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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp1000-1001 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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Mr. Coffman. Yes. (Indicating on diagram.) There is Nuuana avenue; that is the legation; it is about here-the house is not down here.

Senator Gray. It was a new and unoccupied building?

Mr. Coffman. It was a new and unoccupied building.

Senator Gray. Large enough to have accommodated your force?

Mr. Coffman. Yes.

Senator Gray. Did any one suggest the use of that building?

Mr. Coffman. Yes; I did myself.

Senator Gray. Where and when?

Mr. Coffman. When the troops were drawn up; I think first when they were drawn up in the street, and certainly afterward, when we were waiting for a place to go.

Senator Gray. Whom did you suggest it to?

Mr. Coffman. To the officers in general. Mr. Swinburne was present when I spoke of that place as a good place.

Senator Gray. What was said, if anything, in reference to that?

Mr. Coffman. My impression was that they thought it was not as good a location as farther down town.

Senator Gray. You have spoken of Mr. Gunn and Mr. Waterhouse. After you landed did you see any others who were connected with the committee of safety or afterward with the Provisional Government?

Mr. Coffman. Yes.

Senator Gray. Who was it?

Mr. Coffman. I remember Mr. Carter.

Senator Frye. Mr. Charles Carter?

Mr. Coffman. Mr. Charles Carter; yes. I remember Mr. Castle. I do not know what his first name is; he is a brother to the commissioner, a tall nervous man with a red beard, I remember. I do not believe I could call the names, because it is a question of testimony. Those men I was acquainted with; I knew who they were, and Mr. Gunn I knew pretty well.

Senator Gray. Was that at the landing place?

Mr. Coffman. No, up the street.

Senator Gray. What part of the street?

Mr. Coffman. It was first when we halted, and the second time while we were waiting to go to Mr. Atherton's when I saw Mr. Gunn, and later I saw Mr. Carter. I was informed that Mr. Carter had obtained Arion Hall for our barracks. I also saw Mr. Carter at Arion Hall that night, and to my mind he was the moving spirit for providing for the quarters of the troops and their comfort-little things as they needed, such as sinks or latrines for the men. And they hauled in their sand late at night. I am quite sure that Mr. Carter made the arrangements, or Mr. Swinburne and Mr. Carter spoke about the condition of the sinks for the men. In fact, there was only one sink.

Senator Gray. Did that continue until the next day?

Mr. Coffman. Yes.

Senator Gray. Thoughtfulness for your comfort?

Mr. Coffman. Yes.

Senator Gray. By members of the Provisional Government?

Mr. Coffman. Yes; they were back and forth into the Government building. Our officers knew a great many of them, and they used to talk to a great many. They used to come to the fence and come to the gate, and I am quite sure that there were some of the officers who, while they did not allow persons to come into the grounds unless they were passed in by an officer, all of them were recognized by the officers and allowed to come and go back and forth.


Senator Gray. Was anything said in your hearing by any of these people about expecting you over to the grounds of the Government building?

Mr. Coffman. Yes. The day they took possession was one of the first intimations, and caused me to commence to think-the fact that one of their men came over to our house, one of their officers or one of the sympathizers, and in conversation with other persons expressed surprise that our troops had not gone into the grounds of the Government building when they took possession.

Senator Frye. Who was that?

Mr. Coffman. I think it was Mr. Gunn, who commanded one of the volunteer companies.

Senator Gray. How long was this after the proclamation of the Provisional Government, if you can recollect?

Mr. Coffman. I do not think it could have been more than two hours, or perhaps not so long, or a little longer.

Senator Gray. Where were you when the Provisional Government was proclaimed from the front of the Government building?

Mr. Coffman. I was in the yard of Arion Hall, in command of my company.

Senator Gray. Could you see the proceedings from where you were?

Mr. Coffman. No.

Senator Frye. Which front did you understand afterwards was it that the proclamation was made from?

Mr. Coffman. From the front of the building.

Senator Frye. There is only one front?

Mr. Coffman. Yes; only one front.

Senator Frye. Which way does that face?

Mr. Coffman. It faces the palace.

Senator Frye. And not Arion Hall?

Mr. Coffman. No; the positions of the two buildings are like this [illustrating]. Arion Hall is there and the Government building there, with a narrow street between them.

Senator Gray. The proclamation was proclaimed from the north front of the Government building?

Mr. Coffman. I should say so; yes. That was the main entrance.

Senator Gray. Where were you when the proclamation was read?

Mr. Coffman. In here, at Arion Hall, back of the opera house.

Senator Gray. So that you could not see that?

Mr. Coffman. No.

Senator Gray. Were there any troops in here [indicating]?

Mr. Coffman. Yes; and perhaps Mr. Laird; I do not know whether he was here [indicating]. That is where the artillery were and that is where Mr. Young was [indicating].

Senator Gray. Does this recall to your recollection the position of the troops?

Mr. Coffman. Yes; my recollection of the troops is that they were a little differently arranged from that. I do not know; I may be mistaken on account of the points of the compass; but I think my company was drawn like this [indicating]. I think it stood here [indicating] and Mr. Young's right in here [indicating].

Senator Gray. That [indicating] would not indicate that the troops were along here?

Mr. Coffman. No; only here-sentries.

Senator Frye. The other officers testified that no troops were there but the sentries.

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