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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp872-873 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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The Chairman. So that, in a conflict, native Kanakas under the leadership of the Queen could not stand against the forces under the leadership of the Provisional Government?

Mr. Oleson. That would be out of the question. That is my personal opinion.

The Chairman. That is what I am after, your personal opinion.

Mr. Oleson. In saying that I do not impute anything against the natives; it is simply due to the superiority of the Anglo-Saxon people.

The Chairman. As I understand your opinion, the Kanakas are not a military people, not aggressive?

Mr. Oleson. No, not aggressive. They will expose themselves to danger; are physically strong and able men. They are the reliance of the industries of that country, so far as the demand is for strength and daring. The interisland steamers, which require dexterity, courage, and strength, are manned by the Hawaiians. It is the only force in the islands to do that work.

The Chairman. Then you think they would make excellent sailors?

Mr. Oleson. They are. I have met them in New England. They had been sailors, and they had been all around the world.

The Chairman. Are they fond of their calling?

Mr. Oleson. Yes. Very much attracted to it.

The Chairman. Would you say that the Kanaka population, taking them at large, are what we would call a governing people?

Mr. Oleson. No; they are not.

The Chairman. Do you think they would have the requisite skill in the enactment of laws (if that were left entirely to them) to build up and maintain good government?

Mr. Oleson. They could not do it.

The Chairman. You think a legislature composed entirely of Kanakas, without respect to their intelligence, and including the highest order of intelligence, and a Kanaka cabinet, could not control the Government of Hawaii?

Mr. Oleson. No; they could not.

The Chairman. You are perfectly satisfied on that point?

Mr. Oleson. Perfectly satisfied on that point. That is the case. By a late paper from Honolulu—I do not know whether you would rather have it or not—I see that President Dole has called upon Dr. Trousseau to explain certain testimony which he had given against President Dole, and calls for retraction. It is very brief. If you would like to have it I will pass it to you.

The Chairman. You can put it in if you think it will reflect any light.

Mr. Oleson. I think it will show that President Dole was not concerned in any conspiracy. And another thing, where Dr. Trousseau said he knew by personal knowledge of these things, in his retraction he states he got his information from a source which he supposed was reliable.

The Chairman. Have you seen any denial of their authenticity by Trousseau or Dole?

Mr. Oleson. No. In a later paper he made a retraction to 3 other men whom he had mentioned in the same connection—4 other men.

Senator Frye. In reference to the protection of Ameiican life and property, was the location of the troops at Arion Hall a central location?

Mr. Oleson. It was a central place for a rendezvous. The two main streets are at an angle—King street and Nuuanu street—and Arion


Hall was a central location from which to scatter the troops in squads to available points. I do not well see how they could have been better located for the protection of life and property to better advantage than there.

The Chairman. Was there anything to prevent the location of those troops in Arion Hall when you went out to the Government building and the proclamation was being read—anything to prevent the loyalists from making an attack on the men who entered the Government building?

Mr. Oleson. No; the Queen's forces had plenty of ways in which they could have gotten there without passing by the United States troops, even if the United States troops had been out, which I do not admit.

Senator Frye. But if the United States troops were in their quarters there was nothing to prevent an attack being made by the loyalists on the men of the Provisional Government?

Mr. Oleson. No.

Senator Frye. Was there anything in those mass meetings which were held to prevent an attack by the Queen's forces?

Mr. Oleson. No; the nominal Government could have suppressed by the force they had in their hands that mass meeting; but they did not dare to do it, because it would have aggravated things so that they would have gone to their worst.

Senator Frye. Peterson, and Colburn, and Neumann, and Rosa, being then the agents of the Queen and the Queen's cabinet as she formed it after she had removed the Wilcox-Jones cabinet, were they reputable men in the islands?

Mr. Oleson. I never considered any of them to be.

Senator Frye. Did you have any acquaintance with Mr. Stevens?

Mr. Oleson. Yes.

Senator Frye. What was your estimate of him?

Mr. Oleson. I had a high estimate of Mr. Stevens as a man who was exceedingly discreet in his bearing toward events there. I feel that he was placed in a very difficult position at the time the troops were landed, on account of the merely nominal hold which the Government had on the situation—it was practically in the hands of the irresponsible portion of the community; there was practically no government that had any respect of the people. I have heard since that Minister Stevens did not request permission of the Government that the troops be allowed to land. If he had made any such request and it had been denied, I do not think Minister Stevens would have been justified in not landing the troops. There was no government; there was no agreement on a plan of action among the leaders of the nominal government; there were disagreements amongst them; there was no confidence, on the part of the intelligent portion of the community, in them, so that in that sense, while they had nominal control of things, it was simply a nominal government.

Senator Frye. Did you at any time, in your investigations and in your conversations with the men who were connected with the Provisional Government, obtain from them any idea that they expected any assistance from United States troops?

Mr. Oleson. No; not the slightest. I never heard it whispered, and I was in a way to meet a great many of the men on whom the fighting was to depend, if there was to be any fighting. They did not look for any assistance at all.

Senator Frye. Is it your opinion that it was a fact that the presence

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