1042-1043

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp1042-1043 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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-p1042-

Mr. Reeder. Yes.

The Chairman. What did you gather from common report and common rumor as to the purposes and provisions and characteristics of that bill?

Mr. Reeder. That followed very much the same train of thought. The people were divided on it for about the same reasons-for the same purposes on both sides.

The Chairman. I suppose the purpose of introducing opium there was to cater to the habits of the Chinese who were there?

Mr. Reeder. It was freely talked there that they would be great patrons. In fact, they had several places open then for the purpose of administering the drug.

The Chairman. Is there a Chinatown in Honolulu?

Mr. Reeder. Yes; distinctively so.

The Chairman. Like it is in San Francisco?

Mr. Reeder. Yes; the same as they have in San Francisco.

The Chairman. Are there many Chinese collected together in that part of the city of Honolulu?

Mr. Reeder. Pretty much all the Chinese there are in that part of the city.

The Chairman. Crowded together in that area [indicating on map]?

Mr. Reeder. Yes.

The Chairman. Have you been in Chinatown frequently?

Mr. Reeder. Yes, frequently.

The Chairman. What would you say as to the number of persons congregated there?

Mr. Reeder. It would be a mere guess, but I would say to you I suppose perhaps 3,000. That is the west there, and Chinatown proper is on the west side of Honolulu. There is one street there as a rule, which divides them. Of course there are persons scattered around one place or another who are Chinamen, but off in this direction toward the Kamehameha Museum----

The Chairman. Is that toward the east or west?

Mr. Reeder. Toward the west; it is west of Nuuanu avenue, principally along in this direction. They are from right back here where the ground falls off [indicating]. Then there is out here what is called the Insane Asylum. In this direction here there is a great scope of land which winds around what is called the Receiving Hospital, and all this here is covered with rice plantations and vegetable patches. That is largely made up of Chinese. This portion of the town-I do not know whether it comes up so far; I think it is one street west.

The Chairman. Then you would say that this portion of the town between Smith street and the western boundary of the town is occupied largely by Chinamen?

Mr. Reeder. Yes. Then in the town there is an area on Nuuanu avenue. This [indicating] is occupied by tailors, by shoemakers, by butchers, who cater to the wants of the people.

The Chairman. Of the Chinese?

Mr. Reeder. Yes; and all who choose to patronize them.

The Chairman. What do those Chinese in Honolulu seem to be principally engaged in for a living?

Mr. Reeder. The great body of the Chinese are out on the sugar plantations.

The Chairman. I speak of those in Honolulu.

Mr. Reeder. Those in Honolulu are engaged there in rice culture or as vegetable growers, and those that are right in the city proper are

-p1043-

engaged in the tailoring business largely, and the shoemaking business. It is principally taken up by shoemakers and tailors and merchants and restaurant keepers.

The Chairman. They have little shops and stores?

Mr. Reeder. Yes.

The Chairman. As a rule, are the Chinese people an orderly and well-behaved people?

Mr. Reeder. Yes.

The Chairman. Fond of gambling?

Mr. Reeder. Oh, yes; that is one of their industries.

The Chairman. Do they have opium joints amongst them?

Mr. Reeder. They have a few, but as a rule not public. It is not a business recognized there.

The Chairman. The law opposes it?

Mr. Reeder. I could not say that; I think likely-I do not know about that.

The Chairman. But it is a business not openly adopted?

Mr. Reeder. No; not on a front street. It is a place usually a little off, very small place. I understood that there were two or three of them in town.

The Chairman. In passing through Chinatown in Honolulu, did you gain the idea that the Chinese were contributing much to the moral support and advancement of Hawaii, or was the tendency the other way?

Mr. Reeder. I did not gather very much about it. They behave themselves. They are not very much in the police court, and they have not to be dealt with very much.

The Chairman. Do they take anything like an active, strong, prominent position like the white race in Honolulu?

Mr. Reeder. They do not.

The Chairman. They are there like they are everywhere else where they are assembled-where you have seen them in this hemisphere- people who seem to be devoting themselves to their own callings, indulging themselves in their habits of gambling and opium smoking, and such like?

Mr. Reeder.They are just like they are in San Francisco.

The Chairman. Are there any public moralities conducted amongst them?

Mr. Reeder. I could not answer that. I have no knowledge that I know of. I will say they have a joss house there, and then they have what is called a Young Men's Christian Association, and they make some effort of improving their people.

The Chairman. Would you think that the free introduction of opium amongst those people would create any insecurity as to the peace and order and proper government of the islands?

Mr. Reeder. The Chinese would be principally the patrons of such places. I do not know that that would create much disorder. They go to those places and have their smoke out and their debauch and then go away. After the debauch is over they go about their business on the street; there does not seem to be very much about it.

The Chairman. Do you think the better classes of Honolulu were putting themselves to unnecessary trouble in trying to prevent the introduction of opium into that city?

Mr. Reeder. No; I think it was pushed principally by the native men in that Legislative Assembly.


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