Foreign Relations of the United States, 1894, Appendix II, Affairs in Hawaii
Oahu, Sandwich Islands , March 11, 1843 .
Sir: The document herewith inclosed has been received at this office from His Majesty the King of these islands, with a request that it be forwarded to the President of the United States by the earliest opportunity.
I have the honor to remain, sir, etc.,
Acting U. S. Commercial Agent.
- Hon. Daniel Webster,
Secretary of State, Washington City.
Kamehameha III, native King of the Sandwich Islands, to His Excellency John Tyler, the President of the United States of America.
Great and Good Friend: In trouble and difficulty we present for consideration to the President the unfortunate situation in which we and our Government are placed.
Demands upon us unsustained by the acknowledged laws of nations and unfounded in justice were for the first time presented by Lord George Paulet, captain of Her British Majesty’s ship Carysfort, then lying in the harbor of Honolulu, with a threat of coercive measures in case of noncompliance within nineteen hours. Our proposals for discussion and negotiation through our principal adviser were declined with rudeness, and we were compelled without a hearing to yield to demands which we believed to be arbitrary and unjust as regards ourselves, oppressive and illegal as regards foreign residents.
We have been compelled to acknowledge an acting consul of Her Britannic Majesty against whom there were positive objections susceptible of explicit proof, without the grounds of our refusal being heard or considered. The acknowledged consul of Her Britannic Majesty had suddenly and secretly withdrawn from these islands without soliciting an interview or giving us any sort of notice of his intentions previous to his departure. After his departure, we received notice that he had delegated his consular functions to Alexander Simpson, who was a known and declared enemy of our Government, who had openly insulted the chief magistrate of this island and other high officers of our appointment, who had publicly threatened to involve us in difficulties, and whose recognition as consular agent was protested against by two British subjects who represented the chief commercial interests in these islands.
Compliance has been compelled with demands, violating the obligations of contracts and contravening laws for the collection of debts, which have been established for the general benefit in accordance with the statutes of civilized nations, by compelling us to annul the decision of juries after the cases had been dismissed, and to grant new trials contrary to law, and by compelling us to remove attachments levied by one British resident on the property of another in due course of law and under the usual formalities.
Precluded from negotiation and unable to repel by force, we yielded to these requisitions, under protest, of embracing the earliest opportunity of representing them more fully to Her Britannic Majesty.[Page 54]
Compliance having been thus procured to the foregoing demands, others were preferred by Her Britannic Majesty’s acting consul (now acknowledged) more unjust, exorbitant and arbitrary; claims for heavy indemnities where no damage was proven, and only alleged on frivolous pretexts, and demands for damages in a case still pending under the previous protest to Her Britannic Majesty. We were called upon to violate every principle of equity, by setting aside the decision of juries in several cases without any just cause being pretended why new trials should be granted; these demands were enforced at private interviews between ourselves, his lordship and Her Britannic Majesty’s acting consul. The subject was only verbally canvassed, written negotiations were positively refused, and even written statements and proof and copies of the claims preferred were denied. The only alternative offered us were immediate resolve to violate the laws by acts illegal and oppressive, immediate admission and payment of claims to indemnity so loosely supported, or immediate hostilities.
Without force to resist hostilities, without resources to meet the payment of the heavy indemnities demanded, and firmly resolved to support law and justice, we adopted the only peaceful alternative left, to throw ourselves upon the generosity of the British nation by a conditional cession of these islands to Her Britannic Majesty. To have awaited hostilities would have been to expose to destruction the property and jeopardize the lives of a large number of foreign residents who are American citizens; to have complied with the demands urged would have been to sanction oppressive and illegal acts affecting the rights and prospects of American citizens also, and an open violation of the stipulations with the United States in 1826.
Placed in difficulties from which we could not extricate ourselves with honor and justice, compelled to immediate decision, and threatened with immediate hostilities we have, with the advice and consent of our chiefs, signed with a heavy hand and many tears the deed of provisional cession and have permitted the British flag to be planted in all our islands, but under the guns of a frigate and at the point of the bayonet.
Belying on the magnanimity and firmness of the United States, we appeal to the President to interpose the high influence of the United States with the court of England to grant us an impartial hearing and procure us justice, to induce Her British Majesty to withdraw from the sovereignty of these islands and leave us as we have been—an independent government supported in our right.
We have labored to civilize and improve our islands; we have adopted the laws of the United States and of Britain; we have appointed upright and capable American citizens and British subjects to offices of trust and responsibility, in order that their functions might be exercised with energy and fidelity; we have adopted all suggestions which would tend to put the commercial intercourse of American citizens with us upon the best footing; we have been gratified with the large and increasing number of American residents. We confidently appeal to the Americans on these islands engaged in mercantile and commercial pursuits to testify to the honesty of our intentions and our capabilities for self-government, and we acknowledge them to have been the most consistent and efficient supporters of our Government.
We look to the United States with peculiar feelings of respect and gratitude. To the benevolence and enterprise of that great people we owe the introduction of the Christian religion, of civilization and laws [Page 55] of commerce and agriculture, and the large and respectable number of our foreign residents.
We ask of you to secure and preserve the great interests common to us and you, and arrest the course of events so prejudicial to both; and we shall never cease to be grateful for your aid.
And we pray to the Almighty God to have your excellency, our great and good Mend, in his most holy keeping.
Written at Honolulu, Island of Oahu, Hawaiian (Sandwich) Islands, this 10th day of March, anno Domini one thousand eight hundred and forty three.
By your good friend,
Sandwich Islands , August 15, 1843 .
Sir: I have the honor to announce to you the arrival at this port, on the 26th ultimo, of H. B. M. Frigate Dublin, from Valpao, and of the restoration of the sovereignty of this group of islands to His Majesty the King thereof by Bear Admiral Thomas.
It appears that the acts of Capt. Paulet were entirely unauthoirized by the British Government, or the commander of the British naval force in the Pacific.
The U. S. Ship Constellation arrived at these isalnds sometime prior to the restoration of the Hawaiian flag by admiral Thomas, Com. Kearny receiving official information from me of the transaction of Capt. Paulet issued a protest, a copy of which is herewith inclosed.
The protest of the King against Loro paulet Paulet, A and the the declaration of Admiral Thomas, Doc. C, are herewith inclosed for the information of the State Department.
The restoration of the Government of these islands to the native chiefs is as gratifying to the American residents here as it must be to the Government of the United States.
With sentiments of the highest consideration, etc.
Acting U. S. Commercial Agent.
- Hon. Daniel Webster,
Secretary of State, Washington.
Know all men that, according to private instructions given to our deputy, he on the 10th of May, issued a protest on our behalf in the following words:
“Whereas the undersigned was, by commission dated February 27, 1843, appointed deputy for His Majesty Kamehameha III to the British Commission for the Government of the Sandwich Islands, under the provisional cession thereof unto Her Most Gracious Majesty Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland;
“And whereas in the prosecution of business by the commissioners many acts have been passed and consummated affecting the interests of foreigners residing on the islands, and by acts which virtually abrogate the bona fide obligations of the Government existing at the period of [Page 56] the provisional cession, to which acts the said Kamehameha III did refuse through me, his deputy;
“And whereas, by an order issued April 27, 1843, to the acting governor of Oahu, and by subsequent orders dated May 8, 1843, issued to all the governors of these Sandwich Islands, the commissioners, to wit, the Bt. Hon. Lord George Paulet, captain of H. B. M. ship Carysfort, and Lieut. John Frere, R. N., did virtually abrogate one of the existing laws of these islands by forbidding the imprisonment of persons found guilty of fornication, except in certain cases not specified in the laws, as will appear more fully upon reference to said orders, violating thereby the solemn compact entered into under the provisional cession;
“Now, therefore, be it known to all men that I, the said deputy for the said King Kamehameha III, do by these presents enter this my most solemn protest against the acts, especially those above recited, of the said commissioners, which have not the signature and approbation of me, the said deputy, as will appear more fully upon reference to the records of said commission.
“And I do hereby most solemnly protest against the said Et. Hon. Lord George Paulet and Lieut. Frere, commissioners aforesaid, and all others whom it may concern, holding them responsible for their violation of the solemn compact or treaty entered into on the 25th day of February, 1843.
“G. P. Judd,
“for the King.
“Honolulu, Oahu Sandwich Islands, May 10, 1843.”
On the next day our deputy withdrew from the British commission by the following document, acting in our place and stead:
“Whereas the under signed deputy for the King Kamehameha III did, on the 10th day of may, instant, enter his protest against certain acts of the British commission for the Government of the Sandwich Islands;
“And whereas the undersigned has been verbally informed this day by the Rt. Hon. Lord George Paulet and Lieut. Frere that one of the laws as made at the recent Council of the King and Chiefs, viz, ‘A law for the licensing of public auctioneers,’ shall not go into operation;
“And whereas it now appearing evident to the undersigned that the terms of the compact or treaty entered into on the 25th February, 1843, will not in future be respected by the British commission;
“Therefore be it known to all men that I, the said deputy, do by these presents resign my seat in the said commission, thereby withdrawing the said King Kamehameha III from all future responsibilities in the acts of the said commission.
“Done at Oahu Sandwich Islands, at the office of the British commission for the Government of the Sandwich Islands, this 11th day of May, A. D. 1843.
“G. P. Judd,
“Deputy for the King.”
We therefore publicly make known that we, Kamehameha III, the King, fully approve and acknowledge the protest and withdrawal of our deputy as our own, and declare that we will no more sit with the British commissioners, or be responsible for any act of theirs which may encroach on the rights of foreigners.[Page 57]
The Rt. Hon. Lord George Paulet and his Lieutenant, John Frere, having enlisted soldiers under the title of “the Queen’s Regiment”, maintaining them as a standing army out of funds appropriated by us for the payment of our just debts, which expense we consider quite uncalled for and useless; they having enforced their demand for the payment of the money by a threat of deposing from his trust an officer of the treasury, although contrary to the orders of the King and premier to him, made known to the British Commissioners;
By these oppressions, by the trial of natives for alleged offenses against the native Government, cases which come not properly under their cognizance, and by their violating the laws which, by the treaty, were to have been held sacred until we hear from England; we are oppressed and injured, and feel confident that all good men will sympathize with us in our present state of distress; and now we protest in the face of all men against all such proceedings both towards ourselves and foreigners, subjects of other governments, on the part of the Bt. Hon. Lord George Paulet, captain of H. B. ship Carysfort, and his lieutenant, John Frere, R. N., and take the world to witness that they have broken faith with us.
By me, (Signed)
By me, (Signed)
His Majesty Kamehameha
King of the Sandwich Islands:
In the name and on behalf of the people of the United States of America and their Government, which the undersigned has the honor to represent, and in order to explain clearly for the information of all concerned is issued a protest.
Whereas a provisional cession of the Hawaiian or Sandwich Islands was made by His Majesty Kamehameha III and Kekauluohi, premier thereof, unto the Hon. George Paulet, commanding Her Britannic Majesty’s ship Carysfort (to wit) on the 25th day of February, 1843, and whereas, the United States’ interests and those of their citizens resident on the aforesaid Hawaiian Islands are deeply involved in a seizure of His Majesty’s Government under the circumstances; as well as in the act of the aforesaid King and premier acceding thereto under protest or otherwise, to affect the interests before cited: Now, therefore, be it known that I solemnly protest against every act and measure in the premises; and do declare that from and after the day of said cession until the termination of the pending negotiations between His Majesty’s envoys and the Government of Her Britannic Majesty, I hold His Majesty Kamehameha III and Capt. Lord George Paulet answerable for any and every act, by which a citizen of the United States resident as aforesaid shall be restrained in his just and undisputed rights and privileges, or who may suffer inconvenience or losses, or be forced to submit to any additional charges on imports or other revenue matters, or exactions in regard to the administration of any municipal laws whatever enacted by the “Commission” consisting of His Majesty King Kamehameha III, or his deputy of the aforesaid islands and the [Page 58] Right Hon. Lord George Paulet, Duncan Forbes Mackay, esq., and Lieut. John Frere, R. N.
Commander-in-Chief of the U. S. Naval force in the East Indies.
Off Honolulu , July 26, 1843 .
Sir: It being my desire to obtain the honor of a personal interview with His Majesty King Kamehameha III, for the purpose of conferring with His Majesty on the subject of the provisional cession of his dominions, I have to request that you will be pleased to intimate my wishes to His Majesty in order that he may appoint the time and place where such interview may be held.
I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient humble servant,
Rear Admiral and Commander-in-Chief of H. B. M. Ships and Vessels in the Pacific.
Governor of Oahu.
[With Mr. Hooper’s No. 28.]
Of Rear-Admiral Thomas, Commander in Chief of Her Britannic Majesty’s ship and vessels in the Pacific, in relation to the events which transpired at the Sandwich Islands, and consequent upon the visit of Her Britannic Majesty’s Ship Carysfort in February, 1843.
To King Kamehameha III and the Principal Chiefs of the Sandwich Islands: Immediately that the commander in chief was made acquainted in Valparasio in June, 1843, of the provisional cession of the Hawaiian Islands unto the Right Honorable Lord George Paulet, as the then and there representative of Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, he hastened to the spot to make himself fully acquainted with all the circumstances and, if possible, the motives which led to such an unlocked for event.
His first duty on arrival was to seek a personal interview with His Majesty Kamehameha III, and to ascertain whether these difficulties in which he found himself involved, and the opinion which His Majesty appeared to entertain of the impossibility of complying with certain requisitions which had been made, were so utterly insurmountable as to call upon him to renounce the sovereignty of these islands for the time being, likewise whether the cession was a free unbiased and unsolicited act of sovereign power.
The rear-admiral having ascertained that the difficulties to which allusion is made in the deed of cession might be surmounted, having convinced His Majesty that he had not properly understood the principles of justice and good faith which invariably guide the councils of Her Majesty, the Queen of Great Britain, in all their deliberations, particularly [Page 59] respecting their relations with foreign powers, and that whenever it becomes necessary to vindicate the rights of British subjects or redress their wrongs the government scrupulously respects those rights which are vested in all nations in an equal degree, whether they be powerful or weak, making it, therefore, a rule not to resort to force until every expedient for an amicable adjustment has failed, having, moreover, learned that His Majesty entertained the hope that his conduct was capable of justification, and that such justification he thought would restore to him the authority he had ceded under supposed difficulties, and having, moreover, assured His Majesty that whilst it is the earnest desire of the Government of Great Britain to cultivate by every means a good understanding with every independent nation, and to prevent any of its subjects from injuring those of other sovereigns, either in person or property, wherever they may be located, and that when it can be avoided rather than urge compliance with demands which are likely to embarrass a feeble Government, its object is to foster and even assist by kind advice or good offices such as may be disposed to seek its friendly interposition, requiring in return only equal privileges for such British residents as may have been granted to the subjects of the most favored nation. Lastly, His Majesty has given his assent to new proposals submitted to him for the amicable adjustment of the pending differences which led to the temporary cession of his authority. The commander-in-chief of Her Britannic Majesty’s ships and vessels in the Pacific, for the reasons herein stated and as the highest local representative of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, hereby declares and makes manifest that he does not accept of the provisional cession of the Hawaiian Islands, made on the 25th day of February, 1843, but that he considers His Majesty Kamehameha III the legitimate King of those islands, and he assurer His Majesty that the sentiments of his Sovereign towards him are those of unvarying friendship and esteem, that Her Majesty sincerely desires King Kamehameha to be treated as an independent sovereign, leaving the administration of justice in his own hands, the faithful discharge of which will promote his happiness and the prosperity of his do minions.
Although it is the duty of every sovereign and his ministers and counselors to do all in their power to prevent any of their subjects from injuring those of any other nation residing among them; nay more, that he ought not to permit foreigners to settle in his territory unless he engages to protect them as his own subjects, and to afford them perfect security as far as regards himself; yet Great Britain will not consider the public character of the legitimate sovereign of a state bat recently emerged from barbarism, under the fostering care of civilized nations, as at all implicated by the aggression of some of his subjects, provided the Government does not directly or indirectly sanction any acts of partiality or injustice, either by conniving at whilst they are planning or being executed or by allowing the perpetrators to remain unpunished.
If, unfortunately, a case should occur in which there is an evasion or denial of justice on the part of the Government towards British subjects, the course to be pursued is clear, and it would then be the duty of the commander-in-chief, in such case of real grievance which shall remain unredressed, to obtain that which bad faith and injustice have denied.
The commander-in-chief confidently hopes that this act of restoration [Page 60] to the free exercise of his sovereign authority will be received by the King of the Sandwich Islands as a most powerful and convincing proof, not only of the responsibility he is under to render immediate reparation for real wrongs committed upon British subjects or their property, but also of the importance which attaches to the maintenance of those friendly and reciprocally advantageous relations which have for so many years subsisted between the two nations; and he further hopes that neither His Majesty nor his successors will ever forget that to the illustrious circumnavigator Capt. Cook, as the first discoverer, the inhabitants of the Sandwich Islands owe their admission into the great family of civilized man, and from the lips of Vancouver (another Englishman) Kamehameha I heard mention for the first time of the true God, which ultimately led to the abrogation of a false worship, idolatry, and human sacrifices, and by the well-directed energies, the ceaseless perseverance of the American missionaries to the establishment of a religion pure and undefiled, accompanied by the advantages of instruction and civilization, the which combined and duly cultivated bring in their train security of life and property, social order, mental and moral improvement, internal prosperity, and the respect as well as, good will of other nations more advanced in the knowledge of the true faith and the science of good government.
Blessings and advantages of this nature the government of Great Britain is desirous of increasing and promoting among the inhabitants of the Sandwich Islands by every honorable and praiseworthy means in its power, and thus to enlist the sympathies of the sovereign and his ministers on the side of justice, which is the basis of all society and the surest bond of all commerce.
Washington , 15th March, 1843 .
Sir: The accompanying message of the President to Congress of the 30th of December last, transmitting a correspondence between this Department and certain agents of the Sandwich Islands then in this city, will acquaint you with the view which he entertains of the relations between the United States and those islands, and with the objects and motives of this Government for cultivating and strengthening those relations. Congress having complied with his suggestions by providing for a Commissioner to reside at the islands, you have been chosen for that purpose. A commission appointing you to the office will be found among the papers which you will receive herewith, and a letter from this Department addressed to that minister of the King of the islands who may be charged with their foreign relations, accrediting you in your official character. The title selected for your mission has reference in part to its purposes. It is not deemed expedient at this juncture fully to recognize the independence of the islands or the right of their Government to that equality of treatment and consideration which is due and usually allowed to those Governments to which we send and from which we receive diplomatic agents of the ordinary ranks. By this, however, it is not meant to intimate that the islands, [Page 61] so far as regards all other powers, are not entirely independent; on the contrary, this is a fact respecting which no doubt is felt, and the hope that through the agency of the Commissioner that independence might be preserved, has probably, in a great degree, led to the compliance by Congress with the recommendation of the President.
It is obvious, from circumstances connected with their position, that the interests of the United States require that no other power should possess or colonize the Sandwich Islands, or exercise over their Government an influence which would lead to partial or exclusive favors in matters of navigation or trade. One of your principal duties therefore, will be to watch the movements of such agents of other Governments as may visit the islands. You will endeavor to obtain the earliest intelligence respecting the objects of those visits, and if you should think that, if accomplished, they would be derrimental to the interests of the United States, you will make such representations to the authorities of the islands as in your judgment would be most likely to further them. You will also endeavor to impress upon those authorities the necessity of abstaining from giving just cause of complaint to the Governments of those powers whose policy is to increase their possessions and multiply their colonies abroad. This duty can best be performed by the prompt and impartial administration of justice according to the laws and customs of the islands, in such cases of difference as may occur between their officers and citizens and the officers, citizens, or subjects of other Governments.
You will give the Government of the Sandwich Islands distinctly to understand that the Government of the United States in all its proceedings, and in setting on foot your mission, has not in any degree been actuated by a desire or intention to secure to itself exclusive privileges in matters of navigation or trade, or to prevent any or all other commercial nations from an equal participation with ourselves in the benefits of an intercourse with those islands. We seek no control over their Government, nor any undue influence whatever. Our only wish is that the integrity and independence of the Hawaiian territory maybe scrupulously maintained and that its Government should be entirely impartial towards foreigners of every nation. In making resolute and stern resistance, therefore, to any claim of favor or exclusive privilege by other powers, you will at all times frankly disavow any desire that favors or exclusive privileges should be granted to the United States, their ships, commerce, or citizens.
You will transmit to the Department full and exact information respecting the trade of the United States and of other nations with the islands. Any suggestions which may occur to you having in view any improvement of the commerce of the United States with the islands will be acceptable. Your attention is particularly requested to the nature of the fiscal regulations in force there, to their effects upon foreign commerce generally, and to the policy of the Government in regard to this subject. If those regulations should be frequently changed, or if there should be cause to apprehend the imposition of discriminating duties upon our navigation and trade, the expediency of negotiating a treaty with that Government which would determine for a series of years the reciprocal rights and duties of the parties in regard to those subjects will be taken into consideration.
After you shall have resided long enough at the Sandwich Islands to have made yourself familiar with the state of public affairs there, and shall have communicated to the Department the results of your observations, you may make a visit to the Society Islands for the purpose of [Page 62] examining and reporting upon their condition and prospects. It is advisable, however, that your absence from your post should not be prolonged beyond the period absolutely necessary for that purpose.
* * * * * * *
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
- Daniel Webster.
George Brown, Esq.,
Appointed Commissioner of the United States for the Sandwich Islands.
Sir: I arrived here on the 16th instant, and found here Commodore Dallas, who arrived in the Erie a few days before me, also the Cyane, Commander Stribling. Admiral Thomas, commanding the English naval forces in the Pacific, was also here, having, as you must have, learned ere receiving this, restored the flag to the King of Hawaii.
Commodore Dallas having offered me the Cyane to carry me to Lahaina, Maui, the residence of the King, for the purpose of presenting my credentials to the Government, I visited her yesterday and was received with a salute of thirteen guns. This morning, on arriving on board, was informed that the admiral intended to dispatch the corvette Hazard for Mazatlan on Saturday, and, as we are under way, have no time to write as I could wish, being obliged to send this back by the pilot. Everything, however, appears to be going on as we could wish. The admiral appears to have done everything that could have been required to satisfy the King. He appears to be a very fine man, and the conduct of Lord George Paulet is a sore subject to him. The most charitable construction I have heard put upon the conduct of Lord George is that he was partially deranged.
Mr. Hooper, United States commercial agent, informs me that he has sent to the State Department a full account of all that has happened previous to my arrival. The meagerness of this dispatch I hope therefore will be excused. The English corvette Champion arrived yesterday from Valparaiso, which is the occasion of the Hazard being ordered to Mazatlan so soon, thereby giving me so little time to write. On my return from Mani will write you fully of all my proceedings. It affords me much pleasure to know that the President has availed himself of your talents and services in the State Department.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your very obedient servant,
- Geo. Brown.
- Hon. Abel P. Upshur,
Secretary of State, Washington.
[From Mr. Brown’s dispatch No. 6, of November 4, 1843.]
Sir: I last had the honor of addressing you on the 26thultimo from on board the U. S. S. Cyane, on my passage from this place to Lahaina. Not being informed until after the ship was under way that the English admiral was about dispatching a vessel for Mexico, I had only time to [Page 63] inform you of my arrival here, and of my being on my way to present my credentials to the premier who was residing at Lahaina, Mani.
I arrived here from Tahiti in the brig Catharine on the 16th ultimo, after a passage of 28 days, and found, much to my gratification, that the English admiral, Thomas, had restored the flag to the King, and placed the islands again under its native government. It will be unnecessary for me to give you a history of the doings of Lord George Paulet previous to the arrival of the admiral, or of the proceedings of the latter, as I am informed by Mr. Hooper, our acting commercial agent here, that he has written you fully on the subject, giving you every information requisite. I will therefore only say that, from what I have so far learned, both the Government here and the American residents are perfectly satisfied with what the admiral has done. There are some questions and cases arising out of the usurpation of Lord George which are not yet settled, but will have to wait for the arrival of the British commissioner or for the action of the British Government, but there appears no doubt that everything will be amicably and properly arranged.
Learning on my arrival that the King was absent from his usual residence at Lahaina, on a visit to the island of Hawaii, and that he would not return until the 27th, I remained here until the 26th, when I took passage on board the Cyane, which ship had been placed at my disposal by Commodore Dallas, for Lahaina. I arrived there on the 30th at 8 a.m., accompanied by Dr. Judd, the Government interpreter, and wrote a note to the premier, informing her (him f) of my arrival, and requesting to know at what time it would be convenient for her to receive me. I received an answer that she would be ready at half past twelve.
On leaving the ship I was saluted with thirteen guns, and on landing was received by a number of the high chiefs and conducted to the house of Kekaumohi, the premier, whom, on introduction by Mr. Judd, I addressed as follows:
I have the honor to present to your excellency my credentials as commissioner from the Government of the United States to the King of Hawaii, and I beg to assure your excellency that it will afford me much pleasure in carrying out the instructions of my Government to cultivate the friendship of the Hawaiian Government and to deserve it by all the good offices in my power.
After the credentials were read the premier replied in the following terms as interpreted to me:
I am happy to see you here as the representative of a nation to whom we owe so much and whose friendship and good will we so highly value and that we shall always endeavor to retain. Your credentials are highly satisfactory.
I was then asked whether I wished to be introduced to the King, and on replying in the affimative, the premier handed me a letter of introduction, observing that on account of lameness she could not accompany me. I was attended, as heretofore, by a number of the high officers of Government, and on arriving at the house of the King found him waiting for me dressed in regimentals and attended by the governor of Mani and his aides. On entering he came forward and took me by the hand, requesting me to be seated. I handed him the premier’s letter, which he read. I then rose and addressed him as follows, which was translated by Mr. Judd:
Sir: Having been appointed by the President of the United States of America a commissioner to reside in the dominions of Your Majesty, I have taken the earliest opportunity to pay you my respects. While my Government expects no exclusive privileges, and has no desire or intention to prevent any or all other commercial nations [Page 64] from an equal participation in the benefits to be derived from an intercourse with your islands, and seeks no control or undue influence whatever, it has a right to expect that no partial or exclusive favors be granted to other nations. The wish of my Government is that the independence of the Hawaiian territory may be scrupulously maintained, and that its Government should be impartial towards foreigners of every nation.
Allow me to congratulate Your Majesty upon the interest taken in you and your people by one of the most powerful and free nations of the earth, as evinced by the unanimous vote of its representatives that a diplomatic intercourse should be opened with you. It must be a matter of great satisfaction to Your Majesty to think that while not a quarter of a century has elapsed since your country was in a state of heathenism, such progress has been made in civilization and Christianity that you are about to be admitted into the communion of nations who for ages have had advantages which have made them powerful and happy.
Next to the gratitude due from you to the Almigh ty Disposer of Events, you owe under Him, to those who, for the welfare of your people, left their friends and country to teach them (you) the blessings of Christianity and the arts of civilization, a debt which can only be paid by the knowledge that their efforts have not been in vain.
I assure Your Majesty that it will afford me great pleasure to be the means of uniting more closely the relations heretofore of the most friendly kind between the Government of the Hawaiian Archipelago and my own, and to further by everything in my power a reciprocal feeling of friendship and good will.
To which His Majesty replied as follows, which was also translated by Mr. Judd:
I am much gratified at being informed by the premier of your arrival, and am happy to receive you as a representative of the United States of America whose Government is much respected by me, and whose people have made great efforts to promote civilization and Christianity among my people.
I thank you for the kind sentiments you have expressed, and trust there will never be any alienation between my Government and yours. You may assure your Government that I shall always consider the citizens of the United States as entitled to equal privileges with those of the most favored nations.
* * * * * * *
Declaration of Great Britain and France relative to the independence of the Sandwich Islands, London, November 28, 1843.
Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and His Majesty the King of the French, taking into consideration the existence in the Sandwich Islands of a government capable of providing for the regularity of its relations with foreign nations, have thought it right to engage, reciprocally, to consider the Sandwich Islands as an independent state, and never to take possession, either directly or under the title of protectorate, or under any other form, of any part of the territory of which they are composed.
The undersigned, Her Majesty’s principal secretary of state for foreign affairs and the ambassador extraordinary of His Majesty the King of the French, at the court of London, being furnished with the necessary powers, hereby declare in consequence that their said majesties take reciprocally that engagement.
In witness whereof the undersigned have signed the present declaration, and have affixed thereto the seal of their arms.
Convention of commerce, navigation, etc., between Great Britain and the Sandwich Islands.* Signed at Lahaina, February 12, 1844. †
The differences which existed between the governments of Great Britain and of the Sandwich Islands having been happily settled, the following articles of agreement have been mutually entered into between the King of the Sandwich Islands, on the one part, and William Miller, esq., Her Britannic Majesty’s consul-general for the Sandwich and other islands in the Pacific, in the name and on the behalf of Her Britannic Majesty, on the other part, for the preservation of harmony, and the prevention of future misunderstanding between the two parties.
- Article I. There shall be perpetual peace and amity between Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the King of the Sandwich Islands, their heirs and successors.
- II. The subjects of Her Britannic Majesty shall be protected in an efficient manner in their persons and properties by the King of the Sandwich Islands, who shall cause them to enjoy impartially, in all cases in which their interests are concerned, the same rights and privileges as natives, or as are enjoyed by any other foreigners.
- III. No British subject accused of any crime whatever shall be judged otherwise than by a jury composed of froeign residents, proposed by the British consul and accepted by the Government of the Sandwich Islands.
IV. The protection of the King of the Sandwich Islands shall be extended to all British vessels, their officers, and crews. In case of shipwreck, the chiefs and inhabitants of the different parts of the Sandwich Islands shall succour them and secure them from plunder.
The salvage dues shall be regulated, in case of difficulties, by arbitrators freely chosen by both parties.
- V. The desertion of seamen embarked on board of British vessels shall be severely repressed by the local authorities, who shall employ all the means at their disposal to arrest deserters; and all reasonable expenses of capture shall be defrayed by the captains or owners of the said vessels.
- VI. British merchandise, or goods recognized as coming from the British dominions, shall not be prohibited, nor shall they be subject to an import duty higher than 5 per cent ad valorem.
- VII. No tonnage, import, or other duties shall be levied on British vessels or goods, or on goods imported in British vessels, beyond what are levied on the vessels or goods of the most favored nation.
- VIII. The subjects of the King of the Sandwich Islands shall, in their commercial and other relations with Great Britain, be treated on the footing of the most favored nation.
Signed in the presence of:
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
Secretary to Consul-General Miller.
His Majesty the King of the Hawaiian Islands being anxious to suppress intemperance within his dominions, and with that view having taken measures to obtain the consent of the French Government to the abrogation of Article VI of the treaty of July 17, 1839,* which admits the introduction of spirits and wine, on payment of a duty of 5 per cent; it is hereby further agreed, that if His Majesty the King of the French should consent to the abrogation or to any alteration of the said article, Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain will likewise consent so to alter Article VI of the foregoing treaty as that it may have precisely the same effect in what relates to intoxicating liquors; and that this additional article shall be referred to the British Government for approval, to be afterward appended to the convention at present agreed to.
case of john wiley.
[Before the governor of Oahu, assisted by Hon. G. P. Judd and J. Ricord, esq., H. H. M. attorney-general, at the Fort, September 4, 1844.]
John Wiley, plaintiff on appeal, vs. The Hawaiian Government.
This was an appeal from the judgment of the inferior judges of Honolulu. The present plaintiff in error had been charged before the court below with the commission of a rape upon the body of——, an Hawaiian girl, a subject of His Majesty; and proof having been adduced to the satisfaction of the inferior judges, they condemned the present plaintiff in error to pay the statute fine of $50. This fine the plaintiff having paid, he appealed to the governor, and demanded a jury under the Hawaiian statute law, complying therewith by depositing the sum of $25, required by the statute to entitle him to a jury. The governor having given the usual notice of drawing the jury of appeal, he proceeded on the day appointed to draw a mixed jury of half Hawaiian subjects and half foreigners, required in such cases by the printed statute law. In the interval William Hooper, esq., claimed for his Government the right of selecting and proposing to the governor an entire panel of foreign jurors, to try the accused for the crime charged against him, which the governor declined on the ground that he was governed in his administration of justice by the printed law of the land and that there was no treaty extant between His Hawaiian Majesty and the United States of America which authorized him to deviate from the statute.
On the day of trial above named the plaintiff Wiley appeared by his attorney, Richard Ford, and in person, and expressed his readiness to proceed to trial, but before the jury were actually impaneled William Hooper, esq., United States commercial agent, appeared before [Page 67] the court and made out and desired to have entered on its minutes the following protest:
Before the court proceeds to the trial of Mr. Wiley, I beg to state that by a treaty entered into between this Government and that of Great Britain, on the 12th February last, the subjects of the latter were secured in the privilege of being tried, when charged with crime against the laws of this country, by a jury appointed by their consul, that I claim, in virtue of the assurance given to Mr. Brown, the United States commissioner, by His Majesty the King in October last, which secured to citizens of the United States equal privileges with those of the most favored nation, that Mr. Wiley, the defendant, is entitled to a jury appointed by me, as acting; United States consul.
The court, as at present constituted, I protest against, and request that it may be entered, on the records of the court.
Acting United States Consular Agent.
Honolulu, September 4, 1844.
Upon which protest the court decided as follows:
The decision of this court upon the protest of William Hooper, esq., vice-commercial agent of the United States, now entered on the minutes, is, that there is a law in the statute books of this Government, which the accused is charged with having violated, and that at the time of violating that statute there was and still is, also in the statute book, a law regulating the drawing of juries in the Hawaiian Islands, which is obligatory upon this court. This court knows of no treaty extant with the United States that authorizes it, under the oaths of the judges, to depart from the law concerning juries, and it can not conscientiously take cognizance of any diplomatic correspondence between the Secretary of State for foreign affairs and the resident ministers of other powers; nor is this court authorized to look into treaties with other powers for the purpose of according analogous privileges to a nation not actually in treaty with His Hawaiian Majesty, especially when according them would infract a statute law by which this court is clearly bound.
The plaintiff, John Wiley, is under the protection of this court, who are bound to give him the chances of the jury box, and not suffer a foreign consul to pick a jury who might be selected to convict him.
Hereupon, before the jury were actually sworn, the United States vice-commercial agent advised the plaintiff to withdraw his appeal, which he accordingly did, and the court thereupon nonsuited the plaintiff and decided that his withdrawal was, in law, tantamount to an affirmance of the judgment of the inferior judges, which had been already satisfied, and they further adjudged the plaintiff to have forfeited the $25 deposited for drawing the jury of appeal. The court intimated that William Hooper, esq., was liable to the plaintiff in error for having misguided him in a manner prejudicial to his private rights, and left him to his remedy.
- Signed in English, and in the language of the Sandwich Islands.↩
- Annulled by Convention of March 26, 1846, Vol. xxxiv, p. 22↩
- VI. Les merchandises françaises, où reconnues etre de provenance française, notamment les vins et les eaux-de-vie, ne pourront être prohinées ni payer un droit d’entrée plus élevé que 5 pour cent ad valorem. ↩