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Small man in a tuxedo and tophat shows a large document to Uncle Sam.

“How about This”

On July 4, 1894, the “Republic of Hawaii” was proclaimed by Sanford B. Dole, its recently appointed president. The United States immediately recognized the Republic, and Great Britain and other nations followed suit. This new government created a five-dollar poll tax, a financial requirement that consequently blocked many Kānaka Maoli, or Native Hawaiians, from voting. It also imposed language restrictions targeting Japanese and Chinese residents of the archipelago. 

In 1896, the Republican National Convention platform included this statement supporting the annexation of Hawai‘i: “The Hawaiian Islands should be controlled by the United States, and no foreign powers should be permitted to interfere with them.” 

This caricature featuring Uncle Sam shows him holding a book entitled Monroe Doctrine and closely reading the Republican platform. Dole waits outside the gate with a “Deed gift to Uncle Sam of the Hawaiian Islands.” Hawai‘i was annexed by joint resolution of Congress on July 7, 1898.

Grant E. Hamilton (1862–1926)
Published in Judge magazine, 1898
33.3 × 50.5 cm (13 1/8 × 19 7/8 in.)
University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa Library, Honolulu