No. 232.
Mr. Peirce to Mr. Fish.

No. 197.]

Sir: Inclosed herewith is an account of the trip of the United States ship Benicia from this port to Hilo, Byron’s Bay, Hawaii, with His Majesty the King on board as guest, and accompanied by Rear-Admiral Pennock, Major-General Schofield and Brigadier-General Alexander.

The King, on his return to Honolulu, expressed to me his high appreciation of the kindness and attention he had received from Rear Admiral Pennock and all the officers on board, and that the trip had been a most delightful one to him.

The rear-admiral informs me that His Majesty, by his refined bearing, affability, and gentlemanly conduct, endeared himself to all on board.

The rear-admiral intends to visit Hawaii again, and other islands, with the flag-ship California, to be accompanied by the King.

With great respect, &c.,

[Inclosure 1.—From the Hawaiian Gazette, March 5 1873.]

his majesty’s visit to hilo.

Early Sunday morning the United States steamer Benicia, Captain Clary, with His Majesty’s ensign flying at the main, was seen off the harbor, having had a short trip of twenty hours from Hilo, which port she left on Saturday last. At 8 o’clock the battery on Punch-Bowl fired a royal salute, announcing the King’s return, and at 9.30 he landed under royal salute from her Britannic Majesty’s steamer Scout and United States steamer Benicia. As a report of what occurred at Hilo will interest our readers, we give the particulars as fully as we can gather:

The Benicia arrived off the Bay of Hilo at 7 a.m. on Friday morning, twenty-two hours from Honolulu, and in charge of Pilot Babeock was soon at an anchor in the the harbor. Lieutenant-Governor Lyman and Sheriff Severance immediately went off [Page 514] to the ship and invited His Majesty ashore. As may well be imagined, the little village began to swarm like a beehive, and natives and horsemen could be seen hurrying into town from every direction.

At 10 o’clock His Majesty left the ship, accompanied by his chamberlain, Adjutant Judd, and Lieutenant-Governor Lyman; and as he landed the Hilo band greeted him a welcome, playing “God save the King,” while the crowd burst out with hurrahs. He immediately repaired to the residence of Governor Lyman, where crowds of people gathered and cheered him, to which he responded in a few words, and said that on Monday he would be pleased to meet all who might wish to visit him.

At 5 p.m. of the same day the scholars of all the schools in Hilo formed in a procession, headed by the band, and marched to the King’s residence to greet him. He received them in his usual courteous manner and addressed a few words to them.

During the evening the glee club of the Hilo boarding-school and the band serenaded the King; singing and playing several songs, among them “My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty,” and an original composition, “Lunalilo forever, hurrah, boys, hurrah!” His Majesty complimented the musicians very highly on their proficiency, and, in a neat short speech, returned his thanks.

Saturday noon His Majesty visited the Benicia, and was received by Captain Clary and officers. A salute was fired in honor of the day—Washington’s birth-day. He also waited on Admiral Pennock, and saw him safely mounted for his trip to the crater. The admiral was accompanied by his aids and two officers from the Benicia, also Generals Schotield and Alexander and two guides.

The church-going people of Hilo turned out on Sunday in their gayest attire, it having been noised about that the King would attend church. As may well be imagined the building was crowded, and it was a sight not often seen in the pretty tropical village of Byron’s Bay. Rev. T. Coan preached on the occasion, and the services were novel and interesting, the choir performing most beautifully the anthem “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” In the evening His Majesty listened to a sermon preached by Rev. Mr. Thompson in the foreign church.

Monday, however, was the great day of the feast—hookupu day—when all who choose, from the poorest to the richest, could go and present themselves to their King. Long before the hour set to receive the people, crowds had gathered around and in the court-house yard, and the streets for blocks in each direction were thronged with people. At 9.15 a.m. His Majesty appeared at the court-house, accompanied by his chamberlain, adjutant, Governor Lyman, and Sheriff Severance. Soon after the students of Mr. Lyman’s school marched before him and sang several beautiful songs. At 10 o’clock the natives began to file past His Majesty, shaking hands with him and depositing their gifts. Such a sight had not been seen there for many a year. Some two thousand persons, men, women, and children, passed in line before their sovereign, each bearing a gift, till it would seem as if the yard could not contain what they had brought. These gifts consisted of turkeys, ducks, chickens, pigs, eggs, potatoes, bananas, oranges, taro, mats, koa-dishes, and in fact almost every article of use in housekeeping, not excepting money. After sending off several boat-loads to the Benicia and distributing to the principal residents, there were still cart loads on hand. This occupied at least two hours, after which the foreigners paid their respects to His Majesty. At the conclusion of this ovation the king addressed the populace as follows:

To all present I tender my warmest aloha. This day, on which you are gathered to pay your respects to me, I will remember to the day of my death. (Cheers.) I am filled with love for you all, fellow-citizens, (makaainana,) who have come here on this occasion, and for all the people, because, by your unanimous choice, I have been made your King, a young sovereign, to reign over you, and to fill the very distinguished office which I now occupy. (Cheers.) You are parents to me, and I will be your father. (Tremendous cheering.) Formerly, in the days of our departed ancestors, you were not permitted to approach them; they and you were kept apart; but now we meet and associate together. (Cheers.) I urge you all to persevere in the rights to forsake the ignorant ways of the olden time. There is but one God, whom it is our duty to obey. Let us forsake every kind of idolatry.

In the year 1820 Rev. Messrs. Bingham, Thurston, and others came to these islands and proclaimed the word of God. It is their teachings which have enabled you to be what you are to-day. Now they have all gone to that spirit land, and only Mrs. Thurston remains. We are greatly indebted to them. (Cheers.) There are also among us here (alluding to Revs. Coan and Lyman) old and gray-haired fathers, whose examples we should endeavor to imitate, and obey their teachings.

I am very glad to see the young men of the present time so well instructed in knowledge—perhaps some of them are your children. You must persevere in jour search of wisdom and in habits of morality. Do not be indolent. (Cheers.) Those who have striven hard after knowledge and good character are the ones who deserve and shall receive places of trust hereafter under the government.

At the present time I have four foreigners as my ministerial advisers. But if, among these young men now standing before me, and under this flag, there are any who shall [Page 515] qualify themselves to till these positions, then I will select them to fill their places. (Loud cheers.) Aloha to you all.

The audience was perfectly carried away with delight at the kind words of their sovereign, and all, old and young, seemed proud of the son of the good Kekanlaohi. For days after the speech was made the old men and women could be heard repeating it word for word.

On Tuesday, February 25th, Mr. Severance gave a social party in the evening, which the King honored with his presence, and joined in the juvenile amusements, much to the delight of the young ladies and gentlemen assembled there.

On Wednesday he dined with Captain Spencer and the admiral and officers of the Benicia. The same day he visited the various schools of the village, and on Thursday Mr. Lyman’s school, with all of which he expressed himself very much pleased.

On Friday evening Lieutenant Governor Lyman gave a ball, which His Majesty attended, and, with dancing and music, the hours passed very pleasantly.

The week spent at Hilo was very much enjoyed by His Majesty, who returns in improved health, and evidently refreshed by the visit. It is eight years since he was last there, and during the interval many changes and improvements have taken place in the village.

It was a gala week for Hilo, and her people have done themselves great credit in the manner they received and entertained their distinguished visitors. The King everywhere won golden opinions by his modest and unassuming bearing toward all his subjects. Hilo has been honored with the first visit from him since his election; and we doubt not he will soon be able to honor other portions of his kingdom with his presence.

exploration rivalries on pearl river.

Last week a party of officers of Her Britannic Majesty’s steamer Scout, heavily armed with champagne and sardines, and accompanied by an auxiliary party of friends, made a reconuoissance in Ewa Harbor, for pleasure or science, we don’t know which—perhaps for both.

Yesterday two steam-launches, with a large party of officers from the California, proceeded to the lagoon to remain several days, in order to make a thorough survey. The report from the hydrographic bureau about Pearl River will be a valuable one when it comes to hand.