Mr. Olney to Mr. Willis.
Washington, June 12, 1895.
Sir: The Department’s instruction to you, No. 83, of the 14th ultimo, briefly reviewed certain complaints presented by persons claiming American citizenship and alleging wrongful treatment by the Hawaiian Government during and following the recent disturbances at Honolulu.
As to certain of these persons you were instructed in the Department’s No. 83 to submit further information in the direction indicated for guidance here in determining whether they were entitled to the protection of this Government.
The case of James Dureell is not embarrassed by any such preliminary question. I herewith inclose a copy of his affidavit received here with your dispatch, No. 100, of April 11 last, from which it appears that Dureell was born in the State of Louisiana in 1858, and resided in the United States until September 14, 1894. He then went to Honolulu and obtained temporary employment as a cook at the Arlington Hotel, in that city. On November 8, 1894, he purchased the lease and good will of a cigar store and soda-water and fruit stand, and gradually built up a lucrative business. On the 9th of January last, while quietly seated in his store, he was arrested without explanation or information of any charge against him, confined in jail on common prison fare until the 27th of February following—a period of seven weeks—and then discharged without any trial, charges, explanation, or opportunity of defense; nor has he since his release been informed of the cause of his arrest.
He declares that he has never by word or deed forfeited his allegiance to and his right to protection by this Government; that he has neither done nor spoken anything directly or indirectly against the Government of Hawaii or it laws; that he has never expressed sentiments antagonistic to that Government or in any manner counseled, encouraged, aided, or abetted its enemies either in armed rebellion or secret plotting; and that he never possessed any information which under existing laws it was his duty to report to that Government.
These statements establish, in the opinion of the President, a prima facie claim for substantial indemnity from the Hawaiian Government to Mr. Dureell. You will bring the case to the attention of the Hawaiian authorities, leaving no doubt in their minds of the confidence here felt that the Government of Hawaii will not refuse to tender adequate reparation to this injured citizen of the United States, nor hesitate to take prompt measures to exonorate him from the imputation which this arbitrary treatment has left upon his good name.
I am, etc.,