Cortland Evening Standard, Tuesday, December 19, 1893.
HOUSE AND SENATE.
HOW THE PRESIDENT'S HAWAIIAN MESSAGE WAS RECEIVED.
Fight In the House Was Fast and Furious—Great Excitement Reigned
Over a Resolution by Mr. Boutelle—In the Senate the Reading of the Message Was Listened to Attentively—Secretary Herbert's Correspondence.
Over a Resolution by Mr. Boutelle—In the Senate the Reading of the Message Was Listened to Attentively—Secretary Herbert's Correspondence.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 19.—The fight over the Hawaiian matter in the house followed fast and furious on the heels of the reading of the message, which was delayed on account of the pension debate until 3:30 in the afternoon.
The first skirmish occurred over the question of reading the instructions to Minister Willis, which was insisted on by Mr. Boutelle of Maine.
The house finally agreed to this and immediately after the conclusion of the reading, Mr. Boutelle renewed the assault by bringing forward a resolution declaring the administration's policy inconsistent with the spirit of the constitution and the traditions of the government.
Great excitement reigned and in the confusion Mr. Boutelle failed to follow up his parliamentary advantage and was ruled out of order.
The resolution of Mr. Cockran for the appointment of a committee of seven to investigate the alleged invasion by the territorial integrity of the United States of the last administration also went down and a retaliatory objection of Mr. Boutelle. The confusion was so great that the sergeant-at-arms was called on to preserve order.
An adjournment was caused by the lack of a quorum on a motion to go into committee. Party feeling ran very high at the close of the session, and there is no doubt that the struggle will be continued as soon as opportunity offers in the house today.
In the Senate.
In the senate yesterday the long-looked-for message from the president as to the relations of this government and this country to the Hawaiian Islands was received and its reading was listened to most attentively.
A request by Mr. Chandler of New Hampshire for the reading of the instructions of Mr. Willis led to a debate of an hour's duration and they were finally read. The message and accompanying documents are now before the senate, the pending question being on the motion of Mr. Hoar of Massachusetts to refer them to the committee on foreign relations.
The senate also listened to a small speech by Senator Hansbrough of North
Dakota in advocacy of a bill for the destruction of the weed known as the Russian thistle or cactus.
A long speech by Mr. Dolph of Oregon in favor of the protective tariff system closed the day.
Secretary Herbert's Correspondence.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 19.—Secretary Herbert submits a mass of correspondence from naval officers who have been in command of the United States naval forces at Hawaii. It goes back to July, 1889, and is brought down to Admiral Irwin's brief confidential dispatch of Dec. 4. to Mr. Herbert, telling him that the provisional government had 1,100 men under arms.
The most interesting feature of the correspondence is that which begins the reports of Captain Wiltse, commander of the United States cruiser Boston. His first letter is written Oct. 12, 1892, at Honolulu. It states that there is a large and growing sentiment, particularly among the planters, in favor of annexation to the United States, but Captain Wiltse says that he is informed that the leaders "Don't think an opportune moment will arrive for some time to come. However everything seems to point toward an eventual request for annexation."
The bulk of Captain Wiltse' letters from that time forward deal largely with political phases.
On Nov. 1, 1892, Captain Wiltse reports that the queen's persistent refusal and obstinacy to appoint a cabinet may precipitate a crisis.
As late as Nov. 9, 1892, and Jan. 4, 1893, Captain Wiltse reports political affairs very quiet.
Then on Jan. 18, Captain Wiltse makes his report on the uprising and the landing of marines and sailors of the Boston under his command.
Captain Wiltse then recites, that the provisional government was established, the queen dethroned and the new authorities recognized by the United States minister.
Captain Wiltse reports to the secretary of the navy under date of Feb. 1 ult., that it is his intention to keep the United States naval forces on shore until the provisional government ask their withdrawal. He says:
"There can be no doubt that the prompt landing of the battalion has prevented bloodshed and saved life and property."
He also reports that the islands had been placed under the protection of the United States by formal declaration of Minister Stevens.
On Feb. 14 Secretary Tracy received a letter from John W. Foster, stating that the latter had telegraphed Minister Stevens commending his action: "So far as it lies within the scope of standing instructions to the legation and the naval commanders in Hawaiian waters, but disavowing it so far as it may appear to overstep that limit by setting the authority of the United States over that of the Hawaiian government."
The letter of Lieutenant Swinburne, who commanded the naval forces when they landed, gives a graphic description of that event. He says the royal colors flying over the palace were saluted by the battalion as it passed.
On Feb. 27, Admiral Skerrett, who had become the ranking naval officer at Honolulu , reports that, "the provisional government is quite able to administer the affairs of the present government, upheld as they are by the presence of our men ashore."
On March 29, Admiral Skerrett reports that he regrets to say that there are a number of persons in this (Honolulu) community, who are greatly opposed to the provisional government.
On April 6, Admiral Skerrett reports that he hauled down the United States flag from the government building by order of Mr. Blount.
He says there were no expression [sic] from the citizens. On June 28, Admiral Skerrett retracts some of his views concerning the stability and solidity of the provisional government. He says that the standing of the government is not considered to be all that had so impressed him formerly.
He adds: "It would appear that the iron heel of military law is really what serves to keep the provisional government in authority. There are a great many in the community, as well as others on the islands, who are opposed to this government."
Admiral Skerrett adds that it is believed that if the question of a provisional government was submitted to a popular vote the present officials would be ousted.
On Nov. 16, Admiral Skerrett reports that he has assured the British representative in Hawaii that the United States troops would be used to protect British as well as American citizens.
On Nov. 16, Secretary Herbert telegraphs to Admiral Skerrett, impressing upon him that in the absence of Minister Blount, the sole duties of the admiral are those of a naval officer. He is directed not to aid either party contending for the government at Honolulu.
Admiral Irwin's reports make up the balance of the naval correspondence. He confines himself strictly to naval affairs and at no time mentions political questions.
In a separate communication, the state department furnishes a great many of the confidential and cipher dispatches relating to Hawaii. These throw light on the reports of the naval commanders and show to what extent the naval and diplomatic authority in Hawaii were acting in response to the wishes of officials at Washington.
Following the translation of a cipher dispatch from Secretary Herbert to Admiral Skerrett, dated Aug. 16, 1893:
"I desire to impress upon you, in the absence of Minister Blount, that your sole duty is confined to that of an officer of the navy, although it is to be performed in the spirit of the instructions of Minister Blount, which have doubtless been seen by you.
"Protect American citizens and American property, but do not give aid, physical or moral, to either party contending for the government of Honolulu."
Admiral Skerrett informed Secretary Herbert that in a conversation between the admiral and the British representative at Honolulu the admiral had said that his authority extended only to the protection of Americans and to the British subjects.
To this Secretary Herbert replied with the following dispatch to Admiral Skerrett:
"My instructions misconstrued. You will afford to British subjects and property such protection as has always been accorded by vessels of American fleets to the subjects of her Brittanic majesty and their property under like circumstances in the absence of British vessels."
The naval correspondence communicated by the president contains among other documents Admiral Sterrett's accounts of taking down the American flag at Honolulu under instructions of Commander Blount, and is dated April 4, 1893. He says:
"On March 31, I was called by Mr. Blount for a special interview, on which occasion by his directions, I was ordered to withdraw the Boston's force from the shore, and at 11 a. m., on April 1, to haul down the United State's flag from the government building which was to be replaced by the provisional government hoisting the Hawaiian flag. These orders were promptly executed as directed. There was not the remotest evidence shown by the crowd of natives and others about the government building of any feeling, no demonstration of any description."
The Hawaiian Message.
The president's message on Hawaiian matters, long delayed and eagerly watched for, was sent to congress yesterday along with the papers relating to the case. It is enough to say in condemnation of it that it confirms the justice of all the criticisms which have been made on the president's course and establishes all the charges which have been brought against him—and his spiteful, renegade secretary of the state—of bad faith to a friendly power, secret plotting to overthrow it, an underhanded course towards congress and the people, a rank violation of the constitution and usurpation of powers which belong to congress alone.
The president admits that while he sent Minister Willis as the accredited representative of this nation to the provisional government of Hawaii—a government which had been recognized not only by the United States but by the other great powers of the earth—and while Mr. Willis presented his credentials to [provisional] President Dole, addressing him as his "great and good friend" and professing the most amicable sentiments and the most earnest wish for the prosperity of the island, he bore with him secret instructions from the great Cleveland to conspire with the adherents of a rotten monarchy to overthrow the very government and the very president to whom he was accredited and to whom he addressed these lying and treacherous words, "I instructed Minister Willis," says the president, "to advise the queen and her supporters of my desire to aid in the restoration," this too concerning a dissolute woman who was no longer queen, but had been driven from power on account of her outrageous conduct personally and politically.
Having perfected the conspiracy, "you will then" says Secretary Gresham, for Cleveland to Willis, inform the provisional government, and say "that they are expected to promptly relinquish" possession to Liliuokalani!
When President Dole reads this confession of treachery on the part of the president of the United States, his first act ought to be to kick our lying minister off the island, and send him home to the man who taught him the lie and who has disgraced this great nation as it has never before been disgraced diplomatically since it was born.
If the dethroned queen had accepted the terms which King Grover proposed, she would probably have been put back on her throne before this, but whether she doubted Grover's ability to do all that Willis promised, or whether she believed that this dishonorable diplomat would lie to her as he had already done to President Dole, or whether she feared that the provisional government would prove too strong, even for Willis, Grover and herself, she declined to "yield her acquiescence," as the message puts it, to the terms proposed—and in this she was wise.
The message blames the Harrison administration, blames Minister Stevens, repeats the statements of Paramount blount—which have been proven false over and over again by an overwhelming body of evidence—and shows that its author is irritated at being balked in his unconstitutional plot in behalf of rotten royalty, and mad and humiliated at being hauled out into the open by congress, and his own and Gresham's flunkeyism and chicanery and jealousy of the patriotic policy of President Harrison exposed to the American people.
Grover Cleveland never stood so poorly in the estimation of even his own party as he does to-day in connection with this Hawaiian complication. Every Democrat who has any proper patriotism, or national pride, or contempt for trickery and treachery in high places, is open in condemnation of the president's course, and even patronage can buy him but few defenders.
Why the Bell Didn't Ring.
It was noticed that the [Cortland] fire bell failed to work yesterday afternoon when the alarm of fire was rung in. The reason was as follows: There is a battery of eighty-four cells in the engine house which operates the bell and the indicator. Once each week a certain number of these cells have to be taken out and cleaned. It takes about a half hour to do it. Mr. Frank A. Bickford was at work at these cells yesterday when the alarm from box 142 was rung in. There was strength enough in the part of the battery that was in place to strike a single stroke, but though the bell responded no further the indicator worked perfectly.
Mr. Bickford heard the stroke of the bell and the rattle of the indicator and as soon as the box registered on the indicator he rushed to the front and rung the bell by the rope, so that there was very little delay.
It was an accident that would perhaps happen only once in a lifetime to have an alarm ring in when those cells were being cleaned. But if it should ever happen again it will probably be a repetition of this same occurrence, for when the cells are being cleaned a man is always in front of the indicator at work at them, and he can catch the first click of this as plainly as the sound of the bell, so that there is no danger of a failure of the alarm to be noted by some one.
—There will be a regular meeting of the F. and A. M. to-night.
—There will be a regular meeting of the John L. Lewis lodge to-night.
—Mr. O. A. Kinney of McGrawville has been elected trustee of the Cortland Savings bank.
—We omit our story on the third page to-day to give place to the full text of President Cleveland's Hawaiian message.
—A dog, which had been running up and down Main-st., barking at teams and nearly caused several runaways, was shot yesterday afternoon by Chief Sager.
—Dr. Solon P. Sackett, the oldest physician of Ithaca, died yesterday of Bright's disease. Dr. Sackett was born in 1818 and practiced medicine there for 37 years. He leaves a widow and four children.
—Necessary medicines will be dispensed till April 1, 1894, from both of C. F. Brown's drug stores free to such families as are unable to pay for them, upon the written prescription of their physicians, or upon the order of the King's Daughters.
—While running to the fire yesterday afternoon Mr. E. E. Price caught his left hand in a part of the hose cart near the reel and it was severely lacerated. Dr. F. D. Reece dressed the wound, after which Mr. Price went to the fire and worked with the rest of the boys.
—Dr. F. O. Hyatt had an insurance of $2,500 in the Continental Insurance Co. for the house at 176 South Main St., which was partially consumed [by fire] yesterday afternoon. Charles R. Roethig had $800 insurance on his furniture with F. L. Bosworth in the Norwich Union Co. and Patrick Kernan had $1,000 on his furniture in the Five County Insurance Co., for which F. M. Johnston is agent.
—The members of Vesta lodge, I. O. O. F., were yesterday recrashing [dancing on] their floor and in other ways beautifying their fine rooms in the Second National bank building, the occasion being the Christmas party to be given by the lodge to their friends on Friday evening.
—The man who spends his money liberally for Christmas presents is doubly a philanthropist; he makes the receivers of the presents happy and adds his money to that in active circulation, thus benefitting everybody, himself included.—Norwich Sun.