« PreviousContinue »
W,1 we will turn our attention for a moment to the character of the so-called Americans on those islands.
Those Americans are the sons of missionaries who went there seventy years ago. They are the sons and nephews and relatives of those missionaries. They are the men who have controlled that Government, who have ruled the monarchy with an iron hand for the last fifty years. They are the men who dethroned and set up a king, formed cabinets, dictated the policy, and absolutely ruled those people. They know nothing about a republican form of government. They have no sense or idea of anything but a tyranny.
In 1887 they forced a constitution from the King of those islands which disfranchised his own people and in addition provided that any foreigner could become a voter and participate in the Government without releasing his allegiance to a foreign country, thus enabling those Americans and the other foreigners to claim protection of the consuls of their country or the ships of their country in that port while participating to the full extent in the control of the local Government. How did they secure that constitution? They secured it by threatening to assassinate the King. Twenty of the very men who to-day form the Government, which they call a republic down in those islands, got together and swore to an oath that any five of the number drawn should assassinate the King if he did not submit to their constitution. The King yielded, disfranchised his own people, and set up a Government in which the men I have mentioned were the dominant and controlling factor.
What reasons were there for the last revolution? The 1. Speech in the Senate March 2, 1895.
Queen insisted upon adopting a néw constitution which would give her own people a voice in the Government, which would, give her own people, who had had the fostering care of the fathers of these sons of missionaries, a voice in that Government. The excuse for the revolution was, then, that the native Hawaiian desired a voice in his own behalf. When the Queen insisted upon it—that is all there is of her offense—they called upon the sailors of the United States, and only with their aid could they have overturned the monarchy.
I do not care to give the character of these rulers, these dominant invaders, simply upon my assertion, and I will read to the Senate what appeared in the New York Times a few days ago:
At last Friday night's prayer meeting in Plymouth Church Mr. Thomas G. Shearman, in his characteristically forceful way, had something to say condemnatory of missionary work in Hawaii which has led to considerable discussion in religious circles.
This is pertinent from the fact that the missionaries who went to Hawaii were missionaries of the Congregational Church, and Mr. Shearman is a leading member and a founder of the greatest Congregational Church in this country. The Times continues:
Mr. Shearman's remarks were not reported in the local papers, and as some misstatements have been made concerning what he really said, the New York Times gives what he has to say about the matter. * * *
"Seventy years ago the American Board of Foreign Missions sent a few Congregational missionaries to the Sandwich Islands, who were received by the people with enthusiasm. They did not really have to convert the people, for they were all ready for conversion.
"The chiefs and the people threw away their idols and embraced Christianity with all their hearts. So complete was their trust in the missionaries that practically all government was placed under missionary control, and the missionaries and their sons or their nephews had ever since had the practical government of the islands. What had been the result ?
“They found 130,000 people there, and now they report that there are only 34,000. But of these 34,000 they recently reported that 18,000 were members of Congregational churches—a larger proportion of church members than can be found in any other Protestant country in the world. The missionaries boasted that those natives were better educated, better behaved, and more peaceable, orderly, and religious, in proportion to their numbers, than the people of many parts of the United States.
“The triumph of religion, and especially of Congregationalism, in Hawaii was made the subject of endless boasts by missionaries and managers of missions, and was made the ground of appeals to American Christians for fresh subscriptions and aid for missionary work.
"Suddenly their whole tone changed. The missionaries' sons and some returned missionaries vehemently asserted that the native Hawaiians were filthy and ignorant and a debased, licentious, and idolatrous race, utterly unfit to be trusted with liberty, but must be kept under the control of a firm and unscrupulous, but pious, Congregational despotism.
“Assuming this to be true, then the result of between fifty and sixty years' unbroken missionary government in these islands has been that the population has been reduced in number by three-quarters, and that these three-quarters are as debased, licentious, and brutal as they were when the missionaries began their labors, and that the whole missionary enterprise has been a disgraceful failure.
"Meanwhile there are some other facts, which the missionaries do not mention, but which can not be disputed. During the fifty years the government of these islands was under missionary influence most of the natives were deprived of their rights in the land, excepting about 27,000 acres, and all the rest was divided among the King, the chiefs, and the families and friends of the missionaries.
"The missionaries' sons and their associates boast that they own four-fifths of all the property of the islands. Nearly all the rest is owned by the descendants of the former chiefs. The great mass of the people own nothing. The missionary government, finding that the natives would not work for less than 25 cents a day, complained of the want of labor, and insisted on the importation of scores of thousands of the scum of the human race, including Chinese and what are called Portuguese, a mongrel race, who never saw Portugal, but who speak something resembling the language of that country.
"In this manner the missionaries' sons cut down the wages of the native Hawaiians, and compelled them to work on their sugar plantations at such rates as seemed good to their masters.
“Before the missionaries gained control of the islands leprosy was unknown. But with the introduction of strange races leprosy established itself and rapidly increased. An entire island was very properly devoted to the lepers. No Protestant missionaries would venture among them.
"For this I do not blame them, as no doubt I should not have had the courage to go myself. But a noble Catholic priest consecrated his life to the service of the lepers, lived among them, baptized them, educated them, and brought some light and happiness into their wretched lives.
“Stung by the contrast of his example the one remaining missionary, a recognized and paid agent of the American Board, spread broadcast the vilest slander against Father Damien. He said that Father Damien was dirty."
This is the same gentleman, Mr. Hyde, an extract from whose report I read a short time ago:
"Much good missionaries can do among a wretched and degraded people if they hold themselves aloof from those who are dirty! Did the Apostles take care never to touch the dirty hands or sit against the dirty clothes of their early converts?
"He accused the good father of vile practices. But the vileness was in the Congregational missionary's mouth, not in the Catholic missionary's life, and under threats of exposure and legal punishment the Congregational missionary sneaked out of the accusation. Yet, after he had degraded himself in the eyes of every decent man, he remains, if I am correctly informed, still the well-paid, well-housed, comfortably-caredfor agent of the American Board in Hawaii. Of course, he is an ardent annexationist.
"And now the very same men who by hundreds and thousands have protested with pious indignation against the Southern States for their practical disfranchisement of the Southern negroes, who are by the confession of their own best men vastly below the moral standard which the Hawaiian missionaries have until lately boasted as the peculiar attribute of their converts, are full of enthusiasm over what, with bitter irony, is called the Hawaiian Republic.
"A republic, forsooth, in which no man can vote unless he has property which would be equivalent to the possession of $5,000 in Brooklyn, and in which no one can vote for senator who is not worth $3,000, which is equivalent to $20,000 in Brooklyn.
"But even with this restriction of the suffrage our republican missionaries are afraid to trust their republican voters. Accordingly they did not dare to allow the people under any limitations whatever to elect the President, but, having got possession of the constitutional convention, they appointed Mr. Dole President, to hold office for six years, and just so much longer as the Senate and Assembly should fail to agree on a successor, restricting the choice even then to such persons as should be agreeable to a majority of the Senate, which will be elected by about 200 of the richest men on the island.
"Nor do they stop here. They passed laws severely punishing any one who dares to speak disrespectfully of any of their high mightinesses. Any one, whether a native or an American, who dares to say that this republican government is not republican, or that any of the missionaries' sons who deign to govern the barbarous Christians of Hawaii is not well fitted for the post, is liable to a long term of imprisonment and a heavy fine.
“And yet, after all, though they have the Government and the laws and the courts and the juries all in their own hands, they are afraid to trust any of them, and, on the first sign of alarm, and before a blow was struck, they shut up all the courts and proclaimed martial law. And this is our pious Congregational missionary Republic. This is the fruit of seventy years of Congregational teaching and missionary government.
“And now it is proposed to annex this island, with its barbarous idolatrous, dirty, debased, Congregational heathen, Christian idolators, and the 100,000 Mongolians and half-breed Portuguese to boot, and to bring it into our Republic as one of the States of our Union to help govern us. Already one branch of Congress has voted to expend $500,000 in beginning to lay a cable for this purpose, which, of course, will involve us in about $3,000,000 more, in addition to that already incurred, to enable Hawaiians to plant sugar at a cost to this country of $50,000,000 taken out of the public Treasury and put into the pockets of the planters to enable them to employ Mongolians and half-breed Portuguese.
“But we are to spend many millions more in annexing them. We shall have to build warships to defend our possession when we get it.
"I consider this the most dangerous and disastrous proposition that has ever been made in this country. If successful it will launch us upon an era of colonization and of petty, disgraceful foreign wars. It will bring into our Union sham republics, which will still further corrupt our already corrupt Government, and speedily destroy all reality in republican institutions.
"We are on the brink of a precipice, and a very little effort is needed to push us over. If I were standing alone on this continent I would oppose and denounce this whole scheme of foreign wars, annexation, and colonial projects to the very last."
Dr. R. M. Raymond said he indorsed what Mr. Shearman had said, with the exception of some criticism on the Navy. Dr. Abbott did not agree with Mr. Shearman on questions of fact, but he did agree with Mr. Shearman in his opposition to annexation.
I have read this, Mr. President, because it has been asserted that it was an attack upon missionary effort for any one to describe the results of their efforts among those people. I do not propose to make any such attack. I believe the missionaries failed, as the missionary effort will always fail under