July 7, 1898: Newlands Resolution Annexing Hawaiʻi to the United States
On July 6, 1898, the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution called the Newlands Resolution. On the following day, July 7, 1898, President McKinley signed the resolution and it became law. Below is the first page of the joint resolution:
Signed by King Kalākaua on July 6 and promulgated on July 7, 1887, this was the last constitution of the monarchy. It was popularly known as the “Bayonet Constitution.” Dr. Jon Osorio explains in his book, Dismembering Lāhui: A History of the Hawaiian Nation to 1887, that on July 6, “a small committee of haole individuals brought a hastily scripted constitution to the king and forced his signature.” This document “significantly altered the meaning of citizenship and nationhood in the kingdom.”
July 4, 1894: Constitution of the Republic of Hawaiʻi
On July 4, 1894, the Republic of Hawaiʻi’s first Constitution was promulgated. Article 23 specifically named Sanford B. Dole as the first President. He later became the Governor of Hawaiʻi after annexation. An image of the cover of the 1894 Constitution is below.
On July 2, 1881, Chief Justice Harris passed away. His work was honored by members of the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court bar on July 6, 1881 in a series of condolences. Justice Hartwell presented the following statement on behalf of a committee selected by the Bar to draft resolutions concerning Chief Justice Harris:
The Bar of the Supreme Court of the Hawaiian Islands being assembled at the office of the Attorney General of the Kingdom this 6th day of July, A.D. 1881, in respect for the memory of His Honor the late Chief Justice Charles C. Harris, do resolve : That, by the death of Chief Justice Harris, the interests of the Hawaiian Kingdom have sustained a great loss . . . [Moreover] That these resolves be presented in open Court, with the request that they be entered upon the records of the Supreme Court.”
In the excerpt below, originally found in the Privy Council Minutes, a resolution was passed which granted the petition of Wm. Ryan for the remission of one half the fine imposed for keeping a victualing house without a license. It was granted on condition that he would pay for a license.
Prince Lot also questioned the appropriateness of introducing licenses for taverns and hotels, and adding a clause forbidding them to be turned into dance houses. A transcription of this page is contained below:
June 28, 1830: A Letter from King Kauikeaouli Regarding Horses
This brief letter, which was written when Kauikeaouli was approximately 16 years old, provides instructions about his horses. Please find the transcription below.
Na Kuahine, Oahu Honolulu
Maui Lahaina Iune 28ʻʻ 1830
Aloha nui olua
e Kuahine a me Keomailani. Eia mai a olua mau wahi Ia elua lau au elua lau a Keomailani o tau mau wahi hoouta i hola no ia ia olua Pau ia olelo au ia olua.
Eia neia manao ou ia olua me Kekuanaoa o tou mau Lio e hoouta mai e ha no ou mau lio e hoouta mai ana aole au i ike atu i ta nui lio. O tou mau ao i hola no ia ia outou e hoouta maitai mai oe itua lio. King Kauikeouli
June 27, 1845: Letter from Kekūanāoʻa to Keoni Ana
This letter, dated June 27, 1845 and addressed to Keoni Ana, is a nice example of every day official government correspondence. In Kekūanāoʻa’s letter, he respectfully requests to be excused from the Legislature because he has jury trials that day at the Fort. A transcription of this letter is provided below.
June 22, 1852: An Act to Abolish the Law of Illicit Cohabitation
This session law, enacted on June 22, 1852, repealed the law of illicit cohabitation. The original law was misunderstood and misapplied by the District Judges, and as a result, greatly oppressed the people. Going forward, any such offense would instead be punished as adultery.