University of Hawaii at Manoa Library

Home: The Annexation Of Hawaii: A Collection Of Document



hawnpac@hawaii.edu
(808) 956-8264

Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

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

              834			HAWAIIAN   ISLANDS.			
Legislature. That is, his influence exerted through these agents became paramount. He could accomplish, against 
his ministry even, almost any measure he chose.
Q. Bid lie appoint all these officers to which you referred?
A. Not directly, but the governors, being appointed for four years, and being his favorites, would appoint any 
officials he suggested, and as a matter of fact Kalakaua nominated, directly or indirectly, the mass of the officials in 
this country.
Q. Do you mean to say that by the appointment of governors who were personal friends of his there came to be 
appointments of subordinate officers who were in sympathy with the King in his political views and his general 
wishes?
A. I do. and more especially to carry out the money votes which he was very eager for in order to pay his debts, 
the expenses of his tour abroad, of his coronation, of the military embassy to Samoa, and other extravagances 
which every respectable person thought very unwise. I recommended in my report to the Legislature a change in 
this respect, i. e., in the qualifications of candidates to the Legislature, excluding judges, etc. Another cause, hardly 
second in importance, was the matter of the removal of ministries. I have said that up to that time there had been 
twenty-six changes of cabinets. It had unsettled the community so greatly and gave opportunity for what is called 
"backstairs cabinets" by adventurers and others that there was very little stability in the Government. It was almost 
impossible for any ministry to carry out any settled policy, certainly any policy that did not please the King.
Q. You changed the constitution so as to guard against that improper mode of the appointment of inferior 
officers?
A. It forbade any person being appointed to office during the whole time for which he was elected, and also 
forbade the election of anybody who held any office under the Government.
Q.- Then you cut off that power of the King in the use of his patronage?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. As to the appointment of nobles, the idea was to take that away from him?
A. The nobles were elected by what was supposed to be the wealthy and influential class.
Q. That was taken away from the King and placed among the wealthy and influential classes?
A. Yes, so that they could have representation in the Legislature.
Q. Under that a minority of the natives only could vote for nobles?
A. Only a minority of them could vote; it gave them great dissatisfaction.
Q. Any other changes of consequence?
A. I think not.
Q. You say this new manner of selecting nobles gave the natives great dissatisfaction?
A. It did. The first election held under the constitution was very satisfactory. The natives voted well. Good men 
were elected. Then they were told that the white people had advantages, by reason of their wealth, over them, and 
this idea at election time, that they were put in an inferior position, was always forced upon them.
Q. Will you be kind enough to state how this new constitution was established?
A. The two events which brought this matter to a culminating point

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)  |  library@hawaii.edu