The Official Document Confering the Right of the United States 

to Establish a Base at

Pearl Harbor

Chester A. Arthur         President of the United States

(Washington, December 4, 1884)


The President authorizes the Secretary of State

to sign the treaty with the Hawaiian Islands

that gave the United States the exclusive right

to establish a base at Pearl Harbor.


I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of state to cause the Seal of the United States to be affixed to my full power authorizing the Secretary of State to sign a Supplementary Convention with His Majesty the King of the Hawaiian Islands [Kalakaua] extending the Convention of January 30, 1875 for a term of seven years dated this day, and signed by me; and for so doing this shall be his warrant.


The Hawaiian Islands-United States Treaty signed on January 30, 1875 resulted in the opening of a broad market for Hawaiian exports and marked the beginning of great prosper-ity for the islands. Americans began to invest in large-scale irrigated farming and sugar refining processes were improved.

            Article One of the Supplementary Convention referenced in this document limited the duration of the Convention respecting commercial reciprocity between the United States of America and the Hawaiian Kingdom, concluded on January 30, 1875.

            Article Two: "His Majesty the King of the Hawaiian Islands grants to the Government of the United States the exclusive right to enter the harbor of the Pearl River in the Island of Oahu, and to establish and maintain there a coaling and repair station for the use of vessels of the United States, and to that end the United States may improve the entrance to said harbor and do all other things needful to the purpose aforesaid."

            This treaty was concluded and signed by Secretary of State Frelinghuysen and Hawaii's Minister to the United States, Henry A.P. Carter, on December 6, 1884. The U.S. Secretary of State was authorized to sign the treaty with Hawaii by an official document signed by President Arthur, shown here. This document  made that treaty official.