Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation, between The United States and the Sandwich Islands, signed at Honolulu, December 23, 1826.

Articles of agreement made and concluded at Oahu, between Thomas ap Catesby Jones, appointed by the United States, of the one part, and Kauikeaouli, King of the Sandwich Islands and his guardians, on the other part.

  • Article I. The peace and friendship subsisting between the United States and their Majesties, the Queen Regent and Kauikeaouli, King of the Sandwich Islands, and their subjects and people, are hereby confirmed and declared to be perpetual.
  • II. The ships and vessels of the United States (as well as their consuls and all other citizens), within the territorial jurisdiction of the Sandwich Islands, together with all their property, shall be inviolably protected against all enemies of the United States in time of war.
  • III. The contracting parties, being desirous to avail themselves of the bounties of Divine Providence, by promoting the commercial intercourse and friendship subsisting between the respective nations? for the better security of these desirable objects, their Majesties bind themselves to receive into their ports and harbours, all ships and vessels of the United States, and to protect to the utmost of their capacity all such ships and vessels, their cargoes, officers, and crews, so long as they shall behave themselves peacefully, and not infringe the established laws of the land; the citizens of the United States being permitted to trade freely with the people of the Sandwich Islands.
  • IV. Their Majesties do further agree to extend the fullest protection within their control to all ships and vessels of the United States which may be wrecked on their shores, and to render every assistance in their power to save the wreck and her apparel and cargo; and, as a reward for the assistance and protection which the people of the Sandwich Islands shall afford to all such distressed vessels of the United States, they shall be entitled to a salvage or a portion of the property so saved; but such salvage shall in no case exceed one-third of the vessel saved, which valuation is to be fixed by a commission of disinterested persons, who shall be chosen equally by the parties.
  • V. Citizens of the United States, whether resident or transit, engaged in commerce or trading to the Sandwich Islands, shall be inviolably protected in their lawful pursuits, and shall be allowed to sue for and recover by judgment all claims against the subjects of His Majesty the King according to strict principles of equity and the acknowledged practice of civilized nations.
  • VI. Their Majesties do further agree and bind themselves to discountenance and use all practicable means to prevent desertion from all American ships which visit the Sandwich Islands; and to that end it shall be made the duty of all governors, magistrates, chiefs of districts, and all others in authority, to apprehend all deserters and to deliver them over to the master of the vessel from which they have [Page 36] deserted; and for the apprehension of every such deserter who shall be delivered over as aforesaid, the master, owner, or agent shall pay to the person or persons apprehending such deserter the sum of 6 dollars, if taken on the side of the island near which the vessel is anchored; but if taken on the opposite side of the island the sum shall be 12 dollars, and if taken on any other island the reward shall be 24 dollars, and shall be a just charge against the wages of every such deserter.
  • VII. No tonnage dues or impost shall be exacted of any citizen of the United States which is not paid by the citizens or subjects of the nation most favored in commerce with the Sandwich Islands; and the citizens or subjects of the Sandwich Islands shall be allowed to trade with the United States and her territories upon principles of equal advantage with the most favored nation.

  • Thos. Ap Catesby Jones.
  • Elisabeta Kaahumanu.
  • Karaimoku.
  • Boki.
  • Hoapili.
  • Libia Namahana.

[From Jones, December 25, 1826, dated Honolulu.]

Says that the state of affairs in regard to foreigners being protected is in a bad condition and that his services are really required at the islands to protect the seamen.

“On the 23d instant I concluded some arrangements with the Government of these islands calculated to secure our interest in this quarter and suppress the evils which have hitherto existed. I have also secured satisfactory pledges for the speedy payment of the large claims held by American citizens against the islanders. In short, I hope it will be proved that the Peacock’s visit to the Sandwich and Society Islands has in some degree accomplished the main object of the cruise.”

[To Wm. Bolton Finch, U. S. S. Vincennes, January 20, 1829.]

“Chaplain Stewart has in his care and will deliver to you a letter to King Kamehameha, a few presents from our Government to the principal chiefs of the Sandwich Islands. You will deliver them to the persons for whom they are intended.

“Remain from two to three weeks, or as long as shall be thought expedient for careful to cultivate the most friendly relations and to procure from our consular and commercial agent or from other sources every information respecting our commercial and other interests which may be practicable.”

Instructions to reclaim deserting sailors, and to make inquiries into the state of our commerce, etc.

[No mention made of the treaty of December 23, 1826.]

[Page 37]

(2) English treaty of Lord Edward Russell, November 16, 1836.

Articles made and agreed on at Honolulu, island of Oahu, the 16th of November, 1836.

  • Article I. English subjects shall be permitted to come with their vessels, and property of whatever kind, to the Sandwich Islands; they shall also be permitted to reside therein, as long as they conform to the laws of these islands, and to build houses, and warehouses for their merchandise, with the consent of the King; and good friendship shall continue between the subjects of both countries, Great Britain and the Sandwich-Islands.
  • Article II. English subjects, resident at the Sandwich Islands, are at liberty to go to their own country, or elsewhere, either in their own or any other vessel; they may dispose of their effects, enclosures, houses, &c., with the previous knowledge of the King, and take the value with them, without any impediment whatever. The land on which houses are built is the property of the King, but the King shall have no authority to destroy the houses, or in any way injure the property of any British subject.
  • Article III. When an English subject dies on the Sandwich Islands, his effects shall not be searched or touched by any of the governors or chiefs, but shall be delivered into the hands of his executors or heirs, if present; but if no heir or executor appear, the consul or his agent shall be executor for the same; if any debts were owing to the deceased, the governor of the place shall assist and do all in his power to compel the debtors to pay their debts to the heirs or executor, or the consul, in case no heir or executor appears, and the consul is to inform the King of the death of every British subject leaving property upon the Sandwich Islands.
  • Kamehameha III.
  • Edward Russel,
    Captain of H. B. M. S. Acteon.

Treaty concluded July 12, 1839, between the King of the Sandwich Islands and Capt. Laplace, commanding the French frigate Artemise, acting in the name of the King of the French.

  • Article 1. The Catholic worship is declared tree in all the islands subject to the King of the Sandwich (Islands); the members of that communion will enjoy there all the privileges granted to Protestants.
  • Art. 2. A piece of ground for a Catholic church will be granted by the Government at Hohorourou, a port frequented by the French, and that Church will be served by priests of their nation.
  • Art. 3. All the Catholics imprisoned on account of their religion since the last persecutions exercised against the French missionaries will be immediately set at liberty.
  • Art. 4. The King of the Sandwich (Islands) will deposit in the hands of the captain of the Artemise the sum of twenty thousand dollars as a guarantee of his future conduct towards France, the Government of which will restore him this sum when it shall deem that the clauses of [Page 38] this treaty and those of the convention concluded with Captain Dupetit-Thouars in July, 1837, have been faithfully executed.
  • Art. 5. The treaty, together with the sum mentioned above, will be brought on board the frigate Artemise by one of the principal chiefs of the country, and, at the same time, the batteries of Honorourou will salute the French flag with twenty-one guns, which will be returned by the frigate.

  • Kamehameha III.
  • C. Laplace,
    Commanding the Artemise.

Convention concluded July 17, 1839, between the King of the Sandwich Islands, Kamehameha III, and Captain Laplace, commanding the French frigate Artemise, representing his Government.

  • Article 1. There shall be perpetual peace and friendship between the King of the French and the King of the Sandwich Islands.
  • Art. 2. Frenchmen shall be protected in an efficient manner, in their persons and property, by the King of the Sandwich Islands, who will also grant them the necessary permission to prosecute those of his subjects against whom they may have just claims.
  • Art. 3. Such protection shall extend to French vessels, their crews and their officers. In case of shipwreck, the chiefs and inhabitants of the various parts of the archipelago must lend them assistance and protect them from pillage. The salvage dues will be settled, in case of difficulty, by umpires appointed by both parties.
  • Art. 4. No Frenchman accused of any crime can be tried otherwise than by a jury composed of foreign residents, proposed by the consul of France and accepted by the Government of the Sandwich Islands.
  • Art. 5. The desertion of sailors employed on board the French vessels will be severely repressed by the local authorities, who must employ every means at their command to have the deserters arrested; and the expenses of capture will be paid by the captains or owners of the said vessels, in accordance with the tariff adopted by the nations.
  • Art. 6. French goods, or those recognized as being of French origin, and especially wines and brandies, can not be prohibited, nor pay an import duty of more than five per cent ad valorem.
  • Art. 7. No tonnage or import duties can be required of French merchants, unless they are paid by the subjects of the most favored nation in its commerce with the Sandwich Islands.
  • Art. 8. The subjects of King Kamehameha III shall be entitled, in the French Possessions, to all the advantages enjoyed by the French in the Sandwich Islands, and they shall be considered, moreover, as belonging to the most favored nation, as regards its commercial relations with France.

  • Kamehameha III.
  • C. Laplace,
    Captain, Commanding the Artemise.
[Page 39]

sandwich islands and china.

[Honse Ex. 35, Twenty-seventh Congress, third session.]

Message from the President of the United States, respecting the trade and commerce of the United States with the Sandwich Islands and with diplomatic intercourse with their Government; also in relation to the new position of affairs in China, growing out of the late war between Great Britain and China, and recommending provision for a diplomatic agent.

December 31, 1842.—Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

To the House of Representatives of the United States:

I communicate herewith to Congress copies of a correspondence which has recently taken place between certain agents of the Government of the Hawaiian or Sandwich Islands and the Secretary of State.

The condition of those islands has excited a good deal of interest, which is increasing by every successive proof that their inhabitants are making progress in civilization, and becoming more and more competent to maintain regular and orderly civil government. They lie in the Pacific Ocean, much nearer to this continent than the other, and have become an important place for the refitment and provisioning of American and European vessels.

Owing to their locality and to the course of the winds which prevail in this quarter of the world, the Sandwich Islands are the stopping place for almost all vessels passing from continent to continent, across the Pacific Ocean. They are especially resorted to by a great number of vessels of the United States, which are engaged in the whale fishery in those seas. The number of vessels of all sorts, and the amount of property owned by citizens of the United States, which are found in those islands in the course of a year, are stated, probably with sufficient accuracy in the letter of the agents.

Just emerging from a state of barbarism, the Government of the islands is as yet feeble; but its dispositions appear to be just and pacific, and it seems anxious to improve the condition of its people, by the introduction of knowledge, of religious and moral institutions, means of education, and the arts of civilized life.

It can not but be in conformity with the interest and wishes of the Government and the people of the United States that this community thus existing in the midst of a vast expanse of ocean should be respected, and all its rights strictly and conscientiously regarded. And this must also be the true interest of all other commercial states. Far remote from the dominions of European Powers, its growth and prosperity as an independent state may yet be in a high degree useful to all whose trade is extended to those regions, while its near approach to this continent, and the intercourse which American vessels have with it—such vessels constituting five-sixths of all which annually visit it—could not but create dissatisfaction on the part of the United States at any attempt by another power, should such attempt be threatened or feared, to take possession of the islands, colonize them, and subvert the native Government. Considering, therefore, that the United States possesses so very large a share of the intercourse with those islands, it is deemed not unfit to make the declaration that their Government seeks nevertheless no peculiar advantages, no exclusive control over the Hawaiian Government, but is content with its independent existence, and anxiously wishes for its security and prosperity. Its forbearance [Page 40] in this respect, under the circumstances of the very large intercourse of their citizens with the islands, would justify the Government, should events hereafter arise, to require it, in making a decided remonstrance against the adoption of an opposite policy by any other power. Under the circumstances, I recommend to Congress to provide for a moderate allowance to be made out of the Treasury to the consul residing there, that in a Government so new and a country so remote American citizens may have respectable authority to which to apply for redress, in case of injury to their person and property, and to whom the Government of the country may also make known any acts committed by American citizens of which it may think it has a right to complain.

Events of considerable importance have recently transpired in China. The military operations carried on against the Empire by the English Government have been terminated by a treaty according to the terms of which four important ports hitherto shut against foreign commerce are to be open to British merchants, viz, Amoy, Foo-Choo-Foo, Ningpo, and Chinghai. It can not but be interesting to the mercantile interest of the United States, whose intercourse with China at the single port of Canton has already become so considerable, to ascertain whether these other ports now open to British commerce are to remain shut, nevertheless, against the commerce of the United States. The treaty between the Chinese Government and the British commissioner provides neither for the admission nor the exclusion of the ships of other nations. It would seem, therefore, that it remains with every other nation having commercial intercourse with China to’ seek to make proper arrangements for itself with the Government of that Empire in this respect.

The importations into the United States from China are known to be large, having amounted in some years, as will be seen by the annexed tables, to $9,000,000. The exports, too, from the United States to China, constitute an interesting and growing part of the commerce of the country. It appears that in the year 1841, in the direct trade between the two countries, the value of the exports from the United States amounted to $715,000 in domestic products and $485,000 in foreign merchandise. But the whole amount of American produce which finally reached China and is there consumed is not comprised in these tables, which show only the direct trade. Many vessels with American products on board sail with a primary destination to other countries, but ultimately dispose of more or less of their cargoes in the port of Canton.

The peculiarities of the Chinese Government and the Chinese character are well known. An Empire supposed to contain 300,000,000 of subjects, fertile in various rich products of the earth, not without the knowledge of letters and of many arts, and with large and expensive accommodations for internal intercourse and traffic, has for ages sought to exclude the visits of strangers and foreigners from its dominions, and has assumed for itself a superiority over all other nations. Events appear likely to break down and soften this spirit of nonintercourse, and to bring China ere long into the relations which usually subsist between civilized States. She has agreed, in the treaty with England, that correspondence between the agents of the two Governments shall be on equal terms—a concession which it is hardly probable will hereafter be withheld from other nations.

It is true that the cheapness of labor among the Chinese, their ingenuity in its application, and the fixed character of their habits and [Page 41] pursuits may discourage the hope of the opening of any great and sudden demand for the fabrics of other countries; but experience proves that the productions of Western nations find a market, to some extent, among the Chinese; that that market, so far as respects the productions of the United States, although it has considerably varied in successive seasons, has on the whole more than doubled within the last ten years; and it can hardly be doubted that the opening of several new and important ports, connected with parts of the Empire heretofore seldom visited by Europeans or Americans, would exercise a favorable influence upon the demand for such products.

It is not understood that the immediate establishment of correspondent embassies and missions, or the permanent residence of diplomatic functionaries, with full powers, of each country, at the court of the other, is contemplated between England and China, although, as has been already observed, it has been stipulated that intercourse between the two countries shall hereafter be on equal terms. An ambassador or envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary can only be accredited, according to the usages of western nations, to the head or sovereign of the state. And it may be doubtful whether the court of Pekin is yet prepared to conform to these usages so far as to receive a minister plenipotentiary to reside near it.

Being of opinion, however, that the commercial interests of the United States, connected with China, require at the present moment a degree of attention and vigilance such as there is no agent of this Government on the spot to bestow, I recommend to Congress to make appropriation for the compensation of a commissioner to reside in China, to exercise a watchful care over the concerns of American citizens and for the protection of their persons and property; empowered to hold intercourse with the local authorities, and ready, under instructions from his Government, should such instructions become necessary and proper hereafter, to address himself to the high functionaries of the Empire, or through them to the Emperor himself.

It will not escape the observation of Congress that, in order to secure the important objects of any such measure, a citizen of much intelligence and weight of character should be employed on such agency; and that, to secure the services of such an individual, a compensation should be made corresponding with the magnitude and importance of the mission.

John Tyler.