Because that protest and my communications to the United States Government immediately thereafter expressly declare that I yielded my authority to the forces of the United States in order to avoid bloodshed, and because I recognized the futility of a conflict with so formidable a power.
Because the President of the United States, the Secretary of State, and an envoy commissioned by them reported in official documents that my government was unlawfully coerced by the forces, diplomatic and naval, of the United States; that I was at the date of their investigations the constitutional ruler of my people.Protest to the Treaty of Annexation June 17, 1897
Because neither the above-named commission nor the government which sends it has ever received any such authority from the registered voters of Hawaii, but derives its assumed powers from the so-called committee of public safety, organized on or about the seventeenth day of January, 1893, said committee being composed largely of persons claiming American citizenship, and not one single Hawaiian was a member thereof, or in any way participated in the demonstration leading to its existence.Because my people, about four thousand in number, have in no way been consulted by those three thousand in number, who claim the right to destroy the independence of Hawaii. My people constitute four-fifths of the legally qualified voters of Hawaii, and, excluding those imported for the demands of labor, about the same proportion of inhabitants.
Because said treaty ignores not only the civil rights of my people, but further, the hereditary property of their chiefs. Of the four million acres composing the the territory said treaty offers to annex, 1,000,000 or 915,000 acres has in no way been heretofore recognized as other than the private property of the constitutional monarch, subject to a control in no way differing from other items of a private estate.
Because it is proposed by said treaty to confiscate said property technically called the crown lands, those legally entitled thereto, either now or in succession, receiving no consideration whatever for their estates, their title to which has always been undisputed, and which is legitimately in my name at this date
Because said treaty ignores not only professions of perpetual amity and good faith made by the United States in former treaties with the sovereigns representing the Hawaiian people, but all treaties made by those sovereigns with other and friendly powers, and it is therefore in violation of international law.
Because by treating with the parties claiming at this time the right to cede said territory of Hawaii, the government of the United States receives such territory from the hands of those whom its own magistrates (legally elected by the people of the United States, and in office in 1893) pronounced fraudulently in power and unconstitutionally ruling Hawaii therefore,
I, Liliuokalani, do hereby call upon the President of that nation...
She was arrested Jan. 16, 1895, exactly two years from the date the American troops landed in support of the revolution. Imprisoned in a corner room on the second story of `Iolani Palace, she was guarded day and night, allowed only one attendant and no visitors.The Overthrow of the Monarchy
Shortly after she was imprisoned, Lili`uokalani was given a document of abdication to sign and was led to believe that, if she refused, several of her followers were to be shot for treason. She wrote,"For myself, I would have chosen death rather than to have signed it; but it was represented to me that by my signing this paper all the persons who had been arrested, all my people now in trouble by reason of their love and loyalty toward me, would be immediately released ... the stream of blood ready to flow unless it was stayed by my pen."Grover Cleveland wrote: "I am ashamed of the whole affair."
Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka `Aina I Ka Pono
In 1893 while Queen Lili'uokalani was being betrayed and lied to, and deposed, the same powers of greed, spiritual and mercenary, were exiling to the island of Molokai, by capture and intimidation, native Hawaiians who had contracted Hansen's disease, leprosy as it was then called. Another awful thing done in the name of God and decency.
In The Folding Cliffs W. S. Merwin husbands forward a true tale from that moment, the lives of Ko'olau and Pi'ilani and their son on the island of Kauai, a book-length epic poem that reads with the ease and vividity of a graphic novel, or the chanted word:
The first shadow was beginning to surface in the darkness
palithrough a net of trees when she came to the swollen stream
of Halemanu the house of birds where in earlier dawns
palithe birds had the forest to themselves waking there
into plumage and colors never seen anywhere
palicrests and feathers heads and motions never before
entered upon voices never heard before singing out of
palia source in the yolk of their unmeasured morning
inexhaustibly beginning and beginning
palias the undisturbed trees and flowers kept beginning around them
finding in each place the morning as it was then
paliin an age without numbers changing too slowly
for a single life to see it moving unperceived
palilike the voyage of the mountain itself in the northwest
the eon of the birds seemed perpetual like the mountain
palilong before another side of the night gave birth to humans
and for an age after that there was no sign of them
paligrowing closer around the unbroken horizon
the streams went on overflowing seaward taking with them
palithe mountain a grain at a time...