804-805

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp804-805 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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that he had been fighting the battle alone all the morning and that the Queen was determined to proclaim a new constitution. He said the constitution was her own compilation. The members of the Hui Kalaiaina said that the constitution came from the Queen to them. Parker told me later that he staid by the Queen, for he was afraid if left alone she would sign the constitution, take it out to the people, proclaim it from the palace balcony, and say that her cabinet and judges would not approve of it, and tell the people to look out for them. Every one knows how quickly Colburn and Peterson, when they could escape from the palace, called for help from Thurston and others, and how afraid Colburn was. to go back to the palace. I sent messages to her twice to be excused from further attendance, but received answers to wait a little.

The troops, 100 in number, with ball cartridges, were kept all day in line in front of the palace. Finally, at about 4 p.m., the cabinet came in. Parker, in tears, told me the Queen had agreed to postpone the promulgation. Then the Queen came in angry, defiant, and yet under perfect control. Her speech I wrote down that evening and it was published. I asked a good many who heard it if my account was correct, and they said it was. She did not withdraw the constitution, she merely postponed its promulgation on account of the obstacles she had met with, and told the people to go to their homes and wait for it. This was understood by the natives to mean that the ministry had prevented it, for as soon as she had left the throne room, J. K. Kaunamano (member from Hamakua) turned to the people behind him (the room was full of natives) and said in a loud, excited tone, "What shall we do to these men who thwart our desires?" He was quieted by myself and others, and I then left the palace. I feel convinced that the Queen formed the idea of having a new constitution which would make her supreme long before she became Queen. She hesitated before taking the oath to the constitution of 1887, and only because Cummins and others, including Gov. Dominis, her husband, told her she had better swear to it that she did.

The new constitution restored to the Queen the right to appoint the Nobles, which virtually placed the whole legislative power in her hands. The justices of the supreme court were to be appointed for six years, which virtually destroyed the independence of the judiciary. The ministry were to hold at her pleasure, which would make an autocrat of her. This new constitution would have made it impossible for white men to live here. With the Legislature bribed as we know the last one was, and changing their votes at the will of the Queen, and a hostile Queen and a subservient cabinet, there was no safety for us or our property. This justified the revolution.

The mass meeting held on Monday afternoon, the 16th, showed the leaders of the revolution that they would be supported. This made cowards of the cabinet. How could they attempt to use force when they knew their Queen was wrong? They were aware that something serious was planned. It was in the air. Parker knew of it from what he said to me. Being unaware that Wilson's force was insufficient to take and hold the Government buildings it seemed strange to me that he did not take possession during Sunday or Monday. It is very easy to say that the Boston's men overthrew the Queen. They did nothing more than has been done often before—to land with the intention of protecting American interests if imperiled. The Queen's adherents had neither the character nor the ability to resist. Men are not eager to risk their lives in a bad cause.

I resume the narration. I did not attend the mass meeting, but had

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conversations all day with many persons of prominence, and some of those who are now royalists were fierce in their denunciations of the Queen. We all felt satisfied that in some way the Queen's policy would be defeated, but just in what way I could not tell. The people seemed determined and were satisfied to leave their cause in the hands of the committee. It was wise not to divulge openly their plan of overturning monarchy. The Queen's proclamation of Monday that she would not attempt a new constitution again and was impelled to the step by stress from her native subjects had no effect. This last statement was untrue. Even Mr. Widemann told me that it was a piece of folly, as it did not announce the resignation of the cabinet and indicate a new one in whom the country had confidence.

It is not true that the new constitution came from the people. It was the Queen's own idea and design, and her adherents had spread her sentiments among the people. It was admitted to me that she had shown this constitution to her ministers, Parker, Peterson, and Colburn, even before their appointment, and that they had promised to support her in it. They were only impelled to oppose her when she was attempting to carry out the scheme by fear of the consequences. Mr. J. O. Carter told Mr. P. C. Jones and myself on Saturday evening, the 14th of January, that both Cornwell and Colburn were in fear of their lives when they escaped from the palace, and were only induced to return and face the Queen again by strong persuasion on his part.

On Monday evening the Boston troops landed. Being then an outsider I knew nothing of the proceedings of the committee of safety. There were many rumors afloat as to what they would do, etc. All I really know is that the troops from the Boston marched up King street past the palace and Government building without pausing and camped in Mr. Atherton's premises, nearly half a mile from the Government building; and it was not until 9 p. m. that they found quarters in Arion Hall. This hall is a low wooden building in the rear of the Opera House and completely hidden by it, and commanded neither the palace, the Government building, nor the barracks. It was the only place convenient for men to sleep in that was available then. Its location was not to my mind significant of any intention on the part of the United States troops to defend any uprising against the Queen's Government. The Boston's men did not move from their quarters all day Tuesday, the 17th, nor did they make any demonstrations of any kind. No one outside of the committee of safety knew definitely what the plan was. It was apparent, however, that something important was to happen. Mr. Parker told me at about noon on that Tuesday that at 4 p.m. they, the cabinet, would be all out. The people were gathering in knots in the business part of the town, especially on Fort street. I heard a shot, saw the smoke of the pistol, saw a wagon dash up street near the corner of Fort and King streets. The crowd rushed up there to hear what it was, and soon the report came that a man in charge of an ammunition wagon had shot a native policeman who was trying to stop him. Soon the crowd swelled to great numbers. Finding the excitement too intense for me to remain longer in suspense, I walked with Mr. Paty to the Government building and saw a small number of persons gathered about the front door and listening to Mr. H. E. Cooper reading a proclamation. It was then near 3 p. m., and the reading was about half concluded.

As I passed the lane between the opera house and the Government building where Arion Hall was, I did not look at nor did I think of the U.S.S. Boston's troops, though I knew they were there. There were


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