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privilege. In a letter of May 29, 1894, from London, Mr.
Bayard said of him:

Mr. Morgan's duplicity and eccentricity as related in your
letters are but repetitions of what I learned by prior experience.
Brilliant often, and remarkably inventive, his judgment is fre-
quently unsound and his nature utterly unreliable. I cannot
recall a single important service he has rendered his country or
his party, and in many cases he has proposed action that would
have been disastrous to both if he had succeeded. Mr. Cleveland
knew my opinion of him during his first administration.

The regulations were to be enforced by concurrent act-
ion. In other words, the United States was not given the
power outside of her territorial limits — three miles from
the shore line — to compel the either Canadian or the En-
glishman to obey the regulations prescribed by the Tribunal
and to be adopted by the respective governments.

Because Secretary Gresham would not sanction, with-
out authority from the British government, our revenue
cutters seizing the Canadian fishermen — Senator Morgan
and F. R. Coudert urged this — he was denounced as truck-
ling to Great Britain. Senator Morgan and Mr. Coudert
took this position because they said it would open up the
case again. But the Secretary of State rejected both their
reasoning and their conclusion.

The bill for carrying out the award on our part, which
Secretary Gresham drew, Senator Morgan said was admir-
able, but as chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
of the United States Senate he was for resorting to all kinds
of duress to force Great Britain to agree to a closed season,



BERING SEA ARBITRATION 735

to modify the regulations, and to authorize the United States
to seize English and Canadian vessels in Bering Sea. He
threatened to repeal the Clayton-Bulwer treaty; that is,
he induced Senator Dolph of Oregon to introduce a reso-
lution to that effect.

Early in September, 1893, Secretary of State Gresham
took up with Sir Julian Pauncefote, who was then in
Washington, the recommendations prescribed by the Paris
Tribunal, in order to secure their modification, a new
treaty, or their joint enforcement. The claim being made
that Sir Julian was making delay, the whole matter was
referred to Mr. Bayard that he might get a prompt agree-
ment with the British government. It was at this time
that Mr. Bayard suggested the employment of Professor
John Bassett Moore, and the British government did not
want to recognize the Canadians in the negotiations, but
did not dare to say so. Accordingly, Mr. Bayard was
advised that the American government would not agree
that the Canadians should participate in the conference.
By December, Mr. Bayard wrote that he must come to
Washington for a conference with the Secretary of State
and Mr. Cleveland. He came, conferred, and returned.
But, excluded from the conference, the Canadians, among
whom Senator Morgan said that there were a lot of
Yankees, as there were, controlled the situation. Great
Britain was willing to come to any terms we asked, but
she could not agree to a closed season at sea because the
Canadians said it would redound only to the benefit of the
North American Commercial Company, while the actual
regulations recommended and to be enforced, the Canadians
said, were good enough for them and meanwhile they were
getting ready for the greatest catch ever.

As had been predicted, the Canadians took more seals
by twenty thousand in 1894 than ever before. Then in
November, 1894, Walter Q. Gresham set about getting rid
of the award and regulations of the Paris Tribunal.
47



736 LIFE OF WALTER QUINTIN GRESHAM

In counsel with Professor Elliott, Congressman Nelson
Dingley, W. L. Wilson, of the Ways and Means Committee
of the House, ex-Speaker Thomas B. Reed, and James B.
McCreary, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee
of the House, the following steps were taken:

December ii, 1894, Mr. Dingley introduced a resolution
calling on the Secretary of the Treasury to show how the
regulations of the Bering Sea Commission had operated
during the season of 1894, and in support of the resolution
he quoted the statement of Messrs. Foster, Phelps, Carter,
and Coudert of August and September, 1893, that the
regulations would prove effective, and a letter of Henry W.
Elliott of December 10, 1894, stating that the slaughter in
1894 had been greater than ever before, and that if the
regulations were continued it would be only a short period
of years until the seals were exterminated. On January 23,
on the coming in of the report from the Secretary of the
Treasury, Mr. Dingley said this report showed that "the
Paris regulations of the Alaska seal fisheries have been a
flat failure." Further, he said, "If the regulations continue
in effect three or five years longer, the seal herd will be ex-
terminated and the United States will lose its revenue from
the annual taking of $10,000,000 worth of property. " Better
that this $10,000,000 worth of property should be seized at
once by the United States and converted into cash. There-
fore Mr. Dingley introduced a bill to repeal the legislation
of 1868, 1869, and 1870, which authorized the leasing of
the right to take the seals on the islands, and directed the
Secretary of the Treasury to take, with all expedition
possible, every seal on the island and convert the skins into
cash, but with this proviso:

The President may by proclamation suspend the execution
of this act if Great Britain shall have determined to cooperate
with the United States in such measures as, in the judgment of
the President, will prevent the extermination of the Alaskan
seal herds.



BERING SEA ARBITRATION 737

Big "Brainy" Tom Reed, as he was called, supported
Mr. Dingley's bill. Speaking of the regulations, he said,
"We are paying a large sum of money annually to enable
the Canadian sealers to do their work more effectively."

This bill went through the House, but its passage was
delayed in the Senate until the session ended, March 4, 1895.
In the Senate, privilege was then strong. Senator Morgan
was opposed to the new legislation and Stephen B. Elkins
was for standing by the Acts of 1869 and 1870. Had Sec-
retary Gresham lived, he would have gotten the bill through
the Senate. It was one of the things he was planning when
his last sickness came on him. Again in 1896 the bill went
through the House but not the Senate. In 1910 the lease
expired by limitation, and then the private interest lapsed.
The seal herd was by that year reduced to 133,000. Then
the United States was able to do what Mr. Bayard and
Walter Q. Gresham had advocated, namely, secure a treaty
with Great Britain — or rather, Canada — that stopped the
killing of seals on both land and sea for a long term of years.



CHAPTER XLVIi
HAWAII



HOUSE BILL PASSED REPEALING ENFORCEMENT ACTS AND
OTHER FEDERAL STATUTES — REVOLT IN HAWAII — INTER-
FERENCE WITH NATIVE GOVERNMENT PROHIBITED — ANNEX-
ATION TREATY TRANSMITTED AND WITHDRAWN — QUEEN
REFUSES CONDITIONAL RESTORATION — FINALLY ACCEDES
TO AMNESTY — CONDEMNATION OF PROVISIONAL GOVERN-
MENT — UNITED STATES ADOPTS POLICY OF NON-INTER-
VENTION — GRESHAM's STATESMANSHIP — FIRST TO STAND
FOR THE RIGHTS OF THE LITTLE NATION.

TT was the Hawaiian policy of the Cleveland adminis-
-■■ tration that brought down on my husband the greatest
criticism of the Republicans. This criticism involved them
in confusion and contradiction, for it required them to assert
what many finally on the floor of the House and Senate
shrank from doing, "that none but rich men, none but white
men, none but Anglo-Saxon white men, are entitled to life,
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Conscious of his own strength and that of the American
people, Secretary of State Gresham insisted on taking the
moral position that • ' ' Right and Justice ' ' should control the
greatest power on earth in its international relations, in
opposition to the narrow technical rules which preserved
to the wrong -doer the advantages his fraud and cunning
had gained for him or it, to expediency, and to the policies
of conquest and imperialism that Mr. Blaine had inaugu-
rated and General Harrison for a time had followed and final-
ly most actively opposed. If my husband was actuated only
by resentment towards President Harrison, the Republican
leaders, and the Republican party, he had the satisfaction

738



HAWAII 739

of knowing that he embarrassed them greatly and that he
exposed much of their cant and hypocrisy about a free
ballot and a fair count. Never since the debate on what
was done in Hawaii in 1892 and 1893, and the repeal of the
"Enforcement Acts," has there been Republican complaint
about suppression of the negro vote in the South. "The
South" to a man, except Senator Morgan, supported the
Cleveland Hawaiian policy. The ex-Confederates like Gen-
eral "Joe" Wheeler, as he was universally called, were cordial
and unqualified in their proffers of support. "Right off the
reel," the News and Courier of Charleston, South Carolina,
was in the breach. In an editorial on "Carpet Baggers"
it said, "American interests is the cry now: 'Republican
interests' in the South was the cry then. The 'unspeakably
degraded and dissolute Liliuokalani' is not good enough for
Carpet Baggers in Hawaii; the unspeakably degraded and
dissolute negro statesmen were good enough for 'nearly all
the respectability, intelligence, wealth, and civilization in the
Sfiuth.' "

The Hawaiian discussion passed House Bill No. 2133,
repealing the Federal statutes authorizing the appointment
of deputy United States marshals and supervisors, and the
statutes known as the Enforcement Acts (already discussed) ^
and designed to control elections in the South. Under the
Enforcement Acts, Democrats had been convicted in Bal-
timore, Cincinnati, and Indiana, but never a Republican.
When the Dudley "Blocks of Five" case arose, it did not
apply. Senator George F. Hoar of Massachusetts was one
of the Republican senators who had aided in blocking the
Dudley prosecution. In the debate on House Bill No. 2133,
he wailed, "I am now one of the five men in Congress who
voted for this legislation. The Democrats talk about Hawaii,
the New England Puritans, and the Hartford Convention
— events of two or three hundred years ago — when we
refer to the wrongs of the negroes of the South."

I See Chapter XXX.



740 LIFE OF WALTER QUINTIN GRESHAM

Henry M. Teller, then a Republican senator from Colo-
rado, who had been in the Arthur cabinet with my husband
and was one of his strongest supporters in 1888, so ardent
a silver man that he afterwards left the Republican party
in 1896, said that at first it was a question in the Senate as
to who was responsible for the crux of the Hawaiian policy,
the attempt to restore Liliuokalani, the Secretary of State
or the President, but later he said that they were satisfied
Gresham was the man. All doubt as to this is removed by
the letter of Attorney-General Richard A. Olney of Octo-
ber 9, 1893. While agreeing with "the sound morality of your
proposition,'' the policy of the course advised was questioned.
If the question of expediency is omitted, a clear, legal, con-
stitutional and most human exposition of the situation is
.this letter. 1 Of Mr. Cleveland's special message in favor of
the restoration of the queen, the lawyers and Gresham critics
said that while it showed all of the Cleveland force, it re-
vealed the polish and logic of the man who had long spoken
from the equity side of the court.

Sunday, January 29, 1893, as we have seen, was a red-
letter day in my life. It was the day Don M. Dickinson
says I made him so uncomfortable when he came to our
house bearing Mr. Cleveland's special message requesting
my husband to become Secretary of State.

The newspapers of that day contained the first mention
of my husband's name in connection with the State Depart-
ment in the incoming administration. They said that, the
day before, Henry Watterson was in town and had spent a
long time with Judge Gresham.

But the startling and heavy headlines were, "Revolt in
Hawaii." While the conference went on in the library, I
endeavored to divert my mind by reading about the landing
the day before at San Francisco of the commissioners from
the provisional government of Hawaii, and their haste to
get on to Washington. The papers had maps and pictures

iSee Appendix C for this letter in full.



HAWAII 741

of tropical life. They told how the queen had been deposed.
In order to prevent bloodshed, she had yielded to the supe-
rior forces of the United States of America when Minister
Plenipotentiar}^ John L. Stevens had caused United States
troops to be landed at Honolulu and declared he would
support the provisional government. A woman in trouble,
my husband would certainly side with her against the power,
greed, and lust of man.

The next morning the Chicago Tribune was out for an-
nexation and Hawaii as a State, and said Blaine wanted
the Hawaiian Islands, and that, as far back as when he was
Secretary of State in President Garfield's cabinet, he had in-
structed Mr. Stevens — then, as now, our accredited minister
there — "to get them."

Immediately the press teemed with the question of
annexation and of the United States adopting a colonial
policy. And against both, my husband promptly took his
position. Interviews with members of Congress and the
Senate showed much diversity of sentiment. In the House
the majority was clearly adverse if not noncommittal.
Ex-Speaker Thomas B. Reed was in the latter class. James
H. Blount of Georgia, chairman of the Foreign Relations
Committee of the House, refused to be interviewed. Sena-
tor John T. Morgan of Alabama, chairman of the Committee
on Foreign Affairs of the Senate, was for annexation.

Meanwhile the Hawaiian commissioners, five in number
— three of whom were born on the Islands, the descendants
of missionaries, and two British subjects — were crossing
the country. They passed through Chicago February 2,
giving interviews claiming that President Harrison and also
President-elect Cleveland favored annexation. Cleveland
in an interview in New York said, "I have not expressed
an opinion on the question of annexation, and if I had an
opinion I do not consider that it would be proper for me
to express it at the present time."

January 30, Senator William E. Chandler by resolution



742 LIFE OF WALTER QUINTIN GRESHAM

requested the President to lay before Congress, both Houses,
for ratification, any treaty he might make. This, it was
given out, was to prevent action by the Senate behind closed
doors.

Speaking of his resolution and of annexation, on Janu-
ary 3 1 , Senator Chandler said : ' ' The United States govern-
ment has never shown any disposition to destroy the native
government of Hawaii. On the contrary, it has always
maintained such government and had attempted to keep
in power the existing dynasty. But at the same time there
had been a feeling that if the native government should fail,
an American solution would be found for the difficulties on
the Islands. And if it should appear that a stable, inde-
pendent government could not be maintained and that the
support of any foreign government should be required, then
the sentiment was that the United States would be willing
and desirous to annex the Islands."

Senator Chandler's wife was a daughter of John P. Hale.
One day, at 1405 I Street, after one of President Arthur's
cabinet meetings, my husband and Mr. Chandler came in
to luncheon. After jokes and some general conversation, I
heard them discussing all the "men and measures" of the
time and not always in harmony. My husband suddenly
and with much seriousness and directness said, "Chandler,
had I been old enough I would have voted for John P.
Hale; his treatment afterwards by the Republicans was
infamous." Mr. Chandler choked up and the conversation
switched to a less serious subject. Not long after that an
article appeared in one of the magazines by Secretary of
the Navy W. E. Chandler, in which Postmaster-General
Gresham was credited with the youthful indiscretion of
having served time on a branch of the "Underground
Railroad."

"Bill" Chandler, as he had been universally spoken of
until Mr. Arthur invited him to become Secretary of the
Navy, had come to Washington at the close of the war as



HAWAII 743

a protege of Mr. Blaine. He first had charge of litigation
for the Navy Department. A graduate of the Harvard
Law School, he was a thoroughly trained lawyer. He had
practised in New Hampshire, his native State, served in its
legislature, and after establishing his law office in Wash-
ington, served for years as the New Hampshire member of
the Republican National Committee. His virile, incisive
tongue and pen and bitter partisanship made him many
enemies. When President Garfield sent his name to the
Senate as Solicitor- General, senators like Edmunds, Hoar,
Dawes, and "John Logan," as Mr. Chandler always spoke
of General Logan, united with Senator Conkling in prevent-
ing his confirmation. The only dissentient voice in t':3
newspapers, whether Republican or Democratic, in announc-
ing the result of the election of 1876, that Tilden had been
elected, was that of "Bill" Chandler, the secretary of the
Republican National Committee. Mr. Chandler declared
that the States of Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina
had honestly voted for Hayes, who would receive their
electoral votes, although on the face of the returns Tilde 1
had a popular majority in each State. Then "returnii^
boards," "visiting statesmen," President Grant and hi'.
army, and an Electoral Commission created by a special
act of Congress, made good "Bill" Chandler's claim, a
claim I have heard my husband say to him should never
have been made or sustained. Then he would chuckle and
laugh. But with all his partisanship, William E. Chandler
was a broad man. As his resolution and the remarks we
have quoted indicate, he was no jingoist and never was he
an exploiter of the weak or inferior races that men even
in New England might thereby make money. Neither was
he ever a critic of Secretary Gresham and the Cleveland
administration for any phase of the Hawaiian policy, nor
did he raise his voice in defense of Minister John L. Stevens
and the Blaine policy of "grab" in Hawaii. Indeed, he lent
a helping hand at one stage of the contest, as will appear



744 LIFE OF WALTER QUINTIN GRESHAM

a little later on. And his offer to Secretary Gresham to
champion on the floor of the Senate certain measures of the
State Department, both he and my husband afterwards
concluded it would not be wise to have him do for fear
of arousing the jealousy or hostility of certain Democrats.
Certain it is that Senator Chandler's words of caution in
his resolution and remarks of January 31 were unheeded.

February 3, the commissioners of the provisional gov-
ernment of the Hawaiian Islands arrived in Washington.
February 4 they had their first meeting with Secretary of
State Foster. Then, on February 14, the treaty of annex-
ation between the United States and the commissioners of
the provisional government of the Hawaiian Islands, hav-
ing in the meantime been negotiated, was transmitted by
President Harrison to the United States Senate.

This haste on the part of Secretary of State Foster when
he was up to his ears recasting our case for the arbitration
with Great Britain about the Alaskan fur seals, although
Senator Hoar did not state it that way, was one of the
subjects of the conference between Cleveland and Gresham
at Lakewood, February 22, 1893. At this conference the
letter of the Hawaiian queen, of January 19, to President
Harrison, which he made public February 18, in which the
queen asked for delay that her side might be heard, and
the queen's letter of the same date to Mr. Cleveland, were
also considered. In her letter to Mr. Cleveland, the queen
asserted that the provisional government had the sanction
of neither a popular revolution nor suffrage.

March 7, 1893, President Cleveland withdrew, as he
lawfully could, the treaty of annexation from the Senate.
Immediately there was great criticism by the Republicans
and much interest manifested by the people and the press-
My husband advised Mr. Cleveland to send a special com-
missioner to Honolulu at once to get all "the facts."

So on the nth day of March, 1893, Hon. James H.
Blount, a former member of Congress from Georgia, and



HAWAII 745

late chairman of the Committee of Foreign Affairs in the
House, was appointed a special commissioner of the Presi-
dent to visit the Hawaiian Islands with a view to obtaining
the fullest possible information in regard to the condition
of affairs in the Islands, and especially data as to the
revolution or so-called revolution which led to the over-
throw of the queen's government. He was given para-
mount authority over the diplomatic and naval officers
in the Islands, and was particularly instructed that while
the United States troops could be landed to protect Ameri-
cans and their property, they could not be used for any
other purpose; and that while the United States would not
interfere in the domestic affairs of Hawaii, neither would
it allow any other nation to do so.

Again there was great criticism in the press and among
the Republicans, that the President and the Secretary of
State had usurped powers not granted them by the Con-
stitution, in appointing a special commissioner to investigate
the affairs of another country without the consent of the
Senate. These criticisms were answered by showing that
even as far back as Washington's time this had been done.
An even hundred precedents were furnished by the State
Department for the appointment by the President of a
special commissioner to visit a foreign country without the
advice and consent of the Senate, and since that debate
the practice has never been questioned.

The criticisms broke forth afresh when word came that
Commissioner Blount had ordered the American flag hauled
down from the government buildings in Honolulu, and had
sent the American sailors and marines back on board of the
Boston. Quick was the answer: The flag had been hoist-
ed as part of Minister Stevens's scheme of a protectorate
which he had declared over the provisional government
but which President Harrison had promptly disowned as
soon as he heard of it. Why, then, should the flag stay up?

In due time Mr. Blount made his report, accompanying



746 LIFE OF WALTER QUINTIN GRESHAM

it with the evidence he had taken on his visit to the Islands.
From this report the Secretary of State culled the facts
and on it he based his recommendation to the President.
This letter, and the instructions to our minister to the
Hawaiian Islands to restore the Hawaiian queen to her
throne because she had been wrongfully dethroned, follows :

Department of wState, Washington, D. C,

October i8, 1893.
The President:

The full and impartial reports submitted by the Honorable
James H. Blount, your special commissioner to the Hawaiian
Islands, establishing the following facts:

Queen Liliuokalani announced her intention on Saturday,
January 14, 1893, to proclaim a new constitution, but the oppo-
sition of her ministers and others induced her speedily to change
her purpose and make public announcement of that fact.

At a meeting in Honolulu, late on the afternoon of that day,
a so-called Committee of Public Safety, consisting of thirteen
men, being all or nearly all who were present, was appointed to
consider the situation and devise ways and means for the main-
tenance of the public peace and the protection of life and property,
"and at a meeting of this committee on the 15th, or the forenoon
of the 1 6th of January, it was resolved amongst other things that
a provisional government be created to exist until terms of union
with the United States of America have been negotiated and
agreed upon." At a mass meeting which assembled at 2 p. m. on
the last named day, the queen and her supporters were con-
demned and denounced, and the committee was continued and
all its acts approved

Later the same afternoon the committee addressed a letter
to John L. Stevens, the American minister at Honolulu, stating
that the lives and property of the people were in peril and appeal-
ing to him and the United States forces at his command for assist-
ance. This communication concluded: "We are unable to pro-
tect ourselves without aid, and therefore hope for the protection



Online LibraryMatilda GreshamLife of Walter Quintin Gresham, 1832-1895 (Volume 2) → online text (page 25 of 38)