656-657

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp656-657 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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Mr. Alexander. The "Hui Kalaiaina." That is the native name.

The Chairman. What does it mean?

Mr. Alexander. "Hui," society, and "Kalaiaina," political.

The Chairman. "After the ceremony they followed the Queen to the palace, together with most of the native members of the Legislature."

What palace do you speak of?

Mr. Alexander. Iolani palace, right across the street.

The Chairman. "I was not an eyewitness of the memorable scenes which took place inside of the palace that afternoon. Meanwhile I went down town, and had gone into Mr. Waterhouse's store, when I was told of a rumor that the Queen was going to proclaim a new constitution that very afternoon. I expressed my disbelief of it, saying: 'She has carried the lottery and opium bills; she has turned out an honest, independent cabinet and put in her own creatures; she has prorogued the Legislature, and now has the game in her own hands for a year and a half. What more can she want?'

"A few minutes after I met my assistant, Mr. C. J. Lyons, who had just come from the Government building, and who informed me that the rumor was true; that the household troops were drawn up in line from the front steps of the palace to the west gate, in fighting trim, with their belts full of cartridges, and that a large crowd had gathered to hear the new constitution proclaimed. On my way up I noticed that citizens were gathering at Hon. W. O. Smith's office. On arriving at the Government building I was told that a conference was going on upstairs in the attorney-general's office between three members of the cabinet and some of the leading residents. I saw Minister Stevens and Major Wodehouse get into a carriage at the east entrance of the Government building and drive off together. I was told that they had advised the cabinet to stand firm in opposing the Queen's revolutionary project.

"I then went to my office and informed some of my friends by telephone about the critical state of affairs. On returning to the Government building I found a crowd of spectators watching the palace with intense anxiety. Civil war seemed to be impending. "We saw Mr. J. Richardson and Sam Parker come over from the palace to confer with the other three members of the cabinet, who were said to be still in the attorney-general's office. It was said that they had left the palace from fear of their lives. Later on we saw the four ministers return to the palace, and the excitement among the spectators was increased. After another long interval, near 4 p.m., there was evidently a movement taking place in the palace, and the soldiers, part of whom had stacked their arms, hastily took up arms and re-formed their line. In a few minutes we saw the Hui Kalaiaina pour out of the palace and form in front of the steps. Then the Queen attended by some ladies in waiting, came out on the balcony and made a brief speech, the purport of which was repeated to us by a native, who came out of the palace yard. It gave us a sense of temporary relief. Bill White, the lottery champion, came out on the palace steps."

Senator Gray. Do you state there what the native told you was the purport?

Mr. Alexander. No. He told us that she had given way to the advice of her ministers not to proclaim the new constitution, but to go home and wait, and some one of these days she would carry out their wishes—that they could trust to her.

Senator Gray. That is the purport as it appeared to you?

-p657-

Mr. Alexander. That is what was repeated to me.

The Chairman. That is what was repeated to you?

Mr. Alexander. That is the substance; yes.

The Chairman. "And began an incendiary harangue to the assembled crowd, but was persuaded to desist by Col. James Boyd.

"We were told at the time that he had urged the crowd to lynch the ministers on the spot as traitors. The Hui Kalaiaina then marched out, carrying a Hawaiian flag, and appearing very much downcast.

"Soon after this Messrs. Parker and Cornwell came over to the Government building together, looking as if they had passed through a very severe ordeal. As they entered the building they were complimented by several persons for the stand which they had made. Mr. Thurston, who stood by, however, said: 'Must we continue to live in this way, with this peril hanging over our heads, uncertain whether we may not wake up any morning and find our liberties gone?'

"It was shortly after this that the meeting of citizens was held at W. O. Smith's office, which appointed the committee of safety, but I had no knowledge of it at the time. The next day, which was Sunday, passed off quietly on the surface, but we had intimations that a revolutionary movement was in progress.

"On Sunday afternoon posters were out calling for a mass meeting of citizens to be held at 2 p.m., the next day, at the Armory, on Beretania street. The next morning another call was issued by the ministry for a counter mass meeting on Palace Square, and between 10 and 11 a. m., a by authority notice was also posted about the streets and sent to the members of the diplomatic corps, which contained an apology for the Queen; alleging that she had acted on Saturday under stress of her native subjects, and a promise that "any changes desired in the fundamental law of the land will be sought only by methods provided in the constitution itself." This retraction came too late.

"It was considered by many as a humiliating evidence of panic on the part of the Queen's Government. Her conspiracies during her brother's reign, and her treacherous course in regard to the lottery bill had destroyed all confidence in her word, so that her promise produced but little change in the situation.

"As 2 o'clock drew near all business was suspended, stores were closed, and but one subject was talked of. I attended both mass meetings. The meeting at the Armory comprised probably not less than 1,500 persons, and the unanimity and enthusiasm shown surpassed all expectation. As a full account of the proceedings has been published I need not spend time on them.

"The so-called 'law and order' meeting on Palace Square I estimated at the time to number about 500 natives. It was a tame and dispirited meeting, the speakers being under strict orders to express themselves with great caution and moderation. A resolution was adopted accepting the assurance that the Queen would not again seek to change the constitution by revolutionary means, the very thing which no doubt most of them desired her to do. It seemed unnatural to hear R. W. Wilcox and Bill White exhort the natives to keep quiet, and not to provoke the 'haoles' to resort to violent measures.

"About 5 p. m. I happened to be near the post-office when the troops landed from the Boston, and saw them march up Fort street. A party of 30 or 40 marines went up to the U. S. legation, on Nuuanu street, and a guard was left at the U. S. consulate, while the main body marched up King street, past the Government building, and bivouacked in Mr. Atherton's grounds until late in the evening; quarters were

S. Doc. 231, pt 6----42


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