Hawaii Reporter, March 30, 2011
History-Twisters in Legislature Want to Rip the Treaty of Annexation Out of the Hands of President McKinley’s Statue
BY KENNETH CONKLIN PHD - The State of Hawaii House Committee on Hawaiian Affairs has entertained many absurd bills and resolutions this year. Every one of them has passed, usually with zero votes in opposition.
Some items they passed are flagrantly racist — at least two bills to establish an entity with governmental powers whose main requirement for membership is Hawaiian native blood; and a resolution calling on the University of Hawaii to give free tuition to all students who have Hawaiian native blood (A few other students of other races might get free tuition because they are needy, but only after all ethnic Hawaiians get free tuition based solely on race).
Some items are blatant attempts to rewrite history, reminiscent of how the Soviet Union declared some important historical figures to be “non-persons” and removed all references to their names from books about history and culture.
The latest effort to twist history is House resolution HR258, and its companion House Concurrent Resolution HCR293. It calls for the removal of the words “Treaty of Annexation” from a document held in the right hand of President McKinley’s bronze statue that has been in front of McKinley High School for a century. The resolution says there never was a Treaty of Annexation, and “these inaccuracies, when incorporated into public displays such as statues, have been harmful to everyone including not only students at McKinley High School but all young people in the public school system because these public displays perpetuate and promote lies as truths, leaving Hawai‘i’s youth unprepared to engage in meaningful dialogue on Hawai‘i’s history.”
Text of HR258 is [copied below and is also available in pdf format] at
A file containing the testimony submitted on this resolution can be downloaded at
But of course there was a Treaty of Annexation.
The first attempt at a treaty was offered by the Provisional Government of Hawaii in January 1893 but later withdrawn from the U.S. Senate by President Grover Cleveland when Cleveland took office in March 1893.
A new treaty was offered by the Republic of Hawaii in 1897, when William McKinley was President. At first it was rejected by the U.S. Senate. But upon further consideration and in light of world events, it was then accepted by joint resolution of the entire Congress in 1898. The vote was 42-21 in the Senate (exactly 2/3) and by 209-91 in the House (more than 2/3).
Hawaiian sovereignty activists like to say there never was a Treaty of Annexation. That’s because they dislike the way the United States chose to exercise its sovereignty to accept the treaty. The extreme zealousness of the “No Treaty of Annexation” folks is described in a Star-Advertiser news report on September 6, 2010.
At various public events the activists now display about 1500 tiny lawn signs. Each says “No treaty of annexation” on one side,
while the other side shows the name of one of the signers of the anti-annexation petition of 1897.
The activists claim that the U.S. can only ratify a treaty by a 2/3 vote of the Senate. But how any nation chooses to ratify a treaty is entirely up to that nation to decide for itself. The U.S. chose to ratify the treaty by means of a joint resolution, just as had been done 50 years previously in the annexation of Texas (which also was an independent nation at the time it was annexed). It is not a matter of international law, and certainly not a matter for the Hawaiian activists, to decide the method whereby the U.S. internally exercises its sovereignty to accept and ratify a treaty offered by another nation. Those members of the U.S. Senate who opposed the treaty could have filed a complaint with the U.S. Supreme Court, but chose not to do so and acquiesced in the use of the joint resolution. The Treaty of Annexation is now settled law; governed by the principles of “stare decisis” and “laches.”
But even the Hawaiian sovereignty activists must acknowledge that the Republic of Hawaii did indeed offer a Treaty of Annexation to President McKinley, and that he accepted it and submitted it first to the Senate and later to both the House and Senate. The McKinley statue is correct in showing President McKinley holding a document entitled “Treaty of Annexation.” Hawaii held out the Treaty of Annexation to President McKinley, who accepted it into his hand, just as the statue portrays.
See this webpage: “Treaty of Annexation between the Republic of Hawaii and the United States of America (1898). Full text of the treaty, and of the resolutions whereby the Republic of Hawaii legislature and the U.S. Congress ratified it. The politics surrounding the treaty, then and now.”
If there had not been a Treaty of Annexation then Hawaii would not have become a Territory or State. That’s the whole idea of this resolution — to put the legislature on record as saying Hawaii should not be part of the United States because an “illegal overthrow” was followed by an “illegal annexation” (not to mention an “illegal Statehood vote” in 1959).
That same idea was also the essence of another resolution HCR107 passed the previous week by the same committee, with no dissenting votes. That resolution calls for convening an investigative committee with powers of subpoena and contempt, to investigate an alleged “executive agreement” between (ex) Queen Liliuokalani and President Cleveland, to restore Liliuokalani to the throne. If there had actually been such an executive agreement, and if it continued in force and effectiveness today, that would mean the U.S. must disgorge Hawaii and restore the monarchial government. For detailed analysis of HCR107 see
The Committee on Hawaiian Affairs is not merely wasting time and taxpayer dollars. It is deliberately and eagerly stirring up feelings of victimhood, anti-Americanism, secession and treason. No good can come of it. The members of this committee should be held up to ridicule. Citizens should speak to these Representatives in angry denunciation. Make them social outcasts. Let them know we will never vote for them again. Their names are: Faye P. Hanohano, Chris Lee, Della Au Belatti, Jo Jordan, John M. Mizuno, Dee Morikawa, Jessica Wooley, Ryan I. Yamane, Kymberly Marcos Pine, Gene Ward.
However sweet and lovely they might be in private life, whatever good things they might accomplish on other committees, is overwhelmingly outweighed by their support for the dangerous legislation they vote for in the Hawaiian Affairs committee.
The resolution to remove “Treaty of Annexation” from President McKinley’s statue passed without amendment and with no dissent. Republican Representatives Pine and Ward voted “Yes with reservations.” Their votes still count as “Yes.” Their “reservations” are of no consequence except to try to make us think they have a conscience. They lack the guts to stand up for what’s right and deserve all the outrage directed to the other members. A killer who hesitates before plunging in the knife is nevertheless fully guilty of murder. In this case, what is contemplated is the murder of the State of Hawaii as part of the United States, and these politicians are accomplices.
For a 302-page book describing the "big picture" in which the resolutions HR258 and HCR293 are one brush stroke, see "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" available in the Hawaii Public Library and also at
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-SIXTH LEGISLATURE, 2011
STATE OF HAWAII
EXPRESSING LEGISLATIVE SUPPORT FOR AND REQUESTING THE removal of the term "Treaty of Annexation" cast in bronze on the statue of President McKinley on the grounds of McKinley High School.
WHEREAS, on January 16, 1893, over the protest of Queen Lili‘uokalani, the diplomatic and military forces of the United States assisted insurrectionists in seizing control of the Hawaiian Kingdom government and establishing a government to replace the Hawaiian Kingdom government; and
WHEREAS, on February 14, 1893, in Washington, D.C., the United States government signed a "Treaty of Cession of the Hawaiian Kingdom to the United States", which United States President Harrison submitted to the United States Senate for ratification; and
WHEREAS, on March 11, 1893, newly elected United States President Grover Cleveland received the protest of Queen Lili‘uokalani from a Hawaiian Kingdom envoy and withdrew the submission of the treaty from the Senate's consideration; and
WHEREAS, President Cleveland thereafter appointed Honorable James Blount as a Special Commissioner to investigate the seizure of the Hawaiian Kingdom and to report his findings to the President; and
WHEREAS, the Presidential investigation concluded that the seizure of the Hawaiian Kingdom government was illegal under international law, and President Cleveland thereafter entered into an agreement with Queen Lili‘uokalani that the federal government would restore the Hawaiian Kingdom government and the Queen would grant amnesty to the insurgents; and
WHEREAS, the United States Congress prevented President Cleveland from restoring the Hawaiian Kingdom government; and
WHEREAS, Queen Lili‘uokalani and Hawaiian nationals, to their detriment, relied on President Cleveland's commitment to restore the Hawaiian Kingdom government; and
WHEREAS, the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution on February 7, 1894, warning other nations "that foreign intervention in the political affairs of the islands will not be regarded with indifference by the Government of the United States", and the United States Senate endorsed this sentiment by passing a resolution on May 16, 1894, stating "that any intervention in the political affairs of these islands by any other Government will be regarded as an act unfriendly to the United States"; and
WHEREAS, on June 16, 1897, newly elected President of the United States William McKinley signed a second treaty of cession in Washington, D.C., with representatives of the "self‑proclaimed Republic of Hawai‘i", but the proposed treaty remained subject to ratification by the United States Senate; and
WHEREAS, on June 18, 1897, Queen Lili‘uokalani filed a diplomatic protest with the United States State Department in Washington, D.C., stating in pertinent part:
"I, Liliuokalani of Hawaii, by the will of God named heir apparent on the tenth day of April, A.D. 1877, and by the grace of God Queen of the Hawaiian Islands on the seventeenth day of January, A.D. 1893, do hereby protest against the ratification of a certain treaty, which, so I am informed, has been signed at Washington by Messrs. Hatch, Thurston, and Kinney, purporting to cede those Islands to the territory and dominion of the United States. I declare such a treaty to be an act of wrong toward the native and part-native people of Hawaii, an invasion of the rights of the ruling chiefs, in violation of international rights both toward my people and toward friendly nations with whom they have made treaties, the perpetuation of the fraud whereby the constitutional government was overthrown, and, finally, an act of gross injustice to me."
WHEREAS, on July 24, 1897, Hawaiian political organizations also filed protests with the McKinley Administration against the second treaty; and
WHEREAS, in spite of these protests, President McKinley indicated his intent to submit a new treaty of cession to the United States Senate, which would convene in December of 1897; and
WHEREAS, in September of 1897, the Men's and Women's Hawaiian Patriotic League (Hui Aloha ‘Aina) initiated signature petitions protesting the treaty and submitted the petitions to the United States Senate in December 1897; and
WHEREAS, these protests, along with the formal protests of Queen Lili‘uokalani, succeeded in preventing the Senate from ratifying this second attempt to annex the Hawaiian Islands by a treaty of cession; and
WHEREAS, on April 21, 1898, the United States declared war against the Kingdom of Spain, turning Hawai‘i into a naval and troop base to commence the war against the Spanish in the Philippines and Guam in the western Pacific Ocean, purportedly to protect the west coast of the United States; and
WHEREAS, on July 7, 1898, President McKinley signed a joint resolution of annexation passed by the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, purporting to annex the Hawaiian Islands as a war necessity; and
WHEREAS, a prominent secondary school in Honolulu is named after United States President William McKinley; and
WHEREAS, standing at the front entrance to McKinley High School is a bronze statue of President William McKinley holding a document inscribed, "Treaty of Annexation", which never existed and was never implemented; and
WHEREAS, the statue has contributed to the misinformation disseminated to the people of Hawai‘i and Native Hawaiians about the history of these islands and of the relationship of the United States to the Hawaiian Kingdom, leading to the teaching of an incorrect history; and
WHEREAS, these inaccuracies, when incorporated into public displays such as statues, have been harmful to everyone including not only students at McKinley High School but all young people in the public school system because these public displays perpetuate and promote lies as truths, leaving Hawai‘i's youth unprepared to engage in meaningful dialogue on Hawai‘i's history; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-sixth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2011, that this body supports the removal of the term "Treaty of Annexation" cast in bronze on the statue of President McKinley on the grounds of McKinley High School; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Education and the Department of Accounting and General Services is requested to take steps to remove the term "Treaty of Annexation" cast in bronze on the statue of President McKinley on the grounds of McKinley High School; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Governor of Hawaii, Superintendent of Education, the Comptroller, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, each member of Hawaii's congressional delegation, and the Principal of McKinley High School.
Treaty of Annexation; President McKinley Statute
The legislative history of this resolution is shown on the legislature's "status" page at
It shows that the Committee on Hawaiian Affairs passed the resolution with no opposing votes, and that the committee report was accepted by the House without objection. The resolution was then sent to the Committee on Education, where it died because no hearing was ever scheduled (even though there was still a month remaining before the end of session on May 5). One of the ways a committee chair can kill a bill or resolution is to never schedule a hearing on it, which is often done so that committee members can avoid the embarrassment or voting for it or against it.
|3/21/2011||H||Referred to HAW, EDN, FIN, referral sheet 43|
|3/24/2011||H||Resolution scheduled to be heard by HAW on Wednesday, 03-30-11 8:30AM in conference room 329.|
|3/30/2011||H||The committees on HAW recommend that the measure be PASSED, UNAMENDED. The votes were as follows: 6 Ayes: Representative(s) Hanohano, C. Lee, Belatti, Jordan; Ayes with reservations: Representative(s) Pine, Ward; Noes: none; and 4 Excused: Representative(s) Mizuno, Morikawa, Wooley, Yamane.|
|4/4/2011||H||Reported from HAW (Stand. Com. Rep. No. 1312), recommending referral to EDN.|
|4/4/2011||H||Report adopted; referred to the committee(s) on EDN with none voting no and Carroll, M. Oshiro, Takai, Tokioka excused.|
Send comments or questions to:
You may now
GO BACK TO OTHER TOPICS ON THIS WEBSITE