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should be annexed to the United States to the people of that country—to the 13,000 voters—it is very doubtful if you
could get 2,687 votes in favor of it. After a careful investigation of the subject, I do not believe a majority of the white residents of those islands are in favor of annexation. I know that there are none of the natives in favor of it. While we have heard the missionaries eulogized, certainly we can eulogize them but little, unless we can eulogize their work. The natives of Hawaii can read and write the English language. A greater percentage of the people can read and write than in nearly a majority of the American States.
I found no native—and I talked with every one I could get a chance to talk to—who was in favor of annexation. At a meeting at Hilo, where 600 natives gathered in a church, I asked those who signed the protest against the annexation of the islands to the United States—the protest which was sent on here and which we have in the archives of the Committee on Foreign Relations, a protest signed by 29,000 of those people—I asked those who had signed that protest themselves to rise to their feet, and every person in that church at once rose to his feet, knowing exactly what they had done.
I talked with officers of the Government who have been given places that these conspirators told me were in favor of annexation. When I reached them alone they would say, “We are holding an official position; we have to say publicly that we are in favor of annexation; but we are not. We love our country.and we love our flag; and while we respect and regard the United States with the highest consideration, we are as desirous of maintaining our national existence, as desirous that our flag shall remain in the sky, as you are that the United States shall continue a government and maintain its flag.”
I say under these circumstances, Mr. President, owing to the protest which the Queen sent here, owing to the fact that we overthrew the Government by the armed forces of the United States, owing to the fact that the people with whom we are treating for the sovereignty of that country are but our puppets maintained by us, owing to the fact that this evidence has never been disputed or denied with any show of proof, the least we can do is to submit this question to a vote of the people of Hawaii.
THE STRATEGIC VALUE OF HAWAII
R. PRESIDENT, I believe that under the provisions of this treaty, which we can abrogate by
giving twelve months' notice, we are still the owners of Pearl Harbor. For my part, I should give back this piece of doubtful property to the Hawaiian people. I do not believe we want it. It seems to me it is an element of perpetual weakness, and I do not see how it can be otherwise regarded. It is 2,000 miles from our coast. It is in the very centre of the Pacific Ocean. It does not intercept any line of commerce between the United States and any portion of the globe. For us it does not command a rod of land on earth. The straightest and shortest line from San Francisco to Japan and China runs 2,000 miles north of the Hawaiian Islands.
The shortest line from San Francisco to New Zealand runs 1,000 miles south of them, and even the shortest line to Australia runs 500 miles south. The ship that goes from San Francisco to Honolulu goes for the purpose of visiting that point, and not for the purpose of pausing incidentally on a voyage to any other portion of the planet. There is no coal on the Hawaiian Islands; so, in order to coal there, we first have to transport the fuel from our own shores. After getting it there, it is in one of the most out-of-the-way places on earth. It would be vastly more expedient and profitable to establish a coaling station on one of our own Aleutian Islands south of Bering Sea, for they are within 100 miles of the shortest lines that can be drawn on the surface of the sea between the United States and Hongkong. Not only would the western extremity of our own Republic be the best possible place to establish a coaling station, if we had to carry the coal from Portland and pile it up there, but coal has already been found upon those islands and it could be mined and kept ready very near where it is most needed.
1. Speech in the Senate July 2, 1894.
I hold in my hand a map which shows the facts in this case. It is constructed on the lines of Mercator's projection, but the distances are shown as they actually exist upon the surface of the sphere. It shows that our Aleutian Islands are just half way on our road to Japan and China; that they are very near the shortest route that vessels can take, and that they would constitute the best possible stopping place for all commercial purposes whatever. The map further shows (and I shall print an outline of it with my speech in the RECORD) that the Hawaiian Islands are entirely aside and out of the way of the path of our vessels bound for any other land. Not only are the Aleutian Islands nearer to the United States than the Hawaiian Islands are, but they are seven or eight hundred miles nearer to Japan and China. Indeed, if we were to transport our coal to the farthest westward of our Aleutian peninsula we should be within 500 miles of the coast of Asia and 1,500 miles nearer to Yokohama than Honolulu is.
Our steam vessels of every sort now crossing the Pacific do not go to Honolulu, for if they did they would go hundreds or thousands of miles out of their way. This coal is carried to Honolulu from British America, but bituminous coal, probably superior to it, is now being mined in Washington and will probably soon supersede it. But why should we have a coaling station at all at Honolulu? There is already an excellent coaling station at Unalaska, on one of our Aleutian Islands, over 1,000 miles nearer the coast of Asia than Honolulu, and that station is approached through one of the most spacious and finest harbors in the world. Already coal is being mined at various points in Alaska—at Unga Island, at Cape Sabine, at Cape Lisburne, at Herondine Bay, and other places -but that mighty chain of islands extends through 40 degrees of longitude-as far as from New York to San Francisco— and the exploration of their wealth has only just begun.
A reference to the map will show that this purpose will