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Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

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HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.	19
ceeded only in obtaining a protocol for a treaty, by which the United States were 
to extend a protectorate government over them. The matter in that form did not 
meet with the approval of Mr. Secretary Marcy, and further negotiations ceased.
I omitted to state in proper sequence that the deed of cession of 1851 was, by or- 
der of the Secretary of State, Mr. Webster, returned to the Hawaiian Government.
In conclusion, I herewith inclose "Annual Review of the Agriculture and Com- 
merce of the Hawaiian Islands for the year 1870," published by the Pacific Commer- 
cial Advertiser, February 25, 1871. Additional copies will accompany my dispatch 
No. 102. Permit me to refer you to a lithographic map, published in 1867 by United 
States Bureau of Statistics, as showing in convenient form the relative position of 
these islands to the continents of America, Asia, etc.; also, steamship lines radiat- 
ing therefrom.
With great respect, your obedient, humble servant,
HENRY A. PIERCE.
Hon. HAMILTON FISH,
Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.
The failure from time to time to solve their difficulties by annexation 
served to continue a lively consideration of the subject of reciprocity 
as the second best solution; but the growing interests of the sugar 
States during nearly all of the first decade after the civil war were of 
sufficient influence to obstruct successfully any favorable consideration 
of such a treaty by this Government. The situation was frankly stated 
by Mr. Pish in an instruction of considerable length and importance on 
the 25th of March, 1873, in which, turning from reciprocity to annexa- 
tion, always a question "full of interest," he said:
The position of the Sandwich Islands as an outpost fronting and commanding the 
whole of our possessions on the Pacific Ocean, gives to the future of those islands a 
peculiar interest to the Government and people of the United States. It is very 
clear that this Government can not be expected to assent to their transfer from their 
present control to that of any powerful maritime or commercial nation. Such trans- 
fer to a maritime power would threaten a military surveillance in the Pacific simi- 
lar to that which Bermuda has afforded in the Atlantic - the latter has been sub- 
mitted to from necessity, inasmuch as it was congenital with our Government - but 
we desire no additional similar outposts in the hands of those who may at some 
future time use them to our disadvantage.
The condition of the Government of Hawaii and its evident tendency to decay 
and dissolution force upon us the earnest consideration of its future - possibly its 
near future.
There seems to be a strong desire on the part of many persons in the islands, rep- 
resenting large interests and great wealth, to become annexed to the United States. 
And while there are, as I have already said, many and influential persons in this 
country who question the policy of any insular acquisitions, perhaps even of any 
extension of territorial limits, there are also those of influence and of wise foresight 
who see a future that must extend the jurisdiction and the limits of this nation, and 
that will require a resting spot in the midocean, between the Pacific coast and the 
vast domains of Asia, which are now opening to commerce and Christian civilization.
We are not in possession of information sufficiently accurate, and possibly not 
sufficiently extended, with respect to the population, trade, industry, resources, and 
debt, etc., of the Hawaiian Islands to decide the policy which must soon be con- 
sidered with respect to the relations they are to maintain toward this Government.
You will, therefore, at the earliest date practicable, furnish me with full and accu- 
rate information upon the several questions above alluded to, and also as to the rel- 
ative condition of the islands at this time, with respect to each question as compared 
with former periods.
If there be official documents or reports as to trade, population, debt, etc., you 
will obtain and transmit them.
Should occasion offer, you will, without committing the Government to any line of 
policy, not discourage the feeling which may exist in favor of annexation to the 
United States; and you will cautiously and prudently avail of any opportunity that 
may present of ascertaining the views of the Hawaiian authorities on this question, 
and if there be any idea entertained in that direction among those in official position, 
you will endeavor to sound them and ascertain their views as to the manner, and 
the terms and conditions on which such project could be carried into execution.
On the 3d of February, 1874, the King, Lunalilo, died without having 
named his successor, and the legislative assembly, called together by

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