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Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

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Queen to yield. If she should still persist and attempt to form a ministry of her own, 
without the consent of the legislature, she will surely imperil her throne. She is 
well known to be much more stubborn in character than her brother, the late King, 
but my present belief is that she will finally yield to the legal and other legitimate 
forces operative against her present course and place herself in the hands of the 
conservative and respectable men of the country as the only way to retain her 
Early in the spring of 1891 the supreme court decided that the Cabi- 
net of the late King ceased to have legal existence at his death. A 
new Cabinet was appointed which seemed to give general satisfaction 
and somewhat to allay earlier apprehensions touching the probable 
course of the Queen. Mr. Stevens, however, expressed some lack of 
faith in the minister of finance.
In September, 1891, Mr. Stevens wrote that the prince consort, hus- 
band of Queen Liliuokalani, a native of New York and strongly 
American in his sympathies, had died August 27,1891.
At the same time the minister reported a project for a revision of the 
reciprocity treaty between this Government and Hawaii, prompted by 
the removal of the tariff on sugar, which materially, if not vitally, 
affected the principal interests of the islands. Late in 1891, Mr. Mott 
Smith was appointed a special envoy to the United States to negotiate 
such an agreement, and a legislature favorable to the treaty was elected 
in February, 1892.
In a confidential communication of March 8, 1892, Mr. Stevens re- 
ports revolutionary plans to be held in check solely by the presence of 
an United States naval vessel, and describes a very general sentiment 
of hostility to the succession of the "half English" heir to the throne - 
at the time being educated in England - and a growing inclination 
among all classes towards annexation to the United States. (Appendix.)
Mr. Stevens's dispatches continue to be of the same tenor. The sub- 
jection of the queen to the influences of a half-caste Tahitian of the 
name of Wilson, and marshal of the Kingdom, since soon after her ac- 
cession, continued to excite considerable dissatisfaction, and revolu- 
tionary schemes were rife throughout the year. The attitude of the 
Queen and her immediate entourage was one of arrogance. Late in 
August or early in September the cabinet was voted out, and a dead- 
lock followed between the Queen and the legislature. The new cabinet 
was objectionable to the better elements, but a vote of want of confi- 
dence sufficiently decisive to bring on the crisis was not secured until 
the 17th October. The minister said in his dispatch of October 19, 
1892, on the situation -
My present impression is, that the Queen and her faction will have to yield. 
Otherwise the entire overthrow of the monarchy could not be long delayed.
In his No. 74, of November 20, Mr. Stevens gave a full statement of 
the financial, agricultural, social, and political condition of the islands, 
and said:
One of two courses seems to me absolutely necessary to he followed: Either bold 
and vigorous measures for annexation or a "customs union," an ocean cable from the 
Californian coast to Honolulu, Pearl Harbor perpetually ceded to the United States, 
with an implied but not necessarily stipulated American protectorate over the islands.
Reports to the Secretary of the Navy - especially those beginning 
with one from Rear-Admirl Brown, dated September 6, 1892 - corrob- 
orated the American minister's accounts and forecasts of events in Ha- 
waii until, on the 28th of January, telegraphic news was received from 
both sources of the accomplishment of a peaceful revolution at Hono- 
lulu and the dethronement of the Queen. (Appendix.)

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