The Native Sons of Hawaii to the Front.
RESOLUTIONS AGAINST A REPUBLICAN FORM OF GOVERNMENT ADOPTED.
Over six hundred people, Hawaiians and foreigners, were present at the mass meeting called by the Native Sons of Hawaii, and held at the Gymnasium on Monday evening. Many prominent natives were present and listened to the discourses of their wise leaders with attentive ears. Long before 7 o’clock streams of people were seen wending their way towards the Gymnasium. The Royal Hawaiian Band, under the leadership of Prof. D. K. Naone, was stationed on the makai end of the hall, and discoursed most eloquent music for over thirty minutes.
J. K. Kaulia, the Secretary of the Native Sons of Hawaii, called the meeting to order at 7:45 p. m.
Hon. A. Rosa was elected chairman of the meeting. On taking the chair, he said that he came as spectator only. He was not a candidate for the coming elections, and he was not a member of the society. He asked the audience to conduct the meting in an orderly manner, so that nothing would mar the success of the object in view.
Isaac D. Iaea was chosen secretary and Mr. Rosa interpreted the speeches in English.
The Chairman called upon the Rev. J. Waiamau to open the meeting with prayer which was done.
A. Rosa said: The subject for discussion this evening is, “Our denunciation against adopting a Republican for of Government for Hawaii.” You are at liberty to express your views, whether pro or con. The first speaker—J. L. Kaulukou—will speak against the Republican movement. The time allotted to each speaker is limited to ten minutes.
J. L. Kaulukou—Mr. Chairman and gentlemen: We are assembled here to-night because false rumors are being propagated abroad that we, native sons of the soil of Hawaii, are in favor of a Republican form of Government. Our bitterest enemies are doing their utmost to spread this unfounded report. It is our duty tonight at a mass meeting assembled, to notify the world at large that the aboriginal Hawaiians are body and soul against such a movement. We do not favor annexation either with America or with any other foreign power. We have called this meeting because foreigners abroad are entertaining this idea, which is most derogatory to our interests. Hawaiians are not the only one concerned in this question; foreigners, too, who have adopted Hawaii as their home; they have a right to stand up and denounce this movement. [Applause.[ A queen now reigns over us. It is our duty as loyal citizens to do our utmost to perpetuate the throne of Hawaii. England cherishes her Queen, and we should adore our Queen. Our ancestors have been accustomed to a monarchial form of government, and we, the younger generations, have been instilled with undying loyalty to our sovereign. Our forefathers considered “love of the throne, love of country and love of the people” as one, but we have divided it into three distinct persons. I will now read to you the following resolutions, carefully prepared by a committee of the Native Sons of Hawaii:
Whereas a report has been propagated throughout the United States concerning the belief that the Hawaiian people are standing ready to revolutionize Hawaii’s present form of government, that is, a monarchial government, to a republican form of government, either by annexation to the American Republic or to be an independent republic, and such reports have been published in numerous American papers that have reached Hawaii nei, and
Whereas similar open reports have been published by certain newspapers of this city, and as these reports will certainly strengthen the belief that those reports spread throughout the United States are valid, as shown above; and if these reports are not contradicted by the Hawaiian nation, by publicly making known their disapproval and contradicting the truth of such reports, then their silence in this matter is a proof of the truth of such reports now being circulated, and that will also confirm the belief that the Hawaiian nation is against their beloved Queen, and are to remove her from the throne of Hawaii, and
Whereas, this is a question that deeply concerns the monarchial form of government of Hawaii nei; and it is proper that such threatening rumors may be repelled strongly and firmly by the Hawaiian people; therefore, this mass meeting, held on the evening of December 28th, 1891, in the city of Honolulu, Island of Oahu, do pass the following resolutions:
- Be it Resolved,—That that the Native Sons of the Soil do continually disapprove the idea to discontinue and change Hawaii’s monarchial form of government; but, by this, they certify to uphold forever that form of government, and likewise to uphold the Queen and the Throne of Hawaii; and they are always bitter against the said movement.
- Be it resolved, that the native sons of the soil do repeatedly disapprove any scheme to establish a republican form of government in place of Hawaii’s present monarchial government, the government for which the ancestors of the rising generation of Hawaii nei bled, by fighting for this blessing.
- Be it resolved, that the Hawaiian nation do forever protest against any scheme annexing this government to any foreign government in order to satisfy the cry converting Hawaii into a republic.
- Be it resolved, that it be publicly declared that the reports widely circulated that the Hawaiian people are standing ready to adopt and embrace a republican form of government for them, either independently or by annexation, are false and without foundation.
Hon. A. Rosa read the substance of the resolutions in English.
J. A. Kahoonei: I heartily approve these resolutions, and in saying so I voice the sentiments of the Hui Kalaiaina. I do not favor a Republican form of government; I am bitter against it. I shall never lend a hand to any annexing scheme. That is all I have to say.
J. M. Poepoe: Fellow citizens: I have never intended to speak on this subject. You have all heard the resolutions. Let us stand firmly, we Hawaiians, who are destined to die on Hawaiian soil; let us all with one heart, and with one breast, show our bitter denunciation of this movement. [Applause.] We have always been used to monarchial form of government; and is it not most strange that at the ascension of a Queen we should renounce allegiance to her and establish a republic? And what is the real intent of the agitators of this scheme? Is it that a Hawaiian should one day be honored with the presidency? Away with such foolish ideas. Do you entertain the belief that Hawaiians are proposing this base scheme? You may reply that it is only a rumor. But you know that “where there is smoke there is fire.” Are we to wait until we get our necks into the noose, and then begin to take action against it? Now is the time to do it. Delays are dangerous. The first decree of Kamehameha the Great was: “E o-u i ka maka o ka wauke o i opiopio”—(Pluck the pistil of the jesamine while it is young). Therefore, let us kill this poison in its youth. Our failure will cost us our bones; therefore I earnestly urge you to adopt the resolution.
J. Kanui: These reports are still on the wing. I ask, who are these in our land engaged in so vile a scheme? Are there any in this audience? Is it the Queen? Or is it the Cabinet? A treaty is now being negotiated which is a sure road to annexation. Annexation is just as unconstitutional as the forcing of a new constitution upon us.
John Poe (cries of che fa and kiko hua from the audience as he ascended the platform): Gentlemen—I wish to announce to you that I am one of the candidates at the coming election. [Laughter.] I ask you all to adopt the resolution. America may only be scaring us with these false reports. This question will surely come up in the Legislature.
J. K. Kaulia: Fellow citizens, “Watch for Hawaii” should be our constant watchword. Why should we watch? Are we to become a republic? Are we to stand erect on our feet until our heads are lifted towards the heavens and then say we do not want a republic? If England hears of this alleged underhanded work of America to destroy our autonomy, alas, what would she do? Shall Hawaiians remain reticent on this subject until we lose our independence? This report has reached us from abroad, and shall we remain silent like preserved sardines? Do not slumber because we are weak and helpless. Our weakness is our strength if we only unite. I urge you all to adopt the resolution. Read the history of republics and you will find out that the aborigines have always been driven to the mountains and holes, like rats and cats.
Mr. Achi: Mr. Chairman and friends—If we look back to the days of the Kamehamehas and the succeeding sovereigns of Hawaii nei, our Government has always been a monarchy. But as soon as we have a queen to rule over us a republican movement soon arises. The object of this meeting is to notify the world that the Hawaiians do not favor a republic. Those who are agitating this cry may have a reasonable cause for doing so. They may say that America started out into life one hundred years ago as a small nation, but to-day she overtops the whole world in importance. A member of the English Parliament has said that America is destined to be a great nation, and the day is coming when all the combined torees of Europe cannot subdue America. They may take the American republic as an example of rapid progress in civilization. They may wish the sons of the poor to become Presidents. But for me I shall fight till my last drop of blood against any republican movement. Let all those who are instilled with patriotic feelings cry aloud, Hawaiian independence forever. [Applause.] The South American republics are a lesson for us.
Hon. E. K. Lilikalani: Citizens—I am sorry that my predecessors have wandered away from the subject. [Applause.] Our independence cannot be infringed upon. Our safety lies in the independence of the legislature from the Judiciary, the Judiciary from the Executive, etc. One power alone without the consent of the Hawaiians cannot part our independence. If the wealthy class favor it, and the poor Hawaiians object, it cannot be accomplished. [Applause.]
The main reasons why our independence cannot be shaken are these: 1. Hawaii is a constitutional government and is governed by wise laws. 2. Her revenues are sufficient to meet her current expenses. 3. Hawaii is a civilized and a Christian kingdom. She has able enough men to defend her independence. Therefore I say, if all the foreigners from Hawaii to Niihau unite in making Hawaii a republic, and the Hawaiians strongly object to it, America will scorn such movers and call them idiots [Cheers].
The Chairman here put forth the resolutions which were unanimously adopted.
David Malo, who was overwhelmed with joy at the adoption of the resolutions, ascended the platform and heartily thanked the people for their wise decision. He said that the promoters of that vile scheme are unsuccessful office-seekers, who raise this idle cry in order to scare the Queen to give them appointments. They are few and insignificant in number.
The chairman closed the meeting at 9:10 o’clock, and commended the audience on their attention to the proceedings. He concluded by saying Mr. Malo had guessed correctly at the important and chief object which induced the promoters of the republican movement to bring forward their cry. The immense concourse of people then quietly dispersed.
(Pacific Commercial Advertiser, 12/29/1891, p. 4)