Rights of Native Hawaiians in California.—The San Francisco Mirror of a recent date makes the following remarks on the rights accorded to Hawaiians in that State. The same rules apply to Oregon and Washington Territory:
A subscriber wishes to know whether a native of the Sandwich Islands can testify in the courts against a white person, or if he can become a citizen. . . . The 34th Section of the Act concerning civil cases, provides that “no Indian or Negro shall be allowed to testify as a witness in any action, etc., in which a white person is a party.” The 14th Section of the Act concerning criminal proceedings, provides that “no black or mulatto person, or Indian, shall be allowed to give evidence in favor of, or against a white man.” Under these terms, “Negro,” “Indian,” etc., it has been held that Chinese, and every other race, not of white blood, are included. A Kanaka would, therefore, come within the definition. But it will be observed that the prohibition does not extend to cases where all the parties to the action are of Negro or Indian blood. And Judge Blake, of the Court of Sessions of the city and county of San Francisco, has held in proceedings in that Court, that the injured party, in a criminal proceeding, can give evidence of the injury suffered by him, even though inflicted by a white person. In that Court evidence of this sort has been repeatedly admitted, and no appeal has ever been taken to the Supreme Court from those decisions.
(PCA, 12/27/1860, p. 2)