University of Hawaii at Manoa Library

Home: The Annexation Of Hawaii: A Collection Of Document
(808) 956-8264

Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

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

              824	HAWAIIAN   ISLANDS.
worship of the King as divine. It was affirmed that as a god he could do no wrong, and by a curious 
Hawaiian perversion of logical reasoning ho did various things that no one would hesitate to call vile as 
well as wrong to prove that he was a god.
It was hoped that the new constitution would give us a change. But largely through various judicial 
decisions the royal prerogatives and not the constitutional limitation of Hawaiian sovereignty have 
been assigned the supremacy. It has been one series of disappointments after another. The late Queen 
was in. England when the constitution of 1887 was promulgated. She was bitterly disappointed at what 
her brother had done. Taking advantage of the vexation felt by many in the community at the various 
developments of royal prerogative, she sent for R. W. Wilcox: to head a revolution, with the idea that 
Kalakaua would be compelled to abdicate and she would be placed upon the throne. But this scheme 
When she became Queen the first act was one to disappoint those who were ready to support a 
constitutional monarchial government with a responsible ministry approved by the Legislature. She 
claimed the privilege of nominating her own cabinet. The point was yielded, but the Legislature 
prorogued January 14,1893, was of such a complexion and so manipulated that there was constant 
friction between the Queen's adherents and the supporters of representative constitutional government. 
Yet forbearance was exercised again and again; hopes were cherished in spite of convictions to the 
contrary from evident tendencies and attempts. These culminated in the transactions of January 10-17, 
with which you are familiar from the published statements.
The point to which I wish to call your attention is this, that the political system under which thus far 
Hawaiian affairs have been managed is utterly unfitted for the present changed conditions. It answered 
fairly well under the Kamehamehas. But the last Kamehameha (though older than his brother 
Kamehameha V and passed by in Kamehameha Ill's election of his successor, because of personal 
unfitness) was restive under constitutional limitations and arbitrarily set aside the constitution under 
which he was appointed. The native element in the population at that time was too dominant an element 
to be successfully resisted.
Now, business and commerce have brought to these islands so large a foreign clement that their interests 
are virtually the controlling element, politically and socially. But while they are the controlling element, 
and that fact can not be gainsaid, there has not ever been, nor is there , now, so far as I am able to judge, 
any disposition to do any injustice to the natives. The present movement has been under the management 
of those who are and always have been the best friends of the natives, and in seeking to secure and 
support their own rights they seek and secure the true rights and the highest interests of the native 
The organization of a constitutional government originated in the desire of the chiefs for a more stable tenure 
of property titles than simply the pleasure of the sovereign. When attempts to secure from abroad competent 
persons for this work bad repeatedly failed, the American missionaries were requested to aid in this work.   
Interested in all that concerned the welfare of the Hawaiian people, they consented, but first resigned their 
commissions as missionaries of the American Board. They sought no emoluments for themselves nor their 
families, and the records of those days show how faithfully, tirelessly, self-sacrificingly they discharged the 
duties of their new and responsible positions, which 

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)  |