Honolulu , the capital of the Hawaiian islands, on the S. side of the island of Oahu, in lat. 21° 18' 12" N., Ion. 157° 55' W.; pop. in 1872, 14,852. It covers the lower portion of Nuu-anu valley, and extends over the raised coral reef at the base of the lofty mountains for several miles. The houses are usually of wood, seldom more than two stories high, with capacious verandas, and mostly surrounded with trees. The supply of water comes from a mountain stream, and is distributed by pipes throughout the city. Honolulu is the residence of the king and of his government, and the centre of the chief interests of the islands. The principal public buildings are the parliament house, the treasury, the supreme court, the general post office, and the coral-built palace of the king. There are a hotel, a theatre, and a bank. American gold and silver coins are the standard currency. There are two American churches, established in 1833 and 1852, a Catholic cathedral, an Anglican church, established in 18(52, and two considerable Hawaiian churches; two hospitals; numerous schools for native and foreign children; an academy called Oahu college, attended mainly by foreign youths; and three weekly and two monthly publications.
The climate of Honolulu is remarkably mild and uniform; the extreme range of the thermometer is between 60° and 87° F. The rainfall is very irregular; in 1870 it was 59.51 in., and in 1871 40.09 in. The porous soil absorbs the water quickly, and miasmatic complaints are rare. The scenery about Honolulu is of the most charming tropical character, and there is a pleasant foreign society in the capital, principally American and English. The value of the imports at Honolulu in 1872 was $1,583,583; more than half came from San Francisco, and a considerable portion from Oregon, England, and Germany. The value of the exports in 1872 was $1,607,521, of which $1,345,585 consisted of domestic produce, and $204,836 of foreign merchandise reexported. The total custom-house receipts in the same year were $218,375. The number of American merchant vessels arriving was 80, of Hawaiian vessels 22, British 15, German 0, Norwegian and Italian each 3, Tahitian 2, Swedish 1; total, 138. Besides these, 47 whalers arrived.
The arrivals from Pacific ports of the United States were 62, from Australia and New Zealand 26. The number of national vessels was 7. A line of English mail steamers runs from San Francisco to Melbourne and Sydney, touching at Honolulu and the Feejee islands. - Honolulu harbor was discovered in 1794 by Capt. Brown of the English ship Butterworth, who, together with Capt. Gardner of the Prince Lee Boo, was murdered by the natives Jan. 1, 1795. The harbor is a deep basin in the coral reef which surrounds the island; it is secure at all seasons and under all winds, and has a depth of from 4 1/2 to 6 fathoms. The lighthouse of the port stands on the inner edge of the reef, a mile from the wharves; it has a Fresnel light, 26 ft. above the sea, and visible from a deck 9 m. away. The wharves are substantial and capacious.
Parliament House in Honolulu.