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[432] We made a careful examination of the famous harbor of Pearl River, in the island of Oahu, a few miles from Honolulu, including a survey of the entrance to that harbor and an estimate of the cost of cutting a deep ship-channel through the coral reef at the extremity of that entrance toward the sea.

At that time the young king Lunalilo had just ascended the throne made vacant by the death of the last of the ancient reigning house of Hawaii. The policy of the preceding king had been annexation to the United States; but the new sovereign and his advisers were opposed to that policy, although very friendly to Americans, and largely controlled by their influence in governmental affairs. It was manifest that the question of annexation ought not to be discussed at that time, but that action ought to be taken at once to secure to the United States the exclusive right to the use of Pearl River harbor for naval purposes, and to prepare the way to make annexation to the United States sure in due time. This could readily be done by making such concessions in favor of the products of Hawaiian industries as would develop the resources of the islands and increase their wealth, all of which would be to the ultimate benefit of the United States when the islands should become a part of this country.

The continuous and rapid decay of all the ancient families of chiefs, from which alone would the people ever think of electing a king or a queen, and the notorious corruption in blood and character of the few remaining half-castes nominally belonging to those ancient families, made it plain to all that the monarchical government must soon die a natural death, or become so intolerably corrupt as to make its overthrow inevitable. Americans by birth or descent were then, and had been for a long time, the controlling element in the government. While perfectly faithful to that government, they

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