475-482

From TheMorganReport
Jump to: navigation, search
Previous Page Next Page

-p474-

the free entry of Hawaiian sugar up to No. 20 put the refinery into the following difficulty: It must not permit the sugars to go upon the open market. How was it to prevent it? By making it more profitable to the planter to sell to the refinery than the grocery store. How was it to do that? First, by paying a maximum price for the raws, and, second, by keeping down the price of refined sugar to points which should not exceed the price of raws by more than a certain small percentage. The maximum price of the raws was the Manila basis, and if the price of the refined exceeded the Manila basis by more than a certain small percentage the Hawaiian sugar would be tempted into the grocery trade direct.

Congress has been saturated with the idea that Spreckels has bought Hawaiian sugar at his own price, appropriating the remitted duty to himself and at the same time increasing the price of refined sugar. The idea is absurd and impossible. The truth is just the reverse. The command of prices for raw sugar up to the Manila basis rests with the planter, and Spreckels must yield or provoke a competition in which the planter is sure to win. Above, the Manila basis the planter can not go without loss to himself. Spreckels, moreover, has been obliged to sell refined sugar at lower prices than he could command if the Hawaiian crop were out of the way. To restore the duty would crush the planter, leaving him to Spreckels' dictation and give him (Spreckels) the power of exacting a larger price for his output without fear of any competition from the planter. The effect of the treaty upon the monopoly has been to hold up the price of raw sugar to the full normal price and to bring the price of refined nearer to that of raws than it would otherwise have been.

(2) The second source of competition is a new refinery. Mr. Spreckels himself controls, as a majority stockholder, only one plantation on the islands. He has a minority interest in each of four others (unless he has acquired more since 1884). He and his friends together can not control more than a fourth part of the Hawaiian crop except by buying it on terms satisfactory to the planters. Suppose the other planters to become dissatisfied with the terms of purchase he may offer, what is to prevent them from joining hands and starting a new refinery in San Francisco to work their own sugars? Nothing, except the want of an inducement. The question of capital offers no difficulty if there is anything to be gained. What would constitute an inducement? Not the prospect of profit on the sale of refined sugars unless they are prepared to crush Spreckels out completely and set up a new monopoly in place of his. But a genuine inducement would be established at once if Spreckels were to insist upon paying too low a price for their raw sugar. Suppose the cost of Asiatic sugar, duty paid, in San Francisco is 5 cents and Spreckels will only pay the Hawaiians 4| cents. Suppose two-thirds of the planters refuse and start a new refinery. A war of rates instantly follows. How low can Spreckles afford to sell refined sugar? As low as the price of Asiatic sugar plus the cost of refining. How low could the planters afford to sell sugar? As low as the cost of raising raw sugar, shipping it to San Francisco, and refining it. When Spreckels has touched the bottom price the planter is still making the full profit on his raw sugar, but nothing on his refined, and Spreckels is making no profit out of his refinery.

This is precisely what has happened. When Spreckels dropped from the Manila to the Cuban basis some of the California stockholders and some of the keen Yankees in the island thought he was going too low. They clubbed together, and, with the aid of San Francisco capitalists who hold Hawaiian plantation stocks, they started a new refinery. They

-p475-

did not expect to make much profit out of refined sugar, but they do expect to get the fullest price of their raws. The ultimate result of this contest will depend upon whether Spreckels is right in his assertion that the Cuban basis is the normal price of sugar.

Contents

GENERAL RESULTS OF THE TREATY.

The treaty has developed a trade with the islands which, relatively to the population, is enormous, and of which the profits have been and still are exceedingly large. The profits have not, as generally supposed, accrued to the great sugar monopoly, but chiefly to the American shipping which was evoked by the treaty, to the mercantile houses which have handled the merchandise, and to the investors who have advanced the capital to open and develop the productive properties. These profits have been nearly double the remitted duties and four or five times as great as the probable loss of revenue.

So far has the treaty been from benefiting a monopoly of refined sugars in California that it has restricted its powers and embarrassed it, and may even yet destroy it. The refinery is powerless to obtain the benefit of the remitted duties in any degree whatever. It must pay them in full to the consignee of the planter, who, in turn, pays them, and more besides, over to our shipping, banks, mercantile houses, and investors. The remitted duties never leave the country.

The treaty has brought up a mercantile marine of our own, employing American-built steamers and sailing vessels, and the entire commerce, amounting to $12,00O,000 annually, is in our hands. It is the only foreign commerce to-day which we can call our own. Before the treaty the sugar and rice imported at San Francisco came chietiy from Asia and the East India Islands, where it was bought with London exchange and shipped in foreign vessels.

The treaty has had no assignable effect whatever upon the sales of sugar in the Mississippi Valley. These sales would have been the same and would continue to be the same without the treaty as with it. San Francisco is the natural source of supply of sugar for almost the whole country west of the Kansas Missouri line, and of a considerable territory still further east. The only real competition of San Francisco in that region is the Louisiana planter, who has no more right to complain of it than of the competition of New York. This competition is independent of the treaty. Congress can not prevent it, and ought not to if it could, for it is a normal and healthy one.

XI. Also the following article in the forum for march, 1893, on "hawaii and our future sea-power," and written by capt. a. t. mahan.

[The Forum, March, 1893.]

HAWAII AND OUR FUTURE SEA POWER.*

The suddenness so far, at least, as the general public is concerned, with which the long-existing troubles in Hawaii have come to a head, and the character of the advances reported to be addressed to the United States by the revolutionary government, formally recognized as de facto by our representative on the spot, add another to the many significant instances furnished by history that, as men in the midst


* Copyright, 1892, by the Forum Publishing Company.

-p476-

of life are in death, so nations in the midst of peace find themselves confronted with unexpected causes of dissension, conflicts of interests, whose results may be, on the one hand, war, or, on the other, abandonment of clear and imperative national advantage in order to avoid an issue for which preparation has not been made. By no premeditated contrivance of our own, by the cooperation of a series of events which, however dependent, step by step, upon human action, were not intended to prepare the present crisis, the United States finds herself compelled to answer a question, to make a decision, not unlike and not less momentous than that required of the Roman senate when the Mamertine garrison invited it to occupy Messina and so to abandon the hitherto traditional policy which had confined the expansion of Rome to the Italian peninsula. For let it not be overlooked that, whether we wish or no, we must answer the question, we must make the decision. The issue can not be dodged. Absolute inaction in such a case is a decision as truly as the most vehement action. We can now advance, but, the conditions of the world being what they are, if we do not advance we recede; for there is involved not so much a particular action as a question of principle pregnant of great consequences in one direction or in the other.

Occasion of serious difficulty should not, indeed, here arise. Unlike the historical instance just cited, the two nations that have now come into contact are so alike in inherited traditions, habits of thought, and views of right, that injury to the one need not be anticipated from the predominance of the other in a quarter where its interests also predominate. Despite the heterogeneous character of the immigration which the past few years have been pouring into our country, our political traditions and racial characteristics still continue English—Mr. Douglas Campbell would say Dutch, but the stock is the same. Though thus somewhat gorged with food not wholly to its taste, our political digestion has so far contrived to master the incongruous mass of materials it has been unable to reject; and, if assimilation lias been at times imperfect, the political constitution and spirit remain English in essential features. Imbued with like ideals of liberty, of law, of right, certainly not less progressive than our kin beyond sea, we are, in the safeguards deliberately placed around our fundamental law, even more conservative than they. That which we received of the true spirit of freedom we have kept—liberty and law—not the one or the other, but both. In that spirit we have not only occupied our original inheritance, but also, step by step, as Rome incorporated the other nations of the peninsula, we have added to it, spreading and perpetuating everywhere the same foundation principles of free and good government which, to her honor be it said, Great Britain also has throughout her course maintained. And now, arrested on the south by the rights of a race wholly alien to us, and on the north by a body of states of like traditions to our own, whose freedom to choose their own affiliations we respect, we have come to the sea. In our infancy we bordered upon the Atlantic only; our youth carried our boundary to the Gulf of Mexico; to-day maturity sees us upon the Pacific. Have we no right or no call to progress farther in any direction? Are there for us beyond the sea horizon none of those essential interests, of those evident dangers, which impose a policy and confer rights?

This is the question that has long been looming upon the brow of a future now rapidly passing into the present. Of it the Hawaiian incident is a part, intrinsically, perhaps, a small part, but in its relations to the whole so vital that, as has before been said, a wrong decision

-p477-

does not stand by itself, but involves, not only in principle but in fact, recession along the whole line. In our natural, necessary, irrepressible expansion, we are here come into contact with the progress of another great people, the law of whose being has impressed upon it a principle of growth which has wrought mightily in the past and in the present is visible by recurring manifestations. Of this working, Gibraltar, Malta, Cyprus, Egypt, Aden, India, in geographical succession though not in strict order of time, show a completed chain; forged link by link, by open force or politic bargain, but always resulting from the steady pressure of a national instinct, so powerful and so accurate that statesmen of every school, willing or unwilling, have found themselves carried along by a tendency which no individuality can resist or greatly modify. Unsubstantial rumor and incautious personal utterance have each suggested an impatient desire in Mr. Gladstone to be rid of the occupation of Egypt; but scarcely has his long exclusion from office ended than the irony of events signalizes his return thereto by an increase in the force of occupation. It may further be profitably noted, of the chain just cited, that the two extremities were first possessed— first India, then Gibraltar, far later Malta, Aden, Cyprus, Egypt—and that, with scarce an exception, each step has been taken, despite the jealous vexation of a rival. Spain has never ceased angrily to bewail Gibraltar. "I had rather," said the first Napoleon, "see the English on the heights of Montmartre than in Malta." The feelings of France about Egypt are matter of common knowledge, not even dissembled; and, for our warning be it added, her annoyance is increased by the bitter sense of opportunity rejected.

It is needless to do more than refer to that other chain of maritime possessions, Halifax, Bermuda, Santa Lucia, Jamaica, which strengthen the British hold upon the Atlantic, the Caribbean, and the Isthmus of Panama. In the Pacific the position is for them much less satisfactory, nowhere, perhaps, is it less so, and from obvious natural causes. The commercial development of the eastern Pacific has been far later and is still less complete than that of its western shores. The latter when first opened to European adventure were already the seat of ancient civilizations, in China and Japan, furnishing abundance of curious and luxurious products to tempt the trader by good hopes of profit. The western coast of America, for the most part peopled by savages, offered little save the gold and silver of Mexico and Peru, and these were jealously monopolized by the Spaniards, not a commercial nation, during their long ascendency. Being so very far from England and affording so little material for trade, Pacific America did not draw the enterprise of a country the chief and honorable inducement of whose seamen was the hope of gain, in pursuit of which they settled and annexed point after point in the regions where they penetrated and upon the routes leading thither. The western coasts of North America, being reached only by the long and perilous voyage around Cape Horn, or by a more toilsome and dangerous passage across the continent, remained among the last of the temperate productive seaboards of the earth to be possessed by white men. The United States were already a nation, in fact, as well as in form, when Vancouver was exploring Puget Sound and passed first through the channel separating the mainland of British America from the island that now bears his name. Thus it has happened that, from the late development of British Columbia in the northeastern Pacific and of Australia and New Zealand hi the southwestern, Great Britain is again found holding the two extremities of a line between which she must inevitably desire the

-p478-

intermediate links; nor is there any good reason why she should not have them, except the superior, more urgent, more vital necessities of another people—our own. Of these links the Hawaiian group possesses unique importance, not from its intrinsic commercial value, but from its favorable posi ;on for maratime and military control.

The military or strategic value of a naval position depends upon its situation, upon its strength, and upon its resources. Of the three, the first is of most consequence, because it results from the nature of things; whereas the two latter, when deficient, can be artificially supplied, in whole or in part. Fortifications remedy the weakness of a position, foresight accumulates beforehand the resources which nature does not yield on the spot; but it is not within the power of man to change the geographical situation of a point which lies outside the limit of strategic effect. It is instructive, and yet apparent to the most superficial reading, to notice how the first Napoleon, in commenting upon a region likely to be the scene of war, begins by considering the most conspicuous natural features, and then enumerates the commanding positions, their distances from each other, the relative directions, or, as the sea phrase is, their "bearings," and the particular facilities each offers for operations of war. This furnishes the ground plan, the skeleton, detached from confusing secondary considerations, and from which a clear estimate of the decisive points can be made. The number of such points varies greatly, according to the character of the region. In a mountainous, broken country they may be very many; whereas in a plain devoid of natural obstacles there may be few or more save those created by man. If few, the value of each is necessarily greater than if many, and if there be but one its importance is not only unique, but extreme, measured only by the size of the field over which its unshared influence extends.

The sea, until it approaches the land, realizes the ideal of a vast plain, unbroken by obstacles. On the sea, says an eminent French tactician, there is no field of battle; meaning that there is none of the natural conditions which determine, and often fetter, the movements of the general. But upon a plain, however flat and monotonous, causes, possibly slight, determine the concentration of population into town and villages, and the necessary communications between the centers create roads. Where the latter converge, or cross, tenure confers command, depending for importance upon the number of routes thus meeting and upon their individual value. It is just so at sea. While in itself the ocean opposes no obstacle to a vessel taking any one of the numerous routes that can be traced upon the surface of the globe between two points, conditions of distance or convenience, of traffic or of wind, do prescribe certain usual courses. Where these pass near an ocean position, still more where they use it, it has an influence over them, and where several routes cross near by that influence becomes very great—is commanding.

Let us now apply these considerations to the Hawaiian group. To anyone viewing a map that shows the full extent of the Pacific Ocean, with its shores on either side, two circumstances will be strikingly and immediately apparent. He will see at a glance that the Sandwich Islands stand by themselves, in a state of comparative isolation, amid a vast expanse of sea; and, again, that they form the center of a large circle whose radius is approximately, and very closely, the distance from Honolulu to San Francisco. The circumference of this circle, if the trouble is taken to describe it with compass upon the map, will be seen, on the west and south, to pass through the outer fringe of the

-p479-

system of archipelagoes which, from Australia and New Zealand, extend to the northeast toward the American continent. Within the circle a few scattered islets, bare and unimportant, seem only to emphasize the failure of nature to bridge the interval separating Hawaii from her peers of the Southern Pacific. Of these, however, it may be noted that some, like Fanning and Christmas islands, have within a few years been taken into British possession. The distance from San Francisco to Honolulu, 2,100 miles, easy steaming distance, is substantially the same as that from Honolulu to the Gilbert, Marshall, Samoan, Society, and Marquesas groups, all under European control, except Samoa, in which we have a part influence.

To have a central position such as this, and to be alone, having no rival and admitting no alternative throughout an extensive tract, are conditions that at once fix the attention of the strategist—it may be added, of the statesmen of commerce likewise. But to this striking combination is to be added the remarkable relations borne by these singularly placed islands to the greater commercial routes traversing this vast expanse known to us as the Pacific, not only, however, to those now actually in use, important as they are, but also to those that must necessarily be called into being by that future to which the Hawaiian incident compels our too unwilling attention. Circumstances, as was before tritely remarked, create centers, between which communication necessarily follows, and in the vista of the future all, however dimly, discern a new and great center that must greatly modify existing sea routes, as well as bring new ones into existence. Whether the canal of the Central American isthmus be eventually at Panama or at Nicaragua matters little to the question now in hand, although, in common with most Americans who have thought upon the subject, I believe it will surely be at the latter point. Whichever it be, the convergence there of so many ships from the Atlantic and the Pacific will constitute a center of commerce, interoceanic and inferior to few, if to any, in the world; one whose approaches will be jealously watched and whose relations to the other centers of the Pacific by the lines joining it to them must be carefully examined. Such study of the commercial routes and their relations to the Hawaiian Islands, taken together with the other strategic considerations previously set forth, completes the synopsis of facts which determine the value of the group for conferring either commercial or naval control.

Referring again to the map, it will be seen that while the shortest routes from the isthmus to Australia and New Zealand, as well as those to South America, go well clear of any probable connection with or interference from Hawaii, those directed toward China and Japan pass either through the group or in close proximity to it. Vessels from Central America bound to the ports of Northern America come, of course, within the influence of our own coast. These circumstances and the existing recognized distribution of political power in the Pacific point naturally to an international acquiescence in certain defined spheres of influence for our own country and for others, such as has already been reached between Great Britain, Germany, and Holland in the Southwestern Pacific, to avoid conflict there between their respective claims. Though artificial in form, such a recognition would, in the case here suggested, depend upon perfectly natural as well as indisputable conditions. The United States is by far the greatest in numbers, interests, and power of the communities bordering upon the North Pacific; and the relations of the Hawaiian Islands to her naturally would be, and actually are, more numerous and more

-p480-

important than they can be to any other state. This is true, although unfortunately for the equally natural wishes of Great Britain and her colonies, the direct routes from British Columbia to Eastern Australia and New Zealand, which depend upon no building of a future canal, pass as near the islands as those already mentioned. Such a fact, that this additional great highway runs close to the group, both augments and emphasizes their strategic importance; but it does not affect the statement just made that the interest of the United States in them is greater than that of Great Britain, and dependent upon a natural cause, nearness, which has always been admitted as a reasonable ground for national self-assertion. It is unfortunate, doubtless, for the wishes of British Columbia and for the communications, commercial and military, depending upon the Canadian Pacific Railway, that the United States lies between them and the South Pacific and is the state nearest to Hawaii; but, the fact being so, the interests of our 65,000,000 people, in a position so vital to our role in the Pacific, must be allowed to outweigh those of the 6,000,000 of Canada.

From the foregoing considerations may be inferred the importance of the Hawaiian Islands as a position powerfully influencing the commercial and military control of the Pacific, and especially of the northern Pacific, in which the United States, geographically, has the strongest right to assert herself. These are the main advantages, which can be termed positive; those, namely, which directly advance commercial security and naval control. To the negative advantages of possession, by removing conditions which, if the islands were in the hands of any other power, would constitute to us disadvantages and threats, allusion only will be made. The serious menace to our Pacific coast and our Pacific trade, if so important a position were held by a possible enemy, has been frequently mentioned in the press and dwelt upon in the diplomatic papers which are from time to time given to the public. It may be assumed that it is generally acknowledged. Upon one particular, however, too much stress can not be laid, one to which naval officers can not but be more sensitive than the general public, and that is the immense disadvantage to us of any maritime enemy having a coaling station well within 2,500 miles, as this is, of every point of our coast line from Puget Sound to Mexico. Were there many others available we might find it difficult to exclude from all. There is, however, but the one. Shut out from the Sandwich Islands as a coal base, an enemy is thrown back for supplies of fuel to distances of 3,500 or 4,000 miles—or between 7,000 and 8,000, going and coming—an impediment to sustained maritime operations well nigh prohibitive. The coal mines of British Columbia constitute, of course, a qualification to this statement; but upon them, if need arose, we might at least hope to impose some trammels by action from the land side. It is rarely that so important a factor in the attack or defense of a coast line—of a sea frontier—is concentrated in a single position, and the circumstance renders doubly imperative upon us to secure it, if we righteously can.

It is to be hoped, also, that the opportunity thus thrust upon us may not be narrowly viewed, as though it concerned but one section of our country or one portion of its external trade or influence. This is no mere question of a particular act, for which, possibly, just occasion may not yet have offered; but of a principle, a policy, fruitful of many future acts, to enter upon which, in the fullness of our national progress, the time has now arrived. The principle accepted, to be conditioned only by a just and candid regard for the rights and reasonable

-p481-

susceptibilities of other nations—none of which is contravened by the step here immediately under discussion—the annexation, even, of Hawaii would be no mere sporadic effort, irrational because disconnected from an adequate motive, but a first fruit and a token that the nation in its evolution has aroused itself to the necessity of carrying its life—that has been the happiness of those under its influence— beyond the borders that have heretofore sufficed for its activities. That the vaunted blessings of our economy are not to be forced upon the unwilling may be conceded; but the concession does not deny the right nor the wisdom of gathering in those who wish to come. Comparative religion teaches that creeds which reject missionary enterprise are foredoomed to decay. May it not be so with nations? Certainly the glorious record of England is consequent mainly upon the spirit and traceable to the time when she launched out into the deep— without formulated policy, it is true, or foreseeing the future to which her star was leading, but obeying the instinct which in the infancy of nations anticipates the more reasoned impulses of experience. Let us, too, learn from her experience. Not all at once did England become the great sea power which she is, but step by step, as opportunity offered, she has moved on to the world wide preeminence now held by English speech and by institutions sprung from English germs. How much poorer would the world have been had Englishmen heeded the cautious hesitancy that now bids us reject every advance beyond our shore lines. And can any one doubt that a cordial, if unformulated, understanding between the two chief states of English tradition, to spread freely, without mutual jealously and in mutual support, would greatly increase the world's sum of happiness?

But if a plea of the world's welfare seem suspiciously like a cloak for national self-interest, let the latter be frankly accepted as the adequate motive which it assuredly is. Let us not sink from pitting a broad self-interest against the narrow self-interest to which some would restrict us. The demands of our three great seaboards, the Atlantic, the Gulf, and the Pacific—each for itself, and all for the strength that comes from drawing closer the ties between them—are calling for the extension, through the Isthmian Canal, of that broad sea common along which, and along which alone, in all ages prosperity has moved. Land carriage, always restricted and therefore always slow, toils enviously but hopelessly behind, vainly seeking to replace and supplant the royal highway of nature's own making. Corporate interests, vigorous in that power of concentration which is the strength of armies and of minorities, may here for a while withstand the ill-organized strivings of the multitude, only dimly conscious of its wants; yet the latter, however temporarily opposed and baffled, is sure at last, like the blind forces of nature, to overwhelm all that stand in the way of its necessary progress. So the Isthmian Canal is an inevitable part in the future of the United States; yet scarcely an integral part, for it can not be separated from other necessary incidents of a policy dependant upon it, whose details can not be exactly foreseen. But because the precise steps that may hereafter be opportune or necessary can not yet be certainly foretold, is not a reason the less, but a reason the more, for establishing a principle of action which may serve to guide as opportunities arise. Let us start from the fundamental truth, warranted by history, that the control of the seas, and especially along the great lines drawn by national interest or national commerce, is the chief among the merely material elements in the power and prosperity of nations. It is so

S. Doc. 231, pt 6----31

-p482-

because the sea is the world's great medium of circulation. From this necessarily follows the principle that, as subsidiary to such control, it is imperative to take possession, when it can righteously be done, of such maritime positions as contribute to secure command. If this principle be adopted there will be no hesitation about taking the positions—and they are many—upon the approaches to the Isthmus, whose interests incline them to seek us. It has its application also to the present case of Hawaii.

There is, however, one caution to be given from that military point of view beyond the need of which the world has not yet passed. Military positions, fortified posts, by land or by sea, however strong or admirably situated, do not by themselves confer control. People often say that such an island or harbor will give control of such a body of water. It is an utter, deplorable, ruinous mistake. The phrase may indeed by some be used only loosly, without forgetting other implied conditions of adequate protection and adequate navies; but the confidence of our nation in its native strength, and its indifference to the defense of its ports and the sufficiency of its fleet, give reason to fear that the full consequences of a forward step may not be soberly weighed. Napoleon, who knew better, once talked this way. "The islands of San Pietro, Corfu, and Malta," he wrote, "will make us masters of the whole Mediterranean." Vain boast! Within one year Corfu, in two years Malta, were rent away from the state that could not support them by its ships. Nay, more; had Bonaparte not taken the latter stronghold out of the hands of its degenerate but innocuous government, that citadal of the Mediterranean would perhaps—would probably—never have passed into those of his chief enemy. There is here also a lesson for us.

It is by no means logical to leap, from this recognition of the necessity of adequate naval force to secure outlying dependencies, to the conclusion that the United States would for that object need a navy equal to the largest now existing. A nation as far removed as is our own from the bases of foreign naval strength may reasonably reckon upon the qualification that distance—not to speak of the complex European interests close at hand—impresses upon the exertion of naval strength. The mistake is when our remoteness, unsupported by carefully calculated force, is regarded as an armor of proof, under cover of which any amount of swagger may be safely indulged. Any estimate of what is an adequate naval force for our country may properly take large account of the happy interval that separates both our present territory and our future aspirations from the centers of interest really vital to European states. If to these safeguards be added, on our part, a sober recognition of what our reasonable sphere of influence is and a candid justice in dealing with foreign interests within that sphere, there will be little disposition to question our preponderance therein.

Among all foreign states it is especially to be hoped that each passing year may render more cordial the relations between ourselves and the great nation from whose loins we sprang. The radical identity of spirit which underlies our superficial differences of polity will surely so draw us closer together, if we do not willfully set our faces against a tendency which would give our race the predominance over the seas of the world. To force such a consummation is impossible, and, if possible, would not be wise; but surely it would be a lofty aim, fraught with immeasurable benefits, to desire it, and to raise no needless impediments by advocating perfectly proper acts, demanded by our evident interests in offensive or arrogant terms.—(A. T. MAHAN.)

-p483-

XII. Also the following extract from the report of hon. john quincy adams, chairman of the committee on foreign affairs of the house of representatives, on the message of president tyler, december 30, 1842.

"It is a subject of cheering contemplation to the friends of human improvement and virtue that, by the mild and gentle influence of Christian charity, dispensed by humble missionaries of the gospel, unarmed with secular power, within the last quarter of a century, the people of this group of islands have been converted from the lowest debasement of idolatry to the blessings of the Christian gospel; united under one balanced government; rallied to the fold of civilization by a written language and constitution, providing security for the rights of persons, property and mind, and invested with all the elements of right and power which can entitle them to be acknowledged by their brethren of the human race as a separate and independent community. To the consummation of their acknowledgment the people of the North American Union are urged by an interest of their own, deeper than that of any other portion of the inhabitants of the earth—by a virtual right of conquest, not over the freedom of their brother man by the brutal arm of physical power, but over the mind and heart by the celestial panoply of the gospel of peace and love."

XIII. Also the following, a translation of the constitution of the hawaiian government of 1840.

"In the Hawaiian bill of rights, the chiefs endeavored to incorporate in few words the general basis of personal rights, both of the chiefs and common people, and to guard against perversion; and this they have accomplished with, perhaps, as much precision and consistency as the Americans, who affirm 'that all men are born free and equal, possessing certain inalienable rights, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.' " With distinguished and commendable care do the Hawaiians of 1840 acknowledge the paramount authority of God, in which Kaahumanu had set them a noble example, and the importance of an unwavering purpose in legislation not to controvene his word,"

The following translation I have made with care from the original, published at the islands as the constitution of 1840:

"God has made of one blood all the nations of men, that they might alike dwell upon the earth in peace and prosperity. And he has given certain equal rights to all people and chiefs of all countries. These are the rights or gifts which he has granted to every man and chief of correct deportment, life, the members of the body, freedom in dwelling and acting, and the rightful products of his hands and mind; but not those things which are inhibited by the laws."

From God also are the office of rulers and the reign of chief magistrates for protection; but in enacting the laws of the land it is not right to make a law protecting the magistrate only and not subjects; neither is it proper to establish laws for enriching chiefs only without benefiting the people, and hereafter no law shall be established in opposition to the above declarations; neither shall taxes, servitude, nor labor be exacted without law of any man in a manner at variance with those principles.

"PROTECTION FOR ALL.

"Therefore let this declaration be published in order to the equal protection of all the people and all the chiefs of these islands while


Previous Page Next Page
Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
guidelines
blogs
Tools