Posts Tagged Republic of Hawaii

(In)Significance of Hawaiian Kingdom Independence Day vs. Republic of Hawaii International Recognition

by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D., Thanksgiving 2021
Giving thanks that the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown and the successor Republic of Hawaii was internationally recognized as the rightful government (therefore authorized under international law to speak for the nation of Hawaii and to offer the Treaty of Annexation to the United States).

Once again this year Hawaiian secessionists are celebrating Ka La Ku’oko’a, the Independence Day holiday of the bygone Kingdom of Hawaii. It’s their way to claim that Hawaii remains an independent nation, and to seek to restore actual independence through political action in Hawaii, in the U.S., and in the United Nations.

Let’s see what all the fuss is about.

November 28 was an annual holiday of the Kingdom of Hawaii called La Ku’oko’a, which means Independence Day. It commemorated the date in 1843 when a diplomat from France and a diplomat from Britain signed a document pledging to each other that neither France nor Britain would take possession of the Hawaiian islands, because the islands had their own government capable of handling their own relations with other nations. Two identical copies of the agreement were written in side-by-side English and French; and each diplomat took one of them.

The agreement happened because a team of three men were authorized by King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III to speak on behalf of Hawaii to government officials in France and Britain to seek recognition of Hawaii’s sovereign independence. The three men were the American missionary William Richards, age 50, one of the King’s closest advisors who composed the Kingdom’s first Constitution which the King had signed earlier in 1843; Sir George Simpson, age 56, Scottish/Quebec businessman and colonial Governor of the Hudson Bay Company of fur traders; and Timoteo Ha’alilio, a 35-year-old native Hawaiian ali’i who served as the King’s secretary.

The agreement says, in its entirety: “Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and His Majesty the King of the French, taking into consideration the existence in the Sandwich Islands of a government capable of providing for the regularity of its relations with foreign nations, have thought it right to engage, reciprocally, to consider the Sandwich Islands as an Independent State, and never to take possession, neither directly or under the title of Protectorate, or under any other form, of any part of the territory of which they are composed.”

This agreement was a mutual non-aggression pact between Britain and France where they promised to each other that neither one of them would try to take over Hawaii. It was not a treaty with Hawaii, was not addressed to Hawaii, was not signed by Hawaii, and was written only in English and French but not in Hawaiian. It was only Britain and France talking with each other ABOUT Hawaii, and was signed only by one low-level diplomat from France and one from Britain.

In 1893, after the monarchy had been overthrown, the temporary revolutionary Provisional Government of Hawaii was given de facto (temporary) recognition within two days by the local consuls of all the nations which had consulates in Honolulu, until such time as a permanent government of Hawaii could be created and could then receive de jure (full-fledged) recognition from their home governments. When the permanent Republic of Hawaii was created through a Constitutional Convention and election of President and Legislature, then during the next several months letters in 11 languages were received in Honolulu, directly addressed to President Sanford Dole, personally signed by Emperors, Kings, Queens, and Presidents of at least 19 nations on 4 continents officially recognizing the Republic as the rightful successor government of the still-independent nation of Hawaii. Photos of those letters, and some accompanying English translations of them and accompanying diplomatic letters and envelopes, are at

As always happens when a nation’s government changes, whether by monarchial inheritance or by election or by revolution, the successor government’s legitimacy and right to speak for the nation replaces the authority of the previous government; and is confirmed under international law by the formal diplomatic recognition given to it by the heads of the other nations in the family of nations. Thus the Republic of Hawaii had the right to offer the Treaty of Annexation to the United States, including the provisions that ceded Hawaii’s public lands to be held in trust for Hawaii’s people by the U.S. and provisions that nullified previous treaties that had been made by the Kingdom with other nations.

Hawaiian sovereignty activists like to imagine that the Kingdom of Hawaii remains alive today as the rightful government, ignoring the revolution of 1893. They revive the celebration of the independence day holiday of the Kingdom period as a way of asserting their imaginary continuing independence and demanding future secession and reparations from the United States. They tout the signatures of two low-level diplomats from Britain and France, talking only in their own languages and only to each other while not addressed to anyone in Hawaii, as though that non-aggression pact is somehow as powerful as the letters of formal diplomatic recognition in eleven languages addressed directly to Republic of Hawaii President Sanford Dole by Emperors, Kings, Queens and Presidents of at least 19 nations on four continents.

If you see news reports about Hawaiian Independence Day, and you want to write a comment in a place that does not allow internet links, include these two lines:
Copy/paste the following line into Google:
letters recognize Republic Hawaii

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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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Debunking Keanu Sai’s new “Executive Agreements” scam

David Keanu Sai has produced three major scams in Hawaii during a period of about 20 years. Each one provided fuel to feed the next. Each one was founded on a comprehensive but badly twisted view of Hawaiian history. Each one gave the appearance of intellectual insight and rigor, which dazzled hundreds of gullible people into spending thousands of dollars apiece on bogus legal documents and donations to “the cause” of Hawaiian sovereignty. Some people relied on Sai’s theories to stop paying the mortgages on their homes, and eventually lost them. Innocent homeowners found that they were unable to sell their homes or refinance them because bogus documents had been filed at the Bureau of Conveyances which specifically targeted their property and placed a “cloud” on their titles.

The first scam became known as “Perfect Title” because it was based on Sai’s claim that his historical research and his authority as self-proclaimed Acting Regent of the Kingdom of Hawaii could bring to perfection a property deed that would otherwise lack validity. According to Sai, transfers of land title after the 1893 overthrow of the monarchy were not valid because the overthrow was illegal and there were no lawfully constituted government authorities to certify such transfers throughout all the years from then to now.

The second scam became known as “World Court” because Sai and his zealous followers claimed that Keanu Sai and Lance Larsen had taken a case to the World Court at the Hague, which resulted in that Court confirming the continued existence of the Kingdom of Hawaii as an independent nation under a century-long belligerent military occupation by the United States.

The most recent, third scam, is becoming known as “Executive Agreements” because it is based on Sai’s claim that there were a pair of executive agreements between Queen Liliuokalani and President Grover Cleveland whereby Liliuokalani turned over her governing authority temporarily to President Cleveland, and then a few months later Cleveland promised to put her back on the throne in return for her promise to give amnesty to the revolutionaries who had overthrown her. According to Sai, an executive agreement between two heads of state has the same force and effect as a treaty, and remains binding on all successors of those heads of state. Thus President Obama is obligated to fulfill President Cleveland’s end of the bargain with Liliuokalani by restoring the Kingdom of Hawaii to the powers it has always had, and continues to have, as an independent nation. Sai filed a lawsuit in federal court as a publicity stunt, comparable to the way he and Lance Larsen went to the “World Court.”

Sai is now making a publicity lecture tour pushing his new book hyping the “executive agreements”, and is working in a close business relationship with a real estate firm which takes large fees from clients who file paperwork in court based on Sai’s theories.

An analysis debunking the Executive Agreements theory can be found at

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