University of Hawaii at Manoa Library

Home: The Annexation Of Hawaii: A Collection Of Document

Hawaii Organic Act: Congressional debates on Hawaii Organic Act

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

hard labor " until he should consent to return to his master and consent to
serve according to law;" and Sayewiz was sentenced to pay a fine of $5 and
costs, and to be imprisoned at hard labor until said fine and costs be paid.
The supreme court decided that this sentence should be enforced;
that the imprisonment of those people was not a penal, but a civil
action.  Under this sentence those men could be kept in jail for
life, because they could be imprisoned until they would return to
their service.   This man, who was beaten and bruised, refused to
go back and was therefore sentenced until he would go back.
	Mr. ALLEN.   I should like to ask the Senator with what of-
fenses these men were charged?
	Mr. PETTIGREW. I read a statement of the offenses.
	Mr. ALLEN.    I did not hear it.    I thought the Senator was
reading the syllabus of the opinion of the court.   What was the
specific crime with which the men were charged?
	Mr. PETTIGREW.   A violation of the contract to labor for
three years upon one of those sugar plantations.
	Mr. ALLEN.   Declining to labor?
	Mr. PETTIGREW.   Simply declining to labor, and one of them
showed that he had been punched and bruised and pounded by his
taskmaster, and he preferred to go to jail rather than to return to
such service.   I should add that these were white men.
	Mr. ALLEN.   I should like to ask the Senator if he has a copy
of the Hawaiian statutes which are in force on the subject of con
tract labor?
	Mr. PETTIGREW.   Yes; I have the Hawaiian statutes here.
	Mr. ALLEN.   I shall be glad to have the Senator insert those
statutes in his remarks.
	Mr. PETTIGREW.   I will insert the sections which apply to
this case.   They are as follows:
SEC. 1417. Any person who has attained the age of 20 years may bind him-
self or herself, by written contract, to serve another in any art, trade, pro-
fession, or employment for any term not exceeding five years.
SEC. 1418. All engagements of service contracted in a foreign country to
be executed in this shall be binding here: Provided, however, That all such
engagements made for a longer period than ten years shall be reduced to
that limit, to count from the day of the arrival of the person bound in this
SEC. 1419. If any person lawfully bound to service shall willfully absent
himself from such service without the leave of his master, any district or
police justice of the republic, upon complaint made under oath by the mas-
ter, or by anyone on his behalf, may issue a warrant to apprehend such per-
son and bring him before said justice; and if the complaint shall be main-
tained, the justice shall order such offender to be restored to his master, and
he shall be compelled to serve the remainder of the time for which he origi-
nally contracted.
SEC. 1420. If any such person shall refuse to serve according to the provi-
sions of the last section, or the terms of his contract, his master may apply to
any district or police justice where he may reside, who shall be authorized,
by warrant or otherwise, to send for the person so refusing and, if such re-
fnsal be persisted in, to commit such person to prison, there to remain, at
hard labor, until he will consent to serve according to law.  And in case such
person so bound as aforesaid shall have returned to the service of such mas-	
ter in obedience to such order of such justice, and shall again willfully absent
himself from such service without the leave of his master, such district or
police justice may fine such offender not exceeding $5 for the first offense, and
for every subsequent offense thereafter not exceeding $10, and in default of
payment thereof such offender shall be imprisoned at hard labor until such fine
is paid: and at the expiration of such imprisonment such justice shall order
such offender to be returned to his master to serve for the remainder of such
original term of service.
	Mr. CULLOM.   Will the Senator allow me to interrupt him a 
	Mr. PETTIGREW.   I will.
	Mr. CULLOM.   I simply want to say that the purpose of this
bill is to repeal all such laws as those, and then to make the bill so
very thorough in that regard as to render it impossible that such
conduct shall be carried on toward those people.
	Mr. ALLEN.   With the permission of the Senator from South
Dakota, I will say I have looked at section 10 of this bill, which I
apprehend is the section to which the Senator from Illinois refers,
and I do not think the amendment offered is broad enough to cover
the idea of the Senator from Illinois.
	Mr. CULLOM.   We have been trying to get it broad enough
for two or three days.
	Mr. CARTER.   I suggest that it is impossible, unless the Sen-
ator from Nebraska will speak louder, to hear what he says.
	Mr. ALLEN.   I was saying that I do not think the amendment
which I find in section 10 is broad enough to cover this question.
It strikes me that it might all be covered in a very few words by
referring to the sections of the Hawaiian statutes which the Sen-
ator from South Dakota |Mr. PETTIGREW] has read, and enacting
that those sections shall be repealed which provide that contracts
for labor which are enforcible by penal statutes or by enforced
servitude shall be annulled, and that hereafter there shall be no
involuntary service.
	Mr. PETTIGRE W.   I have offered such an amendment.
	Mr. CULLOM.   I was about to say that the amendment of the
Senator from South Dakota, to which he was speaking in part, I
supposed covered exactly what the Senator from Nebraska sug-
gests; and, so far as I am concerned, I am in favor of adopting it.
	Mr. ALLEN. It does partially. 
	Mr. CULLOM.    I suppose the amendment the Senator refers to
goes far enough  to absolutely prohibit  any such thing in the
future; and if it does not, I am for an amendement that will do it.
	Mr. ALLEN.   If I may be indulged for a moment by the Sen-
ator from South Dakota, I wish to say that I have not had an
opportunity for the last few days to be present in the Senate.   I
find that there is an objectionable feature in the very first section
of the bill, a sentence that might be construed to include exactly
what the Senator from South Dakota is now endeavoring to get
rid of, and, with his indulgence, I want to read it.   It is as fol-
SEC. 1. That the phrase "the laws of Hawaii," as used in this act without
qualifying words, shall mean the constitution and laws of the republic of
Hawaii, including regulations baring the effect of law and the decisions of
the supreme court in force on the 12th day of August, 1898.
	Mr. PETTIGREW.   I wish to say to the Senator that those
sections are, as I understand, specifically repealed by this bill.   If
the Senator will allow me to go on I will give my reasons for of-
fering the amendment which I offer, since I am discussing this
	Mr. ALLEN.   Very well.
	Mr. PETTIGREW.   I think this bill specifically repeals those
sections of the Hawaiian laws which I have been reading.   Is not
that correct, I ask the Senator from Illinois?
	Mr. CULLOM.   Yes; there is no doubt about it.
	Mr. PETTIGREW.   That is my opinion; but when I found
that the supreme court of Hawaii had decided that these labor
contracts were civil contracts and that this imprisonment was a
civil process, I felt that it was necessary that something more spe-
cific and definite should be done than simply to repeal those sec-
tions. The committee agreed to an amendment which did do
more specific and definite, but it also said that remedy
might be had in a civil action against a breach of one of these
slave contracts.    That I was not satisfied with, and therefore I
brought in my amendment.   I am not content that those men
should bring in under our flag, knowing that it is in violation of
our laws, 30,000 slave laborers, and then that there should be no
remedy under heaven to prevent it, and that the Congress of the
United States shall stand committed to the proposition that the
planters may sue those people by civil process. Therefore I brought
in the amendment.    I have felt it my duty to expose these things,
because the Committee on Foreign Relations chose to bring this
bill here with section 10 in it, which was clearly intended to con-
tinue such contracts f.or slave labor until they expired.
	Further than that, Mr. President, a year ago, when we-tried to
repeal the slave-labor clauses in the Hawaiian law, one of the
commissioners we sent to Hawaii, and one of the framers of this
bill, stood on this floor and objected to and prevented the repeal
of those slave-labor clauses of that law.  Since he did that 30,000 
slave laborers have been taken into Hawaii under our flag.   There-
fore I determined to put the record of these infamous facts in the
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD and let the people of the United States
pass upon this question.
I now read a clipping from the Hawaiian Independent, which
was sent me by Mr. Joesph O. Carter, whose character is above
reproach; who is one of the few exceedingly able men of high char-
acter who descended from missionary stock in those islands.   Most
of them are a tough lot.   I remember when the proposition first
came here during Harrison's Administration for the annexation of
Hawaii those missionary sugar planters signed a deliberate lie
and sent it to the Senate of the United States to influence our ac-
tion--Thurston and several of those people signed a deliberate
falsehood; they knew it was false; they admitted afterwards that
it was false, and wanted to know what difference it made.   They
undertook to rush through the treaty annexing those islands in
last days of Harrison's Administration by sending out a de-
liberate falsehood, signed by the sons of missionaries whose fathers
went to Hawaii to convert the inhabitants to Christianity and
whose sons have stolen all the lands of those people and their gov-
ernment beside.
	Now, let us see what they have been doing since our flag went
up.   They have been importing slave labor; arid, what is more,
the pillars of the Congregational Church in Hawaii, the sons of
those missionaries, own stock in the Ewa plantation, and they
have been boasting that they were importing Asiatics who were
heathens so that they could come under the blessings of the in-
fluences of Christianity.    Last year they imported a Buddhist
priest and set up a Buddhist temple, because they said it made
the laborers more quiet, attending church every Sunday, while
the planters went on with this performance.
	The article in the Hawaiian Independent to which I have referred
is as follows:
We daily see a large number of Galicians in the chain gang working at the
quarries and on the roads.   They are white men; they are the class that our
philanthropist of the official organ wants to make the sinew and bone of these
islands as "small (d---- small) farmers," and yet they prefer to remain under
the tender care of Mr. Dole's jailer to returning to slavery on a plantation.
	There have been a number of comments in regard to the Galician laborers

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)  |