Mr. Stevens to Mr. Blaine.
Honolulu, November 14, 1889.
Sir: A careful survey of the present political situation in these islands and a due regard to my responsibility lead me to make this communication to the Department of State.
Of the recent revolutionary attempt to overthrow the present Hawaiian Government and to change the constitution in a retrograde direction the several dispatches of my predecessor and of the undersigned, have informed you. Beaten at their attempt by violence in July, Wilcox and his coadjutors are preparing to accomplish their purposes at the ensuing election of the members of the legislature in February. Apparently they are uniting the natives, who constitute nearly two-thirds of the voters, in the effort to obtain a native and revolutionary majority, and to some extent have enlisted the sympathies of the Chinese, who are not voters, but some of whom use their money to assist the natives in their political designs. Generally the principal land owners and men of business and property are uniting in support of the present Government, regarding it the best the country has ever had. The complex character of the [Page 300]population tends to complicate the political situation, and the most intelligent and thoughtful citizens are anxious about the immediate future.
The past of these islands, since 1835, has shown the usefulness of American naval vessels in the harbor of Honolulu. The revolutionary outbreak of July 30 strongly illustrated this. It is the opinion of the best-informed American residents here that one or more of our naval vessels should be constantly at Honolulu, at least until after the February election and the result of it has been fully tested, and with this view I fully agree, after mature investigation and deliberation. I think the probabilities are against any serious outbreak and that the crisis will be passed safely, but there are possibilities of riot and loss of life, unless prevented by a naval force in the harbor, of which the agitator and the unruly of the natives and of the foreign nationalities have salutary fear.
I presume the necessary instructions have already been given to our naval commanders in the Pacific, and so far as I have observed, Admiral Kimberly is alive to any contingency of danger and duty. None the less do I regard it my duty to report the facts to the Secretary of State, and to urge strongly that there be no possible failure of the retention here of one or more of our vessels of war, with the usual instruction to the officers in command as to an emergency of need.
I have, etc.,