October 19, 1846: Treaty with Denmark
On June 23, 1845, the Danish warship Galathea, commanded by Captain Steen Andersen Bille, left Copenhagen to embark on a voyage around the world. Jorgen Jensen, A Danish Sailor’s View of Hawaiʻi in 1846, 30 Haw. J. Hist. 105 (1996) (available online). Captain Bille was given a number of tasks to complete on this journey, including, for example, the appointment of Danish consuls in commercially strategically advantageous locations. With regard to Hawaiʻi, Captain Bille was instructed to negotiate and obtain a “most-favored-nation” agreement. Captain Bille arrived in Honolulu in October of 1846.
On October 19, 1846, treaty negotiations were successfully concluded and the requisite “most favored nation clause” was included as part of the Danish Treaty. This meant that Danish subjects enjoyed all the rights granted to other foreigners in Hawaiʻi. The treaty was later ratified by the King of Denmark on November 29, 1847. Ratification of the Treaty, The Polynesian, June 24, 1848, at 1 (available online at Chronicling America). The next day, on October 20, Captain Bille appointed Eduard Albert Lyverkrop, a Honolulu merchant, to serve as a Danish consul in Hawaiʻi. An excerpt from this appointment letter is provided below.
The Danish treaty was significant because it did not include certain restrictive clauses that were contained in British and French treaties. Below is an excerpt from the Hawaiian language version of the Danish Treaty. A transcript of the Hawaiian language portion is also provided.
Aole e paa loa keia kuikahi, a hooiaioia ia e ka Moi, ke Alii o Denemaka, aka i mea e [obscured] pono ai na moku, a me na kanaka o Denemaka e hiki mai ana, ua ae like ia no keia manawa, e hookoia no, mai ka la aku o ka hooiaio ana o ka Moi, ke Alii o ko Hawaii Pae Aina.
Ua hanaia ma Honolulu i keia la 19 o Okatoba 1846.