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in the United States; that is, you see more people in evening dress than you do anywhere else in the United States, relatively. I found the gentlemen of the Provisional Government of high character, as I stated. I found churches there that reminded me of Massachusetts, in congregations and appearance of things. That made an impression on me in my sentiment, and led me to think that it would be an interesting portion of the United States. The climate is charming for women and children. It is not so tropical as in most of the tropics; it compares with Havana, but not so warm.
That is the sentimental side of my stay at Honolulu. On the other hand, I would state, I was confronted by an economic question on which my mind was not clear—the question of cooly labor. That was the contrary side which raised up when I thought of all the beauties of these islands, and I tried to be impartial.
Senator Frye. What was the result on your own mind of all your investigations?
Mr. Bowen. I have not settled the economic question. If the cooly question could be disposed of I think annexation would not be a difficult matter to determine. But I know that sugar is not grown without contract labor; and as cane sugar is the chief and almost main industry of those islands it is a question whether our American people would agree to the conditions that exist with regard to contract labor.
Senator Frye. Have you read Mr. Blount's report?
Mr. Bowen. I have.
Senator Frye. I have not the page; I do not know whether you have or not; but my recollection is that in that report Mr. Blount makes some allusions to you.
Mr. Bowen. He does.
Senator Frye. Do you know what they were?
Mr. Bowen. I have the report with me.
Senator Frye. Can you read the lines to which I refer?
Mr. Bowen. Yes.
- "No. 3.] Mr. Blount to Mr. Gresham.
- "Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands, April 26,1893.
- "Sir: On the 7th instant the Alameda reached this place. Among its passengers were Dr. William Shaw Bowen and Mr. Harold M. Sewall. The San Francisco papers announced that they had refused to say that they were not joint commissioners with myself to Honolulu. The former represented himself to me as a correspondent of the New York World, and said he would be glad to give me any information he could gather here. Thinking it a mere matter of courtesy, I thanked him. On Sunday, the 16th instant, I was out walking and met him on the street, riding in a buggy. He left his buggy in the hands of his friend, Mr. Sewall, and joined me in a walk of some length. Before it was concluded he said to me that he and Paul Neumann were arranging a meeting between President Dole and the Queen, the object being to pay her a sum of money in consideration of her formal abdication of the throne and lending her influence to the Provisional Government with a view to annexation to the United States. He repeated this statement frequently, at intervals, to which I made no response.
- "Finally he asked me if I did not think it would simplify the situation very much here and facilitate annexation. Suspecting that my answer was designed to be used to induce the Queen to yield to solicitations to abdicate, I replied: 'I have nothing to say on this subject.' Dr.
- Bowen said: 'I did not ask you officially, but simply in a private way.' I responded: 'I am here as a commissioner of the United States and must decline to converse with you on the subject.'
- "The next morning early I had an interview with President Dole. I told him that I had seen in the San Francisco newspapers intimations that Dr. Bowen and Mr. Sewall were here as representatives of the President of the United States; that the former told me that he had arranged to bring him and the Queen together on that morning; that I desired to say to him that neither Dr. Bowen nor Mr. Sewall, nor any other person was authorized to act for the Government in that or any other matter relating to the present condition of affairs in the islands save myself; that I did not know absolutely that these two gentlemen had claimed to have such authority. He replied that he had been informed that they were here representing the Government. He did not give his authority.
- "He said that there had been some approaches from the Queen's side with propositions of settlement; that he had responded: 'I will consider any reasonable proposition.'
- "I told him I would not permit the Government of the United States to be represented as having any wish in the matter of any negotiations between the Queen and the Provisional Government. He asked if I would be willing to authorize the statement that I believed it would simplify the situation. I replied that I was not willing to do this, that I was not here to interfere with the opinions of any class of persons.
- "Since this interview with President Dole I have heard that Dr. Bowen, when asked by newspaper people if he represented the President of the United States, declined to answer, saying that all would be revealed hereafter.
- "He is representing himself in various quarters as an intimate friend of the President. I can but think that these statements are made to create the impression that he is here authorized to bring about negotiations for a settlement between the Queen and the Provisional Government.
- "On the day before yesterday Dr. Bowen came over to my table to say that a meeting between the Queen and President Dole had occurred, and terms were agreed upon. I said I did not care for him to talk with me on that subject.
- "On the 21st instant Mr. Claus Spreckels called to see me. He said that he suspected there was an effort at negotiation between the Queen and the Provisional Government, and that he had urged the Queen to withdraw her power of attorney from Paul Neumann. I inclose herewith a copy of that power of attorney (inclosure No. 1) which Mr. Spreckels says was derived through the agency of Mr. Samuel Parker, the last secretary of foreign affairs. He told me that Paul Neumann would leave for Washington by the next steamer, under pretense that he was going to the United States and from there to Japan. How much or how little Mr. Spreckels knows about this matter I am unable to say, as I do not know how to estimate him, never having met him before. He promised to see me again before the mail leaves for the United States on next Wednesday, and give me such information as he could acquire in the meantime.
- "I believe that Dr. Bowen, Mr. Sewall, and Mr. Neumann have pretended that the two former knew the opinions of Mr. Cleveland, and assured the Queen that annexation would take place, and that she had better come to terms at once.
- "Mr. Neumann leaves here on the next steamer, probably with a
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