Foreign Relations of the United States, 1894, Appendix II, Affairs in Hawaii
Mr. Blount to Mr. Gresham.
Sir: Up to the period of the hauling down of the United States ensign from the Government building there had been inaction on the part of those opposed to annexation. Since then, inspired by that fact, the natives have seemed to act with freedom in expressing their views on the subject of annexation and of the revolution dethroning Liliuokalani. Annexationists and antiannexationists have been active [Page 502]in procuring subscribers to declarations in favor of and against annexation.
I have abstained from any indication of my opinion or wishes concerning the question. When memorials and petitions have been presented, I have made it a rule to state substantially that I would accept the papers simply as a fact in the situation in the Islands, but could not enter into any expression of views thereon.
At this time the indications are unmistakable that a large majority of the people of the Islands are utterly opposed to annexation. I do not look for any change from this situation through future information. I shall be careful, however, to keep myself free to entertain any and all facts in relation thereto, that I may report with accuracy to you.
There is a strong disposition on the part of the annexation element to suppress expressions against annexation by social and business hostility.
I inclose you herewith a newspaper extract containing proceedings of the executive and advisory councils on the subject of the restoration of the monarchy (Inclosure No. 1).
The morning following, delegations from all the Islands were to assemble for the purpose of presenting resolutions to the United States Commissioner indicating their opinion on the present political situation. The reform party are in favor of annexation. The opponents of this party are generally in favor of the restoration of Liliuokalani, but a small minority are inclined to an independent Republic.
I send you a memorial presented to me by a committee of delegates of all the branch associations of the Hawaiian Patriotic League (Inclosure No. 2). It was presented by a committee composed of John Richardson, J. A. Akina, Ben. Nankana, J. R. Kaihiopulani, and S. H. K. Ne.
To this memorial I made response, taken down by our stenographer, Mr. Mills, in the language following:
I will accept it, as I have all memorials, as a matter of information. I can not enter into a discussion of it with you. I am glad to meet you, gentlemen.
It was this body which incited Mr. Emmeluth to offer his resolution, I presume.
I have five petitions signed by natives in favor of annexation, but always coupled with a condition that the right to vote is to be preserved to them. This is the feeling of all the natives who have signed petitions for annexation. It is by assurances that the right of suffrage will be preserved to them that some are induced to sign the petitions. In the future all petitions presenting the views of the people will be fully reported.
I send you an interview with Mr. S. A. Damon, president of the advisory council (Inclosure No. 3); also one with Mr. Henry Waterhouse. a member of the advisory council (Inclosure No. 4); also a letter, in original, from Mr. J. O. Carter; also a copy of a letter from Lieut. Swinburne, and affidavits from Messrs. Charles L. Hopkins, I. F. Colburn, and A. B. Peterson.
These are sent simply as indicating something of the elements which brought about the dethronement of Liliuokalani. I will endeavor to dissipate all the mists connected with this subject before a great while.
I think it will be shown that the American minister recognized the Provisional Government when the chief points of defense of the Queen, to wit: the station house and barracks, had not surrendered, and would riot have surrendered but for that recognition. It is unquestionably the fact that Liliuokalani was induced to sign the protest already communicated [Page 503]to the State Department by Mr. Stevens and to surrender her forces by the belief that she could not successfully contest with the United States, which appeared to her mind to be a party in the impending conflict of arms. She was induced to believe that she would have a hearing on the merits of the interference by the American minister, and gave to it doubtless the fullest faith.
The mail leaves in two and a half hours from now, and this makes it necessary for me to avoid any attempt to elaborate on the condition of affairs at this time.
I am, etc.,
Special Commissioner of the United States.
Since closing the foregoing dispatch I have received an affidavit from Charles B. Wilson, which I send as Inclosure 10. I shall gather all the evidence on this subject which I can obtain from both sides touching the question as to whether the recognition came before or after the surrender of the forces of Liliuokalani. This Wilson is the man described in Minister Stevens’s dispatches as the paramour of the Queen. Whatever there may be in these charges (concerning which I have little information), I am very much inclined to think his affidavit is substantially true.
hawaiian daily star, may 1, 1893.—provisional legislature.
* * * * * * *
Mr. Emmeluth moved a resolution that agitation in favor of the restoration of the monarchy he declared as coming under the terms of the sedition act.
Mr. Waterhouse moved that the resolution pass. It was high time to take action when treason was being conducted under their noses. Here were natives coming from the other islands to agitate for restoration, and receiving encouragement from the Queen, who told them to have hope and courage.
Mr. Emmeluth held that as annexation was the object for which this Provisional Government was formed, it should be regarded as treason for anybody to discuss restoration or an independent republic. It would be only justice to the ignorant Hawaiians to give a clear expression of the Government on this matter. He related an instance of superstition among the natives. A Hawaiian neighbor of his died after four days’ illness, and his widow asked the speaker what her late husband had done that the Government people should had done that to him?
Mr. Young was one who would go the farthest towards toleration, but he believed Mr. Emmeluth was right in the main. It was time they knew whether they were to have a government or not.
Minister Smith said the question had come before him in requests for advice from sheriffs. The Government should deal with the matter cautiously, as there was danger of going too far. Peaceful discussion of the situation he did not think came within the category of sedition. It was certainly lawful under the constitution.
Mr. Brown counseled going slow. Mr. Blount was sent here, it was understood, to ascertain the sentiment of the Hawaiian people, and nothing should be done to obstruct his investigation. Hawaiians loved their flag above everything else. They were like children. If they could retain their flag they would not think much about the loss of the monarchy. Were the monarch of the Kamehameha line it might be different. As it was he thought only a few in Honolulu were wanting restoration, and these because they believed in that event they should come on top.
Mr. Emmeluth was not for suppressing those who were misled, but those who were misleading the Hawaiians.
Mr. Damon thought if the Government was weak it ought to jump on any movement looking toward restoration. The freedom of speech and the freedom of the press was favorable to safety. The Government surely had sufficient standing by this time to be past the necessity for extreme measures.
Mr. Young withdrew his motion to pass, and the resolution was referred to the executive council.
The council went into executive session at 3:35.
Petition of natives.
Whereas His Excellency, Grover Cleveland, President of the United States of America, has honored the Hawaiian nation by sending to us the Hon. James H. Blount as a Special Commissioner to find out the true wishes of the Hawaiian people as to the proposed annexation of their country to their great friend the United States; therefore,
We, the people of the Hawaiian Islands, through the delegates of the branches of the Hawaiian Patriotic League of all the districts throughout the kingdom, in convention assembled, take this mode of submitting our appeal and expression of our unanimous wishes to the people of our great and good friend, the Republic of the United States of America, with whom we always entertained the most cordial relations, whom we have learned to look upon as our patrons and most reliable protectors, and whose honor, integrity, and sense of justice and equity we have ever confidently relied for investigation into the grievous wrongs that have been committed against us as a people, against the person of our sovereign, and the independence of our land.
And while we are anxious to promote the closest and most intimate political and commercial relations with the United States, we do not believe that the time has yet come for us to be deprived of our nationality and of our sovereign by annexation to any foreign power.
And therefore we do hereby earnestly and sincerely pray that the great wrongs committed against us may be righted by the restoration of the independent autonomy and constitutional government of our Kingdom under our beloved Queen Liliuokalani, in whom we have the utmost confidence as a conscientious and popular ruler.
- S. T. Pühonua.
- Henry West.
- K. M. Koahou.
- D. Hoakimaa.
- T. P. Kaaeae.
- J. H. Halawale.
- S. H. K. Ne.
- W. E. N. Kanealü.
- C. G. Naope.
island of maui.
- R. H. Makekau.
- J. K. Kealoalü
- D. Kanaka.
- John Richardson.
- Thomas Clark.
- Thos. Benj. Lyons.
- John Kaluna.
- J. Kamakele.
- S. D. Kapers.
- S. W. Kaai.
island of molokal.
- J. N. Uahinui.
- J. K. Kaipeopulani.
- D. Himeni.
- J. P. Kapoehaale.
- S. K. Kahalehulu.
- S. K. Piiapoo.
island of oahu.
- F. S. Keike.
- C. Keawe.
- John Kapamawaho Prendergast.
- Enoch Johnson.
- Sam K. Pua.
- S. K. Kaupu.
- D. W. Keliiokamoku.
- S. W. Kaiiieha.
- Benj. Naukana.
island of kaual.
- Chas. Kahee.
- Geo. W. Mahikoa.
- J. A. Akina.
- D. N. Kamaliikaue.
- Sam P. Kaleikini.
- J. Molokui.
President Patriotic League.
Interview between Mr. Damon and Mr. Blount.
Mr. Blount. How long have you lived here?
Mr. Damon. I was born here in 1845. I have been away several times—perhaps to the extent of three or four years in that time.
Q. Where were you on the 14th of January, 1893, at the time the proclamation dethroning the Queen and establishing the Provisional Government was read?
A. I was at Honolulu. I was one of the members of that body who went up.
Q. The paper was read by Mr. Cooper?
A. By Judge Cooper.
Q. How many of you were there in that body which went up—about?
A. The whole body. There would be four of the executive and fourteen of the advisory.
Q. Please look at this paper and see if they are the persons (Senate Ex. Doc. No. 76, Fifty-second Congress, second session).
A. Thurston was not present, and I do not think Wilhelm was there.
Q. Where did you start from?
A. From W. O. Smith’s office on Fort street.
Q. And what street did you take going from there?
A. We walked up directly to the Government house on Merchant street. It was suggested that a part should go by the way of Queen street, but a majority of us went by way of Merchant street.
Q. What was the idea for dividing the committee?
A. So that it should not attract so much attention, and it would be safer perhaps to have it divided than going in mass.
Q. Was it because it occurred to them that it might invite attack if they went in mass?
A. That was partly the idea—that it was more prudent. I think we, most of us, walked together—not compactly, but together.
Q. Any crowd following you?
A. No; the crowd was attracted to the corner of Fort and King streets, owing to the shot that was fired by Mr. Good at a policeman. In fact, the crowd cleared from the Government house and was attracted there. From all directions they centered at the corner of Hall’s store.
Q. You found, then, scarcely anyone at the Government house when the committee arrived?
A. Scarcely anyone there except porters. After Mr. Cooper began to read the proclamation—then different ones came out of the offices—clerks and officials—while the proclamation was being read.
Q. Some of the Provisional Government troops, or rather troops raised at the direction of the Committee of Safety, came on the ground before the reading of the proclamation was finished?
A. When we arrived there was but one man with a rifle on the premises, Mr. Oscar White; but some little time later they commenced to come in from the armory, troops that were under the supervision of Col. Soper.
Q. Was that before or during the reading of the proclamation?
A. During the reading. Toward the end of it.
Q. How many troops came in? Do you have any knowledge of the number you had enlisted?
A. There were enough came in to make us feel more decidedly at ease than before they arrived.
Q. You could not say how many there were?
A. No; they kept coming in right along. They got to be quite a body.
Q. After the reading of the proclamation the late ministers were sent for?
A. After the reading of the proclamation we adjourned to the office of the Minister of the Interior, and then we commenced to formulate our plans and get ourselves into working order. Mr. Dole was at the head. While we were there in consultation Mr. Cornwell and Mr. Parker came up there from the Station House and held a conference with us.
Q. What was the purport of that conference?
A. The result of that conference was that Mr. Bolte and myself were requested to return with Mr. Cornwell and Mr. Parker to the Station House and recommend and urge upon the parties in power at the Police Station to surrender to the Provisional Government. We had a conference with the ministers in the room occupied generally by the deputy marshal. There were present Messrs. Peterson, Colburn, Parker, Cornwell, Bolte, and later Mr. Neumann, who was asked to come in. After consultation of the matter of their yielding up their power to the Provisional Government they asked to be let alone for a few moments, and I went into one of the rear cells in [Page 506]the corridor with Marshal Wilson and urged him very strongly to give up any hope or any thought of making any attack, or resistance, more properly.
Q. What reason did you give him?
A. I can not remember at the present moment giving him a reason, but I remember distinctly saying to him: “Now, if you will cooperate with us, if in future I can be of service to you I will do so.
Q. Was there any suggestion of sympathy on the part of the United States Minister in your movement?
A. While I was in the Station House a man by the name of Bowler said to me: “We are all prepared, but I will never fight against the American flag.”
Q. Was there anything in the conversation between you and him in which any intimation direct or indirect that the United States Minister was in sympathy with you or the United States troops and officers?
A. I can not remember any definite thing, but from Mr. Bowler’s remark they must have thought that the United States troops were here for some purpose.
Q. Was Mr. Bowler with the Queen’s party?
A. He was. He was part of the force in the Station House.
Q. Did you say anything at all indicating an opinion that there was any sympathy on the part of Mr. Stevens or Capt. Wiltse with the movement for the new government?
A. I can not remember. I may possibly have said so.
Q. Did you think so at that time?
A. I may have had an impression, but I know nothing about it.
Q. What was your impression?
A. My impression was, seeing the troops landed here in this time of excitement aid turmoil, that—well, I suppose I might say that they could not stand it any longer the Americans could not stand any longer.
Q. Your impression, then, was that the American Minister and Captain Wiltse and the troops were in sympathy with the movement of the white residents here in the pending controversy between them and the Queen?
A. While we were in the Government building and during the reading of the proclamation and while we were all extremely nervous as to our personal safety, I asked one of the men with me there: “Will not the American troops support us?” Finally I tasked one of the men to go over and ask Lieut. Swinburne if he was not going to send someone over to protect us? The man returned and said to me, “Capt. Wiltse’s orders are ‘I remain passive.’” That is all I know of what passed between us.
Q. You speak of your impression. That relates to a particular conversation between two or three persons; but what was your impression as to the matter of whether or not the American Minister and the American naval officers were in sympathy with the movement?
A. I was perfectly nonplussed by not receiving any support. I could not imagine why we were there without being supported by American troops, prior to the troops coming from the armory. We were not supported in any way.
Q. You had not been in council with the Committee of Public Safety up to that time?
Q. Well, the troops were—how far off from the reading of the proclamation?
A. They were over in that yard known as Gilson yard in the rear of the music hall. They were quartered there.
Q. Any artillery?
A. I think they had a small gun—Gatling gun and howitzer.
Q. Where were they pointed—in what direction?
A. I can not tell you.
Q. You were surprised that they-did not come into the grounds while the proclamation was being read. Is that what you mean by not supporting you?
A. I had no definite information what the movement was, as I told you before in a private interview, but knowing that they were on shore I supposed that they would support us, and when they did not support us, and we were there for fifteen or twenty minutes I was perfectly astonished that we were in that position without any support.
Q. How far would you say, in yards, it was from where the proclamation was being read to where the nearest troops were?
A. I think about 75 yards.
Q. Was there a piece of artillery in the street between the building the troops were stationed in and the Government building?
A. The only piece of firearms of any kind in that street was Oscar White’s rifle. We met him as we came around the corner.
Q. Did you have occasion to look there to see?
A. We stopped before turning into the side gate to converse with Oscar White, before proceeding into the Government building.[Page 507]
Q. Are you sure there was not a piece of artillery in that street before the reading of the proclamation?
A. I can not tell you; but the only gun I could see was Oscar White’s. I remarked: “Oscar, this is not so very prudent for you to be here with only one rifle in this street.”
Q. Where did you see the troops first?
A. I came up from Monolalua by a back street and turned into Nuuana street, one house above Mr. Stevens’, and as I turned the corner I saw the American troops marching up towards Mr. Stevens’ house, and directly in front of his house.
Q. Did you meet Mr. Henry Waterhouse?
A. I met him there at that time.
Q. What conversation passed between you?
A. I think I said: “Henry, what does all this mean?” If I remember rightly now, he said: “It is all up.”
Q. And what did you understand by the expression, “It is all up?”
A. I understand from that that the American troops had taken possession of the island. That was my impression.
Q. And was that favorable to the Queen or favorable to the other side, as you understood it?
A. That was distinctly favorable to the foreign element hero.
Q. You mean the movement for a Provisional Government?
Q. Did you, see Mr. Stevens that day?
A. No; I did not see him that day.
Q. What is Mr. Waterhouse doing now?
A. Henry? He is a member of the council.
Q. Was he a member of the Committee of Public Safety?
A. If I remember right, he was.
Q. Is that his signature [exhibiting letter of Committee of Public Safety to Mr. Stevens]?
The letter is as follows:
Hawaiian Islands, Honolulu, January 16, 1893.
Sir: We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Honolulu, respectfully represent that in view of recent public events in this Kingdom, culminating in the revolutionary acts of Queen Liliuokalani on Saturday last, the public safety is menaced, and lives and property are in peril, and we appeal to you and to the United States forces at your command for assistance.
The Queen, with the aid of armed force and accompanied by threats of violence and bloodshed from those with whom she was acting, attempted to proclaim a new constitution, and while prevented for the time from accomplishing her object, declared publicly that she would only defer her action.
This conduct and action was upon an occasion and under circumstances which have created general alarm and terror.
We are unable to protect ourselves without aid, and therefore pray for the protection of the United States forces.
Henry E. Cooper,
F. W. McChesney,
W. C. Wilder,
William O. Smith,
Theo. F. Lansing,
L. A. Thurston,
Wm. R. Castle,
Citizens’ Committee of Safety.
His Excellency, John L.
American Minister Resident.
A. Yes, it is.
Q. Did he seem then pleased or alarmed?
A. He was very much strained and excited. There was no pleasure in it, but still there was a feeling of security. That was it. He evinced a feeling of security. He was not smiling or joking.
Q. It was not a joking time. Well, you say there was nothing in the first visit of yours to the Station House to indicate any impression on your part that you [Page 508]believed the United States Minister or the United States troops, or both, were in sympathy with the movement of the committee of safety?
A. I was nonplussed. 1 did suppose they were going to support us.
Q. You did not say anything to the people in the Station House to lead them to suppose you were hopeful of aid?
A. I can not remember saying it now; I might have done so.
Q. Did you say it at any place?
A. I do not remember; I may have said it.
Q. Was there an effort on the part of those who were moving for a change of government to make that impression?
A. I think there was.
Q. Was that impression among the whites generally.
A. That I can not say. I know there was that impression. Some of the members tried to convey that impression.
Q. On what occasion?
A. Many occasions. One particular occasion was while we were in the Government building the day the proclamation was read.
Q. What was said, and who said it?
A. Charles Carter said to me: “After you are in possession of the Government building the troops will support you.” I think that was his remark.
Q. Was he on the committee of public safety?
A. I think so.
Q. Was he in the party that went up to read the proclamation?
A. He was present there during the time it was read. Whether he went up with as or not I do not remember.
Q. it was during that time he made that remark?
Q. Was he an active promoter of the movement?
A. I think he was.
Q. Has he any connection with the Government to-day?
A. No, except he is one of the Commissioners in Washington.
Q. You have been in previous revolutions here?
A. I have been in the Wilcox revolution. I took quite a prominent part in its suppression. I was one of the ministers at the time.
Q. You had a conversation with Mr. Carter about the time the proclamation was being read?
Q. You were somewhat anxious as to whether or not you would be supported by United States troops?
Q. Did you express any fear in the presence of Mr. Carter?
A. Well, no man likes to tell he was afraid.
Q. I do not mean in a cowardly sense.
A. Well, with others, I was convinced that we were in a position of danger.
Q. What did Mr. Carter say?
A. He gave me to understand that we would be protected.
Q. By United States troops?
A. Yes; and when we were not protected by them I wanted to know the reason why.
Q. Do you mean by that that you expected them to march over?
A. I was under the impression that they would.
Q. What did you accomplish by that first visit to the Station House—any agreement?
A. We accomplished this—that it was a virtual giving up.
Q. What was said? What did the ministers say?
A. This is my impression of it to-day: That if they had only to contend with the Provisional Government and the forces of the Provisional Government that they would not give up. That was the impression that I gathered from them; that they felt themselves equal to the occasion so far as the Provisional Government went.
Q. Then having that sort of feeling, what did they propose to do?
A. They proposed to immediately deliver up. Then they went up, four of them, and had a parley with Mr. Dole and the Provisional Government. They agreed to desist, but said they must go to the Queen and get her to confer with them.
Q. So far as they were concerned they were willing to yield, provided the Queen was?
A. Yes. Then I went along with them to the palace. We all met in the Blue Room. There were present the Queen, two young princes, the four ministers, Judge Widdeman, Paul Neumann, J. O. Carter, E. C. McFarland and myself. We went over between 4 and 5 and remained until 6 discussing the situation.
Q. In that conversation you asked for a surrender of the forces, and the ministers advised it?
A. The different ones spoke and they all recommended it. Each one spoke. At [Page 509]first, Judge Widdeman was opposed to it, but he finally changed his mind on the advice of Mr. Neumann. Mr. Neumann advised yielding. Each one advised it.
Q. Was this advice of Neumann and the cabinet based on the idea that the Queen would have to contend with the United States forces as well as the forces of the Provisional Government?
A. It was the Queen’s idea that she could surrender pending a settlement at Washington, and it was on that condition that she gave up. If I remember right I spoke to her also. I said she could surrender or abdicate under protest.
Q. And that the protest would be considered at a later period at Washington?
A. At a later period.
Q. Did the cabinet in recommending her to yield to the Provisional Government give her to understand that they supposed that the American minister and the United States troops were in sympathy with the Provisional Government or with the Committee of Public Safety?
A. I know it was the Queen’s idea that Mr. Stevens was in sympathy with this movement.
Q. But I am asking now as to what reasons the ministers gave for her acquiescence.
A. It was their idea that it was useless to carry on—that it would be provocative of bloodshed and trouble if she persisted in this matter longer; that it was wiser for her to abdicate under protest and have a hearing at a later time. That the forces against her were too strong.
Q. Did they indicate the United States forces at all in any way?
A. I do not remember their doing so.
Q. Do you know whether or not at that time they were under the impression that the United States forces were in sympathy with the revolution?
A. Beyond an impression I know nothing definite.
Q. What was the result of this conference with the Queen? What was agreed on?
A. She signed a document surrendering her rights to the Provisional Government under protest.
Q. Is this the protest on page 22, Ex. Doc. No. 76, 52d Cong., 2d Sess?
A. Yes. This was written out by Mr. Neumann and J. O. Carter while we were present. She was reluctant to agree to this, but was advised that the whole subject would come up for final consideration at Washington.
Q. Did you at the time consent to recommend this proposition or not?
A. I was there as a member of the Provisional Government, but I did not advise as to the wording of it. I did tell her that she would have a perfect right to be heard at a later period.
Q. By the United States Government?
Q. You, yourself, at that time, before consulting with your colleagues, were favorably impressed with that settlement?
A. Well, it was the only settlement that could be brought about. Personally I was satisfied with it.
Q. And you took that back to the Provisional Government?
Q. And they rejected it?
A. It was received and indorsed by Mr. Dole.
Q. Now, was there any message sent to the Queen after that?
Q. No message declaring that they would not accept it?
Q. The surrender was then made on that proposition?
A. Yes; well, then she sent down word through Mr. Peterson to Mr. Wilson to deliver up the Station House. That wound up the whole affair. We immediately took possession of it. It was not delivered up until after this conference.
Q. Now how long after that was it before the Provisional Government was recognized?
A. Mr. Stevens sent Cadet Pringle, his aid, and Capt. Wiltse sent one of his officers to personally examine the building and report if the Provisional Government was in actual possession of the Government building. That was done that afternoon.
Q. What time?
A. Between 4 and 5.
Q. What time was the interview with the Queen?
A. After 4, and ended at 6.
Q. You took reply?
A. Mr. Neumann took the reply to Mr. Dole,
Q. Now, when this interview was going on between you, the cabinet ministers, and the Queen, it was known then that the Government had been recognized?[Page 510]
A. That the Queen knew it? I do not think she was told. I do not remember of it being spoken of.
Q. Didn’t you know it?
A. I think I knew it.
Q. Didn’t these ministers know it then?
A. They may have been present. I can not say. The Provisional Government were all present when Mr. Stevens recognized it as the de facto government.
Q. What I mean is this: Before you took the message of the Queen back this protest—the Provisional Government had been recognized?
A. Yes; that is my impression.
Q. Had that been done at the time you left the Government house to go with the cabinet ministers to talk with the Queen?
A. If my memory serves me right, it had.
Q. Did not the cabinet officers know of it at this time?
A. I can not say.
Q. What do you know about the contents of the constitution she wanted to proclaim?
A. It is too long to write down. I can tell you my connection with it.
Q. Have you seen it?
Q. What is the aspiration of the native mind as to the form of government?
A. I think that their ambition is to obtain the power through the vote. They have tasted what it is to hold the control by the vote, and they are very tenacious of that right. They are to a certain extent clannish in that idea; but the trouble comes in that they have not used that power wisely, and it is the fact of the Polynesians combining in their votes to retain the power—and forgetting the intelligent power of the Anglo-Saxons, even when in a minority—that has caused the trouble. The real break in the Hawaiian system of government commenced at the time of Kamehameha V, when he took away their old constitution and gave them a constitution of his own making. That started revolutions in this country. There is the starting point where the roads diverged which has brought about the succession of unrest in different governments from that day to this. Now, the Hawaiians from that date, or within close proximity to it, commenced to feel what it was to have the vote, and what influence they could exert, and naturally the Hawaiian, as the weaker race, have attempted in every succeeding Legislature to work together, but there has always been a disintegration in every Legislature. They could not hold themselves together compactly as a body. Whenever they have had the opportunity to exercise this power it has not been at the level of the intelligent Anglo-Saxon idea of making laws or carrying out a system of government. It has chafed the Anglo-Saxon. He would not tolerate it. He has found that he could control it indirectly, if he could not directly, by his superior education and intelligence. The Hawaiians had grown to a feeling of independence, and in company with the Queen they wanted to throw off that Anglo-Saxon domination which has been with them and controlled them all these years. When it came to that point that they felt that they could do it, then the clash came. Of course there are other reasons which brought it about. But it is the clashing of two nationalities for supremacy.
Q. That was the great underlying cause? The financial questions were incidental questions?
A. That was the underlying cause—the Hawaiian thinking, because he had a majority of votes, that it gave him power. He didn’t recognize that the intelligence and strong will of the Anglo-Saxon would beat him every time.
Q. The Hawaiian Almanac and Annual for 1891 states that in the general election for 1890 the total vote for nobles throughout the islands was 3,187, and that the total vote for representatives was 11,671. That is about correct?
A. I should judge so—that is a very correct source of information.
Q. That would make 8,484 more for representatives than for nobles?
Q. Does that difference grow out of the fact that there is no moneyed qualification to vote for representatives, but for nobles there is required a property qualification of $3,000 (unincumbered) or an income of $600?
A. Unquestionably, That disparity of numbers, if it had been carried to a fine point, would have been very much larger, but there was and is a laxity in the Admittance of many people to vote for nobles.
Q. Now, that 3,187 votes for nobles was generally a white vote, was it not?
A. There was a good many Hawaiians in that vote for nobles.
Q. What proportion would you say as between whites and natives?
A. I think those statistics could be got for you. It would not be wise for me to say. I should think about 25 per cent.
Q. Native vote?
Q. The balance was a white vote?[Page 511]
Q. It was in the power, then, of the whites united to elect the body of nobles, was it not?
A. The whites as a rule used all their influence to control the noble vote.
Q. Why did the whites use all their influence to control the noble vote?
A. Because it was their only hope of controlling or influencing legislation.
Q. How many nobles and how many representatives were there under the constitution?
A. Equal—about 24 each.
Q. If the whites could get the 24 votes of the nobles, then they had an absolute bar to any action by the representatives or the King?
A. That was the intention.
Q. If they got two or three representatives they had control of legislation so far as that legislative body was concerned?
A. If it had been carried out to its logical conclusion it would have been so, but as the result proved, they were not able to entirely control the noble vote.
Q. Now, if they had been able to entirely control the noble vote, and to get some of the representatives, they could have determined the question of the cabinet?
Q. They could have removed any cabinet that did not suit them?
A. Yes; provided all the whites had banded together.
Q. I suppose sometimes the whites didn’t keep banded together—and the natives in all things?
Q. You had within yourselves those sources of power?
Q. That was the principal cause of agitation for many years in elections?
A. Yes. Where the Hawaiian felt that his cause was weak, and it was to that point that, so far as they were able, they were striving so as to maintain the control.
Q. Now, Mr. Damon, do you think that you could have good government here on the basis of an educational qualification for voters, so as to allow everybody who could read and write to vote?
A. Yes; provided there was some strong power, as one might say it—as in an unruly school—to preserve order.
Q. Do you think that you could maintain a state government like the states of the American Union with that sort of suffrage?
A. My personal opinion is that we could grow up into that by a period of trial, until the voter appreciated what a vote really meant.
Q. How long do you think that would take to get the native population up to the high standard of the whites on that question? Can you see any time definitely or clearly?
A. I am of this opinion—that they have had so much given to them in this country—everything has been so free to them, that they have not appreciated the advantages that they have; but when they get to be deprived of the franchise for a period of, say, five years, until they have wrestled for it and waited for it, that when it is given to them eventually they will appreciate it.
Q. Do you think that in five years after annexation you could give to every native who could read and write the right to vote?
A. Yes; provided the franchise was extended to other nationalities here.
Q. What other nationalities here?
A. There is a growing Portuguese element here. There is a growing intelligent Japanese element here of the better classes, and those Chinese who are born in the country and have interests here.
Q. What sort of interests?
A. Either commercial, agricultural, or professional.
Q. You make the same qualification as to votes for all of them?
Q. Suppose the Chinese were not allowed to vote—then what?
A. They have not the same desire except in isolated cases for voting that the Hawaiians, Portugese, and Japanese have. They have not been accustomed to it.
Q. Do you allow any Japanese to vote here now?
A. No; not at present.
Q. I mean before the revolution?
Q. Any Chinese allowed to vote?
Q. Is there anything you desire to say Mr. Damon other than what you have said?
A. I would say that I was born here, brought up here, and have a sincere regard for the Hawaiian people, because they have many good traits. They have shown a desire, especially the generation which is now and that which is coming on, to put themselves forward if they knew how, and though they may be a diminishing race [Page 512]they are a hopeful race that have not given up the struggle to keep up the Hawaiian name. If we are going to educate them it is just so much thrown away unless they can have some hope held before them that they will be recognized as men in future, and if there is anything I could do to assist them, especially the young and upright Hawaiians, I would like to do it, because they have invariably treated me—whether sovereign, chief, or common Hawaiian—with such invariable kindness that I should be lacking in manhood if I did not want to help them up if possible.
Q. As to integrity in business matters, how do they compare with people in their condition in life generally?
A. I think the mistake has been made that you take a Hawaiian and compare him with the Anglo-Saxon standard and expect him to be up even with him when he has not had time and opportunity to fit himself for that standard. You should compare the Hawaiian with what he is to-day and what he was fifty years ago.
Q. It is better to compare him with some race that exists to-day.
A. He does lack what is called backbone to carry out to a finish any project that he has.
Q. Business or otherwise?
Q. But would you say that generally he was an honest man?
A. I should say so; yes.
Q. Is there any fear of violence to the persons of women on the part of the natives?
A. I think he is in advance of what is called the ordinary white man in that respect.
Q. That is a striking feature in his make up, and that is always appreciated by the best elements here?
A. Yes; and why it is so is that it is only a few years since he looked to the white men as a superior race, and he at heart feels that they are a superior race to-day.
Q. Now is that entirely correct?
A. A more powerful race, perhaps.
Q. Well now, as to another point let me ask you: Wilson lived in the bungalow with his wife and children?
A. His son is in California. He has no other child.
Q. He lived with his wife then?
A. Yes. I have heard that he had a strong influence over the Queen for many years, because Dominis, her husband, was a weak man. Wilson is a strong-willed, powerful man, and she has looked to him as a protector.
Q. He was is in command of the police forces?
A. Yes; at the time, and ever since she was Queen.
Q. The Palace gates have been guarded?
Q. Who commanded the guards?
A. Nowlein and Wilson commanded the police force. Both were intimate friends of the Queen.
Q. He lived in the Palace?
A. He lived in the bungalow—report said so. He has his own dwelling about a mile from here.
Q. You do not understand that he and his family lived in the Palace proper, with the Queen?
A. No; they had a house in the yard.
Q. If the question of annexation was submitted to the people of these islands, with no property qualification, but only the qualification that the elector should read and write, and conducted on what is sometimes termed the Australian-ballot law, what do you think would be the result of a free expression of the people in the matter of annexation at this time?
A. The sentiment is a growing sentiment, but at this time I think a majority would not vote in favor of it, but, given time to realize it, they would.
Q. How much time do you think would be necessary to bring about such a condition of things in these islands?
A. I think if the Provisional Government is kept in very long they will home to it very quick. They do not like the Provisional Government, for the reason that it is a government that has not been placed there by their votes. I am quite sure I have given you a correct answer.
Q. At the time of the dethronement of the Queen was it known in the other islands?
Q. They knew nothing of it until after it was accomplished?
A. They did not.
Q. Then it was accomplished by the Honolulu movement?
Q. What is your condition here as to the matter of acquiescence of the natives with existing authority—their observing order?[Page 513]
A. If they had a real, able leader, in whom they had perfect confidence, he could collect quite a force to follow him.
Q. To attack the existing Government?
Q. You do not apprehend any such movement?
A. No, unless that in a period of excitement it should spring up; and, therefore, I have advised a strong force being retained, because we did not know but in some moment of excitement somebody would take advantage of it and make trouble.
Q. What number of troops have you underpay?
A. One hundred and seventy in all.
Q. The artillery is hardly to be spoken of—but one company?
Q. How many pieces?
A. They have some eight or ten pieces, but, from motives of prudence, they have locked up the intricate parts in vaults.
Q. So far as you know, the natives have no artillery?
Q. No arms?
A. No great quantity. They have scattered rifles and pistols.
Q. Do they amount to anything in case of contest?
A. We have no means of telling at this time.
Tuesday, May 2, 1893.
Q. Mr. Damon, at the time of the writing of the protest of the Queen on the 17th day of January, 1893, signed by herself and Ministers, had the Provisional Government been recognized by the American Minister, Mr. Stevens?
A. It is my impression that it had been, but I can not say positively.
Q. Would the conversation you had with the Queen on that day aid you in determining that fact?
A. I do not think it would.
Q. In referring to Mrs. Wilson living with the Queen, in a previous part of this statement, did you mean to say that she stayed with her at night.
A. I meant to say that she was with the Queen a great deal of the time—both day and night.
Q. As a companion?
A. Yes; as a personal friend and companion.
Q. But where do you suppose she slept—at the bungalow or palace?
A. My impression is that her quarters were with her husband in the bungalow.
I have carefully read through the foregoing and pronounce it an accurate report of the two interviews between Mr. Blount and myself.
Interview between Mr. Waterhouse and Mr. Blount.
Mr. Blount. How long have you lived in Honolulu?
A. I came here in 1851.
Q. Born where?
A. In Tasmania.
Q. What nationality were your ancestors?
A. My father and mother were from the old country—from England.
Q. How old were you when you came here?
A. Six years old.
Q. You have lived here ever since?
Q. In this city?
A. Yes, in Honolulu.
Q. Where were you on January 14, 15, 16, and 17, 1893?
A. I was in Honolulu.
Q. What was the cause of the revolution that resulted in the dethronement of Liliuokalani?
A. It started from the lottery bill and the opium bill and the bribery and corruption we had heard of. It came to me first through minister of finance John F. Colburn, That was the first intimation I had. There was no idea of the dethronement of the Queen at that time. That did not come until after the committee of safety was formed on Saturday, That was the first time we anticipated anything of the kind, but before that, on Tuesday, we called upon Mr. P. C. Jones, minister of finance. I told him what was going to happen. This information came from Mr. Colburn, the [Page 514]last minister of finance. I do not know that I ought to mention it. It came from Marcus Colburn, brother of John F. Colburn. He was feeling troubled. He said, “I want to tell you, Henry, that it is of importance that the ministry should understand what John, my brother, is up to. Do not give me away. If you do I will be discharged from the office.” He said in substance that Mr. P. C. Jones was to receive an anonymous letter from his brother, and he wished me to say to Mr. Jones not to be alarmed, but at the same time not to tell who it was that gave him this information; also that the Queen was going to promulgate a new constitution, and in case she was not able to get out the Wilcox ministry the plan was, after the prorogation of the legislature, to invite the four ministers over there—that is, the Wilcox ministry—and lay before them a constitution that she had prepared and incase they didn’t sign they would be held prisoners. That was the information I gave to Mr. Jones. Of course he acted upon it.
The ministry after that was put out by a vote of the legislature. I can state right here that the vote was carried by bribery. The money was placed in Mr. Sam Parker’s hands, some $7 000, to assist in voting them out Quite a number of members of the legislature—Hawaiians—came down to talk to me, those who were against putting out the ministry, and also those who were in favor of doing so. One in particular—Hoapoli—told me what he wanted was good, stable government, and he felt sure if we kept the Wilcox ministry in we would have it. He was sent for by the ex-Queen and she persuaded him. She said if he had any love for her that he would Vote against the ministry. Quite a number of the other members came and asked if I would assist them in money; said that they were getting short; had been down here so long. I told them no; that was not my business. I did not propose to advance them any money. A few days after they all seemed to be quite flush, and after the legislature was prorogued they went home. They had new furniture and seemed to be well provided for in every way.
On Saturday, about 10 o’clock, John Colburn, minister of finance, came down to the office.
Q. What office?
A. My office on Queen street. He was very anxious to talk with me. I was out. When I came back I went over to his office. He had left word with his brother to say that the Queen was going to promulgate a new constitution immediately after the prorogation of the legislature, and wanted me to know. Between 1 and 2 o’clock I was up near W. O. Smith’s office. That seemed to be the center then to get the news. News came down that the ex-Queen was attempting to force the ministry to sign the new constitution.
Q. Who did this news come by?
A. It was sent by Mr. Colburn to the office of W. O. Smith.
Q. By whom?
A. I can not state. There were so many there at the time. They met in the back office of W. O. Smith. There were a great many in front of the office at the time to talk over the situation. I sat beside Paul Neumann. We were all very much excited, feeling that our rights were being taken away from us, and we decided then and there we would not submit to it. After a short time we heard that the ministers had gone back to the Government house. The way they put it—they ran away. The parties who came from the Government house put it in that way. I remember stating to Mr. Neumann that I was glad we were at last of one opinion. He said this was a thing we ought not to tolerate. Alter discussing the matter for some time John F. Colburn and the attorney-general, Mr. Peterson, both came down. Mr. Colburn made a statement that the ex-Queen had got them into the room and had requested them to sign this new constitution, and, after talking with her sometime he said they had asked her for half an hour’s time to think over it. In the meantime the natives were talking quite loud and as Mr. Colburn expressed it, he thought it was about time for him to get out of it. So they went out the back way back to the Government house.
Q. The back way was the direct way to the Government house?
A. No; but if they had gone out the front way the natives were all in front, and they were afraid. He wanted to know if the merchants would support them in their position. After discussing the matter there was a committee of safety appointed. They considered it very important that such a committee should be appointed. There was a great deal of talk that came to the ears of certain parties in regard to the way in which the natives had been talked up—inflammatory talk—and we all felt that it was very important we should keep a strict watch on their movements.
Q. Did you think they were in sympathy with the Queen?
A. There was what they called the Hui Kalaiaina, a lot of old men. They formerly met right opposite our office, on Queen street. They were in sympathy with her principally. After the committee of safety had been appointed we met and talked over the situation and decided to call a mass meeting.[Page 515]
During the meeting on Monday we were threatened that if we held any more meetings we would be arrested. Marshal Wilson came right up and said to Mr. Thurston that we would be arrested. Mr. Thurston answered right up and said if he wished to arrest us we were ready. We were not doing anything against the Government, that it was for the interest of the country that we had been appointed as a committee of safety. All that we were doing was talking in regard to a mass meeting. We had not decided when it was to be held. We decided afterwards to call a public meeting on Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock—that was the 16th.
Q. You mean yon decided that on Saturday!
A. No; we decided that on Sunday after talking it over. It was to talk up the situation and to make a report from the committee of safety. The meeting was held at 2 o’clock Monday. In the meantime Marshal Wilson had sent around to all Government employés to muster in the station house, and after the meeting they all seemed to be quite demoralized on account of the number that turned out and was in sympathy with the committee of safety. The question that was uppermost in their minds was stable government. They had fully made up their minds not to allow their rights to be trampled on. After the meeting the committee of safety met again to consider what should be next done, as power had been given them by the meeting which had been held that afternoon. After discussing the matter we decided that the only course to do was to call out those who were in sympathy with us and take possession.
Q. Of what?
A. Of the Government house and take possession of the Government. That was on Monday afternoon. Monday evening we met again at my house on Neumann avenue. We there planned what should be done on Tuesday, the 17th. We met again on Tuesday morning, when the proclamation was discussed for the first time. That was the first time we had it before us. I do not remember having it before. Of course we had a committee to frame the proclamation. We met again on Tuesday morning and decided to take possession at 2 o’clock that afternoon. At 2 o’clock we marched up to the Government house, expecting to have them resist us, as we had heard the report that there was to be a hundred men up there under Mr. McCarty. We arrived up there and took possession. While we were going into the door the various volunteers kept coming into the yard with their rifles. That is as far as I know of that. Where do you want me to go from there?
Q. Just go on and tell the whole story.
A. Then the council met, after we had taken possession of the Government house, and decided to take the station house. We had only possession of the Government house and had to take the station house, where all the arms were. They had taken all arms there from various houses, so as to have them on hand. After discussing it we sent word. I think Mr. Damon went down and had an interview with the four ministers in the station house.
Q. You were not present?
A. No, I was not present. I know nothing in regard to that. Afterwards part of the ministers came up to the Government house to talk with the council.
Q. You were a member of the council?
A. I am. I was then. I was a member of the committee of safety also. They agreed to give up the station house. We took possession.
Q. Do you mean that that happened just that way? That they agreed to give it up and you took it? Do you mean that those things followed right after one another just as quick as you relate them?
A. No. Mr. Damon had to go down to the station house and Hopkins came up. The ministers were afraid to come up. They thought that it was a trap to get them up there. When they came up they said: “It does not seem to us that we need be afraid. You seem to be acting in a square, friendly manner in regard to treating us as men.” They spoke of that at the time. The first thing that was done we declared martial law. That was one of the first acts.
Q. Do you know what hour the station house was given up?
A. I can not say. I was very much excited that day. I think it was somewhere near 5 o’clock.
Q. Have you anything to help you fix 5 o’clock in your mind?
A. I know we were afraid of its getting dark, and it would be much harder for us to take the building after dark, and were we planning what to do in case of darkness. That is what makes me think it was somewhere near that time.
Q. You spoke of the causes of the revolution being lottery and opium legislation and bribery. Now, as to the lottery bill, do you know of money being used there?
A. Of course I could not go on the stand and say that there was, but men who ran it were very flush.
Q. Is that what you judge from?
A. Yes.[Page 516]
Q. The same as to the opium bill?
A. Well, that was supposed to be a measure from the outside, as some of those in the Legislature expected to get money from the Chinese.
Q. Was that a supposition, or did you have any evidence of the fact of the use of money to pass the opium hill in the way of bribing members?
A. That is just a supposition.
Q. You spoke of money being used for purposes of bribery. Did you mean in the sense that you just stated—that it was supposition that it was done?
A. I stated it from what a party said, who could substantiate what he said.
Q. Who was he?
A. Cecil Brown.
Q. Did he tell you he would be able to prove that money was used for the purpose of getting out the ministry?
Q. Did he tell you who furnished the money?
A. From the ex-Queen.
Q. He told you it came from her?
Q. Have you had any knowledge of any money being used by the other side—by the reform party—in controlling votes at any time on any of these questions or any question?
A. Only what I saw in opposition papers, I do not know anything of my own knowledge.
Q. Do you know it on any information you had from others?
A. John Colburn told me that he had used money.
Q. Who did he say he got it from?
A. It was from his own money. He was trying to get the McFarland cabinet out.
Q. He was acting as a liberal?
Q. And the liberal and reform party were acting together in the matter of getting out this cabinet?
A. I do not know about the reform so much. I dropped out from the reform party when they joined with the liberal. We were all split up then.
Q. Could you have voted out that cabinet unless you had had the reform party and the liberal party combined?
A. We could not. It took both parties to vote them out.
Q. Did Colburn tell you he was using his own money?
A. He claimed that he had promises from other parties.
Q. Who did he say they were?
A. He did not give me names. I was going away to the States at the time.
Q. You say on Monday Wilson came and notified the committee of safety through Mr. Thurston that he intended to arrest them?
A. He did, and Mr. Thurston replied—told him to go ahead if he saw fit to arrest us.
Q. Your statement was that he could arrest you if he wanted to—that you were doing nothing against the Government?
A. Yes; I said that. We were only discussing the meeting.
Q. were you discussing the question of the dethronement of the Queen?
A. We were not then. We were discussing in regard to the meeting to be held.
Q. Had you in your Saturday’s meeting or any time in your meetings debated the matter of the dethronement of the Queen?
A. I think we had spoken of it. We all felt we could not stand the monarchy. We had made up our minds to that.
Q. Then the expression that you were doing nothing against the Government was a strategic expression?
A. Yes. Wilson, of course, wanted very much to declare martial law then, but Cleghorn declined to sign the declaration.
Q. Who was Cleghorn?
A. He was governor.
Q. You held a mass meeting at 2 o’clock?
A. Yes; 2 o’clock on the 16th.
Q. There was no declaration for dethronement in that meeting?
A. I do not know if it came out. You could understand by expressions that they were all there for good government. Of course, they did not come right flat-footed out.
Q. How many troops had you then organized and armed; can you state accurately?
A. I can not.
Q. About how many; have you any information?
A. I have not. We were backed up by the mass meeting. Nearly all were ready at a moment’s notice. Those who backed up the committee of safety were willing to back them up in everything they did.[Page 517]
Q. Did you poll the meeting to see how many would support you?
A. I think so. I think that they got the signatures of quite a number.
Q. How many?
A. I can not tell you.
Q. You could not say that the whole of the mass meeting signed?
A. I could not.
Q. Could you say that as many as half the mass meeting signed?
A. I should think so.
Q. Have you examined the signatures?
A. No. There were various committees. I was a committee for a portion of the rally and went around to their residences to see what arms they had and if they were prepared in case of trouble.
Q. In case of any trouble, did you tell them that you were going to dethrone the Queen and ask if they would be ready in case of resistance? Did you say that when you got signatures?
A. When I went around I did’nt get signatures. I got it verbally from them to find out if they had arms and were ready to support the committee of safety.
Q. Did you mention to them the purpose to dethrone the Queen?
A. That was understood.
Q. Did you communicate to them in reference to arms?
A. The fact of the case is I did not know exactly what we were going to do.
Q. So that when you went around, you simply wanted to know if they had arms, in the event of trouble?
Q. It was in that way that you judged of their sentiments in the matter of supporting the committee of safety in the effort to dethrone the Queen?
Q. After the mass meeting what did the committee do?
A. The committee of safety met that afternoon shortly after the mass meeting.
Q. What did you do in that afternoon meeting?
A. We discussed the matter. We did not have a very long session in the afternoon. In the afternoon, at first, we were all going right up then and there, but afterwards considered it. The fact is, we hadn’t our papers all ready. It was getting dark. We thought it was better to have daylight on our side. We decided to meet again on Monday evening and get everything in shape. It was after the mass meeting that we fully decided to take the step.
Q. What hour of Monday did you determine to take the step?
A. It was immediately after the mass meeting.
Q. Did anybody communicate the determination to the American minister?
A. I cannot say. He must have seen by the way the people were excited that day, and the incendiary talk among certain of the other side in regard to their setting fire to buildings.
Q. How many times did you hear it?
A. A great many times.
Q. How many?
A. People would keep coming into the office and meet me and say: “We are going to have trouble.”
Q. Did you hear any persons say they proposed to fire the town?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. How many; I mean the people opposed to you?
A. No; I did’nt hear the people actually say it. It was rumors from outside. It was not direct from them or they would have been locked up.
Q. You do not know anything at all of anybody having talked to Mr. Stevens about the situation on Monday in regard to the movement that you were all making or contemplated making. Was there anybody who said in the meeting that Mr. Stevens knew anything of what was going on?
A. I guess he must have kept posted.
Q. I want to know whether there was anything said by Thurston or anybody else of Mr. Stevens’s knowledge of the movement?
A. I cannot say positively.
Q. What is your impression?
A. My impression is that there was. I can not remember what it was that was said.
Q. Was it to the effect that he had knowledge of the movement of the reform party?
A. I do not remember. It just comes upon me as a flash.
Q. What is the impression you say you have?
A. I do not see how he could have helped it.
Q. I will ask you again. In the meeting of the committee of safety in the afternoon of Monday, after the mass meeting had adjourned, was there anything said on [Page 518]the part of Mr. Thurston, or any other member of the committee of safety, indicating that the American minister knew anything of the movement of the reform party?
A. Yes; I should say that there was.
Q. By whom?
A. Either Carter or Thurston.
Q. What did they say?
A. I can not state. There was something said. It does not come to my mind now.
Q. Was the purport of it that he knew of the movement?
A. Yes, it was; that is, after the meeting.
Q. How did they know that he knew of the movement?
A. I suppose they had had an interview with him. I can not say for certain.
Q. Did they say as much?
A. That is what I understood at the time.
Q. Well, now, in that meeting was the subject discussed of asking him to land the American troops?
A. I think that was done by the committee of safety before.
Q. Were you present when they asked for the troops to be landed?
A. I was.
Q. The troops were ordered here on Monday and this mass meeting was on Tuesday?
A. No; the mass meeting was on Monday; the troops came on shore Monday evening just about dark. I might say that it was a surprise to us to hear that the troops were coming on shore.
Q. You expected them to come ashore later?
A. No; I didn’t know when they were coming ashore.
Q. But you expected them to come ashore?
A. Yes; I expected they would come.
Q. By reason of any communication with the American minister?
A. No; I think it was by request of the committee of safety.
Q. I have a copy of the communication from the committee of safety of January 16, 1893—Monday.
A. Yes; Monday afternoon.
Q. What time Monday afternoon?
A. After the mass meeting.
Q. How long after?
A. I think about 5.
Q. It was after the adjournment of the mass meeting you say the request to land troops was made?
A. I think it was about 4 o’clock.
Q. What time did the mass meeting adjourn?
A. A little after 3.
Q. And then the committee of safety met?
A. We met immediately; walked down from the meeting to Smith’s office.
Q. And then you took up the subject of calling on the American minister to land troops?
Q. Who took that communication to him?
A. I think it was Charlie Carter. I can not be positive.
Q. Is he one of the present commissioners?
Q. How long was he gone?
A. Not long.
Q. What did he say when he came back?
A. He said the marines would be landed.
Q. Did he say whether they would support the Provisional Government movement if they took the public buildings?
A. He came back and said the troops were coming ashore. That was as far as I could remember now.
Q. He brought no response in writing?
A. I do not think so.
Q. Did the committee of safety want the troops brought on shore?
A. They felt that it would be for the welfare of the town to have them ashore. We felt as a committee of safety that we had this matter in our hands and would be held responsible.
Q. Did you expect that the presence of the troops on shore would have a quieting effect on the natives and pre vent any demonstration
A. It was thought so.
Q. That was your idea?
Q. You expected that when they got on shore that any hostile movement would be brought to a standstill by their presence?[Page 519]
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Suppose they had not come on shore, would you have been able to have protected yourselves?
A. I think so; but J think there would have been a great deal of bloodshed.
Q. Did not you always expect that American troops would be landed in case of conflict or threatened conflict?
Q. And therefore you did not much expect a conflict after they landed?
A. No; I thought that naturally Wilson would try to do something. I expected there would be bloodshed before we got through.
Q. Unless American troops were landed?
A. Yes, sir. Of course I didn’t know whether they would attempt it then.
Q. You had a meeting you say on Monday night at your house. Who was present?
A. There were the committee of safety.
Q. Who were they?
A. Cooper was there. I think Wilder was not there. There was Brown, Smith, and Lansing. I do not think Suhr was there. Dole was there. We sent for Dole. Carter and Loper were there.
Q. What was the object in sending for Mr. Dole?
A. To ask him if he would accept the position he now holds.
Q. What did he say?
A. He debated in his mind. He wanted to think over it until morning.
Q. What was Loper doing there?
A. Loper was invited there. He was to take charge of the forces.
Q. Was that agreed upon that night?
A. That was agreed upon.
Q. Did you and Mr. Loper and Mr. Carter go to the American minister that night?
A. I didn’t.
Q. Did anybody go from your meeting?
A. Nobody that I know of. If anyone went I know nothing about it.
Q. Was there any hesitation on the part of Loper to take command that night?
A. Yes; he did hesitate.
Q. What reason did he give?
A. That he would rather be with the marshal.
Q. Was there anything said as to the probability of a conflict the next day?
A. We talked over the matter with Loper; discussed what could be done. He started out to get the men together.
Q. After he left the committee of safety?
Q. Where were they to be placed?
A. They were to meet at the old armory here, and from there go right down to the Government house.
Q. Didn’t you think the impression that these marines would have on the natives would be that they would not be in sympathy with them, and that they would be in sympathy with the white people?
A. That is what I think.
Q. You were amongst the committee of safety that went up to take charge of the Government house?
Q. How many of you were there?
A. I think there was fourteen, but we did not all go up.
Q. Where did you start from?
A. We started from W. O. Smith’s office, on Fort street.
Q. Which street did you go up going to the Government building?
A. We went up Queen street and up to the Government house—Mr. Wilder and myself.
Q. What street did the others go on?
A. They went on Merchant street.
Q. When you got to the Government building who was the first person you saw?
Q. Is he a porter?
A. He is first clerk of the interior department.
Q. When you got there was the proclamation read immediately?
A. The proclamation was read by Mr. Cooper.
Q. Were there any troops there during the reading of the proclamation?
A. I could see one or two coming in.
Q. By the time it was concluded how many men did you have?
A. It would be impossible for me to say how many. I was so excited at the time.
Q. Do you remember the bringing of a paper to the Provisional Government, dated [Page 520]January 17, 1893, signed by Liliuokalani and her several ministers, and printed in this document (Senate Ex. Doc. No. 56, Fifty-second Congress, second session)?
A. I do.
Q. You were then in possession of the Government building?
A. We were.
Q. Any other buildings at that time?
A. Only the Government building at that time.
Q. How long after that before you got Mr. Stevens’s letter of recognition?
A. It was shortly after the station house was given over.
Q. Are you not mistaken about that?
A. No; I believe I am not. I do not think I am.
Q. What about the barracks; had they been given up?
A. They had.
Q. Who were at the barracks?
Q. Where was Wilson?
A. He was at the station house.
Q. And he gave that up before you had notice of the recognition?
A. According to my best knowledge and belief.
Q. Was there any communication, by writing or by word, from any member of the committee of safety, or any other person by their authority, to Mr. Stevens that you planned taking the Government building?
A. Not as far as I know, It is from hearsay.
Q. Who did you hear say it?
A. It would be impossible for me to answer that.
Q. Was it understood in the committee of safety on Monday night, by anybody, that he knew you intended to take the Government building?
A. Not unless somebody left the meeting afterwards and told him.
Q. Was there anything said by any person at the meeting at your house the night before the building was taken indicating that Mr. Stevens knew of the move to take the Government building the next day?
A. I do not remember.
Q. What was your impression—did you think that he knew of your movement?
A. I did; I was in hopes that he did.
Q. Why did you think he knew of your movement?
A. It was common talk.
Q. Common talk Monday, as well as Tuesday?
Q. It was common talk before the troops were landed on Monday?
A. It was common talk that we were going to make a move—that the committee of safety were urged upon to make a move.
Q. Did you all understand that Mr. Stevens’s sympathies were with you?
Q. How did you get the idea that his sympathies were with you?
A. From remarks made by different persons in regard to certain matters that had come up; and we felt that we had been wronged.
Q. What matters do you refer to?
A. All during the last few days and also during the session of the Legislature.
Q. He would manifest his approval and disapproval of acts of the Queen and her adherents in matters of legislation?
A. Whenever it was against the interests of the American people. Of course, a few days before that, up to Saturday, he was not here. We had a great deal of talking during that time. He lost all that.
Q. He participated freely in political discussions without exciting comment?
A. I do not know that he discussed it. People would naturally come and talk to him and open their hearts to him.
Q. And in that way they got to feel that he was in sympathy with them?
Q. Was there ever any suggestion on his part to the committee of safety to desist from their movement against the Queen?
A. I have never heard of any.
Q. Was there any expectation when the troops landed that they were to enforce the authority of the Queen in bringing order in the city on the part of the committee of safety?
A. I did not hear any rumor that led me to think that. The way I understood it was that they were here to preserve order.
Q. Now, in the matter of preserving order, if the Queen’s forces and the Provisional Government forces got to fighting, would that mean that he was to interfere and stop the fighting?
A. I thought he was only to protect American interests here[Page 521]
Q. How would he go about it?
A. I suppose that most of the Americans would naturally go for protection on American ground, and I suppose that would be up at his place or around the consulate.
Q. You expected he would protect them in those places?
A. Yes; I might say, after the meeting on Monday, there was a falling off in the ranks of the Queen’s party and they felt that the stronger elements were against them. The mass meeting brought things to an issue.
Q. You anticipated that the American troops expected to protect at the consulate and American legation American citizens who resorted there for protection?
A. That is what I expected they would do, but I did not know how far they would have gone in case there was bloodshed.
Q. Did you expect them to confine themselves to operations around the legation and consulate?
A. No; I would have expected if the Queen’s people overpowered us that they would, of course, have to protect her. If we came out on the top and asked for protection we would get the protection, and we felt we would be strong enough.
Q. You expected him to land his troops and protect American people at the legation and consulate until you whipped the Queen or the Queen whipped you?
A. I do not know that.
Q. Did you expect him to do more than protect American citizens who resorted to the consulate or legation for protection?
A. That in case there was any bloodshed that they would, if called upon, protect the party in power, and I expected we were going to be in power forthwith.
Q. How did you expect to get into power without a little bloodshed?
A. We knew the feeling of those who were in power then—that they were cowards; that by going up with a bold front, and they supposing that the American troops would assist us, that would help us out.
Q. Assist whom?
A. The committee of safety.
Q. That was the general calculation?
Q. In the conference?
A. Yes. They felt that their being there would be a great help to them. Even their presence ashore would have done that.
Q. When did you first determine to take the building?
Q. Did you talk over it at Monday afternoon session?
Q. And did you then determine to do it?
A. That afternoon. We were on the point of going up that afternoon, but things were not ready and it would take until dark and we thought we had better wait until the next day.
Q. Was that the purpose you had, to get the influence of the troops for the purpose of preventing resistance on the part of the Queen’s Government?
A. That was not in my mind at all.
Q. What did you want troops for? What was in your mind?
A. In my mind it was going to stop bloodshed. The very presence of them here.
Q. You expected, then, if you got them on shore that you could go on with the plan of taking possession of the Government building and other properties without bloodshed? That was your idea?
A. That was my idea.
Q. Was that the impresssion of the committee of safety?
A. I think that they felt just the same as I did in regard to it.
(Before leaving Mr. Waterhouse was shown the letter of January 16, from the committee of safety to Mr. Stevens, and identified it.) The letter is as follows:
Hawaiian Islands, Honolulu, January 16, 1893.
His Excellency John L. Stevens,
American Minister Resident:
Sir: We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Honolulu, respectfully represent that, in view of recent public events in this Kingdom, culminating in the revolutionary acts of Queen Liliuokalani on Saturday last, the public safety is menaced and lives and property are in peril, and we appeal to you and the United States forces at your command for assistance.
The Queen, with the aid of armed force, and accompanied by threats of violence and bloodshed from those with whom she was acting, attempted to proclaim a new constitution; and while prevented for the time from accomplishing her object declared publicly that she would only defer her action.[Page 522]
This conduct and action was upon an occasion and under circumstances which have created general alarm and terror.
We are unable to protect ourselves without aid and, therefore, pray for the protection of the United States forces.
Henry E. Cooper,
F. W. McChesney,
W. C. Wilder,
William O. Smith,
Theo. F. Lansing,
L. A. Thurston,
Wm. R. Castle,
Citizens’ Committee of Safety.
I have read the foregoing carefully, and pronounce it a correct report of my inter-view with Mr. Blount.
Mr. Carter to Mr. Blount.
Hon. James H.
Commissioner of the United States of America:
Sir: At your request the following statement is made of incidents of the 17th day of January last, as they came under my observation:
After dining that day (dinner hour being 5:30 o’clock, say between 6:30 and 6:40 o’clock) Officer Mehrten, of the police force, drove up to my residence in a hack, and said to me that my presence was required at the Government building, and that he would give me a seat in his carriage if I was ready. I was at once driven to the building and taken to the room of the minister of finance, where I met quite a concourse of men, among which I now recall Judge S. B. Dole, Charles L. Carter, Capt. James King, Rev. S. G. Beckwith, Hon. S. M. Damon, and some twenty or thirty other leading members of our community.
There was a deal of excitement and earnest discussion going on among groups of persons, and while standing among them I overheard among other things that Minister Stevens had recognized the new government and that a steamer was to be made ready at once to carry to San Francisco, en route to Washington, commissioners of the new government. I asked what was required of me, and was told that a committee was to be sent to the palace to inform Her Majesty the Queen that she was deposed, and to assist her in making any protest she desired to make, and that I was to be of the committee. I joined the party headed by Mr. Damon, and proceeded to the palace, where, in the blue room, was Her Majesty, one or both of the young princes, the Hon, H. A. Widerman, and Paul Neumann, Her Majesty’s ministers, E. C. Macfarlane, and others. Mr. Damon informed Her Majesty of the establishment of a provisional government, and of her being deposed, and that she might prepare a protest if she wished to. An awkward pause followed, which I broke by addressing Her Majesty, expressing sympathy, and advised her that any demonstration on the part of her forces would precipitate a conflict with the forces of the United States; that it was desirable that such a conflict be avoided; that her case would be considered at Washington, and a peaceful submission to force on her part would greatly help her case; that the persons in command of her forces at the barracks and police station should be ordered to surrender. The Hon. H. A. Widerman then addressed Her Majesty, fully indorsing my advice, and adding that he believed that the result would be a repetition of the scenes of 1843, when the sovereign and flag were restored to Hawaii by Great Britain.
I was moved to advise Her Majesty as. I did because it was reported on the street that Minister Stevens had said if the revolutionists obtained possession of a government building that he would recognize them as a government. I saw that the building was in possession of armed men, and knew that the forces of the U. S. S. Boston were near at hand, and heard that recognition was a fact.[Page 523]
The Hon. Paul Neumann was requested to prepare the protest for Her Majesty’s signature, and I was also requested to assist in preparing the document. While the protest was in course of preparation word was sent to Marshal Wilson to disband the force at the station house and surrender the building, arms, and ammunition.
After the protest had been signed by Her Majesty and the ministers word was brought that Marshal Wilson refused to give up the station house except upon the written command of Her Majesty. The order was prepared, signed by the Queen, and sent to the marshal. The protest of the Queen was placed in the hands of President Dole, and I saw that he indorsed the document as received in due form.
Very respectfully, yours,
Mr. Swinburne to Mr. Blount.
Hon. J. H.
Special Commissioner of United States:
Sir: In response to your verbal request for a written communication from me regarding certain facts connected with the recognition of the Provisional Government of the Hawaiian Islands by the United States minister to that country on the afternoon of January 17, 1893, I have to state as follows:
On the afternoon in question I was present at an interview between Capt. Wiltse, commanding the Boston, who was at that time present in his official capacity with the battalion then landed in Honolulu, and Mr. Dole and other gentlemen representing the present Provisional Government, in the executive chamber of the Government building. During the interview we were informed that the party represented by the men there present was in complete possession of the Government building, the archives, and the treasury, and that a Provisional Government had been established by them.
In answer Capt. Wiltse asked if their Government had possession of the police station and barracks. To this the reply was made that they had not possession then, but expected to hear of it in a few minutes, or very soon. To this Capt. Wiltse replied, “Very well, gentlemen, I cannot recognize you as a de facto Government until you have possession of the police station and are prepared to guarantee protection to life and property,” or words to that effect. Here our interview was interrupted by other visitors, and we withdrew and returned to the camp at Arion Hall. As far as I can recollect, this must have been about 5 o’clock p.m. About half-past 6 Capt. Wiltse left the camp, and as he did so he informed me that the United States minister to the Hawaiian Islands had recognized the Provisional Government established by the party in charge of the Government building as the de facto Government of the Hawaiian Islands. About half-past 7 p.m. I was informed by telephone by Lieut. Draper, who was then in charge of a squad of marines at the United States consulate, that the citizen troops had taken possession of the police station, and that everything was quiet.
Lieutenant-Commander, U. S. Navy.
Affidavit of Mr. Hopkins.
Honolulu Oahu, Hawaiian Islands, ss:
And now comes Charles L. Hopkins, of Honolulu, aforesaid, and upon oath deposes and says:
That on the 17th day of January, A.D. 1893, he arrived at the police station in Honolulu aforesaid about 2:30 p.m. o’clock and saw Mr. Antone Rosa writing a letter addressed to John L. Stevens, United States minister, and said letter was afterwards signed by Her Majesty’s ministers and handed to your affiant to be delivered to the said American minister with instructions to wait for an answer. Your affiant left said police station at about 2:40 p.m. of said day in a carriage, arriving at the legation about 2:45 p.m. He saw on the verandah Miss Stevens, to whom the letter [Page 524]of Her Majesty’s ministers was handed. She asked if an answer was required; your affiant said “Yes.”
Miss Stevens then went into the house and about ten minutes afterwards returned saying, “My father is too unwell to write an answer now, but if you will go and return in about an hour’s time he will have the answer ready.” Your affiant replied that his instructions were to wait for an answer, upon which she went in the house again and then came out and said, “My father will try and answer the letter.” She disappeared again, and in about ten minutes came out and handed me a letter addressed to Samuel Parker, minister of foreign affairs. Your affiant then left the legation, arriving at the police station about 3:10 p.m., and handed Mr. Stevens’s letter to Mr. Samuel Parker, who went into the deputy marshal’s office with it. Later in the afternoon your affiant read the letter of Minister Stevens in which he stated that he recognized the Provisional Government as the de facto Government of the Hawaiian Islands.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 3d day of May, A. D. 1893.
Notary Public, First Judicial District.
Affidavit of Peterson and Colburn,
Honolulu Oahu, ss:
We, John F. Colburn and A. P. Peterson, being duly sworn, on oath depose and say that on the afternoon of Tuesday, January 17, 1893, we held portfolios in the cabinet of Queen Liliuokalani and were at the station house in Honolulu; that at 2:30 o’clock the Queen’s cabinet addressed a letter to his excelleny J. L. Stevens, asking if the report then current that he had recognized the Provisional Government was true. This letter was sent to Mr. Stevens through Hon. C. L. Hopkins. Shortly after 3 o’clock Mr. Hopkins returned with an answer from Mr. Stevens to the Queen’s cabinet, stating that he, Mr. Stevens, had recognized the Provisional Government as the de facto Government of the Hawaiian Islands. Shortly after, Mr. S. M. Damon and Mr. C. Bolte, members of the advisory council, came to the station house to consult with the Queen’s cabinet as to the situation. Mr. Damon stated that Mr. Stevens had recognized the Provisional Government and that the United States forces would assist them and that it was useless for us to resist, but asked us in the interest of peace and to save bloodshed not to do so. Mr. Damon handed us a copy of the proclamation of the committee of safety, which was read aloud by A. P. Peterson.
Shortly after 4 o’clock, nothing definite having been arrived at, the Queen’s cabinet, at the request of the Provisional Government, went with Mr. Damon and Mr. Bolte to the Government building to consult with the executive council. We were in the Government building fifteen or twenty minutes, during which time Mr. S. B. Dole, President of the Provisional Government, said that he desired us to give up the station house and other Government property under our control, in the interests of law and order. We answered that it would be necessary for us to consult first with Queen Liliuokalani. We then left the Government building and together with Mr. S. M. Damon went direct to the palace. At the palace, after some consultation the Queen’s cabinet came to the conclusion that it was not advisable to oppose the United States forces, Mr. Stevens having already recognized the Provisional Government, and so advised the Queen to surrender to the superior force of the United States, because of the course of Mr. Stevens, American minister, and of such recognition. At this time, 5:30 o’clock, the Queen’s Government had Possession of the station house, barracks, and palace, nine-tenths of the arms and ammunition on the island except that in the possession of foreign governments, and a large body of men under arms. The Queen accepted the advice and her protest was immediately drawn up and signed, and she instructed her cabinet to attend to all necessary matters, which was then done.
The reply of Mr. Stevens, stating that he had recognized the Provisional Government, was placed in the hands of Hon. Paul Neumann, who carried it with his other documents on his mission to Washington, and although we have made every effort to procure the same have been unable to do so and do not know its whereabouts at the present time.
- John F. Colburn.
- A. P. Peterson.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 3d day of May, 1893.
Notary Public, Island of Oahu.
Interview between Hawaiian Patriotic League and Mr. Blount.
[Committee of delegates of all the branch associations of the Hawaiian Patriotic League: John Richardson, chairman; J. A. Akins, Ben. Naukana, J. K. Kaihiopulani, S. H. K. Ne.
Q. Mr. Richardson, are you chairman of this delegation?
Q. How are delegates from these Islands selected?
A. They are selected by meetings in different districts held by people who have become members of local clubs.
Q. Organized for what purpose?
A. Organized for the purpose of beseeching the maintenance of their independence, and also the perpetuation of a monarchical form of government and against annexation.
Q. How many persons are in these several clubs.
A. The number varies in each club, but the approximate total of the various clubs represented here is to the tune of about 7,000 voters.
Q. How do you get at that number?
A. We have had rolls from the different clubs, and as the Central Club wishes to get time to have the names recorded in the register of the Central Club in Honolulu we have been unable to bring with us the original document holding the list of the names.
Q. How do you get the figures 7,000?
A. By taking the total from each club.
Q. Have you had the totals from each club?
Q. And putting them together makes an aggregate of 7,000?
Q. Are they all voters?
A. They are all voters.
Mr. Blount. I will accept it as I have all memorials as a matter of information. I can not enter into a discussion of it with you. I am glad to meet you, gentlemen.
Affidavit of Mr. Wilson.
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaiian Islands, ss:
And now comes Charles B. Wilson, of Honolulu aforesaid, and upon oath deposes and says:
That on the 17th day of January, A. D. 1893, between 3:30 and 4 p.m., of that day, while he was in charge of the police station as marshal of the Kingdom, he saw and read a letter from the American Minister Stevens addressed to Her Majesty’s ministers, wherein Minister Stevens stated that he had recognized the Provisional Government as the de facto Government of the Hawaiian Islands.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 4th day of May, A. D. 1893.
Notary Public, First Judicial Circuit.