Reaction from the Saturday Press, 1884.


A Clever Hoax in the Interests of an Increase of the Hawaiian Army.

The San Francisco Alta of December 15th has a cleaver hoax entitled, “Piracy, Honolulu Captured and Sacked by an armed Force—etc., etc.” It was written by Mr. Daniel O’Connell whilom editor of the Advertiser ; and copies of the hoax were struck off in San Francisco (or else the matter sent here in electrotype blocks) and issued as an extra by the P. C. A. with all possible expedition and a fine parade of “enterp rise.” The hoax is really an ingenious one and caused no little excitement in ‘Frisco. Copies of the Alta sold on the street for 25 cents a copy and were still in brisk demand at the time the steamer sailed. Ex-Mayor Alvord, president of the Bank of California, sought George Macfarlane and asked with some excitement if the story was at all worthy of credence. Mr. Alvord was especially interested because of his friendship for Mr. C. R. Bishop. Our unruffled George (who, of course, was in the secret of it) replied gravely that the story was probably a canard; though not at all impossible.”

The hoax would be merely amusing if is were not for its possibly serious consequences. It is well known that the distinguishing feature of the present reign is a passion for toy-soldiery and for military display. That passion has been encouraged by the administration. There are those who think they see in the recent Alta canard the dextrous yet sinister hand of the “premire.” Stranger things have happened. The essay is in his line ; and Mr. O’Connel’s clever pen has done it cleverest to further the pernicious doctrine that these islands need protection from foreign foes—protection by an increased military force or by such a naval armament as would render a piratical swoop like the one mentioned either a mightily hazardous experiment or sheer madness. But there does’nt seem to be any great danger that the nation has enough two-legged asses within its borders to carry such a scheme to realization —unless Mr. Gibson and King Kalakaua are willing lo mortgage their private estates to set up the costly playthings.

(Saturday Press, 12/27/1884, p. 3)


Saturday Press, Volume V, Number 17, Page 3. December 27, 1884.

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