Nhsc-v1-270

From GrassrootWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Previous Page Next Page

nhsc-v1-270

Text Only

permitted all passengers to land." 36/ The resulting epidemic left 282 native and non-native Hawaiians dead. 37/

Shortly after Kalakaua returned to Hawaii, efforts were again undertaken by the planter lobby to eliminate Gibson from Hawaiian politics. These actions included a suit for libel against Gibson by William Armstrong for writing a letter published in a newspaper accusing Armstrong of "treason to the state." 38/ When this failed, efforts were made to defeat Gibson in the election of 1882. Complaints were made against his plans to finance projects like the completion of the royal palace, literary and cultural monuments to Hawaii, and free school education. These attacks did not succeed, either.

At this same time the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 was nearing the end of its seven-year life. The Sugar Planter Association sent a draft of a new treaty to William Lowthian Green, Minister of Foreign Affairs, with a clause that Pearl River be ceded to the United States. Green objected to this proposal, stating: "I do not believe that the proposal is a sound one...The United States had made no demand for [Pearl River]...they wish only that no other power should control it and that is what we all want." 39/

Green's response infuriated the Association, which secretly decided to depose him. To effect this decision, the Association chose to implement a plan, discussed a the time of the 1882 elections, that would entice Walter Gibson to their side. The proposal has been described as follows:

The planters would tell the king to dismiss his Cabinet and make Gibson Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Then under a ruling already established by themselves making appointment ofthe rest of the Cabinet by the premier mandatory, Gibson was to permit the planters to name his colleagues—thus assuring planter control of the Government. 40/

Gibson, however, informed the king of the plan, and the king in turn secretly slipped this information to Green. Green, to aid the king, resigned, allowing Gibson to be named by the king "prime minister of ail the realm." 41/ Gibson immediately named persons suitable to himself and the king to the cabinet. William Green wrote later: "in a most remarkable circumstance...Gibson has been lifted into the highest political position in the Kingdom by the exertions of his bitterest opponents." 42/ With this accomplished, the question of the Reciprocity Treaty was allowed to rest for the time, and the treaty was neither extended nor abrogated: "As to the renewal of that treaty, after seven years the king seemed to be growing indifferent if not directly hostile." 43/

Financial matters became Gibson's and Hawaii's biggest problem. The planter lobby complained of the monies being used for Hawaiian cultural programs while the treasury remained low and business interests took a back seat. Each appropriation brought renewed protests from the opposition. Representative Aholo, representing the king's interests, "reminded that those same men had been made millionaires by the treaty secured by His Majesty: 'And now they object to him enjoying any of the money!'" 44/ Even with the planters' tax money, the treasury could not replenish itself fast enough. Gibson turned to borrowing and "once again Claus Spreckels, already holding Kalakaua captive in debt, offered...a loan of $2,000,000." 45/

Through all of his dealings with the king, Spreckels had begun to move toward the Hawaiian viewpoint on

-p270-

Previous Page Next Page