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Timeline / Defining Rights and Responsibilities / 1893: Businessmen call on U.S. military to invade Hawai‘i

1893: Businessmen call on U.S. military to invade Hawai‘i

Members of the Annexation Club accuse Queen Liliu‘okalani of being a “revolutionary” against Hawai‘i. None is Native Hawaiian; all are white plantation owners who represent business interests in the islands. Declaring themselves a provisional government, they ask the U.S. Navy for help, stating that the queen has “created general alarm and terror.” The USS Boston sends troops ashore, and the Republic of Hawai‘i is declared.

Queen Liliu‘okalani, the hereditary monarch in the line of Kamehameha, prepares a new constitution to replace the “Bayonet Constitution” that King Kalakaua was coerced into signing in 1887, but she declares that she cannot get it enacted: “The present constitution is full of defects as the Chief Justice here will testify as the question have come so often before him for settlement. It is so faulty that I think a new one should be granted. I have prepared one in which the rights of all have been regarded, a constitution suited to the wishes of the dear people ... But with regret I say I have met with obstacles that prevented it.”

Land and Water

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Committee of delegates of the Hawaiian people presents a petition to Rep. James H. Blount of Georgia, praying for the restoration of the monarchy under Queen Liliu‘okalani. Blount opposed the annexation of Hawai‘i in 1893, and investigated American involvement in the Queen’s overthrow.

Courtesy Library of Congress

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Queen Liliu‘okalani files a protest against U.S. invasion of Hawai‘i, 1897

Courtesy Library of Congress

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U.S. Navy troops in Honolulu, 1893

Courtesy Hawai‘i State Archives