(c) Copyright 2000 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved
There is one and only one court case in which the ex-queen Lili'uokalani sued the United States for any reason. On November 20, 1909, nearly 17 years after the overthrow and more than 11 years after the annexation, she filed a lawsuit in which she tried to get money for the Crown Lands, claiming those lands rightfully belonged to her but were illegally confiscated by the Provisional Government, Republic of Hawai'i, and United States. The case was decided May 16, 1910 and has the legal citation: Liliuokalani v. United States, 45 Ct. Cl. 418 (1910)
BOTH THE EX-QUEEN’S COMPLAINT AND THE COURT’S DECISION ARE PROVIDED BELOW, following some explanatory material.
The ex-queen lost the case. But in the process, many of the claims made today by the sovereignty activists were asserted by the ex-queen. After seeing all the evidence and hearing all the arguments on both sides, the Court of Claims became convinced that her claims had no merit. The decision itself is a valuable legal document. It is important not only because it contains these arguments concerning the Crown Lands, but also because of the very important appendices included by the Court as part of the evidence. Some of the material in these appendices is difficult or impossible to find anywhere else, and decisively refutes claims raised by today's sovereignty activists on issues other than the Crown Lands. It is also interesting that she never sued the United States in the Supreme Court for the "illegal overthrow" or the "illegal annexation" to try to reverse those events or be compensated for them; she sued only for money for "her" Crown Lands. The manner in which she lost lays out the evidence and the arguments for both sides in a direct confrontation between the ex-Queen and the United States. Such a direct legal confrontation at such a high level over "sovereignty" issues was never repeated for 90 years, until the Rice v. Cayetano case. The decision of the Court of Claims (like the Supreme Court decision in Rice v. Cayetano) is very clear and convincing.
First I shall list some of the questions to be answered here. Then I shall tell the history of the events leading up to this lawsuit, and offer an explanation of the answers to these questions, with references to the actual decision of the Court of Claims. Finally, the complete and unabridged official decision is provided for the first time on the internet, so that scholars can analyze it further. This valuable material is no longer hidden away in dusty archives.
During the Kingdom of Hawai'i, who owned the Crown Lands?
Were the Overthrow and Annexation legitimate?
Was the ex-queen (or by inference the kanaka maoli people) entitled to compensation for the loss of "her" "stolen" lands?
Were the ceded lands taken without compensation?
Was there a valid offer of annexation from the Republic of Hawai'i, and a valid acceptance from the United States, with both sides agreeing on identical language?
What is the status of treaties between the Kingdom of Hawai'i and other nations, including the United States?
LILIUOKALANI v. THE UNITED STATES. 45 Ct. Claims 418 (1910)
The above legal citation refers to the case in which ex-queen Lili'uokalani sued the United States in the U.S. Court of Claims in the year 1910. The case is reported in Court of Claims Volume 45, beginning on page 418. The report covers pages 418 through 440.
This case is extremely important in the history of Hawai'i; yet until the decision was published here on this website, it was completely unavailable on the internet, and could be found only in the archives of major law libraries such as the Hawai'i Supreme Court and the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Hawaiian sovereignty activists, so aggressive about publicizing every small scrap of "evidence" favorable to their views and every bit of the ex-queen's writing or memorabilia, either do not know about this case, or keep it hidden.
Queen Lili'uokalani had been overthrown by the Committee of Safety and the Honolulu Rifles on January 17, 1893. Their objective was to get Hawai'i annexed to the United States, to provide political stability and economic growth. A temporary Provisional Government held power for 18 months, until it became clear that annexation to the United States would not happen during the administration of the ex-queen's friend President Grover Cleveland. The Provisional Government was then replaced by a more permanent Republic of Hawai'i, which had a Constitution and an elected legislature. In 1898, the Spanish American War provided the impetus for U.S. President William McKinley to be able to push through Congress a joint resolution of annexation, accepting the longstanding and recently renewed offer of the Republic to be annexed to the United States. The annexation was finally implemented through the Organic Act of 1900.
The Great Mahele of 1848 began a process whereby individuals could obtain private fee-simple ownership of land. In this process, large amounts of land were set aside in two categories of public ownership: Government Lands, to be held by the government for public facilities and income; and Crown Lands, to be held by the monarch to provide funds to support the monarch. At first it seemed that the Crown Lands were personally owned by the King, but as time went by various events made it clear that the Crown Lands belonged to the office of head of state rather than to the monarch personally. When the Queen was overthrown, there was no longer a monarch to be supported, and the Crown Lands became the property of the Provisional Government, and then the Republic. At the time of annexation, both the former Government Lands and the Crown Lands were ceded to the United States, subject to a condition that the U.S. must hold them in trust for the benefit of all the inhabitants of Hawai'i (rather than simply adding these lands to the land bank of the U.S.). At the time of statehood in 1959, the ceded lands were returned to the control of the State of Hawai'i, except for 328,414 acres retained by the U.S. for national parks, military bases, and other federal government uses.
In 1910 the ex-queen's lawsuit was decided in the U.S. Court of Claims, where she was seeking compensation for the Crown Lands. She claimed the Crown Lands rightfully had belonged to her, and that she was entitled to money in restitution for the confiscation of "her" land by the Provisional Government, the Republic, and then the United States.
Q: DURING THE KINGDOM OF HAWAI'I, WHO OWNED THE CROWN LANDS?
At first it seemed that the monarch owned them personally (see pages 429-430 of the decision below, including portions of the language of the Great Mahele of 1848). The income was used to support the monarch. But when a King died, the lands themselves were always passed to the next monarch rather than to any personal heirs. The ownership of the Crown lands was settled by the Supreme Court of the Kingdom of Hawai'i in 1864, summarized by the U.S. Court of Claims in 1910 as follows: "It was determined in 1864, by a decision of the supreme court of Hawaii, that the crown lands formed an estate presumably vested in fee simple in the Crown as distinguished from the personality of the sovereign, and yet so limited as to possession and descent as to be abhorrent to an estate in fee simple absolute." (See Part I of the Court's own summary of its decision on page 419)
Later, in 1865-66, when the King had mortgaged the lands to provide money squandered on gambling and a lavish lifestyle, the legislature provided money to pay off the debts and further declared the Crown Lands to be inalienable (see pp. 431-433). A further difficulty arose when Claus Spreckels claimed to have ownership participation in the Crown Lands because he had purchased from Princess Ruth Keelikolani her (probably non-existent) rights to those lands. Princess Ruth's claims were doubtful both because her relationship to Kamehameha IV and V was unclear and also because the Crown lands probably were not the private property of the Kamehameha line. Nevertheless, Claus Spreckels, a powerful businessman, had paid money to the Princess for her interest in the Crown Lands, and the government of the Kingdom of Hawai'i wanted to avoid any cloud on the title of these lands. So in 1882 the legislature appropriated funds to purchase a quit-claim deed from Claus Spreckels, just in case there might be any validity to his claim (see pp. 433-434). Then, in 1890, the legislature further clarified the status of many large parcels of land as belonging to the Crown lands and also being the property of the government without any encumbrances (see p. 434).
That is why the Court of Claims in 1910 ruled that: "The Hawaiian statute of 1865 curtailed the title vested in the King to the purpose of maintaining the royal state and dignity; and the King approved the statute which divested the sovereign of whatever legal title he had theretofore had in the crown lands. After that the lands belonged to the office and not to the individual." (See Part II of the Court's own summary of its decision on page 419)
In parts I and II of its own summary of its decision, the Court of Claims based its decision primarily upon the laws of the Kingdom of Hawai'i, showing that by 1865 the Crown Lands did not belong to the monarch personally but to the office of head of state. This was true under the laws of the Kingdom, even before the overthrow and annexation.
It is also very interesting that the ex-queen was claiming that the crown lands had been her private property rather than the property of the race of kanaka maoli generally. Lili'uokalani's claim places her squarely in opposition to the assertion of modern-day sovereignty activists that the race of kanaka maoli are somehow the rightful owners of the ceded (crown) lands, or that they somehow have an undivided interest in them as "native tenants." On the ex-queen's theory put forward in this case, kanaka maoli individuals and kanaka maoli as a race have the same status as non-kanaka maoli: no rights at all to ownership of the crown lands or income from those lands.
Q: WERE THE OVERTHROW AND ANNEXATION LEGITIMATE?
The Court of Claims took account of the ex-Queen's protest of January 17, 1893, immediately following the overthrow. Her entire document of surrender is included by the Court in an appendix to this decision, on page 435. Despite the ex-queen's words in the surrender, the Court clearly did not give any credence to the surrender as being only "temporary" or as being a surrender to the United States. On page 418 the Court's own summary states that in 1893 the Queen "yielded her authority by an instrument abdicating the throne." In Part III of the Court's own summary of its decision, it said: "When the office of King ceased to exist, the crown lands became like other lands, the property of the sovereignty, and on the annexation of the islands, passed to the United States as part of the public domain." (Page 419) The Court also notes on page 424 that if the ex-queen had no ownership or equitable life interest in the Crown Lands, then "it is conceded that the absence of such an interest rendered the crown lands subject to the usual transmission of title appurtenant to a change of sovereignty." Thus the Court is affirming that indeed there was such a change of sovereignty.
On pages 423 and 424 the ex-queen in 1910 tangentially raised the issue of the alleged illegality of the Overthrow, the Provisional Government, the Republic of Hawai'i, the Annexation, and the Organic Act by arguing that her right to the Crown Lands was only temporarily suspended by those governments (not permanently extinguished as would be the case if the government was legitimate) because of provisions in the Constitution of the Republic of Hawai'i that made it impossible for the courts to consider her claims. But on page 428, the Court in its official decision quotes from the Constitution of the Republic of Hawai'i in a manner showing that the Court recognizes the authority of that Constitution in establishing that the Crown Lands are the unencumbered property of the Republic of Hawai'i.
On page 420 the ex-queen compared the annexation of Hawai'i with the annexation of the Panama Canal Zone, stating that "In both cases there was a domestic revolution, and the revolutionary government turned over to the United States the sovereignty desired." On page 421 the ex-queen tried to argue that it is not up to the courts to decide whether the annexations were legitimate or whether the U.S. was primarily responsible for the domestic revolutions that made the annexations possible. She states, incorrectly, that "They are matters for the executive branch of the Government, and the judiciary can only accept the political status as determined by the executive." She would have preferred, of course, to rely upon Grover Cleveland's assessment of the overthrow as recorded in his message to Congress. However, the U.S. courts have always had the right to overturn executive actions because of satute law or the provisions of the Constitution, as established by the Marbury vs. Madison decision more than 100 years before the present case. And the ex-queen conveniently forgot that the U.S. Congress acknowledged the legitimacy of the overthrow as documented in its Morgan Report, and the Congress passed the joint resolution of Annexation in 1898 and the Organic Act of 1900. On pages 428 and 429, the Court cites language from the Constitution of the Republic of Hawai'i, and from the Organic Act of 1900, thereby acknowledging their legitimacy. Finally, on page 429, the Court of Claims gave premission to the ex-queen to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. But she acquiesced in the decision and never appealed it.
Sovereignty activists say the annexation never happened because it was not done by treaty but only by joint resolution. They say that a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress cannot extend beyond the borders of the U.S., which of course is obviously true if the only issues are laws to govern people's conduct in relations with each other. For example, the U.S. Congress has no power to tell the people of China that cigarettes must have less than a certain level of tar and nicotine, or that February 21 shall be celebrated as a Presidents' Day holiday. However, a joint resolution certainly can determine how the United States in and of itself chooses to respond to something happening abroad. And if a foreign nation offers itself for annexation, it is up to the United States to use whatever means it chooses to make its own decision how to respond to such an offer. There are no international laws forcing any nation to use any particular method for ratifying its own decisions.
It is an internal matter for the United States to decide by what method it will accept an offer of annexation. The U.S. Constitution nowhere states that annexation can be accomplished only by treaty. Texas had been annexed by joint resolution almost 50 years previously, establishing the precedent; and other territories such as the Louisiana Purchase and Alaska had been acquired through purchase from France and Russia. Sovereignty activists assert that Texas had been annexed directly as a State, whereas Hawai'i was being annexed only as a Territory. But clearly, if Congress can set a precedent in the case of Texas by using joint resolution to annex something so important as a State, then Congress can also establish a precedent in the case of Hawai'i by using joint resolution to annex the a less important entity of a Territory.
Regarding the sovereignty activists' claim that Texas had been annexed directly as a State: that claim, like so many others, is a distortion of history which leaves out important facts. The first thing that happened was a Joint Resolution annexing Texas. About a year and a half later, there was a separate Admission Act that made Texas a state. In between the two Congressional actions, the Mexican American War broke out because Mexico still claimed Texas was a rebellious province of Mexico and objected to the US annexing "Mexican" territory. For that matter, Spain still claimed that Mexico, including Texas, was still a rebellious province of the Spanish Empire. This illustrates the point that as far as American law is concerned, Congress can annex any land it pleases to the US, although as a practical matter it needs to be prepared for war if some other country stakes an overlapping claim. Texas became part of the US when it accepted the terms of the Annexation Resolution, not when Mexico gave up its claim to Texas after losing the war. The key documents re Texas Annexation are on the Web as part of the Avalon Project at Yale: yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/texmenu.htm In Texas v. White, after the Civil War, the US Supreme Court confirmed the principle established by the Union's victory: as a result of annexation and admission to the Union Texas was a state and states can't quit.
Must the inhabitants of a territory be consulted, prior to being annexed? In the annexations of the Louisiana Territory and the Territory of Alaska, the inhabitants were not consulted by France or Russia (who sold those territories to the U.S.) nor by the U.S. There were only two times when annexations of land to the United States included consulting the inhabitants of the annexed areas: Texas and Hawai'i. The reason why the inhabitants were consulted in these two cases was that these were independent nations prior to annexation. In the case of Texas, there was a plebiscite in which the vote was limited to white males who had sworn loyalty to the Republic of Texas. In the case of Hawai'i, the elected legislature of the Republic of Hawai'i made the commitment.
The powerful Senators, States, and even kanaka maoli or the ex-queen who had successfully opposed the earlier treaty of annexation had every opportunity to file a suit in the U.S. Supreme Court to oppose or undo annexation by joint resolution, but they never did so. The joint resolution of annexation required only a simple majority in both houses of Congress, but it actually passed by 2/3 (42-21) in the Senate and by more than 2/3 (209-91) in the House, partly because sentiments had changed due to the Spanish American War, and Grover Cleveland's failure to win re-election. So, in the final analysis, 2/3 of the Senate ( and more than 2/3 of the House) did vote for the document of annexation, as would be required for a treaty, even if it was now called by a different name. In modern times, it is now well-established in constitutional law that an international agreement can be approved and become binding on the US by a majority vote of both houses of Congress [ Restatement (3d) of the Foreign Relations Law of the US sec. 303 ]. Literally hundreds of international agreements have been done this way in the 20th century, and the Supreme Court repeatedly has held that the method is valid.
Q: WAS THE EX-QUEEN (OR BY INFERENCE THE KANAKA MAOLI PEOPLE) ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION FOR THE LOSS OF "HER" "STOLEN" LANDS?
The answer is very clearly no, and for two reasons: the Crown Lands were not the property of the Queen (let alone the kanaka maoli people); and the lands were not stolen.
The fact that the Crown Lands did not belong to the monarch personally has already been clearly established. Part II of the Court's own summary of its decision, on page 419, clearly states: "The Hawaiian statute of 1865 curtailed the title vested in the King to the purpose of maintaining the royal state and dignity; and the King approved the statute which divested the sovereign of whatever legal title he had theretofore had in the crown lands. After that the lands belonged to the office and not to the individual." The reasoning is explained above.
The fact that the lands were not stolen is documented by the chain of custody of the Crown Lands, recognized as legitimate by the decision of the Court in this case. The Court recognizes that the Crown Lands became the property of the office of sovereignty through a series of acts of the legislature of the Kingdom of Hawai'i agreed to by the King himself. The Court also recognizes the passing of title through the Provisional Government to The Republic (an excerpt from the Constitution of the Republic is included in the Court's own decision, bottom of page 428), and then to the United States by means of the Republic's offer to be annexed and the U.S. joint resolution of acceptance of that offer (both documents contained in the Court's own appendices).
WERE THE CEDED LANDS TAKEN WITHOUT COMPENSATION?
The sovereignty activists are fond of burying false and misleading historical or legal statements inside legislation. The activists then claim that since these buried statements were passed by Congress or the legislature of Hawai'i, therefore these statements are law. That political technique has been well-documented in the section of this website dealing with the S1929 federal healthcare bill providing a racial entitlement for kanaka maoli. Another example of false statements can be found in the so-called "Apology" bill, and its amazingly blatant falsity can be shown in the documentation in the appendices of the 1910 Crown Lands case. (Thanks to Bill Burgess for the details that follow. His website, focusing on the ceded lands, can be seen at http://aloha4all.org )
The Apology bill, P.L. 103-150 (1993), says, in one
of its "whereas"
clauses, that "the Republic of Hawaii also ceded [to
the United States]
1,800,000 acres of crown, government and public lands
of the Kingdom of
Hawaii, without the consent of or compensation to the
Native Hawaiian people
or their sovereign government."
However, in the Annexation Act, under which the crown,
government and public
lands of the Kingdom were ceded, the United States
assumed the public debt
of the Republic of Hawaii up to $4 million (See page 439). The
bonded debt of the Republic
at the time of annexation in 1898 was $3,785,500. The
public debt of the
Kingdom at the time of the overthrow in January 1893
was $3,417,459.87 [ Reports of the Minister of Finance, 1894 and 1898 ].
Assumption of another's debt is a form of
compensation. For example, it is
common in land sales for the buyer to pay the purchase
price partially in
cash and partially by assuming a mortgage of the
seller. Another example is
the Internal Revenue code which treats an assumption
of debt as income to
the person whose debt is assumed.
Between 1850 and 1890 pasture lands sold for an
average of 25 cents an acre
while good taro land brought five dollars an acre [ Hawaiian Culture, The
Land & the People p. 263 ]. In 1865 Kamehameha IV sold
the entire Island of
Niihau to the Sinclair brothers for $10,000, an
average of less than 25
cents per acre. In 1877 James Campbell bought 41,000
acres at Honouliuli
(Ewa, O'ahu) for $95,000, an average of $2.31 per acre. Land values were probably much lower than that. For example, Bernice Pauahi Bishop's estate, which included about 400,000 acres (including some extremely valuable lands, and totaling about ten percent of all the land of the Hawaiian islands), was valued at about $300,000 during the probate of her will a year or two following her death in 1884. That would set a valuation of about 75 cents per acre. Vast
acreage of the
government and crown lands was mountainous and desert
lands unusable for
pasture. Assuming an average value of $1.50 per acre
the total value of the
about 1.8 million acres ceded would be $2.7 million.
Thus, even if the ceded lands had been transferred
outright to the United
States, the Kingdom of Hawaii received compensation
(by way of assumption of
its public debt) considerably greater than the value
of those lands.
However, the lands were not ceded outright. The
Annexation Act required
that the U.S. use the revenues and proceeds of the
ceded lands, "except as
regards such part thereof as may be used or occupied
for the civil, military
or naval purposes of the United States ... solely for
the benefit of the
inhabitants of the Hawaiian Islands for educational
and other public
purposes." (page 439) At that time about 26% of the
inhabitants of the Hawaiian
Islands were of native ancestry. The U.S. in 1900
turned over to the
Territory of Hawaii the possession and control of over
1.4 million acres of
the ceded lands. Those lands have remained in the
possession, use and
control of the government of Hawaii for the benefit of
the citizens of
Hawaii of all ancestries, (except for the about 200,000
exclusively for 50% Hawaiians in the Hawaiian Homes
continuously to the present.
Of the 328,414 acres retained by the U.S., 244,890 are
(available for the enjoyment of the public including
those of Hawaiian
ancestry), leaving 83,524 acres for the use of the
Federal government [ Ronck's Hawaii Almanac ]. 28,800 acres of that, the
island of Kahoolawe, is
being transferred to the State.
Thus, the claim that the crown, government and public
lands of Hawaii were
ceded to the United States "without compensation to the Native Hawaiian people or their sovereign government" is false. The United States compensated the Republic of Hawai'i and its people (including kanaka maoli) by assuming their public debts, including the debts incurred under the Kingdom for the issuance of bonds to redeem all encumbrances on the Crown lands incurred by various monarchs to support their lavish lifestyles, as noted on pages 431-434.
WAS THERE A VALID OFFER OF ANNEXATION FROM THE REPUBLIC OF HAWAI'I, AND A VALID ACCEPTANCE FROM THE UNITED STATES, WITH BOTH SIDES AGREEING ON IDENTICAL LANGUAGE?
The entire offer from the Republic of Hawai'i of a treaty to be annexed is contained on pages 435-438. The entire Newlands Resolution; i.e., the joint resolution of Congress accepting the offer of annexation; is contained on pages 438-440. Close comparison of the language in the two documents confirms that most of the language is identical, although occasionally the order of the paragraphs may be different. The language at the beginning or end may be different between the two documents because one is offering and the other is accepting, or the acceptance includes language for administrative procedures or funds to implement the annexation.
WHAT IS THE STATUS OF TREATIES BETWEEN THE KINGDOM OF HAWAI'I AND OTHER NATIONS, INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES?
Sovereignty activists like to say that the treaties between the Kingdom of Hawai'i and foreign nations still exist and still have force of law. They believe that the treaties between the Kingdom and the U.S. are also still alive. If the overthrow had never happened, such would be the case.
However, the overthrow did happen. All the nations with consulates in Honolulu recognized the new Provisional Government within two days following the overthrow. Recognition includes a mutual agreement that existing treaties will continue in force until changed, and it also includes a recognition that the new sovereignty replaces the previous one as the agent with whom to negotiate.
The annexation also really happened, as a previous section of this essay confirms. When one nation is annexed by another, it is common sense as well as international law that all treaties between the annexed nation (Hawai'i) and other nations are automatically subsumed under the authority of the annexing nation (the United States) or else abrogated, and henceforth foreign relations are conducted through the annexing nation (United States).
Article III of the Republic's offer of annexation, dealing with treaties with foreign nations (pages 436-437), is completely identical with the language in the U.S. acceptance (page 439) except that where the Republic refers to its offer of a "treaty" of annexation, the U.S. notes a "joint resolution" of acceptance. The identical wording establishes the common-sense disposition of treaties as described above. Here is the wording:
"The existing treaties of the Hawaiian Islands with foreign nations shall forthwith cease and determine, being replaced by such treaties as may exist, or as may be hereafter concluded, between the United States and such foreign nations. The municipal legislation of the Hawaiian Islands, not enacted for the fulfillment of the treaties so extinguished, and not inconsistent with this joint resolution nor contrary to the Constitution of the United States nor to any existing treaty of the United States, shall remain in force until the Congress of the United States shall otherwise determine."
The language is also identical between the two documents dealing with the commercial relations between (the former Kingdom of) Hawai'i and the U.S. and foreign nations (still page 439):
"Until legislation shall be enacted extending the United States customs laws and regulations to the Hawaiian Islands the existing customs relations of the Hawaiian Islands with the United States and other countries shall remain unchanged."
The bottom line is that all treaties between the Kingdom of Hawai'i and other nations, including the United States, are forever extinguished for two reasons: (1) As a result of the overthrow of the monarchy, the new Republic government took control of and continued to enforce the treaties of the Kingdom, unless such treaties were changed by the Republic of Hawai'i through negotiation with the other nations involved; and (2) As a result of the annexation, all treaties of the Republic of Hawai'i (and therefore of the Kingdom whose treaties were assumed by the Republic) were either abrogated or became the responsibility of the United States to administer, in accord with the provisions of the agreement of annexation.
THE COMPLAINT FILED BY EX-QUEEN LILI’UOKALANI, November 20, 1909
Documents dated November 20, 1909
Archives, Honolulu, Hawaii REF HD243.H3 L55 1909
Liliuokalani vs. United States of America - PETITION
- In the Court of Claims
Kinney, Ballou, Prosser & Anderson, Attorneys for Petitioner, Honolulu, Hawaii
TO THE HONORABLE THE COURT OF CLAIMS:
Come now LILIUOKALANI, a citizen of the United States
of America, and complaining of the United States of
America is a claim in respect of which she would be
entitled to redress against the United States in a
court of equity if the United States were suable,
alleges and shows as follows:
That heretofore, to wit, in the year 1848, Kamehameha
III, King of the Kingdom of Hawaii, being owner and
lord paramount of all the lands in said Kingdom of
Hawaii, did surrender and forever make over unto the
chiefs and people the greater part of his royal
domain, reserving certain lands to himself as his own
private property, which act was solemnized by an act
duly passed by the house of Nobles and Representatives
of the Hawaiian Islands in legislative council
assembled entitled "As Act relating to the lands of
His Majesty the King and of the Government," copy of
which act is hereto attached, marked "Exhibit A" and
made a part hereof.
That the lands by said act reserved to be private
lands of His Majesty Kamehameha III were thereafter
known as Crown Lands, and thereafter descended to His
Majesty Kamehamahe IV and His Majesty Kamehameha V,
successors in sovereignty of said Kamehameha III,
excepting only such lands as were from time to time
alienated by said Kamehameha III and Kamehameha IV.
That thereafter, to wit, in the year 1865, an act was
duly passed by the King and the legislative assembly
of the Hawaiian Islands in the legislature of the
Kingdom assembled entitled "An Act to relieve the
royal domain from encumbrances and to render the same
inalienable," a copy of which act is hereunto
attached, marked "Exhibit B" and made a part herof.
That under and by virtue of said last mentioned act
said Crown Lands were rendered inalienable and all the
rents, profits and emoluments derived from the said
lands aftrer deducting the necessary and proper
expenses of managing the same, were declared to be for
the use and benefit of the reigning sovereign.
That thereafter, to wit, in the year 1866, the bonds
mentioned in said "An Act to relieve the royal domain
from encumbrances and to render the same inalienable"
were assumed by the government of the Kingdom of
Hawaii and the Crown Lands relieved of further charge
concerning the same, all of which more fully appears
by a resolution of the legislative assemably approved
July 6, 1866, a copy of which is hereto attached
marked "Exhibit C" and made a part hereof.
That thereafter, to wit, in the year 1882, one Claus
Spreekels, having acquired a claim on said Crown Lands
by the purchase of the interest, if any, of Ruth
Keelikolani, one of the heirs at law of Kamehameha V,
said claim was compromised by the conveyance to Claus
Spreckles of the Ahupuaa of Wailuku in the Island of
Maui, and the conveyance by Claus Spreckels to the
Commissioners of Crown Lands of all the right, title
and interest of him the said Claus Spreckles in and to
the residue of the Crown Lands, which compromise was
made in accordance with and by authority of an act
entitled "An Act to authrorize the Commissioners of
Crown Lands to convey certain portions of such lands
to Claus Spreckels in satisfaction of all claims he
may have on said lands." A copy of which act is
hereto attached. Marked "Exhibit D." and made a part
That thereafter, to wit, in the year 1890 certain
unassigned lands were duly declared to be a part of
the Crown Lands by an act entitled "An Act to Declare
Certain Lands to be part of the Crown Lands and Royal
Domain" as more fully appears by said act, a copy of
which is hereto attached, marked "Exhibit E," and made
a part hereof.
That on the 20th day of January 1891 your petitioner,
under and by virtue of the constitution and laws of
the Kingdom of Hawaii became Queen of the Kingdom of
Hawaii succeeding her brother, the late King Kalakaua,
and thereupon under and by virtue of the constitution
and laws of said Kingdom of Hawaii became vested with
a life interest in and to all the rents, profits and
emoluments derived from said Crown Lands after
deducting the necessary and proper expenses of
managing the same.
That thereafter, to wit, on the 17th day of January
1893 your petitioner was deposed by a revolutionary
government and on said 17th day of January 1893
yielded her authority to said Provisional Government
under the following protest duly signed and
transmitted to said Provisional Government, to wit:
"I, Liliuokalani, by the grace of God and under the
constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Queen, do hereby
solemnly pro -
test against any and all acts done against myself and
the constitutional government of the Hawaiian Kingdom
by certain persons claiming to have established a
provisional government of and for this Kingdom.
That I yield to the superior force of the United
States of America, whose minister plenipotentiary, his
excellency John L. Stevens, has caused United States
troops to be landed at Honolulu and declared that he
would support the provisional government.
Now, to avoid any collision of armed forces and
perhaps the loss of life, I do, under this protest and
impelled by said force, yield my authority until such
time as the Government of the United States shall,
upon the facts being presented to it, undo the action
of its representative and reinstate me and the
authority which I claim as the constitutional
sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands."
That thereafter, to wit, on July 4th A.D. 1894 said
Provisional Government was succeeded by a government
known as the Republic of Hawaii, the constitution of
which government provided, among other things, as
"That portion of the public domain heretofore known as
Crown Land is hereby declared to have been heretofore,
and now to be, the property of the Hawaiian
Government, and to be now free and clear from any
trust of or concerning the same, and from all claim of
any nature whatsoever, upon the rents, issues and
profits thereof. It shall be subject to alienation
and other uses as may be provided by law. All valid
leases thereof now in existence are hereby confirmed."
That thereafter, to wit, in the year 1897 the said
Republic of Hawaii signified its consent in the manner
provided by its constitution to cede to the United
States of America all its rights of sovereignty, and
also to cede and transfer to the United States the
absolute fee and ownership of all public, government
or Crown Land and other property, which cession was
accepted by a joint resolution of the Congress of the
United States entitled "Joint Resolution to provide
for anexing the Hawaiian Islands to the United
States," all of which more fully appears by
the resolution of the Senate of Hawaii ratifying the
treaty of annexation, a copy of which is hereto
attached, marked "Exhibit F" and made a part hereof,
and by said Joint Resolution to provide for annexing
the Hawaiian Islands to the United States, a copy of
which is hereto attached and marked "Exhibit G" and
made a part hereof.
That thereafter, to wit, on August 12, 1898, the
transfer of sovereignty and the cession of all public
lands including said Crown Lands took place, and the
legal title to said Crown Lands thereupon became and
is now vested in the United States of America.
That thereafter, to wit, in the year 1900 an act
entitled "An Act to provide a government for the
Territory of Hawaii" was duly enacted by the Senate
and House of Representatives of the United States of
America in Congress assembled, said act containing the
following provisions, to wit:
"Sec. 99. That the portion of the public domain
heretofore known as Crown Land is hereby declared to
have been, on the twelfth day of August, eighteen
hundred and ninety-eight, and prior thereto, the
property of the Hawaiian Government, and to be free
and clear from any trust of or concerning the same,
and from all claim of any nature whatsoever, upon the
rents, issues, and profits thereof. It shall be
subject to alienation and other uses as may be provide
That no other or further steps than above set forth
having been taken to divest your petitioner of her
equitable life interest in the rents, profits and
emoluments of said Crown Lands, and your petitioner
alleges in this connection that said Section 99 of the
Act of April 30, 1900, in so far as it purports to
extinguish or deny her claim to such equitable life
interest is taking of property without due process of
law contrary to 5th Amendment of the Constitution of
the United States, and is unconstitutional and void.
That the United States of America became seized of the
legal title to said Crown Lands with full notice of
the rights of your petitioner therein.
That the United States of America, having become so
seized of the legal title to said Crown Lands,
whereof, your petitioner has a vested equitable life
interest, holds the same as Trustee for your
petitioner to the extent of her interest therein, and
ought in equity and good conscience to account to your
petitioner for, and to pay to her, all the rents,
profits and emoluments derived from said Crown Lands
after deducting the necessary and proper expenses of
managing the same, for and during the term of her
That portions of said Crown Lands have been reserved
by the United States of America for use as military
and naval stations, that other portions have been
proclaimed forest reserves, that other portions have
been alienated and sold, and that the remaining
portions are in the possession, use and control of the
government of the Territory of Hawaii, under and by
virtue of the provisions of Section 91 of the said Act
of April 30, 1900 being "An Act to provide a
Government for the Territory of Hawaii."
That petitioner claims of the United States of America
the sum of Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars
($450,000.00) as and for the net rents, profits and
emoluments derived from said Crown Lands during the
six years next preceding the filing of this petition,
after deducting the necessary and proper expenses of
managing the same.
That your petitioner is sole owner and the only person
interested in this claim, that no assignment or
transfer of said claim or of any part thereof or
interest therein has been made; that said claim has
not been presented to Congress or any Department,
except that bills for the relief of your petitioner
have been intro-
duced in Congress from time to time and referred to
committees, but no report of any committee either
favorable or adverse has ever been made and no action
taken on such bills by either House of Congress, that
claimant is justly entitled to the amount herein
claimed from the United States, after allowing all
just credits and set-offs; that the claimant has at
all times since becoming a citizen of the United
States borne true allegiance to the Government of the
United States and has not in any way voluntarily
aided, abetted or given encouragement to rebellion
against the said government, and that she believes the
facts as stated in this petition to be true.
WHEREFORE your petitioner prays:
First: That the United States of America
be summoned to appear and answer this complaint and be
bound by the proceedings herein.
Second: That the United States be decreed to
be a Trustee of the Crown Lands herein before
specified for the use and benefit of your petitioner
so far as her equitable life interest in said Crown
Lands is concerned.
Third: That the United States be decreed
to pay to your petitioner said sum of Four hundred and
Fifty Thousand Dollars ($450,000.00), or in the
alternative that the United States be decreed to
account to your petitioner for the rents, profits and
emoluments derived from said Crown Lands after
deducting the necessary and proper expenses of
managing the same, for the period of six years next
preceding the date of filing this petition.
Fourth: For costs and for such other,
further and general relief as to the court seems meet.
KINNEY, BALLOU, PROSSER & ANDERSON,
Attorneys for petitioner.
TERRITORY OF HAWAII )
CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU) SS
LILIUOKALANI, being duly sworn on oath, deposes and
says, that she is the petitioner named in the
foregoing petition, that she has read said petition
and knows the contents thereof and that all and
singular the matters and things therein alleged are
true to her own knowledge.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 10th day of
WM. B. LYMER,
Notary Public First Judicial Circuit, Territory of Hawaii
EXHIBITS A-G attached (Archives, Honolulu, Hawaii)
THE DECISION OF THE U.S. COURT OF CLAIMS, May 16, 1910
The following has been transcribed exactly as it appears in the official record book of the U.S. Court of Claims, Volume 45, for the year 1910, beginning on page 418. Page numbers are indicated in [square brackets]. When a word is broken between two pages in the official record, the same break has been transcribed here. Several typographical errors present in the official record have been preserved here. Great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of this transcription, and special thanks are owed to Sandra Puanani Burgess.
LILIUOKALANI v. THE UNITED STATES. 45 Ct. Claims 418 (1910)
[No. 30577. Decided May 16, 1910]
On the defendants' Demurrer.
The claimant became Queen of the Hawaiian Islands in January, 1891. Two years later she yielded
her authority by an instrument abdicating the throne. After a brief provisional government the
Republic of Hawaii was established. In 1898 the islands were annexed to and became part of the United
States. She now seeks to recover the value of the crown lands, which passed to the United States with
the annexation of the islands.
ARGUMENT FOR THE CLAIMANT
I. It was determined in 1864, by a decision of the supreme court of Hawaii, that the crown lands
formed an estate presumably vested in fee simple in the Crown as distinguished from the personality
of the sovereign, and yet so limited as to possession and descent as to be abhorrent to an estate in fee
II. The Hawaiian statute of 1865 curtailed the title vested in the King to the purpose of maintaining
the royal state and dignity; and the King approved the statute which divested the sovereign of whatever
legal title he had theretofore had in the crown lands. After that the lands belonged to the office and not
to the individual.
III. When the office of King ceased to exist, the crown lands became like other lands, the property
of the sovereignty, and on the annexation of the islands, passed to the United States as part of the
public domain. The constitutional provisions relating to the crown lands set forth.
The Reporters' statement of the case:
The facts alleged in the petition are sufficiently stated in the opinion of the court.
Mr. S. S. Ashbaugh (with whom was Mr. Assistant Attorney-General John Q. Thompson) for the
Mr. Sidney M. Ballou opposed. Kinney, Ballou, Prosser, and Anderson were on the brief:
It is evident that this is not only an attempted confiscation of the interest of the petitioner but also
that it contains a great deal of what can only be described as "special pleading." The crown land is
described as a "portion of the public domain" whereas as we have already seen "it was clearly the
intention of Kamehameha III to protect the lands * * * from the danger of being treated as public
domain" (Estate of Kamehameha IV, 2 Haw., 715), and in the entire history of Hawaii the word
public had never been applied to the crown land, but on the contrary the word private had been
repeatedly and emphatically applied. The crown land is then declared to have been heretofore the
property of the Hawaiian Government, a declaration absolutely opposed to every fact in the history of
the crown land be-
[ page 420 ]
ginning with the express separation of the reserved lands of Kamehameha III into government and
crown land, giving the great majority to the Hawaiian Government, the very object of the decision
being to reserve to the King certain lands which could not by any possibility be treated as the property of the Government.
Even this constitutional provision, however, could not deny the existing trust in favor of the
petitioner, the emphatic word " now" being clearly expressive of a present intention to terminate that
trust by arbitrary fiat.
Since annexation there has been no pretense that the declaration of the constitutional convention was
historically accurate, or that it was anything but arbitrary confiscation.
If, as fully established by the public history of Hawaii, the crown lands were originally the private lands of the monarch and the equitable life interest into which they were finally resolved was the
private property of the petitioner, it is hardly necessary to cite authorities that this interest was not
subject to confiscation under international law. The subject has a pathetic interest from the fact that
the King originally owning the entire public domain gave up the greater portion of it to the
Government as government lands for the express purpose of preserving the remainder from the fate
which finally overtook it.
"It may not be unworthy of remark that it is very unusual, even in cases of conquest, for the
conqueror to do more than to displace the sovereign and assume dominion over the country. The
modern usage of nations, which has become law, would be violated; that sense of justice and of right which is acknowledged and felt by the whole civilized world would be outraged if private property
should be generally confiscated and private rights annulled." (Marshall, D. J., in the U.S. v. Percheman, 7 Peters, 51, 86.)
When the manifest destiny of the United States demanded the acquisition of certain rights in the
Isthmus of Panama as it demanded the possession of the strategic out post controlling the North
Pacific, it did not take it from the existing Government. In both cases there was a domestic
revolution, and the revolutionary government turned over to the United States the sovereignty desired.
With the ne-
[ page 421 ]
cessity or propriety of the transaction or the degree of complicity of the United States in each
individual instance this court has no concern. They are matters of the executive branch of the
Government, and the judiciary can only accept the political status as determined by the executive. When, however, the transaction involves the rights of private property not subject to confiscation
under the rules of international law, we submit that a different question arises and one of which this
court has jurisdiction. If this method of annexation can be used not only for the transfer of
sovereignty, but also for the extinguishment while in the hands of the temporary revolutionary
government of any inconvenient rights of private property, it may readily be imagined to what
length the doctrine may be carried in the future. The United States takes the sovereignty and all public
property appertaining thereto free from any obligation save that dictated by the conscience of the
legislative and executive branches, which in almost every case but the present has been met by
generous remuneration, even for the public property acquired. Even in the present instance several
abortive efforts have been made to recompense the petitioner in this case.
We are, of course, aware that this court does not undertake to enforce moral obligations of the
United States, but that, in its capacity as a court of equity, it acts only in accordance with recognized
equitable principles. Nevertheless, it is equally important to remember that a court of equity is
primarily a court of conscience, and that the claim of an unconscientious retention of the right of the
petitioner is one which particularly appeals to such a court. In the present case we believe the
following well recognized principles to be applicable:
"Acquisition of trust property by a volunteer or purchaser with notice.
"Wherever property, real or personal, which is already impressed with or subject to a trust of any
kind, express or by operation of law, is conveyed or transferred by the trustee, not in the course of
executing and carrying into effect the terms of an express trust, or devolves from a trustee to a third person, who is a mere volunteer, or who is a purchaser
[ page 422 ]
Argument for the claimant.
with actual or constructive notice of the trust, then the rule is universal that such heir, devisee,
successor, or other voluntary transferee, or such purchaser with notice acquires and holds the
property subject to the same trust which before existed, and becomes himself a trustee for the original beneficiary. Equity impresses the trust upon the property in the hands of the transferee or
purchaser, compels him to perform the trust if it be active, and to hold the property subject to the
trust, and renders him liable to all the remedies which may be proper for enforcing the rights of the beneficiary. It is not necessary that such transferee or purchaser should be guilty of positive fraud
or should actually intend a violation of the trust obligation; it is sufficient that he acquires property
upon which a trust is in fact impressed, and that he is not a bona fide purchaser for a valuable
consideration and without notice. This universal rule forms the protection and safeguard of the
rights of beneficiaries in all kinds of trust; it enables them to follow trust property -- lands, chattels,
funds of securities, and even of money -- as long as it can be identified, into the hands of all
subsequent holders who are not in the position of bona fide purchasers, for value and without notice; it furnishes all those distinctively equitable remedies which are so much more efficient in securing
the beneficiary's rights than the mere pecuniary recoveries of the law." (3 Pomeroy Eq. Juris., sec.
"Upon similar principles, wherever the property of a party has been wrongfully misapplied, or a
trust fund has been wrongfully converted into another species of property, if its identity can be
traced, it will be held, in its new form, liable to the rights of the original owner, or cestui que trust. The general proposition, which is maintained both at law and in equity upon this subject, is
that if any property, in its original state and form is covered with a trust in favor of the principal,
no change of that state and form can divest it of such trust, or give the agent or trustee converting it
or those who represent him in right (not being bona fide purchasers for a valuable consideration
without notice) any more valid claim in respect to it than they respectively had before such change."
(2 Story Eq. Juris., sec. 1258.)
It is with the deprivation of the petitioner's property right we are concerned. It is not denied that
strenuous efforts have been made to deprive her of this right, legally as well as in fact. With the
exception of a brief period of martial law, the courts of the provisional government and the
Republic of Hawaii were open and it must have been foreseen that the petitioner's claim to the profits of the crown land
[ page 423 ]
was too obvious to be resisted. The only remedy was the insertion of the express arbitrary denial of
the claim in the constitution of the Republic itself, so that the courts sitting under the same
constitution could not recognize the claim. The declaration in question, as has already been shown, sufficiently appears by its language to be the arbitrary fiat of the sovereign power. So far as the
claim that the crown land was "heretofore * * * the property of the Hawaiian Government," unless
the word "heretofore" be restricted to the eighteen months of the provisional government, it is
sufficiently negatived by the language of the act of 1845 and the act of 1865. Nor was it pretended
that there had not been a trust previously existing in favor of the petitioner and an equitable right in
her to the rents, issues, and profits, the emphatic word "now" being sufficient to show that the
declaration was intended as a confiscation of those rights.
It is not denied that this enactment was sufficient to preclude petitioner from seeking relief in any
court existing under the Republic of Hawaii. The fear of this claim seems to have survived
annexation, however, as the same provision was placed by Congress in the organic act of the new Territory. It appears to us that the validity of the petitioner's present claim depends on the answer to
the following questions:
(1) Was the petitioner's right extinguished by the constitutional provision of the Republic of Hawaii
or merely suspended?
(2) Was it extinguished by the confiscatory declaration in the organic act?
To the first question it seems as though a court of equity and good conscience could return but one
answer. If the petitioner's acknowledged equitable right is taken and held by force, the enforcement
of such right may be suspended through the impotency of the courts to reach it for the time being,
but when the parties, i. e., the equitable claimant and the holder of the legal title, come again within
the influence of equitable jurisdiction and a court of equity has power to act in the premises, surely
every consideration of equity and good conscience demands that the equitable claimant, suing
[ page 424 ]
under well recognized equitable principles, shall be given her rights. No court of equity, in applying
the general principles above quoted, has ever recognized the principle that if any intermediate
holder of the property is for any reason beyond the process of the court the equities of the beneficiary are forever extinguished.
The answer to the second question is equally apparent. The petitioner can not be deprived of her
vested interest by any statutory declaration such as that contained in section 99 of the organic act of
the Territory of Hawaii. That this would be a deprivation of property without due process of
law, contrary to the constitutional provision, is so obvious that, until the proposition is challenged we
are content to leave it without argument.
BOOTH, J., DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
This is a demurrer to claimant's petition. The claimant, Liliuokalani, was formerly Queen of the
Hawaiian Islands. Her cause of action is predicated upon an alleged "vested equitable life interest" to
certain lands described in the petition, known as "crown lands," of which interest she was divested by the defendants. It is conceded that the absence of such an interest rendered the crown lands subject
to the ususal transmission of title appurtenant to a change of sovereignty. The solution of the question
involves a detailed examination of the various acts of the Hawaiian legislative body and reference to
various sections of the Hawaiian constitutions, which for convenience will be set forth as an appendix
to this opinion.
The origin of the crown lands and history connected therewith is epitomized by Justice Robertson in
an exhaustive opinion in 2 Haw., 715. Previous to the reign of Kamehameha III a system of land
tenure akin to the ancient feudal system prevailed in the islands. In 1839 the dissatisfaction and
disputes engendered by the payment of rents, the rendition of personal service, etc., imposed upon
landholders, encouraged the King to bring about a settled policy with reference to land titles. In
1840 Kamehameha III granted the first constitution, in which it is recited that:
[ page 425 ]
"Kamehameha I was the founder of the Kingdom, and to him belonged all the land from one end of
the islands to the other, though it was not his own private property. It belonged to the chiefs and
people in common, of whom Kamehameha I was the head and had the management of the landed
property." In another clause it is provided that all lands forfeited for nonpayment of taxes shall
revert to the King. (Fundamental Laws of Hawaii.) In 1846 a board of land commissioners was
appointed by law, charged with the duty of dividing the rights of the various individuals in lands,
and quieting titles thereto, and finally, in March, 1848, the King "signed and sealed two instruments
contained in the Mahele book," by which he demised specified lands described therein to the chiefs
and people and reserved unto himself the lands now in suit, then and ever afterwards known as the
crown lands. On June 7, 1848, the legislature for the islands confirmed the action of the King, and
thereafter all portions of the royal domain except the reserved crown lands were treated as public
domain and managed and disposed of by appropriate legislation. The title to the crown lands was
vested in the Sovereign; he leased and alienated the same at his pleasure; the income and profits
therefrom were his without interference or control. In January, 1865, the unlimited latitude allowed
the King in the control of the crown lands found them charged with mortgages to secure sums of
money which threatened their extinguishment, and the legislature, by the act of January 3, 1865,
relieved the lands from the oppression of the mortgages, by the issuance of bonds, provided against
their alienation, and put their management and control in the hands of commissioners as provided in
the act. Subsequently, on July 6, 1866, the legislature relieved the crown lands from the liquidation
of the bonds previously provided for, and the Government assumed and paid the mortgage debt.
The claimant became Queen of the islands on January 20, 1891, succeeding her brother, King
Kalakaua. On January 17, 1893, she yielded her authority over the islands by an instrument in writing,
abdicated her throne, and was succeeded in authority by a provisional government. On July
[ page 426 ]
4, 1894, said provisional government was succeeded by a government known as the Republic of
Hawaii, and thereafter the Hawaiian Islands were peaceably, upon request, on August 12, 1898
annexed to and became a part of the United States of America.
The history of the Hawaiian Islands from the earliest time to the ascension of Kamehameha I is the
usual story of conquest. Kamehameha I established a monarch; his title and sovereignty was the usual
one of conquest, and while the attendant civilization was much advanced the King retained his
sovereign authority and prerogatives. The act of Kamehameha III in 1848 was, as before observed,
the culmination of numerous dissensions as to land tenures, and the King divided the public domain as hereinbefore set forth. Since 1848 the crown lands have descended to the reigning sovereign. At
the April term of the Supreme Court of Hawaii in 1864 the nature and extent of the King's title in the
crown lands was squarely before the court, and the court in an exceedingly able opinion held that
under said act "the lands descended in fee, the inheritance being limited, however, to the successors to
the throne, and each successive power may regulate and dispose of the same according to his will and
pleasure, as private property, in like manner as was done by Kamehameha III."
Taking the language of the court we find an estate in lands presumably vested in fee simple in so far
as the Crown is concerned, as distinguished from the personality of the Sovereign, and yet limited as
to possession and descent by conditions abhorrent to a fee-simple estate absolute. The act of 1865
further curtails the title vested in the King. The preamble of the act recites expressly the nature and
extent of the King's tenure, "for the purpose of maintaining the royal state and dignity," followed by
appropriate legislation to thereafter prevent their alienation or incumbrance.
The act of 1865 to become effective under the Hawaiian constitution required the approval of the
King. (Fundamental Laws of Hawaii, p. 172.) On January 3, 1865, Kamehameha V approved the
statute which expressly divested the King of whatever legal title or possession he
[ page 427 ]
theretofore had in or to the Crown lands. (6 Haw., 195-208.) The Hawaiian Government in 1865 by
its own legislation determined what the court is now asked to determine.
The decision of the court in 2 Haw., supra, was some time previous to the passage of the act of
1865, and although the court sustained the right of dower in the widow of the King, it is clear from
the opinion that the crown lands were treated not as the King's private property in the strict sense
of the term. While possessing certain attributes pertaining to fee simple estates, such as unrestricted
power of alienation and incumbrance, there were likewise enough conditions surrounding the tenure to
clearly characterize it as one pertaining to the support and maintenance of the Crown, as distinct from
the person of the Sovereign. They belonged to the office and not to the individual. Significant in this
connection is the transaction with Claus Spreckels in July, 1882. Her Highness Ruth Keelikolani, sister
and heir of Kamehameha V, though never succeeding to the throne, conveyed to Spreckels all her
interest in the crown lands. The sovereign authorities hastened to dispute the transaction, and subsequent legislation by way of compromise restored the attempted conveyance to the general body
of the crown lands. (Appendix, p. 8.) Since 1865, so far as the record before us discloses, the
character of the crown lands has not been changed; they have passed to the succeeding monarch. The
income, less expense of management, has been used to support the royal office and treated as
belonging to the Crown. All other property of the King has uniformly passed to his heirs regardless
of his royal successor.
The court in 2 Haw., 722, in commenting upon the motives of the King in executing the conveyances
of March 8, 1848, attributes the establishment of the crown land estate to a desire to prevent the
impoverishment of the Sovereign in the event of a successful foreign invasion. This statement has
been seized upon and assiduously emphasized by the claimant. It is not in harmony with the detailed
history given by the court in its opinion. On page 719 the court says: "It was the imperative
necessity of separating and defining the rights of the several parties interested in the
[ page 428 ]
lands which led to the institution of the board of land commissioners, and to the division made by
the King himself, with the assistance of his privy council." It was in fact the usual contest between the
monarch and his people. Certainly under a monarchy it would be unusual for the reigning sovereign to
divest himself of all landed property; always jealous of the dignity attached to the Crown they were
likewise alert in securing sufficient revenue to support its royal pretensions.
Kamehameha III reorganized the Government, granted a constitution, organized executive
departments, established courts, and otherwise extended the liberties of his people and protected their rights of property. Suppose that during the progress of his reign a pretender for the throne had successfully established his claim and deposed the monarch without changing the existing
governmental conditions. Is it possible that Kamehameha III could have recovered the rents and profits
from the crown lands during the remainder of his life? (Fundamental Laws of Hawaii.)
It seems to the court that the crown lands acquired their unusual status through a desire of the King
to firmly establish his Government by commendable concessions to his chiefs and people out of the
public domain. The reservations made were to the Crown and not the King as an individual. The
crown lands were the resourceful methods of income to sustain, in part at least, the dignity of the
office to which they were inseparably attached. When the office ceased to exist they became as other
lands of the Sovereignty and passed to the defendants as part and parcel of the public domain. (O'Reilly de Camara v. Brooke, 209 U. S., 45; Hijo v. United States, 194; Sanchez v. United States, 216 U. S., 167.)
The constitution of the Republic of Hawaii, as respects the crown lands, provided as follows:
"That portion of the public domain heretofore known as crown land is hereby declared to have been
heretofore, and now to be, the property of the Hawaiian Government, and to be now free and clear
from any trust of or concerning the same, and from all claim of any nature whatsoever upon the
rents, issues, and profits thereof. It shall be subject to alienation and other uses as may be provided
by law. All valid leases thereof now in existence are hereby confirmed."
[ page 429 ]
Section 99 of the organic act of 1900 (31 Stat. L., 161) adopts substantially the same language. We
have not entered into a discussion of the defenses predicated upon the above provisions of law,
believing the case disposed of before we reached them. It is, however, worthy of note that the organic
act of 1900 puts an end to any trust -- if the same possibly existed -- and the petition herein was not
filed until January 20, 1910, more than six years thereafter.
Demurrer sustained, with leave to the claimant to amend her petition within ninety days.
[ TRANSLATION OF THE GREAT MAHELE OR DIVISION OF LANDS BY THE KING. ]
Know all men by these presents, that I, Kamehameha III, by the grace of God, King of these
Hawaiian Islands, have given this day of my own free will, and have made over and set apart forever
to the chiefs and people the larger part of my royal land, for the use and benefit of the Hawaiian
Government ; therefore, by this instrument I hereby retain (or reserve) for myself and for my heirs
and successors forever my lands inscribed at pages 178, 182, 184, 186, 190, 200, 204, 206, 210,
212, 214, 216, 220, 222 of this book; these lands are set apart for me and for my heirs and
successors forever as my own property exclusively.
Know all men by these presents, that I, Kamehameha III, by the grace of God, King of these
Hawaiian Islands; do hereby give, make over, and set apart forever to the chiefs and people of my
Kingdom, and convey all my right, title, and interest in the lands situated here in the Hawaiian Islands, inscribed on pages 179 to 225, both inclusive, of this book, to have and to hold to my chiefs
and people forever.
AN ACT RELATING TO THE LANDS OF HIS MAJESTY THE KING AND OF THE GOVERNMENT.
Whereas it hath pleased His Most Gracious Majesty Kamehameha III, the King, after reserving
certain lands to himself as his own private property, to surrender and forever make over unto his
chiefs and people the greater portion of his royal domain;
And whereas it hath pleased our Sovereign Lord the King to place the lands so made over to his
chiefs and people in the keeping of the House of Nobles and Representatives, or such person or
persons as they may from time to time appoint, to be disposed of in such manner as the House of
[ page 430 ]
Nobles and Representatives may direct, and as may best promote the prosperity of this Kingdom and
the dignity of the Hawaiian Crown: Therefore,
Be it enacted by the House of Nobles and Representatives of the Hawaiian Islands in Legislative
That, expressing our deepest thanks to His Majesty for this noble and truly royal gift, we do hereby
solemnly confirm this great act of our King and declare the following-named lands, viz:
(Here follows a description of the lands.)
To be the private lands of His Majesty Kamehameha III, to have and to hold to himself, his heirs,
and successors, forever; and said lands shall be regulated and disposed of according to his royal will
and pleasure, subject only to the rights of tenants.
And be it further enacted, That we do hereby, in the name of the chiefs and people of the Hawaiian
Islands, accept of the following lands, viz:
(Here follows a description of the lands.)
Made over to the chiefs and people by our Sovereign Lord the King, and we do hereby declare those
lands to be set apart as the lands of the Hawaiian Government, subject always to the rights of tenants.
And we do hereby appoint the minister of the interior and his successors in office to direct,
superintend, and dispose of said lands, as provided in the act to organize the executive departments,
done, and passed at the Council House in Honolulu, the 27th day of April, A. D. 1845: Provided,
however, That the minister of the interior and his successors in office shall have the power, upon
the approval of the King in Privy Council, to dispose of the government lands to Hawaiian subjects
upon such other terms and conditions as to him and the King in Privy Council may seem best for the
promotion of agriculture and the best interests of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
And be it further enacted, That, in accordance with ancient custom, the following land, viz:
(Here follows a description of the lands.)
Shall be the same are hereby set apart for the use of the fort in Honolulu, to be cultivated by soldiers
and other tenants under the direction of the governor of Oahu and his successors in office,
native-born chiefs of the Hawaiian Islands, according to the instructions of the minister of the interior and his successors in office, approved by the King in Privy Council.
Done and passed at the Council House in Honolulu this 7th day of June, A. D. 1848.
[ page 431 ]
AN ACT TO RELIEVE THE ROYAL DOMAIN FROM INCUMBRANCES AND TO RENDER THE SAME INALIENABLE
Whereas by the act entitled "An act relating to the lands of His Majesty the King and of the
Government," passed on the 7th day of June, A. D. 1848, it appears by the preamble that His Most
Gracious Majesty Kamehameha III, the King, after reserving certain lands to himself as his own
private property, to surrender and make over unto his chiefs and people the greater portion of his
royal domain; and whereas by the same act it was declared that certain lands therein named shall be
the private lands of Kamehameha III, to have and to hold to himself, his heirs, and successors
forever, and that the said lands shall be regulated and disposed of according to his royal will and
pleasure, subject only to the rights of tenants; and whereas by the proper construction of the said
statute the words "heirs and successors" mean the heirs and successors to the royal office ; and
whereas the history of said land shows that they were vested in the King for the purpose of maintaining the royal state and dignity, and it is therefore disadvantageous to the public interest that
the said lands should be alienated or the said royal domain diminished; and whereas, further, during
the two late reigns the said royal domain has been greatly diminished and is now charged with
mortgages to secure considerable sums of money: Now, therefore,
Be it enacted by the King and the Legislative Assembly of the Hawaiian Islands, in the Legislature
of the Kingdom assembled:
SECTION 1. The minister of finance is hereby authorized to issue exchequer bonds, with coupons
attached, to the amount of not more than $30,000, said bonds to bear interest at not more than 12 per
cent per annum, payable half yearly, and to be redeemable at such times within the next twenty years
as the said minister of finance shall deem expedient, which said bonds shall be issued whensoever
necessary to the commissioners of crown lands, hereinafter provided for, to be used to extinguish
those mortgages which may remain unsatisfied after the administrator of his late Majesty's estate has
exhausted all the estate belonging to his late Majesty, in a private capacity, which the said
administrator may be legally entitled to use for the payment of the debts of the estate.
SEC. 2. Full authority is hereby given to such commissioners, jointly with the minister of finance, to
negotiate for the redemption of the mortgages in the preceding section referred to, and dispose of
the said exchequer bonds for that purpose in such manner as may be most advantageous to the public interest.
[ page 432 ]
SEC. 3. It is further enacted that so many of the lands which by the statute enacted on the 7th of
June, 1848, are declared to be the private lands of His Majesty Kamehameha III, to have and to hold
to himself, his heirs, and successors forever, as may be at this time unalienated, and have descended
to His Majesty Kamehameha V, shall be henceforth inalienable, and shall descend to the heirs and
successors of the Hawaiian Crown forever; and it is further enacted that it shall not be lawful hereafter to execute any lease of leases of the said lands for any term of years to exceed thirty.
SEC. 4. The commissioners of the crown lands shall have full power and authority to make good
and valid leases of the said lands for any number of years not exceeding thirty; but in no case shall it
be lawful to collect the rents on the same for more than one year in advance, or to receive anything
in the nature of a bonus for signing the said lease, and all the rents, profits, and emoluments
derived from the said lands, after deducting the necessary and proper expenses of managing the
same, shall be for the use and benefit of the reigning sovereign, and payable by the said
commissioners to the order of the King, except when the King shall be a said minor King, as the
legislature may direct, until the said minor shall have arrived at the age of majority, and excepting
further as in the succeeding section set forth.
SEC. 5. There shall be set apart by the said commissioners one-fourth part of the annual revenue of
the said estate, which shall be paid into the public treasury and be devoted first to the payment of the
interest on the exchequer bonds herein above provided for, and so much of the said fourth part of
the said income as may be in excess of the said interest on the said bonds shall be applied to the
payment of the principal of the said bonds until the entire sum by this act authorized to be issued
shall be fully paid.
SEC. 6. The board shall consist of three persons, to be appointed by His Majesty the King, two of
whom shall be appointed from among the members of his cabinet council, and serve without any
remuneration, and the other shall act as land agent, and shall be paid out of the revenue of the said
land such sum as may be agreed by His Majesty the King.
Approved this 3d day of January, A. D. 1865.
Whereas this Legislative Assembly has become apprised that nearly all of the revenue of the royal
[ page 433 ]
since the death of his late Majesty Kamehameha IV, of gracious memory, has been used to liquidate
the debts with which the estate had been burdened during his late Majesty's lifetime, so that His
Majesty, our most gracious Sovereign, to this time has derived but small advantage therefrom;
And whereas this Assembly has likewise been apprised that the amount of indebtedness upon the said
estate at the time of his late Majesty's decease was very large, and greatly exceeded the amount, which
was supposed to be due;
And whereas this Legislative Assembly gratefully appreciate the consideration of His Majesty in
allowing nearly the entire revenue of the estate to be devoted to the liquidation of the debt;
And whereas more especially this Assembly and the nation gratefully appreciate His Majesty's
generosity in consenting to the limitation of the royal domain, as at present by law provided:
Now therefore be it resolved, That this Legislative Assembly do, in the name of the Hawaiian
Nation, assume the payment of the exchequer bonds issued by the minister of finance to the
commissioners of crown lands, by virtue of Section I of "An act to relieve the royal domain from incumbrances, and to render the same inalienable," passed on the 3d day of January, A. D. 1865; and
do hereby discharge the commissioners of crown lands having in charge the said domain, and their
successors in office, from all liabilities to pay the said bonds, princial or interest, or any part
Approved this 6th day of July, A. D. 1866.
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE COMMISSIONERS OF CROWN LANDS TO CONVEY CERTAIN PORTIONS OF SUCH LANDS TO CLAUS SPRECKELS IN SATISFACTION OF ALL CLAIMS HE MAY HAVE ON SUCH LANDS.
Whereas Claus Spreckels claims to be entitled to an undivided moiety of the lands known as crown
lands, by virtue of conveyance from Her Highness Ruth Keelikolani; and
Whereas it is expedient and advisable that such claims should be satisfied or compromised: Therefore
Be it enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the Hawaiian Islands in the Legislature of the
SECTION 1. The commissioners of crown lands are hereby authorized and empowered to make
proper deeds of assurance to the said Claus Spreckels, of the several lands specified in the schedule
hereto, in full satisfaction and discharge of all claims the said Claus Spreckels may have or claim
in the said lands known as crown lands.
SEC. 2. Before receiving such deeds or assurances the said Claus Spreckels shall, by proper
assurance, convey, relin-
[ page 434 ]
quish, and quitclaim to the said commissioners of crown lands all his right and interest in and to the
residue of the said crown lands.
SEC. 3. The minister of the interior is hereby authorized to prepare and deliver to the said Claus
Spreckels a royal patent for the said land to be conveyed to him.
The Ahupuaa of Wailuku, in the island of Maui, with the Ilis therein or thereunto belonging, and
estimated to contain twenty-four thousand acres or thereabouts.
Approved this 21st day of July, A. D. 1882.
AN ACT TO DECLARE CERTAIN LANDS TO BE PART OF THE CROWN LANDS AND ROYAL DOMAIN.
Whereas certain unassigned lands have hitherto and at all time heretofore been held to be part of the
crown lands and royal domain and as such were and are now in the possession of the crown land
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the Hawaiian Kingdom:
SECTION 1. The Ahupuaa's known under the following names and situated as hereinafter set forth,
that is to say:
1. Kuliouou, in the district of Kona, island of Oahu;
2. Keaau, in the district of Waianae, island of Oahu;
3. Hakalauiki, in the district of Hilo, island of Hawaii;
4. Manowaiopae, in the district of Hilo, island of Hawaii;
5. Kamoku, in the island of Lanai;
6. Paoma-I, in the island of Lanai;
7. Waiaha 2, in the island of Hawaii;
8. Kapaakea, in the island of Molokai;
9. Waiohuli, in the island of Maui;
are hereby declared to be a part of the crown lands and royal domain of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and
as such subject to the provisions of the act entitled "An act to relieve the royal domain from
incumbrances, and to render the same inalienable," approved the 3d day of January, A. D. 1865; and
the possession of said lands is hereby confirmed in accordance with the provisions of sections 3 and 4
and 6 of said act to the crown land commissioners and successors in office.
SEC. 2. This act shall be in force from and after its approval.
Approved this 14th day of November, A. D. 1890.
By the King:
C. N. SPENCER,
Minister of the Interior.
[ page 435 ]
PROTEST OF THE QUEEN, JANUARY 17, 1893.
I, Liliuokalani, by the grace of God and under the constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Queen, do
hereby solemnly protest against any and all acts done against myself and the constitutional government
of the Hawaiian Kingdom, by certain persons claiming to have established a provisional government
of and for this Kingdom.
That I yield to the superior force of the United States of America, whose minister plenipotentiary,
his excellency John L. Stevens, has caused United States troops to be landed at Honolulu and declared
that he would support the provisional government.
Now, to avoid any collision of armed forces and perhaps the loss of life, I do, under this protest and
impelled by said force, yield my authority until such time as the Government of the United States
shall, upon the facts being presented to it, undo the action of its representative and reinstate me and
the authority which I claim as the constitutional sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands.
RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE OF HAWAII RATIFYING THE TREATY OF ANNEXATION.
Be it resolved by the Senate of the Republic of Hawaii:
That the Senate hereby ratifies and advises and consents to the ratification by the President of the
treaty between the Republic of Hawaii and the United States of America on the subject of the
annexation of the Hawaiian Islands to the United States of America, concluded at Washington on the
16th day of June, A. D. 1897, which treaty is word for word as follows:
"The Republic of Hawaii and the United States of America, in view of the natural dependence of the
Hawaiian Islands upon the United States, of their geographical proximity thereto, of the
preponderant share acquired by the United States and its citizens in the industries and trade of said islands, and of the expressed desire of the Government of the Republic of Hawaii that those islands
should be incorporated into the United States as an integral part thereof, and under its sovereignty,
have determined to accomplish by treaty an object so important to their mutual and permanent
"To this end the high contracting parties have conferred full powers and authority upon their
respectively appointed plenipotentiaries, to wit:
"The President of the Republic of Hawaii, Francis March Hatch, Lorrin A. Thurston, and William
[ page 436 ]
"The President of the United States, John Sherman, Secretary of State of the United States.
"The Republic of Hawaii hereby cedes absolutely and without reserve to the United States of
America all rights of sovereignty of whatsoever kind in and over the Hawaiian Islands and their
dependencies; and it is agreed that all the territory of and appertaining to the Republic of Hawaii is hereby annexed to the United States of America under the name of the Territory of Hawaii.
"The Republic of Hawaii also cedes and hereby transfers to the United States the absolute fee and
ownership of all public, government, or crown lands, public buildings or edifices, ports, harbors,
military equipments, and all other public property of every kind and description belonging to the
Government of the Hawaiian Islands, together with every right and appurtenance thereunto
"The existing laws of the United States relative to public lands shall not apply to such lands in the
Hawaiian Islands; but the Congress of the United States shall enact special laws for their management
and disposition. Provided, that all revenue from or proceeds of the same, except as regards such
part thereof as may be used or occupied for the civil, military, or naval purposes of the United
States, or may be assigned for the use of the local government, shall be used solely for the benefit of
the inhabitants of the Hawaiian Islands for educational and other public purposes.
"Until Congress shall provide for the government of such islands, all civil, judicial, and military
powers exercised by the officers of the existing government in said islands shall be vested in such
person or persons and shall be exercised in such manner as the President of the United States shall
direct; and the President shall have power to remove said officers and fill the vacancies so
"The existing treaties of the Hawaiian Islands with foreign nations shall forthwith cease and
determine, being replaced by such treaties as may exist, or as may be hereafter concluded, between the
United States and such foreign nations. The municipal legislation of the Hawaiian Islands,
[ page 437 ]
not enacted for the fulfillment of the treaty (treaties) so extinguished , and not inconsistent with this
treaty, nor contrary to the Constitution of the United States, nor to any existing treaty of the United
States, shall remain in force until the Congress of the United States shall otherwise determine.
"Until legislation shall be enacted extending the United States customs laws and regulations to the
Hawaiian Islands, the existing customs relations of the Hawaiian Islands with the United States and
other countries shall remain unchanged.
"The public debt of the Republic of Hawaii, lawfully existing at the date of the exchange of the
ratifications of this treaty, including the amounts due to depositors in the Hawaiian Postal Savings
Bank, is hereby assumed by the Government of the United States; but the liability of the United States in this regard shall in no case exceed $4,000,000. So long, however, as the existing government and
the present commercial relations of the Hawaiian Islands are continued as hereinbefore provided, said
Government shall continue to pay the interest on said debt.
"There shall be no further immigration of Chinese into the Hawaiian Islands, except upon such
conditions as are now or may hereafter be allowed by the laws of the United States, and no Chinese by
reason of anything here contained shall be allowed to enter the United States from Hawaiian Islands.
"The President shall appoint five commissioners, at least two of whom shall be residents of the
Hawaiian Islands, who shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, recommend to Congress such
legislation concerning the Territory of Hawaii as they shall deem necessary or proper.
"This treaty shall be ratified by the President of the Republic of Hawaii, by and with the advice and
consent of the Senate, in accordance with the Constitution of the said Republic, on the one part; and by
the President of the United
[ page 438 ]
States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, on the other, and the ratifications hereof
shall be exchanged at Washington as soon as possible.
"In witness whereof the respective plenipotentiaries have signed the above articles, and have
hereunto affixed their seals.
"Done in duplicate at the city of Washington this sixteenth day of June, one thousand eight hundred
and ninety seven.
"[SEAL] (Sig.) FRANCIS MARCH HATCH.
"[SEAL] (Sig.) LORRIN A. THURSTON.
"[SEAL] (Sig.) WILLIAM A. KINNEY.
"[SEAL] (Sig.) JOHN SHERMAN."
I hereby certify that the foregoing resolution was unanimously adopted at the special session of the
Senate of the Republic of Hawaii on the 9th day of September, A. D. 1897.
WILLIAM C. WILDER, President.
J. F. CLAY,
Clerk of the Senate.
JOINT RESOLUTION TO PROVIDE FOR ANNEXING THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS TO THE UNITED STATES.
Whereas the Government of the Republic of Hawaii having, in due form, signified its consent, in the
manner provided by its constitution to cede absolutely and without reserve to whatsoever kind in and
over the Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies, and also to cede and transfer to the United States
the absolute fee and ownership of all public, government, or crown lands, public buildings or
edifices, ports, harbors, military equipment, and all other public property of the Hawaiian Islands,
together with every right and appurtenance thereunto appertaining: Therefore
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress
assembled, That said cession is accepted, ratified, and confirmed, and that the said Hawaiian Islands
and their dependencies be, and they are hereby, annexed as a part of the territory of the United
States and are subject to the sovereign dominion thereof, and that all and singular the property and
rights hereinbefore mentioned are vested in the United States of America.
The existing laws of the United States relative to public lands shall not apply to such lands in the
Hawaiian Islands; but the Congress of the United States shall enact special
[ page 439 ]
laws for their management and disposition : Provided, That all revenue from or proceeds of the
same, except as regards such part thereof as may be used or occupied for the civil, military, or naval
purposes of the United States, or may be assigned for the use of the local government, shall be used
solely for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Hawaiian Islands for educational and other public
Until Congress shall provide for the government of such islands all civil, judcial and military
powers exercised by the officers of the existing government in said islands shall be vested in such
person or persons and shall be exercised in such manner as the President of the United States shall
direct; and the President shall have the power to remove said officers and fill the vacancies so
The existing treaties of the Hawaiian Islands with foreign nations shall forthwith cease and
determine, being replaced by such treaties as may exist, or as may be hereafter concluded, between
the United States and such foreign nations. The municipal legislation of the Hawaiian Islands, not
enacted for the fulfillment of the treaties so extinguished, and not inconsistent with this joint resolution
nor contrary to the Constitution of the United States nor to any existing treaty of the United States,
shall remain in force until the Congress of the United States shall otherwise determine.
Until legislation shall be enacted extending the United States customs laws and regulations to the
Hawaiian Islands the existing customs relations of the Hawaiian Islands with the United States and
other countries shall remain unchanged.
The public debt of the Republic of Hawaii, lawfully existing at the date of passage of this joint
resolution, including the amounts due to depositors in the Hawaiian Postal Savings Bank, is hereby
assumed by the Government of the United States; but the liability of the United States in this regard
shall in no case exceed four million dollars. So long, however, as the existing government and the
present commercial relations of the Hawaiian Islands are continued as hereinbefore provided said
government shall continue to pay the interest on said debt.
There shall be no further immigration of Chinese into the Hawaiian Islands, except upon such
conditions as are now or many hereafter be allowed by the laws of the United States; no Chinese, by
reason of anything herein contained, shall be allowed to enter the United States from the Hawaiian
The President shall appoint five commissioners, at least two of whom shall be residents of the
[ page 440 ]
who shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, recommend to Congress such legislation concerning the
Hawaiian Islands as they shall deem necessary or proper.
SEC. 2. That the commissioners hereinbefore provided for shall be appointed by the President, by
and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
SEC. 3. That the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is
hereby appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, and to be
immediately available, to be expended at the discretion of the President of the United States of
America, for the purpose of carrying this joint resolution into effect.
SERENO E. PAYNE,
Speaker of the House of Representatives Pro Tempore.
GARRET A. HOBART,
Vice-President of the United States
and President of the Senate.
Approved, July 7th, 1898.
This marks the end of the Lili'uokalani vs. U.S. crown lands decision from the year 1910.
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