University of Hawaii at Manoa Library

Home: The Annexation Of Hawaii: A Collection Of Document



hawnpac@hawaii.edu
(808) 956-8264

Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

[Previous Page] -- [View PDF] -- [ View in MS Word] -- [Next Page]

HAWAIIAN  ISLANDS.	227
bitrarily promulgate a new constitution, and that three of the newly appointed 
cabinet ministers had, or were about to, resign in consequence thereof.
Immediately after the prorogation of the legislature, at noon, the Queen, accom-
panied by her orders by the cabinet retired to the palace; the entire military force of 
the Government was drawn up in line in front of the building, and remained there un-
til dark, and a crowd of several hundred natives, sympathizers with the constitution 
project, gathered in the throne room and about the palace. The Queen then retired 
with the cabinet; informed them that she had a new constitution ready; that she in-
tended to promulgate it and proposed to do so then and there, and demanded that 
they countersign her signature.
She turned a deaf ear to their statements and protests, that the proposed action 
would inevitably cause the streets of Honolulu to run red with blood, and threat-
ened that unless they complied with her demand she would herself immediately 
go out upon the steps of the palace and announce to the assembled crowd that the 
reason she did not give them the new constitution was because the ministers would 
not let her. Three of the ministers, fearing mob violence, immediately withdrew 
and returned to the Government building. They were immediately summoned back 
to the palace but refused to go, on the ground that there was no guaranty of their 
personal safety.
The only forces under the control of the Government are the household guards 
and the police. The former are nominally under the control of the minister of foreign 
affairs, and actually under their immediate commander, Maj. Nowlein, a personal 
adherent of the Queen.
The police are under the control of Marshal Wilson, the open and avowed royal 
favorite. Although the marshal is nominally under the control of the attorney-
general, Her Majesty recently announced in a public speech that she would not 
allow him to be removed. Although the marshal now states that he is opposed to 
the Queen's proposition, he also states that if the final issue arises between the 
Queen and the cabinet and the people he will support the Queen.
The cabinet was absolutely powerless and appealed to citizens for support.
Later they reluctantly returned to the palace, by request of the Queen, and for 
nearly two hours she endeavored to force them to acquiesce in her desire, and upon 
their final refusal announced in a public speech in the throne room and again from 
the upper gallery of the palace that she desired to issue the Constitution but was 
prevented from doing so by her ministers and would issue it in a few days.
The citizens responded to the appeal of the cabinet to resist the revolutionary at-
tempt of the Queen by gathering at the office of William O. Smith.
Later in the afternoon it was felt that bloodshed and riot were imminent; that the 
community could expect no protection from the legal authorities; that on the con-
trary they would undoubtedly be made the instruments of royal aggression. An im-
promptu meeting of citizens was held, which was attended by the attorney-general, 
and which was addressed, among others, by the minister of the interior, J. F. Cal-
burn, who stated to the meeting substantially the foregoing facts.
The meeting unanimously passed a resolution that the public welfare required the 
appointment of a committee of public safety of thirteen, to consider the situation 
and devise ways and means for the maintenance of the public peace and the protec-
tion of life and property.
Such committee was forthwith appointed and has followed its instructions.
The first step which the committee consider necessary is to secure openly, publicly, 
and peaceably through the medium of a mass meeting of citizens a condemnation of 
the proceeding of the party of revolution and disorder and a confirmation from such 
larger meeting of the authority now vested in the committee.
For such purpose the committee hereby recommends the adoption of the follow-
ing resolution:
RESOLUTION.
(1) Whereas Her Majesty Liliuokalani, acting in conjunction with certain other 
persons, has illegally and unconstitutionally, and against the advice and consent of 
the lawful executive officers of the Government, attempted to abrogate the existing 
constitution and proclaim a new one in subversion of the rights of the people;
(2) And whereas such attempt has been accompanied by threats of violence and 
bloodshed and a display of armed force; and such attempt and acts and threats are 
revolutionary and treasonable in character;
(3) And whereas Her Majesty's cabinet have informed her that such contemplated 
action was unlawful and would lead to bloodshed and riot, and have implored and 
demanded of her to desist from and renounce such proposed action;
(4) And whereas such advice has been in vain, and Her Majesty has in a public 
speech announced that she was desirous and ready to promulgate such constitution, 
the same being now ready for such purpose, and that the only reason why it was not

Return to Top

Terms of Use  |  UH Mānoa  |  UH System  |  Ask Us
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Library  |  2550 McCarthy Mall  |  Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 USA
808-956-7214 (Reference)  |  808-956-7203 (Circulation)  |  808-956-7205 (Administration)
808-956-5968 (fax)  |  library@hawaii.edu