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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp792-793 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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Mr. Jewell. Yes; I should think so.

The Chairman. I suppose you would consider that the commercial affairs of the world would be benefited by having in Hawaii a strong and just government?

Mr. Jewell. I should say so; yes, beyond question.

The Chairman. It would give confidence to capital to embark in trade, I suppose.

Mr. Jewell. Yes.

The Chairman. And increase the exports and imports of the different countries?

Mr. Jewell. I think so.

The Chairman. Do you know any place in any of the seas of the world where greater advantage can be bestowed upon the commerce of the world than could be obtained by the possession of the Sandwich Islands by a great maritime power, one that had the resources to preserve order and facilitate commerce?

Mr. Jewell. No; I do not know any more important point; no place that occurs to me at this particular moment.

The Chairman. Would you say that in a military sense the possession of Gibralter would be any more controlling or any more important to British interests in the Mediterranean than the possession of Hawaii would be to American interests in the Pacific Ocean?

Mr. Jewell. I consider that Gibralter is an extremely important point for the English to hold, because it is one of a chain of forts which they hold and which connects the Suez Canal with the Atlantic Ocean, and perhaps it would be of greater importance to England to retain possession of Gibralter than that the United States should have possession of the Sandwich Islands.

Mr. Chairman. Because Gibralter is one of a chain of fortifications held by England?

Mr. Jewell. Yes; fortified posts.

The Chairman. Which protect England's access to and outlet from the Suez Canal?

Mr. Jewell. Yes.

The Chairman. Suppose that there were a canal under American protection through Nicaraugua of equal capacity with, or greater capacity than, the Suez Canal, as a fortified port or place in a chain connecting Hawaii in the center of the Pacific Ocean with our possessions in the United States, the mouth of the Mississippi River, and the various bays and harbors that we have here and the fortifications at Key West, would you then consider that Gibralter is more important to the British people than the possession of Hawaii would be to the American people?

Mr. Jewell. It is hard to make a comparison of that kind; but if the Nicaragua Canal should be put through I consider that the possession of the Sandwich Islands by the United States would be absolutely essential.

The Chairman. And for the reasons that we have been just adverting to?

Mr. Jewell. Yes. I think it would be absolutely essential that the United States should take possession of those islands if the Nicaragua Canal is to be built.

The Chairman. You consider that the two propositions, the building of the Nicaragua Canal and occupation of Hawaii, either by including it in our territory or getting advantages there to enable us to have a naval station at that place, would be of the greatest importance?


Mr. Jewell. Oh, yes. I say it would be absolutely essential to retain that control of the canal which we are bound to have.

The Chairman. Have you been to Honolulu more than once?

Mr. Jewell. No; only once.

The Chairman. Did you make any examination of Pearl Harbor?

Mr. Jewell. No; I did not.

The Chairman. I will ask you in regard to the Bay of Honolulu, and get you, first, to describe its area and in what way it is protected from the inflow of the waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Mr. Jewell. It would be impossible for me to give any idea of the area from memory, because I do not recollect. I only know that the harbor is inclosed within a coral reef, with the exception of the entrance to the harbor of Honolulu. It is entirely closed by the coral reef.

The Chairman. How does it compare in area, according to your present recollection, with the harbor at Boston?

Mr. Jewell. I should say it is more contracted than the harbor of Boston.

The Chairman. Is it more contracted than the harbor of New York?

Mr. Jewell. Oh, yes.

The Chairman. You consider New York Harbor, up East River and North River, out to sea?

Mr. Jewell. Yes. My impression is that Honolulu is not an extensive harbor; perhaps it is a mile and a half long and a few hundred yards wide. It has been twenty years since I was there.

The Chairman. On the land side it is surrounded, I believe, by elevations of land?

Mr. Jewell. Oh, yes.

The Chairman. Considerable elevations?

Mr. Jewell. Quite high mountains along about the interior of the island.

The Chairman. Down about the coast?

Mr. Jewell. Within a short distance of the city.

The Chairman. Where heavy guns could be mounted to protect the harbor?

Mr. Jewell. Yes; Honolulu could be very easily fortified.

The Chairman. Take the best class of guns that we now have and mount them upon the best elevations, how far out would you say would be the radius of the defense that those guns would afford?

Mr. Jewell. You know the range of modern guns is very much greater than that at which any action would probably be fought. I am quite sure that batteries could be arranged to keep any foreign fleet from approaching Honolulu within 5 miles. But I have no doubt if guns were numerous enough they could keep them away still further.

The Chairman. That would be really a sufficient protection against the attack of a foreign fleet?

Mr. Jewell. I think so.

The Chairman. The fleet might destroy the town, but could not take possession lying out there?

Mr. Jewell. They could not take possession; I am not entirely certain that they could destroy the town, except by chance shots.

The Chairman. Such fortifications as occur to you as being possible on those elevations around Honolulu Bay and around the city of Honolulu would be sufficient ro assist in protecting a fleet that might be in the harbor?

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