June 20, 1894
Major James Hay Wodehouse
Her Britanic Majesty’s Minister Resident
Having in mind the amicable relations hitherto existing between the Government which you here represent and the Government of Hawai‘i, as evidenced by many years of friendly intercourse, and being desirous of bringing to the attention of your Government the facts here following, I Lili‘uokalani, by the Grace of God and under the Constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom Queen, do hereby solemnly protest that I am now, and have continuously been since the 20th day of January A.D. 1891, the Constitutional Sovereign of the Hawaiian Kingdom; that on the 17th day of January A.D. 1893 (in the words of the President of the United States himself), “By an act of war, committed with the participation of a diplomatic representatives of the United States and without authority of Congress, the Government of a feeble but friendly and confiding people has been overthrown. A substantial wrong has thus been done which a due regard for our national character as well as the rights of the injured people requires we should endeavor to repair;” that on said date I and my Government prepared a written protest against any and all acts done against myself and the Constitutional Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom by certain persons claiming to have established a provisional government of and for this Kingdom; that said protest was forwarded to the President of the United States, also to Sanford B. Dole, the Chairman of the Executive Council of the said Provisional government, and was by the latter duly acknowledged; that in response to said protest the President of the United States sent a special commissioner in the person of Hon. James H. Blount to Honolulu to make an accurate, full and impartial investigation of the facts attending the subversion of the Constitutional Government of Hawai‘i and the installment in its place of the Provisional Government; that said Commissioner arrived in Honolulu on the 29th day of March A.D. 1893 and fulfilled his duties with untiring diligence and with rare tact and fairness; that said Commissioner found that the government of Hawai‘i surrendered its authority under a threat of war, until such time only as the government of the United States, upon the facts being presented to it, should re-instate the Constitutional Sovereign, and the provisional government was created to exist until terms of union with the United States of America have been negotiated and agreed upon, also that but for the lawless occupation of Honolulu under false pretexts by United States forces, and but for the United States Minister’s recognition of the provisional government when the United States forces were its sole support and constituted its only military strength, I and my government would never have yielded to the provisional government, even for a time, and for the sole purpose of submitting my case to the enlightened justice of the United States, or for any purpose; also that the great wrong done to this feeble but independent State by a an abuse of the authority of the United States should be undone by restoring the legitimate government.
That since the happening of said events, the executive and the Congress of the United States have formally declined the overtures of said Provisional Government for the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands to the United States.
That notwithstanding said recited facts, said provisional government has continued to exercise the functions of government in this Kingdom to the present date, and that its course, from the time of its inception to the present, has been marked by a succession of arbitrary, illiberal and despotic acts, and by the enactment and enforcement of pretended ‘laws’ subversive of the first principles of free government and utterly at variance with the traditions, history, habits and wishes of the Hawaiian people.
That said Provisional Government has now recently convened, and is now holding what it is pleased to term a constitutional convention, composed of nineteen (19) self-appointed members, being the President and Executive and Advisory Councils of said provisional government, and eighteen (18) delegates elected by less than ten per cent (10%) of the legal voters of the Kingdom, consisting almost entirely of aliens, and chiefly of such aliens as have no permanent home or interests in Hawai‘i, and which said convention is now considering a draft of a constitution (copy of which is hereto annexed) submitted for its approval by the Executive Council of said provisional government consisting of the President and Ministers thereof.
That it is the expressed purpose of the said provisional government to promulgate such constitution as shall be approved by said convention without submitting it to a vote of the people, or of any of the people, and to thereupon proclaim a government under such constitution and under the name of the Republic of Hawai‘i.
That the said provisional government has not assumed a republican or other constitutional form, but has remained a mere executive council or oligarchy, set up without the assent of the people; that it has not sought to find a permanent basis of popular support, and has given no evidence of any intention to do so; that its representatives assert that the people of Hawai‘i are unfit for popular government and frankly avow that they can be best ruled by arbitrary or despotic power, and that the proposed constitution, so submitted by said executive council of the provisional government for the approval of said convention does not provide for or contemplate a free, popular or republican form of government, but does contemplate and provide for a form of government of arbitrary and oligarchical powers, concentrated in the hands of a few individuals irresponsible to the people, or to the representatives of the people, and which is opposed to all modern ideas of free government.
Wherefore, I, the Constitutional Sovereign of the Hawaiian Kingdom, on behalf of myself and the people of my said Kingdom do hereby again most solemnly protest against the acts aforesaid, and against any and all other acts done against myself, my people and the Constitutional Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and I do hereby most earnestly request that the Government represented by you will not extend its recognition to any pretended government of the Hawaiian Islands, under whatever name it may apply for such recognition, other than the constitutional government so deposed as aforesaid, except such government shall show its title to exist by the will of the people of Hawai‘i, expressed at an election wherein the whole people shall have had an opportunity unembarrassed by force and undeterred by fear or fraud, to register their preferences as to the form of government under which they will live.
With assurances of my esteem,
I am, Sir,
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