A Revolution In Hawaii

[/caption] January 17, 2009. ┬áIt is symbolic that this should be listed in today’s NYTimes.com, the day when many Native Hawaiians have come out to denounce the governor’s decision to appeal to the US Supreme Court, a ruling by the Hawaii Supreme Court on the issue of “ceded” or crown lands. It is an issue that upholds the legitimacy of the Apology Bill signed into Law by President Clinton in 1993 for acts by those who overthrew the Queen in 1893, as the story reveals in today’s times… go to original Queen Liliuokalani Deposed From The Throne Grasping For More Power She Fell The Monarchy Abrogated And A Provisional Government Established — A Commission To Ask For Annexation To The United States — Troops From The United States Warship Boston Preserving Peace In Honolulu — The Overthrow Of The Hawaiian Dynasty Accomplished Without Bloodshed — The Movement Precipitated By An Attempt Of The Queen To Secure More Absolute Prerogatives. San Francisco, Jan. 28 — The Hawaiian steamer Claudine arrived at this port at 2 o’clock this morning with the news of a revolution at Honolulu. The revolutionists have succeeded in overthrowing the Government of Hawaii, and United States troops have been landed. A provisional government has been established, and a commission, headed by Mr. Thurston, came in on the Claudine en route to Washington with a petition to the American Government to annex the Hawaiian Islands to the United States. The commission will leave here to-morrow afternoon and reach Washington next Friday. Queen Liliuokalani has been deposed from power, the monarchy abrogated, Government buildings seized, and the new provisional Ministry, composed of four members, is sustained by bayonets of volunteers. Queen Liliuokalani attempted on Saturday, Jan. 14, to promulgate a new Constitution, depriving foreigners of the right of franchise and abrogating the existing House of Nobles, at the same time giving her the power of appointing a new House. This was resisted by the foreign element of the community, which at once appointed a committee of safety of thirteen members, which called a mass meeting of their classes, at which 1,200 or 1,500 were present. That meeting unanimously adopted resolutions condemning the action of the Queen and authorizing the committee to take into consideration whatever was necessary for the public safety. Manifesto Of The Citizens On Monday the Committee of Public Safety issued a proclamation to the Hawaiian people, recounting the history of the islands and calling attention to the misrule of the native line of monarchs. The manifesto continues: Upon the accession of her Majesty Liliuokalani for a brief period the hope prevailed that a new policy would be adopted. This hope was soon blasted by her immediately entering into a conflict with the existing Cabinet, which held office with the approval of a large majority of the Legislature, resulting in the triumph of the Queen and the removal of the Cabinet. The appointment of a new Cabinet subservient to her wishes and its continuance in office until a recent date gave no opportunity for further indication of the policy which would be pursued by her Majesty until the opening of the Legislature in May of 1892. The recent history of that session has shown a stubborn determination on the part of her Majesty to follow the tactics of her late brother, and in all possible ways to secure the extension of the royal prerogatives and the abridgment of popular rights. Five conspiracies against the Government have occurred within the past five years and seven months. It is firmly believed that the culminating revolutionary attempt of last Saturday will, unless radical measures are taken, wreck our already damaged credit abroad and precipitate to final ruin our already overstrained financial condition, and guarantees of protection to life, liberty, and property will steadily decrease. The political situation is rapidly growing worse. In this belief and also in the belief that the action hereby taken is and will be for the best personal, political, and property interests of every citizen of the land, we, citizens and residents of the Hawaiian Islands, organized and acting for the public safety and common good, hereby proclaim as follows: The Hawaiian monarchical system of government is hereby abrogated. A provisional Government for the control and management of public affairs and the protection of public peace is hereby established, to exist until terms of union with the United States of America have been negotiated and agreed upon. Such provisional Government shall consist of an Executive Council of four members, who are hereby declared to be S. B. Dole, J. A. King, P. C. Jones, and W. O. Smith, and who shall administer the government of the islands, the first named acting as President and Chairman of such council administering the Department of Foreign affairs, and the others severally administering the Departments of Interior, Finance, and Attorney General, respectively, in the order in which enumerated, according to the existing Hawaiian law, as far as may be consistent with this proclamation; and also of as Advisory Council, which shall consist of fourteen members, who are hereby declared to be S. D. Damon, A. Brown, L. A. Thurston, J. F. Morgan, J. Emmelmuth, H. Waterhouse, J. A. McCandless, E. D. Tenney, F. W. McChesney, F. Wilhelm, W. R. Castle, W. G. Ashley, W. C. Wilder, and C. Bolte. Such Advisory Council shall also have general legislative authority. Such Executive and Advisory Council shall, acting jointly, have power to remove any member of either council, and to fill such or any other vacancy. All officers under the existing Government are hereby requested to continue to exercise their functions, and perform the duties of their named persons: Queen Liliuokalani, Charles B. Wilson, Marshal; Samuel Parker, Minister of Foreign Affairs; W. H. Cornwell, Minister of Finance; John F. Colburn, Minister of the Interior, and Arthur P. Peterson, Attorney General, who are hereby removed from office. All Hawaiian laws and constitutional principles not inconsistent herewith shall continue in force until further order of the Executive and Advisory Councils. Henry C. Cooper, J. A. McCandless, Andrew Brown, Theodore F. Lansing, John Emmelmuth, C. Bolte, Edward Suhr, Henry Waterhouse, W. C. Wilder, F. W. McChesney, William O. Smith. The new Government called on volunteers, who assembled, armed to the number of 500. The old Government surrendered without striking a blow, although it had about 400 men under arms and a battery of Gatling guns. The Provisional Government than noticed the representatives of foreign Governments of the change and asked recognition. It was at once granted by all the powers except England. In the meantime the ordinary routine of work of the Government is going ahead with but little break. The idea of the Provisional Government is to maintain peace and carry on the business of the Government until a treaty of annexation to the United States can be negotiated. The Hawaiian steamer Claudine was chartered and left Honolulu on the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 18, four days after the revolt, with five Commissioners aboard, instructed to proceed to Washington and negotiate a treaty of annexation. The Commissioners are Lorrin A. Thurston, William C. Wilder, William R. Caset, Charles L. Carter, and Joseph Marsden, The Claudine also brought representatives of the deposed Queen. Story Of The Revolution The following account of the trouble is from the Hawaiian Gazette of Tuesday, Jan. 17: “Saturday afternoon, Jan. 14, between 1 and 2 o’clock, the community was startled by the information that a coup d’ & eacute;tat was in progress and that the Queen was endeavoring to force her Cabinet to sign a new Constitution, which she then proposed to promulgate immediately to the people. The information was at first disbelieved by some, but it was speedily confirmed. The political changes of the past few days, the renewed vote of want of confidence, the secret attempt made by the Queen to secure the overthrow of her Ministers, her secret interviews with regard to a new Constitution, had been felt by some to give hint as to what was to be looked for in the future, and many shared in forebodings. “On Saturday morning rumor was busy, and it was freely stated that a new Constitution was to be promulgated in the afternoon. At a meeting of business men, held in the room of the Chamber of Commerce, reference was made to this possibility, but still it was not generally believed until in the afternoon the unexpected happened, and doubt was transformed into certainty. Three days before the coup d’etat was attempted, a gentleman who enjoys the confidence of the Queen told one of the members of the Cabinet (who was then in a private station) that a blow was to be struck, and that the persons of the Ministers would be secured. In anticipation that the present Cabinet would not make any resistance to a revolutionary blow, the precaution of arresting them was not taken. Saturday morning one of the Ministers received positive information that a blow was to be struck that afternoon. He immediately proceeded to consult two prominent citizens on the course to be taken. After a conference the gentlemen referred to advised the Cabinet to refuse to sign the Constitution, and to decline to resign if their resignations should be demanded. The prorogation of the Legislature was the last chapter in the story of the morning. It went off tamely and quietly enough but those who were acquainted with the real situation felt that the Government and nation were sleeping on the crest of a volcano. In the afternoon, immediately after the House had been prorogued, Hut Kalaiaina marched over to the palace and presented a new Constitution to the Queen with a petition that the same be promulgated to the people as the fundamental law of the land. The matter of the new constitution and petition had been prearranged, and it is stated that its promulgation had been promised two weeks previously, and a member from Lahaina, William White, had been actively working up the movement. A large crowd of Hawaiians had gathered near a flight of steps, and natives were also gathered in large groups in the Government Building yard, and elsewhere in the neighborhood. The Queen retired to the blue room, and summoned the Ministers. The Ministers at once repaired to the Queen in the Blue Room. She was seated at a table still dressed in the magnificent morning costume, with a sparkling coronet of diamonds. She at once presented them with a draft of the new Constitution, demanded their signatures, and declared her intention to promulgate the same at once. The Queen Very Angry Attorney General Peterson and Minister of the Interior Colburn decidedly refused to sign, and Ministers Cornwell and Parker, though more hesitatingly, joined their colleagues in their refusal. All the Cabinet now advised, and even strongly urged her Majesty not to violate the law, but she was not to be dissuaded from her revolutionary course. Bringing her clinched hand down upon the table, Queen Liliuokalani said: “Gentlemen, I do not wish to hear any more advice. I intend to promulgate this Constitution, and do it now.” Proceeding, she told the Cabinet that unless they abandoned their resistance at once she would go out on the steps of the palace and tell the excited crowd there assembled that she wished to give them a new Constitution, but that the Ministers were inside the palace hindering her from doing it. The Ministers remembered the riot at the Court House and the fate of the unlucky representatives who fell into the hands of the mob. They knew what the threat meant, and before it could be put into execution they fled for their lives. From the Government Building the Ministers immediately sent word about town asking the citizens what support the Cabinet could expect it its resistance to the revolutionary movement begun by the Queen. The leading citizens of every political complexion hurried together at the Hon. W. O. Smith’s office, and while their numbers were every instant augmented by fresh accessions, held hurried consultations as to the course to be pursued. There was but one mind among all those gathered together. Tradesmen, lawyers, mechanics, merchants, were of one opinion. Unanimity of sentiment reigned such as has not been witnessed here for years, and it was agreed without a dissenting voice that it was the duty of every citizen, without distinction of party, to support the law and liberties of the people, and to resist the revolutionary encroachments of the Queen. A message to this effect was at once dispatched to the Cabinet. The Ministers now revisited the palace, not without apprehension that they would be taken into custody, even if they suffered no bodily harm. Great pressure had been brought to bear upon her Majesty to induce her to go no further, and to retrace the revolutionary steps she had already taken. While her troops stood drawn up before the palace, waiting fore the final word of command, the Queen hesitated. The conference in the Blue Room lasted a long time, while the result trembled in the balance. She could not be induced to give up her unlawful project, but finally consented, with bitter reluctance, to a temporary postponement of the premeditated coup. Liliuokalani At Bay The Queen was a very angry woman when, at 4 P.M., Saturday, she returned to the throne room, where were assembled the Hui Kalaiana with most of the native members of the Legislature, the Cabinet, the Governor of Oahu, the young Princess, Chief Justice Judd and Justice Bickerson, the staff, the ladies of the Court, the Kahili bearers, etc. She ascended the dais and spoke substantially as follows: Princes, Nobles, And Representatives: I have listened to thousands of the voices of my people that have come to me, and I am prepared to grant their request. The present Constitution is full of defects, as the Chief Justice here will testify, as questions regarding it have so often come before him for sentiment. It is so faulty that I think a new one should be granted. I have prepared one in which the rights of all have been regarded- a Constitution suited to the wishes of the people. I was ready and expected to proclaim the new Constitution today as a suitable occasion for it, and thus satisfy the wishes of my dear people. But with regret I say I have met with obstacles that prevent it. Return to your homes peaceably and quietly and continue to look toward me and I will look toward you. Keep me ever in your love. I am obliged to postpone the granting of the Constitution for a few days. I must confer with my Cabinet, and when after you return home you may see it, receive it graciously. You have my love and with sorrow I now dismiss you. Mr. White replied, thanking the Queen and assuring her of the love of the people and that they would wait patiently until their desires should be fulfilled, to which the Queen responded with thanks and left the throne room. Mr. Kamnamano then began in a loud voice an inflammatory harangue, which was suppressed. He demanded the lives of the members of the Cabinet who had opposed the wishes of her Majesty, and declared that he thirsted for their blood. A few moments later the Queen went out upon the upper balcony of the palace and addressed the crowd. She told them that on account of the parody of her Ministers she was unable to give them the Constitution which she had promised, but she would take the earliest opportunity of procuring it for them. The crowd then gave three cheers. The Death Of The Queen Called For Representative White then proceeded to the steps of the palace and began an address. He told the crowd that the Queen and the Cabinet had betrayed them, and that instead of going home peaceably they should go to the palace and kill and bury the Queen. Attempts were made to stop him, which he resisted, saying he would never close his mouth until a new Constitution was granted. Finally he yielded to the expostulations of Col. Boyd and others, threw up his hands, and declared that he was “Pau” for the present. After this the audience dispersed. News was brought to the citizens down town that the attempt to carry a revolution through had for the moment failed. However, appreciating the fact that the trouble had only just begun, they did not disperse, but continued the consideration of the emergency. A committee of public safety was formed to which further consideration of the situation was delegated, after which the meeting, which had been animated by one heart and one soul from the beginning dispersed. Landing Of The Boston’s Troops About 5 o’clock in the afternoon the United States war ship Boston landed about 300 men. Each man had two belts of cartridges around his waist and was armed with a rifle. They marched up to the office of the Consul General of the United States, where a halt was made. The marines were detached and sent to the American Legation on Uuana Avenue, while the sailors marched out along the merchant street with two Gatling guns and made a halt in front of J. A. Hopper’s residence. About sundown they moved to the grounds of J. B. Athertons, and after a stay of several hours returned to Arion Hall, where they camped overnight. Friends of the Queen claim that her actions of Saturday were due to advice furnished by Kahunas. The members of the Hui Kalaiaina were angry enough to tear the Queen to pieces when they learned she had weakened and would not give them their new Constitution. They were an abject-looking lot as they marched on King Street. The revolutionist party held a meeting at the palace Sunday morning. The Queen called in the Hawaiian pastors who were present to pray that she might keep her throne, and told them that evil-minded foreigners were trying to take it from her. The early arrival of the United States steamship Boston was an important figure in the proceedings of Saturday. In the minds of many the presence of the war ship prevented the promulgation of the Constitution. The new instrument which the revolutionists wished to proclaim is really the old constitution which gave so much power to the sovereign. One of the officers of the Household Guards was heard to say that they had enough arms and ammunition to kill every Haole in the country. Representative Kaunamano stood on the palace steps on Saturday and wanted the natives to murder Ministers Parker and Colburn because they did not support the revolutionary scheme. Native Police Resisted All day Tuesday, the 17th, the community was in a state of expectancy, looking to the Committee of Public Safety to do something to end the confusion and to secure the rights of all the citizens against encroachment. The committee in the meantime was not idle, but was incessantly occupied completing its organization and perfecting final arrangements necessary to the proclamation of a provisional Government and its protection by an armed force. At about 2:30 o’clock an attempt was made by three native policemen to arrest the progress of a wagon which was being driven up Fort Street by Mr. Benner and Mr. Good. Those in charge of the wagon resisted the attempt of the officers to arrest them. One of the officers making a motion to draw a revolver, Mr. Good drew his own, and calling attention to the fact that he was justified in the shooting, he fired, seeking, however, to avoid the infliction of a dangerous wound. The wagon pursued its way followed by a policeman in a hack. This episode precipitated the movement. The citizens hurried to the Berotania Street Armory, where they formed into companies, armed, and marched to the Government Building. In the meantime the Committee of Public Safety, accompanied by members of the Government about to be formed, proceeded to the Government Building and inquired for the Cabinet, but the Ministers were not to be found. They demanded and received of Mr. Hassinger possession of the building. The party now proceeded to the front steps and in the presence of a rapidly increasing crowd read the proclamation. Before the reading of the proclamation was completed, volunteers from the Rifles Armory began to assemble in force. The grounds of Alliolaui Hall were cleared, and a guard set at all the gates. The provisional government sent for the late Ministers, who were at the police station. Two of them came, and finally all four repaired to headquarters of the new Government, where a formal demand was made upon them for possession of the police station. The ex-Ministers asked for time to deliberate upon this demand. The Queen Yields Unconditionally They went to the palace to company with Samuel M. Damon, and held a consultation with Liliuokalani. The result was a compromise proposition, which was rejected by the provisional government. The late Queen and Cabinet finally yielded unconditionally, and the police station was turned over to Commander Soper and Capt. Ziegler, with forty men from Company A. Mr. Wilson made a short address to the police force assembled in the station, telling them that resistance was no longer feasible. The Government assumed formal control of the palace and barracks. The ex-Queen retained to her private residence at Washington Place, and the Government granted her an honorary guard of sixteen men. The Household Guards were paid off to Feb. 1 and disbanded. A strong force of volunteers took possession, and is in charge of the palace, barracks, Police Headquarters, and other Government buildings. At headquarters the work of military organization is rapidly pushed forward and volunteers continue to pour steadily in from all quarters. It is not apprehended that any difficulty will arise upon the other islands. The provisional government spent a large part of the night in perfecting the organization and adjusting the wheels of the Government to the change. Meantime the ordinary routine of Government work is going ahead with but little break. Martial Law Proclaimed The provisional government has placed J. H. Soper in command of all the armed troops on the island. On Wednesday, Jan. 18, he issued the following: NOTICE: Under martial law, every person found upon the streets or in any public place, between the hours of 9:30 P. M. and 6 A. M., will be liable to arrest, unless provided with a pass from the Commander in Chief, J. H. Soper. The gathering of crowds is prohibited. Any one disturbing the peace or disobeying orders is liable to summary arrest without warrant. By the order of the Executive Committee. J. H. SOPER, Commander in Chief. This proclamation is printed in the Hawaiian, English, and Portuguese languages. Under the orders of the Executive Committee all liquor stores have been closed. The electric works, which supply the city with light and printing offices with power, have been seized by the armed body of the provisional government.]]>

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