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The Government put down the Liberal Party conspiracy by arresting many of its leaders when the queen's marshal, "Wilson learned of the secret Hawaiian Patriotic League [and] succeeded in infiltrating it with spies who supplied him with information about the doings of the conspirators." 172/ Kuykendall points out that, given these events, it seemed "that the United States naval force in Honolulu Harbor was in fact affording protection to the queen's government against the menace of possible revolutionary actions by the Liberal faction." 173/

The second major development was the formation of the Annexation Club. According to Kuykendall, "The sole source of information about the origin and activities of the Annexation Club, a secret one—is Lorrin A. Thurston." 174/ Thurston indicated that the date of the Club's formation was January or February 1892. The object of the club "was not to promote annexation, but to be ready to act quickly and intelligently, should Liliuokalani precipitate the necessity by some move against the Constitution, tending to revert to absolutism or anything of the nature." 175/ The organization, which kept no records, was small— never more than seventeen members, thirteen of whom were, on January 14, 1893, appointed to a Committee of Safety that planned and directed the overthrow of the monarchy. 176/ The club members felt that they ought to "know beforehand the probable attitude of the United States Government toward annexing Hawaii," 177/ and Thurston visited Washington in order to get that information. Of his trip, Thurston wrote:

Or. Mott Smith [special emissary of the Hawaiian Government sent to Washington to negotiate a freetrade treaty with the United States] volunteered to introduce me to the principal authorities, and was present when I met Senator Cushman K. Davis, Republican member of the foreign relations committee of the Republican Senate, and Representative James H. Blount, Democratic chairman of the like committee of the Democratic House of Representatives. My interview with Mr. Blount took place in his committee room at the Capitol, and lasted about a half-hour.
When I had finished my statement, he said: I suppose that you have come to me because you want to know, in case action becomes necessary in Honolulu, what the attitude of the Democratic House of Representatives may be, if the matter comes up in Washington. I replied that he had stated the cast exactly. He went on: I do not know very much about this subject, but I can tell you this: if the question does come up, it will be treated here as a national one, and not as a Democratic [one]. I advise you to see Mr. Blaine, secretary of state, and see what he thinks. I explained that I intended to see Mr. Blaine, but that he was ill, and I had not seen him, although I hoped to meet him soon. All right, said Mr. Blount. You do so, and let me know what he says. I agreed.
A few days afterward, I called at the State Department and presented James G. Blaine a letter of introduction from John L. Stevens, United States minister to Hawaii. I made a full explanation to Mr. Blaine: we had no intention of precipitating action in Honolulu but conditions had gone so far that we felt the maintenance of peace to be impossible; we believed

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