|Previous Page||Next Page|
After assimilating all this territory we ought not to be afraid of 6,000 square miles more.
To summarize: These islands will not only be valuable to us, but their possession is a commercial and naval necessity. They are offered to us by both of the parties who claim to be entitled to their control. If we do not accept, their incorporation by one of the European powers is likely, and they will be a menace to our Pacific coast from that time forward.
As Americans, actuated by the desire to advance our country's interests, we shall never have a greater opportunity than the present one, and I sincerely hope we shall take advantage of it.
XV. Also the following extract from an article, published in harper's magazine for september, 1883, prepared by mr. marshall, a special envoy of kamehameha iii to the united states and england, to arrange for the revocation of the acts of lord george paulet in occupying hawaii as territory of great britain.
AN UNPUBLISHED CHAPTER OF HAWAIIAN HISTORY.
"From 1838 till 1843 the Hawaiian Islands were a bone of contention. Intrigues were constantly set on foot by agents and subjects of France and England, having for their object the subversion of the native Government and the seizure of the islands. In 1839 the French compelled the King, Kamehameha III, to comply with certain unwarrantable demands, and as a security for future good behavior to deposit $20,000. It was thought that the demand was made in expectation that the King would be unable to comply, and that thus the French would have an excuse to seize the groups. The American merchants came forward and raised the sum, and the peril was for a time averted.
"But the plots continued, and in 1842 the British consul, Richard Charleton, a coarse and illiterate man, incited by an ambitious adventurer, one Alexander Simpson, endeavored to involve the native Government in difficulties that would result in hoisting the British flag over the group. In the same year Sir George Simpson, governor of the Hudson Bay Company's territories, visited the islands. An English gentleman of liberal views, he would not lend himself to the intrigues of his countrymen, albeit one of them was his nephew, and by his advice the King, harassed on all sides, decided to send commissioners to the United States, England, and France to try to obtain, if possible, a definite acknowledgment of his Kingdom and sovereignty.
"To this important embassy were appointed Rev. William Richards, formerly one of the American missionaries, but who had been for some time acting as adviser to the King, and Haalileo, a native chief. They quietly embarked in a small schooner for Mazatlan, and crossed Mexico to Vera Cruz. As soon as it was known that they had left the islands on this mission the British consul, Charleton, also secretly embarked for London, via Mexico, to lay his complaints before the British Government, leaving Simpson as deputy to carry out their joint designs, whom, however, the Hawaiian Government declined to recognize.
"On the Mexican coast Charleton fell in with Lord George Paulet, commanding Her British Majesty's frigate, the Carysfort, and made his lordship, as his course afterward showed, a convert to his schemes, and, by his formal and plausable complaints against the King, induced
Rear-Admiral Thomas, commanding the British squadron on that station, to order the Carysfort to Honolulu for the purpose of investigating the alleged grievances.
"On his arrival Lord Paulet, a hot-headed young nobleman, readily lent himself to the designs of Simpson, without inquiring into the merits of the case, dazzled by the idea of so early in his career making a brilliant stroke for his country, and extending her drumbeat round the world by one more station. Making outrageous demands upon the King, at the cannon's mouth, compliance with which he knew would be impossible, he required, as an alternative, the immediate cession of the Kingdom to England, or he would open fire upon the city and declare war in the name of Great Britain.
"In this terrible crisis the proclamation issued by this native King to his people is so touching and so king-like that I will quote it here:
" 'Where are you, chiefs, people, and commons from my ancestors, 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.
" ' Done at Honolulu, Oahu, this 25th day of February, 1843.
" 'Kamehameha III.
"Lord Paulet took formal possession of the islands, installing himself as governor of Her Majesty's new dominion, destroyed every Hawaiian flag he could get hold of, and placed an embargo on every native vessel, so that no one could go out and carry the news.
"An American man-of-war, the Boston, Capt. Long, had come in a few days before the cession. Capt. Quackenbush, late of Norfolk, Va., was then a midshipman on board of her. The Americans were very indignant. They had their guns double-shotted in hopes of an opportunity to interfere, but, being on a cruise, could not go out of their way to carry the news, and could only remain neutral.
"Lord Paulet would thus have cruelly prevented the King from communicating with his ambassadors, who were abroad successfully working for the acknowledgment of his independence, hoping to commit the home Government to an acceptance of this 'voluntary' cession at the cannon's mouth before the other side of the story could be presented to it. His young lordship and Simpson chuckled over the success of the stroke by which they had, as they supposed, closed every avenue of egress for Hawaiian vessels, and secured the arrival of their own dispatches in England in advance of every other version of the story. Yankee shrewdness was, however, too much for his lordship's plans.
"It happened that the King had chartered his own yacht, Hoikaika (Swift Runner), previously to the cession, to an American house for a voyage to Mazatlan and back. Lord Paulet, anxious to get possession of the only creditable craft at the islands, in order to send Simpson as his bearer of dispatches to England by the speediest way, and being prevented, by its charter, from seizing the vessel without the consent of the American house, offered, in case they would relinquish their charter, to allow them to send an agent on the ship to attend to their business on the coast, and to bring down any freight on the return trip, thereby saving them the whole expense of the charter.
"It must be remembered that in those days communication between the islands of the Pacific and the coast was very infrequent, depending on merchant ships that came from Boston twice a year, except for occasional chance vessels.
"Lord Paulet rightly conjectured that the Yankee merchants would jump at the offer to have all their business transacted at his expense, but he little dreamed of all the use that might be made of the opportunity he was giving them.
"The officers of the Boston, who would have been glad of an excuse for a forcible interference with his lordship's plans, not being allowed that pleasure, consoled themselves by giving a ball on board, to which the officers of the Carysfort were not invited.
"I was then a young merchant in Honolulu, and attended the ball with many other of the American residents. At its height I was quietly invited into the cabin of the Boston, where I found Capt. Long, Dr. Judd, previously a prominent American missionary, then acting as the King's minister, and other influential citizens and warm friends of the King. Here I was told of the King's desire to send an envoy to England to present his protest against Lord Paulet's act of violence, and his answer to the charges against him, and to demand the restitution of his sovereignty. I was informed also of the opportunity offered to the firm of Ladd & Co. of sending a messenger to the coast in the yacht.
"Ladd & Co., who were warm friends of the island Government, had proposed that the King should send a secret ambassador, in the character of their commercial agent, thus turning Lord Paulet's masterstroke against himself in the neatest possible way.
"I was asked if I would go in this double capacity of ostensible supercargo and actual minister plenipotentiary.
"Mr. Charles Brewer, who was one of the council, a noble-hearted man, with whom I was about associating myself in business—now enjoying a green old age in Boston—not only gave consent to my going, but agreed to advance for the King the necessary funds, and take his pay in fire-wood, all of the King's other revenues having been cut off.
"I readily accepted the commission. No time was to be lost. Lord Paulet had rechristened the Haikaika as 'Her Majesty's tender Albert, and was fitting her out with all possible dispatch.
"The King and his premier, a princess almost equal in rank, without whose signature none of his acts was valid, had left the island of Oahu immediately upon the cession, and in sullen dignity of despair "buried themselves among the mountains of the adjacent island of Maui, leaving Dr. Judd, his minister, to represent and protect his interests—a man of indomitable courage, unusual ability, and unflinching devotion to his sovereign.
"Those happy isles in that day did not boast a lawyer. My credentials were copied verbatim, except necessary variations, from the old Blue Book containing the credentials of John Adams as the first American minister to England. Mine were a commission as envoy extraordinary and minister plentipotentiary to the court of St. James from the native King of the Hawaiian Islands," the title Kamehameha was allowed by Lord Paulet to retain, with some half dozen other blank commissions signed by the King and premier, to be filled out by myself for other countries as occasion might require. These were rendered necessary by the uncertainty of my finding the King's other ambassadors,
Haalileo and Richards, with whom, in case I did find them, I was to associate myself.
"The papers were drawn up by Dr. Judd and a confidential clerk at midnight, in the royal tomb in Honolulu, with a king's coffin for a table. So secret was it necessary to keep the transaction that even this clerk was not trusted with the name of the ambassador, which was left to be inserted by myself after I had sailed. The papers prepared, a canoe with picked crew of Kanakas was dispatched from a distant point of the island to summon His Majesty and his suite to a midnight council. Crossing the boisterous channel in this frail conveyance, they landed at midnight on the shores of Waikiki, a suburb of Honolulu, and in its cocoanut grove my credentials received the signature and seal of the king and his Kuhina-nui—"great minister"—Kekauluohi, the "Bigmouthed Queen." Then the King and his attendants returned to their mountains without Lord Paulet having a suspicion that they had ever left them.
"The American consul at Honolulu took advantage of the opportunity also to make me the bearer of his dispatches to Washington, with details of the cession, which would, of course, have momentous interest to the American Government, and the protest of the American residents against the act of Lord Paulet."
XVI. Also the following extracts from the history of the hawaiian islands, by james jackson jarves, published in 1846.
"The chiefs, fully sensible of their political wants, sent, by Mr. Richards, in 1836, to the United States to procure a suitable person to fill the situation of legal adviser and teacher in the new policy circumstances were forcing upon them. In this way they were backed by the opinion of the mission, who, desirous of preserving themselves from the responsibility, would gladly have seen it in able and disinterested hands. The wants of the chiefs were fully appreciated by the American board, but nothing was effected. Individuals of talent, by the time they have acquired the experience suitable for such a post, which in its real effect would have been equivalent to the supreme direction of public affairs, generally have fixed themselves in permanent relations at home.
"With all the modern favor in the cause of missions, and the very many excellent discourses yearly uttered from pulpits, we rarely see entire disinterestedness manifested in the middle-aged—those who have known the world and tasted its goods, however prepared they may be by those very qualifications for the posts they so industriously urge upon others. The path of novelty, enterprise, and benevolence is rarely filled by any except the young and enthusiastic. That the chiefs, relying on the philanthropy of any experienced public man to have complied with their request, should have failed is what might reasonably have been anticipated. A young man, ambitious of the influence if not of the actual power of a Peter the Great or an Alfred, on a petty scale, might readily have been found, but the chiefs were suspicious of youth. Desiring age and experience, they should have offered a salary equivalent to some of the highest posts in the United States. On such a contingency few objections would have been found unanswerable. The path of duty would have been opened to many blind to all other considerations. This is human nature, as we see it in the pulpit and on the bench. In every position it requires its motive power.
"It is said that the honorable Theo. L. Frelingshuysen was invited
|Previous Page||Next Page|