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Republic of Hawaii Constitution adopted July 4, 1894


Hamilton Library at the University of Hawaii (Manoa) has several versions of the Constitution of the Republic of Hawaii. For example, they have two different draft versions, three different formattings of the final version, and a final version which incorporates also an account of the proceedings of the constitutional convention. The Constitution was published in 1894 in both Hawaiian and English languages. Click here to download a pdf of a scan of the 53 pages of the final version in English.

http://www.angelfire.com/planet/big60/ROHConst.pdf

At the end of the Constitution there were also pages 54-56 comprising the certification of the Constitution -- especially interesting because of the names of at least five ethnic Hawaiians who were members of the Constitutional Convention. Below the copied text of the 3-page certification are some historical/political comments by website editor Ken Conklin.

[start page 54]

The Constitutional Convention, convened in Honolulu, Island of Oahu, Hawaiian Islands, on 30th day of May, A.D. 1894, pursuant to the provisions of Act 69 of the Acts of the Provisional Government of the Hawaiian Islands, entitled "An Act to Provide for a Constitutional Convention," approved the 15th day of March, A.D. 1895 and pursuant to the Proclamation of the President summoning said Convention to assemble, having framed and adopted the Constitution herein before set forth; now it is hereby declared, enacted and proclaimed by the Executive and Advisory Councils of the Provisional Government and by the elected Delegates, constituting said Constitutional Convention, that on and after the Fourth day of July, A.D. 1894, the said Constitution shall be the Constitution of the Republic of Hawaii and the Supreme Law of the Hawaiian Islands.

Done in Convention by unanimous consent this third day of July, A.D. One thousand eight hundred and ninety four. In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names.

SANFORD B. DOLE,
President of the Provisional Government

WILLIAM CHAUNCEY WILDER,
Vice-President

FRANCIS MARCH HATCH,
Minister of the Interior

WILLIAM OWEN SMITH,
Attorney General

[start page 55]

WILLIAM FESSENDEN ALLEN,

CRISTAL BOLTE,

CECIL BROWN,

JOHN EMMELUTH,

JOHN ENA,

JOHN A. McCANDLESS,

JOSEPH P. MENDONCA,

JAMES FRANCIS MORGAN,

JOHN NOTT,

DAVID BOWERS SMITH,

EDWARD DAVIES TENNEY,

HENRY WATERHOUSE,

ALEXANDER YOUNG,

LEMUEL CLARK ABLES,

HENRY PERRIM BALDWIN,

CHARLES LUNT CARTER,

ANTONIO FERNANDES,

WILLIAM HORNER,

JOSE KEKAHUNA IOSEPA,

DAVID HAILI KAHAULELIO,

JOHN WILLIAM KALUA,

JOHN KAUHANE,

ALBERT KUKAILIMOKU KUNUIAKEA,

FREDERICK S. LYMAN,

WILLIAM FAWCETT POGUE,

WILLIAM HYDE RICE,

[start page 56]

ALEXANDER GEORGE MORISON ROBERTSON,

JOHN MARK VIVAS,

ALBERT SPENCER WILCOX,

GEORGE NORTON WILCOX.

Attest:

CHARLES T. RODGERS,
Secretary of Convention.

============

** Comment by website editor Ken Conklin:

Some of today's Hawaiian sovereignty diehard deadenders like to say that the Republic of Hawaii was created and sustained entirely by Caucasians, and that ethnic Hawaiians refused to participate except under duress. However, there are several names listed above as authors of the Constitution who are clearly ethnic Hawaiian.

JOSE KEKAHUNA IOSEPA,

DAVID HAILI KAHAULELIO,

JOHN WILLIAM KALUA,

JOHN KAUHANE,

ALBERT KUKAILIMOKU KUNUIAKEA,

Also, in 1894 just as today, some Caucasian-looking names might also belong to ethnic Hawaiians (for example, the leader of the attempted counter-revolution of 1895 was an ethnic Hawaiian with the name Robert Wilcox).

After the Constitution was ratified and the Legislature was seated, the speaker of the House of Representatives at the time of annexation (1898) was John Kaulukou. During the reigns of Kalakaua and Liliuokalani he had been a Royalist, serving as marshal, legislator, and judge.

It should be noted that the Constitution of the Republic of Hawaii sets requirements for President, Senator, Representative, and voter eligibility which are the same for all people regardless of race, and that the literacy requirements specify the ability to speak, read and write in either Hawaiian or English with the two languages being on an equal footing. See for example Articles 56, 58, 74. The continuity of sovereignty of Hawaii as an independent nation flowed smoothly from the Kingdom through the Provisional Government to the Republic. Government laws, private property, treaties with foreign nations, etc. were all confirmed by the Constitution; see for example Articles 92, 93, 95, 95. Article 95 is of special interest today, since it identifies the former Crown lands to have been formerly, and continuing now in 1894, the property of the government and able to be sold without any restriction.


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