From TheMorganReport
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Previous Page Next Page

Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp946-947 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

Text Only


portion of the community to make an end of corrupt and misgovernment and get security and peace by good government.

During this period I saw Minister Stevens several times, also Capt. Wiltse, and conversed with them upon the situation. I stated freely that we proposed to fight for good government, and hoped that we should at least have the moral assistance of the United States by a recognition of the Provisional Government which was proposed to be established, but I have no hesitation in saying that we were given to understand clearly and definitely that the usual rule in such cases would be followed and that we could not be recognized unless we became in fact the Government of the country by taking possession of the seat of government, which I certainly understood to mean the various departments, including the treasury, the courts, and the archives of the Government. It was to this end that our efforts were directed and we expected a bloody fight to ensue when we went to the Government building.

According to my recollection now, the request to Minister Stevens to land United States marines was not thought of until Monday forenoon, when it was prepared in response to the request of numerous citizens of many nationalities, some of whom had a vivid recollection of the doings of the mob of 1874. They were people who thoroughly indorsed our course and believed that we would succeed, but who felt that while the attack was being made and the fight going on around the Government building, a brutal mob would, in all probability, be incited by the royalists to burn and destroy property, in the suburbs as well as in the business portions of the town and that outrages would be committed upon the persons of women and children. Threats of such violence were made, and certainly several members of the Legislature, if their words were to be believed, would not only incite, but lead on just such a mob.

The request was therefore made to Minister Stevens for exactly that kind of protection. It was put in writing, signed by all the Committee of Public Safety, and taken to Minister Stevens by Mr. Thurston and myself after the mass meeting. About 5 o'clock that evening troops were landed and disposed about the town where they could be most easily obtained should occasion require. Both Mr. Thurston and myself were ill with very severe colds, which in my case ran into an attack of asthma, and with Mr. Thurston into threatened pneumonia, which prevented our taking part in much which followed during the next twenty-four hours. Monday night was one of suspense and terror throughout the entire community. A riotous uprising of the mob element was feared at any moment; no confidence was felt in the ability or disposition of the Queen's Government to cope with the same. Two incendiary fires did, in fact, occur, but no outbreak happened.

It is my belief, which I think is shared by nearly every one, that the mere presence of United States troops exercised a restraining influence and prevented any riotous uprising. While the troops were landing and marching up Port street, I was in town and met Marshal C. B. Wilson, with several others, near the bank of Bishop & Co. Mr. Wilson quite sternly wanted to know what the troops were landed for. I told him exactly what had occurred, giving him the substance of the note to Minister Stevens, and stating that I believed the object for which the troops were landed would be strictly observed.

At this point I desire to state that if there had been any plan or conspiracy by which the United States troops were to land and assist the revolutionists in overturning the Government, I should most certainly


have known it. There was no such plan, and I utterly repudiate the attempt to impugn the character and actions of both Minister Stevens and Capt. Wiltse, and state here that it seemed to me at that time, and I believe now that they would have been perfectly justified in giving a quicker and more open support to the Provisional Government than was finally accorded by recognition, and that they still would have been within the requirements of international law upon that subject.

For a few moments on Tuesday evening between five and six o'clock I was able to go to the Government building, where I found the Provisional Government in full possession and exercising the functions of government. A military establishment was being rapidly perfected; there were hundreds of men under arms whose names were being enrolled in companies; patrols were already being set to guard the town, and there was every evidence of the Provisional Government's being in successful control. I inquired at once whether the United States minister had recognized the Provisional Government but was answered that such recognition had not yet been accorded.

The negotiations were going on at that time for the surrender of the barracks and station house, while a conference was held at the palace with the Queen. Going out of the building I saw that all was quiet at the Arion Hall; not a soldier being in sight excepting two or three sentries, who were pacing the yard. Indeed I saw nothing of United States troops after their landing on Monday night until my departure on the following Thursday morning with the annexation commission for Washington. The United States troops did not lift a finger to bring about the result. If the Queen's Government, the police department, thought they would be attacked by United States troops that certainly was their own concern, and nothing with which either the Provisional Government or the United States troops had anything to do.

When in the yard surrounding the Government building, somewhere between 5 and 6 in the evening, I met Capt. Wiltse and asked him with some surprise if they were not going to recognize the Provisional Government. I knew that we were in possession, and knowing the moral strength we should receive from such recognition and that we were certainly the de facto government, I felt that it might have been given sooner. Capt. Wiltse replied quickly: "Oh no, we can't recognize you until you are also in possession of the barracks and station house."

I returned from Washington on the 7th of April upon the same steamer which brought Mr. Charles Nordhoff to Honolulu. Mr. Blount was already here and the flag had already been lowered. Although there was some solicitude in town, I found everything orderly and quiet. Within a few days I called on Commissioner Blount and had a pleasant conversation with him. I informed him that I had an intimate knowledge of what had taken place, and believing that he desired to obtain only the facts and all the facts, should be happy to furnish him all the information in my power; and also put him in the way of receiving information on all subjects connected with the islands. Although I saw Commissioner Blount several times after this, up to the time of his departure, he has never accorded me an interview, nor has he asked for any statement in regard to the matter.

Owing to my intimate knowledge and acquaintance with the Hawaiian people, several deputations from other parts of the country came to me to procure interviews with Mr. Blount. I recollect particularly two instances in which I wrote a note, saying that the natives would like to interview him; that an interpreter would be furnished; that

Previous Page Next Page