“A Great Meeting of Makaʻāinana will be held at Palace Square, at 5 pm on this very day, July 2, 1894; to show our steadfastness in our patriotism.”
“Hawai‘i’s own Lahui, as well as the other ethnicities who are of the same mind, are invited to go in unity and show their insistence behind the Resolution that will be passed at that time.”
“Invited are the Men, the Women, and all the young people of the Hawaiian Patriotic League (Hui Aloha ‘Āina,) and all friends, to go immediately with great enthusiasm and festivity to fill the meeting with numbers of Twenty and more thousand people.
“And provided that the Marshal (Ilamuku) of the Provisional Government has approved our meeting. Therefore, we have nothing to be concerned about. Let us however maintain the peace.” (Ka Leo o ka Lahui, Buke II, Helu 974, Aoao 2. Iulai 2, 1894)
“This afternoon at five o’clock the loyal citizens of Hawaii will meet on Palace Square, and enter a solemn and earnest protest against the infamous outrage, which it is proposed to perpetuate on Wednesday—the proclaiming of a republic of filibusters, the proclamation of a constitution framed by aliens and for the sole benefit of certain classes.” (Hawaii Holomua, July 2, 1894)
“Over five thousand people gathered, among whom were all classes, all nationalities and all friends of popular government. The meeting was most orderly, and as Nawahi urged in opening the meeting, free from any undue demonstration, free from noise generally attached to a political meeting.”
“Mr JO Carter, one of the oldest and best known citizens in the country read the resolution, protesting against the so-called republic. Messrs Bush, Nawahi and Kaulia spoke to the Hawaiians in most eloquent terns, and translated the resolution which was received with tremendous cheering by the Hawaiians”. (Hawaii Holomua, July 3, 1894)
“Be it resolved, that the Hui Aloha ‘Āina and other Patriotic Leagues, together with the Loyal subjects of the Hawaiian Kingdom, in Mass Meeting assembled, representing by far the greater majority of the legitimate voters of this country …”
“… do hereby most solemnly protest against the promulgation of a new Constitution, formed without the consent and participation of the People, and we also protest against changing the form of government from the one under which we have lived peacefully and prosperously for many years.”
“And that we maintain that the will of the majority of the legitimate voters of Hawaii should be the supreme power of the land, as such power is so recognized and accepted by all the enlightened countries and by all the enlightened governments of the world.” (Daily Bulletin, July 3, 1894)
Ka Hui Hawaii Aloha ‘Āina (Hawaiian Patriotic League) was “composed of only respectable Hawaiians according to a statement made by one of its officers. Foreigners who are in sympathy with the movement can join and become honorary members only.”
“The object of this association is to preserve and maintain, by all legal and peaceful means and measures, the independent autonomy of the islands of Hawai‘i nei; and if the preservation of our independence be rendered impossible, our object shall then be to exert all peaceful and legal efforts to secure for the Hawaiian people and citizens the continuance of their civil rights.” (Hawaiian Gazette, March 21, 1893)
On September 6, 1897, the Hui Aloha ʻĀina held a mass meeting at Palace Square, which thousands of people attended; Hui President James Kaulia gave a rousing speech, saying “We, the nation (lahui) will never consent to the annexation of our lands, until the very last patriot lives.”
Following Kaulia, David Kalauokalani, President of the Hui Kālaiʻāina, explained the details of the annexation treaty to the crowd. He told them that the Republic of Hawaiʻi had agreed to give full government authority over to the United States, reserving nothing. (Hawaiʻi State Archives)
Between September 11 and October 2, 1897, Hui Aloha ʻĀina O Nā Kane and Hui Aloha ʻĀina O Nā Wahine prepared, circulated and obtained names under a petition opposing annexation with the United States.
Later, “the Woman’s Hawaiian Patriotic League and the Hawaiian Patriotic League (sent) out by special messengers to every district in the Hawaiian Islands petitions against annexation for signature by Hawaiian citizens in order that the people’s will may be accurately ascertained as a plebiscite is not at present to be permitted by the Annexation Oligarchy.” (The Independent, September 13, 1897)
Their 556-page petition totaled 21,269-names, 10,378-male and 10,891-female. Of these 16,331 adults were adults and 4,938-minors. (The petition is now stored at the US National Archives.)
(In his March 4, 1898 review and reporting on the petition, LA Thurston noted several “reasons for discrediting the petition”:
1. The petition certified that the minor petitioners are between 14 and 20 years of age; however the names of hundreds (677) noted ages under 14 years of age.
2. The ages of many petitioners who are under 14 were changed to 14 or above.
3. Many of the signatures are in the same handwriting (he called them “forgeries”.)
4. In a great number of instances, the ages are all in the same handwriting and in round numbers only.
5. The signatures of the petitioners 2 and 3 years of age were in good, round handwriting.)
A second petition, conducted by Hui Kālaiʻāina, is reported to have contained 17,000-names of people who supported the restoration of the Hawaiian monarchy (its whereabouts is unknown.)
The Hui Aloha ʻĀina held another mass meeting on October 8, 1897 and at that time decided to send delegates to Washington, DC to present the petitions to President McKinley and to the Congress. (Silva)
Four delegates, James Kaulia, David Kalauokalani, John Richardson and William Auld, went to DC on December 6 to deliver the petition; the second session of the 55th Congress opened at that time. The delegates and Queen Liliʻuokalani planned a strategy to present the petition to the Senate. (Hawaiʻi State Archives)
They chose the Queen as chair of their Washington committee. Together, they decided to present the petitions of Hui Aloha ʻĀina only, because the substance of the two sets of petitions was different. Hui Aloha ʻĀina’s was called “petition protesting annexation,” but the Hui Kālaiʻāina’s petitions called for the monarchy to be restored. (Silva)
In the end, the motion to annex needed a two-thirds majority to pass (60-votes;) only 46-Senators voted for it (down from the 58 who supported it when they arrived.) The annexation vote failed. However, the win was short-lived.
President William McKinley called for a Joint Resolution of Congress to annex the Hawaiian Islands, a process requiring only a simple majority in both houses of Congress. (In 1845, a Joint Resolution was used to admit Texas to the Union as a State; Hawaiʻi was not being annexed as a State, but rather, as a Territory.)
On May 4, 1898, nine days after the Spanish-American War began, Representative Francis G Newlands of Nevada introduced a Joint Resolution in the House of Representatives to annex the Hawaiian Islands to the United States.
The House approved the Joint Resolution on June 15, 1898 by a vote of 209 to 91; the Senate approved the resolution on July 6 by a vote of 42 to 21, with 26 senators abstaining. (umn-edu)
House Joint Resolution 259, 55th Congress, 2nd session, known as the “Newlands Resolution,” passed Congress and was signed into law by President McKinley on July 7, 1898; the US flag was hoisted over Hawaiʻi on August 12, 1898.