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Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

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              830	HAWAIIAN   ISLANDS
Q. Prior to that there was no property qualification? 
A. No.
Q. This constitution of 1804 then came by virtue of a proclamation of the King?
A. It did. The people acquiesced in it after awhile, and, although there was a good deal of 
dissatisfaction felt, the people voted under it and agreed to it, and a good many believed that it was 
wise-that is, making the Legislature of one house and not of two.
Q. Prior to the constitution of 18ti4 how were nobles appointed?
A. By the King.
Q. What support had the King in reducing the franchise of the native population of the islands?
A. He had the support of his cabinet, and I think that is about all.
Q. What was the disposition of the more intelligent people here?
A. They considered it very arbitrary. The King at that time was very much opposed to the growth of 
American influence and republican ideas. He was very bitterly opposed to the influence of the Americans, 
and especially American missionaries. His aim was to strengthen the royal prerogatives.
Q, But if he cut off the number of native votes by property qualifications would he accomplish any 
addition to his strength?
A. He had one house then only, and there would be no negative action on any affirmative action of 
his. It was not necessary for him to have a majority of each house.
Q. Were the bodies equal in number?
A. I think not; I think the representative body was larger. It was proportioned according to the 
population of the districts.
Q. Under the constitution of 1804 did you have a property qualification ?
A. We did for a while.
Q. How long?
A. For several elections. It was finally eradicated by amendments to the constitution.
Q. In what year?
A. I can only speak from memory, but certainly before 1870, but I certainly can not say without 
reference to books.
Q. How was that brought about? What state of opinion brought that about?
A. It was mainly the feeling that this was an encroachment. Public sentiment did not feel the necessity 
for it. Demagogism was then not prevalent. I think the Hawaiians voted better then than they do now. 
That is, demoralizing influences had not set in.
Q. At that time, I suppose, it was somewhat of a struggle between the King and the people ?
A. Yes, precisely.
Q. And they were attempting to recover a part of the power they had lost under that constitution ?
A. Yes.
Q. I see in the compilation of your laws, page 220, section 780, the following:
For the island of Hawaii, eight, that is to say:
One for the district of North Kona, beginning at and including Keahualono, and extending to and 
including Puuohao; one for the district of South Kona, beginning at Puuohao and extending to and 
including Kaheawai.
One for the district of Kau.	
One for the district of Puna.	
Two for the district of Hilo.	

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