1032-1033

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

Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp1032-1033 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

Text Only


-p1032-

wished me to let him know what I did. He said nothing further to me about it, but went to the Queen and did as he stated in his report. I have no doubt whatever that if Mr. Blount had not prevented, and secondarily Mr. Claus Speckels, the agent for the sugar trust, that plan would have been carried out. I have no doubt of it in my own mind.

Mr. Blount specifies that I was there to facilitate annexation, and all the way through his statement regarding me asserts, or rather intimates, that I was conducting an annexation propaganda. That was a mistake entirely; I was not justified in doing anything of the kind. In the first kind, it would have been contrary to the policy of my paper, a thing which no one attached to the paper would feel at liberty to do; and, in the second place, my own mind was not clear on the subject. While sentimentally clear there were practical objections which I thought I saw. I had no purpose or interest in doing anything to bring about annexation.

The Chairman. Was this before Mr. Neuman had been to the United States.

Mr. Bowen. I had been with him and the commission. This was before the treaty. All my associates were royalists; at the islands I received more attention from the royalists than from members of the Provisional Government. These dinners and my predilections against annexation would have been naturally that way if I had been going for merely personal interest.

The Chairman. Have you seen the contents of the power of attorney held by Mr. Neuman?

Mr. Bowen. Yes, I have read it as published in Mr. Blount's report. If Mr. Blount had given me one hint that he regarded it as an impolitic course, that it was embarrassing to him, I would have dropped it. But he said nothing whatever, he simply listened at the first interview, and after that said he would let me know. The next day I reported progress to him, and he did not ask me not to tell him anything more about it. In the meantime he had been to the Queen, to Mr. Dole, and had done what he could to prevent the carrying out of the plan. Mr. Neuman had an interview with the Queen. She told him that she would do nothing more in the matter, and asked him to give back her power of attorney, and he tore it up in her presence. This was the 22d, that he tore up his power of attorney.

There is another matter to which I wish to call attention. Mr. Blount intimates, without specifically charging, that I represented myself and Mr. Sewall represented himself as acting for the Government here and that I represented myself to be a friend of the President. I did not go to anyone whatever and represent myself in any official capacity. Everybody knew that I was a journalist. A reporter called on me and he told everyone who I was. I informed a number of people that I had no official position there whatever. The first one was Mr. Wodehouse, the British minister. He asked me, and I informed him that I had no official position there. I informed the President of the Provisional Government and many others, including Mr. Hastings, who is here in Washington, formerly one of the Hawaiian legation. Honolulu is a hotbed of rumors. It is an isolated community. Really a little New England village is not to be compared with Honolulu, especially during these troubled times. Everyone was suspected of a motive, and there were all manner of rumors afloat regarding everybody. There was a rumor every day in regard to Mr. Blount and his actions, and this mysterious article appeared in the

-p1033-

San Francisco Chronicle after I left there. That caused a good deal of gossip regarding my visit and that of Mr. Sewall.

Senator Gray. Feeling is pretty high there between the parties?

Mr. Bowen. Very bitter. Mr. Blount said I represented myself as a friend of the President. On a number of occasions I said I had the honor of Mr. Cleveland's acquaintance, and I was his friend. I was justified in doing so, because I took a very active part during his campaign. I furnished a good deal of political matter for the World, and it is conceded that the World did its share in supporting party politics. I acted for my paper according to its policy. I saw a good deal of Mr. Cleveland at the time of his nomination. Mr. Cleveland gave me a statement to print in the World, which was unique in its line. It was the day after his election. He endorsed the World and its course during the campaign and extended his thanks for it. No other paper had anything of the kind. That Mr. Cleveland gave to me. I was at Buzzard's Bay some time, and he showed me a good deal of favor. I performed a good many small services for him.

Senator Gray. When you said that you were President Cleveland's friend you meant in a personal way; not that you were representing him?

Mr. Bowen. Not by any means. I said that I was his friend and represented it that way. I am not a partisan at all. I felt very kindly toward the President, and as the World was very friendly toward him I was justified in saying what I did. I did not make any boasts of that; but in conversation in the islands I spoke of the fact that I was the President's friend.

Senator Frye. While you were there did Mr. Sewall take any part in the affair of representing himself as having anything to do in the matter?

Mr. Bowen. Mr. Blount's allegations against Mr. Sewall are absolutely false. We lived together in the grounds of the Hawaiian Hotel in a cottage. I did not take Mr. Sewall in my confidence in this matter; the affair was practically arranged before I hinted to him that it was going on. Mr. Sewall was a high-minded young man; he was devoting himself entirely to society; and without any motive I did not take him into my confidence. Mr. Sewall knew nothing whatever about this matter. The allegation against him was made of whole cloth, and there is no justification whatever for it. Mr. Blount's suspicions led him to make accusations that were not true.

Senator Gray. Mr. Sewall's name was coupled with yours in that article in the San Francisco paper, was it not?

Mr. Bowen. Yes. Undoubtedly he was the cause of the whole matter. The fact that he had been consul at Samoa was ground for the suspicion that we were out on a mission. Mr. Sewall had said nothing to anybody; he informed no one, and he certainly took no part in it. There is another allegation made there which I think is without foundation. He speaks of Mr. Neuman as being a plausible but very unscrupulous person.

Senator Gray. Mr. Blount says that is the impression he gathered. I think he modified that in another dispatch.

Mr. Bowen. I did not know of that.

Senator Gray. Mr. Blount in an early dispatch, in giving information that he thought proper to give to the State Department, spoke of Mr. Neuman, and said, from what he could gather, he was plausible but unscrupulous; but in another dispatch, after he had gathered


Previous Page Next Page