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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp878-879 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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The Chairman. Are fish abundant off the coast of those islands?

Mr. McCandless. Yes; but fish commands a higher price in Honolulu than in any seaport town I have ever lived in. That is because the native will not go fishing unless the price of fish is high.

The Chairman. They are expert fishermen?

Mr. McCandless. Yes.

The Chairman. And they have control of the fisheries?

Mr. McCandless. No; the Chinese have most of the fishing rights. There is a peculiar condition of affairs there in regard to the fisheries. The water front of the islands is owned by the landlords—the people who own the land—and the privilege of fishing on this water front is leased out.

The Chairman. By the owner of the soil?

Mr. McCandless. By the owner of the soil. So that the Chinese have been rather encroaching on that privilege and getting most of the valuable fishing rights.

The Chairman. How far out in the sea does this privilege extend?

Mr. McCandless. I can not say as to that.

The Chairman. Do the Hawaiians and Chinese fish offshore in boats and with seines and other tackle?

Mr. McCandless. Yes.

The Chairman. When they are fishing offshore this water privilege does not interfere with them, does it?

Mr. McCandless. Yes; it interferes, except in the case of Government lands; there it is open to the natives.

The Chairman. There must be some limit to this right. Is it three miles?

Mr. McCandless. I think that would be the limit, the international limit.

The Chairman. You do not know about that?

Mr. McCandless. No.

The Chairman. In this way the Chinese and Hawaiians have what we term a practical monopoly of the fishing industry, and will not fish unless the market price justifies them in going out?

Mr. McCandless. Yes; that is the case with the Hawaiians; but the Chinese do not stop at all, they fish right along.

The Chairman. Around the islands other than Oahu is this fishing carried on by the natives?

Mr. McCandless. Yes; principally by the natives, because there is no market on the other islands.

The Chairman. What I want to get at is whether fishing in combination with the taro is the real, substantial food support of the common people of Hawaii?

Mr. McCandless. Yes.

The Chairman. Taro supplies the want for vegetable food?

Mr. McCandless. Yes.

The Chairman. And takes the place of bread?

Mr. McCandless. Yes. I was going to say in regard to the natives, to show their indolence in regard to their crop, I have found it the case that the natives have leased out their taro patch to a Chinaman, and the Chinaman has worked it and paid the Hawaiian in taro, and still made a living off it himself. I have seen it many times.

The Chairman. Do the women in Hawaii work in the taro patches?

Mr. McCandless. Yes; but the men mostly. It is a crop easily taken care of.

The Chairman. Easily raised?


Mr. McCandless. Easily raised. Of course, there must be an abundance of water—it grows in a pond; it must be flooded with water.

The Chairman. Have you, prior to January 17, 1893, been in any way engaged in the political affairs of Hawaii?

Mr. McCandless. Yes.

The Chairman. Have you been in any office there?

Mr. McCandless. No.

The Chairman. Your connection with it then was as a private citizen?

Mr. McCandless. It was as a private citizen—to help right wrongs.

The Chairman. We will suspend the examination of Mr. McCandless, for the purpose of hearing Mr. Stevens, who, I am informed, is not well and is desirous of returning to his home.


The Chairman. What is your age?

Mr. Stevens. Seventy-three.

The Chairman. Your place of nativity?

Mr. Stevens. Mount Vernon, Me.

The Chairman. When did you first go to Hawaii?

Mr. Stevens. I arrived there in September, 1889.

The Chairman. Was that your first visit?

Mr. Stevens. My first visit to Hawaii.

The Chairman. You went as Minister of the United States to that Government?

Mr. Stevens. I did.

The Chairman. Who was then the sovereign?

Mr. Stevens. King Kalakaua was the sovereign.

The Chairman. Under what administration were you sent there?

Mr. Stevens. By President Harrison.

The Chairman. Were you present at the time Liliuokalani succeeded to the regal authority in the Hawaiian Islands?

Mr. Stevens. I was.

The Chairman. And you remained there until what time—what time did you leave the islands?

Mr. Stevens. The 24th of May, 1893.

The Chairman. Proceed and state what you know of your own personal knowledge in respect of the political affairs of Hawaii since your arrival there, the changes in political conditions, the circumstances that led to such changes, the effects produced by such changes; and we wish you to state also what participation you had at any time during your residence there in promoting the interests or welfare of any political party connected with the Queen's Government or opposed to the Queen's Government. When you shall have made your statement, or at any time while you are making it, the members of the committee will interpose such questions as they may desire, for the purpose of keeping your attention to the testimony we desire to elicit.

Mr. Stevens. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I will, of course, be under the necessity of condensing so far as possible. That inquiry might require a volume; but, of course, I understand the committee desires the salient facts. I will read what I think is better than I could verbally state, and we will have before us the events beginning twelve days prior to the overthrow of Liliuokalani. I can read of events prior to that; but I think I had better take twelve days prior.

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