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until they were able to gather together and confiscate all the arms upon the islands, to import foreign mercenaries whom they armed, thus collecting a fighting force of 400 men.
Every revolution which has occurred in Hawaii has occurred in the town of Honolulu, the capital of the islands, the largest center of population. Every disturbance has occurred there. Every time there has been an overthrow of the Government or riot or dispute it has taken place within that city. All the rest of the islands have always had peace. There was never any disturbance, there was never danger to life or property, and no pretense of danger to life or property. This revolution occurred in Honolulu, and yet peace reigned in all the other towns, and I will show that these same conspirators were the cause of all the trouble and all the difficulty which has heretofore existed.
George W. Merrill, who was our minister to Hawaii, wrote Mr. Secretary Blaine, September 7, 1889, as follows:
It is also noticeable that among the American residents here there are several who, from personal motives, contemplate with satisfaction periodical disquietude in this Kingdom, hoping that frequent revolutionary epochs will force the United States Government to make this group a part of its territory and to absorb into its body politic this heterogeneous population of 80,000, consisting of Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, native Hawaiians, half-castes, and only about 5,000 of those who may be properly denominated the white race.
In order to keep affairs in as much turmoil as possible baseless rumors are constantly put in circulation, many of which find publication in other countries.
I have, etc.,
GEORGE W. MERRILL,
This was our minister. It is an official document found in the archives of the State Department, written on the 7th of September, 1889.
He was superseded shortly afterwards by Mr. Stevens. Mr. Stevens was appointed minister in October, 1889. Harrison had been elected President. One of the issues of the campaign was free sugar. The McKinley Act became a law
August 27, 1890. On August 20, 1891, Mr. Stevens writes to Mr. Blaine as follows:
The probabilities strongly favor the presumption that a United States warship will not be pressingly necessary in the two or three immediate months. But as early as the ist of December, without fail, the month preceding the election, and for some time thereafter, there should be a United States vessel here to render things secure. I have strong reluctance to being regarded an alarmist, but with due regard to my responsibility I am impelled to express the opinion that a proper regard for American interests will require one ship here most of the time in 1892. There are increasing indications that the annexation sentiment is growing among the business men. The present political situation is feverish, and I see no prospect of its being permanently otherwise until these islands become a part of the American Union or a possession of Great Britain.
The intelligent and responsible men here, unaided by outside support, are too few in numbers to control in political affairs and secure good government. There are indications that the liberals are about to declare for annexation. At a future time I shall deem it my official duty to give a more elaborate statement of facts and reasons why a "new departure" by the United States as to Hawaii is rapidly becoming a necessity, that a "protectorate" is impracticable, and that annexation must be the future remedy, or else Great Britain will be furnished with circumstances and opportunity to get a hold on these islands, which will cause future serious embarrassment to the United States.
At this time there seems to be no immediate prospect of its being safe to have the harbor of Honolulu left without an American vessel of war. Last week a British gunboat arrived here, and it is said will remain here for an indefinite period. I am, etc.,
JOHN L. STEVENS.
: Here, then, is our minister, accredited to a friendly Government, contemplating the destruction of that Government and the annexation of the territory. There was no negotiation.
Further on, in his next dispatch, he asked the State Department to keep secret his plot, to keep secret his statement in regard to the overthrow of that Government; and he says in the dispatch that it would be uncomfortable for him if the facts were known in Hawaii. Here was a minister to a friendly Government planning its overthrow, evidently planning with its enemies to cause its overthrow and annex it to this country, carrying on a correspondence which he did not dare to have disclosed because of the treasonable conduct in which he was engaged.
On November 20, 1892, Stevens again writes:
It is well to consider the existing state of things here resulting from the change in the United States sugar tariff. Only personal observation and careful investigation of the facts can give one an adequate idea of the severe blow sugar raising here has received. The production of sugar being the main business of the islands, the great reduction of the market price has affected powerfully the entire affairs and condition of the islands. I think it understating the truth to express the opinion that the loss to the owners of the sugar plantations and mills, etc., and the consequent depreciation of other property by the passage of the McKinley bill, wise and beneficial as that measure is proving to be for the vast interests of the United States, has not been less than $12,000,000, a large portion of this loss falling on Americans residing here and in California.
Unless some positive measures of relief be granted, the depreciation of sugar property here will continue to go on. Wise, bold action by the United States will rescue the property holders from great losses, give the islands a government which will put an end to a worse than useless expenditure of a large proportion of the revenues of the country, using them for the building of roads and bridges, thus helping to develop the natural resources of the islands, aiding to diversify the industries and to increase the number of the responsible citizens.
One of two courses seems to me absolutely necessary to be followed, either bold and vigorous measures for annexation or a "customs union," an ocean cable from the Californian coast to Honolulu, Pearl Harbor perpetually ceded to the United States, with an implied but not necessarily stipulated American protectorate over the islands. I believe the former to be the better, that which will prove much the more advantageous to the islands, and the cheapest and least embarrassing in the end for the United States.
Here, then, Mr. President, in 1892, two months before the final revolution, our minister outlines the reason for it—that the sugar interests of the islands are declining because we took the tariff off of sugar, because they can no longer get out of the pockets of the people of the United States, by remitting duties, 2 cents a pound.
But there is other evidence, Mr. President, which shows conclusively that this revolution was brought about purely and simply by the sugar planters in the interest of the sugar raisers. On the 8th of March, 1892, our minister, Mr. Stevens, writes the following letter:
Mr. Stevens to Mr. Blaine.
HONOLULU, March 8, 1892. Sir: In view of possible contingencies in these islands I ask for the instructions of the Department of State on the following, viz:
If the Government here should be surprised and overturned by an orderly and peaceful revolutionary movement, largely of native Hawaiians, and a provisional or republican government organized and proclaimed, would the United States minister and naval commander here be justified in responding affirmatively to the call of the members of the removed Government to restore them to power or replace them in possession of the Government buildings?
Or should the United States minister and naval commander confine themselves exclusively to the preservation of American property, the protection of American citizens, and the prevention of anarchy ? Should a revolutionary attempt of the character indicated be made, there are strong reasons to presume that it would begin by the seizure of the police station, with its arms and ammunition, and this accomplished, the royal palace and the Government buildings containing the cabinet officers and archives would very soon be captured, the latter buildings being situated about one-third of a mile from the police station.
In such contingencies would it be justifiable to use the United States forces here to restore the Government buildings to the possession of the displaced officials? Ordinarily in like circumstances the rule seems to be to limit the landing and movement of the United States force in foreign waters and dominion exclusively to the protection of the United States legation and of the lives and property of American citizens. But, as the relations of the United Staates to Hawaii are exceptional, and in former years the United States officials here took somewhat exceptional action in circumstances of disorder, I desire to know how far the present minister and naval commander here may deviate from established international rules and precedents in the contingencies indicated in the first part of this dispatch.
I have information, which I deem reliable, that there is an organized revolutionary party in the islands, composed largely of native Hawaiians and a considerable number of whites and half whites, led chiefly by individuals of the latter two classes.
Here our minister, on the 8th of March, 1892, almost a year before the revolution, is in possession of the whole plan, clearly indicating that he was in a conspiracy with these people to overturn a government. Again, November 20, 1892, Mr. Stevens writes:
UNITED STATES LEGATION, Honolulu, November 20, 1892. Sir: Fidelity to the trust imposed on me by the President, the Department of State, and the Senate requires that I should make a careful and full statement of the financial, agricultural, social, and political condition of these islands. An intelligent and impartial examination of the facts can hardly fail to lead to the conclusion that the relations and policy of the United States toward Hawaii will soon demand some change, if not the adoption of decisive measures, with the aim to secure American interests and future supremacy by encouraging Hawaiian development and aiding to promote responsible government in these islands.
I find in the evidence taken by Mr. Blount the following. This is the testimony of Mr. Fred. H. Hayselden, a sugar planter on the Island of Lanai:
Q. What do you think were the causes of the revolution?
A. Simply 2 cents a pound on sugar—to get some treaty or some arrangement with America. They did not see their way clear to get it in the face of the McKinley bill. They thought Harrison would be reelected and the Republican policy would be continued.
Q. But at the time of the revolution Harrison had been defeated ?
A. Yes; but this thing was marked up long before that. They wanted to force it upon the Harrison Administration, if they could, before the inauguration of Mr. Cleveland.
I have carefully read the foregoing and pronounce it an accurate report of my interview with Colonel Blount.
I read also the testimony of Samuel Parker:
MR. BLOUNT. Is it your opinion that this movement would have occurred if there had been no effort to proclaim a new constitution?
MR. PARKER. I think it would.
MR. PARKER. A majority of the capitalists of the town had no confidence in our ministry. I think it would have come about anyway.
MR. BLOUNT. Come about soon?
MR. PARKER. It would have come about, because even when this attempt of promulgation of the new constitution was made, we were told that they would support us for what we had done for holding out against the Queen in requesting us to sign the new constitution. This was said to us at that time—at the time when the Queen was