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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp968-969 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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Mr. McCandless. Colburn and Peterson.

The Chairman. They came to Smith's office?

Mr. McCandless. Came down to Smith's office. By this time there were probably 700 or 800 people around there. Of course, there is a very complete system of telephone, and the news was telephoned all over the city. Mr. Colburn came in and someone said, "Make us a speech," and he said, "Do you want a speech?" and they said, "Yes; tell us the story." Mr. Colburn proceeded and told the story.

The Chairman. What position did he hold in Liliuokalani's cabinet at the time?

Mr. McCandless. Minister of the interior. They said: "Tell us the story." He said he had information that morning that the Queen intended to promulgate the new constitution. He said that he immediately carried the news to Judge Hartwell and Mr. Thurston. They had been political enemies, of course, and they had advised the ministers to resist—that is, to refuse to countersign the new constitution, and to do all they could with her to keep her from signing the new constitution. After the Legislature had been prorogued they proceeded to the palace, right across the street, and there she made the speech (which of course is a matter of history) to the effect that she proposed to give the people a new constitution. She asked the ministers to countersign it, and they refused to do so. Mr. Colburn told the story of her becoming very angry, and Mr. Peterson made the remark that the constitution was faulty in some respects, whereupon she replied: "You have had it in your posession for a month and you returned it without any comment, and I took it that it was all right."

The Chairman. That is what Mr. Colburn told the crowd?

Mr. McCandless. That is the speech that Mr. Colburn made to the crowd.

The Chairman. Well?

Mr. McCandless. He stated that they had escaped from there and thought that their lives were in danger; that she had sent for them again, and that at this time she had concluded not to promulgate the new constitution.

Senator Butler. Have you any information as to who it was prepared that constitution for the Queen?

Mr. McCandless. All the information is that she prepared it herself. It is a constitution taken from the constitution of Kamehameha V and some extracts from the constitution of 1887. We got information from Mr. Colburn and, probably, from Chief Justice Judd, who read it, and he noted some changes.

Senator Butler. You say it was claimed that she prepared that constitution herself?

Mr. McCandless. That is what she claimed since.

Senator Butler. Is she capable of writing such a constitution?

Mr. McCandless. She took the constitution of '87 and the constitution of Kamehameha V and prepared it. The constitution of 1887 is very much like the constitution of Kamehameha V, with some vital changes. We compared them.

The Chairman. I want to know what Mr. Colburn said to that crowd, and all that he said, as you remember it. I think where you paused in answer to the question of Senator Butler you were proceeding to state that Mr. Coiburn had said that the Queen had retracted her purpose of promulgating that constitution.

Mr. McCandless. For the time being.

The Chairman. Is that the way he stated it?


Mr. McCandless. I think so.

The Chairman. Go on.

Mr. McCandless. In regard to Mr. Colburn. "Now," said he, "gentlemen, we want to know what support we can get as against the Queen, because she is apt to do this at any time."

The Chairman. That was in this public speech?

Mr. McCandless. That was in the public speech he was making. He said that the only reason she had desisted was that she was unable to get them to sign the constitution. She got it into her head that it would not be legal unless countersigned by the cabinet, and if she could get the cabinet to sign she felt that she had a legal constitution.

The Chairman. Did Colburn state that?

Mr. McCandless. Yes. That was the strange thing. It was said at the meeting that she did not believe that it would be valid without the signatures of the ministers.

The Chairman. Is that about all that Colburn said?

Mr. McCandless. All that I can remember. Of course, that is the substance.

The Chairman. Was any action taken by that crowd upon that statement made by Mr. Colburn or in consequence of it or immediately afterward ?

Mr. McCandless. Yes.

The Chairman. What was it?

Mr. McCandless. Immediately someone—I can not say who it was—proposed that we must have a committee of public safety. It was in a room that was packed, a room a little larger than this and an outer room. The two rooms were packed and Mr. Cooper was seated at the desk. The paper was where the ministers were.

The Chairman. By what number had this paper been signed on Monday?

Mr. McCandless. This was all on Saturday.

The Chairman. Oh, yes; I beg pardon.

Mr. McCandless. Someone made the motion that there be a committee of safety appointed, and someone said, "Appoint Mr. Cooper chairman of the meeting and we will leave it to the chair to pick them out," and that was unanimously agreed to. It was just informal. There had been no organization before that; and in the presence of Mr. Colburn and Mr. Peterson, Paul Neumann—no, I would not say as to Neumann then; I do not think he was in; he had gone out—the committee of thirteen was picked out, and it was taken from that list of people in the immediate vicinity.

The Chairman. Who picked them out?

Mr. McCandless. Mr. Cooper; but he was assisted by two or three gentlemen—suggestions made. The committee of thirteen was selected and someone suggested that they be made a committee of safety, and someone said, "Get out of here," and the rooms were immediately cleaned out, and we began to discuss the situation.

The Chairman. Were you one of the committee?

Mr. McCandless. I was.

The Chairman. Appointed in that way?

Mr. McCandless. Appointed in that way. I said, "I will carry my gun, but I wish to be excused."

The Chairman. You were not excused?

Mr. McCandless. No.

The Chairman. And you went on the committee?

Mr. McCandless. Went on the committee.

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