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Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

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HAWAIIAN  ISLANDS.	179
grounds, and soon thereafter it was learned that insurgents were in 
charge of the building containing the Government offices.
As soon as possible I had communication with Commander Wood- 
ward of the U.S.S. Adams, and at once all necessary preparations 
were made to land a force, if found necessary for protection of the 
people and property interests.
Soon thereafter I met His Majesty's minister of foreign affairs, who 
informed me that a cabinet council would be held forthwith.
Soon after the news of the affair became generally known, the British, 
Portuguese, and French commissioners called at the legation, and while 
comparing information regarding the situation, Mr. Damon, the newly 
appointed minister of finance, arrived and stated that it was the de- 
sire of His Majesty's ministers to meet the foreign representatives at 
once. It was deemed advisable to comply with this request without 
delay. On meeting the ministers they stated that they desired to fully 
inform us of their contemplated action in the present emergency, and 
that they had determined to occupy the tops of the buildings command- 
ing a view of the palace grounds, with sharpshooters, for the purpose 
of preventing the use of the cannon which were known to be in the pos- 
session of the insurgents inside the walls inclosing the palace grounds, 
gradually surround and finally dislodge them with other forces.
After learning the intention of the Government to operate at once 
with an armed force, I suggested the propriety of Mr. Damon, one of 
the members of the cabinet who speaks the native language, endeavor- 
ing to communicate with Mr. Wilcox, the leader of the insurgents, 
and ascertain, if possible, the cause of his action and what his demands 
were, if any; then if Mr. Damon failed, that the representatives of for- 
eign powers endeavor to obtain an interview with Wilcox, and by their 
good offices effect a peaceful settlement if possible.
This was cordially agreed to by all and the representatives withdrew 
with the understanding that Mr. Damon would inform us of the result 
of his mission. In about one-half hour Mr. Damon reported to me at 
the legation that Mr. Wilcox refused to receive any communication 
from him whatever, and that while he was seeking to communicate with 
him firing commenced; he deemed it not only imprudent, but suicidal 
for anyone to attempt to approach the palace grounds on a peace 
mission.
At this juncture, as the report of small arms and cannon came from 
the palace grounds and immediate vicinity quite rapidly, and as many 
with alarm were coming to the legation, I at once requested Com- 
mander Woodward to send to the legation a body of marines, which 
request he promptly complied with.
The appearance of the marines on the streets and at the legation 
had a very favorable effect on the populace. Soon the report of the 
large guns ceased by reason of the inability of the insurgents to oper- 
ate them in the presence of the fire of the sharpshooters on the tops 
of the surrounding buildings.
The "bungalow" mentioned in the newspaper account and into which 
the insurgents retreated is a frame building situated in the corner of 
the palace grounds sometimes used by the King as a dwelling and for 
offices.
The palace square comprises about 4 acres, situate two blocks 
from the central business part of the city, and is entirely inclosed by 
a concrete wall about 8 feet high, while the King's palace is situated 
in the center of the square.

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