658-659

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp658-659 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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secured for them in the 'Arion House,' a low one-story wooden building west of the Music Hall, a large brick building which intervenes between it and the palace. In this connection I take the liberty of saying that I can not see how Arion Hall would be exposed to fire in the event of an attack upon the Government building from the direction of the palace.

"After the mass meeting the tension of feeling was extreme. What was chiefly feared was incendiarism during the following night. To my knowledge, warnings had been given by friendly natives that preparations were making to set houses on fire. As it was, two incendiary fires were started during that night. The knowledge that the troops were on shore undoubtedly gave the white residents a grateful feeling of relief and security.

"Here I will explain that an organization of four rifle companies had been brought to a high degree of efficiency in 1887 and had crushed the insurrection of 1889. This organization, which had been disbanded in 1890, was now revived, with some changes in personnel. It embraced many of the best class of young men in Honolulu.

"On Tuesday morning 1 was informed of this fact, and that Judge Dole would lead the movement. It was rumored that the crisis would take place at 4 p. m. The Queen's supporters were believed to be panic-stricken and divided among themselves.

"I happened to visit the main Government building (Aliiolani Hall) about a quarter to 3 p. m., when I found that the proclamation of the Provisional Government was being read at the front entrance.

"I have since been told that 3 o'clock was the time originally set. Perhaps the shooting affray on Port street hastened the movement. I saw but one rifleman standing in the corridor. Several Government clerks and one native member of the legislature were also listening to the reading. As soon as it was over the new councils convened in the interior office, and proceeded to business. I walked over to my office in another building within the same inclosure, and passed Company A, a German company, under Capt. Ziegler, arriving on the double quick, in company order, to the number of 40 or 50. I told my assistants in the office what had happened, and directed them to close it for the day. On returning to the other building, I found that a large part of Company B, composed of Americans and Englishmen, had arrived. The grounds were then cleared of spectators, and guards set at the gates, and less than half an hour there were 100 riflemen drawn up in front of the building, awaiting orders. An hour later I estimated that there were about 200 present. The officers told me at the time that the United States marines had orders to remain neutral."

What officers did you speak of?

Mr. Alexander. Officers of the volunteers. Capt. Potter, of Company B, said that word had been ascertained from Lieut. Swinburne— I think that was his name.

The Chairman. "I did not see any ol them on the street, and my impression is that some of them without arms were in the veranda of Arion Hall."

Mr. Alexander. Referring to the sailors.

The Chairman. "The men were expected to fight, and their spirit and confidence was such that I had no doubt of the result."

Mr. Alexander. It should have been the volunteers. That should have been corrected. "Many of them had been in the affair of 1889, and they also believed that nearly all the foreign community would back them.

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"One C J. McCarthy had been placed by Wilson in charge of the Government building, but waited there in vain for a force that never came. Several thousand cartridges were found in the foreign office, intended for the defense of the building.

"I can not speak from personal observation of the number of men collected in the station house and barracks, but was told by eye witnesses that there were about 80 men in each place.

"For several hours it looked to us as if a bloody contest, and perhaps a siege, would be necessary. Messengers were coming and going, but when I left the place to do patrol duty in the eastern suburb it was not known whether Mr. Wilson would surrender or not.

"As much importance has been attached to President Dole's letter to Minister Stevens, written in the afternoon of January 17, in which he suggested the cooperation of the United States marines with the citizen volunteers in maintaining order during the night, I will add that the event showed this request to have been wholly unnecessary.

"During the afternoon several hundred names of volunteers had been registered. These were organized in squads and during the following night the whole district including the city was strictly patrolled, as a precaution against fires or disturbance of any kind. These volunteers were on duty some time before the surrender of the station house by Wilson was reported. The palace was given up on the morning of the 18th, and the barracks that evening."

W. D. Alexander.

"ADDENDUM.

"In regard to the Government building, Aliiolani Hall, I wish to say that it has always been considered the visible seat of Government. Together with the two smaller buildings attached to it, it contained all the offices of the departments of Government, the chambers of the supreme court and the court records, the land office and the registry of conveyances, the Government archives, and the treasury.

"The action of the late cabinet in abandoning it and seeking refuge in the station house went far to show that they had given up all hope of maintaining their authority.

"W. D. Alexander."

Senator Gray. Do you know what time that evening—can you fix precisely the time the barracks were given up?

Mr. Alexander. I heard that it was after dark.

Senator Gray. You do not know the hour?

Mr. Alexander. No. That would be in Mr. Soper's testimony.

Senator Gray. You were not present at any meetings of the committee of safety on the evening of the 17th?

Mr. Alexander. I was not.

Senator Gray. Or of the advisory councils?

Mr. Alexander. I suppose, being an officer of the old Government, they did not take me into their confidence.

The Chairman. When you speak of yourself as being one of the privy council, what were your functions in that office?

Senator Gray. Were you ex officio a privy councillor, being surveyor- general?

Mr. Alexander. No.

Senator Gray. Not necessarily privy councillor because of your being surveyor-general?


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