886-887

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp886-887 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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The Chairman. How many years?

Mr. Stevens. Probably thirty-five or forty.

The Chairman. Was there ever a time during your residence there as minister of the United States when there was no ship of war in the harbor, no ship assigned to duty there?

Mr. Stevens. I do not think there was any time when there was no ship of war there, unless the ship was out of the harbor for target practice, or gone to Hilo, a trip of a few days.

The Chairman. But assigned to duty there?

Mr. Stevens. I do not think there was a single month, while I was there, that a United States ship was not assigned for duty at Honolulu?

The Chairman. What is the necessity of the United States keeping a ship of war in Honolulu, or in reach of the Hawaiian Islands?

Mr. Stevens. Because of the liability to anarchy. And why? To illustrate that point, this was no new thing—the landing of troops. It was done at least three times prior to January, 1893, if not more. I remember three. Prior to this at different times the official representatives of the Queen came to me and asked me to be in readiness to land soldiers; that there were certain contingencies before them that they could not provide for; and more than that number of times the naval officers of the different ships got everything in readiness.

Senator Gray. What was the nature of those contingencies?

Mr. Stevens. I will give this one: Prior to the overthrow of the Queen and the uprising of the business men to have a new government, many of the natives under the lead of Robert Wilcox, half white, and others who were hostile to Wilson, the favorite, because he stood between the natives and the Queen, engaged in revolutionary efforts.

Senator Gray. They were jealous of him?

Mr. Stevens. Jealous of Wilson, and that was the key to their action. For many months they were organized, my information was. It came in many ways, not only from those who were engaged in it, but from the Queen's Government. They contemplated her overthrow. That party was led by Mr. Wilcox, the same man who was in collusion with Liliuokalani in 1889, a few months before I arrived there, to change the constitution. Mr. Wilcox and several prominent white men of the adventurers class had organized what they called a Liberal Hawaiian League, and they had a military organization as well. Their constant fear was that we would not permit the Queen to be overthrown, and of course they always took occasion to find out what the naval officer and American minister would do if they undertook to overthrow the Queen. I could not make my instructions and intentions known.

The Queen was anxious to have me informed of her danger, and the Wilcox faction was anxious to know whether I would interfere in defense of the Queen. Of course, I had to keep noncommittal. That party would have dethroned the Queen if they had had the help of the white people. But the whites said, "No; we can not accept the Government from their hands." Consequently, there was a state of uneasiness, of uncertainty, all the time, as there had been months before I arrived there. Mr. Merrill had an experience with it for two years,, beginning with the revolution of 1887. After they got in the cabinet of 1887 they had a peaceful time up to the Wilcox outbreak, a few weeks before I arrived in the country.

The Chairman. Is the Wilcox of whom you speak the man who was educated in the military school in Italy?

Mr. Stevens. Yes.

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The Chairman. Is there any other man of prominence of that name there?

Mr. Stevens. There are three or four who are prominent.

The Chairman. I mean of that name?

Mr. Stevens. Yes; the Wilcox in the Jones ministry was a very different person from the Wilcox who led the outbreak of 1889—he had been a member of the Legislature, but was not a politician. I refer to the member of the Jones cabinet. There were three or four of the name of Wilcox; but they were not related to Robert, the man at the head of the revolutionary movement.

The Chairman. Is the man who was in the Jones ministry an American?

Mr. Stevens. An American of pure blood. His father was a missionary. He lives on the island of Kauai—a man of business, education, and of high character.

The Chairman. Is he officially connected with the Provisional Government?

Mr. Stevens. Only as an adviser and supporter.

The Chairman. Not officially?

Mr. Stevens. He was in the Jones ministry.

The Chairman. Which was succeeded by the Peterson cabinet?

Mr. Stevens. Yes; the Peterson cabinet.

The Chairman. Proceed.

Mr. Stevens. I need not restate, I suppose, what I have already said, and will proceed as requested.

The Chairman. The matters of which you are speaking occurred before you landed?

Mr. Stevens. Before we landed and while we were landing.

The Chairman. Before you personally landed?

Mr. Stevens. Before 12 o'clock was when I arrived. I am coming to that. As soon as I had arrived at the legation I was informed of the strong rumor that the Queen was about to attempt to proclaim a new constitution; and I was urged to go at once to seek the cooperation of the English minister to dissuade the Queen from her design.

The Chairman. Who made that request of you?

Mr. Stevens. That came through Judge Hartwell. He has been there twenty years, an American by birth, but married his wife there. He is a graduate of Harvard, and one of the leading lawyers of the islands and has been one of the supreme judges. As before stated, I at once endeavored to comply with this request. I went as soon as possible to the English minister and asked him to go with me to see the Queen. We went to the foreign office to seek an interview with the Queen in the customary manner.

The customary manner was to send it, of course, through the minister of foreign affairs.

Senator Butler. Did you get access to the Queen?

Mr. Stevens. The Minister of Foreign Affairs had gone to the ceremony of proroguing the Legislature. He came into the foreign minister's office. We staid in there two or three minutes—asked two or three questions. That was the first time I was let into the plot that there was to be a new constitution. He was very cautious as to what he said. I was not there when the invitations were sent out to come to the palace and receive a glass of wine.

I did not go to the palace, but the other officials did. Before the time arrived Mr. Wodehouse, who had been there so many years, said: "It is unusual for us to have this at the close of the Legislature," and the whole thing came into my mind what the Queen


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