Return to the Hawaiian Independence Home Page or the Legal Documents Index


To Provide for Annexing the Hawaiian Islands tothe United States.

     Whereas the Government of the Republicof Hawaii having, in due form, signified its consent, in the manner providedby its constitution, to cede absolutely and without reserve to the UnitedStates of America all rights of sovereignty of whatsoever kind in and overthe Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies, and also to cede and transferto the United States the absolute fee and ownership of all public, Government,or Crown lands, public buildings or edifices, ports, harbors, militaryequipment, and all other public property of every kind and descriptionbelonging to the Government of the Hawaiian Islands, together with everyright and appurtenance thereunto appertaining; Therefore

     Resolved by the Senate and House ofRepresentatives of the United States of America in Congress Assembled,That said cession is accepted, ratified, and confirmed, and that the saidHawaiian Islands and their dependencies be, and they are hereby, annexedas a part of the territory of the United States and are subject to thesovereign dominion thereof, and that all and singular the property andrights hereinbefore mentioned are vested in the United States of America.

     The existing laws of the United Statesrelative to public lands shall not apply to such lands in the HawaiianIslands; but the Congress of the United States shall enact special lawsfor their management and disposition:  Provided, That all revenuefrom or proceeds of the same, except as regards such part thereof as maybe used or occupied for the civil, military, or naval purposes of the UnitedStates, or may be assigned for the use of the local government, shall beused solely for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Hawaiian Islandsfor educational and other public purposes.

     Until Congress shall provide for the governmentof such islands all the civil, judicial, and military powers exercisedby the officers of the existing government in said islands shall be vestedin such person or persons and shall be exercised in such manner as thePresident of the United States shall direct; and the President shall havethe power to remove said officers and fill the vacancies so occasioned.

     The existing treaties of the HawaiianIslands with foreign nations shall forthwith cease and determine, beingreplaced by such treaties as may exist, or as may be hereafter concluded,between the United States and such foreign nations. The municipal legislationof the Hawaiian Islands, not enacted for the fulfillment of the treatiesso extinguished, and not inconsistent with this joint resolution nor contraryto the Constitution of the United States nor to any existing treaty ofthe United States, shall remain in force until the Congress of the UnitedStates shall otherwise determine.

     Until legislation shall be enacted extendingthe United States customs laws and regulations to the Hawaiian Islandsthe existing customs relations of the Hawaiian Islands with the UnitedStates 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 SavingsBank, is hereby assumed by the Government of the United States; but theliability of the United States in this regard shall in no case exceed fourmillion dollars. So long, however, as the existing Government and the presentcommercial relations of the Hawaiian Islands are continued as hereinbeforeprovided said Government shall continue to pay the interest on said debt.

     There shall be no further immigrationof Chinese into the Hawaiian Islands, except upon such conditions as arenow or may hereafter be allowed by the laws of the United States; no Chinese,by reason of anything herein contained, shall be allowed to enter the UnitedStates from the Hawaiian Islands.

     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 legislationconcerning the Hawaiian Islands as they shall deem necessary or proper.

     SEC. 2. That the commissioners hereinbeforeprovided for shall be appointed by the President, by and with the adviceand consent of the Senate.

     SEC. 3. That the sum of one hundred thousanddollars, or so much thereof as may be necessary; is hereby appropriated,out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, and to beimmediately available, to be expended at the discretion of the Presidentof the United States of America, for the purpose of carrying this jointresolution into effect.

Approved July 7th, 1898.


     This is Resolution No. 55,known as the "Newlands Resolution," 2nd Session, 55th Congress,July 7, 1898; 30 Sta. at L. 750; 2 Supp. R. S. 895. The consent of theRepublic of Hawaii, referred to in the preamble, was signified by the resolutionof the Senate of Hawaii ratifying the treaty, ante, p. 36. The terms ofthe joint resolution differ in some extent from the terms of art. I ofthe treaty. The formal transfer took place Aug. 12, 1898, the date mentionedin ss. 1, 4, 10, 98 and 99 of the Org. Act; (see also Hawaii v. Mankichi,190 U S. 197); but for some purposes at least, the powers of the Hawaiiangovernment may hare ceased on July 7, 1898, the date of the joint resolution,as, for example, the power to dispose of public lands or to grant publicfranchises: 22 Ops. 514, 627; or to issue registers of vessels: 22 Ops.578.
     During the period between annexation andthe establishment of Territorial government, June 14, 1900, the relationsbetween Hawaii and the United States remained practically unchanged; thelaws of Hawaii continued in force; and the constitution and laws of theUnited States in general did not extend to Hawaii, except as otherwiseprovided by the resolution: 22 Ops. 150, and authorities infra.
     Public lands. Power of Hawaii to disposeof, ceased though resolution continued "civil, judicial and militarypowers:" 22 Ops. 574; and this abrogation of power extended to salesor confirmations of title afterwards in cases of conditional sales or entriesmade before the passage of the resolution, and though it continued the"municipal legislation" of Hawaii: 22 Ops. 627; but the dispositionsof public lands and grants of franchises made during that period were ratifiedby Org. Act 5. 73, which see, with ss. 75, 89. 91, 95, 97, 99, and noteson public land, and public property in general ceded by Hawaii.
     Registry of vessel. Hawaiian lawsrelating to, abrogated: 22 Op. 578. Contra: Spencer v. McStocker,11 H. 581; Spencer v. Collector, 12 H. 66. But registers that wereissued during this, period were in effect ratified: Org. Act, s. 98.
     Customs duties. Hawaiian customs lawsremained in force: Peacock v. Republic, 12 H. 27; Ex p. Ah Oi,13 H. 546; Crossman v. U. S., 105 Fed. 608; 22 Ops. 565. See Org.Act, 88. 7 .88, 93.
     Tonnage tax. Hawaiian ports. foreign,within tonnage tax law; 22 Ops. 150.
     Chinese exclusion. United States lawsapplicable: 22 Ops. 249; In re Wong Tuck, 11 H. 600; In re AhHo, 11 H. 654; but Chinese who had previously acquired a residencein Hawaii and were temporarily absent could return, as that was not "furtherimmigration:" 22 Ops. 353, and minority opinions in 11 H. 600, 654,supra. Contra. 11 H. 600, 654, supra. "'Further immigration"means from other countries than the United States 28 Ops. 481. See alsoOrg. Art, ss. 4, 101, and notes.
     Claims against Hawaii. Should be presentedto State Department and by it referred to Hawaii for settlement out ofits separate assets: 22 Ops. 583.
     Copyright law. Not applicable to Hawaii:22 Ops. 268. Contract labor. Hawaiian laws relating to, continued in force:Honomu S. Co. v. Sayewiz, 12 H. 96. See also Hilo S. Co. V. Mioshi,8 H. 201, and Ex p. Edwards, 13 H. 71. These laws were repealedby Org. Act, ss. 7 .10.
     Juries, grand and trial. Hawaiianlaws permitting indictments without grand juries, and verdicts by nineout of twelve trial jurors in civil and criminal cases, continued in force;In continuing municipal legislation not contrary to the constitution, andintention was not shown to extend to Hawaii the constitutional amendmentsrelating to these subjects: Hawaii v. Mankichi, 100 U. S. 197; Rep.v. Edwards, 11 H. 571, and 12 H. 55; Haw. Star v. Saylor, 12H. 64: Honomu S. Co. v. Sayewiz, 12 H. 96; Rep. v. Yamane,12 H. 189; Ter. v. Marshall, 13 H. 76; Ex p. Ah Oi, 13 H.534; Ex p. Mankichi, 18 H. 570; In re Marshall, 1 Estee 34,and minority opinion in 13 H. 32, infra. Contra: Ex p. Edwards,13 H. 82; In re Marshall, I Estee 303, and minority opinions in13 H. 76. 534. 570, supra. See Org. Act, s. 83, and note,
     Admiralty jurisdiction. Continuedin circuit judges of Hawaii: Coigrove v. S. S. City of Columbia,11 H. 693. See also Org. Act, ss. 10, 86, and notes.
     Power of appointment. Of circuit judges,probably continued in President of Republic of Hawaii. but, if not, stillappointees were de facto judges: Hind v. Wilder’s S. Co., 14 H.229. See Org. Act s. 80.
     See Org. Act, ss. 102. 108, on postal savingsbank referred to in this resolution. The commission referred to In thisresolution prepared the Organic Act, post p. 44, which see, with notesthereto, for extension of Federal constitution and laws generally to Hawaiiand for other legislation relative to Hawaii.

Return to the Hawaiian Independence Home Page or the Legal Documents Index