According to Barman and Watson, Kahela, a native of Hawaii, enlisted on a two-year contract with the Hudson’s Bay Company from O’ahu in 1845, and served at Fort Vancouver. This individual died at Fort Vancouver in 1848 probably from measles. However, five entries for April and May of 1848 in the Fort Victoria Journal recorded the presence of a Hawaiian by the name of Kahela at Fort Victoria as being on the sick list with other Hawaiians. On 17th April, Kahela and Bole were recorded as “laid up” with measles, which eventually led to their contracting dysentery, as recorded on 8th May. The appearance of measles followed by dysentery was endemic in North America during this period, and occurrences of high mortality were attested to in the Fort Victoria Journal, especially among Hawaiians and First Nations peoples. Finlayson recorded on 9th May, 1848, at about “3 this morning poor Kahela departed this life,” (Bole recovered as his name was recorded for 17th January, 1850).


  • Barman, Jean and Bruce Watson, Leaving Paradise: Indigenous Hawaiians in the Pacific Northwest. (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2006).
  • Hackett, Paul, A Very Remarkable Sickness: Epidemics in the Petit Nord, 1670-1846. (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2002).
Frederick Gentz