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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
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