[Congressional Bills 103th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S.J. Res. 19 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

103d CONGRESS
  1st Session
S. J. RES. 19

To acknowledge the 100th anniversary of the January 17, 1893 overthrow 
 of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and to offer an apology to Native Hawaiians 
  on behalf of the United States for the overthrow of the Kingdom of 
                                Hawaii.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

             January 21 (legislative day, January 5), 1993

 Mr. Akaka (for himself and Mr. Inouye) introduced the following joint 
 resolution; which was read twice and referred to the Select Committee 
                           on Indian Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                            JOINT RESOLUTION


 
To acknowledge the 100th anniversary of the January 17, 1893 overthrow 
 of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and to offer an apology to Native Hawaiians 
  on behalf of the United States for the overthrow of the Kingdom of 
                                Hawaii.

Whereas, prior to the arrival of the first Europeans in 1778, the Native 
        Hawaiian people lived in a highly organized, self-sufficient, subsistent 
        social system based on communal land tenure with a sophisticated 
        language, culture, and religion;
Whereas, a unified monarchical government of the Hawaiian Islands was 
        established in 1810 under Kamehameha I, the first King of Hawaii;
Whereas, from 1826 until 1893, the United States recognized the independence of 
        the Kingdom of Hawaii, extended full and complete diplomatic recognition 
        to the Hawaiian Government, and entered into treaties and conventions 
        with the Hawaiian monarchs to govern commerce and navigation in 1826, 
        1842, 1849, 1875, and 1887;
Whereas the Congregational Church (now known as the United Church of Christ), 
        through its American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, 
        sponsored and sent more than 100 missionaries to the Kingdom of Hawaii 
        between 1820 and 1850;
Whereas, on January 14, 1893, John L. Stevens (hereafter referred to in this 
        Resolution as the ``United States Minister''), the United States 
        Minister assigned to the sovereign and independent Kingdom of Hawaii 
        conspired with a small group of non-Hawaiian residents of the Kingdom of 
        Hawaii, including citizens of the United States, to overthrow the 
        indigenous and lawful Government of Hawaii;
Whereas, in pursuance of the conspiracy to overthrow the Government of Hawaii, 
        the United States Minister and the naval representatives of the United 
        States caused armed naval forces of the United States to invade the 
        sovereign Hawaiian nation on January 16, 1893, and to position 
        themselves near the Hawaiian Government buildings and the Iolani Palace 
        to intimidate Queen Liliuokalani and her Government;
Whereas, on the afternoon of January 17, 1893, a Committee of Safety that 
        represented the American and European sugar planters, descendents of 
        missionaries, and financiers deposed the Hawaiian monarchy and 
        proclaimed the establishment of a Provisional Government;
Whereas the United States Minister thereupon extended diplomatic recognition to 
        the Provisional Government that was formed by the conspirators without 
        the consent of the Native Hawaiian people or the lawful Government of 
        Hawaii and in violation of treaties between the two nations and of 
        international law;
Whereas, soon thereafter, when informed of the risk of bloodshed with 
        resistance, Queen Liliuokalani issued the following statement yielding 
        her authority to the United States Government rather than to the 
        Provisional Government:
    ``I Liliuokalani, by the Grace of God and under the Constitution of the 
Hawaiian Kingdom, Queen, do hereby solemnly 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 I yield to the superior force of the United States of America whose 
Minister Plenipotentiary, His Excellency John L. Stevens, has caused United 
States troops to be landed at Honolulu and declared that he would support the 
Provisional Government.
    ``Now to avoid any collision of armed forces, and perhaps the loss of life, 
I do this under protest and impelled by said force yield my authority until such 
time as the Government of the United States shall, upon facts being presented to 
it, undo the action of its representatives and reinstate me in the authority 
which I claim as the Constitutional Sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands.''.
    Done at Honolulu this 17th day of January, A.D. 1893.;
Whereas, without the active support and intervention by the United States 
        diplomatic and military representatives, the insurrection against the 
        Government of Queen Liliuokalani would have failed for lack of popular 
        support and insufficient arms;
Whereas, on February 1, 1893, the United States Minister raised the American 
        flag and proclaimed Hawaii to be a protectorate of the United States;
Whereas the report of a Presidentially established investigation conducted by 
        former Congressman James Blount into the events surrounding the 
        insurrection and overthrow of January 17, 1893, concluded that the 
        United States diplomatic and military representatives had abused their 
        authority and were responsible for the change in government;
Whereas, as a result of this investigation, the United States Minister to Hawaii 
        was recalled from his diplomatic post and the military commander of the 
        United States armed forces stationed in Hawaii was disciplined and 
        forced to resign his commission;
Whereas, in a message to Congress on December 18, 1893, President Grover 
        Cleveland reported fully and accurately on the illegal acts of the 
        conspirators, described such acts as an ``act of war, committed with the 
        participation of a diplomatic representative of the United States and 
        without authority of Congress'', and acknowledged that by such acts the 
        government of a peaceful and friendly people was overthrown;
Whereas President Cleveland further concluded that 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'' 
        and called for the restoration of the Hawaiian monarchy;
Whereas the Provisional Government protested President Cleveland's call for the 
        restoration of the monarchy and continued to hold state power and pursue 
        annexation to the United States;
Whereas the Provisional Government successfully lobbied the Committee on Foreign 
        Relations of the Senate (hereafter referred to in this Resolution as the 
        ``Committee'') to conduct a new investigation into the events 
        surrounding the overthrow of the monarchy.
Whereas the Committee and its chairman, Senator John Morgan, conducted hearings 
        in Washington, D.C., from December 27, 1893, through February 26, 1894, 
        in which members of the Provisional Government justified and condoned 
        the actions of the United States Minister and recommended annexation of 
        Hawaii;
Whereas, although the Provisional Government was able to obscure the role of the 
        United States in the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, it was 
        unable to rally the support from two-thirds of the Senate needed to 
        ratify a treaty of annexation;
Whereas, on July 4, 1894, the Provisional Government declared itself to be the 
        Republic of Hawaii;
Whereas, on January 24, 1895, while imprisoned in Iolani Palace, Queen 
        Liliuokalani was forced by representatives of the Republic of Hawaii to 
        officially abdicate her throne;
Whereas, in the 1896 United States Presidential election, William McKinley 
        replaced Grover Cleveland;
Whereas, on July 7, 1898, as a consequence of the Spanish-American War, 
        President McKinley signed the Newlands Joint Resolution that provided 
        for the annexation of Hawaii;
Whereas, through the Newlands Resolution, the self-declared Republic of Hawaii 
        ceded sovereignty over the Hawaiian Islands to the United States;
Whereas the Republic of Hawaii also ceded 1,800,000 acres of crown, government 
        and public lands of the Kingdom of Hawaii, without the consent of or 
        compensation to the Native Hawaiian people of Hawaii or their sovereign 
        government;
Whereas the Congress, through the Newlands Resolution, ratified the cession, 
        annexed Hawaii as part of the United States, and vested title to the 
        lands in Hawaii in the United States;
Whereas the Newlands Resolution also specified that treaties existing between 
        Hawaii and foreign nations were to immediately cease and be replaced by 
        United States treaties with such nations;
Whereas the Newlands Resolution effected the transaction between the Republic of 
        Hawaii and the United States Government;
Whereas the indigenous Hawaiian people never directly relinquished their claims 
        to their inherent sovereignty as a people or over their national lands 
        to the United States, either through their monarchy or through a 
        plebiscite or referendum;
Whereas, on April 30, 1900, President McKinley signed the Organic Act that 
        provided a government for the territory of Hawaii and defined the 
        political structure and powers of the newly established Territorial 
        Government and its relationship to the United States;
Whereas, on August 21, 1959, Hawaii became the 50th State of the United States;
Whereas the health and well-being of the Native Hawaiian people is intrinsically 
        tied to their deep feelings and attachment to the land;
Whereas the long-range economic and social changes in Hawaii over the nineteenth 
        and early twentieth centuries have been devastating to the population 
        and to the health and well-being of the Hawaiian people;
Whereas, the Native Hawaiian people are determined to preserve, develop and 
        transmit to future generations their ancestral territory, and their 
        cultural identity in accordance with their own spiritual and traditional 
        beliefs, customs, practices, language, and social institutions;
Whereas, in order to promote racial harmony and cultural understanding, the 
        Legislature of the State of Hawaii has determined that the year 1993 
        should serve Hawaii as a year of special reflection on the rights and 
        dignities of the Native Hawaiians in the Hawaiian and the American 
        societies;
Whereas the Eighteenth General Synod of the United Church of Christ in 
        recognition of the denomination's historical complicity in the illegal 
        overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893 directed the Office of the 
        President of the United Church of Christ to offer a public apology to 
        the Native Hawaiian people and to initiate the process of reconciliation 
        between the United Church of Christ and the Native Hawaiians; and
Whereas it is proper and timely for the Congress on the occasion of the 
        impending one hundredth anniversary of the event, to acknowledge the 
        historic significance of the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, 
        to express its deep regret to the Native Hawaiian people, and to support 
        the reconciliation efforts of the State of Hawaii and the United Church 
        of Christ with Native Hawaiians: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United 
States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND APOLOGY.

    The Congress--
            (1) on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the illegal 
        overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii on January 17, 1893, 
        acknowledges the historical significance of this event which 
        resulted in the suppression of the inherent sovereignty of the 
        Native Hawaiian people;
            (2) recognizes and commends efforts of reconciliation 
        initiated by the State of Hawaii and the United Church of 
        Christ with Native Hawaiians;
            (3) apologizes to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the people 
        of the United States for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii 
        on January 17, 1893 with the participation of agents and 
        citizens of the United States, and the deprivation of the 
        rights of Native Hawaiians to self-determination;
            (4) expresses its commitment to acknowledge the 
        ramifications of the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii, in 
        order to provide a proper foundation for reconciliation between 
        the United States and the Native Hawaiian people; and
            (5) urges the President of the United States to also 
        acknowledge the ramifications of the overthrow of the Kingdom 
        of Hawaii and to support reconciliation efforts between the 
        United States and the Native Hawaiian people.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    As used in this Joint Resolution, the term ``Native Hawaiian'' 
means any individual who is a descendent of the aboriginal people who, 
prior to 1778, occupied and exercised sovereignty in the area that now 
constitutes the State of Hawaii.

SEC. 3. DISCLAIMER.

    Nothing in this Joint Resolution is intended to serve as a 
settlement of any claims against the United States.

                                 <all>