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Government, and states that it is not yet in the possession of the station house (the place where a large number of the Queen's troops were quartered), though the same had been demanded of the Queen's officers in charge. Nevertheless, this wrongful recognition by our minister placed the Government of the Queen in a position of most perilous perplexity. On the one hand she had possession of the palace, of the barracks, and of the police station, and had at her command at least 500 fully armed men and several pieces of artillery. Indeed, the whole military force of her Kingdom was on her side and at her disposal, while the committee of safety, by actual search, had discovered that there were but very few arms in Honolulu that were not in the service of the Government.
In this state of things, if the Queen could have dealt with the insurgents alone, her course would have been plain and the result unmis. takable. But the United States had allied itself with her enemies, had recognized them as the true Government of Hawaii, and had put her and her adherents in the position of opposition against lawful authority. She knew that she could not withstand the power of the United States, but she believed that she might safely trust to its justice. Accordingly, some hours after the recognition of the Provisional Government by the United States minister, the palace, the barracks, and the police station, with all the military resources of the country, were delivered up by the Queen • upon the representation made to her that her cause would thereafter be
reviewed at Washington, and while protesting that she surrendered to the superior force of the United States, whose minister had caused United States troops to be landed at Honolulu and declared that he would support the Provisional Government, and that she yielded her authority to prevent collision of armed forces and loss of life, and only until such time as the United States, upon the facts being presented to it, should undo the action of its representative and reinstate her in the authority she claimed as the constitutional sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands.
This protest was delivered to the chief of the Provisional Government, who indorsed thereon his acknowledgment of its receipt. The terms of the protest were read without dissent by those assuming to constitute the Provisional Government, who were certainly charged with the knowledge that the Queen, instead of finally abandoning her power, had appealed to the justice of the United States for reinstatement in her authority; and yet the Provisional Government, with this unanswered protest in its hand, hastened to negotiate with the United States for the permanent banishment of the Queen from power and for a sale of her Kingdom.
Our country was in danger of occupying the position of having actually set up a temporary government on foreign soil for the purpose of acquiring through that agency territory which we had wrongfully put in its possession. The control of both sides of a bargain acquired in such a manner is called by a familiar and unpleasant name when found in private transactions. We are not without a precedent showing how scrupulously
we avoided such accusations in former days. After the people of Texas had declared their independence of Mexico they resolved that on the acknowledgment of their independence by the United States they would seek admission into the Union. Several months after the battle of San Jacinto, by which Texan independence was practically assured and established, President Jackson declined to recognize it, alleging as one of his reasons that in the circumstances it became us “to beware of a too early movement, as it might subject us, however unjustly, to the imputation of seeking to establish the claim of our neighbors to a territory with a view to its subsequent acquisition by ourselves.” This is in marked contrast with the hasty recognition of a government openly and concededly set up for the purpose of tendering to us territorial annexation.
I believe that a candid and thorough examination of the facts will force the conviction that the Provisional Government owes its existence to an armed invasion by the United States. Fair-minded people, with the evidence before them, will hardly claim that the Hawaiian Government was overthrown by the people of the islands or that the Provisional Govern. ment had ever existed with their consent. I do not understand that any member of this Government claims that the people would uphold it by their suffrages if they were allowed to vote on the question.
While naturally sympathizing with every effort to establish a republican form of government, it has been the settled policy of the United States to concede to people of foreign countries the same freedom and independence in the management of their domestic affairs that we have always claimed for ourselves, and it has been our practice to recognize revolutionary governments as soon as it became apparent that they were supported by the people. For illustration of this rule I need only to refer to the revolution in Brazil in 1889, when our minister was instructed to recognize the Republic “so soon as a majority of the people of Brazil should have signified their assent to its establishment and maintenance;' to the revolution in Chile in 1891, when our minister was directed to recognize the new Government “if it was accepted by the people," and to the revolution in Venezuela in 1892, when our recognition was accorded on condition that the new Government was “fully established, in possession of the power of the nation, and accepted by the people.”
As I apprehend the situation, we are brought face to face with the following conditions:
The lawful Government of Hawaii was overthrown without the drawing of a sword or the firing of a shot by a process every step of which, it may safely be asserted, is directly traceable to and dependent for its success upon the agency of the United States acting through its diplomatic and naval representatives.
But for the notorious predilections of the United States minister for annexation the committee of safety, which should be called the committee of annexation, would never have existed.
But for the landing of the United States forces upon false pretexts respecting the danger to life and property the committee would never have exposed themselves to the pains and penalties of treason by undertaking the subversion of the Queen's Government.
But for the presence of the United States forces in the immediate vicinity and in position to afford all needed protection and support the committee would not have proclaimed the Provisional Government from the steps of the Government building.
And finally, but for the lawless occupation of Honolulu under false pretexts by the United States forces, and but for Minister Stevens's recognition of the Provisional Government when the United States forces were its sole support and constituted its only military strength, the Queen and her Government would never have yielded to the Provisional Government, even for a time and for the sole purpose of submitting her case to the enlightened justice of the United States.
Believing, therefore, that the United States could not, under the circumstances disclosed, annex the islands without justly incurring the imputation of acquiring them by unjustifiable methods, I shall not again submit the treaty of annexation to the Senate for its consideration, and in the instructions to Minister Willis, a copy of which accompanies this message, I have directed him to so inform the Provisional Government.
But in the present instance our duty does not, in my opinion, end with refusing to consummate this questionable transaction. It has been the boast of our Government that it seeks to do justice in all things without regard to the strength or weakness of those with whom it deals. take the American people if they favor the odious doctrine that there is no such thing as international morality; that there is one law for a strong nation and another for a weak one, and that even by indirection a strong power may with impunity despoil a weak one of its territory.
By an act of war, committed with the participation of a diplomatic representative of the United States and without authority of Congress, the Government of a feeble but friendly and confiding people has been overthrown. 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. The Provisional Government has not assumed a republican or other constitutional form, but has remained a mere executive council or oligarchy, set up without the assent of the people. It has not sought to find a permanent basis of popular support and has given no evidence of an intention to do so. Indeed, the representatives of that Government assert that the people of Hawaii are unfit for popular government and frankly avow that they can be best ruled by arbitrary or despotic power.
The law of nations is founded upon reason and justice, and the rules of conduct governing individual relations between citizens or subjects of a civilized state are equally applicable as between enlightened nations. The considerations that international law is without a court for its en. forcement and that obedience to its commands practically depends upon good faith instead of upon the mandate of a superior tribunal only give additional sanction to the law itself and brand any deliberate infraction of it not merely as a wrong, but as a disgrace. A man of true honor protects the unwritten word which binds his conscience more scrupulously, if possible, than he does the bond a breach of which subjects him to legal liabilities, and the United States, in aiming to maintain itself as one of the most enlightened nations, would do its citizens gross injustice if it applied to its international relations any other than a high standard of honor and morality. On that ground the United States can not properly be put in the position of countenancing a wrong after its commission any more than in that of consenting to it in advance. On that ground it can not allow itself to refuse to redress an injury inflicted through an abuse of power by officers clothed with its authority and wearing its uniform; and on the same ground, if a feeble but friendly state is in danger of being robbed of its independence and its sovereignty by a misuse of the name and power of the United States, the United States can not fail to vindicate its honor and its sense of justice by an earnest effort to make all possible reparation.
These principles apply to the present case with irresistible force when the special conditions of the Queen's surrender of her sovereignty are recalled. She surrendered, not to the Provisional Government, but to the United States. She surrendered, not absolutely and permanently, but temporarily and conditionally until such time as the facts could be considered by the United States. Furthermore, the Provisional Government acquiesced in her surrender in that manner and on those terms, not only by tacit consent, but through the positive acts of some members of that Government, who urged her peaceable submission, not merely to avoid bloodshed, but because she could place implicit reliance upon the justice of the United States and that the whole subject would be finally considered at Washington.
I have not, however, overlooked an incident of this unfortunate affair which remains to be mentioned. The members of the Provisional Government and their supporters, though not entitled to extreme sympathy, have been led to their present predicament of revolt against the Government of the Queen by the indefensible encouragement and assistance of our diplomatic representative. This fact may entitle them to claim that in our effort to rectify the wrong committed some regard should be had for their safety. This sentiment is strongly seconded by my anxiety to do nothing which would invite either harsh retaliation on the part of the Queen or violence and bloodshed in any quarter. In the belief that the Queen, as well as her enemies, would be willing to adopt such a course as would meet these conditions, and in view of the fact that both the Queen and the Provisional Government had at one time apparently acquiesced in a reference of the entire case to the United States Gov. ernment, and considering the further fact that in any event the Provi. sional Government by its own declared limitation was only “to exist until terms of union with the United States of America have been negotiated and agreed upon," I hoped that after the assurance to the members of that Government that such union could not be consummated I might compass a peaceful adjustment of the difficulty.
Actuated by these desires and purposes, and not unmindful of the inherent perplexities of the situation nor of the limitations upon my power, I instructed Minister Willis to advise the Queen and her support. ers of my desire to aid in the restoration of the status existing before the lawless landing of the United States forces at Honolulu on the 16th of January last if such restoration could be effected upon terms providing for clemency as well as justice to all parties concerned. The conditions suggested, as the instructions show, contemplate a general amnesty to those concerned in setting up the Provisional Government and a recognition of all its bona fide acts and obligations. In short, they require that the past should be buried and that the restored Government should reassume its authority as if its continuity had not been interrupted These conditions have not proved acceptable to the Queen, and though she has been informed that they will be insisted upon and that unless acceded to the efforts of the President to aid in the restoration of her Government will cease, I have not thus far learned that she is willing to yield them her acquiescence. The check which my plans have thus encountered has prevented their presentation to the members of the Provisional Government, while unfortunate public misrepresentations of the situation and exaggerated statements of the sentiments of our people have obviously injured the prospects of successful Executive mediation.
I therefore submit this communication, with its accompanying exhibits, embracing Mr. Blount's report, the evidence and statements taken by him at Honolulu, the instructions given to both Mr. Blount and Minister Willis, and correspondence connected with the affair in hand.
In commending this subject to the extended powers and wide discretion of the Congress I desire to add the assurance that I shall be much gratified to cooperate in any legislative plan which may be devised for the solution of the problem before us which is consistent with American honor, integrity, and morality.
Washington, December 18, 1893. To the Senate of the United States:
In compliance with a resolution passed by the Senate on the 6th in. stant, I hereby transmit reports of the Secretaries of State and of the Navy, with copies of all instructions given to the respective diplomatic