762-763

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp762-763 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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of Hawaii, so as to favor either the Queen's form of government or the then existing Government—the Dole regime?

Mr. Blount. My idea about it was, the effect would be to impress both sides with the belief that I was not going to participate in their local affairs.

The Chairman. Was that your intention?

Mr. Blount. Such was my intention. I did not think the flag troops ought to be there. It did not occur to me just; it did not occur to me that investigation could go on with them there.

Senator Gray. I understand the chairman's question to be, did you intend the removal of those troops to give intimation to either side of your intention toward them?

Mr. Blount. I did not. I thought that it would be an intimation to both sides that I did not come down there to do anything with their controversies.

The Chairman. Your position was one of strict neutrality between them?

Mr. Blount. As much so as I could possibly make it. I never went into the house of a royalist but once while I was in Honolulu. I called on Mr. J. O. A. Carter with my family, with Mrs. Blount, just before leaving.

Senator Sherman. He was the former minister?

Mr. Blount. He was a brother of the former minister.

Senator Gray. I think the former minister is dead.

Mr. Blount. He is. He is the brother of the former minister, on whom I called. I called on President Dole, the attorney-general, the minister of the interior, the vice-president—the persons connected with the Government. I felt that I could do that without subjecting myself to general intercourse with the people. They were officials of the Government, and I announced to both sides that I felt bound to do that.

The Chairman. With the exception of the Queen and cabinet and the commander of the military forces, and of the civil forces, called the police, was there any substantial change in the personnel of the Government from what it was formerly, when you got to Hawaii?

Mr. Blount. As to the personnel?

The Chairman. Yes.

Mr. Blount. Well, the---

Senator Butler. As I understand, you arrived there after the Provisional Government was established?

Mr. Blount. Yes.

Senator Butler. You have no information as to the personnel of the Queen's government?

The Chairman. My question relates to what Mr. Blount learned as to what was the composition of the former government, as to its personnel.

Mr. Blount. I think the police force as a rule was left untouched. I never went into it particularly.

The Chairman. The army was disbanded—the Queen's army, body guard.

Mr. Blount. Oh, yes.

The Chairman. Do you remember whether any body guard was reserved to her for her protection ?

Mr. Blount. It was not so when I was there.

The Chairman. In other respects the Government went on under existing laws, saving, of course, the revolution which had taken place in the head of the Government?

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Mr. B ount. The information on that point appears in the correspondence between the Provisional Government and the Government here, and I would take it as the highest evidence.

The Chairman. That conforms to your own observations?

Mr. Blount. Yes, as to the character of the Government set up.

The Chairman. I suppose you ascertained that during the decade previously to this revolution there had been a great many changes in the political attitude of a great many leading men in Hawaii?

Mr. Blount. Oh, yes.

The Chairman. Politics had been a pretty lively subject in Hawaii some years before you got there?

Mr. Blount. Everything is little down there. It was lively for them in noise.

Senator Butler. It would not be considered very lively in Georgia, New York, or Ohio, I suspect?

Mr. Blount. Oh, no.

The Chairman. Would you say that the people there are given to participating in political agitations?

Mr. Blount. I would say more so than in Alabama. They get them pretty well worked up.

The Chairman. Meeting in conventions, public meetings, and having their say?

Mr. Blount. Oh, yes. I want to say that so far as that matter is concerned I took no testimony.

The Chairman. I am getting your impressions aside from the testimony you took.

Mr. Blount. Yes.

The Chairman. You would say, I suppose, that there was a pretty large feeling on the part of the press in Hawaii?

Mr. Blount. Oh, yes. You would take up the papers there and read one side and the other where they would make the most villifying personal attacks that you could conceive of. I would learn when these gentlemen would meet that it was just a good joke. I spoke once to Mr. Dole about it; I said, "I do not see how you can keep the peace with the people attacking each other this way."

He said, "That does not amount to anything; they are friendly when they meet. My attention was directed to that because I was apprehensive from seeing these articles that some disturbance would come, and I always talked very freely to the Government about the public peace. I was doing no harm on that ground; they seemed to want to talk with me; they came to me when there was fear of disturbance, and I would not communicate it to the other side. Then the other side would come, and I did not mention what they said to the Government. In this way I got information of both sides. I saw that there would be no trouble.

The Chairman. We have gone through a general view of this matter; I will turn Mr. Blount over to any one who wishes to ask any questions.

Senator Dolph. I wish to ask a few questions.

Senator Gray. No questions occur to me now.

Senator Dolph. You say that Secretary Foster showed you a letter from Minister Stevens, written in November, 1892?

Mr. Blount. Yes.

Senator Dolph. Concerning affairs in the islands?

Mr. Blount. Yes.

Senator Dolph. That letter contains a pretty full account of the political situation there?


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