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THE PAULET EPISODE. It was in February, 1843, that an incident occurred in the history of the Hawaiian Islands which gave occasion for the first open and official declaration of paramount American interest and influence. This was the unannounced arrival, in the harbor of Honolulu, of the British frigate Carysfort, commanded by Captain Lord George Paulet, and the remarkable proceedings which followed. A few weeks previous to this occurrence two commissioners despatched by King Kamehameha III had arrived at Washington. These were Timoteo Haalilio and William Richards, the first a member of the King's suite, the latter a clergyman. Mr. Richards had previously, in the year 1836, been sent to this country as an envoy, to secure, if possible, some American versed in statecraft, as adviser and instructor to the king in the duties of his position. This mission had been unsuccessful. The two had now come, as appears by a letter addressed to Daniel Webster, Secretary of State, under date of December 14, 1842, for the purpose of calling the attention of that official, and through him of the government of the United States, to the relations then existing between the two countries, and to suggest a more definite recognition of the Hawaiian government as an independent civilized power. In this letter is set forth, in interesting detail, the story of the rise of the Hawaiian people from a state of barbarism and degradation to one deserving of the respect and recognition of the civilized nations of the world.

“Twenty-three years ago," this letter states, “the nation had no written language and no character in which to write it. The language had never been systematized nor reduced to any kind of form. The people had no acquaintance with Christianity, nor with the valuable institutions or usages of civilized life. The nation had no fixed form or regulations of government, except as they were dictated by those in authority or might by any means acquire power. The right of property was not acknowledged, and was, therefore, but partially enjoyed. There were no courts of justice, and the will of the chieftains was absolute. The property of foreigners had no protection except in the kind disposition of individuals. But, under the fostering influence, patronage, and care of His Majesty and of his predecessors, the language has been reduced to visible and systematized form, and is now written by a large and respectable portion of the people. Schools have been established throughout his dominions and are supported principally by the government; and there are but few, among the younger people, who are unable to read. They have now, in their own language, a library embracing a considerable variety of books on a variety of subjects, including the Holy Scriptures, works on natural history, civil history, church history, geography, political economy, mathematics, and statute law, besides a number of elementary books. A regular monarchical government has been organized, of a limited and representative character. . . . It has, moreover, been the uniform practice of consuls and commercial agents, resident in His Majesty's dominions, to demand all that protection, both of persons and property, which is demanded of sovereign and independent States; and this, His Majesty believes, has been duly and efficiently extended. While, therefore, all is demanded of his government, and all is rendered by it which is demanded of or rendered by the governments of sovereign and independent States, he feels that he has a right to expect his State to be acknowledged as such, and thus be formally received into the general compact of sovereign nations."

Continuing, the commissioners call attention to the situation of the Hawaiian Islands, and to the frequency with which whaling and merchant vessels call at their ports for the purpose of obtaining supplies and of trading; and declare that at the time of writing no fewer than fourteen hundred American citizens are resident at the Islands, representing property valued at not less than three or four million dollars.

This letter was made the subject of a special message to Congress by President Tyler, in which he said :

“It cannot but be in conformity with the interest and wishes of the government and the people of the United States that this community, thus existing in the midst of a vast expanse of ocean, should be respected, and all its rights strictly and conscientiously regarded. And this must also be the true interest of all other commercial States. Far remote from the dominions of European powers, its growth and prosperity as an independent State may yet be in a high degree useful to all whose trade is extended to those regions; while its near approach to this continent, and the intercourse which American vessels have with it, such vessels constituting five-sixths of all which annually visit it,could not but create dissatisfaction on the part of the United States at any attempt by another power, should such attempt be threatened or feared, to take possession of the Islands, colonize them, and subvert the native government. Considering, therefore, that the United States possesses so very large a share of the intercourse with those Islands, it is deemed not unfit to make the declaration that their government seeks nevertheless no peculiar advantages, no exclusive control, over the Hawaiian government, but is content with its independent existence, and anxiously wishes for its security and

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