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1897 Anti-annexation petitions placed in U.S. National Archives

Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Monday, August 9, 1999

By Pat Omandam

The 1897 anti-annexation petitions signed by more than 21,000 peopleagainst Hawaii's annexation to the United States is now a microfilmpublication at the National Archives and Records Administration.

The National Archives in Washington, D.C. today announced the petitionagainst annexation ÷which was signed by more than half of Hawaii'snative population at the time÷ has both genealogical and historicalsignificance to native Hawaiians. With 21,169 signatures from all sevenof the main islands, it provides point of interest for family historiansand strong evidence that most of the native Hawaiian people did not seekannexation in 1897.

The petition is on a single roll of microfilm that also contains Senatedocuments showing certification and receipt of the petition, and theresponses to it by Lorrin Thurston, a representative of thepro-annexation Hawaiian Republic.

A pamphlet with introductory material is available. The microfilm(Microfilm Publication M-1897) can be ordered for $34 from the NationalArchives Trust Fund, P.O. Box 100793, Atlanta, Ga. 30384-0793. Call1-800-234-8861.

The petition is among the permanent records of the U.S. Senate, whichare housed in the Center for Legislative Archives, a division of theNational Archives. The archives hold a range of documents concerningHawaii, including the first treaty between the United States and thekingdom of Hawaii, proposed in 1849 and ratified the following year.

There are also materials on Hawaiian statehood in 1959; exhibits andevidence associated with the Congressional investigation of the Japaneseattack on Pearl Harbor in 1941; and a variety of military and diplomaticreports on the Hawaiian Islands.

More than 500 Hawaii digital images, mostly photographs, are availableat the archives Web site:


See images of the petition on display in August 1998 (along with other images of the centennial commemoration of the illusory annexation that was never ratified due in good part to the effects of the petition).

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