October 29, 1857: Treaty with France
On October 29, 1857 a Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation was entered between “his Majesty Napoleon III., Emperor of the French, and his Majesty Kamehameha IV, King of the Sandwich Islands.” The selected Plenipotentiary for the Emperor of the French was Louis Emile Perrin. Robert Wyllie was listed as the plenipotentiary for the King of Hawaiʻi.
The complex negotiations involved with this treaty is described by a few historians–for example, Ralph S. Kuykendall’s discussion of this treaty takes up seven full pages in his book, The Hawaiian Kingdom 1854–1874: Twenty Critical Years 47-54 (1953) . And of course, the tumultuous history between Hawaiʻi and France played a significant role in shaping many of the grievances between the two countries. See, e.g., ʻAukake 22-26: Māhele 1 – Nā Koi He ʻUmi a Admirala de Tromelin; ʻAukake 22-26: Māhele 2 – No ke Kuahaua a Admirala de Tromelin; ʻAukake 22-26: Māhele 3 – Leka a Admirala de Tromelin iā “Monsieur le Consul”; and Iulai 12-17: Kuʻikahi me Farani (“Kuikahi e Hooki i ke Kaua”).
This treaty contained twenty-seven articles and took twenty-two lengthy conferences to resolve. See also Treaty, The Polynesian at 1 (Sept. 11, 1858) (available online). Below are excerpts from the treaty (with the original seals). Transcripts follow.
The present Treaty shall be ratified and the Ratifications exchanged at Honolulu, within the term of ten months or earlier, if possible, and it shall not go into effect until after twelve months from the date of said Exchange. In faith of which the before-named Plenipotentiaries have signed the same and have affixed their respective . . . .
Seals. Done at Honolulu this twenty-ninth day of October in the year of our Lord 1857
/s/ Em. Perrin /s/ L Kamehameha /s/ R.C. Wyllie