Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Grover Cleveland Opposes the Annexation of Hawaii

Grover Cleveland Opposes the Annexation of Hawaii. The text of speech given by President Cleveland in 1893. This is a dead issue now (Hawaii is just as American as California and Michigan) but the whole matter of whether Hawaii should be annexed by the USA was controversial in the 1890s.

President Cleveland was successful in delaying Hawaiian annexation. This resulted in the Republic of Hawaii (which replaced the Hawaiian Kingdom) controlling Hawaii for the rest of Cleveland's term. The Republic of Hawaii gained international recognition and then gave sovereignty to the USA in 1898.

From the site:

In my recent annual message to the Congress I briefly referred to our relations with Hawaii and expressed the intention of transmitting further information on the subject when additional advices permitted.

Though I am not able now to report a definite change in the actual situation, I am convinced that the difficulties lately created both here and in Hawaii and now standing in the way of a solution through Executive action of the problem presented, render it proper and expedient, that the matter should be referred to the broader authority and discretion of Congress, with a full explanation of the endeavor thus far made to deal with the emergency and a statement of the considerations which have governed my action.

I suppose that right and justice should determine the path to be followed in treating this subject. If national honesty is to be disregarded and a desire for territorial extension, or dissatisfaction with a form of government not our own, ought to regulate our conduct, I have entirely misapprehended the mission and character of our Government and the behavior which the conscience of our people demands of their public servants.


Jessica Brown said...

Dear Michael Lorenzen,

I am a student and am currently working on a history project about Queen Liliuokalani's stand against the annexation of Hawaii.Do you think you might have something that might help me with my work?My email adress is if you may wish to contact me.Thank you.

Jessica Brown.

Michael said...


What sort of help would you like? There is a lot of information about Queen Liluokalani and her initial opposition to annexation and her later change of heart on the matter.

Feel free to e-mail me at my work address (this is easy to find in the Central Michigan website at with details on what you are looking for.