Ebony, a native of Hawaii, joined the Hudson’s Bay Company as a labourer at O’ahu in 1844. He worked for the Company for fifteen years, starting at Fort Vancouver. Ebony lived with other Hawaiians in the workers’ village, ‘Kanaka Town’, and would have been among more than 100 workers at Fort Vancouver during this period. He served as a seaman at various times aboard several HBC ships, (Vancouver (1845), Columbia (1846), and Cadboro (1849-1850)). Ebony is mentioned 15 times in the Fort Victoria Journal; four entries between 1847 and 1848 identify him in association with a work crew of Indians. On 24th May, 1848, Finlayson identified Ebony as “one of the Mill gang.” He left service with the HBC in 1851, joining the Victoria Voltigeurs, a Colonial Militia composed of Metis, Victoria area natives, French Canadians, and Hawaiians. He was recorded as having the rank of private (along with fellow Hawaiians, Tom Keave and Juano). The Voltigeurs were disbanded in 1858 after which Ebony worked as a stoker aboard the steamer Otter. He was last in the Victoria area in 1859 at the Craigflower farm employed as a woodcutter.


  • Barman, Jean and Bruce Watson, Leaving Paradise: Indigenous Hawaiians in the Pacific Northwest. (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2006).
  • Hawaiians at Fort Vancouver—National Park Service. (National Park Service: US Department of the Interior). http://www.nps.gov/fova/planyourvisit/upload/Hawaiians%20FOVA%20SB%202_low_res.pdf.
  • McKelvie, B. A. and Willard E. Ireland, “The Victoria Voltigeurs,” The British Columbia Historical Quarterly. Vol. XX, Nos. 3 and 4 (July-October, 1956): 221-239.
Frederick Gentz