No. 174.
Mr. Comly to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

No. 213.]

Sir: Referring to your No. 114, and to my No. 209, I have the honor now to present my report as much in detail as seems to be practicable.

The figures as to unoccupied available lands for sugar and rice promised me by a merchant who was formerly editor of a newspaper and afterward in the government service (vide No. 209) have not been forthcoming, though I have exerted myself to the utmost to obtain them. I must say that there does not seem to be any special alacrity to make an exhibit of the quantity of available sugar lands still unoccupied. Such facts as I have been able to gather will appear further along.

With this explanation I take up the consideration of some matters and questions affecting the future of the Sandwich Islands.

I. The aboriginal native race is not only in its decline, but the immigrant population is rapidly on the rise. The decadence of the native race is not only in its numbers, but in every component of strength known in the constituent elements of the state or commonwealth. Out of a population of about 45,000 natives of aboriginal descent, all told, there are over 700 who are condemned and isolated lepers, at the leper settlement on Molokai.

Physicians of the highest standing estimate that there are from 3,000 to 5,000 concealed lepers in the islands. The government physician at the free dispensary in Honolulu, Dr. Fitch, reports officially—and the figures are given in the philo-Hawaiian Pacific Commercial Advertiser of Mr. Gibson, for Saturday, April 8, two days ago—that out of 4,055 new cases treated by him for the first quarter of 1882, 2,748 were syphilis and 508 leprosy diseases, not only incurable but unavoidably transmissible by heredity as well as by contagion and infection. In the same report are 51 more cases of other venereal diseases, making the frightful total of 3,307 persons afflicted with diseases of this class, out of 4,055 cases treated, leaving only 748 for all other diseases, even such as coughs, colds, &c. This is the report of a government physician, where the law requires that lepers be isolated and sent to Molokai, yet there are 508 lepers open applicants for relief, in one quarter’s time, in the single district of Honolulu. Dr. Fitch says further: “The disease is everywhere among us: members of the police, soldiers, the band, pastors of churches, teachers, students, are all among the sufferers.” He says further, in the same report, that at a recent meeting of physicians in Honolulu, one of the oldest and most favorably known physicians of the islands stated his belief that four-fifths of the native population of the islands are infected with syphilis, and Dr. Fitch says “I believe this statement too mild.”

[Page 335]

The report is not officially promulgated yet. I will ask to forward copies hereafter, as part of the inclosures herewith.

To these terrible antecedents must be added constantly increasing sterility and impotency, and in a large degree more and more foggy perceptions in sexual morals. The physique is, therefore, from all these causes, deteriorating frightfully, and the morale is falling still lower. The robust race of the ancient Kanaka has shriveled and dwindled to this melancholy handful, some of whom are still of noble physique and all of whom are of amiable character, but too many of whom are crippled by rheumatism, syphilis, paralysis, or leprosy. They are crippled, alike in person, in morals, and in fortune—in mind, body, and estate. Where sugar and rice planting are the chief industries, there is, I am assured, not one Kanaka of pure blood in all the islands who owns or exclusively operates a plantation. Some serve faithfully as contract laborers for foreign proprietors, and some put in small lots on shares, but they do not own or operate the plantation. The town-bred natives of the lower class are too unstable for any systematic work, and cannot be depended upon. There is no mercantile or manufacturing business in the kingdom that is owned and managed by a native of full blood. On the other hand, Americans, English, Germans, or more largely still, Hawaiian-Americans and Englishmen (or to use a better-understood term not in vogue here, Creoles), own and operate the sugar plantations. Rice is almost exclusively in the hands of the Chinese. Cattle ranches are largely operated by Portuguese. And the thousand and one little shops, bakeries, restuarants, and the like, are in the hands of Chinese, Portuguese, and other foreigners.

The Chinese already constitute more than half the adult male population of the kingdom. The Portuguese are increasing rapidly. American capital is increasing much more rapidly than American population. All these hungry hordes of foreigners bring with them habits of industry and thrift, to which the poor Kanaka is nearly a stranger, and he is rapidly going to the wall, clutching wildly at every straw for national life.

South Sea Islanders, not only of lower type than the Hawaiian, but savage and lawless, and without either the noble physique or the amiable character of the ancient Kanaka, have been brought, at great expense, to transfuse the blood of a so-called cognate race into the dying Kanaka people; and the result has been failure. As fast as their contracts expire they prefer to return to the low cocoa-nut islands. Even if successful, the experiment must have resulted in lowering the type of the Kanaka by the infusion of an inferior race. Large expense has been incurred, also, in bringing Portuguese, Norwegians, and others, as laborers and as population; but this mostly results in simple substitution of the alien for the Kanaka race—a result which does not greatly delay the ultimate absorption of the native race into a new fusion of different nationalities of more or less contradictory character and habitat originally.

It is not alone that the commoners of the race are disappearing at the rate of one and a half per cent, per annum; it is even worse with the “chiefs.” The “House of Nobles” is created by the sovereign, and is not necessarily of “chief” blood—I do not refer to it. Nearly half of the members of the “House of Nobles” are whites or half-castes. But the natives are still of feudal temper, and their attachment to the native aliis or chiefs is deep and abiding, incapable of transfer or substitution. The constitution requires that the sovereign shall be of the native alii or “high chief” blood. Of all the royal family and collateral there is but [Page 336] one frail little girl, half-white daughter of Princess Likelike, to represent the second generation. Queen Douager Emma is childless. Queen Kapiolaui has no children. The Princess Luka (Ruth), sister of the late Kamehamehas, has no heir of her body to her name or her large estate. Mrs. Panaki Bishop, daughter of old chief Paki, has never had a child, and has once refused the nomination to the succession. Unless the genealogical tables of the kingdom shall be reformed and enlarged, there is no other family left eligible to the throne. One life alone in the next generation, the little half-white girl constitutes the reserve of high-chief blood to draw from, and even that is not accepted by the body of the natives. They do not recognize the Kalakaua family as true high chief blood. The distinction is made painfully apparent when any of the present royal family are brought in contact publicly with Queen Emma or Princess Luka.

With the native race rapidly disappearing, and the high-chief blood nearly exhausted, with already a majority of the adult males in the kingdom of alien races; with a constitution resting upon a moribund constituency, and relying for functional life upon nearly defunct agencies, what future is there for the native race and the existing dynasty of the Sandwich Islands.

As part of an American Zollverein, part of our productive and commercial system, the problem of replenishment of the vital forces of Hawaii demands consideration of us. If we will not have it drift away into Asiatic possession, and an oriental civilization, or have it drawn into a British protectorate through the introduction of East Indian coolies, the wards of Great Britain, we must be watchful.

Leaving out of account every consideration except the good of the Hawaiian Islands, our own American colored race can supply a more desirable population, without drawing too heavily upon our resources, than any of these other races or peoples now in prospect.

II. There are, strictly speaking, no government lands suitable for homesteads or small holdings. There are no homestead lasws. Lands to till “on shares,” or small quantities for rent, may be had, and planters with mills are glad to encourage independent production in this way. But, in this as in other countries, sugar-planting is a business requiring large capital. It is one of the disabilities of the native, that he seldom or never has capital enough to carry on a plantation. To remove this disability, native statesmen in the legislative assembly have made grotesque efforts, which would be ludicrous if they were not pathetic. In order to put the native on an equality with the Haole in this respect, it was gravely proposed in the last legislative assembly to make an impossible loan of ten million dollars, a great part of the proceeds of which were to have been disposed of by government in helping poor Kanakas, (“who could not get money at Bishop’s Bank” having no security to offer) to buy lands and machinery, and become rich planters at a bound, by act of the legislative assembly and use of the public credit. One Hoapili Baker, in 1880, issued a manifesto full of such absurdities, a copy of which was inclosed with my dispatch No. 104, April 10, 1880. This manifesto, so ridiculed before the election, made its reputed author a legislator, and it was soon found that the real author had a party behind him which came near wrecking the kingdom with disastrous projects threatening practical confiscation of American and other foreign capital invested here. The same author has again put forth a manifesto, before the late election, fathered this time by a statesman named Lilikalaui, and subscribed by Walter Murray Gibson and others, elected afterward to the next legislative assembly, called to meet on the 29th [Page 337] instant. I inclose three copies separate, as printed matter. The absurdity of this document should not mislead anybody as to its mischievous and dangerous power over the native mind clothed with legislative functions. I only state the prevailing public opinion among intelligent foreigners here, when I state that the firm and prudent action of the resident diplomatic body alone saved the country from bloodshed and probable revolution, during the Moreuo regime, in 1880, when the Hoapili manifesto was sought to be put in action. Like trouble is expected at the coming session for 1882, as indicated by the Lilikalaui manifesto The King and all natives long with a desperate longing for a complete Kanaka ascendency, and they do not see any better way to accomplish this than through legislation practically charging foreign capital with the support of not only the government but the people as well.

III. The question how much available sugar and rice land is still unoccupied, and how much further expansion may be expected in the productive industries of the islands, is one upon which I have found it difficult to obtain data, as already before stated.

It will appear from the inclosures that I early applied to the foreign office without success; that I was promised reliable data from private sources, which have not been forthcoming; finally, on the 18th of March, The Pacific Commercial Advertiser published statistics purporting to come from the minister of the interior (inclosure No. 2), and a tabular statement of unoccupied lands made up in 1872 (inclosure No. 3), with interesting comments by the editor, Mr. Walter Murray Gibson (inclosure No. 4), which seemed to cover the points desired. I thereupon addressed the minister of foreign affairs, requesting to know how far these statistics might be taken as reliable (inclosure No. 5), and received his reply, discrediting them almost wholly (inclosure No. 6).

I forward all these without further comment; also, separate, as printed matter, three copies of the Commercial Advertiser, of March 25, and one unmutilated copy of March 18, the date from which above clippings are made, sending these simply as possible objects of curiosity to the Secretary of State, and not as regular exhibits for this dispatch.

I have, &c.,

[Inclosure 2 in No. 213.]

The Labor Question.

A copy of the following circular requesting statistics on the labor question has been forwarded by his excellency the minister of the interior (as president of the board of immigration) to each known employer of labor in the kingdom:

“The board of immigration desire statistics on the subject of labor and request your kind assistance. It is important to know the number of men employed on all the plantations, and their nationality. If this knowledge is accurately obtained, it will enable the board to estimate the number of laborers required for any proposed increase of the sugar crop. For instance, one planter says that his crop of 400 tons was produced by the total labor of 80 men, or 5 tons to the labor of each man. If this estimate should be verified by the experience of all the planters, it would be of great value in determining proximately the number of laborers actually employed in sugar making.

“Accurate returns of the different nationalities of the laborers will enable the board to ascertain the movements of immigrants. For instance, it is said that there are 14,000 Chinese in the kingdom. If it should appear that only 5,000 were employed on the sugar estates, it will be possible to estimate the number engaged in rice planting and other occupations; and if the number engaged in rice planting is subsequently obtained, it will be possible to ascertain the number of the floating Chinese population, which is a matter of no little importance.

[Page 338]

“This request of the hoard may not reach some of those engaged in planting cane only, and therefore the planters are requested to consult their neighbors and obtain statistics from such persons, and from those who employ only a few hands. The returns should show the number of laborers on February 15, 1882.

“Upon the return of these statistics a general summary will he made up for the information of the community. I would request that the inclosed blank form he filled up and returned to me.”

Circulars were addressed to the following corporations and persons. Those names marked with a (*) have, at the present date, made no returns.


Hilo.—Hakalau plantation, Wainuku plantation, Onomea plantation, Paukaa plantation, Honomu plantation, Waiakea plantation, *Waiakea mill, Pepekeu plantation, Spencer’s plantation, Hitchcock & Co.’s plantation.

Hamakua.—*Paauhau mill, *Paauhau plantation, Hamakua plantation, Hamakua mill, *Aamano plantation, Honokaa Sugar Co., Pacfic Sugar Mill.

Laupahoehoe.—W. Lidgate & Co.’s plantation. A. Lidgate & Co.

Ookala.—Soper, Wright & Co.

Honokaa.—J. R. Mills.

Kohala.—*Star mill, Ookala plantation, Thompson & Chapin, Halawa plantation, Union Mill Company, Niulii plantation, Beecroft plantation, Hawi mill, *Montgomery & Co.’s. plantation, Kohala plantation.

Kohala and Laupahoehoe.—*R. R. Hind.

Kau.—Honuapo plantation, Naalehu plantation, Hilea Sugar Company, H. M. Whitney, Chas. Wall, *Hawaiian Agricultural Company.

Pahala.—W. Goodale.


Ulupalakua.—Makee plantation.

Waihee.—Waihee Sugar Company.

*Hawaiian Commercial Company.—(Spreckels & Co.)

Wailuku.—Wailuku plantation.

Makawao.—Brewer and Crowninghurg, East Maui plantation.

Hamakua.—Huelo plantation.

Haiku.—Haiku plantation No. 1. *Haiku plantation No. 2.

Paia.—Alexander and Baldwin’s plantation, J. M. Alexander.

Waikupu.—Waikapu plantation.

Huelo.—Huelo Mill Company.

Lahaina.—Pionner Mill.

Kipahulu.—Kipahulu plantation.

Hana.—Hana plantation.

Makawao.—*Grove Ranch plantation.

Olowalu.—Olowalu plantation.

Hana.—Kipahulu mill.


Koloa.—Koloa ranch, Koloa plantation, Eleele plantation.

Eleele..—Fr. Bindt.

Kilauea.—Grant and Brigstock, Kilauea plantation.

Kealia.—Makee Sugar Company, Kealia plantation, *R. W. Purvis.

Hanarnaulu.—Chris. L’Orange, Hanamaulu mill, A. S.Wilcox.

Lihue.—Lihue plantation.

Kekaha.—Kekaha Mill Company.

Waimea.—Kekaha plantation.

Nawiliwili.—Grove Farm.

Hanalei.—Princeville plantation.


*Moanui plantation, Kamaloo plantation.

*Kalae.—R. W. Meyer.


Kaneohe.—Kaneohe plantation.

Koolau.—*Heeia plantation, *Ahuimanu plantation.

Laie.—Laie plantation.

Waimanalo.—Rose & Company, Waimanalo Sugar Company.

Waianae.—Waianae Sugar Company.

Waialua.—Waialua plantation.

[Page 339]

The following is a summary of the statistics received from seventy-two returns. It will be noticed that returns from the Spreckels and other plantations are not in, but they will be included in an amended report hereafter:

Nationalities. Sugar boilers. Engineer. Clerks and lunas. Laborers of all kinds.
Men 6 11 6 2,248
Women 118
Men 3 3,984
Women 19
Americans 11 15 16 140
English 10 21 18 61
Men 1 395
Women 80
South Sea Islanders:
Men 516
Women 299
Germans 5 3 12 85
Men 1 202
Women 25
Japanese 15
Danes 1 1 1
Other Nationalities 7 90
Total 41 52 53 8,277

Number of laborers desired, 2,885.

Nationality preferred, excepting Hawaiians, as follows:
27 planters prefer Portuguese, and want 1,000
35 planters prefer Chinese, and want 1,600
4 planters prefer Hindoos, and want 75
3 planters prefer New Hebrides, and want 60
1 planter prefer Swedes or Scotch, and wants 150
[Inclosure 3 in No. 213.]

Table of statistics of sugar cane plantations on the Hawaiian Islands, 1872.

[Page 340]
Hands employed. Males, native. Females, native. Chinese. Other nationalities. How many more would employ. Acres in cane. Cane land in the neighborhood. Race preferred.
Kaiwiki 175 132 36 7 50 650 7,000 Japanese.
Kaupakuea 245 125 20 100 50 600 1,500 Polynesian.
Paukaa 100 100 25 180 7,000 Chinese or Japanese.
T. Spencer 150 128 12 10 400 1,000 Do.
Kohala 200 182 18 50 900 2,000 Do.
A. Hutchison 39 29 5 5 45 150 4,000 Japanese.
Onomea 180 127 51 2 50 500 3,000 Polynesian.
Dr. Wright 50 50 10 100
J. C. Costa & Co 14 12 2 15 60 4,000 Japanese.
E. C. Bond 5 5 30 3,000 Polynesian.
D. Hitchcock 32 32 40 60 5,000 Chinese.
Hinds 100 100 20 150 2,000
Thomas Hughes 25 19 6 120 300 Portuguese.
Henry Cooper 15 15 Hawaiian.
H. N. Greenwell 11 7 1 1 2 Do.
Frank Spencer 10 8 2 6 6,000 Japanese.
E. Bond 2 2 6,000 Hawaiian.
J. W. Smith 3 2 1 6,000 Portuguese
James Woods 7 9 1 4,000 Hawaiian.
Makee’s 170 78 51 41 100 1,200 3,000 Japanese.
Haiku 200 90 37 58 15 50 850 3,000 Do.
A. H. Spencer 77 60 12 2 3 400 600 Polynesian.
Wailuku 250 170 60 14 6 100 500 3,000 Japanese.
Waihee 180 156 24 25 800 1,000 Do.
Waikapu 130 120 10 50 900 1,200 Chinese.
Hana 80 70 10 25 150 500 Do.
Bailey 60 60 100
Hobron 60 60 150
Campbell & Turton 268 180 43 35 10 50 600 1,200 Chinese.
West Maui Sugar Association. 150 130 20 400
H. P. Baldwin 60 40 20 30 400 760 Japanese.
Ed. Jones 12 10 2 70 5 500 Do.
L. Chamberlain 37 15 7 15 20 140 3,000 Japanese.
Laie 60 50 10 200 30 Polynesian.
Waialua 25 19 6 10 50 Japanese.
Keaahala 25 20 5 125
Kaalaea 120 100 20 25 400 Japanese.
Kaneohe 60 40 20 25 150 Chinese or Japanese.
M’Keague 60 35 25 25 200 Do.
R. F. Bickerton 4 3 1 5 1,000 Japanese.
S. N. Emerson 10 9 1 3 350 Do.
J. H. Coney 15 15 100 Hawaiian.
Walker & Allen 5 5 Japanese.
W. W. Hall 8 3 2 3
Princeville 155 80 10 65 120 350 3,000 Hindus.
Lihue 120 87 8 20 5 30 180 1,600 Japanese.
Waipa 30 30 20 100
E. Lindemann 30 10 6 14 20 100 350 Chinese.
A. Conrad & Co 25 20 5 10 Japanese.
D. M’Bryde 12 8 4 4 1,500 Do.
A. Smith 9 6 2 4 Do.
H. Wright 5,000 Do.
J. & F. Sinclair 30 30 5,000
T. G. Dwight 5 3 2 3 3,000 Hawaiian.
W. M. Gibson 15 10 1 4 50 2,000 Hindus or Japanese.
3,921 2,904 395 526 96 1,330 12,355 105,810
[Inclosure 4 in No. 213.]

court news.

On Monday, 6th instant, His Majesty paid a visit to Paia, returning to Wailuku the same evening. At Paia His Majesty was entertained at dinner by the inhabitants of the district, and addresses of welcome were presented,

His Majesty subsequently went by sea to Hana, remaining there until Thursday last, on which day he proceeded by the steamer Lehua to Lahaina, arriving there in the evening. The town of Lahaina was illuminated in honor of His Majesty’s arrival.

From Lahaina His Majesty will return direct to the capital, and may be expected here to-morrow morning.

[Page 341]

the development of a decade.

By permission of Ms excellency Wm. N. Armstrong, president of the board of immigration, we are enabled to lay before our readers some very interesting statistics collected by the board in relation to our industrial enterprises and the state of labor in the kingdom at this time; and at the same time we present statistics on the same subject, collected and prepared by the secretary of the immigration society in 1872; so that the industrial development of a decade in the country’s history is clearly shown, by these being placed alongside the statistics of 1882.

The information obtained, both at the former and later period, is not quite full, but sufficiently approximate to warrant correct deductions with regard to the progress and development of the country.

In 1872 there were 12,355 acres cultivated in sugar-cane, with a yield of 16,995,402 pounds, for that year, much of the indicated area being newly planted. The estimated laboring force was 3,728 hands which would give an average of nearly 3⅓ acres to the hand.

No statistics as to the acreage under cane have yet been taken for this year, but we hope to obtain them hereafter. The force of hands at work (if, as is reasonable, we put down 2,000 for the plantations whose replies have not yet been received) is, in 1882, 10,277, and it is estimated that the crop will be 130,000,000 pounds. Even if we take last year’s crop of 92,393,044 pounds as the product of the laborers scheduled, the comparison between the results, in proportion to the number of hands employed, is very striking. It should be stated that whilst the returns of this year discriminate between field laborers and mill employés, the returns of 1872 did not; there must be, therefore, made a small deduction from the estimate of the field force of that period.

The great difference in results shown is to be attributed to increased experience, but more especially to the introduction of improved machinery, and the great extension of means of irrigation. When we consider the large percentage of juice which is now obtained, in comparison with the average secured in 1872, and that at that time immense quantities of molasses were allowed to run to waste whilst now the skimmings, even, well filtered, yield an important percentage of saccharine product, we readily perceive some of the reasons for this great change.

In respect to labor, it will be noticed that in 1872 the Hawaiian people supplied the whole labor force, whereas in this year the Chinese supply nearly half of the whole, and other foreign laborers one-fourth.

Reverting to the statistics which show the preferences for different nationalities of laborers which exist among planters, the most notable feature is the great preference manifested in 1872 for Japanese, who are now not mentioned. There have been no immigrants here from Japan since 1868; hence that race is not now considered in the calculations of planters. Portuguese and Chinese are now most largely called for, because they are supposed to be the only races available. But if it were known that Hindoos and Japanese were to be brought here, they would be very generally preferred.

[Inclosure 5 in No. 213.]

Mr. Comly to Mr. Green.

Sir: About two months ago I had the honor to consult your excellency verbally with regard to obtaining certain statistics as to available sugar and rice lands not yet taken up, as to lands available for small holdings, and what inducements are offered by Hawaiian laws in the way of homesteads for immigrants of small means desiring to occupy such small holdings, as to amount and kinds of labor already employed, wages, &c.

It was not then practicable to supply exact figures or reliable conjectures on these points.

In this week’s Hawaiian newspaper I note what purport to be official figures, founded upon non-official answers to inquiries, covering some of these points, from the office of the minister of the interior.

I now have the honor to respectfully inquire of your excellency whether in your opinion those before-mentioned figures are sufficiently exact and authoritative to be used by me as reliable data in answering an instruction from the honorable Secretary of State; and, if so, when and where I may obtain official copies of the same.

I have, &c.,

[Page 342]
[Inclosure 6 in No. 213]

Mr. Green to Mr. Comly.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch of 23d instant, in which you inquire with regard to obtaining certain statistics, as to available sugar and rice lands not yet taken up, as to lands available for small holdings, and what inducements are offered by Hawaiian laws in the way of homesteads for immigrants of small means, and as to amount and kinds of labor already employed, wages, &c.

I will, if you will allow me, answer the second question first, as to the inducement offered by Hawaiian laws in the way of homesteads for immigrants, by stating that the government possesses no lands, or at least not in sufficient quantity to make it practicable to offer small holdings for immigrants.

There are, however, opportunities continually offered by private parties, to planters of sugar-cane who wish to take up small quantities of land. This, however, is in the way of lease, not sale.

With regard to the available sugar and rice lands not yet taken up, I regret that the government have no reliable statistics. What appeared in the Pacific Commercial Advertiser of last Saturday week, purporting to give the available sugar lands, was got up hastily by the Planters’ Association, in 1872, and is not reliable.

I have asked the vice-president of the new Planters’ Association if he could furnish me with reliable statistics, but he informs me that it would require a special committee, and take some months to work them up.

With regard to the amount and kinds of labor now employed, the statistics which have appeared in the papers lately are tolerably correct as far as they go, but they are incomplete, and not sufficiently exact and authoritative to be used by you as reliable data in answering instructions from the honorable Secretary of State.

I remain, &c.,