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Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

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               HAWAIIAN  ISLANDS.					1175

The present constitution, formed in 1887, was, in a manner, forced on the King by a delegation of the prominent 
residents at this place, and as I was informed by a former minister of the late cabinet, the Hon. John Austin, that if 
the King had not signed the present constitution and given it his support, a Republic would have been declared, and 
at that time a sworn league composed of about 4,000 white men residing on the different islands were back of this 
movement; opposition to it would have been useless, as the respectable element were determined to have a liberal 
constitution or else a Republic.
The constitution that the natives and the bad half-white element (under the leadership of Mr. Bush) desire is the one 
just presented to the legislature and indorsed by the King for their consideration, and is somewhat similar to the old 
constitution existing before the present one, and is objected to strongly by the American and English element, as it in 
a manner gives the King absolute power to appoint the nobles of the legislature, instead of their being ejected as they 
are at present; and also would enable the ignorant natives to control the situation through the ballot, freehold 
qualification being waived, all of which would be highly prejudicial to American interest.
The fact is to form a new reactionary constitution for these Islands and restore arbitrary power to the King would not 
only be highly disastrous to American interest, but to the prosperity of these Islands, and the people also; but the 
Anglo-Saxon race here, with intelligence and civilization behind them, move irresistibly forward on their march to 
democracy, and it is only a question of time when a more liberal government will be formed; as the sentiment is 
universally expressed that, should the present King die, or the new constitution be formed, giving him absolute 
power, go into effect, he would then be dethroned and a republic declared, and should the sworn league that existed 
in 1887 be reorganized they could control these Islands without any outside assistance whatever, it being composed 
entirely of whites, and all natives being strictly excluded.
I must mention here that the English residents at this place, although numerically much less than the Americans, 
have one great advantage over them, whether acting politically or otherwise, and that is, whenever there is any 
matter that is of advantage to them, politically, commercially, or otherwise, they bury all social or personal feeling 
and act together as a unit, thus giving them a great advantage over the Americans in any matter that concerns their 
Unfortunately for the interest of the United States the Americans here are composed of two parties or factions, 
between whom there seems to be no feeling of unity, socially, politically, or otherwise.
One of these factions is that composed of the old Puritanical stock, whose ideas are very rigid regarding social 
proprieties, observance of the Sabbath, etc., and whom, I must say, are rather intolerant of the other Americans, who 
may he termed the society set of these islands; and although they possess an equal degree of intelligence, brains, 
etc., as their more rigid brethren, they are looked upon by them as being rather frivolous and not setting a proper 
example to the native element, whereas they take as much interest in furthering the views of our Government as the 
other faction, although their strong social differences prevent them from acting together, like the English, and 
placing American interests at a great disadvantage whenever a question of political or commercial advantage arises 
between American and English interests.
Mr. C. W. Ashford, ex-attorney-general of the late cabinet, changed his politics previous to the dissolution of the 
late cabinet, and. in doing so lost the confidence of both parties; consequently he is eliminated as a factor for 
producing further trouble, as be did formerly.
Mr. R. Wilcox, another great agitator, still possesses great influence among the native clement, and, although lately 
in public speeches he advocates a quiet settlement of difficulties, he is not to be trusted.
At present the leading spirit of the disturbing element is the Hon. J. E. Bush, a member of the Legislature, but as he 
is not a military man therefore I do not think he would prove a successful leader in case of any disturbance, as what 
is termed a revolution at this place would be called a street riot in the United States, and a few hundred men led by a 
determined man could easily quell any such so-called revolution, and one such lesson to them would be highly 
beneficial to their future welfare.
Although the different representatives of the different governments here apprehend serious trouble I do not think the 
situation alarming as a new constitution can not be formed unless it passes the present Legislature, then it has to 
remain in abeyance and again be brought before the next session before going into force, and the better men of both 
parties being opposed to such a change I judge it will be quietly settled without resort to force.
The only trouble that may occur is that if the mob attempt to coerce the Legislature to vote for the new constitution, 
our minister, Hon. John L. Stevens, and the English commissioner, Maj. Wodehouse, propose to land the men from 
the Ameri-

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