Tuesday, August 10, 1999

1897 anti-annexation petition
available on microfilm

By Pat Omandam


The 1897 anti-annexation petition signed by more than 21,000 people against Hawaii's annexation to the United States is now a microfilm publication at the National Archives and Records Administration.

The National Archives in Washington, D.C., yesterday announced the petition against annexation -- which was signed by more than half of Hawaii's native population at the time -- has both genealogical and historical significance to native Hawaiians. With 21,169 signatures from all seven of the main islands, it provides point of interest for family historians and strong evidence that most of the native Hawaiian people did not seek annexation in 1897.

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

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

The petition is among the permanent records of the U.S. Senate, which are housed in the Center for Legislative Archives, a division of the National Archives.

The archives hold a range of other documents concerning Hawaii, including the first treaty between the United States and the Kingdom of Hawaii, proposed in 1849 and ratified the following year.

There are also materials on Hawaiian statehood in 1959; exhibits and evidence associated with the congressional investigation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941; and a variety of military and diplomatic reports on the Hawaiian Islands.

More than 500 Hawaii digital images, mostly photographs, are available at the Web site:

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