892-893

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp892-893 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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willing and found yourself authorized, and, of course, compelled as a matter of public duty, to ask Capt. Wiltse to land troops?

Mr. Stevens. I would have felt it necessary if the committee of safety had not made any request.

The Chairman. Based upon your judgment of the situation?

Mr. Stevens. Upon my judgment of the situation. My only fear was that I delayed it twenty-four hours too long. Had anything happened Sunday night it would have been my risk. The landing of troops is something serious. I had previously discouraged it. When I did request it, I said it must be solely for the protection of American life and property. I used the old formula, which does not go so far as the formula given by Mr. Bayard to Mr. Merrill in 1887. I will read the substance of the Bayard dispatch.

"United States Department of State,
"Washington, July 12,1887.
٭ ٭ ٭ ٭ ٭ ٭ ٭
"In the absence of any detailed information from you of the late disorders in the domestic control of Hawaii and the changes which have taken place in the official corps of that Government, I am not able to give you other than general instructions, which may be communicated in substance to the commander of vessel or vessels of this Government, in the waters of Hawaii, with whom you will freely confer, in order that such prompt and efficient action may be taken as the circumstances may make necessary.
"While we abstain from interference with the domestic affairs of Hawaii, in accordance with the policy and practice of this Government, yet, obstruction to the channels of legitimate commerce under existing law must not be allowed, and American citizens in Hawaii must be protected in their persons and property, by the representatives of their country's law and power, and no internal discord must be suffered to impair them.
"Your own aid and council, as well as the assistance of the officers of the Government vessels, if found necessary, will therefore be promptly afforded to promote the reign of law and respect for orderly government in Hawaii.
٭ ٭ ٭ ٭ ٭ ٭ ٭
"T. F. Bayard,
"Secretary of State."

The Chairman. Have you any further statement to make in regard to the matter?

Mr. Stevens. Not on that point. I can answer any questions. Perhaps I will put in here that when I went on board to Captain Wiltse with my request, which said only for the protection of life and property, I found that he had his order to the officers already drawn. I found it was copied from the naval order, standing order, which covered more than mine did. He said to me, "If you think it better to strike that out, I will do so." I said, "Inasmuch as it is in the naval order and Mr. Bayard's instructions, I have no right to ask you to strike it out."

The Chairman. That conversation between you and Captain Wiltse occurred on Monday?

Mr. Stevens. That occurred on Monday, after I went on board.

The Chairman. About what hour?

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Mr. Stevens. I should think not far from 4 o'clock; he landed about 5 and it may have been 4 o'clock.

The Chairman. When Capt. Wiltse landed where?

Mr. Stevens. Landed from the Boston on shore.

The Chairman. Landed the troops?

Mr. Stevens. The troops. I went on board to confer with him, carrying with me my request with him to land the troops.

The Chairman. That was the first communication you had with the ship?

Mr. Stevens. Yes.

The Chairman. Did you send any message to Capt. Wiltse before that?

Mr. Stevens. No.

The Chairman. To any officers of the ship?

Mr. Stevens. Not that I remember.

The Chairman. And when you got on board Capt. Wiltse had his orders already drawn up?

Mr. Stevens. Yes.

The Chairman. In writing?

Mr. Stevens. Yes.

The Chairman. And they were submitted to you?

Mr. Stevens. Submitted to me.

The Chairman. In what form?

Mr. Stevens. One that had been in the Navy for years. Mr. Bayard's was the last one issued, and it seems that the Navy Department's instructions covered all that Mr. Bayard's covered. When I drew my request, I had forgotten Mr. Bayard's instructions. I read them when I went to the legation. Mine simply recited, "for the protection of American life and property;" but when I saw Capt. Wiltse's, I saw that it was in substance the same as Mr. Bayard's. I have Mr. Bayard's here.

The Chairman. Was the order that Capt. Wiltse had drawn up identical with the instructions you are about to read?

Mr. Stevens. Identical in substance; and I think the wording is exactly the same.

My request to Capt. Wiltse is the following:

"United States Legation,
"Honolulu, January 16, 1893.
"Sir: In view of the existing critical circumstances in Honolulu, indicating an inadequate legal force, I request you to land marines and sailors from the ship under your command for the protection of the United States Legation and United States consulate, and to secure the safety of American life and property.
"Very truly, yours,
"John L. Stevens,
"Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
of the United States.
"Capt. G. C. Wiltse,
"Commander of the U. S. S. Boston."

The order of Capt. Wiltse, as read by him to me when I went on board the Boston, goes farther than mine. It not only requires the protection of American life and property, but the preservation af public order.

That goes considerably further than my request went.


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