Malu Malu Kawai
September 5th 1853
My dear brother,
Enclosed is my application for additional leave of absence. I explained in a letter some months ago why it would more certainly secure favorable attention, if personally presented, that if I trusted it to the mail; and particularly if the consideration of the new Secretary were directed to the case by one who could show credentials of his standing with the Navy now in power.
You will do me a great service, therefore, if you can make it at all convenient to go to Washington and lay the matter before Mr. Dobbin. You will best know if it be worth your while to obtain letters of introduction to him, as you are aware from when you could procure them. There is now doubt of their aid, if they are from the right persons A friend even at one republican event; is a powerful auxiliary, let the merits of your case be never so transparent.
have you say to him that I was actively employed, principally at sea, as the
Register shows, at the time of my illness; which illness originated during the
last cruize. That I was obliged to
leave my situation in the Bureau and at the recommendation of both civil and
Naval Medical att. & to try a residence in the tropics: that at considerable expense I have
established myself here, and that much to my regret I do not find any material
change for the better, in my health up to this time. That I do not suffer, any however, in this climate and
wish to be permitted to remain here, until its further effects become
manifest. At present, I am not fit
for duty at sea, or for shore service in a more rigorous latitude.
I can not say all that to him, in an official letter, and if he is not possessed of these facts, with particular attention, my situation here would be very precarious, and very much at the mercy of the clerks.
I cannot be without considerable anxiety about the result of this application, and if you can succeed, my dear Shams, in getting the assurance, that I shall not be disturbed here, while my health is not better, I shall be at ease in relation thereto.
I wrote you in my last letter some weeks since, that I wish you to publish the paper that I draw up and forward home, about the annexation of these Isles. And I am still desirous it should appear in the Washington Union, properly pruned for publicity, and the authorship canceled, so that it could not be traced to me here.
There are some views expressed in the paper, that from all I can learn have never been commended to the attention of the Govt. of the U.S. Particularly those relating to the importance to the necessity of extinguishing the land titles of the Chiefs to their vast possessions, in the act of session. If not done then there will be such difficulties follow, as almost to make one wish, that the Isles had never been heard of, and that their cession had not taken place.
A sufficient equaivance in Cash would indemnify the Chiefs, and the lands passing at once to the United States, and coming under our system would be open to settlers, under familiar terms. The common people are nearly all small landholders and would retain their homestead, in accordance with the philanthropic view of the age.
But it can not be too strongly impressed upon our Govt. that when they acquire the Islands, they must, at the same moment become the possessors of the extensive lands of the Chiefs.
Should you, however, not deem it advisable so to publish my document, it might aid me somewhat and somehow if you were to turn the conversation to the subject, when you are with secry. and hand him the paper for his perusal. Should the views there in advanced meet with is approbation, he might be more favorably impressed in regard to me, than otherwise.
[ ] our last intelligence from Honolulu is, that the King and Chiefs have requested the Privy Council to furnish their views as to the terms upon which, annexation to the U. States is to be asked for? And with the Privy Council having complied, the matter is now under consideration by the King and the Chiefs.
The King has been driven to this extreme once before, by the demands & entreaty of a French man of war and did actually offer the Islands to the U.S. Mr. Filmore declined the proposition.
This time it is the addition of the white residents of Honolulu, who became a powerful community in the Kingdom and unwilling to continue their Capital and business under the present Mongrel Eale. And nor would the King, not personally averse to be free from the cares of reigning, has expressed his concern that in the event of his ceding his Islands away, his adopted son and successor, will be the principal looser thereby, as he does not own much land in his own right. And it has been suggested to the King that he shall abdicate, in favor of Alexander, and let him make the cession.
So you may perceive that annexation is not so remote a possibility, as it seems to some of the ³Old Fogies² at home, for it is not to be presumed that this progressive Administration will decline the Islands, if they are thrown right into its mouth.
The slavery question need not be started. No slave owner can afford to bring his slaves here, and such an experiment will not be tried. The Islands coming in as a Territory, will not bring any new votes into Congress, and some years must lapse, before they will acquire a white population to raise them to a State. By time, a counterpoise slave state, will arise out of Texas or Cuba.
As for myself, in the event of annexation. I have wish to sell out here and remove to Honolulu as soon as I could be ordered to some duty there. Superintendent of the coal Depot, for want something better. I should prefer greatly to [ ] return to some show of service upon the register, than to remain idle, and the Secry. could easily create some duty for me, if so disposed. Will you, not take some interest as a Politician & rising public [ ], in the Annexation question, and in so doing advance my interests in any way that offers? I shall sincerely appreciate your efforts in my behalf and feel sure, that it will give you a pleasurable satisfaction to do me such brotherly kindness.
I have post dated my application to suit the term of my expiration of my present leave.
I promised you the power of attorney, making Mr. Krug & son the parties; it was authenticated before the Peruvian Consul to this Govt., who resides on this Island as we would have had to go to Honolulu to find the American at the expense of much money & discomfort. I trust this procedure mite prove sufficient, and I shall regret very much if it does not, in which case we will have to go to Honolulu. Nolens Volens.
I have had a return of the night sweats lately and have lot some of the flesh I had gained, but not all. I am a little discouraged however, as I had hoped to go onwards, but shall try to pick up again. Shall I at anytime, feel that any serious change for the worse is taking place in the state of my health. I shall come home without any other delay, then to await the proper season, but I do not apprehend any such result. Neither do I perceive that I am any the more fit to brave our climate than I was when I left home.
Becky has been quite well lately, and enjoys the climate and our quite life here, better than she did at first. She had intended to enclose a note to Kate, but has not had the time.
With much love to you all
I am your affectionate brother
James L. Reynolds Esq.
We have had a very satisfactory letter form Jane, dated June 19 – giving us many of the particulars about the events connected with fatherıs death & the funeral, such as we had been very anxious to know.
[Archives and Special Collections Dept., Franklin & Marshall College, MS6 2/6]