Today’s Historical Headline: Hawaii Pact Signed
Some US states were founded as royal colonies, like Virginia and Florida. Others were purchased and then admitted to the Union, like the territories of the Louisiana Purchase. Western states were claimed or conquered in the name of “Manifest Destiny.” One, the island nation of Hawaii, was annexed, its royal family overthrown.
On June 17th, 1897, the US Senate annexed the country against the express wishes of its people.
Queen Liliuokalani wrote a letter of protest on the 17th:
I declare such a treaty to be an act of wrong toward the native and part-native people of Hawaii, an invasion of the rights of the ruling chiefs, in violation of international rights both toward my people and toward friendly nations with whom they have made treaties, the perpetuation of the fraud whereby the constitutional government was overthrown, and, finally, an act of gross injustice to me.
Visit the National Archives to view documents from the protest of the annexation, and Fordham’s website for more on Senate resolution that claimed Hawaii for the States.
(Photo of Queen Liliuokalani from here.)