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TURWAV. DECEMBER 5, 1857.
One would hardly think that we are on the
"r a ereat national election. No conventions
, been hvdt no platforms published ; the press
inverted no demagogue into a hero; no par-
-jr measures have been made the war-cry of a
r-jtni yet in just about three weeks the people
choose their representatives. It would almost
, if the first effect of biennial meetings of
I legislature had been to make the people forget,
3 not being reminded of them for one whole
. the great rights which they enjoy. We are
a the history books how certain knowing
5 would get rid of a troublesome councilor
Lber 6imply by omitting to convene it. Had
. ia th2 first instance declared their intention to
the right to assemble, there would have
3 no end to ths hubbub. The value of the
!.. tf-if!rf:l wfilll.l hflv rrrmo n-n KnT--nrl .ill
tel. The palladium of men's civil rights would
bjea discovered to lie in that chamber and no
reels?. But nothing being said about it, sus
I la was disarmed and the obnoxious bedy died
:i;-:ral death. If the intervals between the ses--jof
our Legislature were only a little longer,
it might even forget all about them,
riiere may b-3 cause for believing that a reason
::s why the public here do not set much store
ieir elective franchise; and a reason, too, that
;.l hardly present itself at the first glance.
Laaiversility of the right to vote has cheapened
. p)l da apparently. If there had been some
exclusive about it, now, how it would have
i s ja 'lit after. Our Constitution having a rood
-.7 of the elements of republicanism in it, gives
j mils adult the right to vote ; but the right
jjoinann that there is no excitement about
Rising it. If the people were not, as it were,
-lupon by the sheriffs of the different islands
: i.-ne and vote, they would very likely let the
:Mjn lay of every alternate year go by with
: "ivinir a thought to the fact that it was election
r. Satisfied, as the natives are, that all is right
!: t!i3 King is at the helm and a few good
ha'mt him, the ultra liberality of their in
rr.ions is already producing a feeling in favor of
rrchy, or at all events an apethetic disregard
ihe exercise of those privileges which connect
a with the actual government of the country,
hjtlier solution of what must seem a little
-i 'us, this want of interest in a general election,
.j he found in the fact that the lower house has
jf.ul rays proved itself to possess more than the
I ::ae amount of intelligence to be found in
I'M b-idies of similar character. Reader !
Kk that ram irk that rises to your lips, this is
time fjr it ; remember we are now engaged
lusively with the popular branch of the Lgis
:ra. The impression exists, and would be rery
i'eral if people troubled their heads about such
j "vers, that the executive proposes and the Legis
p:e disposes accordingly. That is to say, that the
J njipal work of the session is arranged before-'-.i'm
the Government House, and the chambers
little imre than comply with a form imposed by
j? Constitution. The members have not formed
aaaille an opinion of themselves and their po-i-iia,
bat that fact does not affect the estimation
I which they are held by their constituents.
J e latter have a very simple way of reasoning :
fre Government," they say, "admires the tax
; we do not admire the tax on dogs ; we
I r-r vote for a man who does not promise to an-
h the tax on does; it is the one requisition wo
pe of him, and yet the act is not repealed : then
f t is the use of our representatives ?" The
-tors call the elected the poe wehe pilikia, which
sas the people who are to relieve them of their
f jables a simple process in their opinion, and
2 easily accomplished by abolishing taxes and
ii;n2 property common to all. It is almost
-"ess to observe that the representatives have
; Jet succeeded in securing those desirable re-
r:a-thcn what is the use of the representatives ?
is an old theory of oursand one for which we
R been taken to task, that in. establishing our
tical system we ran a good deal in advanco of
tiaeg. The want of; interest manifested in
trJ to the approaching election may, originate
in a want of apprcciatfon ; thepuWic mind
THE POLYNESIAN, DECEMBER 5, 1857.
not being prepared for the institutions tbatbeW
properly to the highest order of communities. We
never could believe that it was disparaging to say
to a young and uninformed people notyet,but
when you are prepared." Every country has gone
through the initiative process. We do not mean
to say that things having gone so far we would
favor a retrogade movement, but one cannot help
thinking of these things in connection with the
lull which has preceded an election.
We observe in this week's Hae Hawaii (native
newspaper) two communications advising the elec
tors not to make choice of government officers, es
pecially of judges, for their representatives. It is
stated that great inconvenience is experienced in
out of the way places while the houses are sitting.
The answer to this is, that if the names of govern
ment officers are stricken off the list of candidates,
there will be found considerable difficulty in provi
ding each election district with a representative of
sufficient intelligence and acquaintanceship with
business to be worthy of a seat. Now, we are not
inclined to give in to this proposition ; but if there
be anything in it, it affords a clinching argument
against the establishment of institutions and posts
which there are not people to fill. In small thea
tres, where they are generally short-handed, it is
a frequent practice to resort to what they call
" doubling," that is to say, making one man play
two or more parts. But that system does not look
well in public affairs. To-day a distributor of
law, and to-morrow a law-giver : rushing here and
rushing there, like a " maid-of-all-work,M who is
one instant in the kitchen basting the leg of mut
ton and pealing the potatoes, then in the parlor
taking off the covers, next running across to the
" Checquers" for the beer which is about to be
called for, then to the kitchen again to fry the
pancakes, and in another instant we see her carry
ing off the baby in the midst of tremendous squall
ing. Perhaps we have miscalculated our force ;
it is possible that laws could have been made with
out draining the country, for the time being, of its
executive officers. But, like Cortes, who destroyed
his fleet, we are left without the means of escape
from the position in which we find ourselves, and
one only talks about these things for the sake of
3P In looking over the returns of the different
Tax Enumerators, as rendered to the Minister of
Finance, we gather the following figures, which we
arrange chronologically since the beginning of the
present system of enumerating and collecting the
185 185C. 1857.
roll over 23 years 13,185 16,833 1 6,827
rolisunder23yearj 1,931 1,933 2,009
Stud Horses 42 40
Horse 20,279 23,671 21,400
Mules 2,331 2,135 2,047
Dog 11,947 9,451 8,005
Poll and Animal Tat $11,93(1 50 $40,650 25 $39,781 25
School Tax $39,853 $36,574 $35,758
So far as this can serve as an index, it woul d
appear that horses and y oungsters are the only two
items that are increasing. But the real philoso
phy of the difference in the figures resolves itself
into the increasing skill and hardihood with which
the Enumerator is confronted and cheated, not
withstanding his best endeavors to force the truth
from unwilling mouths. And as this difficulty is
yearly increasing, from more causes than ono, and
however highly we approve of the present improved
system of assessing and collecting the taxes, yet
while the present defective principle of taxation
remains, in indirect premium to fraud and perjury
on the part of the taxed, we look upon a yearly
decreasing enumeration as a foregone conclusion.
The principle of capital taxation, however, is al
most as old as the human race itself; for it dates
back, under some guise or other, to the first con
quest of man over man, when the soil became the
fee-simple of the victor, and its inhabitants his
slaves. It is a step, however, though the lowest,
in industry and political economy, and as such,
when it has served its turn, or when the conditions
of society have outgrown its necessity and temon
etrated its impropriety, it will ba consigned to the
crypts of history-pcaceably if it may ; forcibly,
if it must be.
That the present method of collecting is an im
mense adrance on the former irresponsible method,
or rathQr.no method, the folio wing returns of the
tax coltector.wiUi.8how We have here, for
comparison'-saltf, introduced the .year -1854, it
$40,842 92 $67,444 04 $70,171 75
It will be borne in mind that these sums are
what the tax collectors have personally collected,
as returned upon their books, and we are told tbat
yearly more or less of this apparent short-coming
is collected afterwards by the Government by legal
process, or by dint of patience.
Another useful item of information which we
gather from these books, is the number of taxable
adult foreigners in Honolulu.
being the last of the old method, while 1855 is the
first of the new :
roll and Animal Taxes
11 and Animal Taxes ) , cf
collected f $18,5,13
School Tax f. 22,313 92
Taxable Fereigners 602
With these figures to start from, it is safe, in
view of the present preponderance of males, not to
estimate the foreign population of Honolulu, in
cluding men, women and children, at more than
1000 souls, if even so high.
Circular addressed to the Representatives ot
Great Britain, France and the United States.'
Foreign Office, 30th Nov., i857.
Sir : I am commanded by the King to request
your attention to what has recently appeared in the
" Pacific Commercial Advertiser," impugning the
arrest within the waters of the domain claimed by
llis Majesty of an officer of a whaling vessel who
had embarked without paying debts contracted in
this city, and respectfully to request your opinion,
so far as you may be pleased to give it.
In connection with this subject permit me to re
fer you to Section 1, Chapter VI of the Organic Act
of 27 April, 1846, page 83, Vol. I, Statute Laws.
and to the Proclamation of the late King of 16 May,
18o4, ot which a copy was passed to you officially at
It is the duty of the King's Government to afford
to all residents every facility for the recovery and
collection of their just debts, and if the right of
arrest within the King s domain, at sea, should be
curtailed unduly, you can easily imagine how fre
quently your countrymen might be defrauded of
sums justly due to them.
I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your most obedient, humble servant,
(Signed,) R. C. WYLLIE.
No. 135. Legation of the United States,
Honolulu, Dec. 1, 1857. 5
Sir : I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt
of your Circular letter of yesterday, calling my at
tention to recent articles in the Pacific Commercial
Advertiser" in relation to municipal jurisdiction
within the maritime territory of the Hawaiian king
dom, and requesting my opinion as to t he extent
and character of such jurisdiction.
I have no hesitation in stating most fully the con
elusions I have formed, after a somewhat limited
but careful examination of authorities. On the
21st ult. Mr. Whitnev, the editor of the Commer
cial Advertiser," addressed me a note on the same
subject, to which I replied on the 24th, and I can
not, perhaps, better respond to your request than by
transmitting a copy of the correspondence, in do
ing so, I may presume that no private confidence is
violated, as the question discussed is altogether of a
In my judgment, there can be no reasonable doubt
as to the correctness of the following propositions :
1. rhe municipal jurisdiction of the Hawaiian
kingdom extends to the distance of a marine league
seaward, from the coasts of each of the islands
composing said kingdom.
2. Such jurisdiction is exclusive within this limit,
and as absolute as upon the adjoining shores.
3. Civil and criminal process may be as lawfully
executed within the maritime territory of the king
dom as on shore.
4. Resistance within the maritime territory of the
kingdom to an officer armed with proper legal pro
cess, is as much an offence against the municipal
law as on land. The rule would not be varied if the
party sought to be arrested were on board of a ves
sel under sail, with a regular custom house clear
5. A vessel within the maritime territory of the
kingdom resisting the execution of lawful process
and escaping to sea, may be pursued and seized on
the ocean for the purpose of securing the persona of
offenders ; or if the case warrant, the ship may be
brought back for adjudication.
The statute to which you refer, distinctly assorts
the right which international law establishes, of ex
clusive municipal jurisdiction to the distance of a
marine league from the shore. It is unnecessary to
inquire as to the correctness of the claim which it
further sets up, that the channels between the is
lands are closed seas, under exclusive Hawaiian
jurisdiction, which may be prohibited .to thfl use of
other nations. It may be observed, however, that no
legislative enactment of any state can bind ithe rest
of the world, against the established principles- of
the law of nations.
I am. Sir, with high considerations of respect,.
Your obedient servant,
(Signed.) DAVID L. GREGG
His Excellency, R. C. Wtllie,
Minister of Foreign Relations, &c. Ac.
Honolulu, Nov. 2lst, 1857
Hon. D. L. Greoo : .
Dear Sir,:; As considerable interest has been
manifested among the whaling captains now in port
as to the limit. where the authority of this or any
government ceases onheir departure from the-pprt
of entjyvX beg to.ma.ie a statement of thecase.
A whaleship, after recruiting at our port, clears at
the customs, and goes to sea in charge of the 1st
officer, running off a distance of from 10 to 20 miles
from land, and there lies off and on" for several
days. Having thus terminated her official inter
course with the government authorities by her cus
tom house clearance and departure from the port,
does she place herself within the jurisdiction of the
kingdom by returning un Jer sail to a distance with
in three miles from land to take on board her cap
tain, or for any other object ? And is she liable to
be legally boarded by police officers on such return,
when she does not anchor or make any other stay ?
As this is a matter of some interest at the present
time, a reply by Wednesday morning will be ac
ceptable, if your other duties will allow.
Very respectfully yours,
(Signed,) H. M. WHITNEY.
United States' Legation,
Honolulu, Nov. 24, 1857.
Dear Sir : Your note of the 21st inst. was de
livered to me last evening.
In reply, I have the honor to observe, that in my
udgment, there is but little doubt as to the rule
which must govern in such cases as you mention.
it is unquestionably a weU settled principle of
international law that "the maritime territory of every
state extenas to tne ports, harbors, bays, mouths ot
rivers, and adjacent parts of the sea enclosed by
V 1 11 .
neaaianas Deiongmg to tne same state. The gener
al usage of nations superadds to this extent of terri
torial jurisdiction, a distance of a marine league, or
as far as a cannon shot will reach from the shore
along the coasts of the state. Within these limits its
rights of property and of territorial jurisdiction are oi
solute, and exclude those of every other nation." (See
uueawuB cements or international law, p. 233.
otn laoo, ana the authorities there cited.)
It seems to follow most clearly from the imnci- -
pie thus laid down which is recognized by all re- -spectable
publicists that the municipal authority of
an independent state extends to the distance of a
marine league from its shores. Upon the sea, such
aumoriiy is so lar as lull and direct as on terra frma.
The Supreme Court of the United States has held
thi3 doctrine to be sound. (7 Cranch, 116.) It has
even decided that a seizure beyond the limits of its
territorial jurisdiction, for breach of a municipal
regulation, is warranted by the law of nations. 6
Cranch, 281. In the case of the Marianna Flora, (1 1
Wheaton, 39.) it was determined that foreign vessels
offending within the territorial jurisdiction of the
United States might be pursued and seized upon the
ocean, ana Drought into American ports for adiudi-
There are also British decisions to the same effect.
As a general rule, however, it may be asserted
that the municipal laws of a nation do not extend
beyond its territory, except as regards its own citi
zens. 9 Wheaton, 370.
The case of a vessel flagrante delictot as a smuggler
seeking to evade capture, or the execution of lawful
process, would constitute an exception justifying
pursuit and seizure on any part of the high seas not
within the maritime territory of another nation.
A Hawaiian Custom House clearance does .not
terminate the local jurisdiction over vessels remain
ing within the territorial limits of the Hawaiian
kingdom. If they, go to sea, and re turn., fox any
purpose whatever within a marine league of the
shore, they may be lawfully boarded by an officer
to execute the mandate of a Court of Admiralty, or
to serve any of their officers or crews with civil or
criminal process. If they resist, international law
authorizes their pursuit and the enforcement of the
process any where within what the publicists call
mare liberum the open sea or the common maritime
highway of the world.
Since the passage of the Act of June 25th, 1855,.
which repeals the old provision forbidding the Courts
to entertain libels in admiralty without the previ
ous written request of the representative ofthena
tion whose subject or citizen is concerned, or whose
vessel is sought to be attached," the Hawaiim Ad
miralty jurisdiction has been governed by the same
rules that prevail in the United Stats and Great
Britain. In regard to civil and criminal proceedings
generally, the only limitations as to the citizens or
subjects oi foreign states, are such as arise from
treaty stipulations or are prescribed by international
The Hawaiian Islands are fully recognized by the
civilized world as an independent nation, and they
are entitled to enjoy all the rights, privileges and .
immunities which pertain to that character.
Public armed vessels stand upon a different foot
ing from those engaged in the whale fish&rios or
merchant service. The implied license under which
chey enter a friendly port is to be construed as con
taining an exemption from the local jurisdiction. 7
These are my views of the subject- presented in
your note, and on such a question I do not sup
pose there can be any dispute among .intelligent
I remain, very truly, .
Your obedient servant,-..
(Signed,) DAVID L, GREGG.
H. M. Whitnev, Esq., Honolulu.
Bam8H Legation & Consulate General,
Honolulu, 3d. Dec., 1857.
Sir : I have the honour to acknowledge, the receipt
of your Circular Letter, of the 28th ultimo, and in re
ply, to state that it appears to ma there can be no.
doubt that any person attempting to leave the Sand
wich Islands without first paying , the debts he may
have contracted on shore, is liable to arrest by the
local authorities, whether on board a whaling or other
ship, within the jurisdiction of tha Hawaiian Govern
ment, so clearly defined by the laws of nation.
I have the honour to be, Sir, .
Your most obedient, humble servant,
(Signed.) WM. MILLER..
R C. .Wtlux, Esq.K.
Minister of Foreign Relations, && &c, &c.
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