No. 230.
Mr. Peirce to Mr. Fish.

No. 184.]

Sir: The following ministerial appointments are officially made known by the King: Charles R. Bishop, foreign affairs; E. O. Hall, interior; R. Stirling, finance; A. F. Judd, attorney-general.

All the above persons are of American parentage, except Mr. Stirling, who is a Scotchman. They are men of high character and ability, and will give strength to the new government. I inclose herewith some interesting articles on political matters here, extracted from the Pacific Commercial Advertiser of January 11.

One refers to the danger which existed, on the day of election of a King, (8th instant,) of outbreak and disorder; the people being secretly armed, and determined to make Lunalilo King, by force if necessary.

Happily for the peace of the community the latter was elected by the assembly; and the country now reposes in serenity and content, and with confidence in the future.

With great respect, &c.,

[Inclosure 1.—Extract from the Pacific Commercial Advertiser, January 11, 1873.]

Lunalilo is King. The will of the people has so far triumphed, and we hope and believe that the nation has entered upon the career of prosperity which the perfect accord of King and people should inaugurate. This journal, in advocating the claims of the prince who has now succeeded to the throne, only gave that expression of the popular will of which it aims to be the exponent, and in now alluding to the subject of the cabinet of the new King, we do not assume or pretend to dictate any persons for the high offices of administration, but we are confident we still reflect the popular hopes and desires when we assert that the people hope that “old things are passed away;” that a new King means a new régime.

We have no desire to refer to the dreary past of official incapacity and “ring” government, except to draw needed lessons for the future.

The tendency of government is very strong in all small countries to degenerate into rings; centralism is their bane. After the offices have been gathered within a few hands, it is difficult to resist the temptation to use the favor and patronage of office for private ends. A cabinet minister’s office should never be the basis of operations for commercial, financial, or real-estate speculations.

Among the names which have been prominent in our community for cabinet positions the last few days, are some which have been too frequently known in connection with such operations to promise well for the impartial fulfillment of the duties of cabinet officers.

The public hope that one of the first steps of the new administration will be to procure the necessary supplies for public institutions by open and fair means, so that through competition in the open market the government will be more economically and fairly served, and the benefits of its patronage not be reserved to a few ministerial favorites. Nor when tenders are to be called for should a minister or his subordinates give such previous information of government needs as will enable friends to monopolize the needed articles to the loss of the government, even if they have no direct pecuniary interest in the profits derived. Ministers should keep themselves above suspicion.

Rival interests will force their claims upon our new King; especially will a false conservatism urge, so far as possible, a continuance of the old order of things in the tone if not in the personnel of the new cabinet; but we trust that our new King will rightly interpret the enthusiasm which has greeted his accession to the throne as the uprising of a people desirous of ridding themselves and their country of the incubus of an administration selfish in its motives and detrimental to the national prosperity in its policy.

The people trust that their new King will seek for councilors, not in the tailings of [Page 508] the old administration, hut in the pure metal of a new lead, and that he will avoid, too, a patch-work cabinet, where new metal will be basely alloyed by the old.

All our exultation is in our hopes for the future, not in our memories of the near past.

Very thoughtful and appropriate were the words that fell from the lips of a distinguished personage on the evening of Wednesday last: “Let all good men fervently thank God for the peaceable conclusion of this day’s proceedings.” There was, indeed, great cause for thankfulness—greater cause than the foreign public is generally aware of. The remark was frequently heard previous to that day, that the native people would not be likely to submit quietly to the election of any one as King other than the man whom they had unanimously chosen on New Year’s day; but there is ample proof (and now that the matter is safely settled it is well to say so) that the people were determined, when they went down to the court-house on Wednesday last, that Lunalilo should be King before the assembly rose that day, andthat they were secretly armed, and prepared to make him King by force, if necessary. At half-past 12 the slightest spark would have served to set ablaze the passions of the populace that surrounded the court-house, and the possible consequences are fearful to contemplate. When we are aware of the depths to which their minds were stirred during the uncertainty that hung about the result, we can well understand the unbounded joy and enthusiasm of the people when they knew for a certainty that the assembly was unanimous for Lunalilo. Let us all, then, thank God for the peaceable conclusion.

After the election of the King had been declared in the assembly, the immense concourse of people assembled in the court-house yard and in the street adjoining remained anxiously waiting for a sight of their new King. In a few moments His Majesty appeared on the balcony, accompanied by the chancellor, when the cheers were deafening. The King addressed a few words to the eagerly-listening people, in which he thanked them heartily for the spontaneous expression of their loyalty and good-will, and distinctly acknowledged his indebtedness to the people for the exalted position he had just attained as their King. He added that to-morrow he would address them more fully at Kawaiahao church, on the occasion of taking the oath of office. He then bowed and retired, amid the wildest cheers of the excited populace. Several carriages were in waiting to convey His Majesty to the palace, but he signified his pleasure to walk thither, and so in most democratic style the people’s King, accompanied by the chancellor, proceeded on foot to the palace, followed by crowds that thronged the street and cheered as they marched.

Never was there seen such universal rejoicing over a glorious result. Men were seen running about, half frantic with pleasurable excitement, shaking hands vigorously with everybody they met. No previous notice of a night celebration had been given, hut in the evening numerous houses in the city were brilliantly illuminated, prominent among which was the post-office. The members of the German club, with many volunteers, and preceded by the military band, marched in torch-light procession through the principal streets.

God save our King, the people’s choice.

[Inclosure 2.—Extract from the Pacific Commercial Advertiser of Honolulu.]

The week that ends to-day will ever be a memorable one in the history of these islands, and from the date of the election by the people through their representatives of a King a new era dawns upon the nation and the land.

The three great events in the written history of the Hawaiian Islands are, first, the arrival of the first missionaries of the gospel in 1820, and the almost immediate adoption of Christianity as the religion of the nation; second, the act of 1840, when Kamehameha III gave a constitutional form to the government; and, third and last, the call for a plebiscitum by the Prince Lunalilo on the 16th day of December last, whereby he freely surrendered his right, held divine by monarchies heretofore, to the arbitration of the people, and established the supremacy of their will.

In the progress of events that have culminated in these three great epochs there have been many striking illustrations of the truth of the saying that all things work together harmoniously in the hands of that Divine Power which we believe to extend its protection to these islands of the sea, as well as the great continents of the earth.

If we trace back the events that led to the adoption of Christianity as the religion of this people, we find that they had unconsciously prepared themselves for the light of the gospel by proving for themselves the utter falsity of the teachings of their idolatrous priests.

So, when, in 1840, Kamehameha III gave the people a constitution, it was in accordance with the march of events that made such a step a necessity on his part, consequent [Page 509] upon the growing cares of a state that had outstripped his capacity for governing absolutely.

Lastly, the circumstances that led to the expression by the people on the 1st of January of their wishes, in the light with which we view them now, have been the very ones most needed to bring about the result obtained. In the giving of a bill of rights to the people, in the first place, their intelligence and growing capacity for self-government was recognized, and in 1852 the development of that capacity was still farther acknowledged by the amplifying of that bill of rights into a constitution.

This last solemn compact between the King, the nobles, and the representatives was necessarily defective, as it endeavored in some of its provisions to adapt certain clauses found in older instruments of the kind to the exigencies of a new state and a peculiar people. This country found itself with a constitution while still hampered with remembrances, traditions, and usages which were the relics of a barbarism from which it had but recently emerged.

It can hardly be said that the clauses that have been objectionable in the constitution of 1852 were all bad in themselves, but rather that those conditions were enforced upon a people who could not fully appreciate the moral responsibility that rested upon them of viewing those provisions from the highest moral stand-point. As it stands, it is a “constitution,” i. e., a compact between the people and their King, and as such never having been formally abrogated, must command attention at this time.

The decree that has been paramount for the last nine years has served one good purpose. It has exposed to the people the danger of a “little knowledge,” and has caused them to think more and deeply of what is due themselves than ever before. It has shown them the reverse of a medal which, as children, they never cared to see as long as the face was glittering and fair.

We believe that the people fully appreciate the responsibilities they have taken upon themselves in choosing their King, and that they will be able to consider and direct intelligently all legislation that may be needed to secure for their King and themselves a constitution that will stand the test of time and the onward march of human progress.

Our correspondent, who signs himself with * *, writes very sensibly in respect to what can be done by our next King in regard to the future constitutional status of the country. We have the assurance from the King-elect, in his manifesto, that he will govern his people constitutionally, and it is not to be presumed that he intends to dictate where he has expressly stated he should seek advice. We cannot see that any reference to the supreme court of this matter would be in accordance with the wishes of the King or the people, all the more that that body, in common with all the other judicial, legislative, and executive departments of the kingdom, “derive,” as our correspondent remarks, “all their powers from the constitution of 1864.” And it is this very fact that has so decidedly prejudiced the people and their chosen chief against that document, inasmuch as they had no voice in its construction.

Our correspondent asks, “What possible excuse is there for revolutionary measures and possible disorder now!” We know of but one, and that can be afforded only by those who would be glad to see the voice of the people nullified by the vote of the legislature. We agree with our correspondent when he says that greater economy should be practiced in every department, and when the proper time comes we can add not a few to the list of useless offices and appointments, now on the military and civil lists, that he gives us in his communication.

[Inclosure 3.—Extract from the Pacific Commercial Advertiser, January 11, 1873.]

the accession to the throne.

At an early hour on Thursday morning the streets were alive with sight-seers, and members of the various military organizations who were to take part in the ceremonies attendant upon the taking of the oath to the constitution by King Lunalilo.

As the morning advanced the soldiers were marched to their stations at the entrance to the grounds of Kawaiahao church, where the ceremony was to take place. The Hawaiian cavalry formed in line outside of the gate, and the other troops were ranged from the gate to the church on the left of the entrance. On the right of the line were the household troops, next to them was the marine corps of the United States sloop-of-war Benicia, then came the Honolulu rifles, and the left of the line was occupied by the artillery company. A dense throng lined the passage-way to the church, and the huge building itself was filled completely with the population of Honolulu. The pulpit had been removed and in its stead a broad platform had been built, upon which [Page 510] was arranged a table supporting the Bible, and a throne-chair covered with the royal mantle of golden feathers. The standard of Hawaii was displayed on either side and in the rear of the platform. On either side of the chair of state were the supporters, clothed in feather capes, and bearing the royal kahilis of slate-colored feathers. The seats nearest the platform were occupied by the members of the legislature, foreign representatives, and the officers of the Benicia. Queen Emma, Hon. Mrs. Dominis, Hon. Mrs. Bishop, and other members of the families of ancient Aliis, were stationed near at hand, and the rest of the church was solidly filled with an eager crowd.

Precisely at 12 o’clock noon His Majesty, escorted by the members of the late King’s staff, and followed by some of those who were his personal friends when he was a prince, entered the church. The immense audience rose and greeted him with enthusiastic cheers. His Majesty was simply but elegantly dressed, and wore no decorations save the broad scarlet ribbon and silver star of royalty. He was met at the entrance to the church by Chief Justice Allen and the members of the cabinet of the late King. Upon reaching the platform His Majesty remained standing while a prayer was offered by Rev. H. H. Parker, after which he took his seat, while the certificate of his election was read in Hawaiian and English. He then rose and approached the table upon which rested the Bible and took the oath, which was administered by the chief justice.

Upon the conclusion of the addresses the choir sang the stirring anthem, E ola ka Moi i ke Akua—God save the King—and His Majesty, followed by the staff of the late King, and others, returned to the palace. The audience then dispersed, and for a long time lingered around the palace-gate cheering for King Lunalilo.

After the proceedings in the church his excellency Governor Dominis and the Hon. H. Kahanu, escorted by the Hawaiian cavalry, rode through the principal streets and made verbal proclamation of the accession of His Majesty Lunalilo, King of the Hawaiian Islands.

The appearance of the military was unusually good, and we were particularly struck with the soldierly appearance of the United States marine corps from the Benicia. They are a fine body of men and splendidly drilled. A royal salute was fired, upon the elevation of the royal standard within the palace, from the battery on Punch-Bowl and the Benicia, and the several church-bells of the city rang out their joyful peals when His Majesty had taken the oath.

Within the church, the group immediately around the platform presented a brilliant appearance. The various uniforms, decorations, jewels, &c., were displayed to great advantage. The ladies present gave lightness to the group, like jewels in a setting of dead gold. A beautiful floral crown ornamented the front of the platform, and vases filled with lilies were placed at intervals upon it. The closing anthem, by a large native choir, was splendidly sung, and was heard to great advantage as the vast audience poured from out the church.

It is interesting to know that the words of this anthem are of the King’s own composition, written while he was Prince Lunalilo for a public occasion during the last reign, and that the only changes made are in the insertion of his own name in the second verse and a portion of the last verse.

[Extract from the Hawaiian Gazette of Honolulu.]

legislative proceedings.

Assembly met at 10 o’clock a.m.; Hon. vice-president in the chair.

Hon. Mr. Aholo moved that the resignation of Mr. F. A. Judd be accepted and placed on file, and that the clerk of the assembly be instructed to notify the board of inspectors of election of the vacancy caused by the resignation of the member from Honolulu, and that an election be ordered to fill such vacancy.

Motion carried.

Hon. E. Mikalemi introduced a resolution that the sum of $10,000 be appropriated for the necessary expenses of the legislature of 1873.

Resolution adopted.

Assembly took a recess. Upon re-assembling, his excellency C. R. Bishop stated to the house that it had pleased His Majesty to appoint his colleagues and himself cabinet ministers; that no official notice had been given of the same, but that they took their seats in the house by virtue of their commissions, which they would produce to the assembly if necessary.

The sergeant-at-arms then announced his honor Elisha H. Allen and his excellency P. Nahaolelua, royal commissioners, with a message from His Majesty.

The following commission was then read:

[Page 511]

Lunalilo, by grace of God, King of the Hawaiian Islands:

“To our well-beloved subjects, the Hon. Elisha H. Allen, chief justice of our supreme court and chancellor of our kingdom, knight grand cross of our royal order of Kamehameha I; and his excellency Paul Nahaolelua, governor of our island of Mani, knight commander of our royal order of Kamehameha I, greeting:

“Whereas our legislative assembly is now sitting in the city of Honolulu; and

“Whereas it is our royal will and pleasure to communicate with them by a special message on Tuesday, the 14th day of this present month of January, at 12 o’clock noon:

“Now, therefore, know all men to whom these presents may come, that we have constituted and appointed, and do, by these presents, constitute and appoint you our special commissioners to deliver the said special message to the said legislative assembly, on the day appointed as aforesaid; and we do now command all our loyal subjects, and more especially our ministers of state, and all our nobles, and the representatives of our people, to take notice of this our commission, and appoint and to govern themselves accordingly.

“Given under our royal sign-manual at Iolani palace, in the city of Honolulu, this 13th day of January, in the year of our Lord 1873.



The following message from His Majesty was then delivered by the royal commissioners:

Nobles and representatives:

You were called together for an extraordinary session, the especial object of which has been accomplished.

I deem it, however, my duty to present to your consideration the subject of amendments to the constitution, for which the eightieth article of that instrument provides.

I trust this additional labor will detain you from your homes only for a short time.

The present constitution provides that the legislative assembly shall consist of the nobles appointed by the King, and of the representatives of the people, sitting together. I present to your consideration the propriety of a separation of these two bodies, so that each will be independent of the other. This is in accordance with the principle and practice of legislation under all well-regulated governments.

Should you be of opinion that there should be two houses, as formerly, I would suggest the propriety of the ministers of the Crown having the privilege secured to them of presenting their views to the house of representatives on important subjects connected with their several departments. As they are members of the house of nobles ex-officio, they of course can have no right to vote in the house of representatives.

There is another modification which I have no doubt will receive your careful consideration, and of which you are especially qualified to judge. I refer to the property qualification for electors.

The King’s cabinet consists of the minister of foreign affairs, the minister of the interior, the minister of finance, and the attorney-general of the kingdom, who are His Majesty’s special advisers in the executive affairs of the kingdom.

The especial duties of the office of attorney-general are distinct from those of the executive. He is often necessarily absent from the capital on the business of his office, and cannot fully discharge the duties of a member of the cabinet. I therefore advise this amendment: that the attorney-general shall not be a member of the cabinet.

I would further suggest, as a proper amendment, that whenever the King deems it his duty to return without his signature a bill or resolution passed by the legislative assembly, that he will communicate his objections in writing to that house in which it shall have originated.

These are the principal amendments which I regard as desirable. There may be others which you may suggest, to which I shall give a respectful consideration.


Hon. Mr. Rice moved to refer the message of His Majesty to the judiciary committee, with instructions to report thereon as speedily as possible.

Motion carried.

Hon. D. Kaukaha moved that the message of His Majesty be printed and distributed among the members.


Assembly adjourned.