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- 1 HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.
- 2 ADDITIONAL VIEWS SUBMITTED BY MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE.
- 3 APPENDIX TO THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE.
[See p. 189, Vol. VII.]
FIFTY-THIRD CONGRESS, SECOND SESSION.
February 26, 1894.
[Senate Report No. 227.]
Mr. Morgan submitted the following report from the Committee on Foreign Relations:
The following resolution of the Senate defines the limits of the authority of the committee in the investigation and report it is required to make:
- "Resolved, That the Committee on Foreign Relations shall inquire and report whether any, and, if so, what irregularities have occurred in the diplomatic or other intercourse between the United States and Hawaii in relation to the recent political revolution in Hawaii, and to this end said committee is authorized to send for persons and papers and to administer oaths to witnesses."
The witnesses were examined under oath when it was possible to secure their appearance before the committee, though in some instances affidavits were taken in Hawaii and other places, and papers of a scientific and historic character will be appended to this report and presented to the Senate for its consideration.
The committee did not call the Secretary of State, or any person connected with the Hawaiian Legation, to give testimony. It was not thought to be proper to question the diplomatic authorities of either government on matters that are, or have been, the subject of negotiation between them, and no power exists to authorize the examination of the minister of a foreign government in any proceeding without his consent.
The resolutions include an inquiry only into the intercourse between the two governments, and regard the conduct of the officers of the United States as a matter for domestic consideration in which Hawaii is not concerned, unless it be that their conduct had some unjust and improper influence upon the action of the people or Government of that country in relation to the revolution.
The future policy of the two governments as to annexation, or in respect of any other matter, is excluded by the resolutions from the consideration of the committee, and such matters are alluded to only as being incidental to the investigation which was ordered by the Senate.
The inquiry as to irregularities that may have occurred in our diplomatic or other intercourse with Hawaii must relate, first, to the conduct of the Government as shown in its official acts and correspondence; and, second, the conduct of its civil and military officers while they were engaged in the discharge of their public duties and functions.
As a Government dealing with Hawaii and with any form of government in that country, whether de facto or de jure, the United States can have no separation or break in its line of policy corresponding to
any change in the incumbency of the office of President. It is in all respects as much the same Government in every right and responsibility as if it had been under the same President during the entire period covered by the recent revolution in Hawaii and the succeeding events.
This view of the situation will enable us to examine more dispassionately the conduct of our Government, and to ascertain whether it has been such that it can be safely drawn into precedent in any future questions that may arise in our intercourse with this or other American governments.
The right of the President of the United States to change his opinions and conduct respecting a course of diplomatic correspondence with a foreign government is no more to be questioned than his right to institute such correspondence; and it can not be assumed that the opinions of one President, differing from those of his predecessor, has any other effect upon the attitude of the Government than would follow a change of opinion in the mind of the same person if there had been no change in the incumbency of the office. This is a view of the situation in which all foreign nations may have an interest, under the usages of independent powers and the international laws. But the question now under consideration is regarded as being peculiar to what we may term the American system. It may be true that Hawaii can not be considered as a separate and independent power in respect of all its relations with the United States, yet the acts of successive Presidents of the United States which affect it must be regarded as the acts of one President. But there are many good reasons and a long and consistent course of dealing between the United States and Hawaii that materially affect, if they do not entirely change, the actual relations between Hawaii and the United States and make them exceptional. When we claim the right to interfere in the domestic affairs of Hawaii, as we would not interfere with those of a European nation, we must also admit her right to whatever advantages there may be in the closeness and interdependence of our relations, and her right to question us as to any conflicts of policy between Mr. Harrison and Mr. Cleveland that may be justly said to work a disadvantage to the interests of Hawaii, if there are any.
And another principle which does not apply in our dealings with European powers comes into application in this case to influence the rights of Hawaii in her intercourse with the United States.
Hawaii is an American state, and is embraced in the American commercial and military system. This fact has been frequently and firmly stated by our Government, and is the ground on which is rested that peculiar and far-reaching declaration so often and so earnestly made, that the United States will not admit the right of any foreign government to acquire any interest or control in the Hawaiian Islands that is in any way prejudicial or even threatening toward the interests of the United States or her people. This is at least a moral suzerainty over Hawaii. In this attitude of the two Governments, Hawaii must be entitled to demand of the United States an indulgent consideration, if not an active sympathy, when she is endeavoring to accomplish what every other American state has achieved-the release of her people from the odious antirepublican regime which denies to the people the right to govern themselves, and subordinates them to the supposed divine right of a monarch, whose title to such divinity originated in the most slavish conditions of pagan barbarity.
The point at which it is alleged that there was a questionable interference
by our minister and our Navy with the affairs of Hawaii was the landing of troops from the ship Boston in Honolulu on the 16th day of January, 1893, at 5 o'clock in the afternoon. That ship, on which the minister was a passenger, had been off on a practice cruise at Hilo, a distance of nearly 100 miles, since the 4th day of January. On her return to the harbor a condition of affairs existed in Honolulu which led naturally to the apprehension that violence or civil commotion would ensue, in which the peace and security of American citizens residing in that city would be put in peril, as had been done on three or more separate occasions previously when changes occurred or were about to occur in the government of Hawaii. Whatever we may conclude were the real causes of the situation then present in Honolulu, the fact is that there was a complete paralysis of executive government in Hawaii. The action of the Queen in an effort to overturn the constitution of 1887, to which she had sworn obedience and support, had been accepted and treated by a large and powerful body of the people as a violation of her constitutional obligations, revolutionary in its character and purposes and that it amounted to an act of abdication on her part, so far as her powers and the rights of the people under the constitution of 1887 were concerned. This state of opinion and this condition of the executive head of the Hawaiian Government neutralized its power to protect American citizens and other foreigners in their treaty rights, and also their rights under the laws of Hawaii. There was not in Honolulu at that time any efficient executive power through which the rights of American citizens residing there could be protected in accordance with the local laws. It is evident that the Queen's Government at that time had no power to prevent the landing of troops from any quarter, no power to protect itself against invasion, no power to conduct civil government, so far as the executive was concerned, if the effort to exert such power was antagonized by any opposing body of people in considerable numbers. Indeed, no effort seems to have been made to exert the civil authority except through the presence of a small and inefficient body of policemen. The authority of the Queen was not respected by the people; it was opposed, and no force appeared to be used for the purpose of overcoming the opposition. It yielded to a silent but ominous opposition. Without reference to the question whether, in strict law, the action of the Queen in her effort to overturn the constitution of 1887, and to substitute one by a proclamation which she had prepared, was a revolution in government, or an effort at revolution, or amounted to an actual abdication, the result was that an interregnum existed.
If we give full effect to the contention that this interregnum occurred because of the apprehensions of the Queen that force would be used by the United States to compel her abdication, those apprehensions could not have occurred before the landing of the troops from the Boston, or, if they existed, they were idle, unfounded, and unjust toward the United States. It was her conduct, opposed by her people, or a large portion of them, that paralyzed the executive authority and left the citizens of the United States in Honolulu without the protection of any law, unless it was such as should be extended to them by the American minister, in conjunction with the arms of the United States then on board the Boston.
It will appear hereafter in this report that there is well-settled authority for the position that at the moment when the Queen made public her decision to absolve herself from her oath to support the constitution of 1887 her abdication was complete, if the people chose so to regard it. That constitution and the Queen's oath to support it was the only
foundation for her regal authority and, when she announced that her oath was annulled in its effect upon her own conscience, she could no longer rightfully hold office under that constitution. In such matters the word of the Queen, once sedately uttered, fixes a condition that is irrevocable unless by the consent of those whose condition or rights would be injuriously affected by its subsequent withdrawal; as in the case of a voluntary abdication in favor of a named successor; or of a pardon granted to person accused or, convicted of crime; or the signature to a legislative act, or declaration of war. The official act of the chief executive of a nation is uniformly regarded as creating a condition or status which can not be altered or revoked at pleasure. Indeed, in every case, the word of the king that works a change in existing conditions is the final act of the king. In the crime of treason and the misprision of treason, the word that is spoken by the culprit, though quickly repented of or recalled, has completed the crime and placed the offender beyond the reach of all mercy except that of the sovereign power. In this instance the sovereign power to pardon or condone the Queen's offense resided in the people, and they have so far decided and have adhered to the decision that her abdication was complete. The recantation was two days later than the completed crime and was temporary and conditional, and, in the meantime, popular sovereignty had risen to the assertion of its rights, an indignant resentment had aroused the people, and a large body of citizens claiming to represent them had inaugurated a government of the people and for the people. Whether the people opposing the Queen were strengthened in their purpose to accept and act upon this abandonment by the Queen of her obligations to keep her oath to support and obey the constitution by the presence of the troops of the United States, or whether the Queen was dismayed by their presence and was deterred from supporting her criminal act by the employment of her household soldiery, did not alter the fact that she had openly renounced the constitution of 1887 before the troops were landed or any preparation was made or any order was issued to land them, and the people were preparing to substitute the monarchy, which was still existing in the constitution, by a ruler of their own choice before any troops left the Boston.
Whether the people would permit the restoration of the Queen, or whether they would constitute a new executive head of the Government of Hawaii, was a matter then undetermined, and as to that the Government of the United States had but one concern, and that was that the interregnum should be ended, the executive head of the Government should be supplied, and the laws of Hawaii and the treaty rights of American citizens should have full effect, peacefully, in the protection of their rights and interests. When the Queen found that her Government was opposed by a strong body of the people she did not attempt to reassemble the Legislature, but left the public safety in charge of a committee of thirteen men, organized by those who were endeavoring to preserve the peace and to restore the Government to its full constitutional powers by choosing an executive head. This condition of things continued from Saturday until the succeeding Tuesday, during all of which time the citizens of the United States residing in Honolulu had no protection of law, except such as was guarantied to them by the presence of the Boston in the bay of Honolulu, or the moral influence of the American legation and consulate.
When the Kamehameha dynasty ended, the monarchy in Hawaii was doomed to a necessary dissolution. The five kings of that family, assisted by their premiers, who were Kanaka women, and by such missionaries as Judd, Bingham, Chamberlain, Coan, Goodrich, and Damon
maintained the progress of civilization and prosperity, but when Kalakaua was elected king, the most surprising and disgraceful corruptions infected the Government. Without detailing in this report the constant decline from bad to worse, which the evidence discloses, without contradiction or explanation, when Liliuokalani was enthroned the monarchy was a mere shell and was in condition to crumble on the slightest touch of firm opposition. Under her brief rule, it was kept alive by the care and forbearing tolerance of the conservative white people, who owned $50,000,000 of the property in Hawaii, until they saw that the Queen and her party had determined to grasp absolute power and destroy the constitution and the rights of the white people. When they were compelled to act in self-defense the monarchy disappeared. It required nothing but the determined action of what was called the missionary party to prostrate the monarchy, and that action had been taken before the troops from the Boston landed.
There was then no executive head of the Government of Hawaii; it had perished.
In landing the troops from the Boston there was no demonstration of actual hostilities, and their conduct was as quiet and as respectful as it had been on many previous occasions when they were landed for the purpose of drill and practice. In passing the palace on their way to the point at which they were halted, the Queen appeared upon the balcony and the troops respectfully saluted her by presenting arms and dipping the flag, and made no demonstration of any hostile intent. Her attitude at that time was that of helplessness, because she found no active or courageous support in her isolated position, which was self-imposed and was regretted by few of her former subjects. In this condition of Hawaii the laws for the protection of life and property were, in fact, suspended so far as the executive power was concerned, and the citizens of the United States in Honolulu and all the islands, and their property rights, were virtually outlawed. The citizens of Honolulu were not held amenable to the civil authorities, but were treated by the Queen, as well as by the people, as if the country was in a state of war. A policeman was shot down on the streets by a person who was conducting a wagon loaded with arms to the place of rendezvous where the people had assembled, and no action was taken for the purpose of arresting or putting on trial the man who did the shooting.
In a country where there is no power of the law to protect the citizens of the United States there can be no law of nations nor any rule of comity that can rightfully prevent our flag from giving shelter to them under the protection of our arms, and this without reference to any distress it may give to the Queen who generated the confusion, or any advantage it might give to the people who are disputing her right to resume or to hold her regal powers. In every country where there is no effective chief executive authority, whether it is a newly-discovered island where only savage government prevails, or one where the government is paralyzed by internal feuds, it is the right, claimed and exercised by all civilized nations, to enter such a country with sovereign authority to assert and protect the rights of its citizens and their property, and to remain there without the invitation of anybody until civil government shall have been established that is adequate, in a satisfactory sense, for their protection.
The committee agree that such was the condition of the Hawaiian Government at the time that the troops were landed in Honolulu from the steam warship Boston; that there was then an interregnum in Hawaii as respects the executive office; that there was no executive power to enforce the laws of Hawaii, and that it was the right of the
United States to land troops upon those islands at any place where it was necessary in the opinion of our minister to protect our citizens.
In what occurred in landing the troops at Honolulu there may have been an invasion, but it was not an act of war, nor did it create that condition of the public law in Hawaii.
In the period of reconstruction, as it is called, which followed the civil war of 1861-'65 in the United States, a very similar condition existed, or was assumed to exist, which caused Congress to provide for vacating the gubernatorial offices in several of the Southern States and filling them by appointments of the President.
In these States strong military bodies were stationed and general officers of the Army took command and enforced the laws found on their statute books and also the laws of the United States. All the civil officers in those sovereign States were required to obey the commands of those Army officers, and they did so, often under protest, but with entire submission to the military power and authority of the President, exerted through the instrumentality of the Army. That was not war. Yet it was the presence of military force, employed actively in the enforcement of the civil laws, and in full supremacy over the civil authority.
The only reason that could justify this invasion of sovereign states by the armies of the United States was the declaration by Congress that the executive governments in those states were not in the lawful possession of the incumbents; that there was an interregnum in those states as to the office of governor.
If the Queen, or the people, or both acting in conjunction, had opposed the landing of the troops from the Boston with armed resistance, their invasion would have been an act of war. But when their landing was not opposed by any objection, protest, or resistance the state of war did not supervene, and there was no irregularity or want of authority to place the troops on shore.
In this view of the facts there is no necessity for inquiring whether Minister Stevens or Capt. Wiltse, in arranging for the landing of the troops, had any purpose either to aid the popular movement against the Queen that was then taking a definite and decisive shape, or to promote the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands to the United States. But justice to these gentlemen requires that we should say that the troops from the Boston were not sent into Honolulu for any other purpose than that set forth fully and fairly in the following order from Capt. Wiltse to the officer in command of the detachment:
- U.S.S. Boston (Second Rate)
- Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands, January 16, 1893.
- Lieut. Commander W.T. Swinburne, U.S. Navy,
- Executive Officer, U.S.S. Boston:
- Sir: 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.
- You will inform me at the earliest practicable moment of any change in the situation.
- Very respectfully,
- G.C. Wiltse,
- Captain, U.S. Navy, Commanding U.S.S. Boston.
As between the United States and Hawaii, as separate and independent governments, that order defines the full liability of the Government of the United States in respect of landing the troops at Honolulu. As between the Government of the United States and its officers, the question may arise whether that order was issued in good faith and for the purposes declared upon its face, or whether it was a pretext used for the purpose of assisting in the overthrow of the Queen's Government and the ultimate annexation of Hawaii to the United States.
In reference to this last suggestion, the committee, upon the evidence as it appears in their report (which they believe is a full, fair, and impartial statement of the facts attending and precedent to the landing of the troops), agree that the purposes of Capt. Wiltse and of Minister Stevens were only those which were legitimate, viz, the preservation of law and order to the extent of preventing a disturbance of the public peace which might, in the absence of the troops, injuriously affect the rights of the American citizens resident in Honolulu.
The troops from the Boston having rightfully and lawfully entered Honolulu, and having carried with them the protection of the laws of the United States for their citizens who otherwise were left without the protection of law, it was the right of the United States that they should remain there until a competent chief executive of Hawaii should have been installed in authority to take upon himself the civil power and to execute the necessary authority to provide for the protection of all the rights of citizens of the United States then in Honolulu, whether such rights were secured by treaty or were due to them under the laws of Hawaii. It was the further right of the officers representing the United States in Hawaii to remain there with the troops until all the conditions were present to give full assurance of security to the rights of all the citizens of the United States then in Honolulu.
Before the landing of the troops a committee of safety had been organized that sent a request to the commander of the Boston that troops should be landed for the purpose of preserving the public peace. To this request no response was made, and later in the day the commander of the Boston was informed that the committee of safety had withdrawn its request and then desired that no troops should be landed. But, disregarding all the action of the committee of safety and acting only upon his sense of duty to the people of the United States who were in Honolulu, Capt. Wiltse came to the conclusion that the troops should be landed, and he put them in a state of preparation for that purpose by lowering the boats, filling the cartridge belts of the men, and supplying them with proper accouterments for a stay on shore. After these preparations had been completed Minister Stevens went on board the ship (on Monday), and had an interview with Capt. Wiltse. The evidence shows that this interview related alone to the question of the preservation of law and order in Hawaii and the protection of Americans in their treaty rights. It seems that neither Minister Stevens nor Capt. Wiltse then fully comprehended the fact that the United States had the right, of its own authority, to send the troops on shore for the purpose of supplying to American citizens resident there the protection of law, which had been withdrawn or annulled, because of the fact that there was then an interregnum in the executive department of the Government of Hawaii. The rights of the United States at that moment were greater than they were supposed to be by Minister Stevens or Capt. Wiltse, and they were not the result of treaty rights or obligations, but of that unfailing right to give protection to citizens of the
S. Doc. 231, pt 6----24
United States in any country where they may be found when the local authorities have through their own mismanagement or contrivance, rendered nugatory the power of the government to perform its proper duties in the protection of their lives, property, and peace.
A further statement of ascertained facts may be necessary in order to bring out more clearly the situation in Hawaii on Saturday, the 14th day of January, and to render more conspicuous the justification of the United States in entering with its troops upon the soil of Hawaii for the protection of all the rights of its citizens.
On Saturday afternoon and Sunday earnest and decisive steps were being taken by the people of Honolulu who were most prominent in social influence and in commerce and the professions to arm the people who resented the disloyalty of the Queen to the constitution and to install a new executive head of the Government. This movement had resulted in the organization of a committee of safety that proposed a programme for the purpose of inaugurating a provisional government. This was an open, public movement, which the Queen took no steps to suppress. No arrests were made, and even the apprehension of arrests seems to have been almost entirely absent from the minds of the people engaged in this movement. An effort was made to divert those people from their purpose, on Monday morning, by the Queen and her ministers, who caused the following notice to be posted on the streets of Honolulu:
- "BY AUTHORITY.
- "Her Majesty's ministers desire to express their appreciation for the quiet and order which have prevailed in this community since the events of Saturday, and are authorized to say that the position taken by Her Majesty in regard to the promulgation of a new constitution was under the stress of her native subjects.
- "Authority is given for the assurance that any changes desired in the fundamental law of the land will be sought only by the methods provided in the constitution itself.
- "Her Majesty's ministers request all citizens to accept the assurance of Her Majesty in the same spirit in which it is given."
This paper purported to be signed by the Queen and her ministers, Samuel Parker, minister of foreign affairs; W. H. Cornwell, minister of finance; John F. Colburn, minster of the interior; and A. P. Peterson, attorney-general.
The Queen did not sign it in her official character by affixing the letter R to her name, and the tenor of the paper indicates that it was, in fact, the act of her ministers, to which she had not given her royal assent and pledge. This paper in itself contains undeniable evidence that the Queen had instituted a coup d'etat on Saturday by the promulgation of "a new constitution," as far, at least, as she could bind herself by such an act, and that she offered the excuse for this revolt against the existing constitution which she had sworn to support, that she acted "under stress of her native subjects."
Passing by the fact that the existence of this "stress" is not established by any satisfactory evidence, the reference to it in this proclamation discloses her willing connection with the purpose to disfranchise her foreign-born subjects, that being the effect of the provisions of the "new constitution" that she in fact promulgated, so far as she could but hesitated to swear to for the want of sufficient support from "her native subjects." The assurance given that future efforts "to change"
the constitution of 1887 should be conducted only in the method therein prescribed, was no assurance that her foreign-born subjects should be protected in their vital liberties. To the reverse, it was a continuing threat that they should be disfranchised and placed at the mercy of racial aggression, backed by the power of the crown. The declarations of the Queen made in person to Minister Willis, on three occasions, and at long intervals of time after the lapse of nine months of sedate reflection, show that this assurance, given in fact by her ministers, was only a thin disguise of her real purpose to drive out the white population and confiscate their property, and, if need be, to destroy their lives. The people made no mistake as to her animosity toward them, and proceeded in the same orderly manner, for which the ministers gave them thanks in this proclamation, to designate an executive head of the Government in place of the abdicated Queen, the abdication being completed and confirmed by the only authentic expression of the popular will, and by the recognition of the supreme court of Hawaii.
Another fact of importance connected with the situation at that time is that a committee of law and order, consisting of supporters of the Queen, had on Monday morning posted in public places in Honolulu the following call for a public meeting and explanation of the purposes of the Queen in abrogating the constitution of 1887 and in substituting one which she desired and attempted to promulgate by their authority as the organic law of the land. This proclamation was printed in the Hawaiian language, and a translation of it is appended to this report. It was printed in an extra edition of a newspaper called the Ka Leo 0 Ka Lahui, published in Honolulu in the Hawaiian language. "The stress of her native subjects," which is mentioned by the Queen in the proclamation which was posted in English on the morning of January 16, is evidently expressed in the terms of this announcement and call, and it shows that it was based upon racial distinction and prejudice entirely, and indicates the feeling of resentment and controversy which, if carried into effect as the Queen proposed to carry it into effect under the constitution which she intended to proclaim, would have resulted in the destruction of the rights of property and lives of those persons who were styled "missionaries" and their posterity, from whom Hawaii had derived her enlightened civilization, Christianity, constitution, laws, progress, wealth and position amongst the nations of the earth. This was a threat of dangerous significance, and it shows the spirit of the controversy that was then pervading the minds of the people of Honolulu, and illustrates how easy it was to foment strife that would result in the worst of evils, in a community thus divided and thus excited. The abuse of the missionaries, and missionary party in this call shows that the Queen and her immediate followers had concentrated their efforts upon the disfranchisement of all white people in Hawaii, and the return of the Government to that condition of debasement from which these very people and their fathers had relieved it.
The second paragraph in this call is as follows:
- "THE VOICE OF THE CHIEF.
- "On the afternoon of Saturday last the voice of the Sacred Chief of Hawaii, Liliuokalani, the tabued one, speaking as follows:
- "'O, ye people who love the Chief, I hereby say to you, I am now ready to proclaim the new constitution for my Kingdom, thinking that it would be successful, but behold obstacles have arisen! Therefore
- I say unto you, loving people, go with good hope and do not be disturbed or troubled in your minds. Because, within the next few days now coming, I will proclaim the new constitution.
- "'The executive officers of the law (the cabinet) knew the errors in this new constitution, but they said nothing.
- "'Therefore, I hope that the thing which you, my people, so much want will be accomplished; it also is my strong desire.'"
Here is a direct accusation by the Queen against her cabinet, all of whom, with one exception, were white men, that they had misled her as to the eftect of the constitution, and had failed to point out errors in it which, as a pretext, led to its rejection by them, causing them to refuse at the last moment to join with her in its promulgation. This call was, in fact, a new promise which was made by the Queen, with the evident consent of her immediate native followers, that within the next few days now coming she would proclaim the new constitution, notwithstanding her failure to give it a successful promulgation on the preceding Saturday. The intensity of the Queen's opposition to the missionaries and the white people was caused by her intention that the Kingdom should return to its former absolute character, and that the best results of civilization in Hawaii should be obliterated.
Civilization and constitutional government in Hawaii are the foster children of the American Christian missionaries. It can not be justly charged to the men and women who inaugurated this era of humanity, light, and justice in those islands that either they or their posterity or their followers, whether native or foreign, have faltered in their devotion to their exalted purposes. They have not pursued any devious course in their conduct, nor have they done any wrong or harm to the Hawaiian people or their native rulers. They have not betrayed any trust confided to them, nor have they encouraged any vice or pandered to any degrading sentiment or practice among those people. Among the native Hawaiians, where they found paganism in the most abhorrent forms of idolatry, debauchery, disease, ignorance and cruelty 75 years ago, they planted and established, with the free consent and eager encouragement of those natives and without the shedding of blood, the Christian ordinance of marriage, supplanting polygamy; a reverence for the character of women and a respect for their rights; the Christian Sabbath and freedom of religious faith and worship, as foundations of society and of the state; universal education, including the kings and the peasantry; temperance in place of the orgies of drunkenness that were all-pervading; and the separate holdings of lands upon which the people built their homes. In doing these benevolent works the American missionary did not attempt to assume the powers and functions of political government. As education, enlightenment, and the evident benefits of civilization revealed to those in authority the necessity of wise and faithful counsels in building up and regulating the government to meet those new conditions, the kings invited some of the best qualified and most trusted of these worthy men to aid them in developing and conducting the civil government. As a predicate for this work they freely consented to and even suggested the giving up of some of their absolute powers and to place others under the constraint of constitutional limitations. They created an advisory council and a legislature and converted Hawaii from an absolute despotism into a land of law. The. cabinet ministers thus chosen from the missionary element were retained in office during very long periods, thus establishing the confidence of the kings and the people in their integrity,
wisdom, and loyalty to the Government. No charge of defection or dishonesty was ever made against any of these public servants during the reign of the Kamehamehas, nor indeed at any time. They acquired property in moderate values by honest means, and labored to exhibit to the people the advantages of industry, frugality, economy, and thrift.
The progressive elevation of the country and of the people from the very depravity of paganism into an enlightened and educated commonwealth and the growth of their industries and wealth will be seen at a glance in the statements of the most important events and in the tables showing the most important results of their work and influence, which are set forth in the evidence accompanying this report. This array of undisputed facts shows that, with Christianity and education as the basis, there has come over Hawaii the most rapid and successful improvement in political, industrial, and commercial conditions that has marked the course of any people in Christendom.
In the message of President Tyler to Congress he says:
- "The condition of those islands has excited a good deal of interest, which is increasing by every successive proof that their inhabitants are making progress in civilization and becoming more and more competent to maintain regular and orderly government. They lie in the Pacific Ocean, much nearer to this continent than the other, and have become an important place for the refitment and provisioning of American and European vessels.
- "'Owing to their locality and to the course of the winds which prevail in this quarter of the world the Sandwich Islands are the stopping place for almost all vessels passing from continent to continent across the Pacific Ocean. They are especially resorted to by the great numbers of vessels of the United States which are engaged in the whale fishery in those seas. The number of vessels of all sorts and the amount of property owned by citizens of the United States which are found in those islands in the course of a year are stated probably with sufficient accuracy in the letter of the agents.
- "'Just emerging from a state of barbarism, the Government of the islands is as yet feeble; but its dispositions appear to be just and pacific, and it seems anxious to improve the condition or its people by the introduction of knowledge, of religious and moral institutions, means of education, and the arts of civilized life.'"
In the House of Representatives this subject was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Hon. John Q. Adams, in concluding his report upon the subject, says:
- "It is a subject of cheering contemplation to the friends of human improvement and virtue that, by the mild and gentle influence of Christian charity, dispensed by humble missionaries of the gospel, unarmed with secular power, within the last quarter of a century the people of this group of islands have been converted from the lowest debasement of idolatry to the blessings of the Christian gospel; united under one balanced government; rallied to the fold of civilization by a written language and constitution, providing security for the rights of persons, property, and mind, and invested with all the elements of right and power which can entitle them to be acknowledged by their brethren of the human race as a separate and independent community. To the consummation of their acknowledgment the people of the North
- American Union are urged by an interest of their own deeper than that of any other portion of the inhabitants of the earth-by a virtual right of conquest, not over the freedom of their brother man by the brutal arm of physical power, but over the mind and heart by the celestial panoply of the gospel of peace and love."
It can not be other than a proud reflection of the American people that the free institutions of the United States gave origin and impulsive zeal, as well as guidance, to the good men who laid these foundations of civil government in Hawaii upon written constitutions, supported by the oaths of those in authority and loyally sustained by those of the people who are virtuous and intelligent. Nor can the American people condemn the firm adhesion of those whose rights are guaranteed by constitutional law in Hawaii to the demand that is now made for the maintenance of its permanent integrity. If nothing but a decent respect for our national example was in question, if there was no question in Hawaii that concerned the people of the United States except that of a relapse of that Government into absolute monarchy, if there was no degradation of society involved in this falling away, no destruction of property and liberty in contemplation, there would still be enough in the conditions now presented there to excite the most anxious interest of our people. Citizens of the United States with wisdom, charity, Christian faith, and a love of constitutional government, have patiently, laboriously, and honestly built up Hawaii into a civilized power under a written constitution, and they can justly claim the sympathy and assistance of all civilized people in resisting its destruction, either to gratify a wanton lust of absolute power on the part of the Queen, or the abuse of its authority in fostering vice and rewarding crime. The facts of recent history present broadly and distinctly the question between an absolute and corrupt monarchy in Hawaii, and a government in which the rights and liberties guaranteed by a written constitution shall be respected and preserved. The facts do not show that the people who built up this constitutional system and have based upon it wholesome laws and a well balanced and well guarded plan of administration have had any desire to abrogate the organic laws, corrupt the statute laws, or to dethrone the Queen. In every phase of their dealings with these questions their course has been conservative, and the defense of their lives, liberty, and property, and the honest administration of the government has been the real motive of their actions. They are not, therefore, to be justly classed as conspirators against the Government. That they turn their thoughts toward the United States and desire annexation to this country could not be denied without imputing to them the loss of the sentiment of love and reverence for this Republic that is utterly unknown to our people.
On Monday, the 16th of January, 1893, Hawaii was passing through the severe ordeal of a trial which was conducted by the people who arrayed themselves on the side of the Queen and those who were organized in opposition to her revolutionary purposes. The Queen seems to have abandoned the controversy into the hands of the people, and made no effort to suppress the meeting of the citizens opposed to her revolutiouary proceedings by calling out her troops to disperse the meeting or to arrest its leaders. Both the meetings were quiet and orderly but the meeting at the arsenal was intensely earnest, and men were heard to express their opinions freely and without interruption at both meetings, and they came to their resolutions without disturbance. When
these meetings dispersed, the Queen's effort to reject the constitution of 1887 had been approved by the one meeting held on the palace grounds and composed almost entirely of native Kanakas; the other meeting had resolved to establish a provisional government, and formed a committee to proceed with its organization. The Queen, though thus strongly indorsed by her native-born subjects, as she calls them, did not venture any arrests of the alleged revolutionists, but, evidently conscious that the revolution which she had endeavored to set on foot had failed of efficient support, she did not use her troops or the police or any other power in the direction of asserting her royal authority. The meeting of the people at the arsenal was followed by organization, the arming of the citizens, the strong array of forces, and a determined spirit of success which has materialized into an established government that has continued to exist for more than a year, practically without any opposition in Hawaii, and with the recognition of many great powers, including the United States. These events show, beyond reasonable dispute, the acceptance by the people of Hawaii of the judgment and determination of the meeting at the arsenal that the Queen had abdicated, that her authority had departed, that she and her ministers had submitted to the inevitable, and that they retained no longer any substantial ground of hope or expectation that the Queen would be restored to her former office.
The question whether such a state of affairs as is shown by the undisputed facts in this case constitute an abdication and created an interregnum was passed upon in England with more care, because of the serious results that followed the decision, than seems to have been bestowed upon a like controversy in any other country.
The people of Great Britain have many liberties that are firmly established in the traditions of that country, and on many occasions they have asserted their rights, as the basis of governmental power, with great determination and success. In 1688, when James II was on the throne, his severe conduct, exercised through the judiciary of the Kingdom and in other ways, and a strong adhesion to the Catholic religion, caused the people of Great Britain to accuse him of an intention to violate their unwritten constitution. He was a great and powerful king, and had accomplished very much for the glory and honor of England. But the people of England held him to an observance of the spirit of his oath of loyalty to the constitution of that country, and, when they became satisfied that he had made an effort to subvert it, they in their Parliament passed upon the question of his abdication and held that his intention and effort to violate the constitution robbed him of his title to the crown and opened the door to the establishment of a new dynasty. Blackstone, in speaking of these events, says:
- "King James II succeeded to the throne of his ancestors, and might have enjoyed it during the remainder of his life but for his own infatuated conduct which, with other concurring circumstances, brought on the revolution in 1688.
- "The true ground and principle upon which that memorable event proceeded was an entirely new case in politics, which had never before happened in our history-the abdication of the reigning monarch and the vacancy of the throne thereupon. It was not a defeasance of the right of succession and a new limitation of the crown by the King and both Houses of Parliament; it was the act of the nation alone upon the conviction that there was no king in being. For, in a full assembly of the lords and commons, met in a convention upon the
- supposition of this vacancy, both houses came to this resolution: 'That King James II, having endeavored to subvert the constitution of the Kingdom by breaking the original contract between King and people; and, by the advice of Jesuits and other wicked persons, having violated the fundamental law and having withdrawn himself out of this Kingdom has abdicated the Government, and that the throne is hereby vacant.'"
Proceeding further, this eminent jurist says:
- "For whenever a question arises between the society at large and any magistrate vested with powers originally delegated by that society it must be decided by the voice of the society itself; there is not upon earth any other tribunal to resort to. And that these consequences were fairly deduced from these facts our ancestors have solemnly determined in a full parliamentary convention representing the whole society."
Further quoting from Blackstone, he says:
- "They held that this misconduct of King James amounted to an endeavor to subvert the constitution and not to an actual subversion or total dissolution of the Government, according to the principles of Mr. Locke, which would have reduced the society almost to a state of nature; would have leveled all distinctions of honor, rank, offices, and property; would have annihilated the sovereign power, and in consequence have repealed all positive laws, and would have left the people at liberty to have erected a new system of State upon a new foundation of polity. They therefore very prudently voted it to amount to no more than an abdication of the Government and a consequent vacancy of the throne, whereby the Government was allowed to subsist though the executive magistrate was gone, and the kingly office to remain though King James was no longer King. And thus the constitution was kept entire, which upon every sound principle of government must otherwise have fallen to pieces had so principal and constituent a part as the royal authority been abolished or even suspended.
- "This single postulatum, the vacancy of the throne, being once established the rest that was then done followed almost of course. For, if the throne be at any time vacant (which may happen by other means besides that of abdication, as if all the blood-royal should fail, without any successor appointed by Parliament)-if, I say, a vacancy, by any means whatsoever, should happen, the right of disposing of this vacancy seems naturally to result to the Lords and Commons, the trustees and representatives of the nation. For there are no other hands in which it can so properly be intrusted; and there is a necessity of its being intrusted somewhere, else the whole frame of government must be dissolved and perish."
The principle on which this decision in regard to the abdication of King James II rests is still stronger when it is applied to persons who are citizens of the United States but who reside in Hawaii, and by the constitution and laws of Hawaii are admitted into an active participation in the conduct of government, both as officeholders and as qualified electors. If they, in connection with the native or naturalized subjects of the Kingdom of Hawaii, unite in demanding the preservation of their constitutional rights, there should be no captious or
technical objections taken to the assertion of that right, or to the manner of its exercise.
In reference to all citizens of the United States residing in Hawaii and not actual members or officers of that Government, the spirit of our laws, in accordance with the principles of the Constitution and the traditions of the people, should be applied to their protection, when it is the duty of the United States to protect them, and especially are they entitled to the full advantage of the protection that is afforded under that doctrine of personal liberty and security which upholds the authority of governments de facto. When such a government arises out of alleged abuses and grievances and is set up in good faith by the intelligent classes to succeed a monarchy in a state that is the only monarchy in a sisterhood of many republics, the rules governing its recognition are not those that seem to control in cases where the state is a sole republic surrounded by an environment of monarchies.
In Europe, where governmental successions have no relation to the will of the people, every presumption that can be made to support the regal system is adopted and enforced with rigid care. The old conditions are presumed to exist in a regal government until the new government has accomplished a complete revolution and until nothing remains to be done to secure an uninterrupted and unembarrassed installation of its authority. Those presumptions are all in favor of the crown and are easily applied in practical use, as the crown is a political unit and acts with certainty in the assertion of its claims. When the rights asserted against the crown are set up by the people, or for the people, the act is necessarily a representative act, and the authority of the alleged representative is severely questioned. Indeed, it is not considered as existing in European countries until, through bloodshed or an overwhelming exhibition of forces, its acknowledgment is literally compelled. The reverse of this rule should obtain in that part of the world where it is held, universally, that the right to govern depends upon the consent of the governed and not upon a divine inheritance of power. In a controversy like that in Hawaii the presumption is in favor of those who unite to assert the constitutional rights of the people, that they are acting in good faith, and that they are not seeking personal aggrandizement, but the good of the people. When such a popular movement engages the evident support of those whom the people have trusted for their integrity to an extent that inspires a just confidence of success a sufficient foundation exists, at least, for a government de facto; and it is no more necessary to its validity that every possible obstacle to its final success has been removed than it would be necessary, on the other hand, to the permanency of the crown that every rebellious subject of the Queen had been slain or banished and their estates had been confiscated.
The supporters of Liliuokalani seem to be forced into the attitude of claiming that it is of no consequence that she may have forfeited her right to the Crown and had placed it in the power of the people lawfully to claim that this was an abdication, unless the people had overcome and removed every vestige of her power before they proclaimed the Provisional Government. Her known purpose to press the absolute powers claimed by her in the new constitution to the extent of the banishment or death of the white population seems not to be permitted to excuse the action of the people in displacing her, if they had not captured her small force of policemen and soldiers before the American minister had recognized the Provisional Government.
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
by another sovereign and independent power had no application to the facts and circumstances that attended the recent revolution in Hawaii; moreover, if the revolution there had been directed against the entire government and for the overthrow of the constitution of 1887, and all monarchic rule, if it was a sincere, strong, earnest and successful movement of the people for the recovery of their natural right to rule themselves, they should not be narrowly questioned and held to rigid account for a proper and discreet performance of every act necessary to their resumption of their natural rights, but all America must unite in the declaration that, under such circumstances, the presumptions of law should be favorable to such movements, rather than unfriendly to the establishment by the people of the foundations of their liberties, based upon their right to govern themselves.
The parliament of Hawaii had been prorogued by the Queen on the 14th day of January, and could not be again assembled under the constitution, except by the chief executive authority. Until that authority was supplied in some way, therefore, the Legislature could not be reconvened. It was the establishment of that authority, the chief executive head of the nation, which was the question at issue, and when that was decided, an appeal to the Legislature of Hawaii for its confirmation or ratification was not only unnecessary, but might have resulted in a counter revolution. It was, therefore, in the interest of peace, good order, and right government, that the people of Hawaii, who were unopposed in their process of organizing an executive head for the Government, should proceed to do so as they did, regularly and in an orderly, firm, and successful manner. Thus the abdication of Liliuokalani was confirmed and has so continued from that day to this. The Government of the United States has on various occasions recognized the succession to the executive authority as residing in the Provisional Government initiated at that public meeting at the arsenal and consummated on the 17th day of January by public proclamation. Then, on the 17th day of January, according to the recognition of the United States, from which there has been no dissent or departure, the interregnum ceased, and the executive head of the Government of Hawaii was established. Until this was completed, on the 17th day of January, by the proclamation of the Provisional Government, the United States was still charged, under every principle of law and justice and under the highest obligation of duty, to keep her forces in Honolulu, and to enforce, in virtue of her sovereign authority, the rights of her citizens under the treaty obligations and also under the laws of Hawaii, relating to the safety of person and property and the rights of industry, commerce, and hospitality in their free pursuit and enjoyment. And when the Provisional Government was thus established, it rested with the United States to determine whether the Government of Hawaii was so far rehabilitated and so safely established that these rights of her citizens could be intrusted to its keeping. The recognition of such a state of affairs, within a country whose executive department has been made vacant in consequence of domestic strife, is quite a separate and different proceeding, both in form and effect, from the recognition of the political independence of a government that is complete in its organization. In the latter case, the recognition excludes all right of interference in its domestic affairs, while in the former it is the right and duty of supplying the protection of law to the citizen that makes interference necessary as well as lawful.
The independence of Hawaii as a sovereign State had been long recognized by the United States, and this unhappy occasion did not
suggest the need of renewing that declaration. The question presented in Honolulu on and after the 12th of January, 1893, was whether the Queen continued to be the executive head of the Government of Hawaii. That was a question of fact which her conduct and that of her people placed in perilous doubt until it was decided by the proclamation of a new executive. Pending that question there was no responsible executive government in Hawaii. On the 17th of January that doubt was resolved to the satisfaction of the American minister, and of all other representatives of foreign governments in Hawaii, in favor of the Provisional Government. This recognition did not give to the Government of Hawaii the legal or moral right to expel the troops of any government, stationed in Honolulu in the period of interregnum, until it had so firmly established its authority as to give to foreigners the security to provide for which these troops had been landed. Good faith and an honest respect for the rights of friendly nations would certainly require the withdrawal of all further interference with the domestic affairs of Hawaii as soon as that government had provided security that was reasonably sufficient for the protection of the citizens of the United States. But the Government of the United States had the right to keep its troops in Honolulu until these conditions were performed, and the Government of Hawaii could certainly acquiesce in such a policy without endangering its independence or detracting from its dignity. This was done, and the troops from the Boston camped on shore for several months. The precise hour when or the precise conditions under which the American minister recognized the Provisional Government is not a matter of material importance. It was his duty, at the earliest safe period, to assist by his recognition in the termination of the interregnum, so that citizens of the United States might be safely remitted to the care of that Government for the security of their rights. As soon as he was convinced that the Provisional Government was secure against overthrow it was his duty to recognize the rehabilitated State. Whether this was done an hour or two sooner or later could make no substantial difference as to his rights or duties, if he was satisfied that the movement was safe against reversal. If no question of the annexation of Hawaii to the United States had existed, the conduct of the American minister in giving official recognition to the Provisional Government would not have been the subject of adverse criticism. But the presence of that question and his anxious advocacy of annexation did not relieve him from the duty or abridge his right to call for the troops on the Boston to protect the citizens of the United States during an interregnum in the office of chief executive of Hawaii. They were not to be put into a state of outlawry and peril if the minister had been opposed to annexation, nor could his desire on that subject in anyway affect their rights or his duty. He gave to them the protection they had the right to demand, and, in respect of his action up to this point, so far as it related to Hawaii, his opinions as to annexation have not affected the attitude of the U. S. Government, and the committee find no cause of censure either against Minister Stevens or Capt. Wiltse, of the Boston.
Afterward, on the 1st day of February, 1893, the American minister caused the flag of the United States to be raised on the Government building in Honolulu, and assumed and declared a protectorate over that nation in the name of the United States. This act on the part of our minister was without authority, and was void for want of power. It was disavowed by Secretary Foster and rebuked by Secretary
Gresham, and the order to abandon the protectorate and haul down the flag was in accordance with the duty and honor of the United States. To haul down the flag of the United States was only an order to preserve its honor.
The diplomatic officers of the United States in Hawaii have the right to much larger liberty of action in respect to the internal affairs of that country than would be the case with any other country with which we have no peculiar or special relations. In our diplomatic correspondence with Hawaii and in the various treaties, some of them treaties of annexation, which have been signed and discussed, though not ratified, from time to time, there has been manifested a very near relationship between the two governments. The history of Hawaii in its progress, education, development, and government, and in Christianity, has been closely identified with that of the United States—so closely, indeed, that the United States has not at any time hesitated to declare that it would permit no intervention in the affairs of Hawaii by any foreign government which might tend to disturb the relations with the United States, or to gain any advantages there over the Americans who may have settled in that country. The United States has assumed and deliberately maintained toward Hawaii a relation which is entirely exceptional, and has no parallel in our dealings with any other people.
The justification for this attitude is not a matter with which the present inquiry is necessarily connected, but its existence furnishes a good excuse, if excuse is needed, for a very lively concern on the part of our diplomatic representatives in everything that relates to the progress of that people.
The causes that have led to this peculiar situation are altogether apparent. They are in every sense honorable, just, and benevolent. One nation can not assume such an attitude toward another, especially if the latter is, by contrast, small, weak, and dependent upon the good will or forbearance of the world for its existence, without giving to it a guaranty of external and internal security.
The attitude of the United States toward Hawaii, thus voluntarily assumed, gives to Hawaii the right to regard it as such a guaranty.
In the absence of a policy to establish a colonial system and of any disposition for territorial aggrandizement, the Government of the United States looked with approbation and gave encouragement to the labors and influence of their citizens in Hawaii, in laying the groundwork of a free and independent government there which, in its principles and in the distribution of powers, should be like our own, and ultimately become republican in form. This has been the unconcealed wish of the people of the United States, in which many of the native Hawaiians have participated.
Observing the spirit of the Monroe doctrine, the United States, in the beginning of our relations with Hawaii, made a firm and distinct declaration of the purpose to prevent the absorption of Hawaii or the political control of that country by any foreign power. Without stating the reasons for this policy, which included very important commercial and military considerations, the attitude of the United States toward Hawaii was in moral effect that of a friendly protectorate. It has been a settled policy of the United States that if it should turn out that Hawaii, for any cause, should not be able to maintain an independent government, that country would be encouraged in its tendency to gravitate toward political union with this country.
The treaty relations between Hawaii and the United States, as fixed by several conventions that have been ratified, and by other negotiations,
have been characterized by a sentiment of close reciprocity. In addition to trade relations of the highest advantage to Hawaii, the United States has so far interfered with the internal policy of Hawaii as to secure an agreement from that Government restricting the disposal of bays and harbors and the crown lands to other countries, and has secured exclusive privileges in Pearl Harbor of great importance to this Government.
This attitude of the two governments and the peculiar friendship of the two peoples, together with the advantages given to Hawaii in commerce, induced a large and very enterprising class of people from the United States to migrate to those islands and to invest large sums of money in the cultivation of sugar and rice, and in other trade and industry. The introduction of laborers from Japan and China in great numbers gave to the governing power in Hawaii a new and very significant importance, and made it necessary, for the protection of the interests of the white or European people and of the natives, that the safeguards of the organic law of the Kingdom should be carefully preserved. In the efforts to secure these guarantees of safe government, no distinction of race was made as to the native or Kanaka population, but Chinese and Japanese were excluded from participation in the government as voters, or as officeholders.
Apprehensions of civil disturbance in Hawaii caused the United States to keep ships of war at Honolulu for many years past, almost without intermission, and the instructions that were given to our diplomatic and consular officers and to the naval commanders on that station went beyond the customary instructions applicable to other countries. In most instances, the instructions so given included the preservation of order and of the peace of the country, as well as the protection and preservation of the property and of the lives and treaty rights of American citizens.
The circumstances above mentioned, which the evidence shows to have existed, create a new light under which we must examine into the conduct of our diplomatic and naval officers in respect of the revolution that occurred in Hawaii in January, 1893. In no sense, and at no time, has the Government of the United States observed toward the domestic affairs of Hawaii the strict impartiality and the indifference enjoined by the general law of noninterference, in the absence of exceptional conditions. We have always exerted the privilege of interference in the domestic policy of Hawaii to a degree that would not be justified, under our view of the international law, in reference to the affairs of Canada, Cuba, or Mexico.
The cause of this departure from our general course of diplomatic conduct is the recognized fact that Hawaii has been all the time under a virtual suzerainty of the United States, which is, by an apt and familiar definition, a paramount authority, not in any actual sense an actual sovereignty, but a de facto supremacy over the country. This sense of paramount authority, of supremacy, with the right to intervene in the affairs of Hawaii, has never been lost sight of by the United States to this day, and it is conspicously manifest in the correspondence of Mr. Willis with Mr. Dole, which is set forth in the evidence which accompanies this report.
Another fact of importance in considering the conduct of our diplomatic and naval officers during the revolution of January, 1893, is that the annexation of Hawaii to the United States has been the subject of careful study and almost constant contemplation among Hawaiians and their kings since the beginning of the reign of Kamehameha I. This
has always been regarded by the ruling power in Hawaii as a coveted and secure retreat—a sort of house of refuge—whenever the exigencies of fate might compel Hawaii to make her choice between home rule and foreign domination, either in the form of a protectorate, or of submission to some foreign sovereign.
Hawaii has always desired an escape to a freer government, when she has to be forced to the point where the surrender of racial pride and her standing as a nation would be the severe penalty of her weakness. Hawaiians prefer citizenship in a great republic to the slavery of subjection to any foreign monarchy. Annexation to the United States has never been regarded with aversion, or with a sense of national degradation, by the Hawaiian people. On the contrary, it has been adopted as a feature of political action by those who have attempted to recommend themselves to the support of the people in times of danger.
In the revolution of January, 1893, those who assumed the sovereign power, declaring that there was an interregnum, made it a conspicuous part of their avowed purpose to remain in authority until Hawaii should be annexed to the United States. This was stated as an argument for the creation of a provisional government, without which there would be less advantage in the change of the situation. Annexation was an avowed purpose of the Provisional Government, because it would popularize the movement. No one could project a revolution in Hawaii for the overthrow of the monarchy, that would not raise the question among the people of annexation to the United States.
In the diplomatic correspondence of the United States with our ministers to Hawaii, frequent and favorable allusion is made to this subject as a matter of friendly consideration for the advantage of that country and people, and not as a result that would enhance the wealth or power of the United States. This treatment of the subject began very early in the history of Hawaiian civilization, and it was taken up and discussed by the people of the islands as a topic of patriotic inspiration. It was their habit to celebrate the anniversary of the independence of the United States as a national fete day. So that, there was no thought of conspiracy against the monarchy in openly favoring the project of annexation. Whether annexation is wise and beneficial to both countries is a question that must receive the consideration of both governments before it can be safely settled.
The testimony taken by the committee discloses the well-considered opinion of several of our most eminent naval and military officers, that the annexation of Hawaii is a fact indispensable to the proper defense and protection of our Western coast and cities. But this is a matter with which the committee is not especially charged, and reference is made to these opinions as supporting the statement that all intelligent men in Hawaii and in the United States, who have taken pains to consider the subject, are convinced that the question is one deserving of thorough investigation and a correct and friendly decision. The question of annexation, however, is distinctly presented in the proclamation of the Provisional Government as one to be settled by the action of the Government of the United States.
Commissioners to treat with the United States for the annexation of Hawaii were sent to Washington immediately upon the adoption and promulgation of the Provisional Government, and they negotiated and signed a treaty in conjunction with Mr. Secretary Foster, which was submitted to the Senate of the United States and was subsequently withdrawn by the present administration. Accompanying that treaty
was a paper signed by Liliuokalani, in which she stated no objection to the project of annexation to the United States, but in which she protested earnestly against her dethronement, and alleged that the United States, through the abuse by its diplomatic and naval officers of the powers entrusted to them, had virtually compelled her abdication. The President of the United States, after a further examination of the subject, concluded that it was his duty to withdraw this annexation treaty from the Senate for further consideration, and so notified the Provisional Government through Mr. Willis, our present minister.
The recognition of the Provisional Government was lawful and authoritative, and has continued without interruption or modification up to the present time. It may be justly claimed for this act of recognition that it has contributed greatly to the maintenance of peace and order in Hawaii and to the promotion of the establishment of free, permanent, constitutional government in Hawaii, based upon the consent of the people.
The complaint by Liliuokalani in the protest that she sent to the President of the United States and dated the 18th day of January, is not, in the opinion of the committee, well founded in fact or in justice. It appears from the evidence submitted with this report that she was in fact the author and promoter of a revolution in Hawaii which involved the destruction of the entire constitution, and a breach of her solemn oath to observe and support it, and it was only after she had ascertained that she had made a demand upon her native subjects for support in this movement which they would not give to her, that she, for the time, postponed her determination to carry this revolution into effect, and made known her determination to do so as soon as she could feel that she had the power to sustain the movement.
But the President of the United States, giving attention to Liliuokalani's claim that this Government had alarmed her by the presence of its troops into the abdication of her crown, believed that it was proper and necessary in vindication of the honor of the United States to appoint a commissioner to Hawaii who would make a careful investigation into the facts and send the facts and his conclusions to the President, for his information. The commissioner, Mr. Blount, went to Hawaii under circumstances of extreme embarrassment and executed his instructions with impartial care to arrive at the truth, and he presented a sincere and instructive report to the President of the United States, touching the facts, the knowledge of which he thus acquired. In the agitated state of opinion and feeling in Hawaii at that time, it was next to impossible to obtain a full, fair, and free declaration in respect of the facts which attended this revolution, and particularly was this difficult to obtain from the persons who actively participated in that movement.
The evidence submitted by the committee, in addition to that which was presented by Mr. Blount, having been taken under circumstances more favorable to the development of the whole truth with regard to the situation, has, in the opinion of the committee, established the fact that the revolutionary movement in Hawaii originated with Liliuokalani, and was promoted, provided for, and, as she believed, secured by the passage of the opium bill and the lottery bill through the Legislature, from which she expected to derive a revenue sufficient to secure the ultimate success of her purpose, which was distinctly and maturely devised to abolish the constitution of 1887, and to assume to herself absolute power, free from constitutional restraint of any serious character.
S. Doc. 231, pt 6----25
The fact cannot be ignored that this revolutionary movement of Liliuokalani, which had its development in the selection of a new cabinet to supplant one which had the support of all the conservative elements in the islands, was set on foot and accomplished during the absence of the American minister on board the ship Boston during the ten days which preceded the prorogation of the Legislature. The astonishment with which this movement was received by the American emigrants and other white people residing in Hawaii, and its inauguration in the absence of the Boston and of the American minister, show that those people, with great anxiety, recognized the fact that it was directed against them and their interests and welfare and that when it was completed they would become its victims. These convictions excited the serious apprehensions of all the white people in those islands that a crisis was brought about in which not only their rights in Hawaii, and under the constitution, were to be injuriously affected, but that the ultimate result would be that they wouid be driven from the islands or, remaining there, would be put at the mercy of those who chose to prey upon their property. This class of people, who were intended to be ostracised, supply nine-tenths of the entire tax receipts of the Kingdom; and they were conscious that the purpose was to inflict taxation upon them without representation, or else to confiscate their estates and drive them out of the country. This produced alarm and agitation, which resulted in the counter movement set on foot by the people to meet and overcome the revolution which Lilioukalani had projected and had endeavored to accomplish. Her ministers were conscious of the fact that any serious resistance to her revolutionary movement (of which they had full knowledge before they were inducted into office) would disappoint the expectations of the Queen and would result in the overthrow of the executive government; and, while they had evidently promised the Queen that they would support here in her effort to abolish the constitution of 1887 and substitute one which they had secretly assisted in preparing, when the moment of the trial came they abandoned her—they broke faith with her. The Queen's ministers took fright and gave information to the people of the existence of the movements and concealed purposes of the Queen and of her demands upon them to join her in the promulgation of the constitution, and they appealed to the committee of safety for protection, and continued in that attitude until they saw that the kindled wrath of the people would not take the direction of violence and bloodshed without the provocation of a serious necessity. Being satisfied that they could trust to the forbearance of the people, who were looking to the protection of their interests and had no desire for strife and bloodshed, they began to finesse in a political way to effect a compromise between the people and the Queen, and they induced her to make the proclamation of her intentions to postpone the completion of her revolutionary purposes, which was circulated in Honolulu on Monday morning. These men, whose conduct can not be characterized as anything less than perfidious, hastened to give to the President of the United States false and misleading statements of the facts leading up to, attending, and succeeding this revolution. To do this they made deceptive and misleading statements to Mr. Blount. Upon them must rest the odium of having encouraged the Queen in her revolutionary intentions; of having then abandoned her in a moment of apparent danger; of having thrown themselves upon the mercy of the people, and then of making an attempt, through falsehood and misrepresentation,
to regain power in the Government of Hawaii, which the people would, naturally, forever deny to them.
A question has been made as to the right of the President of the United States to dispatch Mr. Blount to Hawaii as his personal representative for the purpose of seeking the further information which the President believed was necessary in order to arrive at a just conclusion regarding the state of affairs in Hawaii. Many precedents could be quoted to show that such power has been exercised by the President on various occasions without dissent on the part of Congress or the people of the United States. The employment of such agencies is a necessary part of the proper exercise of the diplomatic power which is intrusted by the Constitution with the President. Without such authority our foreign relations would be so embarrassed with difficulties that it would be impossible to conduct them with safety or success. These precedents also show that the Senate of the United States, though in session, need not be consulted as to the appointment of such agents, or as to the instructions which the President may give them.
An authority was intrusted to Mr. Blount to remove the American flag from the Government building in Hawaii, and to disclaim openly and practically the protectorate which had been announced in that country by Minister Stevens, and also to remove the troops from Honolulu to the steamer Boston. This particular delegation of authority to Mr. Blount was paramount over the authority of Mr. Stevens, who was continued as minister resident of the United States at Honolulu, and it raised the question whether the Government of the United States can have at the same foreign capital two ministers, each of whom shall exercise separate and special powers.
There seems to be no reason why the Government of the United States can not, in conducting its diplomatic intercourse with other countries, exercise powers as broad and general, or as limited and peculiar, or special, as any other government. Other governments have been for many years, and even centuries, in the habit of intrusting special and particular missions to one man representing them at a foreign court, and to several men in combination when that was found to be desirable. In fact, there has been no limit placed upon the use of a power of this kind, except the discretion of the sovereign or ruler of the country. The committee fail to see that there is any irregularity in such a course as that, or that the power given to Mr. Blount to withdraw the troops from Honolulu or to lower the flag of the United States was to any extent either dangerous or interrupting to any other lawful authority existing there in any diplomatic or naval officer. There may be a question as to the particular wording of the order which Mr. Blount gave to Admiral Skerrett for the lowering of the flag and the withdrawal of the troops, but that is a hypercriticism, because the substantial fact was that Mr. Blount executed the command of the President in communicating to Admiral Skerrett such order, as the order of the President of the United States. Mr. Blount's authority had been made known to Admiral Skerrett; his instructions had been exhibited to Admiral Skerrett; and they both understood that what Mr. Blount was then doing had received the sanction of the President of the United States before Mr. Blount had entered upon the discharge of his ministerial functions, and that his act would receive the unqualified approval of the President of the United States. That being so, the mere form in which the order was addressed to Admiral Skerrett seems to be a matter of no serious consequence.
The control given to Mr. Trist over the military operations in Mexico, when war was flagrant, was far greater than that which was confided to Mr. Blount. The secret orders given to the commanders of the Army and of the Navy on that occasion are set out in the appendix to this report.
When Mr. Willis arrived in Honolulu he was received by the Provisional Government, to which he was accredited, and an interchange of the usual courtesies was had between them. He carried instructions, as minister of the United States, which did not concern the Government of Hawaii until they had been attended with a certain result which he endeavored to bring about. That result was that Liliuokalani should agree that, in the event of her restoration to the throne, not by the action of the President of the United States, but in any other event, or by any agreement, she would bind herself to grant full and free amnesty to all persons who had been engaged in opposition to her alleged authority. When that agreement had been obtained Mr. Willis was instructed to submit it to the Provisional Government and ascertain whether they would agree to restore the Queen to the throne under those circumstances and upon those conditions. If this was intervention, it was in the interest of Americans in Hawaii. It was an exaction upon Liliuokalani which would forbid, under the penalty of war, that should she acquire the throne by whatever means, that she should openly disavow any purpose to inflict any pains and penalties upon those who had supported the Provisional Government. Liliuokalani, after several efforts on the part of Mr. Willis to obtain her consent to this proposition, finally signed it without the assent of her ministers, and it was attested by Mr. Carter, who was a personal and political friend. Her declaration or agreement thus signed and delivered to Mr. Willis was by him presented to the President of the Provisional Government (who was also minister of foreign affairs), and the question whether or not it would be accepted by the Government of Hawaii was submitted to him. Whereupon the President of the Provisional Government declined to accept the proposition; declined to yield the power which had been vested in him as the chief executive of Hawaii; and nothing more was done either to induce him, or to compel him, to consent to, or to assist in, the restoration of Liliuokalani to the throne or the restoration of the Monarchy.
If, in this course of proceeding, the President of the United States had intended to compel obedience to what is termed his "decision" in the matter by using the force of the United States to assist the Queen in being enthroned, that would have been an act of war, entirely beyond his power, and would not have received the sanction of any considerable part of the American people, and would have no warrant in international law. But such was not the intention of the President, as is shown by contemporaneous acts, by his declarations, and by his subsequent treatment of the subject. Therefore, the question between the United States and Hawaii touching the propriety of an intervention in the domestic affairs of Hawaii to the extent of gaining the final decision and agreement of both parties upon these propositions is one that is strictly within the accepted right or authority of a sovereign to tender his good offices to reconcile the conflicts of two or more factions, or parties, that may be opposed to each other within any country. The tender of good offices has often been voluntarily made in the interest of humanity, of peace, of law, and of order, or at the suggestion of one of two belligerent powers actually engaged in war. Sometimes it has
been made at the suggestion of that party in a government, engaged in actual hostilities, which had the evident power to crush its opponent by prosecuting the war to extremities. In such cases the intervention has often been accepted as a merciful interposition, and it has been considered an honor by other governments that they should be requested, under such circumstances, to exercise their good offices in favor of procuring peace through a submission to inevitable results. When the tender of good offices is made at the request of both of the contending parties it is difficult to conceive how any sovereign of a foreign country could refuse to act in such matter.
In the public act by which the Provisional Government of Hawaii was established there was a distinct declaration that that Government was to continue until Hawaii was annexed to the United States. That declaration, apart from every other consideration, would have justified the United States in an interference for the protection of the Provisional Government which would not have been tolerated under other circumstances. That declaration created an intimacy of relationship between the United States and the recognized Government of Hawaii which is entirely exceptional, and which placed within the reach and control of the United States very largely, if not entirely, the disposal of those questions collateral to that of annexation which might have interfered with the peaceful and appropriate solution of any difficulty which might arise in its execution. So that the Provisional Government of Hawaii, having thus thrown itself into the arms of the United States in the first declaration of its existence, can not justly complain that the United States should scrutinize, under the authority thus given, all its pretensions of right thus to dispose of an entire country and people. And Liliuokalani, having reference to the same project of annexation, of which she was fully cognizant, made complaint that the United States had assisted in driving her from her throne by bringing its troops on shore in military array at a time when there was no necessity for it, distinctly announced at the moment of her final and avowed abdication that she would abdicate provisionally and would await the decision of the United States as to whether that abdication and the destruction of the Kingdom and the annexation of Hawaii to the United States should become completed facts. Under such circumstances the President of the United States, believing that the information then in possession of the Government was not sufficient to justify summary annexation, could not have done justice to himself, to his country, to the people of Hawaii, to the Provisional Government, or to Liliuokalani, without having made an effort to use his good offices for the purpose of ascertaining whether it was practicable that the Queen should be restored to her authority, leaving the question to be determined by the people interested in Hawaii whether such restoration would be acceptable to them or not. If Liliuokalani had been restored to her throne by the consent of the membership of the Provisional Government, upon the terms and conditions of the proposition which she signed and delivered to Mr. Willis, the President of the United States would not have been in any sense responsible for her restoration, would not have espoused the monarchy, nor would he have done anything that was contradictory of American sentiment, opinion, or policy. He would only have been the mutual friend, accepted, really, by both parties, whose intervention would have secured, with their consent, the final solution of that question. In the absence of such committal on his part to the claims of Liliuokalani or resistance on his part to the
recognized rights of the Provisional Government, there is no reason for withholding approval of the conduct of the President of the United States in thus accepting and executing a function which he was entitled to perform, in submitting the question, in due and final form, to the contending parties or factions in Hawaii, whether they preferred to maintain the authority of the Provisional Government, with whatever results may follow from that, or a return to the monarchy under Liliuokalani.
Therefore your committee conclude to report that the President of the United States has not, in this particular, in any wise been a party to any irregularity or any impropriety of conduct in his high office.
The committee find nothing worthy of criticism in the negotiation of the treaty of annexation with the Provisional Government of Hawaii.
The revolution in Hawaii had the effect of displacing one chief of the executive department and substituting another. Except the Queen and her cabinet, no officer of the Government was removed. The legislative body, including the house of nobles and house of representatives and their presiding officers, remained in commission. The supreme court and all other judicial magistracies and the officers of the courts were left undisturbed, and, when the interregnum ended, they pursued their duties without change or interruption; commerce with foreign countries and between the islands was not in any way prevented, and the commercial and banking houses were open for business, which resumed activity when the executive head of the Government was again in the exercise of lawful authority.
The Government had not been displaced and another substituted, but only a department which was left vacant had been rehabilitated.
When this was done and the fact was recognized, the Government of Hawaii was as competent to treat of annexation to the United States as it had ever been, or as it ever will be, until the United States shall decide that it will annex no more territory unless with the consent of the people to be annexed, to be ascertained by a plebiscite.
Complaint is made also that this project of annexation was attempted to be consummated in too great haste.
That raises a question of due consideration; for, if the people of both countries desired it, or if, according to every precedent to be found in the various annexations of countries and States to the United States, the respective governments desired it, speedy action in completing the cession was desirable for many obvious reasons, among which the injurious disturbance of commerce and danger to the public peace growing out of a protracted agitation of so grave a matter, are conspicuous.
But this is a question of long standing, which has been under favorable consideration by the kings and people of Hawaii and the Government and people of the United States for more than fifty years.
It is well understood, and its importance increases with every new event of any consequence in Hawaii, and with the falling-in of every island in the Pacific Ocean that is captured by the great maritime powers of Europe. The committee have copied, in the Appendix to this report, portions of the remarks of Hon. William. P. Draper in the House of Representatives on the 4th of February, 1894, which refer in a very clear and concise way to the progress of foreign intervention in the Pacific Ocean by European powers. The committee also present the following message of President Grant to the Senate, with the accompanying letter of Hon. Henry A. Peirce, then our minister to
Hawaii, which shows that the subject of cession and annexation have been on several occasions carefully considered by the governments of Hawaii and the United States.
- [Confidential.—Executive B.—Forty-second Congress, first session.]
- Message of the President of the United States, transmitting a copy of a dispatch relative to the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands, addressed to the Department of State by Henry A. Pierce, minister resident of the United States at Honolulu.
- April 7, 1871.—Read and, with the dispatch referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations, ordered to be printed in confidence for the use of the Senate.
- To the Senate of the United States:
- I transmit confidentially, for the information and consideration of the Senate, a copy of a dispatch of the 25th of February last, relative to the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands, addressed to the Department of State by Henry A. Pierce, minister resident of the United States at Honolulu. Although I do not deem it advisable to express any opinion or to make any recommendation in regard to the subject at this juncture, the views of the Senate, if it should be deemed proper to express them, would be very acceptable with reference to any future course which there might be a disposition to adopt.
- U.S. Grant.
- Washington, April 5,1871.
- Mr. Pierce to Mr. Fish.
- No. 101.] Legation of the United State of America,
- Honolulu, February 25, 1871.
- Sir: Impressed with the importance of the subject now presented for consideration, I beg leave to suggest the inquiry whether the period has not arrived making it proper, wise, and sagacious for the U. S. Government to again consider the project of annexing the Hawaiian Islands to the territory of the Republic. That such is to be the political destiny of this archipelago seems a foregone conclusion in the opinion of all who have given attention to the subject in this country, the United States, England, France, and Germany.
- A majority of the aborigines, Creoles, and naturalized foreigners of this country, as I am credibly informed, are favorable, even anxious for the consummation of the measure named.
- The event of the decease of the present sovereign of Hawaii, leaving no heirs or successor to the throne, and the consequent election to be made by the legislative assembly of a king, and new stirps for a royal family, will produce a crisis in political affairs which, it is thought, will be availed of as a propitious occasion to inaugurate measures for annexation of the islands to the United States, the same to be effected as the manifest will and choice of the majority of the Hawaiian people, and through means proper, peaceful, and honorable.
- It is evident, however, no steps will be taken to accomplish the object named without the proper sanction or approbation of the U. S. Government in approval thereof.
- The Hawaiian people for fifty years have been under educational instruction of American missionaries, and the civilizing influences of
- New England people, commercial and maritime. Hence they are puritan and democratic in their ideas and tendencies, modified by a tropical climate. Their favorite songs and airs are American. Sherman's "Marching Through Georgia" and "John Brown's Soul is Marching On" are daily heard in the streets and in their schoolrooms. The fifteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States has made the project of annexation to our Union more popular than ever both here and in the United States.
- The native population is fast disappearing; the number existing is now estimated at 45,000, having decreased about 15,000 since the census of 1866. The number of foreigners in addition is between 5,000 and 6,000, two-thirds of whom are from the United States, and they own more than that proportion of foreign capital, as represented in the agriculture, commerce, navigation, and whale fisheries of the Kingdom.
- This country and sovereignty will soon be left to the possession of foreigners, "to unlineal hands, no sons of theirs succeeding." To what foreign nation shall these islands belong if not to the great Republic? At the present those of foreign nativities hold all the important offices of government and control legislation, the judiciary, etc. Well disposed as the Government now is towards the United States and its resident citizens here, in course of time it may be otherwise, as was the case during our civil war.
- I now proceed to state some points of a more general character, which should influence the U. S. Government in their decision of the policy of acquiring possession of this archipelago, their geographical position occupying, as it does, an important central, strategical point in the North Pacific Ocean, valuable, perhaps necessary, to the United States for a naval depot and coaling station, and to shelter and protect our commerce and navigation, which in this hemisphere is destined to increase enormously from our intercourse with the 500,000,000 population of China, Japan, and Australia. Humbolt predicted that the commerce on the Pacific would, in time, rival that on the Atlantic. A future generation, no doubt, will see the prophecy fulfilled.
- The immense injury inflicted on American navigation and commerce by Great Britain in the war of 1812-1814 through her possessions of Bermuda and other West India Islands, as also that suffered by the English from French privateers from the Isle of France during the wars between those nations, are instances in proof of the necessity of anticipating and preventing, when we can, similar evils that may issue from these islands if held by other powers. Their proximity to the Pacific States of the Union, fine climate and soil, and tropical productions of sugar, coffee, rice, fruits, hides, goatskins, salt, cotton, fine wool, etc., required by the West, in exchange for flour, grain, lumber, shooks, and manufactures of cotton, wool, iron, and other articles are evidence of the commercial value of one to the other region.
- Is it probable that any European power who may hereafter be at war with the United States will refrain from taking possession of this weak kingdom, in view of the great injury that could be done to our commerce through their acquisition of them?
- It is said that at a proper time the United States may have the sovereignty of these islands without money and without price, except, perhaps, for purchase of the Crown and public lands, and moderate annuities to be given to the five or six high chiefs now living with uncertain claims as successors to the Crown.
- His Hawaiian Majesty, although only in his forty-first year, is liable to a sudden decease, owing to frequent attacks of difficulty in breathing and danger of suffocation from congestion caused by obesity. His weight is 300 pounds. He is sole survivor of the royal race of Kamehameha; unmarried, no heir, natural or adopted; possesses the constitutional prerogative of naming his successor, but it is believed he will not exercise it, from a superstitious belief his own death would follow immediately the act.
- Prince Alexander and Lott Kamehameha (the former subsequently became the fourth Hawaiian King and the latter the fifth) and Dr. G. P. Judd, my informant, visited England in 1850 as Hawaiian commissioners.
- Lord Palmerston, at their interview with him, said, in substance, "that the British Government desired the Hawaiian people to maintain proper government and preserve national independence. If they were unable to do so he recommended receiving a protectorate government under the United States or by becoming an integral part of that nation. Such," he thought, "was the destiny of the Hawaiian Islands arising from their proximity to the States of California and Oregon and natural dependence on those markets for exports and imports, together with probable extinction of the Hawaiian aboriginal population and its substitution by immigration from the United States." That advice seems sound and prophetic.
- The following historical events in relation to these islands are thought worthy of revival in recollection:
- February 25, 1843.—Lord George Paulet, of Her Britannic Majesty's ship Carysfort, obtained, by forceful measures, cession of the Hawaiian Islands to the Government of Great Britain, July 31, 1843. They were restored to their original sovereignty by the British Admiral Thomas.
- November 28, 1843.—Joint convention of the English and French Governments, which acknowledged the independence of this archipelago and reciprocally promised never to take possession of any part of same. The United States Government was invited to be a party to the above but declined.
- August, 1849.—Admiral Tromelin, with a French naval force, after making demands on the Hawaiian Government impossible to be complied with, took unresisted possession of the fort and Government buildings in Honolula, and blockaded the harbor. After a few weeks occupation of the place the French departed, leaving political affairs as they were previous to their arrival.
- January, 1851.—A French naval force again appeared at Honolula, and threatened bombardment and destruction of the town. The King, Kamehameha III, with the Government, fearing it would be carried into effect, and in mortal dread of being brought under French rule similar to that placed by the latter over Tahiti, of the Society Islands, executed a deed of cession of all the Hawaiian Islands and their sovereignty forever in favor of the United States of America.
- The document in a sealed envelope was placed in charge of Mr. Severance, United States commissioner here, with instructions to take formal official possession of the soil of these islands on occasion of the first hostile shot fired by the French. On learning the facts the latter desisted further aggressive acts and departed from the country.
- Since that period the French authorities have pursued a conciliatory course in their relations with the Hawaiian Government, and fully of opinion, it is said, that a secret treaty exists between the United States Government and that of Hawaii, by which these islands pass into the
- possession of the former in case of aggressions made upon them thereafter by any hostile powers.
- In 1854 the administration of President Pierce authorized the United States commissioner, Mr. Gregg, to negotiate a treaty with the Hawaiian authorities for the cession of the sovereignty of these islands to the United States; but Mr. Gregg succeeded only in obtaining a protocol for a treaty, by which the United States were to extend a protectorate government over them. The matter in that form did not meet with the approval of Mr. Secretary Marcy, and further negotiations ceased.
- I omitted to state in proper sequence that the deed of cession of 1851 was, by order of the Secretary of State, Mr. Webster, returned to the Hawaiian Government.
- In conclusion, I herewith inclose Annual Review of the Agriculture and Commerce of the Hawaiian Islands for the year 1870, published by the Pacific Commercial Advertiser, February 25, 1871. Additional copies will accompany my dispatch No. 102. Permit me to refer you to a lithographic map, published in 1867 by U. S. Bureau of Statistics, as showing in convenient form the relative position of these islands to the continents of America, Asia, etc.; also, steamship lines radiating therefrom.
- With great respect, your obedient, humble servant,
- Henry A. Pierce
- Hon. Hamilton Fish,
- Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.
A President informed as to the history of his country could find no difficulty in dealing with the question of the annexation of Hawaii to the United States on the ground that it is new; and a minister to Hawaii who should fail to inform his Government of the political changes in Hawaii that would affect that question would neglect his duty.
It is not a just criticism upon the correspondence of Minister Stevens with his Government that he earnestly advocated annexation. In this he was in line with Mr. Marcy and nearly every one of his successors as Secretary of State, and with many of Mr. Stevens's predecessors as minister to Hawaii. His letters to his Government were written under the diplomatic confidence that is requisite to secure freedom in such communications, and were not expected to come, under the scrutiny of all mankind. They show no improper spirit and are not impeachable as coloring or perverting the truth, although some matters stated by him may be classed as severe reflections. Whatever motives may have actuated or controlled any representative of the Government of the United States in his conduct of our affairs in Hawaii, if he acted within the limits of his powers, with honest intentions, and has not placed the Government of the United States upon false and untenable grounds, his conduct is not irregular.
But, in his dealings with the Hawaiian Government, his conduct was characterized by becoming dignity and reserve, and was not in any way harsh or offensive. In the opinion of the committee, based upon the evidence which accompanies this report, the only substantial irregularity that existed in the conduct of any officer of the United States, or agent of the President, during or since the time of the revolution of 1893, was that of Minister Stevens in declaring a protectorate of the United States over Hawaii, and in placing the flag of our country upon the Government building in Honolulu. No actual harm resulted
from this unauthorized act, but as a precedent it is not to be considered as being justified. The committee have not considered it necessary to present any resolutions stating the conclusions that are indicated in this report, and ask that they be discharged from the further consideration of the resolutions under which this report is made.
We are in entire accord with the essential findings in the exceedingly able report submitted by the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations. But it is our opinion—
First. That the appointment on the 11th day of March, 1893, without the advice and consent of the Senate, of Hon. James H. Blount as "special commissioner" to the Hawaiian Government under letters of credence and those of instruction, which declared that "in all matters affecting relations with the Government of the Hawaiian Islands his authority is paramount" was an unconstitutional act, in that such appointee, Mr. Blount, was never nominated to the Senate, but was appointed without its advice and consent, although that body was in session when such appointment was made and continued to be in session for a long time immediately thereafter.
Second. The orders of the Executive Department by which the naval force of the United States in the harbor of Honolulu was in effect placed under the command of Mr. Blount or of Mr. Willis were without authority or warrant of law.
Third. The order given by Mr. Blount to Admiral Skerrett to lower the United States ensign from the Government building in Honolulu and to embark the troops on the ships to which they belonged, was an order which Mr. Blount had no lawful authority to give. Its object was not to terminate a protectorate. That relation had been disavowed by the administration of President Harrison immediately upon receiving information of its establishment. The flag and troops, when such order was given by Mr. Blount, were in the positions from which he ordered them to be removed for the purpose of maintaining order and protecting American life and property. Their presence had been effectual to those ends, and their removal tended to create, and did create, public excitement and, to a degree, distrust of the power of the Provisional Government to preserve order or to maintain itself. That order of Mr. Blount was susceptible of being construed as indicating an unfriendly disposition on the part of the United States toward the Provisional Government, and it was so construed, particularly by the people of Hawaii.
In the light of subsequent relations between Mr. Blount and his successor, Mr. Willis, with the Queen, whose office had become vacant by her deposition and abdication under the attack of a successful revolution, this order and its execution were most unfortunate and untoward in their effect. Such relations and intercourse by Messrs. Blount and Willis with the head and with the executive officers of an overthrown government, conducted for the purpose of restoring that government by displacing its successor, were in violation of the constitution and of the principles of international law and were not warranted by the circumstances of the case.
Fourth. The question of the rightfulness of the revolution, of the lawfulness of the means by which the deposition and abdication of the Queen were effected, and the right of the Provisional Government to
exist and to continue to exist was conclusively settled, as the report so forcibly states, against the Queen and in favor of the Provisional Government, by the act of the administration of President Harrison recognizing such Provisional Government, by the negotiation by that administration with such Provisional Government of a treaty of annexation to the United States; by accrediting diplomatic representation by such administration and by the present administration to such Provisional Government; therefore, it incontrovertibly follows that the President of the United States had no authority to attempt to reopen such determined questions, and to endeavor by any means whatever to overthrow the Provisional Government or to restore the monarchy which it had displaced.
While it is true that a friendly power may rightfully tender its good offices of mediation or advice in cases such as that under present consideration, it is also true that the performance of such offices of mediation or advice ought not to be entered upon without the consent previously given by both the parties whom the action or decision of the friendly power may affect. Such consent was not given in the present instance. The Provisional Government never so consented; it was never requested to consent. It denied the jurisdiction of the present administration on every proper occasion. Therefore the proceedings by the President, which had for their result his request and monition to the Provisional Government to surrender its powers, to give up its existence and to submit to be displaced by the monarchy which it had overthrown, had no warrant in law, nor in any consent of one of the parties to be affected by such proceedings.
Fifth. The avowed opinion of the President of the United States, in substance, that it is the duty of this Government to make reparation to the Queen by endeavoring to reinstate her upon her throne by all constitutional methods, is a clear definition of the policy of the present administration to that end. The instructions to Messrs. Blount and Willis must be construed to be other and more ample forms of expression of that policy. No other presumption is permissible than that their actions at Honolulu were with intent to carry out that avowed policy. These considerations make immaterial any discussion, in this connection, of the personal intentions, circumspection, or good faith of these gentlemen in the performance of the task to which they had been plainly commanded by the present administration.
Wm. P. Frye.
J. N. Dolph.
Cushman K. Davis.
ADDITIONAL VIEWS SUBMITTED BY MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE.
The undersigned, members of the Committee on Foreign Relations, submit herewith the following views adverse to the report of the committee, upon the subject of the recent political revolution in Hawaii.
Agreeing as we do with the conclusions submitted by the chairman of the committee that no irregularities were committed either in the appointment of Special Commissioner Blount or in the instructions given him by the President, and without denying or conceding in any manner the correctness of the facts as claimed, or of the statements as made, in said report concerning other matters therein mentioned, we especially dissent from that portion thereof which declares that the only substantial irregularity in the conduct of Mr. Stevens, the late minister, was his declaration of a protectorate by the United States over Hawaii. We are of the opinion also that there are no valid reasons and no course of dealing in our past relations with those islands which justifies interference by the United States with the political internal affairs of Hawaii any more than with those of any other independent state or nation in this hemisphere. We can not concur, therefore, in so much of the foregoing report as exonerates the minister of the United States, Mr. Stevens, from active officious and unbecoming participation in the events which led to the revolution in the Sandwich Islands on the 14th, 16th, and 17th of January, 1893. His own admissions in his official correspondence with this Government, his conduct for months preceding the revolution, as well as the facts established by the evidence before the committee, clearly justify such a conclusion.
On the other hand, we are not inclined to censure Capt. Wiltse, commanding the United States war-ship Boston, or the officers of that vessel. Their position was one of extreme delicacy and difficulty, and we appreciate their anxiety to afford protection to the lives and property of American citizens. The force of United States marines of the Boston with their ordinary arms stationed at the American legation, and at the consulate in Honolulu, would have effectually represented the authority and power of the United States Government, and would have afforded whatever protection American interests might have required; and at the same time would have avoided the appearance of coercion or duress, either upon the people of Honolulu or the Queen in the controversy between them. This is our opinion, after a careful examination of all the facts and circumstances disclosed in the evidence. But, as we have observed, the position was a delicate and difficult one. Perhaps if we had been on the ground in the presence of the minister, under the influence of his advice and counsel, and of the environments and conditions surrounding Capt. Wiltse, his officers and men, we might have landed the forces as he did; but a less formidable array would have removed from the Queen the excuse for asserting that she and her government were overawed by the United States forces, to which she claims under protest to have surrendered,
and at the same time have afforded all necessary protection to the lives and property of our citizens at that port, if they were in any jeopardy.
The moral support and good offices of this Government, or of any government, is always permissible in promoting the moral tone and political improvement of the government of foreign countries on terms of amity with their own; but there is nothing in international law, in sound public policy, or in our past history and traditions which justifies a representative of this Government in interfering officiously or improperly in the domestic or political affairs of a foreign country, whatever may be the character of its rulers, its form of government, or its political condition. We have enough to do to attend to our own business.
We cannot, therefore, avoid the conviction that the inopportune zeal of Minister Stevens in the project of annexation of the Sandwich Islands to the United States caused him to exceed the proper limits of his official duty and of his diplomatic relations to the government and people of those islands. His conduct as the public representative of this Government was directly conducive to bringing about the condition of affairs which resulted in the overthrow of the Queen, the organization of the Provisional Government, the landing of the United States troops, and the attempted scheme of annexation; and upon this conclusion his conduct is seriously reprehensible and deserving of public censure.
John W. Daniel,
Members of Minority.
February 22, 1894.
The question of annexation is not submitted for the consideration of the committee, except as it incidentally affects the main question discussed; but it may not be improper for me to say, in this connection, that I am heartily in favor of the acquisition of those islands by the Government of the United States; and in a proper case and on an appropriate occasion I should earnestly advocate the same. But I am unwilling to take advantage of internal dissentions in those islands, for which I believe we are in some measure responsible, to consummate at this time so desirable an object.
I concur in the above.
APPENDIX TO THE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE.
I. The following is the translation of the original poster referred to by mr. hoes in his statement.
THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE.
1. A mass meeting will be held in front of the opera house, outside of the Palace yard, at 2 o'clock this afternoon, Monday, January 16, to consider the condition of the country.
Committee of Law and Order
THE VOICE OF THE CHIEF.
2. On the afternoon of Saturday last the voice of the sacred chief of Hawaii, Liliuokalani, the tabued one, speaking as follows:
"Oh, ye people who love the chief, I hereby say to you, I am now ready to proclaim the new constitution for my Kingdom, thinking that it would be successful; but behold obstacles have arisen. Therefore I say unto you, loving people, go with good hope, and do not be disturbed or troubled in your minds, because within the next few days now coming I will proclaim the new constitution.
"The executive officers of the law (the cabinet) knew the errors in this new constitution, but they said nothing.
"Therefore, I hope that the thing which you, my people, so much want will be accomplished; it also is my strong desire."
And her last order was that we should pray to God to bless this Kingdom and the throne of Hawaii.
3. From the day of the passage of the lottery bill until the prorogation of the Legislature the members of the Reform party in the House have been refractory. It is seen that this is the Missionary party. This is a childish act, showing the lack of principle of the Reform party and the unexampled pride of the missionaries. The missionaries are the parents of these actions, and their reason for so doing is because of their regret and vexation by reason of the failure of their schemes in the Legislature. The National party is not this way. If the Reform party is successful the Hawaiian party does not show its disappointment, but, with its customary patience, continues on working for the good of all without feelings of strife.
The foreign members of this session have shown their wicked intentions, their causeless jealousy, when the majority of the people,
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