1ST WILCOX REBELLION-TO REPLACE BAYONET CONSTITUTION-FAILS
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, defending himself in court, won an acquittal from a Hawaiian jury. In 1895, Wilcox would participate in another failed coup–this 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.