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Starting for the armory, I heard a pistol shot close at hand, around the corner of Fort and King streets, and presently saw a policeman running to the police station with his hands on his chest, where he had been shot in attempting to capture a wagon load of ammunition.
I believe that shot decided the contest. It certainly distracted the marshal and his forces, for they forthwith shut themselves up in the police station instead of proceeding at once to quell the uprising. It revealed the determination of the citizens and resulted in a rapid massing of their forces.
From this time, 2:15 p.m. (that I will not be absolutely positive about, but I judge it is very nearly correct), until the surrender of the police station at about 7 o'clock, citizens were hurrying with their rifles from every part of the city to the Government building, passing through the streets unmolested by the forces under the marshal, or by the soldiers at the barracks.
These men could have been arrested easily except for the panic that had seized the supporters of the old Government.
Marshal Wilson and his supporters remembered the spirit shown by these same men in 1889, when they rallied in a similar way, and, without organization, by their courage and promptness, suppressed the Wilcox insurrection.
Senator Gray. Are you quoting Marshal Wilson there?
Mr. Oleson. No; I say undoubtedly, he remembered that. He remembered the spirit of those men, and that was the reason for the panic.
After the incident of the shooting I hurried to the armory, but before reaching there met Capt. Zeigler with about 40 men marching down Punchbowl street, in military order, all armed, toward the Government building. Just as I reached the armory another company marched in the same direction. There were about 3O men in the latter company.
At the armory there were more men, and others constantly reporting, some with arms, others without, the latter being furnished both with arms and ammunition. As soon as a squad got together Col. Fisher, in charge, sent them to the Government building in charge of officers.
After noting these matters I went past the barracks, noting that the soldiers were all out of sight. When I reached the Government building the last words of the proclamation were being read. The citizens whom I had seen marching from the armory were at the Government building and guards had been stationed. There must have been a hundred men at that time, and they came trooping in from all directions until the station house surrendered. At that time I should estimate there were 4 companies of 60 men each, every man well armed, and the whole well officered.
The United States troops were not in sight when I reached the Government building, with the exception of their two sentinels, and did not show themselves or make any demonstration after that.
I know that the men in the ranks had no expectation of any aid whatever from United States troops. In 1889 they had fought all day against a determined insurrection, with United States troops within a stone's throw, drawn up in line, but absolutely neutral, and they knew they had nothing to expect in 1893 but the same absolute neutrality.
I know by conversation with men in the ranks that they realized that everything depended on their own courage. I know men who, as in 1889, on their own hook, had banded together to occupy buildings in the neighborhood of the police station, intending to lay siege and cut it
off from supplies. The feeling among the citizens was one of indifference towards the United States troops as not being an element in the conflict. I speak of the sentiment and conviction of men on whom was to fall the brunt of the conflict.
I did not learn that Minister Stevens had recognized the Government until the next day, and I am quite sure that it was not generally known until then among the armed supporters of the new Government. I did not hear the matter mentioned, though I was constantly among the men. They were talking rather about laying siege to the station house and about the likelihood of several days' desultory fighting under cover.
There was no mention about the soldiers in the barracks. I explain this as a very natural ignoring of them as combatants in the light of their performances in 1887 and 1889, when they had shown themselves averse to conflict. The citizen soldiers treated them absolutely as though they had no existence.
Senator Frye. That is the Queen's guard you are speaking about?
Mr. Oleson. Yes.
The conviction was that the citizens were masters of the situation as soon as they took possession of the Government building, and that possession of the other buildings was sure to come as a matter of course.
This conviction was based on the evident panic that had seized the forces under the marshal's command, and on the belief that there was no concert of action among the leading adherents of the Queen, and no fighting material behind them.
In the movement of 1887 I was opposed to the project of a republic, deeming it better to secure safeguards under a continuation of the monarchy.
I have been a consistent supporter of the Hawaiian monarchy, in public and in private, out of deference to the prejudices of the aborigines.
It seemed wise to avoid any such radical change until it was actually thrust upon the community by the inevitable collapse of the monarchy.
The events of Saturday, January 14, convinced me that there was no option left to the intelligent and responsible portion of the community but to complete the overthrow initiated by the monarch herself. It was essentially either a return to semibarbarism or the continued control of the country by the forces of progress and civilization, and few men hesitated in making the choice, and the development of events has confirmed their decision.
Senator Frye. You made a more general statement at Worcester.
Mr. Oleson. No; at Boston.
Senator Frye. Have you that in print?
Mr. Oleson. It was printed, but not by me.
Senator Frye. You have it in print?
Mr. Oleson. Yes.
Senator Frye. I have looked over the statement just referred to, and I would like, Mr. Oleson, to put that in as additional testimony. It is a little broader than that just read.
Senator Gray. I do not like to object, because we have large latitude; but when a witness is before us, and has read a statement which he has carefully prepared, he should stand on that, and not put in statements that he has made at a public meeting.
Mr. Oleson. This is to explain. It is quite different from the one I have just made. This is a sort of general consideration of the causes leading up to this change. It goes back to twenty years ago.
Senator Gray. It does not relate to these three important days.
Mr. Oleson. It touches upon those days very little indeed.
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