Mr. Stevens to Mr. Blaine
Honolulu, October 17, 1889.
Sir: My predecessor in charge of this legation, Mr. Merrill, in his dispatch 255, dated August 1, 1889, informed the Department of State of the revolutionary attempt made July 30 by certain disaffected persons under the lead of Robert W. Wilcox and Robert Boyd, two half-breed Hawaiians, aided by a Belgian named Loomens. For the past two weeks the trial of the participants in this revolutionary effort has been going on in Honolulu before Chief Justice Judd, of the supreme court of the kingdom. Loomens, being a Belgian citizen, has been tried before a jury of white men, here termed a foreign jury. Robert Boyd, [Page 296]one of the chief conspirators, turned state’s evidence, and after a careful and impartial trial, as to which even his counsel made no complaint, Loomens was convicted of treason, though recommended to mercy, and several others have pleaded guilty or been convicted of riotous proceedings. The trial is tending plainly to show that the Hawaiians are numerously in sympathy with Wilcox, who is to be tried by a native jury, and whose conviction is regarded as very doubtful.
It is proper for me to convey the confidential information that so far as the examination of witnesses and the general course of the trials tend, in the opinion of many persons here, to implicate the King, at least in sympathy with the revolutionary movement, neither the Government attorney nor the counsel of the accused seem to mince words or spare His Majesty, and the court rules with independence and firmness.* I herewith inclose the charge of the chief justice in the ease of Loomens, as published verbatim in the Commercial Advertiser. It is probable that when the trial of Wilcox takes place there will be an expression of native Hawaiian sentiment which may be indicative of the general opposition of the native Hawaiian voters at the election which is to occur in February. The feelings of hostility to the Government at the present time is being stimulated by foreign agitators, who are taking advantage of the simplicity of the natives for the promotion of their political and private ends. Out of these trials and the passions and prejudices they invoke may arise some disturbance in the near future, of which the February election for members of the two houses of the legislature may furnish the occasion. I will endeavor to keep the Department of State informed as to the course of events so far as they may be of importance.
I have, etc.,
- See following No. 7.↩