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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp898-899 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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The Chairman. Was there telephonic communication between the ship and the shore?

Mr. Stevens. Between the ship and shore. All our naval vessels, so soon as they get in the harbor, make telephonic connection.

The Chairman. You say Mr. Severance sent a note to Capt. Wiltse?

Mr. Stevens. Sent a note.

The Chairman. Did you see it?

Mr. Stevens. Yes.

The Chairman. What was in it?

Mr. Stevens. It was a brief note. I think I have it. Moreover, he telephoned at the time that I was on board.

The Chairman. Where is that note?

Mr. Stevens. That is it [producing paper].

The Chairman. Is this the original note, or a copy of it?

Mr. Stevens. That is the original.

The Chairman. I will read this. It is headed personal:

"Honolulu, January ----, 1893.
"My dear Captain: In case of any outbreak or collision with the committee of safety at the mass meeting to-day and the Government forces with a view of suppressing said meeting, it might be necessary to land a force to preserve order or protect our property. In such case, should the telephone wires be cut, I can send you a signal by lowering my flag at half mast, and you will, of course, be governed by instructions from Minister Stevens. It is reported this a. m. that the mass meeting of the citizens will be interfered with or broken up by the Queen's forces. A mass meeting is reported to be held at the same hours.
"Very truly,
"H. W. Severance,
"Capt. Wiltse,
"Captain of the United States Ship Boston."

Before you left to go on board the ship did you have any conference with Mr. Severance?

Mr. Stevens. I did not.

The Chairman. Was there any?

Mr. Stevens. I did not know that that note was written until I got on board, or thought that a note was written.

The Chairman. Was it by virtue of that note that you and Capt. Wiltse agreed that troops should be left there at the consulate?

Mr. Stevens. I think I could have recommended, even if the consul's note had not been sent, because that is the usual way when there is trouble in a country, that the legislation and consulates are provided for. I made the same rule there.

The Chairman. When these troops were so disposed as to place a detachment at the consulate and another at the legation, was it the honest and bona fide intention of yourself, and, so far as you know, of Capt. Wiltse, to give protection to those American establishments, or was it the intention and purpose to make a display of the American forces at these respective points under the assurance of the American flag, or was it because of the movement of a popular character which you knew to be on foot for the purpose of overthrowing the Queen and the establishment of a new government?


Mr. Stevens. It had sole relation to the protection of American life and property and, if you wish to cover it by Mr. Bayard's order, for the preservation of public order, I did not feel like going so far as that.

The Chairman. At the time you made this request upon Capt. Wiltse, and at the time you made this disposition of the troops, did you know of the existence of a purpose on the part of any of the citizens of Hawaii to organize an opposition to the Queen's Government, with a view to overthrowing or subverting it in any respect?

Mr. Stevens. All day Sunday and Monday when the meeting was held, everything was open and public, just as in a railroad meeting in any city—everybody knew it; reasons to believe there was no effective opposition. I believed the movements of the opponents of the monarchy were irresistible, and everybody understood what was going on.

The Chairman. Did you know of the actual organisation on Monday evening?

Mr. Stevens. I did not, only by such information as I could get. I put myself in contact with the Queen's representatives; they had access to the legation, and I would inquire very cautiously about this and that and a great many things. Many of the friends of the Provisional Government I knew, and a great many I did not.

The Chairman. Did you know of a programme, or whatever it was, before you went on board the ship, for the establishment of the new Government?

Mr. Stevens. I could not help but know it; it was all the talk Sunday and Monday. I knew it by the general appearance of things and the talk; the leaders did not communicate their plans to me.

The Chairman. As I understand, the public meeting had not been held at that time?

Mr. Stevens. It had been arranged for.

The Chairman. How did you know that?

Mr. Stevens. By constant reports to the legation, both from royalists and others.

The Chairman. It was information that you had?

Mr. Stevens. I did not go to church that day; I think I remained home all day.

The Chairman. Did you derive that information, before you went on board that ship, from a report or statement made to you by any member of a body that had organized or had agreed they would organize a Provisional Government?

Mr. Stevens. No; I think the representative men who were in it refrained from communicating their details.

The Chairman. Did they communicate it to you?

Mr. Stevens. I think not.

Senator Gray. Or did you have any conversation with any of them?

Mr. Stevens. I think I did not. I may have asked what they were doing, and they may have said they would have a Provisional Government. I should say that is probable. I could not learn what was going on; I would have to catechise somebody, and they would answer me.

The Chairman. But you knew at the time you went on board the ship that the state of public feeling there would culminate in an effort to overthrow the Queen's Government and establish a government in place of it?

Mr. Stevens. I understood that the Queen's government was at an end. The Queen's government ended on Saturday afternoon. There

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