Posts Tagged Hawaiian revolution

Republic of Hawaii — letters of formal diplomatic recognition

Following the Hawaiian revolution of January 17, 1893 that overthrew Hawaii’s monarchial system of government, foreign nations that had diplomatic relations with Hawaii’s Kingdom government gave the appropriate level of diplomatic recognition to each of the two successor governments of the continuing sovereign independent nation of Hawaii. No nation filed a protest.

Local consulates in Honolulu immediately sent letters granting de facto recognition to Hawaii’s temporary, revolutionary Provisional Government. See the contents of those letters as published in the Morgan Report (808-page official report of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations) at

Then in July 1894, after a permanent government of the Republic of Hawaii was established, copies of the Republic’s Constitution were sent to the heads of state of foreign governments with a request for formal diplomatic recognition.

At least 19 Emperors, Kings, Queens, and Presidents on 4 continents personally signed letters in 11 languages which arrived in Honolulu in Fall 1894, giving full-fledged diplomatic recognition to the Republic government of President Sanford B. Dole. Photos of those letters were taken in the Hawaii state archives, along with accompanying English translations, some accompanying introductory letters from diplomats, and some envelopes; and for each nation, an explanation of the special significance of its documents in light of that nation’s previous diplomatic history with the Kingdom of Hawaii and today’s Hawaiian sovereignty controversies. Every photograph can be magnified for good readability by clicking the photo once; or a second click will yield a super-magnification. See all those things at

A 23-page booklet can be downloaded in pdf format suitable for printing. It includes a one-page montage of photographs of the documents for each of 20 nations plus the Queen’s letter of abdication and oath of loyalty to the Republic. Click here:

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From fantasies to farces — How Keanu Sai’s Hawaiian history fantasies logically lead to his real-world farces


Disproving the alleged Liliuokalani Assignment, and the alleged Executive Agreement of Restoration

by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.

If pigs had wings, they could fly. Therefore pigs have aeronautical rights under international treaties. Porky Pua’a, the self-appointed President Pro-tem of the Porcine parliament, with help from his sweet-tempered Attorney General Dextrose Kapua’a, can file accusations of war crimes in the International Criminal Court against Hawaii judges who deny airport landing slots to pigs.

Of course pigs don’t really have wings. But when somebody with lots of time and money starts running around Hawaii and the world making absurd demands based on the claim that pigs have wings, it might be useful to inspect the pigs and show the world their winglessness.

Keanu Sai is an adventurer with a history of highly publicized scams that brought him fame and fortune, including:

☻ Perfect Title
☻ World Court
☻ New round of real estate title insurance claims based on bogus Lili’uokalani Assignment and Executive Agreement
☻ Lawsuit in U.S. federal court demanding fulfillment in 2010 of the alleged Executive Agreement of 1893
☻ Allegations of war crimes against Hawaii judges and prosecutors filed with International Criminal Court
☻ Application filed with International Court of Justice demanding that 45 nations comply with treaty obligations to the Kingdom of Hawaii and the normal ways nations interact in international commerce and law.

Like some other Hawaiian sovereignty activists, Sai has built a crowd of devoted followers who bask in the glow of his charismatic self-assurance. There is never a reality check, because nobody demands accountability or conducts cross-examination. He produces writings and lectures, including a Ph.D. dissertation and academic panel discussions, where nobody is allowed or has the courage to challenge his statements or to present opposing views.

In September, Keanu Sai proudly announced that he was scheduled to make a presentation to a group of retired Swiss diplomats in Zurich on November 11, 2013. Since those diplomats are well-educated and familiar with issues involving diplomatic recognition and treaties, I sent them an essay providing detailed explanations and proof for the following five points, and asking them to cross-examine Mr. Sai:

1. The Hawaiian revolution of January 17, 1893 overthrew the monarchy and replaced it with a revolutionary Provisional Government which was promptly given de facto recognition within a day or two by the local consuls of every nation which had local consuls available in Honolulu at that time. Hawaii continued as an independent nation. Nearly all government officials kept their jobs except the ex-queen and her cabinet ministers. No nations filed protests or removed their diplomats.

2. There was no “Lili’uokalani Assignment” of Hawaii governmental authority to the U.S., contrary to the assertions of Keanu Sai. The ex-queen’s representative delivered her letter of surrender, including her protest about the presence of U.S. peacekeeper troops, directly to the Provisional Government in the Government Building. The surrender/protest was not delivered to any U.S. representative, nor to any local consuls of foreign nations. Regardless if Lili’uokalani thought she was assigning her powers to the U.S., the U.S. never acknowledged nor accepted any such assignment. No other nation conducted business with the U.S. instead of directly with the Provisional Government. The letters of de facto recognition from the other nations were also delivered directly to the Provisional Government and neither to the U.S. nor to Lili’uokalani, indicating that the foreign consuls never heard of the “Lili’uokalani Assignment” or else they rejected it. The “Lili’uokalani Assignment” is a figment of Keanu Sai’s imagination.

3. Contrary to the assertion of Keanu Sai, there was never an “Executive Agreement of Restoration” between President Grover Cleveland and Queen Lili’uokalani whereby Cleveland promised to restore Lili’uokalani to the throne in return for her promise to give amnesty to the members of the Provisional Government. The Hawaiian revolution took place and Lili’uokalani was overthrown on January 17, but Grover Cleveland did not become U.S. President until March 4. They were never both head of state at the same time; thus there could not be any Executive Agreement between them that would be binding on both nations. U.S. Minister Willis made an offer to Lili’uokalani to serve as mediator between Lili’uokalani and President Dole of the Provisional Government, including the outlines of a possible settlement between Dole and Lili’uokalani. But Dole was never informed of the possible mediation, and the U.S. did not have any power or authority to actually force Dole to resign or to restore the monarchy. When Willis sent a letter to Dole essentially ordering Dole to step down, Dole replied with a letter vehemently rejecting that demand.

4. The revolutionary Provisional Government held a Constitutional Convention, which wrote a Constitution for a permanent Republic of Hawaii (incidentally, there are at least 5 native Hawaiian names on the list of con-con delegates, and native Hawaiian John Kaulukou, formerly a supporter of the monarchy, was elected as Speaker of the House for the Republic of Hawaii). During the Fall of 1894, letters were received granting de jure recognition to the Republic, personally signed by Emperors, Kings, Queens, and Presidents of at least 19 nations on 4 continents in 11 languages. One of those letters was signed by the Swiss federal counsel [Attorney General] on behalf of the President of the Swiss Confederation, and also countersigned by the Chancellor of the Swiss Confederation (photo provided). Switzerland (and the other nations) thereby formally recognized the Republic as the rightful government of Hawaii. No foreign nation filed any protest or removed its diplomats. As the internationally recognized de jure government of Hawaii from 1894 to 1898, standing on its own despite initial U.S. efforts to destabilize it, the Republic had full authority to offer and ratify the Treaty of Annexation.

5. In 1897 diplomats for the Republic of Hawaii and the United States met in Washington D.C. and negotiated a Treaty of Annexation which was signed and sealed by the Secretaries of State of both nations. The Senate of the Republic of Hawaii unanimously passed a resolution later that year ratifying the Treaty. In 1898 the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution of the House and Senate ratifying the Treaty, which was signed by President McKinley. Article III, paragraph 2 of the Treaty of Annexation makes clear that all treaties between the nation of Hawaii and other nations were thereby extinguished; and of course that includes the 1864 treaty between Hawaii and Switzerland. None of the nations that had treaties with Hawaii objected; all of them condoned annexation by their continuing relationship with the U.S, thereby continuously acknowledging U.S. sovereignty in Hawaii and condoning the extinguishment of previous international treaties with the Kingdom of Hawaii.

Please see a webpage containing my entire letter to the Swiss diplomat group in Zurich, including detailed explanations and proofs for the points mentioned above:

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“Pacific Gibraltar” — important new book on Hawaiian history

In 2011 a major book was published by a highly respected historian who analyzed the Hawaiian revolution and annexation.

William M. Morgan Ph.D., PACIFIC GIBRALTAR: U.S. – JAPANESE RIVALRY OVER THE ANNEXATION OF HAWAII, 1885-1898 (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2011). It is available at “Bookends” in Kailua, and Sixteen copies are scattered around various branches of the Hawaii Public Library. A detailed book review, with many lengthy quotes from each chapter, is at

Most Hawaii readers will be surprised by details about Grover Cleveland’s attempt to overthrow President Dole and restore the Hawaiian monarchy through a combination of diplomatic and military intimidation in mid to late 1893; and by the fact that Congress considered it perfectly proper to use joint resolution in 1898 as the method of ratifying Hawaii’s five-year-long eager request for annexation.

Perhaps the biggest surprise in the book is the seriousness of Japan’s diplomatic maneuvering — and deployment of multiple warships in Honolulu as a show of force — to block annexation and to demand voting rights for Japanese living in Hawaii. The U.S., Hawaii, and Britain were worried Japan could gain political control of Hawaii through demographic conquest, and/or an imminent Japanese military occupation of Hawaii. The U.S. and Britain counteracted Japan’s multiple warships by their own deployments of warships in Honolulu harbor.

The author, William Michael Morgan (no relation to Senator James T. Morgan of the 1894 Morgan Report), has a Ph.D. in History from Claremont Graduate University. According to information about his book at, Dr. Morgan was a Foreign Service officer in the Department of State for more than 30 years, and lived in Japan for 13 years, first as a Marine lieutenant in 1971-72 and then three assignments in the Foreign Service. His State Department domestic jobs included Director of the Japan-Korea desk of the old U.S. Information Agency, Acting Director of the International Visitor Leadership Program, and Director of Analysis for East Asia and the Pacific in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. During 2007-09, he taught U.S.-Japan relations and National Security and Public Diplomacy at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service while on “detail” from the State Department.

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