History of Later Years
of the Hawaiian Monarchy

PART 2, CHAPTER 5

 

The Mission Of Commissioner Blount

As already shown, President Cleveland was deeply impressed by the statements contained in the Queen's protest and in the precis, (drawn up by the same hand), to the effect that she had yielded only to the superior force of the United States, and now appealed to his sense of justice to "undo a great wrong," in which he probably imagined that he saw the far reaching hand of his former rival for the Presidency.

His suspicions were -also excited by the haste with which the treaty had been negotiated during the last month of the preceding administration.

Accordingly he determined to send a special commissioner to investigate all the circumstances attending the. late revolution, and to report on the expediency of annexation. For this important duty he chose the Hon. James H. Blount of Macon, Georgia, who had commanded a regiment in the confederate army during the civil war. For eighteen years he had served as a member of the House of Representatives, and during the 52nd Congress had been Chairman of the Committee of Foreign Affairs in that body.

Mr. Blount received his written instructions March 11, just one week after President Cleveland's inauguration. The Secretary of State also verbally instructed him to remove the American flag which had been hoisted over the Government building in Honolulu. His instructions were as follows:

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WASHINGTON, March 11th, 1895

HON. JAMES H. BLOUNT, etc.

Sir: The situation created in the Hawaiian Islands by the recent deposition of Queen Liliuokalani and the erection of a Provisional Government demands the fullest consideration of the President, and in order to obtain trustworthy information on the subject, as well as for the discharge of other duties herein specified, he has decided to dispatch you to the Hawaiian Islands as his special commissioner, in which capacity you will herewith receive a commission and also a letter, whereby the President accredits you to the president of the executive and advisory councils of the Hawaiian Islands.

The comprehensive, delicate and confidential character of your mission can now only be briefly outlined, the details of its execution being necessarily left, in a great measure, to your good judgment and wise discretion.

You will investigate and fully report to the President all the facts you can learn respecting the condition of affairs in the Hawaiian Islands, the causes of the revolution by which the Queen's Government was overthrown, the sentiment of the people toward existing authority, and, in general, all that can fully enlighten the President touching the subjects of your mission.

To enable you to fulfill this charge, your authority in all matters touching the relations of this Government to the existing or other government of the Islands, and the protection of our citizens therein, is paramount, and in you alone, acting in co-operation with the commander of the naval forces, is vested full discretion and power to determine when such forces should be landed or withdrawn.

You are, however, authorized to avail yourself of such aid and information as you may desire from the present Minister of the United States at Honolulu, Mr. John L. Stevens, who will continue until further notice to perform the usual functions attaching to his office not inconsistent with the powers entrusted to you. An instruction will be sent to Mr. Stevens, directing him to facilitate your presentation to the head of the Government upon your arrival, and to render you all needed assistance.

The withdrawal from the Senate of the recently sinned treaty of annexation, for re-examination by the President, leaves its subject-matter in abeyance, and you are not charged with any duty in respect thereto. It may be well, however, for you to dispel any misapprehension which its withdrawal may have excited touching the entire friendliness of the President and the Government of the United States toward the people of the Hawaiian Islands or the earnest solicitude here felt for their welfare, tranquility and progress.

Historical precedents and the general course of the United States authorize the employment of its armed force in foreign territory for the security of the lives and property of American citizens, and for the repression of lawless and tumultuous acts threatening them; and the powers conferred to that end upon the representatives of the United States are both necessary and proper, subject always to the exercise of a sound discretion in their application.

In the judgment of the President, your authority, as well as that of the commander of the naval forces in Hawaiian waters, should be, and is, limited in the use of physical force to such measures as are necessary to protect the persons and property of our citizens; and while abstaining from any manner of interference with the domestic concerns of the Islands, you should indicate your willingness to intervene with your friendly offices in the interest of a peaceful settlement of troubles within the limits of sound discretion.

Should it be necessary to land an armed force upon Hawaiian territory on occasion of popular disturbance, when the local authority may be unable to afford adequate protection to the life and property of citizens of the United States, the assent of such authority should first be obtained, if it can be done without prejudice to the interests involved.

Your power in this regard should not, however, be claimed to the exclusion of similar measures by the representatives of other powers for the protection of the lives and property of their citizens or subjects residing in the Islands.

While the United States claim no right to interfere in the political or domestic affairs or in the internal conflicts of the Hawaiian Islands otherwise than as herein stated, or for the purpose of maintaining any treaty or other rights which they possess, this Government will adhere to its consistent and established policy in relation to them, and it will not acquiesce in domestic interference by other powers.

The foregoing general exposition of the President's views will indicate the safe courses within which your action should be shaped, and mark the limits of your discretion in calling upon the naval commander for co-operation.

The United States revenue cutter Rush is under orders to await you at San Francisco and convey you to Honolulu.

It is expected that you will use all convenient dispatch for the fulfillment of your mission, as it is the President's wish to have the results before him at the earliest possible day. Besides the connected report you are expected to furnish, you will from time to time, as occasion may offer, correspond with the Secretary of State, communicating information or soliciting special instruction on such points as you may deem necessary. In case of urgency you may telegraph, either in plain text or in the cipher of the Navy Department, through the kind offices of the admiral commanding, which may be sent to Mr. W. A. Cooper, United States dispatch agent at San Francisco, to be transmitted.

Reposing the amplest confidence in your ability and zeal for the realization of the trust thus confided to you. I am, sir, your obedient servant,

(Signed) W. Q. GRESHAM

No previous intimation was given to the Hawaiian Commissioners that the President intended to withdraw the treaty from the Senate, nor of the appointment or objects of Mr. Blount's mission.

In reply to repeated inquiries upon this point Mr. Gresham positively refused to deny or admit even that Mr. Blount had gone to Hawaii.

Mr. Blount left Washington on the 14th, and tarrying only four hours in San Francisco, embarked March 20th on the revenue cutter Richard Rush, which lay there awaiting his orders, and landed in Honolulu on the morning of March 29th.

The royalists believed that he was coming in their interest, and formed a procession of native women with flags to meet him. The Queen's ex-chamberlain offered him her carriage to ride up in, which he properly declined. On the other hand, the annexationists had decorated the principal, business streets with American flags. A committee of Americans tendered him a welcome, and offered him the use of a convenient residence. He declined to accept any favors from either party, and established himself at the so-called "Snow Cottage," attached to the Hawaiian Hotel, where he remained with his wife and secretary during the four months of his stay in Honolulu. He was probably not aware that this hotel was leased and managed in the interest of the Queen's party, for whom it was a favorite resort. On the day after his arrival, the 30th, he was introduced by Minister Stevens to President Dole, to whom he presented President Cleveland's letter accrediting him in the following language:

“Great And Good Friend

I have made choice of James H. Blount, one of our distinguished citizens, as my special commissioner to visit the Hawaiian Wands, and make report to me concerning the present status of affairs in that country. He is well in^ formed of our sincere desire to cultivate and maintain to the fullest extent the friendship which has so long subsisted between the two countries, and in all matters affecting relations with the Government of the Hawaiian Islands, his authority is paramount. My knowledge of bin high character and ability gives me entire confidence that he will use every endeavor to advance the interest and propriety of both governments and to render himself acceptable to your excellency.

"I therefore request your excellency to receive him favorably and to give full credence to what he shall say on the part of the United States and the assurances which 1 have charged him to convey to you of the best wishes of this Government for the prosperity of the Hawaiian Islands. " May God have your excellency in His wise keeping.

''Written at Washington, this 11th day of March, in the year 1893.

(Signed) GROVER CLEVELAND

By the President:

W. Q. GRESHAM, Secretary of State."

In a letter to Minister Stevens of the same date, Secretary Gresham informed him also that "in all matters pertaining to the existing or other Government of the Islands the authority of Mr. Blount is paramount." A letter of the same date from the Secretary of the Navy to Rear Admiral Skerrett contains the following passage: " You will consult freely with Mr. Blount and will obey any instructions you may receive from him' regarding the course to be pursued at said islands by the force under your command."

The question whether the President had a constitutional right to clothe his private agent, appointed without the knowledge or confirmation of the Senate, with these extraordinary powers, has since been fully debated in Congress.


The Hauling Down Of The American Flag

On the afternoon of the 31st, Mr. Blount notified President Dole that he would order the ensign of the United States to be hauled down, and send the American troops on board of their respective vessels. At President Dole's request, he postponed action until next morning. The following peremptory order was then addressed to Hear Admiral Skerrett:

"Sir: You are directed to haul down the United States ensign from the Government building and to embark the troops now on shore to the ships to which they belong. This will be executed at 11 o'clock on the 1st day of April.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

(Signed) JAS. H. BLOUNT, Special Commissioner of the United States

As the hour of 11 approached, a company of regular troops under Capt. Good and a company of volunteers, together with a detachment of artillery, marched over from the barracks and were drawn up in front of the Government building. At the same time a large concourse both of natives and foreigners had gathered in the adjoining streets.

As the hand of the clock in the tower reached the appointed hour, at a sign from Lieut. Draper, the bugle sounded, on which the Stars and Stripes came down and the Hawaiian flag was raised in their place over the tower, amid dead silence. The troops of the Provisional Government presented arms, but no salute was fired, nor was any public declaration as to the import of this transaction read or published.

The U S. sailors and marines then marched out of the Government building and of their own quarters at "Camp Boston," and returned to their ships, while the troops of the Provisional Government marched in and took their places in the Legislative hall. The feeling of the spectators on both sides was intense but suppressed. The royalists knew that the change of flags did not of itself mean restoration, and they saw that the Provisional Government was still master of the situation. But they hoped that this act was only the first step on the way to restoration, and were therefore elated, while the annexationists were correspondingly depressed.

In the United States this incident touched the popular heart, and kindled a feeling of indignation, which no subsequent explanation has been able to allay.

The same day Mr. Blount wrote to the Secretary of State, "The American Minister and Consul-General seem to be intense partisans for annexation. I do not yet see how they will embarrass me in the purposes of my mission."


Mr. Blount's Reception of Royalist Committees, etc.
 

On the afternoon of April 1, Mr. Blount received a committee of nineteen half-whites headed by Mr. John E. Bush, formerly envoy to Samoa under Kalakaua. who presented resolutions against annexation, praying "that the great wrong committed against us may be righted by the restoration of the independent autonomy and constitutional government of our Kingdom under our beloved Queen, Liliuokalani, in whom we have the utmost confidence as a conscientious and popular ruler."

Mr. Blount replied that he could only communicate the resolutions to the President; he could not discuss with them the objects of his mission or the purposes of his government.

Soon afterwards Mr. Blount gave audience to a committee of the Hui Kalaiaina, (Hawaiian Political Association) composed of native Hawaiians, who presented a memorial asking for the restoration of the Queen.

Mr. Blount's comment on it was:

" There is no aspiration in it for the advancement of the right of the masses to participate in the control of public affairs, but an eager, trustful devotion to the crown as an absolute monarchy."

On the 16th of April, Mr. Blount received similar resolutions presented by twelve Hawaiian ladies, representing the Hui Aloha Aina (Patriotic League).

"These," he says, "are strongly suggestive of blind devotion to arbitrary power vested in the crown, worn by a person of native blood. They seem to go very far in the matter of the capacity of these people for self government."

On the 7th of April, Messrs. Paul Neumann, David Kawananakoa and E. C. Macfarlane returned to Honolulu from their mission to Washington, and a grand feast was made in their honor. An unfounded report was immediately circulated that Mr. Blount would soon receive orders to restore the Queen.

Among their fellow passengers were Mr. Harold M. Sewell, Dr. Wm. Shaw Bowen, one of the editorial staff of the New York World and Mr. Chas. Nordhoff, correspondent of the New York Herald.


The Bowen-Sewell Episode

For several weeks after the hauling down of the American flag, Honolulu was a hot-bed of intrigues of all kinds. About the middle of April, both Commissioner Blount and the Administration at Washington were greatly disturbed by certain alleged proceedings on the part of Dr- Bowen.

It appears from his own testimony that Dr. Bowen, believing on the one hand that annexation was impracticable, and on the other that the restoration of the Queen would never be sanctioned by Congress, urged Mr. Paul Neumann to bring about a compromise between the Queen and the Provisional Government. The proposition was that the Queen should receive a liberal pension in consideration of her abdication of the throne in favor of the Provisional Government. Several conferences took place between Messrs. Bowen and Neumann on one side and President Dole on the other. The result was that President Dole informed Mr. Neumann that any proposition of the kind, duly authorized by the Queen, would receive respectful attention. On the 16th, Dr. Bowen explained the plan to Mr. Blount, who declined to express any opinion on it. The next morning Mr. Blount called on President Dole to ascertain how far the affair had gone, and told him that neither Dr. Bowen nor any one else except himself (Blount) was authorized to speak for the President of the United States.

Col. Claus Spreckels, having arrived on the 18th, called on the Queen on 20th, and encouraged her to hope for his support. The next day he informed Mr. Blount "that he suspected there was an effort at negotiation between the Queen and the Provisional Government, and that he had urged the Queen to withdraw her power of attorney from Paul Neumann." On the 24th, after informing President Dole of his intention, Mr. Blount called on the Queen and questioned her in regard to the alleged negotiations with the Provisional Government, plainly showing -his disapprobation of them. She promised him that "she would not enter into any negotiations until the Government at Washington had taken action on the information derived through his report."

Mr. Blount told her that " one of the objects of his visit was to get all the facts connected with her dethronement and the disposition of the people of the Islands in relation to the present Government." She then remarked that much depended on Mr. Spreckels as to the future, and that if he should refuse to loan any money to the Government, it would go to pieces. At Mr. Blount's request, she told Wm. Aldrich to furnish him a list of those annexationists who had signed petitions for the lottery. A copy of this list is embodied in Mr. Nordhoff's letter to the New York Herald of April 25th, and much is made of it in Blount's report. The same day the Queen told Mr. Neumann that nothing would be done until the Government of the United States gave its decision, and asked him to return to her his power of attorney and his commission, which he did the next day.

Dr. Bowen left on the Australia, April 26th. In consequence of Mr. Blount's dispatch No. 6, the following telegram was sent from Washington, dated May 9th, and received May 17th:

"To JAMES H. BLOUNT, American Commissioner, Honolulu.

Your report of April 26th received. The views therein expressed and the steps taken by you have the President's approval. The President, having determined to recall Mr. Stevens, dispatch is forwarded to him to-day, directing him to turn over the Legation to you forthwith.

You are hereby appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Hawaiian Islands. Your commission bears date May 9th. You may take oath before Consul-General, and thereupon announce your appointment. While your acceptance permanently would greatly gratify the President, your wishes will control.

A new Consul-General will speedily be appointed. The representations of Bowen and Sewell are wholly unauthorized and repudiated by the President, who repeats that you alone are authorized to represent him in all matters embodied in the instructions given you before your departure for Hawaii.

(Signed) W. Q. GRESHAM, Secretary of State

It should lie stated here that both Mr. Bowen and Mr. Sewell positively deny having made any such false representations as implied above.

Mr. Stevens having tendered his resignation March 7th, had already notified Mr. Gresham that he should return to the United States on the 24th of May, which he did. On leaving the country he received the highest testimonials of esteem from his fellow citizens and from the Hawaiian Government.


"Americans Not Participating"

On the 18th of April, Mr. Blount forbade the landing of troops from the Boston for the purpose of drilling, probably fearing that it might create an impression favorable to the Provisional Government. In his dispatch of April 26th, he used the following language:

"The white race, or what may be termed the Reform Party, constitute the intelligence and own most of the property in these islands, and are desperately eager to be a part of the United States on any terms rather than take the chances of being subjected to the control of the natives. With them we can dictate any terms."

On the 16th of May, Mr. Blount saw fit to publish in the Honolulu papers, his instructions of March 11th, as given above. To these he appended the following notice:

" While I shall abstain from interference with conflicting forces of whatever nationality, I will protect American citizens not participating in such conflict."

Under the circumstances the language was naturally interpreted by both parties as a plain intimation that an uprising of the royalists to overturn the existing government would be viewed with indifference by the Commissioner.


The Nordhoff Libel Case

Mr. Chas. Nordhoff ably executed the errand upon which he had been sent to the Islands. In comparison with him the Queen's adherents were but tyros in the art of misrepresentation. At the same time his intimate relations with Commissioner Blount became a subject of general remark. At length the indignation aroused among the supporters of the Government was such that threats of personal violence were made by some rash individuals against Mr. Nordhoff. On being informed of it, the authorities at once took precautions for his protection. A letter of his to the N. Y. Herald having been republished in a Honolulu paper, he was threatened with several libel suits, and summoned May 22d, to appear before the Provisional Assembly to answer for the false statement that "most of the members" of that Assembly had signed petitions for the lottery.

The source of Mr. Nordhoff's information on this point has been indicated above. Upon this Mr. Blount called upon President Dole and protested against the action of the Council, saying that "Whatever information Mr. Nordhoff may have obtained carried with it an obligation of privacy, which I do not believe he would violate."

He further sent President Dole a letter in which he took the ground that an American citizen cannot be called to account in any foreign country for a libel published in the United States, and cited as a precedent, the case of Mr. Cutting, who was arrested at Juarez, Mexico, for a publication in Texas, in 1885, but was set free at the demand of the American Government. Mr. Nordhoff then made a written declaration that the republication in the Honolulu Bulletin of his letters to the N. Y. Herald was without his knowledge and consent.

He also published a retraction and apology for untrue statements made in regard to Messrs. T. F. Lansing and F. W. McChesney, members of the Advisory Council, as well as to Mr. W. H. Hoogs. President Dole's reply to Commissioner Blount was in part as follows:

'Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 22nd inst., relating to Mr. Nordhoff, and to state in reply that upon full consideration of the questions involved this Government has decided to take no criminal proceedings against Mr. Nordhoff for what was considered as contempt against the Advisory Council of this Government.

"In respect to the matters referred to in the Attorney-General's letter to Mr. Nordhoff, this Goveinment does not propose to take any proceedings in- contravention of the view of international law expressed by the United States Government in the Cutting case; but there is apparently this distinction to be noted in the two cases, viz., that Mr. Cutting was in the United States when he made the publication objected to by the Mexican Government, whereas Mr. Nordhoff, while in the Hawaiian Islands and under the jurisdiction of its courts, has written articles defamatory of this Government, which were published in the United States in a newspaper which is freely circulated in the Hawaiian Islands, and which articles have been republished here."

In a letter dated May 29, Mr. Blount writes: "I suggested to President Dole and the Attorney-General, in conversation with them, that if Mr. Nordhoff was so obnoxious, they might possibly require him to leave the country." The Government, however, was not simple enough to step into any such trap.

Indeed," he adds, "the whole proceeding in relation to him (Nordhoff) seems to have been animated by the spirit of crushing out all opposing opinions by forceful methods." To this charge the files of certain royalist papers for that year, filled as they are with the foulest abuse, are a sufficient reply. In hardly any other country would such publications have been tolerated.

On the 21st of June, Mr. Nordhoff left the Islands for his home in Coronado, California, where he continued his newspaper war against the Provisional Government. Early in the following November, while Mr. Blount's report was still locked up in the State Department, Mr. Nordhoff published portions of the testimony filed with Mr. Blount in the preceding May and June, by Messrs. C. T. Gulick and G. Trousseau, pretending that these were extracts from letters recently received by him from Honolulu.


Claus Spreckels' Demand

During this period, Mr. Nordhoff was believed, to be the secret mouth-piece of Col. Spreckels. After having labored in vain to persuade the leading sugar planters to join with him in opposing annexation and to establish an independent oligarchy, Col. Spreckels decided in the latter part of May, 1893, that the time had come to strike a decisive blow for the restoration of the Queen.

The government treasury was very low when the revolution took place, military expenses since then had been very heavy, and the taxes would not begin to come in before July. The Wilcox Cabinet had been obliged in December, 1892, to borrow $95,000 from Spreckels' Bank to meet withdrawals from the Postal Savings Bank, the notes for which became due June 1st. Besides this, the semi-annual interest on the London loan, amounting to $30,000, which became due in July, had to be provided for. In this situation Col. Spreckels saw his opportunity, and although in February he had given the -Cabinet to understand that he would not call for the principal as long as the interest was promptly paid, he made a sudden demand for the whole amount a few days before it became due.

On the 29th of May he had a conference with the Queen, in which he told her that the Provisional Government would fall to pieces in consequence of his demand, so that arms would not be required. He advised her to form a new cabinet, proclaim a new constitution, and declare martial law. There is no proof that Mr. Blount was in the secret.

On the afternoon of May 31st, Mr. P. C. Jones went out on the street and raised the $95,000 for the government in half an hour. Not only was Mr. Spreckels paid in full to his intense disgust, but the $30,000 of interest on the London debt was remitted by the mail of June 6th. On the 5th of June the lolani Palace was formally occupied, with appropriate ceremonies, for the executive offices of the government and named the "Executive Building." The former government building became known as the "Judiciary Building."

 


S.
B. Dole,      S. M. Damon,      J. A. King,       W. O. Smith


Conspiracies

About this time the air was full of rumors of conspiracies which now appear to have been well founded. On June 21st, Messrs. Crick, Sinclair and Walker were arrested and held for trial. Although the authorities failed to obtain sufficient evidence to convict them of conspiracy, it is now known by Mr. Walker's own confession, that a number of dynamite bombs were then manufactured which were concealed at the Queen's place, and it seems to be certain that she was accessory to the fact.

In view of this state of things, the Government took measures to put itself into an efficient state of defense. Four companies of volunteer soldiers were thoroughly organized, equipped and drilled, while a citizens' guard, numbering 700, was organized as a reserved force.

The continual agitation and disquiet led some of the supporters of the Government to demand the banishment of the Queen. President Dole, however, assured Mr. Blount " that it was the purpose of the Government to take no extreme steps against any parties here, unless it should be to meet a forcible attack upon the Government."


Mr. Blount's Investigations

The main object of Mr. Blount's mission was carefully concealed from the Provisional Government and from Mr. Stevens. It was generally supposed by the Government and its friends that he had been sent to investigate and report upon their offer of annexation to the United States. Under this impression the Provisional Government afforded the Commissioner every facility in its power for obtaining information, and spared neither time nor expense in furnishing him with details on every subject bearing on that question.

They never suspected his real object, which seems to have been to make out a case both against their title to govern and against the character of the former representative of his own government. They never dreamed that his investigations would be treated by President Cleveland as having been of the nature of a full and impartial trial of a supposed case between the Provisional Government and the deposed Queen, as submitted by both parties to the arbitration of the President of the United States.

All the essential elements of such a trial were lacking, in that the parties were not both notified that any case between them was being adjudicated, in that the subject-matter of the inquiry was not communicated to them, unless secretly to the Queen's side, as seemed to be the case, and in that all the evidence was privately taken, giving no opportunity for either party to cross-examine witnesses or bring in rebutting evidence.

There was nothing judicial either in the methods employed or in the animus evinced by the correspondence and report of the Commissioner. Both are pervaded from beginning to end by a strange hostility to the American colony residing in the Islands. 

In a letter to Secretary Gresham dated April 8th, after condemning American residents for "participating in affairs of the islands," while expecting to be protected by the United States, he continues, '' My present impression is that the existing government owes its being and its maintenance to this perverted influence." This sounds the key-note to the whole report that follows, and shows that he had already, only a few days after landing, made up his mind on the subject which he was to investigate. In fact, he seems to have so completely prejudged the case as to be impervious to any evidence opposed to his predilections.

The Commissioner possessed some special qualifications for the difficult part which he had to play. Naturally reticent, he had an uncommon power of concealing his private sentiments and intentions, which has caused him to be accused of dissimulation. While the Queen's friends well knew that he was on their side, the supporters of the Provisional Government believed that, even if he was opposed to annexation, he appreciated the character and motives of the leaders in the late revolution.

He also showed no little shrewdness and adroitness as a prosecuting attorney, in his choice of witnesses, and in the preparation of questions, etc., to make out his case. His method was to hold private interviews with individuals, who were examined by him in his private office, the questions and answers being taken down by his stenographer, Mr. Ellis Mills, and kept strictly secret. It is the general testimony of those whom he questioned that he carefully shut off any voluntary statements beyond the simplest replies to his leading questions. If any reply did not suit him, he would cross-examine the witness at great length, in order to modify or break the force of his first statement. He also received and filed numerous written statements, mostly from royalists, in some of which Mr. Nordhoff had a hand, and fifteen affidavits, all made by royalists.

The complaint is justly made that the Commissioner did not seek evidence from the leading members of the Committee of Safety, from the members of the Wilcox Cabinet or from Lieut. Swinburne and other officers of the U. S. S. Boston. It was with much difficulty and apparent reluctance on his part that any hearing could be obtained for those honest and patriotic natives who had opposed the lottery bill, and their evidence was not recorded.

Nor was Minister Stevens informed of the charges against him or given any opportunity to reply to them. Much of this suppressed evidence was afterwards brought out by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

It was with great reluctance that Mr. Blount accepted his appointment as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, which, as before stated, reached him May 17. The nature of his report, however, was kept a profound secret until the middle of November. Weary of the false position in which he found himself, and for other private reasons, Mr. Blount embarked for the United States on the 8th of August. Before leaving he wrote to Secretary Gresham, July 31, in part as follows:

" Dear Sir: The condition of parties in the Islands is one of quiescence. The action of the United States is awaited by all as a necessity. The present government can only rest on the use of military force, possessed of most of the arms in the Islands, with a small white population to draw from to strengthen it. Ultimately it will fall without fail. It may preserve its existence for a year or two, but no longer." In this "the wish," no doubt, "was father to the thought."

The United States continued to be represented by Rear-Admiral Skerrett at Honolulu.


Mr. Blount's Report

Mr. Blount's report, as might be expected, instead of being the dispassionate summing up of an impartial arbitrator, is a piece of special pleading, supported by a mass of purely ex parte evidence.

This is not the place to review this document, and to point out its extraordinary perversions of history, and its bitter hostility to the party of civilization and progress in these islands. His sentiments in regard to the American colony in Hawaii are the same as those expressed by Governor McDuffie in regard to the Texans in 1836, viz., that "having emigrated to that country, they had forfeited all claim to fraternal regard," and that "having left a land of despotism with their eyes open, they deserved their fate."

On the future destiny of the Hawaiian Islands Mr. Blount does not vouchsafe a ray of light, except his remark that they are and must be, "overwhelmingly Asiatic."
 
     
     
 

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