Kamakeea, a native of Hawaii, enlisted with the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1840 taking him to Fort Taku (also known as Fort Durham) as a middleman. Kamakeea was one of 70 Hawaiians George Pelly enlisted for three-year engagements in 1840. Fort Taku was constructed in 1840 in Taku Harbour (near Juneau, Alaska), in what is now the Alaska Panhandle, following British-Russian negotiations for a ten-year lease by the HBC. During its brief period of operation, the Fort was threatened by Chilkat Tlingits in 1840, and was evacuated in 1843 after conflicts with the Tlingit. Whether Kamakeea experienced Tlingit hostilities at Fort Taku is unknown; however, he was shortly moved to Fort McLoughlin, where he remained until 1843 when he was sent to help construct Fort Victoria. Entries for Kamakeea are recorded in the Fort Victoria Journal for the years 1846-1847, and both he and Tarpaulin are identified as departing for Honolulu on 10th November, 1847 aboard the barque Columbia (passengers included George Lambert and George Holland, after whom Holland Point in James Bay was named). A final entry on 1st July, 1849 attests to Kamakeea’s return to Fort Victoria and engagement at the Mill. Kamakeea had a son Joseph with an unknown Native woman. That Joseph was baptized Catholic illustrates the degree to which the Catholic Church had established itself among overseas Hawaiians. In June 1851, Kamakeea retired from service with the HBC, remaining near Fort Victoria and carrying on transactions with the Company (1854-1855). He was thereafter considered deceased.


  • Barman, Jean and Bruce Watson, Leaving Paradise: Indigenous Hawaiians in the Pacific Northwest. (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2006).
  • Grinev, Andrei Val’Terovich, The Tlingit Indians in Russian America, 1741-1867. Trans. Richard L. Bland & Katerina G. Solovjova. (Lincoln & London: University of Nebraska, 2005).
  • “Holland, George: HBC employee 1836-1851,” B.C. Metis Mapping Research Project. http://ubc. bcmetis.ca/hbc_bio_profile.php?id=MTM0Mw== .
  • “Lambert, John: HBC employee 1844-1847,” B.C. Metis Mapping Research Project. http://ubc. bcmetis.ca/hbc_bio_profile.php?id=MTc1Nw== .
  • Makie, Richard S., Trading Beyond the Mountains: The British Fur Trade on the Pacific, 1793-1843. (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1997).
Frederick Gentz