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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp774-775 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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that he was not a gentleman, but I had an idea about the Annexation Club, that there was a pretty rough element in there, and I know that was the opinion of the Provisional Government—many of them indulging in threats of assassination. They wanted me to turn over the celebration of the Fourth of July to the club, a political organization, which I declined; whereupon it went out in the United States that I was not in favor of the celebration of the Fourth, refused to arrange for the celebration of the Fourth, and all that sort of thing, although I presided at the celebration. I did not go to their meeting one night, Mr. Severance agreeing to go in my place to make arrangements for the appointment of committees, etc.

The Chairman. Did you preside at the Fourth of July meeting?

Mr. Blount. Yes. "Marching Through Georgia" was played and all sorts of things.

Senator Dolph. Was Mr. Nordhoff there, the correspondent of the Herald?

Mr. Blount. Yes.

Senator Dolph. Did you meet him frequently?

Mr. Blount. Yes.

Senator Dolph. Talked to him freely about the condition of affairs?

Mr. Blount. I did not.

Senator Dolph. Did you see a comparison in the New York Sun of portions of your report with letters of Nordhoff to his paper?

Mr. Blount. I did not. If you will allow me, I never took up the subject of writing that report, never wrote a line until Mr. Nordhoff left the islands ?

Senator Dolph. You have not seen the Sun article?

Mr. Blount. No; I have not.

Senator Dolph. I understood you to say that none of the witnesses who appeared before you were sworn?

Mr. Blount. Oh, no; I did not feel that I had authority to swear witnesses. I had them sign their testimony after reading it over.

The Chairman. There were affidavits submitted to you?

Mr. Blount. There were some four or five affidavits—the matter in them very short. I did not have the time, and I said to those gentlemen, "I would be very glad if you would put these facts in the form of an affidavit, and they were brought there that way. It came about simply because of the pressure of time. I did not care to go into a general examination of those people; I did not have the means to do it.

Senator Dolph. Did you in all cases have the statements of the parties who appeared before you extended into longhand and approved?

Mr. Blount. Yes.

Senator Dolph. Was all that was said before you by Admiral Skerrett made a part of your report?

Mr. Blount. All that was said on what subject?

Senator Dolph. On any subject. Did you report the communication from Admiral Skerrett—make it a part of your report?

Mr. Blount. Yes, I did. For instance, I said to Admiral Skerrett, "Let us take a walk and see where those troops were located;" and we went. I wanted him to see, and I pointed out, where Arion Hall was, and the Government building from which the proclamation was read. I said, "What do you think about locating troops here so near the building under the circumstances?" He said, "They were not located here." He was under the impression that they were located some distance off. I said, "You are mistaken about that; I know they were located here." I said to him, "Now what do you think of this position of

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the troops?" Of course, this was on the street, and it was not taken down. I suppose you wanted to know that.

Senator Dolph. It is interesting, and I would like to hear it.

Mr. Blount. Then Admiral Skerrett expressed the opinion which is contained in his statement. I said to him, "Admiral, I would be glad if you would give me that in writing;" and he gave it to me, and I forwarded it.

Senator Gray. That is the statement that appears in print?

Mr. Blount. That is the statement that appears in print.

Senator Dolph. The whole statement appears in print?

Mr. Blount. Yes.

Senator Dolph. It was a conversation with you?

Mr. Blount. Yes. My relations were closer with Admiral Skerrett than anybody else, consulting with him and so on. You can understand that it is an unsatisfactory state to be in, to be 2,000 miles from your country and nobody to talk to but Admiral Skerrett and my stenographer. They were the only persons I could talk to.

Senator Dolph. Were any communications furnished to you upon the subject of your investigation which were not made a part of your report?

Mr. Blount. I do not understand what you mean.

Senator Dolph. Was everything included in your report which was furnished to you on the subject—written communication?

Mr. Blount. I do not think I left any out.

Senator Dolph. You have spoken in your examination of having said to the Provisional Government that you would be glad to receive a statement from those in power, and you spoke as though that had been addressed not only to the President but to the others.

Mr. Blount. I used to go to the Government building where the president and his cabinet were sitting about, and I made the statement.

Senator Dolph. Did you make a public statement, an address?

Mr. Blount. Oh, no. They were sitting around a table. They made a small party, the president and cabinet and myself sitting in there— no formality.

Senator Dolph. Hou came you to be present at the cabinet meeting?

Mr. Blount. It was not a cabinet meeting; they sat in the same room and talked. I used to go in there and talk, and they came to the legation.

Senator Dolph. Do you recollect the conversation that day between you and the members of the Provisional Government?

Mr. Blount. It was not of any consequence; I remember that portion of it.

Senator Dolph. Did you address your conversation to any particular one, and if so what was said?

Mr. Blount. President Dole and the cabinet were sitting around, and I said to them, "Gentlemen, I would like to examine any of you with regard to the revolution; I can conceive that you might not care to submit to it." There was no response.

Senator Dolph. Was that before or after the publication of your instructions?

Mr. Blount. My impression is that it was before.

Senator Dolph. So they knew nothing about the object of your mission except what had leaked out from the examination of witnesses when you made that suggestion?

Mr. Blount. Leaked out? There was not much leaking about it.


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