Speech of His Highness William Charles Lunalilo – July 31, 1865

Ladies and Gentlemen:

This is the day we commemorate the return of the Hawaiian Flag by Admiral Thomas. Twenty-two years have passed since that officer arrived at these shores, restoring the Flag to our King and the nation. Our hearts were filled with joy on that day that is forever remembered, and many tears were shed, not from sadness, but from joy. How very different from the previous February 25. I recall what I saw as I stood in the grounds of the old Fort with our current King and his younger brothers, now deceased; we witnessed our Flag being brought down. On that day, these islands were surrendered to the Crown of Great Britain, and on that day the flying star flag of Albion waved victoriously over these Islands. Many here probably heard the short speech King Kamehameha IIIgave regarding that event.

“Attention, Nobles, people, and subjects from my ancestors’ time, as well as those of foreign lands! Pay heed all of you! I say to you all that I am in distress as a result of predicaments into which I have been drawn without cause, therefore I have surrendered the sovereignty of our land, and so you should all heed that! However, my reign over all of you, my people, and your rights, will continue because I am hopeful that the sovereignty of the land will yet be restored, if my actions are just.”

That speech by the King to his people was short, but important nonetheless. He expressed his sadness about what he had seen. There were many tears that day. Those were dark and fearful days. The entire nation mourned during those months of investigation, thinking that the government might have been lost for all time to the hands of a foreign power. For five long months all remained calm, as at the outset, and on the 31st of July, the day we now commemorate, we saw “the flag for which they had dared for a thousand years to valiantly face war and the wind” brought down by one of the own sons of England.

As Doctor Gulick clarified, “America gaining independence was not something that simply came to be, nor was it some short-lived foolishness. Instead, it was something that came about and will be remembered for centuries, and is something that will continue on into the future.” The same is true of this, our restoration day, it is not something that just came to be. Admiral Thomas did not simply come here regarding trouble that was occurring and seek the facts as they have done before, but he heard, from a high-level source, of actions happening between this Government and those under its domain. He carefully considered it, and the setting was perfectly clear to him prior to his sailing here and his return of the land to its King who had acted justly. The people (though I speak as an individual) had acted appropriately, were thoughtful and vigilant in the workings of the Government, and if they had spoken or acted irresponsibly, they would certainly have incurred the wrath of the opposition. Something real that was witnessed was whether the assets that the nation had entrusted to someone in a certain department would continue to exist. It was assumed they had not. The books of every kind, which were critical, were taken away from the offices and hidden, then taken to the Royal Crypt, there to be left among the residents of that eerie place. Night and day, the work was carried out there, and the casket of Good Ka’ahumanu became the desk for writing.

But the sun rose again, brighter than ever. The hopes of the good and benevolent Kauikeaouli were fulfilled (you will likely never forget the short speech he gave with the wishes for his people on the day he surrendered the land to Great Britain, and his hopes that once his actions on behalf of his Kingdom were justified, it would be restored to him as before). At this time, we are an independent modern nation, and we are seen as such, and though we have only recently emerged from darkness into enlightenment, our status has grown, and continues to expand through righteousness.

Each of the many peoples of the earth has things of which they may be proud. England has promoted its powerful navy and through its colonies all around the world (and it is said to be true) the sun never sets on its bounds. France glorifies its Bonaparte, and the way all of Europe trembled while that soldier of a hundred wars sat on the French throne. Rome prided itself on its strength and its wealth. The United States of America was boastful that when it moved toward liberty, it gained its independence, and in recent years, stamped out both rebellion and slavery, never to rise again. Of what do we boast? I say sincerely, indeed there is something, for in the few, short years since the light of God’s word reached our shores, the tree of knowledge and wisdom has been planted, the roots have expanded out, the branches have spread wide, and now its fruits are being sent out among the benighted peoples of this great Pacific Ocean. The brightness of our enlightenment grows every day, and I am proud to say that we are assuming a position among the learned and civilized peoples of the world. I call this the true beauty of this land, Hawai’i.

As a closure to my reflections, I say that we should give our love to Him, the Judge of all things, because of his love for us, in our hours of strife and in times of good fortune and joy.

“May God Save The King With His Eternal Love.”

Speech by Dr. Gerrit P. Judd – July 31, 1865

Twenty years ago, Kauikeaouli emerged from the grounds of Kanaina; he and Kekuanaoa, Paki, Keoniana, Kanoa, Kivini, and some foreigners on horseback, and they rode for Kulaokahua.

Admiral Thomas was there with his troops and mounted guns in all his grandeur, and also there were the young chiefs, and a crowd of natives and foreigners awaiting the arrival of the King.

When he arrived, Admiral Thomas came to him holding the Hawaiian flag in his hands. The King and all his people dismounted and the Admiral came and opened the flag to the wind, and then gave it to Kauikeaouli’s flag bearer.

Right then, 21 mounted guns fired as a salute to the Flag, and the British flag was lowered on Puowaina, while the Hawaiian flag was drawn up again, whereupon 21 guns of Puowaina sounded. Then the British flag was pulled down at the Fort and the Hawaiian flag was raised, so the Fort fired a 21 gun salute, followed by 21 guns from the ship Carysfort, 21 from the Dublin, 21 more from the Hazzard, and then the American ship Constellation fired a 21-gun salute. When that was over, the 21 mounted guns fired a salute in honor of the King.

The British soldiers stood in a circle saluting the King, and when that was done the King returned to the palace. At 3[1] o’clock the King, his soldiers and the crowd of people all went to the church of Kawaiaha’o and gave thanks to God for his grace in restoring the sovereignty of the Nation.

At three o’clock, the King went aboard the ship Dublin to a dinner hosted by the Admiral, and when the Carysfort saw the King’s flag on the launches, a 21-gun salute was fired, followed by 21 guns from the Hazzard, then the Dublin, and then a final 21 gun salute came from the Constellation.

When the dinner on board the ship was finished, the King and his retinue came ashore and the Dublin fired a salute, followed by the Carysfort, then the Hazzard and the Constellation, 21 guns each.

The next day the great feast at Luakaha was held for the Admiral, and Kauikeaouli decided that the 31st of July would become a holiday for the Nation and the people. What was the reason for this great festivity?

What was the reason for the resounding of 315 guns, startling the mountains and roiling the seas? It was because the flag, once pulled down, had been raised up again.

I should perhaps recount the source of this entanglement. It was the desire of British foreigners here ashore for Britain to take this island chain. It would not then remain independent, so Consul [Charlton] sought to petition the Admiral, whereupon the Admiral ordered Lord George Paulet to sail here to Hawaii and do everything according to the terms of the Consul, and he intended to take the land by war, but, the King gave in advance the sovereignty of the land to the two of them, so as to escape battle, in the manner of a mortgage until such time as the British government could decide about the entanglements that the foreigners had made up.

The Admiral perhaps recognized his own entanglement because of the transfer to George Paulet under Consul, therefore he was concerned and restored the sovereignty of the Nation.

Therefore, the chiefs and the common people are joyful on this day because of the victory of righteousness over wrong, and the religious ones praise God, their Savior, for allowing them not to live as prisoners under Britain. Glory! Glory!! Glory!!!

National Holiday – Restoration Day

Today is July 31st which is a national holiday in the Hawaiian Kingdom called “Restoration day,” and it is directly linked to another holiday observed on November 28th called “Independence day.” Here is a brief history of these two celebrated holidays.

In the summer of 1842, Kamehameha III moved forward to secure the position of the Hawaiian Kingdom as a recognized independent state under international law. He sought the formal recognition of Hawaiian independence from the three naval powers of the world at the time—Great Britain, France, and the United States. To accomplish this, Kamehameha III commissioned three envoys, Timoteo Ha‘alilio, William Richards, who at the time was still an American Citizen, and Sir George Simpson, a British subject. Of all three powers, it was the British that had a legal claim over the Hawaiian Islands through cession by Kamehameha I, but for political reasons the British could not openly exert its claim over the other two naval powers. Due to the islands prime economic and strategic location in the middle of the north Pacific, the political interest of all three powers was to ensure that none would have a greater interest than the other. This caused Kamehameha III “considerable embarrassment in managing his foreign relations, and…awakened the very strong desire that his Kingdom shall be formally acknowledged by the civilized nations of the world as a sovereign and independent State.”

While the envoys were on their diplomatic mission, a British Naval ship, HBMS Carysfort, under the command of Lord Paulet, entered Honolulu harbor on February 10, 1843, making outrageous demands on the Hawaiian government. Basing his actions on complaints made to him in letters from the British Consul, Richard Charlton, who was absent from the kingdom at the time, Paulet eventually seized control of the Hawaiian government on February 25, 1843, after threatening to level Honolulu with cannon fire. Kamehameha III was forced to surrender the kingdom, but did so under written protest and pending the outcome of the mission of his diplomats in Europe.

News of Paulet’s action reached Admiral Richard Thomas of the British Admiralty, and he sailed from the Chilean port of Valparaiso and arrived in the islands on July 25, 1843. After a meeting with Kamehameha III, Admiral Thomas determined that Charlton’s complaints did not warrant a British takeover and ordered the restoration of the Hawaiian government, which took place in a grand ceremony on July 31, 1843. At a thanksgiving service after the ceremony, Kamehameha III proclaimed before a large crowd, ua mau ke ea o ka ‘aina i ka pono (the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness). The King’s statement became the national motto.

The envoys eventually succeeded in getting formal international recognition of the Hawaiian Islands “as a sovereign and independent State.” Great Britain and France formally recognized Hawaiian sovereignty on November 28, 1843 by joint proclamation at the Court of London, and the United States followed on July 6, 1844 by a letter of Secretary of State John C. Calhoun. The Hawaiian Islands became the first Polynesian nation to be recognized as an independent and sovereign State.

The ceremony that took place on July 31 occurred at a place we know today as “Thomas Square” park, which honors Admiral Thomas, and the roads that run along Thomas Square today are “Beretania,” which is Hawaiian for “Britain,” and “Victoria,” in honor of Queen Victoria who was the reigning British Monarch at the time the restoration of the government and recognition of Hawaiian independence took place.