October 4, 1862: Treaty with Belgium
On October 4, 1862, a treaty between Hawaiʻi and Belgium was concluded in Brussels, with Sir John Bowring representing King Kamehameha IV, and Monsieur Charles Rogier representing King Leopold. Of significance was Article 26 which stated,
If from a concurrence of unfortunate circumstances difference between the contracting parties should cause an interruption of the relations of friendship between them, and that after having exhausted the means of an amicable and conciliatory discussion, the object of their mutual desire should not have been completely obtain, the arbitration of a third power, equally the friend of both, shall, by a common accord, be appealed to, in order to avoid by this means a definitive rupture.
The significance of this provision was explained in an article published in The Polynesian, “The value to this Kingdom of such a treaty provision cannot be overrated. Everyone must know that had treaties with such an equitable provision in them subsisted 38 years ago . . . the harsh transactions of Captain La Place in 1829–those of Lord George Paulet in 1843, and those of Admiral de Tromelin in 1849, would never have had place in Hawaiian history.” (Treaty with Belgium, The Polynesian (Mar. 21, 1863), available in Treaties Belgium 1862). In our past blog postings, we cover some of these aforementioned events involving Admiral de Tromelin (Part 1, Part 2), and Captain La Place.
Below is an excerpt from the Hawaiian translation of the 1862 treaty between the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi and Belgium. A transcription follows.
He Kuikahi me ke aupuni o Belgiuma
O ka Moi, ke alii o ka Paeaina Hawaii, ma kekahi aoao; a o ka Moi, ke alii o ka poe Belgiuma, ma kekahi aoao; no ko laua makemake e hookupaa i kuikahi kalepa mawaena o ka Paeaina Hawaii a me Belgiuma, a e kokua hoi i ka mahuahua ae ana o ko laua waiwai, ma ke kuikahi aloha, kalepa a hooholomoku, e kupono ana i ka maluhia o ua mau aina la a elua, me ka pomaika like a like: ua kohoia no keia hana i ko laua mau Luna Nui, oia hoi, . . . .