San Francisco History
 

Chambliss' Diary


Chapter XXVII.

PALACE HOTEL, San Francisco, Friday, June 22, 1894. It is now two years and six months since the conversation with Mr. Rice, referred to in the preceding chapter.

Acting upon Mr. Rice's friendly advice, I thought many times over the prospects of returning to duty and spending several years more on the high seas. The result of this thinking was this: Instead of returning to duty, I resigned my position. And right glad am I now that I did resign.

Right here I wish to correct an erroneous impression which some smart person has created concerning Captain Searle. The story that the captain is an uncle of mine is utter nonsense.

Captain Robert R. Searle is not related to me at all.

I never heard of him in my life until I met him on board the City of New York in 1887. He was captain of the steamer, and I was a passenger.

After entering the Pacific Mail service I simply occupied official positions under his command on board the New York and the Peking.

On the strength of my naval certificates and private recommendations I was appointed to those positions--by the Pacific Mail Steamship Company--in precisely the same way that all United States merchant naval officers are appointed.

The captain is an Englishman by birth, so he says. He has many friends all over the world, but no relatives.

The captain of a ship is always referred to by the rest of the ship's company as "the old man." Someone not conversant with nautical terms heard me speak of Captain Searle as "the old man," and concluded that he was my uncle. I have, heretofore, regarded the "nephew" theory and "adopted son" story as huge jokes. It is only in this, my published diary, that I have taken the trouble to dispel the delusion that I am "heir to the captain's handsome fortune."

That the captain asked me to become his adopted son is true. That he told Mrs. Dr. W. F. McNutt, Mr. Lewis Ernst Phillips, General and Mrs. T. B. Bunting, and a few dozen other well known Californians that I was his adopted son is also true. He seemed to have an idea that because I was appointed by the Pacific Mail Co. to fill an officer's position on a ship that he happened to be in command of, that he had a right to adopt me,--whether I wanted to be adopted or not,--and make me give up my dead father's honorable name, and take the name of a foreigner, a stranger of whose pedigree or past life I knew nothing. I refused, politely of course, to be adopted by him. He is a wealthy man, it is quite true, but I do not believe in exchanging, for a few thousand dollars, the name which has been handed down to me by my ancestors.

I resigned my position in the Pacific Mail simply because I did not care to go to sea in ships controlled by C. P. Huntington, the arch-enemy to the best interest of California, my favorite State.

At first the sky of my future prospects was overcast and gloomy. Every line of business that I looked into in San Francisco was dull. To use the expression of prominent merchants, "Trade was dead." Too much competition for the local demand, coupled with Huntington's high-handed railroad freight charges, and McKinley's Bunko Bill, had brought-destruction to our commerce. Many of the largest firms were reducing their staffs of employees by one-half, and cutting down the salaries of the rest, in order to keep out of the receiver's hands. Bright, intelligent men, capable of attending to almost anything in the line of legitimate trade, were standing around with their hands in their pockets, like David Copperfield's friend, Micawber, waiting for something to turn up. It did not take me very long to decide that it would be a waste of time to look for a position of any kind that I would care to fill under the circumstances.

During the following winter Mr. Rice informed me several times that I could return to the Pacific Mail if I wanted to. But I had had enough salt water sailing, in an official capacity, to last me a long lifetime.

I undertook to start a new line of advertising here, and made arrangements with the late Mr. Kreling to put an advertising curtain in the Tivoli Opera House; but a bum artist named Lee Lash, a member of the Bohemian Club, and a supposed friend, whom I employed to make a sample sketch of the Tivoli drop curtain to show the merchants how the signs were to be placed on it, appropriated the contract and the idea, together with sixty dollars in cash. With the assistance of his father, and his brother Sam, and their attorney, Edward Lande of 405 California Street, Lee Lash developed the curtain scheme on the stolen idea. He made a good deal of money out of it, so I am told. I employed "Lawyer" W. M. Cannon to enjoin the Lashes from using the ideas, and have Lee arrested for obtaining money under false pretenses; but the shyster compromised with the knaves for the sixty dollars which Lee got from me. The shyster then charged me half of the amount for giving Lash a receipt that left him in undisputable possession of the business.

This lesson taught me to steer clear of the society of sheenies and shysters. Creations like the Lashes, claiming to be Jews, are well calculated to get honest Jews a bad name.

The chapter of the Lash history with which I am personally acquainted affords such a true picture of the real character of the particular class to which he belongs that it would be an injustice to my readers to omit a brief mention of it. I see no reason in the world why I should not give it to my readers; I certainly paid for it, and paid dearly, too.

I met Mr. Lee Lash through some mutual acquaintances in January, 1891. I shall not give the names of those mutual acquaintances, for I esteem them very highly. They have expressed to me their regrets for ever having known Mr. Lash at all.

At the time of my first chance meeting with Lash, I was an officer of the City of Peking, and Mr. Lash was introduced to me as the "talented young artist" (?). He had a studio in the back yard of his father's house upon Post Street, but subsequently he moved out and set up in "business" in a little cottage at 2309 Bush Street, near Steiner, and right close to a big Catholic church.

In April, 1892, while I was confined to my room at the Palace Hotel from the effects of a bullet of lead which Dr. McNutt had extracted from my right leg, some lady friends of mine called upon me one day, bringing Lee Lash along to carry some flowers which they had picked for me.

Mr. Lash, in the kindness of his heart, called again. About this time, while waiting for my wounded leg to get well, Mr. Charles Duryea Smith of New York called in to talk over the proposition of going into business in San Francisco, mentioning the advertising business. Mr. Smith proposed to put advertisements on theater drop curtains, a scheme which was well known to everybody in New York and Paris. Mr. Smith said that if I would go into business with him he would secure a contract with Mr. Kreling to advertise on the Tivoli drop curtain. He went off and made arrangements with Kreling to that effect, and, while I was not enthused with his wild ideas of vast wealth to be made in that line, I agreed to go in with him as soon as I got well enough to walk out. The young man seemed highly pleased with the prospects, and left me on the evening of April 19 in high spirits. That night there was a violent earthquake which shook San Francisco from cellar to garret. The shocks kept coming at intervals for three days, and I think they shook my poor friend Smith's mind all to pieces, for he came in to see me on the morning after the first shock, looking like a ghost.

"My God, William," said the poor boy, "do you have those things very often? If so, I will--"

He did not finish his sentence, for just then a rumbling sound, like an approaching freight train, caught his ear.

"Great Heavens, it's another earthquake!" said he.

In a second the giant caravansary began to rock and groan; windows rattled, doors flew open, and it looked for a few seconds as if we were going into the bowels of the earth.

General T. B. Bunting of Santa Cruz and Mr. M. G. Coward, now of the Chicago Times-Herald, were in my room at the time, and they will remember this circumstance:

"Good-by, gentlemen," said Mr. Smith, "I am going to leave this rocky, shaky city." So saying, he left the room, and hurried away to his own apartments.

The next day the bell boy handed me a note reading as follows:

PALACE HOTEL, Thursday, April 21, 1892.

MY DEAR WILLIAM:

I am going home to-night. Would have gone last night, but could not secure a sleeper. Will drop in later to tell you good-by. If you wish to develop the curtain scheme go ahead and do so; I must get out of San Francisco.

Sincerely yours,

(Signed)   CHAS. D. SMITH.

I waited in hopes of seeing Mr. Smith before he left. I expected him to call, but he never came.

The next day, Friday, April 22, my young friend William O. Warnock, a nephew of Mrs. Adam Forepaugh, of circus fame, called at the Palace and took me out for a drive, to give me a little fresh air. We drove down toward San Bruno and called on some young lady friends of ours living out in the country, the Misses Nellie and Kate Dowling.

Miss Nellie ran down to the front gate to meet us. Just then a boy came along crying out: "Extra Report, all about the suicide!" Miss Nellie got a copy of the Report, and read: "Suicide at the Palace Hotel. Charles D. Smith ends his earthly troubles. Failing to hear from New York relatives, and becoming completely stranded, he puts a bullet in his heart."

The Report went on to explain that the poor fellow was dunned for a week's board bill by Cashier Charles Clark of the hotel, and that having not the necessary funds with which to pay, had ended his life rather than ask anyone to help him out. Had he known Mr. Clark as well as I do, he would not have bothered his head about the propriety of asking that gentleman for a little time, or even a small loan. Mr. Clark is a very obliging cashier. I have had favors from him myself, which I am happy to mention in order to clear this good man of the awful charge of having driven a guest of his hotel to suicide.

Subsequently I learned something more about poor Smith. He was the son of a wealthy New Yorker, who, like a great many other unjust fathers, as well as would-be adopted fathers,--like Captain R. R. Searle,--threw barriers in the way of the young man's matrimonial inclinations. This sad case of young Smith, and other similar cases, justify the assertion that I made in the New York Herald, March 17, 1895: The parent or guardian who prevents a grown son or daughter from marrying is a worse enemy to society than a murderer, for he murders the spirit of the Goddess of Love, the highest redeeming spirit in mankind.

It was on the next morning after the news of Smith's suicide that Lee Lash called. During the discussion of the unfortunate affair I called Lash's attention to the fact that it was strange that Smith should have considered himself hopelessly stranded when he had such a good money-making scheme under way. I also mentioned to Mr. Lash the fact that I intended to let Smith have some money with which to develop his scheme. At the same time I handed Lash Mr. Smith's letter.

Lash read the letter and then asked me all about the scheme. I told him the facts. In a minute Lash forgot all about the pathetic side of the story,--the suicide of the promoter of the scheme,--and began talking about my going ahead with it where Smith "left off."

"Why! see here, my dear friend, Smith has willed you his scheme," said Lash. "I am an artist," continued Mr. Lash, "and I can paint the signs on the curtain; but you must remember that I am in a position which I cannot risk by going into trade. Sign painting is trade, you know, and I am an artist. But, since you are a friend of mine, I will do this work for you."

Mr. Lash seemed so enthusiastic, and was so persistent, that finally I told him to go ahead and make me a sketch of the Tivoli drop curtain, so that I could show it to the merchants.

I gave Lash an idea of how many signs there should be, and also how big the sketch should be.

"Good," said Mr. Lash, "I will have it ready for you in twenty-four hours." So saying he took his departure, after having explained to me that he was "hard up," and did not propose to let his pride drive him to suicide, as in Smith's case.

"Would you let a man kill himself for a few paltry dollars?" asked Mr. Lash. "All that I want is ten dollars."

He got him the ten, and went his way rejoicing.*

[*Note: I did not know at the time that Lee Lash was the same "artist" who begged permission to paint a picture of the "Old People's Home," and subsequently tried to make that charitable institution pay two thousand dollars for his worthless daub.]

Mr. Lash did not complete the sketch in twenty-four hours, nor in a week. He kept running down to the Palace to tell me about some cigar signs or soap advertisements that he had seen on curtains in the demi-monde resorts of Paris where he had studied high art.

I humored him in his nonsense, and told him to get me some sort of sketch finished, and improve it later.

William Warnock asked me one day what Lash was doing around my room so much, and why he was in such a confidential mood with me all the time. I told Mr. Warnock the circumstances, and was somewhat surprised at his saying that he would bet me a French dinner that Lash was playing me some trick or other.

I took the bet, and subsequently paid for the dinner.

While keeping me waiting for the sketch, Mr. Lash went quietly to Mr. Kreling and, representing himself as the rightful owner of the scheme, secured a new contract with that man on his own behalf. The Mr. Lash wrote to his father, who was in some fake wine business in New Whatcom, Washington State, to hurry down to San Francisco and bring Sam Lash, the younger brother, with him.

On the 10th of May Lee Lash made a demand on me to pay him $50 for the sketch, which was still unfinished. (An honest sign painter would have made the sketch in a few hours for $2.50, frame and all.) Mr. Lash then came right out and told me that if I did not wish to pay so much for the sketch, I could let him have a half interest in the enterprise. The talented artist subsequently assured me that if I did not care to accept either proposition, he would start an opposition business.

Seeing that I had confided my "inherited" ideas to a false friend, having investigated the scheme and having found that there was money in it, I paid "the talented artist" $50 more, making $60 in all, and took the sketch, still only half finished.

In the meantime old Isador Lash and Sam had arrived in the city.

I took the $2.50 sketch, which had cost me $60, to Taber, the photographer, to have a copy made of it to send to Washington to have copyrighted. But the three Lashes, old man Isador, Lee, and Sam, got their heads together at the office of Edward Lande, an "attorney" of the Lash tribe, and together they went up to Mr. Taber and raised such a piteous howl about my having the sketch photographed, telling Mr. Taber that it was theirs, that the gullible old photographer gave the sketch to the little petty larceny Shylocks, who proceeded immediately to develop the business with the money that old Lash had made out of several well planned "failures" in trade.*

[*Note : New York, June 6, 1895. The subjects of the above biography are carrying on the drop curtain advertising enterprise in this city. Their office is at No. 25 West 30th Street. They have an office in Diamond Street, Philadelphia, also. They call it the "Lee Lash Company," or the "Lee Lash Studios," or some such Oscar Wilde name. I can recommend the "firm" from personal knowledge.]

After Sam Lash had secured some orders for advertisements, he and the old man and Lee opened up business in the old Merchants' Exchange building, and called it the "Art Advertising Co."

The "talented young artist" abandoned his fastidious idea that an artist should not soil his artistic hands in vulgar trade, such as painting drop curtains. He of the artistic "tastes" (I don't mean Oscar Wilde's tastes) even got up on a scaffold to add some finishing touches to a bicycle "ad."

The artistic scaffold fell down and almost killed him. I am told that this accident crippled him in such a peculiar way as to constitute an impediment to matrimonial felicity.

But of that I know nothing, never having studied surgery of that kind further than the lecture contained in Deuteronomy xxiii.

The notoriety that I got through the papers over this affair brought me before the public in such a way that a great many other "business" men with schemes and ideas offered to let me go into partnership with them and invest various sums of money, which they assured me would "double in a little while."

One of the most promising of these schemes was laid before me by one F. E. Westervelt, a friend of Mr. Edwin Goeller of Pickens, Fulton & Co.'s Commercial Agency. Mr. Westervelt's scheme was for ceiling advertising, an entirely new invention, especially designed for barber shops. Mr. Westervelt declared that he had everything necessary to open up business and develop his talents with, except money. For fifteen hundred dollars he would let me have a half interest in his business, and guarantee me big profits. He was highly recommended by Mr. Goeller, and when he informed me that my name would not necessarily have to be used in the advertising business, I decided to invest the fifteen hundred.

Westervelt started the business with a great flourish, and succeeded in renting the ceilings of nearly all the barber shops on the Pacific Coast. Agents were sent to San José, Stockton, Sacramento, and many other interior cities, while Mr. Westervelt contracted with the San Francisco barbers in person, for the exclusive use of their ceilings and walls.

This was all smooth sailing. But, after securing thousands of gaudily papered ceilings for advertising purposes, Mr. Westervelt suddenly discovered that the experienced advertisers of the commercial world did not care to invest in ceiling advertisements.

Upon making this startling discovery Mr. Westervelt rushed up to the Palace Hotel with the heart-rending news, "just received from home," that his "wife was dying," and that he must sell out his interest in the Ceiling Advertising Co. in order to get the necessary funds with which to go on to New York to "attend the funeral."

The fifteen hundred had already been paid out, together with five hundred more; so there was nothing for me to do but buy out Mr. Westervelt's interest. The transfer having been arranged at Mr. Goeller's Commercial Agency Office, I paid Mr. Westervelt what he wanted, and took charge of the business myself, with the understanding that Mr. Westervelt was to open up a branch office in the East, and co-operate with me.

Mr. Westervelt left the same night on the east-bound overland for New York, and has not written to either Mr. Goeller or me since.

It took me just a little less than a week to discover the cause of Mr. Westervelt's sudden desire to go East to attend his "wife's funeral." Then I paid off the agents and offered the business for sale; but the Commercial Agency could not find a purchaser, even with the aid of Mr. Goeller's personal influence, so I pocketed my experience and twenty-five hundred dollars' worth of receipts for money paid out in this enterprise, locked up the office, turned the key over to the landlord, and retired from the advertising business.

After several more adventures similar, financially, to the above, I came to the conclusion that Mr. Rice's advice to think twice before launching out into the cold, deceitful business world to battle with land sharks and sheenies, was the best piece of advice that I ever had.

In the spring of '93, shortly after the experience with "fruit-pickers" mentioned in Chapter XIII, I took a trip through Southern California, after which I went to Honolulu on a visit.

Apropos of this visit to Honolulu, I sailed from San Francisco on the White Star Steamship Oceanic, Captain William Smith, on Tuesday, August 1, 1893.

On the 8th we arrived at Honolulu, where I put up at the Hawaiian Hotel. Almost the first gentleman I met there was Rear-Admiral J. S. Skerrett, U.S. Navy. I had been introduced to the admiral by Lieutenant T. S. Phelps, under highly favorable circumstances, at a large naval reception given at Mare Island by the officers of the U.S.S. Mohican, during the previous winter. The renewal of this acquaintance at Honolulu, and what follows, marks one of the most pleasant episodes of fifteen years of travel. Mr. Blount, the commissioner sent to Hawaii by President Cleveland, left there on the day I arrived, and Admiral Skerrett assumed full charge of all the diplomatic affairs, pending Mr. Blount's return to Washington.

Steamship Oceanic, Wm. M. Smith, Commander. The Pacific Ocean Liner with Cricket and Tennis Courts on board.
 

That these diplomatic affairs were in a pretty unsettled state about the time they were turned over to Admiral Skerrett, is shown by several indisputable, undeniable facts in connection with the most disgraceful and cowardly betrayal of public trust that those little islanders ever had perpetrated upon them.

Having been in Honolulu many times before, having known the Damon missionary tribe of boodlers, as well as some reputable citizens of the place, having been in close touch with some of the ringleaders of the boodle "Annexation Club," and having lived in the hotel with the admiral and his staff, Flag Lieutenant Chas. E. Fox and Lieutenant Downes, L. Wilson, U.S.N., and also Lieutenant Adams, Dr. F. J. D. Cordeiro, Paymaster McDonald, and others, all of whom I knew in society and with whom I conversed every day for more than a month, I am now prepared to write the truth.

For the mere sake of convenience I will state the truth plainly:

The origin of the "Provisional Government" of Honolulu, city only, had no immaculate conception, such as its promoters would have had us believe.

It was neither conceived by a pure spirit, born of an honest purpose, nor has it (up to the present time) suffered for its Judasism.

When I speak of Judasism and of the so-called government of Honolulu, I do not mean the representatives of the majority of the inhabitants of the Hawaiian group; I simply mean Sanford B. Dole, President of the pitiable little oligarchy of Honolulu; J. A. King, Minister of the Interior; S. M. Damon, ex-missionary, Minister of Finance; W. O. Smith, Attorney-General, and the following flocks of classified mercenary birds of the "Paradise of the Pacific":

"ADVISORY(?) COUNCIL.

"W. C. Wilder, Vice President; Cecil Brown, John Nott, F. W. McChesney, James F. Morgan, Ed. Suhr, J. Mendonca, J. Emmeluth, and C. T. Rodgers. Secretaries. Executive and Advisory Councils, E. D. Tenney, C. Bolte, W. F. Allen, Henry Waterho se, A. Young, F. M. Hatch.

"SUPREME COURT (?).

"'Hon.' A. F. Judd, Chief Justice; 'Hon.' R. F. Bickerton, First Associate Justice; 'Hon.' W. F. Frear, Second Associate Justice; Henry Smith, Chief Clerk; Fred Wundenburg, Deputy Clerk; George Lucas, Second Deputy Clerk; J. Walter Jones, Stenographer.

"CIRCUIT JUDGES (?).

"First Circuit: H. E. Cooper, W. A. Whiting, Oahu; Second Circuit: A. N. Keoikai; Third and Fourth Circuits: S. L. Austin; Fifth Circuit: J. Hardy. Offices and Court Room in Government Building, King Street. Sitting in Honolulu, first Monday in February, May, August, and November.

"DISTRICT COURT (?).

"Police Station Building, Merchant Street. William Foster, Magistrate; James Thompson, Clerk.

"DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (?).

"Office in Government Building, King Street. His Excellency (?) Sanford B. Dole, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Geo. C. Potter, Chief Clerk; W. Horace Wright and Ed. Stiles, Clerks.

"DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR (?).

"Office in Government Building, King Street. His Excellency (?) J. A. King, Minister of the Interior; Chief Clerk, John A. Hassinger; Assistant Clerks, James H. Boyd, M. K. Keohokalole (Keyhole), James Aholo, Stephen Mahaulu, George C. Ross, Edward S. Boyd.

"CHIEFS OF BUREAUS, DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR (?).

"Surveyor-General, W. D. Alexander; Superintendent Public Works, W. E. Rowell; Superintendent Water Works, Andrew Brown; Inspector Electric Lights, John Cassidy; Registrar of Conveyances, T. G. Thrum; Deputy Registrar and Road Supervisor, Honolulu, W. H. Cummings; Chief Engineer Fire Department, F. Hustace; Superintendent Insane Asylum, Dr. A. McWayne. Office, Government Building, King Street.

"BUREAU OF AGRICULTURE (?).

"President ex-officio, His Excellency (?) J. A. King, Minister of the Interior; Members: A. Jaeger, A. Herbert, and John Ena; Commissioner of Agriculture and ex-officio Secretary of the Board, Joseph Marsden.

"DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE (?).*

[*Note: Mr. Damon, the Minister, probably favors the free coinage of silver at the ratio of 8 to 1. instead of 16 to 1--(See pages 290 and 291.)]

"Minister of Finance, His Excellency (?) S. M. Damon, ex-missionary; Auditor-General, George S. Ross; Registrar of Accounts, Geo. E. Smithies; Clerk of Finance Office, Carl Widemann; Collector General of Customs, J. B. Castle; Tax Assessor, Oahu, Jonathan Shaw; Deputy Assessor, W. C. Weedon; Postmaster-General, J. M. Oat.

"CUSTOMS BUREAU (?).

"Office, Custom House, Esplanade, Fort Street. Collector-General, J. B. Castle; Deputy-Collector, F. B. McStocker; Harbormaster, Captain A. Fuller; Port Surveyer, M. N. Sanders; Storekeeper, Geo. Stratemeyer.

"DEPARTMENT OF ATTORNEY-GENERAL (?).

"Office in Government Building, King Street. Attorney-General, W. O. Smith; Deputy Attorney-General, G. K. Wilder; Clerk, J. M. Kea; Marshal, E. G. Hitchcock; Deputy Marshal, Arthur M. Brown; Jailor, Oahu prison, Captain A. N. Tripp; Prison Physician, Dr. C. B. Cooper.

"BOARD OF IMMIGRATION (?).

"Office, Department of Interior, Government Building, King Street. President, His Excellency (?) J. A. King; Members of the Board of Immigration, Hon. J. B. Atherton, Jas. B. Castle, James G. Spencer, Mark P. Robinson; Secretary, Wray Taylor.

"BOARD OF HEALTH (?).

"Office in grounds of Government Building, corner of Mililani and Queen Streets. Members: Dr. Day, Dr. Miner, Dr. Andrews, J. O. Carter, J. T. Waterhouse, Jr., John Ena, and Attorney-General Smith. President, 'Hon.' W. O. Smith; Secretary, Chas. Wilcox; Executive Officer, C. B. Reynolds; J. D. McVeigh, Agent Board of Health; Inspector and Manager of Garbage Service, L. L. La Pierre; Inspector, G. W. C. Jones; Port Physician, Dr. Trousseau; Dispensary, Dr. H. McGrew; Leper Settlement, Dr. R. K. Oliver.

"BOARD OF EDUCATION (?).

"Office, Government Building, King Street. President, 'Hon.' C. R. Bishop; Secretary, W. James Smith; Inspector of Schools, A. T. Atkinson.

"BOARD OF CROWN LAND COMMISSIONERS (?).

"J. A. King, Minister of the Interior; W. O. Smith, Attorney-General, and C. P. Iaukea. Office in Judiciary Building."

The above lists are all copied from the so-called official directory of the Hawaiian Government.

That Dole, Damon, and many others of the little oligarchy are arch-traitors, is proved by the fact that they had been favored by the legitimate government all along. Posing as Christian missionaries they had amassed fortunes in business, Dole having become judge of the Supreme Court.

Mr. David K. Dowsett of Honolulu, God-son of the late King, Kalakaua.
 

Seeing that Queen Liliokalani had become disgusted with their mercenary hypocrisy, and fearing that she would weed out the corruptionists and put honest men in office, these sweet-scented missionaries revolted.

Assisted by United States Minister Stevens, and the man-of-war Boston, the missionaries soon vanquished the queen's army,--fifteen Kanaka soldiers,--and established themselves in her house.

The total population of the entire group of islands is about seventy-five thousand, or less than one-twentieth that of New York city alone. Of this number there are probably two thousand so-called Americans, including haberdashers, grocers, quacks, shysters, saloon-keepers, gamblers, renegade missionaries, bums, and loafers. The fact that this handful of mercenary wretches succeeded in attracting the attention of the entire American nation goes to show that President Cleveland's political enemies took up the case of the missionaries merely because it afforded an excuse for raising a row.

In speaking of the hypocrisy of the missionary usurpers it would be impossible to exaggerate it. When the old queen discovered their rascality and talked about replacing them with honest citizens, the holy missionaries accused her of trying to revive cannibalism.

The biggest mistake made by President Cleveland in the whole affair was in not ordering Admiral Skerrett to put the old queen back in her office.

Had Admiral Skerrett been so instructed by the president he would have erased this vile stain from the American flag.

He would have undone the wrong, and given the world the truth, if it had killed every Methodist missionary hypocrite in Honolulu.


Source: Chambliss, William H. Chambliss' Diary; Or, Society As It Really Is. 1895: New York.  Library of Congress, "California as I Saw It:" First-Person Narratives of California's Early Years, 1849-1900.

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