Today’s ‘Timeline Tuesday’ takes us through the 1990s – construction of first geothermal well, Akebono becomes first foreign-born to achieve Yokozuna rank in sumo, H-3 opens and Hawaii Convention Center opens. We look at what was happening in Hawai‘i during this time period and what else was happening around the rest of the world
Spain claimed the Pacific as its exclusive territory by right of the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494). Britain argued that navigation was open to any nation, and territorial claims had to be backed by effective occupation. British and Spanish claims to the Pacific Northwest had overlapped since the 16th century. In July 1789 Esteban Martínez, Spanish commandant at Nootka Sound, seized several British merchant ships. Britain demanded compensation and threatened war, but Spain declined to pay compensation and prepared for war, hoping its long-standing Bourbon ally, France, would provide assistance.
The resulting crisis brought the two nations close to war, but the Spanish backed off after realizing that without the help of France – distracted by the Revolution – they could not hope to match British naval power. They settled with the Nootka Convention (signed October 28, 1790), in which the Spanish acknowledged the British right to maintain outposts in Nootka Sound and engage in whaling outside a “Ten-League Line” off the Northwest coast. Peace in the Pacific allowed for commerce to the Hawaiian Islands to expand, as well as expand the roles of a new player, the US.
“In the morning of the 7th of May (1792,) the Dædalus (a supply ship to Vancouver’s expedition) arrived in that bay where the Resolution and Discovery had anchored in 1779, but Mr Hergest declined anchoring there, as he considered the inhabitants of that neighbourhood to be the most savage and deceitful of any amongst those islands.” “The cutter was hoisted out and veered astern for the better convenience of purchasing water from the natives … the cutter returned with only five persons instead of the eight who had gone on shore in her … (they were attacked) killed one of the people, and carried off the commander (Hergest) and the astronomer (Gooch.)”
In the spring of 1793 Vancouver returned from the coast of America to Hawai‘i … On the 18th March Vancouver left Lahaina with Kamohomoho on board. After examining the southern and western shores of Molokai, he anchored off Waikiki, Oahu, on the 20th March 1793.” “The main object of Vancouver’s visit to Waikiki was to see that the remaining murderers of the officers and man of the ‘Dædalus’ were apprehended and punished.” ““(Three were apprehended;) the parties executed were criminals of other offences, who, their lives having been forfeited under the laws and customs of the country, were imposed upon Vancouver as the guilty parties in the ‘Dædalus’ affair.”
On November 27, 1823, L’Aigle, an English whaling ship, took Kamehameha II (Liholiho), Kamāmalu and their entourage to England to gain firsthand experience in European ways. The king and his chiefs agreed that Liholiho needed a competent interpreter to travel with him and Frenchman John Rives went as interpreter.
Liholiho’s chosen party were Governor Boki and his wife, Liliha, Kapihe, Chief Kekuanaoa, steward Manuia, Naukana (Noukana), Kauluhaimalama, servant Na‘aiweuweu, and James Kanehoa Young. In London, Liholiho and Kamāmalu became ill; Kamāmalu (aged 22) died on July 8, 1824, Kamehameha II (age 27) died six days later, on July 14, 1824. The British Government dispatched HMS Blonde to return them back to Honolulu; they arrived on May 6, 1825.
West Maui was considered a ‘window to the world’ because this area has seen the comings and goings of rival chiefs, kings, missionaries, whalers, government officials, the military, sugar and pineapple plantation owners, early labor immigrants, celebrities and travelers for centuries. The stories of West Maui give a bigger perspective of the world, than we would otherwise have, and helps us to expand our view and broaden our understanding of the world.
Probably there is no portion of the Valley Isle, around which gathers so much historic value as West Maui. It was the former capital and favorite residence of kings and chiefs. By whatever means (vehicle, transit, bicycle or on foot,) exploring West Maui, and embracing the scenic beauty, natural features, historic sites, associated cultural traditions and recreational opportunities, will give the traveler a greater appreciation and understanding of Hawai‘i’s past and sense of place in the world.