No. 9.
Mr. Blount to Mr. Gresham.
No. 6.]

Sir: There has appeared in annexation papers on several occasions innuendoes of an offensive character relating to myself. It has been my custom to give no attention to them, because of the greatness of our own Government and the weakness of the Provisional Government of the Hawaiian Islands.

On my arrival here—the opinion obtaining through the newspapers, especially of American origin, that I was to investigate, amongst other things, the disposition of the people of the Islands towards annexation—a campaign in the form of signatures to petitions for and against annexation commenced, and has been continuing until this hour.

Manifestation of the native element soon became very pronounced against annexation, whereupon the papers of the annexationists began to charge the ex-Queen with treason and to insist upon her arrest and trial for treason or her deportation. With this I had nothing to do.

This state of opinion of a majority of the people against annexation has become so well denned as to renew the cry for her arrestionmore ardent temper.

Yesterday afternoon the Hawaiian Star, the organ of the annexation club, contained an article, a copy of which is inclosed herewith. (Inclosure No. 1.)

I felt aggrieved at the dishonorable implication as to my own conduct with the Queen contained therein. I immediately addressed a letter to President Dole, a copy of which is inclosed. (Inclosure No. 2.)

Four hours afterward I received a reply from Mr. Dole, a copy of which I send. (Inclosure No. 3.)

The language used is not only objectionable in its offensive reference to myself, but was designed to intimidate antiannexationists in communicating their views to me, and so prevent any successful acquisition of the true state of the public mind in these Islands in its relation to the Provisional Government.

This latter criticism I did not communicate to the Provisional Government, regarding it as inconsistent with my instructions not to interfere in domestic controversies here.

I am, etc.,

James H. Blount,
Special Commissioner of the United States.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 6.]
Extract from the Hawaiian Star, Monday, May 8, 1893.

what of the queen?

The ex-Queen professed to have yielded her throne to the “superior force of the United States,” and has kept up that pretense since. Her present attitude is one of waiting. Before doing anything further she desires to know whether or not the United States means to take the islands. From such an attitude it follows that if President Cleveland and Congress should decide to keep their hands off Hawaii, then Liliuokalani will deem herself absolved from her obligation to stay quiet. It must be noted that she has never yet surrendered directly to the Government, or even entered into an armistice with it. She calls herself Queen, and rarely signs her name to a letter without the royal R. It is her hope, that if annexation is defeated, to be [Page 531]restored, and she is now the center and nucleus of all the royal politics in the islands which look to that end.

So long as things remain in their present shape the ex-Queen is not particularly dangerous; but if the Hawaiian question should be left to stew in its own juice, then she might become an unpleasant quantity to deal with. The United States would have formally refused to accept her surrender. She would have yielded to no one else, and would be at liberty to negotiate with, say, the Japanese for a protectorate. Certainly, her right to treat with a foreign envoy has not been denied, as witness her unhindered interviews with Commissioner Blount. Out of such a conjunction of affairs as this might come a vast amount of political trouble and expense. Even if Liliuokalani did not seek foreign help—as she was quick to do at the beginning of her troubles in a letter to Queen Victoria—her presence here would continually breed mischief, provoke unrest, alarm capital, excite the emotions of her old party, harass the existing Government, require a large military force to be sustained, and cause an impression to go out that if the new régime should at any time be caught napping the old order of things might be restored.

It is pretty generally admitted now that it was a mistake not to have shipped the ex-Queen abroad when she was deprived of her throne. That was one of the errors of a hurried time which, if it had been avoided, would have left the annexationist cause in much better shape than it is. But what is past can not be mended. Only that which is to come may be kept from the need of mending.

The Star believes it to be the duty of the Government to protect itself and the people from the danger that Liliuokalani’s presence here might breed by sending her out of the country under the act—which may be enlarged if necessary—that deals with “undesirable residents.” This course might, it is true, work a certain hardship, but compared with the hardship that the ex-Queen’s continuance on this soil would visit upon property and business interests, it would hardly be worth noting. Its severity might, of course, be modified by some provision for the expenses of travel abroad, but this is a matter of detail. The main thing is to have the disturbing influence of the royal pretender out of the way when the time comes to tranquilize the country and get it ready for the responsibilities of its future. No better preliminary to that status could be had than the deportation of the woman at once. This would afford ample time, before the American decision could be had, to get the country perfectly in hand and to meet anything that might happen.

There need be no fear that such an act would make a bad impression in the United States or elsewhere, as it is one of the unwritten laws of popular uprisings that when the people overthrow the throne, the occupant of it must leave the country. So far as Hawaii is concerned every sensible politician in America would justify deportation under the existing circumstances.

[Inclosure 2 in No. 6.]
Mr. Blount to Mr. Dole.

His Excellency Sanford B. Dole,
President of the executive and advisory councils of the Provisional Government of the Hawaiian Islands.

Sir: In the Hawaiian Star of May 8, an editorial headed “What of the Queen?” to which I invite your attention, uses this language:

“Certainly her right to treat with a foreign envoy has not been denied, as witness her unhindered interviews with Commissioner Blount.”

It has been my purpose to studiously avoid any word or act calculated to produce on the mind of any individual an impression of a disposition on my part to interfere with the political affairs of these islands. In this article I am made to hold unhindered interviews with the ex-Queen Liliuokalani. These alleged interviews with me are treated as treasonable on her part. This can not be true without an implication of dishonorable conduct on my part. As such, it is insulting to the Government of the United States.

I have held one interview with the ex-Queen, of which you had knowledge before and afterwards. This is the only one. I can not believe that the editorial, in so far as it relates to myself, can be approved by the Provisional Government. I respectfully request a reply.

With assurances of the highest consideration, I am, etc.,

James H. Blount,
Special Commissioner of the United States.
[Page 532]
[Inclosure 3 in No. 6.]
Mr. Dole to Mr. Blount.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of even date calling my attention to an editorial in last evening’s issue of the Hawaiian Star touching on your interviews with the ex-Queen.

The Government sincerely regrets the publication referred to in your communication, and I hasten to assure you that it is in no way responsible for the expressions of that or any other paper, and thoroughly disapproves of anything that may be published that can be taken as implying any action on your part that is not entirely consistent with your mission.

The management of the Star have promised to make the amende honorable in this evening’s issue.

With the sincere hope that nothing may arise that will in any way disturb the cordial and amicable relations that exist between the authorities of the Provisional Government and yourself as the honored representative of a nation that is our nearest and greatest friend, I have the honor to be with the highest respect and consideration,

Your most, etc.,

Sanford B. Dole,
Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Hon. James H. Blount,
Special Commissioner of the United States, Honolulu,