928-929

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp928-929 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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Hopkins at any time. After he had left the legation my daughter said it was Mr. Hopkins.

Senator Frye. John F. Colburn testified that Thurston had an interview with them (him and Peterson) January 15, at 6 o'clock a. m., Sunday, and desired him and Peterson to depose the Queen; that in the course of the conversation he said that he could inform us that Mr. Stevens had given the committee of safety the assurance that if we two signed a request to land the troops of the Boston, he would immediately comply and have them landed to assist in carrying out this work.

Mr. Stevens. Who put that question?

Senator Frye. John F. Colburn testifies that Thurston in an interview with him and Peterson said that Stevens had given the committee of safety the assurance that if we two (that is, Colburn and Peterson) would sign a request to land the troops of the Boston he would immediately comply and have them landed to assist in carrying out this work.

Mr. Stevens. Nothing of the kind; as perfectly romantic as if born of another age. I am sure Mr. Thurston never said anything about it; he is a man of too much sense.

Senator Frye. Mr. Colburn says further that immediately on the landing of the troops he and Parker had an interview with you.

Mr. Stevens. Parker is the one who came with Mr. Cleghorn to protest.

Senator Frye. And he says that he (Colburn) had an interview with you; that in the course of that interview you said that there were a number of women and old men in town besides children, who were alarmed at the rumors of a revolution, and you wanted to offer them protection; whereupon Colburn said, "You want to annex the country," and you replied, "No, those troops are ashore to preserve the Queen on the throne, you gentlemen in your office, and to offer protection to the community at large."

Mr. Stevens. That is absolute, pure fiction.

Senator Frye. Mr. Colburn says further: "We had under arms 600 men with rifles, 30,000 rounds of ammunition, 8 brass Austrian field cannon, and 2 Catling guns."

Mr. Stevens. Why did they not use them?

Senator Frye. Did they have such a force?

Mr. Stevens No; they would have used it on Sunday and Monday, if they had had any such force. You have to look at the facts. I have answered that before. There was a complete collapse of the Queen's Government from Saturday afternoon of January 14. There was only one attempt at an exhibition of authority, which was by a policeman attempting to prevent two men carrying arms and ammunition up to the Government building. They had two men only. That is the only resistance they dared to make. Wilson knew every step that was taken, knew that the Provisional Government was being organized, just as you gentlemen would know of a railroad meeting in your town.

The Chairman. If there had been any force of 600 men under arms and under the control of the Queen would you have known it?

Mr. Stevens. There was nothing of the kind, or I should have known it. The royalists party had two or three factions, one made up with the Robert Wilcox element. So far as it was possible for me to know—I used all the judgment and experience I had—I was kept posted of the purposes and intentions of the various organizations that were opposed to the Queen and those in her favor; and just as I have stated before,

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there were two distinctive parties amongst the natives about the Queen.

The Chairman. I wanted to know whether your sources of information and the diligence of your inquiries made in regard to the actual situation in the islands gave you an opportunity to know satisfactorily to yourself whether they had as many as 600 armed force, or whether they had any organization of a military character that was considered dangerous?

Mr. Stevens. My information was directly the contrary; the only force that I understood they had was the native police force under the marshal and the Queen's guard of 70, men made up of native boys, not equal to 10 white soldiers. Ten American soldiers were equivalent to the whole of them. They never made any resistance, and did not dare.

Senator Frye. The Queen's ministers delivered an address which is given by Mr. Blount in his report, in which they stated that Mr. Colburn and Mr. Peterson reported that a committee of safety had been formed at the house of Mr. L. A. Thurston and had made overtures to them to assist in dethroning the Queen, and they intended to go ahead, and that your assistance, together with that of the United States Government, had been guaranteed to them. Is there any truth in that?

Mr. Stevens. None; I never knew of it until I saw it in that report. I never heard of it before. I never heard of it until I saw it in that report, as also that other inquiry about my promising Soper. You might ask me if that is in there.

Senator Frye. Mr. Wundenburg further says that Mr. Soper was offered the position of commander-in-chief; that he hesitated to take it; that he and others went over to see you, and then came back, saying, "I understood them to say that Mr. Stevens had told them that if they would take possession of the Government building and read their proclamation, he would immediately recognize them and support them, or, failing to get the Government building, any building in Honolulu."

Mr. Stevens. I never heard anything about it until I saw it in Blount's report. It is pure fiction, absolute fiction, as well as that other statement that Soper wanted to take military command. I did not know that Soper was to have the military command until I saw his appointment in the newspapers. Soper never came to me to ask me anything about it. The first I knew of Soper being appointed to the command was one or two days afteward.

Senator Frye. Kaulukou in his affidavit says that Minister Stevens wrote a letter, which he gave to Charles L. Hopkins, in which he said he would back and help the Provisional Government and not her Majesty the Queen's Government.

Mr. Stevens. That is all fiction.

Senator Frye. Did anything like that ever occur?

Mr. Stevens. No. I maintained one fixed policy.

Senator Frye. And that was utter impartiality between the two?

Mr. Stevens. Yes. To the representations made to me before to have the men landed, my answer was always the same, "The emergency must be a striking one, and then only for the protection of life and property."

Senator Frye. Paul Neumann, in his testimony, says that on Tuesday, the 17th of January, Mr. Peterson and Mr. Parker, about 3 o'clock, informed him that Mr. Stevens had told them categorically that he would support with the United States forces a provisional government if such were proclaimed. Did you ever tell Peterson or Parker anything like that?

S. Doc 231, pt 6----59


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