650-651

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp650-651 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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The Chairman. "These measures were then advocated in a newspaper published by J. E. Bush, who has since become a royalist."

Mr. Alexander. Bush and Wilcox were against white suffrage— white influence in the Government, all the time. That was their motive all the time.

The Chairman. "It is said that the league numbered over 300 members, mostly natives and half-whites. There is good evidence that at the same time the Queen's party were preparing a despotic constitution, similar to that of Kamehaineha V, except that it gave the Sovereign the power of dismissal and appointment of the justices of the supreme court. At first they endeavored to form an alliance with the equal-rights league, both parties being opposed, for different reasons, to the reform constitution of 1S87. Their overtures, however, having been finally rejected, the marshal proceeded to arrest the principal members of the league, under charges of treason and conspiracy. The result of the trials was that all were finally discharged, but the weakness of the league was exposed and its leaders lost much of their prestige."

Senator Gray. When was that trial?

Mr. Alexander. June, I think, 1892. Quite a number of the rank and file, principally Germans, form part of the Provisional Government's army.

The Chairman. "I do not care to give the details of the eight months legislative session of 1892. During most of the session, the liberal party, comprising most of the leaders of the above-mentioned democratic league, acted with the reform party to break the power of the palace, or Wilson party, combined, as it was, with the powerful opium and lottery rings. Three cabinets in succession were voted out, because they were considered to represent these latter elements, and to be in sympathy with the marshal."

"After a struggle of four months, the Queen temporarily yielded, and appointed a cabinet composed of conservative men of high character, who possessed the confidence of the country."

The Chairman. State who were there.

Mr. Alexander. George Wilcox.

The Chairman. Give his office.

Mr. Alexander. He was minister of the interior; P.C.Jones, minister of finance; Mark Kobinson, half-white and of high character, minister of foreign affairs; and Cecil Brown, an Englishman, attorney generai.

The Chairman. "This cabinet distinctly declared its policy in regard to the lottery fiat paper money and other subjects, but did not choose to act on the 'burning question' of the marshalship while the Legislature was in session. Its course on this point, and the fact that the radical party was not represented in it, so exasperated the leaders of the so-called liberal party that they joined hands with the palace party and voted for measures which they had denounced on the floor ot the House.

"The lottery bill, which had been referred to a committee early in the session, was brought up and passed, to the surprise and horror of the community, by lavish and shameless bribery, only one white man voting for it. By the same voters an opium license bill was passed, and the ministry was voted out two days before the close of the session."

Senator Gray. You make a broad statement there. What was the evidence of the bribery that was practiced?

Mr. Alexander. It was never brought before the courts, but it was

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notorious. There were four native members who stood fast, could not be bought nor browbeaten. One of those natives said that they were offered $300 apiece and a small annuity from the lottery company after it should become established. I think that was a thing universally admitted. One of the members most active in the support of the lottery, Mr. White—I did not hear him say it directly—he boasted that he went down there to the Legislature with $2 in his pocket and went back with $800 and plenty of clothes. And I heard of his hiring a house and a piano, and before that he had been without visible means of support. And I heard of the Queen sending for certain native members and laboring with them. That was more in connection with the voting out of the ministry. Mr. Dreier, who was a German, but who had a native wife—she labored with him without success.

The Chairman. When you say that this bill was a surprise to the community, do you mean the white community, or native, or the general population?

Mr. Alexander. Say rather the better elements, both white and native. If it had been put to a vote of the populace it could have been passed. A special election was held in October for representatives from Honolulu, and the lottery men were elected. That was the early part of October.

Senator Gray. Avowed lottery men?

Mr. Alexander. They shirked the question as it was put them. Probably the lottery was the real issue in the minds of the voters. I think the majority of the populace in Honolulu would have voted for it.

The Chairman. "The Queen immediately appointed a cabinet, three of whom were rejected members of former cabinets, and one the agent of the lottery ring in purchasing legislative votes."

Who was he?

Mr. Alexander. John Colburn.

Senator Frye. Who were the other three?

Mr. Alexander. Colburn, minister of the interior; Cornwell, minisister of finance; Sam Parker, minister of foreign relations, and Arthur Peterson, attorney-general.

The Chairman. "The liberal leaders were left out in the cold. The cabinet now consisted of S. Parker, minister of foreign affairs; W. Cornwell, minister of finance; Arthur Peterson, attorney-general, and John Colburn, minister of the interior. The public indignation was intense, but no revolutionary action was yet thought of."

Do you mean that public indignation was intense among all classes of people?

Mr. Alexander. So far as I could see all the papers had opposed the lottery bill, and the chamber of commerce had passed a very strong memorial unanimously and sent it to the Queen.

The Chairman. How about the masses of the people; were they also excited about it?

Mr. Alexander. About the lottery bill?

The Chairman. Yes.

Mr. Alexander. I think the lower class was not opposed to it. The lower class of the natives were not particularly opposed to it, and some of the half whites said that the white men had made money and the Kanakas had not made money, and it was wrong not to give them a chance. And one or two speakers in the House said the lottery "would make money plentiful in Honolulu."


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