Correcting Revisionist Hawaiian History: The 1848 Great Māhele

In a petition to U.S. President Grover Cleveland dated December 27, 1893, by the officers of the Hawaiian Patriotic League, a political organization whose membership comprised of over 8,000 voters that represented the commoner class, they opened with:

Last January, a political crime was committed, not only against the legitimate Sovereign of the Hawaiian Kingdom, but also against the whole Hawaiian nation, a nation who, for the past sixty years, had enjoyed free and happy constitutional self-government. This was done by a coup de main of U.S. Minister Stevens, in collusion with a cabal of conspirators, mainly faithless sons of missionaries and local politicians angered by continuous political defeat, who, as a revenge for being a hopeless minority in the country, resolved to “rule or ruin” through foreign help.

The officers of the League were comprised of very well-respected individuals that included attorneys and those who held government offices. These officers who signed the petition are:

J.A. Cummins, Honorary President
Joseph Nawahi, President
Jno. E. Bush, Vice-President
John Lot Kaulukou, Vice-President
J.K. Kaunumano, Vice-President
J.W. Bipikane, Vice-President
Jas. K. Kaulia, Secretary
Enoch Johnson, Treasurer
Jno. Uahiai Kaneakua, Executive Councilor
D.W. Pua, Executive Councilor
J.K. Merseburg, Executive Councilor
W.H. Rickard, Executive Councilor
John Ross, Executive Councilor
John K. Prendergast, Executive Councilor
Abraham K. Palekaluhi, Executive Councilor
J. Kahahawai, Executive Councilor
A. Marques, Executive Councilor
W.T. Seward, Executive Councilor

What makes their opening statement revealing is that it runs counter to the historical narrative that people in Hawai‘i know today. First, the HPL referred to the insurgents as “faithless sons of missionaries,” and not missionaries themselves. Second, they referred to “free and happy constitutional self-government.” Another historical fact can also be gleaned from a statement made by King Kamehameha III in his letter to the American Consul, P.A. Brinsmade, dated October 28, 1839, that questioned whether the American missionaries were involved in decision making by the Hawaiian government. Kamehameha III wrote:

I have received your letter asking questions respecting the American missionaries, supposed by some to regulate the acts of my government under me; I, together with the chiefs under me, now clearly declare to you, that we do not see any thing in which your questions are applicable to the American missionaries. From the time the missionaries first arrived, they have asked liberty to dwell in these islands. Communicating instructions in letters, and delivering the word of God has been their business.

They were hesitatingly permitted to remain by the chiefs of that time, because they were said to be about to take away the country. We exercised forbearance, however, and protected all the missionaries, and as they frequently arrived in this country, we permitted them to remain in this kingdom because they asked it, and when we saw the excellence of their labors, then some of the chiefs and people turned to them in order to be instructed in letters, for those things were in our opinion really true.

These historical facts run counter to the common recital today that the United States and American missionaries controlled the Hawaiian Kingdom, from the King down, to the detriment of the commoner class of people. The “evil” missionaries became the common trope that they, not the Hawaiians, controlled the kingdom.

Examples of this targeting of the kingdom is Professor Sally Merry in her 2000 book Colonizing Hawai‘i: The Cultural Power of Law, where she states, “the relationship between Euro-Americans and Native Hawaiians was a classical colonial relationship [that sought] to transform the society of the indigenous people and subsequently wrested political control from them.” In his 2002 book, Dismembering Lāhui, Professor Jon Osorio concluded the Hawaiian Kingdom “never empowered the Natives to materially improve their lives, to protect or extend their cultural values, nor even, in the end, to protect that government from being discarded,” because the system itself was foreign and not Hawaiian.

Dr. Robert Stauffer, in his 2004 book, Kahana: How the Land Was Lost, writes, “the government that was overthrown in 1893 had, for much of its fifty-year history, been little more than a de facto unincorporated territory of the United States…[and] the kingdomʻs government was often American-dominated if not American-run.” And Professor Noenoe Silva, in her book, Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism, concluded that the overthrow “was the culmination of seventy years of U.S. missionary presence.” These conclusions have no basis in relevant historical facts nor in relevant laws.

A particular trope constantly recited is that the 1848 Great Māhele or Great Land Division was controlled by the missionaries that dispossessed the commoner of their lands. There are no historical records from the nineteenth century that says the Māhele was a disaster. It was a fiction invented in Lilikalā Dorton’s 1986 doctoral dissertation titled, Land and the Promise of Capitalism: A Dilemma for the Hawaiian Chiefs of the 1848 Māhele. She later changed her last name to Kame‘eleihiwa and her dissertation was published as a book in 1992 titled Native Land and Foreign Desires: Pehea Lā E Pono Ai? In her book she wrote:

The culmination of changes in traditional Land tenure in Hawai‘i in 1848 is commonly known as the “Great Mahele.” I refer to it simply as the “1848 Mahele” because it proved to be such a terrible disaster for the Hawaiian people, and the word “great” has a connotation of superior. It was a tragic historical event, a turning point that had catastrophic negative consequences for Hawaiians.

This subjective conclusion that the Māhele was a “tragic historical event” was Kame‘eleihiwa’s own making. Historians did not call this historical event as tragic. Kame‘eleihiwa draws attention to Marion Kelly who, in her M.A. thesis in anthropology, “placed a new emphasis on the effect of the Māhele on the maka‘ainana Hawaiian (commoner).” Kelly introduced the framing of Hawaiian land tenure to be a conflict between the missionaries and chiefs, as the bourgeoise, and the Hawaiian commoner as the proletariat. Kame‘eleihiwa sought to confirm this bias. Osorio also hints at the hypothesis that guided Kame‘eleihiwa’s research.  In his book, he writes:

As significant an event as the Mahele has proven to be, historians have seen it as a way of making specific indictments either of Ali‘i or of colonialism. No one disagrees that the privatization of lands proved to be disastrous for Maka‘ainana [commoners], yet the focus of every study, from John Chinen’s 1958 work to Kame‘eleihiwa in 1992, has been to try and establish the principal responsibility for its “failure.”

The underlying basis for the “failure” of the 1848 Māhele is explained by Kame‘eleihiwa where she alleges that the commoner class only received “a total of 28,658 acres of Land [in fee-simple], which is less than 1 percent of the total acreage of Hawai‘i.” This alleged travesty of the commoners would then be attributed to the western legal systems that commoners could not understand or comprehend because of their traditional political and social relationships. According to Kame‘eleihiwa, the “vast majority of Native Hawaiians simply did not understand the capitalist uses of private ownership of ‘Āina (land): they did not know how to use ‘Āina to increase their wealth.”

Osorio accepted this as a historical fact by stating that the “single most critical dismemberment of Hawaiian society was the Māhele or division of lands and the consequent transformation of ‘āina into private property between 1845 and 1850.” Osorio restates Kame‘eleihiwa’s numbers and adds the “failure” of governance to the “failure” of land distribution, which he concluded happened in 1851. According to Osorio, the “haole (white foreigner) were insinuating themselves to fill the spaces created by that dismemberment. They began with oaths of allegiance, they progressed to recognizing themselves as legal titleholders to the land, and they capped it off by taking over the House of Representatives in 1851, after awarding suffrage to haole whether they were citizens or not.” There is no evidence, however, that aliens served in the House of Representatives.

The negotiations of the Māhele began in December of 1847 and certain rules of the division were adopted by resolution in Privy Council on December 18, 1847, which would not only guide the division process, but also contractually bind the King and the Konohikis to adhere to the rules of the division and the right of commoners to acquire a fee-simple title to the lands they occupied under the Konohikis or the Government. The Great Māhele in 1848 did not begin private ownership of lands in Hawai‘i, rather, it was the beginning of private ownership for the Konohikis and commoners who were previously under the ancient system of land tenure.

Three years prior to the Māhele was the establishment, by statute, of the Board of Commissioners to Quiet Land Titles, also called the Land Commission. It’s purpose was to investigate claims to fee-simple, life estates or leases that were issued by the King or chiefs prior to 1845. Where found valid a Land Commission Award would be issued. The chiefs and commoners who held their possession under the ancient system called ali‘i‘ana that bore a remarkable resemblance to the feudal system of medieval Europe, were not required to file a claim because the chiefs and commoners under the ancient system did not have fee-simple, life estates, or leases yet. The Māhele would, however, start that process. The Land Commission was authorized by statute to only accept claims to these titles between February 14, 1846 to February 14, 1848.

The directive for the Chiefs to file their claim with the Land Commission is explicitly stated in the 1848 Māhele book. The Māhele book is also the evidence of the adherence to the division rules by the King and Chiefs where the division with the Tenants in fee-simple would occur when “said Tenants shall desire a division.” Before the Konohikis received lands they had to consent to the division and were directed by Kamehameha III, “e hiki ke lawe aku imua o ka Poe Hoona Kuleana (translation: take it before the Land Commission).”

In addition to the directive given to the Konohiki, the commoners called Native Tenants were also encouraged to file their claims with the Land Commission before the February 14th deadline. On January 4, 1848, Reverend Hitchcock, who was very concerned about the deadline for natives to file their claims, asked Chief Justice William Lee, who was also serving as the President of the Land Commission, if the deadline could be extended. Lee responded on January 14th:

I agree with you that the subject of prolonging the time for sending in land claims is worthy of serious consideration, and I will take the first opportunity to bring it before the King in Privy Council. The tenants however, will not lose their rights should they fail to send in their claims, for I will see that no Konohiki has a title to lands except upon the condition of respecting the rights of tenants. Still, it is necessary that the tenants should send in their claims, in order that their rights may be separated from those of the Konohiki, and they know what rights they really have.

These claims that managed to get filed were for the purpose of granting fee-simple titles to the Native Tenants. The Land Commission at the time, however, was not authorized to grant titles, but only authorized to investigate claims to titles. The Land Commission would soon receive authorization to act on behalf of the King and Chiefs to grant fee-simple titles according to the rules of the Māhele. This is what prompted Privy Council Resolution dated December 21, 1849, whereby the King and Chiefs would allow “fee-simple titles, free of commutation, be and hereby granted to all native tenants” with certain conditions. The following year on August 6, 1850, the Legislature amended the role of the Land Commission whereby “the board of commissioners to quiet land titles be, and is hereby empowered to award fee-simple titles in accordance with the foregoing [Privy Council] resolutions.” This statute has come to be known as the Kuleana (Fee-simple) Act.

For those Native Tenants that needed additional lands, the statute provided “a certain portion of government lands in each island shall be set apart, and placed in the hands of special agents, to be disposed in lots of from one to fifty acres, in fee-simple, to such natives as may not be otherwise furnished with sufficient land, at a minimum price of fifty cents per acre.” The following year on June 16, 1851, the Legislature passed An Act to Provide for the Appointment of Agents to Sell Government Lands to the People to facilitate this process already set-in motion by the 1850 Kuleana Act. These lands “from one to fifty acres” were for those Natives that were unable to file their claims with the Land Commission by February 14, 1848.

According to the inflation calculator, $.50 in 1850 would be $16.59 in 2020.

The vested rights of the Government class was vested in (1) government, and the vested rights of the Konohiki class was vested in (253) Konohikis, which included Kamehameha III, and were identified in the Māhele book. The vested rights, however, of the Native Tenant class is infinite in number because it is not vested in the name of certain people in the class unlike the Konohiki class but includes future generations of Native Tenants. As stated by the Hawaiian Supreme Court, in Kekiekie v. Dennis, 1 Haw. 69, 70 (1851):

…the people’s [rights in the] lands were secured to them by the Constitution and laws of the Kingdom, and no power can convey them away, not even that of royalty itself. The King cannot convey a greater title than he has, and if he grants lands without reserving the claims of tenants, the grantee must seek his remedy against the grantor.

For those Konohiki in the Māhele that also failed to file their claims with the Land Commission, the Legislature enacted in 1854 An Act for the Relief of Certain Konohikis that extended the time to file with the Land Commission. And when the Land Commission was dissolved in 1855, those Konohiki that did not file were then authorized to file their claims with the Minister of the Interior under An Act for the Relief of Certain Konohikis, whose Names Appear in the Division of Lands from Kamehameha III (1860).

In the 1882 report by the Surveyor General, he noted that Kamehameha III “showed his deep sympathy with the wants of his people, and set an illustrious example of liberality and public spirit …[and the] whole transaction was a severe test of their patriotism, and reflects great credit on that Hawaiian aristocracy which thus peacefully gave up a portion of its hereditary rights and privileges for the good of the nation.” These statutes also show the liberality with which the Hawaiian government was extended to both the chiefly class and the commoner class.

The Surveyor General also reported that between “the years 1850 and 1860, nearly all the desirable Government land was sold, generally to natives.” Donovan Preza, in his 2010 M.A. thesis on the Great Māhele tallied the number of acreage acquired by the Native within this ten year period to be a remarkable 111,448.36 acres. This number of acreage is in addition to the 28,658 acres that Natives acquired from the Land Commission that Kame‘eleihiwa and Osorio hang theirs hats on as their sole evidence of oppression. By 1893, Natives acquired from the government a total of 167,290.45 acres. This is not evidence of dispossession and oppression of the commoners by the aristocracy and missionaries.

Preza’s thesis not only rebukes Kame‘eleihiwa’s conclusions, which is reflected in its title, The Emperical Writes Back: Re-Examining Hawaiian Dispossession Resulting from the Māhele of 1848, but also undermines Osorio’s reliance on Kame‘eleihiwa’s so-called travesty of the Māhele upon the Natives. What is ironic, to say the least, is that the very Legislature that Osorio accuses of dismemberment was in fact responsible for facilitating the acquisition of lands for those Natives that were not able to file their claim with the Land Commission. What Osorio fails to mention in his book is that it was practice for the House of Representatives to publish a report of their work in the government newspaper, The Polynesian, after the legislative session has ended.  

In their address “To the Makaainana of the Hawaiian Islands,” dated June 28, 1851, all twenty-four Representatives begin with, “We, the undersigned, Representatives of the People, feeling it our duty to render an account of the manner in which we have discharged the trust reposed in us, hereby submit to you a summary of the laws, passed during the last session of the Legislature, which we consider of most interest to the People at large.” In particular, they stated:

We have passed an Act for the appointment of agents, in every district where there are Government lands for sale, whose duty it shall be to sell lands to the Makaainanas residing in such districts, in lots of from one to fifty acres, at a minimum price of fifty cents per acre.

Hereafter, there can be but little doubt that each man, not already provided with sufficient land, will become possessed of a small farm. Save your money then, and improve the opportunity, now afforded, of purchasing a homestead for yourselves and families. Those of you who have no kuleanas (fee-simple), or who have neglected to send in your claims, to the Land Commissioners, must not fail to avail yourselves of this privilege.

Kame‘eleihiwaʻs book has been used to teach Hawaiian history in the Middle Schools, High Schools and at the Universities across the globe. This historical invention has become so pervasive and entrenched in the minds of people that if someone were to ask a student of Hawaiian history a question about the Great Māhele, a typical response would be “Whatʻs so Great about it?”

From an academic standpoint, if scholars carefully read Kame‘eleihiwa’s book, they would have seen a glaring red flag that would raise serious concern as to the veracity of her conclusions. Her book is her doctoral dissertation out of the History Department at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. In her book, Kame‘eleihiwa writes, “To those members of the History department who refused to sign off on my ʻbrilliant’ dissertation, let the Lāhui decide who is more skilled in their profession. Soon young Hawaiians—my students—will rise to assume your positions as you fade into the obscurity of footnote trivia.” Her dissertation can be retrieved from the University of Hawai‘i’s Hamilton Library and it shows that two of the committee members, who were tenured in the History Department—Professors Pauline King and Edward Beechert, did not sign off on the dissertation. What was more concerning was that Professor King was the chair of her committee. She, by the way, was part aboriginal Hawaiian. According to the rules at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, a Ph.D. degree cannot be granted if the Chair of the doctoral committee did not sign off.

Despite Osorio’s failure to directly address in writing his misinterpretations of the Great Māhele and the 1851 House of Representatives in his book Dismembering Lāhui, he did, to his credit, speak to this issue in an online webinar celebrating Lā Kūʻokoʻa (Hawaiian Independence) on November 28, 2020. He admitted that the Māhele was “done to protect the hoaʻāina, the makaʻāinana, the people of the land who are not chiefs; to protect their existence on the land, and this is one of the most amazing things about the Māhele, and it was something that I didn’t really understand when I wrote my book. It was something that, really…Professor Keanu Sai makes clear to all of us.”

For a detailed analysis addressing this topic and other subjects of revisionists history at the university, see Dr. Keanu Saiʻs latest publication “Setting the Record Straight on Hawaiian Indigeneity,” published by the Hawaiian Journal of Law and Politics at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

27 thoughts on “Correcting Revisionist Hawaiian History: The 1848 Great Māhele

  1. AMENE!!! Mahalo, Mahalo, Mahalo, AKUA! Dr. Keanu Sai, amongst the many scholars in the world, AKUA, selected YOU, to walk in his footprints and to reveal the TRUTH and PEACE, to HIS people, HIS hawaiian people! We have to ho`omanawanui and listen very well. AND, you’re the One that “walk HIS talk”. I ALOHA our hawaiian people.
    A ME KE ALOHA PO`INA `OLE, O ‘IESU KRISTO. Cecelia Kupau, Pukuilua, Hana-Maui

  2. I agree that we must not place all responsibility for the unfortunate results of the Māhele on the missionaries and Hawaiian elite. The commoner class shares responsibility because they allowed themselves to be ruled by the elite as their chosen representatives. Moreover, by allowing the enactment and enforcement of such unequal laws they allowed themselves to be divested of their tenant rights and abandoned their kuleana to mālama pono the ‘āina. Rather than attempting to place blame, I suggest that we look at the results as a whole.

    Perhaps the original intent of the Māhele was that tenant rights were a kind of perpetual license to use and occupy privately owned land, but that is far from the actual result. Rather than continuing to share responsibility and accountability to each other and the land, chiefs and commoners essentially severed their relationship and abdicated their respective kuleana. Rather than appointing the most competent person to succeed a Konohiki upon death, heirs of chiefs were entitled to relatively vast amounts of land regardless of their level of competence or willingness to act as proper land stewards. Moreover, the land could be leased or sold to foreigners who were even less inclined to respect the land.

    “Kamehameha III ‘showed his deep sympathy with the wants of his people, and set an illustrious example of liberality and public spirit …[and the] whole transaction was a severe test of their patriotism, and reflects great credit on that Hawaiian aristocracy which thus peacefully gave up a portion of its hereditary rights and privileges for the good of the nation.’ These statutes also show the liberality with which the Hawaiian government was extended to both the chiefly class and the commoner class.”

    It is true that the King did give up some hereditary rights and privileges, but the burden of responsibility upon the chiefs was lessened (or even eliminated altogether) as was the King’s ability to ensure that our natural resources would be preserved for future generations. Furthermore, distributing large tracts of land to 253 individuals and less than 5% of the land to the remaining majority of the population is extremely unequal and hardly an illustrious example. Without a proportionate level of responsibility (as is the case for an heir to the Hawaiian throne), why would the heirs of a chief be entitled to more land and privilege than the heirs of a commoner? Would a chief ever voluntarily trade places with a commoner? A chief with tremendous responsibility might, but common sense will tell you that a chief with privilege but without responsibility will probably not trade places with a commoner for the simple reason that the classes are not equal in practice. This is a problem that we ought to examine, especially when we know the reverse to be true and it’s even written in our laws.

      • Kekoa, I take it that you acknowledge the truth in my position but it bothers you because you don’t want it to be true. Or perhaps you are just one of those Hawaiians that wants to continue to feed off of the crumbs that the United States tosses into your ‘umeke rather than paddle your own wa’a. Or are you just a delusional American that hasn’t yet realized that prolonging the occupation allows your precious federal funds to be siphoned off to a foreign country while the Democratic party gets to have additional and undeserved influence in your U.S. legislation and foreign Presidents running your corrupt country?

        Whatever and whoever you are Kekoa, mahalo for engaging 🙂

  3. Mahalo for the new information – at least new to me – re: Hawaii Patriotic League Petition, Kauikeauliʻs letter and 1841 Representativesʻ Manaʻo printed in the Polynesian. So excited that scholars are finding more and more documents that give us a glimpse into the realities of these times. Often think about how very, very difficult the changes introduced as a result of Western contact must have been for our kūpuna, whether aliʻi or makaʻainana, and how much they must have struggled with trying to figure out what was pono. Itʻs so easy to criticize after the fact, whether we are talking about the chiefs, the commoners, the missionaries, the people who wrote history from their perspective, based on whatever data was available to them at the time they were writing. As a “scholar” myself, although largely inactive LOL, I have to believe that the majority of them tried to do the best they could, with no one being perfect, no one being able to predict the future and everyone seeing things through their experiences, their upbringing and training, their convictions. Maybe instead of criticizing those that came before us, we should focus on respecting and honoring everyone who has taken the time and effort to contribute to scholarship to the best of their ability and the data available at the time of their research, as we continue to move forward collaboratively, as our kūpuna recommended (pūpūkahi i holomua), in an effort to learn as much as we can about our history, which no matter how much we discover, in the end will always be open to interpretation.

  4. Keahi, It’s clear that you don’t want to acknowledge the fact that this article shows the commoners and Hawaiian Patriots were defending the Mahele as a good thing. It’s obvious by all your posts you have and agenda. How ironic that the agenda you are promoting is the same agenda the traitors that overthrow the Queen were promoting.

    Keahi, you are the reincarnate of the Provisional Gov’t.

    “.. Last January, a political crime was committed, not only against the legitimate Sovereign of the Hawaiian Kingdom, but also against the whole Hawaiian nation, a nation who, for the past sixty years, had enjoyed free and happy constitutional self-government. This was done by a coup de main of U.S. Minister Stevens, in collusion with a cabal of conspirators, mainly faithless sons of missionaries and local politicians angered by continuous political defeat, who, as a revenge for being a hopeless minority in the country, resolved to “rule or ruin” through foreign help.

    1) You are promoting an illegal coup to overthrow the Acting Gov’t of the Hawaiian Kingdom (AGHK) and replace it with an illegal gov’t. sympathetic to your agenda before the occupation ends.

    2) You are promoting this in order to remove God from HK law.

    3) You are promoting this in order to get rid of the HK land tenure system.

    You are promoting all of this to happen before the occupation ends. Why? Because when the AGHK ends the occupation and utilizes the existing HK legal system, penal and civil codes it will be near impossible for you to make your desired changes through that legal process. Not to mention you won’t have direct access to the U.S. and it’s military which are sympathetic to your position.

    All the illegal things that the U.S. and Provisional Gov’t did against the Queen and Hawaiian Nationals are all the things you stand for and promote.

    • I will absolutely acknowledge that Hawaiian Patriots defended the Mahele when it was enacted. However, my point is that in hindsight it has been shown to promote inequality and indeed resulted in inequality. If the Hawaiian People today wish to continue that inequality to our own detriment then that is perfectly acceptable. I maintain the position that we have the right to decide by constitutive referendum whether to obliterate it, as well as replace or reform the existing Hawaiian Constitution for good cause.

      An illegal coup does not begin with a peaceful referendum. It typically begins with an armed conflict and could end with a referendum but not always. The Provisional Government of 1893 had no intention of holding a referendum to legitimize their bogus regime and no such referendum was ever held. It’s unfortunate that you can’t differentiate what those traitors did from an accepted democratic procedure that is embraced by the international community as the gold standard for establishing legitimate authority.

      Neither the Provisional Government nor the U.S. would ever suggest communal land tenure or any other land tenure based on non-permanent ownership or the principle of equality. They would condemn it as outright communism, while the communist countries only pretend to do it and instead perpetuate even greater inequality by allowing corruption and bribery. What I’m suggesting is a land tenure system that is not driven by money or corruption, but rather by our responsibility to our land and to the future generations of all our people. Moreover, one’s relationship with God is a personal right and that right must be protected. However, God is not a reliable legal authority and thus has no place in law. Legitimate authority is best derived from the will of the People.

      Why am I raising these issues? As I’ve stated before, I don’t believe there will be anyone competent enough to continue Keanu’s work and I am concerned that the present strategy will fail to restore Hawaiian independence during Keanu’s lifetime. I support Keanu’s work and I don’t intend to stand in the way. I hope he succeeds after dedicating his life to such a worthy cause. However, I have the right to express my opinion and to peacefully criticize the government that failed its obligation to its loyal People and failed to protect our country from invasion. This was and continues to be a catastrophic failure which must be admitted and acknowledged. My words are not even close to treasonous. One can be loyal to their nation and still criticize their government in all but the most totalitarian environments.

      From a resolution read before the 1864 constitutional convention by Delegates Parker and Gulick:

      “We do not deny that there may occur a crisis in a nation’s history, when Revolution is justifiable, when a Constitution may be violated, and a government resolved back into its constituent elements. But this doubtful and dangerous right is to be exercised only in those terrible emergencies, when the very existence of a nation is at stake, and when all Constitutional methods have been tried and found wanting.” https://hawaiiankingdom.org/pdf/Memo_HK_Governance_Sai_RCI.pdf

      The crisis in our nation’s history is here.

      • Keahi, you can do all the double talk, excuse making and spinning you want to justify your treasonous position. The Provisional Gov’t did the same spin to justify their treason. No one is falling for it.

          • I agree but where is the double talk? Point it out and I will clarify or correct. If not then I assume that you, like Kekoa, prefer to perpetuate confusion by refusing to offer the opportunity to correct what you purport to be misleading,

  5. This person’s opinions are untethered to any facts that I see or he/she presents and I can’t tell what periods of time he/she is talking about. If this person has identified him/herself I missed it.

    And I now realize I have erred by engaging in an anonymous. In such matters truth about the speaker’s identity is, or should be mandatory. Mom said never talk to stranger and here I am conversing with a strange stranger.

    “Some” of what is referred to is, or well could be, accurate, to a degree depending upon what year and whether Hawaiians are governing or the occupation government is governing. This person’s ‘opinion’ is as to a long period of time in which circumstances changed. His evidence ignorance of the scholarly works suggest it is amateur hour and I find his self promotion of good intent rings hollow when the profession of it is not followed up by evidence of due diligence. Other than a barely relevant quote here and there, it’s “opinions” mandatory ht to the notion of free speech. But opinions unsupported by evidence are what’s left after the balloon pops. His denial of agency to Hawaiians, regardless of ‘class’, oh those damn missionaries just manipulated the hell out of the King and the worthless loafing shiftless ali’i class slept their way though, and the hapless commoner… These are how the Americans portray Hawaiians and he appears to share this denigratory view.

    • Aloha Steve, glad you figured out anonymous. This person is a spinster, no matter how well you can articulate your argument with facts and proper application of law , the spinster will just disregard all of it. On the surface the argument seems plausible but due diligence will reveal otherwise. Don’t be dismayed, your contribution to the discussion educated us and brings substance that can we use in comparison to the lack of substance of the spinster . Your contribution is much appreciated. Mahalo

        • I nominate Steve Laudig for the Queen’s Crown Council for his ability to keep the main thing the main thing. This is simple the outright theft of private property already held in an express trust- called the Mahele of those impersonating the fiduciary. We already have our sovereignty through our sovereign (a legitimate agent lives) so there is no need for self-determination to “gain” sovereignty. Unless of course you want to break the terms of the trust, acceptance of contract as evidenced by the signatures of your ancestors when receiving their estates and we all know what happens to beneficiaries who break the terms of (their) trusts. No man’s wants or wishes matter but the generous benefactor holding his pen. Beneficiaries have no say except thank you. No self determination involved here. The only thing Congress could give the corporate entity calling itself the 50th Sate of Hawaii, which provides government services, was trusteeship of 200,000 acres otherwise known as Hawaiian Homes. They gave trusteeship of only this land to the legislature because it was arguably all they had to give as it was also the king’s private property. However, there are 4.2 million acres here and the legislators in “flagrant” “collusion” with the judiciary (already put on notice by the UN for a “fraudulent” annexation, “illegal” military occupation in which they are not upholding the law of the occupied territory despite signed Geveva 4&5 contracts agreeing otherwise and Supreme Court precedent Paquet-Habana in which it was decided the US does indeed need to follow international law) are acting (cahootzing) outside of their corporate authority on the other 4 million acres, by depriving the legitimate agent of the benefactor and all the beneficiaries of HM King Kauikeaouli, Kamehameha III’s express trust of their private property. What is there not to get about the words in the trust “these are MY lands for MYSELF MY heirs and agents”? They are not public lands. There is no such thing as the King Kamehameha III’s land being government nor public land. There is only one dynasty here- the Kamehameha Dynasty of our generous benefactor, who, by his father the conqueror and by his prior stewardship of them, was the true owner of all the land in the Kamehameha Reich (Empire) to lawfully devise as he wished. No man can grant or convey what he does not own. The banks, title companies, politicians, judiciary and the so called US Navy, in collusion, are perpetuating fraud against innocent buyers allowing the banks to give fraudulent loans for fee simple land people can never own. All the rest of the facts of/or evidence not given by aforementioned spinster are simply smoke and mirrors of a spun cookie. There might be some people standing outside the Korean store in Waianae talking to themselves who might might be able to make perfect sense of the above spin.

          • “there is no need for self-determination to ‘gain’ sovereignty”

            Maybe not for Hawaiian subjects, but what about other Peoples that happen to be Hawaiian subjects, such as the People of the Kingdom of Kauai and Niihau? Don’t they have an equal right to independence? Does it have to ‘break’ the trust? Can the trust be modified by mutual agreement?

            “No man’s wants or wishes matter but the generous benefactor holding his pen. Beneficiaries have no say except thank you.”

            The will of the People does matter and beneficiaries can indeed petition to change the terms of the trust or in the case of a People exercising their national sovereignty, they can override the will of their representatives even a King. Why would any great King not want to honor the will of the People anyhow?

            “No man can grant or convey what he does not own.”

            You are correct, but a legitimate government has the power to convey or re-convey land over which it exercises sovereignty to anyone in accordance with the law. Moreover, the law can be changed in accordance with the will of the People, whether directly or through their chosen representatives.

            I agree with you for the most part as to what was done and the result of what was done. However, I disagree with you as to what is possible or permissible, whether or not it is ‘needed’. The People always retain the right to ask their King for what they want. It is the King’s prerogative in accordance with the law how he chooses to respond. However, the People can choose to remove their King and even change the law as they see fit.

          • To reply to your question below Keahi all anybody has to do is apply for citizenship like anywhere else. However, if you live within these metes and bounds you have to follow the law. The first law that applies to every subject and citizen in the Hawaiian KING- dom(aine) is the take a pledge vowing loyalty to the King and nobody ever sat on the throne who was not on the list of the 16 eligibles lawfully named – selected by the king IN COUNCIL, passed through the house of nobles and then public notice given. Right law and higher order needs to be restored here due to countless layers of land and securities fraud. Therefore, the political opinions of those who choose to break the first law that applies to everyone create chaos and anarchy so they don’t matter. Do they? Within the metes and bounds of the Hawaiian Archipelago “the Hawaiian Kingdom exists in continuity” according the the UN Human Rights Council, The political opinions of anonymous anarchists matter even less Keahi.

          • Kapilialohaakamahealani, mahalo for your contribution. Indeed HK exists in continuity. That is well-settled at this point. Therefore, HK law applies to Hawaiian subjects. However, a Hawaiian subject has the right and duty to question their government and debate important issues affecting or affected by existing law with a view to improving governance for the common good. Anarchists do not look to improve their government or even replace their government with a new government, but instead anarchists want no government at all. That is not being promoted here.

    • “His denial of agency to Hawaiians, regardless of ‘class’, oh those damn missionaries just manipulated the hell out of the King and the worthless loafing shiftless ali’i class slept their way though, and the hapless commoner… These are how the Americans portray Hawaiians and he appears to share this denigratory view.”

      You misattribute this view to me. Who cares if the King was manipulated by missionaries at this point? All those potentially responsible have long been dead. If blame is placed, I argue and admit that blame must be shared. Again, I suggest that we focus on the outcome of the King’s decisions rather than why he did it. As to the Mahele, feel free to share a coherent argument as to why any descendant from the ali’i class should be entitled to more land than a non-ali’i descendant if the responsibility that comes with being an ali’i no longer exists. I suspect that no such argument can be made. As for the hapless commoner, it is quite hapless that they accepted and allowed the existence of a legal order that divested most of them of a majority of the resources of their country (and the ability to fulfill their obligation to properly manage them) in favor of an opulent minority that ultimately exploited both the resources and the people. Admitting that we’ve accepted and allowed a particular result demonstrates agency, regardless of class.

      This is not court and I’m not here to present evidence of facts. I have done my own due diligence and I enjoy it. All have the ability to check the veracity of the facts themselves. Please do your own due diligence if you question the truth of my statements. I will cite sources of facts as well as sources of law as necessary, but citing sources is not my priority. You are free to disprove or disregard material facts or legal conclusions that you are unable or unwilling to verify, especially if common sense is insufficient. However, I’m more interested in exploring and interpreting what is possible under applicable law as it exists, as well as the consequences of pursuing a righteous path even when inconvenient, uncomfortable or outside existing legal framework. People don’t operate in strict adherence to the rules at all times, but rather they evaluate their objectives and consequences of their actions and proceed accordingly. Is that such a toxic idea?

      As far as being anonymous, I have stated my name and that should be sufficient. If you require more than that, leave your email or phone number and I will give you my home address so you can meet me face to face.

      • “This is not court and I’m not here to present evidence of facts.”

        Let’s read that again:

        “I’m not here to present evidence of facts.” should “of” be “or” is that a typo? makes better sense if “or” as ‘facts’ are “evidence”.

        It sounds very much like a “notice of intent to lie or spin [if one accepts there is a difference as both are intended to deceive/mislead, I don’t]”.

        I think that sentence, as a disclaimer, should appear at the beginning of every posting.

        Or perhaps: “Attention Readers! Beware! You are about to enter a fact and/or evidence free zone of writing and/or thought.”

        If not presenting evidence of facts is your strategic goal, you have achieved it quite convincingly and can quit now.

        I’m persuaded of the truthfulness of this statement.

        If you don’t speak as if you are under oath, then whatever is said is disregard-able and not to-be-believe-able.

        It’s like listening to the Ken with the amazingly well-trimmed beard what’s his name show featuring Ken with his side-puppet “Jere”.

        • “If you don’t speak as if you are under oath, then whatever is said is disregard-able and not to-be-believe-able.”

          No. Now you are being deliberately misleading. First of all, when you speak under oath, your testimony is presumed to be true until falsified by more convincing evidence. The judge doesn’t require you to provide evidence of each statement made under oath. The same goes for statements made in an affidavit. You are attempting to raise my burden of proof as if I was not simply under oath, but rather as if I am a prosecuting attorney trying to make a conviction. I am free to present my testimony as well as my opinions. I would say the same things under oath.

          Secondly, feel free to disregard my statements if you wish. I’m not asking you to blindly believe me. Do your own due diligence. You aren’t a judge and this is not a prayer for relief. You waste your time by focusing on discrediting me when we could be having a productive discussion on matters where we have a starting point. Surely as an attorney you are still able to have productive discussions with laypersons on a variety of important issues without holding them strictly accountable to the ‘Rules of Evidence’ and without trying to belittle them.

      • When you say something vague and I clear it up to mean something the claim is “misattribution” not that the clarification is a distortion or unreasonable. If what was said was clear, researched, and citable there’d be little chance of ‘misattribution’. If you write unclearly you accept the risk of being misunderstood, or what you call, in an incorrect usage of the word, misattribution. I didn’t attribute something to you that wasn’t said. You said something that apparently wasn’t what you meant. Your poor writing, reflective of poor thinking is to blame. The reader is victim to inept writing/thinking.

        As far a the “people of Niihau” and the “people of Kauai” Let’s say they did exist at some point in time. The Kauians there’s little doubt as they formed a State of sorts. Niihau seems not to have ever been a free standing State. Prove these peoples, using legal definitions. If claims to legal rights are being made then legal doctrines apply and law is argued in court and under oath. I contend no actionable wrong was done and none is being done.

        “The existence of a sovereign and independent State possessing a representative Government, effectively functioning as such to all distinct peoples within its territory, is presumed to satisfy the principle of equal rights and self-determination as regards those peoples.” [United States Draft Proposal] UN Doc. A/AC.125/L.32, 12 April 1966.

        Source: Pomerance, Michla. Self-Determination in Law and Practice: The New Doctrine in the United Nations. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1982. 38.

        I am unaware of any pre-occupation claim of non-representativeness of the Kingdom’s governance. And the current existence of what, may have been these peoples, assuming they meet the definition, is unproven.

        Simply residing in a location doesn’t make one of that people. The mere residence in Japan doesn’t make you Japanese.

        Argument without supportive research is simply air.

        • I appreciate the effort to clarify. I agree that mere residence is not enough. However, a HK subject that shares a common language, ethnicity, culture, ancestry with a group that has historical ties to a certain area may be enough. Certainly not all HK subjects share the same language and ethnicity.

          “The existence of a sovereign and independent State possessing a representative Government, effectively functioning as such to all distinct peoples within its territory, is presumed to satisfy the principle of equal rights and self-determination as regards those peoples.”

          ‘Presumed’ implies that can be rebutted. Due to advancements in international law, self-determination has taken on quite a different character to the point that it’s universal. Furthermore, the people of Kauai/Niihau (dependent on objective and subjective factors) can certainly ask the HK government to voluntarily consent to secession without committing treason. For some Hawaiians, even the remote possibility of gaining regional autonomy which may lead to independence is a reason for them to support national liberation of the HK with a view toward ending occupation. That possibility of independence ought to be acknowledged without excluding such people from participating as HK nationals. People have a right to dual nationality if permitted under applicable law. In the case of Hawaiian denizens, it would appear to be permissible.

  6. He/she thinks “it’s” about “revolution”.

    He/she is mistaken.

    ‘It’s’ about war, invasion, and occupation.

    By late-1892/early 1893, the 1887 ‘revolutionaries’ [probably more accurately described as pre-emptive counterrevolutionaries as they were resisting the rise in the exercise and holding of power by Hawaiian-Hawaiians realized they had/would lose power. That explains selling themselves to the US for muscle.

    The non-Hawaiian-Hawaiian and their ‘non-Hawaiian-non-Hawaiian’ 1887 ‘revolutionaries/preemptive counter revolutionaries’ having failed then disqualified their ‘revolution’ by enlisting a foreign power to invade and by accepting enlistment in the illegal, treaty breaching, unjust, and unconstitutional [under US law] war of aggression which did the physical force work necessary to remove [overthrow isn’t much of a useful term in my opinion: ‘legal’ revolutions overthrow and replace with a domestic government. The 1887’ers ceased to be domestic revolutionaries [if they ever had been] when they became puppets for a foreign government in the person of Minister Stevens] foreigner powers invade and remove lawful governments and install occupation governments.

    If one is winning or has won a revolution, there is no need to quisling with a foreign power.
    The quislings ceased to be “Hawaiians” [whether Hawaiian-Hawaiian or “fill in the blank-Hawaiian] engaged in self-determination. Revolution is an exercise in self-determination if it is the ‘self’. A foreign invasion is not the ‘self’ but an “other than self’.

    He/she continues to evidence not understanding basics.

    But this does allows for instructing on what the basics are and sharing new research [not speculation]. Notice how he/she doesn’t know or doesn’t share whether the resolution ‘read’ was passed. Assume it was whether it passed or not is an irrelevancy to a determination of what is and what isn’t a ‘legal’ revolution or a ‘war’. The card calls itself. Reality trumps err I mean ‘prevails’ over naming. Calling a dog’s tail a leg doesn’t mean the dog has five legs.

    What he/she ‘thinks’ or ‘opines’ or ‘judges’ are only as useful as they are assert actual facts or ‘true’ facts [though if something isn’t true it is not really a ‘fact’ but merely an unproven assertion] made in support correct assertions of law.
    The rest [well all of what he/she writes] is speculative, political, fiction. However obsequiously phrased.
    Its fantasy politics. Counter-factual history or PBA baseball.

    • I agree that usurpation via foreign invasion (i.e. 1893 Provisional Gov’t) takes on the character of a foreign invasion, and is neither revolution nor self-determination of a People. Moreover, reclaiming one’s national territory (i.e. Goa), even with foreign assistance (i.e. Kosovo) is indeed self-determination (in the form of assisted [counter]revolution in some cases). The ‘re-unification’ of Crimea certainly straddles the line and the fact that the world condemned it but acquiesced is evidence of the gray area. Nonetheless, assuming that a particular act of self-determination can accurately be defined as a revolution (whether assisted by a foreign government or otherwise), it must be admitted that revolution and de-occupation are not mutually exclusive. So why the aversion to a harmless discussion about the prospect of peacefully exercising a right of self-determination during an occupation? Shall we jail the Scottish and Quebec secessionists too like the Catalonians? Which parts of HK territory qualify to secede from it, if any?

      “Did I fall asleep on Ni’ihau and wake up in Tibet?” said one kanaka ‘oiwi to the other.

  7. Keahi, Dual citizenship was not allowed in HKG Law. Beneficiaries who are not trustees do not have the right to do any such thing except give back what they were gifted and no longer be a beneficiary. Kauai and Niihau were ceded to Kamehameha I willingly by our wise King Kamualii to avoid bloodshed . To make sure everyone in the future knew this beyond the shadow of doubt, it he asked to be buried at the feet of the most sacred wife of state of Kamehameha I- the Queen Mother Keopulani II, and there he lies today. Kamehameha I was a unifier. Thank God his son HM Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III also unified the land the people and chiefs and the crown as ONE WITH HIS PEN. We are already contracted unless you want to give up your rights and protections and you land held in perpetuity good -more for the rest of us grateful and loyal beneficiaries. My mother taught me to say thank you and to show my appreciation in action as well.

    • “Dual citizenship was not allowed in HKG Law.”

      -You are absolute wrong.
      -See https://www.hawaiiankingdom.org/info-denizens.shtml
      “Denization was dual citizenship, which was accompanied by an oath of allegiance to the Hawaiian Kingdom”

      “Kauai and Niihau were ceded to Kamehameha I”

      -Kauai and Niihau can be UNceded

      Also, what you call ‘unifier’ may also be referred to as ‘conqueror’

      “We are already contracted”

      -what does that even mean?

      “My mother taught me to say thank you and to show my appreciation in action as well.”

      -You’re welcome.

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