Bahia, a native of Hawaii, joined the Hudson’s Bay Company as a labourer at O’ahu on 7th May, 1845. He was first stationed at Fort Vancouver in 1845 before being transferred to Fort Victoria in 1846 where he worked as a labourer until 1849. Bahia’s first appearance in the Fort Victoria Journal was on 1st December, 1846, and is mentioned again five times throughout 1847. He was twice mentioned as cleaning “arms” during periods of convalescence from a sore foot. On 4th September, 1847, Finlayson recorded sending Coté with letters to Nisqually. Bahia, Ebony, and 5 unnamed Natives, went with Coté, with the two Hawaiians possibly serving as middlemen in the canoe. Bahia spent two short periods at sea – as labourer on the barque Columbia in 1846, and on the brigantine Mary Dare in 1849. Bahia returned to Hawaii in December of 1849 but subsequently re-enlisted for a further 2 years of service with the Company. It is unknown if Bahia returned to Fort Victoria as his name is not noted in the final five months of 1850 in the Fort Victoria Journal. However, Finlayson recorded for 12th March, 1850, “Eight Sandwich Islanders came by the Mary Dare as laborers for this place,” the Mary Dare having sailed from Hawaii, as evidenced by Finlayson’s entry for 18th March, 1850.


  • Barman, Jean and Bruce Watson, Leaving Paradise: Indigenous Hawaiians in the Pacific Northwest. (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2006).
Frederick Gentz