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Mr. Bigler to Mr. Varas.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Santiago de Chili, August 21, 1861. Sir: The undersigned, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States of America, has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency's note, dated August 7, 1861, in reply to his note of the 31st ultimo, wherein your excellency is pleased to give assurances that the necessary orders will be transmitted to the respective authorities to prevent the making of preparations of war, or any other operations hostile to the United States, within the territory of the republic, and requesting the undersigned to transmit to your excellency any information which he may obtain of contemplated privateering operations, in order to facilitate the frustration of the objects of such expeditions.
The undersigned, in acknowledging the receipt of these eminently satisfactory assurances, which he most cordially appreciates, as will also his government, desires to state that any information upon the subject, of a definite character, which he may receive, will be inmediately communicated to your excellency's government.
The undersigned avails himself of this occasion to renew to your excellency the earnest assurances of his distinguished consideration and respect.
JOHN BIGLER. His Excellency the SECRETARY OF FOREIGN RELATIONS
Of the Republic of Chili.
Mr. Dryer to Mr. Seward.
AT THE HAwaiian Islands,
I have not been able yet to obtain from the Hawaiian government such a proclamation as I desired upon the subject of privateering, or the permission to enter the ports of this kingdom of any suspicious vessels.
The King and a portion of his counsellors are sojourning on the island of Hawaii during the summer months. Copies of the President's proclamation in relation to blockade of southern ports, together with the despatches from the Department of State accompanying them, have been furnished to the minister of foreign relations, since which I have had several interviews with that minister relative to the policy of this government towards privateering, and the occupancy of their ports by privateering vessels or prizes which inight be captured by them.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES AT THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS,
Honolulu, July 24, 1861. Sir: I have the honor to enclose herewith copies of two despatches from the Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State of the United States, and of two proclamations (April 19 and April 27, 1861) issued by his excellency Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, announcing the blockade of the ports of several of the southern States, and making known that all persons acting under the pretended authority of the aforesaid southern States, or under any pretence whatever, who shall molest vessels of the United States or their cargoes, shall be considered and dealt with as pirates.
You will observe, by a perusal of the copy of Mr. Seward's despatch to me of the 20th April, 1861, that I am instructed to be vigilant in preventing aggressions upon American commerce by vessels or persons acting under the pretended authority mentioned.
To this end I would respectfully call your attention to the fact that the American clipper ship Bald Eagle, bound from San Francisco to China, with a large amount of treasure on board, having been chased, on her passage to this group, by a suspicious vessel, and to officially inquire of you what course his Hawaiian Majesty's government intends to pursue with regard to vessels of this description found frequenting the King's waters, or touching for supplies or repairs at any of the ports in his Majesty's dominions. I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
THOMAS J. DRYER. His Excellency R. C. WYLLIE, His Hawaiian Majesty's Minister of Foreign Affairs, &c., &c., 8c.
Ex. Doc. 1-28
DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS,
City of Honolulu, July 27, 1861. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your despatch of the 24th instant, with its four enclosures, which you did me the great favor of delivering personally, along with verbal explanations, for which I beg to thank you in the name of the King's government.
By your despatch and its enclosures I am informed that the honorable Secretary of State, William H. Seward, apprehensive lest, "under the pretended authority of the so-called Confederate States of America," privateers might be fitted out in the ports of this kingdom for the purpose of aggression on the commerce of the United States, instructed you, on the 20th of April last, to be vigilant in preventing any such unlawful purpose; to make known to the proper authorities of this government the proclamations issued by the President; impart to them all facts upon the subject which might come to your knowledge; and to ascertain from the King's government, officially, what course they intended to pursue with regard to vessels description frequenting the King's waters, or touching for supplies or repairs at any of the ports in his Majesty's dominions; all which instructions you carried out very fully, and with great courtesy, in your precited despatch, and in the facts, no less important to the United States than to this kingdom, which you were pleased to impart to me verbally on the occasion of its delivery.
In reply, I have the honor to refer you to the proclamation of the late King of 16th May, 1854, asserting his neutral rights within the whole extent of his jurisdiction, declaring all captures and seizures made within that jurisdiction to be unlawful, and prohibiting his subjects from engaging, either directly or indirectly, in privateering, under the penalty of being treated and punished as pirates; to the resolution of his late Majesty, in privy council of 15th June, 1854, prohibiting the sale of prizes within his jurisdiction, and to the resolution of his late Majesty, in privy council of the 17th July of the same year, prohibiting all privateers, and prizes made by them, from entering the ports of this kingdom, unless in such circumstances of distress that their exclusion would involve a sacrifice of life, and then only under special permission of the King, after proof to his Majesty's satisfaction of such circumstances of distress; copies of all which you will find in your archives, for they were duly passed at the time to the Hon. David L. Gregg for his own and the information of his gove ernment.
I have the honor to enclose copy of the reply of the honorable judges of the supreme court, dated yesterday, in reply to my letters to them of the 5th, 10th, 13th, and 24th instant, from which you will see that, in their opinion, the said proclamation and resolutions are in accordance with the rights of the King, and with his Majesty's duties as a neutral sovereign to the United States ; and that under the same neither can privateers be fitted out in the ports of this kingdom, nor can its ports be used as a depot for the spoils or the prisoners made by privateers.
Therefore it only remains for me to make known to the King, who is at Kailua, your despatch and its enclosures, also the opinion of his Majesty's judges of the supreme court, and to suggest to his Majesty that he be pleased to issue a proclamation revalidating the aforesaid proclamation and resolutions, with an order that copies of such proclamation be published in the Polynesian, and served immediately by the pilots or harbor master upon any belligerent vessel that may appear in his Majesty's waters, until the conclusion of the civil war now unbappily devastating the United States.
You can assure the honorable Secretary of State of your government that
the King, knowing well his obligations and responsibilities to the United States under the law of nations and the existing treaty, will neglect no means to fulfil them to the utmost extent of his power ; but destitute as you know him to be of either army, navy, or forts, that power is only moral, and if armed vessels should enter his waters, disregarding alike his neutral rights and the law of nations, captures might be made within his jurisdiction contrary to his proclamation, and in spite of all the efforts that he could make to prevent them.
Therefore I repeat what I had the honor to state to you verbally, that in a port where many millions of value in American whaleships, oil and bone, and in merchant vessels, are often to be found, and which might be captured or burnt by one strong privatcer, in defiance of all the King's forces, it is of urgent necessity that Honolulu should not be left without the presence of a vessel-of-war of the United States of sufficient power to deter any such privateer from committing aggressions on the ships or property of the citizens of the United States within the King's jurisdiction. I was happy to understand from you that you had not neglected to make such a recommendation to your government.
In conclusion, let me assure you that in this and every other international matter it will afford me the utmost pleasure to confer and concert with you with all that frankness and confidence that, according to Martens and other publicists, ought to exist between a foreign representative and the minister of foreign affairs of the country to which he is accredited and sent; but more especially be assured of the high respect and very distinguished consideration with which I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,
R. C. WYLLIE. Hon. Thomas J. DRYER, Com'r of the United States to the Hawaiian Islands.
Honolulu, July, 26, 1861. Sir: I have the honor to receive your communications of the 1st, 10th, 13th, and 25th instant, and their enclosures. The justices of the supreme cuurt have examined the proclamation issued by her Britannic Majesty the Queen, and also the proclamation issued by the President of the United States, issued in consequence of hostilities having arisen between the government of the United States and certain States styling themselves the Confederate States of America, together with the communication of the Secretary of State, Mr. Seward, and the commissioner of the United States at this court accompanying them.
Mr. Seward is apprehensive that efforts may be made to fit out privateers in our ports for the purpose of aggression on American commerce. To permit it would unquestionably be a breach of neutrality and in derogation of our duty; neither can our ports be used as a depot for the spoils or the prisoners of privateers.
We have also examined the proclamation issued in 1854 by his Majesty the King, proclaiming neutrality in the war then pending between the great maritime powers of Europe, and the resolutions of the privy council which accompanied it, and we are of opinion that similar declarations at this time will be in accordance with our rights and duties as neutrals.
I beg to return to you the enclosures which accompanied your communications. I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servants,
ELISHA H. ALLEN.
G. M. ROBERTSON. His Excellency R. C. WYLLIE, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Dryer to Mr. Seward.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES AT THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS,
Honolulu, September 7, 1861. Sir: Since my despatch of the 5th September was closed and mailed, Mr. Wyllie has sent to this legation another draft of a proclamation of the King in relation to privateering, &c., &c. This is an improvement on the former one sent to me, and which I returned.
I have only time to make a copy, which please find enclosed, and which I send for the information of the government at Washington. I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,
THOMAS J. DRYER. Hon. Wm. H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State, Washington.
Proclamation of Kamehameha IV, King of the Hawaiian Islands.
Be it known to all whom it may concern, that we, Kamehameha IV, King of the Hawaiian Islands, having been officially notified that hostilities are now unhappily pending between the government of the United States and certain States thereof, styling themselves “The Confederate States of America,” hereby proclaim our neutrality between said contending parties.
That our neutrality is to be respected to the full extent of our jurisdiction, and that all captures and seizures made within the same are unlawful, and in violation of our rights as a sovereign.
And be it further known that we hereby strictly prohibit all our subjects, and all who reside or may be within our jurisdiction, from engaging, either directly or indirectly, in privateering against the shipping or connmerce of either of the contending parties, or of rendering any aid to such enterprises whatever; and all persons so offending will be liable to the penalties imposed by the laws of nations, as well as by the laws of said States, and they will in nowise obtain any protection from us as against any penal consequences which they may incur.
Be it further known that no adjudication of prizes will be entertained within our jurisdiction, nor will the sale of goods or other property belonging to prizes be allowed.
Be it further known that the rights of asylum are not extended to the privateers or their prizes of either of the contending parties, excepting only in cases of distress or of compulsory delay by stress of weather or dangers of the sea, or in such cases as may be regulated by treaty stipulation.
Given at our marine residence of Kailua this 26th day of August, A. D. 1861, and the seventh of our reign.
KAMEHAMEHA. By the King
KAAHUMANU. By the King and Kuhina Nui.
R. C. WYLLIE.