Summary of William R. Castle Affidavit

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Born in Honolulu in March, 1849; parents were American missionaries; father arrived 1837 and is the senior member of the mercantile house of Castle & Cooke; studied in Ohio and New York; returned in 1876, at the request of King Kalakaua, as attorney-general. Was a member of the Legislature five sessions.

"Until very recently I have constantly and consistently opposed annexation to the United States; I have a strong regard for the native people and have hoped that the native Government might continue ... I do not think that it will ever be possible to have a government of security to person and property in Hawaii under the old forms. ...

During the last week of the Legislature the air was filled with rumors, and the prospect looked very dark. Still, nothing was done, and when the Queen, on the 14th of January, actually attempted her revolutionary act—so far as any preparation was concerned—we were actually taken by surprise.

Minister Stevens and Capt. Wiltse ... said ... that if trouble came and our rights, our liberties, and property were threatened, we must help ourselves, for we could have no outside help, unless ... a state of anarchy, when ... Americans might expect assistance to the extent of personal protection and the protection of property against mob violence. ...

Corruption was open and flagrant in the Legislature; the lottery and opium bills were suddenly taken up and passed ...

I saw the Queen come out on the veranda and speak to the crowd of natives ... she would not then promulgate the new constitution ... merely deferred for a few days. ...

The community was now thoroughly aroused; it was felt that life, property, and liberty were seriously imperiled ...

messenger came from the Drei Hundred, a well-known organization of Germans, offering the services of their men, numbering, to my recollection now, about 80, and their arms. ...

mass meeting was called. ... its voice was so unmistakable that preparations were concluded as rapidly as possible to take possession of the Government by force, establish a Provisional Government, and ask for annexation to the United States, which was also the almost unanimous desire of the meeting. ... preparations were conducted openly and notoriously. The offer of arms, ammunition, and men came in from all sides; ...

people who thoroughly indorsed our course ...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. ...

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. ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ... he has never accorded me an interview, nor has he asked for any statement in regard to the matter. ... 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 they were poor and wanted to return to their homes as soon as possible ... In each case, Mr. Blount fixed the interview after the departure of the steamer; in one case the natives remained at considerable expense, for another steamer did not go for ten days; in the other they were discontented and disgusted, and went home."