504-505

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Reports of Committee on Foreign Relations 1789-1901 Volume 6 pp504-505 300dpi scan (VERY LARGE!)

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to become the adviser of the chiefs, but declined. At all events, Mr. Richards was wholly unsuccessful. On his return, the position of the chiefs being none the less embarrassing, compelled them to apply to the mission for aid. Without any definite action of their body, they commenced that system which by the natural course of events has led to the direct employment of several of their number—having first been disconnected from their ranks—in the service of the Government. Foreigners were required in public affairs. The chiefs chose those on whom they could most rely, and whatever may have been their errors of judgment, the result has shown that they were not mistaken in relying upon their zeal and fidelity: and it may be well be doubted whether, at that time, the Kingdom furnished men more suitable, from knowledge and experience with the people and foreigners to administer to its wants. The history of the policy they adopted will be traced to the period of its present development.

"The mission and their seceders were united in their views to build up a nation of Hawaiians distinct from all foreign influence. The following resolutions, taken from the missionary minutes for 1838, show the just views entertained at this date:

" ' 1st Resolved, That though the system of government in the Sandwich Islands has, since the commencement of the reign of Liholiho, been greatly improved through the influence of Christianity, and the introduction of written and printed laws and the salutary agency of Christian chiefs has proved a great blessing to the people; still, the system is so very imperfect for the management of the affairs of a civilized and virtuous nation as to render it of great importance that correct views of the rights and duties of rulers and subjects, and of the principles of jurisprudence and political economy, should be held up before the King and the members of the national council.

" ' 2d Resolved, That it is the duty of the missionaries to teach the doctrine that rulers should be just, ruling in the fear of God, seeking the best good of their nation, demanding no more of subjects, as such, than the various ends of the Government may justly require; and if church members among them violate the commands of God they should be admonished with the same faithfulness and tenderness in their dependents.

" ' 3rd Resolved, That rulers in power are so by the province of God, and in an important sense by the will or consent of the people, and ought not to resign or shrink from the cares and responsibilities of their offices; therefore, teachers of religion ought carefully to guard the subjects against contempt for the authority of their rulers, or any evasion or resistance of government orders, unless they plainly set at defiance the commands of God.

" ' 4th Resolved, That the resources of the nation are at is own disposal for its defense, improvement, and perfection, and subjects ought to be taught to feel that a portion of their time and services, their property or earnings, may rightfully be required by the sovereign or national council for the support of government in all its branches and departments, and that it is a Christian duty to render honor, obedience, fear, custom, and tribute to whom they are due, as taught in the 13th of Romans, and that the sin of disloyalty, which tends to confusion, anarchy, and ruin, deserves reproof as really and as promptly as that of injustice on the part of rulers or any other violation of the commands of God.'

" ' 5th Resolved, That rulers should be allowed to do what they will with their own, or with what they have a right to demand; we ought

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to encourage the security of the right of subjects also to do what they will with tbeir own, provided they render to Caesar his due.'

" ' 6th Resolved, That rulers ought to be prompted to direct their efforts to the promotion of general intelligence and virtue as a grand means of removing the existing evils of the system, gradually defining and limiting by equitable laws the rights and duties of all classes, that thus by improving rather than revolutionizing the Government, its administration may become abundantly salutary, and the hereditary rulers receive no detriment but corresponding advantage.'

" ' 7th Besolved, That to remove the improvidence and imbecility of the people, and promote the industry, wealth, and happiness of the nation, it is the duty of the mission to urge mainly the motives of loyalty, patriotism, social kindness, and general benevolence; but, while on the one hand he should not condemn their artificial wants, ancient or modern, because they depend on fancy, or a taste not refined, he should, on the other, endeavor to encourage and multiply such as will enlist their energies, call forth ingenuity, enterprise, and patient industry, and give scope for enlarged plans of profitable exertion, which, if well directed, would clothe the population in beautiful cottons, fine linen, and silk, and their arable fields with rich and various productions suited to the climate; would adorn the land with numerous comfortable, substantial habitations, made pleasant by elegant furniture, cabinets, and libraries; with permanent and well endowed school houses and seminaries, large, commodious, and durable churches, and their seas and harbors with ships owned by natives sufficient to export to other countries annually the surplus products of their soil, which may, at no very distant period, amount to millions.

" ' 8th Besolved, That we deem it proper for members of this mission to devote a portion of their time to instructing the natives into the best method of cultivating their lands, and of raising flocks and herds, and of turning the various products of the country to the best advantage for the maintenance of their families, the support of government and of schools, and the institutions of the gospel and its ministers, at home and abroad.' "

"Mr. Richards entered upon his official duties by delivering to the chiefs a course of lectures on political economy and the general science of government. From the ideas thus derived, based upon their old forms, a constitution was drawn up. Although greatly limiting their power, the chiefs passed it unanimously.

"The laws of the Kingdom were carefully revised and published. In comparison with the past the progress of the nation was now rapid. The liberal policy of other nations, and whatever of their forms could with propriety be here transplanted, were embodied in the new statutes, but on a scale commensurate with the feebleness of youth of the people. The penal code was greatly improved; primary and courts of appeal established; the jury system adopted. Provision was made for the more regular enforcement of debt—transmission of property, property in trust, interest in accounts, in short sufficient was done greatly to benefit the position of natives and foreigners. Taxation was rendered more equal and lighter. Encouragement was proffered to industry and to the increase of population. An enlightened public school system was organized. Their laws, imperfect as they may seem to the critical eyes of a superior civilization, were yet in advance of the people. But wherever they were allowed to operate fairly and systematically much good was effected, and they served to prepare the way for more important changes.


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