The New York Times, January 29, 1893, p.2:|
THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.THEIR DISCOVERY, THEIR RULERS,
AND THEIR INDUSTRIES.
The average American has very crude ideas regarding the Hawaiian, or Sandwich, Islands, which formed the constitutional monarchy which has just been overthrown. Striking features of life on the islands have been made somewhat familiar through the writings of travelers and through the great amount of matter printed in the newspapers at the time when King Kalakaua, late lamented, visited this country in search of a loan for his bankrupt treasury, and later when his Queen, Kapiolani, came here on the same errand.
The Hawaiian Islands form a most interesting country, however, in themselves and in their history, especially to Americans; for Americans have led in their development, have for years controlled their wealth, and have had the strongest voice in their government.
That hardy old mariner, Capt. Cook [Captain James Cook], happened to run across the Hawaiian Islands in 1779. He had quite a different object in mind when he made this discovery; but then the early discoverers all seemed to have a weakness for finding something that they never thought of looking for.
Capt. Cook called the islands the Sandwich Islands... At the time of reporting his discovery, Capt. Cook said he thought there were as many as 400,000 natives there.
Hawaii, the main one of the group of twelve islands, is about 2,100 miles west by south of San Francisco. The islands stretch out for a distance of 350 miles in the Pacific, but only eight of them are inhabited. These have a total area of 6,640 square miles, as follows: Hawaii, 4,210 square miles; Maui, 700, Oahu, 600; Kauai, 590; Molokai, 270; Ranai, 150; Nihau [Niihau], 97; Kahoolawe, 63.
Each of the islands used to have its own dusky King and be a little world to itself. About the year 1800, however, there was an old chap struggling under the name of Kamehameha (pronounced as spelled) who, like Alexander the Great, "sighed for more worlds to conquer." He made up his mind that he would conquer all the other worlds he knew about, the other Hawaiian Islands, and this he proceeded to do with neatness and dispatch, and made himself King of them all. Ever since the monarchy has prevailed, though the royal family has been in a very bad way from the time that American enterprise began to assert itself on the islands.
There have been many revolutions, but the reigning family has stood against them, though its power has been taken away from time to time by the granting to the people of such constitutional rights as the revolutionists demanded.
The islands have a very mixed population, owing to the great demand for cheap labor that resulted from the development of the sugar industry. In the aggregate there are less than 100,000 people there, and the major portion of these are on the big island of Hawaii. The increase in the past ten years has been about 15,000, the annual increase being about 1,500. This increase has been very largely due to the excess of the immigration to these shores over the emigration, and not to natural increase, which has been slow because of the small number of the female population as compared with males.
Of the population about 45,000 are natives and half breeds, 20,000 are Japanese, 13,000 are Chinese, 9,000 Portuguese, 4,000 Americans, and there are about 2,200 whites of various nationalities.
The Chinese immigration had to be stopped by law several years ago. The Chinese were found objectionable because of their secret societies, organized to control the labor market; because of their trickery in business matters, and because of the depravity they were spreading among the native women.
Among the Japanese population males outnumber females five to one, and among the Chinese population fifteen to one; but among the native population and the other immigrants the ratio is about normal. The Chinese and the Japanese have never been allowed to vote.
Many people believe that in another generation or two the native stock will become extinct. The natives are called Kanakas, and are a Malay-Polynesian race much like the Maoris of New Zealand, and like them are dying out from the ravages of infectious diseases, and especially from drink, which, since the lamented King Kalakaua removed the tariff on it, has resulted in great pauperism and mortality...
The royal family begins, so far as contemporaneous history is concerned, with the reign of King Kalakaua [David Laʻamea Kamanakapuʻu Mahinulani Nalaiaehuokalani Lumialani Kalākaua, aka The Merrie Monarch], who died in 1891 at the age of fifty-five years. It was he who visited this country, as did his Queen, Kapiolani [Esther Julia Kapiʻolani or Esther Julia Kapiʻolani Napelakapuokakaʻe].
Kalakaua was a good sort of a King in his way, but the Government business was not exactly in his line. The civilization that was brought to his domain was a little too much for him. He was very fond of entertaining the European and American visitors and residents on his islands in kingly style. The result of it was that his royal Treasury became depleted, and during the last years of his reign he was probably the most impecunious King on earth.
His poverty resulted in no small degree from his love for the game called poker, which, it seems needless to say, he learned from Americans. He would sit up and play poker all night. If he won the money of his guests he would invite them to stay at his palace and would kill the fatted calf for them. If he lost, he would give the winners a royal note, provided they were not so influential that he felt he must pay them. In that even he would drain the money out of the pockets of some one of his wealthy and obedient subjects.
Old Kalakaua did not hesitate to resort to tricks to raise funds to have a good time with. One of his victims in this regard was a venerable old Chinaman, who, by sharp methods, had accumulated $60,000 or more. The selling of opium on the islands was illegal. King Kalakaua summoned the old Chinaman, and told him that if he would drop $30,000 into the royal Treasury he could have the sole right to sell opium in the kingdom. The Chinaman brought him the $30,000. Kalakaua's debts had increased in the meantime, however, so he told the Chinaman that it would call for $30,000 more to fix the deal.
The Chinaman brought the other $30,000. Kalakaua put it in his royal pocket and then cooly announced that the laws of the land would not permit the selling of opium, and that his conscience would not allow him to change the laws. He told the Chinaman that he would give him back the $60,000 some day with a rate of interest that would be truly kingly, but the old Chinaman died of a broken heart just the same.
King Kalakaua died of too much fun, and nothing else. His widow is living in Honolulu, and lives on a pension. The Queen who succeeded Kalakaua and who has just been overthrown is his daughter [NYT in error, actually his sister], Lydia Kamakacha Lilluokalani [Lydia Kamakaʻeha Liliuokalani, Lydia Kamakaʻeha Liliʻuokalani, Lydia Kamakaʻeha Paki], more generally referred to as Princess Lydia or Mrs. Dominis. Seated beside her on the throne had been his Royal Highness John O. Dominis, the Prince Consort, an American clerk in a Honolulu shipping house, whom she married thirty years ago and who died a year ago.
The Queen that was is fifty years old and is a good-natured, fat old lady with a dusky skin and a heap of "horse sense." She speaks English fluently and is fairly well-educated. As heir presumptive she got a salary of $5,000 a year, and as Queen her salary was $20,000 a year. She and his Royal Highness Dominis lived in the royal palace at Honolulu, which Kalakaua built. Between them they had an income of about $75,000 a year, and they saved most of it. The Queen who would have succeeded Mrs. Dominis if matters had not been upset as they have been is the Princess Likelike, who is forty-two years old and has been married for twenty-three years to Archibald Scott Cleghorn, a Scotchman.
In 1887 the monarchy was practically overthrown. King Kalakaua had been kicking up such high jinks that the foreigners on the island began to protest. They called upon the King and asked him to sign a Constitution [the Bayonet Constitution]. He said he would not, as it took from him practically all his royal power. The committee that was waiting upon him numbered only thirteen, but it represented much of the wealth of the island. Its members told Kalakaua that they would give him thirty minutes to sign that Constitution, and gently suggested that there was a mass meeting of indignant foreigners out on the corner. Kalakaua signed the Constitution.
Since that time the Americans have practically run the Government. They hold all of the chief executive and judicial offices. In 1889 a half-breed, named Robert W. Wilcox [Robert William Wilcox], who had been educated at public expense in an Italian military school, attempted a revolution with a handful of men, which aimed to do away with the Constitution and restore the royal family to its old power. The white foreigners put down that revolution in three hours, with a loss of three men among the revolutionists.
Under favorable treaties with the United States and development by American money, the production and commerce of the islands have become very extensive. The latest official figures show that capital to the amount of $35,000,000 is invested there in plantations and other productive enterprises. More than $20,000,000 of this is American money, and not one-fifth of the balance is that of natives. The soil is exceedingly fertile and capable of bringing forth a great variety of products; but sugar planting, under the reciprocity treaty with the United States, which admits the product free of duty, is so profitable that other industries have been neglected.
In 1889 the exportation of sugar to the United States amounted to 242,000,000 pounds. The islands got a blow from the McKinley bill in the provision admitting all sugar free of duty. This reduced the profits of the Hawaiian planters, so that many plantations have been ruined, and wages have been reduced by about one-third, while the cost of staple food products there has been high. The crisis was beneficial, however, in that it caused activity in other industries than sugar raising, which could made highly profitable in that country.
The coffee plantations, which had been neglected, received care again, as [did] the rice fields and vineyards and the raising of cattle and sheep. The total exports now are close to $15,000,000 a year, of which sugar is still the greater part.
About $5,000,000 of importing is done, provisions, clothing, machinery, &c., and the United States gets nine-tenths of this trade.
The financial condition of the country for the period of 1890-92, based on the figures of previous periods, would show a revenue of $2,862,505, and expenditures of $2,853,116. In 1890 the public debt amounted to $1,934,000, which was raised in London to pay off prior indebtedness, and pays 6 per cent. interest.
The islands have an educational system that is far in advance of their general condition. A complete system of secular common schools is provided for all. Outside of school hours alone Roman Catholic and other religious teachers have access to the children. English is taught in all the schools.
There are several superior institutions of learning, notably the Oahu College for the sons of Americans; the Kanai Industrial School, a co-educational institution, and the Kamehameha Industrial School for Hawaiian boys and girls. Mrs. Charles R. Bishop, a Hawaiian Princess, who was the wife of Charles R. Bishop, a native of New York, who is now one of the big bankers of Honolulu, left her whole fortune of $500,000 to found this latter school.
There were 178 common schools on the islands in 1890, and about 10,000 pupils.
The New York Times, January 28, 1894, p.21:|
BEAUTIFUL PACIFIC ISLANDSATTRACTIVE FEATURES OF THE POLYNESIAN GROUP.
Honolulu, the Chief City of Hawaii, Its Situation, Inhabitants, Population, and Superb Scenery--Former Rulers of this Ocean Kingdom--Habits and Customs of the People--The Iolani Palace--
The Bishop Museum and Its Treasures.
It has not been an unusual thing for people to mix up all Polynesia, Micronesia, and Meanesia, but the recent events which have attracted so much attention to this group must have cleared the atmosphere somewhat of these errors, and probably most readers of newspapers have located the islands in their proper place, near the centre of the great Pacific Ocean...
The principal islands are situated between 18 degrees 50 minutes and 22 degrees 20 minutes north latitude and 154 degrees 53 and 100 degrees 15 minutes west longitude. They are about equally distant from all the continental masses, being probably the most isolated group in the world.
They were probably first visited by Juan de Gaetano in 1542 [Juan Gaetano, 1555 more often suggested], as he speaks of "las islas del rey," which he locates at 900 leguas (about 2,000 miles) west of Mexico. This discovery must have found its way into some of the maps of the eighteenth century, or even earlier charts.
In all likelihood their existence was known to Capt. Cook. At any rate, he did not evince any great surprise when he first came across them. On Jan. 18, 1778, however, he rediscovered the group while sailing for our northwest coast in the Resolute and the Discovery.
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