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tops of the surrounding buildings were occupied by government sharpshooters, whose rapid and accurate fire soon disconcerted the enemy.
At this exciting juncture the sound of the drum and fife was heard approaching in the streets, and an armed force of marines from the United States steamship Adams appeared. A retreat was made by the insurgents to the king's “bungalow,” or private residence, adjoining the palace grounds. This building they succeeded in holding throughout the day. As night approached, and as more and perhaps really severe fighting was expected in order to dislodge the insurgents, it was deemed prudent to land the remaining forces on board the Adams. This having been done, soon after the insurgents - disheartened, and seeing themselves surrounded by the government forces and all escape cut off
decided to surrender. In this united action of the American minister and Commander Woodward, of the Adams, strict neutrality was maintained; and not the slightest movement was made by the force of marines which could be construed as
giving military aid either to the government forces, or
or to the insurgents. The sole motive in landing these troops was that they might be held in readiness to protect the lives of Americans, should they be menaced, and to prevent the destruction of American property. In acting thus prudently, the commander of the forces of the United States followed the general custom adopted in such crises by all civilized nations, to protect its citizens and their property in foreign lands.
In the spring of the year 1890 the International American Conference was convened in Washington. At the suggestion of President Harrison, and in pursuance of a resolution of Congress, an invitation was extended to the Hawaiian king to send a delegate; and, although the delegate thus sent failed to reach Washington until after the close of the Conference, the incident is significant, as showing not only the good feeling which existed between the two governments, but also the sentiment at Washington, which regarded the Hawaiian Islands as essentially a member of the family of American nations. In December of the same year, King Kalakaua determined to pay a second visit to the United States. It is not recorded that this time the European powers repeated their protest against the plan. His Majesty was received at San Francisco with the honors due his rank. But almost immediately after his arrival he was stricken with mortal illness; and on the twentieth day of January, 1891, he died at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. The body of the king was returned to Honolulu, on board the United States steamship Charleston, and reached that port nine days after his death.
Hawaii now had reached a crisis in its history. The character and desires of the heir apparent had been disclosed in the revolt of 1889, when she had sought to elevate herself to absolute power at the expense of her brother's sovereignty. Almost immediately upon the reception of the news of the king's death she was proclaimed queen, January, 1891, under the title of Liliuokalani. On ascending the throne the princess took the oath to support and maintain the existing constitution of the country. But yet there were many who, aware of her decided views
in regard to royal sovereignty, felt that this oath had been taken with a mental reservation. That this is true, or that the queen disregarded her official oath, is shown by the occurrences which followed.
Scarcely had the crown become settled securely upon her head, when the queen began to show those sentiments of absolutism of which she formerly had been suspected. Under the constitution of 1887 the queen's ministers could be removed only by impeachment or by vote of the legislature. It became evident that it was the endeavor of the queen to force the resignation of her ministers, for the purpose, it was largely believed, of filling their places with men who would be more pliant to her will. In less than a month after her accession, John L. Stevens — then minister resident of the United States at the Hawaiian Islands wrote to Mr. Blaine, President Harrison's Secretary of State, in terms which showed the intensity of popular feeling.
“ The present ministry has been but a few months in office," wrote Minister Stevens ; “and the best men of the Islands, including
nearly all the principal business men, wish the present ministry to remain, who by the present constitution are chiefly independent of the crown, and cannot be removed except by impeachment or by the votes of the legislature. Under her extreme notions of sovereignty and the influence of her bad advisers the queen is trying to force the resignation of the ministers, and to get a cabinet composed of her tools. So far the ministers have refused to resign, and the best public opinion increases in their support. Should the Su. preme Court sustain the right of the ministers, which is very clearly and strongly intrenched in the constitution, the ministers will be supported by such a united determination of the business men and other better citizens of the Islands as will force the queen to yield. If she should still persist, and attempt to form a ministry of her own without the consent of the legislature, she will surely imperil her throne.”
The opinion of Mr. Stevens was not, however, sustained by that of the Supreme Court. A decision was rendered which declared the positions of the cabinet ministers to have