Honolulu: A.M. Hewett, 1887. First printing. Pamphlet. The first edition of an important narrative of events leading to the adoption of the "bayonet constitution" of 1887. Although the author 's name was not printed in the pamphlet, he was identified through the discovery of a presentation copy held at the Hawaii State Library. The pamphlet lays out the background grievances with the Hawaiian government culminating in the death of Tong Aki, a want-a-be Chinese opium importer who paid a large bribe only to lose out on being awarded the contract. When this became public knowledge, foreign planters Lorrin Thurston, Sanford Dole and their associates used it as an excuse to take the action of adopting a new constitution. Hence the name Bayonet constitution.
The first half of the pamphlet is titles "A Retrospect" in which the proceedings of the "Great Reform Meeting" are given, including quoted or summarized speeches by Sanford Dole, Paul Isenberg, William Henry Rice, Lorrin Thurston and others. The second part of the text prints the 1864 and 1887 constitutions in parallel columns to facilitate comparison.
This pamphlet was bought in Hawaii at the time of publication by Dr. George R. Brush, who was a ship's doctor for the American Squadron in the China Seas.
8vo, 37pp, publishers pale green printed paper wrappers in fine condition.
Forbes 4:3935. OCLC: 16331710. The only auction record found was for a lesser copy in 2006 which achieved $420. Fine. Item #26417