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Treaty of Annexation of Hawaii

Negotiated in 1897
(Never ratified by the United States)

The United States and the Republic of Hawaii, in view of the natural dependence of the Hawaiian Islands upon the United States, of their geographical proximity thereto, of the preponderant share acquired by the United States and its citizens in the industries and trade of said islands and of the expressed desire of the government of the Republic of Hawaii that those islands should be incorporated into the United States as an integral part thereof and under its sovereignty, have determined to accomplish by treaty an object so important to their mutual and permanent welfare.

To this end the high contracting parties have conferred full powers and authority upon their respectively appointed plenipotentiaries, to-wit:

The President of the United States, John Sherman, Secretary of Sate of the United States.

The President of the Republic of Hawaii, Francis March Hatch, Lorrin A. Thurston, and William A. Kinney.


The Republic of Hawaii hereby cedes absolutely and without reserve to the United States of America all rights of sovereignty of whatsoever kind in and over the Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies; and it is agreed that all territory of and appertaining to the Republic of Hawaii is hereby annexed to the United States of America under the name of the Territory of Hawaii.


The Republic of Hawaii also cedes and hereby transfers to the United States the absolute fee and ownership of all public, government or crown lands, public buildings, or edifices, ports, harbors, military equipments, and all other public property of every kind and description belonging to the Government of the Hawaiian Islands, together with every right and appurtenance thereunto appertaining.

The existing laws of the United States relative to public lands shall not apply to such lands in the Hawaiian Islands, but the Congress of the United States shall enact special laws for their management and disposition. Provided, that all revenues from or proceeds of the same, except as regards such part thereof as may be used or occupied for the civil, military or naval purposes of the United States, or may be assigned for the use of the local government, shall be used solely for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Hawaiian Islands for educational and other public purposes.


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

The existing treaties of the Hawaiian Islands with foreign nations shall forthwith cease and determine, being replaced by such treaties as may exist, or as may be hereafter concluded between the United States and such foreign nations. The municipal legislation of the Hawaiian Islands, not enacted for the fulfillment of the treaties so extinguished, and not inconsistent with this treaty nor contrary to the Constitution of the United States, nor to any existing treaty of the United States, shall remain in force until the Congress of the United States shall otherwise determine.

Until legislation shall be enacted extending the United States customs laws and regulations to the Hawaiian Islands, the existing customs relations of the Hawaiian Islands with the United States and other countries shall remain unchanged.


The public debt of the Republic of Hawaii, lawfully existing at the date of the exchange of the ratifications of the treaty, including the amounts due to depositors in the Hawaiian Postal Savings Bank, is hereby assumed by the government of the United States, but the liability of the United States in this regard shall in no case exceed $4,000,000. So long, however, as the existing government and the present commercial relations of the Hawaiian Islands are continued, as herein before provided, said government shall continue to pay the interest on said debt.


There shall be no further immigration of Chinese into the Hawaiian Islands, except upon such conditions as are now or may hereafter be allowed by the laws of the United States, and no Chinese by reason of anything herein contained shall be allowed to enter the United States 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 reasonable and practicable, recommend to Congress such legislation for the Territory of Hawaii as they shall deem necessary or proper.


This treaty shall be ratified by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, on the one part; and by the President of the Republic of Hawaii, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, in accordance with the Constitution of said Republic, on the other; and the ratifications hereof shall be exchanged at Washington as soon as possible.

In witness whereof the respective plenipotentiaries have signed the above articles and have hereunto affixed their seals.

Done in duplicate at the city of Washington, this sixteenth day of June, one thousand, eight hundred and ninety-seven.