The Kingdom of Hawai‘i
The U.S. Civil War - Which side was Hawai‘i on?
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The following government proclamation was published in the Polynesian [Honolulu] September 14, 1861:
Kamehameha IV, King of the Hawaiian Islands.
BE IT KNOWN, to all whom it may concern, that we, Kamehameha IV, King of the Hawaiian Islands, having been officially notified that hostilities are now unhappily pending between the Government of the United States, and certain States thereof styling themselves “The Confederate States of America,” hereby proclaim Our neutrality between said contending parties.
That Our neutrality is to be respected to the full extent of Our jurisdiction, and that all captures, and seizures made within the same are unlawful, and in violation of Our rights as a Sovereign.
And be it further known, that We hereby strictly prohibit Our subjects, and all who reside or may be within Our jurisdiction, from engaging either directly or indirectly in privateering against the Shipping or Commerce of either of the contending parties, or of rendering any aid to such enterprises whatever; and all persons so offending will be liable to the penalties imposed by the laws of nations, as well as by the laws of said States, and they will in no wise obtain any protection from Us as against any penal consequences which they may incur.
Be it further known, that no adjudication of prizes will be entertained within Our jurisdiction, nor will the sale of goods or other property belonging to prizes be allowed.
Be it further known, that the rights of asylum are not extended to the Privateers or their prizes of either of the contending parties, excepting only in cases of distress or of compulsory delay by stress of weather or dangers of the sea, or in such cases as may be regulated by Treaty stipulation.
Given at Our Marine Residence of Kailua, this 26th day of August, A.D. 1861, and the Seventh of Our Reign.
By the King.
By the King and Kuhina Nui.
R.C. Wyllie [Secretary of War]