Mr. Merrill to Mr. Blaine.
Honolulu, September 7, 1889.
Sir: Referring to the disturbance of July last, it now appears that among the influences operating to induce the native Hawaiians to attempt such a scheme was the fact that their minds had become [Page 290]imbued with the belief that the foreign residents and the cabinet were in league for the purpose of destroying the autonomy of the kingdom, and this feeling was augmented ‘by letters of indiscreet correspondents, published in the United States, advising the interference of our Government agents to influence the current of Hawaiian political affairs, which were freely quoted and harshly commented upon by the newspapers published here in the native language.
The native, in his simplicity, readily accepted these quotations and statements of the press as true and foreboding the loss of the independence of their country.
There also existed a feeling among many Hawaiians that they were not the recipients of a fair share of the official patronage under the present administration, and that a change of cabinet ministers ought to occur.
Relying upon the result of the revolution in 1887, it was believed that the only thing required to effect the change desired was to surround the Government building with an armed guard, take possession of the palace and the King, make a show of force, compel the promulgation of a new constitution, demand the resignation of the present members of the cabinet and the appointment of others.
In other words, it is asserted by the insurgents that the revolution attempted in July last was intended to be as peaceful and harmless to persons and property as that of June, 1887.
To the native mind generally it is difficult to distinguish any difference of rights in the premises or of the principles on which the two movements were based.
It is also noticeable that among the American residents here there are several who, from personal motives, contemplate with satisfaction periodical disquietude in this kingdom, hoping that frequent revolutionary epochs will force the United States Government to make this group a part of its territory, and to absorb into its body politic this heterogeneous population of 80,000, consisting of Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, native Hawaiians, half-castes, and only about 5,000 of those who may be properly denominated the white race.
In order to keep affairs in as much turmoil as possible baseless rumors are constantly put in circulation, many of which find publication in other countries.
The latest agitation is one against the increase of Chinese, and a movement is now being made to call the legislature in extra session for the purpose of submitting a constitutional amendment on the subject to the people at the election in February next.
It is feared if such a question is submitted to the people as a ministerial measure, that the foreign residents representing the mechanical and planting interests of Hawaii will be divided, while the native Hawaiians will be united and succeed in defeating the measure, thus regaining full control of the Government.
For this reason many among those inclined to favor Chinese restriction oppose the calling of the legislature, fearing the defeat of the reform party as a consequence
I have, etc.,