University of Hawaii at Manoa Library

Home: The Annexation Of Hawaii: A Collection Of Document
(808) 956-8264

Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

[ Previous Page ] -- [ View PDF ] -- [ View in MS Word ] -- [ Next Page ]

              792	HAWAIIAN  ISLANDS.

The voyage was prosperous.    Saturday morning,  January 28, the commissioners landed in San Francisco, 
proceeding on the following day to Washington.
The eleven days immediately following the departure of the Claudine were not distinguished by any event of special 
importance. The Provisional Government was busily occupied in adjusting the administration to the new conditions. 
A few bills were passed, but no legislation has been attempted except such as was called for by the exigencies of the 
situation. A strong guard was kept upon the Government building, as well as at the palace, barracks, and police 
station. The neighborhood of the Government building was also picketed, and a regular street patrol, horse and foot, 
was maintained during the night. One or two tires, suspected to be of incendiary origin, were started, but they were 
promptly extinguished, and no damage resulted. Under martial law the streets of the city were quiet as they seldom 
have been before. The saloons were at first closed, but everything remained so quiet that even this simple measure 
was found unnecessary. The excitement of the first two or three days passed away, and business resumed its 
customary course. Recruits flowed in steadily, though no special effort was made to obtain, them.


This state of things lasted eleven days, when the Government resolved upon a new move, which had been the 
subject of deliberation for several days. The incessant agitation on the part of certain whites of the class who have 
always been the curse of this country, coupled with the efforts of one English and one or two native newspapers to 
discredit the Government, to block its efforts toward the establishment of order, and in general to bring it into 
disrepute and contempt, had been the chief agency in spreading through the town a feeling of uneasiness and 
disquietude. It was thought wise, therefore, to secure the direct assistance of the United States Government in the 
preservation of property and the maintenance of order, and a request was forwarded by the Government to the 
American minister to establish a protectorate pending the settlement of the negotiations at Washington.
In accordance with the terms of this request, at 8:30 a. m. February 1, Capt. Wiltse proceeded to the Government 
building, and a few moments later the battalion of the U. S. S. Boston, under Lieut. Commander Swinburne, 
marched up the street, entered the grounds, and drew up in front of the building^
Detachments from the three volunteer Companies A, B, and C were drawn up in line, under the command of their 
respective captains, Ziegler, Gunn, and Camara. Just before 9 o'clock Lieut. Rush read in a loud voice the following 
proclamation, and punctually at 9 o'clock, amid the breathless silence of all present, the flag, saluted by the troops 
and by the cannon of the Boston, was raised above the tower of Aliiolani Hall.
The following is the text of the proclamation:

To the Hawaiian people:
At the request of the Provisional Government of the Hawaiian Islands, I hereby, in the name of the United States of 
America, assume protection of the Hawaiian Islands for the protection of life and property and occupation of public 
buildings and Hawaiian soil, so far as may be necessary for the purpose specified, but not interfering with the 
administration of public affairs by the Provisional Government. This action is taken pending, and subject to, 
negotiations at Washington.
							John L. Stevens,
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister 1'lenipotentiary of the United States. 

United States Legation, February 1,1893.  
Approved and executed by
G. C. Wiltse, Captain, U. S. N.,
Commanding the United States Ship Boston.

The wisdom of the Government's course in requesting the protectorate was justified by the result. A feeling of 
general relief spread itself throughout the community. The maintenance of the citizen soldiers, many of whom could 
ill spare the time and strength which they required, for their daily bread, had been somewhat burdensome. While 
these soldiers were willing to support the Government as long as necessary, most of them were glad to Lie able to 
return to the ordinary occupation. The power of the Provisional Government to maintain itself against all comers 
was never doubted for a moment, but it was naturally felt that the safest course was to be in constant readiness for an 
attack, even though the probability of ' any being made might be very small. As a matter of fact, it is not likely that 
an armed attempt to overthrow the Government would have been made.
On Sunday, the 5th of February, martial law was abrogated and the right of the

Return to Top

Terms of Use  |  UH Mānoa  |  UH System  |  Ask Us
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Library  |  2550 McCarthy Mall  |  Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 USA
808-956-7214 (Reference)  |  808-956-7203 (Circulation)  |  808-956-7205 (Administration)
808-956-5968 (fax)  |