as originally published in: The Polynesian, Saturday January 8, 1853
Supreme Court–January term.
In consequence of the election on Monday, the Court immediately adjourned to Tuesday, when a special jury of British subjects was empanelled to try the case of H. N. Greenwell, indicted for murder in the 2d degree. We give the testimony entire, in preference to any general synopsis we can make of it, and would be glad to five the arguments of counsel if we had room. A.B. Bates, Esq., att. for the crown, J. Montgomery, Esq., for the defense.
The King vs. H. N. Greenwell.–This case was called on for trial and parties answering they were ready, accused was arraigned and plead not guilty and the following jurors were drawn from the list sent in by the British Consul General, accused being a British subject.
W. B. Brown, L. Spencer, Henry Macfarlane, R. Clouston, J. E. Thomas, H. Robinson, G. B. Owens, W. Maxwell, A. F. Turner, J. E. Chapman, Joseph Irvin, F. Spencer. And no objection being offered to either of them they were duly sworn to try the cause.
At the request of J. Montgomery counsel for prisoner the witnesses were remove from the court in the custody of the Marshal.
A. B. Bates for prosecution opened the case to the Jury.
Edward Hunt was sworn to interpret truly.
Keawe alias Limaheo, sworn for prosecution, says:–I know the accused, I live at Kau on Hawaii, I live a long distance from accused, two days journey about, I was at accused's place of residence about two months since, to sell him some goats, I saw him first after breakfast, I saw a China cook there then, I saw no other Chinamen in Mr. Greenwell's room, I only saw the cook he was outside while I was selling the goats to Mr. Greenwell, I saw a Chinaman go out of a window, Mr. Greenwell ran after him and caught him, and began striking him with his fists, he knocked him down and then got on to him and struck him with his fists, whi'e Mr. Greenwell was beating him, the cook asked me to go up, and as I went up Greenwell lifted him up and his trowsers came down; he eased himself in his clothes, I was about as far from Greenwell at that time as I am now from the water, after that Greenwell tried to get him along, but he would not get up unitl the cook had called three times to him, and then Greenwell got him up and pushed him along to the house, he then pushed him into the house and the Chinaman fell into house and Greenwell kicked him, I was there and my daughter Alapai, and the Chinese cook named Choo, I saw the Chinaman afterwards inside the house, when Mr. Greenwell called me to sign an agreement about the goats; Salai was sitting on a heap of corn trembling and shaking like a beast that had been badly used, and his hands and forehead were turned blue, I saw Greenwell do nothing more to the Chinaman after that, his feet and hands were not tied at that time. I never say the Chinamen after that, I heard him as I was going away with my daughter, and as I went away I heard the cracks with the whip, and counted nine lashes, to where the other Chinamen were at work, I did not see him after he was dead.
Cross-examined, by J. Montgomery.–I stated at the inquest that the Chinaman eased himself in his trowsers. He kicked the Chinaman behind. I heard the Chinaman cry out when I heard he nine lashes, I was going away.
Alapai, girl, sworn:–Says, (admitted by the defendent's Counsel, that the witness is the girl referred to by former witness.) I know the accused, I went to his residence with my father to sell goats, I stopped out while my father went in to make the bargain, and a little while after they came out, accused cried out, lilo and started off in a run. I did not know what was the matter with him; "lilo means gone"–we asked the Chinese cook what was the matter, and he told us a Chinaman had run away, my father and I then went to look, and the Chinaman was down and Mr. Greenwell was beating him with his fists, it was Mauka of the house, the Chinese cook asked my father to go to where Greenwell was, and after asking him twice my father went, Greenwell saw him coming he was very near and raised up the Chinaman and let him down, he then dirtied his pantaloons, he then refused to go any father, and Greenwell raised him and pushed him along, and the Chinese coo cried out to him mocking him, when Greenwell got to the house I was standing by the door, he knocked the Chinaman down, he fell with his head inside his feet outside the door, and he then kicked him, and the Chinaman got up and sat down, and Mr. Greenwell reached a piece of iron that was lying on the top of a barrel and struck the Chinaman between the shoulders, it had a knob at one end and was about the length of my fore arm, the barrel was standing upon the right of the door, there was no bed in the room; after he struck him the Chinaman commenced staggering about and then sat down trembling all over.–And Greenwell kicked him again, Greenwill then called my father and myself and pointed out a window and said that is the window that the thieving Chinaman got out of, the Chinaman was setting down when he was struck with the iron by Greenwell, Mr. Greenwell called my father in to talk about the goats and I sat down outside watching the Chinaman, he tried to work at that time but could not, Greenwell walked up to him and said Pake "hanahana," but he appeared unable to do it; he looked like a beast that hed had been badly beaten and trembled the whole time, as I went away with my father I heard Greenwell call the cook into the house and lock the door, and as we went away we heard the cracks of the whip, and by the time we had reached to where the Chinamen were at work we heard about 20 cracks, the Chinaman was wailing like a goat, I saw it again; on being shown witness identified it and says he had it in his hand at one end as held by Counsel, I saw it afterwards at Mr. Cummings' house.
Cross-examined.–Greenwell kicked the Chinaman twice after striking him with the iron, I so stated on the enquiry before the magistrate, my father was outside the verandah; when accused struck the Chinaman with the iron; I stated also that the Chinaman dirtied his trowsers, I did not tell the magistrate that Greenwell called the cook inside because I forgot it perhaps, my father was standing at the corner of the verandah when the Chinaman fell in the house, he might have seen him when first pushed, but not when he fell, I am not certain that there is no bed in the room, I did not see Greenwell kick the Chinaman in the field, he kicked him in the small of the back, he appeared to be a very feeble man.
Choo, (Chinaman) sworn for Pros:–Says, (Asing and Aliu, sworn as interpreters,) admitted by defendant's Counsel,) that witness was Mr. Greenwell's cook on the 1st November. The first time he (Greenwell) sent Salai to impregnate pumpkins in the night he was a stranger and did not know what it meant, he went away a little while and got nothing and came back, Mr. Greenwell then began to beat him with a stick, and an iron crowbar, (she means I think said the interpreter,) an iron they dig stones up with, and tied him by the feet and hands and hung him up and kept beating him, and then let him down again, and when he was let down he could not stand up, the next morning he beat him again. Mr. Greenwell called on of his own countrymen and took him out of doors, S. the dead man felt cold, and Greenwell called on one man to bring some water and he did so, and they poured in over the dead man ; the day the Chinaman died he brought him back into his own room, the first day he tied him up, the second day he beat him, and the third day he died, they gave him nothing to eat or drink not even a drink of water, the first day they caught him and beat him, the third day he died, I saw Mr. Greenwell beat him, he called us all in and said any of us that were bad would be served the same, and after he had tied him up he struck him two or three blows with his fist in the sides, this took place after breakfast, I saw Salai four times that day, that was 2 days before he died, I undertook to give him a kalo and Mr. Greenwell refused to let him have it, I saw him the day before he died, inside the house, they took us in one by one to look at him, Mr. Greenwell was inside too, three or four of us say Greenwell beating him with a stick about two feet long and two inches thick, it was a coffee stick, he also beat him with the handle of the whip, and afterwards struck him in the ribs with the butt end of it, I saw him in the night, the next morning he died, he was then tied up with his hands behind him, tied in three places, his feet were tied about the ancles, he was tied so hard that he could not move, and his hands and feet were black and swelled up, he was tied with a small rope which was sunk into the flesh it was so tight, the rope was tied to the beam by the side of the window and hewas thrown forward on his knees.
Cross-examined, by J. Montgomery,–Greenwell had the Chinaman down outside beating him when the native man and girl were there, Ong was the name of one Chinaman who was called in by Greenwell, Apu was another, Chang Sing was another, and myself, that was all that went in, the native and the girl were on the door when the Chinamen was beaten, they were neither outside nor inside, the Chinaman had nothing to eat or drink while he was tied up, after the native and girl went away Mr. Greenwell called another Chinaman in and tied him up worse than before, and beat him again, when he was beaten blood came from his skin onto his shirt and Mr. Greenwell got also covered with blood, Ong was the Chinaman who assisted to tie him up, he was up one day and a night and then died.
J.S. Fuller, sworn for the crown:–Says I know the accused. I saw the corpse of Salai, I never saw him while alive to recognize him, I was one of the Coroner's jury, I then saw the body after it was disnterred, not before it was buried, when the box was opened we found the body covered with a blanket with his clothes under him, we removed the blankets and examined him before we turned him over, we found his body marked in various spots, bruises from his breast down to his knees, there was a portion not bruised except slightly, on his right breast there appeared to be a very severe bruise, on his left breast were also bruises but not so severe, his thighs were also nearly covered with bruises down to his knees, more on the outside than inside, his sides were also nearly uniformly bruised down as far as his hips, there was scarcely any spot not black and blue, the right side was much more bruised than the left, his hips were almost entirely covered with bruises, his back was not bruised down the middle, but it was along the sides, there were occasionally bruises down the middle of the back one in particular down near the bottom of his spinal column, the shoulders were bruised badly, one in particular, I think it was the right, we turned the body over once or twice, I noticed bruises under his jaws but they did not appear very severe, on one hand the back was a good deal bruised, otherwise the limbs were not much bruised, I think from the shoulders down to the knees at least one-half of the body was covered with bruises, the skin was not much broken, the bruises appeared not to be made by anything that would cut the skin, the bruises were black and blue with a yellowish tinge around the edge.
Cross-examined.–I think it was Friday we examined the corpse and I understand he died on Tuesday, three days would alter a corpse more here than in Kona, as the climate there is quite cool, I have assisted at several post-mortem examinations, the injuries would have been superficial if inflicted b a light stick or whip like the one in court.
Preston Cummings sworn for crown: Says–, I am the Sheriff or deputy Sheriff, for Hawaii, I was present when the body of Salai was examined at the inquest, we found the corpse on Friday, November 5th, as sated by Mr. Fuller in the box, afer we removed the cloths we examined the body very closely, there was a small space on the left breast and down the middle of the back not much bruised, but on his right thigh and side was a large bruise, and below that was a smaller one, on the left thigh was another dark place across the hip; below the small of the back, were several marks as though he might have been struck by a whip, the left arm was considerably bruised near the wrist a discoloration, the left hand was swollen and two marks across the back, and in a small place the skin was off probably the size of a rial. I saw the deceased before he was buried and saw nothing unnatural. I compared his face with his skin up and down his body after disinterment and saw no difference. I rubbed the skin off with a stick. –The body was much swollen and gave out offensive smell.
Cross-examined.–The marks on the body might have been accounted for by a whip, I think a whipping might have proved fatal, I saw no marks that looked as if death were produced thereby, the face was not much altered in color but otherwise ver much, his eyes and tongue were protruding, it was swollen. The body appeared like a skinned beast severely bruised or beaten, that is as the flesh would appear with something transparent put over it, the weather was rainy and cold. If this coolie had been exposed without much covering for several nights, it might have caused his death or have contributed to it. I know Mr. Greenwell, he is a neighbor of mine, I have known him some two years, he lives 4 or 5 miles from me, I consider him a humane benevolent man, a good neighbor, a good citizen.
Seth P. Ford, sworn for the crown.–I have been present here from the beginning of this testimony given, from the testimony given it would be almost impossible to form an opinion whether the injuries received caused his death, what would kill an infirm man, would not perhaps seriously injure a man of health and strength, I have seen cases where a slight bruise produced death, and then again I have seen men bruised from head to toe and live, if he was a feeble man and if he had been exposed to the cold and rain and been destitute of food for several days, the injuries might have caused his death, but man is a pretty tough animal and may bear much.
Cross-examined.–If he had eaten a hearty dinner the injuries would in my opinion have been more likely to produce his death than to have aided his life.
Dr. Hoffman, sworn says, I cannot from the evidence make up my mind that wounds were inflicted, the discoloration testified to might have been the beginning of purification. If the iron was used as sworn to, it might have caused death if used with force, and if it hit in the place the testimony fixes it.
Mr. Montgomery opened the defense.
The Court then adjourned until 2 2-1 P.M.
Kupalapalaha, sworn: –I am a Constable of Kona, I knew Salai and remember bringing him back from Kailua to Greenwells; I found clothes and $5 in silver with him; he had other Chinamens clothes with him. It was $5 he had, he had a fish for which he paid $1, of a native he bought it, it was on Monday I brought him back, I saw Greenwell and Shultz on my return, I received $250 for my services.
Frederick Shultz sworn for defendent, says:–I was in the employ of defendant in October last, I knew Salai, Greenwell got him from Captain Cass of the Thotis. He was sick at the time, and Mr. Greenwell did not allow him to do heavy work; he was given work close by the house, so as to escape rain. His health improved. The latter end of October on the 26 or 27 he absconded, he was sent some distance below to impregnate pumpkin blossoms, we were not in the habit of giving him hard work, he took away clothes and a blanket at this time, he was brought back on the second day afterwards, on Friday the same day he ran away again, he stole some of the Coolies clothes, on Monday morning Salai was brought back by the Constable, he brought back the stolen clothes, $4 and a large fish, after breakfast I went to work with the Coolies without taking notice of Salai, Greenwell came to me and stated Salai had tried to escape through the window, that Greenwell had given him a beating that he found Salai at the back of the house. I went to the house after and found Salai shelling corn. This was after Greenwell told me he had flogged him. Salai eat his dinner while we were eating, Salai then asked to go to the privy, and Greenwell let him go, Sim Sun going with him. I observed no marks on him, I visited the house several times during the day, and found him shelling corn. I came up to supper about 7 P.M., and saw Salai there, I did not se him in a trembling or nervous state. He seemed pretty well, I did not see him flogged or suffering from the effects of one. He was tied up, that is his feet and hands were tied to keep him from running away, he was lying on the floor turning over from side to side, but he did not seem to be suffering much, I gave him water once or twice and gave him a supply for the night. Greenwell kept him in his own bedroom that night, he had no blanket, we dine about 12 M., he appeared to sleep quietly during the night, in the morning when I rose he appeared to be asleep, the other Coolies and I went to work without taking Salai; shortly afterwards Greenwell came down and requested me to come and see Salai, as he seemed to be sick. I went and saw Salai stretched out in the verandah naked, I went up to him and felt of his pulse and found it beating, and seeing his eyelids twitch, I said to Mr. Greenwell leave him alone a little and you will soon see him run away again. I thought he was only shamming for I knew how deceitful the Chinamen were, I did not notice whether he was bruised the first time or not. I returned to work and Greenwell came to me again, his clothes were put on him in the mean time. He seemed dead or insensible–Between the first and second calling of Greenwell could not have been more than half an hour, we opened his shirt in front and rubbed him with flannel for half and hour. It did not strike me that his death was occasioned by injuries, I saw a colored spot above the hip bone about the size of a hand and a half, it was not swollen but discolored; it would have been more if his skin was clear. I think I saw a spot on his breast, but I am not clear on that subject.
After the body was disinterred the aspect of the body was frightful. It was very different from what it was before it was buried. I saw the shoulder injured in two or three places, these were slight sores, they appeared as if made by a whip or stick. He was buried that day, Greenwell requested Mr. Cummings and Mr. Hall to come and see the corps before it was buried. I was present at the inquest, the body was mostly black and bruised, The weather was particularly cold at night and rainy when Salai absconded. He had no blanket, his clothes were not very thick or very warm. It is my opinion that his exposure produced the fatal result. I saw no wounds that I imagined would produce death. I have known Greenwell since June last, and know his manner of treating Coolies, he treated them kindly but strictly, he always treated Salai tenderly, his general deportment towards his servants has been moderate and humane, he never sent him at night to impregnate pumpkins, he was lying on his side in the morning and not on his knees, I never saw Greenwell strike one of his Coolies with such an instrument as is sworn to by the Girl, the iron.
Cross Examined.–Salai did not appear feeble up to his death, he was not so able as the others, he could do some work, he was a man not able to work much, he left Mr. Greenwell without inducement so far as I know, when he was returned on Friday Greenwell was not at home, he ran away the same day again, he was treated kindly, from Wednesday until Monday was very cold. I do not think a well man would have escaped without suffering if exposed without a blanket, Greenwell did not appear angry on Monday, I don't know whether he was provided with food that morning or not, he stated to me that he had given Salai two whippings, when I came to dinner Salai's feet were not tied, I did not see him fastened to the house. G. and I occupied separate beds in the same room, it was probably 11 P.M. when I retired, G. went to bed before me. I observed discolorations which appeared bruises before he was buried, I think they might have been produced by a whip. I saw the life preserver hanging by the side of Greenwell's bed, it was there constantly, he said Salai would probably stay at home after he told me of the beating, he had been flogged before, some two months previous. He has whipped some of the other Coolies, I never saw him use any other instrument than a whip, he did not seem to be in a passion, I never saw him in a passion. Salai had no blanket, he was lying on a board floor, the floor is open, I know Salai eat his dinner at the same time that G. and I did, he eat Kalo and beef I think, I think he had no supper.
After his death Mr. G. said nothing to me about his death, he appeared surprised at it, he sent for Mr. Cummings to examine the body before it was buried, but gave no reason for so doing, he said he could not explain the death, he couldn't find cause for it. I am of the firm opinion that Salai came to his death from his previous sickness and exposure, the whipping, had it not been for this, would not have injured.
Henry Clark, sworn for the defence, says:–I know Greenwell, I reside 5 miles from him, I was present at the inquest, I saw the corps examined, I saw no evidence of serious injury on that body, I saw no injury such as would result from the blow of the life preserver in any vital part, the injuries I think might have been made by a whip or light stick, I saw no injuries from which death would occur in my opinion I have attended a course of anatomy, surgical lectures, and Materia Medica, from the appearances of the body it is my conviction that death could not have resulted from the injuries indicated by these marks, I have known Greenwell for eight or ten months and been much in his company, I have always considered him a kind and humane man.
Cross Examined.–I cannot say that there was nay mark on Salai's body made by the life preserver, I cannot say that all the bruises were the result of whipping, some of them were the result of blows, Greenwell is one of my special friends, I objected to some of the jurors who took a somewhat active part in the examination at the inquest.
G. F. Hubertson sworn, says:–I have been 13 years resident in China. Suicide is an every day occurrence among Chinese, they commit suicide to avoid some impending evil real or imaginary; last year, down at Chincha Islands, 30 killed themselves in a week, it is a very common occurrence, indeed, for them to make away with themselves.
Mr. Bowden sworn, says:–I have resided in China a number of years, Chinamen commit suicide on trivial occasions.
R. G. Davis sworn, says:–I have known the accused two years, he was a tenant of mine, I formed a very favorable impression of his character, he was uniformly kind and Gentlemanly.
Preston Cummings recalled.–From my examination of the corpse and what I heard form Greenwell, I think that the whipping, exposure and cold, combined with his sickness, produced the death of Salai. He might have died from the exposure alone. He was a very feeble man as Mr. Greenwell informed me.
Theodore Codnell sworn, says:–I think the sickness, the hard use, and the exposure caused his death. I think the whipping had nothing to do with it, exposure and a little hard use was the cause of his death, I do not think the exposure alone would have caused his death.
F. Shultz recalled.–I have been exposed on the Mountains for five days and nights without food or blanket, it did not result in death.
Dr. S. P. Ford.–A blow might be inflicted by the life preserver without discoloration until after death, but it would surely appear afterwards.
I. Fuller recalled, says:–From the observation I made at the inquest of the body, and what I have heard here to-day, I should not be satisfied that the whipping caused the death, but it contributed to it I should say.
NOTE.-The Supreme Court decision in this case will bo found in full in the Hawaiian Reports, The King v. Greenwell.