912-913

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp912-913 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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United States. I am familiar with the celebration of the 4th of July in my country fifty years ago, when they celebrated as they now do in Hawaii.

The Chairman. Is it regarded as a fete day?

Mr. Stevens. As a fete day.

The Chairman. How about the proclamations of Thanksgiving that go from the President out there?

Mr. Stevens. That is used in the churches, and much regarded, but not the same degree as the 4th of July; but it is still a very important day.

The Chairman. Is that regaded by the Kanaka population? Do they participate in the sentiment upon the request of our President?

Mr. Stevens. I think so.

The Chairman. Are you aware of the existence of a similar state of feeling on the part of the Hawaiian people, the Kanakas, toward any other foreign government?

Mr. Stevens. No.

The Chairman. Do you understand and do you believe and do you state, upon your understanding and belief, that there is an affectionate regard or sentiment on the part of the Kanaka population toward the people and Government of the United States?

Mr. Stevens. Yes; I will say the responsible portion of them.

The Chairman. How about the irresponsible, the ignorant people?

Mr. Stevens. The irresponsible, what we call the hoodlum—I use that term for convenience—are gathered in Honolulu, as they would be in any country, at the capital. That element is comparatively small in numbers, but it makes a good deal of noise, and is under the control of the white adventurers. And there is another element, which is quite numerous, and if they only get their point and things go on, they are satisfied.

The Chairman. I am speaking of the principal body of the Hawaiian people, who reside in the country.

Mr. Stevens. I would divide those in three classes: the first led by Mr. Kanhana and others like him. That makes the responsible and the religious element, led by the Americans. Then there would be the portion living in the country districts who do not care one way or the other.

The Chairman. Indifferent?

Mr. Stevens. Indifferent. If the demagogues were to go to them and say, "The Americans are going to take away your lands," they would get up a feeling, and they would all act at once. And then the hoodlum element—a few hundred dollars would buy them and use them, as the worst element in our cities.

The Chairman. Subject to be controlled, because they are purchaseable?

Mr. Stevens. Purchaseable. They would not do any very great harm, but they are corrupt.

The Chairman. Considering the condition that Honolulu is in, and considering all the facts that you have been commenting upon, what was your reason for requesting or directing the raising of the flag and the establishment of a protectorate in Honolulu?

Mr. Stevens. I have it here in writing; but I think I can condense it better.

Senator Frye. One moment before that question is answered, if the chairman please.

The Chairman. Yes.

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Senator Frye. You have been over the recognition of the Provisional Government and closed that chapter. In the recognition of the Provisional Government did you ask anything about the barracks and the station house?

Mr. Stevens. I did not go into the particulars.

Senator Frye. What importance on the question of the recognition of the Provisional Government did the barracks and the police station have?

Mr. Stevens. None whatever. As I have stated before, there was an absolute interregnum, and there was no effective force for the Queen at any time.

Senator Frye. In determining upon the question of recognition, did you take into consideration at all the surrender of the barracks or the police station?

Mr. Stevens. No.

Senator Frye. Capt. Wiltse is reported to have said that he would not recognize the Provisional Government until the barracks and police station had surrendered. Had Capt. Wiltse any authority in the premises, if he said so?

Mr. Stevens. I would say that he never had any such conversation with me, and I have no idea he said anything of the kind.

Senator Frye. Is not the question of recognition a question entirely and solely for the American minister?

Mr. Stevens. I would say so. So far as the American Government is concerned, absolutely and entirely.

The Chairman. Was that request of the Provisional Government made in writing?

Mr. Stevens. I think so.

The Chairman. Is it there?

Mr. Stevens. I think it is on file at the legation. In answer to the question of the chairman put a few moments ago I will proceed to state: These volunteer troops had been taken from their business for two weeks. The Japanese Government had a powerful ironclad that was soon expected. They had one ship there, but they had sent it off to Hilo, and of that visit to Hilo we got information, which I sent to the Department, that the Japanese were testing the sentiment of the men upon the plantations as to whether they would aid the Japanese. Now, right here, it is important that I should be specific. The Japanese Commissioner had but recently arrived. He came to me prior to my going to Hilo and prior to the fall of the Queen and said that he wanted the same rights of suffrage for the Japanese that other nationalities had. He wanted to get my encouragement, to find out what I was about. That was before I went to Hilo. Of course I had to be very diplomatic and did not make him any pledges or any signs.

At about the same time he had made this demand on the Queen's Government, which was before the overthrow, and which was followed up immediately on the Provisional Government—to give them the right of suffrage. On the island of Oahu, as the reports came to me, they had 700 or 800 Japanese who had been in the Japanese army. Information came to the Provisional Government and came to me that the adherents of the Queen, in a revolutionary attempt to replace her just at this time before the flag was put up, might call upon the Japanese laborers and residents, and that the Queen would promise them, for the sake of their aid, that they should have the right of suffrage. There was a good opportunity for the Japanese and the Queen's supporters. The commissioner had sent a request to Tokio by the Claudine, which

S. Doc 231, pt 6----58


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