Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

phia and Adams were a feint, at once repeated this conversation to President Dole, by telephone. That official ordered his defensive forces everywhere to keep their positions and stand firm. After a short time more the crisis passed, the troops drawn up on the decks of the war-ships were quietly dispersed, and for the first time in many days the people of Honolulu went to sleep that night peacefully in their beds.

A few days later came the news that President Cleveland, on learning of the firm refusal of the Provisional Government to surrender the sovereignty of the Islands back to the queen, had abandoned his endeavor, and had referred the entire matter to Congress.

ANNEXATION. THE attitude assumed by President Cleveland in the Hawaiian matter did not, upon the whole, find approval in the United States. The discussion, in general, was divided upon party lines. There were those, it is true, in the Republican party, who, being opposed to any further extension of our territorial boundaries, heartily approved his position, while there were others in his own party who, without regard to the question of annexation, as heartily disapproved of the attempt to abrogate the Provisional Government and restore the fallen queen. Whether Minister Willis received actual orders from Washington to attempt to carry his instructions by that display of arms, or whether that feint was a plan of his own device, no one will perhaps ever know. A diligent search of the archives of the State Department fails to disclose copies of any secret instructions issued to Minister Willis to that effect. If any such instructions were issued, no record of them has been preserved. *

A letter from Assistant Secretary of State Moore to the author establishes this fact.

It soon now became known that President Cleveland, before receiving the complete acquiescence of the ex-queen to his conditions, had commended this subject to the extended powers and wide discretion of the Congress.” And from this time on the President appears to have relinquished all active interest in the control of the relations between the United States and the Hawaiian Islands, and contented himself with simply transmitting to Congress from time to time the routine correspondence between the Secretary of State and his minister.

The relations of Minister Willis with the Hawaiian government, naturally, were greatly strained. In his strictly diplomatic relation, Mr. Willis had unquestionably engaged in plots against the government to which he was accredited. And yet his consultations with the ex-queen, directly and through her friend, were not his personal acts, but were held under specific instructions from his gov. ernment. This fact, although well known in the city did not serve to lift from the American minister the popular odium. Beyond doubt, according to diplomatic usage, the

Hawaiian government would have been fully justified in demanding his recall, if not, indeed, in giving him a summary dismissal. It is probable, however, that it did not wish to exasperate the government at Washington by assuming too antagonistic an attitude. It was also evident that, were a change demanded, there could be no assurance that any more acceptable man would be sent by the administration then in power. And, so far as his personal characteristics were concerned, Minister Willis was perfectly acceptable.

It was, perhaps, unfortunate that Minister Willis should not have been at greater pains, now that the crisis was passed, to meet the members of the Hawaiian government upon their own ground, and assume the position in the social life of Honolulu to which his official position entitled him. In an extended letter addressed to him by Mr. Dole, in response to his demand for a statement of the particulars wherein the Provisional Government complained of his course since his arrival, Mr. Dole says :“During your nearly two months' residence in this city, you and your family have declined the customary social courtesies usually extended to those occupying your official position, on the specified ground that it was not deemed best under existing circumstances to accept such civilities.” On the first anniversary of the formation of the Provisional Government, January 17, 1894, a formal invitation was sent to the American minister to be present at the public exercises. This was somewhat curtly declined. In consequence of this attitude taken by Mr. Willis, in addition to his open opposition in his official capacity to the existing government, a certain social ostracism was shown him and his family. Even after days and months had passed, and matters social and commercial in the Islands had once more become normal, this feeling of coolness but slightly wore away, and at no time were his relations with the people among whom he lived thoroughly cordial. His illness and death, however, which occurred during his term of office, and which were undoubtedly hastened by the weight of the mental burden he carried, served to smooth away much, if not all, of

« AnteriorContinuar »