More on Kaheleiki trial: “Something not to be forgotten.” 1863.

Voyage of the Hawaiian Chiefs to San Francisco.

This past Wednesday morning [4/15/1863], the Honorable C. Gordon Hopkins [Hapakini], John Ii [Ioane Ii], Kaisara Kapaakea [Caesar Kapaakea], and J. Koii Unauna, along with the one who is involved in the dispute for whom they went to testify for, namely Harry Kaheleiki, came to shore riding aboard the ship, Yankee; and we are pleased to report the public that they are in good health.

During the trial of Harry Kaheleiki in San Francisco, there were many witnesses strongly against him; however, with the arrival of the alii mentioned above, there was true testimony in favor of the accused, and the error of those who testified against him was clear. The newspapers of San Francisco were filled with thoughts of appreciation for this Nation sending witnesses at much expense to have one of its citizens wrongly charged in a foreign land set free; according to one of the papers, this is a benevolent act not done by the enlightened Nations of the world, and so the Hawaiian Nation has taken the lead in this fine action. This is truly an act of aloha, and it is something not to be forgotten for all times.

The reason it was heard that a Hawaiian was being imprisoned in San Francisco was because of Doctor Gulick [Gulika], the one who was previously living in the islands of Micronesia, and due to weakening health, arrived in California. While he was in San Francisco several months ago, he heard that there was a Hawaiian man being held in one of the Jails there on the charge of murder; he therefore went quickly to meet with the man, and when he got there, he spoke with the aforementioned Kaheleiki, and though this conversation, it was clear in Doctor Gulick’s mind that the accused was innocent. And because Kaheleiki asked him if they could wait until witnesses were sent for from Hawaii for him, there would be many who would testify that he was innocent of the charges against him. So Doctor Gulick immediately went to the office of the Hawaiian Consul, Mr. Hitchcock [Kanikela Hawaii o Mr. Hikikoki], and told him about the circumstances of Kaheleiki and how he was certain that Kaheleiki was innocent of the charges. When the Hawaiian Consul heard of this, he went at once to meet with the accused, and upon seeing his demeanor and what he had to say, he knew for himself that Kaheleiki was innocent. He then went quickly to see the Judge to ask that the trial of Kaheleiki be postponed until he heard from here; for he had witnesses here for him. And that is how time was given to send his witnesses, and that is how he was freed. And when he sent for witnesses here, along with a letter from Doctor Gulick, and when His Highness L. Kamehameha heard of this, he along with Sheriff W. C. Parke put great effort into finding appropriate witnesses to testify for Kaheleiki, the one who was falsely charged. We are filled with appreciation for the Royal One, His Highness, and the Sheriff.

We must thank Doctor Gulick, and we are truly thankful for him in the name of all who desire that the innocent who are persecuted be freed, and in the name of all who strive to find ways to free the innocent from the hands of those who oppose them, while they live in foreign lands. God shall free the righteous.

[There are countless stories like this in the Hawaiian-Language Newspapers that should be relearned and retold and retold again, so they are not forgotten!]

(Kuokoa, 4/18/1863, p. 3)

Ka Huakai a na 'Lii Hawaii i Kapalakiko.

Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke II, Helu 16, Aoao 3. Aperila 18, 1863.

More on the Kaheleiki trial, 1863.

This past Tuesday [2/17/1863], the Honorable C. Kapaakea, and  J. Koii, and C. G. Hopkins also went aboard the ship Yankee, to appear in a case raised between the haole and Kaheleiki; the Honorable John Ii also accompanied them to San Francisco, and this paper hopes and prays that the fringes of the winds; the gentle winds of the coconut fronds of Kona take them to their destination, and that they are brought back by the soft puffs of the wind of Sakameka [? Sacramento]; “Pleasant passage,” according to the haole.

(Hoku o ka Pakipika, 2/19/1863, p. 2)

Ma ka poalua iho nei...

Ka Hoku o ka Pakipika, Buke 2, Helu 19, Aoao 2. Feberuari 19, 1863.

Mahalo to MAB for pointing to this article on the Kaheleiki trial, 1863.

“Better that Ten Guilty Should Escape, than that One Innocent should Suffer.”

One innocent Hawaiian, named Heleiki, came very nearly being hung in San Francisco, under the authority of the Supreme Court of the United States. The report of his trial and release have already been published, but the case is one which presents many interesting and important points of consideration for judges, lawyers, witnesses, philanthropists, and all who can employ the sentiment of the old Roman poet, Terence: “Whatever concerns humanity, concerns myself.”

In referring to this case, we shall allude to events which transpired even before the murder of Capt. Hussey, of the William Penn, off Strong’s Island, on the 6th of November, 1852. In October of that year the schooner Glencoe was cut off and burnt, and every man killed, at Ebon, one of the Marshall Islands. The natives disposed of some of their plunder and money taken from the Glencoe, to Capt. Hussey. A few days subsequently, Capt. H. was killed by a native of Oahu, one of his sailors. By referring to the Friend of July, 1853, we there find published a letter written by Dr. Gulick, and dated “Ascension, Feb. 19, 1853,” and from this communication we quote as follows:

“It is reported that a California schooner has been cut off in the Radack Range, at Boston or Coville (Ebon is the native name) Island, and a whaleboat’s crew who arrived, too weak to walk, were also killed, as they crawled up the beach. * * * Several whaleships have since taken from that island considerable sums of money. Capt. Hussey, it is said, received over a thousand dollars. It was for this money that one of his crew, a Oahu native, killed him. That native has since been killed on Simpson’s Island, by one, it is said, whom he himself was about to shoot. Thus do ‘the dead bury their dead,’ and murderers execute murderers.”

Now, after nearly ten years have rolled away, certain persons belonging to the William Penn inform against the innocent Heleiki, and he is thrown into prison in San Francisco. Most providentially for the interests of justice, and the fate of Heleiki, Dr. Gulick was passing through San Francisco, soon after the man’s arrest. He visited him in prison, and became throughly convinced of his innocence. He now set to work with the spirit of a Howard. But we cannot go into a full detail of particulars, although they deserve to be collected and put into some permanent form for preservation. We hope when Dr. Gulick returns, that he will do it. Suffice it to say, that through the courtesy of United States Judges, the ability of able lawyers, the correspondence of consuls, the collecting of evidence, and, finally, the visit of a deputation of witnesses, sent to San Francisco by the Hawaiian Government, the man Heleiki is fortunate enough to escape without being hung and has returned to Honolulu.

This case is most interesting and important for several reasons:

1. The man’s life is saved, and the innocent escapes a felon’s doom, on the evidence of men belonging to a copper-colored race! Mark you, there are some parts of the professedly civilized world, where the testimony of His Honor Judge Ii would not have been admitted. It is only recently that his evidence would have been admitted in the State Courts of California; but to the honor of the U. S. Court, there was no question upon this point.

2. The Hawaiian Government has shown a magnanimity and zeal in behalf of one of its humblest subjects, when falsely accused in a foreign land, worthy the most enlightened, most civilized, and most Christian nation on earth. We feel proud to dwell under its broad Ægis. Here let us remark, that while citizens of the United States may feel proud of their Supreme Court, and Englishmen may feel proud of their high Courts, so may Hawaiians be equally proud of their Supreme Court, presided over by such judges as Chief Justice Allen, Judge Roberson, and Judge Ii—the latter having just returned from his most honorable mission to California.

3. This is a case which cheers the heart of the missionary and philanthropist.

4. This is a case which should teach witnesses that they ought to be very cautious how they swear as to the identity of a man, after ten years have elapsed.

[See earlier article: Government officials to go to California to defend a Hawaiian citizen. 1863.]

(Friend, 5/1/1863, p. 33)

"Better that Ten Guilty Should Escape, than that One Innocent should Suffer."

The Friend, New Series, Volume 12, Number 5, Page 33. May 1, 1863.

Government officials to go to California to defend a Hawaiian citizen. 1863.

The Honorable C. Kapaakea and J. K. Unauna are headed to California on Monday. We have heard it is to serve as witness in the murder case of Kaheleiki, who is a Hawaiian. May the alii going remain in good health. It is however believed that the Honorable C. G. Hopkins [Hapakini] will accompany the witnesses.

(Hoku o ka Pakipika, 2/5/1863, p. 2)

E holo ana ka Mea Hanohano C. Kapaakea...

Ka Hoku o ka Pakipika. Buke 2, Helu 17, Aoao 2. Feberuari 5, 1863.