Treaty with Samoa, 1887

Hawai‘i State Archives


Treaty with Samoa, 1887.
F.O.&Ex.- Treaties.
Treaty signature page.
King Malietoa and the Council of Chiefs.

King Kalākaua was well aware of the spheres of influence being created by the powers of Great Britain, Germany and the United States in the Pacific. In response, Kalākaua envisioned a political confederation of Polynesian nations to counteract their presence.

In 1886 Kalākaua appointed a special envoy with the title of High Commissioner to the Sovereign Chiefs and Peoples of Polynesia who would travel to the different island nations and enlist them into the confederation.

The Kingdom of Samoa was selected as the first potential member nation and the High Commissioner was sent to meet with the Samoan government in December of 1886.

The mission was a success. The Kingdom of Samoa signed a treaty of confederation with Hawai'i on February 16, 1887, thereby inaugurating King Kalākaua's vision.