756-757

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp756-757 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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was kept quiet, because I did not want any demonstration made when I went away from there. It was understood by the Provisional Government. I talked to them freely about it.

I asked the Queen about the natives keeping quiet. She said there was no danger until the question of annexation was finally determined upon by the United States. She asked me, in the event of her arrest what would Admiral Skerrett do—what would the United States forces do in the way of protection. I said, "So far as I am concerned I must decline to answer as to what the Government of the United States will do; when I leave here Admiral Skerrett will be in command of the naval forces, and questions of public order, etc., will be left with him without my control." I never gave her an intimation.

Senator Gray. Is that all that occurred?

Mr. Blount. That is all that occurred.

Senator Gray. How many times had you had interviews with regard to public affairs with the Queen?

Mr. Blount. Had but two interviews; one concerning her abdication, and one just before I left, to see if there was danger of bloodshed when I left.

Senator Gray. The one you have just spoken of?

Mr. Blount. Yes. Those were the only conversations I ever had with her, and each of them I have substantially detailed.

The Chairman. In your estimate of her in those brief conversations, did you think her an intelligent, bright woman?

Mr. Blount. The conversations, I say, were very brief; the first one only two or three minutes, when she seemed to be a little wary and disinclined to talk except in response to questions. She was dignified and reserved. She was quite reticent. I had no means of determining her intelligence from any observation of my own. She was reputed by all the people there to be a very well educated woman.

The Chairman. A woman having dignity?

Mr. Blount. Oh, yes.

The Chairman. Having polite manners?

Mr. Blount. Yes. That is quite a feature of the Hawaiian people— dignity and good manners. So I learned from the people over there.

The Chairman. Was that your observation?

Mr. Blount. Yes.

The Chairman. I do not find in your report that you gave any advice to the Government of the United States in respect to the restoration of Liliuokalani to her former rule?

Mr. Blount. I did not give any advice. I was not called on to give any advice to anybody; I went down there to report facts; those were my instructions, and I reported as I believed them to be.

The Chairman. Does your report contain all the information you gave to the Government of the United States with regard to the forces there?

Mr. Blount. I think it does; it is the only way I carried it—on those papers.

The Chairman. And you had no motive in your report of interfering with or changing the Government that existed in Hawaii and restoring Liliuokalani?

Mr. Blount. It never entered my head to do anything about the restoration of the Queen until I returned to the United States, except, as I told you, I would see the matter discussed in an American paper.

The Chairman. But as a purpose on your part?

Mr. Blount. Oh, no. I was rigidly loyal to the idea that I was not there except to report information.

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The Chairman. How long after your arrival in Honolulu was it before you gave orders to Admiral Skerrett to remove troops from the islands and to haul down the American flag?

Mr. Blount. In two or three days. You will see a record of that. I met people day and night. They met me cordially, people of both factions there at the legation. The active leaders would resent the idea in the newspapers of there being any danger of disorder. They would say to me it would be folly for us to attempt anything to change the present condition of affairs until the question of annexation was disposed of; that if the United States wanted to annex the islands, they would annex them; what could they do? That seemed to be in their minds, and the thought that determined the peace of the islands up to the time I left, so far as I could see.

The Chairman. Up to the time you caused Admiral Skerrett to withdraw his force did you find the people in a quiet state?

Mr. Blount. It was as quiet a looking city as ever I saw.

The Chairman. You could then see no occasion for military demonstration on shore for the purpose of protecting the peace?

Mr. Blount. None in the world, as I said in my report. I went to President Dole and told him my impression about it, and my purpose to withdraw the troops, and asked if he could preserve order. He said he could presrve order. I was hastened for the reason which appears in the report. I had learned of a meeting of some eighty people who wanted to communicate to me certain political views, and it occurred to me the best thing to do was to have the troops removed. I intended to have them removed lest it would appear that they had brought about the removal of the troops.

The Chairman. The day that the troops were removed was there any civil commotion in Honolulu?

Mr. Blount. Not the slightest. I did not go down to the Government building at the removal. I did not know but possibly there might be some demonstration and my presence might occasion it. I asked Admiral Skerrett to see what demonstrations, if any, were made, and he has reported it. Capt. Hooper, of the Rush, took me over. He is quite an intelligent gentleman. He was on the shore, and I said I would be glad to have him go down there and see the impression it made on the people, what manifestations there were. His report is of record.

The Chairman. During the time that you were there, the flag was ordered down. Was there any civil commotion in Honolulu, or any part of it, of which you were informed?

Mr. Blount. No.

The Chairman. Would you describe the condition of the people as one of peacefulness and quiet?

Mr. Blount. Yes, as a general rule, I would say that was true.

The Chairman. Was there any riot or outbreak of any kind?

Mr. Blount. Not the slightest.

The Chairman. Were you informed of any combinations of a political sort during your stay, to reinstate Liliuokalani by a counter revolution?

Mr. Blount. No. I have stated the condition of the native mind as far as I was impressed by it, and that was that they could do nothing until the United States determined upon the question of annexation.

The Chairman. Were the people quiet in their avocations?

Mr. Blount. Yes. There was nothing to indicate that there ever had been any revolution.


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