Mr. Willis to Mr. Gresham.

No. 64.]

Sir: It has been customary in these islands for the citizens of the United States to celebrate the Fourth of July with athletic sports, boat races, fireworks, etc., together with literary exercises, at which the American minister usually presides. The Hawaiians and citizens of all nationalities heartily participate in the observance of the day. Last [Page 1344] year Mr. Blount presided, and prior to that under the monarchy the custom has prevailed for many years. The day was celebrated this year with more than ordinary enthusiasm. The English, Japanese, and American war vessels were dressed, flags were displayed from all the legations and consulates, public buildings and a large number of private residences were elaborately decorated, and the national salute fired at noon.

The reception at the United States legation was attended by several hundred persons, including representatives of the home and foreign governments and prominent citizens of all potitical parties.

I inclose newspaper clippings, giving some of the particulars of the celebration and also the principal address on the occasion.

With sentiments of high esteem, I am, etc.,

Albert S. Willis.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 64.]

a fitting celebration—the great holiday of america and of hawaii—exercises at little britain—the full text of the orations made by various speaker—spatriotic speeches which all have the ring of true republicanism—a large audience.

The one hundred and eighteenth anniversary of the Declaration of the Independence of the United States was marked, besides the one great event of the day, the forming of the Republic, by enthusiastic ceremonies at J. N. Wright’s place, Little Britain. At half after 10, the hour set for the literary exercises to commence, the large pavilion was filled with those who came to celebrate the day in the good old way by listening to patriotic speeches, and hearing the Declaration of Independence, one of, if not the grandest of the world’s documents, read.

The pavilion had been gaily decorated with American flags and with ferns. On the platform were President Dole, Minister Willis, Admiral Walker, Capt. Barker, Capt. Cochrane, J. B. Atherton, P. C. Jones, Prof. W. W. Lovejoy, Leo Cooper, and the newspaper representatives.

Minister Willis, the president of the day, was introduced by J. B. Atherton. He said:

“I thank the committee for having given me the honor of presiding on this occasion, and in the name of the great Republic whose representative I am, I extend to the citizens of the United States and to all others who sympathize with republican institutions, a heartfelt welcome.”

Prof. Lovejoy then offered a prayer, after which the song “The Battle Cry of Freedom” was sung by the audience. Mr. Leo Cooper then read the Declaration of Independence, which was greeted with much applause.

J. B. Castle was next introduced, and said that the paper he was going to read had been prepared by W. N. Armstrong, who had asked him to read it, as he was away

[Inclosure 2 in No. 64.]

capt. cochrane’s address.

Mr. Chairman, Ladies, and Gentlemen: I would that I could also say “fellow-citizens,” but I see so many here who are not yet Americans that perhaps it were better to employ a new expression—fellow-denizens. [This reference to possible annexation, and to the article so much discussed by the late convention, met with instant recognition.] When your committee did me the honor to invite me to address you upon this famous anniversary, I accepted with much pleasure. It was understood that I was to make a short address on the Declaration of Independence, and that the oration—a larger contract—was to be awarded to another. Later, I was asked if I would change places, and as the difference was only one of degrees, I readily consented. I met the gentleman who was to be my colleague, ex-Attorney-General Armstrong, and we agreed to have a conference, that we might not collide. Next I learned that Mr. Armstrong was going to Hilo and that there would be no other speaker. You can therefore imagine my surprise at learning just now that friend Armstrong had left his oration behind.

[Page 1345]

In order to ascertain what was done on the last Fourth of July, I went to your very excellent public library and looked over a file of old papers. There I saw that you had had a spread-eagle oration, and that a Mr. P. C. Jones had made a very interesting and pleasing address. I felt thankful that Mr. Jones was not to compete this year. Now, where do I find myself? Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Jones are both in the field, and some of my thunder is surely stolen. Anyhow, I had the usual assortment of grandfathers, as well as Mr. Jones, but they had the misfortune to land at Philadelphia instead of Boston, and though they did not help to throw any tea overboard they had the Declaration of Independence and plenty of dried apple pies.

My gray head and scanty locks reveal the fact that I have seen many Fourths of July, and I may add—thanks to the wandering life those of my profession necessarily lead—that they have been celebrated in different foreign countries and in many of the States of the American Union.

On the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, on the shores of the Great Lakes and the yet greater Gulf of Mexico, on the Mississippi, in the West Indies, in Central and South America, in Europe, in Africa, and on the high seas have I passed Independence Day, but never before in Polynesia. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, yes, but not the “glorious Fourth;” so I am especially glad to be with you on this delightful and memorable occasion.

Yesterday I thought that there was but one other country on earth where the Fourth is more highly regarded or more generally celebrated than in Hawaii. Today I am not sure that there is any. I have seen great Paris ablaze, but it was the work of the State and not the people.

It seems strange that one, 2,000 miles and more from home, can be in an atmosphere so overwhelmingly American as this. Where in all Yankeedom, or in all Christendom, is there a community of this size, or any size for the matter of that, which is honoring the Declaration of Independence, that colossal indictment and grand compendium of human rights, with greater zeal and enthusiasm than is the community of Honolulu? Where else is such a mixing of races agog and afoot with such hearty and simple impulse? I’ve just left a thousand “tars” wild with excitement, and a Yankee man-of-war proselyting the entire harbor.

Where else, Mr. Chairman, is the day too short for all of the exercises, sports, and festivities which it is desired to crowd into it? Where else are the decorations of streets and houses more lavish or more beautiful; where are handsomer prizes offered to the decorators, and where is there a more magnificent flag than that of the American League?

Where, also, have the subscriptions been so liberal that they had to be stopped; and, finally, let me ask, where else has there been promulgated, as the first act after the guns of dawn, and in especial honor and recognition of this great day, a national constitution, bringing into being a new republic?

The banks, stores, warehouses, and schools are closed, the water craft and plantations are resting, the stars and stripes are flying, and the people are rejoicing. I hope that the gentlemen of the press, if there be any here, will let the vast and friendly population of the States distinctly know that they are not all Americans who are doing this. Please tell them that the German, the Dane, the Greek, the Portuguese, the Frenchman, the children of Asia, the gentle Hawaiian and the irrepressible Irishman are “assisting,” and I strongly suspect that some of the hardy sons of Great Britain, who are pleased to say that “blood is thicker than water,” are taking a quiet hand to-day at Little Britain.

The stranger may say that the celebration of the Fourth of July in the Hawaiian Islands is a new thing, born of revolution or gotten up for dramatic effect, but such is not the case. One learns upon inquiry that “it has always been so,” and that the tie which binds multitudes of this people, rich and poor, brown as well as white, to the land of liberty is stronger perhaps than any of them fully realize. If I mistake not, the day is not far distant when this feeling will assert itself with a unanimity and result alike amazing in every island of the banner group of the Pacific.

Fully eighty years ago it first began, and that was six years before the missionaries first arrived. The idols had not yet been destroyed when Kamehameha I, surnamed the Great, began the custom of celebrating the Fourth of July.

There was a joyousness in the proceedings which commended them to native tastes, and the custom took hold and grew until it became the holiday of all the year. The Kamehameha folks, if not misrepresented by the esteemed historian, Prof. Alexander, fully understood the art of celebrating, and could put a cardinal hue on a village of grass huts with “neatness and dispatch.”

Though not exactly a Kamaaina, I am far from being a stranger here. Four and twenty years have passed since I first beheld the bold front and rugged sides of Diamond Head, but my recollections of these charming islands remain clear and strong, and my interest in them has never flagged. As I had resided for some time with the ex-queen, then Mrs. Dominis, and her sister, the Princess Likelike, at [Page 1346] Washington Place, and had assisted Prince David Kalakaua, their brother, with some military instruction for the funeral of the Dowager Queen Kalama when he was a clerk in the foreign office and an officer of the volunteers, their subsequent careers always excited a friendly interest. Kamehameha V (Prince Lot) was king during that visit, and although there appeared to be then profound content, the seed had been sown and the American leaven was working.

I remember particularly a visit made to Hilo in the old Kilauea, the pioneer and only inter-island steamer then plying. Now you have two fleets. Her speed, never alarming, had become so reduced that they could see her smoke at Lahaina seven or eight hours before she arrived, and it was decided to overhaul her. Maj. C. H. Judd, better known to you as “Charley Judd,” was then her agent, and after she-was restored to 8 knots on a level he advertised her for a trip to Hilo if enough passengers could be had who wanted to visit the volcano. Enough were booked, and we rolled over there in the month of October, 1870. There were several young officers in the party who belonged to the U. S. sloop Jamestown, then in this port, and finding no hotel in Hilo, we were very thankful to be invited by the veteran Capt. Tom Spencer to make our headquarters at his hospitable house. After a grand bath in a running stream of cold water, and an excellent dinner, we were treated to a serenade by a small band composed of some native boys, friends of poor Bill Ragsdale. The music would not have suited Mozart or Beethoven, perhaps, but we liked it. Was it the melodious “Aloha Oe,” or “Ahi Wela,” you ask. No, not a bit of it. Those boys made the cocoanut palms and bamboo clumps rustle with “John Brown’s Body,” “Sherman’s March to the Sea,” and “Columbia’s the Gem of the Ocean,” and we felt that it was only a couple of miles from Rainbow Falls to the Golden Gate.

About eighteen months ago I was announced to lecture in Metropolitan Temple, San Francisco. On my way to the building in a streetcar, on January 27, I saw hanging in a great plate-glass window of the Chronicle office, on Market street, a small placard which made known to passers-by that James G. Blaine, the distinguished statesman and friend of Hawaii, had died that morning, in Washington. The sad news was the topic of conversation everywhere, and I referred to it in my lecture, which was attended by about 1,700 people. Among those people there were several newspapermen, and one especially well-known was Mr. M. H. DeYoung. I mention this because his presence aroused in me considerable interest to see what criticism of my humble effort his paper, the Chronicle, might contain next day. Immediately after breakfast I bought a copy and found that I had been crowded out. A black, schooner-rigged, iron steamer, called the Claudine, had unexpectedly arrived in the night and the Chronicle and San Francisco were alike taken up with the news of “A revolt in Hawaii.” Even Blaine was for the time being forgotten, and column after column was filled with the details of the incidents which led up to the crisis of January, 17, 1893. I bear no malice.

Picking up aback number of the Pacific Commercial Advertiser a few days since I noticed in it a short article which again suggested that time often invests with peculiar interest things once laid aside as of little moment. The article in question was copied from a great Democratic newspaper, the New York Sun, and seems very appropriate to this occasion. It is entitled “Free Hawaii’s birthday,” and says:

“To-day is the first anniversary of the establishment of the provisional government in Hawaii on the ruins of monarchical and despotic ideas. We congratulate President Dole and his able and patriotic associates upon the success of their administration, and upon the strength of their position before the world.

“Probably never in the course of the ages have the affairs of any infant nation been managed more ably, wisely, or honestly. These men of American blood and American sympathies are of the same sort as those who founded our own Republic. No wonder the hearts of the people of the United States have gone out towards them.

“For a time, longer or shorter, according to circumstances which it is now impossible to foresee, January 17 will hold in Hawaii’s calendar similar to the Fourth of July in our own. Then in the inevitable progress of destiny January 17 in Hawaii will be merged in July Fourth, and islands and continent will celebrate together and in common the nation’s birth.”—New York Sun.

How little did that able writer know that but half a year would be needed to witness the beginning of the fulfillment of his prophecy, and that the very next succeeding Fourth of July would find what he calls the “inevitable progress of destiny “so far advanced that “the islands” could celebrate the birthday of two nations instead of one.

It was only by dint of most diligent effort on the part of the late convention that this has been made a doubly great historic day, not for Hawaii alone, but for all of the earth, for when at eventide the life-giving sun shall sink below the horizon it will set for the first time upon a hemisphere of independent republics.

The vast Empire of Brazil was thought stable and secure. It long held its own by reason of the personality of its estimable monarch, but suddenly the end came. Almost as suddenly the end came here. Vain efforts have been made to restore “the [Page 1347] divine right of kings,” but “revolutions rarely go backward.” Kind friends rise up and extend a helping hand to those who struggle for liberty, fraternity, and equality, and the good Lord seems to approve.

At 8 o’clock this morning the Provisional Government stepped down and out, and the infant Republic stepped in. As I stood in front of the Executive building and gazed upon the great, orderly, clean, well-dressed, and intelligent assemblage that occupied the steps and portico and surrounded your distinguished President as he proclaimed the new constitution and was sworn in by the chief justice to support it, I saw a scene of which any country might well be proud.

It speaks volumes for the good sense and love of order of those who entertain different views from the party in power that they have thus far confined their objections to lawful protests. It is to be hoped that they will adhere to this course. Nothing is so illogical as war, and few things more costly than undertakers’ charges. All know that perfect men and perfect governments do not exist and it is idle to expect them. A fair and patient trial of the new constitution and Government should not be denied. Your universally esteemed President expects, in due time, to have a successor, and I venture to say that he desires that successor to be in every way a worthy man. I understand that an ex-premier has recently considered the possibility of his filling the place. It is a legitimate ambition, and the political movement essential to that end might prove no disadvantage to the nation. Two healthy political parties are, indeed, the salvation of a republic. It may seem a little out of place for me, a soldier, to plead thus, but I was raised among William Penn Quakers, and they cultivated peace. I remember when it was believed that the civil troubles in America could never be composed; and later, when it was boldly asserted that the clashing in France between royalty and democracy would utterly destroy that wonderful nation; but those opinions were ill founded.

The outcome in each case was of special interest, because I was engaged in the four years of our sad and bloody conflict and, by a strange coincidence, had the distinguished honor of welcoming, five years later, the advent of the great French Republic with a short address on French soil. This happened at Tahiti, in the Society Islands, in November, 1870. That address was partly in French and partly in English, but there was one sentence ill it that everybody understood—and that was Vive la Republique!

Mr. T. B. Murray, President of the American League, then proposed three cheers for Capt. Cochrane, which were given with a will and followed by a “tiger.”

Mr. Willis being about to step to the front, Capt. Cochrane arose and begged him to delay a moment, adding: “Fellow denizens [laughter]: If it is not altogether improper, let us give three cheers for the latest addition to the family—the infant Republic.”

The grandest song possible to singthe song that will move anyone with a drop of American blood in his veinswas next sung by the audience. The strains of “America” rolled out upon the air and sent a thrill through all those who heard it. The band played a melody of American airs, and the people left the building. The exercises of the day were over.

[Inclosure 3 in No. 64From the Hawaiian Gazette.]

the events of the day.—the various doings of the people yesterday.—what there was to see and do.—aquatic and athletic sports, baseball, a reception and the fireworks in the evening keep everyone busy on the greatest of all holidays.

The stores and dwelling places in Honolulu were never decorated as they were yesterday. The patriotic feeling made itself felt in all quarters and the result proved to many strangers that Honolulu has as much love for the great American holiday as any other of its size in the United States. Along the business streets nothing but flags and bunting greeted the eyes, and the captains of the merchant vessels in the harbor did their share toward making the decorative feature a success. Every vessel, with one or two exceptions, was decorated with all the bunting available, and conspicuous among them were the ships Marie Hackfeld and the schooner R. W. Bartlett. Of course the war vessels were decorated from stem to stern and each presented a pretty sight.

The Fourth of July committee offered 5 prizes for the best decorated buildings, and it was left with the Art League to decide. D. Howard Hitchcock was the chairman. The members of the league visited every portion of the city, and finally decided that the house of Castle & Cooke was entitled to the first prize. They considered that, as an emblematical design and as an artistic decoration, it was far and [Page 1348] away the finest displayed. The following is a brief description of the decoration: Crowning the center is a large silver star over the legend “Hawaii,” flanked by a number of banners in red, white, and blue. Draped across the center of the building are large American and Hawaiian flags balanced by tricolored draperies. Offsetting the whole is a base of dark-blue cloth trimmed with green maile and finished at either corner with Hawaiian and American shields. The second prize was awarded to the Inter-Island Steamship Company; third prize, Oahu jail; fourth prize, Safe Deposit Company; fifth prize, Pantheon saloon. A number of other buildings were wondrously decorated. Lewers & Cooke had a gorgeous display, and No. 2 engine house deserves special mention.

sports in the harbor.

The sports on the bay drew a large crowd to the water front yesterday. The decks of every vessel from which a good view could be obtained were crowded with people. The officers of the war vessels in port invited their friends to go on board, and-the invitation was accepted by a great many. The programme as a whole was interesting and was well carried out. The most exciting race of the day was the 12-oar barge race between a native crew and crews from both the Champion and the Philadelphia.

The course was around the spar buoy, the natives winning in 19 minutes and 40 seconds, followed 14 seconds later by the Philadelphia crew.

A great deal of interest was centered in the race between the Myrtle and Healani boat clubs. The crew of the first-named club won easily in 17 minutes and 8 seconds.

The following is the full programme of the day and the winners:

The first race between the Myrtles and the Healanis over the spar buoy course was won as previously mentioned.

The second race was between a number of boat boys in single-oared boats. The course was around a buoy fastened in the neighborhood of the Myrtle boathouse. The race was won by John Mahuku in 14 minutes.

The third race was contested for by crews of the war vessels in port, in cutters, 12 men in each, around the spar buoy; won by the Philadelphia crew in 21 minutes and 13 seconds.

The fourth race was in six-oared gigs from the American and Japanese men-of-war. Owing to an accident, which laid up the Champion’s gig for repairs, the Englishmen did not participate. The Philadelphia’s crew won again. Time, 21 minutes and 41 seconds.

The fifth race was in shells. The contestents were R. Dexter and W. Harris. Dexter won in 9 minutes and 36 seconds.

The sixth race was won by a native crew in 24 minutes and 16 seconds. It was a four-oared race between three crews—the natives, a crew from the Philadelphia and a crew from the Kongo.

The catamaran race was the next on the programme. It was contested for by men from the Champion and the Kongo. It was easily won by the Japanese.

The swimming race was won by a native named Pua. He was followed closely by a seaman named Skuse, belonging to the Champion. The distance was about one-eighth of a mile.

The second-class yacht race had four entries: Edith L., Coral Queen, Pokii, and Mary Walding. It was won by the Mary Waiding.

The sailing-launch race between the Philadelphia and Champion was won by the Champion boat.

The following gentlemen had charge of the aquatic sports: Judges, Lieut. W. M. Wood, Lieut. F. K. C. Gibbons, Lieut. R. Ide, Capt. Campbell, and Capt. Fuller; starter, C. B. Wilson; timekeeper, Frank Kruger.

the athletic sports.

The literary exercises were not all, by any means, that occurred at Little Britain during the day. In the afternoon the dancing pavilion and the athletic sports drew a big crowd in that direction, in spite of the other events. Dancing was kept up in the pavilion until nearly 6 o’clock.

The sports were very interesting and were greatly enjoyed. The winners of the different events, and the time and distances made, follows:

  • One hundred yards race—Tom Pryce, J. I. Richardson, 11¾ seconds.
  • Standing broad jump—John Caustino, Tom Pryce, 11½ feet.
  • Running broad jump—A. Tyrrell, H. Hapai, 18 feet 10½ inches.
  • Basket potato race (juvenile)—John Aylett, Schichi.
  • One hundred yards race (juvenile)—Arthur Giles, Reuben Kinney, 12 seconds.
  • Pole vault—Gr. Angus, W. Halstead, 8 feet 7 inches.
  • Quarter-mile race—J. L. King, W. D. Armstrong, 1 minute and 1 second.
  • Boot and shoe race (juvenile)—W. Roland, J. Aylett.
  • Hop, step, and jump—A Tyrrell, T. White, 38 feet 7½ inches.
  • Match race, 100 yards—W. B. Bolster and C. J. Dietz. Boltzer won. Time, 12f¾seconds.
  • Three-legged race (juvenile)—W. Austin and J. Aylett, M. Botelho and J. Suarez.
  • One hundred and twenty yards hurdle race—Vida Thrum, J. Wright, 18 seconds.
  • Running high jump—A. Tyrrell, J. Caustino, 4 feet 9 inches.
  • Potato race (juvenile)—J. Santos, Kamanao.
  • Jim Kaharna race—F. Ferreira.

the afternoon reception.

The public reception held by Minister Willis and his charming wife in the afternoon was certainly not less successful than the other events of the glorious Fourth. The reception toot place in the parlors of the Hawaiian Hotel, and from 3 o’clock until 5 a host of people streamed in, all eager to pay their respects to the American minister. The band of the Philadelphia was stationed in the stand in the hotel grounds, and the Hawaiian Quintette Club were in attendance on the Lanai, where an elegant collation was served.

the baseball game.

The Kamehamehas added to their laurels again yesterday, beating the Hawaiis by a score of 7 to 4, 5 of the 7 being made in one inning. There was a very large attendance. The game was not a brilliant one, but was marked by the steady playing of the Kamehamehas.

Games won. Games lost. Games played. Percentage.
Kamehamehas 6 2 8 .750
Hawaiis 3 4 7 .428
Crescents 2 5 7 .286

at the butts.

The Hawaiian Rifle Association held its regular semiannual shoot at its range near King street yesterday. The attendance was not as large as usual, owing to the large number of counter attractions. The heavy wind blowing made high scores almost an impossibility, especially at the long ranges. No records were broken in the association matches, and only one prize was won for the last time, the Queen’s trophy. In the citizens’ match the honors were easy, there being a large list of prizes.

the fireworks.

The display at the executive building in the evening was magnificent. The grounds were hung with Chinese lanterns. The building itself was beautifully decorated. A long row of electric lanterns had been stretched from either side over the tops of the three front flag poles, and each balcony had rows of lanterns. The chef-d’oeuvre of the decorations, however, was a large 8-pointed star, in different colors, that was placed on the front of the building. In its center, in blue lights, were the figures “94.” The whole star was most brilliant.

The fireworks were, of course, the feature of the evening. The grounds, the balconies, and the streets outside were crowded with people watching the beautiful pyrotechnic display. The Japanese fireworks seemed to be the favorites, though there were some beautiful rockets and Roman candles. The display was continued until about 9 o’clock.