744-745

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp744-745 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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is the main street [indicating]. This [indicating] is a narrow street, not much frequented.

Senator Gray. What sort of fence is there?

Mr. Laird. A picket fence on this side and a picket fence on both sides. There was a roadway that came down there from the opera house, and the Japanese commissioner lived in this house [indicating], so that we did not encroach upon his territory at all.

Senator Gray. There was a picket fence here [indicating]?

Mr. Laird. Our province was a little beyond the building itself.

Senator Gray. And the lot in which you were stationed was inclosed by a picket fence?

Mr. Laird. A picket fence, probably 4 or 5 feet in height.

Senator Gray. There was no disturbance that afternoon, Tuesday, after the proclamation of the Provisional Government, and around in the neighborhood of where you were?

Mr. Laird. No.

Senator Gray. Around the Government building?

Mr. Laird. No.

Senator Gray. Were you in a place to have seen it if there had been?

Mr. Laird. After the drill was over I walked out in front, in the roadway, to see if there was any assemblage of people.

Senator Gray. Were you aware that the proclamation was being read?

Mr. Laird. No.

Senator Gray. You did not see any of it?

Mr. Laird. Did not see it and did not know it.

Senator Gray. Until you were told?

Mr. Laird. No.

Senator Gray. There was no disturbance there?

Mr. Laird. No.

Senator Frye. Was there any difficulty that night about finding quarters for your troops?

Mr. Laird. There must have been great difficulty, or the men would not have been kept out until half past 9.

Senator Frye. Were there men out seeking quarters?

Mr. Laird. Yes.

Senator Frye. And you did not get them until 9 o'clock?

Mr. Laird. It was later than that.

Senator Frye. Do you know whether Arion Hall was selected with any reference at all to the Queen's Government or Provisional Government?

Mr. Laird. I have no such knowledge. I do not think it was. It was accidental—it was available.

Senator Frye. And the only one, so far as you could find out, that was available? Was there anything in the location or disposition of the troops which prevented the Queen's troops from dislodging the men who took possession of the Government buildings?

Mr. Laird. No, I do not think there was.

Senator Frye. Under your orders, if the Queen's troops had undertaken to repossess themselves of the Government buildings, had you any right to interfere?

Mr. Laird. I would have been obliged to obey Mr. Swinburne's orders.

Senator Frye. I say, under the instructions?

Mr. Laird. Under the instructions, no.

Senator Frye. In Mr. Blount's report he states that the Queen's

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troops could not have done anything touching the Government buildings really without firing upon the American troops.

Senator Gray. Quoting Admiral Skerrett for that opinion.

Senator Frye. No; I do not think Admiral Skerrett gives that as his opinion.

Mr. Laird. I do not see how we could interfere in any way with the Queen's forces or Government forces.

Senator Frye. I do not, from the maps, if the maps are correct. Did you at any time while you were there learn the extent of the Queen's troops and the Queen's police?

Mr. Laird. No, I did not.

Senator Gray. Did you intend to allow any fighting over across the street from you?

Mr. Laird. I was under the immediate orders of Lieut. Swinburne at the time, and I would have been obliged to obey his instructions. I could not use my own judgment; he was the senior officer.

Senator Gray. How long did you stay on shore?

Mr. Laird. We were on shore from the 16th of January until the 1st of April.

Senator Gray. How far was Camp Boston from the landing place?

Mr. Laird. It was right in the heart of the city itself.

Adjourned until to-morrow, 11th instant, at 10 o'clock a. m.


Washington, D. C., January 11, 1894.

The subcommittee met pursuant to adjournment.

Present: The Chairman (Senator Morgan) and Senators Butler, Gray, and Senator Dolph of the full committee.

Absent: Senators Sherman and Frye.

SWORN STATEMENT OF JAMES H. BLOUNT.

The Chairman. What time were you first informed of your selection by the President as the Commissioner to go to Hawaii?

Mr. Blount. The first intimation I had on the subject of my going to the Hawaiian Islands is contained in this dispatch, which I read:

"Washington, D. C., March 10,1893.
"Hon. James H. Blount,
Macon, Ga.:
"By authority I ask can you come here immediately prepared for confidential trip of great importance into Pacific Ocean? Answer."

The Chairman. Was that signed by Mr. Gresham?

Mr. Blount. No; by Hoke Smith.

The Chairman. You came in accordance with that request?

Mr. Blount. Yes. And if you will allow me I would say when I first got the telegram I made up my mind very promptly that I would not go; I did not want to go at all. My son opened the dispatch and found out what it was, and in that way was induced to bring it up to my house. I was at home. He asked me what I was going to do about it, and I said I was not going. I then showed it to his mother, and told her that I was not going. After some little while my son said, "Father, mother's health is very bad, and I think it would add five years to her life to go;" and under that appeal from him I said, "I will do anything for your mother's benefit; I will go." I then sent


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