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Blount Report: Affairs in Hawaii

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428	           HAWAIIAN   ISLANDS.
objected to by the Mexican Government, whereas Mr. Nordhoff, while in the Ha- 
waiian Islands and under the jurisdiction of its courts, has written articles defama- 
tory of this Government, which were published in the United States in a newspaper 
which is freely circulated in the Hawaiian Islands, and which articles have been 
republished here.
I beg to inform you that this Government will rigidly adhere to the rules of inter- 
national law in respect of this matter as in all other matters, and in that view has 
referred to its law advisers the question of Mr. Nordhoff's civil liability in the 
I have the honor to be Your Excellency's obedient servant,
Minister of Foreign Affairs. 
To His Excellency J. H. BLOUNT,
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States at Honolulu,
[Inclosure 2 in No. 3.] 
[From the Hawaiian Star, May 24, 1893.]
The Cutting case, which was cited by United States Minister Blount in behalf of 
Charles Nordhoff, is a well-remembered episode in the criminal practice of inter- 
national law. Mr. Cutting was a citizen of the United States, who lived at Juarez, 
formerly Paso del Norte, on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande border. At outs 
with an official of the Mexican Government, he assaulted him bitterly in a paper 
published on the Texas side of the line at El Paso, for which offense he was ar- 
rested by the Mexican authorities and thrust into jail. The American Secretary of 
State thereupon demanded and enforced his release on the ground that a citizen of 
the United States could not be criminally punished by the Government of a foreign 
country for a libelous publication made on American soil, holding that the in- 
jured party must seek redress in the courts within the jurisdiction of which the 
offense of publication had been committed.
Such a rule as this would, for example, apply to George Kennan, author of the 
Century papers on Siberia, in ease he should, upon another visit to Russia, be crim- 
inally prosecuted by the Czar for the libels which the Russian Government claim he 
committed in his accounts of official cruelties practiced upon Siberian convicts. The 
Imperial Government would doubtless be informed by the American Foreign Office 
that its only remedy - except the deportation of Mr. Kennan as an undesirable vis- 
itor - lay in his prosecution in the courts of the United States and before a jury of 
his peers. No doubt in Mr. Kennan's case the validity of this argument would be as 
promptly admitted by Russia as it was when applied a year ago to Poultney Bigelow 
and Frederick Remington, who went into the Empire on a mission similar to that of 
Kennan, but were arrested for it and expelled from the country. That they would 
have been otherwise punished but for the force of the international rule laid down 
in the Cutting case can hardly he doubted by any one who is familiar with the tend- 
encies of the Czar towards those who write, speak, or act against his mode of gov- 
Mr. Nordhoff is of course fortunate that by appeal to American precedent he has 
escaped another humiliation; but that fact does not alter the circumstances that, 
morally speaking, and in a way amenable to civil damages, he libeled Minister 
Stevens and President Dole and deserved the punishment which Hawaiian criminal 
law would have been likely to inflict upon him. His guilt is patent, though the con- 
sequences of it may have been avoided. The only gratification he can feel is that 
of an apprehended miscreant who escapes his deserts through a merely technical 
plea against the jurisdiction of the judge.
[Inclosure 3 in No. 3, Diplomatic Series.]
[From the Hawaiian Star, May 23, 1893.
A broad smile of amusement went across the face of the town last evening, when 
it was learned that Mr. Nordhoff had applied for protection to the United States min- 
ister, and that, at the request of the latter, the Provisional Government had detailed

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