S.C.R. NO.














HONORING UNITED STATES PRESIDENT GROVER cleveland for his support of the hawaiian monarchy and efforts to preserve the hawaiian kingdom, BY requesting the State of Hawaii, City and County of Honolulu, County of Maui, County of Kauai, AND County of Hawaii to name a state or county property in his name, and requesting the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts to commission a work of art, whether visual or literary, in his name.



WHEREAS, on November 23, 1993, President Bill Clinton signed Public Law 103-150, the "Apology Resolution", an official apology for the January 17, 1893, overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii and the deprivation of the rights of Native Hawaiians to self-determination, which had the effect of commencing the reconciliation efforts between the United States government and the Native Hawaiian people; and


WHEREAS, before 1898, the Kingdom of Hawaii was an independent sovereign state, recognized by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, and Germany; and


WHEREAS, President Grover Cleveland was a friend of Queen Liliuokalani, and recognized the independence and sovereignty of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and he extended full and complete diplomatic recognition to its government; and


WHEREAS, in his first term of office, President Grover Cleveland supported treaties and conventions with the Hawaiian monarchy that governed commerce and navigation, including free trade with Hawaii, the treaty between the United States and the Hawaiian Kingdom that was ratified in 1887, and the installment of a naval base at Pearl Harbor, also in 1887; and


WHEREAS, President Grover Cleveland took strong positions for the country's benefit, weathered the heavy criticism of those who profited from the status quo, and was praised for his honesty, independence, integrity, and perseverance in fighting political corruption, patronage, and bossism; and


WHEREAS, his prestige as a reformer was so strong that even a large wing of the Republican Party defected and supported his election to a second term; and


WHEREAS, on January 17, 1893, American and European businessmen who stood to lose political and financial power by constitutional reforms proposed by Queen Liliuokalani, deposed her in a military coup d'etat, and negotiated with President Benjamin Harrison's Administration for the annexation of Hawaii to the United States reputedly for the personal financial gain of those American and European businessmen who were going to be impacted by the Queen's proposed reform; and


WHEREAS, President Cleveland considered the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom to be an illegal act of war and considered Minister John Stevens' declaration of Hawaii as a United States protectorate and participation by the United States military to be unauthorized; hence, on March 9, 1893, five days after he took office, President Cleveland disavowed the Harrison treaty and withdrew it from consideration by the United States Senate; and


WHEREAS, President Cleveland forestalled the immediate annexation of Hawaii in an eloquent speech defending the Kingdom of Hawaii to the United States Congress on December 18, 1893; and


WHEREAS, the President characterized the acts of the conspirators and the unauthorized military presence on Honolulu soil as an act of war without authority of Congress and without any pretense of legitimate purpose, and done over the protest of the monarchy and during a time of peace and customary orderly condition; and


WHEREAS, President Cleveland declared that by those acts the government of a peaceful and friendly people was overthrown, the national character of the United States was tainted, and the rights of the Hawaiian people were injured, which merited American efforts to correct this "substantial wrong" and restore the Hawaiian Kingdom to its monarchs; and


WHEREAS, President Cleveland strove to reinstate Queen Liliuokalani to her throne, make clear his desire, and pressure the Provisional Government to do so; and


WHEREAS, a standoff occurred between the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom against the Provisional Government, between December 14, 1893, and January 11, 1894, an event known as "Black Week"; and


WHEREAS, in working to reinstate Queen Liliuokalani as sovereign over the Kingdom of Hawaii, President Cleveland sent former Congressman James Blount to investigate the situation; and


WHEREAS, Commissioner Blount ordered that Queen Liliuokalani be restored to power and the American flag be lowered from government buildings, and concluded in his report that the actions taken against the Hawaiian monarchy were improper, the Hawaiian people opposed the annexation of Hawaii, and the removal of Queen Liliuokalani was illegal; and


WHEREAS, throughout his term, President Cleveland opposed annexation and tried to return Queen Liliuokalani to power, and it was not until President William McKinley was inaugurated that the annexation treaty was re-submitted to the United States Senate; and


WHEREAS, President Cleveland's reputation for honesty and good character survived all of the political turmoil of the times he lived in, and the public admiration and reverence for him was such that his biographer Allan Nevins wrote in Grover Cleveland: A Study in Courage, "in Grover Cleveland the greatness lies in typical rather than unusual qualities. He had no endowments that thousands of men do not have. He possessed honesty, courage, firmness, independence, and common sense. But he possessed them to a degree other men do not"; and


WHEREAS, other people involved in ending the Hawaiian monarchy have been honored throughout the State of Hawaii by naming properties after them, including Dole Intermediate School, Thurston Avenue, William McKinley High School, and Thurston lava tube in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park; and


WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that President Grover Cleveland have public property named after him in recognition of his courageous and sincere efforts to assist Queen Liliuokalani to ward off the pressures and forces that overthrew the Hawaiian Kingdom and annexed Hawaii to the United States; now, therefore,


BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-sixth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2012, the House of Representatives concurring, that the State of Hawaii, City and County of Honolulu, County of Maui, County of Kauai, and County of Hawaii are requested to honor President Grover Cleveland by naming a state or county property, respectively, in his name; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts is requested to honor President Cleveland by commissioning a work of art in his name, whether visual or literary, in recognition of his efforts to preserve the Kingdom of Hawaii; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Office of the Governor, Comptroller, State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Mayor and Council Chair of the City and County of Honolulu, and Mayor and Council Chair of the County of Maui, County of Kauai, and County of Hawaii, respectively.









Report Title:

President Grover Cleveland