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without bloodshed, lessened the respect of the Hawaiian for the constitution and encouraged the attempt of Robt. Wilcox, in June, 1889 to rebellion and the promulgation of a constitution that would restore the lost prerogatives of the King.
I tried Wilcox for conspiracy to commit treason and had to discharge one Hawaiian jury for violent conduct while in the jury box. The second jury acquitted him in spite of his own testimony admitting all the acts which constituted conspiracy. The testimony of that trial showed that Kalakaua was a party to the conspiracy, and only because he was afraid that it would not be successful he failed to go to the palace and promulgate the constitution. The native soldiers were in sympathy with Wilcox's plans, as also many of the native police, and Wilcox also relied upon V. V. Ashford's promise that the Honolulu rifles which he commanded would not help against him.
Mr. Ashford was very lukewarm in his efforts to dispossess the rebels of the Palace grounds and the Government building. I was a personal hearer of the altercations between him and his brother, C. W. Ashford, who was then Attorney-General. The Attorney General would urge one plan and another, always to be rebuked by Col. Ashford with the statement that it could not be done, or that he, the Attorney-General, knew nothing of such matters. It was mainly owing to the volunteer citizens soldiery who rallied to the support of the Cabinet that the rebellion was put down by force in which seven Hawaiians were killed and others wounded. Liliuokalani disavowed to me her knowledge or connivance with Wilcox's plans, but the fact that the armed party under Wilcox assembled at her own house in the suburbs and started from there to the Palace, gives credence to the belief that she knew of it.
At Minister Merrill's request marines from the U.S.S. Adams were landed and stayed all the afternoon and night at the legation, which was in one of the cottages of the Hawaiian Hotel, and close to Col. Ashford's headquarters. This went far to quiet apprehension of mob violence that night. The U.S.S. Boston troops were accustomed during their stay here to land weekly for drill and parade. We have for many years been accustomed to this spectacle from other ships of the United States Navy and occasionally from ships of other nationalities. As I have said, twice before the l6th of January, 1893, when the Boston troops landed, have we seen them land to protect American life and property. I knew Capt. Wiltse intimately. He often came to my house and often assured me that his instructions were to remain passive and only to use his forces for the protection of American life and property.
I do not deny that both Minister Stevens and Capt. Wiltse were not in sympathy with the disgraceful plans of those in the Legislature and out of it who would force a national lottery upon us that the history of Louisiana proved to us would, in time, have captured the entire Government, and that they both wished for purity in government in our community and for what all good Christian Americans would desire for this country and for their own. Such gentlemen could not from their nature sympathize with what was corrupting or vile. But I affirm that not in all my intercourse with these gentlemen have I heard any expressions from either of them that would lead me to hope or expect that they would use the forces of the United States in any violent act against the Queen's forces or in aid of any insurgents. The constant presence of ships of the United States Navy for years and years past has assured us that they would protect American life and property, and this assurance was the same whether the troops were landed or
kept on board. Let others who were of the committee of safety and leaders of the movement of January 17 speak for themselves of their actions not known to me. My narrative is what came to my personal knowledge.
During the first part of the Queen's reign she was very friendly with the moral and Christian portion of our community, attending social and religious gatherings of the ladies in their various societies and contributing to their benevolent work. I felt that she was sincere in her intentions to rule wisely and well and to leave government to her cabinet, and I did all I could to make my friends trust her. On one occasion, owing to the public scandal created by her having around her in the palace women of bad repute, and both men and women of doubtful reputation invited to the palace balls, I had had a long conversation as to the necessity of purifying the atmosphere about her. She expressed sympathy with my views. But I knew from others that she was dissatisfied with the constitution of 1887; that she thought Kalakaua had yielded too tamely to the pressure and that she would not.
I knew from the native newspapers that the politicians were persuading the Hawaiians that the property qualifications of a voter for nobles being too high for the mass of them, practically deprived them of rights which they thought they ought to have and gave them to the white man. I was well aware that when the common native has his race prejudices excited on the stump and in his newspapers he is apt to think that all his ills and all his poverty are owing to the supremacy of the white race in this country. But Liliuokalani had been educated in Christian schools, had had advantages of association with the best people of our communities and with the cultured of all nations here as visitors, and I did not think that all this would go for naught when the time, as she thought, had come for her to assert herself as Queen of the native race alone. I had been frequently told that she disliked me and my influence, but I have never received any personal indication of it.
It was not until the Legislature was well along that her friends, I among them, began to fear that she was insincere. It could not be understood why she kept the appropriation bill so long after it passed the Legislature, or why she postponed the prorogation of the Legislature beyond the time set for it by the Legislature. The session had been long and fatiguing. The lottery bill had been the subject of most intense feeling in the community and of discussion in the newspapers of this city, and its adherents were shamed out of its advocacy. It was considered a dead issue. The act to reorganize the judiciary department was approved by the Queen only on condition that the cabinet propose an amendment that the district magistrates should be commissioned by the sovereign on the nomination of the cabinet in place of the law as it had stood for many years, whereby the chief justice, with the approval of the other justices, should commission them on the nomination of the cabinet. The cabinet yielded for the sake of peace.
This was to my mind the first open indication that she was desirous to regain the power that Kalakaua had either surrendered or which had been taken from him by statute. The appointment of 26 magistrates of her adherents all over the islands would give her great power. The next step she took was to refuse to commission Mr. Frear as circuit judge under the new act. Mr. Frear was in all respects the best available man for the place. I took the liberty of advising her to
S. Doc. 231, pt 6----51
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