Civil’s War Echo

Race and cultural condescension underpin the fate of Hawaii and have since the arrival of the missionaries in 1820. It was reaffirmed in Boston in the 1840s in a debate about the missionary duty, slavery, and related wrongs, including contract labor that was central to the exploitation of native Hawaiians and Asians. The coup d’état‘s leaders – Dole, Thurston, and Smith – preserved and exploited the same mentality. In the United States, it stemmed largely from the Civil War, the failure of Reconstruction, and the discrimination directed against southern and eastern European immigrants. By the 1890s – when Hawaii was formally brought to the attention of the United States – two confederate officers, Congressman James Blount and Senator John Morgan, among others – were critical to Hawaii’s fate and both brought to bear their own deeply held experiences about the Civil War and Reconstruction. Henry Cabot Lodge – whose views on foreign policy and Hawaii seemed to dominate the broader debate – found easy and explicit comfort with the southern view on race, ethnicity, and the exclusion of non-Anglo Saxons from voting. In The Rights of My People, Proto documents and explores the interrelationship of these forces and their meaning for Liliuokalani’s battle for the Crown lands in the media, Congress, and the Court of Claims. Although documented throughout the book, Proto dwells deeply into the foundation of this attitude and its meaning in two chapters, The Long Echo of the Civil War: James Blount, and, The Long Echo of the Civil War: John Morgan

“The intellectual and cultural battle over slavery was not confined to America. The abolitionist movement – vociferous in New England – recognized the global nature of slavery and how that related to the [American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions] and the mission in Hawaii…The ABCFM in Boston was divided.”

harriet_beecher_stowe Harriet Beecher Stowe justified slavery

“Southern perspective on the consequences of Reconstruction was not diverse. Caucasians resented it deeply and at their peril. It was not just a loss of privilege and wealth. There was a dramatic alteration in real property rights, business development, and forms of governance. Ulysses Grant became president. Soldiers from the North occupied towns to preserve the new order. Former slaves became legislators, congressmen, councilmen, and proprietors of business. The Ku Klux Klan and other nativist groups emerged in the Midwest and South. They engaged in horrific acts of vandalism, murder, and lynching against blacks, Catholics, and dark-skinned immigrants. A mentality emerged: anger, insidious disquiet, and unalterable suspicion. The Blount family’s expectation of the rural country life was over. Blount practice law in Macon. He entered politics. He was a Democrat.”

Civil_War_Echo James Blount, and
two Georgia Confederates

“To Blount, whose manner reflected a ‘sturdy integrity and a logical turn of mind,’ the central question that tempered his broader view of the Civil War’s meaning was how he thought about the ‘New South’s’ economic relationship with the north.”

“[John Tyler] Morgan volunteered within a month of succession. He was thirty-seven years old. One former colleague described this experience as the first of four epochs in Morgan’s life ‘in which his patriotism, developed by the winds of oppression, sprang into heroic action.’ His ‘heroic action’ was direct, ugly, and penetrated deeply into his character.”

“John Morgan’s view of the south was different than Blount’s. He wanted independence from the north’s financial and industrial strength and the political power that followed.”

John_Tyler_Morgan John Tyler Morgan, soldier
and Senator