"Chapters XLIX-LVII." by Liliuokalani, Queen of Hawaii (1838-1917)
ON receiving my full release I felt greatly inclined to go abroad, it made no difference where, as long as it would be a change. Calling to mind my many acquaintances in San Francisco, and remembering the relatives of my husband living there, and across the bay in Oakland, I decided to sail for that city, and at once quietly began my preparations.
On the fifth day of December, 1896, shortly after breakfast, with my companion, Mrs. Kia Nahaolelua, I drove up to the residence of President Dole. As I entered, he rose from his seat, approached me at once, and extended his hand, which I took. Asking us to be seated, he inquired of me to what he was indebted for the honor of this early visit. I informed him of my intention to take a trip to San Francisco. He inquired if I intended to go farther on, to which I replied I would probably visit my relations in the city of Boston, and perhaps might cross the Atlantic to call on my niece, the Princess Kaiulani, in England. At this Mr. Dole rose and called his wife, who entered immediately, and greeted me with a pleasant smile. In the course of an agreeable conversation they expressed their great anxiety and solicitude for me, in that I was undertaking such a journey in the depth of winter.
The climate of Boston, they said, was one of great severity; especially was this true in its effect upon strangers, and they warned me to prepare myself most carefully against the dangers of a winter there. Thanking them for their kind interest, I bade them good-by; but the president very gallantly escorted me to my carriage, and of his own accord proposed to send from the foreign office passports for myself and for those of my party. He then politely bowed an adieu as the carriage was driven out of his yard, and thus we parted.
Taking leave of my cousin, the Prince Kalanianaole, on the way, I returned to my own residence. Intending to make but a hasty stop there, I found awaiting me Mr. D. Kalauokalani, the president of the Hui Kalaaina, and Mr. William White, also Mrs. Joseph Nawahi, the chairman of the central committee of the Women's Patriotic League. They expressed much surprise at learning that I was about to leave so soon; but my trunks and other baggage awaiting transportation spoke silently in support of my intentions. A few words of explanation and direction were exchanged, the farewells to all of my household were said, and my party started for the wharf.
There I found Hon. J. O. Carter, with Mrs. Carter and their family, waiting to see me off. There were a few other friends, and only a few, for I had purposely kept my intention to depart to myself. I shook hands with Mr. F. J. Testa, the proprietor of the Independent, who seemed very much surprised to see me, and then mounted the gangway that led up the side of the vessel, accompanied by Mr. Carter. Having taken a glance at the rooms which were assigned to me, I returned to the deck, where Major George C. Potter, aid to Mr. Dole, had already arrived, and presented to me my passport.
H. M. QUEEN LILIUOKALANI
WITH HER LADY-IN-WAITING AND HAWAIIAN SECRETARY
It was signed by Mr. W. O. Smith as Minister of Foreign Affairs, granting to Liliuokalani of Hawaii permission to come and go in distant parts under the protection of the Hawaiian government, and charging all representatives of that government to afford me protection.
But I could not help noticing that in making out this document the name of the family of my husband, Governor Dominis, – the name they had compelled me to affix to the document, and which, as there combined, had never been mine, or my legal signature, – was not mentioned, and perhaps they had failed to think of it. What had become of that signature they had required to my act of alleged abdication? Passports were also given for my suite, Mr. Joseph Heleluhe and Mrs. Kia Nahaolelua.
Hon. Samuel Parker came on board the steamship, and asked in astonishment where I was going. I gave him a like answer to that given to President and Mrs. Dole, and then the steamer proceeded on herway out of the harbor. The usual farewells of waving handkerchiefs and hats signalized our departure, and then for the first time in years I drew a long breath of freedom. (For what was there worthy of that sacred name under the circumstance in which I had lived on shore?) Not knowing but what every word, every look, every act, of mine was being noted down by spies to be reported somewhere to my hurt.
The captain of the China was very kind, the officers and every one on board most attentive, and a short and pleasant run of five days brought us to the coast of California. When the steamer was fast to the wharf at San Francisco, we were met by Colonel George W. Macfarlane, who awaited us; and, conducting us to our carriage, we were driven at once to the California Hotel, where apartments had been engaged for me and my suite. I telegraphed at once to my friends in Boston, notifying them of my arrival on American soil, and in reply received a despatch kindly inviting me to join them in the celebration of their Christmas holidays. I remained in San Francisco ten days, and had every reason to be content with my welcome.
Many friends had hastened to call upon me; amongst these were Mr. and Mrs. Claus Spreckels, Mrs. J. D. Spreckels and her lovely daughter, Miss Emma Spreckels, Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Spreckels, Mr. Charles R. Bishop, Mr. and Mrs. Shrader of San Rafael, Mrs. Annie Barton of Berkeley, Mrs. Toler of Oakland, Mrs. Hitchings, and many other persons of prominence whose names have escaped my memory. Colonel and Mrs. Macfarlane, with their niece, Miss Gardie Macfarlane, had their apartments at the hotel where I stopped; and this made me feel at home at once, for they were most kind and attentive throughout my stay.
And it seems, too, that I was not to be without a delightful travelling companion, for Mrs. Kaikilani Graham, formerly of Honolulu, was in California, and was on the point of directing her course eastward with her children. So preparations were made for crossing the continent, and we took the Sunset Limited via New Orleans. Colonel Macfarlane had decided that to be our best route, so that I and my suite might get accustomed gradually to the change of climate, and pass by degrees into the cold weather of the East. It was a kind thought on his part, and one to which perhaps I owe more than can now be estimated. Taking this beautiful curve to the southward, we passed through the charming open country in and about Los Angeles, where we saw miles of orange-groves, the trees all laden with their golden fruit.
Miles after miles of rich country went by as we gazed from the windows of the moving train, and all this vast extent of territory which we traversed belonged to the United States; and there were many other routes from the Pacific to the Atlantic with an equally boundless panorama. Here were thousands of acres of uncultivated, uninhabited, but rich and fertile lands, soil capable of producing anything which grows, plenty of water, floods of it running to waste, everything needed for pleasant towns and quiet homesteads, except population. The view and the thoughts awakened brought forcibly to my mind that humanity was the one element needed to open to usefulness and enjoyment these rich tracts of land. Colonies and colonies could be established here, and never interfere with each other in the least, the vast extent of unoccupied land is so enormous. I thought what splendid sugar plantations might here be established, how easily and profitably rice might be grown, and in some other spots with what good returns coffee could be planted. There was nothing lacking in this great, rich country save the people to settle upon it, and develop its wealth.
And yet this great and powerful nation must go across two thousand miles of sea, and take from the poor Hawaiians their little spots in the broad Pacific, must covet our islands of Hawaii Nei, and extinguish the nationality of my poor people, many of whom have now not a foot of land which can be called their own. And for what? In order that another race-problem shall be injected into the social and political perplexities with which the United States in the great experiment of popular government is already struggling? in order that a novel and inconsistent foreign and colonial policy shall be grafted upon its hitherto impregnable diplomacy? or in order that a friendly and generous, yet proud-spirited and sensitive race, a race admittedly capable and worthy of receiving the best opportunities for material and moral progress, shall be crushed under the weight of a social order and prejudice with which even another century of preparation would hardly fit it to cope?
As we passed eastward on our journey, the people crowded to the railway stations, eager, no matter how brief our stop, to get a glimpse of the Queen of Hawaii. At times this curiosity became so troublesome that the train officials were obliged to lock the car-doors, or close up our section, to prevent intrusion. At such times as these Mrs. Graham proved herself not only a pleasant companion, but of great service; she was always a skilful and ready defence against importunities. She was tall, handsome, very commanding in her presence, and very ladylike and polite in her manner. She was always courteous to the news-gatherers; and they retired quite pleased with such statements as she was able to give concerning me and my journey, and not a little charmed with the strategist who had communicated the information. At Washington we parted, she going to New York, and I to Boston.
We reached the national capital in six days, and were much interested in observing the snow, which lay on the ground, covered the tops of the houses and the roofs of our cars. It was a new sight to my suite, because in our country it only appears as a white mantle resting on the summits of our highest mountains. We made no stay in the city of Washington, for my friends in the Puritan city were expecting me. Having telegraphed my approach, in response to my wish Captain Julius A. Palmer met me on the arrival of the train at the Park-square Station at about nine o'clock on the evening of Christmas Day. The train, having been detained a few hours, was behind its schedule time of arrival. Captain Palmer conducted me to the Parker House, where my cousin, Mr. William Lee, with his wife, Mrs. Sara White Lee, and their daughter, Miss Alice Lee, were awaiting me.
I was at once amongst my friends, or rather, with my own family; for kisses, embraces, and congratulations followed each other very rapidly. I was received also with greetings of leis, made after the pattern of those in my own land; and thus my husband's relatives had made me feel I was not a stranger in a strange land, and contrived almost to make us forget the distance from our own beautiful Hawaii. It is indeed pleasant to receive such greetings from faithful hearts and loving hands in a foreign land. In order to be near my cousins, after a few days' rest at the Parker House, I moved to the Stirlingworth Cottage, just off Beacon Street, in Brookline.
AT Stirlingworth Cottage I passed a most delightful month, although the frost often covered the window panes, the snow whirled around the house, and the icicles formed on the trees; the kindly greetings of my Boston friends and the warmth of their hearts deprived a Northern winter of all its gloom. The health of my party was excellent, and it seemed to be a matter of surprise to those who met us that we suffered so little by the change from the mild air of our beautiful islands to the rigors of a New England winter.
The first Sunday of my stay in Boston I accepted the kind invitation of Mr. and Mrs. George W. Armstrong to test the pleasures of a sleighride with them in their carriage-sleigh. In an open sleigh were seated Miss Alice Lee and the members of my suite, Mrs. Kia Nahaolelua, Mr. Joseph Heleluhe, and Captain Julius A. Palmer. The last-named gentleman visited me every day during my residence in his native city, attending to my correspondence or other business simply from motives of love to my people and of interest in me; and as long as I remained in Boston he declined other compensation than the approval of his own conscience.
It was a bright and beautiful day when the jingling bells and prancing horses acquainted me with the much-praised experience of sleigh-riding; and my kind host had determined that I at least should suffer no inconvenience from the cold, for our sleigh was abundantly provided with robes, and was warmed by a recently invented apparatus. My two Hawaiian attendants, however, in the open sleigh, felt the cold most severely. In truth, I must say that I failed to see the delight and exhilaration of the sport, although I enjoyed the afternoon very much indeed; but if I had had the same charming companions on a good road with an easy-riding carriage, it seems to me the pleasure of the ride would have been greater. It reminded me of the play of the Hawaiian children, where they draw each other along with smooth logs for runners. But it was extremely thoughtful in Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong to suggest this for my entertainment, and was only one of the many ways in which these friends showed their goodness of heart towards me. When I returned from a little trip to Niagara, Mr. Armstrong met me at the station, and cordially placed his private carriage and driver at my disposal to convey me to my Brookline apartments, which were not far from his elegant residence on Beacon Street.
During my sojourn in Brookline I attended All Saints' Church. The rector was the Rev. Mr. Addison, and I was pleased to notice the close attention given to his sermons by the congregation. He seemed to be a very popular man with his parishioners; and well they might appreciate such a pastor, for he showed himself to be a man whose heart and soul were in the great and glorious work of teaching the truths of Christianity, and leading others in the worship of God.
One morning Cousin Sara (Mrs. Lee) brought a letter from a lady who was collecting dolls for an International Doll-Show, to be exhibited at fairs for the benefit of charities for children. Having always been interested in the welfare of the young, I was happy to grant the request to have a Hawaiian doll for the charitable object. It much amused my cousin to see me sewing; and it was a pastime for me to make the clothing for the very pretty doll, that resembled somewhat some of my people who had intermarried with the foreigners.
The doll, for some reason, did not make its public début until quite recently; and I take the opportunity to insert here a clipping from the Boston Globe, Dec. 4, 1897, of the occasion, which is noteworthy, as that paper, I am informed, has been strongly for annexation, and heretofore has had but few kindly comments for the other side.
"Mrs. William Lee of Brookline gave an interesting talk last evening to a goodly gathering of women, and a slight sprinkling of men, at the doll-show opened in Hotel Thorndike, for two days, yesterday, for the benefit of the New England Home for Crippled Children.
This doll-show, which for variety and size exceeds any previous one in Boston, is notable for one thing, – in having among the exhibits three genuine royal dolls, that is to say, three dolls contributed by royalty. Two of them, miniature representations of Eskimo babies, made by the Eskimos themselves, and dressed in full Arctic costume of sealskin, were sent here by Queen Victoria from her own private collection, which is said to be the largest and finest in the world.
The third one was given by ex-Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii, who dressed it and decorated it herself in the mother-hubbard-like gown characteristic of Hawaiian women, and the head wreath and neck garland of flowers to which they are so partial on gala occasions. The ex-queen named the doll Kaiulani, for her niece and heir.
Mrs. Lee talked about her friend Liliuokalani, whose name, she said, signifies the preservation of the heavens, and gave an interesting description of Hawaii's history and the peculiar customs of the people.
She asserted that the native Hawaiians are more intelligent and better educated than they are generally credited with being; most of them being able to read and write their own language, and many of them being equally accomplished in English.
Their constancy and their trustful nature, she claimed, have been their misfortune. At one period, she said, Hawaii was governed by no laws save the Ten Commandments.
Mrs. Lee expressed the opinion that in view of the power wielded by the whites, and the little influence possessed by the natives at the time of the late revolution, it was no wonder the queen wished to promulgate a new constitution to restore to her people some of the rights of which they had been deprived.
She said further, 'I tell you from the bottom of my heart, I have never found a more devout and perfect Christian under all circumstances than Liliuokalani. I have never yet heard her utter an unkind word against those who persecute her.
I am American by ancestry from the earliest days of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and I love the American flag, and would be the last to see it hauled down if rightly raised; but (here Mrs. Lee spoke with visible emotion) if a Captain Kidd or any other pirate should raise the American flag simply as a decoy in order to destroy, we should be the first to resent it.
I do not oppose annexation as such, but it grieves me to see the way our countrymen have gone to work to bring it about.
I believe the Hawaiians should have their independent government, and that the natives should have something to say as to what that government shall be.'"
On New Year's Day, 1897, a brilliant reception was given by Mrs. William Lee at her residence, where I found myself the guest of honor. It might be noticed here, that, in regard to such occasions as this, the feelings of one who has been imprisoned, politically or otherwise, can only be understood by a person who has passed through the ordeal. With Mrs. Lee's numerous friends and high social position, she would most gladly have given to me an opportunity to receive attentions from the clubs and societies of which she is a distinguished member, and I would thereby have met many very delightful people. But although, since my earliest remembrance, I have been accustomed to ceremonies and receptions, yet, even after a winter's experience in Washington, it is not easy for me to get over that shrinking from the gaze of strangers acquired by recent years of retirement, eight months of experience as a prisoner, and the humiliations of the time when I was under the supervision of government spies or custodians.
Therefore, while I was grateful to Mrs. Lee for the wish, I told her that save in her own house and to meet her personal friends, I would be obliged to decline public receptions. But the number of gallant gentlemen, beautiful ladies, and fair young girls (two of whom served as ushers) that honored this occasion, caused me to be happy that I had made an exception. Music was furnished by some of the younger visitors, one of whom, Miss Sara MacDonald, a sister of the two charming ushers, played most sweetly and skilfully on the harp; and Mrs. Frank M. Goss, Mrs. Farwell, and the Misses Morse and Foster, assisted at the beautifully decorated refreshment table. Although the invitations had only been received on the morning of the reception, the attendance was very large. It comprised many of the most prominent people of Boston and Brookline, as well as those of surrounding towns.
The lovely January day was terminated by a light fall of snow, through which we found our way back to our home, with much gratitude in our hearts towards the kind entertainers and their many pleasant friends who had wished the Hawaiian party a happy New Year.
Mr. J. T. Trowbridge and Mr. W. T. Adams, the latter better known as Oliver Optic, two very interesting literary gentlemen, I met by the introduction of Mr. and Mrs. Lee. Although of advanced years, Mr. Adams was a bright and genial man, and his conversation was adorned with flashes of quiet wit and abounded in good humor, just as he shows himself in his fascinating books. He has since died; and these, his life-long friends, will long mourn his loss to them and to literature.
While at Stirlingworth Cottage Mr. and Mrs. Yeaton, whom I met at Mrs. Lee's reception, very kindly presented me with a token which I shall always prize, – a paper-cutter, made by the gentleman himself from the original wood of the old ship-of-war, the Constitution. I have an indistinct recollection that the frigate visited the Islands years ago, when I was quite young, and that I was then told that she was one of the most famous of American vessels.
During my stay in Boston, I made a winter excursion to Niagara Falls. The trip was accomplished in three or four days, without the least inconvenience, although we were all strangers to the route, and to the hotel where rooms had been engaged by wire for myself and suite. All the tales I had ever heard of the grandeur of the great cataract fell far short of the truth; and I was impressed with an awe quite impossible to express in words when I came to look upon that everlasting volume of waters. As I stood at the edge of the precipice on Goat Island, my most constant thought and vivid impression was that of the insignificance of man when brought face to face with nature. While standing by this, one of the great wonders of the world, I felt as in the very presence of the Creator.
And yet man knows no fear, and his ingenuity has mastered here, as elsewhere, the strength of the elements; and by his inventive genius and skill he is now turning this fierce Kühleborn into an obedient servant. A company has been created, and its efforts to build a flume supplied from the cataract have been successful. The water-power is carried into a large shed, and there made to generate the electricity which furnishes the whole district about the Falls with light and power. The current for these and various other purposes, I am informed, is carried over more than twenty miles to the city of Buffalo.
We had a fine view from the American side of the Falls; there were wreaths of mist curling upward in the air, blown into fantastic shapes by the breezes which came forth from the Cave of the Winds. Showers also passed over the river, or followed its rapid flow. After lunch we took carriages and drove along the brink, then crossed the great Suspension Bridge to the Canadian side. The bridge itself is a wonder, showing to rare advantage the ingenuity of the brains which contrived and the hands which built it. At the Horseshoe Fall, as well as while approaching it, we found abundant evidences of the wintry season; there were icicles on the fences and houses, the trees were covered with shining crystal, and the trellis-work of wire on the banks at the edge of the precipice was marvellously garnished with pendent icicles of every size and shape. We also visited the boiling lake, had our photographs taken out-of-doors on the snow, and, after a most instructive and delightful visit, returned to our Brookline quarters with a picture to be treasured in memory for life.
Before leaving Boston, as it was my intention to do some time during the month of January, my cousin, Mr. N. G. Snelling, gave a family party at his house, to which my suite was invited, and I had the pleasure of meeting as many of the family as could be brought together. More than thirty relatives and a few of the most intimate friends of the kind host were present. An elegant table laden with refreshments and adorned with flowers occupied the centre of one of the rooms, and the event was made in all respects as delightful as possible to us.
To meet these relatives, and receive from the lips of each some cordial expression of welcome, was unusually grateful after my long, sad experiences; and it vividly recalled to me the previous family gathering, when my dear husband greeted his family kin, and we, with Queen Kapiolani, were Boston's honored guests.
ON Friday, Jan. 22, 1897, I bade adieu to my cousins, Mr. and Mrs. William Lee, and the other friends who had rendered my four weeks' stay at Boston so interesting and agreeable that I had scarcely noticed the flight of time, and took the evening train for Washington. By my request, Captain Julius A. Palmer accompanied me as my private secretary, and remained as one of my suite from that date to the 7th of August, when he asked and most cheerfully received permission to take a vacation, for he had been most constant and devoted in every official duty. Captain Palmer had been presented to me at Honolulu just as I have met other visitors and correspondents; we had no personal acquaintance until my visit to Boston, but I knew those in my native city who were connected with his family by marriage. Besides which, his interest in the Hawaiian people, and his reputation as a man of unblemished honor and integrity, recommended him to me; and I needed the services of some person more familiar with matters and manners in the United States than could be expected of my Hawaiian secretary, Mr. Joseph Heleluhe, who was now on his first trip abroad.
I have found Captain Palmer to be well informed on all matters relating to Hawaii, whether in those earlier days when he visited the Islands under the monarch, or since 1893 under the rule of the Provisional Government. Like many others I might mention, he went there soon after the overthrow, and was petted and flattered by the party in power. But all the time he was quietly investigating the situation for himself. The result of his observations was a conclusion that the right of the Hawaiian people to choose their own form of government should be affirmed, and that they should be protected in this choice by the power of the United States, in which event he was fully assured that their queen would be overwhelmingly restored to her constitutional rights.
While in Boston I was constantly asked if there was any political significance in my visit to America, and if I expected to see the President. It seemed wise to say nothing about my purpose at that time, but frankness would now indicate an opposite course. By the first vessel that arrived from Honolulu after I reached San Francisco, documents were sent to me by the patriotic leagues of the native Hawaiian people, those associations of which I have already spoken in full; and these representative bodies of my own nation prayed me to undertake certain measures for the general good of Hawaii. Further messages of similar purport reached me while I was visiting my Boston friends.
All the communications received, whether personally or in form, from individuals or from the above-mentioned organizations, were in advocacy of one desired end. This was to ask President Cleveland that the former form of government unjustly taken from us by the persons who in 1892 and 1893 represented the United States should be restored, and that this restoration should undo the wrong which had been done to the Hawaiian people, and return to them the queen, to whom constitutionally, and also by their own choice, they had a perfect right.
This was further in the line of the only instructions which to this day have ever been given by the United States to the so-called Republic of Hawaii, and those were that the President acknowledges the right of the Hawaiian people to choose their own form of government. Were that one sentence literally carried out in fact today, and the Hawaiians sustained in the carrying out of the same, it would be all that either my people or myself could ask.
The second package of documents received by me in Boston was addressed to President McKinley, and was similar to the others I already had, only they were addressed to Hon. Grover Cleveland while he was president. Accompanying these papers were other documents, showing that full power was accorded to me, not only as their queen, but individually, to represent the real people of Hawaii, and in so doing to act in any way my judgment should dictate for the good of the Hawaiians, to whom the Creator gave those beautiful islands in the Pacific. Commissions were also issued to Mr. Joseph Heleluhe, empowering him to act with me; he having been chosen by the Hawaiians as the special envoy of those deprived by the Provisional Government, not only of the franchise, but also of any representation at the capital of that American nation to which they have never ceased to look for the redress of national wrongs, brought upon them by the hasty action of the United States officers.
When I speak at this time of the Hawaiian people, I refer to the children of the soil, – the native inhabitants of the Hawaiian Islands and their descendants. Two delegations claiming to represent Hawaii have visited Washington at intervals during the past four years in the cause of annexation, besides which other individuals have been sent on to assist in this attempt to defraud an aboriginal people of their birthrights, – rights dear to the patriotic hearts of even the weakest nation. Lately these aliens have called themselves Hawaiians.
They are not and never were Hawaiians. Although some have had positions under the monarchy which they solemnly swore by oath of office to uphold and sustain, they retained their American birthrights. When they overthrew my government, and placed themselves under the protectorate established by John L. Stevens, – as he so states in writing, – they designated themselves as Americans; as such they called on him to raise their flag on the building of the Hawaiian Government. When it pleased the Provisional Government to give their control another name, they called it the Republic of Hawaii. To gain the sympathy of the American people, they made the national day of the Independence of the United States their own, and made speeches claiming to be American citizens. Such has been their custom at Honolulu, although in Washington they represent themselves as Hawaiians.
At Honolulu these annexationists made speeches abusing the Senate of the United States for the delay in annexing Hawaii; they further said the most grossly insulting things of President Cleveland because he frustrated their plans, and included Secretary Gresham in their condemnation because he failed to recognize them as Americans. Of these pseudo-Hawaiians, Mr. Hatch is a lawyer from New Hampshire. His first exploit in the ring of adventures was not a diplomatic success. He met some of his annexation associates at Canton, Ohio. Mr. McKinley sent word that the state of his health obliged him to decline to receive visitors, so the embassy returned to the national capital. "Minister" Cooper, another alien (less than a year in Hawaii in 1893, when he stood on the steps of Iolani Palace, and read the proclamation against me), has been given office, probably as a reward for the risk he ran. Mr. William A. Kinney has been better acquainted with life at Salt Lake City, as it was in the past, than with simple, amiable – but, alas, no longer happy – Hawaii. Without military experience, he was commissioned a captain, and afterward charged with the duty of Judge Advocate in attacking me, and those of my people who sought liberty from the foreign oppressor. So I could go on multiplying indefinitely recollections of these and other so-called Hawaiians. Those who are not recent arrivals are sons of the missionaries, or allied to the families connected with the American Mission, and claim foreign citizenship to this day. When a political question was under discussion, they would be very active in soliciting the native Hawaiian vote for the side of the missionary party. The true Hawaiian, you see, has no representation in these several commissions.
The number of articles written or inspired by the Commissioners or their allies is enormous; articles skilfully calculated to deceive the American people on most important topics; also articles intended to place me in an awkward or utterly false position in the great and good land where I have been four times a visitor. I can see the inspiration of it all, because I know the character of several of the men so engaged. Allusion to episodes in the career as a monarchial official of one of these men has already been made. Mr. Thurston's political methods need no mention. His measures with the press are well known, but unfortunately for him, he rewarded newspaper enterprise once too often. His position as at least a nominal member of the diplomatic corps gave him certain advantages, which he treacherously used to give official correspondence to the press. For this he was promptly rebuked by Secretary Gresham, and recalled to Honolulu as persona non grata. The Dole government was too weak to defend its agent, and Mr. Thurston went home in disgrace. He is again attempting to negotiate a treaty, bartering away his adopted country.
Another without gratitude, and false to the country to which he owes his life, whose letters to the press have frequently appeared, is Sereno E. Bishop of Honolulu, a man who owes his seventy years or more to the vigor given to his infancy from the breasts of Hawaiian women. Broadcast have been his letters reviling my people, and repeating the vilest of falsehoods as to myself, since he failed to have Hawaii annexed by praising the country, its people, and his queen. One has but to peruse Mr. Bishop's paper in the Review of Reviews for September, 1891, to see how false must be his later statements. I trust those who read these pages will obtain that number of the Review, and read the article.
I cannot impress too strongly upon those who truly desire to know about my country and to do it justice, the importance of reading that "article" of September, 1891. Although it was written not to serve Hawaii, but in the interest of the annexationists, the plea used was that the Hawaiians had shown themselves so capable of self-government, and were so proud of their autonomy in the Pacific, that they would be well qualified to be United States citizens. How vastly opposite and false is the plea that is made by them now for annexation!
Early in their present mission the Annexationists secured the services of Mr. John W. Foster, who succeeded Mr. Blaine as Secretary of State under Mr. Harrison, and employed him to deliver in Washington a lecture on Hawaii. Before this, I had received a letter from an American residing in that city, advising me to lose no time in retaining the services of Mr. Foster in presenting my case to the National government. To this, as to several other offers of legal aid, I returned the reply that I thanked the friendly counsellors, but that I had already in my letters and protest placed my case before the Chief Executive (since my first communication more than one president has occupied that position), and that I would trust in their honor for redress. But if I had not believed in the integrity of the American nation, and its treaty-making representatives, it would have been well to have awaited the delivery of this lecture, before retaining the services of Mr. Foster; because had he shown such a lamentable ignorance of my affairs as he did of those of Hawaii when he tried to speak of that country, her rulers, her people, even her situation geographically and socially, my case as a client would have suffered from his ignorance. Notwithstanding the historical truths, that although the gospel has been preached in Polynesia for a century or more, and that there is no other nation which has made such rapid progress in civilization and Christianity, yet Mr. Foster had the assurance to stand up in Washington, and revile all the native Hawaiian sovereigns. Not content with the using bad language about my brother, King Kalakaua, and myself, he had to take up each one of the Kamehamehas, and refuse to them successively even one good quality, or to the Island people one redeeming characteristic.
This is only one of Mr. Foster's blunders, – truly a serious one. Another blunder savors of the ridiculous; I did not see it, but it was described to me by those who did. It seems that his remarks were to be illustrated by lantern slides; and on opening this series of illustrations, there first appeared on the screen a dark form, which no one in the audience could recognize, yet the lecturer nothing daunted, with pole in hand, began to describe the situation of the Islands; then it suddenly occurred to him that the dots on the Pacific as shown by the slides were placed near enough over to annex, if not to the United States, then to Mexico; so he paused in his remarks while the artist made a second attempt; but he had only fled from one extreme to another, for now the unfortunate group, so far as location was concerned, had every appearance of annexation to Japan. This was going from Scylla to Charybdis. It was not until the third trial, when poor little Hawaii regained that position in the Pacific Ocean in which the hand of the Creator had left her, that the lecturer, after some hesitation in order to be sure that this time he was right, dared to proceed with his discourse. There was not one original idea in his lengthy misrepresentation of my native land, its people, and its sovereigns.
Mr. Foster made one brief trip to Honolulu, in the interest, it is said, of the cable company projected by Mr. Z. S. Spaulding. Whether this was a mere pretence or an original motive ending in failure, cannot be decided now. But the present rulers took charge of him at once, as they do of all new-comers; and he was greeted, feasted, and generally entertained by the members of the government and by their friends. A meeting was held where the cable scheme was discussed, annexation also receiving some notice. A feeble opposition was developed under the leadership of Mr. W. G. Irwin. Mr. Foster immediately replied that unless there was perfect agreement on the part of the planters, nothing could be done, there was no further use for his services; and if the cable scheme was so unpopular he might as well leave, which he did without even warning those friends who had been so attentive to him. Soon after his arrival in Washington, he delivered his lecture, and then had it printed at the public expense, and sent to the Senate by the money of the people, all upon a subject about which he knew nothing save the absurd stories and intentional misrepresentations repeated to him by those who were writing them out continually for the American newspapers.
Time would not admit of a particular criticism of each of the individuals who have been working so hard at Washington from the close of the last Republican administration to the present date, with the sole object of bettering a small minority of American ancestry at the cost of forty thousand Hawaiians (not to count those of other nationalities to the number of over sixty thousand), who have no voice in public affairs, either in Hawaii or in the representation of the present government at Washington. And to oppose this project, and represent this down-trodden people, there was in Washington simply the presence of one woman, without legal adviser, without a dollar to spend in subsidies, supported and encouraged in her mission only by three faithful adherents, and such friends as from time to time expressed to her their sympathy.
Amongst the last-named, even in the city of my husband's family, I could not count the representative of the Hawaiian Republic. Somewhere about the year 1848, possibly earlier, a young man from Boston landed on the shores of our Islands; he was about eighteen years of age, an entire stranger, coming out to those distant fields of labor to seek his fortune. My adopted father, the chief Paki, befriended him, gave him the first helping hand which welcomed him to his new country, and rendered him such assistance as was in fact the means of showing to him the opportunity of making his way in the world; as years passed by he established himself in business, and soon became one of the leading merchants of Lahaina, at that time the port of call in the Islands for the whaleships, ranking second only to Honolulu.
It was then the base of supplies to this fleet of vessels, was a thoroughly thrifty place, and a business city of growing commercial importance. But the oil-wells of the land have thrown into neglect the oil-ships of the sea, and since this decline and decay Lahaina is little more than a city of ruins. Mr. Gilman probably saw the approaching decline of the industry by which the place was supported; for he broke up his business connections there, sundered certain personal ties, and returned to the East with a very handsome fortune, it is said, the result of the accumulation of years of mercantile life on Hawaiian soil and under Hawaiian laws. From Honolulu he returned to Boston, where he has resided ever since, save that once, since the overthrow of the monarchy, he made a brief visit to his Honolulu friends.
In 1887, during my journey with Queen Kapiolani, we met Mr. Gilman, who was at that time very kind and attentive to me. To be sure, he had a point to gain; he wanted a decoration from the king, and did not hesitate to say so. On the return of the queen's party to the Islands, letters were received from Mr. Gilman, directly applying for the honor to my brother. Chiefly by means of my personal influence his petition was granted, and he was made a Knight Companion of the Order of Kalakaua, and the decoration forwarded to him.
The next thing I heard from Mr. Gilman was that he had espoused with alacrity and fidelity the cause of the revolutionists of the month of January, 1893, and that he avowed his implicit belief in all the absurd and wicked statements circulated by the missionary party against my own character and that of my people. Papers were sent to me where Mr. Gilman had repeated and vouched for the truth of these abominable political slanders; and at first I could scarcely credit it, for this man was often at the house of my adoption, and showed great partiality for my society when I was a young girl and he a young man. He knew Paki and Konia, a couple of the strictest morality, whose household was organized on the basis of the most regular family habits and the most pious Christian customs; and these had taken me from my very birth under their parental care.
He further knew me as the foster-sister and daily companion of Mrs. Bernice Pauahi Bishop, where I was ever under the kind care of her husband, Hon. Charles R. Bishop, a couple whose principles of exalted piety, whose love for all that is good, honorable, and pure, are too well known to need at this moment the least praise from me, and whose protection was ever and always surrounding my earlier life. From their house, when married, I went directly to that of my husband's mother, with whom I lived to the day of her death, not so very long ago.
Such were the lives of those with whom my own life has been passed; such were the families with whom Mr. Gilman knew I had been in daily association, and where he met me. At the time when he hastened to avow his allegiance to my enemies, and to ask them for the decoration of a consular station, in the year 1893, I was fifty-six years of age. Yet the past was reckoned by him as naught; he permitted himself to be instantly prejudiced against his early friend, and to be led away by the base slanders and political falsehoods of her adversaries. He proceeded to vilify me in such articles as those sent to me from his pen, and has been a zealous servant of the men who placed him in the office; he has rushed into print not only his own misstatements, but has endeavored to nullify the influence of any article written in my favor, or in defence of the rights of the Hawaiian people.
Such has been the animosity, openly and secretly expressed, toward me, not only as a queen, but as a woman, by those whom all the claims of gratitude should bind to me as friends, and who should rally to my assistance, that, since leaving home and arriving in America, I have constantly received communications from Hawaii, often by special message, begging me to be careful of my life, still regarded as "infinitely precious to the people of the Islands," reminding me that I was surrounded by enemies, some of whom from home were entirely unscrupulous, and assuring me that great anxiety was felt by all classes, as it was a persistent rumor that evil was intended me.
ARRIVING in Washington on Saturday, my party took rooms at the Shoreham; and amongst the very first callers to greet me was the Hon. Daniel Nash Morgan, the Treasurer of the United States. A Mason of the highest degree himself, Mr. Morgan noticed at once the jewel of the Mystic Shrine which I wore upon my breast, and asked for its history.
I told him that General Powell, a grand commander of the Mystic Shrine in the Western jurisdiction, visited the Hawaiian Islands about the time of my return from the Queen's Jubilee. When he met me he took the decoration of the order from the lapel of his own coat, and pinned it on the front of my dress. As he fastened it on my breast, wishing me God-speed, he said that, should I travel and find myself in need of any aid or protection, it would be of great assistance to me; and I have worn it ever since. Mr. Morgan was much interested in this narration, and, with his charming wife and lovely daughter, as well as with others of his family, did much to render my stay in Washington pleasant to me.
My first call, after arriving at the Shoreham, was at the White House. The day of my departure from Boston, President Cleveland had gone on one of his hunting excursions. This was immediately telegraphed over the land, and his going made out to be a consequence of my coming. As no person, excepting the three members of my suite, knew of my intention to visit Washington, of course this was impossible. However, it was as true as the long list of falsehoods written during my residence at Washington and elsewhere.
On Monday morning, Jan. 25, Mr. Cleveland set the gossips at rest by appearing at the executive office; and at eleven o'clock my secretaries delivered to Hon. Henry T. Thurber, the President's secretary, a brief note from me, advising him of my presence in the city, and offering to express to him my friendly feeling by a personal call, if it would be convenient to receive me. I had suggested no day nor hour; but they had scarcely reached the hotel on their return when a most courteous note was received from the President, conveying to me his sympathy, and welcoming me to call upon him at three o'clock that very afternoon, which I did with the three members of my suite.
The President received me in the little Red Reception-room. Every door opened as we passed in; and the crowd of reporters on the piazza were forced to be content with a mere glimpse of my party, and to draw on imagination for any account of the interview. Not a hint was given by me as to any intention to visit Mrs. Cleveland. The President very naturally spoke of his wife, who had shown me such consideration the last time I was in the executive mansion; and I expressed the hope that she continued in good health after so many trying duties and social responsibilities had been laid upon her.
To this Mr. Cleveland immediately said that he would like to have me see for myself, and that he hoped she was at home, but that he had come directly from his business office, and had had no opportunity to speak with her since hearing from me. He then added that he would ascertain, and went to the corridor to inquire of the usher, who told him that Mrs. Cleveland had gone out for her afternoon walk; so we resumed our conversation, during which I handed him the documents prepared for his inspection by the patriotic leagues of which I have already spoken.
These he took impressively, thanking me for them. It was a great pleasure to me to tell him personally how dear his name was to the Hawaiian people, and how grateful a place he held in my own heart because of his effort to do that which was right and just in restoring to us our lost independence. We always thought him to be sincere in his attempt to right the wrong; and since I have fully acquainted myself with the obstructions placed in his way by the supporters of Minister John L. Stevens, I understand far better than formerly that he failed through no fault of his own. It was a very pleasant interview; and when it was over, I returned with my party to my hotel.
Mrs. Cleveland's accidental absence was made use of by the press to cast a slur upon me. No one seemed to notice that had the first lady in the land been rude as reported – well, it would not have been Mrs. Cleveland, that is all. Two or three days later, a note arrived unexpectedly from the executive mansion, which stated that Mrs. Cleveland would be happy to see me, and that as she was to give a private reception at five o'clock in the afternoon, she thought that if I would call a quarter of an hour or so previous to that hour, we could have a pleasant chat together in her parlor.
The delicacy of thus arranging in advance that I might have the opportunity for social enjoyment apart from the visitors is indeed worthy of a lady whose grace and beauty are in accord with the kindness and goodness of her heart. At the hour appointed, accompanied by the three members of my suite, I again visited the White House parlors, and was received by the lovely mistress of those halls.
It is not my purpose to detail private conversation with those who have made me their guest; but it must be testified here that I never have had the least cause to retract my early assurance that in Grover Cleveland I had met a statesman of splendid ability, rare judgment, and lofty standards of right. And equally do I believe that to few among the nations has it ever been granted to have at the head a woman more worthy the name of queen than that one who presided with so much grace and dignity for eight years at the White House.
One day in February, the proprietor of the Shoreham notified me, that, as I had failed to engage my apartments for inauguration week, he had rented them to others, and that every room in the hotel would then be occupied because of the crowd of visitors that occasion would summon to the city. Rather than await the arrival of the future occupants of those rooms, and then have to look out for my party when the throng should be doing likewise, it seemed best to me to move at once. So I sent my secretaries to consult Mrs. Mary Longfellow Milmore, widow of Joseph Milmore, the celebrated sculptor, and sister-in-law of Martin Milmore.
Knowing me simply from history, and sympathizing with me by reason of the kindness of her own heart, Mrs. Milmore had written to me while I was in Boston, and then had followed her cordial letters by calling on me when I arrived in Washington. To any lady travelling or residing in a strange city, there are many little attentions which cannot be so perfectly rendered as by a person of her own sex, one who understands the customs of the community, and is familiar with the places and people. Mrs. Milmore not only came when I needed advice as a recent arrival, but she continued her kind and sympathetic visits to the latest days of my stay, at about which time she herself went abroad for a European trip.
There rarely passed a day when her cheerful face and friendly voice did not appear at my door. Flowers, fruits, cakes, and other tokens of her loving care, came almost daily; and to her hospitable dwelling I often went to luncheon, meeting, besides herself, Sister Angelica, or other friends who seemed to be of the same kindly spirit as the generous hostess. Wherever I may be in the future, her many attentions during that winter cannot be forgotten, and she will always have a warm remembrance in my heart.
By her advice and selection, on or about the 14th of February, I moved with my party to the large thirteen-story building on Q Street, N. W., known as "The Cairo." Its newness and immaculate cleanliness impressed me favorably at once. My rooms were in the southwest corner, from which I had a glorious view over the country and down the Potomac; and although unused to being on the tenth story of any building, yet, when I became accustomed to the height, it ceased to worry me. Everything was done by the owner, Mr. Schneider, and his lovely wife, as well as by the manager, Mr. Sherman, and his amiable wife, to render the stay of our whole party agreeable to us. There we remained until about the 9th of July, at which time I removed to New York City, with no further intention of visiting Washington, although I did subsequently return, for reasons which will be stated in the proper place.
TIME would fail me to speak of the countless new friends who vied in making my visit to Washington one of the most delightful seasons I ever passed. It was my custom to give a reception about every fortnight; to receive callers at eight to nine any evening, and often at other times. Both houses of Congress were well represented at my receptions, if not always by the gentlemen themselves, by their wives or daughters. Although all were presented through Captain Palmer by name and by card, yet it will be seen that, when there were seldom less than two hundred callers, and my largest reception numbered nearly five hundred persons, it was not possible for me to return all calls.
I therefore made it a rule to pay return visits only to those connected with the government, and even then it was scarcely possible to keep up with the number of my visitors. But there are two persons at least of whom I must make mention by name. These are Senator George C. Perkins, formerly governor of the State of California, and Representative Samuel G. Hilborn, also of that State. Both of these gentlemen have visited Honolulu.
I had had the pleasure of entertaining Governor Perkins when he was there, but was in retirement at the time Mr. Hilborn went there accompanied by his wife and daughter. Like many other visitor, Mr. Hilborn landed in Hawaii supposing that my government had been a failure, and that the present rulers were the choice of the people, and annexation desirable for both nations. And like any person who goes there and examines the situation frankly and fairly, Mr. Hilborn returned with his mind made up to the contrary.
While I was at the Shoreham, Mr. Hilborn called, and introduced his wife and daughter; and the beautiful voice of Miss Grace Hilborn, as she sang some of my own Hawaiian songs, to our instrument, the ukulele, gave to me that joy, so sadly sweet, of listening to the sounds of home in foreign lands. This charming family never relaxed their attentions to me while I resided in Washington, and I am indebted to each of them in more ways than I can speak of in these recollections. Mr. Hilborn is a hard-working man in his public life, yet he always found the time for any friendly chat with me if I wished to speak with some gentleman on whose good judgment I could rely.
Governor Perkins received me on my first visit to the Senate Chamber, where I went with my party simply to watch the deliberations; he provided us at once with seats in the gallery reserved for the personal friends of the senators, but subsequently he did a greater and more conspicuous kindness than this. On Friday noon, the 26th of February, I informed Captain Palmer that I had great curiosity to see the inauguration of the President of the United States, if it were possible to get seats. He said that it was rather late to make the proper arrangements. I requested him to communicate my wish to Governor Perkins. So, at two o'clock of that day he went to the Capitol, was welcomed by Senator Perkins, introduced to the members of the committee, and leaving the matter in their hands, he returned to the hotel.
Almost immediately on his arrival there, Captain Palmer received a despatch saying that it had been agreed between Senator Sherman and Secretary Olney that two seats in the gallery reserved for the diplomatic corps should be assigned to me, and that it was much regretted that I had not applied earlier, when I could have had seats for three, in the place of one attendant. We said nothing about our intentions; and leaving Captain Palmer and Mrs. Nahaolelua in the carriage, I, attended by Mr. Joseph Heleluhe, witnessed the interesting ceremonies.
The storm which burst from the reporters' gallery when they saw me there will be remembered by those who read any of the newspapers on the day following. As it had been a very gallant act on the part of quite a number of gentlemen, and especially of Secretary Sherman and Secretary Olney, I permitted nothing to be said by my secretaries in answer to the misrepresentations made in the press. But they were not to go unrebuked; for Mr. Sherman's letter, bearing the date of the very afternoon when my secretary called at the Senate chamber, was given by Mr. Olney to the press without comment, and there was immediate silence on the subject, for with which administration were the critics to find fault?
After the inaugural ceremonies were over we visited the building of the Central National Bank, where I was most courteously received by the president of the board of directors; and after resting with my suite in his office, we were conducted to a room in the building from which I saw and intensely enjoyed the grand procession. The day was all that could be desired; my friends accused me of having imported it from our own perfect climate expressly for the new administration. Although too weary to attend the ball in the evening, I felt that I would not have missed for anything that which I had seen during the day.
But there was another pleasure in store for me that very night; for in the carriage with the President, and representing the United States Navy, was Admiral George Brown, who, with his wife, had already visited me at the Shoreham. In meeting with me under the changed circumstances which had befallen since he knew me as the Princess Royal at the date of his attentions to my brother, the gallant sailor could not restrain his emotions, and the tears flowed from his eyes. On the last days of the sessions of the Senate, a bill had passed by unanimous consent permitting sundry officers of the United States service to receive decorations which had been conferred by King Kalakaua, and also by myself while reigning sovereign; and amongst these was one bestowed upon Admiral Brown.
"There, I have waited over four years for the privilege of wearing that," he exclaimed, as he entered my parlor that night; "and now that it is mine, I am determined that you shall be the very first one to see it." I thanked him warmly, as I handed him back his coveted decoration, for, indeed, I fully appreciated his loyalty in bringing it to show me. Since that meeting he has been retired from active service, but it is to be hoped that so gallant a gentleman and efficient an officer may long be spared to his friends and his country. I can never forget his kindness to my brother during the king's last days on earth.
One object of my visit to Washington was to ask a favor of the Masonic fraternity; so, while at the Shoreham, I sent a letter to Mr. Frederic Webber, Secretary of the Supreme Council, thirty-third degree, asking him to call at my apartments, a request with which he very promptly complied. He remembered me perfectly from our meeting in 1887, when he had been one of the thirteen Masons of high degree to call on the party of Queen Kapiolani; of that committee of the Supreme Council, General Albert Pike, now gone to the great majority, was the head. Besides this, Mr. Webber was, during the lifetime of Governor Dominis, in correspondence with my husband on matters connected with the order.
I showed Mr. Webber my jewel of the Mystic Shrine, which I prize very highly, and asked if I might be permitted to wear my husband's Masonic jewels; to which he replied in the affirmative, and then added he would like also to present me with a medal which was ornamented on one side with certain emblems of the thirty-third degree of Masonry, and on the other with a bas-relief likeness of General Pike. To thus receive permission to use the decorations or insignia of Masonry belonging to my husband, and further to be presented with a likeness of the head of the fraternity, and a valued correspondent of Governor Dominis, was certainly a happy welcome from the brotherhood my husband loved.
Secretary Webber also sent me books containing the accounts of the meetings of the council, and of proceedings in many of their branches, thus informing me in regard to the extent of their works of charity and benevolence. On one afternoon, by his invitation, I visited the chambers of the council, attended by my suite; and quite a number of the brethren were presented to me, much to my pleasure, which I sincerely trust was reciprocated. I was shown a photograph of my husband, which, with his correspondence, is preserved there in the archives of the order. In more ways than I can mention, Mr. Webber and his daughter showed themselves to be true friends during my visit.
From several benevolent and literary associations of Washington requests were received to set apart a day to receive their members as a body; but to all such suggestions I instructed my secretary to reply that a committee of the ladies or gentlemen might call upon me at their own convenience, but that I must decline any large public receptions. The only exception I made to this rule was in favor of the National Park School for young ladies at Forest Glen, Md., who sent one of the faculty to ask the favor of a general reception. I have so long been interested in the education of the young, especially of young girls, that I could not refuse myself the pleasure.
The affair took place at the Shoreham; and it was indeed refreshing to look into the pure, good, beautiful faces before me. Including the teachers who came with them, the company numbered over a hundred. Their music interested me very much; they sang with great taste and sweetness. They presented me with their college colors; and I gave them a copy, made with my own hands, of my most popular song, the "Aloha Oe," or "Farewell to Thee," with which they seemed to be much pleased. But they were not quite satisfied, I was told, because I had made no address.
I have already spoken of the shrinking from publicity felt by me ever since my imprisonment, and I had prepared nothing; however, I decided to tell them of one thought which impressed me, so, by the published report in the newspapers, this is what I said: –
"I wish to extend to you my thanks for the honor you have shown me by this visit. It shall always be remembered as a bright spot in my memory of this stay in America. I am glad to see you all, and to know that each of you is desirous of attaining intellectual advancement. It shows the progress of the world. The world cannot stand still. We must either advance or recede. Since my arrival in this country I have been impressed with its grandeur, but nothing more favorably impresses me than the advantages you have for learning. Again I desire to thank you, and I wish you all a prosperous and happy future."
There were many delegations of patriotic or literary societies amongst my visitors at the Cairo, such as Daughters of the Revolution, and Veterans of the Southern Confederacy. At Arlington, on Decoration Day, I was overwhelmed with pleasant attentions by the Grand Army of the Republic. Then the delegates to the International Postal Congress; the Chinese Embassy; a large political delegation from Missouri; Governor Clough, with some twenty members of his staff in full uniform, from Minnesota; many associations of teachers from distant States; frequent calls from the young ladies of colleges, – one after the other seemed to find pleasure in visiting me to pay their respects.
From all denominations of the Christian church I have received representative visitors, and from the Sisters of the Holy Cross and from the Methodist Society of Rev. Lucien G. Clark accepted invitations to be present at their receptions. At the former I twice had the pleasure of meeting Monseigneur Martinelli, the papal delegate to the capital. Rev. J. H. Perry, the rector of St. Andrews, was very kind and attentive; and as I am a communicant in the Episcopal Church, I generally attended the church of his parish in Fourteenth Street.
IN the early part of May it became necessary for my companion, Mrs. Kia Nahaolelua, to return to Honolulu. Three months was the length of time I had expected to be absent when I asked her to accompany me; but five months had passed away, and her husband and large family of children needed her. So I sent her to San Francisco under the charge of Captain Palmer, where he was to meet Mrs. Joseph Heleluhe, and conduct her to Washington.
During their absence I invited my cousin, Mrs. William Lee, whom, after leaving Boston, I had met in New York on the occasion of the dedication of the Grant mausoleum, to visit me at the Cairo. In her honor I issued cards for a special reception given in the elegant ballroom of that hotel. Manager Sherman spared neither pains nor money to make the occasion worthy of the guest; choice flowers and music, some of it from Hawaiian sources, made the celebration a charming one. Mrs. Lee is a very handsome woman, of commanding presence, brilliant in conversation, cultivated in mind, and of a high order of intellect. During her short stay, for the days sped quickly by, she attracted much attention by her social qualities, and won the hearts of many of those with whom she came in contact.
The synopsis of my social pleasures for the six months or so I was in Washington is necessarily incomplete, and to render it perfect would be to extend these leaves into too much of a volume. With such numberless callers as I have daily received from all parts of the United States, the frequent courtesies from the families of congressional members, and the occasionally accepted invitations to the theatre, the opera, or other public entertainments (many of which invitations, while appreciating the kindly spirit, I was obliged to decline), my leisure moments were much occupied. It was singular, and at times amusing, to notice the question in the public journals, asking, "What is the queen doing in Washington?" and in reply, to read the ingenuity shown in inventing all sorts of political falsehoods, and publishing these as facts.
Besides what has been stated, my time was much engrossed with correspondence and literary labors, in which latter might be included my music. For I have been engaged on two other works besides "Hawaii's Story." During my imprisonment I had nearly translated an ancient poem which has been handed down exclusively in our family from the earliest days. This I completed during my visit to the national capital; and it is now issued from the press of Lee & Shepard, Boston. It is the chant which was sung to Captain Cook in one of the ancient temples of Hawaii, and chronicles the creation of the world and of living creatures, from the shell-fish to the human race, according to Hawaiian traditions. It is not designed for general circulation, but for my friends, and will be placed in the libraries of some scientific societies.
For years my name has been at the head of a list of members of the Polynesian Society, as patron. This organization, with headquarters in New Zealand, is devoted to the study of languages, literature, folk-lore, history, in short, all things connected with the inhabitants of that vast extent of archipelago in the Pacific Ocean known as Oceanica. When I accepted the position as patron, Mr. Alexander assured me that it was tendered to me, not only because of the fact that the Hawaiians were the most highly civilized of any of the ancient people of those seas, but further, because I had been known so long as the friend of education, of art, and of all those refining influences which exalt the nation, and elevate the character of the individual. Therefore it seemed fitting for me to send to this society some account of our earliest days.
I have had more calls for my music than I could possibly supply. An edition of "Aloha Oe," published by me in Washington this winter, simply for gifts to my friends, is nearly exhausted. No copies have ever been offered for sale; but in response to the very general wish, I have collected a number of my songs, chants, and pieces written or translated by me during the past twenty years or more, and hope soon to put them into the hands of the publisher, so that any stranger desiring to possess samples of Hawaiian music may have that opportunity. Two specially prepared volumes of such compositions were appropriately bound and inscribed in Washington the past winter. One of these was placed in the new Congressional Library; the other was sent abroad as my contribution to the souvenirs of this Jubilee year of Her Majesty, the great and good Queen Victoria.
From this brief sketch of my life at the capital, it would appear that my mind was fully employed, had there been no political questions to interest me. Yet was it natural that I should forget my own people and their misfortunes? Let me, therefore, return to the annexationists and their plots. While I had been no more than an interested observer, quietly awaiting the course of justice, and conscious of the strength derived from truth and right on my side, their commissioners, with such influences as their indomitable assurance could command, had been working very had to get the present rule in Hawaii out of its political and financial difficulties, by passing over to the United States a country whose hospitality they have betrayed, a land which they do not and never can own.
My friends in Honolulu had never forgotten me, and the arrival of every mail kept me informed of all that transpired throughout Hawaii. With the advantages which were mine of learning the attitude of men and parties in Washington, there was little that took place with which I was not thoroughly acquainted before it reached the columns of the newspapers. Thus, understanding perfectly the kind of men sent one after another by the so-called Republic of Hawaii to Washington, I was easily able to separate truth from falsehood in the accounts inspired by the missionary party, published by them or their agents in Honolulu, written from thence to the press in America, or invented by enterprising scribblers for the purpose of deceiving the American public.
Having tried in vain to excite the American people against Great Britain, and having wilfully violated treaty obligations with the friendly power of Japan, they then got the Senate into a hopeless quarrel over the reciprocity treaty and the sugar schedule; so that to allay all these disturbances, and yet do nothing decisive, on June 16, 1897, President McKinley sent their annexation treaty to the Senate. Congress had been in session ever since December, and had shown no interest whatever in the troubles of a few adventurers two thousand miles from California, claiming to be both Americans and Hawaiians.
Nothing was done by me in the matter until the treaty was officially made public in the Senate. These commissioners had often said that there would soon be a treaty signed, and had so often deceived the people that it was well to await knowledge from the proper authority. But just as quickly as I learned that action had been taken upon the proposed cession of Hawaii to the United States, I sent my secretaries, Mr. Joseph Heleluhe and Captain Julius A. Palmer, to the Department of State with the following protest.
"I, LILIUOKALANI of Hawaii, by the will of God named heir apparent on the tenth day of April, A. D. 1877, and by the grace of God Queen of the Hawaiian Islands on the seventeenth day of January, A. D. 1893, do hereby protest against the ratification of a certain treaty, which, so I am informed, has been signed at Washington by Messrs. Hatch, Thurston, and Kinney, purporting to cede those Islands to the territory and dominion of the United States. I declare such a treaty to be an act of wrong toward the native and part-native people of Hawaii, an invasion of the rights of the ruling chiefs, in violation of international rights both toward my people and toward friendly nations with whom they have made treaties, the perpetuation of the fraud whereby the constitutional government was overthrown and, finally, an act of gross injustice to me.
"Because the official protests made by me on the seventeenth day of January, 1893, to the so-called Provisional Government was signed by me, and received by said government with the assurance that the case was referred to the United States of America for arbitration.
YIELDED TO AVOID BLOODSHED.
"Because that protest and my communications to the United States Government immediately thereafter expressly declare that I yielded my authority to the forces of the United States in order to avoid bloodshed, and because I recognized the futility of a conflict with so formidable a power.
"Because the President of the United States, the Secretary of State, and an envoy commissioned by them reported in official documents that my government was unlawfully coerced by the forces, diplomatic and naval, of the United States; that I was at the date of their investigations the constitutional ruler of my people.
"Because such decision of the recognized magistrates of the United States was officially communicated to me and to Sanford B. Dole, and said Dole's resignation requested by Albert S. Willis, the recognized agent and minister of the Government of the United States.
"Because neither the above-named commission nor the government which sends it has ever received any such authority from the registered voters of Hawaii, but derives its assumed powers from the so-called committee of public safety, organized on or about the seventeenth day of January, 1893, said committee being composed largely of persons claiming American citizenship, and not one single Hawaiian was a member thereof, or in any way participated in the demonstration leading to its existence.
"Because my people, about forty thousand in number, have in no way been consulted by those, three thousand in number, who claim the right to destroy the independence of Hawaii. My people constitute four-fifths of the legally qualified voters of Hawaii, and excluding those imported for the demands of labor, about the same proportion of the inhabitants.
CIVIC AND HEREDITARY RIGHTS.
"Because said treaty ignores, not only the civic rights of my people, but, further, the hereditary property of their chiefs. Of the 4,000,000 acres composing the territory said treaty offers to annex, 1,000,000 or 915,000 acres has in no way been heretofore recognized as other than the private property of the constitutional monarch, subject to a control in no way differing from other items of a private estate.
"Because it is proposed by said treaty to confiscate said property, technically called the crown lands, those legally entitled thereto, either now or in succession, receiving no consideration whatever for estates, their title to which has been always undisputed, and which is legitimately in my name at this date.
"Because said treaty ignores, not only all professions of perpetual amity and good faith made by the United States in former treaties with the sovereigns representing the Hawaiian people, but all treaties made by those sovereigns with other and friendly powers, and it is thereby in violation of international law.
"Because, by treating with the parties claiming at this time the right to cede said territory of Hawaii, the Government of the United States receives such territory from the hands of those whom its own magistrates (legally elected by the people of the United States, and in office in 1893) pronounced fraudulently in power and unconstitutionally ruling Hawaii.
APPEALS TO PRESIDENT AND SENATE.
"Therefore I, Liliuokalani of Hawaii, do hereby call upon the President of that nation, to whom alone I yielded my property and my authority, to withdraw said treaty (ceding said Islands) from further consideration. I ask the honorable Senate of the United States to decline to ratify said treaty, and I implore the people of this great and good nation, from whom my ancestors learned the Christian religion, to sustain their representatives in such acts of justice and equity as may be in accord with the principles of their fathers, and to the Almighty Ruler of the universe, to him who judgeth righteously, I commit my cause.
"Done at Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, this seventeenth day of June, in the year eighteen hundred and ninety-seven.
|"WOKEKI HELELUHE||}||Witnesses to Signature."|
|"JULIUS A. PALMER.|
In the matter of providing me with seats in the diplomatic gallery at the ceremonies of the inauguration, I have already expressed my gratitude to Secretary John Sherman. It is but just that I should repeat here my appreciation of the kind, gallant, and courteous treatment again received at his official hands. For although it was my directions that this document should be delivered to any person authorized to receive it, yet as soon as Secretary Sherman saw the cards of my commissioners, he at once accorded them a private audience.
My protest, and a like remonstrance made on behalf of the patriotic leagues of the Hawaiian people by Hon. Joseph Heleluhe as their authorized commissioner, were both placed in the secretary's hands by that gentleman; and Mr. Sherman read them both through. He then turned to Captain Palmer, and had an agreeable conversation on the points at issue, after which my commissioners retired. The accustomed tissue of falsehoods was woven about this interview; some stating that Secretary Sherman had refused to see my messengers, others again giving the names of some one or other of his subordinates with whom my commissioners had had an interview, and finally asserting that the protests went into the archives of the department without examination, and were pigeon-holed; all of which statements, it is needless to say, were untrue. Secretary Sherman by his action showed that, a skilled diplomatist, he had not forgotten to remain a gallant gentleman.
I refer to Appendix D for text of the treaty.
ANYTHING like an extended criticism of the proposed treaty will not be attempted here. The first articles convey nothing, and do not even profess to convey anything; would not any capitalist, anticipating an investment of four millions, and a contingent liability of as much more, demand an exact schedule of the property for which he is paying, and a warrant of the legitimacy of the title?
Suppose that the claims of foreign governments for indemnification for acts of outrage and imprisonment committed under the rule of the Republic, the Japanese indemnity, and the value of the crown lands, should raise the debt limit to eight millions, do the parties ceding this territory come under personal obligations to pay the overplus indebtedness?
In regard to the crown lands, even the best-informed citizens of the United States do not understand the difference between these and the lands of the Hawaiian government. Originally all territory belonged to the king, by whom it was apportioned for use only, not for sale, to the chiefs, who in turn assigned tracts, small or large, to their people; an excellent system for us, by which the poorest native had all the land he needed, and yet it could not be taken from him by any designing foreigner.
But about fifty years ago there came, in place of our own method, the land system, delivered to us by the missionaries. In effect this divided the territory of the Islands into three parts, not necessarily equal, although nearly so. One-third was devoted to the use or expenses of government; one-third was apportioned to the people; and the remainder continued, as from all ages, the private property of the chief highest in rank,–in other words, the reigning sovereign.
That part of Hawaii given by the king to the people has almost entirely left them, and now belongs to the missionaries and their friends or successors. Of the portion reserved to the government nothing need be said. If the present rule may be called a government, it probably has the right to the income of these lands. But one of their commissioners, Mr. Kinney, made a public statement through the press that it would be as well for an ex-president to claim the White House as for me to claim my income in the crown lands.
Mr. Kinney could scarcely have chosen a more effective method to prove his ignorance; and in response I have had the following brief statement prepared by one who thoroughly understands the matter: –
BY MR. KINNEY. – "The fealty of the native Hawaiian to his chief knows no limit. Such loyalty exacts corresponding devotion; it was to meet this necessity that the chief highest in rank was never divested of the crown lands or private purse."
REPLY. – "The White House and other official estate form an investment made with the money of the American people for the use of their chosen executive. The crown lands were never the property of the people, no, not even of any monarchical government. Not citing the testimony of ages, when all the lands belonged to the chiefs, in 1848 the ruling king reserved these very lands as 'his private estate,' and the legislature confirmed this act 'as the private lands of His Majesty, his heirs and assigns forever.' In 1864 the Supreme Court decided that 'each successor' could regulate and dispose of the same according to his will and pleasure as private property.
In 1865 payment was made to Queen Emma in lieu of dower in these lands, although she had not been on the throne, but was the widow of a monarch deceased two years previously. In 1880 Mr. Spreckels paid the Princess Ruth $10,000 to release her claim to a small tract of these lands, although she had never ascended the throne. The act of the legislature by which these lands were made 'inalienable, to descend to the heirs and successors of the Hawaiian crown (N. B., not of any Kamehameha) forever,' has never been reversed, the constitution expressly confirming this by the words, the 'successor elected shall become a new stirps for a royal family, regulated by the same law as the present royal family.'
"Were Kalakaua, Liliuokalani, or Kaiulani, of another race (instead of having, as they most certainly have, the blood of Kamehamehas), it would still be true that no intelligent lawyer would invest the money of his client in a tract of hereditary crown land unless the living representatives were to join in the deed. It is just possible that the lawyers who have visited Washington know these facts, as the first two articles of their conveyance to us by treaty are only quit claim deeds; they expressly limit the grantors' warrant to that which at this date belongs to them. Any person could execute such a conveyance to the White House estate, and it would not convey anything, nor even pretend to put the grantee in possession of anything. Will American capitalists invest at their own risk in land which constitutes one-fourth of the whole proposed territory of Hawaii?"
But it is in the sixth article that the missionary party show their determination to keep the same position under the flag of the United States that they have held at the Islands ever since the revolution of 1887. By this, which is made part of the treaty, and so, if it should be ratified as it stands, it can never be changed, not even by Act of Congress, the President is to appoint five commissioners, two of whom shall be residents of the Hawaiian Islands; by these all legislation in regard to that territory is to be recommended to Congress.
Which means that the missionary party shall continue to control all measures enacted in regard to Hawaii and the Hawaiians; that there shall be no essential change in their greedy and deceitful policy, that they shall still coin money through the manipulation of the sugar interest and the management of the plantations and the labor question. And what advantage or return will the United States Government ever receive from such a territorial administration as that? The President and Secretary of State having agreed to such enactment, it only remains for the needed two-thirds of the Senate to ratify it to make it the law of the land.
The voters of this great and good nation are too free from suspicion. They have no idea how they have been deceived, how much more they can be deceived. The poor Hawaiians, strangers on their native soil, excluded from their own halls of legislation, have had their experience; alas, a bitter one. The Japanese, urged and inveigled and bought to come to Hawaii while they were needed to increase the foreigners' gold, have had theirs; but the American people have theirs yet to get. The Hawaiian sugar planters are having theirs from the drain on their pockets to support Thurston and those he employs in this country.
Here I may state that seldom or never had the Hawaiian government, during the days of monarchy, been known to place itself in such a position as it has fallen into since in the hands of this missionary oligarchy. It has had to borrow money several times from the two banks in Honolulu, and to ask funds from the planters. When in prison in 1895, Mr. Wilson told me, in the presence of his wife, that that year's taxes had been mortgaged to the amount of $800,000 to Mr. C. B. Bishop. Under the monarchy there was always enough from its own revenues to pay all expenses until the time came when such enterprising people as wanted to make money for themselves came into office, and prevailed on the government to make new improvements; from that time the government became indebted.
There is one more bit of political history of which I will speak, and I shall then have said all that it is my intention to give to the public for the present. Soon after the inauguration of President McKinley, it was my hope to assure him in person of my kindest wishes for a happy and successful term of office, but more especially to present to him, as the representative of my people, certain documents and petitions which had been sent to me for the purpose; then my duty in the case would have been done.1
No attempts of any kind or nature were ever made in my behalf by any person whomsoever, to arrange an interview between the President and myself. No public man in Washington, whoever he may be, has ever declined to see me or any one of my party. The despatches which the press have published on that point have not a basis of truth. Events transpiring at the capital made it inexpedient for me to carry out the wishes and requests of my people.
The President was so overwhelmed with pressing business, so beset by office-seekers, his time so filled with matters requiring his direct attention, that he could not be expected to give consideration to any subject outside of the administration of the affairs of the United States government; which, there being no annexation movement above board at that time (the first week in March), was certainly the case with the matter intrusted to me by my people.
On the 10th of July I bade adieu to the beautiful city of Washington, where I had spent such a delightful half-year. I had called at the Capitol two or three times, not with any petition or request, but simply to thank those gentlemen who had kindly taken an interest in me and in the Hawaiian people. I had also left my card for those Senators whose families had been represented among my callers, and made a few parting visits to my friends in the city.
On Saturday afternoon I arrived in New York, and remained at the Albemarle two weeks, visiting the places of interest, attending the opera, and receiving the visits of a few of my friends who lived in that city or its immediate vicinity.
But while there, I received further information from the patriotic leagues, the members of which organizations expressed much regret that I had not presented the documents in my hands to President McKinley, and urging me to do this at once. Accordingly on Saturday, the 24th of July, with my whole party, I returned to Washington, this time taking rooms at the Ebbitt House. On Monday morning I sent the papers to President McKinley, by the hands of Mr. Joseph Heleluhe, and Captain Palmer, who accompanied him.
Then, learning that it was the regular reception-day of the President, and also the last one prior to his vacation, without consultation with any person, I told the members of my suite that, before leaving Washington again, we would call socially on the President. Arriving at the door of the White House, I requested Captain Palmer to send up our cards, which he did before we entered the East Room; and in response an officer, who had received his instructions, came to us, conducted us to the farther end of the room, and provided us with seats, which we were requested to retain when the President should enter to meet the hundred or so strangers who were standing at the opposite end of the large reception-room.
While we were waiting, one of the President's secretaries came down from his office with a special message from President McKinley to like effect. After the President had finished his official handshaking, he approached the place where I sat. Observing him, I arose and advanced to meet him. We had a most delightful conversation; and I found him to be a most agreeable gentleman, both in manner and in words. He spoke very prettily of his wife's delicate health, alluding to the matter of his own accord, and voluntarily expressing his regret that he could not at once invite me in to visit her. I have been thus particular to describe the facts of my social relations to the White House, because upon no subject has the desire been more frequently shown to prejudice me and my cause in the eyes of the American people.
Strangers have remarked that in no part of the world visited by them have they found the rules of etiquette so exactly laid down and so persistently observed as in Honolulu, when the Islands were under the monarchy. It is to be expected, therefore, that I know what is due to me; that further, as the wife of the governor of Oahu, as the princess royal, and as the reigning sovereign, it was not necessary for me to take lessons in the departments of social or diplomatic etiquette before residing in the national capital of the United States, or making and receiving visits of any nature.
IT has been suggested to me that the American general reader is not well informed regarding the social and political conditions which have come about in the Sandwich Islands, and that it would be well here to give some expression to my own observation of them. Space will only permit, however, a mere outline.
It has been said that the Hawaiian people under the rule of the chiefs were most degraded, that under the monarchy their condition greatly improved, but that the native government in any form had at last become intolerable to the more enlightened part of the community. This statement has been substantially repeated recently by certain New England and Hawaiian "statesmen" in speeches made at the Home Market Club in Boston. I shall not examine it in detail; but it may serve as a text for the few remarks I feel called upon to make from my own – and that is to say, the native Hawaiian – standpoint.
I shall not claim that in the days of Captain Cook our people were civilized. I shall not claim anything more for their progress in civilization and Christian morality than has been already attested by missionary writers. Perhaps I may safely claim even less, admitting the criticism of some intelligent visitors who were not missionaries, – that the habits and prejudices of New England Puritanism were not well adapted to the genius of a tropical people, nor capable of being thoroughly ingrafted upon them.
But Christianity in substance they have accepted; and I know of no people who have developed a tenderer Christian conscience, or who have shown themselves more ready to obey its behests. Nor has any people known to history shown a greater reverence and love for their Christian teachers, or filled the measure of a grateful return more overflowingly. And where else in the world's history is it written that a savage people, pagan for ages, with fixed hereditary customs and beliefs, have made equal progress in civilization and Christianity in the same space of time? And what people has ever been subjected during such an evolution to such a flood of external demoralizing influences?
Does it make nothing for us that we have always recognized our Christian teachers as worthy of authority in our councils, and repudiated those whose influence or character was vicious or irreligious? That while four-fifths of the population of our Islands was swept out of existence by the vices introduced by foreigners, the ruling class clung to Christian morality, and gave its unvarying support and service to the work of saving and civilizing the masses? Has not this class loyally clung to the brotherly alliance made with the better element of foreign settlers, giving freely of its authority and its substance, its sons and its daughters, to cement and to prosper it?
But will it also be thought strange that education and knowledge of the world have enabled us to perceive that as a race we have some special mental and physical requirements not shared by the other races which have come among us? That certain habits and modes of living are better for our health and happiness than others? And that a separate nationality, and a particular form of government, as well as special laws, are, at least for the present, best for us? And these things remained to us, until the pitiless and tireless "annexation policy" was effectively backed by the naval power of the United States.
To other usurpations of authority on the part of those whose love for the institutions of their native land we could understand and forgive we had submitted. We had allowed them virtually to give us a constitution, and control the offices of state. Not without protest, indeed; for the usurpation was unrighteous, and cost us much humiliation and distress. But we did not resist it by force. It had not entered into our hearts to believe that these friends and allies from the United States, even with all their foreign affinities, would ever go so far as to absolutely overthrow our form of government, seize our nation by the throat, and pass it over to an alien power.
And while we sought by peaceful political means to maintain the dignity of the throne, and to advance national feeling among the native people, we never sought to rob any citizen, wherever born, of either property, franchise, or social standing.
Perhaps there is a kind of right, depending upon the precedents of all ages, and known as the "Right of Conquest," under which robbers and marauders may establish themselves in possession of whatsoever they are strong enough to ravish from their fellows. I will not pretend to decide how far civilization and Christian enlightenment have outlawed it. But we have known for many years that our Island monarchy has relied upon the protection always extended to us by the policy and the assured friendship of the great American republic. If we have nourished in our bosom those who have sought our ruin, it has been because they were of the people whom we believed to be our dearest friends and allies. If we did not by force resist their final outrage, it was because we could not do so without striking at the military force of the United States. Whatever constraint the executive of this great country may be under to recognize the present government at Honolulu has been forced upon it by no act of ours, but by the unlawful acts of its own agents. Attempts to repudiate those acts are vain.
The conspirators, having actually gained possession of the machinery of government, and the recognition of foreign ministers, refused to surrender their conquest. So it happens that, overawed by the power of the United States to the extent that they can neither themselves throw off the usurpers, nor obtain assistance from other friendly states, the people of the Islands have no voice in determining their future, but are virtually relegated to the condition of the aborigines of the American continent.
It is not for me to consider this matter from the American point of view; although the pending question of annexation involves nothing less than a departure from the established policy of that country, and an ominous change in its foreign relations. It is enough that I am able to say, and with absolute authority, that the native people of Hawaii are entirely faithful to their own chiefs, and are deeply attached to their own customs and mode of government; that they either do not understand, or bitterly oppose, the scheme of annexation. As a native Hawaiian, reared and educated in close intimacy with the present rulers of the Islands and their families, with exceptional opportunities for studying both native and foreign character, it is easy for me to detect the purpose of each line and word in the annexation treaty, and even to distinguish the man originating each portion of it.
I had prepared biographical sketches and observations upon the mental structure and character of the most interested advocates of this measure. They have not refrained from circulating most vile and baseless slanders against me; and, as public men, they seemed to me open to public discussion. But my publishers have flatly declined to print this matter, as possibly it might be construed as libellous.
And just here let me say that I have felt much perplexity over the attitude of the American press, that great vehicle of information for the people, in respect of Hawaiian affairs. Shakespeare has said it is excellent to have a giant's strength, but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant. It is not merely that, with few exceptions, the press has seemed to favor the extinction of Hawaiian sovereignty, but that it has often treated me with coarse allusions and flippancy, and almost uniformly has commented upon me adversely, or has declined to publish letters from myself and friends conveying correct information upon matters which other correspondents had, either willfully or through being deceived, misrepresented. Perhaps in many cases libellous matter was involved. Possibly the press was not conscious of how cruelly it was exerting its strength, and will try, I now trust, to repair the injury.
It has been shown that in Hawaii there is an alien element composed of men of energy and determination, well able to carry through what they undertake, but not scrupulous respecting their methods. They doubtless control all the resources and influence of the present ruling power in Honolulu, and will employ them tirelessly in the future, as they have in the past, to secure their ends. This annexationist party might prove to be a dangerous accession even to American politics, both on account of natural abilities, and because of the training of an autocratic life from earliest youth.
Many of these men are anything but ideal citizens for a democracy. That custom of freely serving each other without stipulation or reward which exists as a very nature among our people has been even exaggerated in our hospitality to our teachers and advisers. Their children, and the associates they have drawn to themselves, are accustomed to it. They have always been treated with distinction. They would hardly know how to submit to the contradictions, disappointments, and discourtesies of a purely emulative society.
It would remain necessary for them to rule in Hawaii, even if the American flag floated over them. And if they found they could be successfully opposed, would they seek no remedy? Where would men, already proved capable of outwitting the conservatism of the United States and defeating its strongest traditions, capable of changing its colonial and foreign policy at a single coup, stop in their schemes?
Perhaps I may even venture here upon a final word respecting the American advocates of this annexation of Hawaii. I observe that they have pretty successfully striven to make it a party matter. It is chiefly Republican statesmen and politicians who favor it. But is it really a matter of party interest? Is the American Republic of States to degenerate, and become a colonizer and a land-grabber?
And is this prospect satisfactory to a people who rely upon self-government for their liberties, and whose guaranty of liberty and autonomy to the whole western hemisphere, the grand Monroe doctrine, appealing to the respect and the sense of justice of the masses of every nation on earth, has made any attack upon it practically impossible to the statesmen and rulers of armed empires? There is little question but that the United States could become a successful rival of the European nations in the race for conquest, and could create a vast military and naval power, if such is its ambition. But is such an ambition laudable? Is such a departure from its established principles patriotic or politic?
Here, at least for the present, I rest my pen. During my stay in the capital, I suppose I must have met, by name and by card, at least five thousand callers. From most of these, by word, by grasp of hand, or at least by expression of countenance, I have received a sympathy and encouragement of which I cannot write fully. Let it be understood that I have not failed to notice it, and to be not only flattered by its universality, but further very grateful that I have had the opportunity to know the real American people, quite distinct from those who have assumed this honored name when it suited their selfish ends.
But for the Hawaiian people, for the forty thousand of my own race and blood, descendants of those who welcomed the devoted and pious missionaries of seventy years ago, – for them has this mission of mine accomplished anything?
Oh, honest Americans, as Christians hear me for my down-trodden people! Their form of government is as dear to them as yours is precious to you. Quite as warmly as you love your country, so they love theirs. With all your goodly possessions, covering a territory so immense that there yet remain parts unexplored, possessing islands that, although near at hand, had to be neutral ground in time of war, do not covet the little vineyard of Naboth's, so far from your shores, lest the punishment of Ahab fall upon you, if not in your day, in that of your children, for "be not deceived, God is not mocked." The people to whom your fathers told of the living God, and taught to call "Father," and whom the sons now seek to despoil and destroy, are crying aloud to Him in their time of trouble; and He will keep His promise, and will listen to the voices of His Hawaiian children lamenting for their homes.
It is for them that I would give the last drop of my blood; it is for them that I would spend, nay, am spending, everything belonging to me. Will it be in vain? It is for the American people and their representatives in Congress to answer these questions. As they deal with me and my people, kindly, generously, and justly, so may the Great Ruler of all nations deal with the grand and glorious nation of the United States of America.
1 After the overthrow of the monarchy, these people had no representation at home or abroad, and such is their condition to this day. Comprising four-fifths of the legally qualified voters, they are voiceless, save those few who, for the purpose of obtaining the necessaries of life, have sworn allegiance to the present government. In this connection, the following statement, which is sent to me from Honolulu, may be of interest as showing how few now assume to govern a nation of 109,000 persons. The registered voters in 1890, under the monarchy, numbered 13,593 persons.
The registered voters in 1894, under the Provisional Government, for delegates to the so-called Constitutional Convention, numbered 4,477.
The actual voters in 1896, under the so-called Republic, numbered, for Senators, 2,017, and for Representatives, 3,196. In other words, there were qualified to vote for Senators and Representatives, 2,017 persons, and for Representatives, only 1,179.
From figures already in, it is doubtful whether the total vote to be cast in September next will exceed 2,000.
This chapter has been put on-line as part of the
BUILD-A-BOOK Initiative at the
Celebration of Women Writers.
Initial text entry and proof-reading of this chapter were the work of volunteers
Kathy Morgan, Sally Drake, Sarah Richards, Pat Buchanan, and Liz Goodman.