No. 227.
Mr. Peirce to Mr. Fish.

No. 180.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith, marked No. 1, a slip from the Hawaiian Gazette, of December 18, containing an obituary notice of the late King Kamehameha V, &c.; also letters of condolence from this legation and the foreign consuls respectively, addressed to the Hawaiian minister, in reply to an official circular notifying them of the demise of His late Majesty.

In reference to the circular or proclamation of Prince William C. Lunalilo, addressed to the Hawaiian people on the 16th ultimo, forwarded with my dispatch No. 177, duplicate of same herewith inclosed, marked No. 2, I have to inform you that it was received by them and the foreign residents with entire approval and satisfaction, and, in the excitement produced by the political status, had a composing effect, like oil poured upon troubled waters.

On the 28th December, however, Col. David Kalakaua, next in rank by birth to Prince William, and a candidate for election to the throne, issued an inflammatory appeal to the people, evidently intended to arouse the baser portion of the people to come to his support in the struggle for the crown. The circular is composed in the ancient Hawaiian dramatic style of language, alludes to the influence of foreigners over the government, and consequent danger of the transfer of the sovereignty of the islands to the United States, and closes with the battle-song of Kamehameha, the Conqueror of the Group.

A translation of the same is herewith inclosed, marked No. 3.

It created considerable alarm in the community for a few days, increased by reports of a rising of the adherents of the colonel against resident foreigners, with an intended attack on a gun-battery which commands the town.

Under the circumstances, the arrival of a United States vessel was devoutly desired, for the protection of life and property. Confidence, in regard to security of both, soon returned, however, when it was ascertained that Colonel Kalakaua’s appeal fell still-born, and that the mass of the people were favorable for election of Prince William in preference to any other candidate.

Inclosed herewith, marked No. 4, is an account cut from the Semi-Weekly Commercial Advertiser, headed “The Prince,” of a visit and address made to Prince William on the 30th ultimo by ten American shipmasters, who congratulated him on the prospect of his election to the Hawaiian throne, and presenting their views in regard to the future welfare of this port and kingdom, &c.

On the 1st of January the legal voters on the several islands cast an informal ballot at the polls, as an indication of their choice or selection of a candidate to fill the throne, and the act was to be regarded as instructions to the legislative assembly to elect him on the meeting of that body.

Inclosure herewith, marked No. 5, gives the result of said balloting, and that William C. Lunalilo has been selected by the people as the future sovereign of the kingdom. The assembly will no doubt do the same.

The quiet and good order preserved by the people generally is remarkable, and highly to their credit.

[Page 489]

The inclosed extract, marked No. 6, from the “Friend” newspaper of January 1st, with the title, “The future King,” gives an interesting account of Prince William. Accompanying the same is a paragraph headed, “We, the People,” worthy of perusal, as showing that a new era has dawned upon the Hawaiian nation.

It seems to be a settled purpose to set aside, legally or illegally, the constitution of 1864, and to adopt a more liberal one. The only difference of opinion, in regard to the same, relates to the method which shall be taken to accomplish it.

Inclosure marked No. 7, referring to the subject, may be interesting.

I am, &c.,


(Inclosure No. 1.)

Extracts from Hawaiian Gazette of December 18, 1872.

The attention of all officers of the government is respectfully invited to the impropriety of any official interference in determining the question of succession to the throne.

It is a question upon which every subject undoubtedly feels the deepest interest, and all have a right to express their views in an orderly manner, individually and collectively, and to suggest their wishes to the members of the legislative assembly, to whom, by the constitution, the right of choosing a successor belongs. But no officer of the government has any official right or duty in the matter, least of all in an official capacity, to hold or preside at any election for which the sanction of official authority is claimed.

    Minister of the Interior.
    Minister of Finance.

chamberlain’s notice.

The court will go into full mourning for His late Majesty Kamehameha V from the date of this notice until two weeks after the funeral, and will wear half mourning from that time until the expiration of two months from the day of the funeral. Ladies will wear black with white trimmings for full mourning, and white with black trimmings for half mourning. All members of the government and all persons connected with the court will wear crape on their several uniforms. Gentlemen being civilians will wear black dresses, with hat-bands, and crape on the left arm, during the period of full mourning, and hat-bands, and crape on the arm, during the period of half mourning.

All representatives of foreign countries, consuls, and commercial agents are invited to observe the period of mourning herein prescribed, and the public generally are requested to show their respect for the memory of the late lamented sovereign by wearing badges of mourning during the time specified.

H. PRENDERGAST, Chamberlain.


It was our painful duty on Wednesday last to announce the unexpected death of His late Majesty Kamehameha V, at ten o’clock and twenty minutes a.m. on that day. His Majesty had completed his forty-second year on the day of his death, having been [Page 490] born on the 11th day of December, 1830. The day which had been set apart as a day of rejoicing and the congratulations of a loyal people, was, by the inexorable decree of the King of Kings, turned into a day of deep affliction and sincere mourning.

His late Majesty was the elder brother of his predecessor, Kamehameha IV, they being the sons of Kinau, the daughter of Kamehameha I, the founder of the dynasty, and who by his brilliant achievements made himself the sovereign of the archipelago, and his highness Mataio Kekuanaoa, whose death at an advanced age occurred November 14, 1868.

His late Majesty ascended the throne on the death of his predecessor, Kamehameha IV, November 30, 1863, his reign at the time of his death having extended over a period of nine years and eleven days. His Majesty possessed in a great degree the distinguishing characteristics of the illustrious founder of the kingdom, uniting with rare firmness of purpose and great ability a clear and comprehensive view of the duties and responsibilities of his high position. He was ever alive to the necessities of the time and to the best interests of his people. Thoroughly educated, and having observed and taken part in some of the most important events in Hawaiian history, and served two of his predecessors as an active and able adviser of the Crown, and in the case of his immediate predecessor as minister of the interior, ably filling one of the most difficult and responsible positions in the government for a period of over six years, he brought to the throne a knowledge of government gained by a large experience in its routine and minor details, such as is rarely possessed by those called upon to preside over a people. This is not the time to comment upon the occurrences of his reign; but it is not too much to say that history will place his name on the roll of the wisest and best of the kings of Hawaii, and the influence which he has wielded over the people who now mourn his loss will long be felt for their good. Taken away in the meridian of manhood, when his subjects had the right to hope that he would live long to hold the helm of state with a just and even hand, it may well be said that the calamity which has fallen upon them is indeed great and hard to be borne.

At the time of his accession to the throne, his sister, Victoria Kamamalu, was appointed to succeed him in the event of his demise without issue. Princess Victoria died May 29, 1866. Both His late Majesty and Victoria died without issue, neither of them having been married; therefore, the late king not having appointed a successor, and there being no immediate heir in the line of succession as established by the constitution, the throne became vacant at his death. In accordance with the constitutional provisions to meet such a contingency, the cabinet council, immediately after his demise, issued a proclamation convening the legislative assembly on the 8th proximo, whose duty it will be to choose a sovereign from the native aliis of the kingdom.

On Thursday last the remains of His late Majesty lay in state in the throne-room at the palace, and thousands of people mournfully filed through to look for the last time upon him who was yesterday their king.

On Sunday last, both at the morning and evening services at the various churches, sermons were preached suitable to the occasion. Eloquent tributes were paid the memory of His late Majesty, and the people were wisely counseled to observe quiet and moderation during the trying period to elapse before the next sovereign shall be named by the proper authority.

Extract from Hawaiian Gazette, December 18, 1872.

Upon the return of the chancellor of the kingdom from Lahaina, he expressed a desire that the privy councilors should assemble informally at an early day, and, after consultation, his honor, being the oldest councilor, issued the following invitation:

“In view of the great calamity which has overtaken this nation, the chancellor of the kingdom requests the members of the privy council to assemble, informally, at Iolani palace on Monday, December 16, at 12 o’clock noon, to place upon record some suitable expression of their regard for the memory of His late Majesty Kamehameha V, and their appreciation of the great loss which his people have sustained.

Court-House, Honolulu, December 16, 1872.”

All the privy councilors known to be in Honolulu assembled, on this invitation, at Iolani palace on Monday, when the chancellor addressed them as follows:

Gentlemen: In view of the overwhelming loss to the nation by the sudden death of our beloved sovereign, and of the sorrow which this mechancholy event has especially caused to us, who have been so long and so intimately associated with His late Majesty ‘in the consideration of matters for the good of the state,’ I thought it proper, in which the cabinet of His late Majesty concurred, to ask you to assemble informally that we might give such expression of sympathy and sorrow as the melancholy event may naturally suggest.

“In making a request for this meeting, I have assumed no authority, gentlemen, to ask you to assemble as a privy council; but it was the best mode which occurred to me [Page 491] of asking the friends of His late Majesty, who have been associated with him in the public councils, to assemble together that they might have opportunity to give such expression as they thought worthy of the occasion, and to place upon record a memorial of the very high appreciation we have always entertained of his wisdom and patriotic devotion as a sovereign and his noble qualities as a man.”

Upon the conclusion of the chancellor’s remarks the privy councilors, after consultation, unanimously agreed upon the following declaration and resolutions, which shall be signed and presented for record when a new sovereign shall summon a privy council:

“The privy councilors of his late Majesty Kamehameha V, having assembled, after receiving intelligence of his untimely demise, by invitation of the chancellor of the kingdom, are anxious to have placed upon the records of the privy council some expression of their appreciation of their deceased sovereign. Most of them have served the late king during the entire period of his reign, and many of them held a seat in the council during the reign of at least one of his predecessors. They were thus brought in contact with the late sovereign before his accession to the throne, and while he held a most responsible position in the organization of the government.

“They therefore request his honor, the chancellor of the kingdom, whenever any privy council may lawfully be assembled hereafter, to present the following resolutions, and to request that they may be placed upon its records:

Resolved, That the privy councilors here assembled have received with profound sensibility the intelligence of the untimely death of their late sovereign, King Kamehameha V, in the meridian of life, while they were sincerely hoping that his mild reign would have continued for many years to promote the welfare of his people and the dignity and strength of his nation.

Resolved, That we bow with reverence to the inscrutable decrees of Divine Providence, which tempereth all things well, but we cannot be indifferent to the great loss which this kingdom has sustained; that we especially appreciate the moral force, the sagacity and deliberate wisdom, which enabled our late lamented sovereign to uphold with so much dignity the authority of his crown, and the mild spirit which characterized all the sovereigns of the Kamehameha dynasty, and which was largely shared by the last of the line.

Resolved, That we sincerely respect his attachment to the people of his own native race, and the pride with which he contemplated their position among the nations of the earth; the firmness with which he always asserted their independence, and the anxiety for their welfare, which had a controlling influence upon his national policy. Now that he is numbered with his ancestors, we humbly commend the people, who are deprived of a father, to the generous consideration of the whole world, and the guardian care of Almighty God.

Resolved, That in this hour of personal as well as public affliction the privy councilors tender the expression of their profound sympathy to all who were connected with the late sovereign by any ties of kindred or affection, and most especially to Her Excellency Ruth Keelikolani, the sister of the deceased and the last of his immediate family, to whom the chancellor is especially requested to communicate the feelings of the privy councilors in such form as may seem most appropriate in view of her great bereavement.”

The following-named privy councilors were present: His honor the chancellor, and the cabinet ministers, Hons. C. Kanania, P. Kanoa, P. Nahaolelua, S. N. Castle, His Highness W. C. Lunalilo, Honorables C. R. Bishop, C. C. Harris, D. Kalakaua, W. P. Kamakau, J. W. Makalena, Godfrey Rhodes, and J. M. Smith.

Immediately upon the announcement of the death of His late Majesty, his excellency the acting minister of foreign affairs addressed the following note to the foreign diplomatic and consular agents resident in Honolulu:

Department of Foreign Affairs,
Honolulu, December 11, 1872.

Sir: It is with profound grief I inform you that it has pleased Almighty God to call hence my late sovereign, Kamehameha V, at 20 minutes past 10 on the forenoon of this day.

I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,


Addressed to all the foreign diplomatic and consular agents in Honolulu.

[Page 492]

The following replies have been received:

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s note of date yesterday, and officially announcing the demise on that morning of His late Majesty Kamehameha the Fifth.

The Government and people of the United States, when informed, Mr. Minister, of the important and melancholy event alluded to, will feel profound regret for and deeply sympathize with the government and people of this country on the great loss now met with.

I offer my sincere condolence to you and your colleagues and the subjects of the realm on this afflicting dispensation of Divine Providence.

I am, sir, very sincerely, your excellency’s most obedient servant,


His Excellency F. W. Hutchison,
Hawaiian Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Monsieur le ministre: J’ai reçu aujourd’hui la notification que vous m’avez fait l’honneur de m’adresser de la mort de sa majesté Kamehameha V.

La nouvelle n’en sera, il est vrai, envoyée en France que par le prochain courrier, mais l’inalterable amitié qui a toujours uni la nation française à la nation hawaienne me fait un devoir de vous transmettre, des à présent, tons les regrets qu’éprouvera de ce fatal événement, le gouvernement de la république française, qui ne manquera, d’ailleurs, point de vous le faire mander en son temps et lieu.

Permettrez moi, monsieur le ministre, de vous exprimer moi-même, dans cette cruelle occasion, mes plus cordiaux sentiments de condolance et de vous dire combien, pour ma part, je m’associe à votre douleur personnelle et au deuil national que supporte, en ce moment le peuple hawaien.

Veuillez à gréer les assurances de le très-haute considération avec laquelle j’ai l’honneur d’être, monsieur le ministre, de votre excellence le très-humble et très-obéissant serviteur,


Son Excellence Monsieur Hutchison,
Ministre par Intérim des Affaires Étrangères, etc., etc., etc., Honolulu.

Sir: I have received with unfeigned sorrow your excellency’s dispatch of this date, announcing the decease of His late Majesty Kamehameha V.

I shall communicate the melancholy information to Her Majesty’s government, and I am assured that the intelligence will be received by Her Majesty Queen Victoria with profound grief.

I have the honor to be, sir, with the highest consideration, your excellency’s obedient humble servant,


His Excellency F. W. Hutchison,
Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, &c., &c.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s letter of December 11, announcing the death of His Majesty Kamehameha V, at 20 minutes past 10 on the forenoon of 11th of December.

This sad news has filled me with profound grief, and I beg most respectfully to request your excellency that you will be pleased to express to the members of the royal family my sincere condolence and sympathy in their and the Hawaiian nation’s affliction.

[Page 493]

I shall not fail to inform the government of the German Empire, and the kingdoms of Sweden and Norway, of this melancholy event, and beg your excellency to receive the assurance of the respect and consideration with which I have the honor to he your excellency’s most obedient servant,

Acting Consul for the German Empire and the Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway.

His Excellency F. W. Hutchison,
Minister of Foreign Affairs ad interim, &c., &c., &c.

Sir: With deep regret I received your excellency’s dispatch informing me of the demise of His late Majesty Kamehameha V, at 20 minutes past 10 o’clock on the 11th instant. I shall not fail to inform the imperial and royal Austro-Hungarian government of this sad event by the first opportunity.

I have the honor to remain your excellency’s most obedient, humble servant,

Austro-Hungarian Consul.

His Excellency F. W. Hutchison,
Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s communication of the 11th instant, informing me of the demise of His Majesty Kamehameha V, yesterday at 20 minutes past 10 o’clock a.m.

I beg most respectfully to join with yourself and all who have the well-being of the Hawaiian nation at heart in the expressions of heartfelt grief at the loss sustained by the early death of the last of the Kamehamehas.

By the first opportunity I shall not fail to inform my government of this sad event.

I have the honor to remain your excellency’s most obedient humble servant,

F. H. SCHAEFER, Consul

His Excellency Ferd. W. Hutchison,
Minister of Foreign Affairs ad interim, &c., &c.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s dispatch or yesterday, by which I received the mournful intelligence of the sudden and unexpected demise of His Majesty King Kamehamaha V.

I beg to assure your excellency of the profound feelings of sympathy and condolence with the royal family and the Hawaiian nation with which this sad event has filled me, and have the honor to remain your excellency’s most obedient, humble servant,


His Excellency F. W. Hutchison,
Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, &c., &c.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s communication of yesterday, December 11, apprising me of the death of His Majesty Kamehameha V at 20 minutes past 10 o’clock.

By first opportunity I shall not fail to inform my government of this sad and melancholy event.

Assuring your excellency of my deep regret and sympathy for the royal family and Hawaiian nation, I have the honor to remain, sir, your excellency’s most obedient servant,

Acting Consul.

His Excellency F. W. Hutchinson,
Minister of Foreign Affairs, &c.

[Page 494]

Sir: It is with feelings of sadness I acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s communication, conveying the mournful intelligence of the decease of His late Majesty Kamehameha V. This afflicting event I will make known to the government I represent. Expressing the deep sympathy I feel with you at the loss this nation has sustained by this bereavement, I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,


His Excellency F. W. Hutchison,
Minister of Foreign Affairs, &c.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s communication of December 11, announcing that it has pleased Almighty God to call hence your late sovereign, Kamehameha V, at 20 minutes past 10 on the forenoon of the 11th of December.

This sad intelligence has not failed to make the impression of profound grief upon me, and I hereby most respectfully request your excellency to express my feelings of condolence and sympathy for this mournful loss to the members of the royal family.

His Russian Imperial Majesty’s government will be informed of this melancholy event by first opportunity.

Renewing the assurance of my profound respect and consideration, I remain,

Your excellency’s most obedient servant,


His Excellency Ferd. W. Hutchison,
Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, &c.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s communication of December 11, in which you convey to me the melancholy intelligence of the demise of his late Majesty Kamehameha V.

This sad, and to me unexpected, event has filled me with profound grief, and your excellency will permit me to convey through you to the members of the royal family my expressions of deep sympathy with them in their sad affliction.

I have the honor to subscribe myself, with the highest consideration,

Your most obedient servant,

Consul for Peru.

His Excellency F. W. Hutchison,
Acting Minister of Foreign Relations, &c.

[Inclosure 2.—Extract from the Pacific Commercial Advertiser, of Honolulu, of December 17, 1872.]

a plebiscitum.

We issue herewith an address to the nation by Prince William Lunalilo, the heir apparent to the throne of these islands. It is modest, manly, and calm in its tone, and the sentiments expressed must commend themselves to the approval of all. In no more appropriate and acceptable way could the prince have placed his claims before the country. Whatever name may receive the sanction of the popular approval, this action alone of Prince William will stamp his character for unselfish patriotism and high-minded appreciation of the principle that the true source of the governmental power is the consent of the governed.

We speak advisedly when we say that Prince William entertains a deep sense of the responsibilities of the position to which the providence of God has evidently called him; that he prepares (with the will of the Hawaiian people) to assume that position from no ambitious motives, (for he is not a needy prince,) but purely from a sense of duty to his people; and that he is firm in his purpose to avoid in the future the youthful follies and irregularities of the past.

Assured as we are of the justice of the prince’s claim to the throne, and believing in his personal abilites and the honesty and sincerity of his professions, we heartily give our adhesion to his cause.

[Page 495]

William C. Lunalilo, son of Kekauluohi, the daughter of Kamehameha I, to the Hawaiian people, greeting:

Whereas the throne of the kingdom has become vacant by the death of His Majesty Kamehameha V on the 11th of December, 1872, without a successor appointed or proclaimed; and

Whereas it is desirable that the wishes of the Hawaiian people be consulted as to a successor to the throne: therefore,

Notwithstanding that, according to the law of inheritance, I am the rightful heir to the throne, in order to preserve peace, harmony, and good order, I desire to submit the decision of my claim to the voice of the people, to be freely and fairly expressed by a plebiscitum. The only pledge that I deem it necessary to offer to the people is, that I will restore the constitution of Kamehameha III, of happy memory, with only such changes as may be required to adapt it to present laws; and that I will govern the nation according to the principles of that constitution and a liberal constitutional monarchy, which, while it preserves the proper prerogatives of the crown, shall fully maintain the rights and liberties of the people.

To the end proposed I recommend the judges of the different election-districts throughout the islands (hereby appealing to their ancient allegiance to the family of the Kamehamehas) to give notice that a poll will be opened on Wednesday, the 1st day of January, A. D. 1873, at which all male subjects of the kingdom may, by their vote, peaceably and orderly express their free choice for a king of the Hawaiian Islands as successor of Kamehameha V. And that the said officers of the several election-districts do, on a count of the vote, make immediate certified return of the same to the legislative assembly summoned to meet at Honolulu on the 8th day of January, 1873. That if any officer or officers of any election-district shall refuse to act in accordance herewith, or if there shall be a vacancy in said offices in any district, the people may choose others in their places, who may proceed in conformity to law in conducting the election.

Given under my hand at Honolulu, this 16th day of December, 1872.

god protect hawaii nei.

[Inclosure 3.—Extract from the Pacific Commercial Advertiser of Dec. 31, 1872.]

The following is a fair translation of a circular a few copies of which were seen in the city on Saturday last:

O, my people! My countrymen from old! Arise! This is the voice!

Ho! all ye tribes and divisions! Ho! my own ancient people! The people who took hold and built up the kingdom of the Kamehamehas; from the first blow struck at the water of Keomo, to the complete union of the islands at the sea-beach of Kuloloia, (Honolulu.) Arise! This is the voice!

Ho! maui of Kuimehena the great! Ho! maui of Kamalalawalu; of Kihapiilana also! Ho! Molokai, tall of Hina! Ho! Lanai of Kaulu! Ho! Kanai of Mano, of my ancestors gone! Arise! Turn ye! Here is the voice!

Ho! the relatives of Keaweaheulu, of Kameeiamoku, and Kamanawa, they who met the hardships, the hunger, and the weariness of the spear and the implements of war. Our blood flowed first and our bodies were scarred in the creation of this house, (government,) and the securing of the peace now enjoyed. We created this government.

here is the voice! arise and listen!

At the present time, while the night-watch and the sacred mourning of affection is being held over the corpse of our house-finder, our last lord, the final one of the Kamehamehas, behold the sacred doorstep of Liloa is shaken, the symbolic cord of Ahaula is broken, it is dragged down by the unworthy, it is overthrown and lies face downward; its tabus are trodden on; its sleeping great one, who sleeps the long sleep, his tabus are broken.

Thus, while we are mourning, comes a voice grating on the ear as of a bawling crowd, disturbing the thoughts of the hearer, distracting the mind and attention, and it pours out thus:

“Ho, the Hawaiiaw nation!”

“William C. Lunalilo, the son of Kekauluohi, the daughter of Kamehameha I,” &c. A vote to be taken on the first day of January, 1873, for a king for the throne of the Kamahamehas.

Oh, Uli, (thou God!) Regard not this!

It is not we who have sprung forward to mock and to treat with contempt the corpse of our beloved king, who now sleeps. It is those who treat Thee with contempt, and we bid them farewell forever.

[Page 496]

Let me direct you, my people; do nothing that will be contrary to the law, or that will disturb the peace of our kingdom. Do not go and vote, and do not trammel the labors of your representatives; it will be opposing their authority and powers on the 8th of January, on which day the legislature is to meet and choose a successor to the throne. Don’t be led by the foreigners—they had no part in our hardships in gaining the country. Don’t be led by their false teachings, as a hog with a string in his nose is led ignorantly along to the oven prepared to cook him.

Stand fast! Stand firm! Be men, and fearless! Give not up your rights and privileges to others. The Kamehamehas are ended; the land, the government, which we labored and strove to create has returned to us.

Be patient and wait, my people, until after the funeral of Kamehameha V, the one absorbing affair before us, our last lord. The land is full of bitterness of grief; the chief are all alike.

For this reason will I be silent and still, but my mind is full of conflicting emotions to see the things that are done in despite of our king. Before his beloved body is out of sight, behold how his bones are mocked. Beware, or the words of the Gospel may apply to us: “They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots.”

I shall not now speak of the senseless things that are now being done, but as you have earnestly pressed me to present my views as to the condition of affairs and for the good of the Hawaiian people; and because I have an ancient right to the throne, from the birth of Keaweikekahialii, over Mani of Kama, Oahu of Kuihewa, down to Kauai of Manokalauipo; therefore,

I ask you to hear to me; I am of the first-born, you are of the second-born, of the same ancestors.

the platform of my government!

I shall obey the advice of our ancestors, of Keaweaheulu, my grand-father, which he gave to Kamehameha I, to be a rule for his government:
“The old men, the old women, and the children shall lie in safety on the highways,”
To preserve and to increase the people, so that they shall multiply, and fill the lands with chiefs and common people.
To repeal all the personal taxes, about which the people complain.
To put native Hawaiians into government offices, so as to pay off the national debt.
The amending of the constitution of 1864. The desires of the people will be obtained by a true agreement between the people and the occupant of the throne.

Beware of the constitution of 1852, and the false teachings of the foreigners, who are now grasping to obtain the direction of the government if W. C. Lunalilo ascends the throne. In this way the country narrowly escaped in 1853, shortly after the passage of the constitution of 1852. It was when Kamehameha III was sick that he was urged to sign the transfer of the country to America.

Don’t listen to the deceiver!

Don’t slight my words!

As we are now in a season of mourning, I am therefore brief, not to tire you, and that you may be sure of the warning of the voice which now echoes on all sides.

After my much lamented lord and father is buried I shall again issue my views, with, bravery, and without flinching, and without subserviency.

Let the sound of voices be hushed.

Rest ye, oh people!

The kapu is kept!

Wait until my voice is again raised, and ponder well on what is here said. Ho, ye women, my family, turn ye your husbands, and tell them not to part with the rights of our ancestors, and tell them to be ready when I call again!

In the inspiring words of our ancestors a call to guard well our rights now threatened, then,

Arise, O people!

To the front! Drink the waters of bitterness.


[Inclosure 4.—Extract from the Pacific Commercial Advertiser, December, 31, 1872.]

the prince.

His Royal Highness has spent the past week at his seaside cottage at Waikiki, in the enjoyment of his usual good health. He arrived at his town residence of Haimocipo yesterday morning, where he remained during the day, receiving business calls, and returning to Waikiki in the evening.

The captains, whose signatures are attached to the accompanying address, assembled [Page 497] together at the Hawaiian Hotel, at half-past 12 o’clock yesterday, and then proceeded to the city residence of His Royal Highness. The deputation were received with marked cordiality by the prince, who impressed every one present with the apparent excellence of his health, and his dignified, courteous demeanor.

Mr. W. M. Gibson, who, by especial request, had been invited to take part in this expression of congratulation, after a few expressions of lively satisfaction at the prince’s fine health and highly gratifying political prospects, read to him the following address:

Dear Prince: We, shipmasters now in the port of Honolulu, being about to proceed on our respective voyages, and wishful before leaving to tender to you an expression of our regard for your person, and of our satisfaction at your well-founded prospect to ascend the throne of your great ancestor, Kamehameha the First, have united cordially in this address of congratulation, in which we beg to mention some of our views and hopes in respect to the interests of this port, to which we hope frequently to resort with the ships under our command; and also in respect to the welfare of this island kingdom, over which we hope to see Your Royal Highness reign.

We fully appreciate that the admirable position and great natural advantages of this port should insure for it a flourishing and constantly increasing commerce; as it shall grow with the growth of the great and enterprising states that bound the east and the west of the Pacific, and should make of it the chief emporium of this great ocean. But in order that this result be brought about, and the future of Honolulu be crowned with the pre-eminent prosperity and glory that should be its due, it will be all-important the freedom of the port be strictly guarded; and that vessels entering it shall not be liable to vexatious, litigious interferences, for any condition of things on board, which does not affect the revenue and police regulations of the country; and in view of this we entertain the hope, and beg to suggest, that the future sovereign of this kingdom shall surround himself with those counsels alone which shall look warily to the prosperity of this port, and to the development of all the material interests of the country.

Your Royal Highness, we have the conviction, derived from experience and observation in our own prosperous country, that happy physical conditions and a widespread material prosperity are the best foundations upon which a Christian or enlightened order may be established; and that the material prosperity of this happily situated archipelago must be greatly promoted by the confidence of ship-owners and the confidence of all others employing here capital and organized labor, so essential to the advancement of the interests of these islands; that their risks and combinations shall not be interfered with for the sake of gratifying an abstract sentiment, inspired, no doubt, by a desire to pander to a political sentiment abroad which disorganizes material interests, being merely mischievous and disturbing in its character, and at the same time makes no provision for the objects of its sympathy.

We hope to see ere long this port, being guarded in its interests by a wise legislation, and which has so often been our favorite recruiting station, crowded with richly-freighted commercial navies, and also to behold a bountiful export of the products of these islands. Such material prosperity we feel will promote increase of people, and the best welfare of the Hawaiian race.

Wishing health and long life to Your Royal Highness, we are your most obedient servants,

  • JAS. DOWDEN, bark Progress.
  • CHAS. HAMILL, bark Midas.
  • JAS. W. FINCH, ship Georges.
  • THOS. J. FORBES, J. A. Falkinburg.
  • P. P. SHEPHERD, D. C. Murray.
  • F. D. WILKINSON, brig Hesperian.
  • G. D. RICKMAN, schr. C. M. Ward.
  • C. A. JOHNSON, ship Syren.

The prince replied:

Gentlemen: I am truly pleased to meet you, and happy to receive a kindly congratulation from the representatives of an interest so important to the welfare of this country. I hope to see our commercial relations extended to all nations.

In the event of my occupying the grave and responsible position to which you kindly allude, and to which the favorable wishes of all the people of these islands would seem likely to call me, I shall make it my duty to discriminate fairly in respect to the interests of natives and foreigners, and respect the rights and interests of all.

I thank you cordially, gentlemen, not only for the interest expressed in regard to my person, but in behalf of my weak little country. I hope, in carrying out such views as you express, to advance all its interests and its position before the world.

[Page 498]
[Inclosure 5.—Extract from the Pacific Commercial Advertiser, January 4, 1873.]

the prince.

The election held in this city on Wednesday last, for a king of the Hawaiian Islands, was conducted in a quiet and orderly manner, and the result has proved that His Royal Highness Prince W. C. Lunalilo is the choice of the people, and their only one. The polls at Adams’s auction-rooms were opened promptly at 8 o’clock a.m, and during the whole day the clerks were kept at the top of their speed recording the names of the seemingly endless string of citizens who were eager to deposit their ballots. All of the arrangements were well made and the best of order maintained everywhere. The streets away from the immediate neighborhood of the polls wore an aspect of quiet, intensified by the entire absence of any holiday preparation. At the place of voting everything was animated; speeches were made by several Hawaiians, all of whom possessed a flow of language that was astounding.

At Makee’s corner a funny cartoon was displayed, illustrating, in a series of views, the adventures of the “cocoanut cabinet,” whom the Rev. Buster has immortalized, and the sketches were largely admired and freely commented upon, especially by residents of Waikiki. At the polls 480 votes were registered the first hour, 2,200 by noon, and when the lists were closed at 5 o’clock p.m. the estimate gave 3,000 as the total number cast in the nine hours.

Our venerated fellow-townsman, Dr. G. P. Judd, left his sick-room to cast his vote for the prince, and he did so amidst the cheers of those who caught a glimpse of his well-known face. The household troops marched in a body to the polls and quietly deposited their ballots; following them was along procession of Mormous from the other side of the island, and crowds of people from the most distant parts of the district were on hand to have a voice in making a king for themselves. A woman came with the ballot of her sick husband, who did not wish to lose his privilege, but of course his representative could not act for him in this case. Every precaution was taken that none but citizens should vote and we know of but two cases where illegal votes were offered. At 5 o’clock the polls closed, and the committee proceeded to count the ballots, a task which they completed in an hour. A dense crowd awaited the announcement of the result, which was thus made known to them: There have been three thousand and forty-nine votes cast, all for William C. Lunalilo.

Such a result was entirely unexpected, for even the most sanguine supposed that there would be one or two ballots for some one else. The ballots were all examined carefully by the committee and the lookers-on, and as all of them but seven (which were plainly written, and for the prince) were the printed forms supplied from this office, there could not be any mistake made. Of the voters, 2,768 were Hawaiians, and 281 naturalized foreigners. The total number of males in this district, according to the census of 1866, between the age of 15 and 40, was 3,717, which number will probably fairly represent the number of voters in the district at that date. At the prison a vote was taken, which was uuanimous for the prince. At Ewa and Waianae there were 324 votes cast; at Koolauloa, 293; at Koolaupoko, 472; and at Waialua, 172—all for the prince, with the exception of one vote in the district of Waialua. The total for Oahu is 4,309 votes cast for W. C. Lunalilo, and one for D. Kalakaua. We will give the returns from the other islands as fast as they come in.

The remarkable quiet and good order that prevailed during the entire day was due to the people themselves, and to the ready compliance by the liquor-dealers with the request of Marshal Parke that they would keep their places of business closed during the day. We saw and heard of no cases of drunkenness, and on the following morning that there had been no arrests made from any cause during the entire day. This we considered almost as remarkable as the spectacle of an entire population casting their votes without one dissenting voice.

In worthy imitation of the course adopted in New York and other cities of the United States, during the late Presidential election, all the liquor-saloons in this city were closed during Wednesday. There is no law compelling the proprietors to close their doors on any day except Sunday, and we are requested by Marshal Parke to express his acknowledgments to them for the prompt manner in which they complied with the wish communicated to them by him, to suspend altogether their business during the election. The entire day was peculiarly remarkable for the absence of drunkenness on the streets.

[Inclosure 6.—Extracts from The Friend, of Honolulu, January 1, 1873.]

the future king.

There appears to be a general uprising of the Hawaiian people on all parts of the islands, from Hawaii to Niihaw, in favor of His Royal Highness Prince William C. Lunalilo. Mass-meetings have been held at various localities for the purpose of giving expression to public sentiment, and for instructing the representatives how they shall [Page 499] vote at the coming meeting of the legislature. By acclamation Prince William is the candidate for the throne. It is peculiarly fortunate, for the peace of the community, that there should be this unanimity in the popular mind. Agreeably to the proclamation of the prince, there will be a gathering of the people to-day, January 1, in all the districts, for the purpose of voting. Although this is not a decisive and binding vote, yet it will more fully indicate the people’s mind.

Perhaps our readers abroad may be interested in learning something respecting the position of the incoming sovereign of the Hawaiian Islands. Prince William C. Lunalilo was born January 31, 1835, and is hence thirty-seven years of age. He derives his rank as a chief from his mother, Her Royal Highness Miriama Kekauluohi, who died June 7, 1845. At the time of her death she was premier of the kingdom, having succeeded Kinau, the mother of Kamehameha IV and V. She was a chiefess of the highest rank at the time of her death. Mr. Jarvis, in an obituary notice published in the Polynesian of June 21, 1845, writes thus: “She was the last adult member of that distinguished family which for the past sixty years has, as it were, shared the Hawaiian throne with the kings themselves. Her grandfather, Keeaumoku, was the most noted of all the warriors of Kamehameha I, and by his personal prowess placed that eminent man on the throne of Hawaii; first by slaying with his own hand his great antagonist Kiwalao, and subsequently Keoera, the only remaining enemy on that island.” He became chief counselor and executive agent in conducting the affairs of the kingdom. Kekauluohi, his granddaughter, was the mother of Prince William.

According to Hawaiian history, she was betrothed in her youth to Pomare, the King of Tahiti, but his death prevented the union by marriage of the kingdoms of the Hawaiian and Society Islands. She is reported to have been remarkably handsome in her youth, and as having possessed a very tenacious memory, treasuring up the old genealogies of the islands. Our readers will find a good likeness of this chiefess in the fourth volume of “Wilkes’s Exploring Expedition,” and also in “Anderson’s Hawaiian Islands.”

Reference to the foregoing facts will account for that deep feeling among Hawaiians for Prince William as their future King in preference over all other candidates. He was educated at the royal school, and we remember him as a bright scholar. He speaks and writes the English language with much ease. Should he succeed to the throne, we earnestly hope and pray that he may enjoy a long and happy reign. Profiting by the successes and errors of the past, we hope the kingdom of Hawaii will now take a new departure in all those elements of prosperity which go to make the people happy and the rulers beloved, fully believing with Solomon that “Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people.”

We the People.”—A month ago, when commenting upon President Grant’s proclamation setting forth the sentiment that the American Government was the creation of the people, we little imagined that so soon mass-meetings would be held throughout the Hawaiian kingdom to discuss the manner of electing a King, and arguing that all governments are derived from a consent of the people. A new era has dawned upon the Hawaiian nation; an hereditary chief, and one doubtless having the best right to the vacant throne, has made his appeal to the people, thus proclaiming that he deems the voice of the people a better title than a “Divine right” of hereditary descent. Verily the world moves.

[Inclosure 7.—Extract from the Hawaiian Gazette, Honolulu, January 1, 1873.]

Immediately upon receiving the intelligence of the demise of his late most lamented Majesty Kamehameha V, a cabinet council was assembled at Iolani Palace, on Wednesday, December 11, 1872, at 11 o’clock a.m., at which all the members were present, and after considering the provisions of the constitution of the kingdom in such case made and provided, it was—

Ordered, That a meeting of the legislative assembly be caused to be holden at the court-house in Honolulu, on Wednesday, which will be the 8th day of January, A. D. 1873, at 12 o’clock noon; and of this order all members of the legislative assembly will take notice and govern themselves accordingly.

    Minister of the Interior.
    Minister of Finance.
[Page 500]
[Inclosure 8.—Extract from the Pacific Commercial Advertiser, January 4, 1873.]

constitutional obligations.

The situation brings up the somewhat serious question of constitutional allegiance. Great interests hang upon the solution. Events hurry on the decision and the manner of its accomplishment.

Two statements of fundamental law are before the King-elect and the nation, the constitution of 1852, and the decree of 1864. The one, the mutual compact of King and people; the other, the arbitrary proclamation of a chief refusing to enter the constitutional relations of former kings; the one, the binding law of the land, the other a fraud, and only existing by force. The King-elect by his manifesto has announced his position in the clearest terms: “I will restore the constitution of Kamehameha III.” The people in their own assemblies and at the polls have as positively expressed themselves in favor of their own constitution, which they have believed in and which they have never given up nor abrogated.

In these circumstances, the Hawaiian Gazette has produced this week a labored article entitled “Constitutional government,” which reads more like a strained judicial opinion than an editorial. It is illogical, and its argument is unintelligible, save upon one basis, and that is the writer’s unqualified belief in the legality of the decree of 1864. It is a flat-footed and hearty support of that extraordinary document, and against the claims of the old constitution. The writer would seem to be a devout believer in the adage “whatever is, is right,” and because the prevailing sentiment in favor of a policy promising a better state of things may possibly introduce elements of danger or expense, he would make a virtue of extreme prudence and support the present state of things. Doubtless if the present King-elect should abolish all former constitutions and decree a new one, this commentator on fundamental law would, after things were running smoothly again, be able to swallow his scruples and write learnedly upon the disadvantages of permanent constitutions.

The idea that the late King might legally trample upon that constitution which established the manner and method of his succession to the throne because it did not say in actual words what it unmistakably expressed in the general sentiment of its section, is indeed worthy of that political intuition which says that “the present constitution is made binding on the successors of Kamehameha V by its express terms, so that no one can become the constitutional sovereign until he has sworn to support this constitution;” as if the support and assistance of the late decree were of any importance to the King-elect. How can the provisions of an illegal and revolutionary proclamation of a former King, now dead, give validity and strength to a new reign?

The King-elect has, by guaranteeing the restoration of the constitution of 1852, announced his disapproval of the decree of 1864. It is to be expected that he will abide by his promise, either literally or in substance, and under the present political circumstances, and with the meaning of the national decision at the polls of the 1st of January, it would be disloyal as well as indecent to urge or expect him to do otherwise.

The sensitive conscientiousness of the Gazette writer, in regard to the observance of oaths, would be highly honorable in him if he had expressed a similar feeling toward the oaths which were solemnly sworn to protect the constitution of 1852. What made it proper that they should be broken freely in 1864? Was it the decree of that date? Did that give absolution?

The only pretense of an argument for the legality of the decree is in the existence of a few official oaths, and in the fact that “it was so far acquiesced in that no resistance was made to it, and laws, elections, and the whole administration of the government have since gone along under its provisions;” but chiefly in the obsolete and decayed creed of the divine right of kings. It is well known that the people have never acquiesced in the acts of Kamehameha V on taking the throne; and that their almost unanimous feeling, from that day to this, partially smothered though it may have been, has been a strong and unceasing protest against those acts.

Kamehameha V, in taking the throne, had but one condition requisite by the constitution, the one of blood; he was not appointed and proclaimed by the reigning King and the House of Nobles as the successor to the throne; he was not chosen as such successor by the House of Nobles and the House of Representatives in joint ballot. Thus, by the argument of the Gazette, his acts in taking the throne and promulgating his decree in place of the constitution were “illegal, unconstitutional, and void,” and were so with far greater force than could be the act of the King-elect in recognizing a rightful constitution, which has never been interfered with save by such unlawful proceedings, even though it has been set aside for nine years.

The Gazette leader is an industrious attempt to sustain and give an appearance of right to a false position, and it fails not for want of ability in the writer, but because he attempts what is logically and morally impossible. A weak application of the doctrine of expediency shows from beginning to end. It is a feeble endeavor to prove that a wrong may be righted by continuing it.

[Page 501]

From a common sense, straightforward view of present circumstances, it does not appear that the King-elect will really need any validity for his acts which the provisions of the late King’s decree might give him. What does the voice of the people mean, which on the first of January rung out an overwhelming call to Lunalilo, King-elect of the nation, by its unanimous acclamation from Hawaii to Neiihaw? Does this give no legitimacy? Then where will you look for it? In the present crisis, if authority comes not from the people, where, in the name of justice and right, does it come from? From the decree of 1864? Heaven forbid! If the King-elect and the people who elected him shall unitedly decide to restore their old, much-wronged bill of rights, and thus to rebuke the dangerous and revolutionary acts of the last reign, we do not know how their acts under this policy could be made stronger, juster, or more really legitimate. Can the election of the first of January be called invalid, or its results be doubted? The judges of election were selected by the people themselves. Who shall distrust or find fault if the people do not? The nation sat in committee of the whole, and there the important vote took place that makes William C. Lunalilo King. The legislature will of course follow the direct vote of the people by way of formal ratification, and this they do without affecting their obligations to the decree of 1864.

The fear expressed in the article under review that if the constitution of 1852 should be restored “there would be no one who could legally enforce it,” must be founded chiefly in the writer’s remarkable veneration for the decree which overrode it. Cannot the King-elect enforce it, and if not, why not? If a feeling of conscientious obligation to the acts of the late reign should necessitate a resignation on the part of present officials, what shall prevent the King from immediately issuing commissions making new ones, and who shall say that such commissions are not valid or that such new officials would not be duly authorized? As to the statute laws that have been enacted during the years that have elapsed since the suspension of the constitution in 1864, one single statute passed by the legislature will legalize them all.

The temporizing policy of the Gazette leader has too long been the bane of our politics. The inconsistency of the argument exposes itself in the positive avoidance of any discussion of the question on its merits, the only true basis of judging any and every question under the sun. Not a single fundamental principle is brought forward. Departure from the decree of 1864 is condemned as “fraught with peril to the liberties of the people,” as if by the enforcement of that decree more liberties of the people were not lost than by all other influences together since their government was established.

The nation is wearied of the late régime, and has not and will not ratify its principles. The King-elect has publicly acknowledged the liberal idea of government by the consent of the governed, and the people in response have rallied with unprecedented enthusiasm and made the principle their national policy and its princely supporter their King. And now any support of the policy of the past reign is out of sympathy both with popular sentiment and political morality and justice.