Hawai‘i - an integral part of the United States [Oratory Final Entry]



Hawai‘i - an integral part of the United States [Oratory Final Entry]


SK argues that it is a moral obligation of the US to keep HI as an organized territory despite Congress' bills to lessen HI self governance.


Sam King




Please cite as:

Hawaii - An integral part of the US, 4/3/1933, Series 10: Box Number 1, Folder Number 2, Samuel P. King Collection, William S. Richardson School of Law Library, University of Hawai'i at Manoa.




HAWAII-AN INTEGRAL PART OF TEE UNITED .STATES. I come to you tonight from a land five thousand miles away. It is a 'group of islands in mid-Pacific, swept by' the fresh trade winds, , . green and lovely under the tropic sun, sparkling in a sea of azure and emerald. Once peopled only by brown Polynesians whose blood flows in my own veins,it is now a territory of the United Sta,tes. It is a strategic point in the great Pacific area, ,anh8.rmon,"ous,:melting-l?ot of many races, and as a part of our common country it relies upon the principles of the constitution for a full measure of justice. It is on that constitution and its immediate, its vital bearing on Hawaii today, that I speak to you. Hawaii is one of only two territories to be incorporated into the United States from the status of a ~overeign n~tion. She was acquired. neither by.purchase, conquest, nor discoverY,but was annexed of her own " volition by joint resolution ofCongres~in 1898. A treaty of annexation 'was pending at that time, but it did not go through. $0 Hawaii' becsme a paiDte:r~':l . . " ' . . of thenationaltdomain,supject to the general clause of the constitution ,which gives Congress full power over the terrirory or other property of the United States. By that provision the federal 'legislature could have abolished all, Hawaiian laws and completely reorg,anized Hawaii I s govern ... ,mente However; Congress not only allowed the government of theformer'Re- public of Hawaii tooontinue in ope1;'8tion for nearly two years after annexation, but also, by the Organic Act,of 1900, finally established, Hawaii as an incorporated territory on exactly the same basis as the other territories of the United States, all of which have, become states except Alaska. Also, upon the recommendation of a Congressional committee which visited the islands and made a thorough survey of conditmons, American citizenship wa.s extended to all the oi tizens of Hawaii, regardless of race, under the same laws' as apply hereon the mainland.' The Supreme Court of the United States further defined Hawaii's status by deciding in the famous 1I1nsular casee ll that the constitution:d1d follow the'flag to' ".,' .. -2- Hawaii in full force and effect, which is not true in regard to Porto Rico or the Philippines. It is not surprising that Hawaii should have been indorsed so completely, for. during the better part of a century before annexation she had been under the influence of the great American commonwealth. Soon after the .arrival of the missionaries in 1820 Christianity became the religion of the country, and the American principle of religious toleration was accepted as fundamental. Universal education was early established, and before annexation a free, compulsoty, educational system in the English language was in force. In the evolution of Hawaii!s government American models were followed, so that when, the Organic Act went into effect '. pra~t~cally th,e I whole b0py' of . 0.': A/-t- ~ , , .l-J:l.,~~ VJ()..A -~~ """'" '-*", '~\:i..$"'w...~~ ~\..~ Hawaiian law remained in force. Hawaii's trade was from earliest days largely . with America, and after 1876, when a reciprocity treaty was negotiated be- tween the two nations, The Hawaiian Islands became very closely linked with '. the United States. So in her interests and in the body of her culture, Hawaii . . was an American community before she became 'an actual part. of the American nation. Since annexation Hawaii has taken her responsibilities seriously, and has entered into American life with energy. She has carried her share and more of the same burdens as every other part of the United States. The constitution and its amendments automatically apply to Hawaii, and nearly all the general laws of Congress, especially the fiscal and restrictive legislation, include the islands. Hawaii has a credit balance in the federal treasur~ from federal ta;,es of some $140,000,000. Hawaii's people, no matter of what race, look to America for their higher education,in many cases for their life's work, an~ in all cases for their allegiance. At the time of the World War Hawaii contributed her quota to: the nation's effort. Spiritually, economi~ally, and politically, Hawaii has shown herself to be American. What I have been saying, we of Hawaii recognize and accept without 1;,,' -3- mainland do not 1J,.p..pf~tU.i6 . understand or appreciate these' facts. In brief, there hEtve been bills introduced in Congress to lessen the degree of Hawaii's self-government as now enjoyed. Although under the constitution. this action is legally possible. there is in the circumstances of Hawaii 's annexation and in nar history, a moral obligation on the part of the United states to continue her as an organized territory with every right to aspir~ to ultimate statehood. In full confidence that America recognized this obligation, and in the conviction that her destiny was determined by the terrirorial precedents of American history, Hawaii placed her fate in the hands of the American nation without reservations. Let not the American people betray· that trust.


Sam King , “Hawai‘i - an integral part of the United States [Oratory Final Entry],” The Archival Collections at the University of Hawaiʻi School of Law Library, accessed November 29, 2023, http://archives.law.hawaii.edu/items/show/1.