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After the lapse of more than a century, during which the attention of the American people has been more and more closely drawn to the Hawaiian Islands, this archipelago has become American soil. It has been the aim of the author to trace, in as simple a manner as possible, the growth of American influence and sentiment in these Islands from their earliest beginnings to their culmination in annexation to the United States. While the author does not care to conceal from the reader in this brief introduction his thorough sympathy with the movement, in the Islands and in this country, which ended in annexation, he has endeavored, in the narration, to eliminate from it, as far as possible, any sentiment of partisanship, and to tell the story plainly, as the records have told it to him. For the facts of Hawaiian history, as contained in the earlier portion of the work, the author must acknowledge his indebtedness to the “History of the Hawaiian or Sandwich Islands," by James Jackson Jarves (Boston, 1843), a book long out of print, and to “A
Brief History of the Hawaiian People," by Professor W. D. Alexander, of Honolulu. The first-mentioned of these authors, by a long residence in the Islands, became familiar with many of the traditions of the native people, and was a careful observer of their habits and customs. The last-named work, prepared at the request of the Hawaiian board of education, was written by one who had constant and unrestricted access to the principal existing collections of Hawaiian manuscripts and to the earlier and later archives of that government.
It gives the author pleasure, also, to acknowledge his indebtedness to the Hon. Gor. ham D. Gilman, of Boston, Hawaiian Consul-general for New England, whose fund of information, gathered in a residence of twenty years in the Islands, from 1841 to 1861, is rich aud valuable, and has been placed freely at his disposal; to Mr. Edward M. Brewer, of Messrs. Charles Brewer & Co., of Boston, for many facts of interest touching the early commercial relations of the United States and the Hawaiian Islands. To him, also, the publishers are indebted for
the excellent portrait of his father, Mr. Charles Brewer, one of the pioneers in the Hawaiian trade.
The later chapters, which deal with the diplomatic and political phases of the “Hawaiian Question,”— a question with which this country has been concerned for the better portion of half a century,— have been drawn from published public documents of the two governments. For very many Hawaiian documents of the greatest value the author is indebted to the Hon. Henry E. Cooper, of Honolulu, late Minister of Foreign Affairs ; and the cheerfulness with which the Hon. Henry Cabot Lodge, a senator of the United States for Massachusetts, has met his requests for copies of similar documents published at Washington, has made it a pleasure even to apply to him for them.
To the trustees of the Boston Athæneum both author and publishers are indebted for permission to reproduce from the original painting in their possession the portrait of Kamehameha I which adorns the volume.