|Previous Page||Next Page|
me and their requests for expression of their sentiments led me to ask Mr. Colburn, minister of the interior, at the close of his speech, what assurance there was that the constituted police and military forces would not make an attack? Whether the Queen's adherents would be removed from command of them? To this Mr. Colburn replied that as a cabinet minister he ought not to be asked to answer such a question in public, but that he could give assurances that a satisfactory settlement was even then being made. He then withdrew and called me to him—he was with Judge Hartwell—and to the best of my recollection one of them said in substance that the matter of which I had spoken was all right. A request to Mr. Stevens to land his forces had been prepared and was in Hartwell's hands to be delivered; that Mr. Stevens had consented to this for the purpose of defending the cabinet and the constitution against any possible aggression by the Queen. Later, Mr. Hartwell told me the paper had gone off for Mr. Peterson's signature and asked me to get it. I tried but failed to find Peterson.
I have since been told that Mr. Peterson still has the paper, and that for palpable reasons it was never shown to Mr. Blount.
The next morning the cabinet evaded all this and adhered to the Queen, and Mr. Stevens stated that he could not assist a counter revolution by the committee of safety.
The foregoing ought to explain the half truth upon which the old cabinet bases its charges against the American minister.
Charles L. Carter
Honolulu, January 2, 1893.
STATEMENT OF L. A. THURSTON, HAWAIIAN MINISTER, PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 21, 1893.
Washington, November 21.
"I am urged to make a statement for publication, setting forth the position and claims of the Hawaiian Government and making reply to charges contained in Mr. Blount's report.
"As I have received no official information that Mr. Blount has made a report, have not seen a copy of it, and do not know what it contains, except from reading newspaper abstractions therefrom, and am unaware of the present contentions of the U. S. Government concerning Hawaii, I am unable, at present, in the absence of such knowledge, to intelligently state what the position and claims of the Hawaiian Government are. It would, moreover, be contrary to diplomatic courtesy for me to publish a statement on such subject prior to informing the U. S. Government of the same.
"A large portion of the published extracts from Mr. Blount's report consists, however, of personal attacks upon me and those associated with me in the Provisional Government, impugning our veracity, good faith, and courage, and charging us with fraud and duplicity. I deem it proper, therefore, to make a personal reply to such charges, confining myself to statements of fact, of which, as a principal actor, I am prepared to testify to before any impartial tribunal.
"First, before stating such facts, I desire to call attention to Mr. Blount's method of constructing his report. Although he, in several places, states that I was the leader of the revolutionary movement, he has never asked me a question concerning the same, nor given me opportunity to make any statement, although I have at all times been
ready and willing to do so. The same is true of a large number of other men who took a leading part in the movement of January last.
"In the second place his evidence consists exclusively of prepared affidavits or of answers to leading questions put by himself, at private interviews, no one else being present but the stenographer. In no instance has there been any cross-examination of witnesses or opportunity given to contradict or explain evidence given or present other evidence.
"A brief examination of the published portions of the report shows numerous incorrect statements. I shall endeavor for the present, however, to answer the more salient points only.
"First, Mr. Blount charges that the American troops were landed under a prearranged agreement with the committee of safety that they should so land and assist in the overthrow of the Queen. In reply thereto, I hereby state that at no time did Mr. Stevens or Capt. Wiltse assure me or the committee of safety, or any subcommittee thereof, that the United States troops would assist in overthrowing the Queen or establishing the Provisional Government; and, as a matter of fact, they did not so assist. I can produce witnesses in support of this statement, of the highest responsibility, in overwhelming number, but Mr. Blount has rendered it unnecessary to do so. The statements of Mr. Wundenburg and Mr. Damon have been put forward as the strongest evidence in support of Mr. Blount's contention. In Mr. Wundenburg's statement he says that when the committee of safety told Mr. Stevens they were not ready to act, he replied: 'Gentlemen, the troops of the Boston will land at 5 o'clock whether you are ready or not.' The reason of this reply and the subsequent landing of the troops is manifest. The troops were landed to protect American citizens and property in the event of the impending and inevitable conflict between the Queen and the citizens, and not to cooperate with the committee in carrying out its plans. In fact, the troops did not cooperate with the committee, and the committee had no more knowledge than did the Queen's Government where the troops were going nor what they were going to do. The whole gist of Mr. Damon's long examination is likewise contained in his statement that when, after the organization and proclamation of the new Government, the request was made for the support of the United States troops it was refused, Commander Swinburne, the commanding officer, sending back word, 'Capt. Wiltse's orders are, "Remain passive.'"
"Second, Mr. Blount charges that the Queen had ample military force with which to have met the committee, and but for the support of the United States representatives and troops the establishment of the Provisional Government would have been impossible. In reply thereto I hereby state that, although the presence of the American troops had a quieting effect on the rough characters in the city and may have prevented some bloodshed, they were not essential to and did not assist in the overthrow of the Queen. The result of the movement would have been eventually the same if there had not been a marine within a thousand miles of Honolulu.
"In support of this statement I cite the following facts:
"1. The troops did not land till Monday night, the 16th of January, after the revolution had been in full progress since the afternoon of Saturday, the 14th, during which time the committee of safety was openly organizing for the avowed purpose of overthrowing the Queen.
"2. There was absolutely no attempt at concealment from the Government of the objects and intentions of the committee.
|Previous Page||Next Page|