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Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

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cessful in London in securing, on the 28th of November, 1843, a conven-
tion between France and Great Britain, engaging them "reciprocally 
to consider the Sandwich Islands as an independent state, and never to 
take possession, either directly or under title of protectorate, or under 
any other form, of any part of the territory of which they are com- 
posed." (Appendix.)
This convention did not, however, guarantee the autonomy of the 
islands as against any third power, nor did it contain any expression 
of opinion on that point similar in spirit to Mr. Webster's declaration 
of the preceding December. Its intention seems to have been simply 
reciprocally to bind those two powers to do one thing - that is, "to con- 
sider the Sandwich Islands as an independent state" - and to refrain 
from doing another thing - that is, "never to take possession," under
any pretext, " of any part of the territory of which they are composed." 
In consequence of the recommendation contained in the message of 
President Tyler, of December 30, 1842, Congress made an appropria- 
tion for the compensation of a diplomatic officer from this Government 
to the Sandwich Islands, and on March 3, 1843, Mr. George Brown, of 
Massachusetts, was appointed commissioner. Mr. Brown arrived at 
Honolulu in October following, and, on the 30th of that month, pre- 
sented his credentials, with an address to the King, in which he asked 
in behalf of the citizens of the United States favorable and impartial 
treatment, at the same time assuring the monarch that this Govern- 
ment had no wish to secure for itself or its citizens any exclusive priv- 
ileges. The King, answering, said upon this point:
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 nation. 
Unfortunately, soon after Mr. Brown's arrival - by the latter part of 
the following August - a cause of serious difference arose between him 
and the King's Government in the case of John Wiley, an American 
citizen, who had been arrested charged with the commission of a crime 
or misdemeanor, and to whom trial by jury had been denied by the 
local governor.
The treaty with France, above alluded to as secured by Capt. La- 
place at the mouth of his guns, contained a stipulation (Article VI) 
No Frenchman accused of any crime whatever shall he judged otherwise than by 
a jury composed of foreign residents, proposed by the consul of France and accepted 
by the Government of the Sandwich Islands.
On the 12th of February, 1844, a convention with Great Britain had been 
entered into by the King's Government which contained (Article in) the 
same provision inidentical phrase, mutatis mutandis. This treaty had been 
secured very much after the fashion observed by Laplace. Within less 
than one year before its signature the islands had been seized by Great 
Britain and had been adequately advised of the power of England. 
The King's embassy was still absent, and the newly arrived British 
consul-general had communicated the fact that he was without discre- 
tion to alter terms. The treaty was itself, in still other respects, objec- 
tionable to the American commissioner by reason of apparent discrim- 
ination in favor of England and against the United States, and it had 
already been the subject of an earnest protest on his part. And now, 
there being no treaty with the United States, the King's promise made 
in his speech to that commissioner, as he understood it, had been ig- 
nored by advice of the attorney-general - an American citizen - a law- 
yer of New York, of the name of John Ricord, who had been invited to

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