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formal visit to the king, and to express to him the hope that he entertained no thought of alienating the sovereignty of the kingdom, as such an act would lead to difficulty, and perhaps war, with England and France.
To this unconcealed threat the king prudently made no reply, and the negotiations for annexation proceeded. Mr. Gregg, however, speedily discovered that the island government was not disposed to be contented with the paltry sum of one hundred thousand dollars proposed as annuities to the king and chiefs. Thrice this sum was demanded, and no less would be accepted. Mr. Gregg, with a wry face, was obliged to agree upon this sum, but with the reservation that the agreement must be submitted to his government for ratification. There were other demands as well, which were difficult of acceptance. The Islands wished to be admitted to the Union as a State, and the demand included also an annual payment for ten years of seventy-five thousand dollars, to be devoted to the cause of education. These provisions were finally incorporated into the draft of a treaty of annexation. The nego the treaty.
tiations were continued during the autumn of 1854, some, although not serious, opposition being made to its execution by the heir apparent to the throne. In October the British consul, General Miller, obtained an audience with the king, and, in a speech of upwards of an hour in duration, endeavored to dissuade the king from the final execution of
His attack upon the United States was violent, the king being assured that one of the worst evils which could befall his country and his countrymen would be to fall under the control of American institutions, corrupting in their tendency and inadequate in security.
The king heard him patiently to the end, but his reply to this harangue was non-committal in terms and in spirit; and the intimation was strongly made that, in the future, communications of importance should be made in writing. The feeling of good will borne by the government toward the United States was shown by a royal invitation to a reception, extended to the officers of the American war vessels then in port.
The actual execution of the treaty was delayed, however, notwithstanding the urgent advice of Mr. Gregg ; and, while negotiations were still pending, the king fell ill. He rapidly grew worse ; and on the fifteenth day of December, 1854, he died.
His death was followed by the accession to the throne of his adopted son and heir, Prince Alexander Liholiho, under the title of Kamehameha IV. On the eleventh day of January, 1855, he took the oath to support the constitution, and assumed the reins of government. He was then nearly twenty-one years of age, and a young man of excellent promise. A little more than a year later the king married Emma Rooke, an adopted daughter of an English physician, Dr. Rooke, and a granddaughter of the early English sailor-settler, John Young, whose arrival in the Islands has been recorded. Young had married a native woman, and his descendants were well known among the people of the Islands. The name of Queen Emma will appear again as an important feature at a future period in the narrative.
Although Prince Alexander had, before the death of the late king, given his formal consent to the negotiations, so far as they had proceeded, and had countersigned, with the ministers of the kingdom, the protocols and the draft of the treaty, he betrayed after his accession a decided aversion to completing the treaty. When it is remembered that his future wife was of partial English descent, and that she had been reared in the home of an English settler, it is not difficult to comprehend the influence which, aside from his own natural desire to reign, persuaded him to this course.
A letter from Mr. Marcy to Mr. Gregg, written before the intelligence of the king's death had reached Washington, indicates that the provision of the treaty by which the Islands were to be admitted as a State in the Union would not, probably, have received the approval of the United States government. But at this point the negotiations ceased, and it was fully a decade before the subject of annexation was again made the subject of serious discussion in either country.
RISE OF THE SUGAR INDUSTRY.
THE American whale-fisheries had reached their maximum in the year 1854, the same year in which that treaty of annexation was negotiated by Kamehameha III which later Kamehameha IV failed to complete. At the beginning of the sixth decade of the century the whaling industry already showed a perceptible decline, and by its close the number of whaling vessels flying the American flag had lessened fully one-half. The cause of this remarkable decline of a once flourishing industry has been variously ascribed to the growing scarcity of whales; the discovery of large supplies of petroleum in our own country and its increasing use; and the substitution of steel for whalebone in the manufacture of clothing, umbrellas, and in other uses. It is probable that the first of these is the true cause, that the discovery of the oil wells of Pennsylvania was merely a remarkable coincidence, and that the substitution of steel for whalebone was the resort to which manufacturers were of necessity forced.