To Stand Up
For the Rights of My People
March 1, 1893 — After alighting from the Teutonic, on the pier, New York City
Unbidden I stand upon your shores today, where I had thought so soon to receive a Royal welcome. I come unattended except for the loving hearts that have come with me over the winter seas. I hear that Commissioners from my land have been for many days asking this great nation to take away my little vineyard. They speak no word to me, and leave me to find out as I can from the rumors of the air that they would leave me without a home or a name or a nation.
Seventy years ago, Christian America sent over Christian men and women to give religion and civilization to Hawaii. Today three of the sons of those missionaries are at your capitol, asking you to undo their fathers’ work. Who sent them? Who gave them the authority to break the Constitution which they swore they would uphold?
Today, I, a poor, weak girl, with not one of my people near me and all of these statesmen against me, have the strength to stand up for the rights of my people. Even now I can hear their wail in my heart, and it gives me strength and I am strong. Strong in the faith of God. Strong in the knowledge that I am right, strong in the strength of seventy million people who in this free land will hear my cry and will refuse to let their flag cover dishonour to mine!
Source: Princess Ka’iulani of Hawaii: The Monarchy’s Last Hope, by Kristin Zambucka (Honolulu: Mutual Publishing) 2005, pp. 57-58.