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and late in the evening I remember Capt. Wiltse calling on us. During the interval I remember Deputy Marshal Mehrtens coming in—that was a very short time after the Government was organized—with a request that the Government should go down to the station house aud meet the cabinet down there. They declined to do that, but sent a committee consisting of Sam Damon and C. Bolte to the station house. That committee afterwards returned with Sam Parker and Billy Cornwell.
Sam Parker and Billy Cornwell came in there and after a conversation they in company with Sam Damon, if my memory serves me right, went over to the palace to see the Queen. I am quite sure that Bolte didn't go with them on that errand. Sam Damon was the only one that went on that errand. Sam Damon returned after a time and it was then given out that the Queen had agreed to surrender under protest and that she would give instructions for the station house and the barracks to be given up to the Provisional Government. In the meantime we removed to the minister of finance's offices, and it was there that Sam Nowlein, in command of the Queen's military, late at night— it must have been 8 or 9 o'clock—reported to President Dole, and the President told him to keep his men together and all arms inside the barracks for the night; nothing should be disturbed, and he should simply carry on their routine duties within the inclosure for that night. Nowlein asked whether he would mount guard as usual in the palace inclosure, and he was told no.
The reason why I fail to recollect much of what transpired there was from early in the day, that is, very soon after our getting into the building, we agreed that all conversation should be conducted by Mr. Dole himself in order to prevent a confusion of ideas, and for that reason I did not store up things as rigidly as I might have done if I had a personal say in the matter. I was busy outside about the organization of our forces. I met a number of Company A, and as soon as Company A entered the building I went out and found the old stand-bys of 1887 and 1889 and had a conversation with them. They were all ready for doing any duty that was required of them, they were well armed and had ample ammunition.
I consider that the trend of things for twelve years back to my recollection has all been in the direction of the revolution, for the reasons of the corruptness of the Government; the debaucheries and social infamies that were being practiced constantly in and about the palace. I saw that those things could not go on in a community that claimed to be Christian, such a thing could only reach a certain state where public safety and the best interests of the nation would demand reform. From my knowledge of things and my observation of the workings of the monarchy I was thoroughly satisfied that it was only a matter of time when a different form of government would have to be established here, and very soon after my coming here I came to the conclusion that these Islands rightfully and justly belonged, on the point of both their dependence and proximity to the United States, I felt that they were a part and parcel of the American States, and I have been an annexationist for the last twelve years.
Insertion and corrections made by—
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 5th day of December, A. D. 1893.
Alfred W. Carter,
AFFIDAVIT OF F. W. McCHESNEY.
Hawaiian Islands, Honolulu, Oahu, ss:
F. W. McChesney, being duly sworn, deposes and says: I was born in Iowa, came to Honolulu in 1885, where I have since been engaged as a partner in the house of M. W. McChesney & Son in the wholesale grocery and feed business established in 1879, doing a large volume of business. I was a member of the committee of public safety and of the advisory council of the Provisional Government up to a few days prior to June 28th, 1893, on which day I went to the United States for a visit.
I saw James H. Blount land at Honolulu, but never met him nor had any conversation with him.
I signed a roll with other citizens in the office of W. O. Smith on the afternoon of Saturday, January 14, 1893, pledging myself as a special police officer in support of the cabinet against the proposed aggression of the Queen, and was in the same office at the meeting of citizens when the committee of public safety was appointed. There was talk at the meeting of the committee at W.R. Castle's, on the next (Sunday) morning, of having resolutions abrogating the monarchy and pronouncing for annexation, offered at the mass meeting; but it was decided to keep within bounds, while matters were to be made perfectly plain. It was reported by Mr. Thurston that the Queen's cabinet had gone back on us, so we decided to proceed without them.
I never understood at any time that the United States troops would fight our battles; they might come ashore to protect life and property and all of those who wanted to go to them during the rumpus, but they were not going to do any fighting for us. I thought we could overturn the Government on short notice after getting our men and arms together and then after our new Government was formed they would recognize us and protect us if any armed force was needed.
The committee of safety had taken pains to investigate the force opposed to us and found that the Queen had only 80 men at the barracks and that Wilson had about 125 regulars with possibly 75 special police, among whom were only about 12 or 15 white men, and the forces surrendered showed these to be facts.
Had fighting actually been necessary we would have had 600 men armed and with plenty of ammunition.
The committee agreed to go up to the Government building at 3 o'clock, and broke up at 2:30, when the shot was fired on the corner of King and Fort streets, and we said: "Now is the time to go." For it seemed as though the fighting would begin, so we all started at once. I jumped into a hack and went home for my pistol, and got back just as the others were entering the yard. They all walked up in plain view, and were pretty close together. When we first got into the building, after the proclamation was read, about 25 or 30 men of Ziegler's company came from the old armory, and then we adjourned to the minister of the interior's room to start up the new Government. We had sent word round to the different squads we had ready and waiting to be at the Government building at 3 o'clock. We counted on 100 men. But we got there ahead of time—at fifteen minutes before three—and after that they came in pretty thick; so that we must have had 150 men there. We addressed letters to the different ministers asking them to recognize us. To this letter Mr. Stevens sent an aid down (Mr. Pringle) to see if we actually had possession. Mr. Dole said: "You see we have
S. Doc. 231, pt 6----52
possession, and have troops here to protect us." Then he took a look around, and politely bowed and left.
During this time we had sent for the old cabinet and they came in. They sent word that they were afraid to come, but we sent word that everything was perfectly safe, so Cornwell and Colburn came, then the other two. We told them what had been done and gave them a copy of the proclamation and demanded the surrender of the Queen and the station house and barracks. They asked for time to go and see Her Majesty. We positively refused to let their guards patrol the town during the night. Mr. Damon went with them to the palace. We refused to let them have time until the next day.
During all this time, in response to our call for volunteers, they were coming in pretty thick, and presently word came back from the palace that the Queen surrendered, but wanted ten minutes' time for Marshal Wilson to get out of the station house; a protest came, too, which Mr. Dole received. Captain Wiltse came in just before the surrender, and said he had come to see if we had possession. He said, "Have you got possession of the palace, barracks, and the station house?" Mr. Dole said, "No, not yet; we are now arranging that." "Well," he says, "you must have them before we can recognize you as a power; we can not recognize you when there is another Government across the street." While he was speaking a tap came on the door and the others were returning with the Queen's surrender.
About this time Mr. Stevens's recognition came, and then Mr. Wodehouse, the British minister, came to see if we had possession and what we were doing. We told him and gave him a copy of the proclamation.
Then we went ahead getting ready for the night. We tried to get things in shape before dark as near as we could. I recollect I came out just before dark when we were talking about preparing for the night in case of trouble, as it had been threatened that the town would be burned. We began getting guards to go out over town, and as I looked around I counted at least 150 men there. Before dark we sent 20 men to the police station with Capt. Ziegler. There were so many things happening between 15 minutes to 3 until dark that it is hard to tell what came first.
During our meetings from the 14th to the 17th we had been looking up men, arms, and ammunition, and in every meeting had reports. We had figured up about 200 of the old Honolulu Rifles besides from 400 to 600 citizens that would shoulder a gun if it became necessary. We had to make estimates, as we could not expect to succeed without backing. We counted on those men as ready in squads around town to be at the building at 3 o'clock.
As to the causes which led to the revolution at the time the Jones cabinet was fired I know positively, for I was on the street all the time, that there was awful indignation about it all over town, and the question was raised then as to what would become of the country, and that the citizens would have to take care of themselves, something would have to be done. I took part in the revolutions of 1887 and 1889 both. It was always the brains and moneyed men of the country against the King and the ignorant. The best class of people took part in all three revolutions. They started the revolution of 1887, and they defeated the revolution of 1880, protecting the King when they thought he was trying to do what was right. When the news came that this Queen had tried to give us a new constitution I knew that the good citizens would have to take hold and do something.
At the time the Queen adjourned the Legislature in the way she did
I first got the idea of actually starting in and using force to dethrone her. As soon as that kind of talk became general we began to hear threats of having our property burned. We called on the minister to bring the troops ashore to protect lile and property, by which we meant to prevent any fires which we expected and had been threatened.
We never agreed in council nor was the question ever brought up that the Provisional Government would join with the Queen in submitting a controversy to the Government of the United States. The controversy was settled then and there when the Queen surrendered.
F. W. McChesney.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 5th day of December, A. D. 1893
Alfred W. Carter,
WASHINGTON, D. C, January 15,1894.
The subcommittee met pursuant to adjournment.
Present: The chairman (Senator MOrgan) and Senators Gray and Frye.
Absent: Senators Butler and Sherman.
ADDITIONAL STATEMENT OF PROF. WILLIAM DEWITT ALEXANDER.
The Chairman. I want to ask you some questions about your supreme court. I do not know whether in your constitutional paper you have said anything about the supreme court.
Mr. Alexander. Yes; I have.
The Chairman. The supreme court consists of five judges?
Mr. Alexander. Three at present.
The Chairman. Is that the law at the present time?
Mr. Alexander. At present.
The Chairman. It has been changed from five to three?
Mr. Alexander. In 1880 the law was passed increasing the membership of the supreme court bench to five, and afterward a law was passed which provided that no vacancy should be filled until the membership was reduced to three, and that it should remain at three.
The Chairman. Has the membership been reduced to three?
Mr. Alexander. Yes. At the last session of the legislature a bill was passed reorganizing the courts on a new plan.
The Chairman. And provision was made in that law for the supreme court?
Mr. Alexander. The supreme court in the last bill was made a final court of appeal, and provided that no judge should have a case to come before him in which he had previously sat.
The Chairman. Does the supreme court consist of a chief justice?
Mr. Alexander. And two associate justices. Before that the supreme court judges held circuit courts, and there was complaint about that.
Senator Gray. On the ground that it was an appeal from Caesar to Caesar?
Mr. Alexander. Yes; they abolished that system.
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