(Editor’s Note: See Secretary's Notes this issue)
Early Nineteenth Century
FOR more than a century adventure, romance, tragedy, pageantry, bravery, diplomacy and destiny have figured conspicuously in the visits of American warships to Hawaiian waters. The War of 1812, singularly, was the cause for many outstanding incidents which brought Hawaii into the limelight of American patriotism, and focused attention at Washington upon the mid-Pacific archipelago, the destiny of which was eventually to be dominated by the then youthful American republic.
Between 1812 and 1814 three incidents stand out in Hawaiian history, which reveal close contact with the American nation, two of them particularly relating to the American Navy.
Any record of the United States Navy in the Hawaiian Islands could not reasonably be looked for prior to July 4, 1776, and for years afterward, for it was not until 1778 that Captain James Cook, Royal Navy, discovered the group while voyaging northward from Tahiti to the mystical “Northwest Passage.”