By Jimmy Kuroiwa
Leon Siu in his position on the “Hawaii Ceded Lands Case Rejoinder” initiates his position from the time of the Kingdom overthrow on January 17, 1893 and calls the overthrow an usurpation.
I present to him recorded Hawaiian historical data that leads anyone following the progression of events from 1874 through 1893, of some nineteen years, as the culmination of events that leads to the overthrow on January 17, 1893. The overthrow was inevitable and the overthrow of the Kingdom was supported by the citizens of Hawaii, including Native Hawaiians.
The overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom begins in 1874:
- February 12, 1874: The legislative assembly elects Kalakaua king following death of Lunalilo on February 3, 1874. A riot by Native Hawaiians opposed the election of Kalakaua and supporters of Queen Emma, wife of Liholiho, preferred the election of Queen Emma. At the request of Kalakaua, the U.S. Minister ordered troops to be provided for peace from U.S.S. Tuscarora and U.S.S. Portsmouth. Peace was secured with U.S. troops. Kalakaua initial request were for troops from H.M.S. Tenedos where they landed after peace was secured. British Capt. Bay who was not available to receive Kalakaua’s request, in few months was relieved of command and retired.
- April 30, 1874: The new government bldg (Aliiolani Hale) opened for public inspection with the opening of the first legislative session to be held in new building.
- September 9, 1876: The Reciprocity Treaty was ratified and officially put into effect. It identified numerous products from Hawaii that would be allowed into the United States free of duty. Article IV was included to ensure that Hawaii would not seek favor from another power.
- June 30, 1887: Conflicts between business and the Monarchy caused the adoption of a new Constitution to reduce powers of Monarchy and change the right to vote. This creates conflicts between Liliuokalani and Kalakaua for he was condemned for signing the constitution of 1887. Liliuokalani charged Kalakaua of cowardice. A conspiracy by R.W. Wilcox, C.B. Wilson, Sam Nowlien demanded that King Kalakaua abdicate the throne in favor of sister Liliuokalani.
- April, 1889: Liliuokalani planned an insurrection by the League that was headed by R.W. Wilcox who formed the Rifle Club preparing for another revolution following the revolution of 1887.
- July 30, 1889: R.W. Wilcox and 150 armed men occupy the Palace and attempts to have Kalakaua proclaim that the 1864 constitution was to replace the 1887 constitution. Supporters of Kalakaua take up arms against insurgents. Volunteer riflemen turned out to support the Government (Missionary Party). A legation was on hotel premises where Mr. Merrill, the U.S. Minister requested a body of marines to be landed for a day. A duel between the insurgents and volunteers begins with artillery and rifle fire, by evening the fighting ends and the insurgents surrender.
- June 17, 1890: Conservative appointments J.A. Cummins, C.N. Spencer, Godfrey Brown, and A.P. Peterson (Royalists) by Kalakaua were made to his cabinet.
- January 29, 1891 Liliuokalani becomes queen (1891-1893) Kalakaua dies on 20 Jan 1891 while in San Francisco. Liliuokalani appoints C.B. Wilson as marshal of the Kingdom. C.B. Wilson begins a Kingdom scandal by openly supporting opium smuggling.
- March 1892: An abortive revolution was led by the Ashford brothers and Robert W. Wilcox of the Liberal Party. The objective was to establish a Republic and then educate the people for future annexation to United States.
- August 30, 1892: The first introduction of the lottery bill that was supported by Mr. C.B. Wilson, the appointed Kingdom marshal, and the bill was tabled due to strong opposition by the legislature.
- September 1892: Liliuokalani and legislature are deadlocked on control because of differences on the opium and lottery bills. Three separate cabinets in succession were voted out by the legislature because they believed the cabinets were in sympathy with C.B Wilson, the Kingdom’s Marshal.
- 1892: The annexationists feared that if Liliuokalani died and Kaiulani (whose Father was Archibald Cleghorn, governor of Oahu, a Scotsman), would bring a strong English influence into the palace. Wodehouse, the English minister, his son had married a half white sister of Kaiulani and several other sons held important political jobs.
- 1892: Liliuokalani yields and appoints a conservative cabinet of G.N. Wilcox, P.C. Jones, Mark Robinson, and Cecil Brown.
- January 9, 1893: Liliuokalani dismisses the G.N. Wilcox cabinet and Liliuokalani receives strong opposition from the legislature relating to the lottery and opium bills, and to a new Constitution. Liliuokalani appoints a new cabinet with John Colburn, W. Cornwell, Sam Parker, and Arthur Peterson under intense public indignation.
- January 12, 1893: The lottery and opium license bills approved by the legislative body. The new cabinet was voted out, the lottery and opium bills approved after neighbor island legislative members, who opposed the bills, returned home.
- January 13, 1893: Liliuokalani announced the presentation of the new constitution and schedules a public announcement of the new constitution for January 14, 1893.
- January 14, 1893: Queen Liliuokalani proposes to promulgate a new constitution that would give her powers of virtually absolute monarch. She would take control of legislative, judicial as well as executive branch of government.
- January 16, 1893: Marines and sailors from USS Boston come ashore to protect American property. The marines were sent to U.S. Embassy and the sailors to Arion Hall (Old Downtown Post Office).
- January 17, 1893: The Committee of Safety occupies Aliiolani Hale and Mr. Cooper reads the proclamation abrogating the monarchy and establishes the provisional government. Dole requests that Capt. Wiltse recognize new government. Minister Stevens then recognizes the new Provisional Government. Liliuokalani surrenders to United States and surrenders is under protest.
For most of us who are citizens of the State of Hawaii and the United States of America, the truth and history are most important.
I do not believe there is any fraud being perpetrated in the history of Hawaii and in particular in regards to the overthrow of the Monarchy on January 17, 1893.
Images from State of Hawaii Archives.