640-641

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp640-641 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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The Chairman. How about the vines—melons and pumpkins?

Mr. Alexander. They do very well there.

The Chairman. Ordinary garden vegetables?

Mr. Alexander. They all succeed there. The Chinese monopolize the market gardens, around Honolulu, at least.

The Chairman. Do they succeed in making crops?

Mr. Alexander. Yes, they succeed. With regard to the pumpkins and melons, they are cultivated by natives to a considerable extent.

The Chairman. And tobacco?

Mr. Alexander. And tobacco.

The Chairman. How about it?

Mr. Alexander. It grows there very rank, and the quality is very strong; generally supposed that it might be good tobacco if properly cured and-treated.

The Chairman. Is the raising of tobacco made a regular industry in any part of the islands?

Mr. Alexander. Yes; but does not amount to much for export.

The Chairman. Does it amount to enough to indicate that it is a tobacco country?

Mr. Alexander. Yes. The Government proposes to institute experiments to see whether it depends on the quality of the seed. The Government at one time offered a reward for a proper method of curing tobacco to take out those strong, offensive qualities.

The Chairman. How much railroad have you in Hawaii?

Mr. Alexander. I do not know that I could give the figures. We have 17 miles of railroad in Oahu; have one on Mani, 15 miles; we have one in North Hawaii, something over 20 miles, and others proj ected, besides tramways.

The Chairman. You mean horse railways?

Mr. Alexander. Yes; we have them in all the plantations and street tramways in Honolulu.

The Chairman. Street tramways on all the plantations, you say?

Mr. Alexander. Yes—mule tracks. And some of the plantations have them to connect them with the harbor, the landing.

The Chairman. So that your system is just being projected?

Mr. Alexander. Yes.

The Chairman. Have you telegraph communication between different parts of the island?

Mr. Alexander. Each principal island has a system of telephone running around it; but no interislaud communication, across channels.

The Chairman. No cable between the islands?

Mr. Alexander. Not yet.

The Chairman. What is the method of communication between the islands?

Mr. Alexander. We have twenty—twenty-two steamers, I think, and more than that number of sailing vessels.

The Chairman. Do the natives go from island to island in their canoes?

Mr. Alexander. In olden times they did.

The Chairman. Would those canoes be paddled or under sail?

Mr. Alexander. Both, in olden times.

The Chairman: The Hawaiians were sailors?

Mr. Alexander. Sailors. Sometimes they went out of sight of land and steered by the stars.

The Chairman. They were navigators, then?

Mr. Alexander. Naturally.

-p641-

The Chairman. Before they knew anything of the use of the compass?

Mr. Alexander. They have traditions of voyages to other groups. No doubt they made them; but they have not made them for several hundred years.

The Chairman. But they would make those voyages out of sight of land, and steer by the stars?

Mr. Alexander. By the stars.

The Chairman. And without the aid of the compass?

Mr. Alexander. Yes.

The Chairman. You have spoken about the people being fond of water and fond of aquatic pursuits. Is that a characteristic of the islanders?

Mr. Alexander. Yes; a characteristic of the Polynesians generally. They live around the fringes of the islands, and are seamen. They make the best boatmen in the world.

The Chairman. Good swimmers?

Mr. Alexander. Universally so.

The Chairman. Women and children!

Mr. Alexander. All good swimmers.

The Chairman. All good swimmers, and begin very young. It is really taught as a part of their physical education?

Mr. Alexander. I should say so. They perform some extraordinary feats in the water, swimming and diving.

The Chairman. They are divers also?

Mr. Alexander. Yes; formerly, in early times, a great many of them went away, left the country as sailors.

The Chairman. Went away in ships?

Mr. Alexander. In the 40's it was referred to as a serious evil that so many of the young men were sailors—never came back; and they passed a law in 1850 restricting young men from leaving the country without permission of the Government.

The Chairman. I suppose if these islands belonged to the United States we might look to the native islanders as a large source of supply for seamen, could we not?

Mr. Alexander. They would make good seamen.

The Chairman. They are fond of it?

Mr. Alexander. We, as their friends, would prefer to see them in agriculture in the country. At the present time very few of them are sailors.

The Chairman. I am speaking now of the population and the capacity of those people to supply such a want as that.

Mr. Alexander. Yes, they are well adapted to that.

The Chairman. Well adapted to supplying the commercial marine and navy with sailors?

Mr. Alexander. Yes.

The Chairman. Are they obedient men on board ship?

Mr. Alexander. Yes.

The Chairman. Industrious?

Mr. Alexander. Yes.

The Chairman. Are they subservient to discipline without being rebellious?

Mr. Alexander. I think they are. They are not inclined to be mutinous.

The Chairman. Then I take it to be your opinion that a larger population than now exists on the islands, including all, could be sustained

S. Doc. 231, pt 6----41


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