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Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

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              782	HAWAIIAN   ISLANDS.


At 2 p. m. Monday, January 16, the Honolulu Rifles Armory was the scene of the largest and most enthusiastic mass 
meeting ever held in Honolulu. It was called by the committee of public safety for the purpose of protesting against 
the revolutionary aggressions of the Queen. At half-past 1 citizens began to assemble, and before 2 o'clock the large 
building was crowded to its utmost capacity, 1,260 being present by actual count, while many others came later. 
Every class in the community was fully represented, mechanics, merchants, professional men, and artisans of every 
kind being present in full force. The meeting was intensely enthusiastic, being animated by a common purpose and 
feeling, and most of the speakers were applauded to the echo. Hon. W. C. Wilder, of the committee of safety, was 
the chairman.
Mr. Wilder said:* Fellow-citizens, I have been requested to act an chairman of this meeting. Were it a common 
occurrence, I should consider it an honor, hut today we are not here to do honor to anybody. I accept the 
chairmanship of this meeting as a duty, [Applause.] We meet here today as men - not as any party, faction or creed, 
but as men who are bound to see good government. It is well known to you all what took place at the Palace last 
Saturday. I need not tell you the object of tins meeting, and no such meeting has been held since 1887. There is the 
same reason now as then. An impromptu meeting of citizens was called Saturday to take measures for the public 
safety. The report of the committee will be read to you. We do not meet as revolutionists, but as peaceful citizens 
who have the right to meet and state their grievances. [Loud applause,] We will maintain our rights and have the 
courage to maintain them. [Universal cheers.]
Noble Thurston, being introduced by the chairman, read the following

To the citizens of Honolulu:
On the morning of last Saturday, the 14th instant, the city was startled by the information that Her Majesty Queen 
Liliuokalani had announced her intention to arbitrarily promulgate a new constitution, and that three of the newly-
appointed cabinet ministers had or were about to resign in consequence thereof.
Immediately after the prorogation of the Legislature, at noon, the Queen accompanied, by her orders, by the cabinet 
retired to the palace; the entire military force of the Government was drawn up in line in front of the building and 
remained there until dark, and a crowd of several hundred native sympathizers with the new constitution project 
gathered in the throne room and about the palace. The Queen then retired with, the cabinet, informed them that she 
intended to promulgate it, and proposed to do so then and there and demanded that they countersign her signature.
She turned a deaf ear to their statements and protests that the proposed action would inevitably cause the streets of 
Honolulu to run red with blood, and threatened that unless they complied with her demand she would herself 
immediately go out upon the steps of the palace and announce to the assembled crowd that the reason she did not 
give them the new constitution was because the ministers would not let her. Three of the ministers, fearing mob 
violence, immediately withdrew and returned to the Government building. They were immediately summoned back 
to the palace, but refused to go on the ground that there was no guarantee of their personal safety.
The only forces under the control of the Government are the household guards and the police. The former are 
nominally under the control of the minister of foreign affairs and actually under the control of their immediate 
commander, Maj. Nowlein, a personal adherent of the Queen.
The police are under the control of Marshal Wilson, the open and avowed royal favorite. Although the marshal is 
nominally under the control of the attorney-general, Her Majesty recently announced in a public speech that she 
would not allow him to be removed. Although the marshal now states that he is opposed to the Queen's proposition, 
he also states that if the final issue arises between the Queen and the cabinet and people he will support the Queen.
The cabinet was absolutely powerless and appealed to citizens for support.
Later they reluctantly returned to the palace, by request of the Queen, and for nearly two hours she again endeavored 
to force them to acquiesce in her desire, and upon their final refusal announced in a public speech in the throne room 
and again from the upper gallery of the palace that she desired to issue the constitution but was prevented from 
doing so by her ministers and would issue it in a few days.

* See "Foot Note to Hawaiian History," p. 38.

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