Appendix D

Letter of John Dominis to Brigham Young on Behalf of King Kamehameha V, 1865

[1] Iolani Palace

May 10th 1865


Your letter dated at Salt Lake City Utah March 24th 1865 was placed in His Majesty’s hands this morning and I have been commanded to reply as follows.

On his former visit here, Mr. Hammond called on some of the officers of His Majesty’s government desiring to purchase lands, which were in their charge, and stated that his view was to commence the cultivation of cotton and perhaps other staples, but more especially of cotton, for the use of the people of Utah, and especially disclaiming any intention, as they understood it of preaching the Doctrines of Your Religious Persuasion, at least disavowing that such preaching was a material object of his settlement. His Majesty was duly informed of this incident and was pleased to see capital added to our common stock and industry employed to develope the agricultural resources of the country and add to mechanical facilities. But your letter seems to indicate a very different position for Mr. Hammond and his associates. . . . By the letter it appears that Mr. Hammond’s chief aim is to be a religious teacher and that his associates are colleagues in that calling—You say that they go as Religious Teachers, but while this is their calling they will not confine their labors to spiritual matters only—By which it would appear that the chief object of his coming is a missionary, rather than an industrial one. You further say that is would be a cause of heart felt pleasure to have your Majesty’s approbation of this enterprise. His Majesty commands me to say that he has heard that on many lands held by you which in his opinion are opposed to good government, some of which are in violation of the laws of this Kingdom. Of course, it may be said that if any one of my shall violate the Law, he can be punished; but every one knows, that government is more difficult when the law points out as a crime, that which religious instruction justifies. The Natives of this country are simple minded, easily confused by any kind of speaking bearing the appearance of argument. The introduction of new religious doctrines could, therefore, only tend to confuse them and can, on no account, have His Majesty’s countenance and approbation. On the contrary, His Majesty would view as a great misfortune, the permanent introduction as a Body of Religious Teachers, of men who look to a foreign head, for political, as well as religious teaching—whose presence in other and stronger States where the people are more advanced and opinion is free has been productive of discord and even wars. And, who teaching the doctrine of direct and immediate revelation from God, may at any time justify any act of pleading that it is the command of the Almighty to members revealed.

The Constitution of this Kingdom secures to every one the liberty of worshiping God, according to the dictates of his own conscience, but it does not therefore necessarily permit that doctrines, in many respects, subversive of the recognised principles of the Christian Religion, as taught by all denominations of Christians, should be preached. And His Majesty is further of opinion that the Christian faith, as taught throughout Christendom, is amply sufficient for the salvation of not only His people, but all men, and sincerely hopes that no effort will be made to found a “colony” on His shores, and to gather His People for instruction in the Principles professed by your church.

So as long as your friends limit themselves to carrying on this agricultural and mechanical operations, they will be protected in their rights of property, and in the fruits of their industry, but they never can be recognized here as on a footing with Christian missionaries or teachers, as those words are ordinarily understood.

I remain Sir your obedient servant

Jno. Dominis

H.H. Majesty Secretary Private


[1] Letter of John Dominis to Brigham Young, May 10, 1865, Brigham Young Incoming Correspondence, CR 1234/1, Church History Library.