Dekemaba 6: No ke Kuʻikahi Pānaʻi Like

December 6, 1885: Regarding the Reciprocity Treaty

In 1875, Hawaiʻi signed a reciprocity treaty with the United States that allowed certain products, such as sugar, to be imported into the United States without a tariff. See Convention Between the United States and His Majesty the King of the Hawaiian Islands, art. IV, 19 Stat. 625 (1875) (see blog entry, ʻAukake 15:  Kuʻikahi Pānaʻi Like) (reciprocity treaty available on Punawaiola: Treaties U.S. 1874-1875). It also prohibited the kingdom from granting similar privileges, or to permit the leasing of Hawaiian ports and harbors to other nations. On December 6, 1884, the reciprocity treaty was extended but the U.S. Senate added a controversial provision:

Article II. His Majesty the King of the Hawaiian Islands grants to the Government of the United States the exclusive right to enter the harbor of the Pearl River in the Island of Oahu, and to establish and maintain there a coaling and repair station for the use of vessels of the United States, and to that end the United States may improve the entrance to said harbor and do all other things needful to the purpose aforesaid.

See Supplementary Convention Between the United States of America and His Majesty the King of the Hawaiian Islands to Limit the Duration of the Convention Respecting Commercial Reciprocity Concluded January 30, 1875, 25 Stat. 1399 (1884). Below is a draft of the proclamation issued by King Kalakaua regarding the acceptance of the Supplementary Convention with the United States (available in Treaties U.S. 1885).  A transcription follows.

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King of the Hawaiian Islands

To All to whom these presents shall come


Know ye that whereas a Supplementary Convention to limit the duration of the Convention respecting Commercial Reciprocity between the Hawaiian Kingdom and the United States of America concluded January 30, 1875 was concluded and signed by their respective plenipotentiaries at Washington on the sixth day of December last the original of which Supplementary Convetion is word for word as follows:

“Whereas a Convention ste . . (down and including the signatories) Now therefore be it known that I Kalakaua, King of the Hawaiian Islands having seen and considered the said Supplementary Convention do hereby accept confirm and ratify the same every article and Clause thereof.

The Testimony Whereof I have caused the seal of the Hawaiian Islands to be hereunto affixed.

Given under my hand
at the City of Honolulu
The 14th day of
January in the year of
our Lord 1885

Draft Proclamation accepting Supplementary Convention with U.S.A. Jan. 14 1885.