Summary of Edward D. Tenney Affidavit
Age 35, born in New York, arrived 1877, non-political until revolution, then became founding member of advisory council of Provisional Government.
"If we could have had good government I think the country would have been as well off, at least for the present, to have remained as it was, but the conviction has been growing upon me for several years that the Hawaiian monarchy could not last. It certainly had reached the end of its usefulness; corruption was rife and the Government was certainly upon the verge of financial disaster. The Queen made matters worse by her obstinate determination to assume despotic power and overthrow constitutional government, and I think that she is responsible for the overthrow of the monarchy and her own deposition.
"I was present, a close observer of events, during January, 1893; ... general feeling was that the Queen had gone to a point where people could not yield any longer. There was a feeling of intense and feverish anxiety as to what might follow. It was so on Sunday and Monday; business was almost entirely suspended. It was very well known that men were preparing for action. In the afternoon all business was stopped and the community thronged en masse to the old rifles armory, where a most enthusiastic, but orderly and determined, meeting was held. All were serious; all in deep earnest. The purpose of the mass meeting, as it was there understood, was that the Queen must be deposed; that she had gone to a point where the community could no longer bear with her. ...
"There was great fear of what might happen; it was felt that if the mob element became aroused the Queen's Government would have no control whatever, and when it became known that United States troops were landed a feeling of security became general—among the women and children more particularly. The Queen's Government was very uncertain; they did not know where they stood, and I do not think they could have afforded protection.
"The committee of safety proceeded openly. Its purpose was perfectly well known to dethrone the Queen and establish a new Government. It seemed to me certain that if the Queen's Government had felt themselves masters of the situation, they would have arrested the leaders, instead of which, the committee carried out its work at its own will. ... Nothing was said about Minister Stevens or of any support to be obtained from United States troops, nor had I heard any rumors of that kind. No doubt was felt that we could depose the Queen, and that under the prevailing conditions the new Government would be immediately recognized. ...
"... I went to the armory on Beretania street, whereupon a force of armed men went there immediately. From that time on, dozens and scores of armed men poured in till the buildings and premises were filled to overflowing. I believe that before 5 p. m. 1,000 to 1,500 men were there, not all armed by any means, but asking for arms to support the Provisional Government. Several hundred were armed and all were determined to hold the position at any cost. As an evidence of the feeling of the community, I observed that many former supporters of the monarchy came in and joined us. ...
"Although the United States troops were on shore absolutely none were seen, so far as I know. Arion Hall, where they were posted, faced a street opposite the Government building, but no troops were in sight, and they took absolutely no part at all. I recollect Capt. Wiltse came in with an aid and looked around, and he asked some questions as to the extent of our possession.
"Martial law was immediately proclaimed by the Provisional Government, the town and surrounding country was at once divided into districts, our patrols were sent everywhere to maintain order and quell any possible disturbance. They were in possession of the entire town and surrounding country and maintained perfect order. As soon as it was known that the Provisional Government was established, suspense and anxiety subsided and everything settled down into a sense of security.
"The United States flag was subsequently raised because it was thought that the mere act would operate to secure quiet and prevent bloodshed. The Provisional Government had no doubt of its ability to put down any revolt and maintain its position. Although there was some opposition, it was deemed best on the whole to ask for protection, and it was done.
"Commissioner Blount arrived late in March, and pulled down the flag April 1. He wanted to do it the afternoon before, but it was deferred until the next day upon the Government's request to give time to have the town again patrolled and insure the maintenance of the peace. No disturbance followed, and the Government has been growing stronger and more secure every day since."