heathen temples in the older States in this hemisphere where the bloody orgies of pagan worship and sacrifice have crimsoned history with shame; and very recently such temples have been erected in the United States to abuse Christianity by the use of its sacred name and ritual. When the arms of invaders, or mobs of the people, have destroyed these temples, no just indignation at the cruelties that may have been perpetrated in their destruction could possibly justify their restoration.
It is a great blessing to this Western World that the nations are to be spared the calamities which Blackstone describes as "imbruing the kingdom of England in blood and confusion," growing out of claims of succession to the crown. In almost every reign prior to that of the present house of Hanover, the lives and property of the people of England, amid the greatest cruelties, have been sacrificed in settling pretensions to the crown. It was these conflicts and this distress of innocent sufferers that caused the people to claim through the judges the protection of the doctrine, that service rendered to the king who held the scepter was lawful, although he was not rightfully in possession of the crown. No greater liberty of the people was ever devised or granted than the right of protection under a king de facto against a king de jure.
De facto governments, when they seek to supply the gap created by an interregnum, are favored in the international law, and when they are also based on the right of popular government in conflict with regal government, or to prevent its reestablishment, once it has disappeared in a State of the Western Hemisphere, it is so rooted and established in the foundations of the rightful authority to rule that it is justly to be ranked among the cardinal liberties of the people.
This doctriue is not new, and yet it is modern in England, where the right to the crown and its prerogatives have bled the people for fifteen centuries. The stringent doctrine that a de facto government must be established firmly and in all respects before it is entitled to recognition
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