That Minneapolis Letter.
It is not easy to realize the fact that any woman having an atom of regard for that high sense of honor of which truth is the basis could pen such a letter as you published on Saturday, even though it were not intended, as may be supposed, for publication. Is this Mrs. W. Hall, who now traduces the Queen, in innuendo too utterly vile and baseless for repetition, the same Mrs. W. Hall who for years has been the seeming friend of the Queen, and members of the same religious organization? The public will remember that about a year and a half ago the W. C. T. U. [Women’s Christian Temperance Union], of which Mrs. W. Hall is a leading light, conceived the brilliant idea of opening a coffee-shop in the Queen Emma Hall. The enterprise was ushered in with a great flourish of religious trumpets and the usual benedictions were pronounced on the undertaking, and the creme de la creme of local “Christian business men promised to boom up the good work. But, lo, there are expenses confronting the ladies of the “Union” in starting the movement and to whom do they go? Not to the millionaire merchants their husbands and others, but to the Queen. Yes, to Queen Liliuokalani, gentle reader in Minneapolis, did Mrs. W. Hall and her sisters of the Honolulu W. C. T. U. go for the fifty-two dollars for the license, and the gift of a bag of Kona coffee and other incidentals necessary to the starting of that enterprise which was to do so much for temperance and didn’t; for after having flickered through a feeble existence of four or five months the Queen’s bag of coffee gave out, and the “movement” ceased to move, and the word “closed” was written on the front door of the “enterprise,” and the Queen’s money might have been as well thrown into the sea, and the only residue of this coffee episode is a reminder that between pious temperance and professional missionary the kaleidoscopic picture of “Christian” character as presented by the latest local doctrinaires must appear to the Hawaiian “very pronounced” indeed, as a compound variety of intolerance, hypocrisy and unmitigated greed.
This unhealthy feature of attacking the private character of a lady, who from the nature of her position can’t talk back, has been about the most conspicuous feature in this insane stampede for annexation. “Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny.” The foreign reader, for whose special delectation those pious literary scandals are served up, is not made aware that the scandal-mongers have hitherto been the most obsequious “friends” of the Queen. Witness the state receptions given by the Queen; the lists of names are before me as I write, and would you believe it, dear Minneapolis friends, the familiar names of all the leading ladies of the W. C. T. U. are there to do honor to, and pay their respects to their Queen and fellow workers in temperance, and whom they now affect to despise!
This mean, cowardly kind of slander has seen its best days. As a part of the stock in trade of the W. C. T. U. it means a ghastly respectability which should suggest an immediate visit to an undertaker. Outside of a small select coterie of scandal-mongers it never had a leg to stand on, and finally it has perished through becoming too monotonous.
[This editorial unfortunately does not seem to have gotten printed in the Minneapolis Tribune! Makee Aupuni is the person who gave us a nice English version of “Kaulana na Pua”!!]
(Daily Bulletin, 6/15/1893, p. 1)