864-865

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp864-865 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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Senator Gray. You think that the population is capable of self government in the sense we understand it in the States and with our own race?

Mr. Oleson. With some conditions. Under the leadership of Anglo- Saxons, the Hawaiian population up to 1880 was pretty well divided up, with a majority against any encroachment on the part of the throne on the rights of the people. There was a demand for larger popular rights, and those people stood together. But, as I have undertaken to show in my paper, that majority was dissipated, as the effect of Kalakaua's reign in matters of bribery and intimidation and the revival of the old kahuna system in the country, which tended to subvert and to intimidate the Hawaiians. So that, while I have stayed there, I have witnessed that change. But to-day there is a good proportion of the Hawaiians who are stalwart and firm in their support of annexation as the best outcome for that country—staunch friends of the white man. And the effort made by the white men who have been allied with the reform movement has been to advance the interest of Hawaiians as well as those of the Anglo-Saxon. But there is a large element that is affected, intimidated by the throne, and they are indifferent to-day. They do not dare to do anything, much less take one side or the other. They can be appealed to by race prejudice in ways that the Anglo-Saxon can not approach them; and in that way the electorate is subverted, and, in my opinion, no matter how much I may think of the native, it is impossible to get an adequately representative vote among them

Senator Gray. Do you think a successful and prosperous government for the good of all interests, native as well as all others, is possible on those islands, except under a strong government ruled and controlled by men of our own race?

Mr. Oleson. Our race has always ruled the government, and I do not see any reason to change my opinion as to the necessity; that is history; that is the outlook. I do feel that the continuation of such a government as they have there now will eventually swing over to the side of the present government a large number of the natives, it may be a majority.

Senator Gray. The government you have there is a Provisional Government, and under the control of the superior race of the islands?

Mr. Oleson. It is entirely.

Senator Gray. And it is strong?

Mr. Oleson. It is strong in every sense of the word.

Senator Gray. It is autocratic?

Mr. Oleson. No; it is oligarchy.

Senator Gray. Oligarchy describes it better than the word I used?

Mr. Oleson. Yes.

Senator Gray. I accept your word as better than mine.

Mr. Oleson. I think it is an important matter to show how it was that the men who formed the committee of safety were able to take possession of that Government, and to call attention to that public meeting that was held in the public square on the same day that the meeting was held in the armory.

It was the general opinion on every side that the public manifesto of the Queen and cabinet announcing that there would be no further attempt from the throne to promulgate a constitution was a desperate move to placate the indignant foreign population. The mass meeting in Palace Square was engineered by the cabinet and the marshal who publicly stated that such men as Wilcox and Nawahi were not to be

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speakers. He said "We have given orders that the tone of the speaking must be moderate." Nawahi and Wilcox did speak, men who had always been fiery agitators and persistent in their demands for a new constitution. This meeting, made up of advocates of a new constitution, the leaders of which had conspired with the Queen to secure such constitution, voted an expression of thanks to the Queen for her manifesto.

Men knew that this action was insincere, as they also believed the Queen's to be, and the effect of the meeting and of the manifesto was to convince the community of the panic that had seized the Government and of their readiness to resort to any expedient to allay the indignation of the people and to prevent their organization. It was these considerations that help to explain the passivity of the Queen's forces and the ease with which the Provisional Government assumed control.

Senator Gray. Did you hear those orders given?

Mr. Oleson. Marshal Wilson told it to a gentlemen who told it to me.

Senator Gray. Marshal Wilson did not tell it to you?

Mr. Oleson. No.

Senator Gray. You were asked to confine yourself to facts that came within your own observation and what you knew. That is argumentative.

The Chairman. You are evidently speaking of matters which you know of only by common repute.

Mr. Oleson. I speak of matters in addition—matters of common talk on the streets after the mass meeting.

The Chairman. But not of matters within your personal knowledge?

Mr. Oleson. Certainly; knowledge of the character of these men who were speaking.

The Chairman. You believed it, but you did not hear it?

Mr. Oleson. I passed by the meeting. I know that those men were there.

The Chairman. Were they speaking?

Mr. Oleson. Yes; I believe they were speaking.

The Chairman. Which one?

Mr. Oleson. Mr. Robert Wilcox, I think.

Senator Gray. Were you present at both meetings?

Mr. Oleson. I passed by one to the other; yes.

Senator Gray. What is your estimate of the number of persons present at the two meetings—a fair estimate?

Mr. Oleson. I should say that the numbers at the armory were considerably in excess of those at the public square. But there were men continually going to and fro.

Senator Frye. The public square meeting was a Royalist meeting, and the armory meeting was the Provisional Government meeting?

Mr. Oleson. Yes.

Senator Gray. You say that you think the numbers in the public square were less than those in the armory ?

Mr. Oleson. Yes; I judge so.

Senator Gray. The meeting in the armory was in the building?

Mr. Oleson. Yes.

Senator Gray. And the meeting in the square was in the open?

Mr. Oleson. Yes.

Senator Gray. Were you not a little careful of comparing the numbers of those in the open to those in the four walls of the building?

Mr. Oleson. Yes; I have been used to judging audiences, and I judged at the armory there were some 1,200 present. One of the

S. Doc. 231, pt 6----55


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