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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp894-895 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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The Chairman. Here is the order of Capt. Wiltse under which the troops were landed from the Boston.

"U. S. S. Boston, Second Rate,
"Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands, January 16, 1893.
"Lieut. Commander W. T. Swinburne
"U. S. navy, Executive Officer U. S. S. Boston:"
"Sir: You will take command of the battalion, and land in Honolulu, for the purpose of protecting our legation, consulate, and the lives and property of American citizens, and to assist in preserving public order.
"Great prudence must be exercised by both officers and men, and no action taken that is not fully warranted by the condition of affairs, and by the conduct of those who may be inimical to the treaty rights of American citizens.
"You will inform me at the earliest practicable moment of any change in the situation.
"Very respectfully,
"G. C. Wiltse,
"Captain, U. S. Navy, commanding U. S. S. Boston."

You say when you got on board ship that Monday afternoon, that order of Capt. Wiltse had been drawn up?

Mr. Stevens. Had been drawn up, a rough draft; whether Capt. Wiltse changed it afterwards, I could not say.

The Chairman. Is it your recollection that that order which was drawn up before you arrived on the ship and presented to you after your arrival, was identical with this order I have just read?

Mr. Stevens. As nearly as I can remember.

The Chairman. That is the best of your recollection—that it is identical with the order Capt. Wiltse read to you?

Mr. Stevens. It so strikes me.

The Chairman. Did you and Capt. Wiltse have any discussion on the subject?

Mr. Stevens. Only on this one point—the preservation of public order. I said first, that is not in my request; but I recalled that it was in Mr. Bayard's, and Capt. Wiltse was ready to strike it out.

The Chairman. You speak of "my order."

Mr. Stevens. I did not say "my order." The order that I referred to, my order, was a mere request.

The Chairman. What do you mean by "my" order; the request you sent to Capt. Wiltse?

Mr. Stevens. My request that I meant to send to Capt. Wiltse for landing the troops.

The Chairman. Had you sent that request before you went aboard the ship?

Mr. Stevens. No; I carried it in person.

The Chairman. Had you any way of communicating with Capt. Wiltse before you went on board the ship ?

Mr. Stevens. I do not know that I had any. But I had conferred with Capt. Wiltse at different times, and he knew what would be the form.

The Chairman. Had you conferred with him between Saturday and Monday afternoon?

Mr. Stevens. I do not recall. He may have called at the legation a half dozen times; probably he did; but I could not say.


The Chairman. Do you remember whether you had any conference with him between Saturday and Monday afternoon with regard to the form of the orders that he would give to his troops, or the form of the request you would make of him?

Mr. Stevens. Not the slightest. The only talk about form was on board the ship.

The Chairman. If I have a correct view of your testimony it is that when you arrived on board the ship you found that Capt. Wiltse had drawn up this order, which I have just read to you?

Mr. Stevens. I think it is identical.

The Chairman. He had drawn up this order and had it ready to deliver to his subordinate?

Mr. Stevens. That is it.

The Chairman. Did you find a complete state of military preparation for landing the troops when you got on board the ship?

Mr. Stevens. So far as I could judge; I saw the officers in the cabin and I got that statement, that they were ready to land.

The Chairman. Do you know on what request or demand Capt. Wiltse responded when he prepared this order for the landing of the troops on shore?

Mr. Stevens. On my request as the American minister.

Senator Frye. But you had not made it?

Mr. Stevens. When I got on board of the ship---

Senator Frye. Before that. The chairman asks if the troops were ready when you got on board—whether the order of Capt. Wiltse was in writing when you got on board.

Mr. Stevens. Yes.

Senator Frye. But had not been delivered?

Mr. Stevens. No.

Senator Frye. At whose request or demand had Capt. Wiltse made this preparation in advance?

Mr. Stevens. Undoubtedly on his knowledge of the situation. He may have come to the legation, and the consul was around and had written to the captain about it. He had gotten ready so many times, and these all knew perfectly well that mine would be a mere form of official request.

The Chairman. Would you, as United States minister at Honolulu, have extended to Capt. Wiltse any order or request not in writing, which you would have expected him to comply with or obey about so grave a matter as the landing of troops?

Mr. Stevens. No; I made no request except one in writing. I have no remembrance of any verbal request, but he called at the legation frequently.

The Chairman. And it is quite likely you discussed the situation?

Mr. Stevens. Yes; we had discussed it running up to Hilo and back.

The Chairman. Now, I understand you to testify that Capt. Wiltse, commanding that ship, did not have from you any written request or authority to put his troops in condition for landing and conducting military operations before the time you arrived, at 4 o'clock or thereabouts, on Monday, and that you then took the request in writing with you?

Mr. Stevens. I think I did. That is my memory.

The Chairman. Have you any recollection of having communicated with him—made any written request whatever before that?

Mr. Stevens. I have no recollection of it.

The Chairman. Are you sure you did not?

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