580-581

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp580-581 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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The Chairman. Was any statement made at either of these meetings of which you speak—the citizens' meeting on Saturday or the meeting of the new Provisional Government—to the effect that the Queen had abrogated or intended to abrogate the constitution of 1887?

Mr. Jones. Oh, yes; at the mass meeting it was stated.

The Chairman. By whom?

Mr. Jones. By the resolutions that were introduced.

The Chairman. Who gave information to the meeting of the fact of which those resolutions were predicated—that the Queen intended to abrogate or had abrogated the constitution of '87 ?

Mr. Jones. I think the committee of thirteen. You see, the mass meeting was held on Monday, the 16th; the attempt of the Queen to abrogate the constitution was on the 14th.

The Chairman. Saturday?

Mr. Jones. Saturday.

The Chairman. It was about that point of time that I wish to make inquiry. How did the people become possessed of the fact that the Queen had abrogated or intended to abrogate that constitution?

Mr. Jones. Why, the people who were there at the palace—Chief Justice Judd was there and heard her speech; quite a number of the diplomatic corps was there; a great many of the citizens and some members of the Legislature were there when the Queen made this attempt.

The Chairman. Was this after the Legislature had been prorogued?

Mr. Jones. Yes; immediately after.

The Chairman. Was it in the Government building?

Mr. Jones. In the palace.

The Chairman. Iolani?

Mr. Jones. Yes.

The Chairman. And this assemblage had met there for what purpose?

Mr. Jones. At the request of the Queen. And then it was announced that there was a great deal of delay; they could not understand why they were called there, and it got rumored about that the Queen intended to proclaim this constitution and the ministers were afraid to approve of it.

The Chairman. That was the rumor?

Mr. Jones. That was the rumor, and it was the fact, too.

The Chairman. Were you present at the time?

Mr. Jones. I was not; no.

The Chairman. As a matter of personal information you can not state what actually occurred?

Mr. Jones. No.

The Chairman. What the Queen said or what anybody else said?

Mr. Jones. No.

The Chairman. But, if I understand you, the information that such a movement had been made and that the Queen had spoken on that subject was disseminated throughout the community?

Mr. Jones. Oh, yes; by many witnesses who were there.

The Chairman. When did you get information that the Queen had recalled her intention?

Mr. Jones. On Monday morning.

The Chairman. Was that the soonest you heard of it, that there was any such intention on her part?

Mr. Jones. Yes.

The Chairman. So that, between Saturday and Monday, you were under the impression that the Queen had abrogated the constitution?

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Mr. Jones. Oh, no. She had attempted to do it, and had told the people that she could not carry out her plans that day, but if they would go to their homes, in a very few days she would proclaim the new constitution.

The Chairman. Did you ever see that new constitution?

Mr. Jones. No. We offered $500 for a copy of it and could not secure it. Oh, they destroyed it after that.

The Chairman. Have you any knowledge who it was prepared that instrument?

Mr. Jones. It was said that the Queen prepared it herself.

The Chairman. With her own hand?

Mr. Jones. That is as I understand it. That is the report that came to us—that it was her own constitution; she prepared the whole of it.

The Chairman. With your knowledge of the intelligence of the Queen, would you suppose she is capable of drawing up such a constitution?

Mr. Jones. I should say not.

Senator Gray. Does she speak English?

Mr. Jones. Oh, yes.

Senator Gray. What is her customary dialect—native language?

Mr. Jones. She will talk English if those who are about her speak English; if there are those about who understand both English and Hawaiian, she prefers to talk the Hawaiian.

Senator Gray. What is the prevailing language in the city of Honolulu; the Hawaiian language?

Mr. Jones. Yes.

Senator Gray. Do you use it in your business?

Mr. Jones. Yes.

Senator Gray. Do the Portuguese use it?

Mr. Jones. Yes.

Senator Gray. Do the Germans and others use it?

Mr. Jones. Yes.

Senator Gray. As they do our language here?

Mr. Jones. Yes. All the discussion in the legislature is in English and Hawaiian, because the Hawaiians speak in Hawaiian and then it is interpreted, translated into English, and then those who speak in English, their language is interpreted, translated into Hawaiian.

Senator Gray. You all understand the Hawaiian language?

Mr. Jones. Not thoroughly.

Senator Gray. Can you speak it?

Mr. Jones. Well, tolerably well.

Senator Gray. Do you understand it when it is spoken?

Mr. Jones. Yes. I should hate to attempt an address in Hawaiian.

Senator Gray. But you understand it?

Mr. Jones. I can understand it for ordinary purposes.

Senator Gray. Have the Hawaiians any literature in their own language?

Mr. Jones. Very little indeed.

The Chairman. Before the Monday, before the mass meeting of the citizens of which you speak, did you have any information of the fact, if it was a fact, that the Queen's ministers, the latest ministers, or any of them, had announced that they refused to sign the constitution with her—to assist her in its promulgation?

Mr. Jones. Late Saturday they refused to.

The Chairman. Well, you had information of that on Saturday?

Mr. Jones. We heard of that on Saturday.


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