LETTERS OF FORMAL DIPLOMATIC RECOGNITION (DE JURE) OF THE REPUBLIC OF HAWAII, RECEIVED FROM AUGUST 1894THROUGH JANUARY 1895. These letters were signed by Emperors, Kings, Queens, Princes, and Presidents, addressed to His Excellency Sanford B. Dole, President of the Republic of Hawaii.

A related webpage explains the historical significance of these letters of recognition and current political implications. By recognizing the Republic as the legitimate government of Hawaii, the worldwide family of nations effectively condoned the revolution of 1893 as having been “legal” under international law, and acknowledged the right of the Republic to offer a treaty of annexation and to make a deal with the U.S. ceding Hawaii’s public lands in return for paying off Hawaii’s national debt. A secessionist claim is analyzed and refuted by these documents — a claim that the Republic had no legitimacy under international law and was merely a puppet regime of the United States. For details please see this article on the historic significance and current political implications of these newly rediscovered letters of international recognition.

The most visually spectacular letters are the ones from China and Russia. The letter from Queen Victoria (Britain) is of great significance because of the special relationship between Britain and the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1778 to 1893, and the special relationship between Queen Victoria and Queen Liliuokalani. The letter from President Grover Cleveland (U.S.) is important because Cleveland had blamed the Hawaiian revolution on the presence of U.S. peacekeepers. Cleveland had tried to destabilize the Provisional Government and restore Liliuokalani to the throne from March through December 1893, but stopped interfering due to Congressional pressure after the Morgan Report (Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, February 1894) concluded the U.S. had neither conspired in nor assisted the revolution. Liliuokalani’s strongly-worded letter of abdication and oath of loyalty constitute, in effect, a letter from the Kingdom of Hawaii recognizing the Republic as the legitimate government. Thus 19 foreign nations, plus the Kingdom of Hawaii, recognized the Republic of Hawaii as the rightful government under international law.