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

Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp540-541 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

Text Only


Senator Gray. But you think they need to be led by a superior class?

Mr. Emerson. I think they need to be led by a superior class, and inevitably they will be.

The Chairman. Are they a people who are easy to be controlled, easy to be led, or are they rebellious?

Mr. Emerson. No; they are easily led, and, being easily led, they are easily made suspicious; that is, there has been an attempt during the Kalakaua reign, after he went to the throne, to create race prejudice, and he did it after he got on the throne, although the white man was his best friend. It was so during the late revolution, since the dethronement of the Queen and before that, during the meeting of the late Legislature. There has been a constant attempt on the part of such men as Bush and Wilcox and others to stir up race feeling, and the natives in the city of Honolulu have been influenced in that way. They go with a rush, as it were, with this current, led by this bad literature, and the churches and Christian life have suffered from it.

The Chairman. You are speaking of the city of Honolulu. Does that occur throughout the islands?

Mr. Emerson. Yes; wherever the henchmen of the Queen are, wherever there are persons subservient to her ideas, to ideas which have been inculcated into them by the city of Honolulu. Those men by their speeches have been enabled to lead the people. One of the strongest elements working against them are the Kahunas.

Senator Gray. What are they?

Mr. Emerson. The sorcerers.

Senator Sherman. The heathen?

Mr. Emerson. They are the people who practice fetichism upon the superstitions of the people.

The Chairman. Native Hawaiians?

Mr. Emerson. Native Hawaiians. In 1868 Kamehameha V granted licenses to these medicine men to practice according as they knew the art, according as they professed to know the art.

The Chairman. What is the art?

Mr. Emerson. The natives are adepts in massage, with fetichism in the background.

Senator Gray. Kamehameha V granted licenses according to their proficiency in the art of medicine, not the art of sorcery?

Mr. Emerson. No; he granted licenses to them as professed sorcerers; he granted licenses to the Kahunas.

Senator Gray. Did he grant licenses except when the applicant exhibited some proficiency in the art of medicine?

Mr. Emerson. He granted a license to any man—I do not say to any man; but licenses were given to those who claimed to be proficient, medicine men who were called Kahunas. There is a minimum use of drugs that these men associate with their practice, and a large—a minimum of knowledge I should say; I do not know much about their use of medicine—and a large appeal to superstition. For instance, I know of one man who had----

Senator Gray. What I want to know is, whether Kamehameha granted licenses to those men on account of their knowledge of sorcery alone or on account of some professed knowledge of medicine?

Mr. Emerson. He granted licenses to them as men professing to have knowledge of the art of healing.

The Chairman. Are the Hawaiians—I speak generally of the native population—located in their separate homes?


Mr. Emerson. They are more in the country than in the city. In the city there is more mixing up of home life. In the city of Honolulu it is very unfortunate; there is a good deal of that.

Senator Gray. Of what?

Mr. Emerson. Mixing up of home life.

The Chairman. Speaking of the country. Have the Hawaiian families habitations in which they reside as families?

Senator Sherman. That is, separate homes.

The Chairman. Yes, separate homes.

Mr. Emerson. Yes.

The Chairman. Are those homes as a rule comfortable?

Mr. Emerson. Not according to Anglo-Saxon ideas. Some of them are. For instance, in my tours through the islands I have stopped sometimes at the native man's house, the judge's house. That man gets a larger salary, and, of course, he can keep a better house, and he has some knowledge of cookery. But the vast majority of the natives' homes I would not like to state them to be comfortable.

The Chairman. Are they constructed of wood?

Mr. Emerson. Mostly frame houses.

The Chairman. As a rule, do the natives build them themselves?

Mr. Emerson. I think as a rule they do, perhaps those who are able to put up simple buildings such as they use.

The Chairman. Do they have fields, gardens, and orchards about them?

Mr. Emerson. Very rarely. Now and then you will find a native man who has a garden near his house. But I will say this, that generally the native has to have a field where he can raise his rice, his taro, his potatoes; his home may be on a hill or down by the seashore. If the seashore, he is a fisherman, and his yard is a barren place.

The Chairman. The habitations are arranged to suit the particular calling in which the family is engaged?

Mr. Emerson. Some of them have thatched houses.

The Chairman. In their domestic relations have you found them to be affectionate toward each other—peaceful?

Mr. Emerson. I think it may be stated that they are affectionate and generally peaceful.

The Chairman. What is the tone of morality that prevails in the households, the family establishments throughout these islands?

Mr. Emerson. Altogether there is too much of immorality—lack of chastity among the females.

The Chairman. Would you say that this is the general rule, or only the exception?

Mr. Emerson. I fear that I have to say it is the general rule.

The Chairman. That the women are unchaste?

Mr. Emerson. Yes.

Senator Gray. Are they monogamists?

Mr. Emerson. That is the law. But women will have two husbands sometimes, and a man sometimes two wives. But I will say this, that there is an element----

The Chairman. You do not say that those polygamous relations are tolerated by law?

Mr. Emerson. No; we have a Christian law.

The Chairman. And these are transgressions of it?

Mr. Emerson. Yes.

Senator Gray. Monogamists are tolerated by law.

The Chairman. Yes.

Previous Page Next Page