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Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

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              800	HAWAIIAN  ISLANDS.

ready, and, concluded the speaker, from what I see here to-day I know that we are ready to put our foot 
down.    (Applause.)
Hon. C. K. Bishop said: This is unquestionably an important meeting, the most important ever held in 
Honolulu. I see before me mechanics, merchants, professional men. They are not here for amusement, but 
because they feel that the course of affairs calls for prompt and determined action. We should discuss matters 
in a peaceable manner "without any threats; we do not need any threats. The fact that so many men have 
come here shows that we do not need any threats. I came here in 1846, became naturalized in 1849, and have 
lived under five kings. We thought we had really a liberal constitution, because those kings did not encroach 
upon the rights of their subjects. But we have found out within the last few years that our constitution is 
defective, partly on account of bad advice to the King, hut largely on his own account. The King has 
encroached on our rights. We have had very few mass meetings, hut when we have one like this I believe it 
means either a new constitution or one with material reforms, which I am sure we shall have. I come here as 
a Hawaiian, not for any class or clique. If it was any class or clique, I would not come here at all. (Applause.)
Mr. Henry Waterhouse spoke in native in substance as follows:
Fellow-citizens of Hawaii nei-Hon. C. R. Bishop says the constitution is full of faults. If so, let us 
have a new constitution. Therefore, let us stand by the resolutions. We shall see from those who stand 
by these resolutions who are the friends of the Hawaiian people. My counsel is to stand firm and go 
before the King without fear, and make our demands fearlessly.
Mr. R. Jay Green said-: Gentlemen, fellow-citizens, friends, neighbors, and brothers: I was not aware 
that I should be asked to speak here or I should have put on my other coat. But the boys left mo to 
come here, and I had to follow them, and all I want to say is that I expect to keep on following the 
boys. (Applause.)
Hon. L. A. Thurston said: Gentlemen, you and I have been waiting a long time for this day, hut it has 
come. It is a long lane that has no turning, but we have come to the turning of our lane. There are 
persons here to speak to all of you, but I am here to speak as a Hawaiian. My ancestors came here in 
the reign of Kamehameha I. I was born and brought up here, and I mean to die here. Hawaii is good 
enough for me. I speak for Hawaiians, because you foreigners can speak for yourselves and can look 
out for yourselves, hut many of these Hawaiians are ignorant and have been deserted by their leaders. 
I am the representative of the constituency of Molokai, and spent some weeks there last summer, and 
I wish to say that the Hawaiians on Molokai are with us to a man. It may be that this letter from His 
Majesty was meant to head oft' these resolutions. I remember reading somewhere of a man who was 
going to shoot a coon, and the coon said, "Don't shoot; I'll come down." The King is the coon and this 
meeting the gun. [Great applause.] History repeats itself. We all remember the King's message to the 
Legislature in 1884, recommending economy, and asking that it should begin with His Majesty's 
privy purse. That message was accepted in good faith, and there was a grand torchlight procession to 
the palace to thank him-I carried a torch in that procession myself -but it was followed by 
appropriations enormously in excess of the revenue. And again, in 188(5, came another message for 
retrenchment, but this time it didn't wash. There was a meeting during the Moreno time to protest 
against bad government, and into the midst of it someone came and said, "It's all right; the King has 
appointed a new ministry," and there were three cheers for the King, and that was the last of it. Are 
there any cheers to-day? (Loud cries of No! No!) The King was .taken at his word. I noticed that 
there were no cheers proposed for the King to-day. It is not sufficient to have the King accept these 
resolutions; we must have a new constitution, and must have it now. A constitution is a contract, and 
if the King and the people both agree to change it, there is no violation of constitutional rights and no 
revolution. If we have let things come to this pitch, and take the King at his word, it is to rely on 
wind. Let a change in the constitution be the first and last and only request, if necessary, but let that 
be the one to be insisted on till the last moment.
Hon. Paul Isenberg said that on many points he agreed to these resolutions, but as far as the new 
constitution was concerned he was somewhat doubtful. Let it be done legally. The subject had been 
broached the previous day of his entering a new ministry. If so, he would not be a party to pushing a 
new constitution through in a hurry. It would not be legal unless carried by the Legislature. (Dr. C. T. 
Rodgers: What assembly gave us our present constitution?) We could have an extra session to pass the 
constitution, and another extra session to ratify it. (Hisses and applause.) He hoped all would be 
peaceful and not hasty. (A voice: We have been waiting six years.) If so, we could very well wait 
another. (Great uproar and cries of "No, no." Dr. Emerson: "We won't wait another year." A voice: 
"We mean to have it now." Cries of " Sit down.") The speaker took his seat.

*See "Footnote to Hawaiian History," p. 27.

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