Goose River Press
Jon D. Olsen
In the 1800s, Hawai’i was recognized world wide as an independent country, including by the United States, and like other countries had widespread embassies and consulates, as well as its own currency and obviously a well defined island land base. The 1893 coup against the reigning Queen Lili’uokalani was a hostile act by a small group of Caucasian residents, with the complicity of minister (ambassador) John Stevens of the United States who directed the landing of 160 armed men from the USS Boston to menace the queen. Faced with this formidable force and impending war with the USA, the queen, wishing to avoid bloodshed, temporarily and conditionally yielded her authority to the USA, until the matter could be reviewed in Washington.
The incoming president in 1893, Grover Cleveland, upon learning of what had transpired, halted the rush to annexation, the motive of the coup, and called the coup for what it was: “an act of war.” A stalemate ensued for the duration of his term. William McKinley took office in early 1897 and proceeded to re-submit the treaty of annexation that had been pulled by Cleveland. However, it failed to gain the requisite 2/3 majority in the Senate.
Thus, the very foundation of the claim to have acquired the sovereignty of Hawai’i and subsequent claim of “statehood” cannot stand. It is this awareness that has generated in Hawai’i today a broad and deed determination to regain full the nationhood status of the 1800s.