On December 23, 1826, the US signed a treaty with the Kingdom of Hawaii thus indirectly recognizing Hawaiian independence. (State Department Historian)
It was negotiated by Thomas Ap Catesby Jones; he called it ‘Articles of Arrangement’ (he felt he didn’t have authority to negotiate treaties, however, it is generally referred to as the Treaty of 1826) and it was Hawaiʻi’s first treaty with the US.
It “received the signatures of the Ruling Princes and Chiefs, in testimony of their approbation of them, and as a pledge of their sincere friendship and confidence in the American Nation, and their earnest desire to remain neutral and take no part in any foreign wars.” (Jones Report to Navy Department, 1827)
It effectively was a trade agreement between the US and the Hawaiian Kingdom, which was accepted and signed by Thomas ap Catesby Jones, and Kaʻahumanu as Queen Regent, Kalanimōku as Prime Minister, and the principal chiefs Boki, Hoapili, and Nāmāhāna. (Gapp)
“(A)n ornate ratification and promulgation ceremony occurred on December 23 when all the necessary high chiefs could be assembled.” Terms of the agreement were:
Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation, between The United States and the Sandwich Islands, signed at Honolulu, December 23, 1826.
“Articles of agreement made and concluded at Oahu, between Thomas ap Catesby Jones, appointed by the United States, of the one part, and Kauikeaouli, King of the Sandwich Islands and his guardians, on the other part.”
“Article I. The peace and friendship subsisting between the United States and their Majesties, the Queen Regent and Kauikeaouli, King of the Sandwich- Islands, and their subjects and people, are hereby confirmed and declared to be perpetual.”
“II. The ships and vessels of the United States (as well as their consuls and all other citizens), within the territorial jurisdiction of the Sandwich Islands, together with all their property, shall be inviolably protected against all enemies of the United States in time of war.”
“III. The contracting parties, being desirous to avail themselves of the bounties of Divine Providence, by promoting the commercial intercourse and friendship subsisting between the respective nations …”
“… for the better security of these desirable objects, their Majesties bind themselves to receive into their ports and harbours, all ships and vessels of the United States …”
“… and to protect to the utmost of their capacity all such ships and vessels, their cargoes, officers, and crews, so long as they shall behave themselves peacefully, and not infringe the established laws of the land; the citizens of the United States being permitted to trade freely with the people of the Sandwich Islands.”
“IV. Their Majesties do further agree to extend the fullest protection within their control to all ships and vessels of the United States which may be wrecked on their shores, and to render every assistance in their power to save the wreck and her apparel and cargo …”
“… and, as a reward for the assistance and protection which the people of the Sandwich Islands shall afford to all such distressed vessels of the United States, they shall be entitled to a salvage or a portion of the property so saved …”
“… but such salvage shall in no case exceed one-third of the vessel saved, which valuation is to be fixed by a commission of disinterested persons, who shall be chosen equally by the parties.”
“V. Citizens of the United States, whether resident or transit, engaged in commerce or trading to the Sandwich Islands, shall be inviolably protected in their lawful pursuits, and shall be allowed to sue for and recover by judgment all claims against the subjects of His Majesty the King according to strict principles of equity and the acknowledged practice of civilized nations.”
“VI. Their Majesties do further agree and bind themselves to discountenance and use all practicable means to prevent desertion from all American ships which visit the Sandwich Islands …”
“… and to that end it shall be made the duty of all governors, magistrates, chiefs of districts, and all others in authority, to apprehend all deserters and to deliver them over to the master of the vessel from which they have deserted …”
“… and for the apprehension of every such deserter who shall be delivered over as aforesaid, the master, owner, or agent shall pay to the person or persons apprehending such deserter the sum of 6 dollars, if taken on the side of the island near which the vessel is anchored …”
“… but if taken on the opposite side of the island the sum shall be 12 dollars, and if taken on any other island the reward shall be 24 dollars, and shall be a just charge against the wages of every such deserter.”
“VII. No tonnage dues or impost shall be exacted of any citizen of the United States which is not paid by the citizens or subjects of the nation most favored in commerce with the Sandwich Islands; and the citizens or subjects of the Sandwich Islands shall be allowed to trade with the United States and her territories upon principles of equal advantage with the most favored nation.”
“Done in council at Honolulu, Island of Oahu, this 23rd day of December, in the year of our Lord 1826.” Signed by: Thos. Ap Catesby Jones, Ka‘ahumanu, Kalanimōku, Boki, Hoapili and Nāmāhāna.