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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp1004-1005 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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The Chairman. And as being opposed to the Queen and her monarchy?

Mr. Coffman. As opposed to the Queen and her monarchy. That question never came up. I had no opinion of the old Queen, and I would be glad if she lost her place.

The Chairman. Do you think that a proper estimate to form of the Queen?

Mr. Coffman. I think it is, because I do not think, from what I have seen recently, that she is a fit person to have hold of the reins of the Government.

The Chairman. As an officer, and while you were there, did you form an opinion that the Queen was conducting a fair, honest, and reputable government?

Mr. Coffman. That is a question I did not form an opinion upon.

The Chairman. Did you have an opinion on the subject?

Mr. Coffman. No; not prior to this trouble.

The Chairman. I mean during the trouble?

Mr. Coffman. No; can not say that I had.

The Chairman. Upon what ground did you form the opinion that the Queen was not a proper person to be in charge of the government?

Mr. Coffman. In what I have seen later in the letter replying to Mr. Willis's question.

The Chairman. I am speaking of the time you were on shore as an officer of the Navy. I understood while you were there you gave expression to the opinion that the Queen was not a proper person to be at the head of the government.

Senator Gray. Did Mr. Coffman give expression to that opinion?

Mr. Coffman. In fact, I can say that I said at times that she would not be restored.

The Chairman. Did you make use of that expression while you were there as an officer?

Mr. Coffman. Yes.

The Chairman. Upon what did you base that opinion that the Queen could not be restored?

Mr. Coffman. I based it upon the rush with which it was carried on. That was before Mr. Blount came out there, before any investigation; what we saw from the press, that the President had negotiated the treaty and sent it into the Senate, and we saw the discussions in the Senate.

The Chairman. Was that an estimate of the Queen's power based on her want of military resources?

Mr. Coffman. Yes. I believe after her military resources were taken from her she did not have the means to procure them again; I do not mean money means, but that the Provisional Government would prevent her getting hold of the means for her restoration.

The Chairman. And that is the ground on which you base your opinion that the restoration of the monarchy was not likely to take place?

Mr. Coffman. Yes.

The Chairman. Now, comparing the people there, the main supporters of the Queen as you knew them, with the main bodies of the citizens there engaged in this adverse movement, which would you say were the more intelligent and better class?

Mr. Coffman. I should say, as a man, those who are in the Provisional Government are much more intelligent, that is, much better educated, and I think that they have a greater number, a majority of those


who are conceded to be the best people in the island; although I must say that there are men who are supporters of the Queen, and whom I know personally, whose integrity I believe as good as any man's in the Provisional Government.

The Chairman. I am speaking of the general masses.

Mr. Coffman. Yes. The natives, you might say, are almost as a unit opposed to the Provisional Government.

The Chairman. Without reference to whether they are property holders or not?

Mr. Coffman. Yes.

The Chairman. It is a question of sentiment and devotion to their own institutions?

Mr. Coffman. A question of sentiment and devotion to their own institutions.

Senator Gray. I omitted to ask one question. Why were you of opinion that another place than Arion Hall or the Opera House should have been selected for the troops?

Mr. Coffman. For the reason that the Government building would be the point of attack, and that unless we were to be in the way of any firing that might be going on, it might be better to be placed at a point which I considered at that time needed more protection than any property around Arion Hall-that portion of the city which is the residence portion.

The Chairman. Were there any troops located in the Government building?

Mr. Coffman. There were none there when we went there.

The Chairman. No; I mean at the time you considered the controversy between the Hawaiians and the Provisional Government would involve, necessarily, the United States troops?

Mr. Coffman. Prior to that time I formed this opinion-prior to the time they went into the Government building, and I had it more strongly after they went in there.

The Chairman. Was there any garrison in the Government building at the time your troops were first stationed there?

Mr. Coffman. No.

The Chairman. Where was the garrison?

Mr. Coffman. There was none, except that of the Queen's troops, which was back of the palace.

The Chairman. Well, an attack by the populace upon the Provisional Government, or by the troops of the Provisional Government upon the Queen's forces, would have been made at the barracks where the forces were?

Mr. Coffman. No; I do not think they had any idea of attacking the Queen's people. I think they thought the Queen's people would attack them.

The Chairman. Suppose they had the idea of attacking the Queen's people, would they or not have made it at the barracks?

Mr. Coffman. I think they would have gone and taken possession of the Government building, feeling if any attack were to be made the Queen's people would make it.

The Chairman. From anything you saw there at that time, was there any demonstration on the part of the Queen's troops to indicate that they would make an attack upon the Government building or on any of the troops about the Government building?

Mr. Coffman. No; not that I saw.

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