Mr. Merrill to Mr. Bayard.
Honolulu, September 19, 1887. (Received October 6.)
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that the first election for members of the Hawaiian legislature under the new constitution was held throughout the Kingdom on the 12th instant, and resulted in a complete victory for the reform or new constitution party there being only two opposition candidates elected.
Election day was very quiet and orderly in Honolulu, and no disturbance is reported in any part of the Kingdom.
So far as I have been able to ascertain the elected members of the legislature are men of property, and fully identified with the progress and prosperity of the country.
The returns indicate a large native Hawaiian vote in favor of the reform party, and that the race issue, which a few endeavored to bring prominently forward, did not meet with favor. Especially is this no ticeable in the case of Mr. Aholo, late minister of the interior, who, being a candidate for the legislature from Lahaina, Mani, is said to have made race prejudice the basis of his campaign, yet, in a community largely composed of native Hawaiians, he was defeated by a large majority.
In fact there was no formidable opposition party, and all candidates publicly accepted and extolled the new constitution, excepting the provisions requiring property qualifications, in voting for nobles, which formed the basis of what little opposition was exhibited.
Whether a session of the legislature will be called before the regular session provided by the constitution to assemble in May, is not fully determined, although it is quite probable it will be convened in extra session some time in November.
Since the election failed to create any undue commotion business affairs move along in the usual channels, and confidence in the continued peace and prosperity of the Kingdom is generally expressed.
I have, etc.,