Part II: Liliuokalani Preventing U.S. Annexation
Part II of II – Preventing Annexation (Continuing from Part I)
Four months after Liliuokalani met U.S. President Cleveland, her mission to prevent the annexation of Hawaii was clear. After realizing it was too late to restore the Hawaiian Monarchy, Liliuokalani said she no longer desired to serve as queen again.
Cleveland, who opposed annexation and Liliuokalani’s “good” friend, was no longer president. Liliuokalani asked U.S. President William McKinley to support the overthrow of the current administration in Hawaii and a new election for president in which all citizens can vote. The former head of state felt confident that she would be elected.
Liliuokalani argued to McKinley that the current government in Hawaii illegally overthrew the Hawaiian Monarchy through the unwarranted influence of Minister Stevens and the crew of the cruiser Boston and that the election of the present officials did not allow all citizens to vote. The president acknowledged receiving her communication.
Three months later in June, Liliuokalani filed a protest to the secretary of state. She said somebody threatened to murder her closest friends if she did not sign soon and abdicate her throne under protest. According to Liliuokalani, during the revolution, she would have willingly acted as a limited monarch and would have followed whatever constitutional form of government as long as she retained her royal privileges and her line of succession, which made Kaiulani her heiress.
In a newspaper interview, Liliuokalani said the majority of the people in Hawaii did not want annexation:
“Fifteen hundred people are giving away my country. The people of my country do not want to be annexed to the United States. Nor do the people of the United States wants annexation. It is the work of 1,500 people, mostly Americans, who have settled in Hawaii. Of this number those who are not native born Americans are of American parentage. None of my people want the island annexed. The population of the islands is 109,000. Of this number 40,000 are native Hawaiians. The rest are Americans, Germans, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, English and a small proportion from other countries. The 1,500 Americans who are responsible for what was done to-day are running the affairs of the islands. There is no provision made in this treaty for me. In the Harrison treaty I was allowed $20,000 a year, but that treaty never went into effect. I have never received one dollar from the United States. No one looked after my interests in the preparation of this treaty. Yet my people, who form so large a part of the population of the islands, would want justice done me.”
– Alice Kim
“Ex-Queen Liliuokalani: Object of her Visit to this Country”
The record-union, April 13, 1897, Page 6
“Queen Liliuokalani’s Mission: Seeks the President’s Aid to Overthrow the Dole Regime”
The San Francisco call, April 13, 1897, Page 2
“The Ex-Queen’s Protest: Liliuokalani’s Veto on the Hawaiian Annexation Treaty” (top right)
The times, June 18, 1897, Image 1
“Liliuokalani Talks: Annexation Declared Not Desired by Natives–Americans Blamed”
The McCook tribune, June 25, 1897, Image 6