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Hawaii Statehood -- straightening out the history-twisters. A historical narrative defending the legitimacy of the revolution of 1893, the annexation of 1898, and the statehood vote of 1959. SHORT VERSION

(c) Copyright August 2009 in honor and celebration of the 50th anniversary of Hawaii Statehood, by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved

Hawaii Reporter, August 18, 2009

[Also published on August 19, 2009 on Hawaii Political Info (online) at ]

Hawaii Statehood -- Straightening Out the History Twisters.
A historical narrative defending the legitimacy of the revolution of 1893, the annexation of 1898, and the statehood vote of 1959.

By Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.

It's time to set the record straight about the history of statehood, and to defend the legitimacy of the revolution of 1893, annexation of 1898, and statehood vote of 1959. A gang of racial separatists (Akaka bill) and ethnic nationalists (independence) are flooding the media with distortions and outright lies. Even Senators Inouye and Akaka have repeatedly told history falsehoods on the Senate floor.

Outright racism has become socially acceptable, as shown by the fact that a racist blog is highly featured on the Honolulu Advertiser website. An effort to talk back can be seen on the webpage "Dialogs with a racist" at

The "silent majority" is too timid -- too "politically correct" -- to make any protest to the constant attacks on the legitimacy of the State of Hawaii. But complacency is dangerous, as described in the book "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" which is available in the Hawaii public library or from

To honor the 50th anniversary of Hawaii Statehood I have written a historical narrative filled with links to document each main point. Below is a summary.

In this summary there are no details and no proof. The full essay is very lengthy because it is filled with details, and all the main points are heavily documented. For the full essay please see

King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III offered treaties of annexation in 1849 and 1854 (full text available).

U.S. troops were sent ashore in 1874 to stop the rioting after Kalakaua was elected.

In 1887 there had been an armed militia of 1500 Hawaii people who staged a revolution, surrounding the Palace and forcing Kalakaua to sign a new Constitution stripping him of many powers and reducing him to a figurehead. All the men were local; there was no involvement by U.S. forces.

In 1889 U.S. troops came ashore, and stayed for a week, to restore order after 7 men were killed in an attack by Robert Wilcox on Iolani Palace to carry out a coup plot by Liliuokalani. She wanted to overthrow her brother Kalakaua so she could become monarch and get rid of the "Bayonet Constitution" of 1887.

In January 1893 there were competing mass meetings -- 500 royalists on the grounds of Iolani Palace and 1500 revolutionaries (some with guns) in the Armory. Flyers by both sides were posted throughout Honolulu. Violence was expected, and people were afraid for their lives and property.

The 1893 revolution was done entirely by local residents, mostly veterans of the revolution of 1887, led by a "Committee of Safety" consisting of 7 native-born subjects of the Kingdom plus 6 denizens with voting rights including some from Europe. So once again the U.S. sent ashore peacekeepers as had been done in 1874 and 1889. As those sailors marched past the Palace on their way to bivouac in Waialae, they dipped the American flag to salute and show respect to Queen Liliuokalani who was on the Palace balcony watching. The 162 U.S. peacekeepers never pointed guns at anyone, never took over buildings, never patrolled streets. Many were gone in a few days; all were gone in a few weeks.

U.S. President Grover Cleveland, personal friend of Liliuokalani, spent 10 months trying to destabilize the Provisional Government and restore the monarchy. He sent political hack James Blount to secretly talk with royalists and then write a highly biased report. Having failed to restore the Queen through negotiation and destabilization, Cleveland published Blount's report and sent it to Congress, hoping they would support sending troops to restore Liliuokalani.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs held a 2-month hearing. All testimony was under oath with cross examination, and open to the public. The committee produced the 808-page Morgan Report (now on internet) which repudiated the Blount Report. The Senate, under Democrat control, passed a resolution telling Democrat President Cleveland to stop interfering in Hawaii.

Consider two dueling viewpoints to decide which one you believe. Morgan Report 1894: 808 pages, two months of sworn testimony in public under cross examination vs. Blount Report 1893 based on private meetings with royalists not under oath and no cross examination. Native Hawaiians Study Commission report in 1983: 2 years of research, writing, and public hearings vs. 1993 apology resolution: House no hearings no debate voice vote, Senate no hearings 1 hour debate about consequences no debate about history.

Republic of Hawaii, 1894, had Constitution (on internet); House Speaker was full-blooded Hawaiian. By end of 1894 Republic got full recognition de jure as the rightful government, in letters personally signed by emperors, kings, queens, and presidents of at least 20 nations on 4 continents in 11 languages -- originals in Archives, photos on internet.

January 1895: An attempted counterrevolution by Robert Wilcox' militia was defeated by the Republic (zero U.S. involvement). Guns and bombs were found buried in the flower bed of Liliuokalani's home (Washington Place), and indoors were letters she had signed appointing cabinet ministers and department heads for her new government. Liliuokalani was imprisoned in a huge upstairs bedroom in the Palace for a few months, with private bathroom and maidservants, and later she was pardoned by President Dole.

Annexation 1898. Treaty offered by internationally recognized Republic was accepted by U.S. joint resolution: Senate 42-21, House 209-91. Ineffective petition opposing annexation by perhaps half of ethnic Hawaiians; 21,269 signatures (many disputed) were 18% of Hawaii population.

All public lands were legitimately given to the U.S. in the Treaty of Annexation, then returned to new State of Hawaii in 1959. The U.S. Supreme Court confirmed in 2009 that the apology resolution carries no legal weight and the Hawaii state government owns the ceded lands in fee simple absolute on behalf of all the people.

1959: 94.3% of voters said "yes" to Statehood. Results by district are on the internet. Molokai, heavily ethnic Hawaiian, voted 1904 to 74 = 96.2%.

It's time to move forward with unity, equality, and aloha for all. 1840 Kingdom Constitution says we are all kokokahi (one blood). Supreme Court says there can be no debtor race in America (1995), the U.S. Constitution is the heritage of all Hawaii's people (2000), and the ceded lands belong to the State on behalf of all our people (2009). Imua!

To see extensive details and heavy documentation for all the points above, please see the complete essay at

Dr. Conklin's book "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State" is in the Hawaii Public Library, and also at


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(c) Copyright August 2009 in honor and celebration of the 50th anniversary of Hawaii Statehood, by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved