740-741

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp740-741 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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The Chairman. Were you present at the time Wilson gave up control of the police?

Mr. Laird. No.

The Chairman. Did you see them at any time in the city?

Mr. Laird. No. That was in an entirely different portion of the city than Arion Hall—half a mile away.

The Chairman. You confined yourself to your military duties while you were there?

Mr. Laird. Confined ourselves to the precincts of our own camp. Officers were not even permitted to go out; that is, during the first two days.

Senator Frye. Did you know Minister Stevens well?

Mr. Laird. Yes; I know him quite well. I have visited his family quite frequently and met him quite frequently.

Senator Frye. What estimate did you form of his character as a minister?

Mr. Laird. Remarkably good; think he was a man who was very attentive to his duties, and would consider him a very careful man.

Senator Frye. Did you see in him, or hear from him at any time in all your acquaintance with him, any purpose of overthrowing the existing Government of Hawaii and establishing a new one?

Mr. Laird. The only remarks I ever heard him make in regard to it was on the Boston down at Hilo. He lamented the general condition of the Government, and seemed to be relieved that the Wilcox cabinet had been formed.

Senator Frye. Did you have any conversations with Minister Stevens while he was on the ship going down to Hilo?

Mr. Laird. Quite a number; yes.

The Chairman. State whether or not he made any expressions about the continuance of the Wilcox cabinet—the length of time it would probably continue?

Mr. Laird. I feel confident that he expected thoroughly that the Wilcox cabinet would hold after the Legislature was prorogued.

Senator Frye. That was two years?

Mr. Laird. Yes, hold for two years until the next election. He spoke about the peace, the possibility of peace and quiet to the country, and his desires to wind up his affairs and go home.

Senator Frye. Was there any indication given to you or to any ot the officers in your presence, of a desire on the part of Mr. Stevens to interfere in the government of the islands?

Mr. Laird. None that I had ever seen.

Senator Frye. Do you yourself personally know what request Mr. Stevens made of Capt. Wiltse when he came on board the Boston that afternoon at 3 o'clock ?

Mr. Laird. I do not.

Senator Frye. Shortly after Minister Stevens came on board it was that in his presence and in the presence of all the officers that Capt. Wiltse issued the orders for shore duty and what should be done while on shore?

Mr. Laird. Yes.

Senator Frye. State whether or not while the troops were on shore there was any location of them made with any purpose of overawing the Queen or sustaining the Provisional Government?

Mr. Laird. None whatever. At the time the Provisional Government took charge I do not think there was anyone in the camp but Lieutenant Swinburne knew what was going to take place. They may

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have known it, but I was officer of the day and I heard nothing about it. The men were on drill at the time the proclamation was read. We heard of that shortly afterward; but our drill continued, and when the policeman was shot down in the street I went to Lieut. Commander Swinburne and requested to take command of my own company, and that the men on guard for the day should be sent to the company, which was done. During the time of the reading of the proclamation drill was being held in the rear of the building; a number of the men on guard detail were lounging around on the front porch.

Senator Frye. State whether or not at anytime while you were on shore—during the four days of the revolution—your troops were allowed to march through the streets at all, except when you landed?

Mr. Laird. No.

Senator Frye. They were confined to their own barracks?

Mr. Laird. They were confined to their own quarters until after the third night.

Senator Frye. I mean during the time you were at Arion Hall.

Mr. Laird. Yes; we had dress parade immediately in front of the opera house; but they did not go away from that vicinity. There was not more than from three-quarters of an acre to an acre of ground back of Arion Hall, and we had to get the men out for exercise.

Senator Gray. That was the only place to drill?

Mr. Laird. The only place to drill.

Senator Gray. In front of the opera house?

Mr. Laird. In front of the opera house.

Senator Gray. In the street?

Mr. Laird. In the street. It was a triangular square.

Senator Frye. While you were there did you have any knowledge of the Queen's forces, both national guard and police? What did they amount to?

Mr. Laird. No; I did not.

Senator Frye. Was there any attempt while you were there made on the part of the Queen's troops to overturn the Provisional Government— to interfere with the mass meetings that were held?

Mr. Laird. None that I saw, and none that I heard of.

Senator Frye. Do you know of any officers or soldiers of the Boston who took any part whatever in the dethronement of the Queen?

Mr. Laird. None.

Senator Frye. Or in the establishment of the Provisional Government?

Mr. Laird. None.

Senator Gray. Where did you land?

Mr. Laird. We landed at Brewer's wharf.

Senator Gray. Please state where you marched.

Senator Frye. Show it by streets.

Senator Gray. Yes; call the streets, so that the stenographer may get them.

Mr. Laird. (indicating on the diagram). I do not think the street where we landed has any name. We landed at Brewer's wharf; we marched up through Merchant street.

Senator Gray. The whole battalion?

Mr. Laird. We formed on Queen street, and we marched down Queen street to Fort, and up Fort street to Merchant to the consulate; at the consulate the marines were detached.

Senator Gray. You marched down Queen street to Fort street to the consulate, where the marines were detached?


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