Robert Wilcox defeated Kūhiō’s brother David to become the first Hawaiian Delegate in the US Congress. Kūhiō initially joined Wilcox’s Home Rule Party but grew disenchanted and eventually joined the Republican Party and ran and in 1902, Kūhiō won a landslide victory and unseated Robert Wilcox .
When President Theodore Roosevelt greeted Kūhiō in 1903, he balked at the name Kalaniana‘ole. “I shall not call him Prince Cupid, and I cannot pronounce his last name. I never would be able to remember it, anyhow,” the President complained. From then on, most Washingtonians simply referred to him as “Kūhiō” or “Prince Cupid,” after his childhood nickname.
On January 4, 1904, Kūhiō gained some unwanted notoriety when he was arrested for disorderly conduct after scuffling outside a DC bar. (House-gov)
“According to the police of the first precinct he had a misunderstanding with Charles Clarke, forty-five years old, a collector, near the corner of 13th street and Pennsylvania avenue northwest, about 11 o’clock last night and refused to accept the kindly offices of Policeman Wolf, who attempted to smooth matters over.”
“The conduct of both men was such, the police state, that it was necessary for the officer to take both men into custody and escort them to the first precinct police station but he only suceeded in doing so by using force after he had exhausted every other means.” (Hawaiian Star, Jan 22, 1904)
He refused to pay a fine or to alert friends to his predicament and stayed overnight in jail, incorrectly claiming that, as a Member of Congress, he was exempt from arrest. The next morning the court notified friends, who bailed him out. (House-gov)
In a letter to his brother, Kūhiō explained, “On the way down from the billiard parlor, I stopped at the Stand to purchase cigarettes (this is on the ground floor and the entrance to the build On the way down from the billiard parlor …”
“… I stopped at the Stand to purchase cigarettes (this is on the ground floor and the entrance to the building), when I heard cursing coming from the rear of the building, where there is a bar, and then an order by the proprietor to his bartenders to put a man out.”
“In the rush-out the crowd did not seem to know who was being put out, and I suppose I got a bit curious, too, to see the row. The first I knew some one brushed against me and another ran into me from the rear and then was rushed out by the mob.”
“Staggering forward through the entrance I felt somebody hit me from the back and a second blow knocked me down to the sidewalk. It all happened so quickly I had not the opportunity to strike back and, upon rising. I asked for an explanation.”
“Two fellows, one turned out to be an officer in citizen’s clothes, said something to this effect, ‘You shut up, you drunken nigger!’ and then made a lunge at me.”
“Three or four others, who undoubtedly knew the officer and, probably thinking they were assisting him, all jumped on me and I resisted with but little effect, however.”
“I was protesting against this men roughly took hold of me, when I again protested to the arrest being unjustified, and asked who had placed me under arrest. The officer in citizen clothes replied, he did, and showed his authority, the badge, upon my demand.”
“I requested of the uniformed officers that the fellow who struck me and also the officer that placed ‘me under arrest be taken along too; but the latter told them, ‘Never mind him; take the damned drunken nigger!’”
“On arrival at the station with the two ‘cops’ I was charged with disorderly conduct, when I then again protested and demanded the arrest of the other two without avail.”
“Then I told the clerk that I am a Congressman and that I thought a Congressman had some privileges exempting him from arrest while he is in attendance at the Capitol.”
“He replied he thought there was no help unless I put up $5 collateral, which I refused to do unless it be upon my own recognizance. The clerk again replied that I had one of two things to chose, either put up the collateral up or be locked up.”
“I had become enraged at the perpetrated outrage and I chose the latter.’” (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, Jan 23, 1904)
In the morning, “prince Cupid drank out of a tin cup along with persons who had been arrested for being drunk.” (Los Angeles Times, Jan 6, 1904) (The LA Times headlined their story of this experience as “Jonah in ‘The Jug.’”)
“The charge of disorderly conduct against Prince Kūhiō Kalaniana’ole, Delegate from Hawaii, was nolle prossed [dropped, abandoned or dismissed] in the police court today. The Delegate had been arrested in connection with an encounter with a Honolulu attorney named Charles Clarke.”
“A number of friends of Prince Kūhiō were present in the court room and they warmly congratulated him over the satisfactory outcome of the case.” (Hilo Tribune, Jan 22, 1904)
“The law in question is found in Section 6, Article I, of the Constitution, and reads as follows: ‘The Senators and Representatives … shall, in all cases, except treason, felony, and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective houses, and in going to and returning from the same.’”
“Commenting on this, Paschal, in his ‘Constitution of the United States,’ says: ‘This would seem to extend to all indictable offenses, as well as those which are attended with force and violence.”
“The privilege from arrest commences from the election, and before the member takes his seat or is sworn. One who goes to Washington duly commissioned to represent a State in Congress is privileged from arrest …”
“… and though it be subsequently decided by Congress that he is not entitled to a seat there, he is protected until he reaches home, if he return there as soon as possible.’” (Hawaiian Gazette, Feb 12, 1904)
This wasn’t the first time Kūhiō had been jailed. In 1895, following the overthrow of Queen Lili‘uokalani, Kūhiō took part in a counterrevolution led by Robert Wilcox against the Republic of Hawai‘i.
The prince was charged with misprision of treason and served his sentence of one year in prison. During his imprisonment, a Kauai chiefess, Elizabeth Kahanu Ka‘auwai, visited him each day, and after his release, the two married on October 8, 1896.
Kūhiō and his princess left Hawai‘i on a self-imposed exile and traveled extensively through Europe. In 1899, the prince served in the British Army in the Second Boer War against the independent Boer (Dutch-settled) republics of Transvaal and Oranje Vrijstaain in southeast Africa. (DHHL)
Then, Kūhiō returned home and engaged in the politics of post-annexation Hawai‘i. (The image shows Kūhiō in his initial imprisonment in Hawai‘i.)