Mr. Blount to Mr. Gresham.
Sir: On the 11thof March, 1893, I was appointed by the President of the United States as special commissioner to the Hawaiian Islands. At the same time the following instructions were given to me by you:
Washington, March 11, 1893.
Sir: The situation created in the Hawaiian Islands by the recent deposition of Queen Liliuokalani and the erection of a Provisional Government demands the fullest consideration of the President, and in order to obtain trustworthy information on the subject, as well as for the discharge of other duties herein specified, he has decided to dispatch you to the Hawaiian Islands as his special commissioner, in which capacity you will herewith receive a commission and also a letter whereby the President accredits you to the president of the executive and advisory councils of the Hawaiian Islands.
The comprehensive, delicate, and confidential character of your mission can now only be briefly outlined, the details of its execution being necessarily left, in great measure, to your good judgment and wise discretion.
You will investigate and fully report to the President all the facts you can learn respecting the condition of affairs in the Hawaiian Islands, the causes of the revolution by which the Queen’s Government was overthrown, the sentiment of the people towards existing authority, and, in general, all that can fully enlighten the President touching the subjects of your mission.
To enable you to fulfill this charge, your authority in all matters touching the relations of this Government to the existing or other government of the islands, and the protection of our citizens therein, is paramount, and in you alone, acting in cooperation with the commander of the naval forces, is vested full discretion and power to determine when such forces should be landed or withdrawn.
You are, however, authorized to avail yourself of such aid and information as you may desire from the present minister of the United States at Honolulu, Mr. John L. Stevens, who will continue until further notice to perform the usual functions attaching to his office not inconsistent with the powers entrusted to you. An instruction will be sent to Mr. Stevens directing him to facilitate your presentation to the head of the Government upon your arrival, and to render you all needed assistance.
The withdrawal from the Senate of the recently signed treaty of annexation for reexamination by the President leaves its subject-matter in abeyance, and you are not charged with any duty in respect thereto. It may be well, however, for you to dispel any possible misapprehension which its withdrawal may have excited touching the entire friendliness of the President and the Government of the United States towards the people of the Hawaiian Islands, or the earnest solicitude here felt for their welfare, tranquility, and progress.
Historical precedents, and the general course of the United States, authorize the employment of its armed force in foreign territory for the security of the lives and property of American citizens and for the repression of lawless and tumultuous acts -threatening them; and the powers conferred to that end upon the representatives of the United States are both necessary and proper, subject always to the exercise of a sound discretion in their application.
In the judgment of the President, your authority as well as that of the commander of the naval forces in Hawaiian waters should be and is limited in the use of physical force to such measures as are necessary to protect the persons and property of our citizens, and while abstaining from any manner of interference with the domestic concerns of the islands, you should indicate your willingness to intervene with your friendly offices in the interests of a peaceful settlement of troubles within the limits of sound discretion.
Should it be necessary to land an armed force upon Hawaiian territory on occasions of popular disturbance, when the local authority may be unable to give adequate protection to the life and property of citizens of the United States, the assent of such authority should first be obtained if it can be done without prejudice to the interests involved.
Your power in this regard should not, however, be claimed to the exclusion of similar measures by the representatives of other powers for the protection of the lives and property of their citizens or subjects residing in the islands.[Page 568]
While the United States claim no right to interfere in the political 01 domestic affairs or in the internal conflicts of the Hawaiian Islands otherwise than as herein stated, or for the purpose of maintaining any treaty or other rights which they possess, this Government will adhere to its consistent and established policy in relation to them, and it will not acquiesce in domestic interference by other powers.
The foregoing general exposition of the President’s views will indicate the safe courses within which your action should be shaped and mark, the limits of your discretion in calling upon the naval commander for cooperation.
The United States revenue cutter Rush is under orders to await you at San Francisco and convey you to Honolulu.
A stenographic clerk will be detailed to accompany you and remain subject to your orders.
It is expected that you will use all convenient dispatch for the fulfillment of your mission, as it is the President’s desire to have the results before him at the earliest possible day. Besides the connected report you are expected to furnish, you will from time to time, as occasion may offer, correspond with the Secretary of State, communicating information or soliciting special instruction on such points as you may deem necessary. In case of urgency you may telegraph either in plain text or in the cipher of the Navy Department through the kind offices of the admiral commanding, which may be sent to Mr. W. A. Cooper, United States dispatch agent at San Francisco, to be transmitted thence.
Reposing the amplest confidence in your ability and zeal for the realization of the trust confided to you,
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
W. Q. Gresham.
Hon. James H. Blount, etc.
On the 29th of the same month I reached the city of Honolulu. The American minister, Hon. John L. Stevens, accompanied by a committee from the Annexation Club, came on board the vessel which had brought me. He informed me that this club had rented an elegant house, well furnished, and provided servants and a carriage and horses for my use; that I could pay for this accommodation just what I chose, from nothing up. He urged me very earnestly to accept the offer. I declined it, and informed him that I should go to a hotel.
The committee soon after this renewed the offer, which I again declined.
Soon afterwards the ex-Queen, through her chamberlain, tendered her carriage to convey me to my hotel. This I courteously declined.
I located myself at the Hawaiian Hotel. For several days I was engaged receiving calls from persons of all classes and of various political views. I soon became conscious of the fact that all minds were quietly and anxiously looking to see what action the Government of the United States would take.
The troops from the Boston were doing military duty for the Provisional Government. The American flag was floating over the government building. Within it the Provisional Government conducted its business under an American protectorate, to be continued, according to the avowed purpose of the American minister, during negotiations with the United States for annexation.
My instructions directed me to make inquiries which in the interest of candor and truth could not be done when the minds of thousands of Hawaiian citizens were full of uncertainty as to what the presence of American troops, the American flag, and the American protectorate implied. It seemed necessary that ail these influences must be withdrawn before those inquiries could be prosecuted in a manner befitting the dignity and power of the United States.
Inspired with such feelings and confident no disorder would ensue, I directed the removal of the flag of the United States from the government building and the return of the American troops to their vessels. [Page 569]This was accomplished without any demonstration of joy or grief on the part of the populace.
The afternoon before, in an interview with President Dole, in response to my inquiry, he said that the Provisional Government was now able to preserve order, although it could not have done so for several weeks after the proclamation establishing it.
In the evening of this same day the American minister called on me with a Mr. Walter G. Smith, who, he said, desired to make am important communication to me, and whom he knew to be very intelligent and reliable. Thereupon Mr. Smith, with intense gravity, informed me that he knew beyond doubt that it had been arrranged between the Queen and the Japanese commissioner that if the American flag and troops were removed the troops from the Japanese man of war Naniwa would land and reinstate the Queen.
Mr. Smith was the editor of the Hawaiian Star, established by the Annexation Club for the purpose of advocating annexation.
The American minister expressed his belief in the statement of Mr. Smith and urged the importance of the American troops remaining on shore until I could communicate with you and you could have the opportunity to communicate with the Japanese Government and obtain from it assurances that Japanese troops would not be landed to enforce any policy on the Government or people of the Hawaiian Islands.
I was not impressed much with these statements.
When the Japanese commissioner learned that the presence of the Japanese man of war was giving currency to suggestions that his Government intended to interfere with domestic affairs here, he wrote to his Government asking that the vessel be ordered away, which was done. He expressed to me his deep regret that any one should charge that the Empire of Japan, having so many reasons to value the friendship of the Government of the United States, would consent to offend that Government by interfering in the political conflicts in these islands, to which it was averse.
In the light of subsequent events, I trust the correctness of my action will be the more fully justified.
The Provisional Government left to its own preservation, the people freed from any fear of free intercourse with me in so far as my action could accomplish it, the disposition of the minds of all people to peace pending the consideration by the Government of the United States as to what should be its action in connection with affairs here, cleared the way for me to commence the investigation with which I was charged.
The causes of the revolution culminating in the dethronment of the Queen and the establishment of the Provisional Government, January 17, 1893, are remote and proximate. A brief presentation of the former will aid in a fuller apprehension of the latter.
On June 14, 1852, a constitution was granted by Kamehameha III, by and with the advice and consent of the nobles and representatives in legislative council. This instrument provided for a house of nobles, holding their seats for life, and that the number should not exceed thirty, and a house of representatives composed of not less than twentyfour nor more than forty members. Every male subject, whether native or naturalized, and every denizen of the Kingdom who had paid his taxes, attained the age of twenty-one years, and had resided in the Kingdom for one year immediately preceding the time of election was entitled to vote for the representative or representatives of the district in which he may have resided three months next preceding the day of election.[Page 570]
For convenience the following extracts from that instrument are inserted here:
- art. 32. He has the power, by and with the advice of his cabinet, and the approval of his privy council, to appoint and remove at his pleasure any of the several heads of the executive departments, and he may require information in writing from any of the officers in the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.
- Art. 35. The person of the King is inviolable and sacred; his ministers are responsible; to the King belongs the executive power; all laws that have passed both houses of the legislature, for their validity, shall be signed by His Majesty and the Kuhina Nui; all his other official acts shall be approved by the privy council, countersigned by the Kuhina Nui, and by the minister to whose department such act may belong.
- Art. 51. The ministers of the King are appointed and commissioned by him, and hold their offices during His Majesty’s pleasure, subject to impeachment.
- Art. 72. The King appoints the members of the house of nobles, who hold their seats during life, subject to the provision of article 67; but their number shall not exceed thirty.
- Art. 75. The house of representatives shall be composed of not less than twenty-four nor more than forty members, who shall be elected annually.
- Art. 78. Every male subject of His Majesty, whether native or naturalized, and every denizen of the Kingdom who shall have paid his taxes who shall have attained the full age of 20 years, and who shall have resided in the Kingdom for one year immediately preceding the time of election, shall be entitled to one vote for the representative or representatives of the district in which he may have resided three months next preceding the day of election; provided that no insane person, nor any person who shall at any time have been convicted of any infamous crime within the Kingdom, unless he shall have been pardoned by the King, and by the terms of such pardon been restored to all the rights of a subject, shall be allowed to vote.
- Art. 105. Any amendment or amendments to this Constitution may be proposed in either branch of the legislature, and if the same shall be agreed to by a majority of the members of each house such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on their journals, with the yeas and nays taken thereon, and referred to the next legislature; which proposed amendment or amendments shall be published for three months previous to the election of the next house of representatives. And if, in the next legislature, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be agreed to by two-thirds of all the members of each house, and be approved by the King, such amendment or amendments shall become part of the Constitution of this Kingdom.
In November, 1863, Kamehameha V was proclaimed King, on the death of Kamehameha IV. He issued a proclamation for the election of delegates to a constitutional convention to be held June 13, 1864. The convention was composed of sixteen nobles and twenty-seven elected delegates, presided over by the King in person. That body decided it had a right to proceed to make a new constitution. Not being in accord with the King on the question of a property qualification for voters, on the 13th day of August, 1864, he declared the constitution of 1852 abrogated and prorogued the convention. On the 20th of August following he proclaimed a new constitution upon his own authority, which continued in force twenty-three years.
From this the following extracts are made:
- Art. 45. The legislative power of the three estates of this Kingdom is vested in the King and the legislative assembly, which assembly shall consist of the nobles appointed by the King and of the representatives of the people, sitting together.
- Art. 57. The King appoints the nobles, who shall hold their appointments during life, subject to the provisions of article 53; but their number shall not exceed twenty.
- Art. 61. No person shall be eligible for a representative of the people who is insane or an idiot; nor unless he be a male subject of the Kingdom, who shall have arrived at the full age of twenty-one years, who shall know how to read and write, who shall understand accounts, and shall have been domiciled in the Kingdom for at least three years, the last of which shall be the year immediately preceding his election, and who shall own real estate within the Kingdom of a clear value, over and above all incumbrances, of at least five hundred dollars, or who shall have an annual income of at least two hundred and fifty dollars derived from any property or some lawful employment.
- Art. 62. Every male subject of the Kingdom, who shall have paid his taxes, who shall have attained the age of twenty years, and shall have been domiciled in the Kingdom for one year immediately preceding the election, and shall be possessed of real property in this Kingdom to the value over and above all incumbrances of one hundred and fifty dollars*—or of a leasehold property on which the rent is twenty-five dollars per year—or of an income of not less than seventy-five dollars per year, derived from any property or some lawful employment and shall know how to read and write, if born since the year 1840 and shall have caused his name to be entered on the list of voters of his district as may be provided by law, shall be entitled to one vote for the representative or representatives of that district; provided, however, that no insane or idiotic person, nor any person who shall have been convicted of any infamous crime within this Kingdom, unless he shall have been pardoned by the King, and by the terms of such pardon have been restored to all the rights of a subject, shall be allowed to vote.
- Art. 80. Any amendment or amendments to this constitution may be proposed in the legislative assembly, and if the same shall be agreed to by a majority of the members thereof, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on its journal, with the yeas and nays taken thereon, and referred to the next legislature; which proposed amendment or amendments shall be published for three months previous to the next election of representatives; and if in the next legislature such proposed amendment or amendments shall be agreed to by two-thirds of all the members of the legislative assembly, and be approved by the King, such amendment or amendments shall become part of the constitution of this country.
On the 18th of February, 1874, David Kalakaua was proclaimed King. In 1875 a treaty of commercial reciprocity between the United States and the Hawaiian Islands was ratified, and the laws necessary to carry it into operation were enacted in 1876. It provided, as you are aware, for the free importation into the United States of several articles, amongst which was muscavado, brown, and all other unrefined sugars, sirups of sugar cane, melada, and molasses, produced in the Hawaiian Islands.
From it there came to the islands an intoxicating increase of wealth, a new labor system, an Asiatic population, an alienation between the native and white races, an impoverishment of the former, an enrichment of the latter, and the many so-called revolutions, which are; the foundation for the opinion that stable government can not be maintained.
(The deaths in all these revolutions were seven. There were also seven wounded.)
The sugar export in 1876 was 26,072,429 pounds; in 1887 it was 212,763,647. The total value of all domestic exports was in 1876, $1,994,833.55, and in 1887, $9,435,204. The bounty paid on sugar by the United States to the sugar planters in the remission of customs on sugar before the McKinley bill was passed, is estimated by competent persons as reaching $5,000,000 annually.
The government and crown lands were bought and leased and operated by whites of American, English, and German origin, and the sugar industry went into the hands of corporations.
From 1852 to 1876 there had been imported 2,625 Chinese, 148 Japanese, and 7 South Sea Islanders, making a total of 2,780. From 1876 to 1887 there were imported 23,268 Chinese, 2,777 Japanese, 10,216 Portuguese, 615 Norwegians, 1,052 Germans, 1,998 South Sea Islanders, making a total for this one decade of 39,926 immigrants. The Government expended from 1876 to 1887 $1,026,212.30 in aid of the importation of labor for the planters, who for the same period expended $565,547.74. It negotiated with various governments treaties under which labor was imported for a term of years to work at a very low figure, and under which the laborer was to be compelled by fines [Page 572]and imprisonment to labor faithfully and to remain with his employer to the end of the contract term.
Of 14,439 laborers on plantations in 1885, 2,136 were natives and the remainder imported labor. Generally, the rule has obtained of bringing twenty-five women for every one hundred men. The immigrants were of the poor and ignorant classes. The Portuguese especially, as a rule, could not read or write and were remarkably thievish. The women of Japanese and Chinese origin were grossly unchaste.
The price of all property advanced. The price of labor was depressed by enormous importations and by the efficiency accruing from compulsory performance of the contract by the Government.
In the year 1845, under the influence of white residents, the lands were so distributed between the crown, the Government, the chiefs, and the people as to leave the latter with an insignificant interest in lands—27,830 acres.
The story of this division is discreditable to King, chiefs, and white residents, but would be tedious here. The chiefs became largely indebted to the whites, and thus the foundation for the large holdings of the latter was laid.
Prior to 1876 the kings were controlled largely by such men as Dr. Judd, Mr. Wyllie, and other leading white citizens holding positions in their cabinets.
A king rarely changed his cabinet. The important offices were held by white men. A feeling of amity existed between the native and foreign races unmarred by hostile conflict. It should be noted that at this period the native generally knew how to read and write his native tongue, into which the Bible and a few English works were translated. To this, native newspapers of extensive circulation contributed to the awakening of his intellect. He also generally read and wrote English.
From 1820 to 1866 missionaries of various nationalities, especially American, with unselfishness, toil, patience, and piety, had devoted themselves to the improvement of the native. They gave them a language, a religion, and an immense movement on the lines of civilization. In process of time the descendants of these good men grew up in secular pursuits. Superior by nature, education, and other opportunities, they acquired wealth. They sought to succeed to the political control exercised by their fathers. The revered missionary disappeared. In his stead there came the Anglo-Saxon in the person of his son, ambitious to acquire wealth and to continue that political control reverently conceded to his pious ancestor. Hence, in satire, the native designated him a “missionary,” which has become a campaign phrase of wonderful potency. Other white foreigners came into the country, especially Americans, English, and Germans. These, as a rule, did not become naturalized and participate in the voting franchise. Business and race affiliation occasioned sympathy and coöperation between these two classes of persons of foreign extraction.
Does this narration of facts portray a situation in a government in whole or in part representative favorable to the ambition of a leader who will espouse the native cause? Would it be strange for him to stir the native heart by picturing a system of political control under which the foreigner had wickedly become possessed of the soil, degraded free labor by an uncivilized system of coolie labor, prostituted society by injecting into it a people hostile to Christianity and the civilization of the nineteenth century, exposed their own daughters to the evil influences of anoverwhelming male population of a degraded type, implanted Japanese and Chinese women almost insensible to feelings of chastity, and then loudly boasted of their Christianity?[Page 573]
On the other hand, was it not natural for the white race to vaunt their wealth and intelligence, their Christian success in rescuing the native from barbarism, their gift of a Government regal in name but containing many of the principles of freedom; to find in the natives defective intelligence, tendencies to idolatry, to race prejudice, and a disposition under the influence of white and halt-white leaders to exercise political domination; to speak of their thriftlessness in private life and susceptibility to bribes in legislative action; to proclaim the unchasteness of native women, and to take at all hazards the direction of public affairs from the native?
With such a powerful tendency to divergence and political strife, with its attendant bitterness and exaggerations, we must enter upon the field of inquiry pointed out in your instructions.
It is not my purpose to take up this racial controversy at its birth, but when it had reached striking proportions and powerfully acted in the evolution of grave political events culminating in the present status. Nor shall I relate all the minute details of political controversy at any given period, but only such and to such extent as may illustrate the purpose just indicated.
It has already appeared that under the constitution of 1852 the legislature consisted of two bodies—one elected by the people and the other chosen by the King—and that no property qualifications hindered the right of suffrage. The King and people through the two bodies held a check on each other. It has also been shown that in 1864 by a royal proclamation a new constitution, sanctioned by a cabinet of prominent white men, was established, restricting the right of suffrage and combining the representative and nobles into one body. This latter provision was designed to strengthen the power of the Crown by removing a body distinctly representative. This instrument remained in force twenty-three years. The Crown appointed the nobles generally from white men of property and intelligence. In like manner the King selected his cabinet. These remained in office for a long series of years and directed the general conduct of public affairs.
Chief Justice Judd, of the supreme court of the Hawaiian Islands, in a formal statement uses this language:
Under every constitution prior to 1887 the ministers were appointed by the King and removed by him; but until Kalakaua’s reign it was a very rare thing that any King changed his ministry. They had a pretty long lease of political life. My father was minister for seven or ten years and Mr. Wyllie for a longer period. It was a very rare political occurrence and made a great sensation when a change was made. Under Kalakaua things were different. I think we had twenty-six different cabinets during his reign.
The record discloses thirteen cabinets. Two of these were directly forced on him by the reformers. Of the others, six were in sympathy with the reformers and eminent in their confidence. The great stir in cabinet changes commenced with the Gibson cabinet in 1882. He was a man of large information, free from all suspicion of bribery, politically ambitious, and led the natives and some whites.
It may not be amiss to present some of the criticisms against Kalakaua and his party formally filed with me by Prof. W. D. Alexander, a representative reformer.
On the 12th of February, 1874, Kalakaua was elected King by the legislature. The popular choice lay between him and the Queen Dowager.
In regard to this, Mr. Alexander says that “the cabinet and the American party used all their influence in favor of the former, while the English favored Queen Emma, who was devoted to their interest.”[Page 574]
Notwithstanding there were objections to Kalakaua’s character, he says: “It was believed, however, that if Queen Emma should be elected there would be no hope of our obtaining a reciprocity treaty with the United States.”
He gives an account of various obnoxious measures advocated by the King which were defeated.
In 1882 he says the race issue was raised by Mr. Gibson, and only two white men were elected to the legislature on the islands.
A bill prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors to natives was repealed at this session.
A $10,000,000 loan bill was again introduced, but was shelved in committee. The appropriation bill was swelled to double the estimated receipts of the Government, including $30,000 for coronation expenses, besides large sums for military expenses, foreign embassies, etc.
A bill was reported giving the King power to appoint district justices, which had formerly been done by the justices of the supreme court.
A million of dollars of silver was coined by the King, worth 84 cents to the dollar, which was intended to be exchanged for gold bonds at par, under the loan act of 1882. This proceeding was enjoined by the court. The privy council declared the coin to be of the legal value expressed on their face, subject to the legal-tender act, and they were gradually put into circulation. A profit of $150,000 is said to have been made on this transaction.
In 1884 a reform legislature was elected. A lottery bill, an opium license bill, and an $8,000,000 loan bill were defeated.
In the election for the legislature of 1886 it is alleged that by the use of gin, chiefly furnished by the King, and by the use of his patronage, it was carried against the reform party; that out of twenty-eight candidates, twenty-six were office-holders—one a tax assessor and one the Queen’s secretary. There, was only one white man on the Government ticket—Gibson’s son-in-law. Only ten reform candidates were elected. In this legislature an opium bill was passed providing for a license for four years, to be granted by the minister of the interior with the consent of the King, for $30,000 per annum.
Another act was passed to create a Hawaiian board of health, consisting of five native doctors, appointed by the King, with power to issue certificates to native kahunas (doctors) to practice medicine.
A $2,000,000-loan bill was passed, which was used largely in taking up bonds on a former loan.
It is claimed that in granting the lottery franchise the King fraudulently obtained $75,000 for the franchise and then sold it to another person, and that subsequently the King was compelled to refund the same.
These are the principal allegations on which the revolution of 1887 is justified.
None of the legislation complained of would have been considered a cause for revolution in any one of the United States, but would have been used in the elections to expel the authors from power. The alleged corrupt action of the King could have been avoided by more careful legislation and would have been a complete remedy for the future.
The rate of taxation on real or personal property never exceeded 1 per cent.
To all this the answer comes from the reformers: “The native is unfit for government and his power must be curtailed.”
The general belief that the King had accepted what is termed the [Page 575]opium bribe arid the failure of his efforts to unite the Samoan Islands with his own Kingdom had a depressing influence on his Mends, and his opponents used it with all the effect they could.
The last cabinet prior to the revolution of 1887 was anti-reform. Three of its members were half castes; two of them were and are recognized as lawyers of ability by all.
At this point I invite attention to the following extract from a formal colloquy between Chief Justice Judd and myself touching the means adopted to extort the constitution of 1887, and the fundamental changes wrought through that instrument:
Q. Will you be kind enough to state bow this new constitution was established?
A. The two events which brought this matter to a culminating point were (1) the opium steal of $71,000 by which a Chinaman named Aki was made by the King to pay him a bribe of $71,000 of hard coin in order to obtain the exclusive franchise for selling opium, and (2) the expense of the expedition to Samoa in the “Kaimilea.” A secret league was formed all over the islands, the result of which was the King was asked to promulgate a new constitution containing those provisions that I hare before alluded to. It was very adroitly managed by the Ash fords, and more especially by V. V. Ashford, who obtained the confidence of the King and Mr. Gibson. He was the colonel of the Rifles, and he assured them that if he was paid a certain sum of money and made minister to Canada that he would arrange it so that the movement would be futile.
Q. How was he to do that?
A. By preventing the use of the military, I suppose; and he arranged with the military authorities and Capt. Haley that they should be called out to preserve public order, although it was this large and well-drilled force which made the King fear that if he didn’t yield things would be very critical for him.
Q. Was that a Government force?
A. It was organized under the laws.
Q. A volunteer organization?
Q. So that the men in sympathy with the movement of this secret league went into it and constituted it under form of law.
A. Of course I do not know what was told the King privately, but I knew that he felt it would be very dangerous to refuse to promulgate the new constitution. I have no doubt that a great many things were circulated which came to his ears in the way of threats that was unfounded.
Q. What was the outside manifestation?
A. One great feature of it was its secrecy. The King was frightened at this secrecy. It was very well managed. The judges of the supreme court were not told of it until just before the event took place. I think it was the 2d or 3d of July, 1887.
Q. Was there then a mass meeting?
A. There was a large mass meeting held and a set of resolutions was presented to the King requiring that a new ministry be formed by Mr. W. L. Green and one other person, whose name I have forgotten.
Q. Was there any display of force?
A. The Honolulu Rifles were in detachments marched about in different portions of the town, having been called out by the legal military authorities.
Q. Who were the legal military authorities?
A. The governor of the island, Dominis, and Capt. H. Burrill Haley, the adjutant-general.
Q. Were they in sympathy with the movement?
A. No, sir; the officers of the corps were in sympathy with the movement.
Q Who were they?
A. Ashford and Hebbard. I do not remember all.
Q. Did the governor order them out, not knowing of this state of things?
A. I think he did. I think he knew it, but it was to prevent, as I believe, something worse happening. As I said, there were threats made.
Q. Of what sort?
A. I understood that at one time there was a very strong feeling that the King should be forced to abdicate altogether, and it was only the more conservative men born here who said that the King and the Hawaiians should have another opportunity.
Q. Were there not two elements in that movement, one for a republic and the other for restraining the power of the King?
A. Yes.[Page 576]
Q. Were there not two forces in this movement cooperating together up to a certain point, to wit, those who were in favor of restraining the King by virtue of the provisions of the constitution of 1887 and those who were in favor of dethroning the King and establishing a republic?
A. I understand that there were, and that the more conservative view prevailed.
Q. And the men who were in favor of a republic were discontented at the outcome?
A. They were, and they didn’t want the Hawaiians to vote at all; and the reason that the Portuguese were allowed to vote was to balance the native vote.
Q. Whose idea was that—was that the idea of the men who made the new constitution?
A. Of the men who made the new constitution.
Q. It was to balance the native vote with the Portuguese vote?
A. That was the idea.
Q. And that would throw the political power into the hands of the intelligence and wealth of the country?
A. That was the aim.
Q. How was this military used?
A. It was put about in squads over the city.
Q. The officers of the corps were really in favor of the movement for the new constitution and were called out by Governor Dominis to preserve order?
A. Yes. After the affair was over he was thanked by a military order from headquarters.
Q. Do you suppose that he was gratified with thanks under the circumstances?
A. Haley said to me when he showed me the order: “It is a little funny to thank a man who kicked you out, but I suppose I’ve got to do it.”
Q. The King acceded to the demand for a new constitution and of a cabinet of given character?
A. In the first place he acceded to the proposition to make a new cabinet named by Mr. Green. The former cabinet, consisting of Mr. Gibson and three Hawaiians, had just resigned a day or two before. In three or four days the cabinet waited upon him with the constitution.
Q. What cabinet?
A. The cabinet consisting of Mr. Green, minister of foreign affairs; Mr. Thurston, minister of the interior; Mr. C. W. Ashford, attorney-general; and Mr. Godfrey Brown, minister of finance. I was sent for in the afternoon of July 5 to swear the King to the constitution. When I reached the palace they were all there, and the King asked me in Hawaiian whether he had better sign it or not. I said, “You must follow the advice of your responsible ministers.” He signed it.
Q. This ministry had been appointed as the result of the demand of the mass meeting?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And then having been appointed, they presented him with the constitution of 1887?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And he signed it?
A. He did.
Q. Was that constitution ever submitted to a popular vote for ratification?
A. No; it was not. There was no direct vote ratifying the constitution, but its provisions requiring that no one should vote unless he had taken an oath to support it, and a large number voted at that first election, was considered a virtual ratification of the constitution.
Q. If they voted at all they were considered as accepting it?
A. Yes, sir. I do not think any large number refused to take the oath to it.
Q. It was not contemplated by the mass meeting, nor the cabinet, nor anybody in power to submit the matter of ratification at all?
A. No, it was not. It was considered a revolution. It was a successful revolutionary act.
Q. And, therefore, was not submitted to a popular vote for ratification?
A. Yes, sir. It had mischievous effects in encouraging the Wilcox revolution of 1889, which was unsuccessful. I think it was a bad precedent, only the exigencies of the occasion seemed to demand it.
Without adding other testimony on the mode of extorting the new constitution or accepting this statement as full and unbiased, it is enough that it brings me to a point at which I may present important changes in the Hawaiian constitution and their application to the social and political conditions of the time. Your attention is now invited to the following amendments in the constitution of 1887:
- Art. 41. The cabinet shall consist of the minister of foreign affairs, the minister of the interior, the minister of finance, and the attorney-general, and they shall [Page 577]be His Majesty’s special advisers in the executive affairs of the Kingdom; and they shall be ex officio members of His Majesty’s privy council of state. They shall be appointed and commissioned by the King, and shall be removed by him only upon a vote of want of confidence passed by a majority of all the elective members of the legislature, or upon conviction of felony, and shall be subject to impeachment. No act of the King shall have any effect unless it be countersigned by a member of the cabinet, who, by that signature, makes himself responsible.
- Art. 42. Each member of the cabinet shall keep an office at the seat of Government, and shall be accountable for the conduct of his deputies and clerks. The cabinet hold seats ex officio in the legislature, with the right to vote, except on a question of want of confidence in them.
- Art. 47. The legislature has full power and authority to amend the constitution as hereinafter provided, and from time to time to make all manner of wholesome laws, not repugnant to the constitution.
- Art. 56. A noble shall be a subject of the Kingdom, who shall have attained the age of twenty-five years, and resided in the Kingdom three years, and shall be the owner of taxable property in this Kingdom of the value of three thousand dollars over and above all encumbrances, or in receipt of an income of not less than $600 per annum.
- Art. 58. Twenty-four nobles shall be elected as follows: Six from the Island of Hawaii; six from the Islands of Maui, Molokai, and Lanai; nine from the Island of Oahu; and three from the islands of Kauai and Niihau. At the first election held under this Constitution, the nobles shall be elected to serve until the general election to the legislature for the year of our Lord 1890, at which election, and thereafter, the nobles shall be elected at the same time and places as the representatives. At the election for the year of our Lord 1890, one-third of the nobles from each of the divisions aforesaid shall be elected for two years, and one-third for four years, and one-third for six years, and the electors shall ballot for them for such terms, respectively; and at all subsequent general elections they shall be elected for six years. The nobles shall serve without pay.
Art. 59. Every male resident of the Hawaiian Islands, of Hawaiian, American, or European birth or descent, who shall have attained the age of twenty years, and shall have paid his taxes, and shall have caused his name to be entered on the list of voters for nobles of his district, shall be an elector of nobles, and shall be entitled to vote at any election of nobles, provided:
- First. That he shall have resided in the country not less than three years, and in the district in which he offers to vote not less than three months immediately preceding the election at which he offers to vote;
- Second. That he shall own and be possessed, in his own right, of taxable property in this country of the value of not less than $3,000 over and above all incumbrances, or shall have actually received an income of not less than $600 during the year next preceding his registration for such election;
- Third. That he shall be able to read and comprehend an ordinary newspaper printed in either the Hawaiian, English, or some European language;
- Fourth. That he shall have taken an oath to support the constitution and laws, such oath to be administered by any person authorized to administer oaths, or by any inspector of elections;
Provided, however, That the requirements of a three years’ residence and of ability to read and comprehend an ordinary newspaper, printed either in the Hawaiian, English, or some European language, shall not apply to persons residing in the Kingdom at the time of the promulgation of this constitution, if they shall register and vote at the first election which shall be held under this constitution.
- Art. 60. There shall be twenty-four representatives of the people elected biennially, except those first elected under this constitution, who shall serve until the general election for the year of our Lord 1890. The representation shall be based upon the principles of equality and shall be regulated and apportioned by the legislature according to the population to be ascertained from time to time by the official census. But until such apportionment by the legislature, the apportionment now established by law shall remain in force, with the following exceptions, namely: There shall be but two representatives for the districts of Hilo and Puna on the island of Hawaii, but one for the districts of Lahaina and Kaanapali on the island of Maui, and but one for the districts of Koolauloa and Waialua on the island of Oahu.
- Art. 61. No person shall be eligible as a representative of the people unless he be a male subject of the Kingdom, who shall have arrived at the full age of twenty-one years; who shall know how to read and write either the Hawaiian, English, or some European language; who shall understand accounts; who shall have been domiciled in the Kingdom for at least three years, the last of which shall be the year immediately preceding his election; and who shall own real estate within the Kingdom of a clear value, over and above all encumbrances, of at least $500; or who shall have an annual income of at least $250, derived from any property or some lawful employment.
- Art. 62. Every male resident of the Kingdom, of Hawaiian, American, or European birth or descent, who shall have taken an oath to support the constitution and laws in the manner provided for electors of nobles; who shall have paid his taxes; who shall have attained the age of twenty years; and shall have been domiciled in the Kingdom for one year immediately preceding the election, and shall know how to read and write either the Hawaiian, English, or some European language (if born since the year 1840), and shall have caused his name to be entered on the list of voters of his district as may be provided by law, shall be entitled to one vote for the representative or representatives of that district, provided, however, that the requirements of being domiciled in the Kingdom for one year immediately preceding the election, and of knowing how to read and write either the Hawaiian, English, or some European language, shall not apply to persons residing in this Kingdom at the time of the promulgation of this constitution, if they shall register and vote at the first election which shall be held under this constitution.
- Art 63. No person shall sit as a noble or representative in the legislature unless elected under and in conformity with the provisions of this constitution. The property of income qualification of representatives, of nobles, and of electors of nobles may be increased by law, and a property or income qualification of electors of representatives may be created and altered by law.
- Art. 80. The cabinet shall have power to make and publish all necessary rules and regulations for the holding of any election or elections under this constitution prior to the passage by the legislature of appropriate laws for such purpose, and to provide for administering to officials, subjects, and residents the oath to support this constitution. The first election hereunder shall be held within ninety days after the promulgation of this constitution, and the legislature then elected may be convened at Honolulu, upon the call of the cabinet council in extraordinary session at such time as the cabinet council may deem necessary, thirty days’ notice thereof being previously given.
- Art. 82. Any amendment or amendments to this constitution maybe proposed in the legislature, and if the same shall be agreed to by a majority of the members thereof, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on its journal, with the yeas and nays taken thereon, and referred to the next legislature; which proposed amendment or amendments shall be published for three months previous to the next election of representatives and nobles; and if in the next legislature such proposed amendment or amendments shall be agreed to by two-thirds of all the members of the legislature, such amendment or amendments shall become part of the constitution of this Kingdom.
These sections disclose:
First. A purpose to take from the King the power to appoint nobles and to vest it in persons having $3,000 worth of unincumbered property or an annnal income above the expense of living of $600. This gave to the whites three-fourths of the vote for nobles and one-fourth to the natives.
The provisos to the fourth section of article 59 and article 62 have this significant application. Between the years 1878 and 1886 the Hawaiian Government imported from Madeira and the Azores Islands 10,216 contract laborers, men, women, and children. Assume, for convenience of argument, that 2,000 of these were males of twenty years and upward. Very few of them could read and write. Only three of them were naturalized up to 1888, and since then only five more have become so. The remainder are subjects of Portugal. These were admitted to vote on taking the following oath and receiving the accompanying certificate:
Island of——, district of ———, ss.
I, ——, aged ——, a native of ——, residing at ——, in said district, do solemnly swear, in the presence of Almighty God, that I will support the constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom promulgated and proclaimed on the 7th day of July, 1887, and the laws of said Kingdom. Not hereby renouncing, but expressly reserving, all allegiance and citizenship now owing or held by me
Subscribed and sworn to before me this—— day of——, A. D. 18—.
—— — —,
Inspector of Election.
Island of — ——, District of ——, ss.
I, the undersigned, inspector of election, duly appointed and commissioned, do hereby certify that ——, aged ——, a native of ——, residing at ——, in said district, has this day taken before me the oath to support the constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom promulgated and proclaimed on, the 7th day of July, and the laws of said Kingdom.
Inspector of Election.
—— —— 18—.
These ignorant laborers were taken before the election from the cane fields in large numbers by the overseer before the proper officer to administer the oath and then carried to the polls and voted according to the will of the plantation manager. Why was this done? In the language of the Chief Justice Judd, “to balance the native vote with the Portuguese vote.” This same purpose is admitted by all persons here. Again, large numbers of Americans, Germans, English, and other foreigners unnaturalized were permitted to vote under the foregoing form.
Two-thirds of this number were never naturalized, but voted under the above form of oath and certificate. They were citizens of the United States, Germany, and Great Britain, invited to vote under this constitution to neutralize further the native voting strength. This same action was taken in connection with other European populations.
For the first time in the history of the country the number of nobles is made equal to the number of representatives. This furnished a veto power over the representatives of the popular vote to the nobles, who were selected by persons mostly holding foreign allegiance, and not subjects of the Kingdom. The election of a single representative by the foreign element gave to it the legislature.
The power of appointing a cabinet was left with the King. His power to remove one was taken away. The removal could only be accomplished by a vote of want of confidence by a majority of all the elective members of the legislature. The tenure of office of a cabinet minister henceforth depends on the pleasure of the legislature, or, to speak practically, on the favor of certain foreigners, Americans and Europeans.
Then it is declared that no act of the King shall have any effect unless it be countersigned by a member of the cabinet, who by that signature makes himself responsible. Power is taken from the King in the selection of nobles, not to be given to the masses but to the wealthy classes, a large majority of whom are not subjects of the Kingdom. Power to remove a cabinet ig taken away from him, not to be conferred on a popular body but on one designed to be ruled by foreign subjects. Power to do any act was taken from the King unless countersigned by a member of the cabinet. This instrument was never submitted to the people for approval or rejection, nor was it ever contemplated by its friends and promoters, and of this no man will make issue.
Prior to this revolution large quantities of arms had been brought by a secret league from San Francisco and placed amongst its members. The first election under this constitution took place with the foreign population well armed and the troops hostile to the crown and people. The result was the election of what was termed a reform legislature. The mind of an observer of these events notes henceforth a division of the people by the terms native and foreigner. It does not import race hostility simply. It is founded rather upon the attempted control of the country by a population of foreign origin and zealously holding allegiance [Page 580]to foreign powers. It had an alliance with natives of foreign parentage, some of whom were the descendants of missionary ancestors. Hence the terms “foreigner” and “missionary” in Hawaiian politics have their peculiar significance.
Foreign ships of great powers lying in the port of Honolulu to protect the persons and property of their citizens, and these same citizens left by their Governments without reproof for participation in such events as I have related, must have restrained the native mind or indeed any mind from a resort to physical force. Its means of resistance was naturally what was left of political power.
In 1890 a legislature was elected in favor of a new constitution. The calculation of the reformers to elect all the nobles failed, owing to a defection of whites, especially amongst the intelligent laboring classes in the city of Honolulu, who were qualified to vote for nobles under the income clause. The cabinet installed by the revolution was voted out. A new cabinet, in harmony with the popular will, was appointed and remained in power until the death of the King in 1891.
In 1892 another legislature was elected. Thrum’s Handbook of Information for 1893, whose authpr, a reformer and annexationist, is intelligent and in the employ of the Provisional Government, and whose work is highly valued by all persons, says, concerning this election:
The result brought to the legislature three rather evenly balanced parties. This, with an admixture of self-interest in certain quarters, has been the means of much delay in the progress of the session; during which there have been no less than three new cabinets on “want of confidence” resolutions.
Judge Widemann, of the national reform party, divides the legislature up thus: “Three parties and some independents. The national reform, reform, and liberal.” There were nine members of the national reform party, fourteen members of the reform, twenty-one liberals, and four independents.”
The liberals favored the old mode of selecting nobles; the national reform party was in favor of a new constitution reducing the qualification of voters for nobles, and the reform party was in opposition to both these ideas.
There were a number of members of all these factions aspiring to be cabinet officers. This made certain individuals ignore party lines and form combinations to advance personal interests. The reform party seized upon the situation and made such combinations as voted out cabinet after cabinet until finally what was termed the Wilcox cabinet was appointed. This was made up entirely of reformers. Those members of the national reform and liberal parties who had been acting with the reform party to this point, and expecting representation in the cabinet, being disappointed, set to work to vote out this cabinet, which was finally accomplished.
There was never a time when the reform party had any approach to a majority of members of the legislature.
Let it be borne in mind that the time now was near at hand when the legislature would probably be prorogued. Whatever cabinet was in power at the time of the prorogation had control of public affairs until a new legislature should assemble two years afterwards and longer unless expelled by a vote of want of confidence.
An anti-reform cabinet was appointed by the Queen. Some faint struggle was made towards organizing to vote out this cabinet, but it was abandoned. The legislature was prorogued. The reform members [Page 581]absented themselves from the session of that day in manifestation of their disappointment in the loss of power through the cabinet for the ensuing two years.
The letters of the American minister and naval officers stationed at Honolulu in 1892 indicate that any failure to appoint a ministry of the reform party would produce a political crisis. The voting out of the Wilcox cabinet produced a discontent amongst the reformers verging very closely towards one, and had more to do with the revolution than the Queen’s proclamation. The first was the foundation—the latter the opportunity.
In the legislatures of 1890 and 1892 many petitions were filed asking for a new constitution. Many were presented to the King and Queen. The discontent with the constitution of 1887 and eagerness to escape from it, controlled the elections against the party which had established it. Divisions on the mode of changing the constitution, whether by legislative action or by constitutional convention, and the necessity for a two-thirds vote of the legislature to effect amendments, prevented relief by either method. Such was the situation at the prorogation of the legislature of 1892.
This was followed by the usual ceremonies at the palace on the day of prorogation—the presence of the cabinet, supreme court judges, diplomatic corps, and troops.
The Queen informed her cabinet of her purpose to proclaim a new constitution, and requested them to sign it.
From the best information I can obtain the changes to the constitution of 1887 were as follows:
- Art. 20. By adding to exceptions: Members of the privy council, notary public, agents to take acknowledgments.
- Art. 22. By adding Princes Kawananakoa and Kalanianaole as heirs to the throne.
- Art. 46. Changing the session of the legislature to the month of April.
- Art. 49. That the Queen shall sign and approve all bills and resolutions, even to those that are voted when passed over her veto.
- Art. 56. Pay of representatives raised to $500 instead of $250 for biennial term.
- Art. 57. The Queen shall appoint the nobles, not to exceed twenty-four.
- Art. 60. The representatives may be increased from twenty-four, as at present, to forty-eight.
- Art. 62. Only subjects shall vote.
- Art. 65. The term of appointment of the supreme court judges, not for life, as before, but for six years.
- Art. 75. The appointment of governors of each island for four-years term.
Her ministers declined to sign, and two of them communicated to leading reformers (Mr. L. A. Thurston, Mr. W. O. Smith, and others) the Queen’s purpose and the position of the cabinet. Finding herself thwarted by the position of the cabinet, she declared to the crowd around the palace that she could not give them a new constitution at that time on account of the action of her ministers, and that she would do so at some future time. This was construed by some to mean that she would do so at an early day when some undefined, favorable opportunity should occur, and by others when a new legislature should assemble and a new cabinet might favor her policy, or some other than an extreme and revolutionary course could be resorted to.
It seems that the members of the Queen’s cabinet, after much urging, prevailed upon her to abandon the idea of proclaiming a new constitution. The coöperation of the cabinet appears to have been, in the mind of the Queen, necessary to give effect to her proclamation. This method had been adopted by Kamehameha V in proclaiming the constitution of 1864. The constitution of 1887 preserved this same [Page 582]form, in having the King proclaim that constitution on the recommendation of the cabinet, which he had been prevailed upon by a committee from the mass meeting to appoint.
The leaders of the movement urged the members of the Queen’s cabinet not to resign, feeling assured that until they had done so the Queen would not feel that the power rested in her alone to proclaim a new constitution. In order to give further evidence of her purpose to abandon the design of proclaiming it, a proclamation was published on the morning of the 16th of January, signed by herself and her ministers, pledging her not to do so, and was communicated to Minister Stevens that morning.
The following papers were among the files of the legation when turned over to me:
Department of Foreign
Honolulu, H. I., January 16, 1893.
Sir: I have the honor to inclose to your excellency a copy of a “By Authority” Notice issued this morning by Her Majesty’s ministers under Her Majesty’s sanction and approval.
I have the honor to be, with the highest respect, your excellency’s obedient servant,
Minister of Foreign Affairs.
To His Excellency John L.
United States Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, Honolulu.
Her Majesty’s ministers desire to express their appreciation for the quiet and order which have prevailed in this community since the events of Saturday, and are authorized to say that the position taken by Her Majesty in regard to the promulgation of a new constitution was under stress of her native subjects.
Authority is given for the assurance that any changes desired in the fundamental law of the land will be sought only by methods provided in the constitution itself.
Her Majesty’s ministers request all citizens to accept the assurance of Her Majesty in the same spirit in which it is given.
Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Minister of Finance.
Minister of the Interior.
On the same day a mass meeting of between fifteen hundred and two thousand people assembled, attended by the leading men in the liberal and national reform parties, and adopted resolutions as follows:
Resolved, That the assurance of Her Majesty the Queen contained in this day’s proclamation is accepted by the people as a satisfactory guaranty that the Government does not and will not seek any modification of the constitution by any other means than those provided in the organic law.
Resolved, That accepting this assurance, the citizens here assembled will give their cordial support to the administration, and indorse them in sustaining that policy.
To the communication inclosing the Queen’s proclamation just cited, there appears to have been no response. On the next day, as if to give further assurance, the following paper was sent to Mr. Stevens:
Sir: The assurances conveyed by a royal proclamation by myself and ministers yesterday having been received by my native subjects, and by them ratified at a mass meeting, was received in a different spirit by the meeting representing the foreign population and interests in my Kingdom. It is now my desire to give to your excellency, as the diplomatic representative of the United States of America at my court, the solemn assurance that the present constitution will be upheld and maintained by me and my ministers, and no changes will be made except by the methods therein provided.[Page 583]
I desire to express to your excellency this assurance in the spirit of that friendship which has ever existed between my Kingdom and that of the Government of the United States of America, and which I trust will long continue.
By the Queen:
Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Minister of Finance.
Minister of the Interior.
Honolulu, January 17, 1893.
His Excellency John
United States Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, Honolulu.
On the back of the first page of this communication written in pencil is the word “Declined.” Immediately under the signature of the attorney-general, also in pencil, is written “1.30 to 1.45,” and at the end of the second and last page this sentence, written in ink, appears: “Received at the U. S. Legation about 2 p.m.”
The cabinet itself could not be removed for two years, and the views of its members were well known to be against establishing a new constitution by proclamation of the Queen and cabinet.
Nearly all of the arms on the island of Oahu, in which Honolulu is situated, were in the possession of the Queen’s government. A military force, organized and drilled, occupied the station house, the barracks, and the palace—the only points of any strategic significance in the event of a conflict.
The great body of the people moved in their usual course. Women and children passed to and fro through the streets, seemingly unconscious of any impending danger, and yet there were secret conferences held by a small body of men, some of whom were Germans, some Americans, and some native-born subjects of foreign origin.
On Saturday evening, the 14th of January, they took up the subject of dethroning the Queen and proclaiming a new Government with a view of annexation to the United States.
The first and most momentous question with them was to devise some plan to have the United States troops landed. Mr. Thurston, who appears to have been the leading spirit, on Sunday sought two members of the Queen’s cabinet and urged them to head a movement against the Queen, and to ask Minister Stevens to land the troops, assuring them that in such tin event Mr. Stevens would do so. Failing to enlist any of the Queen’s cabinet in the cause, it was necessary to devise some other mode to accomplish this purpose. A committee of safety, consisting of thirteen members, had been formed from a little body of men assembled in W. O. Smith’s office. A deputation of these, informing Mr. Stevens of their plans, arranged with him to land the troops if they would ask it “for the purpose of protecting life and property.” It was further agreed between him and them that in the event they should occupy the government building and proclaim a new government he would recognize it. The two leading members of the committee, Messrs. Thurston and Smith, growing aneasy as to the safety of their persons, went to him to know if he would protect them in the event of their arrest by the authorities, to which he gave his assent.
At the mass meeting, called by the committee of safety on the 16th of January, there was no communication to the crowd of any purpose to dethrone the Queen or to change the form of government, but only [Page 584]to authorize the committee to take steps to prevent a consummation of the Queen’s purposes and to have guarantees of public safety. The committee on public safety had kept their purposes from the public view at this mass meeting and at their small gatherings for fear of proceedings against them by the government of the Queen.
After the mass meeting had closed a call on the American minister for troops was made in the following terms, and signed indiscriminately by Germans, by Americans, and by Hawaiian subjects of foreign extraction:
Honolulu, January 16, 1893.
To His Excellency John L. Stevens,
American Minister Resident:
Sir: We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Honolulu, respectfully represent that, in view of recent public events in this Kingdom, culminating in the revolutionary acts of Queen Liliuokalani on Saturday last, the public safety is menaced and lives and property are in peril, and we appeal to you and the United States forces at your command for assistance.
The Queen, with the aid of armed force and accompanied by threats of violence and bloodshed from those with whom she was acting, attempted to proclaim a new constitution; and while prevented for the time from accomplishing her object, declared publicly that she would only defer her action.
This conduct and action was upon an occasion and under circumstances which have created general alarm and terror.
We are unable to protect ourselves without aid, and, therefore, pray for the protection of the United States forces.
Henry E. Cooper,
F. W. McChesney,
W. C. Wilder,
William O. Smith,
Theo. F. Lansing,
L. A. Thurston,
Wm. R. Castle,
Citizen’s Committee of Safety.
The response to that call does not appear in the files or on the records of the American legation. It, therefore, can not speak for itself. The request of the committee of safety was, however, consented to by the American minister. The troops were landed.
On that very night the committee assembled at the house of Henry Waterhouse, one of its members, living the next door to Mr. Stevens, and finally determined oh the dethronement of the Queen; selected its officers, civil and military, and adjourned to meet the next morning.
Col. J. H. Soper, an American citizen, was selected to command the military forces. At this Waterhouse meeting it was assented to by all that Mr. Stevens had agreed with the committee of safety that in the event it occupied the Government building and proclaimed a Provisional Government he would recognize it as a de facto government.
When the troops were landed on Monday evening, January 16, about 5 o’clock, and began their march through the streets with their small arms, artillery, etc., a great surprise burst upon the community. To but few was it understood. Not much time elapsed before it was given out by members of the committee of safety that they were designed to support them. At the palace, with the cabinet, amongst the leaders of the Queen’s military forces, and the great body of the people who were loyal to the Queen, the apprehension came that it was a movement [Page 585]hostile to the existing Government. Protests were filed by the minister of foreign affairs and by the governor of the island against the landing of the troops.
Messrs. Parker and Peterson testify that on Tuesday at 1 o’clock they called on Mr. Stevens, and by him were informed that in the event the Queen’s forces assailed the insurrectionary forces he would intervene.
At 2:30 o’clock of the same day the members of the Provisional Government proceeded to the Government building in squads and read their proclamation. They had separated in their march to the Government building for fear of observation and arrest. There was no sign of an insurrectionary soldier on the street. The committee of safety sent to the Government building a Mr. A. S. Wilcox to see who was there, and, on being informed that there were no Government forces on the grounds, proceeded in the manner I have related and read their proclamation. Just before concluding the reading of this instrument fifteen volunteer troops appeared. Within a half hour afterward some thirty or forty made their appearance.
A part of the Queen’s forces, numbering 224, were located at the station house, about one-third of a mile from the Government building. The Queen, with a body of 50 troops, was located at the palace, north of the Government building about 400 yards. A little northeast of the palace and some 200 yards from it, at the barracks, was another body of 272 troops. These forces had 14 pieces of artillery, 386 rifles, and 16 revolvers. West of the Government building and across a narrow street were posted Capt. Wiltse and his troops, these likewise having artillery and small-arms.
The Government building is in a quadrangular-shaped piece of ground surrounded by streets. The American troops were so posted as to be in front of any movement of troops which should approach the Government building on three sides, the fourth being occupied by themselves. Any attack on the Government building from the east side would expose the American troops to the direct fire of the attacking force. Any movement of troops from the palace toward the Government building in the event of a conflict between the military forces would have exposed them to the fire of the Queen’s troops. In fact, it would have been impossible for a struggle between the Queen’s forces and the forces of the committee of safety to have taken place without exposing them to the shots of the Queen’s forces. To use the language of Admiral Skerrett, the American troops were well located if designed to promote the movement for the Provisional Government and very improperly located if only intended to protect American citizens in person and property.
They were doubtless so located to suggest to the Queen and her counsellors that they were in cooperation with the insurrectionary movement, and would when the emergency arose manifest it by active support.
It did doubtless suggest to the men who read the proclamation that they were having the support of the American minister and naval commander and were safe from personal harm.
Why had the American minister located the troops in such a situation and then assured the members of the committee of safety that on their occupation of the Government building he would recognize it as a government de facto, and as such give it support? Why was the Government building designated to them as the place which, when their proclamation was announced therefrom, would be followed by his [Page 586]recognition. It was not a point of any strategic consequence. It did not involve the employment of a single soldier.
A building was chosen where there were no troops stationed, where there was no struggle to be made to obtain access, with an American force immediately contiguous, with the mass of the population impressed with its unfriendly attitude. Aye, more than this—before any demand for surrender had even been made on the Queen or on the commander or any officer of any of her military forces at any of the points where her troops were located, the American minister had recognized the Provisional Government and was ready to give it the support of the United States troops!
Mr. Damon, the vice-president of the Provisional Government and a member of the advisory council, first went to the station house, which was in command of Marshal Wilson. The cabinet was there located. The vice-president importuned the cabinet and the military commander to yield up the military forces on the ground that the American minister had recognized the Provisional Government and that there ought to be no blood shed.
After considerable conference between Mr. Damon and the ministers he and they went to the government building.
The cabinet then and there was prevailed upon to go with the vice-president and some other friends to the Queen and urge her to acquiesce in the situation. It was pressed upon her by the ministers and other persons at that conference that it was useless for her to make any contest, because it was one with the United States; that she could file her protest against what had taken place and would be entitled to a hearing in the city of Washington. Alter consideration of more than an hour she finally concluded, under the advice of her cabinet and friends, to order the delivery up of her military forces to the Provisional Government under protest. That paper is in the following form:
I, Liliuokalani, by the grace of God and under the constitution of the Hawaiian Kingdom, Queen, do hereby solemnly protest against any and all acts done against myself and the constitutional Government of the Hawaiian Kingdom by certain persons claiming to have established a provisional government of and for this Kingdom.
That I yield to the superior force of the United States of America, whose minister plenipotentiary, His Excellency John L. Stevens, has caused United States troops to be landed at Honolulu and declared that he would support the said provisional government.
Now, to avoid any collision of armed forces and perhaps the loss of life, I do, under this protest, and impelled by said force, Yield my authority until such time as the Government of the United States shall, upon the facts being presented to it, undo the action of its representatives and reinstate me in the authority which I claim as the constitutional sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands.
Done at Honolulu this 17th day of January, A. D. 1893.
Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Minister of Finance.
Minister of the Interior.
All this was accomplished without the firing of a gun, without a demand for surrender on the part of the insurrectionary forces until they had been converted into a de facto government by the recognition of the American minister with American troops, then ready to interfere in the event of an attack.[Page 587]
In pursuance of a prearranged plan, the Government thus established hastened off commissioners to Washington to make a treaty for the purpose of annexing the Hawaiian Islands to the United States.
During the progress of the movement the committee of safety, alarmed at the fact that the insurrectionists had no troops and no organization, despatched to Mr. Stevens three persons, to wit, Messrs. L. A. Thurston, W. C. Wilder, and H. F. Glade, “to inform him of the situation and ascertain from him what if any protection or assistance could be afforded by the United States forces for the protection of life and property, the unanimous sentiment and feeling being that life and property were in danger.” Mr. Thurston is a native-born subject; Mr. Wilder is of American origin, but has absolved his allegiance to the United States and is a naturalized subject; Mr. Glade is a German subject.
The declaration as to the purposes of the Queen contained in the formal request for the appointment of a committee of safety in view of the facts which have been recited, to wit, the action of the Queen and her cabinet, the action of the Royalist mass meeting, and the peaceful movement of her followers, indicating assurances of their abandonment, seem strained in so far as any situation then requiring the landing of troops might exact.
The request was made, too, by men avowedly intending to overthrow the existing government and substitute a provisional government therefor, and who, with such purpose in progress of being effected, could not proceed therewith, but fearing arrest and imprisonment and without any thought of abandoning that purpose, sought the aid of the American troops in this situation to prevent any harm to their persons and property. To consent to an application for such a purpose without any suggestion dissuading the applicants from it on the part of the American minister, with naval forces under his command, could not otherwise be construed than as complicity with their plans.
The committee, to use their own language, say: “We are unable to protect ourselves without aid, and, therefore, pray for the protection of the United States forces.”
In less than thirty hours the petitioners have overturned the throne, established a new government, and obtained the recognition of foreign powers.
Let us see whether any of these petitioners are American citizens and if so whether they were entitled to protection, and if entitled to protection at this point whether or not subsequently thereto their conduct was such as could be sanctioned as proper on the part of American citizens in a foreign country.
Mr. Henry E. Cooper is an American citizen; was a member of the the committee of safety; was a participant from the beginning in their schemes to overthrow the Queen, establish a Provisional Government, and visited Capt. Wiltse’s vessel, with a view of securing the aid of American troops, and made an encouraging report thereon. He, an American citizen, read the proclamation dethroning the Queen and tablishing the Provisional Government.
Mr. F. W. McChesney is an American citizen; was cooperating in the revolutionary movement, and had been a member of the advisory council from its inception.
Mr. W. C. Wilder is a naturalized citizen of the Hawaiian Islands, owing no allegiance to any other country. He was one of the original members of the advisory council, and one of the orators in the mass meeting on the morning of January 16.[Page 588]
Mr. C. Bolte is of German origin, but a regularly naturalized citizen of the Hawaiian Islands.
Mr. A. Brown is a Scotchman and has never been naturalized.
Mr. W. O. Smith is a native of foreign origin and a subject of the Islands.
Mr. Henry Waterhouse, originally from Tasmania, is a naturalized citizen of the islands.
Mr. Theo. F. Lansing is a citizen of the United States, owing and claiming allegiance thereto. He has never been naturalized in this country.
Mr. Ed. Suhr is a German subject.
Mr. L. A. Thurston is a native-born subject of the Hawaiian Islands, of foreign origin.
Mr. John Emmeluth is an American citizen.
Mr. W. R. Castle is a Hawaiian of foreign parentage.
Mr. J. A. MeCandless is a citizen of the United States—never having been naturalized here.
Six are Hawaiians subjects; five are American citizens; one English, and one German. A majority are foreign subjects.
It will be observed that they sign as “Citizens’ committee of safety.”
This is the first time American troops were ever landed on these islands at the instance of a committee of safety without notice to the existing government.
It is to be observed that they claim to be a citizens’ committee of safety and that they are not simply applicants for the protection of the property and lives of American citizens.
The chief actors in this movement were Messrs. L. A. Thurston and W. O. Smith.
Alluding to the meeting of the committee of safety held at Mr. W. B. Castle’s on Sunday afternoon, January 15, Mr. W. O. Smith says:
After we adjourned Mr. Thurston and I called upon the American minister again and informed him of what was being done. Among other things we talked over with him what had better be done in case of our being arrested, or extreme or violent measures being taken by the monarchy in regard to us. We did not know what steps would be taken, and there was a feeling of great unrest and sense of danger in the community. Mr. Stevens gave assurance of his earnest purpose to afford all the protection that was in his power to protect life and property. He emphasized the fact that while he would call for the United States troops to protect life and property, he could not recognize any government until actually established.
Mr. Damon, the vice-president of the Provisional Government, returning from the country on the evening of the 16th, and seeing the troops in the streets, inquired of Mr. Henry Waterhouse, “Henry, what does all this meant” To which he says, if he “remembers rightly,” Mr. Waterhouse replied, “It is all up,” On being questioned by me as to his understanding of the expression, “It is all up,” he said he understood from it that the American troops had taken possession of the island.
Mr. C. L. Carter, at the government house, assured Mr. Damon that the United States troops would protect them. Mr. Damon was astonished when they were not immediately marched over from Arion Hall to the government building and became uneasy. He only saw protection in the bodily presence of the American troops in this building. The committee of safety, with its frequent interviews with Mr. Stevens, saw it in the significance of the position occupied by the United States troops and in the assurance of Mr. Stevens that he would interfere for the purpose of protecting life and property, and that when they should [Page 589]have occupied the government building and read their proclamation dethroning the Queen and establishing the Provisional Government he would recognize it.
The committee of safety, recognizing the fact that the landing of the troops under existing circumstances could, according to all law and precedent, be done only on the request of the existing Government, having failed in utilizing the Queen’s cabinet, resorted to the new device of a committee of safety, made up of Germans, British, Americans, and natives, of foreign origin, led and directed by two native subjects of the Hawaiian Islands.
With these leaders, subjects of the Hawaiian Islands, the American minister consulted freely as to the revolutionary movement and gave them assurance of protection from danger at the hands of the royal Government and forces.
On January 17 the following communication, prepared at the station house, which is one-third of a mile from the Government building and two-thirds of a mile from the residence of the American minister, was sent to him:
Department of Foreign
Honolulu, January 17, 1893.
His Excellency John
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, etc.:
Sir: Her Hawaiian Majesty’s Government, having been informed that certain per-sons to them unknown, have issued proclamation declaring a Provisional Government to exist in opposition to Her Majesty’s Government, and having pretended to depose the Queen, her cabinet and marshal, and that certain treasonable persons at present occupy the Government building in Honolulu with an armed force, and pretending that your excellency, on behalf of the United States of America, has recognized such Provisional Government, Her Majesty’s cabinet asks respectfully, has your excellency recognized said Provisional Government, and, if not, Her Majesty’s Government under the above existing circumstances respectfully requests the assistance of your Government in preserving the peace of the country.
We have the honor to be your excellency’s obedient servants,
Minister Foreign Affairs.
Minister of Finance.
Minister of the Interior.
In it will be observed the declaration that the Provisional Government is claiming to have had his recognition. The reply of Mr. Stevens is not to be found in the records or files of the legation, but on those records appears the following entry:
Honolulu, January 17, 1893.
About 4 to 5 p.m. of this date—am not certain of the precise time—the note on file from the four ministers of the deposed Queen, inquiring if I had recognized the Provisional Government, came to my hands while I was lying sick on the couch. Not far from 5 p.m.—I did not think to look at my watch—I addressed a short note to Hon. Samuel Parker, Hon. Wm. H. Cornwell, Hon. John F. Colburn, and Hon. A. P. Peterson, no longer regarding them as ministers, informing them that I had recognized the Provisional Government.
United States Minister.
This communication was received at the station house and read by all of the ministers and by a number of other persons.
After this Mr. Samuel M. Damon, the vice-president of the Provisional Government, and Mr. Bolte, a member of the advisory council, came to the station house and gave information of the proclamation [Page 590]and asked for the delivery up of the station house, the former urging that the government had been recognized by the American minister, and that any struggle would cause useless bloodshed.
The marshal declared that he was able to cope with the forces of the Provisional Government and those of the United States successfully, if the latter interfered, and that he would not surrender except by the written order of the Queen.
After considerable conference, the cabinet went with Messrs. Damon and Bolte to the Government building and met the Provisional Government, and there indicated a disposition to yield, but said that they must first consult with the Queen.
The members of the Queen’s cabinet, accompanied by Mr. Damon, preceded by the police, and met the Queen. There were also present Messrs. H. A. Widemann, Paul Neumann, E. C. Macfarlane, J. O. Carter, and others.
As to what occurred there I invite your attention to the following statement, made by the vice-president of the Provisional Government, and certified by him to be correct:
Q. In that conversation yon asked for a surrender of the forces and the ministers advised it?
A. The different ones spoke and they all recommended it. Each one spoke. At first Judge Widemann was opposed to it, but he finally changed his mind on the advice of Mr. Neumann. Mr. Neumann advised yielding. Each one advised it.
Q. Was the advice of Neumann and the cabinet based on the idea that the Queen would have to contend with the United States forces as well as the forces of the Provisional Government?
A. It was the Queen’s idea that she could surrender pending a settlement at Washington, and it was on that condition that she gave up. If I remember right I spoke to her also. I said she could surrender or abdicate under protest.
Q. And that the protest would be considered at a later period at Washington?
A. At a later period.
* * * * * * *
I knew it was the Queen’s idea that Mr. Stevens was in sympathy with this movement.
Q. But I am asking now as to what reasons the ministers gave for her acquiescence?
A. It was their idea that it was useless to carry on; that it would be provocative of bloodshed and trouble if she persisted in the matter longer; that it was wiser for her to abdicate under protest and have a hearing at a later time; that the forces against her were too strong.
Q. Did they indicate the United States forces in any way?
A. I do not remember their doing so.
Q. Do you know whether or not at that time they were under the impression that the United States forces were in sympathy with the revolution?
A. Beyond an impression I know nothing definite.
Q. What was the result of this conference with the Queen? What was agreed on?
A. She signed a document surrendering her rights to the Provisional Government under protest.
* * * * * * * *
She was reluctant to agree to this, but was advised that the whole sublet would come up for final consideration at Washington.
* * * * * * * *
I did tell her that she would have a perfect right to be heard at a later period.
Q. By the United States Government?
All the persons present except Mr. Damon formally state and certify that in this discussion it was conceded by all that Mr. Stevens had recognized the Provisional Government. This Mr. Damon says he does not clearly recollect, but that he is under the impression that at that time the Provisional Government had been recognized. Save Mr. Damon, these witnesses testify to the impression made on their minds and on that of the Queen that the American minister and the American naval commander were cooperating in the insurrectionary movement.[Page 591]
As a result of the conference, there was then and there prepared the protest which has been cited.
The time occupied in this conference is indicated in the following language by Mr. Damon:
We went over (to the Palace) between 4 and 5 and remained until 6 discussing the situation.
Mr. Damon and the cabinet returned to the Provisional Government, presented the protest, and President Dole indorsed on the same:
Received by the hands of the late cabinet this 17th day of January, A. D. 1893.
Chairman of the Executive Council of Provisional Government.
After this protest the Queen ordered the delivery up of the station house, where was an important portion of the military forces, and the barracks, where was another force.
The statements of many witnesses at the station house and at the conference with the Queen, that the reply of Mr. Stevens to the cabinet on the subject of recognition had been received when Mr. Damon and Mr. Bolte called there, and also the statements at the conference with the Queen that the recognition had taken place, are not contradicted by Mr. Damon; but when inquired of touching these matters, he uses such expressions as “I can not remember. It might have been so.”
Mr. Damon says that he is under the impression that he knew when he went to this conference with the Queen that the recognition had taken place.
Mr. Bolte, another member of the Provisional Government, in a formal statement made and certified to by him, shows very much confusion of memory, but says: “I can not say what time in the day Mr. Stevens sent his recognition.” He thinks it was after sunset.
Mr. Henry Waterhouse, another member of the Provisional Government, says: “We had taken possession of the barracks and station house before the recognition took place.”
It will be observed that I have taken the communication of the Queen’s ministers and the memorandum of Mr. Stevens as to his reply and the time thereof, to wit: “Not far from 5 p.m. I did not think to look at my watch.”
This information was then transmitted to the station house, a distance of two-thirds of a mile, and before the arrival of Messrs. Damon and Bolte. This fact is supported by nine persons present at the interview with Mr. Damon and Mr. Bolte. Then another period of time intervenes beween the departure of Mr. Damon and the cabinet, passing over a distance of one-third of a mile to the Government building. Then some further time is consumed in a conference with the Provisional Government before the departure of Mr. Damon and the cabinet to the palace, where was the Queen. The testimony of all persons present proves that the recognition by Mr. Stevens had then taken place. Subsequent to the signing of the protest occurred the turning over of the military to the Provisional Government.
Inquiry as to the credibility of all these witnesses satisfies me as to their character for veracity, save one person, Mr. Colburn. He is a merchant, and it is said he makes misstatements in business transactions. No man can reasonably doubt the truth of the statements of the witnesses that Mr. Stevens had recognized the Provisional Government before Messrs. Damon and Bolte went to the station house.
Recurring to Mr. Stevens’s statement as to the time of his reply to the [Page 592]letter of the cabinet, it does not appear how long before this reply lie-had recognized the Provisional Government. Some witnesses fix it at three and some at half-past three. According to Mr. Damon he went over with the cabinet to meet the Queen between four and five, and, taking into account the periods of time as indicated by the several events antecedent to this visit to the palace, it is quite probable that the recognition took place in the neighborhood of 3 o’clock. This would be within one-half hour from the time that Mr. Cooper commenced to read the proclamation establishing that Government, and, allowing twenty minutes for its reading, in ten minutes thereafter the recognition must have taken place.
Assuming that the recognition took place at half-past 3, there was not at the Government building with the Provisional Government exceeding 60 raw soldiers.
In conversation with me Mr. Stevens said that he knew the barracks and station-house had not been delivered up when he recognized the Provisional Government; that he did not care anything about that, for 25 men, well armed, could have run the whole crowd.
There appears on the files of the legation this communication:
Honolulu, January 17, 1893,
His Excellency John
United States Minister Resident:
Sir: I acknowledge receipt of your valued communication of this day, recognizing the Hawaiian Provisional Government, and express deep appreciation of the same.
We have conferred with the ministers of the late government, and have made demand upon the marshal to surrender the station-house. We are not actually yet in possession of the station-house; but as night is approaching and our forces may be insufficient to maintain order, we request the immediate support of the United States forces, and would request that the commander of the U. S. forces take command of our military forces, so that they may act together for the protection of the city.
Chairman Executive Council.
After the recognition by Mr. Stevens, Mr. Dole thus informs him of his having seen the Queen’s Cabinet and demaded the surrender of the forces at the station-house. This paper contains the evidence that before Mr. Dole had ever had any conference with the Queen’s ministers, or made any demand for the surrender of her military forces, the Provisional Government had been recognized by Mr. Stevens.
On this paper is written the following:
The above request not complied with.—Stevens.
This is the only reference to it to be found on the records or among the files of the legation.
This memorandum is not dated.
With the Provisional Government and its forces in a two-acre lot, and the Queen’s forces undisturbed by their presence, this formal, dignified declaration on the part of the President of the Provisional Government to the American minister, after first thanking him for his recognition, informing him of his meeting with the Queen’s cabinet and admitting that the station-house had not been surrendered, and stating that his forces may not be sufficient to maintain order, and asking that the American commander unite the forces of the United States with those of the Provisional Government to protect the city, is in ludicrous contrast with the declaration of the American minister in his [Page 593]previous letter of recognition that the Provisional Government was in full possession of the Government buildings, the archives, the treasury, and in control of the Hawaiian capital.
In Mr. Stevens’s dispatch to Mr. Foster, No. 79, January 18, 1893, is this paragraph:
As soon as practicable a Provisional Government was constituted, composed of four highly respectable men, with Judge Dole at the head, he having resigned his place on the supreme bench to assume this responsibility. He was born in Honolulu, of American parentage, educated here and in the United States, and is of the highest reputation among all citizens, both natives and whites. P. C. Jones is a native of Boston, Mass., wealthy, possessing property interests in the island, and a resident here for many years. The other two members are of the highest respectability. The committee of public safety forthwith took possession of the Government buildings, archives, and treasury, and installed the Provisional Government at the heads of the respective departments. This being an accomplished fact, I promptly recognized the Provisional Government as the be facto government of the Hawaiian Islands. The English minister, the Portugese chargé d’affaires, the French and the Japanese commissioners promptly did the same; these, with myself, being the only members of the diplomatic corps residing here.
Read in the light of what has immediately preceded, it is clear that he recognized the Provisional Government very soon after the proclamation of it was made. This proclamation announced the organization of the Government, its form and officials. The quick recognition was the performance of his pledge to the committee of safety. The recognition by foreign powers, as herein stated, is incorrect. They are dated on the 18th, the day following that of Mr. Stevens.
On the day of the revolution neither the Portuguese chargé d’affaires nor the French commissioner had any communication, written or oral, with the Provisiónal Government until after dark, when they went to the Government building to understand the situation of affairs. They did not then announce their recognition.
The British minister, several hours after Mr. Stevens’s recognition, believing that the Provisional Government was sustained by the American minister and naval forces, and that the Queen’s troops could not and ought not to enter into a struggle with the United States forces, and having so previously informed the Queen’s cabinet, did go to the Provisional Government and indicate his purpose to recognize it.
I can not assure myself about the action of the Japanese commissioner. Mr. Stevens was at his home sick, and some one evidently misinformed him as to the three first.
In a letter of the Hawaiian commissioners to Mr. Foster, dated February 11, is this paragraph:
Sixth. At the time the Provisional Government took possession of the Government buildings no American troops or officers were present or took part in such proceedings in any manner whatever. No public recognition was accorded the Provisional Government by the American minister until they were in possession of the Government buildings, the archives, and the treasury, supported by several hundred armed men and after the abdication by the Queen and the surrender to the Provisional Government of her forces.
Mark the words, “and after the abdication by the Queen and the surrender to the Provisional Government of her forces.” It is signed L. A. Thurston, W. C. Wilder, William R. Castle, J. Marsden, and Charles L. Carter.
Did the spirit of annexation mislead these gentlemen. If not, what malign influence tempted President Dole to a contrary statement in his cited letter to the African minister?
The Government building is a tasteful structure, with ample space for the wants of a city government of 20,000 people. It is near the [Page 594]center of a 2-acre lot. In it the legislature and supreme court hold their sessions and the cabinet ministers have their offices.
In one corner of this lot in the rear is an ordinary two story structure containing eight rooms. This building was used by the tax assessor, the superintendent of waterworks, and the Government survey office. In another corner is a small wooden structure containing two rooms used by the board of health.
These constitute what is termed in the correspondence between the Provisional Government and the American minister and the Government of the United States “government departmental buildings.”
Whatever lack of harmony of statement as to time may appear in the evidence, the statements in documents and the consecutive order of events in which the witnesses agree, all do force us to but one conclusion—that the American minister recognized the Provisional Government on the simple fact that it had entered a house designated sometimes as the Government building and sometimes as Aliiolani Hale(sic), which had never been regarded as tenable in military operations and was not so regarded by the Queen’s officers in the disposition of their military forces, these being at the station house, at the palace, and at the barracks.
Mr. Stevens consulted freely with the leaders of the revolutionary movement from the evening of the 14th. These disclosed to him all their plans. They feared arrest and punishment. He promised them protection. They needed the troops on shore to overawe the Queen’s supporters and Government. This he agreed to and did furnish. They had few arms and no trained soldiers. They did not mean to fight. It was arranged between them and the American minister that the proclamation dethroning the Queen and organizing a provisional government should be read from the Government building and he would follow it with a speedy recognition. All this was to be done with American troops provided with small-arms and artillery across a narrow street within a stone’s throw. This was done.
Then commenced arguments and importunities to the military commander and the Qneen that the United States had recognized the Provisional Government and would support it; that for them to persist involved useless bloodshed.
No soldier of the Provisional Government ever left the 2-acre lot.
The Queen finally surrendered, not to these soldiers and their leaders but to the Provisional Government on the conviction that the American minister and the American troops were promoters and supporters of the revolution, and that she could only appeal to the Government of the United States to render justice to her.
The leaders of the revolutionary movement would not have undertaken it but for Mr. Stevens’s promise to protect them against any danger from the Government. But for this their mass meeting would not have been held. But for this no request to land the troops would have been made. Had the troops not been landed no measures for the organization of a new Government would have been taken.
The American minister and the revolutionary leaders had determined on annexation to the United States, and had agreed on the part each was to act to the very end.
Prior to 1887 two-thirds of the foreigners did not become naturalized. The Americans, British, and Germans especially would not give up the protection of those strong governments and rely upon that of the Hawaiian Islands. To such persons the constitution of 1887 [Page 595]declared: “We need your vote to overcome that of our own native subjects. Take the oath to support the Hawaiian Government, with a distinct reservation of allegiance to your own.” Two-thirds of the Europeans and Americans now voting were thus induced to vote in a strange country with the pledge that such act did not affect their citizenship to their native country. The purport and form of this affidavit appear in the citations from the constitution of 1887 and the form of oath of a foreign voter. See page 12.
The list of registered voters of American and European origin, including Portuguese, discloses 3,715; 2,091 of this number are Portuguese. Only eight of these imported Portuguese have ever been naturalized in these islands. To this should be added 106 persons, mostly negroes, from the Cape Verde Islands, who came here voluntarily several years prior to the period of state importation of laborers.
The commander of the military forces of the Provisional Government on the day of the dethroning of the Queen and up to this hour has never given up his American citizenship, but expressly reserved the same in the form of oath already disclosed and by a continuous assertion of the same.
The advisory council of the Provisional Government, as established by the proclamation, consisted of John Emmeluth, an American, not naturalized; Andrew Brown, a Scotchman, not naturalized; C. Bolte, naturalized; James F. Morgan, naturalized; Henry Waterhouse, naturalized; S. M. Damon, native; W. G. Ashley, an American, not naturalized; E. D. Tenney, an American, not naturalized; F. W. McChesney, an American, not naturalized; W. C. Wilder, naturalized; J. A. McCandless, an American, not naturalized; W. R. Castle, a native; Lorrina A. Thurston, a native; F. J. Wilhelm, an American, not naturalized,
One-half of this body, then, was made up of persons owing allegiance to the United States and Great Britain.
The annexation mass meeting of the 16th of January was made up in this same manner.
On the 25th of February, 1843, under pressure of British naval forces, the King ceded the country to Lord George Paulet, “subject to the decision of the British Government after full information.” That Government restored their independence. It made a deep impression on the native mind.
This national experience was recalled by Judge Widemann, a German of character and wealth, to the Queen to satisfy her that the establishment of the Provisional Government, through the action of Capt. Wiltse and Mr. Stevens, would be repudiated by the United States Government, and that she could appeal to it. Mr. Damon urged upon her that she would be entitled to such a hearing. He was the representative of the Provisional Government, and accepted her protest and turned it over to President Dole. This was followed by large expenditures from her private purse to present her cause and to invoke her restoration.
That a deep wrong has been done the Queen and the native race by American officials pervades the native mind and that of the Queen, as well as a hope for redress from the United States, there can be no doubt.
In this connection it is important to note the inability of the Hawaiian people to cope with any great powers, and their recognition of it by never offering resistance to their encroachments.
The suddenness of the landing of the United States troops, the reading of the proclamation of the Provisional Government almost in their [Page 596]presence, and the quick recognition by Mr. Stevens, easily prepared her for the suggestion that the President of the United States had no knowledge of these occurrences and must know of and approve or disapprove of what had occurred at a future time. This, too, must have contributed to her disposition to accept the suggestions of Judge Widemann and Mr. Damon. Indeed, who could have supposed that the circumstances surrounding her could have been foreseen and sanctioned deliberately by the President of the United States.
Her uniform conduct and the prevailing sentiment amongst the natives point to her belief as well as theirs that the spirit of justice on the part of the President would restore her crown.
Attention is now invited to the following table, showing the census of the Hawaiian Islands by districts and islands in 1890:
Latest official census of the Hawaiian Islands, taken December 28, 1890, by districts and islands.
Total population, 1890, 89.990. Total population, 1884, 80,578.
The island of Oahu, on which Honolulu is situated, appears, then, to have had a population of 31,194. The total population was 89,970. This total has been increased since by adding several thousand Japanese contract laborers. Fifty-eight thousand seven hundred and ninety-six, a majority of the people, lived on the other islands.
Nothing was known of the revolutionary movement at Honolulu in the other islands until several days after its accomplishment, and no opportunity to consider and approve or reject it has been permitted.
Lieut. Fox, of Admiral Skerrett’s staff, furnishes me the following information, in the shape of a memorandum, showing the movements of American troops to and from American vessels in Honolulu:
Account of the forces landed from the U. S. S. Boston at Honolulu, January 16, 1893, together with those landed from and returned to the ship at different times:
|Landed at 4:30 p.m., January 16—|
|Three companies of blue jaekets, 36 each||108|
|One company marines and two musicians||32|
|Musicians for battalion||12|
|Officers—9 naval, 1 marine||10|
|Extra men landed–|
|January 24 for Camp Boston||2|
|February 16 for Camp Boston||1|
|March 15 for marine guard||1|
|March 17 for Camp Boston||14|
|Total number of men and officers landed for service||180|
|Returned on board:|
|January 27, men||2|
|January 30, men||1|
|February 3, Lieut. Young’s company||35|
|February 3, officers||2|
|February 23, men||2|
|February 27, men||2|
|February 28, one marine and one blue jacket||2|
|March 1, men||1|
|March 13, men||1|
|March 15, men||2|
|March 18, men||1|
|March 20, Lieut. Coffman’s company||36|
|March 20, officers||1|
|March 22, men||89|
|Total number of men and officers returned before April 1||89|
|Total number of men and officers landed before April 1||180|
|Total number left on shore March 20, 1893||91|
On February 15 Lieut. Young’s company landed for the admiral’s review and returned after the review the same day. There were 36 men in the company 2 officers.
|The total number of men at Camp Boston.—|
|April 1, men||52|
|April 1, officers||6|
|April 1, marines at Government building||33|
|April 1, officers||1|
|Total force withdrawn from shore April 1, 1893||92|
The United States troops, it thus appears, were doing military duty for the Provisional Government before the protectorate was assumed, just as afterwards. The condition of the community at the time of the assumption of the protectorate was one of quiet and acquiescence, [Page 598]pending negotiations with the United States, so far as I have been able to learn.
A few days before my arrival here news of the withdrawal by the President from the Senate of the treaty of annexation and his purpose to send a commissioner to inquire into the revolution was received.
An organization known as the Annexation Club commenced to obtain signatures to a petition in favor of annexation. This work has been continued ever since.
The result is reported on July 9, 1893, thus:
Honolulu, H. I., July 9, 1893.
Hon. J. H. Blount,
U. S. E. E. & M. P.
In answer to your communication of May I would say that the names on our great register to date are 5,500 and that we are advised of 190 odd on rolls not yet entered on the other islands.
Of those which are entered I would estimate that 1,218 are Americans, being 90 odd per cent of the, total number of Americans on the islands and 20 odd per cent of those on the club rolls.
English 251, being 26 per cent of those on the islands and 4 per cent of club rolls.
One thousand and twenty-two Hawaiians, being 11 per cent of those on islands and 18 per cent of club rolls.
Two thousand two hundred and sixty-one Portuguese, being 73 per cent of Portuguese on islands and 41 per cent of club rolls.
Sixty-nine Norwegians, being 50 per cent of those on islands and 1 per cent of club rolls.
Three hundred and fifty-one Germans, being 53 per cent of those on islands and 6 per cent on club rolls.
Others, 328, unclassified.
I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
Secretary Annexation Club.
Compare this with the exhibit in the following table:
The census of 1890, by age and nationality, showing number of registered, voters.
|Nationality.||Under 15 years.||15 to 30 years.||30 to 45 years.||Over 45 years.||Total.||Registered voters.|
Denominations, as shown by the census of 1884, were: Protestants, 29,685; Roman Catholics, 20,072; and unreported, 30,821. Of this latter 17,639 were Chinese and 116 were Japanese. At the recent census this feature of the work was omitted.
This shows the number of registered voters and the looseness of the method of the Annexation Club.
After my arrival the adherents of the Queen commenced to obtain signatures amongst the natives against annexation, under attacks from the press and annexationists of treasonable purposes. They report 7,000 signatures. In addition to this, petition against annexation by whites, little circulated, contains 249 signatures.[Page 599]
The Portuguese have generally signed the annexation rolls. These, as I have already stated, are nearly all Portuguese subjects. A majority of the whites of American and European birth who have signed the same roll are not Hawaiian subjects and are not entitled to vote under any laws of the Kingdom.
The testimony of leading annexationists is that if the question of annexation was submitted to a popular vote, excluding all persons who could not read and write except foreigners (under the Australian-ballot system, which is the law of the land), that annexation would be defeated.
From a careful inquiry I am satisfied that it would be defeated by a vote of at least two to one. If the votes of persons claiming allegiance to foreign countries were excluded, it would be defeated by more than five to one.
The undoubted sentiment of the people is for the Queen, against the Provisional Government and against annexation. A majority of the whites, especially Americans, are for annexation.
The, native registered vote in 1890 was 9,700; the foreign vote was 3,893. This native vote is generally aligned against the annexation whites. No relief is hoped for from admitting to the right of suffrage the overwhelming Asiatic population. In this situation the annexation whites declare that good government is unattainable.
The controlling element in the white population is connected with the sugar industry. In its interests the Government here has negotiated treaties from time to time for the purpose of securing contract laborers for terms of years for the plantations, and paid out large sums for their transportation and for building plantation wharves, etc.
These contracts provide for compelling the laborer to work faithfully by fines and damage suits brought by the planters against them, with the right on the part of the planter to deduct the damages and cost of suit out of the laborer’s wages. They also provide for compelling the laborer to remain with the planter during the contract term. They are sanctioned by law and enforced by civil remedies and penal laws. The general belief amongst the planters at the so-called revolution was that, notwithstanding the laws against importing labor into the United States in the event of their annexation to that Government, these laws would not be made operative in the Hawaiian Islands on account of their peculiar conditions. Their faith in the building of a cable between Honolulu and San Francisco, and large expenditures at Pearl Harbor in the event of annexation have also as much to do with the desire for it.
In addition to these was the hope of escape from duties on rice and fruits and receiving the sugar-bounty, either by general or special law.
The repeal of the duty on sugar in the McKinley act was regarded a severe blow to their interests, and the great idea of statesmanship has been to do something in the shape of treaties with the United States, reducing their duties on agricultural products of the Hawaiian Islands, out of which profit might be derived. Annexation has for its charm the complete abolition of all duties on their exports to the United States.
The annexationists expect the United States to govern the islands by so abridging the right of suffrage as to place them in control of the whites.
The Americans, of what is sometimes termed the better class, in point of intelligence, refinement, and good morals, are fully up to the best standard in American social life. Their homes are tasteful and distinguished [Page 600]for a generous hospitality. Education and religion receive at their hands zealous support. The remainder of them contain good people of the laboring class and the vicious characters of a seaport city. These general observations can be applied to the English and German population.
The native population, numbering in 1890 40,622 persons, contained 27,901 able to read and write. No country in Europe, except perhaps Germany and England, can make such a showing. While the native generally reads and writes in native and English, he usually speaks the Kanaka language. Foreigners generally acquire it. The Chinese and Japanese learn to use it and know very little English.
Among the natives there is not a superior class, indicated by great wealth, enterprise, and culture, directing the race as with the whites. This comes from several causes.
In the distribution of lands most of it was assigned to the King, chiefs, some whites, and to the Government for its support. Of the masses 11.132 persons received 27,830 acres—about two and a half acres to an individual—called Kuleanas. The majority received nothing. The foreigners soon traded the chiefs out of a large portion of their shares, and later purchased from the Government government lands and obtained long leases on the crown lands. Avoiding details it must be said that the native never held much of the land. It is well known that it has been about seventy years since he commenced to emerge from idolatry and the simplicity of thought and habits and immoralities belonging to it. National tradition has done little for him, and before the whites led him to education its influence was not operative. Until within the last twenty years white leaders were generally accepted and preferred by the King in his selections of cabinets, nobles, and judges, and native leadership was not wanted.
Their religious affiliations are with the Protestant and Catholic churches. They are over-generous, hospitable, almost free from revenge, very courteous—especially to females. Their talent for oratory and the higher branches of mathematics is unusually marked. In per son they have large physique, good features, and the complexion of the brown races. They have been greatly advanced by civilization, but have done little towards its advancement. The small amount of thieving and absence of beggary are more marked than amongst the best races of the world. What they are capable of under fair conditions is an unsolved problem.
Idols and idol worship have long since disappeared.
The following observations in relation to population are presented, though some repetition will be observed:
The population of the Hawaiian Islands can best 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.
(In all the official documents of the Hawaiian Islands, whether in relation to population, ownership of property, taxation, or any other question, the designation “American,” “Briton,” “German,” or other foreign nationality does not discriminate between the naturalized citizens [Page 601]of the Hawaiian Islands and those owing allegiance to foreign countries.)
Americans number 1,928; natives and half-castes, 40,612; Chinese, 15,301; Japanese, 12,360; Portuguese, 8,602; British, 1,344; Germans, 1,034; French, 70; Norwegians, 22 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 (14,522) are Chinese. The Japanese number 10,079. The Portuguese contribute 4,770. These four nationalities furnish 50,820 of the male population.
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 1 to 39—nearly as 1 to 40.
Portuguese have been brought here from time to time from the Madeira and Azores islands by the Hawaiian Government as laborers, 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 [Page 602]for the past eighteen months, making their way generally to the United 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 of European and American origin in the various avocations, 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.
It will be interesting if not pleasing to examine the number of the sexes by nationalities.
The grand total of the population is 89,990. The male population is 56,714, 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 their women by more than 18 to 1.
The Japanese men outnumber their women by nearly five to one.
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.[Page 603]
The males increased from 1884 to 1890, 7,175; the females increased from 1884 to 1890, 2,237.
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; 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 Kauai 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, 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.
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, $87,366.10; Japanese, $67,326.07; other nationalities, $729.82.
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.[Page 604]
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 unsalable portions remaining after the rest had been sold.
And in the same communication he declares that between the years 1850 and 1860 nearly all 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.
The landless condition of the native population grows out of the original distribution and not from shiftlessness. To them homesteads should be offered rather than to strangers.
The census reports of the Hawaiian Islands pretend to give the native population from the period when Capt. Cook was here until 1890. These show a rapid diminution in numbers, which, it is claimed, indicate the final extinction of the race. Very many of these reports are entirely conjectural and others are carelessly prepared. That of 1884 is believed by many intelligent persons here to overstate the native strength and, of course, to discredit any comparison with that of 1890.
All deductions from such comparisons are discredited by an omission to consider loss from emigration. Jarvis, in his history of the Hawaiian Islands, published in 1847, says:
Great numbers of healthy Hawaiian youth have left in whale ships and other vessels and never returned.
The number annually afloat is computed at 3,000. At one time 400 were counted at Tahiti, 500 in Oregon, 50 at Paita, Peru, besides unknown numbers in Europe and the United States.
In 1850 a law was passed to prohibit natives from leaving the islands. The reason for it is stated in the following preamble:
Whereas, by the census of the islands taken in 1849, the population decreased at the rate of 8 per cent in 1848, and by the census taken in 1850 the population decreased at the rate of 51/7 per cent in 1849; whereas the want of labor is severely felt by planters and other agriculturists, whereby the price of provisions and other produce has been unprecedentedly enhanced, to the great prejudice of the islands; whereas, many natives have emigrated to California and there died, in great misery; and, whereas, it is desirable to prevent such loss to the nation and such wretchedness to individuals, etc.
This act remained in force until 1887. How effective it was when it existed there is no means of ascertaining. How much emigration of the native race has taken place since its repeal does not appear to have been inquired into by the Hawaiian Government. Assuming that there has been none and that the census tables are correct, except that of 1884, the best opinion is that the decrease in the native population is slight now and constantly less. Its final extinction, except by amalgamation with Americans, Europeans, and Asiatics, may be dispensed with in all future calculations.
My opinion, derived from official data and the judgment of intelligent persons, is that it is not decreasing now and will soon increase.
The foregoing pages are respectfully submitted as the connected report indicated in your instructions. It is based upon the statements [Page 605]of individuals and the examination of public documents. Most of these are hereto annexed.
The partisan feeling naturally attaching to witnesses made it necessary for me to take time for forming a correct judgment as to their character. All this had to be done without the counsel of any other person.
Mindful of my liability to error in some matters of detail, but believing in the general correctness of the information reported and conclusions reached, I can only await the judgment of others.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Special Commissioner of the United States.
- The property qualification was removed by an amendment.↩