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The real January insurrection took place in Hawaii

By Derek Franklin 

(This is the second in a multi-part series called the Unites States of Regime Change. To read the first part, click here.) 

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.” (Confucius) 

On January 6, 2020, several hundred Trump supporters amassed outside the Capitol building in Washington D.C. to protest Joe Biden becoming the 46th President of the United States. Inspired by their infatuation for Trump and alleged voting improprieties in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, protesters descended upon the Capitol steps to voice their displeasure with the defeat of their man, their candidate, their savior.  

Eventually, displeasure turned to anger; anger turned to rage; and rage gave birth to a riotous assault. An assault called “an organized breach of the Capitol,” the likes of which hadn’t been seen in 200 years. Barricades were breached, windows were shattered, congressional offices were occupied and vandalized, and property was stolen. 

After four hours, which must have seemed like an eternity to the congressmen cowering in the Capitol chambers, order was restored, and Joe Biden was certified as President-elect.  

Eight months later, several hundred January 6th rioters were charged with a variety of offenses. They include, “knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.”  

Political partisans and others inflicted with TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) pontificated to the press and shouted on social media that this was an insurrection – a blatant attempt to overthrow the American government by a deranged and armed mob inspired by their charismatic yet devilish leader. 

This was an obvious overstatement – nothing more than professional hustlers (excuse me, politicians) bent on exploiting a crisis. 

However, if we look back into the annals of American history, we can find a real insurrection. It involved the usual suspects – corrupt and immoral American businessmen, power-hungry politicians, the US military, and overmatched foreigners. And it all took place on January 17, 1893, in Hawaii. 

Insurrection origins

On January 14, 1893, John L Stevens, American minister to Hawaii, was visited by Lorrin Thurston and William Smith. These men were a smaller contingent of a larger group that would instigate the overthrow of Hawaii’s government. This insurrection, backed by the US Navy, would usher in over a century US sponsored regime change. 

The men were the first Americans who ever met to plan and carry out the overthrow of a foreign government.  

What they did that night was open “the gates of hell” through American-sponsored coups, revolutions, invasions, and interventions that had far-reaching implications about the role the United States would occupy on the world stage.  

Hawaii’s origin goes back several millennia to a time when the island emerged from a series of volcanic eruptions along the floor of the Pacific Ocean. The expansive Pacific Ocean and primitive modes of transportation made the island cut off from the outside world.  

That all changed on January 18, 1778, when boats, led by the legendary British explorer Captain James Cook, landed off the coast of Kauai. Initially, Cook was received as a god and his sailors were treated favorably. However, complementary treatment soon gave way to violence and the hasty departure of Cook and his crew.  

When desperation led them to return a year later, the islanders bombarded them with rocks.  

Unfazed by the opposition, Cook and his sailors took what they needed by force, eventually killing a Hawaiian chief. The island’s warriors wasted little time in exacting revenge. In the end, they defeated their foreign enemies, including slashing Cook’s body to pieces and roasting what remained in an underground oven. 

Eventually, Hawaii was discovered by other explorers and became a regular stopover destination for sailors. Moreover, Presbyterian and Congregationalist missionaries received word about an island full of infidels waiting to be converted. 

From 1820 to 1850, about 200 hundred missionaries answered the Lord’s call. They moved to the island and dedicated the rest of their lives to bring salvation to lost Hawaiian souls.  

Historically, much of missionary work is equivalent to trying to chop down a California redwood tree with an ax. Such were the conditions in the Sandwich Islands, as they were called by Cook.  

As time wore on, the missionaries’ religious zeal transitioned to a capitalist one. 

Sugar had been grown on the islands for years but was never refined. If the foreigners could secure enough land, they could begin large-scale sugar planting with wealth and prosperity not far behind. 

Beginning of the end 

In the late 1840’s, their ambitions met with fortune. King Kamehameha III implemented a land reform, establishing the principle of land ownership. Armed with the legal right to purchase land, many missionaries turned planters bought large amounts of acreage. It wasn’t long before missionaries and planter elites blended into a single class. 

Around 1875, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Treaty of Reciprocity. The treaty satisfied the overseas trade ambitions of US businessmen, politicians, and military officials. Article IV of the treaty stated: 

No export duty or charges shall be imposed in the Hawaiian Islands or in the United States, upon any of the articles proposed to be admitted into the ports of the United States or the ports of the Hawaiian Islands free of duty, under the First and Second Articles of this convention. It is agreed, on the part of His Hawaiian Majesty, that, so long as this treaty shall remain in force, he will not lease or otherwise dispose of or create any lien upon any port, harbor, or other territory of his dominions, or grant any special privilege or rights of use therein, to any other power, state or government, nor make any treaty by which any other nation shall obtain the same privileges, relative to the admission of any articles free of duty, hereby secured to the United States. (emp. added

The Treaty of Reciprocity accomplished two things. First, it secured the duty-free import of Hawaiian agriculture into the United States, and the duty-free export of U.S. agricultural and manufactured goods into Hawaii. Second, it gave the veneer of Hawaiian independence, but turned Hawaii into an American colony.  

Stephen Kinzer, in his book Overthrow, states that “In the first five years after the treaty was signed, the number of plantations in Hawaii more than tripled. Sugar exports to the United States, which totaled 21 million pounds in 1876, soared to 114 million pounds in 1883 and 225 million pounds in 1890.” To the white planters, Hawaii was a land that “flowed with milk and honey.” 

The “milk” was sugar, and the “honey” was money.  

What ultimately made Hawaii ripe for a takeover was the clash of the tradition of its tribal land-based culture with the pressures brought about by the expanding sugar industry. The few dozen European and American families that essentially controlled the economy and government through a succession of figurehead, native monarchs only added to the problems.  

After eight years, the Treaty of Reciprocity was strengthened and included a clause giving the United States control of Pearl Harbor, the finest natural port in the northern Pacific. 

A few years later, the “bayonet constitution” was passed by “puppet” King David Kalakaua. And its passage cemented the sugar planters’ powers. 

The constitution was named “bayonet” because it was backed by the implied threat of US military force. It granted almost complete authority to cabinet ministers, forbid the monarch from dismissing any cabinet minister without the legislature’s approval, and set wealth and property qualifications for election to the legislature.

It also secured the right to vote for Americans, Europeans, and non-citizens while denying those same rights to Asian laborers.  

When King Kalakaua died in 1891, his sister, fifty-two-year-old Victoria Liliuokalani took over. 

The final revolt 

Despite having to contend with being little more than a “puppet” monarch, the Queen wanted to restore home rule to the islands.  

On January 14, 1893, she proclaimed a new constitution under which only Hawaiian citizens could vote, property qualifications to vote would be eliminated, and the power of non-Hawaiians would be significantly curtailed.  

Needless to say, her plan was not well-received by Hawaii’s U.S. puppet masters. Ultimately, the move to pass a new constitution sealed her and Hawaii’s fate. 

Competing mass meetings were held on January 16, 1893. One was U.S. led, by Lorrin Thurston, while the second was led by several hundred of the Queen’s supporters 

Lorrin Thurston was a third-generation resident of Hawaii – his missionary grandparents having preceded him. While living there he attended schools with Hawaiian students, learned the native language, took the Hawaiian name Kakina, and, as a teenager, became obsessed with politics.  

In addition to being a bit of a “knucklehead,” Thurston was hard working and ambitious. He put himself through Columbia University Law School with money he earned as a supervisor and bookkeeper at the Wailuku Sugar Company. Following graduation, he returned to Hawaii to practice law with his friend William Smith. 

Fueled by the ideology of real white supremacy, Thurston eventually took the lead in the fight to undermine the Hawaiian monarchy in favor of white elite planters. 

At the conclusion of the meeting led by Thurston, a group of roughly one thousand, mostly male white foreigners, concluded the Queen acted illegally and unconstitutionally when she moved to enact a new constitution. 

Here is real white supremacy in action. A group of white foreigners driven by a lust for power, money, wealth, and a contempt for the “savage” natives, engineered a takeover of an entire nation. The destruction of Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921 and Rosewood, Florida in 1923 stand out as similar episodes of real white supremacy. 

Today’s race hustlers and their followers would wilt and die, like winter flowers in the summer heat, if they experienced one-tenth of the white supremacy that existed during the first 25 years of the 20th century. 

Thurston could never have pulled off the Hawaiian insurrection without the help of Secretary of State James G. Blaine, American minister to Honolulu John L. Stevens, and the Navy.  

Blaine had been a supporter of Hawaiian annexation into the US dating back to his days as a local politician and editor of the Kennebec Journal. In January 1893, he sent ambassador Stevens to Hawaii to execute the takeover. 

The end of sovereign Hawaii 

On the afternoon of January 16, 1893, Stevens wrote a letter to Captain Gilbert Wiltse, commander of the Boston, requesting military aid in carrying out the rebellion. A few hours later, 162 American marines and sailors landed at a pier in Honolulu. 

By the following afternoon, an American contingent of rebels backed by the military issued a proclamation removing the existing monarchical system of government. Instead, they set up a provisional government run by Sanford Dole. Many years later, Dole would assist his cousin’s son, James, in building the Dole Food Company.  

Understanding she had been outmaneuvered, the Queen formally surrendered the throne on the morning of January 17, 1893. 

Some might say, “This happened almost 130 years ago…what does this have to do with me?”  A tremendous amount! 

The hostile takeover of Hawaii by 30 or so rebels was the foundation upon which the American empire was built. To build and maintain an empire you need a vast, large military supported by heavy taxation. You also need politicians and military officials who will turn their backs on the Constitution. In the process, Americans lose precious amounts of liberty because they have to endure a massive surveillance state, endless wars, constant propaganda, and a lower standard of living. 

Fast forward to today. 


The US has 750 military bases in 80 countries at an estimated annual cost of $150 billion per year. The empire is alive and well. And make no mistake, every American is in danger because of it. 

The insurrection on January 6, 2020, was nothing of the kind. Based on months of FBI investigations, they found “scant evidence” of any “organized plot.” Those accused of being insurrectionists were nothing more than rioters. Their crime was protesting the ascension of Lord Joseph R Biden to the throne of the United States presidency. 

The real insurrectionists occupy the White House, the halls of Congress, and our nation’s military establishments. 

It’s time we, the American people, put a stop to it.

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Derek Franklin


Derek Franklin is a native of Chicago, is an ordained minister and also works as a finance professional in the banking industry. He’s a small “l” libertarian who was introduced to the political philosophy through the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns of Ron Paul.

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