No. 22.

Sir: I have the honor to inform you of the arrival at these islands of the British frigate Carysfort, Capt. Lord Geo. Paulet, on the 11th ultimo, dispatched from San Bias by Admiral Thomas to inquire into certain charges alleged against this Government by Mr. Charlton, late English consul for these islands. Copies of the correspondence which took place between Capt. Paulet and His Majesty the King are herewith inclosed.

The nature of the demands made by Capt. Paulet were such as rendered it utterly impossible for the King to comply with them without completely subverting the established laws of the land and sacrificing the interests of many citizens of the United States, resident here, by setting aside decisions of juries in cases in which they were interested. In this dilemma he chose the only alternative proffered by Capt. Paulet, which was to cede the islands to Great Britain; accordingly a provisional cession was made, a copy of which I have the honor to inclose to you.

I would, observe in regard to the first of the demands made by Capt. Paulet, that the attachment on the property of Mr. Charlton was made by virtue of a judgment rendered against him in the regular established courts of these islands. The Government, however, fearing that the result of an immediate prosecution of the judgment might be construed into an infringement on the privileges claimed by ministers, simply caused the sheriff to issue public notice that the property could not be transferred, by which measure the full occupation and enjoyment of the property was secured to Mr. Charlton. Not the shadow of a loss, therefore, was sustained by him in consequence of the proceedings.

By the second demand it will be perceived that Capt. Paulet denies the right which this Government claims, in common with other nations, of receiving or rejecting consuls or their agents, even when good and sufficient cause for rejection can be adduced.

The punishment of foreigners who have committed crimes by putting them in irons has only occasionally been resorted to, to prevent offenders [Page 46] from leaving the port; indeed so slack has the Government become in awarding punishment to merited offenders (foreigners) that I have formally declared to the governor of this island that, unless some reform should take place in that particular, I should feel it my duty to represent it to Com. Jones of the Pacific squadron.

The promise made by the King to Capt. Jones, referred to in the fourth demand, has been moat religiously complied with, and the parties interested in the matter having voluntarily left their case with Sir George Simpson as arbitrator, the business has been fully and definitely settled, and is now only brought forward among other equally frivolous charges in order to swell the amount of “grievances” of British subjects.

In an interview between Mr. Simpson and the King, after he had formally acceded to the demands made by Capt. Paulet, he, Mr. Simpson, demanded that new trials should be granted in every instance in which decisions had been made affecting British subjects, since Mr. Charlton, the late consul, left, and this he contended was granted him by the King in acceding to the two last demands made by Capt. Paulet. The King, overwhelmed with this and similar unjust and exorbitant demands, gave up in despair. The final result of the business terminated in the provisional cession of the islands, before referred to.

I have thus briefly reviewed the character of the “demands” made on this Government by Capt. Paulet under the direction of Mr. Simpson; of the injustice of them no one conversant with the facts for a moment doubts.

I would observe in passing that Lord Paulet is a young man of whose intellectual capacities very little can be said, and could the Government of Great Britain be induced to send out a commission for the purpose of instituting an inquiry into the causes which led him to pursue the course he has, the result would by no means be creditable to him. Such a commission the King most devoutly wishes might be sent, and it is intended, I learn, to solicit the Governments of France and the United States to use their influence in bringing it about.

The geographical situation of the islands is such as to render it highly desirable that they should be neutral and their ports accessible at all times, in peace or war, by vessels of every nation.

Of their value to American interests the Department must be fully aware from repeated communications and returns from this agency.

A census of American citizens resident at these islands taken under my direction gives the number of 404, a large proportion of which are more or less interested in landed property, and they are not a little solicitous as to the national character they shall have to assume in order to retain their estates, should the islands become British territory. So, also, in regard to the titles of their estates, a majority of which are held simply by the right of gift from some chief, now deceased, to some person, also deceased, and from whom the estate has passed without that formality which an English court of law would deem requisite in order to establish a valid title.

It will be perceived on referring to the King’s letter of February 18, (No. 7) to Capt. Paulet, that he complies with his demands only under protest; this was undoubtedly done with the hope of exciting the sympathies of foreign governments, but are there not other considerations which should induce the Government of the United States to exert its influence to secure the recognition of the independence of these islands by the European powers.

[Page 47]

The subject is, indeed, one which deserves the profound consideration of the Government.

The British commissioners have assessed an additional duty of 1 per cent on all merchandise imported after this date.

I have the honor to be, etc.,

Wm. Hooper,
Acting U. S. Commercial Agent.

To the Hon. Daniel Webster,
Secretary of State, Washington City.

Sir: Having arrived at this port, in her Britannic Majesty’s ship Carysfort, under my command, for the purpose of affording protection to British subjects, as likewise to support the position of Her Britannic Majesty’s representative here, who has received repeated insults from the Government authorities at these islands, respecting which it is my intention to communicate only with the King in person.

I require to have immediate information by return of the officer conveying this dispatch whether or not the King (in consequence of my arrival) has been notified that his presence will be required here, and the earliest day on which he may be expected, as otherwise I shall be compelled to proceed to his residence, in the ship under my command, for the purpose of communicating with him.

I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,

George Paulet,

To Kekuanoa,
Governor of Woahoo, etc.

[Translated by G. P. Judd, translator to the Government.]

Salutations to you, Lord George Paulet, captain of Her Britannic Majesty’s ship Carysfort.

I have received your letter by the hand of the officer, and, with respect, imform you that we have not as yet sent for the King, as we were not informed of the business, but, having learned from your communication that you wish him sent for, I will search for a vessel and send.

He is at Wailuku, on the eastern side of Maui. In case the wind is favorable he may be expected in six days.

Yours, with respect,

M. Kekuanoa.

Sir: I have the honor to acquaint your Majesty of the arrival in this port of Her Britannic Majesty’s ship, under my command, and, according [Page 48] to my instructions, I am desired to demand a private interview with you, to which I shall proceed with a proper and competent interpreter. I therefore request to be informed at what hour to-morrow it will be convenient for your Majesty to grant me that interview.

I have the honor to remain your Majesty’s

Most obedient and humble servant,

Geo. Paulet,

To His Majesty Kamehameha III.

Salutations to you, Lord George Paulet, Captain of Her Britannic Majesty’s ship Carysfort.

Sir: We have received your communication of yesterday’s date, and must decline having any private interview, particularly under the circumstances which you propose. We shall be ready to receive any written communication from you to-morrow, and will give it due consideration.

In case you have business of a private nature, we will appoint Dr. Judd our confidential agent to confer with you, who, being a person of integrity and fidelity to our Government, and perfectly acquainted with all our affairs, will receive your communications, give you all the information you require (in confidence), and report the same to us.

With respect,

  • Kamehameha III.
  • Kekaulouhi.

I hereby certify the above to be a faithful translation,

G. P. Judd,
Translator and Interpreter for the Government.

Sir: In answer to your letter of this day’s date (which I have too good an opinion of your majesty to allow me to believe ever emanated from yourself, but from your ill-advisers) I have to state that I shall hold no communication whatever with Dr. G. P. Judd, who, it has been satisfactorily proved to me, has been the punic mover in the unlawful proceedings of your Government against British subjects.

As you have refused me a personal interview, I inclose you the demands which I consider it my duty to make upon your Government, with which I demand a compliance at or before 4 o’clock p.m. to-morrow (Saturday); otherwise I shall be obliged to take immediate coercive steps to obtain these measures for my countrymen.

I have the honor to be your majesty’s most obedient, humble servant,

Geo. Paulet,

His Majesty Kamehameha III.

[Page 49]

Demand made by the Right Honorable Lord George Paulet, captain, R. N., commanding Her Britannic M. Ship Carysfort, upon the King of the Sandwich Islands.

  • First. The immediate removal by public advertisement, written in the native and English languages and signed by the governor of this island and F. W. Thompson, of the attachment placed upon Mr. Charlton’s property, the restoration of the land taken by the Government for its own use and really appertaining to Mr. Charlton, and reparation for the heavy loss to which Mr. Charlton’s representatives have been exposed by the oppressive and unjust proceedings of the Sandwich Island Government.
  • Second. The immediate acknowledgment of the right of Mr. Simpson to perform the functions delegated to him by Mr. Charlton, namely, those of Her Britannic Majesty’s acting consul until Her Britannic Majesty’s pleasure be known upon the reasonablness of your objections to him, the acknowledgment of that right, and the reparation for the insult offered to Her Majesty through her acting representative, to be made by a public reception of his commission and the saluting the British flag with twenty-one guns, which number will be returned by Her Britannic Majesty’s ship under my command.
  • Third. A guarantee that no British subject shall in future be subjected to imprisonment in fetters, unless he is accused of a crime which by the laws of England would be considered a felony.
  • Fourth. The compliance with a written promise given by King Kamehameha to Capt: Jones, of Her Britannic Majesty’s ship Curar coa, that a new and a fair trial would be granted in a case brought by Henry Skinner, which promise has been evaded.
  • Fifth. The immediate adoption of firm steps to arrange the matters in dispute between British subjects and natives of the country or others residing here, by referring these cases to juries, one-half of whom shall be British subjects, approved of by the consul, and all of whom shall declare on oath their freedom from prejudgment upon or interest in the case brought before them.
  • Sixth. I direct communication between His Majesty Kamehameha and her Britannic Majesty’s acting consul for the immediate settlement of all cases of grievance and complaint on the part of British subjects against the Sandwich Island Government.

George Paulet,

Salutations to Right Honorable Lord George Paulet, captain of Her Britannic Majesty’s ship Carysfort.

We have received your letter and the demands which accompanied, and in reply would inform your lordship that we have commissioned Sir George Simpson and William Richards as our ministers plenipotentiary and envoys extraordinary to the court of Great Britain, with full powers to settle the difficulties which you have presented before us; to assure Her Majesty the Queen of our uninterrupted affection and confer with her ministers as to the best means of cementing the harmony between us.

Some of the demands which you have laid before us, are of a nature calculated seriously to embarrass our feeble Government, by contravening [Page 50] the laws established for the benefit of all. But we shall comply with your demands as it has never been our intention to insult Her Majesty the Queen or injure any of her estimable subjects; but we must do so under protest, and shall embrace the earliest opportunity of representing our case more fully to her Britannic Majesty’s Government through our ministry.

Trusting in the magnanimity of the sovereign of a great nation whom we have been taught to respect and love, that we shall there be justified.

Waiting your further order with sentiments of respect,

  • Kamehameha.
  • Kekauluohi.

I hereby certify the above to be a faithful translation.

G. P. Judd,
Translator for the Government.

Sir: I have had the honor to acknowledge Your Majesty’s letter of this day’s date, wherein you intimate your intention of complying with my demands, which I have considered my duty to make on Your Majesty’s Government, I appoint the hour of 2 o’clock this afternoon for the interchange of salutes, and I shall expect that you will inform me at what hour on Monday you will be prepared to receive myself and Her Britannic Majesty’s Representative.

I have the honor to be Your Majesty’s most obedient humble servant,

George Paulet, Captain.

His Majesty Tamehameha III.

Salutations to Lord George Paulet, captain of Her Britannic Majesty’s ship Carysfort.

I have received your communication and make known to you that I will receive yourself and Her Britannic Majesty’s representative on Monday, the 20th of February, at 11 o’clock a.m.

Yours respectfully,

Kamehameha III.

I hereby certify the above to be a faithful translation.

G. P. Judd,
Translator for the Government.

Sir: I have the honor to notify you that Her Britannic Majesty’s ship Carysfort, under my command, will be prepared to make an immediate attack upon this town at 4 p.m. to-morrow (Saturday) in the event of the demands now forwarded by me to the King of these islands not being complied with by this time.

I have the honor to be, etc.,

George Paulet,
[Page 51]

Captain Long,
Commanding U. S. S. Boston, Honolulu:

Where are you, chiefs, people and commons from my ancestor, and people from foreign lands!

Hear ye! I make known to you that I am in perplexity by reason of difficulties into which I have been brought without cause; therefore, I have given away the life of our land, hear ye! But my rule over you, my people, and your privileges will continue, for I have hope that the life of the land will be restored when my conduct is justified.

Kamehameha III

John D. Paalua.

I hereby certify the above to be a faithful translation.

G. P. Judd,
Recorder and Translator for Government

In consequence of the difficulties in which we find ourselves involved, and our opinion of the impossibility of complying with the demands in the manner in which they are made by Her Britannic Majesty’s representative upon us, in reference to the claims of British subjects, we do hereby cede the group of islands known as the Hawaiian (or Sandwich) Islands, unto the Bight Honorable Lord George Paulet, captain of her Britannic Majesty’s ship of war Carysfort, representing Her Majesty, Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, from this date, and for the time being: the said cession being made with the reservation that it is subject to any arrangements that may have been entered into by the representatives appointed by us to treat with the Government of Her Britannac Majesty; and in the event that no agreement has been executed previous to the date hereof subject to the decision of Her Britannic Majesty’s Government on conference with the said representatives appointed by us; or in the event of our representatives not being accessible, or not having been acknowledged, subject to the decision which Her Britannic Majesty may pronounce on the receipt of full information from us, and from the Right Honorable Lord George Paulet.

  • Kamehameha III.
  • Kekauluohi.

Signed in the presence of—
G. P. Judd,
Recorder and Translator for the Government.
[Page 52]

A provisional cession of the Hawaiian or Sandwich Islands having been made this day by Kamehameha III, King, and Kekauluohi, premier thereof, unto me, the Right Honorable Lord George Paulet, commanding Her Britannic Majesty’s ship Carysfort, on the part of Her Britannic Majesty, Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland; subject to arrangements which may have been made or shall be made in Great Britain with the Government of Her Britannic Majesty, I do hereby proclaim,

  • First. That the British flag shall be hoisted on all the islands of the group, and the natives thereof shall enjoy the protection and privileges of British subjects.
  • Second. That the government thereof shall be executed, until the receipt of communications from Great Britain, in the following manner, namely: By the native King and chiefs and the officers employed by them, so far as regards the native population, and by a commission consisting of King Kamehameha III, or a deputy appointed by him, the Bight Honorable Lord George Paulet; Duncan Forbes Mackay, esquire, and Lieut. Frere, R. N., in all that concerns relations with other powers (save and except the negotiations with the British Government), and the arrangements among foreigners (others than natives of the Archipelago) resident on these islands.
  • Third. That the laws at present existing or which may be made at the ensuing council of the king and chiefs (after being communicated to the commission) shall be in full force so far as natives are concerned: and shall form the basis of the administration of justice by the commission in matters between foreigners resident on these islands.
  • Fourth. In all that relates to the collection of the revenue, the present officers shall be continued at the pleasure of the native King and chiefs, their salaries for the current year being also determined by them, and the archives of Goverment remaining in their hands; the accounts are, however, subject to inspection by the commission heretofore named. The Government vessels shall be in like manner subject, however, to their employment if required for Her Britannic Majesty’s service.
  • Fifth. That no sales, leases, or transfers of land shall take place by the action of the commission appointed as aforesaid, nor from natives to foreigners, during the period intervening between the 24th of this month and the receipt of notification from Great Britain of the arrangements made there; they shall not be valid, nor shall they receive the signatures of the King and premier.
  • Sixth. All the existing and bona fide engagements of the native King and premier shall be executed and performed as if this cession had never been made.

George Paulet,
Captain of H. B. M. S. Carysport

Signed in the presence of
G. P. Judd,
Recorder and Interpreter to the Government.

Alexr. Simpson,
H. B. M. Acting Consul.