#184 in the Moʻolelo series
Two days before the provisional government declared itself the Republic of Hawaii — they chose July 4th, 1894 — on July 2nd, between 5,000 and 7,000 Hawaiians met at a “hālāwai makaʻāinana nui,” a mass meeting at Palace Square to “express their disagreement with the Republic’s formation, and to approve a resolution drafted by the officers of the Hui Aloha ʻĀina to be submitted to the new US minister, Albert Willis.
Joseph Nāwahī made his famous “lei stand” speech at this meeting, in which he said:
No kakou ka Hale e like me ka na Kamehameha i kukulu ai. Ua kipaku ia ae kakou e ka poe i aea hele mai, a komo i loko o ko kakou hale; a ke olelo mai nei ia kakou, e komo aku a e noho i loko o ka hale kaulei a lakou i manao ai e kukulu iho a onou aku ia kakou a pau e komo aku. O kaʻu hoi e olelo aku nei ia oukou e oʻu mau hoa makaainana, mai noho kakou a ae iki.
The house of government belongs to us, as the Kamehamehas built it. We have been ousted by trespassers who entered our house and who are telling us to go and live in a lei stand that they think to build and force us all into. I am telling you, my fellow citizens, we should not agree in the least.Silva, 2004, 137
When Nawahī died in 1896, Liliʻuokalani remarked that “this was a great blow to the people … He had always been a man who fearlessly advocated the independence of Hawaii nei” (Silva, 2004, 142).