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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."
The early death of King Lunalilo and the events which followed served again to put an end, for the time being, to this discussion. As at the death of Kamehameha V, so now the throne was left without a natural or appointed heir. That
That the king had omitted the wise precaution of selecting his successor was not due to any neglect, upon his part, of his royal duty and prerogative. As he became conscious that death was approaching, he summoned to his room the Princess Bernice Pauahi, a princess of the royal line, who had married a wealthy American banker resident in the Islands, Mr. Charles R. Bishop. To her the king offered the succession to the throne, as, indeed, his predecessor, Kamehameha V, had also done. In the first instance the honor had been declined, Mrs. Bishop believing that the claims of Prince Lunalilo
to the throne were paramount to hers. When again the offer of the throne came to her, from the hands of King Lunalilo, she begged for delay until the next morning, that she might consider the proposition and consult with her husband, who was temporarily absent. The delay was fatal to her succession; for, before the morning, death had come to the king, and the throne was left without a constitutional successor.
Nine days after the king's death, in February, 1874, . the Hawaiian legislature was convened for the important purpose of electing a king For the first time since the establishment of the monarchy a violent dispute arose as to the succession to the throne. Two factions at once appeared. The first of these was composed of the adherents of Queen Emma, the dowager queen of Kamehameha IV. To this faction the English residents in the Islands, and all those of English sympathies, instantly rallied. The other faction was headed by David Kalakaua, a descendant of one of the minor chiefs of the Islands. The canvass was one of much bitterness. It was urged that Queen Emma was of a subsidiary line of the Kamehamehas, and hence entitled by right of descent to the succession. Kalakaua, on the other hand, was a man of much political influence in the Islands and an adept in political intrigue.
The legislature met for the conduct of its important office; and the partisans of Queen Emma, evidently understanding that the proceedings within the legislative chamber were already a foregone conclusion, formed an immense, excited, clamoring mob without. The doors of the executive building were assailed, the rooms sacked, and some of the representatives fiercely assaulted. The police of the city were unable to quell the riot; and the Hawaiian troops could not be relied upon for its dispersion, many of them being personally in sympathy with the rioters.
At this serious juncture the force of the United States was called upon, for the first time in the history of the Island monarchy, to interpose in the interest of peace and order. The United States ships of war Tuscarora, Commander Belknap, and Portsmouth, Commander Skerrett, lay in the harbor; and from them, at the request of the Hawaiian authorities, a force of one hundred and fifty armed men was sent on shore to restore order and protect the property of American citizens. This force went to the courthouse, dispersed the mob, and placed the building under military control.
Scarcely had this been accomplished when a force of sailors and marines, from the British war vessel Tenedos, was landed, without a request from the authorities.
It is said, indeed, that they were landed without orders from the officers of the ship. They at once marched to the residence of Queen Emma, dispersed a lawless crowd which surrounded it, and thence marched to the barracks, where they remained for eight days. It is said, however, that this action was afterward legalized by an antedated note of the Hawaiian authorities requesting such action.
The mob which had attacked the legislative assembly, for the undoubted purpose of pre-venting the election of Kalakaua, having been dispersed by American bayonets, the election proceeded with the anticipated result.
The election of Kalakaua as king being fully declared, and he having been recognized as the rightful sovereign by the American, British, and French representatives, Minister Pierce, in his capacity of minister resident of the United States, paid a visit to Queen Emma. To her he conveyed the intelligence of the election and recognition of King Kalakaua, and advised her also to recognize him as such, and to call upon her followers to accept the situation without further disorder. This advice of the American minister was received with respect and followed without question, amicable relations, through this mediation, being at once established and ever after maintained.
During the reign of Kalakaua the relations of the United States to the Islands grew rapidly closer. The government at Washington did not, perhaps, feel a sense of responsibility for the island government, from the fact that Kalakaua might not have reached the throne but for the interposition of the American forces. The demand, however, for a treaty of reciprocity in both countries grew stronger, as their commercial relations grew more and more intimate and important. The final con