538-539

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp538-539 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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The Chairman. Was the Queen a communicant in any of the churches?

Mr. Emerson. I think she was not a communicant in any church; she went around to different churches.

Senator Gray. Was she an avowed Christian?

Mr. Emerson. I think not an avowed Christian.

The Chairman. Do you mean that she adhered to the pagan ideas?

Mr. Emerson. She received Kahunas, sorcerers, in the palace.

Senator Gray. Do you know that of your own knowledge?

Mr. Emerson. I know it as well as I do my own existence.

Senator Gray. Do you know it of your own knowledge?

Mr. Emerson. I never saw the Kahunas there; I know the man who was at her right hand sent out a proclamation for the restoration of the Kahunas. I know that man, for I have talked with him, and charged him with his wickedness.

The Chairman. Now, I want to get at this cabinet business; I speak of the Cornwell-Peterson cabinet, the last one. How long was that in existence before the revolution occurred?

Mr. Emerson. I cannot be perfectly sure. I think the old cabinet was voted out Friday, and that cabinet was appointed the same day.

Senator Frye. The Friday before the revolution?

Mr. Emerson. Yes. The Chairman. Did any of the ministers of the Wilcox-Jones cabinet join the Queen in signing any of these bills—the opium bill, the distillery bill, or the lottery bill?

Mr. Emerson. I cannot say yes or no; but my opinion is that they stood out against it.

The Chairman. You do not know whether the later cabinet, the Cornwell Peterson cabinet, signed those measures with the Queen?

Mr. Emerson. The later cabinet, as I understood, did support her.

Senator Gray. The cabinet that was appointed on Friday?

Mr. Emerson. Yes, sir; I think it was Friday.

Senator Sherman. The cabinet that was appointed on the 13th?

The Chairman. I understand we have a constitution of Hawaii, and I understand it is required by the constitution of Hawaii that in order that a bill may become a law after it has passed the Legislature, it is necessary that it be signed by one member of the cabinet along with the Queen? Is that the fact?

Mr. Emerson. I can not say as to that.

The Chairman. You do not know.

Mr. Emerson. No.

The Chairman. Before going to more particular inquiries as to your knowledge of the incidents of the revolution, I would like to ask you something about the state of the education amongst the native population in Hawaii—I mean now all the islands.

Senator Frye. Do you mean the Kanakas?

The Chairman. Yes.

Mr. Emerson. We have a very good system of public schools. They are taught most of them by white men or women, some coming from California and some farther east. All these teachers are not teachers such as would be classed as supporting the highest moral and religious principles, but a good many of them are fine men and women.

Senator Gray. Do you mean that they are all white men and women?

Mr. Emerson. Most of them.

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Senator Gray. What do you mean by "supporting the highest moral principles"?

Mr. Emerson. I mean in certain cases charges have been brought against some. I know charges to have been brought against a teacher, and so soon as he was found guilty of immorality he was removed.

Senator Gray. White men?

Mr. Emerson. Yes. I know of schools that are taught by a graduate of our female seminaries.

The Chairman. I have seen it stated that every person in Hawaii and all these islands, who is above eight years of age, can read and write. Are you prepared to sustain that statement from your own observation?

Mr. Emerson. I believe I would have to look a long while to find a single person who is over twelve years of age who can not read or write—among the natives; not the Portugese.

Senator Gray. Among the natives of the Sandwich Islands.

Mr. Emerson. Yes.

The Chairman. As a rule, in your pastoral intercourse among them, have you found the native Hawaiians to be an intelligent, thoughtful people? I am asking now with regard to the native population, the Kanakas.

Mr. Emerson. I have been greatly grieved to find—speaking of my relations to them religiously—a growing increase, it seems to me, of a superstitious sentiment, and that sentiment would argue a rather low state of religious life in the churches, which I am sorry to acknowledge is the case.

The Chairman. Now, asking more particularly of practical affairs, everyday life, do you find the native Hawaiians intelligent people, susceptible to instruction; are they thoughtful or are they otherwise?

Mr. Emerson. Well, sir, they are Polynesians, and as Polynesians, bright and intelligent as they may be, they have certain marked defects in their character.

Senator Sherman. How as to honesty and integrity in their dealings?

Mr. Emerson. There are some pretty bad characters among them.

The Chairman. As a genaral rule, taking the native classes as a mass?

Mr. Emerson. If I could institute a comparison, it seems to me that they stand a good deal on a par with the negro, although my sympathies are with them, perhaps, and my kindness is with them more than with the negro. I feel that they are very loveable, happy, and in many ways bright, interesting people.

Mr. Chairman. Kind-hearted and benevolent?

Mr. Emerson. Kind-hearted and benevolent to a fault. But they are improvident; they are averse to labor; and if I were going to mention one thing which those Hawaiians need taken away from them, I would say that they need less government affairs and more interest in business affairs, in industry. If the brighter young men instead of itching to get into the legislature, to pose as statesmen or as speechmakers, would be more interested in getting to work and getting homes, building up homes, it would be vastly better for that people. That seems to me one of the great faults with them.

Senator Sherman. They are fond of office?

Mr. Emerson. Yes, they are fond of office. They get two dollars and fifty cents a day as legislators; they think that a good deal.


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