Mr. Willis to Mr. Gresham.
Honolulu , February 8, 1895 . (Received Feb. 21.)
Sir: On the 2d instant three men, one of whom, Mr. J. Cranstoun, claims to be a citizen of the United States, were forcibly deported on the steamer Warrimoo. Mr. Cranstoun had been in jail nearly a month, but no charges had been presented against him. He came here about half a year ago and has been conducting a feed store. I saw him several times in jail and he always most urgently insisted upon his innocence. He was taken from jail last Saturday morning and with the other two prisoners was carried, under a heavy guard, to the steamer. His request to the attorney-general (who was present) to see the American [Page 824] minister was refused. As the carriage was going to the steamer one of the prisoners succeeded in attracting the attention of the British commissioner, who immediately stopped the sailing of the steamer until I could be notified. Mr. Cranstoun compelled the guard to carry him up the gangway. When I asked the attorney-general for an explanation of this proceeding his reply was that the cabinet had determined to deport these men and they did it “in the exercise of the arbitrary power conferred by martial law.” I made verbal protest then against this action and will present to-morrow a formal written statement.
Martial law still prevails. The ex-Queen is now under trial before the military commission, upon the charge of misprision of treason. After objections to the jurisdiction of the court and to the court in general had been overruled, the plea of not guilty was entered. The evidence as to landing of arms, assembling of forces, and other treasonable acts was the same as in the cases heretofore tried. The principal witnesses were the former retainers of the ex-Queen, who are now in prison. The ex-Queen, as a witness in her own behalf, denied knowledge, and filed the statement, printed copies of which I send herewith. By order of the court those portions of the statement marked with blue pencil were, against the objection of the accused, stricken out.1 The case is now under submission. In none of the cases thus far tried has the decision of the commander-in chief, President Dole, been made known.
With sentiments of high regard, I am, etc.,
- Parts marked with blue pencil are printed in italics.↩