University of Hawaii at Manoa Library

Home: The Annexation Of Hawaii: A Collection Of Document
(808) 956-8264

Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

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

              990	HAWAIIAN   ISLANDS.
and the only way to stop smuggling. Several foreign citizens, now strong supporters of the Provisional 
Government and strong annexationists, whose names are in every body's month, have been more or less connected 
with opium smuggling, and although the Provisional Government itself had nothing to do with it, I am sure their 
chartered vessel, the Claudine, on which the commissioners went after the revolution, although manned by none 
but picked supporters of the Provisional Government and none but white men, returned chockful of opium.
Anyhow, as I said before, the opium bill was supported by some of the best white members, strong 
annexationists. I now come to the lottery bill. I believe you have seen the petition. I have seen it, as it was brought 
to me to sign, which I declined to do. You will notice that it was signed by nearly every shopkeeper in Honolulu. 
The missionaries proper did not sign it.
I, for one, as a Frenchman, had no particular dislike to the bill, accustomed as we are in Europe to the working 
of it. Portugal, Spain, Italy, Austria, Prussia, and other continental nations have state lotteries, France has no state 
lottery, but any one for a charitable or national purpose can be authorized by the Government to draw a lottery.
The City of Paris, the Credit Foncier, have drawings of their bonds every three months. Furthermore, the 
Louisiana lottery is still in existence in the United States and $1,000 worth of its tickets are sold here monthly by 
the employes of some of our best mercantile firms. The natives were all in favor of it. Chinese lotteries are in full 
swing every day in Honolulu, and are patronized by foreigners as well as natives. Why in presence of a petition in 
favor of the bill should the Queen, who had vetoed no bill during the session, veto this particular bill?
Now, the new constitution that the Queen wanted to promulgate is supposed to have precipitated the crisis. The 
constitution of 1887 in partially disfranchising the natives and giving a vote to all foreigners, without even a 
residence clause, has always been distasteful to them. This you will readily understand. They wanted the old 
Kamehameha constitution back, the one indeed under which everyone in the islands except the natives themselves 
became rich and prospered.
When it was abrogated in 1887, taxation, even with the acknowledged extravagance of Mr. Gibson's regime, 
was only ¾ of 1 per cent on the value of real estate.
In the year 1887 only it had to be raised to 1 percent-a low enough rate you will admit. But even these low 
rates never have been paid, mostly by the planters, who always managed to have their friends appointed as tax 
assessors, and I have known plantations which only paid the rate on their income, or dividends, instead of on their 
Even then another fraud has been constantly committed with the tacit consent of even Mr. Gibson's 
administration. It consisted in this: Declarations of value have to be made on July 1, of each year; during the last 
part of June all the available vessels in port would be loaded and cleared at the custom-house before the evening 
of the 30th of June. Thousands of tons yearly escape taxation this way.
Returning to the new constitution, the queen was constantly pestered by the native leaders to promulgate a new 
Her advisers, even Mr. Wilson, who, as you probably heard, had a great deal of influence with the Queen, 
entreated her to give up the idea. Her excuse was in the constant verba1 and written demands of her people, who 
as a whole have no objection to personal government

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 Digital Collections Disclaimer and Copyright Information