No. 11.
Mr. Blount to Mr. Gresham.
No. 8.]

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
The British 982
The Germans 729
The French 46
The Norwegians 135

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.,

James H. Blount,
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.

[Page 545]
[Inclosure 1 in No. 6]
Table 6 Classification of each nationality and sex Try occupation.
Laborers. Farmers. Fishermen. Mariners. Drivers and teamsters. Mechanics. Planters and ranchers. Merchants and traders. Clerks and salesmen. Professional men and teachers. Other occupations. Total returning occupations.
Native males 2,213 3,211 656 332 237 663 51 129 58 173 831 8,554
Native females 40 68 12 103 2 3 1 12 76 317
Total 2,253 3,279 668 332 237 766 53 132 59 185 1 907 8,871
Half-caste males 115 108 25 14 32 230 14 32 78 26 170 844
Half-caste females 1 5 1 25 8 40
Total 116 113 25 14 32 230 14 32 79 51 178 844
Hawaiian-born foreign males 20 16 2 7 39 9 19 70 26 33 241
Hawaiian-born foreign females 1 3 23 1 28
Total 21 16 2 7 39 9 19 73 49 34 269
American males 36 26 2 36 59 369 17 81 127 114 161 1,028
American females 1 5 57 15 78
Total 36 26 2 36 59 369 18 81 132 171 176 1,106
British males 24 15 28 34 328 30 42 85 60 139 785
British females 3 6 3 14 8 34
Total 27 15 28 34 334 30 42 88 74 147 819
German males 52 11 2 10 26 176 6 47 54 20 100 504
German females 1 5 8 14
Total 52 11 2 10 26 177 6 47 54 25 108 518
French males 2 2 2 8 1 1 9 5 30
French females 15 15
Total 2 2 2 8 1 1 24 5 45
Portuguese males 2,653 136 3 10 63 165 17 56 35 10 118 3,266
Portuguese females 3 2 1 5 11
Total 2,656 136 3 10 63 167 17 56 35 11 123 3,277
Norwegian males 79 25 7 9 31 2 8 2 37 200
Norwegian females
Total 79 25 7 9 31 2 8 2 37 200
Chinese males 8,763 1,479 133 74 564 42 776 164 16 1,056 13,067
Chinese females 64 21 1 2 10 98
Total 8,827 1,500 133 74 564 42 777 164 18 1,066 13,165
Japanese males 9,565 36 3 2 4 42 27 20 23 115 9,837
Japanese females 1,404 14 1,418
Total 10,969 36 3 2 4 42 27 20 23 129 11,255
Polynesian males 269 5 2 3 2 9 1 9 300
Polynesian females 85 1 86
Total 354 5 2 3 2 9 1 10 386
Males 72 17 3 18 8 66 5 14 9 6 56 274
Females 2 1 1 4
Total 74 17 3 18 8 66 5 15 9 7 56 278
Total males 23,863 5,087 829 464 555 2,690 193 1,233 703 483 2,830 38,930
Total females 1,603 94 12 112 3 5 13 155 146 2,143
Grand total 25,466 5,181 841 464 555 2,802 196 1,238 716 638 2,976 41,073
Grand total 25,466 5,181 841 464 555 2,802 196 1,238 716 638 2,976 41,073
[Page 546]
[Inclosure No. 2 in No. 8.]
Table 7.—Classification of each nationality and sex by social condition, education, school attendance, possession of electoral franchise, and ownership of real estate.
Married. Unmarried. Widows. Widowers. Divorces. Total. Attending school. Able to read and write Owning real estate. Registered voters.
Native males 6,836 9,578 1,829 121 18,364 2,980 13,756 2,504 8,777
Native females 7,556 6,806 1,616 94 16,072 2,322 10,311 767
Total 14,392 16,384 1,616 1,829 215 34,436 5,302 24,067 3,271 8,777
Half-caste male 669 2,341 66 9 3,085 883 1,914 240 777
Half-caste females 754 2,219 105 23 3,101 875 1,920 155
Total 1,423 4,560 105 66 32 6,186 1,758 3,834 395 777
Hawaiian-born males 219 3,689 1 3,909 605 692 67 146
Hawaiian-born foreign females 157 3,416 11 2 3,586 489 599 38
Total 376 7,105 11 1 2 7,495 1,094 1,291 105 146
American males 528 609 64 7 1,298 62 1,197 147 637
American females 324 251 55 630 59 527 30
Total 852 950 55 64 7 1,928 121 1,724 177 637
British males 433 498 44 7 982 30 897 143 505
British females 193 116 53 362 33 308 26
Total 626 614 53 44 7 1,344 63 1,205 169 505
German males 304 398 22 5 729 74 655 53 382
German females 184 113 8 305 44 260 4
Total 488 511 8 22 5 1,034 118 915 57 382
French males 17 18 10 1 46 38 8 22
French females 5 17 2 24 24
Total 22 35 2 10 1 70 62 8 22
Portuguese males 2,455 2,238 76 1 4,770 720 1,513 224 2,091
Portuguese females 2,443 1,322 65 2 3,832 550 913 10
Total 4,898 3,560 65 76 3 8,602 1,270 2,426 234 2,091
Norwegian males 69 80 4 2 155 19 132 10 78
Norwegian females 55 16 1 72 6 60
Total 124 96 1 4 2 227 25 192 10 78
Chinese males 2,369 12,049 96 8 14,522 51 1,971 224
Chinese females 559 201 19 779 20 51 2
Total 2,928 12,250 19 96 8 15,301 71 2,022 226
Japanese males 2,964 7,059 50 6 10,079 1 21 270 4
Japanese females 2,101 148 29 3 2,281 12 37
Total 5,065 7,207 29 50 9 12,360 33 307
Polynesian, males 150 235 19 404 9 61 6 42
Polynesian, females 133 45 6 184 5 24
Total 283 280 6 19 588 14 85 6 42
Other nationalities:
Males 162 181 26 2 371 2 217 28 138
Females 33 11 4 48 1 33 5
Total 195 192 4 26 2 419 3 250 33 136
Total males 17,175 39,063 2,307 169 58,714 5,456 23,313 3,658 13,593
Total females 14,497 14,681 1,974 124 31,276 4,416 15,067 1,037
Grand total 31,672 53,744 1,974 2,307 293 89,990 9,872 38,380 4,695 13,593
[Page 547]
[Inclosure 3 in No. 8.]
Queen’s ministers to Mr. Blount.

Hon. J. H. Blount,
Special Commissioner of the United States to Hawaii:

Sir: On Friday afternoon, January 13, about 2 o’clock, we, Samuel Parker, W. H. Cornwell, J. F. Colburn, and A. P. Peterson were called by Her Majesty to the palace and asked to accept positions in a new cabinet, the Wilcox cabinet having tendered their resignations the day previous. We accepted and were handed our commissions, and took the oath of office before Chief Justice Judd in the blue room. It was then thought advisable that the announcement be made to the Legislature, which was accordingly done, after which the cabinet went again to the palace to consult with Her Majesty as to what bills, having passed the Legislature, should be signed by her. Her Majesty asked the advice of the cabinet as to whether she should sign the lottery bill, the opium bill, and the registration act, which laws were then before her. At the same time she expressed a desire to satisfy her lady friends by vetoing the opium bill, and also expressed doubts as to the advisability of signing the registrartion act. The cabinet advised that as a majority of the Legislature and the mass of the people were in favor of the lottery and opium bills it was the duty of the Sovereign to sign them, and also that as the registration act was deemed important to the planting interests, although opposed very strenuously by a large number of people, it would be advisable to sign that also, as no bill of importance had been vetoed during the session and it was not advisable to do so.

The next day, Saturday, the Legislature met at the usual hour and transacted the business which remained, and adjourned until 12 o’clock the same day for prorogation. Both at the morning session and at the ceremonies attending the prorogation the members of the Reform party in the Legislature, to a man, were conspicuous by their absence, although occasionally one of their number would show himself and then report proceedings down town. Immediately after the ceremonies the cabinet were notified that the foreign representatives desired to meet them, and accordingly a meeting was held in the foreign office, all of the foreign representatives being present. Mr. Wodehouse, the English commissioner, stated that they were informed that Her Majesty intended to promulgate a new constitution upon that day, and asked what the cabinet intended to do about the matter, if this proved correct. Mr. Parker replied for the cabinet, and stated that he had heard of the matter and that, the cabinet had decided to advise Her Majesty against such a course.

This reply was satisfactory to all the representatives except to Mr. Stevens, the American minister, who became excited, and dropping the subject under discussion, pounded his cane upon the floor and stated in a loud voice that the United States had been insulted, and that the passage of the lottery bill was a direct attack upon his Government. The other representatives tried to change the subject, and, finally succeeding, the meeting broke up after several of them had disclaimed any approbation of Mr. Stevens’s remarks. The cabinet then went to the palace and met the Queen in the blue room, where she stated that at the desire of a large number of her subjects she wished to promulgate a new constitution. The cabinet then spoke of the meetings just held with the foreign representatives and advised Her Majesty not to do it, as they considered the time inopportune and the action inadvisable. The Queen, after considerable hesitation, finally yielded to the advice of her ministers, and so notified the people who were assembled in the palace and throughout the grounds. Early Sunday morning the cabinet met at Mr. Cornwell’s residence to consider the situation. Mr. W. M. Giffard, manager of W. G. Irwin & Co., and of Mr. Spreckels’s business in Honolulu at that time, notified them that it had been agreed between their bank and the bank of Bishop & Co. that they would render such financial assistance as the Government might need.

It was also reported by Mr. Colburn and Mr. Peterson that an organization known as the “Committee of Safety” had been formed the night before at the house of Mr. L. A. Thurston, and had made overtures to them as members of the cabinet to assist them in dethroning the Queen. That they intended to go ahead and that Mr. Stevens assistance, together with that of his Government, had been guaranteed them. This statement was from Mr. Thurston himself. It was finally decided to ask a number of the most influential merchants and citizens to meet the cabinet and discuss the situation. The meeting was set for 1 o’clock in the afternoon, and in the meantime the cabinet repaired to the station house to consult with the marshal as to the best means of keeping the peace. Everthing was found to be in readiness for any disturbance that might arise. At the appointed time the cabinet met in the foreign office with Mr. W. M. Giffard, representing Claus Spreckels; Mr. S. M. Damon representing Bishop & Co.; Mr. J. O. Carter, representing C. Brewer & Co.; Mr. S. C. Allen, representing Allen & Robinson and the Robinson estate; Mr. F. A. Schaefer, [Page 548]of F. A. Schaefer & Co., and E. C. Macfarlane. The situation was then discussed all present and methods proposed which would relieve it.

During this discussion Mr. S. M. Damon remarked, the subject having been brought up by the information as to the intentions of the committee of safety, that the Boston’s troops would land whether the Government liked it or not. It was finally decided that the best course to allay public feeling, and one which must be satisfactory to the people at large and the business interests generally, was for the cabinet to procure from Her Majesty a statement that no further attempt would be made to promulgate a new constitution. This was accordingly done, and the next day, Monday, such statement was sent to the different members of the diplomatic corps, as well as printed and circulated throughout the town. Sunday evening Mr. Parker and Mr. Peterson reported to the cabinet the result of an interview between Mr. Stevens and themselves in which Mr. Stevens had stated that he would not assist the Government as long as Mr. C. B. Wilson remained marshal, and a number of other statements made by him showing his hostility toward the Government and bearing out the information which had previously been received as to his friendly attitude toward the committee of safety. On Monday morning, after the assurance of Her Majesty that no new attempt would be made to promulgate a new constitution was made public, a feeling of satisfaction was generally manifested and an attempt was made by a number of leading citizens to postpone the mass meeting, which had been called for that afternoon, as being unnecessary; but Mr. Thurston protested and thought the meeting should go ahead and at least express their disapprobation of the course pursued by the Queen.

After the people attending the two mass meetings had quietly dispersed to their homes, and the city was as quiet as Sunday, the cabinet were informed, late Monday afternoon, that troops, armed with rifles and bringing Gatling guns, were being landed from the U. S. S. Boston. They immediately asked Mr. Stevens what this landing of troops meant, he not having asked the usual permission from the Government, and he, although sending a written reply, did not answer the question, but evaded it. The Boston troops took up a position commanding the Government building and the palace, and a position which commanded no American property. Monday evening was exceedingly quiet, the only disquietness being caused by the landing of foreign troops, which was generally disapproved of. On Tuesday information was received that the committee of safety were recruiting troops for the purpose of forming a provisional government, and were inducing men to enlist with them on the promise that the Boston’s troops would interfere and assist them without it being necessary for them to fire a shot or incur any risk. Shortly after noon Mr. Parker and Mr. Peterson returned from an interview with Mr. Stevens, and reported that he (Mr. Stevens) had said that if any number of what he called responsible citizens should take possession of any building in town and form a provisional government he should recognize them and assist them to the extent of his power, and that he should refuse any assistance to the Queen’s Government. The cabinet then made the station house their headquarters, as has always been the custom in any troublous times, the Government building always having been considered untenable. They then sent for a number of prominent citizens to consult with them.

Although being satisfied as to Mr. Stevens’s position it was deemed best by the cabinet to get something from him in writing, and accordingly they sent a letter to him between 2 and 3 o’clock, asking whether the report was true that he had recognized the. Provisional Government. In a little over half an hour his reply was received which stated that he had done so. Shortly after this Mr. S. M. Damon and Mr. G. Bolte came to the station house as messengers from the Provisional Government to consult with the Queen’s cabinet as to an amicable settlement of the difficulty without resort to arms. Mr. Damon during the interview said it would merely be a waste of blood to resist, as the Boston and the Boston’s troops stood ready to assist the Provisional Government. The cabinet gave them no reply but agreed to go with them and consult with the executive council of the Provisional Government at the Government building, which they accordingly did. At this meeting President Dole stated that it was their desire to have the matter settled without any resort to arms, and asked the Queen’s cabinet to deliver up to them what Government property was in their possession. The cabinet replied that before any answer could be given it would be necessary to consult with Her Majesty. This was agreed upon, and the cabinet, accompanied by Mr. S. M. Damon, proceeded to the palace and met the Queen. There were present at that time, besides Her Majesty and her ministers, H. A. Widemann, Paul Neumann, E. C. Macfarlane, J. O. Carter, and S. M. Damon.

The question as to the surrender of the Queen was discussed by nearly all present, and Mr. Stevens’s attitude and letter recognizing the Provisional Government were also spoken of, and the unanimous opinion of those present was, that although the Queen’s Government had possession of the station house, the barracks, and the palace, together with the greater part of the arms and ammunition in the Kingdom, [Page 549]and all the Gatling guns and field pieces except those under the control of foreign nations, and men enough, both foreign and native, to make them absolutely impregnable so far as any force which could be brought against them from people resident within the Kingdom was concerned, and with force enough to put down any disturbance and to keep the peace of the country, unless such disturbance was assisted by foreign troops. Considering the position taken by the representative of the United States it was useless to make war against that country, which any resistance on the part of the Queen’s Government plainly meant, and that the wiser course to pursue was to surrender the Government property under a protest to the United States, the superior force of that country having brought about the situation. The protest was immediately drawn and signed by Her Majesty and her ministers and taken to President Dole, who indorsed the receipt of it. At a little after 7 o’clock that evening the Provisional Government took possession of the station house and other Government buildings and of the arms and ammunition then in possession of the Queen’s Government.

  • Samuel Parker,
    Minister of Foreign Affairs.
  • Wm. H. Cornwell,
    Minister of Finance.
  • John F. Colburn,
    Minister of Interior.
  • A. P. Peterson,

In view of the facts stated above, which can not be controverted, and in view of the fact that your investigations concerning the matter are shortly likely to terminate, we, Liliuokalani and her cabinet, who formed the Government of the Hawaiian Islands on the 17th of January last, having surrendered that Government to the superior force of the United States of America, now most respectfully ask that you use your good offices in undoing the acts of a representative of your great country and place the Government of the Hawaiian Islands as Mr. Stevens found them. Believing that the principle of justice which has ever dominated American action will prevail in this instance, we remain,

Yours, respectfully,

  • Liliuokalani, R,
  • Samuel Parker,
    Minister of Foreign Affairs.
  • Wm. H. Cornwell,
    Minister of Finance.
  • John F. Colburn,
    Minister of Interior.
  • A. P. Peterson,