870-871

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp870-871 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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all classes have faced what they uniformly agreed was inevitable for Hawaii.

The Chairman. Upon what ground do you base that conclusion— that the monarchy must inevitably collapse?

Mr. Oleson. To, first, the dying out of the Kamehameha line; second, the abuses of the reign of Kalakaua among the Hawaiians, not yet become extinct. There was intense opposition to him when he became King. That lies dormant in the minds of the Hawaiians— that these kings are not high chiefs, that there must be an end to their rule sooner or later, and that they must have a government from elsewhere.

The Chairman. If you believed Kalakaua to be a heathen, why did you not attempt to overthrow him in 1887?

Mr. Oleson. There was a very strong sentiment to do it at the time.

The Chairman. Do you know the reason why it was not put into effect?

Mr. Oleson. As I said in my statement, because those men who were influential felt that it was better not to make any such radical change until the country was ripe for it and the situation demanded it.

The Chairman. You have been waiting for public sentiment to ripen upon this question and the coming of events to show that it was better for the safety and security of good government in Hawaii that the monarchy should fall?

Mr. Oleson. Yes.

The Chairman. Be substituted by a different form of government?

Mr. Oleson. Yes; as a logical sequence.

The Chairman. Monarchy through the world is regarded as being a stronger form of government than a republic. Did the people of Hawaii expect that when the monarchy should cease they would be able to establish and maintain a republican government in Hawaii of their own resources and without assistance from any other country?

Mr. Oleson. No; I did not, personally; and those that I talked with did not. We felt that it was impossible in the light of past experience, and of the facts that we knew, for us to sustain an independent national existence there.

The Chairman. So that, at the collapse of the monarchy, whenever that should occur, it was intimately associated, as I understand, with the idea of annexation to the United States?

Mr. Oleson. That was the solution of it.

The Chairman. And the two ideas ran together?

Mr. Oleson. Ran together. It was just as if the men had said "We will go on with the monarchy as long as we can, and when we can not the United States will take us."

The Chairman. That was the whole idea?

Mr. Oleson. Yes.

The Chairman. The idea of going on separately from the United States without the protection of the United States or the other countries has not been entertained?

Mr. Oleson. That has not been entertained, except by Ashford and Wilcox, as I deem very natural, when we consider their personal interests lay in the direction of maintaining a republic. They would then be able to dicker with the United States and get appointments in that way. But I do not think men of intelligence have for a moment thought of it. They may be able to do it, after all, and sustain their rights. But when men followed this movement, they followed it as a tentative matter and thought that was the only responsible government

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they could get in the islands at the time. But the ultimate out come must be annexation to the United States.

The Chairman. The present provisional forces of the Provisional Government, that the Government seems to be able to equip, arm, and pay, as I gather from this testimony, are about 1,200 men.

Mr. Oleson. I do not know that there are as many as that to pay. Some of the volunteer forces are not under the pay of the Government.

The Chairman. Omitting the question of pay, the present military force of the Provisional Government is 1,200 men.

Mr. Oleson. I think between 1,200 and 1,500.

The Chairman. Are those men well armed and equipped?

Mr. Oleson. Yes.

The Chairman. With modern guns?

Mr. Oleson. With modern guns; yes.

The Chairman. And modern ammunition?

Mr. Oleson. Yes.

The Chairman. Are they composed most largely of the white race?

Mr. Oleson. Yes.

The Chairman. Are there any native Kanakas enrolled in this force?

Mr. Oleson. I think there are some. Kanakas are not fighters.

The Chairman. They are not belligerent?

Mr. Oleson. They are in talking; but not beyond that.

The Chairman. They are a passionate people, and might be roused into hostility?

Mr. Oleson. Yes; but in cold blood I do not think the native would fight.

The Chairman. Suppose the Queen had the means of arming 1,000 or 1,200 natives, an equal number of natives, with equal facilities of all kinds, arms, ammunition, equipments, such as the Provisional Government forces have, and of placing such men under such drill as would make of them soldiers who could be handled in action, what would be your opinion of the ability of that number of Kanakas, thus armed and equipped, to stand against 1,200 white men?

Mr. Oleson. Wholly hypothetical.

The Chairman. What is your opinion?

Mr. Oleson. I do not think they would stand at all.

The Chairman. DO you think they would ever attempt to stand?

Mr. Oleson. No.

The Chairman. You think they have such an estimate of the courage of the white race, and of that race's fighting quality, that they would not make a stand against them?

Mr. Oleson. They would not.

The Chairman. Although they were perfectly armed, equipped, organized as an army ready to defend the Queen?

Mr. Oleson. Yes; they could not be depended upon—that has been proven repeatedly.

The Chairman. By actual experience?

Mr. Oleson. By actual experience.

The Chairman. Take the Queen in her present condition, with her present resources, present playing upon the affections of the Hawaiian natives, do you apprehend that she has any possible chance of reinstating herself upon the throne?

Mr. Oleson. Not at all; and she has not had any chance since January 14; not the ghost of a chance to reinstate herself by any force she could marshal in the islands.


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