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- I say unto you, loving people, go with good hope and do not be disturbed or troubled in your minds. Because, within the next few days now coming, I will proclaim the new constitution.
- "'The executive officers of the law (the cabinet) knew the errors in this new constitution, but they said nothing.
- "'Therefore, I hope that the thing which you, my people, so much want will be accomplished; it also is my strong desire.'"
Here is a direct accusation by the Queen against her cabinet, all of whom, with one exception, were white men, that they had misled her as to the eftect of the constitution, and had failed to point out errors in it which, as a pretext, led to its rejection by them, causing them to refuse at the last moment to join with her in its promulgation. This call was, in fact, a new promise which was made by the Queen, with the evident consent of her immediate native followers, that within the next few days now coming she would proclaim the new constitution, notwithstanding her failure to give it a successful promulgation on the preceding Saturday. The intensity of the Queen's opposition to the missionaries and the white people was caused by her intention that the Kingdom should return to its former absolute character, and that the best results of civilization in Hawaii should be obliterated.
Civilization and constitutional government in Hawaii are the foster children of the American Christian missionaries. It can not be justly charged to the men and women who inaugurated this era of humanity, light, and justice in those islands that either they or their posterity or their followers, whether native or foreign, have faltered in their devotion to their exalted purposes. They have not pursued any devious course in their conduct, nor have they done any wrong or harm to the Hawaiian people or their native rulers. They have not betrayed any trust confided to them, nor have they encouraged any vice or pandered to any degrading sentiment or practice among those people. Among the native Hawaiians, where they found paganism in the most abhorrent forms of idolatry, debauchery, disease, ignorance and cruelty 75 years ago, they planted and established, with the free consent and eager encouragement of those natives and without the shedding of blood, the Christian ordinance of marriage, supplanting polygamy; a reverence for the character of women and a respect for their rights; the Christian Sabbath and freedom of religious faith and worship, as foundations of society and of the state; universal education, including the kings and the peasantry; temperance in place of the orgies of drunkenness that were all-pervading; and the separate holdings of lands upon which the people built their homes. In doing these benevolent works the American missionary did not attempt to assume the powers and functions of political government. As education, enlightenment, and the evident benefits of civilization revealed to those in authority the necessity of wise and faithful counsels in building up and regulating the government to meet those new conditions, the kings invited some of the best qualified and most trusted of these worthy men to aid them in developing and conducting the civil government. As a predicate for this work they freely consented to and even suggested the giving up of some of their absolute powers and to place others under the constraint of constitutional limitations. They created an advisory council and a legislature and converted Hawaii from an absolute despotism into a land of law. The. cabinet ministers thus chosen from the missionary element were retained in office during very long periods, thus establishing the confidence of the kings and the people in their integrity,
wisdom, and loyalty to the Government. No charge of defection or dishonesty was ever made against any of these public servants during the reign of the Kamehamehas, nor indeed at any time. They acquired property in moderate values by honest means, and labored to exhibit to the people the advantages of industry, frugality, economy, and thrift.
The progressive elevation of the country and of the people from the very depravity of paganism into an enlightened and educated commonwealth and the growth of their industries and wealth will be seen at a glance in the statements of the most important events and in the tables showing the most important results of their work and influence, which are set forth in the evidence accompanying this report. This array of undisputed facts shows that, with Christianity and education as the basis, there has come over Hawaii the most rapid and successful improvement in political, industrial, and commercial conditions that has marked the course of any people in Christendom.
In the message of President Tyler to Congress he says:
- "The condition of those islands has excited a good deal of interest, which is increasing by every successive proof that their inhabitants are making progress in civilization and becoming more and more competent to maintain regular and orderly government. They lie in the Pacific Ocean, much nearer to this continent than the other, and have become an important place for the refitment and provisioning of American and European vessels.
- "'Owing to their locality and to the course of the winds which prevail in this quarter of the world the Sandwich Islands are the stopping place for almost all vessels passing from continent to continent across the Pacific Ocean. They are especially resorted to by the great numbers of vessels of the United States which are engaged in the whale fishery in those seas. The number of vessels of all sorts and the amount of property owned by citizens of the United States which are found in those islands in the course of a year are stated probably with sufficient accuracy in the letter of the agents.
- "'Just emerging from a state of barbarism, the Government of the islands is as yet feeble; but its dispositions appear to be just and pacific, and it seems anxious to improve the condition or its people by the introduction of knowledge, of religious and moral institutions, means of education, and the arts of civilized life.'"
In the House of Representatives this subject was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Hon. John Q. Adams, in concluding his report upon the subject, says:
- "It is a subject of cheering contemplation to the friends of human improvement and virtue that, by the mild and gentle influence of Christian charity, dispensed by humble missionaries of the gospel, unarmed with secular power, within the last quarter of a century the people of this group of islands have been converted from the lowest debasement of idolatry to the blessings of the Christian gospel; united under one balanced government; rallied to the fold of civilization by a written language and constitution, providing security for the rights of persons, property, and mind, and invested with all the elements of right and power which can entitle them to be acknowledged by their brethren of the human race as a separate and independent community. To the consummation of their acknowledgment the people of the North
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