From TheMorganReport
Jump to: navigation, search
Previous Page Next Page

Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp704-705 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

Text Only


Senator Butler. I am speaking of the time you went ashore on the 16th of January.

Mr. Young. He simply landed on his own responsibility. We had no orders to land, except that Capt. Wiltse's confidential instructions were to protect our treaty interests even if force was necessary.

Senator Butler. And Capt. Wiltse was to be the judge as to when that exigency arose?

Mr. Young. Yes.

Senator Gray. When you were summoned to Capt. Wiltse's cabin on the morning of the 16th, which was about half-past 10, you say?

Mr. Young. Yes.

Senator Gray. Did he make any statement.

Mr. Young. No. He told me that affairs were looking very serious on shore, and "I believe I will have to land the troops."

Senator Gray. Capt. Wiltse had been ashore that morning?

Mr. Young. Yes. It was shortly after he came back from the shore.

Senator Butler. I believe it is true that a naval officer is not bound to obey an illegal order. Is not that so under your regulations?

Mr. Young. No; on the contrary, an officer is supposed to obey all orders emanating from an immediate military superior. Yet in doing so he has to exercise discretion and is held personally responsible for his own acts as to the results following the execution of the order. Admiral Worden in giving an interpretation of that at the Naval Academy told us that "whenever you receive an order, before executing it determine whether you will receive more punishment for obeying that order than you would by disobeying it. If you find that you will receive less punishment by obeying it, do so." I think the admiral was right.

Senator Butler. What I want to get at is this: If you are in command of a ship at a foreign port with general instructions, as in this case, to protect treaty rights of this Government with the foreign government, and you are in doubt as to the propriety of landing troops, you solve that doubt in favor of landing?

Mr. Young. I would try to find out the situation, weigh the matter all over, and I would have that doubt removed before I acted.

Senator Butler. Suppose the condition were such that you could not have an absolute removal?

Mr. Young. Then I would give the benefit of my judgment as to landing.

Senator Butler. That is what I want. You would solve that doubt by landing for the purpose of preserving treaty rights?

Mr. Young. Yes.

Senator Butler. That would be the usual course of a naval officer where he was in doubt?

Mr. Young. Yes.

Senator Butler. And where there was no possibility of solving the doubt in his mind, he would land for the purpose of protecting life and property?

Mr. Young. Yes.

Senator Butler. Would that be the rule of the naval officer?

Mr. Young. Yes; I think it would.

Senator Butler. And I suppose that was about Captain Wiltse's situation, was it not?

Mr. Young. No; Capt. Wiltse was actually informed, knew himself, and from others, that the condition of affairs on shore was such as to render it necessary for him to land at that time. And I think he made a mistake in not landing on Sunday, because of the condition. of danger


to life and property and incendiarism. It was such on Sunday night, even; but he deferred it until the very last minute. The Government was not in any condition to preserve life and property in the city; they were encamped in these two places, and they were afraid to come out of them.

Senator Frye. I want to call your attention to the time that you left Honolulu on the ship, the 4th of January, with our American minister on board. You had a conversation with Minister Stevens, did you not?

Mr. Young. Yes.

Senator Frye. Did Mr. Stevens at that time express himself as confident that there was no further trouble, and that he was to be permitted to terminate his term of office and leave the Hawaiian Islands in quiet and undisturbed peace?

Mr. Young. Yes; his language to me on the quarter-deck in conversation I remember almost verbatim. It was that "I am glad to know that all is settled, and that we now have a cabinet in power in favor of the American interests, representing the intelligence and wealth of the islands, and that they will stay there, and that I will be able to complete my residence here and devote my days to my literary interests. Those were his remarks. And Sam Parker and others, I told him, would get the Kanaka votes of the Legislature; that they had been all secured, and they were now making an effort to get some of the whites to vote with them to make a majority to vote out this ministry, and I believed they would vote them out before the Legislature adjourned. Mr. Stevens said, "I do not see how they can do it; they have come in to stay during this Legislature and the next, and they will look out for American interests." Those were, as nearly as I can remember, his remarks, and I think almost verbatim.

Senator Frye. When you landed the troops, did you land them with any intention to aid either party?

Mr. Young. Not at all.

Senator Frye. Were you invited to aid either party?

Mr. Young. No. We were asked by President Dole. He sent over and asked Capt. Wiltse to recognize him.

The Chairman. When was that?

Mr. Young. After they formed the Government, and on the same day.

The Chairman. When was it?

Mr Young. The 17th. I was sent over with a message from Capt. Wiltse, with his compliments to President Dole, to ask him if he had absolute control of the Government, police force, and everything, and if he did not, he, Capt. Wiltse, would have nothing to do with them. I told Capt. Wiltse that Judge Dole had possession of the archives and Government building, but that President Dole said, "We have not control of the military forces and police, but we have a sufficient force to maintain us," and that I replied, "If you have not charge of the Government, I am requested to inform you that we can have nothing to do with you," and I returned and reported to Capt. Wiltse.

Senator Frye. When you were taken to Arion Hall, that was the only place you could go?

Mr. Young. Only for that evening.

Senator Frye. It was only a temporary occupancy?

Mr. Young. Yes.

Senator Frye. Were any of your soldiers allowed outside of the hall to parade the square or anywhere else?

Mr. Young. Not at all, confined exclusively to the camp.

S. Doc. 231, pt 6----45

Previous Page Next Page