No. 12.
Mr. Blount to Mr. Gresham.
No. 9.]

Sir: I have the honor to report that the political conditions of the Islands do not import any conflict of arms. The Government is very alert in watching every movement which threatens it. Almost any trifling assemblage of natives at night is the occasion of alarm.

The natives are favoring public order, and looking for some action on my part favorable to them. Notwithstanding the publication of my instructions, and my previous declaration that I had no power to restore the Queen, there remains in the native mind a strong faith that, owing to the interference of the American minister and the American marines, resulting in the surrender to the Provisional Government by the Queen of her forces, the United States will ultimately restore her to power.

The action of Admiral Thomas, in 1843, in restoring the Hawaiian flag is written deeply in the minds of the native people. A public [Page 550]square has been set apart and beautified in honor of his memory and action. This, and the friendly relations between our Government and that of these Islands, seems to be the inspiration of buoyant hope in their final independence.

Should this fail them, and they be left free from interference by foreign powers, the peace of to-day may change into warlike action against the existing order of things.

It can not be truthfully stated that the present peace is the result of the power of the Provisional Government.

I deem it proper at this time to indulge in some observations in relation to landed property here.

To understand the present distribution it is necessary to understand the ancient system of land tenure as well as the modern.

And now as to the first:

Each island was divided into several districts. The next subdivision is the Ahupuaa. Typically this is a long narrow strip extending from the sea to the mountain, so that its chief may have his share of all the various products of the mountain region, the cultivated land, and the sea. It was generally, though not always, subdivided into ilis, each with its own name and carefully defined boundary.

There were two kinds of ilis. The first was a mere subdivision of the Ahupuaa for the convenience of the chief holding the same, who received its revenues from his agent. The other class did not pay tribute to a chief.

The ilis were again subdivided, and many of the larger patches had individual names.

The patches cultivated exclusively for the chief were called koele or hokuone. The tenants were obliged to work for him on Fridays. In the “principles adopted by the land commission to quiet land titles,” approved by the legislative council October 26, 1846, it is stated that—

When the islands were conquered by Kamehameha I, he followed the example of his predecessors, and divided out the lands among his principal warrior chiefs, retaining, however, a portion in his own hands to be cultivated or managed by his own immediate servants or attendants. Each principal chief divided his lands anew and gave them out to an inferior order of chiefs, by whom they were subdivided again and again, often passing through the hands of four, five, or six persons from the King down to the lowest class of tenants. All these persons were considered to have rights in these lands, or the productions of them, the proportions of which rights were not clearly defined, although universally acknowledged. All persons possessing landed property, whether superior landlords, tenants, or subtenants, owed and paid to the King not only a land tax, which he assessed at pleasure, but also service, which was called for at discretion, on all the grades, from the highest down. They also owed and paid some portion of the productions of the land, in addition to the yearly taxes. A failure to render any of these was always considered a just cause for which to forfeit the lands. The same rights which the King possessed over the superior landlords and all under them, the various grades of landlords possessed over their inferiors, so that there was a joint ownership of the land, the King really owning the allodium, and the persons in whose hands he placed the land, holding it in trust.

The land taxes were really rents and went to the King as his private income. The idea of a nation or government as distinguished from the person of the King first began to be recognizedin the Constitution of 1840. When the labor tax first began to be regulated by law, every tenant was required to work one day in every week (Tuesday) for the King, and one day (Friday) for the landlord.

The long reign of Kamehameha evolved greater permanency and security in the possession of the lands.

On the accession of his son Liholiho no general redistribution of lands took place.

[Page 551]

The common people were merely tenants at will, liable to be dispossessed at any time, and even to be stripped of their personal property at the will of their chiefs.

Laws were passed in 1839 and 1840 to prevent evictions without cause and the wanton seizure of the property of tenants.

The King and chiefs resolved to divide and define the shares which each held in undivided shares of the lands of the Kingdom. The following rules were noted by the privy council December 18, 1847:

Whereas it has become necessary to the prosperity of our Kingdom and the proper physical, mental, and moral improvement of our people that the undivided rights at present existing in the lands of our Kingdom shall be separated and distinctly defined;

Therefore, We, Kamehameha III, King of the Hawaiian Islands, and his chiefs, in privy council assembled, do solemnly resolve that we will be guided in such division by the following rules:

1.
His Majesty, our most Gracious Lord and King, shall, in accordance with the constitution and laws of the land, retain all his private lands as his own individual property, subject only to the rights of the tenants, to have and hold to him, his heirs and successors forever.
2.
One-third of the remaining lands of the Kingdom shall be set aside as the property of the Hawaiian Government, subject to the direction and control of His Majesty as pointed out by the constitution and laws, one-third to the chiefs and konohikis in proportion to their possessions to have and to hold, to them, their heirs and successors forever, and the remaining third to the tenants, the actual possessors and cultivators of the soil, to have and to hold, to them, their heirs and successors forever.
3.
The division between the chiefs or the konohikis and their tenants, prescribed by rule 2d, shall take place whenever any chief, konohiki, or tenant shall desire such division, subject only to confirmation by the King in privy council.
4.
The tenants of His Majesty’s private lands shall be entitled to a fee-simple title to one-third of the lands possessed and cultivated by them; which shall be set off to the said tenants in fee simple whenever His Majesty or any of said tenants shall desire such division.
5.
The division prescribed in the foregoing rules shall in no wise interfere with any lands that may have been granted by His Majesty or his predecessors in fee simple to any Hawaiian subject or foreigner, nor in any way operate to the injury of the holders of the unexpired leases.
6.
It shall be optional with any chief or konohiki, holding lands in which the Government has a share, in the place of setting aside one-third of the said lands as Government property, to pay into the treasury one-third of the unimproved value of said lands, which payment shall operate as a total extinguishment of the Government right in said lands.
7.
All the lands of His Majesty shall be recorded in a book entitled “Register of the lands belonging to Kamehameha III, King of the Hawaiian Islands,” and deposited with the registry of land titles in the office of the minister of the interior; and all lands set aside as the lands of the Hawaiian Government shall be recorded in a book entitled “Register of the lands belonging to the Hawaiian Government,” and fee-simple titles shall be granted to all other allottees upon the award of the board of commissioners to quiet land titles.

The division between the King and his chiefs was settled by a committee March 7, 1848. The book containing a record of this division also contains releases signed by the several chiefs to the King, of the lands they surrendered, and releases by the King to the several chiefs of his feudal rights in the land remaining to them as their shares.

These formal awards were made, after evidence of title, which could be converted into allodial title by payment of the consideration provided for in rules 6 and 7, above cited.

On the 8th of March, 1848, the King set apart for the use of the Gov-eminent the larger part of his royal domain, specified by name, and reserved the residue for himself, his heirs, and successors. On June 7, 1848, the legislative council passed an act confirming and ratifying what had been done by the King.

In 1850 most of the chiefs ceded a third part of their lands to the Government to obtain an allodial title. This was accepted by the privy council the same year.

[Page 552]

The Crown lands received their designation from the cession by the King of his share, founded on rule 1, above cited, to the Government.

The Government lands were derived under rule 2 and from cession from the chiefs in 1850.

In all awards of ahupuaas and ilis the rights of tenants are reserved. The acts of August 6, 1850, and July 11, 1851, protect the common people in the right to take wood, thatch, kileaf, etc. They were also guaranteed the right to water and the right of way, but not the right of pasturage on the land of the konohiki, or chief. The right of fishing in the sea appurtenant to the land and to sell the fish caught by him was secured to every bona fide resident on land. The fee-simple title, free of all commutation, to all native tenants was secured finally by the act of August 6, 1850. The right of lords over tenants was thus ended.

Mr. W. D. Alexander, superintendent of Government surveys, defines Government lands in this language:

The great mass of the Government lands consists of those lands which were surrendered and made over to the Government by the King, Kamehameha III, and which are enumerated by name in the act of June 7, 1848. To these must be added the lands ceded by the several chiefs in lieu of commutation, those lands purchased by the Government at different times, and also all lands forfeited to the Government by the neglect of their claimants to present their claims within the period fixed by law. By virtue of various statutes, from time to time sales of these lands have taken place.

The same authority says that between the years 1850 and 1860 nearly all the desirable Government lands was sold, generally to natives. The total number of grants issued before April 1, 1890, was 3,475.

In 1850 one-twentieth part of all the lands belonging to the Government was set apart for the purposes of education. Most of these have been sold.

Mr. Alexander says: “The term ‘Crown lands’ is applied to those-lands reserved by Kamehameha III, March 8, 1848, for himself, his heirs, and successors forever, as his private property.”

Kamehameha III and his successors dealt with these as with their private property, selling, leasing, and mortgaging the same, and conveying good titles.

The supreme court held that the inheritance to the Crown lands was limited to the successors to the throne, and at the same time that the possessor might regulate and dispose of the same as his private property. Subsequently an act of the legislature made them inalienable and declared that they should not be leased for a period to exceed thirty years.

When the division of lands was determined upon the chiefs and tenants alike were required to make proofs of the lands they occupied. Failing in this, their rights were barred.

In view of the principles laid down for a division of the land, the inference is that the common people received their share of one-third. Now, what are the facts? Before this division many natives lived with chiefs and occupied no land. Others occupied small parcels for taro patches, and took fish from the waters, and thus obtained their food. These patches did not generally exceed 1 acre, and were designated as kuleanas in the native tongue. Proof of this occupation of land, had to be made before the land commission, involving such forms and proofs that the ignorant native failed in many instances to comply with the regulations, and so lost his property. These little holdings were all that they ever obtained.

The historian of land titles (quoted here as the highest authority) omits this great fact. In examining his work with him, he admits what [Page 553]I have asserted in relation to the lands assigned to the common people. This is also confirmed to me by the present minister of finance, Mr. Damon (formerly vice-president of the advisory council).

Much is said here of the natives being wasteful, and in consequence becoming landless. To my mind, when Japanese, Chinese, and Portuguese cheap labor was substituted for his own and he sought employment in other avocations more remunerative and turned from these insignificant possessions, he followed only the suggestions which would have come to any person of any race.

Subsequently natives purchased Government land under a law providing for the sale of portions of them to residents in lots from 1 to 50 acres. To this I shall recur hereafter.

The lands here are designated as Crown lands, Government lands, the Bishop lands, and those owned by private parties.

The Government lands contain 828,370 acres; the Crown lands, 915,288 acres; the Bishop lands (a gift from a native, Mrs. C. R. Bishop) are devoted to educational purposes and contain 406,829 acres. The private lands amount to 1,854,018 acres. Of these Europeans and Americans now own 1,052,492; natives, 257,457; half-castes, 531,545; Chinese, 12,324 acres; Japanese 200 acres; other nationalities, none.

The Bishop lands mentioned above are included in the 531,545 acres taxed as belonging to half-castes.

Mr. Albert Loebenstein, of Hilo, Hawaii, in a conversation with me, written out and certified by him, says:

The Crown lands generally are leased to corporations for cane culture and grazing, at a very low price for a long term of years. Most of the Government lands are in the hands of sugar-planters.

He estimates the award of kuleanas to natives at about 11,000 acres. He estimates that the Government has sold 290,000 acres of land to residents, and that two-thirds of this was sold to natives, and is now owned by corporations for cane culture. He thinks the natives sold on account of their improvidence in encumbering themselves with debt.

It appears to me that, with small holdings and no right of pasturage, they could find but little opportunity for a good living on them. They are certainly engaged in labor in various employments offering a life of more comfort.

If American laborers can not compete with Chinese and Japanese contract labor it is not a sign of indolence that the Kanaka should fly from its crushing competition. It is still less so when he sees his own Government seeking cheap labor for cane-growers and enforcing its efficiency by laws intended to compel them to fulfill their contracts.

Mr. C. R. Bishop tells in his statement the simple story of the land division on which the real property of the country rests. He says a land commission was created for the purpose of giving title to all the people who had claim to lands. The King and chiefs made this division in 1847. It was agreed that the people should have their small holdings, which they occupied and cultivated since 1839. That year was fixed because it was the year in which the first draft of the constitution defining the rights of the people was made.

The principle upon which the lands were divided he states thus:

The chiefs had been given lands by former kings, by Kamehameha I, especially. They could not sell or lease them without the consent of the King and premier. There were other lands supposed to be the King’s private lands. When the division was made these lands, which he claimed were his own, were set apart and called crown lands. That was his private estate really, and the others belonged to the Government, the chiefs, and the people. The people got theirs out of the Government land, [Page 554]the King’s land, and the chiefs’ land. These were called kuleanas. The King’s lands were called Crown lands, from which he derived his support. The Government lands were for the support of the Government. The King had a right to and did sell Crown lands at his pleasure until 1864.

In the division of lands the Crown lands were large in amount, the Government received a large share, and the largest part of the remainder went to the chiefs. The Government lands are nearly sold out. The kuleanas would not average more than 2 or 3 acres. A great many natives were seamen, mechanics, fishermen, teachers, and followers of chiefs, who received no land. The children of these awardees of kuleanas generally have no land. The sugar planters derive their titles from the Government and the chiefs.

The King and the chiefs were extravagant; got into debt, and then had to pay. When they got the title to their lands these debts were paid by many of the chiefs with lan.ds. During their lifetime they got rid of a great deal of land. The plantations have come nearly altogether from the Government and the chiefs, and considerable of the land is leased from Crown lands.

Mr. Bishop’s statement, which will be duly reported, though freed from the technicalities and formalities of a trained lawyer, brings out all that is practical and vital in the origin and progress of the land system of the Hawaiian Islands.

Attention is here invited to the character of the early surveys and surveys of grants from a report made by the Surveyor-General to the legislature in 1891:

character of the early surveys.

First in order are the old surveys made under the direction of the land commission, and commonly known as “kuleana” surveys. These had the same defects as the first surveys in most new countries. These defects were, in great part, owing to the want of any proper supervision. There was no bureau of surveying, and the president of the land commission was so overwhelmed with work that he had no time to spare for the superintendence of the surveying. As has been truly said, there was little money to pay out and little time to wait for the work. Political reasons also added to the haste with which the work was pushed through, and barely completed before the death of Kamehameha III.

No uniform rules or instructions were given to the surveyors employed, who were practically irresponsible. Few of them could be regarded as thoroughly competent surveyors, while some were not only incompetent, but careless and unscrupulous. The result was that almost every possible method of measurement was adopted. Some used 50-foot chains, and others the 4-pole chain divided into links; some attempted to survey by the true meridian, others by the average magnetic meridian, while most made no allowance for local variations of the needle. There are some surveys recorded which were made with a ship’s compass, or even a pocket compass. Few of them took much pains to mark corners or to note the topographical features of the country. Rarely was one section or district assigned to one man. It is said that over a dozen were employed in surveying Waikiki, for instance, not one of whom knew what the other surveyors had done or tried to make his surveys agree with theirs where they adjoined one another. As might be expected, overlaps and gaps are the rule rather than the exception, so that it is generally impossible to put these old surveys together correctly on paper without ascertaining their true relative positions by actual measurements on the ground.

The board of commissioners to quiet land titles were empowered by the law of August 6, 1850, not only to “define and separate the portions of land belonging to different individuals,” but “to provide for an equitable exchange of such different portions where it can be done, so that each man’s land may he by itself.” This, however, was rarely done, and the kuleanas very often consist of several sections or “apanas” apiece, scattered here and there in the most irregular manner imaginable. No general rules were laid down in regard to the size of kuleanas, though mere house lots were limited to one-quarter of an acre by the act just cited, section 5. The consequence was that the responsibility was mainly thrown upon the surveyors, and there was the greatest variety of practice among them in different districts. The act above mentioned provided that fee-simple titles should “be granted to native tenants for the lands they occupy and improve.” This was differently interpreted by different surveyors, so that in fact the “kuleanas” vary from 1 to 40 acres in extent. General maps of whole districts, or even ahupuaas, exhibiting the exact location of all the different claims contained within them, were scarcely thought of, and hardly could have been made with the inferior instruments and defective methods used by most of the kuleana surveyors of that time.

[Page 555]

Surveys of grants were of a similar character to those of kuleanas. Formerly it was not the policy of the Government to have Government lands surveyed as wholes, or to have their boundaries settled. Portions of Government land sold to private persons were surveyed at the expense of the purchaser. It was seldom the case that an entire “ahupuaa” was sold at once. The pieces sold were of all sizes and shapes, sometimes cutting across half a dozen ahupuaas, and were generally surveyed without reference to the surveys of adjoining land sales or awards. Hence most Government lands at the present time consist of mere remnants left here and there, and of the worthless and unsalable portions remaining after the rest had been sold. It follows that, even supposing all the outside boundaries of a Government land to have been surveyed and duly settled by the commissioner of boundaries, it would still be necessary to locate on the ground all the grants and awards contained within the land in question in order to ascertain how much of it is left. Nothing short of a general survey of the country will bring to light all these facts, will exhibit the Government lands in their true position in relation to other lands, and enable the minister of the interior as well as applicants for land to judge of their actual value. It was considerations like these which induced the then minister of the interior, Dr. Hutchinson, to institute the Government survey in 1871. An account of that survey, its objects, methods, and results, was published in pamphlet form in 1889.

W. D. Alexander,
Superintendent of Government Survey.

In view of the foregoing observations it appears to me that if a humane feeling towards the native population of these islands is to have place in American thought there will arise a conviction that instead of inviting immigrants from the United States or other countries to these islands in the hope of obtaining homes, whatever of lands may be used in this way are more than needed by the native population. They seem morever, to suggest that if the native has not advanced in mental and moral culture up to the highest standard it can not be denied that the policy of the Hawaiian Government in the distribution of its lands has been a great hindrance to him.

His advancement in the future under the conditions now surrounding him are by no means encouraging. If his advancement should reach the most desirable stage there will in all probability arise a discontent well calculated to unsettle any social fabric which sought to give it permanency.

It has been made to appear in official reports of the Hawaiian Government, and in magazine and newspaper articles, that the native population was dying out and would in a few years become extinct. The best opinion I can obtain here is that the death rate no longer exceeds the birth rate, but that there is a gradual increase in the native population. The extinction of the native, therefore, can no longer afford any excuse for any distribution of the land of the country on that account.

Out of a population of 40,622 natives and half-casts, 23,473 are officially reported as able to read and write. They are generally allied in their religious affiliations with the Protestant and Catholic churches.

Mr. Sereno E. Bishop, an ardent annexationist, and with an eye quick to discern all their faults, in. 1888.uses the following language:

The Hawaiian race is one that is well worth saving. With all their sad frailties, they are a noble race of men, physically and morally. They are manly, courageous, enterprising, cordial, generous, unselfish. They are highly receptive of good. They love to look forward and upward, though very facile to temptations to slide backward and downward. In an unusual degree they possess a capacity for fine and ardent enthusiasm for noble ends.

Can a Christian civilization doom such a people to annihilation by any policy of legislation?

I see in the letters from here to the New York World and Sun statements that I had expressed my own opinions in reference to political [Page 556]questions in these islands, and declaring the opinion of the President on the subject of annexation.

I send you herewith the statement of Mr. Fred. Wundenberg. He is a gentleman of excellent sense and character. It touches upon several questions with so much aptness that I have thought it perhaps might interest you.

I am, etc.,

James H. Blount,
Special Commissioner of the United States.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 9.]
Interview of Mr. Wundenberg.

Q. Where were you born?

A. On the island of Kauai.

Q. How long have you lived in the Islands?

A. I was born in 1850 and have lived here ever since.

Q. What are you engaged in?

A. At present I am deputy clerk of the supreme court.

Q. Have you been recently offered the position of collector-general of customs?

A.I have.

Q. Did you decline it?

A. I did.

Q. I see in the correspondence between the American minister at this point and the State Department the allegation that Mr. Wilson is the paramour of the Queen. What knowledge have you of the relations between these parties?

A. Queen Liliuokalani, before she was Queen was in the habit of providing for a number of Hawaiian girls—in some cases educating them at her own expense; bringing them into society, and teaching them manners, dancing and all that sort of business and providing them with suitable husbands. Miss Townsend, the present wife of Wilson, is one of her beneficiaries, and her marriage with Wilson was brought about in the same way. Mrs. Wilson was Emmeline Townsend. She was a particular personal friend of Liliuokalani—always attended her—acted as a sort of maid of honor, and that relation has existed right up to the present time.

Wilson, in that way became the intimate acquaintance and friend of Liliuokalani, and he also was the personal friend of Dominis. Wilson was fond of horse racing and fond of shooting and rowing—and the old governor was a great sportsman. He was fond of boats; he had the best boats. He tried to have the best horses; prided himself on the best guns. Wilson was an admirer of all that sort of thing, and they naturally drifted together in that way. That was prior to Liliuokalani being Queen. After she became Queen, Dominis was in ill health, and the revolution of 1887 had taken place; the Wilcox riot had taken place, and the woman was in constant dread of something of the kind, and Wilson, being near to her person, and a reliable friend of hers, and a man of known courage, it was the most natural thing in the world that she would want him to be marshal. She insisted upon it. Loper at that time was marshal. Loper, as well as most of us, had taken a hand in the affair of 1887. She wanted things in shape that she could feel she had control of things. The station house was an arsenal. They kept arms there, and ordnance; cannon, Gatling guns, etc., had been removed in 1887 down there and placed under the charge of Marshal Loper, who was in sympathy and connection with the 1887 party. So when she came in power it was one of the first demands she made, that some of her friends should be placed in charge of that institution. I was postmaster then, and one of the demands made was that I should be removed, and I was removed on account of my affiliation with the 1887 party.

Q. The change from Loper to Wilson gave offense to the other side—the Reform party?

A. There was a little interregnum in which another man named Hopkins, was put in temporary charge before Wilson formally took office, but practically Wilson followed Loper, This little administration of Hopkins did not amount to anything.

Q. Wilson going in there gave offence to the Reform party?

A. No; nothing seemed to be said about it. After they began to find things were going against them, and the results of the elections of 1890—the National Reform party swept the field—then they began their old games of attacking through the press. They attacked everybody and everything—not only Wilson, but everybody. [Page 557]If a chicken thief was caught, Wilson was held up for ridicule. For every drunk, robbery, etc., Wilson was blamed. They attacked him broadcast through the press.

Q. Any efforts made to impeach him?

A. I do not think so; not to my knowledge.

Q. Where was he born?

A. Wilson is the son of the English consul at Tahiti, by a Tahitian chieftess.

Q. Did he come here as a boy?

A. Yes. He is about the same age I am. I am rather better informed than anybody else regarding Wilson. My mother, the daughter of missionaries, was born in Tahiti and was well acquainted with The Wilson family.

Q. How old was he when he came here?

A. His father was interested in shipping ventures, and among other places of trade, I think either owned totally, or in connection with other parties, Fannings Island. He had interests there, and it was in one of these trading voyages that he was lost. Old Capt. English, who is here now, took the two boys—the brothers—and carried them to Fannings Island. They lived there, and when they were old enough, the old man brought them here and put them to school. That was in the early fifties. I think they went to school with Captain Smith.

Q. How old would that make him.

A. About 43 years old. As was usually the case with half-whites of that class, they did not have the best opportunities for education. After they got the ordinary rudiments they would be put to a trade. He was put to a trade. He learned the blacksmith’s trade. He was a man of strong character and ability. He dropped that and went into Government employ. He was made superintendent of waterworks and made a good one.

Q. What sort of marshal did he make?

A. An exceptionally good one.

Q. Was that generally the opinion?

A. I do not think they have ever had a marshal here at any time who could equal him, and I think it would be a hard matter to get anyone—with this one exception—like most of the natives Wilson was careless in money matters. I have to admit that Wilson was careless.

Q. Behind in his accounts?

A. In his business arrangements he has been careless. When he was superintendent of waterworks he got behind considerably. I saw his difficulties. There was a shortage of something like nine or ten thousand dollars. We advanced the money for him, myself and the present Queen. That transaction was open to explanation. I think Wilson was made the residuary legatee of along series of old fossils. It had been considered a place of no importance. They kept accounts very badly. They kept a system of receipt books with stubs. The investigation was held by Gulick. These stubs were added up and Wilson was made to account for it. I can not say whether he was responsible for it.

Q. Did he ever live in the palace with the Queen?

A. I do not think Wilson ever lived in the palace. Wilson and his wife occupied the bungalow.

Q. How far is that from the palace?

A. It is located in the corner of Richard and Palace Walk, in the palace yard. I know that Wilson and his wife occupied some of the apartments. The other apartments were occupied by others of her household, servants and retainers. She occupied the palace herself, or lived in her own place, at Washington Place.

Q. How far is the bungalow from the palace?

A. Sixty or 100 yards. I used to visit him at times. The palace stands in the middle of the square.

Q. Have you ever heard it stated from any reliable source that Mr. Wilson was lodged in the palace?

A. Never.

Q. How was the Queen received here in society?

A. She was always received with the greatest respect.

Q. Please illustrate what you mean by that?

A. No entertainment of any importance—reception, ball—was considered complete without the presence of the Queen. The chief justice on one occasion gave a ball or entertainment of some kind; I think it was a reception to Armstrong. I was present. The Queen was there. The chief justice was very attentive to the Queen. W. R. Castle gave an entertainment not a great while ago at his residence to some children, which the Queen attended. Castle was extremely attentive to her. In fact, whenever the so-called missionary party gave any entertainment they were always desirous of having the Queen. She received the most marked attention from them.

Q. Were these ladies active in social life about the palace?

A. Yes; whenever the Queen would give entertainments these people always attended.

[Page 558]

Q. With as much freedom as other classes of people?

A. I think so.

Q. You spoke of the Queen educating Hawaiian girls. At what school?

A. At a number of schools. The school I am most acquainted with is Kawaiahas Seminary.

Q. Who were the teachers there?

A. Miss Bingham was the principal. Latterly they have been compelled to send abroad to get assistance. The management was always in the hands of the missionaries. It is a missionary institution.

Q. Did she generally prefer that institution for these girls?

A. I think most of the girls have been educated there. I think she has had several educated at Maui, at Makawaco Seminary, another institution.

Q. Are you a man of family?

A. No, sir; I am not a married man. We are a very large family. I have a number of sisters living here. Q. Did they associate with the Queen without reserve, as other people here?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you feel like they were with a reputable person?

A. Yes; I never felt anything out of the way. In fact, I know that a great many people at times would feel slighted if they did not receive invitations to attend entertainments there.

Q. Were you one of the active participants in the revolution of 1887?

A. I was an active participator in the events of 1887. I was not a leader.

Q. Please tell me the cause of that revolution.

A. I want to say that the reasons and causes that actuated different participants were no doubt numerous. The mainspring was this same Missionary party. They were smarting under defeats they had sustained repeatedly from Gibson. They had used large amounts of money in attempting to control the elections, but Gibson seemed to have a strong influence on the King and defeated them and held his power, I think, over a period of six years, and the King, under his direction, was allowed to go into all kinds of follies. This “Kaimiloa” escapade was one. The King had the idea in his head for some time previous of causing a confederation of the Pacific Islands. I have never heard him say he was ambitious of becoming Emperor of the Pacific, as has been attributed to him. Gibson, who was too astute and far-seeing to believe in anything of the kind, still felt it was necessary to humor him in a number of these projects, of which this was one. That escapade is familiar with everybody. They sent Bush down there and it resulted in disaster. That was made one of the ostensible reasons. Also the opium scandal. There had always been a great deal said regarding the opium business; some thought it should be entirely prohibited others thought it was impossible to do so. They favored licensing the business. A bill passed the Legislature authorizing licenses. Then the Chinese began to bid for these licenses and that resulted in what is known as the Ah Ki scandal, in which it is claimed that the King received sixty or seventy thousand dollars to let a certain Chinese firm have the license. That was another cause put forward.

Q. Did they make him pay that back?

A. Yes; his estate paid that back, eventually.

Q. Was it generally believed that he acted corruptly in that matter?

A. Yes; those are the ostensible reasons put forward, and general extravagance and mismanagement of finances. That led up to this business.

Q. What do you mean by ostensible reasons; were there any other reasons behind these?

A. I do not know that I would have any right to put forward convictions and beliefs which lead from way back. I do not think that these reasons, though they were powerful agents at the time, were the only cause. I think it was the persistent determination of a clique here to get the power again which Gibson had wrested from it.

Q. They had been directing public affairs up to Gibson’s time?

A. Yes.

Q. And during that time lost control?

A. Yes. To go back a little farther: The same party had held power in various forms and degrees up to about 1853. I think then that the decline of Dr. Judd’s power began. He held despotic sway under Kamehameha III. In 1853 a committee of thirteen, representing people who had become tired of this arbitrary rule of Dr. Judd, waited on the King and demanded his removal from power. From that time, over a period of twenty years, is where the country received the very best administration it ever got, from men like Robert C. Wiley, Judge Lee, and, in later days, Harris and Hutchinson—men of that style. That carried through the reigns of Kamehameha IV and V. The missionaries were out of power. These men would not tolerate them at all.

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Q. Was there extravagance then?

A. That was the very best period of Hawaiian history. That was the foundation of the Hawaiian Islands being received into the family of nations. She took her standing under the guidance of Wiley and Harris. At the death of Kamehameha V, Lunalilo came in and the missionaries regained their power through him. He was the highest chief living, but an intemperate fellow. He was as good a fellow as ever lived. He was a drunkard. Missionaries went into power under him. He lived a year, then came Kalakaua. They continued their hold on affairs during the early part of Kalakaua’s reign, until Gibson came in. He overthrew them, I think, in 1880. Gibson reigned supreme in 1880. He was returned to the Legislature in 1880 and held power to 1887. Kalakaua was extravagant, and Gibson, in order to hold his power, had to yield to a good many of the King’s foibles in that way. If Gibson had received generous support from outside he would have been able to hold the King in check, but in order to hold his power he had to yield to the King in order to hold his position against opposition. The chamber of commerce, the Planters’ Labor and Supply Company—everything combined against him. It is a marvel how he managed to hold his own against the tremendous odds that were used against him.

While the natives had, as a rule, generally yielded the Government into the hands of the whites, still they always felt that they should have some sort of representation in the Government, and a native Hawaiian usually occupied one of the cabinet positions. In addition to the native Hawaiian there was a new element coming on the field, which consisted of native born of foreign parents, and somewhere around about 1884 we began to feel that we should have representation as well as the foreigners, and placed the proposition before Kalakaua. He recognized the justice of this, and C. T. Gulick was made minister of the interior in compliance with the wishes of this element. This cabinet was overthrown in 1886 by Mr. Spreckels’influence. Mr. Spreckels had advanced large sums of money to the Government, and demanded the deeding over of the wharfage, the city front from the Pacific Mail to the Oceanic docks, the Honolulu waterworks, and other governmental property in town. This proposition was acceded to by Gibson, but resisted by Gulick, who succeeded in frustrating the whole scheme, but which resulted in the overthrow of the cabinet finally through Spreckels’ influence. Spreckels was instrumental in forming a new cabinet composed of Gibson, John T. Dare (a lawyer he brought from San Francisco), and, I think, Robert Creighton, and they put one Hawaiian in—some old dummy, I forget now who he was. This was naturally offensive to the Hawaiian element previously alluded to, and we reproached Gibson for his action in the matter, and when the events of1887 turned up, a large majority of the element alluded to joined the movement to overthrow Gibson, and of course the other party were only too glad to have additions to the strength of their party. I think that answers the question why I joined the movement of 1887.

Q. What was the demand made upon Kalakaua as far as a new constitution went?

A. They made a demand that he should grant them a new constitution, which he agreed to immediately.

Q. And that is the present constitution?

A. Yes; that is the present constitution.

Q. What sort of cabinet did he appoint then?

A. He appointed a cabinet to their dictation: L. A. Thurston, W. L. Green, C. W. Ashford, and Jonathan Austin.

Q. Is Mr. Thurston native-born?

A. Yes.

Q. Educated here?

A. Yes; most of his education. He went abroad to study law.

Q. His life has been spent here?

A. Yes; he is identified with this community.

Q. Has he been an active member of the Planters’ Labor and Supply Company?

A. He has always been invited to their meetings. He never was a planter.

Q, Might he not have owned stock?

A. He may have owned some little stock.

Q. He is not an American citizen?

A. No, sir; he is a Hawaiian.

Q. Where is Mr. Green from?

A. He is an Englishman. He came here in early days. He is head of the firm of Janior, Green & Company.

Q. Where is Mr. Ashford from?

A. Ashford is a Canadian. He arrived here in the early part of 1880.

Q. Was he especially active then in military movements?

A. Yes; very active in 1887.

Q. He commanded troops?

A. His brother, Volney V. Ashford; he was the man who put it through.

[Page 560]

Q. What do you mean when you say that he was the man who put it through?

A. V. V. Ashford was the organizer and guide of the whole of the movement, which was expected to have operated in the event of any open resistance having occurred. Of course, the Missionary party—Thurston, Smith, Dole, and others—were organizers of the movement, but when it came down to actual working V. V. Ashford was one. He was colonel of the existing forces—four or five companies of Hawaiian rifles, and this riffraff that you find around the Provisional Government to-day—that was the crowd that flocked in around them. They were the ones that would have been used. Whenever danger was in the way they were scarce, but when it came to asking positions, they were there.

Q. Who was Jonathan Austin?

A. He was an American—a New Yorker, I think. He was a brother of H. L. Austin, of Hawaii. He was a comparatively newcomer.

Q. None of these were of native blood?

A. None of them.

Q. They continued in power how long?

A. From immediately after the 30th of June, 1887, up to the Legislature of 1890. The elections were in February. The house met in April or May, 1890. Shortly after the house went into session they passed a vote of want of confidence.

Q. The reform element had been beaten in elections?

A. Yes.

Q. And that brought about an antireform cabinet?

A. Yes.

Q. Now in the Legislature of 1892 there was a continual turning out of cabinets; was that a struggle for power?

A. It was a struggle for power. This same reform or missionary element was fighting to regain the reins of government. They united with a faction known as Liberals. These two elements put together could vote out the other crowd, and they voted them out until the G. N. Wilcox cabinet was formed.

Q. With this cabinet the Reform party was content?

A. Yes.

Q. How did the Liberals take it—did they get offended?

A. Yes.

Q. Did they make a combination with the National Reform party?

A. Yes.

Q. Was the Wilcox cabinet voted out as a result of that combination?

A. Yes.

Q. The Wilcox cabinet was voted out on the 13th of January, 1893?

A. Yes.

Q. The Legislature was prorogued on the 14th?

A. Yes.

Q. If this cabinet had not been voted out before the prorogation of the Legislature the Reform element through this cabinet would have had control of the Government for two years?

A. Yes.

Q. How did they receive the voting out of the Wilcox cabinet?

A. It was not liked.

Q. Did they feel like they had lost power?

A. Yes.

Q. Were you at Mr. W. O. Smith’s office at the meeting on Saturday, January 14, 1893?

A. Yes; I was there in the afternoon.

Q. Was the subject of the dethronement of the Queen discussed?

A. No.

Q. Was the subject of annexation discussed?

A. No.

Q. What was in the mind of that meeting; anything definite?

A. No; nothing definite. The idea was that this attempted proclaiming of a new constitution was the cause of unsettling affairs, and that there was danger for the public safety. This committee of public safety was organized for that purpose.

Q. Anything said about landing troops?

A. No.

Q. There were subsequent meetings of the committee of safety. Did you attend any of them? Were you invited?

A. I attended one that was held at Henry Waterhouse’s on Monday evening, the 16th.

Q. Did you attend any of any earlier date?

A. I attended one at Thurston’s house on Saturday evening.

Q. Was the subject of the dethronement of the Queen discussed there?

A. I would not like to give any information regarding anything that took place [Page 561]at Thurston’s house that night, as I considered it as confidential. Thurston reposed confidence in me, and I should not like to betray it.

Q. Where was the other meeting?

A. The only other meeting I attended was the meeting at Waterhouse’s.

Q. Who was present? Any members of the present Provisional Government?

A. Most of the members of the committee of safety were there.

Q. Please give the names of such as you can remember.

A. H. E. Cooper, I think, was there; Andrew Brown was there; J. A. McCandless was there; T. F. Lansing was there; I think John Emmeluth was there; C. Bolte was there; Henry Waterhouse was there; F. W. McChesney was there; W. O. Smith was there; C. L. Carter was also present.

Q. Any others connected with the Government?

A. Mr. Dole was sent for and invited to be present and he attended.

Q. Was there anything said at that meeting on the subject of aid by the troops of the United States and the American minister?

A. Yes; the general impression and the general talk all through the business was the fact that they would obtain or receive both moral and material assistance from the United States minister and from the troops from the Boston.

Q. Did they expect to fight?

A. No; I do not think they did.

Q. Their idea was that the sympathy of the American minister and troops was with them?

A. Yes; the people knew if the United States minister, or any vessel in port, moved in the matter that would be the end of the matter. If they sent one marine ashore it would end the matter.

Q. Was that the drift of the meeting?

A. Yes; everybody knew that and felt that.

Q. Was there any portion of that meeting that went to see the American minister?

A. Yes. Mr. Loper was offered the position of commander in chief of what forces they might get together. He did not see his way clear; he did not want to assume any position which was not tangible, and the arguments put to him were about this support we would receive.

Q. What sort of support?

A. The support from the United States minister and from the Boston. Loper still hesitated. He did not feel satisfied with the assurances. It was suggested that he go over and see the minister himself, which he did in company with some of the others. I think C. L. Carter was one—I do not know for certain.

Q. Henry Waterhouse was one?

A. I think so, but I do not know. I have an impression that Waterhouse and Carter went there.

Q. Did they come back?

A. Yes.

Q. What did they report?

A. I understood them to say that Mr. Stevens had told them that if they would take possession of the Government building and read their proclamation he would immediately recognize them and support them, or, failing to get the Government building, any building in Honolulu. They deny that, but I understood any building in Honolulu. Anyway, from what Mr. Loper heard he was satisfied and accepted the office.

Q. Was the city quiet when the troops came in?

A. Yes; quiet as Sunday.

Q. Women and children on the streets?

A. Yes; the public at large did not know what was going on. The band played at the hotel. I do not think anyone knew what was going on except the politicians and those who were behind the scenes, as you might say.

Q. How long after the proclamation was read before Mr. Stevens recognized the Provisional Government?

A. That I do not know. The current report around there was that it was between 3 and 4 o’clock. I understood the United States minister had recognized the Government.

Q. Who said that?

A. It is impossible for me to say. It was common talk.

Q. How long after that before the station house and barracks were surrendered?

A. Somewhere, I should judge, between 6 and 7 o’clock. The lamps were lighted. Loper said Wilson had agreed to turn over the station house. He said: “Will you go down and take possession?” I said: “No; I have nothing to do with this concern.” He said: “We must have someone to go down there.” I said: “Take some of your own folks; take McCandless down.” He did. He had not been gone long before he telephoned up, “I want you; you must come down; McCandless won’t stop.” I think before I started I met McCandless. He said: “Loper wants you [Page 562]down there.” I don’t want to stop there. I considered the matter. A number of friends of mine wanted me to go. They said: “It is a critical moment. We want a Hawaiian who can talk to the natives and prevent any friction between the natives and foreigners.” I said: “In the interest of law and order I will go down” I went down. Most of the force that Wilson had was retiring. This guard of 20 men that Loper had taken down of this “German 500,” had marched in. I went in and was placed in charge. The street lamps were lighted.

Q. What was the occasion of your separating from the people who were at the meeting at Mr. Waterhouse’s?

A. The first proposition was made by Thurston himself. He asked me if I was willing to stay in the movement for maintaining law and order, and try to preserve the fundamental law of the land? I told him I would. We went over to the attorney-general’s office and met the cabinet, who had come over from the polls. I heard the statements of Parker, Peterson, and Colburn. It was then proposed by Thurston and others that we should support the cabinet against the overt acts of the Queen, and that meeting at Smith’s office was for that purpose. Peterson went there.

Q. You separated from them, then, when it was developed that they meant to overthrow the Queen?

A. Yes. I stopped on Wednesday, when I found it began to develop. I began to be suspicious. I simply went to this meeting at Waterhouse’s and was a listener. I was interested in affairs of the country.

Q. You took no part in the organization of the Provisional Government?

A. None whatever.

Q. How many troops did they have there at the time the proclamation was read?

A. When the proclamation was read there were two policemen taken off an ammunition wagon and put at the front door.

Q. How many troops did they have at the close of the reading of the proclamation?

A. None, excepting those two.

Q. How long after that before other troops arrived?

A. Just about 3 o’clock. This Capt. Zeigler, with about 30 men, marched in the back way, indifferently armed.

Q. Then other troops came in afterwards?

A. After that another body of similar number—25 to 30—made up of young fellows from around various offices, marched in. That was all there were. It was not until it was generally known that the United States minister had recognized the Government that the crowd came flocking in—mostly men discharged from the station house by Wilson. They jumped in there with a view of being paid. They enlisted after being discharged by Wilson.

Q. Are those fellows in the service now?

A. Yes.

Q. Making part of the Provisional forces at this time?

A. Yes; and a great many of the citizens, those who compose the Annexation Club, when they saw the thing was sure, the United States forces within pistol shot, and that Wilson had given up the station house, and that the barracks would be surrendered, then they wanted to be on the top side. They came in.

Q. Before that they had been quiet?

A. Yes; then they rushed in.

Q. Were you at the mass meeting on Monday?

A. Yes.

Q. How many people were there?

A. I should judge about 700 or 800, possibly 900.

Q. What nationalities?

A. Heterogeneous.

Q. Many Portuguese?

A. A great many.

Q. Howls the white population in this city on the subject of annexation?

A. It is very hard to arrive at an exact statement. You can only get it by making your own views known. You will find out that men who are pretending to be in with a party are really at heart opposed to it.

Q. How many people are not pretending to be with the party in power and are opposed to annexation?

A. I should judge about half and half.

Q. People who are frank about their views?

A. Yes. You take the independent Americans who are not under the influence of the Missionary faction, they are as a rule opposed to it, as are most of the English people and some Germans, and almost all foreigners outside of the particular American class who are under the influence of the missionaries and planters.

Q. What part of the United States is this American element who favor annexation from?

[Page 563]

A. The New England States, generally.

Q. Are they in point of numbers in a majority of the Americans here?

A. I do not know. I do not think that they are, but their influence is the largest in account of wealth.

Q. And intelligence?

A. I won’t add intelligence; I beg to be excused from that.

Q. Do you know whether or not the committee that went up and organized the Provisional Government sent anybody to the Government building to see if there were any soldiers there or not?

A. I can not say that. I remained in my office until I felt something was going on, and then I walked out on the street. What they did after leaving Water-house’s I don’t know.

Q. Was everything quiet at the Government building at the time the proclamation was read?

A. Oh, yes. All the offices were running right along very quietly; nobody knew anything.

Q. None of the officers knew of the movement?

A. I do not think they did. Everything was going on just the same as usual. They knew there were rumors, but I do not think much attention was paid to it. The presence of the United States troops was a matter of curiosity and comment.

Q. Well, then, so far as the reading of that proclamation dethroning the Queen was concerned it was known to very few people that it was to be done?

A. 1 do not think it was known to anybody except themselves. The whole thing was a surprise to everyone. Wilson might have had some inkling of it. He was trying his best to keep posted, but of course his actions would have been guided entirely by what information he got regarding the attitude of the United States troops.

June 5, 1893.

Mr. Blount. Mr. Wundenberg, I omitted to ask you as to the feeling of the natives on the subject of annexation at the former interview. Please tell me now.

A. To the best of my knowledge and belief—and I am well acquainted with the natives—I do not think there is a native in favor of annexation. Many may have declared themselves so, but it is my belief that they have done so under pressure—that is, their interests were controlled by those who desire annexation; they are afraid of offending them and of being deprived of privileges they now possess.

Q. What sort of privileges?

A. In a number of cases they have stock running on lands of large landowners who would make them remove them, and that would deprive them of their means of livelihood. Some of them hold positions under planters and others.

Q. Any of them in Government employ?

A. A good many of them are in Government employ. There is only one that I know of who openly comes out and advocates annexation—a young man by the name of Notley, who is employed in the waterworks. Others do it in a subdued manner. If they advocate the matter at all they do it as a matter of policy. The natives have the same love of country as you will find anywhere. The term they use is Aloha aina.

Q. Are there any whites in the islands against annexation?

A. A great many.

Q. What proportion of them—I mean Americans and Europeans?

A. I think if a fair canvass was made that you would find fully one-half opposed to it.

Q. Suppose the question of annexation was submitted to the people of these islands, or such of them as were qualified to vote for representatives under the constitution just abrogated, and with the Australian ballot system which you had adopted, what would be the result of the vote?

A. It would be overwhelmingly defeated—almost to a man by the native Hawaiians, and I think a great many of the foreigners who now are supposed to be in favor of annexation would vote against it.

Q. What would be the proportion of annexationists to anti-annexationists?

A. All the native voters, with very few exceptions, would vote against it. I think most of the native-born of Hawaiian parents would vote against it, with the-exception possibly of those few that are mixed up in the annexation movement here. I think most of the foreign element that are independent and outside of what is known as the Missionary party would vote against it, and I think a great many of those who are now on the rolls of the Annexation Club would vote against it. Their names appear there simply for policy.

I have carefully read the foregoing and find it to be an accurate report of my interviews with Mr. Blount.

F. Wundenberg.