Many references to the overthrow of Hawai‘i’s constitutional monarch on January 17, 1893 say it was ‘bloodless,’ suggesting no one was injured.
However, that is not the case; “A policeman named Leialoha was shot in the breast by John Good about 2:30 o’clock this afternoon on Fort street.” (Daily Bulletin, January 17, 1893)
Let’s look back …
At 2 pm, January 17, 1893, the members of the Executive and Advisory Councils of the Committee of Safety proceeded on foot to the Government building, most of them up Merchant Street and the rest up Queen Street.
That morning, John Good had been appointed ordnance officer, and with three assistants had been collecting arms and ammunitions from various stores. (Kuykendall)
“Good and four or five others were driving around the corner by H McIntyre & Bro’s store when the horse stumbled.”
“Two native policemen were standing at the corner and seeing a number of boxes on the wagon thought they were ammunition and caught the horse by the head.” (Eye witness account; Daily Bulletin, January 17, 1893)
It is not clear why the police chose this moment to interfere with a wagon loaded with ammunition that was leaving EO Hall & Son’s store on King Street for the armory. (Kuykendall)
As the driver kept on, a policeman blew his whistle, and four or five more policemen came running up. A Fort street car had just crossed King Street, and together with a passing dray, blocked the way for a few moments. As the wagon turned to go up Fort Street, a struggle ensued. (Alexander)
“Good leveled a pistol at the officer when the latter dodged. The other officer made a jump for the horse again, when Good shot him in the breast, lacerating it badly.” (Eye witness account; Daily Bulletin, January 17, 1893)
The wagon was then driven at full speed up Fort Street, pursued by two policemen on horseback, who were kept at a distance by rifles leveled at them from the wagon.
Good and his men continued on up Fort Street to School Street, and then down Punchbowl Street to the Armory. (Alexander)
“An officer was despatched for Good, but returned without him. He stated that Good had hid himself in the Skating Rink, along with others.” (Eye witness account; Daily Bulletin, January 17, 1893)
Leialoha was assisted by another officer and Mr PM Rooney to the Station house, where he was attended to by Dr. Peterson. (Alexander)
At the sound of the shot, all the police ran toward Fort and King, thus enabling the Committee of Safety to proceed almost unobserved to the government building. (Kuykendall)
All were unarmed. Only one of the volunteer riflemen had arrived, and none of the Queen’s forces were in sight. The house was nearly ‘empty, swept and garnished.’
Leialoha was afterwards taken to the hospital, and in time entirely recovered from his wound. (Alexander) He was “presented with a purse of $200 made by citizens. President Dole forwarded the money yesterday.” (Daily Bulletin, January 19, 1893)
“On January 18th Mr J Emmeluth handed me a letter and $200 with the request to place same in the Hospital safe and give it to Leialoha when Dr Wood should consider him out of danger.”
“About a week later, the man being out of danger, I told Leialoha that I had the money and letter, and would give him both any time he wished me to do so.”
“He asked me to keep them for him until he should leave the Hospital; he was discharged on March 11th, and I paid him two hundred dollars in United States gold coin and handed him the letter at the same time.” (John F Eckardt, Purveyor Queen’s Hospital; Hawaiian Star, August 5, 1893)
It appears Good may not have been prosecuted for shooting the police office. He was, however, Court Martialed a few years later for “conduct(ing) himself in a manner unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, speaking to his men in a highly disrespectful manner of his commanding officers”. (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, July 22, 1896 & May 6, 1898)
Queen Lili‘uokalani suggested John Smith Walker also was a victim of the revolution, noting, “friends (who) expressed their sympathy in person; amongst these Mrs JS Walker, who had lost her husband by the treatment he received from the hands of the revolutionists. He was one of many who from persecution had succumbed to death.” (Lili‘uokalani)
However, Walker’s obituary suggests a long illness noting, “Hon John S Walker died at 8 o’clock this morning after a long and painful illness, at the age of about 73 years. … The departed gentleman was universally respected for his qualities of head and heart and will he generally lamented.”
“Mr Walker was a member of the House of Nobles under the old Constitution … Mr Walker was elected for the six-year term in 1890. He was President of the Legislature for the sessions of 1886, 1890 and 1892, in which position he evinced … the strictest impartiality.” (Daily Bulletin, May 29, 1893) The image is the gun and bullet used by Good.