No. 22.
Mr. H. P. Baldwin to Mr. Blount.

Col. J. H. Blount,
American Commissioner.

My Dear Sir: As you remember I had an appointment to meet you last Saturday morning for an interview as a delegate from a branch annexation organization on the island of Kauai. I found it impossible to come to Honolulu last Saturday, hence I failed to keep my engagement.

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I called to see you Monday this week, but your secretary told me you were out, and I have since been told by the secretary of the Honolulu Annexation Club, Mr. Jones, that you will have no time for interviews till after the mail leaves Wednesday.

As I return to Kauai to-morrow, and will therefore have no opportunity of meeting you, I will give you briefly in writing the views as I understand them of that portion of the people of Kauai who favor annexation.

The two branches of the Annexation Club formed on Kauai are composed of all classes and include plantation men ranchmen, tradesmen, mechanics, and ordinary workmen. Most of those who represent the property of the island are in favor of annexation and have joined the organization.

When the delegates from Kauai had a short interview with you last week I informed you that the Annexation Club from my side of the island passed a resolution favoring annexation providing Asiatic labor, which is considered almost indispensable for our plantations, should not be prohibited by the United States Government. Last week the organization, taking a broader view of the question, rescinded the former vote and passed an unconditional resolution in favor of annexation, trusting that in case annexation should take place the United States Government would take into careful consideration our labor requirements. The natives of the country furnish a very inadequate portion of the labor required for the numerous operations of the country. We are therefore obliged to draw on other countries for our labor supply. In this tropical country white men can not work in our cane fields. We have found that Asiatics are the most suitable and economical laborers for our work, such as Japanese and Chinese. These are introduced every year to take the places of those who leave, as very few of them make this country a permanent home.

You can readily understand why the labor question is a very important one to us and that any political change that may cut us off from the labor supply we have heretofore enjoyed may work serious injury to our sugar industry.

The belief that the United States would not allow Asiatics to come into the country has prevented some of the planters on Kauai from joining our annexation organization. The majority of those who have joined the organization have done so after careful consideration and because it is their firm conviction that the country can no longer maintain a good and stable independent government. Numerous reasons may be given for this, but I will state only a few of the more prominent.

The unfitness of a majority of the voters for representatives in this country to have the franchise and use it for upright and progressive government.
A growing jealousy among the natives of foreigners, who, they feel, are acquiring the property and business of the country.
The diversified foreign population of the country, who come from all parts of the world. This population consists of all classes of men who come here for different purposes, a great many to make what they can out of the country and then leave. They compose a mixed population that can not and will not work together for good, honest and substantial government.

The history of our Government during the past few years must convince anyone who will give it a careful study that the late Hawaiian monarchs, who were really less competent to manage the affairs of state [Page 1070] than former Kings were, are totally unfit and incompetent to guide the affairs of the nation at this time of progress and prosperity; also, that corruption has been on the increase amongst Government officials and in the Legislature.

It is our belief that should this Government continue as an independent government, revolution and conspiracy, which has overturned and disturbed the affairs of government so often during the past six years, will increase in the future and result inevitably in anarchy.

I would add, for myself personally, that I was born in this country and have lived here all my life. I have acquired considerable property and represent plantations that have this year an output of about 23,000 tons of sugar. This is my home, and I desire to make it the home of my children if we can live under good government. I have not favored annexation till this last revolutionary act of the Queen.

I share in the solicitude expressed by many of the planters relative to the labor question and would be glad to have our Government continue independent if possible, but good government is of the first and greatest importance to this as it is to all countries, and it is the belief, for reasons given above, that we can not maintain good government without the protection of a more powerful nation that has led me to join the annexationists.

I remain, yours, very truly,

H. P. Baldwin,
Delegate Kauai Annexation Club.