1030-1031

From TheMorganReport
Jump to: navigation, search
Previous Page Next Page

Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp1030-1031 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

Text Only


-p1030-
power to act for the Queen, with authority derived from her out of these circumstances."

Senator Frye. What have you to say in relation to that?

The Chairman. Mr. Bowen had better take it up in detail instead of making one sweeping remark about the whole of it.

Mr. Bowen. The first statement to which I wish to call attention is the one published in the San Francisco paper that Mr. Bowen and Mr. Sewall "refused to say that they were not joint commissioners with myself to Honolulu."

The Chairman. Will you allow me to ask who is Mr. Sewall?

Mr. Bowen. Mr. Sewall is the son of Mr. Arthur Sewall, of Maine.

Senator Gray. He was the late consul at Samoa?

Mr. Bowen. Yes. He is a shipbuilder of Bath. Mr. Sewall was in my company and was purely on a pleasure trip. He had considerable experience in Polynesia, and wanted to go to the islands for the sake of going.

Senator Frye. You may go on and make your statement.

Mr. Bowen. As I was leaving San Francisco, just as the steamer was shoving off, a young man came to me and said: "Are you going on a secret mission to the Hawaiian Islands?" I laughed and said, "If I were I would not admit it." Mr. Sewall did not speak. That was based on the fact that Mr. Sewall was going, he having been mixed up in the Samoan affair. The San Francisco Chronicle published the next morning a sensational report to the effect that Mr. Sewall and myself were going out to the islands on a special commission for the Government. It was stated that when I was approached I had declined to give any information. That paper followed on the next steamer to Honolulu, and was circulated there. I did not see it, did not know about it at the time, but it did circulate for a week before my attention was called to it. Mr. Blount became acquainted with it as soon as the paper arrived. Mr. Blount states that I called upon him and represented myself as a correspondent of the New York World, and that I would be willing to give him any information I could gather. In fact, I called on the Commissioner and informed him of my mission to the islands—that I was there as a correspondent to the New York World. Mr. Sewall did not appear in the matter. I went there with the news instinct of a developed journalist. I saw very little to write about the country; it had been covered. There were a great many correspondents there. I conceived the idea of obtaining some very important and very exclusive news. I studied the situation.

I knew before I left here that annexation was undoubtedly impracticable at present—I had very strong reasons for believing that. I always believed that the American people would not believe in the restoration of the Queen. I therefore saw a status quo condition there that I thought would continue, and that there was a fine field for making history. I was in company with Paul Neuman going out in the steamer and the Queen's commissioners were just returning from Washington. I became very intimate with them, especially Mr. Neuman. Mr. Neuman had the power of attorney from the Queen. I thought that I heard from authority which was entirely correct that the Queen had a disease of the heart. I had that from a professional source which it would be improper for me to mention; but it came from the best authority on the islands. I heard that she had a disease of the mitral valves of the heart, and that she was liable at any time to sudden death. I thought it was equitable that she should be taken care of. I am only explaining the motives which prompted me to do

-p1031-

what I did. I thought it would be better if the Queen were taken care of. She was generous to her following, and there were many people depending upon her. That made an impression on me. I thought she should be taken care of.

One day while dining with Paul Neuman I said: "I think it would be a good thing if the Queen could be pensioned by the Provisional Government; it would make matters harmonious, relieve business, and make matters much simpler." I also said that I was aware that certain gentlemen in Washington were opposed to pensioning the Queen; that certain Senators raised that objection to the treaty that was brought from the islands because it recognized the principle of the right of a queen to a pension. There was one Senator, especially, from the South, who said, without discussing the treaty, that that was objectionable to him; that his people would object to it. I said, "If there is no annexation it is a serious question; if there is, the Queen should be taken care of." Neuman agreed with me. He was a strong friend of the Queen, disinterested and devoted. But he said it could not be done. I told him that I had become acquainted with the members of the Provisional Government who were high in authority, and I thought I would try to have it done. I had a conference with President Dole. He received me in his usual kindly manner, but he was very wary and noncommittal. Finally he said that he would consider any propositions coming from the Queen—would lay them before the executive council.

I saw Mr. Neuman again. There were several conferences. Mr. Dole said he would not make any propositions himself and asked me what I thought the pension ought to be. On the spur of the moment, not having considered the matter, I said I thought the Queen ought to get a very handsome pension out of the crown lands. I asked if there was any question about raising the money, and he said none whatever. He finally asked me to name the figures. He had the idea that the figures had been suggested. I said, "You ought to give $20,000 a year to furnish her followers with poi. That is the native dish. Mr. Dole said he would consider that question. I saw Mr. Neuman and he said he would see the Queen and Mr. Dole. He was to go to see Mr. Dole at his private house, but Mr. Neuman was taken ill and the meeting was deferred. The next time I saw him was at the Government house. The result was that Mr. Dole told Mr. Neuman that if the Queen would make such a proposition to him it would receive respectful attention and intimated that he thought it would be accepted. Mr. Neuman saw the Queen and told me that he thought it would be done; that the more he thought of it the more convinced he was that it would be better all around.

The question of annexation was not specially considered. I said to Mr. Dole, "If you could have annexation you would simplify the matter." I said to the other side, "I do not think you will get annexation, and at the same time I do not think you will get anything else;" but I said, "I think you ought to take care of the Queen." After I had the first meetings with Mr. Neuman and Mr. Dole, I thought I ought to tell Mr. Blount what I had done. I had no secret purpose; nothing in the world but my journalistic scheme. As he stated, I met Mr. Blount one day, got out of my carriage and joined him. We walked together for an hour and a half, and walked back to the city. He said, "Come with me to my cottage." We stood for some time on the piazza and discussed the thing at great length. Mr. Blount was noncommittal, but appeared very much interested, and when I left he told me he


Previous Page Next Page