North Pacific Ocean, on the border of the tropics, something over 2,000 miles southwest of San Francisco. Hawaii is by far the largest of the group, and Oahu contains the capital, Honolulu. These islands are mountainous, containing several well-known
|A bit of Honolulu, from the Harbor.|
The first important act of Mr. Cleveland after his inauguration was to withdraw the treaty from the Senate and send James H. Blount (q. v.) as a special commissioner to Hawaii, with “paramount” authority, to report upon the course of events. He withdrew the protectorate established by Mr. Stevens, who had been recalled in May, and remained in Hawaii until August. In September Albert S. Willis, of Kentucky, was appointed minister to the islands. Public attention, which had been somewhat diverted from Hawaiian affairs, was recalled to them by the publication, Nov. 10, of Secretary Gresham's report, in which he dwelt upon the proof of a conspiracy which had overturned the queen's government in January. This report was followed, Nov. 21, 1893, by Commissioner Blount's report, which displayed the results of his investigations in Hawaii, and had served as the basis for President Cleveland's policy. This policy was announced by message to Congress on Dec. 18 in the following language:
By an act of war, committed with the participation of a diplomatic representative of the United States and without authority of Congress, the government of a feeble but friendly and confiding people has been overthrown. A substantial wrong has thus been done, which a due regard for our national character, as well as the rights of the injured people, requires we should endeavor to repair. The provisional government has not assumed a republican or other constitutional form, but has remained a mere executive council, or oligarchy, set up without the assent of the people. It has not sought to find a permanent basis of popular support, and has given no evidence of an intention to do so. Indeed, the representatives of that government assert that the people of Hawaii are unfit for popular government, and frankly avow that they can be best ruled by arbitrary or despotic power. The United States, in aiming to maintain itself as one of the most enlightened of nations, would do its citizens gross injustice if it applied to its international relations any other than a high standard of honor and morality. On that ground the United States cannot properly be put in the position of countenancing a wrong after its commission any more than in that of consenting to it in advance. On that ground it cannot allow itself to refuse to redress an injury inflicted through an abuse of power, by officers clothed with its authority and wearing its uniform; and on the same ground, if a feeble but friendly state is in danger of being robbed of its independence and its sovereignty by a misuse of the power of the United States, the United States cannot fail to vindicate its honor and its sense of justice by an earnest effort to make all possible reparation. These principles apply to the present case with irresistible force, when the special conditions of the queen's surrender of her sovereignty are recalled. She surrendered not to the provisional government, but to the United States. She surrendered not absolutely and permanently, but temporarily and conditionally, until such time as the facts could be considered by the United States. Furthermore, the provisional government acquiesced in her surrender in that manner and on those terms, not only by tacit consent, but through the positive acts of some members of the government, who urged her peaceable submission not merely to avoid bloodshed, but because she could place implicit reliance upon the justice of the United States, and that the whole subject would be finally considered at Washington.The restoration programme was variously received throughout the country. Meanwhile, in Honolulu, Minister Willis had in November attempted to extract from the queen a promise of amnesty for members of the provisional government, but failed. A few weeks later he succeeded, and on Dec. 19 laid before the provisional government President Cleveland's desire for its abdication and restoration  of the monarchy, coupled with the queen's offer of pardon. This proposal was a few days later rejected by Mr. Dole for the provisional government. These proceedings became known in the middle of January, 1894, and on Jan. 13 President Cleveland transmitted the documents to Congress. Mr. Dole was not interfered with, and affairs in the islands quieted down at once. On Jan. 8, 1896, however, the following resolution relating to the Hawaiian Islands, offered by Representative Spalding (Republican, of Michigan), was read in the House and referred to the committee on foreign affairs: That Congress doth consent that the territory properly included within and rightfully belonging to the government of Hawaii, and commonly known as the Sandwich Islands, may be erected into a new State, to be called the State of Hawaii, with a republican form of government, to be adopted by the people of said government of Hawaii by deputies in convention assembled, with the consent of the existing government, in order that the same may be admitted as one of the States of this Union.
Further, that the foregoing consent of Congress is given upon the following conditions and with the following guarantees, to wit: 1. Said State to be formed subject to the adjustment by this government of all questions of boundary or jurisdiction that may arise with other governments or former governments of Hawaii; and the constitution thereof, with the proper evidence of its adoption by the people of the government of Hawaii, shall be transmitted to the President of the United States, to be laid before Congress for its final action on or before Jan. 1, 1898. 2. Said State when admitted into the Union, after ceding to the United States all public property and means belonging to the government of Hawaii, shall retain all public funds of every kind which may belong to or be due said government, and also all the vacant and unappropriated land lying within its limits, to be applied to the payment of the debts and liabilities of said government of Hawaii, the residue of said lands to be disposed of as said State may direct; but in no case are said debts and liabilities to become a charge upon the United States. Further, that if the President of the United States shall in his judgment deem it most advisable, instead of proceeding to submit the foregoing resolution to the government of Hawaii as an overture on the part of the United States for admission, to negotiate with that government, then Resolved, that a State to be formed out of the present government of Hawaii, with one representative in Congress, shall be admitted into the Union by virtue of this act, as soon as the terms and conditions of such admission shall be agreed upon by the governments of Hawaii and the United States, and that $100,000 be appropriated to defray the expenses of missions and negotiations, either by treaty or articles, as the President may direct.In 1897, when President Cleveland's term expired, commissioners from Hawaii arrived in Washington to again urge a treaty of annexation. President McKinley was favorable to the plan, and on June 16, 1897, the following treaty of annexation was signed by Secretary of State Sherman for the United States, and Commissioners Hatch, Thurston, and Kinney for the republic of Hawaii:
The President sent the treaty to the Senate on the following day, with a recommendation for its ratification; but that body adjourned without taking action on it. Failing to secure annexation by direct treaty the advocates in the United States of the measure resorted to a different procedure. On June 11, 1898, the House committee on foreign affairs reported the following joint resolution:
Whereas, the government of the republic of Hawaii having in due form signified its consent, in the manner provided by the Constitution, to cede 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 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 every kind and description belonging to the government of the Hawaiian Islands, together with every right and appurtenance thereunto belonging; 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 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 the 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 occasioned. 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 fulfilment 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 the 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 $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 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 be hereafter allowed by the laws of the United States; and no Chinese, by reason of anything herein contained, shall be allowed to enter the United States from the 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 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 $100,000, 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.This resolution was adopted in the House by a vote of 209 to 91 (49 not voting) and in the Senate by a vote of 42 to 21. Under it the President appointed the following commission: President Sanford B. Dole and Chief-Justice Walter H. Frear, of Hawaii; Senators Shelby M. Cullom (Illinois) and John T. Morgan (Alabama); and Representative Robert T. Hitt (Illinois). On Aug. 12 the United States took formal possession of the islands, Sanford B. Dole becoming territorial governor pending further .legislation by Congress. See United States, Hawaii, vol. IX.