Mr. Merrill to Mr. Bayard.
Sir: In order that the important events in the late political commotion referred to in my dispatches may be more compact, I inclose herewith the demands of the citizens, expressed by resolution, the King’s reply to the resolutions, the new constitution* signed by His Majesty, and the official promulgation† of the new constitution.
During the month of June there was evidently a quiet determination on the part of those one met in business houses, or on the streets of Honolulu, that sooner or later some change must be made in Government affairs.
This feeling seemed to be participated in and was most apparent among the American, British, and German residents.
It was believed, however, that no action would be taken until replies were received to the several petitions, and especially did I counsel Americans not to encourage or participate in any act whereby trade and commerce would be interrupted.
On June 28 I received information that Mr. Gibson and all the cabinet had resigned.
The news rapidly spread through the town, and many were doubtful, but hoped it was correct, while some of the extremists apparently hoped it might not be true.
Then began speculation as to who would be called to form a new ministry; but nothing definite was ascertained until the following day, June 29, when it was generally known that Mr. W. L. Green, the present premier, had been called upon.
On June 28, however, the steamer Australia arrived from San Francisco, having on board a large amount of arms and ammunition consigned to well-known firms in Honolulu.
The arms were delivered as consigned, and were soon thereafter distributed to various individuals. On Wednesday evening, June 29, there appeared a printed call for a mass-meeting, to be held at the armory building at 2 o’clock p.m., and in accordance with that call, a mass-meeting was held at the place and hour appointed.
During the day business houses were generally closed as by common consent.[Page 583]
From June 30, day of the mass-meeting, to the 6th instant, the date of signing the new constitution, business was mostly suspended, although the mercantile establishments were generally open.
During the whole affair no violence has occurred.
Reports from other islands in the Kingdom indicate a general acquiescence in the change, while in Honolulu there is some dissatisfaction regarding the distribution of the offices, as well as concerning some of the provisions of the new constitution.
Mr. Gibson, who was arrested on a charge of embezzlement, was released and sailed for San Francisco on the 12th instant.
Business is now moving along in the usual course and affairs have a quiet appearance, yet I shall endeavor to exercise the strictest vigilance concerning events and report as promptly as possible. I have, etc.