582-583

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp582-583 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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The Chairman. Whom did that information come from—the ministers?

Mr. Jones. From the ministers themselves; yes.

The Chairman. Did any of these ministers attend any of these meetings?

Mr. Jones. Yes; Peterson and Colburn were there.

The Chairman. When you were present?

Mr. Jones. No.

The Chairman. So that you do not know what they said?

Mr. Jones. No, I do not; I was not present.

The Chairman. Well, you can state whether it was commonly understood, rumored there, stated among those people, that the ministers had disclosed the fact that the Queen had desired them to join her in the promulgation of this new constitution?

Mr. Jones. Yes. They undoubtedly went into office pledged to support her in it.

The Chairman. What reason have you for that statement?

Mr. Jones. I think Mr. Colburn clearly pledged himself to it, and the others, too.

Senator Gray. Do you found that opinion upon that letter which you received?

Mr. Jones. Partially, and from other information. When the Queen —you said I might allude to rumors?

The Chairman. That is what I was asking about.

Mr. Jones. When the Queen urged them to sign the constitution, they asked for more time. She turned to Peterson and said, "Why more time; you have carried that constitution around in your pocket for more than a month—why do you want more time?"

Senator Gray. Who gave that account?

Mr. Jones. That came from the Palace that Saturday.

Senator Gray. By whom?

Mr. Jones. Well, I heard it. Chief Justice Judd told me.

Senator Gray. That he heard it?

Mr. Jones. I do not know whether he heard it or not; I could not say, but that was the rumor that was about, and I believe it was correct.

The Chairman. Chief Justice Judd told you?

Mr. Jones. He was at the Palace.

The Chairman. He told you of the fact, that he had been authentically informed?

Mr. Jones. Yes.

Senator Gray. Did he state whom he heard it from?

Mr. Jones. No; I could not say that.

Senator Gray. He stated it as a rumor?

Mr. Jones. Yes.

The Chairman. That is what I want to get at, whether the common belief of the people in Honolulu was that the Queen had caused to be prepared, or prepared herself, this new constitution, and had asserted her purpose to abrogate the constitution of 1887—supplant it by a new constitution?

Mr. Jones. Yes.

The Chairman. And it had been carried around in the pocket of Peterson for a month before that time?

Senator Gray. Let us understand. Do you mean that that was understood for a month before—that he was carrying it around?

Mr. Jones. Not that for a month.

Senator Gray. That Saturday you heard that?

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Mr. Jones. Yes—not that the rumor had been in circulation for a month, but the Queen declared that he, Peterson, had carried the constitution in his pocket for a month.

Senator Gray. That rumor came out on Saturday ?

Mr. Jones. On Saturday, yes.

The Chairman. State whether it was a part of the understanding of the general community that the ministry had refused to sign this new constitution with the Queen.

Mr. Jones. That day, yes.

The Chairman. I mean on that Saturday?

Mr. Jones. On that Saturday.

The Chairman. That was the public understanding?

Mr. Jones. They did. It was unquestionably so—they declined on that day to sign it.

The Chairman. On Saturday?

Mr. Jones. Yes.

The Chairman. And they gave information to the community that the Queen demanded of the ministry that they sign the constitution, and they refused to do it?

Mr. Jones. On that day, yes.

The Chairman. State whether it was part of that general understanding or rumor that they came to the citizens or any citizens to get advice as to what they ought to do under such circumstances.

Mr. Jones. Yes, they did. But I was not present at those meetings.

The Chairman. I am speaking of the common understanding of the people.

Mr Jones. Yes.

The Chairman. Was that a part of it—that they had come to the citizens for advice as to what they should do?

Mr. Jones. They came to Thurston and asked his advice, and they were also present that afternoon at the meeting at W. O. Smith's office. I think that is included in Mr. Blount's report. But I was not present at that meeting.

The Chairman. Then, as I understand you, it was the common belief among the people of Honolulu from Saturday to Monday that the Queen had attempted to abrogate the constitution of 1887, and she had only failed because the ministry refused to sign with her?

Mr. Jones. Yes.

The Chairman. And also the common belief that the ministry, or some of them, when they took office had pledged themselves to this change of government?

Mr. Jones. Yes.

The Chairman. Do you know of any combination or any conspiracy or concerted action or agreement or understanding prior to that revelation for supplanting the Queen in her government?

Mr. Jones. No; I do not.

The Chairman. Or for establishing a republic?

Mr. Jones. I do not.

The Chairman. Or for annexation to the United States?

Mr. Jones. I do not. The whole thing was like a thunder clap to the community, so far as I am aware, and nothing was thought of it until Saturday, when it was made public that the Queen was to withdraw the constitution of 1887, and these things culminated very fast. I knew nothing of anything of the kind.

The Chairman. If there had been any purpose on the part of a number of the people of Hawaii, of Honolulu, to dethrone the Queen


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