Hawaiian Islands for Sale?

This month in history — December 1854 — King Kamehameha III was rumored to offer to sell the Hawaiian islands to the United States. The price: a pension of $300,000 (about $7.5 million today) per year. The Grand River Times from Michigan’s newspaper commented,

That these islands will eventually be incorporated into our Union is beyond a question, but not on such exorbitant and indefinite terms.–There is a possibility, if not a probability, that the heir ‘apparent’ may live fifty years, and it is scarcely to be supposed that our Government would lay itself liable to give him twelve times the salary of the President during this period.

Read more about this rumor in “Purchase of the Sandwich Islands.”

“Purchase of the Sandwich Islands”
Grand River times, December 20, 1854, Image 1
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85026466/1854-12-20/ed-1/seq-1/
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Losing a Kingdom

Today in history — August 12, 1898 — people gathered at Iolani Palace to celebrate the “U.S. annexation” of Hawaii. U.S. troops came ashore from Honolulu Harbor. But Queen Lili’uokalani was nowhere to be seen.

Instead, dressed in black in the Washington Place mansion, she and her family members and loyalists mourned losing their Kingdom, as she explained to newspaper reporter Alice Rix in an interview:

Alice Rix: “I thought perhaps you would go away—into the country.”

Queen Lili’uokalani: “Why? I came here to be near my people—to show them how to meet this. It has come upon us together—you understand? Together. I am not alone. My people lose their country; they lose their identity. Should I run away and shut my eyes and my ears when so many of them had to remain here in their homes? My home is also here, in Honolulu [Washington Place]. It gives us all courage to think of others. I remembered my people this day and they remembered me. We bore our trouble together. I did not leave my house….”

Read more about it in “How the Ex-queen Passed the Twelfth of August.”

“How the Ex-queen Passed the Twelfth of August.”
The San Francisco call, August 28, 1898, Image 17
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1898-08-28/ed-1/seq-17/