***** QUEEN LILIUOKALANI'S LETTER OF ABDICATION
THE ABDICATION LETTER AND THE OATH OF LOYALTY, BOTH PERSONALLY SIGNED BY LILIUOKALANI, ARE AVAILABLE IN THE ARCHIVES OF THE STATE OF HAWAII. Photocopies are available in file folders available on request from the librarian, and the originals are kept in a safe accessible only with the permission and direct supervision of the head Archivist.
Below are the full text of Lili'uokalani's letter of abdication and oath of loyalty, as copied from a book by William De Witt Alexander, "History of Later Years of the Hawaiian Monarchy and the Revolution of 1893 (Honolulu: Hawaiian Gazette Co., 1896).
After the copied text of those documents, please see links to view photos of the original documents by Lili'uokalani signed in January 1895 along with photos of letters of formal diplomatic recognition of the Republic personally signed by numerous foreign heads of state during Fall 1894.
ISLAND OF OAHU,
HONOLULU, Jan. 24, 1895.
TO THE HON. SANFORD BALLARD DOLE, President of the Republic of Hawaii:
SIR: -- After full and free consultation with my personal
friends and with my legal advisors, both before and since my
detention by military order in the Executive building, and
acting in conformity with their advice, and also upon my own
free volition, and in pursuance of my unalterable belief and
understanding of my duty to the people of Hawaii, and to their
highest and best interests, and also for the sake of those misguided Hawaiians and others who have recently engaged in
rebellion against the Republic, and in an attempt to restore me
to the position of queen, which I held prior to the 17th day of
January, A. D. 1893, and without any claim that shall become
entitled, by reason of anything that I may now say or do, to
any other or different treatment or consideration at the hands
of the Government than I otherwise could and might legally
receive, I now desire to express and make known, and do hereby
express and make known, to yourself, as the only lawful and
recognized head of the Government, and to all the people of
the Hawaiian Islands, whether or not they have yet become
citizens of the Republic, or are or have been adherents of the
late monarchy, and also to all diplomatic and other foreign
representatives in the Hawaiian Islands, to all of whom I
respectfully request you to cause this statement and action of
mine to be made known as soon as may be, as follows, namely:
First. In order to avoid any possibility of doubt or misunderstanding although I do not think that any doubt or misunderstanding is either proper or possible, I hereby do fully and unequivocally admit and declare that the Government of
the Republic of Hawaii is the only lawful Government of the
Hawaiian Islands, and that the late Hawaiian monarchy is finally and forever ended, and no longer of any legal or actual validity,
force or effect whatsoever; and I do hereby forever absolve all
persons whomsoever, whether in the Hawaiian Islands or elsewhere, from all and every manner of allegiance, or official obligation or duty, to me and my heirs and successors forever, and I hereby declare to all such persons in the Hawaiian Islands that I consider them as bound in duty and honor henceforth to support and sustain the Government of the Republic of Hawaii.
Second. For myself, my heirs and successors, I do hereby
and without any mental reservation or modification, and fully,
finally, unequivocally, irrevocably, and forever abdicate, renounce and release unto the Government of the Republic of Hawaii and the legitimate successors forever all claims or pretensions whatsoever to the late throne of Hawaii, or to the late monarchy of Hawaii, or to any past, or to the existing, or to
any future Government of Hawaii, or under or by reason of
any present or formerly existing constitution, statute, law,
position, right or claim of any and every kind, name or nature
whatsoever, and whether the same consist of pecuniary or
property considerations, or of personal status, hereby forever
renouncing, disowning and disclaiming all rights, claims,
demands, privileges, honors, emoluments, titles and prerogatives
whatsoever, under or by virtue of any former, or the existing
Government, constitution, statute, law or custom of the Hawaiian Islands whatsoever, save and excepting only such rights
and privileges as belong to me in common with all private
citizens of, or residents in the Republic of Hawaii.
Third. I do hereby respectfully implore for such misguided
Hawaiians and others as have been concerned in the late
rebellion against the Republic of Hawaii, such degree of executive clemency as the Government may deem to be consistent
with its duty to the community, and such as a due regard for
its violated laws may permit.
Fourth. It is my sincere desire henceforth to live in absolute
privacy and retirement from all publicity, or even appearance
of being concerned in the public affairs of the Hawaiian Islands,
further than to express, as I now do and shall always continue
to do, my most sincere hope for the welfare and prosperity of
its people, under and subject to the Government of the Republic of Hawaii.
Fifth. I hereby offer and present my duly certified oath of
allegiance to the Republic of Hawaii.
Sixth. I have caused the foregoing statement to be prepared
and drawn, and have signed the same without having received
the slightest suggestion from the President of Hawaii, or from
any member of the Government of Hawaii, concerning the same
or any part thereof, or concerning any action or course of my
own in the premises.
Relying upon the magnanimity of the Government of the
Republic, and upon its protection.
I have the honor to be, Mr. President,
Your most obedient servant,
(Signed) LILIUOKALANI DOMINIS.
[** note by Ken Conklin: "Dominis" is her married name as a private citizen, and not a royal signature. She signed in this manner because she was now a private citizen, no longer Queen, and was signing a document formally abdicating and giving up any pretension to the monarchy. **]
** Note by Ken Conklin: As the "fifth" item listed in Lili'uokalani's abdication says, she swore an oath of allegiance to the Republic of Hawaii, also dated January 24, 1895. Here is the text of her oath:
***** LILI'UOKALANI'S OATH OF LOYALTY TO THE REPUBLIC OF HAWAII
Honolulu, Island of Oahu ss.
I, Liliuokalani Dominis, do solemnly swear in the presence of Almighty God that I will support the Constitution, Laws and Government of the Republic of Hawaii, and will not, either directly or indirectly, encourage or assist in the restoration or establishment of a Monarchial form of Government in the Hawaiian Islands.
[signed] Liliuokalani Dominis
Subscribed and sworn to
this 24th day of January
A.D. 1895 before me,
[signed] W L. Stanley
Notary Public [notary seal]
Source of the text of the abdication document and loyalty oath:
William De Witt Alexander, "History of Later Years of the Hawaiian Monarchy and the Revolution of 1893 (Honolulu: Hawaiian Gazette Co., 1896).
Hawaii State Library, call number "H 996.9 A". The abdication statement is found on pp. 215-216, in the portion at the end of the book (pp. 203-232 were written by Wallace Rider Farrington).
Introductory comment written in 1896 by Wallace Rider Farrington on page 215 immediately preceding the actual abdication statement:
When it became apparent that all hopes of the restoration of
ex-Queen Liliuokalani had been irretrevably blighted, it became
generally rumored that the ex-Regent was prepared to make a
formal abdication of her claims as the only lawful ruler of the
people of Hawaii -- a claim to which she had adhered most tenaciously from the day of the overthrow. During her detention in the
Executive Building she was in constant touch with her friends and
advisers, through her agent Charles B. Wilson, who was allowed
free access to her apartments by the military authorities.
On the afternoon of January 24th, the members of the Cabinet were informed that the ex-Queen had an official document
which it was desired should be presented to the Executive.
They signified their willingness to listen to any communication
which the now military prisoner might submit. During the
latter part of the day a copy of the following correspondence
was put in the hands of Attorney-General Smith. The letter
was drawn by Judge A. S. Hartwell who had been consulted
by Messrs. Wilson, Parker and Neumann regarding the matter,
and acted as advising counsel for them. Judge Hartwell also
attended the execution of the document:
THE ABDICATION LETTER AND THE OATH OF LOYALTY, BOTH PERSONALLY SIGNED BY LILIUOKALANI, ARE AVAILABLE IN THE ARCHIVES OF THE STATE OF HAWAII, AND PHOTOS OF THE ORIGINALS ARE AVAILABLE ON A WEBPAGE ALONG WITH LETTERS FROM FOREIGN HEADS OF STATE FORMALLY RECOGNIZING THE REPUBLIC AS THE RIGHTFUL GOVERNMENT.
The originals of all these documents are kept in a safe accessible only with the permission and direct supervision of the head Archivist. Photographs of the originals were taken on March 25, 2008.
Letters formally recognizing the Republic as the rightful government of Hawaii were received in Honolulu during Fall of 1894. They were addressed to Hawaii President Sanford B. Dole and personally signed by Emperors, Kings, Queens, and Presidents of at least 19 nations on 4 continents in 11 languages. Photos of those letters, including English translations, accompanying letters of introduction from some of their Foreign Ministers, and some envelopes, were taken in the Hawaii State Archives on March 25, 2008 and can be seen at
Included on the webpage displaying photos of letters of recognition from foreign heads of state are photos of Lili'uokalani's letter of abdication and oath of loyalty to the Republic. See
Comment by Ken Conklin, website editor:
The formal abdication document makes it absolutely clear that Lili'uokalani not only renounced the crown but also offered and presented "my duly certified oath of allegiance to the Republic of Hawaii." Liliuokalani instructed her followers "... the late Hawaiian monarchy is finally and forever ended, and no longer of any legal or actual validity, force or effect whatsoever; and I do hereby forever absolve all persons whomsoever, whether in the Hawaiian Islands or elsewhere, from all and every manner of allegiance, or official obligation or duty, to me and my heirs and successors forever, and I hereby declare to all such persons in the Hawaiian Islands that I consider them as bound in duty and honor henceforth to support and sustain the Government of the Republic of Hawaii."
Today's diehard deadender Hawaiian sovereignty royalists might assert the objection that Lili'uokalani wrote her statement under duress, because at the time she was a prisoner of the Republic of Hawaii awaiting trial on charges of misprision of treason as a co-conspirator in the attempted counter-revolution a few days earlier by Robert Wilcox. (Evidence proved she had allowed guns and bombs to be hidden in the flower bed of her private residence nearby at Washington Place; and she had signed documents appointing cabinet ministers and department heads for her anticipated revived government in the days before the attempted counter-revolution). However, the preliminary comments by Wallace Farrington clearly describe that Liliuokalani had constant free contact with and advice from close friends and Kingdom government officials (cabinet ministers) whom she had appointed and also her longtime personal attorney Paul Neumann (a Jewish citizen of Germany who at her request had drafted her proposed new Constitution which precipitated the revolution of 1893). All civilized nations recognize that a prisoner with advice of a lawyer can freely agree to a plea bargain, and that confinement in prison does not constitute duress so long as the prisoner is mentally competent and has unfettered private consultation with a trusted personal attorney.
Send comments or questions to:
You may now
See the compilation of webpages about Historical Issues Related to Hawaiian Sovereignty -- Revolution (Overthrow of monarchy), Annexation, Statehood, Indigenous Status, Hawaiian Language Ban, Ceded Lands, Etc.
GO BACK TO OTHER TOPICS ON THIS WEBSITE