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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp938-939 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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Senator Gray. By whom did you send your note of recognition?

Mr. Stevens. That I can not say positively.

Senator Gray. Did you send it back by the messenger from the Provisional Government?

Mr. Stevens. I sent it by some one whom I considered a reliable messenger.

Senator Gray. And you can not say who it was?

Mr. Stevens. No; I can not say that. It may have been Mr. Pringle, or it may have been one of the clerks in the foreign office.

Senator Gray. How soon after you were notified of the fact that the Provisional Government had been proclaimed that you sent your note of recognition?

Mr. Stevens. That I could not swear positively. I put it on record. I think it was about 5 o'clock. Mrs. Stevens and my daughter think that when this gentleman, meaning Hopkins, called with the note from the Queen's recent ministers it was later. But not regarding that a vital point I put it down in the records about 5. And the fact that the chief justice called on me shortly and said that they had the rumor all through the streets that the American minister had refused to recognize the Provisional Government. He came to see if it were so, and it was about dusk when Judge Judd called, when I said to him I had just recognized. But I put it down as my opinion that it was about 5.

Senator Gray. You do not claim to be accurate about that?

Mr. Stevens. No; the official records will show that.

Senator Gray. Have you the official record?

Mr. Stevens. I think that is in Honolulu. I do not know that Mr. Blount has put that on paper. My wife and daughter afterward said they thought it was later.

Senator Gray. After the messenger who first came from the Provisional Government to notify you that the Provisional Government had been proclaimed, what other intelligence did you receive of its proclamation?

Mr. Stevens. Now, I have to answer that in the way I have already answered, that I considered that there was an absolute interregnum between the afternoon of the 14th and the establishment of the Provisional Government, and my relief from the situation was that there was a de facto Government. The moment I got information that a de facto Government was established and was master of the situation, master of the archives, I thought it was my duty to recognize it, and all the other foreign officials immediately did the same. And the English minister called on the Provisional Government in person before I did.

Senator Gray. Recognized it before you did?

Mr. Stevens. The English minister in person went before I did and offered his congratulations.

Senator Gray. Did you before that get your note?

Mr. Stevens. I can not say. All those members of the official corps knew the circumstances under which the Provisional Government had been constituted as well as I did.

Senator Gray. I understood you to say, in answer to that question as to whether you had any other information of the proclamation of the Provisional Government than the messenger conveyed to you, although not directly responsive, that it was not necessary, because it was thoroughly understood for the last two or three days there was an


interregnum, and that any government or any proclamation of any set of people would constitute a de facto government.

Mr. Stevens. I did not say that. Let me answer it.

Senator Gray. What did you say when I asked you in regard to the fact that it was notorious that there was an interregnum and it was not necessary to have the information?

Mr. Stevens. I do not put it in that form. I say that the collapse of all government on the islands took place on the attempted coup d'etat of the Queen on the 14th, and from that time up to the time the Provisional Government took possession of the Government buildings the only government was the 1,000 citizens who called the mass meeting, and the presence of ship Boston in the harbor. I had got information that I deemed reliable that a government springing out of that condition of things had become a de facto government, and by the invariable usage of the world I was bound to recognize it.

Senator Gray. Then, I suppose, you give that answer as accounting for the fact that you did not need any other information than the first reliable information which you received that the Provisional Government had been proclaimed?

Mr. Stevens. I had the most thorough information on that.

Senator Gray. I ask you what that was?

Mr. Stevens. I said before, probably by a note. But by various means I got that information perhaps twenty times within an hour.

Senator Gray. From whom?

Mr. Stevens. The parties who called.

Senator Gray. Who were the parties?

Mr. Stevens. I will give you one instance. Chief Justice Judd is one of the representative men of the islands. He came, I may say, at 5 or a little later, and he said the rumor had got on the street that I had not recognized the Provisional Government. I am sure during those hours there were many persons who called and talked of what had been done.

Senator Gray. Who were the many persons?

Mr. Stevens. I could not be positive.

Senator Gray. Who was one?

Mr. Stevens. I presume that Mr. Dole sent his clerk of the foreign office, and in addition to that Mr. Cooper, Carter, and Pringle, and I presume there were many other persons who told me.

Senator Gray. Were they sympathizers with the Provisional Government who told you?

Mr. Stevens. They were men who would give me absolute information.

Senator Gray. I ask if that was a fact?

Mr. Stevens. That was a fact.

Senator Gray. You were not out of your house?

Mr. Stevens. Not out of my house.

Senator Gray. And on this information that the Provisional Government had been proclaimed you sent the note?

Mr. Stevens. So soon as I had evidence of the fact.

Senator Gray. What fact?

Mr. Stevens. The fact that out of that interregnum had sprung a de facto government.

Senator Gray. The fact of its being a de facto government is a conclusion?

Mr. Stevens. Of which I had to be the judge.

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