Editor’s note: Honolulu’s visitors have told fascinating stories over the years. Civil Beat looked through vintage news clippings to give today’s APEC visitors a sense of the history of visits to this place. Look for a historical tidbit every day through Nov. 13. With thanks to Pake Zane and Julie Lauster of Antique Alley.

Here’s the headline: “Adventurer Made Attorney General By Early King After Nine Days Here.”

For real.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin carried the story in 1931. Written by Bishop H.B. Restarick, president of the Hawaiian Historical Society, the story tells of John Ricord of New York.

It’s hard to imagine anything close to this happening to one of our APEC visitors, but you never know.

The story says “Ricord was a young adventurer who had crossed the continent and had arrived in Oregon in the fall of 1843. He had stated that his sole object in going to Oregon was to seek a fortune, and, not finding the opportunity there which he had expected, after a few weeks’ stay, he had determined to go to the Sandwich islands.

“When he came in sight of Oahu he hailed the prospect with joy and confidence for he felt sure of success.

“When the ship entered Honolulu harbor, Ricord remained on board for two days, as his wardrobe needed replenishing before making an appearance in public. After landing, he was not long in securing introductions to some of the members of the government as a qualified member of the New York bar.”

The story goes on to recount what a fellow passenger, the Rev. Gustavus Hines, wrote about what happened:

“Having the advantages of a gentlemanly appearance and ready wit, as well as suavity of manner, he succeeded immediately in ingratiating himself into the good will of those in authority. On the ninth day after his arrival he took the oath of allegiance to Kamehameha III and received the appointment of attorney general at a salary of $2000 a year.”


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