Mr. Willis to Mr. Gresham.
Honolulu , March 7, 1895 . (Received March 20.)
Sir: Martial law still prevails. The military commission adjourned on the 4th instant for a week, having completed its work. The circuit court was in session last week and had before it the cases of Messrs. Bush, Nawahi, and Crick, charged with conspiracy to commit treason. The cases, after pleas by the defendants, were continued. The accused are now out on bail.
On the 2d instant Mr. Hatch, minister of foreign affairs, notified me that “no persons charged with complicity in the insurrection are now held except such as have been tried,” and that the following persons who claimed to be American citizens had been released from custody, viz: J. Boss, James Dureell, George Lycurgus, W. F. Reynolds, and J. Mitchell. These men were unconditionally discharged, no accusation having been brought against them. They all claim to have suffered both in person and property, and several have asked me to intervene in their behalf to secure redress. I have requested them to submit a sworn statement of the facts.
Messrs. A. P. Peterson, Charles Creighton, Edward France, H. A. Juen, P. M. Rooney, George Ritman, H. von Werthern, and Arthur White, all claiming American citizenship, were permitted to leave the country, not to return without permission of the minister of foreign affairs. These persons also claim to have suffered in body and estate because of their imprisonment and exile.
Robert W. Wilcox, Alexander Smith, and several others, born here of American fathers, have appealed for protection, which I have been unable to extend, they being at present under foreign jurisdiction, with no law or treaty exempting them from the usual rule.[Page 851]
The advisory council met on the 4th instant and appropriated an additional $25,000, making a total sum of $75,000, to defray the expenses of the rebellion. Minister Hatch introduced ail indemnity act, copies of which I inclose, which was referred to the judiciary committee.
The sentences of the commander in chief in the cases of American citizens are, as heretofore telegraphed: Maj. W. T. Seward, thirty-five years at hard labor and $10,000 fine; Charles T. Gulick, thirty-five years at hard labor and $10,000 hue; Louis Marshall, twenty years at hard labor and $10,000 fine; John F. Bowler, charged with misprision of treason, five years at hard labor and $5,000 fine. All political prisoners have been required to don the prison garb.
Major Seward is about sixty years old; was in our army, and for a time on General Hawley’s staff. Mr. Gulick was born in New Jersey, is about fifty-two years old, is related to the prominent missionary family of that name, and held, under the Monarchy, a cabinet position and other important offices. Marshall is 19 years old, a mere boy in appearance; has influential connections here, but is himself without means. The fine of $5,000 to him and to all who can not pay it means another year of imprisonment. Why Marshall’s fine should be allowed to stand, while that imposed upon fifty or one hundred Hawaiians who were equally or more guilty and equally or better able to pay [was remitted], I am unable to explain.
Many of the most prominent participants, including Nowlein, who incubated the plot and who procured the only bombs that were to be used; Bertelmann, another half-white, whose house at Waikiki and office in Honolulu were rallying points for the rebels, and who shot from ambuscade one of the Government officers; Davis, whose vessel brought the arms; Warren and Townsend, who assisted in landing the arms; Clark, who was captain in charge of the ex-Queen’s residence; the Fern brothers, and twenty or more less important prisoners whose willingness to do harm was only limited by their capacity, were released without either fine or imprisonment. The ground of their discharge was, that they had testified for the Government. Twenty-five Hawaiian guards at the ex-Queen’s residence, sentenced to five years’ inijmson-ment and to the payment of a fine of $5,000 each, were also released.
Whether these and other facts to be hereafter presented indicate inequality of treatment among those charged with the same offense is a question which is submitted to the decision of the President and yourself.
With renewed assurances of high esteem, I am, etc.,