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Senator Gray. You think it was good? Am I to understand you as saying that?
Mr. Alexander. Yes; I think so. He had been on several different sides; he changed sides several times in politics.
The Chairman. Is there any method of contesting the election in Hawaii for members of the Parliament or Legislature; any way provided by law?
Mr. Alexander. For contesting elections?
Mr. Alexander. Yes.
The Chairman. Those questions are decided by the House?
Mr. Alexander. Yes.
The Chairman. By the house to which the man claims to be elected, or by both houses in conjunction?
Mr. Alexander. I do not quite understand you.
The Chairman. Is the vote as to the qualification of a member, his election to a seat, taken in the house of nobles, if he claim election as a noble, or the house of representatives, if he claim election as a representative?
Mr. Alexander. Both, I think; they act as one chamber.
The Chairman. Both houses vote in cases of contested elections?
Mr. Alexander. Yes.
Senator Gray. They vote separately?
Mr. Alexander. No, they sit together.
The Chairman. Is the vote called separately?
Mr. Alexander. Called separately for the nobles and representatives.
Senator Gray. But they do not count separately; it is hotch-potch.
Mr. Alexander. That was fixed in the constitution of 1864, and they allowed it to remain. I have verified the statement I made about the supreme court. Hon. Walter Frear was appointed judge of the first circuit of Oahu by the Wilcox-Jones ministry in December, 1892; Hon. S. B. Dole resigned his position on the bench of the supreme court on the morning of January 17, 1893, placing his resignation in the hands of Sam Parker, the then premier.
Adjourned to meet on Wednesday, the 17th instant, at 10 o'clock.
WASHINGTON, D. C, Wednesday, January 17, 1894.
The subcommittee met pursuant to adjournment.
Present: The chairman (Senator Morgan) and Senators Gray, Sherman, and Frye.
Absent: Senator Butler.
SWORN STATEMENT OF LIEUT. COMMANDER W. T. SWINBURNE.
The Chairman. What is your age and rank in the Navy?
Mr. Swinburne. I am 46 years of age, and am lieutenant-commander in the U. S. Navy.
The Chairman. You were attached to the ship Boston at the time of her visit to Honolulu, in 1892?
Mr. Swinburne. I was; I was executive officer of the Boston up to the 29th of April, 1893.
The Chairman. When did the Boston arrive in the harbor?
Mr. Swinburne. I am not precise as to that date; either the 23d or 24th of August, 1892.
The Chairman. You left her there when you were detached?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes.
The Chairman. Had you been in Hawaii before that?
Mr. Swinburne. Many years before. I stopped there in 1870, when returning from a cruise in the Pacific in the Kearsarge.
The Chairman. Did you spend much time in Hawaii?
Mr. Swinburne. Only a week.
The Chairman. Between your visits did you discover that there was much progress made in Hawaii?
Mr. Swinburne. Very great progress; the town had grown enormously; in every way a great change in the place.
The Chairman. When you got back to Honolulu in 1892 what, in your opinion, was the condition of the people there as to quietude and the peaceful conduct of their industries and enterprises and associations?
Mr. Swinburne. Everything seemed to be perfectly quiet. The Legislature was in session, and the principal topic of conversation among the people was the prospective lottery bill. Everybody seemed to be much exercised over the lottery bill, which was a bill about to be presented to the Legislature, granting a charter to certain men to establish a lottery, or, at least, these men had the right to control all lotteries in the islands, and for that right they were to pay, my recollection is, something like $500,000 a year, and lay a cable between the United States and Honolulu. The Legislature, as I say, was in session; the Queen at that time had a ministry in power who were assumed to be favorable to the lottery scheme and some other schemes which she favored, and the majority of the citizens—when I speak of citizens I mean the white citizens or the moneyed interests of the place—opposed. The principal topic of conversation on shore was the necessity of having a responsible ministry, so that foreign capital might be attracted there. Business was very dull.
I remember one interest in particular which people were hoping might be established there—the extension of the railroad around the island of Oahu. Gen. Willey, from San Francisco, during the time I was there and some time before January, visited the island in the interest of a British syndicate. He was favorably and hopefully impressed with the whole situation, but timid on the subject of the insecure— not exactly the insecure, but the want of responsibility in the ministry. The people talked of hard times, and seemed to feel that something was necessary to attract money, to make capital come there and help them. The Legislature dragged on; one ministry was deposed; that is, a vote of want of confidence was brought in against this ministry of the Queen; another was appointed, and a vote of want of confidence was brought against them. Finally, after quite a length of time a ministry in every way favorable to business interests and to all the commercial interests of the place, known as the Wilcox-Jones ministry, was appointed by the Queen. Everybody seemed to be satisfied with it, and everything looked hopeful. In fact, my own personal opinion is that if the Wilcox-Jones ministry had remained in the Queen would have been on the throne to-day. Everybody was satisfied with the Wilcox-Jones ministry. They were opposed to the lottery bill.
The Chairman. Were they voted out?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes. On the 1st of January Capt. Wiltse began to talk about his target practice; we had no target practice for nine
months. Minister Stevens was anxious to visit Hilo and other places on the islands, and would not have another opportunity, as he expected to go home in April, and he thought that would be a good opportunity to visit Hawaii, which he had not seen.
The Chairman. You mean the island of Hawaii?
Mr. Swinburne. The island of Hawaii. I said to the captain: "It seems to me it is rather risky for us to leave the island at this time; the legislature will hardly remain in session more than two or three weeks longer, and we have stayed here now four months; it seems to me it is not worth while to go just now." The captain said: "The Wilcox-Jones ministry can not be voted out; I am certain of that; I have looked at the situation, and I am satisfied the Queen can not get votes enough to bring in a vote of want of confidence; besides that, the minister has looked into the situation, and you do not think he would leave the island if the Wilcox-Jones ministry could be ousted?" I said nothing more about it. We sailed to Hilo on the 4th of January, and finished up our target practice in Lahaina on the evening of the 13th.
The Chairman. There was no appearance of agitation at that time?
Mr. Swinburne. Not the slightest; everything looked perfectly safe. On the evening of the 13th we anchored off Lahaina, intending to get under way at midnight and return to Honolulu. I went to bed early, because I had to be up at midnight, and when I got up at midnight I heard that a steamer had arrived from Honolulu and brought some papers. I picked them up and, much to my surprise, found that the lottery and opium bills had been passed and the Wilcox-Jones ministry voted out. Of course everybody was quite taken aback; still we did not anticipate any particular trouble.
The Chairman. Before you got this intelligence from the little island steamer were you aware of the existence of any plot, scheme, conspiracy, or combination for the purpose of dethroning the Queen or for the purpose of annexing the islands to the United States?
Mr. Swinburne. None at all.
The Chairman. It never occurred to you?
Mr. Swinburne. It never occurred to me. If that ministry had remained in, or an equally responsible ministry had been put in, everything could have remained as it was. Of course there was an immense opposition on the part of the foreign population to this lottery bill.
The Chairman. By foreign population do you mean the white population?
Mr. Swinburne. The white population.
The Chairman. Whether they were citizens or not?
Mr. Swinburne. Citizens or not.
The Chairman. They were all called foreigners?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes. Those born in the islands are spoken of as Hawaiians, as a rule. In fact, an enormous petition was sent to the Queen, signed by the white ladies of the island, which petition was spoken of as the "mothers' petition." It was against this lottery bill.
The Chairman. When you got back to Honolulu—got into the harbor— how long did Minister Stevens remain aboard the vessel?
Mr. Swinburne. He could not have remained aboard more than an hour. In fact, so soon as it was convenient to get a boat off, he left. I do not think it could have been an hour.
The Chairman. Do you know whether Minister Stevens' daughter came out for him?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes; his daughter came out; and my impression is Mr. Severance came on board.
The Chairman. He is the consul-general?
Mr. Swinburne. He is the consul-general.
The Chairman. Did the young lady, Miss Stevens, come on board?
Mr. Swinburne. No.
The Chairman. You are sure Mr. Severance did?
Mr. Swinburne. I am pretty sure he did. Mr. Stevens went on shore in the captain's gig, and very shortly afterward Lieut. Young went ashore to represent the ship at the prorogation of the Parliament, which took place at noon.
The Chairman. That is the ceremony which the ship's officers were expected to participate in in conformity with the customs of Hawaii?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes. Mr. Young was detailed to that duty by Capt. Wiltse.
The Chairman. Do you know how long it was after Mr. Stevens left the Boston on Saturday morning until he returned to the ship?
Mr. Swinburne. I do not remember to have seen him on board again until Monday afternoon, about 2 o'clock.
The Chairman. Being the executive officer of the ship, if Mr. Stevens had come on board, would you have known it?
Mr. Swinburne. Without a doubt, unless he should have come when I was on shore, and then Mr. Moore would have known it.
The Chairman. At the time he left the Boston, had you heard of any outbreak or hostile demonstration of any kind amongst the people in Honolulu?
Mr. Swinburne. None at all. But I knew from all the conversation during all these many months that the Legislature had been in session, about the passage of the lottery bill and the character of the new ministry, the people must be very much excited. They were a perfectly irresponsible set of men as ministers.
The Chairman. Do you remember whether any messengers came back to the ship from Lieut. Young, bearing messages to Capt. Wiltse in regard to the situation of affairs in Honolulu on Saturday?
Mr. Swinburne. I do not. I was very busy Saturday morning mooring the ship, getting her settled, and I do not recall now exactly what time Mr. Young returned, nor exactly what time he went ashore; but it was sometime before lunch, before 12 o'clock.
The Chairman. At what time did you commence making military preparations on board the Boston for the landing of troops?
Mr. Swinburne. On Saturday afternoon, at the usual time for making out the liberty lists. It is customary while in port to make out liberty lists before 12 o'clock on Saturday; that was their best day and I was so busy I could not attend to it; but immediately after lunch I went to the cabin to speak to the captain about the liberty list. He said, "Don't let any men go ashore at all; everything is in a chaotic state; I do not know when we will be called upon to protect property, and I do not want the men to leave the ship. Notify all the officers to return on board ship when a gun is fired." I was not very much surprised, because we had been there for months to protect property and American citizens.
The Chairman. You understood that was your purpose in the harbor there?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes.
The Chairman. For months?
Mr. Swinburne. For months; yes
The Chairman. State the progress that was made in the preparations for landing troops.
Mr. Swinburne. Well, on Saturday nothing was done at all; on Sunday I had the same orders from the Captain—" No men to go ashore, and officers to return on board ship on the firing of a gun." On Sunday afternoon I went on shore myself. I went to the club, and I found that there was an immense amount of feeling, that there was a very distinct race feeling grown up; the white people felt that the new constitution which the Queen was about to promulgate on Saturday afternoon had created a great deal of feeling. I did not know what that new constitution was; nobody knew exactly; but it was freely talked of there that one clause disfranchised all white people not married to native women, and also that it gave the Queen complete and entire control of the ministry—to make it and unmake it as she saw fit. Those two clauses were talked about, and the Queen's manner in talking to the natives from the balcony showed that she was ready to fan into a flame every race prejudice she could.
The Chairman. You mean that was the feeling you found among the people?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes. Some gentlemen I had not known to talk much about political subjects before that said to me, "You fellows got back here entirely too soon; if you had stayed away we could have settled this matter." They seemed to think our coming back prevented them. They said, " We could have settled this matter before you came back." I regarded the situation as very grave; that is, under the circumstances, with the Queen's attitude toward the foreigners and the manner of her own people as they were turned away from the palace that morning, and her stating to them that she would not give them the constitution, but would hold it until some better opportunity. i could see that the people were afraid of outbreaks, rioting.
The Chairman. What meaning did you understand to be conveyed by that statement made by citizens, "If you had not gotten back so soon we would have settled the matter?"
Mr. Swinburne. Why, that they would have deposed the Queen and had the whole business settled before we got there, as they were capable of doing.
The Chairman. That was on Sunday?
Mr. Swinburne. On Sunday.
The Chairman. Sunday afternoon?
Mr. Swinburne. Sunday afternoon. There was a distinct feeling of tension in the town; no doubt about it. In fact I know several gentlemen who moved their families from the town to Waikiki in the event of trouble. Mr. Hopper, who is an American, I think, and who lives within a block or two of the Queen's palace, he moved his family to Waikiki.
The Chairman. How far is that?
Mr. Swinburne. Two miles and a half; in the suburbs. He told me he thought there would be some trouble, and he removed his family.
The Chairman. To a place of greater security?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes. So it went on all day Sunday and Sunday night.
The Chairman. Did you remain on shore Sunday night?
Mr. Swinburne. I did not remain on shore Sunday night. Of course, there was a great deal of talk; all the white people were very much excited, and it appeared as if there was likely to be an outbreak of some kind most any time.
The Chairman. What time did you get back to the ship that evening?
Mr. Swinburne. I got back to dinner at 6 o'clock.
The Chairman. Did you have a conference with Capt. Wiltse when you got back?
Mr. Swinburne. No; Capt. Wiltse and I very rarely discussed the situation at all. In fact, if I remember aright, the only time I undertook to give any advice at all was the occasion of leaving the island, on the 4th of January.
The Chairman. Was Capt. Wiltse receiving communications on the subject from the shore?
Mr. Swinburne. Not that I am aware of. I think he was ashore himself. He used to go ashore a great deal, every afternoon. I think his custom was to go every afternoon.
The Chairman. Do you remember any messenger being sent from the U.S. legation or consulate to the ship to give information to Capt. Wiltse?
Mr. Swinburne. No; I do not think I would have known. There was no reason for me to have known if they had come. The captain was on shore on Saturday and Sunday.
The Chairman. You remained on the ship on Monday as executive officer?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes. On Monday morning I laid my plans to start out and give the ship a cleaning. We had been ten days away, and the ship was very dirty, and I expected to be all day at the job. By 10 o'clock I had the spars fairly cleaned, and about 11 o'clock, when the decks were covered with sand, the captain sent for me and said, "you had better make your preparations for lauding the battalion; have them ready at a moment's notice."
The Chairman. Are you aware of any communication having been received from the shore by Capt. Wiltse on that Monday morning which determined him to put his ship and his troops in condition for hostilities?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes. Just before he gave me that order—I think about 11 o'clock, as nearly as I can remember—he sent for me. There was a gentleman in the cabin; I think it was Mr. Cooper, a man I had not seen before. The captain introduced me to him. He told me that Mr. Cooper had come from the—I may have dates mixed up; my impression is that Mr. Cooper had come with a message of some kind from the committee of safety. But what was the nature of his communication to the captain I do not know.
The Chairman. During that morning, and before the orders were given you to put the ship in condition for fighting, did you know of the arrival of any message or messenger from Mr. Stevens, the minister, or from Mr. Severance, the consul-general of the United States?
Mr. Swinburne. None whatever, only this man that I saw just before lunch time.
The Chairman. Being executive officer of the ship, if any messenger of that kind had come in from the legation or the consulate would you have known it?
Mr. Swinburne. Not necessarily.
The Chairman. But do you believe you would have known it?
Mr. Swinburne. That would depend very much on the gravity of the message. An ordinary message I would not have known at all; any message connected with the landing of the battalion I would have known very quickly. No preparation was made until after 11 o'clock on Monday morning, and the captain then told me to have everything
in readiness for landing. I asked what he wanted. He said: "You had better take a gatling gun and a 37 millimeter." I said, "Two gatling guns would be better than a 37 millimeter;" and the captain said, "Take a 37 millimeter." I stopped the work of scrubbing, left it just where it stood, had the canteens filled and belts filled, and the caisson of the 37 millimeter filled. I had lowered the two heavy boats that took the guiis; and after dinner, 1 o'clock, had the guns lowered into the boats, so as to save time, and by half-past 2 I was practically ready for landing.
The Chairman. You took provisions along with you?
Mr. Swinburne. No provisions at all.
The Chairman. No tents?
Mr. Swinburne. We had no tents.
The Chairman. You did not know how long you would be detained on shore?
Mr. Swinburne. Not the slightest idea. The minister came on board at half past 2, or thereabouts. I knew there was to be a mass meeting of the citizens at half past 2, and I knew there was to be a counter mass meeting called by the Queen's party. My impression was, when I heard that in the morning, that the two meetings would probably bring the matter to a crisis.
Senator Turpie. You spoke of going to the club. What club was it?
Mr. Swinburne. It is known as the British Club. It is the foreign club of the place there. The first time I saw Mr. Cooper, I recollect now, was on Saturday. He came aboard to see the captain. My recollection is he came from Judge Hartwell to bring the news of the Queen's attempt to promulgate this new constitution. When this attempt was made and after the ministry had refused to aid her, two of them took the news to Judge Hartwell's office.
The Chairman. You are now telling what you were informed?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes. The first time, as I stated before, that I saw Mr. Cooper, was this Saturday afternoon just after lunch.
The Chairman. When Cooper came on board the ship?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes. And my impression is that he was the same messenger who came on Monday morning and brought some message to the captain which decided him to have the troops in readiness.
The Chairman. Now, as I understand you, between the time you got the troops ready to go on shore, the caisson lowered into the boat, and other preparations made, and the time of your going on shore, Minister Stevens came on board?
Mr. Swinburne. Mr. Stevens came aboard. He arrived at about half past 2. I met him at the gangway with the captain, and walked as far as the cabin door. I did not go in. In about three-quarters of an hour or an hour afterwards the captain sent for me and said, " I want you to land with the battalion at 5 o'clock; as near 5 o'clock as possible." I suggested it would be a good idea to have supper before we went on shore; we could not get anything to eat afterward. The captain said, "Let the men have supper at 4 o'clock, and take some biscuits for the night." We had supper at 4 o'clock, and at half past 4 the men were organized in heavy marching order with a change of clothes and 80 rounds of ammunition—no baggage at all.
The Chairman. Before that occurred had Minister Stevens left the ship?
Mr. Swinburne. He had left the ship; yes. I think he left—I will not be certain but my impression is he left about 4 o'clock.
The Chairman. Did you hear any interview between him and Capt. Wiltse?
Mr. Swinburne. None at all, except that I suggested that it would be well to have all the company captains present to find out what the orders would be, as nearly as we could find out. At that meeting it was decided----
Senator Frye. Mr. Stevens was present?
Mr. Swinburne. Mr. Stevens was present. I asked where we were to go. Mr. Stevens said he did not know where we would be able to go; that he had not thought the matter over; that he would have to have some large building somewhere, and he thought the opera house would be a good place if we could get it. The opera house faces the palace. I said that my own desire and preference would be to be near the landing, because 1 would be nearer my base, and nearer the liquor shops. My idea was, if there was an outbreak of any kind, my first move would be to close all liquor stores, and if necessary leave a guard there, or nail them up, to prevent people from getting liquor. Mr. Stevens said he did not know of any building around the water front, but he thought we could get the opera house. Then be said: "By the way, there is a Mr. Atherton, an American, who lives down on King street; suppose you let the troops go on there." That was to the captain. So that that was finally decided upon in an unofficial sort of way. The captain said: "You can stop at the consulate and send half tbe marines to the minister's; detail an orderly sergeant in charge of the squad you send to the minister's; leave the other half in charge of Lieut. Draper at the consulate and march on, and by that time we will be able to tell you where you are to go." I said: " In the event of not getting any orders"—I wanted to get the men off the street so soon as possible—"I will go to Mr. Atherton's." The captain said: "Yes."
At 5 o'clock we landed. There was no demonstration, but there were a great many people about, the same as usual when we landed to drill, as we had done once a week. We arrived and marched up to the consulate; marched up King street past the palace. I was told afterward the Queen was standing on the balcony. We gave the salute. It was always the custom to give the royal salute on passing the palace, and we did on this occasion—the men at port arms, four flourishes of the trumpet, and the flag lowered—ordinary marching salute. We marched on a block beyond there, and then I halted and went into the house of Mr. Hopper and asked the privilege of using his telephone. I telephoned to the captain and asked if they had decided where we were to go. He said he had not. I then marched on to Mr. Atherton's, fully three blocks further, quite a distance down the street. Mr. Atherton said he had no objection to our coming in there—he had large grounds—and we marched in, stacked arms, established sentries, and settled down. I telephoned the captain two or three times when it got dark.
It was a new experiment to me. I did not know how the men would behave. I wanted to get them under cover. We had found no place At 9 o'clock the captain's aid came down and told me to go up to Arion Hall. I did not know the place and the aid marched on ahead. We marched down (it was late) without any drum, in order not to attract attention. We got to Arion Hall, which is a long, narrow building in the rear of the opera house. It has a very narrow yard on the street side—the street which separates it from the Government building—and yards on tho other three sides. Arion Hall is a 1-room building, with a veranda on tbe two sides. The guns were parked, the men turned in, and sentries posted. I took a lantern and went around to see what
sort of a place I would have to defend, if necessary. I had sentries posted, and we settled down there for the night.
Senator Frye. Had it been raining that evening?
Mr. Swinburne. No, not at all. I did not sleep any; no one slept any, the mosquitoes were so bad. About 12 o'clock there was an alarm of fire. I went out and met Mr. Castle, an American, coming along on his bicycle, and he said: "That fire is out beyond my house, on the plains—some distance—I can get there and back in a short time on my bicycle, and bring you the news." He came back—he was not gone more than ten minutes—and said it was an unoccupied barn. It was an incendiary fire, but there was no trouble. At 3 o'clock there was another alarm. I turned out for that. It appeared to be in the direction of the Hawaiian Hotel. It made a big blaze. I went up to that. It was discovered to be an arbor in Emma Square, with a tree growing over it. That was also an incendiary fire, unquestionably; but it was put out without any trouble.
The next morning we settled down to get the men in condition to keep them occupied, laid out the drills, and made preparations—sanitary preparations. Drains were dug and the whole place fixed up. About 1 o'clock Tuesday afternoon Mr. Charles Carter, who was afterward one of the commissioners to this country, came in to see me.
Senator Gray. What relation is he to the late minister to the United States?
Mr. Swinburne. A son of the late minister to the United States, a prominent lawyer there, and a man whom I had met frequently. He came in and stayed some time, this afternoon, and said: "It is the intention of the committee of safety to take possession of the Government building. You will recognize them by Mr. Dole; you know Mr. Dole; he is the tallest man in the party; if you see him in the party you will know what he is doing. They are going to take possession of the Government building." He said: "Have you any objection to my seeing your orders?" I said I had not. I called his attention to the orders lying on the table. As he handed them back to me I said: "You see my orders are to protect the legation, the consulate, and the lives and property of American citizens, and to assist in preserving order; I do not know how to interpret that; I can do it in but one way. If the Queen calls upon me to preserve order I am going to do it." He said nothing further to me about that, and went off. The men were just coming in from drill.
It was, perhaps, half past 2 or a quarter to 3 when a man rushed up to the gate, an American, with a Winchester and belt of cartridges, quite excited, and said: "The police have attempted to stop our ammunition wagon; it was necessary for it to go on, and the policeman was shot and killed, and that there was a large crowd collected ou Merchant street" (Merchant street is where the police station is), "and I was ordered to come and tell you." I said: "Who are you, and what is 'our ammunition wagon?'" He said: "I belong to one of the companies raised by the committee of safety, and our ammunition, which has been loading all day outside of Hall's store, was stopped by the policeman, and he was shot." He said: "After Mr. Good warned the policeman off he dropped his whip and fired on him."
The Chairman. Was the policeman killed?
Mr. Swinburne. It turned out afterward that he was not killed. This man said to me: "Can I stay here at your camp until my company arrives?" I said: "Yes." He was an American citizen and could stay anywhere. I suppose that was naturally the beginning of the riot. The
crowd collected, and I had the signal sounded, got the companies in the rear of the building out of sight to stack arms, and had the men kept at their company parades, so that they would not lounge about or expose themselves.
The Chairman. What time of day was this?
Mr. Swinburne. Three or 4 o'clock.
The Chairman. On Tuesday?
Mr. Swinburne. On Tuesday. Then I stood at the gate to see what would happen. The next thing was the arrival of Mr. Dole at the building. The proclamation was read. At the time they commenced to read the proclamation the companies commenced to come in, one at a time. This was about half-past 4 o'clock. So far as time is concerned, however, it is all guesswork; these events happened without my knowing what was coming, and 1 have simply to judge from the routine of the camp. About half-past 4 or 5 o'clock I got a note from President Dole asking me if I would come to see him in the Government building. The captain arrived at the time these people entered the Government building and he took command. I showed the note to the captain and said: "I will go over and tell Mr. Dole you are here and will see him." The captain said: "I have no objection to seeing him." I went over and told Mr. Dole that the captain had arrived, and if he (Mr. Dole) had any propositions to submit the captain would see them. I took a note from Mr. Dole to the captain, asking if he could come over. I asked to be present at the meeting and the captain said yes. I went over, and in the office of the minister of the interior was Mr. Dole, Mr. Jones, W.O. Smith, and a number of other gentlemen.
A large number of arms was piled up in the room, a large quantity of ammunition stacked in the hall, and there was at least 100 men under arms. There was an armed sentry at every gate; the whole place had the appearance of being well guarded. We went in and Mr. Dole greeted the captain. My impression is that W.O. Smith and Mr. Jones did the most of the talking. They announced to the captain that they had formed themselves into a provisional government. A proclamation had been read declaring the Queen dethroned and the ministry dissolved; that they had possession of the archives, the Government building, and the treasury, and that they were a de facto government. They asked the captain if he was prepared to recognize them as such. The captain said: "Have you charge of the police station and the barracks, and are you prepared to guarantee the safety of life and property?" Mr. Dole said: "We have not charge of the police station at present, but it is a mere matter of time; it is bound to be given up in a few minutes; I expect to hear that it is given up at any time." The captain said: "Until you are prepared to guarantee that you can give protection to life and property I can not recognize you as the de facto government," or words to that effect. Just then the late ministry was announced, and there seemed to be nothing further for us to say and we went out.
The Chairman. Was anything said at that conversation about being in possession of the barracks?
Mr. Swinburne. No. We knew they were not in command of the barracks; the Queen's troops were there, and sentries—just as quiet as possible. We returned to the building at 6 o'clock, and the men had supper. In the meantime all these companies had arrived and were drilling. At half-past 6 o'clock the captain said "I must go up to the minister's; before I go I want to state to you that the minister has recognized the Provisional Government as the de facto Government of the islands; you will consider them as such." That was at half-past
6, and that was the first time I had heard of any official recognition from the minister at all.
The Chairman. Were the Queen's troops still at the barracks and under arms at the time of that information?
Mr. Swinburne. The sentry was there.
Senator Gray. So far as you could see, no change had taken place?
Mr. Swinburne. No.
The Chairman. That was the time that Capt. Wiltse informed you the minister had recognized the Provisional Government as the de facto Government?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes; at half-past 7—I had a telephone put in that day—I had a call from central that said "the citizen troops had taken charge of tbe armory." Then I got a call from the marine officer, who was right near and could see the building from where he was.
The Chairman. At tbe time that Capt. Wiltse informed you what had been done by this Provisional Government, and when he said he would go up and see the American minister, did he give you any instructions as to whether you should or should not recognize that Government?
Mr. Swinburne. Oh, yes; that I was to recognize that Government. My impression is that he satisfied himself that they had troops enough to handle the situation. I think they had myself. Then I got a message from Mr. Draper, tbe marine officer, stating the same thing—that the police station had surrendered to the forces. The central simply notified me that the citizen troops had taken charge of tbe police station, and that was followed by a communication from Mr. Draper, at the consulate, tbat tbe troops had taken possession of the police station.
Senator Gray. Who was Mr. Draper?
Mr. Swinburne. Tbe marine officer.
Senator Gray. He was where he could see?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes.
Senator Gray. Near the police station?
Mr. Swinburne. Near the police station. By standing on the sidewalk he could look down and see what was going on. At11 that night it was perfectly quiet—no disturbance of any kind. The next morning about 11 o'clock, while standing outside the camp, the English minister and the Portuguese minister came along.
Senator Gray. When was that?
Mr. Swinburne. Wednesday morning. The English minister stopped and notified me that he had just been to notify the Provisional Government that he would recognize them as the de facto Government, pending advice from his Government; but he said, as a sort of parenthesis, "I found it necessary to ask them, if they were the de facto Government, why it was necessary to bring foreign troops on the soil." He expected an answer from me. I looked as if I had no answer to give, and he looked at me a few minutes and went on. The Queen surrendered the palace that day; the Royal standard was hauled down, and she retired to Washington Place. She was allowed a guard of half her former troops, household guards—a force of 15 or 16 men.
The Chairman. Of Hawaiian troops?
Mr. Swinburne. Hawaiian troops—the rest were disbanded, paid to the end of the month, and they left pretty cheerfully. On Thursday we moved into our new quarters on Fort street, which had been procured for us, the property of Mr. Bishop. Mr. Damon was the agent of the property, and through him this was arranged. We moved in there and stayed there, and the next step was the hoisting of the flag, on the 1st of February. For two or three weeks before
the 1st of February there had been a great many rumors of an outbreak; the current report was that the Royalists thought it necessary to make a demonstration of some kind before the departure of the steamer on the 1st of Febuary, and for that reason for three or four nights everything was guarded very closely at the Government building; they had extra patrols, and every preparation was made to prevent any surprise. On the evening of the last day of January Capt. Wiltse said to me, "I want you to be ready to have the battalion under arms at half past 8, when I will come on shore and give you your orders."
At half past 8 the battalion was paraded, the captain arrived and handed me the orders, a copy of which is there, and dated the 1st of February. He ordered me to take charge of tbe Government building, the flag to be hoisted at 9 o'clock. I marched down with the battalion. At the Government building I found all tbe members of tbe advisory council and the members of tbe cabinet of tbe Provisional Government. The three companies of troops were drawn up on tbe three sides of tbe square. We marched in and were drawn up in front of the building, and then by direction of tbe captain the adjutant read the proclamation of the minister establishing a protectorate over the islands pending negotiations with tbe United States. As I understand, tbat was at the request of the Provisional Government. Then the American flag was hoisted and saluted. After the American flag was hoisted the Hawaiian flag was hoisted.
Senator Gray. How was the American flag saluted?
Mr. Swinburne. The troops presented arms, and three flourishes of the trumpets were given.
Senator Gray. Was a salute fired from tbe ship?
Mr. Swinburne. A salute of 21 guns was fired from the ship.
Senator Gray. What was the salute from the ship?
Mr. Swinburne. The national salute.
The Chairman. And then you faced about----
Mr. Swinburne. Faced about and gave the same honors to the Hawaiian flag.
The Chairman. Was any salute fired?
Mr. Swinburne. No salute was fired. Then the building was turned over to my custody, and the Provisional Government's troops marched out. By Capt. Wiltse's order I left a marine guard of 25 men which had been withdrawn from the consulate and legation that day, leaving only 5 men at the legation. They were placed in charge of the Government building. There was a change apparent at once; no more rumors of uprising of any kind—uprising of the Royalists; the transaction of public business was much facilitated, because the marines had orders to let anybody come and go without being bothered about passes or anything of the kind. So two days passed, when President Dole came to me and said he would like to have the Government building opened that the court might be held, and to that end he would like to have the sentry removed from the front gate during the hours from 9 till 4.
The Chairman. What court?
Mr. Swinburne. The supreme court. I suggested that it would be better to go further than that, to remove all sentries for the time so as not to have the appearance of keeping anybody away, which was done. All the sentries were taken from the public building from 9 to 4, all tbe gates were opened, and tbe court held its sessions. A short time afterwards one company of 36 men was sent on board ship (Mr. Young's company), reducing the force on shore to 120 men. Then, on the 20th of March, by direction of Rear-Admiral Skerrett, another
S. Doc. 231, pt 6----53
company of 36 men was withdrawn, and that, with the casualties that occurred, left the force on shore about 90 men; I think less than that.
Senator Gray. What do you mean by casualties?
Mr. Swinburne. Some men sent on board ship for punishment, and quite a number sent onboard sick. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 to 90 men left, including the drum corps and color guard.
The Chairman. At what time did Admiral Skerrett come into the harbor?
Mr. Swinburne. I forget the date of his arrival; but it was after the flag was hoisted.
The Chairman. On what ship did he come?
Mr. Swinburne. The Mohican.
The Chairman. Is that his flagship?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes.
The Chairman. What was Admiral Skerrett's command?
Mr. Swinburne. The Pacific Station.
The Chairman. That included Hawaii?
Mr. Swinburne. That included Hawaii; yes.
The Chairman. How long did Capt. Wiltse remain on the Boston after Admiral Skerrett's arrival?
Mr. Swinburne. My impression is that he remained until about the 5th of March, when he was relieved by Capt. B. F. Day.
The Chairman. Did he leave on account of sickness?
Mr. Swinburne. He left because of the termination of his cruise. He was there a little longer than the termination of his cruise. Two years is now the ordinary term of a captain at sea; that had expired in February, and in the ordinary course of routine Capt. Day was sent out to relieve him.
The Chairman. How long did Capt. Wiltse live after that?
Mr. Swinburne. I have forgotten the date of his death—probably six weeks or two months.
The Chairman. After he arrived in the United States?
Mr. Swinburne. After he arrived in the United States. He had been apparently in good health; but he had one stroke of apoplexy while he was attached to the ship. I was not surprised.
The Chairman. Are those the orders under which you left the ship with that detachment (exhibiting paper)?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes.
The Chairman. They are as follows:
- U. S. S. Boston, Second-rate,
- Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands, January 16,1893.
- Lieut. Commander W. T. Swinburne,
- U. S. Navy, Executive Officer U.S.S. Boston:
- Sir: You will take command of the battalion and land in Honolulu for the purpose of protecting our legation, consulate, and the lives and property of American citizens, and to assist in preserving public order.
- Great prudence must be exercised by both officers and men, and no action taken that is not fully warranted by the condition of affairs and by the conduct of those who may be inimical to the treaty rights of American citizens.
- You will inform me at the earliest practicable moment of any change in the situation.
- Very respectfully,
- G. C. Wiltse,
- Captain, U. S. Navy, Commanding U.S.S. Boston.
What time of day were these orders delivered to you?
Mr. Swinburne. About half past 4 on the afternoon of the 16th.
The Chairman. When you received these orders did you receive any personal or private instructions from Capt. Wiltse in addition?
Mr. Swinburne. None at all, except what I have stated in regard to where we were to go.
The Chairman. Did you at that time know of the formation of a provisional government in Hawaii?
Mr. Swinburne. No; not at all. In fact I knew nothing about that until Mr. Carter spoke of it on Tuesday afternoon.
The Chairman. That was the first knowledge you had?
Mr. Swinburne. That was the first knowledge I had.
The Chairman. So that, in landing with those troops you were not landed for the purpose of protecting the Provisional Government.
Mr. Swinburne. Not the slightest.
The Chairman. Or inaugurating a provisional government?
Mr. Swinburne. Not at all.
The Chairman. You were not certain that you were to do anything more than to protect the----
Mr. Swinburne. Protect American property and the lives of citizens— particularly the property. There had been always a feeling during the time we were there that we were there to look out, in the event of any domestic disturbance in the islands, that no harm came to the Americans or their property in any way.
The Chairman. You are not certain whether that order to assist in preserving public order related to the Queen's Government or any other government?
Mr. Swinburne. I supposed it to mean the Queen's Government; that was my interpretation. There was no other government when I landed.
The Chairman. So that, if the Queen had addressed to you a request to preserve the public order, or if you had found that the public order was being disturbed by opposition to her, you would have felt required to respond?
Mr. Swinburne. That request would have come through the minister to me, merely to preserve order. I did not know that I was there to fight her battles any more than anybody else's. I was there to preserve order; protect the peaceful rights of citizens in the town. I should have been ready if called upon to lend a hand.
Senator Gray. You were going to prevent fighting?
Mr. Swinburne. I was going to prevent any fighting that endangered peaceable American citizens in the town.
Senator Gray. Did Capt. Wiltse say anything to you, or in your presence say anything about preventing any fighting in the town, or not allowing any fighting in the town?
Mr. Swinburne. No; not at all.
Senator Gray. Never did?
Mr. Swinburne. No.
Senator Gray. That if they wanted to fight they would have to go outside?
Mr. Swinburne. The order said, I thought, no more than to see that peaceable citizens were not interfered with.
Senator Gray. Did Capt. Wiltse say that if there was to be any fighting it should be out of town?
Mr. Swinburne. No; he said nothing to me about fighting at all. We had no discussion of the orders.
Senator Gray. Did he say it in you presence?
Mr. Swinburne. I never heard it.
The Chairman. Your construction of the fighting order was to see that peaceful citizens were not interfered with?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes.
The Chairman. By anybody?
Mr. Swinburne. By anybody.
Senator Frye. I understand that under the rules and regulations of the U. S. Navy, naval officers in foreign ports are required to protect the lives and property of American citizens. Now, do you not understand that, so far as this order related to the preservation of order, that you were to preserve order so as to render safe the lives and property of American citizens?
Mr. Swinburne. Precisely.
Senator Frye. You would not have felt called upon to stop it if the Queen's troops had fired into the Provisional troops.
Mr. Swinburne. Oh, no.
Senator Frye. Your idea was that the order was for you to protect the lives and property of American citizens?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes. The evening we landed it was reported, and the next morning Mr. Draper said the Chinese consul came to him at the consulate after the consul general had left and reported that his people were very much disturbed, and he did not know what was going to happen, and he wanted to know from Mr. Draper what they were to do. Mr. Draper said: "If your people behave themselves, go to their houses, and keep out of trouble I will see that they are protected." So that he notified me of that the next morning, and I said, "Certainly; in such a case as that there is no reason why we should not protect any man's life, when he is simply behaving himself and attending to his own business." That was the only question that ever came up. My idea was that I was to look out for American property. Of course, there was some American property there then in danger, and I was going to see that that property and the lives of the owners were looked out for.
The Chairman. By property do you mean goods?
Mr. Swinburne. Goods; yes, and houses. "What I feared was incendiary firing of houses, and that sort of thing, by an irresponsible mob.
The Chairman. Are those the orders under which you took possession of the Government Building [exhibiting paper]?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes. They are laconic enough. The orders are as follows:
- "U.S.S. Boston, Second-rate,
- "Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands, February 1, 1893.
- "Lieut.-Commander W. T. Swinburne,
- "Commanding Battalion, U.S.S. Boston.
- "Sir: You will take possession of the Government Building, and the American flag will be hoisted over it at 9 a.m.
- "Very respectfully,
- "G. C. Wiltse,
- "Captain, U.S. Navy, Commanding U.S.S. Boston."
The Chairman. These are the orders under which you abandoned the island and went back to the ship? [Exhibiting paper.]
Mr. Swinburne. Yes; the orders detaching me from the command, and ordering me to return to the ship.
The orders are as follows:
- "U.S.S. Boston, Second Rate,
- "Honolulu, H. I., March 20, 1893.
- "Sir: In accordance with the instructions of Rear-Admiral J. S. Skerrett, U.S. Navy, commanding U.S. Naval Force, Pacific Station, you will, at 5:30 p.m. to-day, withdraw from shore one company of thirty-six men, with their officers, and repair on board the Boston and resume accustomed duties."
- One company, with music, colors, and proper proportion of officers, will be left at 'Camp Boston,' and you will turn over the command of the same to Lieutenant Charles Laird, U. S. Navy, who will continue the duties and routine as heretofore.
- "Very respectfully,
- "B. F. Day,
- "Captain U.S. Navy, Commanding U.S.S. Boston.
- "Lieut. Comdr. Wm. T. Swinburne,
- "U.S. Navy"
WASHINGTON, D. C, Friday, January 19, 1894.
SWORN STATEMENT OF LIEUT. COMMANDER W. T. SWINBURNE. Continued.
The Chairman. Did you have any instructions in addition to or differing from the orders under which you started from the ship?
Mr. Swinburne. None at all.
The Chairman. Did you understand when you left the ship that you were going ashore for the purpose of sustaining the Provisional Government then in process of organization or in expectation of organization, or for the purpose of sustaining any government?
Mr. Swinburne. Not at all. I had never heard of the Provisional Government. I did not know, even, that there was such a movement on foot. I knew there was a movement of some kind on foot on the part of the citizens, and my idea was that it was to get some absolute assurances from the Queen that they could depend upon in the future.
The Chairman. Your idea was that the movement was to get some assurances from the Queen?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes. I did not expect it would ever come to the point of dethroning her. You will notice in my testimony given before that I had called Mr. Carter's attention to that part of my orders which referred to preserving order in the town. Before Mr. Carter had asked me if he could see my orders, when he told me that certain men were going to take the Government building, in calling attention to that part of my orders, I purposely exaggerated my orders, lest he should get an idea that as these men were Americans I would give them support, since I was there to protect American interests. I called his attention to the clause which directed me to assist in preserving order. I said, "My understanding of that is that l am to assist the Queen's Government in preserving order." Of course, a request from the Queen to assist in preserving order would have to come through the minister, but I thought it was proper to exaggerate that, so that he would go
away with a complete understanding of how I stood with regard to the matter. That was the purpose of that statement.
The Chairman. Had you any purpose, or did you suspect any purpose on the part of any person concerned in this movement, either the United States minister, the United States consul, Capt. Wiltse, or any other official to establish a provisional government, or to dethrone the Queen?
Mr. Swinburne. Not at all.
The Chairman. You were not aware of any such purpose existing at all?
Mr. Swinburne. No.
The Chairman. At the time the troops disembarked—went on shore—do you know whether Mr. Stevens was on board the ship?
Mr. Swinburne. My impression is that he had gone on shore. I am not certain of that; but I am pretty sure.
The Chairman. When did you next see Mr. Stevens after you saw him on board the ship?
Mr. Swinburne. I do not remember to have seen him again until the day of his daughter's funeral, which must have been about four weeks from the date of our landing, though I can't be certain. It was not until the day of his daughter's funeral; I can not recall when that was, but it was while we were on shore.
The Chairman. Did Mr. Stevens interfere in any way with the management of the troops on shore?
Mr. Swinburne. Not at all.
The Chairman. Did he give any directions as to what they should or should not do?
Mr. Swinburne. All the directions that came to me were given to me by the captain.
The Chairman. I believe you have already stated what you know about the transaction, commencing with the time you landed. That is in your deposition?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes.
The Chairman. And up to the time you left----
Mr. Swinburne. Left Arion Hall.
The Chairman. And went down to Camp Boston?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes.
The Chairman. How long did you remain in Camp Boston?
Mr. Swinburne. A portion of the troops was there until the 1st of April—up to the time the flag was hauled down. I was detached on the 20th of March.
The Chairman. I want to call your attention to some remarks made by Mr. Willis in his reports or letters. In his letter of December 20, 1893, to Mr. Gresham, Mr. Willis says:
- "The delay in making any announcement of your policy was, as you will understand, because of the direct verbal and written instructions under which I have been acting. Under those instructions my first duty was to guard the life and safety of those who had by the act of our own minister been placed in a position where there was an apparant antagonism between them and our Government. As I understood from the President and from you, the sole connection with our Government had with the settlement of the Hawaiian question was the undoing of what, from an international standpoint, was considered by the President to have been a wrong to a feeble, defenseless, and friendly power. In undoing this wrong I was, however, instructed first of all to see that proper safeguards were thrown around those who had been
- probably misled as to the position of our Government and the wishes of our people."
I understand that the protection Mr. Willis speaks of here has reference to those persons who were of the party of the Queen. Now, I wish to ask you whether, while you stayed upon that island, you saw or was informed of any demonstration whatever of a hostile character toward the person of the Queen or any of her supporters?
Mr. Swinburne. Not that I ever heard of, any further than the dethronement of the Queen—no attempt of a personal nature against the Queen or her followers.
The Chairman. Of course, I am speaking of their personal safety and protection.
Mr. Swinburne. Not at all; they had the same protection that any other person had.
Senator Frye. Did they not have more; did not the Provisional Government furnish the Queen with half her guard?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes.
Senator Frye. And did they not pay off the guard to the first of the month, when they were discharged?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes; she had more protection than anyone else during the revolution. I never heard of a revolution carried on in that style.
The Chairman. Here is a statement in Mr. Willis's letter to the effect that the Japanese and English legations were guarded by the marines of their respective vessels, "and no American soldier has been stationed here and none will be." Do you recollect whether the Japanese and English legations were guarded during the time you were there?
Mr. Swinburne. Not at all. The Japanese asked permission to land a guard at the legation, and the Provisional Government, while they did not refuse, informed the minister that they were perfectly able to give them all necessary protection; and it was currently reported that the Provisional Government had given the Japanese minister permission to have a guard on shore if he wished it, but none were landed.
The Chairman. This permission of which Mr. Willis speaks must have occurred after you went back to the ship?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes; no foreign troops were ashore at all except our own.
The Chairman. At the time you withdrew and went on board that ship, will you say that the people of Honolulu were in a state of quietude, or in an agitated and insurrectionary state?
Mr. Swinburne. They were perfectly quiet; all the agitation was the conspiring of a few professional politicians belonging to the Queen's party. We could see that going on all the time.
Senator Gray. Were there any professional politicians belonging to the other party?
Mr. Swinburne. When I used that expression I referred to two or three men who never seemed to have any other means of existence except as a part of the Queen's party. The Queen being out of power, they had no visible means of support.
The Chairman. I want to read you some more extracts from Mr. Willis's letter, the one I quoted from a moment ago, to see whether you can concur in the opinions he has expressed and indorse the facts which he has brought to the attention of the Secretary of State.
Senator Gray. I will ask whether Lieut. Swinburne was in Honolulu at any time during the time that Mr Willis was on shore?
Mr. Swinburne. No.
The Chairman. You mean you were not on shore?
Mr. Swinburne. I was not there at all. Mr. Stevens was still minister when I left, and Mr. Blount was there taking testimony. You see, I left there the 11th of May.
The Chairman. And this letter I have been reading from is dated December.
Mr. Swinburne. Yes.
The Chairman. I now read from Mr. Willis's letter:
- "The President's attention had been called by you to the evidence contained in Mr. Blount's report showing the extraordinary complications and dangers surrounding this community, among which were the racial prejudices, the intense feeling consequent upon the dethronement of the constitutional sovereign, the presence of so many different nationalities—Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Americans, and English— in such large numbers and with such diverse traits and interests, the possibility that the Japanese, now numbering more than one-fifth of the male population of the islands, might take advantage of the condition of affairs to demand suffrage and through it to obtain control of the Government, together with the discontent of the native Hawaiians at the loss of their Government and of the rights secured under it.
- "In addition to these facts I was fully apprised by you in your personal conversations of the presence here of many lawless and disorderly characters, owing allegiance to neither party, who would gladly take advantage of the excitement and general derangement of affairs to indulge in rapine and mob violence; and also of the conflict between the active responsible representatives of the Provisional Government and certain men who were not officially connected with it, but who had undertaken to dictate its policy. The danger from this last source I found upon arriving here was much greater than you had supposed. As I stated to you in my dispatch, No. 2, of November 10, the President and ministers of the Provisional Government and a large per cent of those who support them are men of high character and of large material interests in the islands. These men have been inclined to a conservative course toward the Hawaiians.
- "They had placed in the police and fire departments, and also in many other more important offices, native Hawaiians, thus endeavoring to conciliate the friendship and support of the 40,000 natives of the country. The irresponsible element referred to were pressing for a change of this wise and patriotic policy and insisting that they should be invested with all power, thus intensifying and aggravating the racial feeling already too extreme. Many of these men were open in their threats against the life of the Queen. They have even gone as far in the public prints and elsewhere as to threaten the representatives of the Provisional Government in the event they should listen to the President's supposed policy of peaceful settlement, if it involved the restoration of the Queen.
- "Besides this danger, which would have been precipitated by any premature announcement of the policy of our Government, there was another danger deserving serious attention.
- "The native Hawaiians, under the wise advice of their best native leaders, supplemented by that of many sympathizing foreigners, have maintained the policy of peace during the settlement of this question. While, however, they have been always known as a peaceful and law-abiding people, the evidence of the most thoughtful men in these Islands, including Mr. Damon, the present minister of finance, called
- attention to the fact that under proper leadership they might collect quite an effective and aggressive following; hence his opinion given to Mr. Blount while here and to me since that a strong force should be retained by the Provisional Government or else trouble might result from a sudden attack on their part."
Now, I wish to ask whether or not during the period you were there Mr. Willis has, in your judgment, correctly described the attitude of the different elements in Hawaii—Honolulu—and also the state of feeling— the temper of the people during that time?
Mr. Swinburne. During the time that I was on shore there seemed to be most of the time—everything was perfectly quiet—I felt there did exist a class of irresponsible men who, in the event of an outbreak, might take advantage of that to plunder or burn or destroy property, and it was that element I feared I would have to cope with when I was sent ashore to protect American interests. Those were the people I expected to have trouble with. So far as the average natives themselves— the ordinary class of natives, not the members of the legislature or leaders—were concerned, they appeared to be perfectly indifferent; they were always interested in our drills, always collected in large numbers to watch them. I could not see that they had any feeling against us whatever; they never exhibited it in any way.
The policemen throughout the city while I was on shore were natives, the majority of them. I could not see that they had any feeling against us at all. I knew quite a number of young men, halfcaste young men, who were in public office. I rather thought they had a bitter feeling against our people. But I myself imagined that that came from some fancied feeling of loss of social rank through the change in the Government—such as annexation to the United States. They were half-castes; they were young men in society there (this is my own idea), and, of course, I always felt that they were more bitter at the fact of any change in the future of the islands—that the annexation of the islands to this country would change their position; they would not have as good social position as they had before.
The Chairman. Were they a respectable class of men?
Mr. Swinburne. Oh, perfectly so.
The Chairman. Well educated?
Mr. Swinburne. Well educated.
The Chairman. And might very justly entertain such expectations?
Mr. Swinburne. I think that was, perhaps, natural that they should feel that way, although these men were occupying positions under the Government at the time.
The Chairman. And were not removed?
Mr. Swinburne. And were not removed.
The Chairman. Now, taking the description given by Mr. Willis of the different factions, social, political, racial, etc., as he has described them in the extract I have just read to you, would you, in such a community as that, think it would be necessary to have some demonstration of military force in order to prevent the occurrence of outbreaks which at any other time might spring up.
Mr. Swinburne. Any government there would have to have a force capable of coping with the situation; they would have to keep a military force there, unquestionably.
Senator Gray. Do you think these people are capable of self-government, as we understand it in the States. Take the whole people of the islands.
Mr. Swinburne. Of course, so far as the Chinaman is concerned,
he would not occupy any different position there from what he would in the States; the Japanese are a restless, turbulent class of people; they are very tenacious of what they consider to be their rights; very prompt to take part in strikes. There is a plantation near Honolulu, at Ewa, where they seem to be constantly having trouble with their laborers. The Japanese would at a fancied slight quit work and come over to Honolulu. Another point was, the Japanese Government was very anxious that their citizens should have the right to vote. There was an impression, at least that Government contended that there was an agreement, when the first contract laws were passed, that their people should have the right to vote. Of course, the laborers come there under contract, I forget now the length of time, but it could not have been more than five years; I could not see how they should have the right to vote for five years. They were looked out for by the commissioners; their rights were protected by the Japanese commissioners; although contract laborers, they are in no sense slaves; they come there under a contract for a certain length of time, and the Japanese Government sees that the contract is kept in its entirety. And moreover, they have money kept for them until their time is up.
Senator Gray. They see that the contract is kept on their part aud on the part of the contractor, too?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes.
Senator Gray. Suppose the contract should be violated?
Mr. Swinburne. I am not sufficiently posted to give any details; but it seems to me that they say to the laborer that he is to keep his contract; that the contract should be kept so loug as both parties observe its terms.
The Chairman. I desire to get from you a further explanation upon the hypothesis of the facts which I read to you from Mr. Willis' report. Do you mean to say that in a community situated as that was, the evidence of official power is essential to the preservation of order, peace, and quiet?
Mr. Swinburne. I should say so.
The Chairman. It would not be safe to trust the city and people in the hands of these different factions, unless they were convinced that power, force, would be used to repress any mob violence?
Mr. Swinburne. I do not think it would be.
Senator Gray. You mean force outside of themselves?
Mr. Swinburne. Mr. Chairman, do you mean force outside of what the Government would have?
The Chairman. I mean force.
Mr. Swinburne. I do not think it would be possible.
The Chairman. In other words, there would have to be a force in Hawaii to keep these factions in check?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes.
The Chairman. Is not that a peculiar situation, and different from that in other countries? Do you know where such a condition of affairs exists or is likely to exist?
Mr. Swinburne. Well----
The Chairman. How is it in Panama?
Mr. Swinburne. Of course, in all the South American republics that I know of there is always a large standing army, and it is the army that controls politics.
The Chairman. Armies organized for the purpose of securing domestic peace and order rather than to protect against foreign enemies?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes; I think so.
The Chairman. That was really the function of the military organization in Hawaii?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes.
The Chairman. Had no reference to foreign war, offensive or defensive?
Mr. Swinburne. It could not do more than make an honorable stand against any foreign power whatever.
The Chairman. So that the military organization in Hawaii was simply intended for the preservation of the internal peace?
Mr. Swinburne. That is the way I understood it.
The Chairman. Now, was it for the purpose of assisting in that line of conduct, or was it for the purpose of making an assault upon any government or of participating in any political agitation or aiding any political party, that you went on shore with those troops in Honolulu?
Mr. Swinburne. My idea always has been, and was at the time, that we landed simply for the protection of American property and interests and lives; that in the event of an outbreak, any demonstration against the Queen, or any attempt to overthrow her power, there would be a good deal of lawlessness. That is a seaport town and is full of the ordinary irresponsible classes to be found in any seaport town; and at such a time as that, it would give the chance for lawless people, white or native, or whatever they might be, to plunder and fire property, probably do damage of any kind. That was my reason for desiring to be down near the wharf.
Senator Gray. And you were there, as I understand, under your orders to preserve order?
Mr. Swinburne. To preserve order, to protect the property and lives of Americans.
Senator Gray. And if a crowd of people, disorderly or otherwise, should have attempted to arrest or maltreat Mr. Damon, Mr. Dole, or Mr. Carter on that day, you would have protected them?
Mr. Swinburne. It would have depended upon what they were doing.
Senator Gray. Suppose they were walking up to the Government building, as they were doing that morning, and they were set upon, would you have protected them?
Mr. Swinburne. If they were going to the Government building?
Senator Gray. Yes.
Mr. Swinburne. I should think I would have been called upon to protect them.
Senator Gray. I think so.
Mr. Swinburne. They were entitled to the liberty of the streets, but if they were organized as a force----
Senator Gray. I say if they were going up to the Government building, as they were on that day, and were set upon?
Mr. Swinburne. And if I had been informed, as I was, that this party was going in to take the Government building?
Senator Gray. Would you have allowed them to be maltreated or set upon?
Mr. Swinburne. That is a difficult question to answer.
Senator Gray. I sympathize with you in it.
Mr. Swinburne. That would be difficult to answer.
Senator Gray. I think so.
Mr. Swinburne. I am satisfied that Mr. Carter knew exactly how I stood in the matter when he went into the building; that is, I let him
understand that I was there simply to protect American property and life.
The Chairman. Did you gather the impression or belief there that any members of the Queen's cabinet were in sympathy with this political outbreak?
Mr. Swinburne. In sympathy with the Provisional Government?
The Chairman. Yes.
Mr. Swinburne. Of the Queen's cabinet at that time?
The Chairman. For the purpose of overthrowing her, or for the purpose of establishing a provisional government?
Mr. Swinburne. I did not.
The Chairman. Did you hear anything about members of that cabinet going to the citizen's meeting and asking for protection or asking advice as to what they should do?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes; I did hear that. I heard that two of them went to Judge Hartwell. Judge Hartwell is known to be a very ardent Annexationist.
Senator Gray. Was he on the bench?
Mr. Swinburne. Well, he had been.
Senator Gray. He was called "judge?"
Mr. Swinburne. Called "judge."
The Chairman. In point of time, did you hear that when you got on shore that day?
Mr. Swinburne. I heard that from the messenger who came off to Capt. Wiltse about noon. My impression is that it was Mr. Cooper.
The Chairman. He brought that information to Capt. Wiltse?
Mr. Swinburne. Brought that to Capt. Wiltse.
The Chairman. That two members of the Queen's cabinet----
Mr. Swinburne. Had come to Judge Hartwell's office and disclosed to him the fact that the Queen had attempted to—they felt that the Queen was prepared to use force—to force them to sign that new constitution.
The Chairman. Did you stand from that statement that they had asked any protection from the citizens, or had asked advice from the citizens as to what they should do?
Mr. Swinburne. If you want my opinion, and not what I know?
The Chairman. No. I want to know the shape in which that information came aboard the ship that morning.
Mr. Swinburne. It came as a warning to Capt. Wiltse that the Queen was prepared to overthrow the constitution. It was brought to his attention there. His business was to watch over American interests in the islands.
The Chairman. Mr. Cooper brought that information to Capt. Wiltse?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes.
The Chairman. Did it in any respect have reference to the Queen's cabinet having sought advice from the citizens against any project of hers to arrest them?
Mr. Swinburne. That is what I understood at the time. I know it was talked of in the town; but whether I heard it at that time or not, I do not know.
The Chairman. What I want is the information that was brought aboard the ship.
Mr. Swinburne. It is very difficult to separate the time when I heard these things. But I gathered the impression that day that these
men were actually afraid that they would be arrested by the Queen when they went to Hartwell's office. That was my impression that day.
The Chairman. The object of their visit to Hartwell's office was either to get advice or assistance against such expected or proposed movement on the part of the Queen?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes.
Senator Gray. Was there any request came off to the ship from any other person to Mr. Stevens for the landing of the troops?
Mr. Swinburne. Not that I am aware of. I am certain there was a message came off to the captain that led him to make his preparations.
Senator Gray. Do you know from whom that message came?
Mr. Swinburne. I do not; I judge from the American minister.
Senator Gray. Other than the American minister?
Mr. Swinburne. I do not know. I judge, of course, there could not be any.
Senator Gray. Do you recollect any note coming to Mr. Stevens on the afternoon, and while he was on the ship?
Mr. Swinburne. That I do not know of my own knowledge, but I heard that there was a note. I was extremely busy after I had asked Capt. Wiltse to allow the captains of the companies to be present to gather such information as they could. I left the cabin and was in and out, and there was a good deal said between the captain and the captains of the companies that I did not hear. They asked questions as to their duties under certain circumstances; I heard what they were afterward, but I did not hear at the time. I had been there long enough to know what we were to do if we landed, what my business was, and my orders were not handed to me until just before we shoved off from the ship. But we were there for the purpose of protecting American property and American interests; and my idea was to protect them against people, who, I felt, might be guilty of incendiarism, plunder, or maltreatment of unoffending American citizens. That is what I was thinking about.
Senator Frye. Most of the buildings in Honolulu are constructed of wood?
Mr. Swinburne. They are most all wooden buildings.
Senator Frye. They would make serious fires?
Mr. Swinburne. I know that is what the people were afraid of.
Senator Frye. Is not that the resort of certain elements in revolutionary states when a revolution is under way?
Mr. Swinburne. It is.
Senator Frye. All through the South, down in Panama and everywhere else?
Mr. Swinburne. I should think so.
Senator Frye. I suppose the city of Honolulu is very much scattered?
Mr. Swinburne. Covers a good deal of ground.
Senator Frye. And the Americans' houses are also scattered all over the best part of the city?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes; many of them up Nuuanu Valley and toward the plains, and a good many toward Waikiki?
Senator Frye. In case of mob violence in the city, that is the property, I take it, that is pretty likely to be burned up?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes.
Senator Frye. When you were about Arion Hall were you not situated as well as you could be to hit that class of property?
Mr. Swinburne. So far as American property was concerned I
should say that Arion Hall is as good as any other place. There were as many Americans on one side as on the other.
Senator Frye. So far as you know, in selecting Arion Hall there was no purpose had except the protection of American life and property?
Mr. Swinburne. That is my understanding. At the time we were glad of a place to lie down.
Senator Frye. One of the witnesses before Mr. Blount makes the statement that when the Provisional Government marched up and took possession of the Government building the United States marines were drawn up in array with their Gatling guns, and all that sort of thing, in sight of the Provisional Government's men who were taking possession.
Mr. Swinburne. I should say they were not in sight. The men were drawn up in their company parades, because I had the information before these men arrived that a policeman had been shot, and that the men were collecting on the street, and I supposed there would be a demonstration immediately. The arms were stacked and the men standing in company parades, and were ready to move.
Senator Frye. Where were they?
Mr. Swinburne. My idea was to keep them as much out of sight as possible. Indeed, I had great difficulty in keeping the men in the ranks; they would slip through to the other side of the building and look over the fence to see what was going on.
Senator Frye. In order to see what was going on they had to do that?
Mr. Swinburne. Had to do that, go to the front of the building— get on the porch, and look over.
Senator Gray. Where were the Gatling guns?
Mr. Swinburne. In the only position in which they could be parked. The 37 millimeters, as I remember, stood on the right, on the Government house side, and the Gatling on the other side of it. They stood together where they were parked, the first night we went in, and where they remained all the time we were there—the most convenient place we could get.
Senator Gray. Near the street?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes; 37 was nearest the street. It was a narrow yard. I should think that was not over 20 yards from the street; not over that.
Senator Frye. One witness before Mr. Blount stated that it would have been impossible for the Royalist troops to have made an attack upon the Provisional men that were taking possession of the Government building, without at the same time attacking the United States troops.
Mr. Swinburne. I thought of that condition. I thought at the time it was untenable in the event of a fight between the two factions. I expected to have to withdraw my men from that position. I thought I would have been between the two fires; at least I was not in a good position in the event of an outbreak. I had thought of that, and expected to have removed the men.
Senator Frye. Are you acquainted with Minister Stevens?
Mr. Swinburne. I had visited his house frequently while I was in Honolulu, nearly once a week.
Senator Frye. What estimate did you form of Minister Stevens' character?
Mr. Swinburne. I formed the idea that he was a man of the highest character.
Senator Frye. Did you at any time know of his saying anything in favor of the overthrow of the Queen or the establishment of a provisional government?
Mr. Swinburne. He certainly never did in my presence, and I do not know of his having said anything of the kind.
Senator Frye. You were on board the ship when the ship went to Hilo, I suppose?
Mr. Swinburne. I was.
Senator Frye. Did Mr. Stevens have a conversation with you while on that trip?
Mr. Swinburne. Not on political questions.
Senator Frye. Did you hear of him having conversations with the officers in which he expressed the fact that he was glad peace had been accomplished and would remain for two years, as he could go home at the expiration of his term of office and leave it so?
Mr. Swinburne. I did not hear him say so then; but before we left the island I spoke of my reasons to Capt. Wiltse for a postponement of a trip for target practice. The captain said he was satisfied, and the minister said he was satisfied that the Wilcox-Jones ministry could not be voted out; that everything was as quiet as possible, and it was as good a time to go as could be.
The Chairman. I wish to read you some further extracts from Mr. Willis's communication to Secretary Gresham. He says: "There is, undoubtedly, in this Government a class of reckless, lawless men who, under the impression that they have the support of some of the better classes of citizens, may at any moment bring about a serious condition of affairs," but says that "the men at the head of the Provisional Government are of the highest integrity," etc.
Then he says what I have already quoted:
- "The danger from this last source I found upon arriving here was much greater than you had supposed. As I stated to you in my dispatch, No. 2, of November 10, the President and ministers of the Provisional Government and a large per cent of those who support them are men of high character and of large material interests in the islands. These men have been inclined to a conservative course toward the Hawaiians."
Does that conform with your opinion of the character of the men who formed the Provisional Government?
Mr. Swinburne. While I was there, I should say it is an exaggeration. While there were men in the Provisional Government who I knew were in favor of more aggressive measures against the late monarchy, that is, were in favor of deporting the Queen, and while there were a great many in favor of turning out all the people who had been holding office under the late government, I do not think they could be called people who would foment trouble. They were people who were more radical, as there are in all parties—some are more radical than others—but as the statement was read there it seems to me an exaggeration of the composition of the Provisional Government party at the time I was in the city of Honolulu.
The Chairman. You are speaking now, I suppose, of the class which Mr. Willis designates as reckless and lawless men?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes.
The Chairman. Now, the other part, and the one to which I want specially to direct your attention, where he speaks of the men at the head of the Provisional Government as men of the highest integrity and public spirit. Do you concur in that view?
Mr. Swinburne. Unquestionably. I think Mr. Dole, for instance, a man who was doing in the matter what he considered to be solely his duty.
The Chairman. Now, as to character.
Mr. Swinburne. I think that is correctly stated as to the character of the prominent men in the Provisional Government.
The Chairman. I notice on page 57 of Ex. Doc. No. 47 this communication from yourself to Mr. Blount. It is as follows:
- "Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands, May 3,1893.
- "Hon. J. H. Blount,
- "Special Commissioner of United States:
- "Sir: In response to your verbal request for a written communication from me regarding certain facts connected with the recognition of the Provisional Government of the Hawaiian Islands by the United States minister to that country on the afternoon of January 17,1893, I have to state as follows:
- "On the afternoon in question I was present at an interview between Capt. Wiltse, commanding the Boston, who was at that time present in his official capacity with the battalion then landed in Honolulu, and Mr. Dole and other gentlemen representing the present Provisional Government, in the executive chamber of the Government building. During the interview we were informed that the party represented by the men there present was in complete possession of the Government building, the archives, and the treasury, and that a Provisional Government had been established by them.
- "In answer Capt. Wiltse asked if their Government had possession of the police station and barracks. To this the reply was made that they had not possession then, but expected to hear of it in a few minutes, or very soon. To this Capt. Wiltse replied, 'Very well, gentlemen, I can not recognize you as a de facto Government until you have possession of the police station and are prepared to guarantee protection to life and property,' or words to that effect. Here our interview was interrupted by other visitors, and we withdrew and returned to the camp at Arion Hall. As far as I can recollect this must have been about 5 o'clock p. m. About half past 6 Capt. Wiltse left the camp, and as he did so he informed me that the U.S. minister to the Hawaiian Islands had recognized the Provisional Government established by the party in charge of the Government building as the de facto Government of the Hawaiian Islands. About half past 7 p.m. I was informed by telephone by Lieut. Draper, who was then in charge of a squad of marines at the U.S. consulate, that the citizen troops had taken possession of the police station, and that everything was quiet.
- Very respectfully,
- "Wm. Swinburne,
- "Lieutenant-Commander, U. S. Navy."
You knew that?
Mr. Swinburne. Yes; that is practically the same as my testimony already given.
The Chairman. Have you any explanation to make in regard to that?
Mr. Swinburne. No; I think that is exactly the same as I have already given. Is it stated that I wrote that? I had forgotten. I thought I just gave that verbally. I wrote another communication, in which I gave distances. I would suggest that the replacing of the word "and" after "police station" and before "are prepared to guarantee
protection to life and property" by the conjunction "or," would more nearly convey the captain's idea as I then understood him.
SWORN STATEMENT OF LIEUT. DE WITT COFFMAN.
Senator Gray. You were an officer on board the U.S.S. Boston in Honolulu on the 13th, 14th, and 15th of January, 1893?
Mr. Coffman. I joined the Boston on the 14th; I was on her on the 15th, and landed on the 16th.
Senator Gray. You were connected with the Boston?
Mr. Coffman. Yes.
Senator Gray. What was your position?
Mr. Coffman. Lieutenant and division officer on the Boston.
Senator Gray. Had you command of one of the companies of the battalion which landed on the 16th?
Mr. Coffman. Yes.
Senator Gray. Mr. Coffman, with whom I have had a conversation, agrees with all that has been said by Mr. Swinburne and the other gentlemen who preceded him in regard to the landing of the troops and the instructions of Capt. Wiltse. I only called him here for one purpose and one fact. You were captain of one of the companies of the battalion which landed?
Mr. Coffman. Yes.
Senator Gray. As such captain were you summoned to the cabin of Capt. Wiltse on Monday the 16th, before you landed?
Mr. Coffman. Yes.
Senator Gray. Who were present?
Mr. Coffman. Capt. Wiltse, Minister Stevens, Mr. Swinburne, Lieut. Laird, Lieut. Young, Lieut. Draper, of the Marine Corps, and I think those were all, unless there were some of the junior officers, whom I do not remember—some of the midshipmen.
Senator Gray. While you were there was there any communication received from shore and communicated by anyone to Capt. Wiltse?
Mr. Coffman. Yes.
Senator Gray. State what you know about it.
Mr. Coffman. While in the office, or rather in the captain's cabin, after the consultation, or rather after the instructions were given to the officers, and about the time we were about to leave the cabin----
The Chairman. This was on Monday?
Mr. Coffman. On Monday—Cadet Pringle came to the cabin----
Senator Gray. Who was Cadet Pringle?
Mr. Coffman. He was a cadet on the Boston, and was serving as an aid to Minister Stevens at the time. He came into the cabin and handed to Minister Stevens a communication, which Mr. Stevens afterward read. It was from Mr. Thurston. It stated that they were holding a mass meeting; that it was a success; that there was a great crowd present; that the natives had held a mass meeting, had ratified the proclamation, and had gone home quietly; and it stated if the troops are to be landed, "I advise that they be landed at once." We went ashore about an hour afterward.
Senator Frye. Have you read the testimony of Lieut. Young or Lieut. Laird?
Mr. Coffman. No; I have not seen Mr. Laird's testimony at all.
The Chairman. Do you mean before this committee?
S. Doc. 231, pt 6—---54
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