Mr. Blount to Mr. Gresham.
Sir: The population of the Hawaiian Islands can but be studied by one unfamiliar with the native tongue from its several census reports. A census is taken every six years. The last report is for the year 1890. From this it appears that the whole population numbers 89,990. This number includes natives, or, to use another designation, Kanakas, half-castes (persons containing an admixture of other than native blood in any proportion with it), Hawaiian-born foreigners of all races or nationalities other than natives, Americans, British, Germans, French, Portuguese, Norwegians, Chinese, Polynesians, and other nationalities.
Americans number 1,928, natives and half-castes, 40,612; Chinese, [Page 540]15,301; Japanese, 12,360; Portuguese, 8,602; British, 1,344; Germans, 1,034; French, 70; Norwegians, 227; Polynesians, 588; and other foreigners 419.
It is well at this point to say that of the 7,495 Hawaiian-born foreigners 4,117 are Portuguese, 1,701 Chinese and Japanese, 1,617 other white foreigners, and 60 of other nationalities.
There are 58,714 males. Of these 18,364 are pure natives, and 3,085 are half-castes, making together 21,449. Fourteen thousand five hundred and twenty-two are Chinese. The Japanese number 10,079. The Portuguese contribute 4,770. These four nationalities furnish 50,820 of the male population.
|The Americans furnish||1,298|
These five nationalities combined furnish 3,170 of the total male population.
The first four nationalities, when compared with the last five in male population, are nearly sixteenfold the largest in number.
The Americans are to those of the four aforementioned group of nationalities as 39 to 1—nearly as 40 to 1.
It is as convenient here as at any other place to give some facts in relation to the Portuguese. They have been brought here from time to time from the Madeira and Cape Verde Islands by the Hawaiian Government as la borers on plantations, just as has been done in relation to Chinese, Japanese, Polynesians, etc. They are the most ignorant of all imported laborers and reported to be very thievish. They are not pure Europeans, but a commingling of many races, especially the negro. They intermarry with the natives and belong to the laboring classes. Very few of them can read and write. Their children are being taught in the public schools, as all races are. It is wrong to class them as Europeans.
The character of the people of these islands is and must be overwhelmingly Asiatic. Let it not be imagined that the Chinese, Japanese, and Portuguese disappear at the end of their contract term. From the report of the inspector in chief of Japanese immigrants on March 31, 1892, it appears that twenty “lots” of Japanese immigrants have been brought here by the Hawaiian Government, numbering 21,110. Of these 2,517 have returned to Japan; 8,592, having worked out their contract term, remain, and 9,626 are still working out their contract term. More than 75 per cent may be said to locate here permanently.
There are 13,067 Chinamen engaged in various occupations, to wit: 8,763 laborers, 1,479 farmers, 133 fishermen, 74 drivers and teamsters 564 mechanics, 42 planters and ranchers, 776 merchants and traders, 164 clerks and salesmen, 12 professional men and teachers, and 1,056 in various other occupations.
The number of merchants and traders in the entire country is 1,238. Of this number 776 are Chinamen and 81 are Americans.
The largest part of the retail trade seems to be conducted by Chinamen.
Of 20,536 laborers on sugar plantations only 2,617 are Chinese. Of this latter number only 396 are contract laborers.
The Portuguese population in 1884 amounted to 9,377 and in 1890 to 8,602—a loss of 775. These have been leaving in considerable numbers for the past eighteen months, making their way generally to the United [Page 541]States. In 1890 the males were classified as to occupation thus: Laborers, 2,653, farmers, 136, fishermen, 3, mariners, 10, drivers and teamsters, 63, mechanics, 167, planters and ranchers, 17, merchants and traders, 56, clerks and salesmen, 13, professional men and teachers, 11, other occupations, 123; total, 3,266. On the cane plantations there are of male Portuguese, 277 under contract and 1,651 day laborers.
Of the population in 1892, 20,536 were laborers on sugar-cane plantations, 16,723 being Portuguese, Japanese, and Chinese. Of the whole number 10,991 are contract laborers. The remainder are designated as day laborers. The total number of laborers in the islands by the census of 1890 was 25,466.
In 1890 there were 23,863 male laborers. Of this number 18,728 were Chinese and Japanese. At this period there were 41,073 persons of all occupations. Of this number 24,432 were Chinese and Japanese.
Of the total number of persons in the various avocations, of European and American origin, it appears that 1,106 were Americans, 819 British, 518 Germans, 45 French, and 200 Norwegians, making a total of 2,688 persons.
The natives furnished 8,871 persons and the half-castes 884.
The Hawaiians, therefore, may be said to have furnished 9,755.
There are 196 persons designated as planters and ranchers. Of this number 18 are Americans, 30 are British, and 6 are Germans. The remainder are principally Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese, and Hawaiians.
There are 5,181 persons designated as farmers. Of these, 3,392 are natives and half-castes, and 1,500 are Chinese. These two furnish 4,779, leaving a residue of 402 taken from all other nationalities. Of these, 26 are Americans.
For a more minute examination of the avocation of the people, I append a tabular statement from the last census year, 1890. (Inclosure No. 1.)
It will be interesting, if not pleasing, to examine the number of the various sexes by nationalities.
The grand total of the population is 89,990. The male population is 58,714; the females are 31,276.
The natives and half-castes furnish 21,449 males and 19,174 females.
The Chinese furnish 14,522 males and 779 females.
The Japanese furnish 10,079 males and 2,281 females.
The Portuguese furnish 4,770 males and 3,832 females.
The American males are 1,298, females 630.
The British males are 982, females 362.
The German males are 729, females 305.
This disparity of the sexes applies to all nationalities, save the native race.
The most striking feature is that the Chinese men outnumber the women by more than 18 to 1.
The Japanese men outnumber their women by nearly 5 to 1. In all foreign nationalities the males largely exceed the females in numbers.
The natives and half-castes furnish nearly two-thirds of the women.
For a moment let us see how far this disparity of sexes in 1884 compares with that of 1890:
In 1884 there were 51,539 males, 29,039 females, and a total population of 80,578.
In 1890 the males numbered 58,714, the females 31,276, and the total number was 89,990.
The males increased from 1884 to 1890, 7,175. The females increased from 1884 to 1890, 2,237.[Page 542]
During this period there appears to have been the following gains and losses by nationalities:
Gains: Half-castes, 1,968; Hawaiian-born foreigners (mostly Portuguese), 5,455; British, 62; Japanese, 12, 244.
Losses: Natives, 5,578; Americans, 138; Germans, 566; French, 122 Portuguese, 775; Norwegians, 135; Chinese, 2,638; Polynesians, 368.
The net gain is 9,412. Had it not been for the large importation of Japanese for plantation laborers there would have been a net loss of 2,832.
There was a net loss of Europeans and Americans combined numbering 899.
While the population is increasing in numbers the per cent of females is largely decreasing.
In 1866 the percentage of females was 45.25 per cent; in 1872 it was 44.37; in 1878 41.19; in 1884 36.04; in 1890 34.75.
This condition has been reached by the importation of contract labor by the Hawaiian Government for the sugar plantations.
In 1890 there was in the island of Oahu a population of 31,194. Of this number 1,239 were Americans.
There was in the island of Hawaii a population of 26,754. Of this number 289 were Americans.
In the islands of Molokai and Lanai there was a population of 2,826. Of this number 23 were Americans.
In the island of Maui there was a population of 17,357. Of this number 211 were Americans.
In the islands of Kanai and Niihau there was a population of 11,859. Of this number 112 were Americans.
The total population was 89,990. Of this number 1,928 were Americans.
It appears that in 1890, the period of the last census, that in a population of 89,990 persons 51,610 were unable to read and write. The natives and half-castes, numbering 40,622, had 27,901 able to read and write.
The Chinese, with a population of 15,301 persons, had 13,277 unable to read and write.
The Japanese, with a population of 12,360, had 12,053 persons unable to read and write.
The Portuguese, with a population of 8,602, had 6,276 unable to read and write. These are mostly children.
For more minute examination reference is made to the table inclosed herewith, from the census report of 1890. (Inclosure No. 2.)
The total number of registered voters at this period was 13,593.
Of these 9,554 were natives and half-castes; 146 Hawaiian-born foreigners, 637 Americans, 505 British, 382 Germans, 22.French, 2,091 Portuguese, 78 Norwegians, 42 Polynesians, and other nationalities 136.
From this it appears that the Hawaiians exceeded all other nationalities of voters 4,039.
The Portuguese of ah age to vote generally can not read and write. The natives alone had this restriction. Place this upon the Portuguese and other nationalities and the natives would have nine-tenths of the votes.
The minister of finance informs me that the taxes paid by Americans and Europeans amount to$274,516.74; those by natives, $71,386.82; half-castes, $26,868.68; Chinese, $87,266.10; Japanese, $67,326.07; other nationalities, $729.82.[Page 543]
A very large proportion of the Americans and Europeans paying these taxes are antiannexationists.
He also informs me that the acreage on which taxes are paid by various nationalities is: Europeans and Americans, 1,052,492 acres; natives, 257,457 acres; half-castes, 531,545 acres; Chinese, 12,324 acres Japanese, 200 acres; other nationalities, none.
The surveyor-general reports the crown lands for 1893 as containing 915,288 acres. Of these he reports 94,116 acres available for lease. Of this latter number only 47,000 acres are reported to be good, arable land. He likewise reports the Government land as containing 828,370 acres. He reports these, estimated in 1890, to be worth $2,128,850. The annual income from them is $67,636. Of this income $19,500 is from wharfage and $7,800 from rent of land with buildings thereon.
The cane and arable land is estimated at 35,150 acres.
It is important here to recall his statement made to the Legislature in 1891 in the following language: “Most Government lands at the present time consist of mere remnants left here and there and of the worthless and unsaleable portions remaining after the rest had been sold.” And in the same communication he declares that between the years 1850 and 1860 nearly all of the desirable Government land was sold, generally to natives.
In 1890 the census report discloses that only 4,695 persons owned real estate in these Islands. With a population estimated at this time at 95,000 the vast number of landless people here is discouraging to the idea of immigrants from the United States being able to find encouragement in the matter of obtaining homes in these Islands.
I shall in a future report endeavor to inform you of the legislation in relation to the lands—the distribution of them and such other matters as would be interesting in connection therewith in the event they should figure in the consideration of future political relations with the United States.
It may be proper here to say that the landless condition of the native population grows out of the original distribution thereof by the laws of the country and does not come from its shiftlessness.
On the 30th ultimo the attorney-general and marshal called to see me. They informed me that the order of the community was threatened, according to the reports of their detectives, with a movement on the part of the antiannexation whites to take possession of the Government and rostore the Queen. After some considerable presentation of details I was informed that part of the scheme was to drug me.
It so happened that during the afternoon of the preceding day a white man called to ask my opinion as to the propriety of a contemplated meeting on that evening to protest against a movement believed to be on foot by the Provisional Government to propose a new form of treaty with the United States. He said that certain white men were movers in it and he was debating whether he should advise the natives to attend; that he could see no reason for it; that they were awaiting the action of the Government of the United States on the various questions connected with the formation of the present Government, and believed that was the attitude for them to occupy. Of course I declined to express any opinion. He left me saying that he would see the natives did not attend. There was no meeting.
I said to the attorney-general that I was satisfied from communications made by the natives that they would not coöperate in any disorderly action, preferring, as they say, to submit their cause to the decision of the Government of the United States.[Page 544]
A meeting of half-castes, which seemed to be a part of the cause of alarm to the attorney-general and marshal, I said to them was, I believed, nothing more than an effort to prevent the aforesaid meeting.
This they accepted as the probable solution of it, and finally assented to the idea that there was no ground for a belief that there would be any disturbance such as was indicated.
On the 31st ultimo President Bole called on me and informed me that there was a petition signed by fifty persons—British subjects—requesting the British minister to prevent the sailing of the English war vessel Hyacinth, which has orders to leave here to-morrow. This seemed to occasion him some uneasiness. He finally said that the petition was being carried around by a man who had been in the military service of the Provisional Government, and had left it on account of inability to get an office which he desired.
I informed him that two nights ago the British minister had expressed to me his gratification that the vessel was going to leave; that its presence here simply furnished the opportunity for some persons to avow some unfriendly intention of his Government.
I further said that I was assured by the British minister on his own motion, in a desire to manifest his friendly disposition, that in no event would the British troops be used to advance the interests of any political movement here. He seemed to accept this as a relief from any apprehension.
The Provisional Government officials are excited by many groundless rumors, and communicate them very freely to me. I have not indicated any line of conduct which I should pursue in the event of a conflict other than that I have communicated to you.
A great deal of testimony in relation to the causes of the revolution and the circumstances attending it has been taken.
The physical inability of the stenographer up to the present time to transcribe the whole of the mass of notes which has accumulated has prevented me from fully considering them and presenting my opinions thereon.
I hope to be able to furnish you with much of interest as soon as this difficulty has been overcome.
I think the condition of the public mind here is just as formerly reported.
The universal feeling towards me so far as I can gather is one of kindness and respect. This is due in largest measure to my abstention from expressing my views on political questions.
I am, etc.,
Special Commissioner of the United States.
P. S.—Since closing the foregoing communication the inclosure (marked No. 3) has been handed to me by Mr. Samuel Parker, the genuineness of which I do not question.