1086-1087

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

Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp1086-1087 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

Text Only


-p1086-

Mr. Delamater. Very much like California. It is a volcanic structure altogether.

Senator Frye. I will continue the reading:

"During the legislative session preceding the same there was a constant conflict between the Queen and Legislature as to the cabinet.

"The Legislature was composed of twenty-four representatives, elected by citizens who could read and write, and who had an income of $250."

Mr. Delamater. I think I am correct with regard to the income; but that you have.

Senator Frye. You are not certain of it?

Mr. Delamater. Not exactly.

Senator Frye. Then you say:

"Twenty-four nobles, elected, by those with incomes of $600-these are annual incomes; and four cabinet ministers, appointed by the reigning monarch, subject to dismissal by vote of want of confidence by the Legislature."

Mr. Delamater. I do not know whether the four members of the cabinet are four members of the Legislature.

Senator Frye. Then:

"There was finally a cabinet appointed of leading men, nonpoliticans mainly, and the individuals composing it represented several millions of property."

Was that the Wilcox-Jones cabinet?

Mr. Delamater. Yes.

The Chairman. I understand that those cabinet ministers became members of the Legislature ex-officio?

Mr. Delamater. Yes, ex officio.

The Chairman. It is not necessary, as in the Parliament of Great Britain, that they should be members of the legislature?

Mr. Delamater. No; ex officio they are members.

Senator Frye. You say: "Shortly after this every one seemed easy. The lottery bill had apparently dropped out of sight, the opium bill had been defeated, the U.S.S. Boston went away for a week's practice, Minister Stevens going upon her; several members of the Legislature went home. The last week of that session a vote of want of confidence was passed by purchase and bribery, a new cabinet, of very shady character, was appointed, the lottery and opium bills were then revived and passed by open purchase."

The Chairman. When you speak of purchase and bribery, do you mean that you have any personal knowledge of that fact?

Mr. Delamater. I saw a couple of men----

The Chairman. Perhaps you had better name them.

Mr. Delamater. I did not know the men. I was simply in the legislative hall, the Government building. I do not know their names, and I should not remember them had I heard them at the time.

The Chairman. Did they have open transactions of that sort?

Mr. Delamater. It was common report upon the street.

Senator Frye. I proceed: "There was no apparent attempt at concealment of the purchase of members of the Legislature. On a Saturday morning following the Queen prorogued the Legislature on notice from that body. She appeared in person in state and with her retinue. I was present. Her speech was one of peace and of the ordinary kind. Her guards, about 75 in number, marched over to the palace yard."

Mr. Delamater. I suppose you have a copy of that speech?

Senator Frye. Yes. "Right across the street, drawn up in line, a

-p1087-

native society, according to prearrangement, immediately appeared and presented to the Queen a new constitution, demanding its immediate promulgation." Were these guards demanding its immediate promulgation?

Mr. Delamater. Yes.

Senator Frye. You say: "She at once called on her cabinet to sign it. Part of them refused and went down town and notified the prominent and leading citizens."

Mr. Delamater. When I say they refused, I do not mean to say that I was in the room and saw them refuse.

The Chairman. That was the fact, as accepted by common understanding?

Mr. Delamater. Yes.

Senator Frye. You go on to say: "Up to this time the plan of those who are now the Provisional Government was to get control through, constitutional measures and the ballot, by compelling the Queen to recognize the right of a majority of the Legislature to name the cabinet ministers. That is, that the Queen should call on a member of the majority to form a cabinet, whom she would appoint. The outlines of the new constitution, it is claimed, were such as to give the reigning monarch absolute power.

"Excitement ran very high. Threats were freely made against anyone interfering with her plans, both by herself and her adherents. The leading men and members of previously opposite parties at once united, and felt that life and property demanded immediate action, instead of ordinary political methods. The Boston, with Minister Stevens, came into port about this time in total ignorance of what had occurred. Up to this time I had not called on Mr. Stevens and did not know him by sight. Excitement ran high Saturday afternoon and evening and Sunday. Steps were immediately taken to organize a volunteer military force for protection of property, and to my certain knowledge a very respectable force, composed of leading and prominent men-merchants, capitalists, planters, lawyers, professional men of all kinds, and others-was organized before Monday. A signal was decided on that would call them together very quickly should any emergency arise. The leaders as yet had no plan, and did not know what to look for.

"On Monday afternoon two large mass meetings were held, one by the present Provisional Government people, and the other by the Royalists. I was at the Royalists' meeting. Excitement was at high tension, rumors of intention and threats of burning houses and stores were rife. I heard many Royalists say they desired Mr. Stevens to land troops from the Boston to save property. I also heard a number of quite prominent Royalists say they had asked Mr. Stevens to land troops to save property and prevent bloodshed. At 5 this Monday afternoon the troops were landed. Many of the radical hotheads were not in favor of landing the troops, feeling that they could overthrow the Queen, and realizing that if they were landed it would prevent a fight.

"I talked with a number of the leaders, and also with several very intimate friends, who were very near and supposed to be in the confidence of the leaders, among them being Dr. F. R. Day, the attending family physician of Chief Justice Judd; Vice-President Damson, Mr. W. R. Cassel, and five or six other members of the committee of safety, and who attended Mr. Thurston on the voyage, in company with the other commissioners, coming to present their case to the United States. Not one of the persons seemed to know what Minister Stevens would


Previous Page Next Page