“Strictly speaking, there is no harbor at this island.”
“The anchorage is merely a roadstead, which is on the south side of it, and protects the shipping from the northerly gales, which are the most prevalent. In case of a sou’easter, however, ships must put to sea or be driven on the reef. We found about seventy sail at anchor, about sixty-five of them American whalemen.”
“The town of Lahaina is beautifully situated on the level land skirting the sea, and extends along the shore a distance of two miles. Back from the shore it reaches to the foot of the mountains, thus lying hemmed in, as it were, by the sea in front and the mountains in the rear.”
“The reef extends the whole length of the town, about forty rods from shore, and, but for a small opening or break in it, boats would be unable to land.”
“Seamen are obliged to be clear of the beach at drumbeat – eight o’clock in the evening. No person is allowed to remain on shore over night, unless furnished with a proper pass by the captain of the port …”
“… any one found on the beach, or in the town, with no pass, after the proper time, is marched to the calaboose, where he is kept in confinement till morning, and then muleted in a pretty round sum for breaking the laws. This is generally paid by the captain, and afterward, with pretty good interest, deducted from Jack’s pay.” (Jones, 1861)
Some didn’t like, nor follow, all of the rules …
“The main circumstances as related by eye-witnesses were as follows: The crew of the English whale ship John Palmer, Capt. Clark, enticed several base women on board.”
“Hoapili, the governor of the island, demanded of the captain that they should be delivered up to him according to the law of the nation. The Captain evaded and ridiculed the demand.”
“One day when the captain was on shore, the governor detained him and his boat, insisting that his demand should be complied with. The Captain sent orders, by the boats of other ships, to his men on board, to fire upon the town if he should not be released in an hour.”
“The excitement became very great and some foreigners who had formerly been favourable to the mission were gained over to take part in it.”
“He (Clark) soon, however, promised that if the Governor would release him, the women should be sent on shore.” (Dibble)
In October, 1827, an assault was made at Lahaina by the crew of the ‘John Palmer’ … the crew had opened fire on the village with a nine-pound gun, aiming five shots at Mr Richards’s house, which, however, did little damage.
Hoapili received the backing of Richards and other missionaries. As the guns of the whaler fired, the women took refuge in the cellar. No one was killed.
“The next morning, he sailed for Oahu, and as might be expected of such a man, without fulfilling his promise.” (Dibble)
A few days after this affair, December 8th, 1827, the first written laws were published against murder, theft, adultery, rum-selling, and gambling. (Alexander)
Likewise, the Lahaina Fort, originally built of mud and sand to protect the town from riotous sailors when Lahaina was used as an anchorage for the North Pacific whaling fleet, was reinforced and coral blocks added to the walls and canons, salvaged from foreign ships, were added to the armament.
“Immediately in front of the landing is a large fort, built of coral rock, yet not very formidable in its appearance. The black guns which peer over the dingy walls are of small calibre, and not capable of doing much execution. The site is a most excellent one, as the whole shipping lies within its range.” (Jones)
The old fort was demolished in 1854 and the coral blocks used in other construction projects in Lahaina. After the fort was demolished, a courthouse was built on the site. A portion of the old Lahaina Fort was reconstructed in 1964.