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the invaders, until Kaiana was killed by a cannon-ball. They then broke and fled, closely pursued by Kamehameha. Some escaped by clambering up the steep heights on either side of the valley. Others were driven to the extremity of the valley, and there forced in hundreds over the Nuanuu pali, or precipice, to perish miserably at its foot. It is said that at this beautiful spot, which is at no great distance from the present city of Honolulu, bones of the victims of this historic battle are even now occasionally turned up by the spade.
The effect of this battle, which was fought in April, 1795, was to bring the entire archipelago practically under the sway of Kamehameha. It was not until the year 1810, however, that the islands of Kauai and Niihau, which were under the control of King Kaumualii, acknowledged the rule of Kamehameha I, the first of the line of Hawaiian monarchs. Thenceforward the white men who visited these Islands found them under a single government, with which alone they could treat.
For many years after the capture of the
Fair American and the affair of the Eleanor the Islands received occasional visits from English or American vessels, but no serious attempt was made toward a white settlement of the Islands. In October, 1791, the sloop Lady Washington, of Boston, under command of Captain Kendrick, touched at Kauai, and left on shore three sailors to gather sandalwood, which once grew in the Islands in great abundance. This marked the beginning of the sandalwood trade with China.
In 1792 Captain George Vancouver arrived, in command of the armed British vessels Discovery and Chatham.
He came again in 1793, and still a third time in 1794. On each of these visits Vancouver gave the island people orange-trees, grapevines, and other plants and seeds, but resolutely refused to give them the fire-arms which they so greatly coveted. sented Kamehameha with a bull and cow, and a number of sheep, the first animals of the kind ever seen on the Islands.
These visits of Vancouver are of great significance and importance. It was he who
He also pre
first imparted to Kamehameha some idea of civilized society and of the Christian religion. On the 21st of February, 1794, in a grand council of chiefs, called by the king, on board the Discovery, the Islands were formally placed under the protectorate of Great Britain; and the British flag was raised and saluted. The cession was never ratified by the British government; and a promise made by Vancouver to send out to them missionaries and artisans, to instruct them in religion and the arts of civilization, was never fulfilled. This work was left to be performed by the new republic of the west.
In 1809, Baranoff, the Russian governor of Alaska, is said to have entertained some idea of forming a colony at the Islands; and several Russian vessels between the years 1809 and 1815 touched here for brief periods. At Honolulu the crew of one of these vessels built a block-house, mounted a few guns, and hoisted the Russian flag. A fort of considerable size was also built at Waimea, and the Russian flag displayed. Negotiations were opened for the lease of the whole island, but these were never consummated.
By the advice of John Young a native fort was built at Honolulu, to command the harbor. It was constructed of coral rock, and cannon were mounted.
When this was completed, Kamehameha requested the Russians to withdraw from his dominion; and the request was complied with. The aggression was afterward disavowed by the Russian government.
The death of Kamehameha I occurred in May, 1819, at the age of eighty-two years. Before his death he forbade the sacrifice of human victims,- a ceremony believed to prolong life.
The slight civilizing influences which contact with a few whites had brought during his reign had led to the feeling that a better system of religion somewhere existed. But, although the king was willing to make the concession noted, he could not separate himself from the traditions of his fathers in which he had been brought up, and in which he had lived so long a life. His queen, Kaahumanu, however, had a greater breadth of vision. Having been appointed by the dying king to be the guardian of the young Prince Liholiho, soon to be King Kamehameha II,
and also to be premier, to exercise equal authority with the king, she almost immediately, upon coming to power, proposed that the tabus should no longer be recognized. Through her influence they were soon formally broken, Liholiho and his chiefs, both men and women, participating in a feast together, thus disregarding the most sacred of the tabus. By its open violation by the king and chiefs the entire elaborate system of tabus fell to the ground, and with it the system of idol-worship. The idols and their temples were burned, the high-priest himself setting the fire.
The deeply rooted custom could not, however, be easily eradicated; and an armed insurrection against the king occurred. This was soon quelled, and the new order established; but Hawaii exhibited the remarkable spectacle of a nation without a religion, waiting for some far-distant, unknown people to bring to them that for which they longed, but concerning which their ideas were but vague and uncertain. The annals of Christian civilization have few more remarkable passages.