** A 1400-word summary of this webpage was published on April 3, 2012 on the "Hawaii Political Info" online newspaper at
An 800-word summary was published on April 5, 2012 on "Hawaii Reporter" online newspaper at
(c) Copyright April 3, 2012 by
Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.
All rights reserved
"Pacific Gibraltar" provides a fair and balanced analysis of the political, diplomatic, and military history of the Hawaiian revolution of 1893 and annexation of 1898. Special attention is given to the diplomatic/military crisis between Japan and the U.S. during 1896-98 regarding massive Japanese immigration to Hawaii, the Japanese government's demands that Japanese citizens living in Hawaii should have voting rights, and the Japanese government's opposition to U.S. annexation of Hawaii. The well-written 330-page book has 1016 footnotes, most of them containing both explanatory material and citations to original sources including unpublished papers in the Library of Congress, Hawaii state archives, the archives of various historical societies, the U.S. Naval Records collection, Department of State, Washington (DC) Navy yard, and the national archives of Great Britain. This is the 46th volume in the Diplomats and Diplomacy book series produced by the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, and the Diplomatic and Consular Officers, Retired.
The author, William Michael Morgan (no relation to Senator James T. Morgan of the 1894 Morgan Report), has a Ph.D. in History from Claremont Graduate University. According to information about his book at amazon.com, Dr. Morgan was a Foreign Service officer in the Department of State for more than 30 years, and lived in Japan for 13 years, first as a Marine lieutenant in 1971-72 and then three assignments in the Foreign Service. His State Department domestic jobs included Director of the Japan-Korea desk of the old U.S. Information Agency, Acting Director of the International Visitor Leadership Program, and Director of Analysis for East Asia and the Pacific in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. During 2007-09, he taught U.S.-Japan relations and National Security and Public Diplomacy at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service while on "detail" from the State Department.
The author's background shows he has expert knowledge and credentials in history and diplomacy. His experience as a military officer and diplomatic analyst for the State Department specializing in Japan, and lengthy residence in Japan, gives him credibility in discussing historical and cultural issues regarding Japan. His lack of residence or family in Hawaii, and lack of political activism on Hawaiian sovereignty issues, gives him credibility as a neutral analyst of highly controversial historical events. The fact that this book has not been publicized by Hawaiian sovereignty activists or assigned in "Hawaiian Studies" courses is further evidence that it is impartial and worthy of reading.
Below is a summary of the main points in the book, focusing on those conclusions of Professor Morgan's which might seem surprising to people who are only superficially aware of historical facts surrounding Hawaii's revolution of 1893 and annexation of 1898, or people whose views have been shaped by the historical revisionism of today's Hawaiian sovereignty activists. Following the summary are my personal notes from the book, including detailed quotes which provide proof that my summary accurately conveys the scholarly views of Professor Morgan and not merely my own opinion.
Perhaps the biggest surprise in the book is the seriousness of Japan's diplomatic maneuvering and deployment of multiple warships in Honolulu as a show of force to block annexation and to demand voting rights for Japanese living in Hawaii. The U.S., Hawaii, and Britain were worried Japan could gain political control of Hawaii through demographic conquest, and/or an imminent Japanese military occupation of Hawaii. The U.S. and Britain counteracted Japan's multiple warships by their own deployments of warships in Honolulu harbor.
SUMMARY OF MAIN POINTS RELATED TO TODAY'S HAWAIIAN SOVEREIGNTY DEBATES, WHICH MIGHT BE SURPRISING BUT ARE WELL DOCUMENTED IN THE BOOK
1. The Hawaiian revolution of 1893 was truly an internal revolution, organized and carried out by a local militia which included many hundreds of armed men who had previous militia experience when forcing the "Bayonet Constitution" on King Kalakaua in 1887.
2. The revolutionists were militarily superior to the royalists, both in their number and armaments, and especially in their organization and determination. The royalists were timid and poorly led. If there had been a fight, the revolutionists would have defeated the royalists without U.S. assistance.
3. U.S. Minister Stevens did not conspire with the revolutionists and did not give them any military support or equipment. His actions were neutral, for the purpose of protecting American lives and property and serving as a standby police force (never actually used) to prevent or stop rioting. However, in his heart he was in favor of the revolution. By meeting with the rebels before and during the revolution, on the same basis and with greater respect than when he met with Kingdom government officials before and during the revolution, he acted improperly; this may have emboldened the rebels and may have caused the royalists to feel he would not be even-handed. Likewise, Captain Wiltse (USS Boston) made the decision to land troops when that was not (yet) truly necessary (and actually turned out never to have been necessary), contrary to official policy of the U.S. Navy. However, Wiltse was following the same peacekeeping precautions and procedures as U.S. warships had followed previously in other places where there had been revolutions and civil unrest such as Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Panama.
4. Grover Cleveland was inaugurated on March 4, 1893. He immediately withdrew from the Senate the treaty of annexation Hawaii had offered and President Benjamin Harrison had endorsed. He hastily sent Minister Blount (without Senate confirmation) to replace Minister Stevens, and later that year sent Minister Willis (confirmed by the Senate) to replace Blount. Cleveland, Blount, and Willis (and especially Secretary of State Gresham) actively conspired with the royalists to overthrow Hawaii's Provisional Government and put Liliuokalani back on the throne. Secretary of State Gresham wanted to use U.S. military force to overthrow the Dole government. A strongly worded memo from Attorney General Olney (the only time he ever intruded into Gresham's military turf) warned against the use of force, and Cleveland decided to use only intimidation rather than actual force. U.S. warships were deployed, and their personnel drilled repeatedly and noisily on ship and on shore, in such a way as to intimidate the Provisional Government. The Dole government took these threats very seriously, and made a decision to fight back against U.S. troops if there were an invasion. In the same way as Stevens' equal treatment of the royals and the rebels had been improper in view of Stevens' accreditation to a recognized government, and seemed intimidating to the royalists; so also U.S. behavior toward President Dole's men was improper since the U.S. had given de facto recognition to the Provisional Government.
5. Minister Willis had two meetings with Liliuokalani during which he asked her at least five times whether she would grant amnesty to the revolutionists if the U.S. could persuade the Dole government to step down. On the first two or three occasions Liliuokalani insisted she would behead them and confiscate their property; later she softened her response to set aside the beheading but still insisted on confiscation and banishment. At the last minute, In December 1893 as the ship was ready to sail taking her final message of refusal to Washington, she delayed its departure and sent a written message promising amnesty. But President Dole adamantly refused to step down, and President Cleveland had already sent a message to Congress turning over the matter to them (which resulted in the Morgan Report and the Turpie Resolution). Although not mentioned in the book, see full text of letters in December 1893 from Minister Willis to President Dole demanding Dole step down
and from President Dole to Minister Willis saying, in effect, "Hell no."
Despite current claims being trumpeted by Keanu Sai that there was an executive agreement between Cleveland and Liliuokalani for restoration, there is absolutely no evidence of such an agreement in the "Pacific Gibraltar" book, and the thought never occurred to author William M. Morgan that the facts could possibly be interpreted in that way. As book author Morgan describes the meetings between Willis and Liliuokalani, Willis was offering to serve as mediator between Liliuokalani and Dole, to persuade Liliuokalani to offer Dole amnesty in return for restoring the monarchy (an offer which Dole clearly refused) -- this was not a binding agreement by the U.S. to restore the Hawaiian monarchy, but merely an offer to mediate a possible agreement between Dole and Liliuokalani. For an analysis of Sai's bogus claim that there was an executive agreement betweem Cleveland and Liliuokalani, see
For a "dialog" between Keanu Sai and Ken Conklin, see
6. Chinese individuals immigrated to Hawaii as free agents without government sponsorships. But the Japanese government worked closely with the Republic of Hawaii to carefully control Japanese immigration and require preapproved labor contracts with specific sugar plantations. As time went by and Japan got into war with China, the Japanese government turned over the management of emigration to private companies, who made lots of money and greatly increased the numbers. Hawaii tried to control it, and began rejecting a majority of arriving Japanese. Japan demanded unlimited immigration of people with or without labor contracts, and demanded they be given voting rights the same as whites and Hawaiians. Several warships were sent to Honolulu by Japan, U.S., and Britain. The Republic of Hawaii was eventually forced to pay $75,000 in reparations to the Japanese for the costs of the immigrants who had been rejected and sent back.
7. The U.S. felt strongly that Japan must not be allowed to control Hawaii either through becoming a majority of Hawaii's population or by military or political dominance. Hawaii's location was of strategic importance to the U.S. because ships from Asia could load enough coal in Hawaii to attack California and return. The diplomatic/military crisis between Japan and the U.S. in 1897, over Japanese immigration to Hawaii; and Hawaii's strategic location; were the major causes of U.S. desire to accept Hawaii's offer of annexation.
8. Today's Hawaiian sovereignty activists, including noted author Tom Coffman ("Nation Within") like to downplay or even deny the Japanese threat to Hawaii. They say the annexationists were provoking or even inventing a crisis with Japan as a phony pretext to rouse support. But this book provides massive evidence that the crisis was very real, and clarified that the U.S. must either agree to annex Hawaii or else let a possibly hostile power take control of a strategic bulwark.
9. There was never any thought of forcible annexation of Hawaii by the U.S. Annexation was initiated by the request of the government of Hawaii, which wrote and submitted a treaty to the U.S., first in 1893 and then again in 1897 (after Grover Cleveland's term ended). Hawaii repeatedly sent its own government officials to Washington to seek annexation by lobbying with U.S. Senators, Representatives, and cabinet officers. Sometimes U.S. politicians resisted or were less than enthusiastic, but Hawaii officials kept on trying.
10. When the Spanish-American War broke out in Cuba, the U.S. quickly attacked and defeated Spanish forces, and annexed Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. U.S. warships passed through Honolulu during May and June en route to the Philippines to get coal and for the troops to rest, even though Congress had not yet passed annexation. All segments of Hawaii society enthusiastically welcomed the warships, including both Mrs. Dole and Princess Ka'iulani working in a soldiers' aid society. Commodore Dewey defeated the Spanish fleet at Manila on May 1, before Hawaii was annexed, and the news got to Washington long before annexation; so there was no need to annex Hawaii for fear of Spanish reprisal for allowing U.S. warships to use Honolulu. After the Spanish fleet was destroyed, the only strategic threat to the U.S. in the Pacific was a potential takeover of Hawaii by Japan either by military invasion of by massive immigration coupled with voting rights.
11. [Not directly discussed in the book, but easily inferred] Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines had no history as independent nations, and never negotiated on their own behalf. They were colonies under Spanish occupation. When the U.S. defeated Spain, those colonies were handed over directly from Spain to the U.S. as spoils of war, without being asked. By contrast, Hawaii was an independent nation which offered itself to the U.S. to be annexed. Many nations had diplomatic relations with Hawaii and recognized that the government of Hawaii had the right to speak and negotiate on behalf of Hawaii. See letters of full-fledge diplomatic recognition of the Republic of Hawaii personally signed by emperors, kings, queens, and presidents of at least 20 nations on 4 continents in 11 languages, at
12. The Spanish-American war was not a cause of Hawaii's annexation, although it did bring the issue of Hawaii's strategic location forcefully to public attention. The crisis over Japanese immigration to Hawaii, and Japanese voting rights and political power in Hawaii, plus strategic location, were the main causes of annexation.
13. Joint resolution by both House and Senate was always given equal consideration as a method of annexation; those favoring annexation never felt constrained to do annexation solely by a 2/3 vote of the Senate. It was always a political question to choose the method most likely to succeed, and the previous annexation of Texas by joint resolution was cited as a precedent. The Speaker of the House was strongly opposed, and had the power to unilaterally block it. They decided to start in the Senate so that Senate passage would put pressure on the House Speaker. But careful counting showed they were two or three votes short of the necessary 2/3 in the Senate. And there would be a filibuster. Near-unanimous pressure from House Republicans and the McKinley administration forced the House Speaker to allow a vote, and it passed 209-91 on June 15, 1898. The Filibuster in the Senate was broken when annexation supporters demanded the Senate stay in session on July 3 and 4 (holiday); an agreement was reached to adjourn for the holiday with a guarantee of a vote on July 6, when it passed 42-21. President McKinley signed it on July 7.
14. The book gives the impression there was never an actual vote in the Senate that fell short of 2/3 and therefore forced the choice of joint resolution as the method. That impression comes because no such actual vote is ever mentioned. It might be correct. I, Ken Conklin, am unable to find mention of any actual vote on annexation by the Senate at any time in the 1890s except for the final vote of 42-21 on July 6, 1898 on the joint resolution. The book does make clear that because of opposition by the Speaker of the House who had the power to block any piece of legislation on his own authority, annexationists thought it would be best to try the Senate first. But whip counts in the Senate showed that the treaty was 2 or 3 votes short of 2/3, and there would be a filibuster which could block even a simple majority vote (apparently there was no cloture procedure back then). So pressure was brought on the Speaker who allowed a vote in the House; then the filibuster in the Senate was overcome when opponents did not want to ruin the 4th of July holiday.
15. The anti-annexation petitions by Hawaiian groups Hui Aloha 'Aina and Hui Kalai'aina had no practical effect at all. Polling of Senators by newspapers and party whips before and after the petitions were presented in 1897 showed that no Senator changed his commitment on account of the petitions.
16. The book "Pacific Gibraltar" does not discuss the law enacted by the Republic of Hawaii on June 8, 1896 that forced every school in Hawaii to use English as the language of instruction if the school wanted to be certified as meeting the definition of "school" in the compulsory attendance law that required all children to attend "school." However, the book provides plenty of evidence that the language law was directed at Japanese rather than Hawaiians. That law has become the focus of one of the most zealously proclaimed and tenaciously defended falsehoods in the Hawaiian sovereignty movement, claiming that Hawaiian language was made illegal; that native Hawaiians were stripped of their language in their own homeland. Several years ago I, Ken Conklin, created a webpage providing detailed and heavily documented evidence that the 1896 law did not make Hawaiian language illegal, and that it did not in fact single out Hawaiian language at all; that it had very little effect on Hawaiian language because 95% of all government schools were already using English as the language of instruction in 1892, while Hawaiian parents were demanding their children speak Hawaiian in the home as well. In that webpage I speculated that the law was primarily directed toward assimilating the children of Japanese and Chinese plantation workers, both so that everyone would have one language they could all speak, and to prepare for soon-to-come annexation. I pointed out that the law did not in any way prohibit after-school and Saturday academies where children could be taught in whatever language their parents wanted (including Hawaiian), and could focus on preserving the culture of the family's home nation. And I pointed out that Japanese did in fact open hundreds of such academies, whereas ethnic Hawaiians did not because they were generally supportive of having their children assimilate to English language and American culture. The "Pacific Gibraltar" book provides many details about the census of 1896 and the rapid growth of Japanese immigration and the Japanese government's demands that its citizens should have voting rights in Hawaii -- facts which clearly support my speculation that the 1896 language law was aimed not at native Hawaiians but at Asians, and especially Japanese. The language law was probably an attempt to ensure that Japanese children would be assimilated to English language and American culture in anticipation of annexation, and also to break the back of the Japanese government's efforts to impose hegemony in Hawaii. But in that respect the law backfired, because the Japanese opened hundreds of Japanese language after-school and Saturday academies to perpetuate their language and culture and solidarity with their homeland. See the webpage on the language law of 1896, at
BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOOK AND THE AUTHOR
William Michael Morgan, "Pacific Gibraltar: U.S. - Japanese Rivalry Over the Annexation of Hawai'i, 1885-1898" (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2011), 330 pages including index, bibliography, and footnotes. Hawaii Public Library catalog number H 996.9028 MO, 16 copies available among various branches (any branch can borrow from any other branch at no cost to the borrower). Available from "Bookends" bookstore in Kailua, and amazon.com.
There are 1016 footnotes, most of them containing both explanatory material and citations, mostly citing original sources including unpublished papers in the Library of Congress, Hawaii state archives, the archives of various historical societies, the U.S. Naval Records collection, Department of State, Washington (DC) Navy yard, and the national archives of Great Britain.
This is the 46th volume in the Diplomats and Diplomacy book series produced by the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, and the Diplomatic and Consular Officers, Retired.
Pages 74-75 of the book is a very helpful two-page map of Honolulu in the
Summer of 1893 [when Grover Cleveland was President and Minister Blount was working to restore the Queen]. It includes everything on the map in the University of Hawaii annexation collection,
plus additional features. The directional compass has been moved to the right-hand side to allow room for more information at the bottom and left. The American Legation [home of Minister Stevens in January] is shown on Nu'uanu St. considerably north of Beretania. A series of small boat houses and the large King's boathouse are shown below the bottom of Richards Street. To the right of Brewer's Wharf, directly below the police station and on the ocean side of Queen Street are three x's with the label "boat landings." In the harbor, lined up in an arc from Brewer's Wharf to below the Customs House, are the names and approximate locations of the following warships, from left to right: Alliance (US), Hyacinth (UK), Mohican (US), Naniwa (Japan), Boston (US), Kongo (Japan), Garnet (UK) and also showing a wooden causeway to "quarantine island." A note near the directional compass says "NOTE: This map is adapted and updated from 'Map of the lower part of the city of Honolulu and the harbor front,' compiled by A.B. Lowenstein in mid-1893. To improve readability, the width of streets has been enhanced, and the positioning of warships altered slightly."
The amazon.com webpage for the book provides many details about the book, including a biography of the author, book reviews, and a "Look Inside" option that allows anyone to read a large number of individual pages scattered throughout the book that are available online:
The author's own webpage for the book contains additional information, at
The dust jacket front cover has a photograph which needs special attention because it is both beautiful and historically false.
The middle two-thirds of the dust jacket cover is a photo of a beautiful multicolor painting showing Iolani Palace at the moment of annexation, with throngs of natives and Caucasians in front of the Palace and on the balconies, including the Queen seated in her throne on the balcony. Anyone who knows Hawaiian history will realize that the painting is factually false -- the Queen remained at home (the nearby Washington Place) during the ceremony, with friends consoling her on a very sad and bitter occasion. Today's sovereignty activists will be outraged by the painting. The book itself does nothing to let readers know the painting is false. The only description of it is at the bottom of the inner flap of the back side of the dust jacket where the following information is given: "Jacket image: Painting from a dinner menu on board the SS Lurline in 1950 depicting the 1898 annexation ceremony in Hawai'i. Jacket design: Chris Gamboa-Onrubia, Fineline Graphics LLC."
The book's webpage on amazon.com provides no explanation about the painting. The only publicly available disclaimer regarding the historical falsehood of depicting the ex-queen in her throne on the Palace balcony during the annexation ceremony is the second sentence in a two-sentence caption under the picture on the book's own author-created webpage at
"The striking cover design includes a painting taken from a 1950 dinner menu of the SS Lurline, a luxurious passenger liner that ran between San Francisco and Honolulu. The painting depicts the 1898 annexation ceremony in Honolulu, not as a historical snapshot, but as an impressionistic collage that incorporates key players in Hawaiian politics."
Although it is not part of the book, readers might enjoy seeing a photo of the cruiser USS Boston, which landed 162 peacekeepers during the Hawaiian revolution of January 1893 by order of U.S. Minister John L. Stevens and ship Captain Gilbert C. Wiltse.
The ship was used by President Grover Cleveland later in 1893 to try to intimidate the Provisional Government to stand down and restore the monarchy. A history of the ship is at
DETAILED NOTES BY KEN CONKLIN ON EACH CHAPTER, INCLUDING LENGTHY QUOTES
Ken Conklin's note about these notes: These are my personal notes of things I have learned and want to remember from the book. Therefore the notes downplay or ignore things I already knew. These notes emphasize things that were new to me or things that fill in more details. They also provide an authoritative imprimatur from this respected author, providing quotes and citations to support or contradict my own conclusions, and the conclusions of the Hawaiian sovereignty activists, about the Hawaiian revolution and annexation.
Introduction, pp. 1-6
"Another enduring topic [in the book] is the competition for power among the Native Hawaiian, white, and Asian communities. The white-dominated Republic of Hawa'i's desire to be annexed grew not from the strategic, economic, ideological, and other themes that moivated the United States but from the struggle for power and wealth in the islands." (page 5)
"A final persistent theme is a growing American rivalry with Japan over Hawai'i that underlay the final annexation drive. Japan's place in annexation is often overlooked. Indelibly linked to Hawai'i by the Pearl Harbor attack of 1941, Japan played a central role in the American acquisition of the islands forty-three years before the strike on Battleship Row." (page 5)
This is a work of history, not of public policy. Of course the two are related. The making of public policy is often informed by what paricipants accept as the most important and relevant histoical facts. From that factual array they forge historical judgments on which public policy may rest. Hawaiian annexation is intertwined with twenty-first-century Hawaiian politics, and with the present Hawaiian sovereignty movement. In that poliical drama, the political views of individual actors and the actions of the federal government rest on historical judgments about how and why annexation occurred." (page 5)
"For example, the 1993 congressional 'Apology Resolution,' which offers an apology to Naive Hawaiians for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai'i, rests on several historical assessments. The resoluion says that American officials "conspired" with white rebels and landed troops ('invaded') intentionally to 'intimidate' the royalists, and that the insurrection would have 'failed' without that American support. Testing those assertions is the task of the historian. My analysis shows these assertions are wrong in an absolute sense but sometimes partly right in a larger sense. U.S. minister to Hawai'i John L. Stevens did not conspire, but his interacion with white rebels was close and highly improper. The United States did not land troops to intimidate the queen -- they were landed to position themselves ashore to maintain public order if needed -- but the way in which Ameican officials handled the details of the landing caused timid royalists to feel intimidated." (page 5)
"Some in 1898 and some today assert that annexation was illegal because most Naive Hawaiians opposed it and because no popular referendum was held in Hawai'i. That no referendum was held is incontestably true. It is virtually certain that a big majority of Naive Hawaiians preferred an independent monarchy. A historian might also point out that although some antiannexationists, including President Grover Cleveland, called for a referendum, polling the inhabitants of targets for acquisition was definitely not the practice of nineteenth-century European, Japanese, or American imperialists." (page 5)
"In the twenty-first century, with differing sensibilities and standards, whether the federal government should do something about all this is the realm of politics. It is the task of politicians to determine whether a corrective is required and, if so, to devise an appropriate remedy. I leave this present-day arena to others." (page 6)
Chapter 1: Hawai'i on the Cusp of Revolution, pp. 7-18
Voyaging canoes brought first settlers to Hawaii from Marquesas. Native lifestyle in centuries thereafter. Captain Cook's arrival. Kamehameha unified the islands by 1810.
In 1842 President John Tyler and Secretary of State Daniel Webster established a policy that other nations should not interfere in Hawaii, and notified Britain and France.
1843 Paulet affair -- Lord Paulet (Britain) ruled Hawaii by gunboat February to July.
"The United States warned Britain that 'there is something so entirely peculiar in the relations between this little commonwealth and ourselves that we might even feel justified ... in interfering by force.' Britain, with no immediate designs on the islands, disavowed Lord Paulet and ended the occupation. In 1843 Britain and France jointly declared that they would never seize of any of the Hawaiian Islands, thereby avoiding a challenge to Tyler's doctrine that no foreign power, other than the United States, should control Hawai'i. Despite their declaration, the French soon threatened Hawaiian independence." (page 12)
1849 Tromelin affair .. continued French nastiness ...
** Ken's note: So apparently the French did not take seriously their solemn pact with Britain a mere 6 years previously, on November 28, 1843, to mutually respect Hawaii's independence -- a pact between France and Britain which today's Hawaiian activists like to portray as a "treaty" with Hawaii, and which they say was the basis of a Hawaiian national independence day holiday, "Ka La Ku'oko'a."
"On March 11 1851, two of the king's ministers gave U.S. commissioner Luther Severance a document placing the islands under American protection. ... The French moderated their demands and settled with Hawai'i. Tyler's successors upheld his noninterference policy. James Polk pushed a treaty of amity and commerce finally ratified in 1850 in Zachary Taylor's administration. Taylor reaffirmed that no foreign power could possess Hawai'i. Franklin Pierce's secretary of state, William Marcy, believed strategic acquisitions helped expand American trade. Marcy had his commissioner negotiate an annexation treaty in 1854 with King Kamehameha III, an ardent advocate of immediate statehood for Hawai'i. The king's death aborted the annexation effort as his successor, Kamehameha IV, sought instead a guarantee of independence from the United States, Britain, and France. The United States squelched this multilateral approach and declared it would protect Hawai'i by keeping warships near the islands. ... Henceforth [end page 12 begin page 13] the United States adhered to the Tyler Doctrine that no foreign power should have a paramount interest. This commitment never wavered an inch and was still American policy in 1893 as the Boston moored in Honolulu harbor, in a city that did not exist a hundred years before."
Fur trade between North America and China, with Hawaii stopover. Sandalwood trade. Whaling. More than 500 whalers based in Hawaii in the early 1850s, but competition from other oils strengthened. "In 1852 the whaling fleet took 373,450 barrels of oil; eight years later, only 63,000." (page 14). U.S. Civil War dramatically increased demand for Hawaiian sugar to substitute for Louisiana sugar.
"Honolulu was the most diverse town in an archipelago whose population of 109,000 was itself one of the world's most diverse. In 1896 Honolulu had 29,920 people, of which 11,386 were Native Hawaiians and part-Hawaiians. Whites, usually labeled simply Europeans but made up mostly of Americans, Portuguese, British, Germans, Frenchmen, and Norwegians, totaled [end page 14 start page 15] 9,573. There were 2,174 Japanese and 6,484 Chinese."
Discussion of drastic decline in native population, caused by disease. Discussion of David Stannard's book "Before the Horror" and Oswald Bushnell's book "The Gifts of Civilization." Small gene pool and centuries of inbreeding within families made Hawaiians susceptible to disease, and short life spans, and infertility. By 1896 the foreign-born were 51 percent of Hawaii's population, and an additional 13 percent were people of non-Polynesian ancestry born in Hawaii. "On the cusp of the revolution, Native Hawaiians constituted only about a third of the people, greatly weakening their political power." (page 17)
Chapter 2: Pearl Harbor and Reciprocity, pp. 19-27
"Zephaniah S. Spaulding's career in secret intelligence lasted less than a year. Arriving in Hawai'i in December 1867, he posed as an investor in cotton lands while he wrote confidential reports for Secretary of State William Seward. ... He [Seward] gave Zephaniah Spaulding a secret mission: assess how passage of the reciprocity treaty might affect Hawai'i's political and economic situation. ..." (page 19)
"After the reciprocity treaty failed in June 1870 -- only half the Senate voted for the pact -- Spaulding knew that reciprocity must grab Washington's attention to succeed. In letters to President Ulysses S. Grant and Secretary of State Hamilton Fish, Spaulding linked reciprocity to a new naval station. Spaulding claimed Hawai'i would gladly grant a ninety-nine year lease for a naval yard." (page 20)
pp. 20-21: Crisis between U.S. and Great Britain in mid 1872 "impelled the first serious examination of the military aspects of Hawaiian ports." (p.20) The Fenians (Irish American activists) hoped to free Ireland by provoking British war with U.S., and staged raids into Canada. Disputes over Puget Sound border. Canadian vs. U.S. fishing rights. The "Alabama claims" -- During the Civil War, Britain allowed its shipwrights to build Confederate cruisers and allowed them to leave port to attack Union ships. "The raiders, including those not built in Britain, destroyed 257 Union ships and forced 700 others under foreign flags. The merchant marine shrank by two-thirds. After the war, the U.S. demanded compensation for 'direct claims' for the merchanters lost to the raiders." (p.21)
p. 22: "... arbitrators addressed the direct claims alone. Only in the case of the Alabama, Florida, and Shenandoah had Britain failed to exercise due diligence, the arbitrators declared in September 1872, and assessed $15.5 million in damages. ... If war broke out, the British navy would surely attack America's Pacific interests. Secretary of War William Worth Belknap ... ordered a study of the defensive capabilities of Hawaiian ports. Belknap selected Major General John M. Schofield, commander of the Army's Military Division of the pacific ... went into the Civil War a captain and came out of it, like other capable officers, a general. Unlike nearly all of them, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry ... reported that Honolulu, the only existing harbor, could not be defended by shore batteries ... only the Pearl River had all the properties of an excellent naval port ..."
p. 23: "The officers knew the planters wanted duty-free entry for their sugar. Perhaps the Pearl River might be traded for duty-free sugar. King Kalakaua opposed any surrender of sovereignty, but he visited the United States in 1874 to pursue reciprocity. He was the first king ever to visit." ... General Schofield hosted Kalakaua for a lavish week in San Francisco; luxurious Pullman railroad car to Washington, government paid for 10-room suite at Arlington Hotel. Kalakaua spoke to joint session of Congress. President Grant hosted a plush state dinner. Secretary Fish and Hawaiians completed a draft treaty in January 1875. King came home to huge celebration in Honolulu, including hula at the king's house. "But in Washington the pact was in trouble. A simple reciprocity treaty would not pass the Senate, which previously had killed three similar treaties. Senate negotiators extracted an additional concession from the Hawaiians and passed the revised treaty 51-12. It bound Hawai'i not to lease or grant any 'port, harbor, or territory' to a foreign power. This caused some grumbling in Honolulu, but others pointed out that if Hawai'i was not going to cede territory to the United States, there was little harm in ruling out cession entirely. Hawai'i surrendered no sovereignty; it merely promised not to surrender it to a third party. The Reciprocity Treaty took effct September 9, 1876. ... The treaty's term was seven years, after which it could be abrogated on a year's notice, making the earliest posible end September 8, 1884."
pp. 24-25: 1883 Hawaii decided to renew the treaty. But trouble in U.S. Grover Cleveland took office in [March] 1885 [for his first term]. He opposed the principle of reciprocity in general, and withdrew from the Senate a proposed reciprocity treaty with Spain. But he acquiesced in the Hawaii treaty as a special case. War in Samoa between Germany and Britain also involved U.S.
p. 26: "Excluding foreign influence in Hawai'i was crucial. So was strengthening American influence by extending reciprocity, especially with a clause allowing a U.S. base at Pearl Harbor. Hawai'i's reluctance to accept a Pearl Harbor clause ended abruptly on July 1, 1887, when a bloodless coup toppled the cabinet. Under pressure, King kalakaua accepted a new cabinet and the so-called Bayonet Constitution, which limited his powers. In elections held under the new constitution, the white-dominated Reform Party won handily. A Reform cabinet requested that Bayard [Cleveland's Secretary of State] stipulate that Hawai'i merely allowed the use of, not cession, of the Pearl River. Bayard produced the stipulation. In November 1887, the two nations extended reciprocity indefinitely but with an initial seven-year term. Lili'uokalani, the future queen, wrote: 'King signed a lease of Pearl Harbor to U. States for eight years to get R. Treaty. It should not have been done.' She did not record her reasons for opposing the Pearl River clause. Hawai'i got renewal of the reciprocity treaty in return for a temporary privilege that the United States never used. No land was ceded; Hawaii surrendered no sovereignty."
Chapter 3: The Empire of Cane, pp 28-36
pp. 28-29: Influence of Claus Spreckels (California millionaire who became a Hawaii sugar baron and powerful friend of King Kalakaua).
"The rise of sugar connected directly to the fragmentation of Hawaiian politics, to the 1893 revolution, and ultimately to annexation in 1898. White businessmen, managers, and mechanics benefited most from sugar. As white businessmen became richer and paid most of the taxes, they sought political influence commensurate with their dominant economic position. Native Hawaiians, benefiting far less from sugar, felt their country slipping away as their numbers continued to drop and as whites sought to curb the monarchy's power. Politics polarized into two camps. Royalists, composed mostly of Native Hawaiians, part-Hawaiians, and a few whites, opposed curbs on royal powers. So-called Reformers -- mostly whites, part-Hawaiians, and a few Native Hawaiians -- wanted a constrained monarchy in which the king would reign but not rule, leaving the management of the country to the business and professional community. Sugar radically changed the demographic balance, sucking in so many sugar laborers of various nationalities that the newcomers, mostly Chinese and Japanese who could not vote, soon became a majority of the adult population. The recruitment and importation of these laborers became a cetral focus of the government. The sugar industry could not grow without them, but the Asian majority, if ever granted suffrage, would meand the end of white [and ethnic Hawaiian!] rule." (page 29)
"Americans (including naturalized Americans such as Spreckels and Hawaiian-born whites of American ancestry) owned 75% of roughly sixty-seven plantations in 1890. British money constituted 18 percent and German investment most of the rest." (page 32)
"On the positive side, sugar pumped a great deal of money into the Hawaiian economy, increasing the overall wealth of the country. ... Sugar made Hawai'i a great export engine, a tiny trade superpower. It outperformed the United States in export earnings and balance of trade. In 1897 the United States exported about $14.40 of goods per person and imported about $9.95. Hawai'i did much, much better. Per capita exports were $147 per person. What is striking is the trade surplus, an astounding $77 per capita in Hawai'i compared to $4.45 per capita in the United States, the latter a fine showing that seemed low only when compared to Hawai'i's. During the reciprocity period, Hawai'i generated some $229 million in exports and a trade surplus of $101.5 million, an incredible amount for a nation with a population measured in the tens of thousands. ... The booming industry oriented the economy on the United States. Sugar represented 95 percent of the value of Hawaiian exports, and 99.04 percent of Hawai'i sugar went to the United States." (page 35)
Chapter 4: The Beginnings of Japanese Immigration, pp. 37-49
Robert Walker Irwin, from Pennsylvania, became agent of the Pacific Mail Company in Yokohama in 1866 at age 22, 2 years before the end of the Meiji Revolution. He met a Japanese girl, age 17, and lived with her but was not legally allowed to marry her because he was a foreigner; until the law changed in 1873 and they officially recorded their marriage in 1882.
"By 1872 Irwin was working for a Yokohama trading company. He became friends with two men destined for great influence in Meiji Japan, Masuda Takashi and Inoue Kaoru." (page 37)
Inoue Kaoru became foreign minister, serving from 1879 to 1887. He then headed three other ministries and became a very senior and respected "supreme advisor" to the emperor.
"Irwin was a rarity, a longtime resident of Japan when less than a thousand foreigners lived there, fluent in Japanese, and extremely well connected. When the Hawaiian consul general took an extended leave in 1880, Irwin became acting consul, then minister. Concurrently, Irwin served as special commissioner of the Hawaiian Board of Immigration" and also Minister Plenipotentiary of Japan to Hawaii. (page 38)
"Irwin's ties to the Japanese establishment greatly helped him obtain labor for Hawaiian agriculture. From 1884 he was the key player in the flow of the Japanese to the booming sugar industry, a flow that became a torrent by the late 1890s." (page 39)
By 1876 there were few foreigners in Hawaii, and the natives were still about 90% of the population. But "1876-98, rapidly rising Asian and Portuguese immigration significantly altered the demographic makeup, doubling the island population. By 1896 Native Hawaiians constituted only 36 percent of the population, greatly weakening their political power." (page 39)
"In 1853 whites totaled 1,687, a tiny 2.3 percent of the population. In 1878, the white population still numbered only 3,748 ... in 1878, census takers counted only 44,014 Hawaiians [full or part combined] ... During 1878-86, 10,216 Portuguese arrived." (page 40)
"From 1878 through 1885, 23,715 Chinese arrived, mostly as 'free immigrants,' not bound by contract, therefore not compelled to leave afterward. The 5,605 Chinese sugar workers in 1886 were chiefly free immigrants who sought work and signed contracts only after arrival. Other Chinese went directly into town jobs dominated by whites -- shopkeepers, small businessmen, craftsmen, and mechanics. A white anti-Chinese movement sprang up, advocating an immigration cut-off. ... Until 1884 Chinese entered without documentation, but from that year entry required travel documents. The Hawaiian consulate in Hong Kong stopped issuing such documents and convinced the British to do the same. These measures ended the inflow. Over the next eight years, only 911 Chinese immigrants entered. By 1894 the Chinese population shrank to 15,000." (page 41)
"Given the expense of the Portuguese, white opposition to Chinese, and the failure of other recruitment efforts, Japan seemed the best source of low-cost, high-quality laborers who would return home and not displace blue-collar whites. Hawai'i thought Japanese immigration would be controllable if carefully coordinated by the two governments. The plantations would calculate the number of workers needed, and only that number would be recruited, bound by preapproved contracts issued by the Board of Immigration. Money would be withheld from their wages to offset the ticket home [and would be given back to the workers only for that purpose], making it likely that they would leave." (page 41)
In 1868 Eugene Van Reed, Hawaii's consul general in Yokohama, recruited 148 plantation workers. But he was dishonest in dealing with the workers and with the Japanese government. Japan wanted a treaty to protect the workers, and refused to deal with Van Reed; so Hawaii asked the American minister to Japan to negotiate on Hawaii's behalf. The resulting 1871 Treaty of Amity and Commerce between Hawaii and Japan guaranteed that Hawaii subjects in Japan would enjoy all the privileges and immunities granted by Japan to subjects of other nations; but did not guarantee that Japanese residing in Hawaii would enjoy those same privileges and immunities outside of commercial pursuits.
Kalakaua 1881 world tour, went to Japan, visited Emperor Mutsuhito, offered Ka'iulani to be future wife of Japanese prince, but Mutsuhito declined. 1882 Hawaii sent John Kapena to discuss immigration with Foreign Minister Inoue Kaoru. To smooth the way, Hawaii appointed Japan's Minister Plenipotentiary to Hawaii, Robert Irwin, to also serve concurrently as Hawaii's special commissioner for Japanese immigration.
"Irwin sprang into action. He explained to Hawaiian officials and planters how to avoid the problems of the 1868 Van Reed episode. He returned to Tokyo with a list of sugar plantations that desired workers and with a model labor contract. ... The Hawaiian government committed three hundred thousand dollars to the project and gave Irwin fifty thousand dollars for a recruitment drive. ... The Japanese government helped enormously. Foreign Minister Inoue guaranteed the success of Irwin's effort by distributing to government offices throughout Japan a detailed description of the immigration program. ... issued guidelines for what people should take to Hawai'i ..." (page 42)
"On February 8, 1885, the City of Tokio [ship] docked with 943 immigrants, 676 men and 267 women and children. This was the first of dozens of shiploads over the next thirteen years until Hawai'i passed under the American flag in 1898, although immigration continued to increase after that date and remained high until the anti-Asian exclusion laws of the 1920s. Irwin was aboard as well. The first shipload met a warm welcome. The Pacific Commercial Advertiser proclaimed that their arrival was -- next to the signing of the Reciprocity Treaty -- the most important event of Kalakaua's reign." (page 43)
"In the Queen's Hospital on the day after arrival, Iida Hisano gave birth to a girl, probably the first Japanese born in Hawai'i. King Kalakaua and his sister Lili'uokalani became godparents for the infant, named Lydia after Lili'uokalani's [end page 43, begin page 44] Christian name. The king gave a party at 'Iolani Palace, where forty men staged a sumo tournament. ..." (pages 43-44)
Discussing the Japan-Hawaii Convention of 1886 negotiated between the friends Inoue and Irwin: "Hawai'i's guarantee that immigrants would receive the 'full and perfect protection' of Hawaiian law did not, in itself, guarantee voting rights, as some later claimed. Under the 1864 Hawaiian constitution, only citizens (royal subjects) or denizens (foreign citizens with a royal grant of the privileges of a citizen) could vote. For a Japanese to vote, the king would have to naturalize the laborer or award the status of denizen. This had been done with many whites and a handful of Asians. But the Convention of 1886 did not guarantee naturalization, denization, or the vote. However, under the later 1887 constitution, which limited citizenship to Hawaiians and Europeans [including Americans], Japanese lost the potential to become citizens, even through naturalization. This violated the 1871 Treaty of Amity and Commerce, which said Japanese would enjoy 'the same privileges as may have been, or may hereafter be granted to the citizens or subjects of any other nation.' Although the treaty was principally concerned with the treatment of traders and merchants, it could be argued that the traders, if not all Japanese, should enjoy most favored nation treatment." (page 45)
"Pushed to look abroad by tough conditions at home, immigrants were also pulled to Hawai'i by comparatively higher wages for roughly similar workweek. ... The sixty-hour workweek on Hawaiian sugar plantations (seventy-two hours for mill workers) was brutal but no worse than back home. And Hawaiian wages were higher. The convention wage rate -- $15 a month with free lodging and medical care -- looked good to suffering Japanese ... Male farm workers in Japan made $1.72 per month and females $0.95 on the 1880s, rising to $1.99-$3.19 per month in 1899." (page 46)
"Even in the first years of immigration, various levels of the Japanese government were intensely interested in the money flowing back from Hawai'i. ... Remittances were the eighthleading source of Japan's overseas revenue in 1892. ... immigrants usually brought back as much or more money than they remitted ... By way of comparison, Japan's chief export -- tea -- earned less than half that amount in 1892." (page 47)
"During 1885-94 the two governments arranged 26 shiploads totaling 28,691 immigrants, 23,071 men, 5,487 women, and 133 children. Despite the mandatory payroll deductions for return tickets [25%], roughly half the immigrants remained after their three-year stints." (page 48)
"The Convention of 1886 satisfied both Hawai'i and Japan. It met Hawai'i's desire for diligent workers who would go home after the contract expired. It allowed Hawai'i to stop the politically unpopular Chinese immigration. It produced significant remittances for Japan's economy and a better life for thousands of its people. ... Above all, the convention made the inflow predictable and controllable. This was acutely important for Hawai'i. Immigrants arrived only in the numbers requested. Because the Japanese goverment controlled passport issuance, virtully no Japanese went to Hawai'i except as contract laborers." (page 49)
Chapter 5: The Fragmentation of Hawaiian Politics, pp. 50-68
Book author Morgan leans in favor of Jon Osorio's theory [Dismembering Lahui] that ethnic Hawaiians regarded the monarchial government as their personal identity, and only grudgingly allowed whites to take government positions and exercise economic power. Struggle between traditional native folkways relying on the ali'i and 'aina, vs. western law, education, and capitalism.
Sugar industry left "little room for Hawaiians in middle management, certainly none in the lily-white top levels. ... The situation cried out for what would later be called affirmative action." (page 51)
Political fragmentation began when Lunalilo died without an heir in February 1874. Struggle between Queen Emma (British orientation) and Kalakaua (American orientation). Legislature voted for Kalakaua 39-6, triggering riot. Hundreds of Emma's supporters "trashed the courthouse where the legislature met, injuring more than a quarter of the legislators. One died and another was seriously wounded when he was tossed out of a second story window. American and British landing parties restored order, remaining ashore more than a week. ..." (page 51)
Kalakaua's great expertise in Hawaiian culture, and his work to restore it. Good-natured merry monarch. Alcoholism. Needed lots more money than legislature gave him. Spreckels gave him gifts and loans. 1881 trip around world. Lavish Palace constructed. Lavish coronation. Kalakaua ordered minting of a million silver dollars with Kalakaua's image; Spreckels handled the minting contract and kept $150,000 as his brokerage fee. Walter Murray Gibson scandals. Opium import license scandal. Whites turned to other whites for emotional support and business loans, but did not offer help to Hawaiians. Trickle-down economics disparaged by author Morgan (but he doesn't use that phrase).
"Most whites did not appreciate that, for Native Hawaiians, turning their faces from the throne meant abandoning their identity. That lack of understanding, that dearth of shared destiny, bedeviled and fragmented island politics. Jonathan Osorio persuasively argues that the haole did not share the same deep faith in the legitimacy of the Hawaiian kingdom as did Native Hawaiians. Haole, even those born in the islands, had an ancestral home that was more real to them than the kingdom. For Native Hawaiians, the monarchy 'symbolized their very survival as a people.'" (page 54) [Ken's note: Thus author Morgan adopts the same attitude as today's sovereignty activist racists who say haole go home, Hawaii is the home of the Hawaiians while everyone else has some other place in the world that is their true home. Note also that Morgan has adopted the Hawaiian activist use of "haole" as a plural withour the "s", and the use of the 'okina in spelling the word "Hawai'i", consistently throughout the book. These subtle linguistic affectations might indicate Morgan's bias in favor of the sovereignty activists, trying to curry favor by adopting their linguistic affectations and giving sympathetic rendering to their viewpoint.]
Page 55: The Hawaiian League. Lorrin Thurston, born Oahu, fluent in Hawaiian. Thrown out of Punahou for pranks and poor study, apprenticed for 3 years under Judge Hartwell learning enough law to then hang out his shingle. Columbia U. law school where his classmate was Theodore Roosevelt. Honolulu 1881 built a law practice, partner William O. Smith. Entered legislature 1884 as rabid opponent of the Gibson government. 2 paragraphs devoted to boyhood run-in Thurston had with 400-pound Princess Ruth when he tried to take sand for Punahou from Waikiki. Morgan portrays Ruth as dignified and regal, Thurston as brash and disrespectful.
Pages 56-57: Thurston age 28 in 1887. "Thurston's burnished, selective memoirs, written more than forty years later, are the only source of information about the Hawaiian League. Several hundred whites of American or German birth or descent joined. They were not planters but clerks, mechanics, tradesmen, lawyers, and shopkeepers. They agreed to support potential paramilitary actions 'to protect the white community against arbitrary or oppressive action of the Government. A radical faction wanted to topple the [start page 57] monarchy by force and annex Hawai'i to the United States. The much larger, less radical group wanted a new constitution to constrain the king's authority and make him reign in a fashion similar to British monarchs. Some men, such as Sanford Dole, left the League because they could not stomach the radical proposals. The League midwifed the birth of the Honolulu Rifles, a militia composed largely of Americans and one German company, the Drei Hundert." [Ken's note: means Three Hundred]
Kalakaua dismissed Gibson on advice of U.S. minister George Merrill who warned of likely revolt otherwise.
"Under Rifles' threat, the king accepted the 'Bayonet Constitution' that curtailed royal powers. The "constitutional changes could have been made by amending the 1864 constitution, but with no hope of obtaining a two-thirds vote of both houses, the white rebels resorted to extralegal methods. As Merze Tate noted, the Bayonet Constitution took no individual rights from Native Hawaiians but greatly weakened their relative power by boosting the political power of the propertied whites. The new constitution brought the relative powers of the king and legislature closer to the practice of Britain and other parliamentary democracies. That said, in the 1887 Hawaiian context, the new constitution took power from the monarchy -- the institution used by Native Hawaiians to control their homeland -- and increased the power of a small group." (page 57)
p. 58 Robert Wilcox, plot against Kalakaua in favor of Liliuokalani in 1887 and 1889. In 1889 Wilcox and 100 Hawaiians attempted a coup. Occupied Government Building and Palace grounds. Government troops surrounded, trapping Wilcox and his men. Sharpshooters picked off insurgents who were trying to operate 3 cannons on Palace grounds. Troops landed from the Adams [ship] to guard American citizens and as a precaution if needed to restore order, but were not needed. Government troops killed 6 insurgents and wounded 12 before Wilcox surrendered. Wilcox was later acquitted of treason by a native jury sympathetic to his testimony that the king had blessed his rebellion.
Another near-revolt in 1890. New U.S. minister Stevens and British commissioner Wodehouse prepared to land troops to quell possible rioting. Near-revolt scared Kalakaua into considering a new constitution; Stevens and Wodehouse warned Kalakaua that would be fatal; king backed off. "Wodehouse and Stevens agreed to keep warships in Honolulu to deter any outbreak." (page 59)
King died in California January 20, 1891. Liliuokalani became queen at age 52. White husband John Dominis [philanderer] died a few months later. She hated Bayonet Constitution. "Wodehouse said she initially balked at the oath [to support and defend it] but gave in only when the chief justice explained she could not become queen without it. The queen later wrote that her opponents callously forced her to take the oath ..." (page 59)
"The queen's recollection of her oath-taking reveals much. She was understandably distraught by her brother's death, but the cabinet and chief justice did their constitutional duty, albeit by a constitution she hated. The queen portrayed herself as coerced in order to mitigate her violation of the oath in January 1893, when she attempted to proclaim a new constitution. Lili'uokalani's real complaint was against the constitution itself, not the timing of the oath." (page 60)
"The government disbanded the Native Hawaiian Rifles, including the Kamehameha Guards, after the 1889 rebellion proved that Wilcox supporters had infiltrated the Guards. The Honolulu Rifles disbanded not long after. With the two militias gone, the King's Royal Household Guards were the only organized military force in the islands when Lili'uokalani ascended the throne." (page 60)
pp. 60-61: "In 1892 the political fragmentation worsened. Wodehouse reported that Wilcox again plotted revolution, joined by Volney Ashford, a white architect of the Bayonet Constitution who now wanted to destroy it. ... In March 1892 tension grew to the point where Marshal Charles Wilson ordered the Household Guards to sandbag [begin page 61] the palace grounds. On March 8 Stevens described a secret group of revolutionaries 'hostile to the Queen and to her chief confidants,' and especially opposed to the future accession of the 'half-English' Ka'iulani."
"U.S. admiral George Brown apparently offered to aid the queen if there was a revolt. He landed three hundred sailors for a drill that British commissioner Wodehouse complained was a 'naval demonstration' when the troops paraded in front of the palace to show that they stood behind the monarch. Wodehouse feared Brown's support would curry favor with the queen." (page 61)
Discussion of U.S. minister Stevens and Secretary of State Blaine having been old friends in Maine. Stevens had been minister to Norway, Sweden, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Age 72 in 1892. Spoke condescendingly to the queen; quarrelsom with her supporters, partial to her white opponents, thought the monarchy was holding back Hawaiian development.
April 1892 Wilcox still plotted. April he told a rally that the monarchy should be abolished because the queen paid no attention to Native Hawaiians. May he called the queen the enemy of the Hawaiian people and declared a republic would be preferable with only natives allowed to hold top government posts. Marshal wilson used undercover police to spy on Wilcox plotting; jailed him for treason. But Judge Sanford Dole released most arrestees for lack of evidence, bound Wilcox over for trial, but attorney general dropped charges against Wilcox for fear a native jury would once again acquit him.
May 1892 Thurston went to Washington and Chicago (Worlds Fair). "It is worth remembering that his trip occurred when the royal government feared a coup attempt not by Thurston and the Reform Party but by Wilcox and his followers." (page 62)
Queen decided to undercut Wilxoc opposition by embracing his issues including a new constitution.
"Queen Lili'uokalani secretly worked on a revised constitution with three advisors, probably the legislators Joseph Nawahi and William White as well as the captain of the guard, Samuel Nowlein. On August 2, 1892 she wrote: 'our work is completed and only waits for the Proroguing of the Legislature.' (Prorogation was the sovereign's formal closing of the legislative session.)" (page 62)
"Thus the queen decided well before the January 1893 revolution -- even before the Boston was deployed to Hawai'i -- to promulgate a new charter, largely to preempt an immediate threat to her political base. Sudden unilateral promulgation would likely please Native Hawaiians and decrease Wilcox's appeal, but it would certainly trigger a political clash with whites, perhaps one more severe than 1887. ... the January 1893 revolution became virtually inevitable ..." (page 63)
For three months the queen repeatedly appointed new cabinets, which were then immediately thrown out by the legislature. Wodehouse advised her which men to pick who might survive; and on November 8, 1892 a new cabinet was appointed which survived, and even Stevens approved of it.
In November 1892 Wodehouse wrote 'As the session is drawing to a close', he wrote, 'if the cabinet can hold their position a little longer, they will be safe for two years.' After the planned dissolution of the legislature in January 1893, the legislature would not reassemble for almost two years, making a no-confidence vote impossible." (page 64)
Pages 64-65: Author Morgan describes Secretary of State Blaine's resignation due to illness and replacement by John Watson Foster; Stevens' increasingly bad behavior toward the queen and friendship for the annexationists. But Morgan gives several reasons why Stevens had no reason to think that Blaine or Foster would support revolution or annexation. Blaine and Foster were also very busy with the U.S. dispute with Britain over fur seal hunting in Puget Sound. Blaine monitored Hawaiian events but did not give direction to Stevens. As 1892 ended, Stevens (appointed by Republican President Benjamin Harrison) was packing his bags because he knew the Democrat Grover Cleveland had been elected and would take office in March 1893.
"There was no reason to rush anything. The incoming Cleveland administration looked friendly. Grover Cleveland followed a steady course in his first term (1885-89), accepting reciprocity and even negotiating the treaty's extension. ... There was no reason to foment a revolution, with all its attendant risks, to regain the duty-free status for sugar that Democratic victory would soon restore. Sugar planters played no discernable role in fomenting revolution." (page 67) The recent turmoil was caused by struggles among royalists, Wilcox supporters, and whites opposed to both.
"The Harrison administration did nothing to promote revolution. ... As the legislature prepared to end its work, the cabinet seemed stable. Whites were happy with it. Nobody was plotting, not even Wilcox, who had temporarily quieted down. The queen faced no immediate threat, but she still wanted to undermine Wilcox's appeal to her base. Hence, the only specific item to be implemented in the next few months was the queen's new constitution. She was the only principal with a timetable. Whether she would stick to it would determine the fate of the monarchy." (page 68)
Chapter 6: The Revolution Begins, pp. 69-87
This chapter is filled with great detail about the sequence of events from January 4, 1893, when the USS Boston departed from Honolulu on a two week training and gunnery cruise to Hilo (also stopping in Lahaina), with U.S. Minister Stevens aboard along with his wife and daughter for sightseeing (they took a weeklong family trek to the volcano), to Saturday January 14 when the ship returned to Honolulu on the same day the Queen dismissed the legislature and tried to proclaim a new constitution, to Monday January 16 when peacekeepers went ashore. Numerous footnotes refer to the Blount Report, the Morgan Report, and various private letters and diaries to document the details.
The book's author William M. Morgan (no relation to Senator John T. Morgan of the Morgan Report) devotes considerable effort clearly showing that there was no planning or conspiracy in the coincidental timing of the ship's return with the political events in Honolulu.
When the ship departed the political situation seemed stable. The Queen had appointed a new cabinet which everyone seemed pleased with, and there was no coup plotting underway from Robert Wilcox, the royalists, or the white businessmen. However, things fell apart on January 12 when the royalists in the legislature successfully ousted the cabinet when six Native Hawaiians who had voted in favor of the cabinet during a failed no-confidence vote changed their minds and voted to oust the cabinet after arm-twisting by the Queen, who felt she needed a new cabinet that would agree to her secret plan to proclaim a new constitution. The Queen immediately appointed a new cabinet with Samuel Parker as Minister of Foreign Affairs, John Colburn as Minister of Interior, William Cornwell as Minister of Finance, and Arthur Peterson as Attorney General. The new cabinet was not disliked enough by any faction to cause trouble.
** Ken Conklin's comment: The following paragraph is a sort of timeline, which I created by putting the sequence of events into perspective. Every element in the following paragraph is taken from Chapter 6 in this book. However, a great shortcoming of the book is that author Morgan himself did not create a timeline. The elements of the timeline are scattered throughout the chapter, and well documented by footnotes; but he should have assembled them in proper sequence himself.
On Saturday morning January 14 around 9 AM the new cabinet learned the Queen intended to proclaim a new constitution that afternoon, and she asked them to be present in the Palace for the proclamation ceremony. Then the legislature met briefly with the new ministers in place (but no mention of a new constitution), and quickly adjourned until the formal ceremony planned for noon to dissolve the legislature. Around 10 AM Samuel Parker returned to the Palace to reconfirm the Queen's intentions but she was unavailable. Colburn ran downtown to get advice from Alfred Hartwell, an old friend (the Queen later called Colburn's action treasonous), who asked Thurston and W.O. Smith to join them, and Peterson also came along. Hartwell, Thurston, and Smith urged cabinet ministers Colburn and Peterson to resist the Queen, and also urged them not to resign in protest because that would allow the Queen to replace them with any new ministers she chose without fear of the replacements being ousted since the legislature would by then be dissolved. Meanwhile the USS Boston moored in Honolulu harbor at 9:56 AM, not knowing anything about what was happening (the ship, of course, had no electronic communications, and there were also no communications between islands except by ship). Then at noon the Queen presided over a brief ceremony formally dissolving the legislature as had been planned for a couple of days and was well known to everyone. The new cabinet could not be subjected to a no-confidence vote until the legislature came back at least 18 months later.
"Peterson and Colburn rejoined Parker and Cornwell at the Government Building [Ali'iolani Hale] just before noon. Precisely at twelve o'clock, the queen prorogued [dissolved] the legislature and immediately went across the street to the palace. Hartwell went to the American legation, where Stevens just arrived from the Boston, and asked him to join British minister Wodehouse in dissuading the queen from promulgating the constitution. Unable to see the queen, Stevens, Wodehouse, and other foreign representatives met the cabinet in the Government Building around one o'clock. Wodehouse asked about the draft constitution. Parker said they had heard rumors of it and intended to oppose it. The conversation explored the queen's motivation. ... Stevens pounded on the floor with his cane, declared that the lottery bill was a direct attack on the United States, and stalked from the room after demanding to be informed if the queen pursued the new constitution. The cabinet went over to the palace, where the queen waited with members of the legislature, representatives of Native Hawaiian political societies, and members of the public. She said nine thousand persons had petitioned for a new constitution. She thought this was an appropriate time to honor their request. She wanted the ministers to sign the document with her. They refused and urged her to abandon the idea. Thus the Samuel Parker cabinet -- the handpicked one she worked so hard to get into place -- decided it could not support her new charter, at least not one unilaterally promulgated. ..." (page 82)
"Parker continued to try to talk her out of promulgation. The other three [cabinet ministers] went back to the Government Building. Although Stevens had left, diplomats and politically active whites such as Thurston were still there. Thurston said the foreign community opposed a new constitution and would back the cabinet in their resistance, even deposing the queen if necessary. Soon a large crowd gathered, by the queen's invitation, in the Throne Room of the palace. Across the central hallway, in the intimate Blue Room, the queen and her ministers acrimoniously debated their refusal to sign the constitution. This lengthy argument was interrupted frequently as ministers went out into the hall to converse with diplomats and influential white residents. Finally, the queen reluctanly agreed to withold the document, based, she said, on Peterson's proposal that she could announce a revised version within two weeks. Visibly angry, she passed through the Throne Room and went out on the balcony to speak to a crowd in the palace yard. She told them that she could not issue a new constitution now but would do so before too long. Accounts differ on whether this period was to be days, weeks, or longer. Although upset, the crowd dispersed without incident. Had the political climate been less partisan, the queen's change of mind might have defused the crisis. But her promulgation attempt was like match to tinder." (page 83)
"Henry Cooper came aboard the Boston about eleven thirty in the morning, just after Stevens disembarked, to inform Captain Wiltse that the queen intended to proclaim a new constitution. ... Normally, the Boston's crew would have received liberty after a cruise, but Wiltse kept them aboard because of his worries about trouble ashore. He did not share his fears with his officers nor did he make any preparations for landing troops. The executive officer made the crew spend the weekend cleaning the ship. On the morning of the eventual landing -- Monday January 16 -- the crew had not yet made any preparations for going ashore and were still mending rigging and sanding the wooden decks." (page 83)
"While Wiltse cautiously waited, Minister Stevens moved to center stage. From Saturday afternoon, Stevens was deeply and inappropriately involved in the revolution. Although there is no convincing evidence of a conspiracy between Stevens and the rebels, the events of January 14-17 show a high degree of mutual understanding and an array of simultaneous or complementary actions typical of a unified group rather than two distinct camps. Stevens' improper actions, intimations, and suggestions significantly influenced events, aiding the rebels and intimidating the royalists and possibly keeping the revolution alive. Certainly his active opposition -- a declaration that American forces would support the royal government -- would have squelched it." (page 84)
"That Saturday afternoon of January 14, in the Smith-Thurston law offices, the queen's overthrow got under way. As men gathered, some wanted the queen's overthrow but most had no concrete plan. The comings and goings slowly coalesced into a large meeting run by Henry Cooper. A smaller group, the so-called Committee of Safety, was established with Cooper as chair. He appointed twelve others, eleven of them, like him, members of the Annexation Club. Among the thirteen were four Americans, three Hawaiian-born whites of U.S. descent, three naturalized whites of American ancestry, a naturalized Australian, a Scot, and a German. ... Thurston, William O. Smith, and William Castle were Hawaiian-born whites. ... There were no sugar planters in the group. ..." (page 85)
Book author Morgan says it was grossly inappropriate for Stevens, a diplomat accredited to the kingdom government, to meet with the rebels and to treat the rebels even-handedly with the royalists. He believes Stevens' even-handedness encouraged the rebels and caused the government to believe he was on the side of the rebels.
"With Stevens' moral support, by Sunday morning the rebels were moving swiftly toward overthrowing the queen at the very time that the Parker cabinet began backing away from them. As the threat of a royalist constitutional coup faded [i.e., illegal unilateral proclamation of a new constitution by the queen], the cabinet ceased cooperation with the plotters, preferring to maintain the monarchy. Parker himself returned to the fold on Saturday. On Sunday morning the other ministers cut off contact with the rebels when Thurston told them that the Committee of Safety still intended to overthrow the monarchy. No one knows why the royal government did not arrest the plotters during January 15-17. Marshal Wilson suggested arresting them, but Peterson and the cabinet objected. They claimed they feared U.S. intervention ..." (page 86)
"But the Boston had not yet landed troops. If the government was really so much stronger than the rebels, it could have jailed them and suppressed the revolution before Stevens and Wiltse even learned of the arrests. ... The government declared on Monday that the queen promised that no constitutional changes would be made. The proclamation had no effect because the rebels were fixed on overthrow. ... " (page 87)
Parker and Cornwell called on Stevens on Sunday morning. Author Morgan says it was proper for Stevens to receive them, because he was a diplomat accredited to their government. After Parker and Cornwell left, then Stevens met with Thurston and Smith who had come to see him. Stevens told them he could not recognize any government until actually established, and that American troops would protect life and property but not take sides in the dispute. Author Morgan complains Stevens should not have speculated about landing troops at all, although the rebels would probably have abandoned their plans only if Stevens had told them the troops would support the queen.
** Ken Conklin's comment: Author Morgan seems to think that when a revolution is underway, an accredited diplomat has an obligation to support the existing government, or at least an obligation not to meet with representatives of the rebels. But if that's true, then what would Morgan say about President Grover Cleveland and his Ministers Blount and Willis meeting secretly with ex-queen Liliuokalani in Summer and Fall of 1893 and trying to intimidate President Dole's government to step down and restore her -- especially in view of the fact that the U.S. had given de facto recognition to the Dole government? ** Further Conklin comment added after reading later chapters of the book: Author Morgan does indeed explicitly draw that parallel and says it was wrong for Cleveland/Gresham/Blount/Willis to interfere with the Provisional Government and try to intimidate Dole into dissolving it.
Chapter 7: The Landing of U.S. Troops, pp. 88-109
Most of the chapter is a detailed exploration of the timing of the events of Monday January 16, 1893 when U.S. peacekeepers came ashore from the USS Boston, and an analysis of the statements and motives of the rebels, the royalists, and the U.S. Minister Stevens and the U.S. military officers. Important items are well documented by 86 footnotes citing the Blount Report, Morgan Report, and various private diaries and archives.
At 9 AM Marshal of the Kingdom Charles Wilson went to the Thurston/Smith law office to talk with the Committee of Safety; he proposed a compromise, guaranteeing the queen would not bring forth her constitution again. Thurston refused to stand down, and said the rebels intend to settle things for the last time. Later Wilson said he asked the cabinet to arrest the plotters but the cabinet was too timid and refused. The Committee of Safety sent a note to Stevens asking troops to be landed for their protection, but later that day retracted the request. It's unknown whether Stevens received either communication, or whether he responded.
Pages 89-90: "At two o'clock a thousand rebels jammed into the armory. Thurston harangued the crowd, which by acclamation gave the Committee of Safety a free hand. The royalists gathered more sedately at Palace Square. ... Businesses closed at midday, men thronged the streets heading to and from mass meetings, and anxious Americans gathered at the legation. The Committee of Safety reconvened after the mass meeting, a little past three o'clock. The group conclusively decided to establish a provisional government. ... Cooler heads pointed out their unreadiness to bring matters to a head. Not a single paper had been written, not even the proclamation of the new government. ... About four thirty, three rebels went to the legation to ask Stevens, just returned from the Boston, to delay a landing. But the troops were already in their boats. The landing was [ship Captain] Wiltse's decision, not Stevens'. The captain made his own evaluation of the situation. ... Around noon, Wiltse told his executive officer, Lieutenant [end pg 89, start p.90] Commander Swinburne, to prepare to put troops ashore ... by two thirty they were ready. Swinburne planned to land at four o'clock, when Wiltse guessed the two mass meetings would break up. The Boston's troops would be able to stop trouble in the streets from brawling partisans. ... Wiltse reiterated that he had already ordered the battalion ashore to protect '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.' Wiltse streesed the landing party's neutrality. Lieutenant Laird asked about Wiltse's goal. Wiltse said, 'My desire is that you remain neutral; you are to protect the lives and property of American citizens.'"
Nobody had made plans for a bivouac where the troops not stationed at the legation (on Nu'uanu north of Beretania) or the consulate (corner of Fort and Merchant streets) would spend the night. Having returned from the legation to find the landing underway, Stevens and Wiltse discussed the need to stay in the downtown area near the liquor stores to board them up in case of rioting; and the need to station some troops at both the legation and the consulate, and find a place for the remaining troops to stay. Maybe the Opera House. Maybe Mr. Atherton's house a few blocks down King Street.
"Using eight boats, the battalion formed on Brewer's wharf by five o'clock ... including drummers and buglers ... The presence of musicians with instruments indicates that Wiltse did not expect trouble. ... The men carried standard equipment for landing parties, small arms and two heavier weapons, a 37-mm cannon and a Gatling gun. Men carried eighty to one hundred rounds for each rifle and pistol ... A photo in the Library of Congress shows the Boston's crew practicing riot control at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, equipped as they were in Honolulu on January 16. [Lieutenant Lucien] Young said he had landed in Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Panama, and 'we simply did here what we have done before in other places.'" (page 91)
"Swinburne moved immediately to protect American property. The battalion marched in a column -- without apparent concern for their safety, and with rifles slung across their shoulders -- along Queen Street to Fort Street, turned left and went to the U.S. consulate at Fort and Merchant. Swinburne posted a reinforced Marine squad at the consulate and sent the rest of the Marines to the legation (Stevens' residence and office) on upper Nu'uanu Avenue. Swinburne therefore used a quarter of his force to protect the two most important American properties." (page 92)
"The three naval companies with the musicians playing merrily marched east on Merchant Street through Palace Square, past 'Iolani palace on the left of the column and the Music Hall and Government Building on the right. The troops found no discord whatsoever. As the sailors passed the palace, they saw the queen standing alone on the balcony and gave her a military salute: a droop of the colors, a trumpet blast, ruffles on the drums, and the men at port arms. Either from unfamiliarity with military salutes -- unlikely, as she watched troops drill ashore for decades -- or, more likely, to portray the landing force as intimidating her, she claimed they drew up in a line in front of the palace gates and pointed their guns at her and her supporters. This was untrue. ..." (page 92)
"Swinburne stopped the column just east of the palace at J.A. Hopper's house and phoned the ship. No bivouac had been identified so, as planned, Swinburne marched farther out to Atherton's house, where the troops rested under the trees, amid gentle evening showers, and drank lemonade and ate bananas. Swinburne phoned Wiltse 'two or three times when it got dark' to check on a hall. The most likely halls were unavailable. The American owner of the Music Hall declined permission, recalling that his building suffered considerable damage in 1889, when government sharpshooters used its second floor to duel with Robert Wilcox's cannoneers in the palace grounds. The owner of the old armory near the waterfront was off island. The re-forming Honolulu Rifles were already using the big, newer armory at Beretania and Punchbowl. About nine thirty that evening, Wiltse or Stevens ... secured Arion Hall, an American-owned building behind the Music Hall." (page 92)
Pages 94-95: discussion of how the queen and royalists might have felt threatened by the peacekeepers' overnight location and previous movement past the palace, especially in light of the fact that Stevens did not give the queen assurances of American neutrality. "To the naval officers, American movements were neutral and logical, completely routine, but the queen and her supporters, timid and fearful, understandably interpreted them as threatening." (page 95)
Monday night Committee of Safety asked Sanford Dole to head a new government. Description of Dole's personal and political background in the kingdom. Dole slept on it, and Tuesday morning accepted.
Tuesday Dole went to the Thurston/Smith law office where, by 10-11 AM the appointees and rebel leaders gathered and prepared the appointment papers. Thurston stayed home sick all day.
2:20 PM, looking out the law office door, Dole saw 6 Hawaiian policemen across the street, had no idea what their instructions were, but (30 years later recalled he) felt success vs. failure were equally balanced.
"The streets were full of government supporters and rebels. ... John Good and other rebels purchased guns and ammunition at the E.O. Hall and Sons hardware store and loaded them on a wagon. A valiant police officer named Leialoha grabbed the bridle of the team of horses. Good shot Officer Leialoha in the shoulder. (The only casualty of the revolution, Leialoha recovered fully and received a two-hundred-dollar payment and get-well letter from Dole.) The other police officers fell back. The wagon headed to the armory." Meanwhile a Company of rebels hustled from the Armory to the Government Building (page 96)
As the Committee of Safety were leaving the Thurston/Smith law office they heard the pistol shot. They split into two groups and hurried by different routes to the Government Building. Surprised to find it unguarded. Shortly after 2:30 Henry Cooper read the proclamation abrogating the monarchy and establishing the provisional government. During the reading, at 2:40, the Company of rebels arrived from the armory.
"Dole requested royal officials [in the Government Building] to remain in their posts, except for the queen, her cabinet, and Marshal Wilson. The rebel government set up shop in the Government Building. John Soper organized street patrols. Dole invited the Boston's troops to participate, but 'this invitation met a curt refusal.'" (page 96)
Pages 97-98: "Throughout the turmoil, the American troops never left Arion Hall. Swinburne knew, from Carter's tip, that the rebels would soon read the proclamation. He did not tell the other officers. The Boston's troops heard Good's shot. Given the crowds on the street, the shooting, and the prospective reading of the proclamation, Swinburne expected a riot. He had his men stack arms and form in ranks in the rear of Arion Hall so that they were out of sight. ... Swinburne did not deploy a patrol [end page 97 / begin page 98] or investigate the shot, hardly the actions of a man determined to support the rebels. Soon Dole and others arrived at the Government Building and Cooper read the proclamation. Samuel Damon, one of the rebel party, sent a messenger asking Swinburne for protection. The reply: 'Capt. Wiltse's orders are "I remain passive."' Not long after -- Swinburne guessed it four thirty or five o'clock -- Dole asked Wiltse to come over to the Government Building for a talk. Wiltse and Swinburne met with Dole, Peter Jones, William O. Smith, and others. The Government Building was well garrisoned. Swinburne remembered a big store of guns and ammo piled in the room, guards at every building entrance, and 'at least 100 men under arms.' Smith and Jones did most of the talking and requested that Wiltse recognize them as the de facto government because they occupied the Government Building, the Archives, and the treasury. Wiltse asked if they controlled the police station and the barracks, and whether they could guarantee the safety of life and property. Dole admitted that the rebels as yet did not control the police station or the barracks. Wiltse said he could not recognize them, and the two officers returned to Arion Hall by six o'clock. Legally, with an American minister posted in Honolulu, Wiltse lacked authority to recognize anyone, but it is worth noting the vast difference between Wiltse's criteria for recognition and Stevens' much looser standard."
Pages 99-101 are a detailed discussion of conflicting information about the exact time and circumstances when Stevens recognized the provisional government, citing sworn testimony and private diaries. "Stevens' recognition was very premature and mightily improper, violating the practice that a rebel government must be in control and executing the functions of government." (page 100)
Pages 101-106 are a detailed discussion of the timing and circumstances of the queen's surrender.
[The queen] "produced no useful ideas about how to deal with the rebellion, nor did she insist that her advisors generate opinions other than capitulation. No one in the royalist cam had any imagination. ... They were paralyzed by their assumptions ... They did not test their assumptions ... Before the landing, the royalists were unjustifiably passive. Why did royalist forces not control the streets better? Why did they not arrest the rebel ringleaders? Why did they not seize the armory to prevent its use by the rebels? Why did they not seal the public buildings and post armed guards at the entrances? Why did they not declare a state of emergency and close the hardware stores that were selling guns and ammunition to the rebels? Why did they not institute a curfew to hinder rebel communications? ... That the royalists took none of these steps, before or after the U.S. landing, demonstrates weak leadership and poor judgment. All reflect badly on the royalists as an effective military and police force." (page 103)
[Contrary to Blount's report] "the rebels had clear military superiority, despite roughly equal numbers, and despite royalist claims to the contrary. ... There was no chance the royalists could put down the rebellion when Cooper proclaimed the new government. ... the royalists failed to garrison key points around town. Instead, they barricaded themselves in the police station and the barracks. How could they put down a rebellion if they would not control the streets? ... With rebels using the armory just a block away, and the unguarded Government Building across from the palace, none of Nowlein's 272 men [plus 12 breech-loading rifled cannon and 1 gatling gun] did anything to suppress rebel activity or even to guard a key facility like the Government Building, even before the Boston's troops were ashore. Aside from Officer Leialoha and Wilson himself, none of the 500 men in the queen's forces did anything to suppress the rebels before or after the Americans landed. ..." (page 104)
"The rebels had strong will to fight. John Good's shooting of Officer Leialoha is typical of the rebel resolve. The rebels rapidly rebuilt the forces that backed the Bayonet Revolution of 1887 and suppressed the Wilcox Rebellion in 1889. ..." (page 105) All over O'ahu, rebels from 1887 and 1889 quickly collected enthusiastic veterans who brought weapons and ammo with them. "Royalist military inferiority would have cost them the struggle even had the Boston still been at sea when the revolt began. The battle might have taken several days and shed some blood, but the rebels would definitely have won. Swinburne testified that if the Boston had stayed out longer 'they would have deposed the Queen and had the whole business settled before we got there, as they were capable of doing.'" (page 105)
"Blount said the rebels and royalists believed that the troops would prevent fighting between the parties. But the melee in front of E.O. Hall and Sons showed that U.S. troops would not deploy in all circumstances. U.S. troops heard the shot and soon learned that there was a clash between police and rebels. Their reaction was not to deploy to preserve public order but to tighten discipline and remain within the boundaries of Arion Hall. The incident also showed that rebels were ready to resort to violence without the physical backing of U.S. troops." (page 106)
Author Morgan concludes that Stevens' actions were grossly improper, and that Wiltse's landing of troops was also improper. But Morgan concludes that the rebels had superior training, organization, and firepower, while the royalists were timid, poorly organized, and poorly led. The rebels would have easily defeated the royalists even if the USS Boston had never shown up.
"The outcome of the 1893 revolution emerged from the personality, will, and character of the leaders of the two sides, and by the asymmetry in the fighting spirit of military forces. The role of the U.S. officials and forces was a very important influence, but not the main one, and did not chiefly determine the outcome of the revolution." (page 109)
Chapter 8: The Rise and Fall of the Annexation Treaty , pp. 110-123
In June 1892 Secretary of State Blaine resigned for ill health. President Benjamin Harrison appointed John Watson Foster to replace him as Secretary of State. Foster also kept his position as lead agent in the ongoing arbitration of dispute over fur seal hunting territory in the Bering Sea. Foster's expertise was so great that Grover Cleveland kept Foster in the American delegation that left for arbitration hearings in Paris two weeks before Cleveland's inauguration.
Lorrin Thurston headed a team from Hawaii to negotiate an annexation treaty, arriving in Washington February 3. Thurston wanted several special conditions which Foster nixed because they would cause trouble and delays, including nixing Thurston's demand that the treaty specify that no federal laws should hinder the immigration to Hawaii of Japanese and other laborers. Hawaii delegation signed Foster's draft treaty on February 14.
"Back in Honolulu, stories circulated that royalists offered Japanese laborers full citizenship if they helped restore the monarchy. Instigators apparently told laborers on one plantation that annexation would permanently extend their contracts. Armed with their long cane knives, four hundred Japanese marched on Honolulu to protest. Consul-General Fijii Saburo rushed to the city's outskirts and dispersed the mob." (page 111)
"The arrival of the armored corvette Kongo on January 28 gave Fujii more leverage. Stevens worried that Japan would try to extract political concessions, perhaps even the vote for Japanese, while the white rebels cobbled together a government. He expected a warship soon. He distrusted Wodehouse and worried that the commissioner hoped for a royalist countercoup. Wodehouse inadvertently fed Stevens' fears by asking Dole three times when American troops would return to the Boston and by meeting privately with the queen. Stevens used this meager evidence of foreign intrigues as a pretext to declare a protectorate on February 1, 1893. Dole supplied the excuse, surely at Stevens' request, asking for protection against a Kongo landing party. The Boston's men promptly raised the U.S. flag over Honolulu." (page 111)
Stevens' protectorate shifted the defense burden to the Boston's men, allowing the 300 volunteers who patrolled the streets for the Provisional Government and did police work to return to their normal jobs. PG expenses dropped from $50,000 for the final 12 days of January to less than $9,000 per month for February and March. U.S. troops did not patrol the streets or do policing, so PG Colonel John Soper got a 103-man company of regulars, including 70 politically reliable men from the queen's disbanded regulars, to handle daily tasks, plus on-call volunteers for a surge capacity of more than 400 troops. "Although Secretary of State Foster 'disavowed' the protectorate, the ruling made no practical difference because Stevens was not giving orders to the provisional government anyway." (page 112)
"On February 23 the Japanese cruiser Naniwa appeared off the reef. Commanded by Togo Heihachiro, who would become a legend when he defeated the Russian fleet at Tsuhima in 1905, the British-built Naniwa far outclassed any U.S. vessel, including the Boston. The Naniwa carried instructions for Fujii to press the suffrage issue. British commissioner Wodehouse attached 'considerable importance' to the added leverage provided by the two Japanese warships. ... Although it should not have been a surprise that a few [Japanese plantation] laborers would have served in the military, the press exaggerated the issue, trumpeting that these veterans would serve Japan's interests again. The press badgered Fujii, finally extracting an 'admission' that a few laborers were veterans, and speculated that the Naniwa carried arms for them to seize the island of Hawaii. Stevens queried Fujii, who merely said Japanese residents should have the same suffrage rights of Europeans. Stevens, like nearly all whites, could not accept equality. In a typical overreaction, Stevens warned that a Japanese landing, even to keep order, would be an invasion of the United States. On March 1, the Kongo suddenly left Honolulu. Stevens feared the ship carried arms for other islands. The American consular agent at Hilo reported that the resident Japanese labor agent encouraged his charges to fight American political dominance. The Alliance went to 'check the pulse of the people' at Hilo and found the Kongo there. Captain Tashiro of the Kongo was not happy to see the American warship, which he indelicately labeled a 'wooden tub.' Tashiro admitted his mission was to find out whether Japanese supported the royalists or the whites. There was no sign of trouble or munitions." (page 113)
British attitudes toward American annexation of Hawaii were mixed, but Washington worried about it. "By extending de facto rather than formal recognition, and by directing Wodehouse to maintain a 'reserved attitude' toward the new government, London gave little comfort to the white rebels and did not calm Washington's worries about British policy." (page 114) Cruiser HMS Garnet arrived February 13, and its captain called on the governor of O'ahu (brother-in-law of Liliuokalani) but did not call on President Dole, causing royalist hopes to soar. "Admiral Skerrett received an informant's report that the Garnet would land troops during the night, not to reinstall the queen but to hoist the Union Jack and demand that the United States agree to a joint protectorate, similar to the arrangement in Samoa. ... The Hawaiian Guard sandbagged the Government Building and the nearby barracks, emplaced cannon and Gatling guns, and stepped up waterfront patrols. HMS Hyacinth's arrival in late February further fanned the embers of suspicion." (page 114)
"Neither Britain nor Japan had any thought of challenging American preeminence in 1893. Both nations simply played the big power game of deploying warships to gain influence over events and reassure their citizens in Hawai'i. Both accurately sensed that annexation would likelt fail." (page 114)
Secretary of State Foster strongly favored annexation but was distracted by the Bering Sea arbitration and his impending trip to Europe. A poll showed only 20 Senators favored annexation, 35 favored a protectorate, and 25 did not like either of those. There was a vigorous anti-treaty lobbying effort by the queen's supporters in Washington. "British commissioner Wodehouse believed Stevens tried to use the protectorate to shove Washington toward annexation. A protectorate signaled Hawaiian vulnerability, which annexation would cure. If that was Stevens' reasoning, it backfired. By making Hawai'i safe, the protectorate and the U.S. naval buildup eliminated any reason for swift annexation. Without an imminent threat to American predominance, there was simply no need to rush the treaty through the Senate. President-elect Cleveland put out the word that he wanted more time to examine the annexation question. The Senate took no action on the treaty." (page 115)
Grover Cleveland's [second term] inauguration was March 4, 1893. His wife Frances was age 28 and pregnant, and stood arm-in-arm with Victoria Cleghorn -- Ka'iulani, age 17, Crown Princess of Hawaii. 2-page discussion of backgrounds of Grover Cleveland, Frances, and Ka'iulani. Cleveland was the only Democrat President during the 56 years between James Buchanan (1856) and Woodrow Wilson (1912).
On March 9, 5 days after inauguration, Cleveland sent a message to the Senate withdrawing the treaty of annexation. "An immense shift in policy, this sudden withdrawal stunned political circles. Taking more time to consider the treaty was understandable. Discarding it entirely before debate was another matter." (page 117)
"Cleveland opposed [all] territorial acquisition on principle ... [in this case] should not even be discussed unless endorsed by Native Hawaiians ... He suspected inappropriate behavior by Minister Stevens, as did the new Secretary of State. Walter Gresham, a proud, self-proclaimed moralist, was not about to follow a path of unrighteousness. At Gresham's urging, the president ordered an investigation." (page 118)
March 10 Cleveland sent message to James Blount to "come here immediately, prepared for confidential trip of great importance to the Pacific Ocean." Sunday March 12 Blount visited Cleveland, followed by visit with Gresham.
"To head off partisan criticism, the secretary [Gresham] allowed no scrutiny of the birth of what would become the most divisive foreign policy episode of Cleveland's presidency. Gresham dissembled about Blount's mission. After he penned Blount's instructions, Gresham informed President Dole, Minister Stevens, and Consul-General Severance of Blount's appointment, but in none of the three missives did he mention his doubts about the revolution, or how Blount's investigation would help determine the legitimacy of the Dole regime. Instead, Gresham said the Georgian would simply report on the 'present state of affairs.' Blount would 'advance the interest and prosperity of both governments.' If not an outright lie, this was an intentional glossing-over of Blount's real mission. ... [Tuesday] he was on the train west." (page 118)
Blount arrived in Honolulu March 29, 1893. Stayed at the Hawaiian Hotel [the original Royal Hawaiian Hotel next to the Palace, later demolished and now occupied by the state art museum]. Blount promptly told Dole that the protectorate must end immediately and American troops must return to their ships, but allowed a one-day delay to allow the call-up of volunteer Guard members.
"Back in Washington, Thurston was confused about the Blount mission because Gresham still did not speak the whole truth. Thurston saw Gresham twice on the very day that the secretary wrote Blount's instructions. Gresham did not even mention the investigation, saying Cleveland withdrew the treaty because of insufficient knowledge of the situation. ..." (page 119)
"It was ignoble for Gresham, so proud of his devotion to truth and honor, to have knowingly let people walk away with the wrong impression. Thurston wised up quickly. On March 16 he advised Dole that in four interviews Gresham had 'declined utterly to give any expression of indicating what the policy of the government was going to be.' Thurston's sources reported that Cleveland suspected that revolution was 'part of a Republican plot, and that Mr. Blount's investigation will be largely directed toward that point.'" (page 120)
2-page description of Gresham's personal and political background, and close relationship with Cleveland. "Gresham disliked expansion on principle, particularly of territory 'not a part of our continent.' ... 'Should we acquire the Hawaiian Islands with their population, we will have a hot bed of corruption.' He told Carl Schurz that 'the immorality of the situation' precluded annexation." (page 121)
2-page description of how Blount worked at the [Royal] Hawaiian Hotel [next to the Palace] and how rapidly he reached his conclusions, ending with his main report written in July.
"Why did Blount decide what he did? Living through federal efforts to remake his state [Georgia] during Reconstruction may have created in Blount a dislike of Yankees imposing their own brand of civilization on another people. ... Blount's instructions and his preconceptions determined what he chose to investigate, thereby influencing what topics he made conclusions about. Blount did not explore whether the queen bore some responsibility for the revolution by trying to proclaim a new constitution. His unshakeable conviction that the queen surrendered only because she feared U.S. forces prevented him from imagining that the rebels were militarily stronger than the royalists, a failure that would painfully distort policy formulation over the next few months. Just before departing, Blount predicted that if annexation were rejected, political instability would increase and the provisional government would eventually collapse or be overthrown. The power of the government, he wrote Gresham, rested on military forces drawn from the white community. Because the whites were only a tiny fraction of the total Hawaiian population, the white government must ultimately fall. 'It may preserve its existence for a year or two, but no longer.' As the next five years would show, this assessment reflected no understanding of the provisional government's substantial capacity to exert military and political control, at least in the short term." (page 123)
Chapter 9: The Restoration Fiasco, pp. 124-135
President Cleveland was preoccupied with the economic Depression of 1893, a crisis over gold, the McKinley Tariff, and a difficult cancer surgery in July of 1893.
"Gresham had full control of Hawaiian policy ... By early September 1893, but probably much earlier, Gresham decided to restore the queen to power. ... Gresham did not recognize the many difficulties inherent in restoration. His personality and is training as a lawyer and judge led him to view the issue in legal and moral terms. He thought of the royalists and the provisional government as two contesting parties before his bench. He expected them to abide by his judgment. His jurisdic approach prevented him from entertaining the possibility -- indeed the likelihood -- that his policy would fail. ... Gresham thought restoration required a new minister -- Blount's departure left the post vacant -- as well as a naval commander who would follow orders to the letter. With dependable men in Honolulu, restoration could be swiftly executed. On September 19, Cleveland appointed Alberrt Willis as minister. ..." (page 125)
"In late July [Admiral] Skerrett imprudently told Secretary of the Navy Hilary Herbert that he hoped several royalist plotters would be convicted and punished. Herbert quickly warned: 'Do not give aid physical or moral to either party contesting for the government.' There was no contest, in most people's minds at least, for the government in Honolulu. The provisional government had firm control. Herbert's unrealistic orders directed Skerrett to treat a government recognized by the United States and other powers the same as the ex-queen and her supporters. (Ironically, former Minister John Stevens had erred by treating future rebels equally with the royal government to which he was accredited. Now Herbert repeated the error from the other direction, further evidence the Cleveland administration believed the provisional government illegitimate.)" (page 126)
"On October 9 the administration relieved Skerrett and sent Admiral John Irwin to Honolulu. This day Gresham committed irrevocably to restoration. Whether American troops would restore the queen by force or by bluffing and intimidating the white government, Gresham would need an obedient officer who did not have friendly relations with those he would coerce and intimidate. So that the new minister and commander could brandish ample force, Herbert kept both the Philadelphia and the Adams at Honolulu. On October 6 Gresham described to the cabinet his restoration plan. Cleveland's vigor had returned and he was ready to listen." (page 126)
"Friday October 6 cabinet meeting reached no consensus, so Cleveland postponed a final decision. No one knows exactly what Gresham proposed, but [Attorney General] Olney became sufficiently alarmed that, for the only time in his tenure as attorney general, he intervened in foreign policy. Working over the weekend -- and with great delicacy, for he was trespassing on Gresham's turf -- Olney crafted a private letter to Gresham that brilliantly analyzed the policy options. ... Olney urged restoration solely by diplomatic pressure. What is remarkable is that Olney fely obliged to devote so much of his letter to the problems of using force. ... Olney later declared that his October 9 letter kept the administration from a serious mistake. Restoration could not have been the mistake because the administration pursued that course, and Olney supported it. Quite likely, the potential mistake was forcible restoration." (page 127)
"Force per se did not bother Olney. This was the man who in 1894 wanted to send the Army to squash the Pullman strike and who prosecuted and convicted Eugene Debs for leading it. Rather, Olney saw the main problem as the provisional government's firm hold on power. It might fight if challenged. ... Olney asserted that forcible restoration would be an unconstitutional act of war. Restoration must be attempted only by diplomatic pressure and only if the queen accepted conditions. The queen must grant the United States wide authority to negotiate on her behalf, and she must renounce vindictive measures against the provisional government and its supporters. ... " (page 128)
"When Cleveland blessed Olney's suggestions, Gresham reluctantly modified his plan. Rather than use force, he would intimidate and coerce the provisional government. This change fit perfectly with Gresham's mistaken belief that the white revolutionists were weak and succeeded in overthrowing the queen only because of support from American forces. This time American forces would be on the other side. Therefore, Gresham reasoned, the weak provisional government would surely surrender." (page 128)
The new U.S. Minister Albert Willis arrived November 4, and presented his credentials to President Dole on Tuesday November 7 in a formal ceremony. The November 11 steamer to San Francisco carried Willis' report that he would interview Liliuokalani on the 13th. He advised Gresham to release the Blount Report on November 19 to prepare the public for what was to come.
On November 13 Willis met with Liliuokalani. A full page describes the circumstances of who was present, and the conversation. "According to Willis, Lili'uokalani replied that the law required that persons connected with the provisional government 'should be beheaded and their property confiscated,' though she was inclined to substitute banishment for beheading. Amnesty was out of the question ... Willis asked again: 'It is your feeling that these people should be beheaded and their property confiscated?' She replied 'It is.' Willis tried once more. ... The queen later claimed that she never used the word beheaded ... It did not matter. Anything short of amnesty did not meet the preconditions [for the U.S. to be willing to mediate with the Dole government]. ..." (page 130)
Willis cabled Gresham: 'Hold back [Blount] report until further advised.' he said: 'Views of first party so extreme as to require further instructions.'" (pp. 130-131).
"To soften up the provisional government, American forces adopted an overtly threatening posture from the moment of Willis' and Irwin's arrival. On November 7, the day Willis presented his credentials, the Adams had seventy sailors practice with both pistols and rifles. On November 9 the Philadelphia went to general quarters, exercising all companies at eight o'clock that evening 'made preparations to land batallion if necessary.' The Navy held target practice, landing drills, and other highly visible and noisy exercises thirty-five times from November 7 until December 26. ... aimed to intimidate the provisional government into agreeing to Willis' demands. Because the queen did not meet the preconditions, Willis made no demands, so naval intimidation continued. The constant drills and exercises excited royalists. Willis fretted that they might revolt out of false confidence that he would aid them. The Honolulu press published Gresham's October 18 letter to Cleveland, in which the secretary did not rule out forcible restoration. ... Willis ... told the [newspaper] that unforeseen contingencies prevented action until new instructions reached him. ... Lili'uokalani feared for her safety and asked Willis for protection. He told her to ask the provisional government, which sent the six Hawaiian police officers she requested by name." (page 131)
"On November 24 executive council members read an Advertiser story, datelined in Washington on November 11, that Admiral Irwin would land troops to restore the queen. Dole and William O. Smith immediately queried Willis. He said the 'whole matter was hung up' because of unforeseen issues, and that he awaited a reply to his dispatches. The executive council therefore assumed forcible restoration was still on the table. The government rescinded permission for U.S. naval forces to exercise ashore, and ordered sixty more rifles and five thousand rounds of ammunition for the Hawaiian National Guard. The British cruiser Champion and the Japanese cruiser Naniwa now lay in the harbor with the American warships. The British and Japanese expected trouble when the United States attempted restoration and wanted to be able to protect its citizens. Both foreign ships received permission from the executive office to land troops to protect their legations." (page 131)
"The council discussed how obstructionist to be with American landing parties. Samuel Damon and Sanford Dole preferred resistance but not to the extent of firing on U.S. troops whereas most whites wanted to fight. The Hawaiian Guard recommended the government not yield, even if it meant killing American troops. The guard placed sandbags and gun positions around the palace. The council ordered Colonel Soper to resist forcibly an American landing. Admiral Irwin noted that the provisional government built fortified positions and claimed a thousand men were on call. Willis pleaded for instructions." (page 132)
"Back in Washington, the situation was deteriorating almost as fast as in Honolulu. The press savaged Gresham's restoration plan, saying restoration was a wrong to correct a wrong. On November 21, to a similar chorus of boos, the administration released the Blount Report in a doomed effort to convince doubters." (page 132)
"On December 7, the [U.S.] cabinet reexamined his [Gresham's] plan and, for the first time, found it wanting. The practical Cleveland now doubted success. He asked Gresham to prepare a message that would lay out the issues and ask for a congressional solution. Gresham's draft proposed that the queen and the provisional government share power, a plan even more imprasctical than outright restoration. Cleveland now regretted the whole restoration notion. He gave Gresham's draft to Richard Olney [Attorney General], asking him to see 'what he could do with it.' Olney's revision formed 'by far the larger part of the message' Cleveland sent to Congress on December 18, declaring an inability to solve the Hawaiian problem and referring the matter to the legislature." (page 132)
"Unaware that is political bosses had thrown in the towel, Willis strove mightily to get the restoration policy back on track. The denouement -- popularly called Black Week -- began at dawn on December 14. The Corwin, with Gresham's revised instructions aboard, arrived flying the American flag, ... [end page 132, begin page 133] which caused a great crowd of Hawaiians to gather at the landing. Everyone expected a message to order Willis to restore the queen immediately, by force if necessary. ... While the legation staff decrypted the short cipher, thousands of people thronged the wharves hoping to see the Americans land. The captains of the British warship Champion, the Japanese cruiser Naniwa, and the USS Adams came aboard the Philadelphia to decide who would guard which portions of the city. Captain Evan Rooke of the Champion expected forcible restoration and promised one hundred British tars for patrol after he secured the British legation and the Anglican church, where Her Majesty's citizens might take refuge. Captain Barker readied the Philadelphia's landing parties' boats in the water beside the cruiser and guns and supplies stacked on deck. ..." (page 133)
"Sanford Dole called this tense situation 'warfare without the incidence of actual combat.' Willis intentionally prolonged the psychological offensive. He knew that only the threat of force might induce the provisional government to resign." (page 133)
"On December 16 Willis reinterviewed the queen. Joseph Carter accompanied Lili'uokalani because Willis suggested she bring a trusted advisor. ... But when Willis asked about amnesty, the queen again demurred. There was no need for a death penalty, but supporters of the provisional government must be expelled and their property confiscated. Twice the queen refused to offer amnesty, so the second interview ended. As Willis prepared a report to go out on the Corwin that evening, Carter called to say that yet another meeting with the queen might produce the desired result. Willis hurried to Washington Place. Lili'uokalani seems not to have understood or at least not cared that, unless she agreed to Cleveland's amnesty precondition [end page 133, begin page 134], she would never get back on the throne. ... perhaps she believed Willis would restore her no matter what her attitude. This feeling, if she had it, must have been daily strengthened by the all-so-public and intimidating 'readiness' posture of American forces. If so, the intimidation posture backfired on Gresham, making the queen more stubborn. Carter tried to help, giving a little speech about forgiveness, but for the third time, the monarch refused to accede. Lili'uokalani read and approved the notes of the meeting."
"That evening, as the Corwin prepared to sail, Carter telephoned that the queen now accepted the amnesty precondition and would deliver a written promise, which she did. Willis postponed the cutter's departure and gathered himself for what was sure to be a tense meeting with Dole the next day. Dole met Willis in 'Iolani Palace with the other council members ... Speaking carefully from prepared remarks, Willis ... described Lili'uokalani's guarantees of amnesty for the rebels and displayed her signed promise. The executive council should therefore 'promptly relinquish to her, her constitutional authority.' Willis asked, 'Are you willing to abide by the decision of the President?' They were not, but to gain time they replied that the matter would be carefully considered. ... On December 22 the steamer arrived not only with better news but also with Lorrin Thurston aboard, who outlined the antirestoration atmosphere in Washington. Now certain that force would not be used, Dole told Willis the provisional government would not yield. The crisis was over." (page 134)
Cleveland's December 18 message to Congress condemned Stevens and the revolutionists, defended the Blount Report, and blamed the U.S. for the overthrow of the monarchy. He said various difficulties prevented a presidential solution, so he was referring the matter to Congress.
"Passing the buck was the only way out. ... The restoration fiasco polarized Hawaiian policy. ... Because of Gresham's restoration debacle, Hawaiian policy became bitterly contested between the parties." The differences were both tactical and ideological. (page 135).
** Comment by Ken Conklin: Several years ago I was interested in what happened between Albert Willis and Sanford Dole in December 1893. I found two letters they exchanged and put them on my website. The letters clearly show how Willis thought he could intimidate Dole and actually command him to resign in favor of the ex-queen, and how brave and strong Dole was in refusing. Late in December, having failed to destabilize the provisional Government, the top U.S. diplomat in Honolulu, Minister Willis (who had replaced Blount and was confirmed by the Senate), wrote a last-ditch letter to Hawaii President Sanford B. Dole ordering Dole to step down and restore the monarchy; but Dole refused and told Willis to stop interfering in Hawaii's internal affairs. See: "Letter of December 19, 1893 from United States Minister Willis to Hawaii President Dole, Demanding That Liliuokalani Be Restored to the Throne," at
See "Letter of December 23, 1893 from Hawaii President Sanford B. Dole to U.S. Minister Willis, Refusing United States Demand to Restore Ex-Queen Liliuokalani to the Throne" at
Chapter 10: Cleveland's Informal Protectorate, pp. 136-146
The Hawaiian revolution of January 1893 lasted only four days, but produced an enormous amount of congressional debate and news reports lasting many months. Gresham's extremely unpopular restoration policy leaked to the newspapers, causing Republicans in both the House and Senate to attack it and Democrats to feel compelled to defend it. Then Cleveland sent a message to Congress dumping the issue in their laps. "From December 1893 through May 1894 both houses reviewed diplomatic and naval correspondence, heard all manner of testimony, including that of John Stevens and James Blount, and reported conclusions that satisfied no one." (page 136)
Two pages describe John Tyler Morgan's background (Confederate officer and unreconstructed racist), personality (longwinded but uninspiring speeches), views on foreign affairs (tireless efforts to build a Nicaraguan canal), and the "Morgan Report" regarding the U.S. role in the Hawaiian revolution.
** Ken Conklin's note: The entire 808-page Morgan report, (U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs) plus many pages of summaries and commentaries on it, is on the internet at
"On February 7, 1894, the majority Democrats succeeded in passing a resolution [in the House] condemning Stevens' 'illegal' use of American troops to overthrow the queen, warning against foreign meddling in the islands. Despite the Morgan Report, Senate debate continued sporadically as some sort of consensus formed. On May 31 the Senate passed the Turpie Resolution 55-0, with 30 abstentions. The resolution announced 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.' Before the vote, propaganda essays from Frank Hatch and W.D. Alexander about the potentially dangerous Japanese suffrage helped mobilize pro-Hawaiian support ... Cleveland did not want Hawai'i to fall into foreign hands, especially Japanese hands, hence the significance of the so-called secret mission of Admiral John G. Walker in the spring of 1894. ..." (page 138)
"Besieged by the congressional investigations of its policy, the administration knew both parties demanded that no foreign meddling should threaten Hawai'i as it set up a permanent government. Secretary of the Navy Herbert instructed Walker to report 'any effort or attempt on the part of any foreign power to interfere.' ,,," (page 139)
Spring 1894 the white oligarchy moved to solidify its rule. "The small executive council, headed by Dole, and the fourteen-person advisory council made the big decisions, but the queen's bureaucracy still administered the country under the monarchy's laws. The ruling clique had to put the government on a permanent footing." (page 141) But the 1887 constitution might produce a legislature dominated by Native Hawaiians. Also, should royalist bureaucrats be ousted? But then who would replace them?
Also, Japanese diplomats had already demanded that Japanese should have the same voting rights as Europeans and Americans. Dole again asked Japanese consul-general Fujii for is views, who asserted that all Japanese residents, even those on short-term labor contracts, should have the same rights as Germans, Americans, and British. "Hoshi Toru, the speaker of the [Japanese] Diet, gave a fiery speech urging the Imperial Government to take a stronger stand. The Japanese press carried inflammatory articles every day. ... Dole said "that the contract laborers had a special status because they arrived under a binational convention and were supervised by the Japanese government through its inspectors in the islands. Their status was akin to contractors on an overseas mission, under the 'control' of their government. Japanese should not be allowed the vote because 'no government can ask for an opportunity of exercising an influence in the local affairs of another government.'" (page 142)
"In July 1893 the worried provisional government enlisted Commissioner Blount's support. After reading the correspondence, Blount declared his opposition to Japanese suffrage. Blount gave Dole, to use as he wished, an intemperate letter declaring that giving political power to 'inferior classes of Japanese subjects' wound endanger American preeminence." (page 142)
"The executive council decided to write a new constitution for a permanent government. The council discussed key provisions between April 27 and May 28. ... Thurston proposed that all persons who were citizens of Hawai'i at the time of the revolution should automatically be citizens of the Republic of Hawai'i. Noncitizen residents who helped overthrow the queen should also be made citizens, or denizens if they did not want to renounce their current citizenship. Thurston's proposal triggered a discussion of what to do about the Japanese. The council invited Robert W. Irwin [who had lived in Japan for many years and was Minister Plenipotentiary of Japan to Hawaii] to speak. He said the Japanese government did not want its immigrants to take Hawaiian citizenship. Making citizenship a requirement for voting would satisfy the desire for equal treatment, even if the lack of a bilateral naturalization treaty prevented Japanese from becoming citizens." (page 143)
A process for a constitutional convention was set up. All 19 members of the executive and advisory councils were automatically delegates, plus 18 to be popularly elected; and a loyalty oath was required to vote for convention delegates. About 2500 Native Hawaiians had voted in Honolulu in 1890 and 1892, but fewer than ten percent of that number cast ballots in 1894 because most did not want to take the loyalty oath. About 75% of the whites who voted in 1890-1892 voted in 1894; the others might have been afraid to take the loyalty oath for fear of compromising their citizenship in their nations of origin.
"There were six Native Hawaiians among the thirty-seven convention delegates, while the rest were white, half of whom were island-born." (page 144) [** Ken's note: Thus about 2/3 had been native-born subjects of the kingdom]
"The constitution intentionally entrenched white rule, chiefly by denying the franchise to Asians and cutting the Native Hawaiian vote by property and education requirements and especially by the hated oath of allegiance. In truth, property requirements were not a 1890s white invention; Hawaiian practice flip-flopped in the nineteenth century, depending who was in power ... both Kamehameha IV and Kamehameha V disliked universal manhood suffrage and sought constitutional changes. ... [Kamehameha V] proclaimed, on his own authority, the Constitution of 1864, which created both property and literacy requirements, ending twelve years of [end page 144, start page 145] universal male suffrage. ..."
Chapter 11: Mahan, the New Navy, and Hawai'i's Strategic Value, pp. 147-171
This chapter provides a detailed review of the work of U.S. Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan, described as the preeminent naval strategist in the world, who happened to be at the height of his power and influence during the 1890s, coinciding with the Hawaiian revolution and annexation. His analysis of the strategic location of Hawaii was a major factor in encouraging Congress to finally annex Hawaii when the Spanish-American War was getting started and the U.S. was rapidly becoming a major military power. His article "Hawaii and Our Future Sea Power" was so persuasive that it was included in full in the Morgan Report at the end of February 1893 and also published in the March issue of a widely-read magazine at a time when Congress and the newspapers were in an uproar over the Hawaiian revolution and Grover Cleveland was just beginning his second term as President. The article as copied in the Morgan Report is at
"Mahan's career bridged the transition from sailing vessels to steel-hulled steam warships, and from the cruiser-based 'commerce preying' strategy to one of controlling broad zones off the coasts and in the Caribbean with battleship fleets. His description of Hawai'i's growing strategic worth exemplified the conviction, widespread by the late 1890s, that the islands were too valuable to national security to leave independent and hence vulnerable. By 1898, many Americans saw Hawaiian annexation as a security concern, intertwined with expanding and modernizing the Navy, improving coastal defenses, acquiring overseas bases, and building an isthmian canal." (page 148)
Two of Mahan's main strategic principles were concentration of power, and strategic positions. Location, being unalterable, was the most important component of strategic value. Steam-powered ships needed huge amounts of coal, which must be stored in a location that is within the distance a ship can travel on the amount of coal it can carry while still having enough at the end of its travel to engage in battle and then continue on to a safe port. Faster speeds burn more coal per mile than slower speeds. A fleet based at Hawaii could control a huge expanse of the earth, protecting the U.S. West Coast, a Nicaraguan canal, and reaching to Asia. Ships could also travel from California to Asia collecting coal stored in the Aleutian Islands, and the distance would be a few hundred miles shorter than through Hawaii; but in winter the Aleutian ports were often frozen and inaccessible. If the Hawaiian islands did not exist, then no Asian power could attack the West Coast or Central America, but the existence of Hawaii made such an attack possible; therefore, U.S. defense requires U.S. control of Hawaii.
Chapter 12: The Republican Party Embraces Annexation, pp. 172-187
This chapter provides considerable detail about the personal backgrounds, political allegiances, lifestyles and speaking styles of major figures in the Republican Party during the 1890s, with special attention to Hawaiian annexation.
"Three themes characterized the congressional debates ... maturing appreciation for Hawai'i's immense strategic value ... Japan's emergence as an imperialist power in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95 ... continued bipartisan support for naval expansion." (pp. 172-173)
Pages 174-175: "Despite a strong appreciation for Hawai'i's military value, a shared desire for naval expansion, and a common regard for Japanese power, the parties disagreed whether Cleveland was adequately safeguarding the islands. Late in 1894 Congress learned the administration had withdrawn the [U.S. cruiser] Philadelphia. Despite the Republican sweep of the midterm elections [in November 1894], the Democratically controlled Congress' third session would continue until March 1895. Feisty Republicans [end page 174, begin page 175] raised a great outcry about the Philadelphia's withdrawal. [Massachusetts Senator Henry Cabot] Lodge charged that 'Cleveland and Gresham may at any moment make some fatal concession which we can never recover.' By removing the cruiser, Cleveland subverted the Turpie 'hands off' resolution of the previous spring. The islands were invaluable both 'commercially, and still more from a military point of view,' Lodge said, and no one will 'interfere with us there.' A Lodge demand for the administration's corespondence with Admiral Walker passed the Senate on January 7, 1895, 33-12 with 40 not voting. Many Democrats abstained because their belief in Hawai'i's strategic importance made them unwilling to block the resolution. They knew that they would pay a price should something happen to Hawai'i while no U.S. warship was present. The publication of Walker's recommendation that strong forces be permanently stationed in Honolulu made the Philadelphia's withdrawal look rash."
"Precisely in the midst of this uproar came the news of an attempted royalist counterrevolution. Despite restoration's failure, royalists had still nurtured hopes for a return of the monarchy. In late 1894 royalist emissaries failed to get the United States and Europe to push for the queen's return. With no peaceful way out, some royalists plotted an uprising and imported arms. Despite heavy surveillance and police questioning, they kept their plans mostly secret. Perhaps 400-500 men affiliated themselves with the revolt of January 6, 1895. The police and military forces of the republic outnumbered the royalists and were better trained and motivated. Over several days, the government crushed the rebellion, killing a few and capturing a couple of hundred, including Robert Wilcox and Samuel Nowlein. Police found rifles, pistols, and some small bombs buried in the queen's garden. A military court tried 191 persons and convicted roughly a third. Most received suspended sentences, but the queen, Wilcox, Nowlein and others were confined until Dole pardoned them six months later." (page 174)
"The climax came on March 2, 1895. On that final day of Democratic control, Lodge delivered a great address illustrating the close connection between annexation and U.S. security." (page 174)
"Ostensibly pushing a bill for an undersea cable to Hawai'i, Lodge delivered 'by far the most successful speech I ever made in Congress.' ... Senators and representatives came in from the cloakrooms. Even messengers, pages, and doorkeepers entered the chamber to listen. As he began to speak, assistants propped up a huge world map marked with bold red maltese crosses to show the locations of British naval bases and coaling stations. ... Lodge outlined Hawai'i's incalculable military value. He echoed Mahan ... Senator Richard Pettigrew interrupted ... The Senate floor was in an uproar ... Lodge concluded with a patriotic, nationalist call: 'We are a great people; we control this continent; we are dominant in this hemisphere ... We do not want too great a rival posted too near our coasts.' ... As Lodge sat down, senators thronged around him, cheering and trying to shake his hand." (page 175)
"In the presidential election of 1896 Republicans embraced an assertive foreign policy: Hawai'i, isthmian canal, Caribbean bases, strong Navy, and coastal defenses. ... The 1896 platform stated: 'The Hawaiian Islands should be controlled by the United States, and no foreign power should be permitted to interfere with them.'" (page 177) Commercial factors played a huge role as well. Tremendous economic growth and restrictive trade policies in older markets indicated a need for new markets, especially the Orient.
Social Darwinism was a theory applied to both nations and races. Some nations were stronger than others and would rise to the top; likewise the white race was inherently stronger than others and was destined to control them. Also, men were inherently destined to dominate women.
"The election of 1896 gave McKinley the White House and solidified Republican majorities in Congress. Republicans won 204 House seats to 113 for the Democrats. In the 88-seat Senate, Republicans held a 47-34 margin over the Democrats; minor parties took 7 seats." (page 179)
Book author Morgan spends several pages describing Senate and House committees, and the personalities and political backgrounds of their chairmen and members, and President McKinley and his cabinet members (including Theodore Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of the Navy), that would deal with either a treaty or a joint resolution of annexation. The discussion makes clear that it was an open choice between treaty or joint resolution, with the decision which path to follow depending on whether the committee chairs and the speaker of the House would be favorable to annexation. Author Morgan mentions in passing that Texas had been annexed by joint resolution about 50 years previously, so joint resolution was a procedure for which there was a precedent. The objection raised by today's sovereignty activists, that joint resolution is an unconstitutional procedure for annexation, was simply not raised as an issue at that time (although it was raised in 1898 as one of several talking points for opposing the Newlands resolution).
Pages 186-187: President McKinley made it clear that his tariff bill took top priority, but Hawaiian ministers Henry Cooper, Frank Hatch, and William O. Smith were in Washington lobbying Congress, and President McKinley met privately with Hatch and Smith on March 24, 1896, just three weeks after taking office. In the meeting McKinley talked much more than usual, asking detailed questions displaying deep knowledge about Hawaii. "He went over the revenues and expenses of the Hawaiian government and asked whether it favored a treaty or joint resolution. Hatch replied that either course was fine. McKinley explained how a joint resolution easily brought Texas into the Union without the need for Senate confirmation. ... [end page 186, start page 187] At the end of the meeting, McKinley returned to the method of annexation, again asking if the Hawaiians were agreeable to either a treaty or a joint resolution. Again they replied that either was fine, but they hoped he would move soon. McKinley replied. 'I don't know but what I may come to that.' He wanted to think about the issue further but assured them that he realized the necessity of early action. ... Hatch wrote to Cooper that 'everything is coming along very nicely here.' Smith too was happy: 'The difference between the attitude of the present administration and the last one is like that of the difference between daylight and darkness. ...' The question was not whether annexation would eventually occur -- the stars seemed aligned for that -- but how soon and by what method."
Chapter 13: Japanese Immigration: From Lifeline to Threat, pp. 188-197
The sugar plantations were the main source of economic wealth in Hawaii. Hawaii desperately needed tens of thousands of Japanese laborers for the plantations. The white oligarchy were prejudiced against "free" laborers from China because they arrived as independent contractors, not bound to short-term contracts with specific plantations and not pledged to return to China after their contracts were finished. As free agents they could choose where to live and work; and some were wealthy businessmen or entrepreneurs competing with whites. Japanese laborers were favored because they came with contracts for three years for pre-specified plantations where they would live as indentured servants -- contracts preapproved and tightly controlled by both governments and including mandatory payroll deductions to a special fund whose money could only be used to pay for their return trip to Japan. Laborers from other countries were too hard to recruit and too expensive (although a lot of Portuguese did come). Japan was happy to supply labor to Hawaii, because the Japanese government collected revenue and the laborers also sent back a lot of money to their families in Japan.
In the late 1800s Japan was becoming more aggressive and imperialistic in Asia. In 1875 it gained the Kurile islands from Russia by renouncing claims to Sakhalin. It invaded Taiwan to enforce claims in the Ryukyu islands and then formally annexed them in 1879 as Okinawa Prefecture. Japan's leaders felt Western imperialism and racism threatened Japan's future and required firm action and territorial expansion. Mutsu Munemitsu, Foreign Minister 1892-96, made it his top priority to renegotiate treaties with Western nations which had originally been one-sided and unequal. His greatest achievement came in 1894 when he got changes to an 1854 treaty with Britain, prompting the U.S. and many European nations to also renegotiate their treaties with Japan. A few days after Mutsu's success with Britain, Japan went to war with China and achieved major victories, raising patriotic fervor.
The 1894 constitution of the Republic of Hawaii denied Asians the right to vote (as had its predecessor 1887 constitution of the Kingdom of Hawaii). But Japan was now surging militarily and diplomatically, and was determined to remedy unequal treatment of Japanese by foreign countries.
"The Japanese suffrage question [in Hawaii] was much more significant than that of the Chinese, though the two populations were of roughly equivalent size. Chinese sought voting rights as individuals or as a local community. The Chinese government did not advocate on their behalf, had no representation in Hawai'i, and sent no warships to show the flag. The Chinese suffrage quest could be safely ignored." (page 191)
"But Japanese suffrage meant dealing with a proud government aware of its growing power and strongly determined to obtain equal rights for its nationals. Japan had aggressive diplomatic representation in Honolulu and in 1893-94 deployed warships to demonstrate its strong interest. By mid-1894, the Hawaiian government viewed Japanese immigration as a long-term threat. Even the usually unflappable Dole worried that 'the increasing number of Japanese is a menace.'" (page 191)
The situation got complicated when the Japanese government, pre-occupied with its war against China, authorized private companies in Japan to recruit laborers for Hawaii and to arrange their contracts with the plantations. As a result, both countries began ignoring the Convention of 1886 which had tightly controlled the number of immigrants and their placement. Now the same problem of uncontrolled immigration made Japanese immigration as unpopular as Chinese immigration. Hawaii quickly enacted new laws on March 1, 1894 and February 1, 1895 that required every immigrant to show upon arrival that he had enough money to pay for a return trip home, and made it illegal for immigration companies to lend that money to immigrants. But clever companies figured out how to circumvent those laws.
Hawaii's government tried to recruit laborers from other nations including Portugal, Belgium, Germany, and Korea. But the only real success was restarting Chinese immigration. 8,758 Chinese arrived during 1894-97. But that was small compared to the 21,880 from Japan during those same years.
Pages 194-195: "In early 1896, the Hawaiian government decided to tighten the screws on immigration by Japanese. A necessary step was confirming American backing if Japan reacted badly. In March 1896 Frank Hatch [Hawaii ambassador to the U.S.] asked [U.S.] Secretary of State Olney if Hawaii could count on America in a confrontation with Tokyo. Olney expected no trouble. 'Japan surely cannot intend to run against us out there.' He hinted that help would be [end page 194, begin page 195] forthcoming if Japan pressed too hard. Hatch reported the United States would prevent Japanese interference in Hawaiian affairs. With American support ensured, Foreign Minister Cooper told Hatch, 'We have concluded to take a firm stand.'"
"The 1896 Hawaiian census raised eyebrows in Washington and Honolulu. The census counted 109,020 persons. Fewer than 40,000 were Native Hawaiians or part-Hawaiian. The 24,407 Japanese were now the largest ethnic group in the islands, followed closely by the Chinese with 21,616. Asians comprised 42 percent of the population, up from 33 percent in 1890 and 22 percent in 1884." (page 196)
"The suffrage question intertwined with the number of males of voting age, twenty years old. The census listed 72,517 males of all ages and ethnicities. Deducting younger males and breaking out the data by ethnic group shows the following number of voting age males: Japanese 18,156; Chinese 17,663; Hawaiian 13,148; White 8,275. Because China was not pushing suffrage for Chinese, it was Japanese males, the single largest group of men, who made the suffrage issue explosive." (page 196)
"The Imperial [Japanese] Government even deployed warships -- though less frequently than the United States and Britain -- to support its interests, conspicuously during the franchise debate just after the 1893 overthrow and again during the 1894 constitutional convention. Only Japanese immigration brought unwanted attention from a powerful foreign government. Thus, for the white oligarchy, Japanese immigration went from a very welcome economic lifeline in 1885 to a political menace by early 1897. The transfer of immigration to profit-seeking companies both accelerated the inflow and made it uncontrollable. Yet Tokyo refused to accept Hawai'i's right to regulate arrivals and even pushed strongly for suffrage as the Japanese population soared. The white-run Republic of Hawai'i now regarded immigration as a mortal threat that had to be addressed, no matter how painful the short-term consequences." (page 197)
Chapter 14: The U.S.-Japan Crisis of 1897, pp. 198-217
"Fifty-eight years old when he became foreign minister for the second time in late 1896, Count Okuma Shigenobu was a rare breed among Meiji politicians in that he never went abroad ... loved the Japanese strategy game 'Go,' but he was a bad player ... moving carelessly through the first plays and beginning to think only when he ran into trouble. ..." (page 198)
"In late 1895 Okuma returned to the foreign ministry amid vociferous public dissatisfaction with Foreign Minister Mutsu Munimitsu's supposedly weak foreign policy. ... This time, Okumu determined, no one would ever accuse him of softness. With this tough attitude, immersed in a jingoistic popular fervor, Okuma would manage a serious 1897 crisis with Hawai'i and the United States." (page 199)
"The crisis was defintely not of McKinley's seeking. The new president wanted no diplomatic distractions from economic recovery through tariff reform, his paramount issue in the 1896 elections. In March 1897, rather than wait for the regular congressional session in December, the Republicans convened a special session for tariff reform. Speaker Tom Reed appointed only those committees needed to pass the Dingley tariff bill. After more than eight hundred Senate amendments, the House passed the bill on July 24. Congress immediately adjourned until December." (page 199)
Pages 199-200: "Nor did Hawai'i create a crisis with Japan to push the United States to annex. First, that was too risky, because Japan might react militarily. Second, McKinley had made it clear to the Hawaiians that he would address annexation after tariff revision, and they had accepted his decision. There was no need to foment an incident. Third, an angry McKinley would surely scuttle his long-range plans for [end page 199, begin page 200] annexation if he discovered any manipulation. Fourth, the 1897 clampdown on ballooning Japanese immigration was not a sudden initiative to spur annexation but the logical result of three years of failure to control the inflow."
The massive inflow of Japanese was caused by the combination of huge profits for the Japanese immigration companies which had largely taken over the management of emigration from the Japanese government, and the sugar planters seeking cheap labor. The British minister to Hawaii reported that there were already 30-40 thousand Japanese in Hawaii and continued growth would likely cause trouble. In January 1897 the Japanese consulate announced the probable stationing of a warship at Honolulu; which was seen by Hawaiian officials as likely retaliation for Hawaii's rejection of illegal immigrants from the landing of the Toyo Maru in late 1896.
In February 1897 the Kobe Immigrant Company admitted that laborers on the Shinshu Maru, expected shortly in Honolulu, lacked the preapproved contracts required by Hawaii law, and asked that they be admitted anyway. Hawaii denied entry to 480 of the 671 passengers. A third rejection incident happened on March 19, when entry was denied to 163 of 361 passengers on the Sakura Maru. Responding to a petition from outraged Japanese residents, Consul General Hisashi requested a warship 'to exhibit our power and protect 26,000 Japanese, almost one-fourth of the total population of Hawaii.' (page 200)
Pages 200-201: "A nervous McKinley administration quickly took precautions. Secretary of the Navy Long assigned Admiral Montgomery Sicard to rewrite the Navy's current war plan to reflect the possibility of a clash with Japan over Hawai'i. [end page 200, start page 201] Within three months a Sicard board produced the first war plan aimed at Japan. To guard against troublemaking by Japanese residents (the administration especially feared riots against the minority regime), Long sent Admiral Lester Beardslee to Honolulu with the cruiser Philadelphia and two smaller warships, the Marion and Petrel."
Meanwhile things were heating up in Japan. Minister Hoshi Toru in Washington was instructed to warn the McKinley administration that Japan opposed annexation by any nation and to ask for a disavowal of any U.S. intention to annex. He warned that Japan would send warships to 'preserve order and not in any way as a menace.' Soon the cruiser Naniwa was sent back to Honolulu along with the armored corvette Kongo.
"When the Convention of 1886 opened the door to immigration, Japan had no interests in Hawai'i. Now, in 1897, its interests had grown so much that they could only be maintained by blocking U.S. annexation and pressuring Hawai'i not to interfere with the immigration flow that would, coupled with suffrage, bring the islands into the Japanese orbit." (page 202)
Navy Secretary Long decided to push annexation more urgently. He was closer to the president than any other cabinet member, and McKinley generally took his advice. Long's neice, Julia Castle, was the wife of Honolulu businessman and annexationist James Castle, and Julia sent letters to Long expressing fears of a Japanese takeover.
"The administration was further alarmed when Hawai'i rejected 548 of 668 passengers on the Kinai Maru. This fourth episode promised to inflame an already hot situation ... On April 21, the Navy warned that the Naniwa departed for Honolulu with a special representative of the Imperial government aboard. Long sounded the alarm." (page 203) "McKinley had Roosevelt list numbers and types of warships available for swift deployment. Roosevelt told Admiral Beardslee, now in Honolulu with the Philadelphia, Marion, Petrel, and Mariposa, to keep all of his warships in Hawai'i." (page 204)
"Meanwhile, the situation in Hawai'i grew more tense. On May 18 the administration learned that special emissary Akiyama Masanosuke, sent aboard the Naniwa, thought that the immigrant rejections violated the 1871 Hawaiian-Japanese treaty. If Akiyama's final investigation bore out this preliminary conclusion, Japan would demand an indemnity for the expense of repatriating the disappointed immigrants. An indemnity demand was the last thing the McKinley administration wanted, for Hawai'i would surely refuse, which might provoke Japan to use force. ..." (page 205)
"Amid intense concern over the Japanese danger, the administration asked John Watson Foster to draft an annexation treaty. Foster reworked his 1893 treaty that Cleveland scuttled." (page 205)
"The drafting of the treaty concurrent with war planning against Japan and naval deployments shows that the treaty was part of American contingency plans. If suddenly announced, the treaty would be a diplomatic show of force, a clear, strong 'hands off' warning to Tokyo, much stronger than the Turpie 'hands off' resolution of May 1894. ... If deterrence failed, Roosevelt was ready to fight. ... On June 2 he addressed the Naval War College on the topic: 'To be prepared for war is the most effectual means to promote peace.' ... Captain Goodrich praised the speech as 'about the best address ever made here.' Even the peaceable McKinley showered Roosevelt with compliments and declared that he read it carefully." (page 206)
"In this tense situation, three alarming dispatches received June 7 from Honolulu caused the administration to bring forth the secret treaty. The dispatches had a tremendous impact." (page 206) Japan was demanding that Hawaii pay indemnity for the rejected immigrants and guarantee to stop 'arbitrary and capricious' treatment. 463 Japanese had entered during the first 3 weeks of May. The dispatches confirmed Japan's intention to keep sending more immigrants despite Hawaii's insistence on preapproved arrivals. Japan also demanded the right for Japanese to travel, reside, and trade anywhere in Hawaii, to join any profession or industry, and to have complete protection of all civil rights on an equal basis with whites and Hawaiians, specifically including the right to vote, despite the constitution of 1894 [and also 1887].
The dispatches also seemed to confirm the fact that Tokyo was running Japan's policy in Hawaii, not merely a rogue diplomat in Honolulu. On May 22 Minister Shimamura appeared at the Foreign Office for a reply to the demands for indemnity and equal treatment. He said the honor of Japan was at stake, and if he could not get a reasonable reply he would go home and who knows what might happen then. Because Shimamura made those provocative statements ehile being advised by special emissary Akiyama and pressing Count Okuma's messages, the U.S. assumed those were Tokyo's official views.
On June 8 the dispatches were handed to President McKinley, who promptly revealed the existence of the previously secret draft treaty of annexation as a way of warning Japan to back off. In revealing the existence of a draft treaty McKinley cited reports that recent immigrants had marched ashore in a military step, indicating they were former soldiers [although there was no evidence that Japan had actually sent soldiers disguised as immigrants]. On June 11 three Hawaii commissioners were asked if they were ready to sign the treaty, although McKinley's Secretary of State John Sherman (younger brother of Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman), whose participation was necessary, was with McKinley in Nashville until June 15. "At nine thirty on June 16 , the principals signed the treaty in the State Department's Diplomatic Room ..." (page 208)
The tariff bill would require weeks to finish going through Congress. The current session was scheduled to end July 24, leaving insufficient time. It also was unclear whether the required 60 votes (2/3 of the 88 Senators) could be obtained. The main reason for signing and submitting the treaty so rapidly was to deter Japan from military action in Hawaii.
"The treaty text shows that the administration intended to prevent a Japanese takeover, even if limited to 'Japanization' through immigration. The treaty would abrogate all existing Hawaii-Japan agreements. The State Department noted that 'the operation of our immigration and contract labor acts would at once stop any Japanese coolie immigration to Hawai'i.' On June 16 Sherman informed Minister Hoshi that the United States would not assume treaty obligations from Japan's past agreements with Hawai'i. The whole tenor of American policy during 1897 indicates that the so-called Japanese menace triggered the annexation treaty." (page 209)
In-depth discussion of the personality and political background of Japanese Minister Hoshi Toru.
Hawaii ambassador to the U.S., Francis Hatch, met with Japanese ambassador to the U.S. Hoshi Toru in Washington. "Hatch said he regretted that Japan sensed its national honor at stake. Hawai'i did not intend an insult and would gladly make an 'explanation or statement of regret' to assuage Japanese feelings. Hoshi asked if Hawai'i would pay an indemnity. Hatch said if the national honor question were put aside, an indemnity could be discussed. Hatch asked what Tokyo thought of annexation. Hoshi hesitated, then said Japan would be opposed to annexation. He himself disliked the new treaty. Hoshi's admission shocked Hatch. For months, Hoshi ridiculed assertions that Japan had designs on the islands. He dismissed fears of Japanese coercion. ... Hatch himself did not believe that Japan intended coercion because he too had bought into Hoshi's public deception. ... Hoshi achieved a nice public deception, hiding the fact that Japan opposed annexation. Personally, he wanted Japanese dominance. With the annexation treaty threatening to end that possibility, he urged seizure of the islands. He cabled Okuma: [footnote indicates Hoshi to Okuma, June 17, 1897 as found in Japanese Diplomatic Documents] 'This is strictly confidential. I desire to submit to your consideration what I believe is the only possible means by which the proposed annexation could be prevented. It is this: that taking advantage of the present strained relations between Japan and Hawai'i a strong naval armament should be at once dispatched for the purpose of occupying the islands by force.' If the McKinley administration could have monitored Japanese diplomatic traffic, it would have trumpeted Hoshi's message as proof of subterfuge. Those who had not previously believed in Japanese designs would have joined the annexation drive. Almost certainly the treaty would have been brought to a vote and passed in the special session. No senator, no administration official would permit Japanese occupation of the islands." (page 211)
"Foreign Minister Okuma ruled out Hoshi's rash suggestion to attack. To calm the excitable Hoshi, Okuma worded a temperate reply: 'It is too late.' With the United States formally committed to annexation, seizure would mean war. The best option was 'to protest in as strong a language as is permissible ... without running the risk of war.' ... Japan three times asked Britain to join in blocking annexation, and Britain three times replied that although it opposed annexation, open protests would make the United States more determined. Okuma ... had Hoshi deliver a second protest listing three reasons why Japan opposed annexation ... Japan's second protest mightily surprised American policy makers. Like Hatch, they too had misread Japanese intentions. ... [Japan had not protested the 1893 annexation treaty and silently accepted the 1894 Turpie resolution, but] now Japan declared that its interests had grown so much that the United States must take them into account." (page 212)
Secretary of the Navy Roosevelt huddled with Admiral Sicard, Commander Goodrich, and other senior officers, and wrote: "Our principal object should be to concentrate a sufficient force at the Hawaiian Islands to hold them against the Japanese fleet." (page 213)
Pages 213-214: "The final straw was a third, even stronger Japanese protest on July 10. Hoshi noted -- with some justification -- that moving beyond predominant influence to actual annexation disrupted the status quo because Japanese interests were greater than when annexation was previously considered. Japan could not accept annexation's disadvantages 'in a spirit of acquiescence.' On the same day of this third protest, a worried Sherman sent Sewall an alert order similar to Long's June 10 message: 'If Japanese should openly resort to force, [end page 213, start page 214) such as a military occupation or seizure of public property, you will confer with local authorities and Admiral, land suitable force, and announce provisional assumption of protectorate."
"Anti-American feeling in Kobe may have caused the violent incidents in July involving crew of the Yorktown and Boston, and the apparent murders of Olympia and Yorktown men in Nagasaki later in the year. As the Japanese and Hawaiians remained at loggerheads, the Navy took further precautions. Long ordered the Oregon, the sole American battleship in the Pacific, to be 'coaled and prepared in all respects to proceed on short notice to the Hawaiian Islands. The Department especially desires that this should be done in a manner as not to attract attention.' ... Long gave Admiral Beardslee only a week to analyze the strategic points in Hawai'i that the Navy would need to occupy in case of war. He permitted no U.S. ships to rotate home and added Bennington to the flotilla. The department ordered intelligence analyses of Imperial Navy facilities at Yokohama, Nagasaki, Yokosuka, and Kobe. The department received secret reports on the capabilities of the new battleships Fuji and Yashima, and the cruiser Naniwa, probably from the British, who built all three ships." (page 214)
"By late summer, Japan's confrontational spirit began to ebb in the face of the unyielding American attitude as well as by political distractions at home. ... Foreign Minister Nishi did not send the Naniwa back to Honolulu. The atmosphere seemed right for a settlement. The United states urged Hawai'i to avoid provoking Japan further. Hawai'i relaxed its get-tough immigration measures. On December 22, 1897, Japan withdrew its protest, citing assurances that the United States would assume well-founded indemnity claims. Robert Irwin reported that the new cabinet would 'absolutely' accept annexation. In the summer of 1898 Japan accepted a Hawaiian indemnity offer of $75,000, made under significant American pressure." (page 216)
"The U.S.-Japan crisis of 1897 was not a phony confrontation invented by Honolulu to provoke annexation. Japan's actions drove the crisis." (page 216)
"In The Nation Within, Tom Coffman charges that Hawai'i provoked the crisis with Japan to push the United States into annexation. He argues that the huge increase in Japanese immigrants immediately after annexation shows that fear of immigration was a phony pretext. At least four factors disprove Coffman's contention. First, Hawai'i did not invent the immigration issue in 1897 but struggled to control the inflow for years, even during the hostile Cleveland administration. Second, annexation dramatically changed the context for immigration. With American ownership, which no one imagined could ever be challenged, immigration, even voting rights for Asians, presented no threat to political control. The islands would never become a Japanese colony. Therefore, immigration was no longer threatening. Third, because the Newlands resolution forbade Chinese immigration, many more Japanese were needed in the short term. Finally, a spur to increased Japanese immigration was the fear that Congress would ban Japanese as well as Chinese when writing laws organizing Hawai'i as a territory. This is why Hawaiian officials vainly sought, as part of treaty negotiations with John Watson Foster in the spring of 1897, exemption from U.S. restraints on Asian immigration to preserve plantation labor supplies. (page 302, footnote #133 to Chapter 14)
"The Japanese-American clash produced the 1897 annexation treaty. The confrontation dramatized Hawai'i's vulnerability and its stretegic value in case of war in the Pacific. Japan's assertion of significant national interests in Hawai'i and its attempt to block annexation surprised everyone. American worries about Japanese subversion or even coercion of Hawai'i mounted substantially, hardening annexationist sentiment in the administration and the Congress. The confrontation gave the Hawaiian issue an urgency and credibility that made annexation in 1898 a near certainty." (page 217)
Chapter 15: Annexation Consummated: The Spanish-American War and Hawai'i, pp. 218 - 236
Republican Speaker of the House Tom Reed, a Mayflower descendant, was opposed to annexation. He had the power to prevent it from coming to the floor. In the election of 1896 Reed had run for the Republican nomination for President but lost to McKinley. For all those reasons McKinley decided to submit the treaty of annexation to the Senate alone for a 2/3 vote rather than try for a joint resolution. However, there were not the 60 votes needed (out of 88 Senators). President Dole made a goodwill visit and sponsored numerous banquets. McKinley hosted a state dinner.
The Senate discussed the treaty behind closed doors seven times in January 1898, with pro-annexation Senators stressing Hawaii's strategic location and the need to prevent any other nation (such as Japan) from controlling it. Newspaper polls indicated that of the 47 Republican Senators, all except John Morrill and perhaps George Hoar would vote for it. But most of the 34 Democrats hesitated to approve what they regarded as Republican legislation. Hatch estimated 4-6 weeks to line up the 60 votes.
"Protest petitions signed by thousands of members of the Native Hawaiian societies Hui Kalai'aina and Hui Aloha 'Aina changed no minds." (page 222) [Footnote 31 says "Presented to senators Hoar and Pettigrew in December 1897, the petitions were discussed by the Senate. As we have seen, numerous surveys showed no annexationists changed sides after mid-1897"]
Cuba now took up so much time and attention that it was hard to do horse-trading for the final several votes.
Pages 222-223: "Impatient annexationists wanted to abandon the treaty for the joint resolution. At a Hatch dinner for senators William Chandler, Mark Hanna, Cushman Davis, William Frye, and Redfield Peoctor, Rep. Robert Hitt, former secretary of state [end p. 222, start p. 223] John Watson Foster, and Admiral John Walker, all agreed a joint resolution was easier. A big annexationist majority existed in the House. Republicans outnumbered Democrats 206 to 124 -- with 27 Populists and pro-silver Republicans -- but the huge majority did not matter if Reed blocked a vote. So, barely short of 60, the administration stuck with the treaty. On February 2 the Senate resumed debate. The latest canvass counted 58 protreaty votes."
But then Cuba permanently scuttled the treaty. On February 9 an indiscreet private letter from the Spanish minister was intercepted by Cuban rebels and published in the newspaper. The letter slandered President McKinley as weak and catering to the rabble. In that poisonous atmosphere, the USS Maine blew up in Havana on February 15. Most Americans immediately assumed the Spanish had blown it up. Cuban affairs now filled every moment of U.S. national politics. With no time for further lobbying on annexationin the Senate, the administration switched tactics to the joint resolution.
The McKinley administration introduced a joint resolution of annexation in the Senate, hoping that passage there would persuade House Speaker reed to allow a House vote in view of the fact that Reed often proclaimed that he would not stand against a majority. On March 16 the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the resolution and issued a report named after committee chairman Cushman Davis. The Davis report was a compilation of annexationist arguments, indicating their order of importance. The report's 5 reasons for annexation paralleled the ones in Lorrin Thurston's masterpiece "handbook on the Annexation of Hawai'i." 1. Give America strategic control of the North pacific; 2. Prevent Japanese dominance; 3. Increase Hawaiian-American commerce; 4. Secure the shipping business activity of Hawaii; 5. Remove Hawaii as a source of international friction.
"The Davis report highlighted the Japanese threat represented by the immigration and suffrage matters discussed so extensively during the confrontation of 1887. During late 1896 and early 1897, Japanese arrived in the islands at the rate of more than two thousand per month. In a year, Japanese would constitute half the population. ... The 'ultimate supremacy of the Japanese' would constitute 'a grave military danger' to the Pacific coast." (page 224) But the Davis report, and the Senate joint resolution, quickly disappeared in the midst of the war crisis over Cuba.
The annexationists never lost their focus during the Cuban war crisis. "Annexation had at least the same support in May 1898 as in December 1897. Said another way, annexationist support solidified before the Cuban crisis derailed the treaty and did not shrink thereafter." (page 225)
"The so-called war measure argument -- that Hawai'i must be annexed to successfully prosecute the war -- was bogus. All three Manila resupply fleets stopped at Honolulu, the only viable recoaling port in May and June. ... Hawai'i waived port charges and provided a troop rest area. Hawaiian ladies, including Mrs. Dole and Princess Ka'iulani, staffed a soldiers' aid society. ... Foreign Minister Cooper told American officers: 'Hawai'i has cast its lot with your country in the pending conflict.' Hawai'i built much goodwill by its unneutral behavior. ..." (page 226)
Because Dewey destroyed Spanish naval forces in the Pacific, Hawai'i was safe from reprisal. With no military reason for immediate annexation, a few opportunists claimed that honor required it. This argument changed no minds because Hawai'i did not believe it acted ignobly. The Hawaiian Star expressed the attitude of the white government and Native Hawaiians as well, few of whom sympathized with colonial Spain: 'We have thrown in our lot with the United States ... [and] the position is one in which we all acquiesce heartily." (page 226)
Pages 226-227: "By summer 1898 minds were made up. Discussion [of annexation] was now the ritual presentation of points of view rather than the give-and-take leading to persuasion. For most, the war 'proved' (again) the strategic and security arguments for annexation. Hawai'i was not a war spoil. It was a special case unlike Guam, the Philippines, Cuba, and [end page 226, start page 227] Puerto Rico, none considered possible acquisitions before the war. Therefore, most in Congress believed Hawai'i should be acquired separately and immediately. Francis Newlands explained: 'Hawaiian annexation does not rest at all on colonial expansion and should be considered entirely apart from it ... The Philippines question is new, the Hawaiian question is old ... The distinction should be kept in mind. The Philippines means conquest; Hawaii means defense."
The Republican leadership was now determined to deal with House Speaker Reed. Chairman Hitt's foreign affairs committee duplicated the Davis report from the Senate, with a fresh introduction and new testimony from General Schofield and Admiral Walker. The war with Spain had not made any changes in the arguments.
"Hitt and Grosvenor turned to coercion. Tawney circulated the petition demanding a rule requiring a vote. Virtually all Republicans signed. Confronted with this document on the House floor on June 10, Reed finally gave way. Further resistance would have been futile. The Republicans would oust him from the speakership." (page 228)
"In the several hundred dense pages of the Congressional Record that record the debates [in both the House and Senate], every reason to acquire or reject the islands is repeated many times, as speakers jammed their remarks with all possible arguments. ... The strategic argument was the most important ... 'No battleship exists ... which can make the trip from the other side of that wide sea to our shores, conduct any operation of hostility against us, and ever get back unless it has its supply of coal renewed.' ... Senator Hoar ... declared that he would resist annexation to the death if it was to be the first step in the acquisition of a foreign empire or the commercial exploitation of Asian peoples. But Hawai'i was essential to the defense of the West Coast in any future war. ... If not annexed, the islands would fall prey to Japan." (page 229)
"Annexationists rebutted the eight arguments [that had been put forward against annexation]. They maintained that the two governments represented their peoples, so popular approval was unnecessary. Acquisition by other than treaty was constitutional and had been done before, as with Texas. Yje islands were a defensive asset. While the Hawaiian and American populations were indeed not homogenious, these lesser peoples would not become citizens and Hawai'i would remain a territory. The shorter great circle route to Asia had disadvantages, thus few ships stopped in the Aleutians. Recent technological and diplomatic developments made Hawai'i indispensable to defense of the Pacific coast. Annexation must occur now because the islands were vulnerable to foreign pressure, especially from Japan." (page 234)
"On June 15 the House overwhelmingly passed the Newlands resolution, 209 to 91. Voting was highly partisan. Of 182 Republicans, 179 voted for the resolution along with 18 Democrats, 8 Populists, and 4 minor party members. Opposing the bill were 77 Democrats, 7 Populists, 4 minor party members, and 3 Republicans." (page 234)
The Senate took up the resolution on June 20. A filibuster ensued. The annexationists largely remained silent, allowing the filibuster to talk itself out. The filibuster collapsed on Saturday July 2, when Democrats sought to stay adjourned on both Sunday July 3 and Monday July 4. Republicans insisted the Senate meet on the holiday, which doomed the filibuster. The Democrats agreed to vote on July 6, when it passed "42 to 21 with 26 paired and not voting. Counting the paired and absent senators' statements of how they would have voted, 56 favored the measure and 32 opposed it. The 56 annexationist supporters included 44 Republicans, 10 Democrats, and 2 Populists. The 32 nays consisted of 28 Democrats, 2 Populists, and 2 Republicans." (page 235)
Conclusion: Local Power, Eclectic Imperialism, Enhanced Security, pp. 237-243
"To understand why the United States, for the first time, acquired territory outside of North America, we must look not only at American but Hawaiian politics. Had Hawai'i not sought annexation, it would not have occurred. There was zero support for forcible acquisition. Hawai'i sought annexation because a pro-annexation white minority composed the government after the 1893 revolution. That government sat atop a population largely opposed to annexation. Certainly most Native Hawaiians (composing slightly more than a third of the population) opposed it. The opinion of Asians, the largest ethnic group, is less clear. Because U.S. immigration laws were harsher than Hawaiian ones, it is likely that most Asians preferred the status quo. For Japanese in particular, annexation would dilute the ability of Japan to influence and pressure local officials for better working conditions and possibly even voting rights. It is a reasonable assumption that a majority of the population opposed annexation." (page 237)
The century-long catastrophic decline of native population greatly weakened the monarchy. The booming sugar industry increased the political influence of the white community and eventually toppled the monarchy. Sugar also threatened white control, as Asian immigrants came to comprise a majority of the population.
American motives for annexation were very different from the internal political motives of various ethnic groups in Hawaii. Strategic military and economic interests were the main motivation -- especially America's growing rivalry with Japan for control of Hawaii. "Although both Hawaiian and American officials knew Japan's tough policy [on Japanese immigration to Hawaii] helped annexation, there is no basis for occasional claims that Hawai'i created the immigration dispute to trigger annexation." (page 239)
"Could Hawai'i have remained independent, either as a monarchy or a republic? Given the islands' tiny population and enormous strategic importance, true independence very likely would have been impossible. Japan, Britain, and Germany would have sought control if the United States had been disinterested. Japan's interests had grown so much in just ten years that in 1897 it tried to kill U.S. annexation. Had the United States been disinterested, and given the increase in Japanese immigration after 1898, it is quite likely the islands would have become a Japanese possession. ..." (page 240) An independent Hawaii with a strong U.S. protectorate and U.S. military installations on perpetually leased or ceded land might fave been feasible, with either the monarchy or the republic evolving to a strong parliamentary democracy. But the ever-enlarging Asian majority, with strong centralized control of ethnic Japanese by the government of Japan, would have made it unpredictable how much influence the home nations would have over their ethnic groups in Hawaii.
"The United States did wrong by Hawai'i during the 1893 revolution, even judged by 1890 standards and practice. To conspire is to secretly plot with others for an illegal or deceitful purpose. Strictly speaking, John L. Stevens did not conspire to cause to cause a revolt in January 1893. He certainly did not conspire to entice the queen into a rash act by taking the Boston away from Honolulu. As we have seen, the cruise had no political purpose. The warship's return on January 14 was coincidental. But Stevens conspired in his heart. His self-proclaimed evenhandedness meant improperly treating potential rebels the same as the royal government to which he was accredited. By meeting with the rebels, declining to help the queen's government suppress the revolt, and failing to communicate the purpose for landing U.S. troops and bivouacking them at Arion Hall, he made it much easier for the rebels to intimidate the royalists. ... Captain Wiltse violated naval regulations that a landing be a last resort. Although Wiltse ordered is troops to remain neutral, naval officers unthinkingly carried out the landing and the initial movements ashore in a way that allowed the timid royalists, ignorant of the troops' mission, to feel intimidated. That the rebels' military superiority (by January 17) and the self-generated paralysis of royalist leadership were the most important elements in rebel success does not excuse American transgressions." (page 241)
Pages 241-242: "Grover Cleveland tried to correct the wrong. Alas, there was no practical way to set things right. Certainly the method he chose, restoration [of the monarchy], was completely [end page 241 start page 242] impractical. Restoration was doomed by Gresham's false and America-centric assumption -- buttressed by the Blount Report -- that only U.S. intervention allowed the weak rebels to succeed. Therefore, Cleveland and Gresham mistakenly assumed that military intimidation would force that weak rebel government to restore the queen. But the rebel government was resolute. Despite a carefully orchestrated, coercive schedule of U.S. landing practices and ginfire training, the rebel government did not blink, and even prepared to fight."
"More than a century has passed since Hawai'i passed under the Stars and Stripes. Issues raised before annexation remain controversial, partly because of differing judgments on how and why annexation occurred. This is as it should be. Historians will foreven examine the topic with varied interests, approaches, standards. Well-known facts will be reevaluated and new evidence mined from archives. Both will provoke new interpretations." (page 243)
Send comments or questions to:
You may now
GO BACK TO OTHER TOPICS ON THIS WEBSITE
(c) Copyright April 3, 2012 by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved