1008-1009

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp1008-1009 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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Mr. Stalker. No; just the reverse of that condition I should say was true of them.

The Chairman. Do they seem to be a happy people at home?

Mr. Stalker. Quite so, I think.

The Chairman. Did you ascertain from your observations whether they were living in a comparative degree of comfort, as other persons in a similar situation in life in other countries?

Mr. Stalker. I think they are. It requires comparatively little in that country to make one reasonably comfortable.

The Chairman. Did they impress you as a misgoverned, depressed, and downcast people?

Mr. Stalker. No; I would not say that.

The Chairman. I suppose their holdings of land are quite limited, small?

Mr. Stalker. That is the result of my observation, that the holdings of a great majority of natives are comparatively small, although I think the aggregate number of holdings is a good deal larger than that of any other nationality.

The Chairman. Did those small holdings seem to be sufficient for the maintenance of the families who were residing upon them?

Mr. Stalker. They seemed to be.

The Chairman. To what do you attribute that they can live on so small an area of land?

Mr. Stalker. In the first place, as I have already stated, one can live in that country better than in an inclement country, such as ours, in clothing and houses, and, to some extent, food. The country is wonderfully productive in some of its vegetable growths. They have access to the sea, which is literally swarming with fish in addition to a small plat of ground to be cultivated in taro. It is possible to support a family in reasonably good condition off what would seem to be exceedingly slender opportunities in this country.

The Chairman. As a class, would you say the people are expert fishermen?

Mr. Stalker. I doubt whether my observation on that subject would make me a very good witness. I should say hardly, in a large sense, as their fishing is carried on for private purposes.

The Chairman. The native Kanaka depends upon his skill as a fisherman, rather than endeavoring to carry on any large enterprise?

Mr. Stalker. Yes; I saw no enterprise like that carried on by the natives in a large way.

The Chairman. Were you in Honolulu in the latter part of the year 1892 and the first part of the year 1893?

Mr. Stalker. Yes.

The Chairman. When did you get back to Honolulu from your visit down to Hawaii?

Mr. Stalker. I doubt whether I can give that date. I think I went down about the first of the year and was gone seven or eight days. I returned some days prior to the so-called revolution; the date I can not just recall.

The Chairman. When you returned to Honolulu, what would you say was the situation of the people there in respect to projected or contemplated legislation upon the subject of opium and the lottery; in a state of excitement or quietude?

Mr. Stalker. There was a good deal of excitement in the assembly; or, at least, a good deal of acrimonious discussion; I would not say intense excitement; I would say hot-blooded discussion.

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The Chairman. Did you hear the debates in the assembly, the Legislature?

Mr. Stalker. Yes.

The Chairman. Were the newspapers engaged in considering, discussing these questions?

Mr. Stalker. Yes; the newspapers were pretty actively interested in those topics.

The Chairman. How about the responsible citizens of Honolulu; were they also concerned in these matters?

Mr. Stalker. Yes; I think they were.

The Chairman. Were you made aware while you were there of an alleged effort to press these bills through by getting a change in the ministry of the Queen so that she could get a ministry or cabinet to sign the bills with her on their passage?

Mr. Stalker. Yes; that charge was made in the public press. I had no other means of knowing; I had no private information on that subject.

The Chairman. Was that a subject of anxious discussion amongst the people of Honolulu?

Mr. Stalker. Yes; there was a good deal of talk on that subject.

The Chairman. Were you there at the time the ministry was changed by a vote of want of confidence?

Mr. Stalker. Yes.

The Chairman. Did that change in the ministry produce any very decided impression upon the people?

Mr. Stalker. I can not say that I appreciated any marked change outside of the atmosphere about the Government building among the public officers, members of the assembly. They manifested a pretty high state of interest and some intensity of feeling on the subject. I can not say that I appreciated anything of the kind among the common people, especially on the streets.

The Chairman. Did you then have the impression that a change in the ministry and the passage of the opium and lottery bills would be likely to result in a revolution in the Government? I am speaking now of the time when the change took place.

Mr. Stalker. No; I am sure that did not manifest itself to my mind.

The Chairman. Did you hear of any association or conspiracy or any other voluntary combination of men in Honolulu at that time for the purpose of revolutionizing the Government, dethroning the Queen, and annexing the islands to the United States, in consequence of the passage of the opium bill and the lottery bill?

Mr. Stalker. No; I did not.

The Chairman. Was there any mob demonstration or military demonstration there to indicate that there was deep-seated or a violent state of feeling amongst the people in regard to these projected measures?

Mr. Stalker. No.

The Chairman. When did you first become aware that a revolution was on foot in Honolulu?

Mr. Stalker. If I remember correctly, it was on Monday, the 16th.

The Chairman. About what time?

Mr. Stalker. I attended a mass meeting at 2 o'clock in the afternoon and had some conversation with some citizens, I believe, earlier in the day, which led me to believe that there was an organized plan being developed to change the Government.

The Chairman. When you say "being developed," do you mean in process of development?

S. Doc. 231, pt 6----64


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