JULY 30, 1889


Born in 1855, Robert W. Wilcox, whose mother was Native Hawaiian, was a student in Italy when the Bayonet Revolution of 1887 forced him to return to Hawai’i.  Wilcox led 250 armed Hawaiians against the now-powerless King Kalakaua intending to bringing Kalakaua’s sister, Lili’uokalani, to the throne.  The King, suspecting the rebels wanted him deposed, refused to aid them.  The rebellion fell apart and the planners were arrested and tried.  Wilcox defended himself in court, won an acquittal from a Hawaiian jury.  In 1895, Wilcox would again participate in another failed coupthis time against the new Provisional Government that deposed Queen Lili’uokalani in 1893.  The rebels were tried by military courts.  Wilcox and 2 others were sentenced to death, but the sentences were commuted to hard labor.  Hawaiian President Sanford Dole soon paroled Wilcox and the rebels.  Wilcox would enter politics after annexation in 1898 and become the territory’s first Delegate in 1900.

Source:  “Whereas: Stories from the People’s House: Sentenced to Death,” U.S. House of Representatives.  Retrieved 6/3/2020, https://history.house.gov/Blog/Detail/15032403140
Photo:  Unknown Author, 1900.  Public domain in the U.S.: Pre-1/1/1925.  Elsewhere:  Public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or fewer.

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