634-635

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp634-635 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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The Chairman. No suffering for want of proper clothing?

Mr. Alexander. No; and I do not think anybody suffers for want of food.

The Chairman. I was going to ask you whether the food supply of the islands is sufficient for the population.

Mr. Alexander. Yes. One thing is, we have no poor laws, and the people take care of each other, help each other to a great extent.

The Chairman. You have no poor system at all—no system of public charity?

Mr. Alexander. King Lunalilo left lands worth some hundred thousand dollars which were devoted to the founding of a home for indigent Hawaiians. That was near Honolulu.

The Chairman. Is that home kept up now?

Mr. Alexander. Kept up now; but the natives will not go there if they have any friends left.

Senator Gray. Do they have a pride about it?

Mr. Alexander. I do not think it is so much pride as it is to avoid the restraint. They like to be with their friends and kinsmen.

The Chairman. I would like to ask whether the domestic relations of the Kanakas are characterized by an affectionate regard for each other, or whether they are indifferent to each other.

Mr. Alexander. I think they are very kindly, much more so than the other races of the Pacific Ocean, and much more so than in the olden time.

The Chairman. Have you any Government hospitals in Hawaii?

Mr. Alexander. Yes; we have a very good hospital in Honolulu. It was founded by Kamehameha IV and his queen, founded by subscriptions and supplemented by appropriations. It is a very creditable institution. We have local hospitals in the small towns.

The Chairman, Maintained at Government expense?

Mr. Alexander. Yes. Then we have a hospital for lepers. That is out on an island by itself. They have a receiving hospital for suspected lepers, where they are kept and attended until they become hopeless cases, and then they are sent to Molokai. It is natually fenced off by nature. I think I have a map showing it. (Producing map.) The lepers' settlement is that little flat peninsula there. Here is a line of precipices two thousand and more feet in height.

Senator Gray. Is that island volcanic?

Mr. Alexander. Volcanic.

Senator Gray. Are there any settlements there?

Mr. Alexander. Along the coast there. That peninsula is cut off by precipices.

Senator Gray. Is that where that priest was?

Mr. Alexander. Father Damien? Yes.

Senator Gray. Did you know him?

Mr. Alexander. Yes.

Senator Gray. Is their condition one of suffering from the disease?

Mr. Alexander. They do not suffer much; it is the nature of the disease. The Government has done everything it could for them—they are well housed, doctored, and well fed.

Senator Gray. Did not Father Damien die of it?

Mr. Alexander. He did. Most of the old residents can see how it spreads, can trace its lines. Some doctors maintain that it is not contagious.

The Chairman. But they can see how it was spread in a neighborhood?

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Mr. Alexander. Yes.

Senator Gray. Was that disease known there in olden times?

Mr. Alexander. About 1860. It was unheard of there until I went back from this country.

The Chairman. You understand the Chinese brought it in?

Mr. Alexander. The native name for it is "Chinese disease."

The Chairman. Have you an institution or institutions for the deaf, dumb, and blind?

Mr. Alexander. Not the deaf and dumb, but we have an insane asylum—at the present time in a creditable condition, since the revolution of 1887.

The Chairman. Have you any penitentiary system?

Mr. Alexander. Yes; we have a principal prison at Honolulu; then we have smaller ones in different districts. When they are sentenced they are sent out to Honolulu.

The Chairman. Persons sentenced to hard labor?

Mr. Alexander. Yes.

The Chairman. Are those institutions sustained by the Government?

Mr. Alexander. Yes. By the last census the number of convicts, the number of persons in prison, was about one-third of 1 per cent. That includes drunks locked up. It includes more than the regular convicts. I think it was a pretty good showing.

The Chairman. Is the administration of justice there conducted with strictness?

Mr. Alexander. Yes; I think that is the best feature of our Government. The higher courts have always been above suspicion, and I think justice is more prompt and reliable than in most of the States.

The Chairman. Do they have the jury system?

Mr. Alexander. Yes; murderers are hanged.

Senator Gray. How many executions do you have a year?

Mr. Alexander. Oh, they are very rare.

Senator Gray. Do you have them as often as once a year?

Mr. Alexander. No; formerly they were very rare; of late they are more frequent, because of the foreign element that comes in. Strange to say, of late the Japanese amongst themselves commit most of the murders. The Japanese imported for labor are of the lowest class of people of their country, and the murderers have been because of gambling and quarrels about women. The murders among natives are rare in Hawaii.

The Chairman. Take your school attendance and church attendance, and the absence of mendicancy and poorhouses----

Mr. Alexander. Mendicants are unknown; tramps are unknown.

The Chairman. And the small percentage of criminals necessary to be locked up in the penitentiary, you think you have a pretty high state of civilization in Hawaii, do you not? Taking it all together, is not that your opinion?

Mr. Alexander. I think that life and property are as safe there as in any place in the world.

The Chairman. Are the people turbulent, or are they quiet?

Mr. Alexander. They are a rather quiet people. They were governed by an iron hand under the old chiefs, and they have been accustomed to obey law, and they have not lost that respect for law. They are a law-abiding people.

The Chairman. It is a country in which every right is regulated by law, protected by law, or intended to be?

Mr. Alexander. Yes.


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