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Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

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Mr. Blount to Mr. Gresham.
Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands, May 24,1893.
SIR: The letters of Mr. Nordhoff to the New York Herald, on the 
situation of affairs in the Hawaiian Islands, have produced intense re- 
sentment in the minds of American residents and of white annexation- 
ists generally here.
On the 21st instant Dr. J. C. McGrew, who claims to be an American 
citizen, and who is a leading member of the Annexation Club, and the 
editor in chief of the Hawaiian Star, which, belongs to the Annexa- 
tion Club and is a quasi official organ of the Government, reported to 
Admiral Skerrett that there had been quite an excitement all day long 
amongst persons who were offended by Mr. Nordhoff's letters, and that 
he had scarcely been able to restrain them from insulting Mr. Nordhoff 
by applying to him a coat of tar and feathers.
I immediately addressed a note to Mr. Dole, a copy of which I in- 
close herewith. (Inclosure No. 1.)
Later in the day Dr. McGrew informed Admiral Skerrett that there 
would be no effort to tar and feather Mr. Nordhoff, but that proceed- 
ings would be taken the next day in court against him.
The following day brought no answer from President Dole to my 
In the afternoon of the 22d instant, a paper was served upon Mr. 
Nordhoff - a copy of which I inclose.
The assertion of a power under the color of law to hold Mr. Nordhoff 
responsible for the publication of his letters in the New York Herald 
being regarded as without warrant of authority and in violation of 
his rights as an American citizen, I determined immediately to com- 
municate to the Government a denial of their right to proceed against 
him on account of said publication.
Desiring to avoid any semblance of too great readiness to enter into 
a controversy with the Hawaiian Government over this matter, I went 
to see President Dole, and called attention to the action of the attorney 
general and informed him that the Government of the United States 
would not submit to the exercise of such a prerogative on the part of 
the Hawaiian Government; that I deemed it proper to hold a conver- 
sation with him, hoping to avoid thereby any official correspondence 
which might produce acerbity or the slightest estrangement. He re- 
plied that he was very much obliged to me for having taken such a 
course, and that the question raised would be examined and the con- 
clusions reached communicated to me.
He then referred to my letter, saying that he would have answered 
it, but supposed that it was intended simply to give him notice of the 
facts stated. I replied that I regretted he had not seen fit to give me 
any information concerning the matter in writing in order that the same 
might be forwarded to the Government of the United States; that I 
hoped the additional subject of controversy, to which I invited his at- 
tention, would be adjusted in a manner consistent with the honor of the 
United States, and so speedily that I might be able to communicate this 
also to the home Government. After some conversation on this sub- 
ject he informed me that the advisory council had requested Mr. Nord- 
hoff to come before it, and asked me if I thought he would come, as it 
was only a request. To this I answered, "I presume not. Whatever 
information Mr. Nordhoff may have obtained carried with it an obliga- 
tion of privacy, which I do not believe he would violate."

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