American Diplomacy in the Orient/Chapter XI

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American Diplomacy in the Orient by John W. Foster
Chapter XI
Published in 1903

XI

THE ANNEXATION OF HAWAII

THE decade following 1850 was significant in events which unmistakably indicated the ultimate annexation of Hawaii to the United States. The sudden develop- j ment of California and the growth of American influ- | ence on the Pacific coast greatly revived the drooping commerce of the islands occasioned by the decline in whaling. The demand from that coast created new industries, especially in agriculture. The cultivation of sugar was begun, and was found to be well adapted to the climate arid soil. Potatoes and other vegetables were largely exported, and the high price of flour at San Francisco gave a temporary impetus to the growing of wheat. The traffic in these commodities added ma- terially to the wealth of the islanders.

Another event tended to direct attention to the politi- cal future of Hawaii. It was the epoch when filibuster- ing was rampant in the United States, and demanded an aggressive policy on the part of the administration then in power. While Cuba was the objective point of [ the movement on the Atlantic coast, the notorious Walker was active in organizing in San Francisco law- less movements against Lower California and Nicaragua. His acts gave currency to reports that an expedition j was being formed to occupy forcibly Hawaii and bring


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AMERICAN DIPLOMACY IN THE ORIENT


about its annexation to the United States. Kame- hameha III. (the reigning sovereign) and his council were greatly alarmed, and their appeals led to the send- ing of an American man-of-war to Honolulu to insure the islands from attack. The rumors proved to have no substantial foundation, but they indicated the grow- ing expectation of eventual incorporation of the islands with the Union.

The census made it manifest that the native popu- lation was rapidly decreasing, and the race seemed destined to ultimate extinction. Although surrounded by good advisers and Christian influence, the reigning family wa.s developing an incapacity to govern, and this feature became more apparent in later years. The par- amount interest of the United States caused it to regard the situation with concern. 1

Mr. Marcy, the Secretary of State, although of con- servative tendencies, entertained broad-minded views of the duty and destiny of his country, and he regarded the time propitious for a permanent settlement of the status of these outlying islands adjacent to the American domain. The king had already, during the trouble with France, indicated his desire in that crisis to trans- fer the sovereignty to the United States, and Mr. Marcy instructed the American minister to approach him with a proposition for annexation. The king was found I favorable to the project, and the draft of a treaty was | agreed upon ; but two of its provisions did not meet

1 The official census shows the following decrease in the native popula- tion : Native Hawaiians in 1832, 130,313 ; 1850, 84,165 ; 1853, 73,137 ; 1860, 69,800 ; 1872, 56,869 ; 1884, 40,014 ; 1890, 34,436 ; and 1900, 29,799.


THE ANNEXATION OF HAWAII 367

with Mr. Marcy's approval, to wit, the annuities to_be } paid the royal family and the stipulation that the islands were to constitute a State of the Union.

While the negotiations were in progress for a modifi- cation of the treaty draft on these matters, Kamehameha III. died, and, his successor being unfavorable to the measure, the negotiations came to an end. But the lat-j ter recognized the commercial dependence of the islands! upon the United States, and a treaty of reciprocity in ] trade was signed in 1855, though it failed of approval/ by the American Senate.

During the American Civil War the government of the United States was too much absorbed with that great struggle to give attention to its relations with Hawaii. Soon after the restoration of peace, however, Secretary Seward authorized the American minister to open nego- tiations for a reciprocity treaty, but he stated that there was a strong annexation feeling in the country, and if he found that " the policy of annexation should conflict with the policy of reciprocity, annexation is in every case to be preferred." The treaty of reciprocity was signed in 1867; and President Johnson, in urging its ratification upon the Senate, said the treaty would prove a measure of protection against foreign aggression " until the people of the islands shall, of themselves, at no distant day, voluntarily apply for admission into the Union." Two influences were, however, sufficiently strong to prevent the ratification of the treaty, the sugar growers of the Southern States, and the friends of annexation, who felt that reciprocity would postpone I that project.


368 AMERICAN DIPLOMACY IN THE ORIENT

These repeated efforts at annexation and commercial reciprocity awakened the jealousy of the British and other foreign merchants resident in the islands, and their views were echoed by their diplomatic representa- tives ; but men of foresight in England did not seem so blinded to coming events. The Hawaiian commis- sioners who visited Europe in 1850 (of which notice has already been taken), in their interviews with the British premier, were advised to look forward to becom- ing an integral part of the United States. " Such/' I said Lord Palmerston, " was the destiny of the Hawaiian Islands, arising from their proximity to the State of California and Oregon and natural dependence on those jfjj^ 6 $/^ markets for exports and imports, together with the prob- able extinction of the Hawaiian aboriginal population, 'tS and its substitution by immigration from the United

p v States." The London "Post/' in discussing the annex-

it* ation project of 1853-54, while speaking in not very

complimentary terms of " American rapacity," stated that the predominance of American influence made the acquisition of the islands most natural, and that it should be regarded as a circumstance auspicious to the commerce of the world. 1

A fear existed in the islands that the American market, their chief dependence for prosperity, might be closed to them by adverse tariffs, and the efforts for a reciprocity treaty continued through the succeeding ten years, during which time one king followed another in

1 A. H. Allen's report, S. Ex. Doc. No. 45, 52d Cong. 2d Sess. pp. 14- 18; Alexander's Hist. Hawaii, 273-292 ; Hopkins's Hawaii, 325, 397; London Post, Oct. 24, 1854.


THE ANNEXATION OF HAWAII


369


quick succession, the lives of some of them being short- ened by intemperance and immorality. The line of the Kamehamehas became extinct, and one ruler after another dying without a designated successor, disorder and riots ensued, growing out of the election of a head to the enfeebled government, and the presence on shore of American marines was time and again invoked to preserve the public peace.

During the administration of President Grant, Sec- retary Fish authorized new negotiations for reciprocity, so ardently desired by the Hawaiians. In his instruc- tions to the American minister he referred to the con- dition of the government and its evident tendency to decay and dissolution, to the danger of its falling under foreign control, and stated that " we desire no ad- ditional similar outposts [as Bermuda] in the hands of those who may at some future time use them to our disadvantage." While authorized to entertain proposi- tions for reciprocity, the minister was not to discourage any feeling which might exist in favor of annexation. The negotiations were opened at Honolulu, but King Kalakaua, impressed with the importance of the matter, sent two commissioners to Washington, and their action resulted for the third time in a treaty of commercial reciprocity, those of 1855 and 1867 having failed, as noted, in the United States Senate.

This treaty provided for the free reciprocal introduc-j tion of practically all the products of Hawaii into the United States, and of those of the United States into- Hawaii. The opposition of the advocates of annexa-j tion was overcome by the insertion of a stipulation that


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none of the territory of Hawaii should be leased or dis- posed of to any other power, and that none of the priv- ileges granted by the treaty should be conferred upon any other nation. With this clause added, the treaty was regarded as insuring the ultimate acquisition of the islands by the United States, and it was ratified by the Senate and went into operation in 1876.

This treaty is justly regarded as one of the most im- portant events in Hawaiian history. Its final result was to bring about annexation. Its immediate effect was to create a great revival in commerce and the native industries. Though sugar cultivation had commenced twenty years before when the demand for it arose in California, it had not been possible to compete in the United States markets with the slave-grown sugar of other countries. The free introduction of Hawaiian sugar under the treaty gave a strong impetus to its cultivation, as also to that of rice. The total value of exports in a few years was increased more than sixfold, a corresponding increase resulted in the revenues of the government, and the wealth of the country was greatly multiplied.

As a consequence, public and private enterprises were stimulated, and an unexampled era of prosperity fol- lowed. Government buildings and other improvements of public utility were constructed ; railroads and tele- graph lines put in operation ; expensive systems of irri- gation were installed ; many artesian wells were sunk \ for sugar cultivation ; and new schools, hospitals, and \ churches were erected all as the direct result of the reciprocity treaty.




THE ANNEXATION OF HAWAII 371

It had still another effect which brought about a radical change in the population of the islands. As \ sugar cultivation became very profitable, it was largely extended, and this occasioned an unusual demand for \ labor. It could not be supplied from the native popu- lation, as the aboriginal race was unwilling to undergo the fatigues and hardships of the plantations. Efforts were made to obtain laborers from the other Polynesian islands, but they proved unsatisfactory. Over ten thou- sand Portuguese were brought from the Azores, but the supply from that source was limited. As the area brought under cultivation was enlarged, the planters; turned to the overflowing populations of China andj Japan, and more than twenty thousand from each of;: those countries were brought into the islands. By these means the native inhabitants, decreasing steadily in numbers, became a minority, idle, thriftless, and com- paratively unimportant. The property and wealth had, in great measure, passed into the hands of people of \ alien races. 1

The duration of the reciprocity treaty was fixed at seven years, but after some negotiation it was rjgn&wed in 1884 with an important additional clause. This was the granting to the United States of the exclusive use of Pearl Harbor for a naval station, with the right to improve and fortify it. In 1873 General Schofield had been sent by President Grant to the islands to make a survey with a view to the location of such a station, and he made a report in favor of Pearl Harbor, and

later appeared before a Congressional committee and

j

1 Allen's Report (cited), 19-22 ; Alexander's Hist. Hawaii, 303-311.


372 AMERICAN DIPLOMACY IN THE ORIENT

urged the importance of some measure looking to the control of the islands.

The action of the Hawaiian government in ceding Pearl Harbor to the United States led to a protest from the British minister in Honolulu, who said that such cession " would infallibly lead to the loss of the inde- pendence of the islands," but he based his objection to it on the ground that it was in violation of an article of the British treaty with that country which gave to British vessels of war liberty of entry to all harbors to which ships of other nationalities were admitted. The Hawaiian government, however, did not admit the British contention.

During the first administration of President Cleve- land action was taken on several subjects indicating the paramount influence or authority of the United States in Hawaii. One of his first acts was to proclaim the renewal of the reciprocity treaty, with the Pearl Harbor clause. In 1886 an attempt to make a loan in London of $2,000,000 upon the hypothecation of the customs revenues of Hawaii was defeated, Secretary Bayard taking the position that it was in conflict with the clause of the reciprocity treaty which forbade the ces- sion of territory to any other country or the creation of a Hen upon any port. In 1887 the British minister approached the government at Washington with a request that the United States join Great Britain and France in the compact of 1843, whereby they guaran- teed the neutrality and independence of Hawaii. Mr.

Bayard declined on the ground that by the reciprocity

treaty Hawaii was enjoying material prosperity, had


THE ANNEXATION OF HAWAII 373

entered into special obligations as to the cession of a f port and alienation of territory, and occupied towards the United States a relation different from that towards all other countries. King Kalakaua had made an alli- ance with the Samoan king, and in 1887 the approval of the government of the United States was asked to the compact. Mr. Bayard pointed out the inexpediency I of it, and withheld approval.

The prosperity which attended the reciprocity arrange- ment replenished the royal treasury, and Kalakaua sought to make the most out of his good fortune. He first visited the United States, where he was received in a manner becoming a royal neighbor. Afterwards he made a tour of the world and was entertained by the governments and crowned heads of Asia and of Europe. He returned home with ambitious ideas for himself and his kingdom. In 1883 he published a protest against the seizure by Great Britain and France of various groups in Polynesia, while the alliance with Samoa was another of his schemes for giving impor- tance to his reign.

An adventurer named Gibson had ingratiated him- ] self into the favor of Kalakaua, and had been made , prime minister, and the Samoan alliance was attempted under his auspices. Gibson claimed to be the heir of a great English family ; he had been imprisoned in Java, whence he escaped to Salt Lake City, and was sent by Brigham Young as a Mormon apostle to Hawaii ; becoming involved in trouble with the " Saints," he became a Protestant, but in a little while transferred his spiritual allegiance to the Pope, and was soon an


374 AMERICAN DIPLOMACY IN THE ORIENT

influential member of the native Roman Church. By his artful methods he gained the confidence of the king and was made the head of his government. He kept the amiable, but too convivial, monarch well supplied with money, and in other respects gratified his desires. He readily fell in with his ambitious views and dis- patched the embassy to the Samoan king.

The solitary ship of the Hawaiian navy, the little Kaimiloa, was fitted out for the voyage, and carried to Samoa a half-caste native ambassador, with a secretary and the usual staff of a diplomatic mission. On arrival, after a voyage during which the crew mutinied on ac- count of short rations, the embassy established itself in an extravagant style of living. The treaty of alliance was readily made, and was celebrated by a banquet given by the Hawaiians. As morning dawned the floor of the banquet hall was found covered with Samoan chiefs, who had to be carried to their homes. The com- ment of the Samoan king to one of the embassy was : " If you have come to teach my people to drink, I wish you had stayed away." The Kaimiloa was hypothe- cated to raise funds to get the embassy away from the islands, its departure being hastened by the jealousy of the Germans. On its return to Honolulu it found Gib- son dismissed from office and in jail. His expulsion from the country soon followed. By such exploits and through such advisers Kalakaua's administration was much discredited by the better class of residents and in the United States.

/^During the sessions of the International American ^Conference at Washington in 1890, Congress adopted


THE ANNEXATION OF HAWAII 375

a resolution to extend an invitation to the government of Hawaii to participate in the conference. By this act the islands were recognized as a part of the Ameri- can body of states, and the Monroe doctrine was ap- plied to their political status. 1 This step, however, did not alter the intimate relation which they held to the Orient. From their earliest contact with the United States these islands had been a base of operations for the trade of China, and the growing power of Japan had given to them added importance in the Pacific.

^Kalakaua died in 1891 while visiting California for his health, and was succeeded by Princess Liliuokalani, who had previously been proclaimed heir to the throne. Although the petty kingdom was the merest mimicry of a monarchy, the substantial residents were disposed to tolerate the king in his whims and extravagancies of life and policy because of his kindly disposition and of his good intentions for his country. But his death precipitated the end of the monarchy, which events had already indicated as inevitable. The new ruler from the beginning manifested a headstrong disposition, an intention to control the government by her own will, and to surround herself with a body of advisers and in- timates of bad character and of ill omen for the coun- try. Her accession to power was followed by much dissatisfaction, and revolutionary schemes began to take shape. The bribery and corruption which prevailed and the orgies which defiled the palace during the

  • Allen's Report, 23-26 ; Alexander's Hist. Hawaii, 304 ; A Foot-Note

to History (Samoa), by Robert Louis Stevenson, New York, 1892, p. 56 ; U. S. For. Rel. 1894, Appendix ii. p. 645.


376 AMERICAN DIPLOMACY IN THE ORIENT

reign of Kalakaua were continued under the queen, and the government went from bad to worse, the ses- sions of the national legislature being marked by open bribery, apparently with the approval of the head of the state.

A crisis came in January, 1893. The queen was determined to overthrow the existing constitution and to proclaim one whereby more autocratic power would be possessed by her. As the first step to this end she sought to rid herself of her constitutional ministry. The legislature was prorogued, and the nobles and the diplomatic corps were summoned to the palace, the pur- pose being understood to be to witness the promulga- tion of the new constitution. This aroused the fears and hostility of the leading inhabitants of Honolulu, who assembled in mass meeting, denounced the contem- plated measure, appointed a committee of public safety, which proceeded at once to organize their adherents into a military force. The queen, being alarmed at the magnitude and earnestness of the opposition, dismissed the nobles and diplomats, and from the balcony of the palace announced to her native adherents, who were clamoring for the new constitution, that she had been forced to postpone its promulgation, and later she is- sued a proclamation that no change would take place except by constitutional methods.

The committee of public safety, satisfied that she would embrace the first opportunity to carry out her cher- ished plan, began preparations, on January 16, for deci- sive action to put an end to the corrupt government. It being apparent that a revolution was impending,


THE ANNEXATION OF HAWAII 377

the American minister requested the United States naval commander to land marines to protect American interests, and at five o'clock on the afternoon of the 16th a detachment of troops was landed and placed ; about the legation and consulate. On the day follow- ing, January 17, 1893, the revolutionists assembled under arms, and, marching to the government build- ing, proclaimed the overthrow of the monarchy, and the committee of public safety took possession of the government without loss of life. The queen alleged that her adherents had been overawed by the landing of the United States troops, and, while peacefully sub- mitting to the change, she appealed to the President of the United States to restore her to power.

A provisional government was at once established, with Judge S. B. Dole as president. Judge Dole was born in Honolulu, of American parentage, and resigned from the Supreme Court to accept the position. The new government was organized without opposition throughout the islands and recognized as the de facto government by the representatives of all the foreign powers resident at the capital. One of its first


.

was to dispatch a commission of its citizens to Washing- ton to negotiate a treaty of annexation to the American Union. The commissioners arrived in Washington on February 3, and, being introduced by the resident Hawaiian minister to the Secretary of State, laid before him their credentials and asked to enter upon negotia- tions. President Harrison, having satisfied himself that they represented the de facto and established govern- \ ment, and that ultimate annexation had been for many


378 AMERICAN DIPLOMACY IN THE ORIENT

1 years the policy of the United States, authorized nego- tiations, which resulted in the signing of a treaty on February 14 providing for the incorporation of the Hawaiian Islands into the United States as a territory. 1

President Harrison's administration came to a close on March 3, and in the brief time before adjournment no action was taken on the treaty by the Senate. One of the first acts of Mr. Cleveland after his inauguration for a second term was to withdraw the treaty of annex- ation from the Senate. He was impressed by the decla- ration of the queen that she had been dethroned through the presence of the United States troops and against the will of a large majority of her subjects, and he sent a commissioner, Hon. J. H. Blount, to Hawaii to investigate and report upon the causes of the revolu- 1 tion and the sentiments of the people towards the pro- visional government. After a lengthy investigation Mr. Blount reported that the party which supported the new government constituted the intelligence and owned most of the property on the islands, that the

greater part of the natives were in favor of the ex-

\ queen, and that the revolution succeeded through the i support of the United States minister and troops.

Upon the return of Mr. Blount, President Cleveland

appointed a minister to Hawaii, accredited to the pro-

i visional government, but with instructions to inform

/ the ex-queen that upon the facts reported by Mr.

1 For events of Kalakaua's reign, U. S. For. Rel. 1894, Appendix ii. p. 645. For sketch of revolution, ib. 777 ; Minister Stevens's account, ib. 207. For President Harrison's message and treaty of annexation of 1893, ib. 197.


THE ANNEXATION OF HAWAII 379

Blount he had decided that she ought to be restored to | power, upon condition that she would grant full am- nesty to all persons. The minister had an interview with the ex-queen and informed her of the President's decision. She replied that she would behead the leaders of the revolution and confiscate their property. This answer was communicated to the President and a reply was received by the minister that he would cease all efforts to restore her sovereignty unless she agreed to amnesty. A month after the first interview a second was held in which the ex-queen stated that the leaders of the revolution should be banished and their property confiscated. Two days afterwards, December 18, 1893, she repeated her declaration, but after the third inter- view she gave her consent in writing to the wishes of the President.

On the next day the minister asked for an interview with President Dole and his ministers, which was at once granted. He then communicated to them the views of President Cleveland and the written assurance of the ex-queen, and asked them to relinquish promptly to her the government. On the 23d President Dole replied by note, denying the right of the President of the United States to interfere in the domestic affairs of the Hawaiian government, and " respectfully and un- hesitatingly " declined "to surrender its authority to the ex-queen."

On the assembling of the Congress of the United States in December, 1893, President Cleveland sent a special message to that body, in which he gave the reasons for the course he had pursued, inclosed the


380 AMERICAN DIPLOMACY IN THE ORIENT

correspondence and documents relating to the question, and submitted the subject "to the broader authority and discretion of Congress." Upon receiving President Dole's declination to surrender the government, the correspondence relating to it and the report of the ex- queen's conduct were transmitted to Congress without comment. The whole subject having been relegated to Congress, the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate made an extended investigation, examined a large number of witnesses, and submitted a majority report through Senator Morgan, which vindicated the diplomatic and naval officers of the United States from undue influence, declared that the recognition of the provisional government was " lawful and authorita-

tive," and found that the queen's proposed action to

overturn the constitution was itself revolutionary. The minority of the committee dissented from these find- ings. No further action on the subject was taken by

! that body. 1

The provisional government, having accepted the action of President Cleveland as a rejection by the executive of the treaty of annexation, proceeded to effect a permanent organization. An election was or- dered for delegates to a constitutional convention, the electors being all adult male inhabitants of native, American, or European descent who took the oath to support the government. The convention assembled

1 For President Cleveland's messages, 9 Presidents' Messages, 393 ; U. S. For. Rel. 1894, Appendix ii. pp. 267, 445, 1193, 1241, 1285. Mr. Blount's Report, ib. pp. 467-1150. On restoration of the queen, ib. pp. 1189-1292. Senate Report of 1894, S. Report No. 227, 53d Cong. 2d


THE ANNEXATION OF HAWAII 381

and adopted a republican form of government, the con- stitution being proclaimed and the republic organized on July 4, 1894. 1

The new government received the prompt recogni-~ tion of all the powers having treaty relations with Hawaii, including the United States, and its authority was peacefully acquiesced in by the inhabitants through- out the entire group. The bloodthirsty conduct of the ex-queen satisfied the responsible and intelligent | residents that she was unworthy to be reinstated, and | it likewise disgusted those persons in the United States who had been inclined to sympathize with her as an unjustly dethroned ruler. The republican authorities continued to administer the government, with a single feeble attempt at revolution in January, 1895, which I was promptly suppressed, through a period of fourj years in which the country enjoyed unexampled peace \ and prosperity. Never before in its history had there \ been such honesty in administration, such economy in I expenditures, such uniform justice in the enforcement of the kws and respect for the officials, such advance .( in education, and such encouragement of commerce and protection to life and property.

Soon after a change in the government at Washing- ton had occurred, by the inauguration of President McKinley, the subject of annexation was revived, and on June 16, 1897, a new treaty was signed, similar to the one made in 1893, except that the provision for annuities to the ex-queen and late heir apparent were omitted, and it was sent to the Senate for its considera- tion and action.

1 U. S. For. Rel. 1894, Appendix ii. 1311-1319, 1350.


382 AMERICAN DIPLOMACY IN THE ORIENT

When this fact became public the Japanese govern- ment, through its minister in Washington, sent to the Secretary of State a protest against the annexation, on the ground, first, that the maintenance of the inde- pendence of Hawaii was essential to the good under- standing of the powers having interests in the Pacific ; second, that annexation would tend to endanger the rights of Japanese subjects resident in Hawaii secured by treaty ; and, third, that it might postpone the settle- ment of Japanese claims against Hawaii. To the state- ment of the Secretary of State that Japan had made no protest against the treaty of 1893, the answer was that since that date the enlargement of the interests of Japan and its expanding activities in the Pacific had created a very different situation. The Japanese popu- lation in Hawaii had so increased as to exceed the native inhabitants ; and since the war with China the Japanese in the islands had become quite self-assertive, and their government so positive in the enforcement of the claims of its subjects as to alarm seriously the Hawaiian republic. 1 Assurances, however, being given that Japanese treaty rights and pending claims should

1 The population of the Hawaiian Islands, as shown by the official census of the United States for 1900, was as follows :

PER CENT.

Hawaiians 29,799 19.3

Part Hawaiians 7,857 6.1

Caucasians 28,819 18.7

Chinese 25,767 16.7

Japanese 61,111 39.7

All others.. 648 0.5


154,001


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383


not be prejudiced by annexation, the protest of the imperial government was not further pressed, and the friendly relations were not disturbed.

The treaty was still pending in the Senate when the United States declared war against Spain in April, 1898, and after Admiral Dewey's victory in Manila Bay it was manifest that the occupation of the Hawaiian Islands had become a military necessity. There being some question as to the possibility of securing the requisite two thirds vote in the Senate for the approval of the treaty of annexation, it was determined to follow the precedent in the annexation of Texas, and to bring about the result by means of a joint resolution of the two houses. The terms of the treaty were thereupon embodied in such a resolution, and, after a brief dis- cussion in each chamber, it was passed by more than a two thirds vote in both houses, and became a law July 7, 1898. 1

"TEe necessary formalities were promptly complied with, and Hawaii was incorporated into the American Union. It was, in accordance with the treaty and joint resolution, constituted a territory, and President Dole was appointed the first governor. In 1900 Con- gress passed an act for the organization of the Ter- ritory of Hawaii, in which the elective franchise was conferred upon all Hawaiian citizens, who by the terms of the treaty had become citizens of the United States.

1 For treaty of 1897, S. Report No. 681, 55th Cong. 2d Sess. p. 96. For debate in House, Congressional Record, vol. xxxi. pp. 5770-5973 ; in Senate, 6140-6693. For Joint Resolution, 30 Stat. at L. 750. For organic act of territory, 31 Stat. at L. 141.







384 AMERICAN DIPLOMACY IN THE ORIENT

The sovereignty of the United States has been peace- fully accepted by all its inhabitants, and after a hun- dred years of turmoil and uncertainty the islands are reposing in prosperity and stability, disturbed only by the political excitement incident to a democratic system of government.

It has not been possible, within the compass of this volume, to narrate in detail the events attending the transfer of Hawaii to the United States or to review the merits of the controversy on that subject. The citation of official documents given will enable the student to pursue his investigation at will.

The annexation of Hawaii to the United States was the necessary result of the policy announced by Secre- tary Webster in 1842, and steadily pursued by each succeeding administration. This result was foreseen by European statesmen such as Lord Palmerston, and by intelligent observers of the geographical situation of the islands in relation to the commerce of the Pacific. The reasons for it were doubly increased by the acqui- sition of the Philippine Islands. Hawaii then became more than an outpost of the territory of the American Union on the western coast of the continent. It was a link in the chain of its possessions in the Pacific. It would have been the excess of political unwisdom to allow this group of islands to fall into the hands of Great Britain or Japan, either of which powers stood ready to occupy them.

The native inhabitants had proved themselves in- capable of maintaining a respectable and responsible government, and lacked the energy or the will to


THE ANNEXATION OF HAWAII 385

improve the advantages which Providence had given them in a fertile soil. They were fast dying out as a race, and their places were being occupied by sturdy laborers from China and Japan. There was presented to the American residents the same problem which con- fronted their forefathers two centuries before in their contact with the aborigines of the Atlantic coast.

A government was established in Hawaii which had all the elements of a de jure and de facto sovereignty, and had vigorously maintained itself for four years. It sought for incorporation into the American Union.


/Under all the circumstances the President and (gress of the United States would have been recreant to j | their trust if they had failed to take advantage of the Opportunity.