James Henderson Blount

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James Henderson Blount led an investigation into the alleged American involvement in the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Blount (September 12, 1837 – March 8, 1903), an American Congressman from Georgia, was born near Clinton, Georgia. He attended private schools there and in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He graduated from the University of Georgia at Athens in 1858. He studied law and was admitted to the Georgia bar in 1859. During the American Civil War, he served in the Confederate States Army as a private in the Second Georgia Battalion, Floyd Rifles for two years, and was later lieutenant colonel for two years.

Blount served in the United States Congress representing the sixth district of Georgia from 1873 to 1893. He was Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Relations (1891-1893). He was appointed by President of the United States Grover Cleveland to be the United States Department of State Minister to Hawaii with the mission of investigating the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii and the administration of Queen Liliuokalani. The report he issued is known as the Blount Report.

The Blount Report had serious flaws. Blount failed to swear in witnesses, refused to speak to many involved in the revolution, and then issued a report blaming the whole matter on an elaborate American plot to invade Hawaii. The Blount Report is cited as evidence of an illegal takeover of Hawaii by Hawaiian separatists to this day. An investigation of the Hawaiian Revolution was conducted by Congress in 1894. It was bipartisan, swore in witnesses, and interviewed many that James Blount refused to talk with. Congress issued the Morgan Report which refuted the Blount Report and cleared the United States of any wrongdoing during the Hawaiian Revolution.

Blount died in Macon, Georgia, and is buried at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Georgia. His legacy remains as a southern separatist who fought for the Confederacy who also issued a report of dubious nature which is now an article of faith for Hawaiian separatists.