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Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

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NO. 2. 
Mr, Stevens to Mr. Foster.
Honolulu, January 18, 1893.   (Received February 3.)
SIR: In my 73 of November 8 I gave full information of the sur- 
render of the Queen to the wishes of the legislature by the formation 
of a ministry composed of men of intelligence and wealth possessing 
the entire confidence of the business men and the more responsible citi- 
zens of the country. But this surrender of the Queen and of those 
surrounding her was only seeming. As soon as the principal appro- 
priations had been voted and the legislative work was nearly concluded, 
several of the best members having already left for their homes, a re- 
markable conspiracy was revealed.
The undersigned, for the first time since he has been at the head of 
this legation, January 4 took passage for Hilo and the volcano on the 
U. S. S. Boston for the benefit of the health of himself and of his 
daughter, it being also desirable that the town of the second impor- 
tance in the islands should have this attention at the time the Boston 
was making a visit to Hawaii, the chief island in the group. Beyond 
all doubt, immediately after the Boston and myself had left Honolulu 
the unscrupulous adventurers around the Queen improved the oppor- 
tunity to push through the legislature an astounding lottery franchise 
with the obvious intent to sell it out to the Louisiana lottery men. 
This was worked by some of the same parties supposed to be of the 
powerful opium ring whose four points of operation are Vancouver, 
San Francisco, Honolulu, and Hongkong. They distributed the lot- 
tery stock among the native members of the legislature in large figures.
Notwithstanding the strong opposition of all the best people of the 
islands, including whites and natives, and the emphatic opposition of 
the chamber of commerce, the Queen and her palace favorite gave their 
warmest support to the lottery bill and signed it at once. She was to 
be immediately compensated by being allowed to proclaim a new con- 
stitution, restoring to the Crown the old despotic prerogatives in direct 
violation of the existing constitution, which provides for the only mode 
of change, which is by the action of successive legislatures.
Returning on the Boston from our Hilo trip on the 14th instant, we 
found the legislature was to be prorogued at 12 a.m., one-half hour 
after my arrival at the legation. The prorogation completed, members 
of the legislature, diplomatic corps, judges of the supreme court, 
and other officials went to the palace by invitation. In the meantime 
it began to be known in public circles the Queen's intention to proclaim 
the revolutionary constitution. This resulted in raising an excitement 
which alarmed her confidants and caused some of them to draw back. 
This consumed time, so that she could not secure the signatures of her 
new cabinet as she had expected. In the meantime the diplomatic 
corps grew weary and left the palace, realizing that the invitation to 
be present was a trick.
As I had just returned, weary from my voyage, I had not received 
the invitation, the chamberlain knowing I was absent when he invited 
the English, Portuguese, French, and Japanese diplomatic representa- 
tives the day before. In the short meanwhile I had suspicioned the 
trick. Finally, the Queen appeared in the throne room, before the 
supreme judges and other officials, in an extreme passion of anger, and 
avowed her purpose to postpone her revolutionary constitution for a

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