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Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

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HAWAIIAN  ISLANDS.	                  199
ical form of government, the creation of a provisional government thereof 
in the name of the Hawaiian people, the recognition of the same by  
the representatives there of the United States and of all other powers,  
the dispatch of a commission to this capital to negotiate for a union of   
the Government of the Hawaiian Islands with the Government of the  
United States, and the outcome of those negotiations in the treaty 
herewith submitted. 
The change of government in the Hawaiian Islands, thus chronicled, 
was entirely unexpected so far as this Government was concerned. It 
is true that for some months past the Hawaiian press and the advices 
received from the diplomatic and consular representatives at Honolulu 
indicated political uncertainty, party intrigues, and legislative opposi- 
tion, but not more so than at many times in the past history of the 
islands, and certainly not suggestive of an overthrow of the monarchy 
through popular resistance to the unconstitutional acts of the late 
sovereign. At no time had Mr. Stevens been instructed with regard to 
his course in the event of a revolutionary uprising. The well-estab- 
lished policy of this Government, maintained on many occasions from 
its earliest establishment, to hold relations with any de facto govern- 
ment in possession of the effective power of the State and having the 
acquiescence of the governed, being ample to meet unforeseen contin- 
gencies, no instructions in this specific sense were indeed necessary; 
and the minister, without explicit instructions, was expected and con- 
strained to use his best judgment, in accordance with fundamental 
precedent, as the emergency should arise.
The change was in fact abrupt and unlooked-for by the United States 
minister or the naval commander. At a moment of apparent tranquillity, 
when the political excitement and controversy of the immediately pre- 
ceding three months had been to all appearances definitely allayed, and 
when, as appears from dispatches from the minister and from the 
commanding officer of the Boston, a settlement of differences seemed to 
have been reached, Minister Stevens quitted the capital for a brief 
excursion of ten days to a neighboring island, on the Boston, the only 
naval vessel of the United States at the islands. On returning to Hon- 
olulu on January 14 the crisis was found to be in full vigor and to 
have already reached proportions which made inevitable either the 
success of Queen Liliuokalani's attempt to subvert the constitution by 
force or the downfall of the monarchy.
On Saturday, the 14th of January, the capital was wholly controlled 
by the royal troops, including a large additional force of over 500 
armed men not authorized by Hawaiian law. On the same day the first 
call to arms in opposition to the Queen was issued, and the citi- 
zens' committee of safety was developed. During the 14th, 15th, 
and most of the 16th, the two parties confronted each other in angry 
hostility, with every indication of an armed conflict at any moment. It 
was not until late in the afternoon of Monday, the 16th, after request 
for protection had been made by many citizens of the United States 
residing in Honolulu, that a force of marines was landed from the 
Boston, by direction of the minister, and in conformity with the standing 
instructions which for many years have authorized the naval forces of 
the United States to cooperate with the minister for the protection of 
the lives and property of American citizens in case of imminent disorder. 
The marines, when landed, took no part whatever toward influencing 
the course of events. Their presence was wholly precautionary, and 
only such disposition was made of them as was calculated to subserve 
the particular end in view. They were distributed that night between

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