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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp850-851 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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Senator Frye. Yes. Or the testimony of Mr. Swinburne?

Mr. Coffman. I read Lieut. Commander Swinburne's testimony; yes. I spoke about it to Mr. Swinburne, and he said he was probably not in the cabin at the time, as he had so much to do.

Senator Frye. Whom was the note from?

Mr. Coffman. Mr. Thurston.

The Chairman. And addressed to Mr. Stevens?

Mr. Coffman. Cadet Pringle brought the note.

Senator Frye. And he was a messenger from Mr. Thurston?

Mr. Coffman. Yes. He had been at the legation most of the time.

Senator Frye. Which company were you with; where did your troops go?

Mr. Coffman. With the main battalion—the blue jackets.

Senator Frye. To Arion hall?

Mr. Coffman. Yes.

Senator Frye. Was it not for the protection of life and property, when you took into consideration the state of the city, the situation of the houses, etc., as central a place for their protection as any you could find—I mean Arion Hall?

Mr. Coffman. I do not know what you would call a central location.

Senator Frye. Were not the houses of American citizens on one side as well as on the other side of Arion Hall?

Mr. Coffman. I think there was more American property on Nuuanu avenue, not in the immediate vicinity of Arion Hall.

The Chairman. By American property, do you mean business houses?

Mr. Coffman. Business houses and private residences.

Senator Frye. Private residences, I mean. They are more likely to be burned up?

Mr. Coffman. Yes. I really do not know much about the ownership of property in Honolulu, with the exception of that which is the property of those who claim to be Hawaiians, who, to a certain extent, are of American parentage, and a few Americans.

Senator Frye. Were maps left with the captain?

Mr. Coffman. That I do not know.

Senator Frye. And the instructions were, as you understood them, to protect American life and property?

Mr. Coffman. Yes.

Senator Frye. That you were not to be connected with either government, the establishment of one or the overthrow of the other.

Mr. Coffman. That I do not understand. I went as an officer simply to obey the instructions as I received them.

Senator Frye. And having read Capt. Swinburne's statement, you concur otherwise in what he said?

Mr. Coffman. I have only seen what he said as published in the papers. The Evening Star has a different account from that in the Baltimore Sun. I tried to get something out of it, but it was somewhat mixed.

Senator Gray. When you said you read Capt. Swinburne's testimony you meant that you read the newspaper accounts?

Mr. Coffman. I have not read the testimony before the committee; I have not seen it.

Senator Gray. You have talked it over with Lieut. Swinburne?

Mr. Coffman. Yes; the general situation.

Senator Gray. Do you differ?

Mr. Coffman. We do in some minor points.

Senator Gray. State the minor points in which you differ.


Mr. Coffman. I thought that the battalion was badly placed, if they were there for the sole purpose of protecting American life and property.

Senator Gray. Do you differ in any other respect?

Mr. Coffman. Lieut. Swinburne differs with me as to where was a central place. I will give my reason: If there was to be trouble, that was the place where the trouble would be; and I did not see why we should go to the point where the trouble would occur if persons who were engaged in this trouble should go to that place and claim to be Americans and ask for protection. That is my point. That is the only thing we differed about at all—the mere fact of statements as to where we went and what was done. Mr. Swinburne has, I know, from talking to him time and again, given the facts. We agree on those things.


Senator Frye. What is your age?

Mr. Oleson. I am 43.

Senator Frye. How long have you been living in the Hawaiian Islands?

Mr. Oleson. I have been living there fifteen years.

Senator Frye. What fifteen years?

Mr. Oleson. From August, 1878, until June, 1893.

Senator Frye. Were you in Honolulu through the entire revolution— the recent revolution?

Mr. Oleson. I was.

Senator Frye. And through the revolution of 1887?

Mr. Oleson. Through the revolution of 1887; yes.

Senator Frye. What has been your business in the Hawaiian Islands?

Mr. Oleson. I have been a school-teacher during my residence there.

Senator Frye. What charge have you had?

Mr. Oleson. Two schools. I was appointed to one before I left this country on the large island of Hawaii, and of the Kamehameha Manual- Labor School at Honolulu in 1886. Mrs. Bishop, the last of the Kamehameha royal line, known as Princess Pauahi, left a large sum of money, some half million of dollars, to establish a manual-training school at Honolulu.

The Chairman. Mr. Bishop seems to have been a man of great wealth?

Mr. Oleson. Yes.

The Chairman. Do you know whether he accumulated his wealth in Hawaii?

Mr. Oleson. Yes.

The Chairman. In what business was he employed?

Mr. Oleson. Commission business at first, and most of the time in the banking business. I think he got the most of his money, or at least he got the large nucleus of his capital, during the whaling days.

The Chairman. He was not connected with planting?

Mr. Oleson. Not planting; but he is a stockholder.

The Chairman. In sugar companies, you mean?

Mr. Oleson. Yes.

The Chairman. What companies?

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