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Photographs of individuals arranged in a circle around a single photo

Committee of Safety

In January 1893, Lorrin Thurston organized the “Committee of Safety,” or the Committee of  Annexation. Modelling themselves after the American Revolution era’s network of committees  (authorized by the Continental Congress governed until state governments were formally  established), the Committee of Safety claimed power to govern during the moment of the Queen  asserting her power as a constitutional monarch. A coup d’état displaced Queen Lili‘uokalani  from her throne on January 17, 1893, and installed a provisional government. Choosing her  words carefully, Queen Lili‘uokalani relinquished her power not to the counterfeit “provisional  government” led by Thurston but to the “superior force of the United States of America.” By  positioning the matter as one concerning the United States and international law, the queen  stalled the completion of the overthrow. Her brilliant diplomacy led President Grover Cleveland  to order an official investigation of the rebellion, yet Congress voted not to intervene on behalf  of Queen Lili‘uokalani. Ultimately, Lili‘uokalani was forced to retreat to her estate in Waikiki  and later to her private residence of Washington Place in Honolulu. The new government did not  allow her to return to the throne to lead the Hawaiian Kingdom as its sovereign.

Unidentified Artist
Reproduction after the original 1893 photographs
Gelatin silver print
Print size TBD by D&P Original approx: 20.3 × 25.4 cm (8 × 10")
Courtesy of the Hawaii State Archives [TBC]