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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, September 30, 1897, Image 1

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VOLUME LXXXII.-NO. 122.
STRANGLING HANDS UPON A NATION'S THROAT
ON BOARD STEAMSHIP AUSTRALIA,]
Sept. 22. i
\ v that the Australia has sailed away
out oi the harbor of Honolulu, that vvonder
>ep rainbow-colored curve of sea and
. ■ ;ind sky — and all that one on see on the
>n is a dim, low clouJ, which grows
aer and dimmer— the memory of the islands
i-s like a dream.
Those great mountains, veiled in tenderest
green from cicud-tirped summit to the ocean's
emerald edge below, the silver waterfalls tum
bling from on high down into the dark blue of
the deeper sea, that extravagance of foliage
and of flowers, the glory of sunshine on the
lava-created hills and the benediction of shade
in the dusky, wide ravines, beyond which rises
mountain a:ter mountain— it is all like a won
oerful transformation scene, where splendor
fo-liows splendor till one is satiated with loveli
ness.
■\\ here every prospect pleases
Ana only man is vile,
Quoted the distinguished Congressman who
stood beside me on the Australia's deck.
I don't know that the honorable gentleman
alluded particularly to the Hawaiian Islander,
or that mentally he made any distinction be
tween white man and brown. But his quota
tion, is particularly apt in the present instance.
FOi here in Hawaii, the best belovedt the most
richly endowed of all Mother Nature's beautiful
family, the old, old struggle for Anglo-Saxon
supremacy is goin : ; on.
The centuries-old tragedy is being repeat
ed upon a stage smail comparatively, but
with a perfection of gorgeous setting and char
acters whose classical simplicity gives strength
to the impersonation. The only new phase in
the old drama is that this time a republic is
masquerading in the despot's role. The United
States, founded upon the belief that a just gov
ernment can exist only by the consent of the
ned, is calmly making up lor the bloody
:t— preparing to take a nation's life with
all the complacent assurance of an old-time
stage villa, n.
For Hawaii has not asked for annexation.
There are ioo,coo people on the islands. Of
these not 3 per cent have declared for annexa
. To the natives the loss of nationality is
lv/eful, abhorrent.
It is the old battle— the white man against
.rown; might against right; strength
st weakness : rower and intellect and art
nst docility, inertia and simplicity.
And the result?
" I tell the natives that work for me," said
a man suffering from an acute attack of annex
ation mania to me, '''you might as well walk
to the sea and attempt to push back the
::ng waves with your two uplifted hands
as to try to prevent what's coming.'
" } ■ ■ • . - • fUCStj I a—"
he went on. "We are stronger and we'll
It's a survival of the fittest."
The strongest memory I have of the isl
. nds is connected with tne hall of the Salvation
Army at Hilo, on the island of Hawaii. It's a
. : :de little p:ace, which holds about 300 peop>,
uld think. The rough, uncovered rafters
show above, and the bare walls are relieved
by Scriptural admonitions .in English and
Hawaiian:
"Boast not thyself of to.-morrow. "
"W ithout Christ there is no salvation."
As 1 entered, the bell on the foreign
church, up on cne or ihe beautiful Hi:
was striking ten. The place was packed with
:s, and outs:de btocu a patient crowd un
ole to enter. It was a women's meeting, but
there were many men present. The women
were dressed in Mother Hubbards of calico or
and wore saiior hats — wnite or black.
The men were in coats and trousers of Ameri
cr.n make.
Pre?^ ' ■ parted and two women
walked in, both very tall, dressed in handsome
.:. free-flowing train d gowns of black crep
aided in black. 1 hey wore black kid gloves
Old large hats of black straw with black feath
ers. The taller of the two — a very queen in
dignity and repose — wore nodding red roses in
.her hat, and about her neck and falling to the
waist a inng, thick necklace of closely strung,
Jeep-red, corai-iike flowers, with de;kate lems
rsed.
This was Mrs. Kuaihelani Campbell, the
president of the Women's Hawaiian Patriotic
League. Her companion was the secretary of
the branch at Hilo.
It was almost pitiful to note the reception
of these two leaders— the dumb, almost adoring
•indness in the women's eyes; the absorbed,
close interest in the men's dark heavy faces.
After the enthusiasm had subsided the min
uter of the Hawaiian church arose. He is tali,
bionde, fair faced, thre. -quarters white, as they
say here. Clasping: his hands in front and
looking down over the bowed dark heads be
fore him he made the short opening prayer.
He held himself well, his sentences were short
and his manner was simple.
There is something wonderfully effective in
earnest prayer delivered n an ancient language
with which one is unfamiliar. One hears not
words, but topes. His feelings, not his reason,
are appealed to. Freed oi the limiting effects
nf stereotyped phrases the imagination supplies
the sense. Like the H -i-r.-w and The Latin the
Hawaiian tongue sterns to touch the primitive
sources of one's nature, to strip away the com
plicated armor with which civil ; zation and
vorldliness have dotheJ us and to leave the
■,ous bare for ihat w istrument, a
mm's deep voice, to play upon.
The minibtfr ciosed and a deep murmuring
"Alien" from the people followed.
I watched Mrs. Emma Nawahi curiously as
she rose to address the people. ! have never
hearc two women talk in public in quite the
same way. Would this Hawaiian woman be
embarrassed or timid, or self-conscious or
assertive?
No airy of these. Her manner had xhi
simple cirectness that made Charlotte Perkins
n, two years ago, the most interesting
speaker cf the Woman's Congress. But Mrs.
Stetson's pose is ihe most artistic of poses— a
pretense o', simplicity. 1 his Hawaiian woman's
thoughts vere of her subject, not of herself.
There was an interesting impersonality about
her delivery that kept my eyes fastened upon
her while the interpreter at my side whispered
The San Francisco Call
Many Thousands of Native Hawaiians Sign a Protest
to the United States Government Against
Annexation,
Will the Great American Republic Aid in Consummating the
Infamy Projected by the Dole Government? — Miriam
Michelson Pens a Stirring Appeal on
Behalf of the Islanders,
his translation in short, detached phrases, hesi
tating now and then for a word, sometimes
completing the thought with a gesiure.
'"We are weak people, we Hawaiians. and
have no power unless we stand together," read
Mrs. Nawahi, frequently raising her eyes from
her paper and at times alt( gether forgetti
"The United States is just— a land of lib
erty. The pe< pie there are the friends, the
great friends of the weak. Let us teli them —
let us show them that as they love their coun
try and wouid suffer much before giving it up,
so do we love our country, our Hawaii, and
pray that they do not tike it from us.
"Our one hope is in standing firm
shoulder tc shoulder, heart to heart. The voice
of the people is the voice of God. Surely that
great country across the ocean must hear our
cry. By uniting our voices the sound will be
carried on so they must hear us.
"In this petition, which w r your
signature to-day, you. women of Hawaii, have
a chance to speak your mind. The men's peti
tion will be sent on by the men's ciub as soon
as the loyal men of Honoiuiu have signed it.
There is nothing underhand, nothing deceitful in
our way — our only way — of fighting. Every
body may see and may know of our petition.
We have nothing to conceal. We have right
on our side This land X ours— our Hawaii.
Say, shall we lose our nationality? Shall we
be annexed to the United States?
"Aole lua. Aoie loa."
It didn't require the interpreter's word to
make me understand the response. One could
read negation, determination in every intent,
dark f
" 'Never!' they say," the man beside me
muttered. "'Never!' they say. 'No! No!'
They say "
But the presiding officer, a woman, was
introducing Airs. Campbell to the people. Her
large mouth parted in a pleased smile as the
men and women stamped and shouted. She
spoke only a tew words, good-naturedly, hope
fully. Once it seemed as though she were tak
ing them all in her confidence, so sincere and
soft was her voice as she leaned forward.
"Stand firm, my friends. Love of country
means more to you and to me than anything
else. Be brave; be strong. Have courage and
SAX FRANCISCO, THURSDAY MORNING, SEPTEMBER 30, 1897.
patience. Our time will come. Sign this peti
tion—those of you who love Hawaii. How
many — how many will sign?"
She held up a gloved hand as she spoke.
and in a moment the palms of hundreds of bands
were turned toward her.
They were eloquent, those deep lined,
broad, dark hands, wkh their :-hort fingers anl
worn nulls. They told of poverty, of work, cf
contact with the soil they claim. The woman
wiio presided had said a few words to the peo
ple, when all at once I saw a thousand curious
eyes turned upon me.
"Whajt is it?" I asked the interpreter.
"What did she say?"
He laughed. "'A reporter is here.' she
says. She <ays to the people, 'Tell how you
teel. Then the Americans will know. Then
they may listen.' "
A remarkable scene followed. One by one
men and women rose and in a sentence or two
in the rolling, broad voweled Hawaiian made a
iervent profession of faith.
"My feeling," declared a tall, broad-shoul
dered man, whose dark eyes were alight with
The Voice of the Native — What are you going to do with ME?
enthusiasm. "This is my feeling: 1 love my
country and 1 want to be independent — now and
forever."
"And my feeling is the same," cried a
stout, bold-faced woman, rising in the middle of
the hall. "I love this land. I don't want to b:
annexed."
"This birthplace of mine I love as the Ameri
can loves his. Would he wish to be annexed
to another, great .t land?"
"I am strongly opposed to annexation. How
dare the people of the United States rob a peo
ple of their independence?"
"I want the American Government to do
justice. America helped to dethrone Liliuo
kalani. She must be restored. Never shall
we consent to annexation !"
''My father is American : my mother is
pure Hawaiian. It is my mother's land 1 love.
The American nation has been unjust. How
eouid we ever love America?"
"Let them see their injustice and restore
the monarchy!" cried an old, old woman, whose
dark face framed in its white hair was working
pathetically.
"If the great nations would be fair they
would not take away our country. Never will
1 consent to annexation !"
"Tell America I don't want annexation. I
want my Queen," saii the gentle voice of a
woirnn.
''That speaker is such a good woman,"
murmured the interpreter. "A good Christian,
honest, kind and charitable."
"I am against annexation — myself and all
my family."
"I speak for those behind me," shouted a
voice from tar in the rear. "They cannot come
in — they cannot speak. They tell me to say,
'No annexation. Never.'"
"I am Kauhi of Kalaoa. We call it Middle
Hilo. Our club has 300 members. They have
sent me here. VVeaie all opposed to annexa
tion—all—all!"
He was a young rmn. His open coat
showed his loose dark shirt; his muscular body
swayed with excitement. He wore boots that
came above his knees. There was a large
white handkerchief knotted about his brown
throat, and his fine head, with its intelligent
eyes, rose from his shoulders with a grace that
would have been deerlike were it not for its
splendid strength.
''I love my country and oppose annexa
tion," said a heavy-set, gray-haired man with
a good, clear profile. "We look to America as
our friend. Let her not be our en-:my !"
"Hekipi, a delegate from Molokai to the
league, writes: 'I honestly assert that the
preat majority of Hawaiians on Molokai are
opposed to annexation. They fe ir that if they
become annexed to the United States they will
lose their lands. The foreigners will reap all
the benefit and the Hawaiians will be placed in
a worse position than they are to-day.' "
"I am a mail-carrier. Come with me to my
district." A man who was sitting In the first
row rose and stretched out an appealing hand.
"Come to my district. I will show you 2000
Hawaiians against annexation."
"I stand— we all stand to testify to our love
of our country. No flag but the Hawaiian flag.
Never the American !"
There was cheering at this, and the heavy,
sober, brown faces were all aglow with excited
interest.
* * •
1 sat and watched and listened.
At Honolulu I had asked a prominent white
man to give me some idea of the native
Hawaiian's character.
" They won't resent anything," he said,
contemptuously. " Thsv haven't a grain of
ambition. They can't feel even envy. They
care for nothing but easy and extremely simple
living. They have no perseverance, no back
tone. They're unfit"
Yet surely here was no evidence of apathy,
of stupid forbearance, of characterless cringing.
These men and women rose quickly one
after another, one interrupting the other at
times, and then stanaing expectantly waiting
his turn — too simple, too sincere, it seemed to
me, to feel self-conscious or to study for a mo
ment about the manner of his speech, so vital
was the matter to be delivered.
They stood as ail other Hawaiians stand —
with straight shoulders splendidly thrown back
and head proudly poised. Some held their
roughened, patient hands clasped, some b?nt
and looked toward me, as though I were a sort
of magical human telephone and phonograph
combined.
1 might misunderstand a word or two of
the interpreted message, but there was no mis
taking those earnest, brown faces and beseech
ing dark eyes, which seemed to try to bridge
the distance my ignorance of their language and
their slight acquaintance with mine created be
tween us.
I verily believe that even the most virulent
of annexationists would have thought these
Hawaiians human ; almost worthy of considera
tion.
♦ * »
The people rose now and sang the majestic
Hawaiian National Hymn. It was sung fer
vently, a full, deep chorus of hundreds of voices.
The music is beautifully characteristic, with its
strong, deep bass chords to which the women's
plaintive, uncultivated voices answer. Then
there was a benediction, and the people passed
out into the muddy street.
As I sat watching them, suddenly I heard
a timid voice murmur:
"You will tek this from me?"
TRICE FIVE CENTS.
A girl stood beside my chair, her gent'e
face with its dark liquid eyes smiling down
upon m?. She had slipped a rope— a lei, she
called it— of gorgeous r^d and yellow flowers,
strung thick and close, over my head.
"But," I protested, "1 don't see why. I
can't do anything, you know, except repeat
what you say."
"It— it is that." She hesitated, and then
plunged bravely on with her broken English,
she continued: ''No one comes to — to ask us.
No one listens. No one cares. Your paper will
speak for vs — us Hawaiians. Our voice will
be heard, too. We are poor — you un'stan?
And we cannot talk your language ver' well.
The white men have ever'thing on their side.
Eut we are right and they are wrong."
"They are not heathens— not cannibals, you
see," said a voice behind me as I stepped out
upon the veranda of the pretty new notel at
Hilo.
It was Henry West, a half-white, whom I
had seen at the meeting
"Of course not.' 1 1 answered. "Who said
they were."
"Why, a Boston paper— just lately said so.
Ha\e you met Mr. Keakolo?"
David Keakolo and I exchanged bows. He
is very dark and his hair and mustache are
gray. He has a prominent nose and large, dark,
expressive eyes. I had noted him particularly
at the meeting, for he was the one man present
in a dress suit and he spoke often and anima
tedly. He smiled now, and said, with a profu
sion of gestures:
"I — am so sorry. I— cannot speak Ingli'.
! can un'stan'."
"Yes," went on Mr. West. "They call
us savages — all kinds of names. We are not.
We n-ad and write. Yes, more of vs — compar
ing, you know — read and wiite than in Senator
Morgan's own birth Slate— Alabama, is it? I
am so sorry Senator Morgan did not come to
Hilo with your party. If he wou^d come here
as a judge— if he would hear both sides— we
would benefit from it. Your country has
wronged us cruelly. Cleveland himself said so.
What could we do wiien the United States sol
diers were landed in our streets four years ago ?
Let the United States right the wrong now— let
her not do more wrong."
"Would you prefer the present government
to annexation ?" I asked.
"The present government cannot last.
They know that themselves."
"But in time, supposing the islands are not
annexed, don't you think that the natives will
become reconciled and — and take the oath
of "
"Never."
And a quick-spoken Hawaiian word and a
glance from Keakoto's black eyes emphasized
the negative. They turned to leave.
"We are sorry that you are going back so
soon," Mr. West said with pathetic courtesy.
"We should like to show you the country."
! looked after the two men as they walked
down the tree-bordered path with an aching sort
of sympathy. They are so weak ; their op
ponents are so strong.
• • •
I had to wait a short time in Mrs. Na
wahi's little drawing-room, where I had gone to
see Mrs. Campbell. The president of the
Women's League, by the way, is the wife of
that James Campbell, the wealthy Honolulu
planter, who was kidnaped by Oliver Winthrop
(now in San Quentin) and held for ransom in
San Francisco last year.
Every door and window of the room where
I sat was curtained freshiy in white. The mat
ting floor was brightened by a large square of
a checkered pattern, with broad shining plaits.
And this is really all I noticed, for Mrs. Camp
bell entered, and I cared to look at nothing
else.
Imagine a very tall woman, a full com
manding figure dressed in the sheerest of lace
trimmed white lawn. The wreath of orange
flowers on her black hair and the orange lei
about her neck were exquisitely becoming, and
the loose gown's graceful flow and full train
gave a charming feminine touch to this woman
whose sympathies have placed her in so uncon
ventional a position. Rut Mrs. Campbell is
anything but a new woman.
''Do you women expect," I asked her, '*to
be rewarded for all your work? Do you look
forward to being permitted to vote ?"
The president of the Women's Patriotic
League laughed outright. •
"Why, we never thought of that. lam
working for my people. That is all. When
they are righted, when they are content, 1 shall
be satisfied. You were at the meeting to-day.
Did it not interest you? There are such meet
ings ail over ths islands. The natives are far
apart. It is hard for them to get together. But
they all think alike."
Her voice is exquisitely low and full and
lazily deep. She speaks slowly, but without a
trace of accent. Her manner is gracious and
her face is soft, creamy, brown-tinted, with
proud lips and languid eyes. She iooks Ha
waiian, but hers is an idealized type.
"Tell me, does your husband approve of
your work ?"
"Oh," she answered, smiling. "1 could — 1
would do nothing without hi* approval."
'"Are all families— native families — united
on this annexation question?"
"Yes ; 1 think so. Nearly all."
"Suppose a Hawaiian woman's husband in
favor of annexation — "
"It is unlikely."
"Well, if it were so, would she continue to
work in your league? C ulj she oppose an
nexation openly and actively?"
"Oh !" Mrs. Campbell leaned her head
upon her large, shapely hand, upon which the
diamonds glistened. "Oh, that would be very
hard. But— if 1 were the woman— yes, I should
work for my people anyway," said Mrs. Camp
bell, decidedly and witii pretty inconsistence.
"You see, they are so poor, so helpless. They
need help so badly. "
"And are there no native Hawaiians in
favor of annexation?"
She shook her hdad slowly.
"I met a woman at Hana, on the island of
Maui. She was."
"Wasn't she in the Government's em
ploy?"
Mrs. Campbf II spoke quickly for the first
time.

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