|Previous Page||Next Page|
qualification; they thought it was educational. I put it in my report because this man Peterson is a pretty bright lawyer, and I thought they would be much more likely to recollect correctly than the Queen. I never talked with the Queen about it at all.
The Chairman. That is all the information you got about the terms of the constitution which the Queen had proposed?
Mr. Blount. Except later. Sometime afterward a gentleman came to me, I think a Mr. Carter or a Mr. McFarlane, with a paper, which you gentlemen have here, containing a statement of the Queen; I looked over it. My first impression was that I ought not to use it; that she was disclosing a great many secrets in her feelings toward her political allies calculated to create feeling between her and them. She was a woman. Then it occurred to me after thinking the matter over, "I have nothing to do with that; I am here representing the Government of the United States, and I will put that with the other evidence." Those are all the communications on the constitution.
The Chairman. Did that paper purport to emanate from the Queen?
Mr. Blount. Oh, yes; there is no question about that.
The Chairman. You say there is no question about that?
Mr. Blount. I have no question about that.
Senator Gray. Was that sent in with your report?
Mr. Blount. Yes; I have put everything in the bundle and sent it.
Senator Gray. You sent everything?
Mr. Blount. I sent everything.
Senator Gray. It is a statement signed by the Queen, is it?
Mr. Blount. Yes.
Senator Gray. There is but one statement from her, a sort of history of the revolution?
The Chairman. It was her version of the affair?
Mr. Blount. Her version. I never spoke to her about it at all.
The Chairman. During your stay in Hawaii did you have any official communication with Liliuokalani or her cabinet as in any sense representing an existing government?
Mr. Blount. No; not the slightest, not the slightest.
The Chairman. What communication you had with them at all was for the purpose of obtaining information that you thought would be useful to the Government of the United States?
Mr. Blount. Yes. I took opinions from both sides of people who were connected with public affairs at the time. For instance, if you will allow me, there was Mr. Damon, the Vice-President, who went to the station house to negotiate for the surrender of the station house, and went to the Queen. I took him, Mr. Bolte, who went with him to the station house; Mr. Waterhouse, who was on the committee of safety, and at whose house the final determination of the dethronement of the Queen occurred. I mention those persons, and I attempted to get the testimony of Mr. Smith and the statement of Mr. Cooper, who read the proclamation establishing the new Government; I went in that direction, and I found from Mr. Damon's testimony and Mr. Bolte's that they had gone to the station house and found certain persons connected with the Queen's Government, and I naturally took members of the cabinet, and so it led along as circumstances were.
The Chairman. As the question opened up to your mind you proceeded to investigate things that you thought would be useful to the Government here?
Mr. Blount. I did.
The Chairman. Before you left Hawaii did you receive any communication, statement, or information from the Government of the United
States of any purpose to reinstate Liliuokalani on any terms or conditions whatever?
Mr. Blount. I never dreamed of such a thing as the reinstatement of Liliuokalani; I never heard it suggested until my return to the United States. I had a talk with the Secretary of State, and the inclination of his mind was that the circumstances created a moral obligation on the part of the United States to reinstate her. I gathered from the Secretary of State that the President had not any opinion—was thinking the matter over.
The Chairman. That the President had not formed his opinion?
Mr. Blount. Had not formed his opinion. I had never heard anything from the President indicating any opinion until the public had it.
The Chairman. Then at the time you left Hawaii nothing had been developed in the direction of a movement to reinstate Liliuokalani on the throne?
Mr. Blount. I never heard of it except as I heard of it in the American papers.
The Chairman. The papers that would find their way to Hawaii?
Mr. Blount. Yes; nothing from the Government. You asked me a moment ago about my having communication with the Queen. Those people down there are the most consummately brutal and unconscionable people I ever saw—on both sides; they say almost anything. On one occasion the attorney-general came to me at my office, and the Queen's name was mentioned. I said, "What sort of a person is she; I never saw her." He was surprised. He said, "You have never seen her?" I said, "No." He said, "That is very strange; the Government was informed that you called to see her, and she got on her knees, and pressed your hands, and cried," etc. Some time after that an attack was made in the Star, in which the writer was urging the deposition of the Queen, charged she was conspiring against the existing Government, and said she should be deposed, that she might have treasonable communications with public ministers, as witness her unhindered interviews with Commissioner Blount. That was the annexation organ. I thought it was very discourteous, and I wrote Mr. Dole a letter. Probably it appears in the published correspondence.
In that letter I set forth that I had never called upon the Queen at all except as indicated in an interview with him, in which it was agreed that there was no impropriety in my doing so, and that I felt this attack was an outrage on me as the American representative. He seemed to appreciate the situation, and an apology was brought about, a very poor one. But I think President Dole regretted it. The attorney-general, in referring to the article, said to me that this man Smith, of the annexation organ, had been to the Government (that is to say the President and cabinet), and said that he had the unquestionable proof that I had three long interviews with the Queen. He did not believe Smith. I never had any communication with the Queen looking to her protection or aid in any form.
The last interview I had with her came about in this way: I was going off from the islands; I made up my mind to leave; I thought everything was quiet. I felt I was taking some responsibility by leaving if anything should happen and I should not be there—that I would have to suffer the criticism. I talked with members of the Provisional Government; talked with some two or three gentlemen of character and standing on the royalist side as to whether there was any danger in my leaving, and then it occurred to me perhaps I had better go and see the Queen and ascertain just what she thought of the peacefulness of her people. I went to her and told her my purpose of leaving; all of which
|Previous Page||Next Page|