|Previous Page||Next Page|
The Chairman. How long before this emeute was it that you were last in Honolulu?
Mr. Spalding. Just a few days before. I was crossing the Atlantic when the vessel arrived at San Francisco with the news.
The Chairman. Then you went on to Paris with your family?
Mr. Spalding. Yes. I got the news at Queenstown.
The Chairman. I want particularly the period when you were in Honolulu.
Mr. Spalding. January, 1893.
Senator Gray. And you left there the 4th of that month?
Mr. Spalding. Yes. I perhaps had not left New York when this thing took place.
The Chairman. When you left Honolulu in January, 1893, had you any information of a movement that was on foot to annex Hawaii to the United States?
Mr. Spalding. No; I had information to the contrary. If there was anything going on I was likely to be informed by men who would certainly know about it, men who were afterward engaged in this uprising. I was informed by those men that there was no chance of anything of that kind; that there would be no trouble, so far as they were aware; that there was no organization, and would be no trouble unless something occurred which they did not know about.
Senator Frye. Then Mr. Stevens must have left on that Boston trip about the time you left?
Mr. Spalding. I do not know whether he was in Honolulu when I left. I think the Boston was there. I think Mr. Stevens left about the time I did—just about the time I did.
The Chairman. From what you stated here, the drift of your inquiry had reference to your personal affairs, as to whether the condition of the country was likely to be firm and prosperous.
Mr. Spalding. Yes.
The Chairman. You were not inquiring because of any expectation that there would be an uprising or a revolution?
Mr. Spalding. No. It was only in regard to the general matter, to the conduct of the future Government.
The Chairman. You, as a property holder, were inquiring for the purpose of protecting your interests?
Mr. Spalding. Yes.
The Chairman. And you made this inquiry of the persons who were afterwards engaged in this emeute, who informed you that nothing of the kind was contemplated?
Mr. Spalding. Nothing of the kind contemplated at that time.
Senator Gray. Will you state of whom you made the inquiries?
Mr. Spalding. One of the gentlemen is Mr. Wilder, who is now one of the council and one of the commissioners to come on here. Mr. Wilder and I had agreed in politics. He knew that I was an annexationist of long standing, and he was a pretty good American himself. We talked the matter over, and he assured me that there was nothing in these rumors of which I had heard incidentally; that there was no news received from Washington that was at all indicative of anything of that kind. I certainly would not have left there if I had thought there would be any change in the Government that way. I should have remained there and been in the thick of it, because I should have considered that my property interests there demanded it.
The Chairman. Was the rule of Liliuokalani up to the time you left there agreeable to the better part of the population?
Mr. Spalding. Her rule was not exactly agreeable to herself or anybody else because it was a forced rule; she was forced into everything she did. And her last ministry was obliged to force her to every act they accomplished.
The Chairman. The people were conscious of her reluctance?
Mr. Spalding. The people were conscious of that, because there was this fight, if you might term it so, between these two parties. But we supposed we had sufficient control in the majority which we possessed in the Legislature and in the cabinet. She had a cabinet before that which was quite obnoxious to the people, and that had been ousted.
The Chairman. By a vote of want of confidence?
Mr. Spalding. Vote of want of confidence, and that she must appoint a cabinet agreeable to the Legislature. What we termed the reform party had a majority; that is, it was a coalition of the reform party and the best men of this national reform party—it was the best men of all parties who had joined in this coalition to have a good cabinet appointed, and we deemed we had. When I left there in January things were in better shape than ever before. When I left there appeared to be less liability of any trouble than there had been for a year, because we had the best cabinet that we had had for a long time. That is this Jones-Wilcox cabinet; they were all respectable men— men of position and men whom we could depend on—very safe hands so long as that cabinet remained in possession. But, to the surprise of everybody, the Queen managed to get a majority in the Legislature a very few days after I left, and that cabinet was ousted.
The Chairman. Was that done by election or manipulation?
Mr. Spalding. It was done by manipulation.
The Chairman. Do you recollect when you left Honolulu, in January, 1893, these bills, the opium bill and the lottery bill, were pending before the Legislature?
Mr. Spalding. We supposed at that time they were killed; because it was understood, of course, that so long as the Wilcox-Jones ministry remained in those bills could not be passed.
The Chairman. No member of that ministry could be gotten to sign.
Mr. Spalding. No. And with the majority we had in the Legislature— the cabinet ministers had a vote in the Legislature—the opium and lottery bills could not pass. Of course, we supposed that everything was secure for two years, as the Legislature would be prorogued and this cabinet would hold over for two years, and the Queen could not put them out after the Legislature was prorogued. Therefore, she made the final effort of obtaining a majority in the Legislature just after I left there in January, and after she got that majority she had everything in her own hands.
The Chairman. When did you return to Hawaii?
Mr. Spalding. Do you mean when I last returned?
The Chairman. Yes. Mr. Spalding. In October, 1893.
The Chairman. You were not present, then, during any part of this emeute?
Mr. Spalding. No, I was not there at all between January and October.
The Chairman. When you got back to Hawaii, what impression did you find amongst the people there in respect to the means by which Lilioukalani had changed the Legislature so as to get the new
|Previous Page||Next Page|