No. 233.
Mr. Fish to Mr. Peiree.

No. 92.]

Sir: This Department learns with regret, through Mr. De Long, the minister of the United States in Japan, that the Hawaiian authorities are disposed to embark in what is called the “coolie trade” for the purpose of obtaining laborers in that country, probably to cultivate the sugar-estates in the Sandwich Islands. The demand for labor for that and other purposes there can easily be understood. It is, however, a grave consideration for the Hawaiian government, whether they will so far brave general public opinion elsewhere as to incur the imputation of countenancing that which is virtually the slave-trade under another name for the purpose of supplying that demand. You may, at a proper time, mention in an informal way our view of the subject to persons of influence and authority about you. We are aware it may be answered that none but voluntary emigrants are desired. These, however, can in point of fact be obtained only under contract, for which the competency of the supposed emigrant may, in most instances, be questioned.

I am, &c.,

Hamilton Fish.