Queen Liliuokalani, of the Hawaiian Islands, attempted, in 1893, to introduce a new
constitution, which would place the government of the Islands much more completely in her
power than it had previously been. The attempt did not succeed; the Queen was forced to
abdicate; and the foreigners in Honolulu set up a provisional government with a view to
negotiating for annexation to the United States. President Harrison sent an annexation
treaty to the Senate, but President Cleveland, on his coming into power, withdrew it.
President McKinley, in 1897, sent in a second treaty, which was passed by Congress in June
and July, 1898, and the sovereignty was transferred to the United States on Aug. 12, 1898.
Joint Resolution To provide for annexing the Hawaiian Islands to the United
Whereas, the Government of the Republic of Hawaii having, in due form, signified its
consent, in the manner provided by its constitution, to cede absolutely and without
reserve to the United States of America, all rights of sovereignty of whatsoever kind in
and over the Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies, and also to cede and transfer to the
United States, the absolute fee and ownership of all public, Government, or Crown lands,
public buildings or edifices, ports, harbors, military equipment, and all other public
property of every kind and description belonging to the Government of the Hawaiian
Islands, together with every right and appurtenance thereunto appertaining: Therefore,
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in
Congress assembled, That said cession is accepted, ratified, and confirmed, and that the
said Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies be, and they are hereby, annexed as a part of
the territory of the United States and are subject to the sovereign dominion thereof, and
that all and singular the property and rights hereinbefore mentioned are vested in the
United States of America.
The existing laws of the United States relative to public lands shall not apply to such
lands in the Hawaiian Islands; but the Congress of the United States shall enact special
laws for their management and disposition: Provided, That all revenue from or proceeds of
the same, except as regards such part thereof as may be used or occupied for the civil,
military, or naval purposes of the United States, or may be assigned for the use of the
local government, shall be used solely for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Hawaiian
Islands for educational and other public purposes.
Until Congress shall provide for the government of such islands all the civil,
judicial, and military powers exercised by the officers of the existing government in said
islands shall be vested in such person or persons and shall be exercised in such manner as
the President of the United states shall direct; and the President shall have power to
remove said officers and fill the vacancies so occasioned.
The existing treaties of the Hawaiian Islands with foreign nations shall forthwith
cease and determine, being replaced by such treaties as may exist, or as may be hereafter
concluded, between the United States and such foreign nations. The municipal legislation
of the Hawaiian Islands, not enacted for the fulfillment of the treaties so extinguished,
and not inconsistent with this joint resolution nor contrary to the Constitution of the
United States nor to any existing treaty of the United States, shall remain in force until
the Congress of the United States shall otherwise determine.
Until legislation shall be enacted extending the United States customs laws and
regulations to the Hawaiian Islands the existing customs relations of the Hawaiian Islands
with the United States and other countries shall remain unchanged.
The public debt of the Republic of Hawaii, lawfully existing at the date of the passage
of this joint resolution, including the amounts due to depositors in the Hawaiian Postal
Savings Bank, is hereby assumed by the Government of the United States; but the liability
of the United States in this regard shall in no case exceed four million dollars. So long,
however, as the existing Government and the present commercial relations of the Hawaiian
Islands are continued as hereinbefore, provided said Government shall continue to pay the
interest on said debt.
There shall be no further immigration of Chinese into the Hawaiian Islands, except upon
such conditions as are now or may hereafter be allowed by the laws of the United States;
and no Chinese, by reason of anything herein contained, shall be allowed to enter the
United States from the Hawaiian Islands.
Sec. 1. The President shall appoint five commissioners, at least two of whom shall be
residents of the Hawaiian Islands, who shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, recommend
to Congress such legislation concerning the Hawaiian Islands as they shall deem necessary
Sec. 2. That the commissioners hereinbefore provided for shall be appointed by the
President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
Sec. 3. That the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, or so much thereof as may be
necessary, is hereby appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise
appropriated, and to be immediately available, to be expended at the discretion of the
President of the United States of America, for the purpose of carrying this joint
resolution into effect.