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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp772-773 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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and myself; and no man ever knew from me what anybody had testified to.

Senator Dolph. I suppose you talked with a great many persons about this subject?

Mr. Blount. Oh, they talked to me; but I never communicated my views.

Senator Dolph. You were told a great many things on both sides of this question by persons who had called upon you?

Mr. Blount. Yes.

Senator Dolph. And you never felt it incumbent upon you to make any record of what was said to you, or any report of it, except it was something which, in your judgment, ought to be taken down and reported? That is, you exercised your own judgment as to whether anything said to you should be made a part of your report; did you not?

Mr. Blount. If I were to answer that directly, without any qualification, perhaps I would not convey a correct impression. I saw people and they would talk to me. For instance, a man would come in and say he was a royalist, and he would commence to abuse Mr. Stevens. I would say nothing at all. I could not communicate to him, and did not encourage the conversation. And so somebody else on the other side would abuse the royalists. I could not help those things. Those were the things that occurred. I never indulged in conversation with people about affairs there, as a rule.

The Chairman. At what time did you send your report to the Secretary of State as to the condition of affairs in Hawaii?

Mr. Blount. The final report, I think, was in the month of July. But the record discloses that. I can not remember it.

The Chairman. Was it after you were appointed minister?

Mr. Blount. Yes.

The Chairman. It appears that you were appointed minister on the 22d of August; that is, a letter informing you of your appointment on that date, with various items of inclosure and instruction, was sent to you as minister of the United States. On that appointment you took the oath of office?

Mr. Blount. Yes.

The Chairman. Did you then communicate your appointment to the Dole Government?

Mr. Blount. Oh, yes.

The Chairman. Did you make any communication of that to the Liliuokalani cabinet?

Mr. Blount. Not the slightest. I had nothing to do with Liliuokalani at all; it was not a proper thing, I did not think.

The Chairman. And you continued in that office until you were asked to resign and came home ?

Mr. Blount. I sent my resignation by the vessel that brought the appointment. I expected to leave when I got through the investigation. My private business was not satisfactory, and I wanted to get home. I was worried about it. I thought it might be childish in me to send an absolute resignation, and I did not put it in that form; but I did take occasion in some correspondence to assure the Secretary that I did not want the place at all. As I said, my private business required that I should be at home.

The Chairman. The question is whether, while you were minister, the instructions of the Government to you in regard to Hawaiian affairs had been in any wise altered ?


Mr. Blount. No.

Senator Dolph. I do not think you understood my question a few minutes ago, that you did not consider it incumbent upon you to make any record of these statements made by the numerous persons who called upon you and talked about the situation in Hawaii or include them in your report.

Mr. Blount. No. If you will allow me to state, you will very readily see that I could not trust memory about those things, and hence I resorted to the plan of taking the statements in the form of interrogation and answer by the stenographer. I thought I would be enabled after the examination of witnesses on both sides, leading persons, to get at the condition of affairs; and, therefore, I did not trouble myself with every person whom I would meet who wanted to talk with me.

Senator Dolph. You exercised your own judgment and choice as to which of the persons you came in contact with you would examine?

Mr. Blount. I felt that I was there to conduct the examination, and I determined that I would conduct it according to my best judgment for the purpose of eliciting the truth. On one occasion, for instance, there was a committee came to me from the Annexation Club and said they had been appointed for the purpose of furnishing witnesses to me for the purpose of being examined. I was not pleased with it. That club was made up of people of all nationalities. I said to them, "Gentlemen, you do not understand my relation to you, or I do not. I am not a representative of any body in Honolulu; I am not under the control of any body in Honolulu; I am here to make an investigation for the Government of the United States, and while, perhaps, I will examine some persons you want examined, as a rule I want to direct these examinations and say whom I will examine and whom not."

Senator Dolph. You indicated plainly to them that you would not hear any witnesses?

Mr. Blount. I did not intimate anything of the kind.

Senator Dolph. What did you say in regard to the proposition of this committee to furnish witnesses on the question?

Mr. Blount. I said to them I would perhaps examine some of their witnesses; but I did not consent to the idea that the Annexation Club or anybody else was to furnish witnesses to me.

Senator Dolph. Did you examine any witnesses furnished by that committee?

Mr. Blount. Oh, I examined—the only name they ever mentioned to me was Mr. P. C. Jones.

Senator Gray. Tell about P. C. Jones's examination. Did you examine him?

Mr. Blount. No; I did not—regretted that I could not. There were other persons whom I would like to have examined. There was quite a mania on the part of the people on both sides to be examined when they saw the testimony was going into a public document. I would have gratified many of them if there had been an unlimited clerical force at my command; but I did not have it, and I did not believe it was going to elucidate anything to multiply witnesses.

Senator Gray. Did Mr. Jones proffer himself as a witness?

Mr. Blount. Oh, no. A young man came in there by the name of Wilder, a boyish sort of fellow, with this statement.

Senator Gray. About Mr. Jones?

Mr. Blount. About the wishes of the Annexation Club—a person whom I did not consider proper to take counsel with. I do not mean

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