Kealoha, a native of Hawaii, enlisted with the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1847, although he may have worked at the Company’s Honolulu station in 1846. He was recorded in the Fort Victoria Journal as being on the sick list on 5th May, 1848, and, after overcoming measles, performing “light jobs” on the 8th May. By the 20th May, he was suffering from dysentery, as were other Fort Victoria Hawaiian islanders, including his friend, Kanome. During the early months of 1849, Kealoha participated in the construction of Fort Rupert in Beaver Harbour, within the site of Tsaxis, an old Kwakiutl village. Fort Rupert represented the end of an aggressive construction policy by Governor Simpson, which began in 1820s. Kealoha died of pneumonia in December, 1849, with prayers spoken in Hawaiian being read at his grave. The burial ceremony may represent a widespread adherence to Hawaiian rituals and beliefs by overseas islanders, according to Donnell. Kealoha’s personal property was inherited by his friend, Kanome, and money owing him was sent to his sister in O’ahu.


  • Barman, Jean and Bruce Watson, Leaving Paradise: Indigenous Hawaiians in the Pacific Northwest. (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2006).
  • Belshaw, John Douglas, Becoming British Columbia: A Population History. (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2009).
  • Donnell, Rogers J., “Ku on the Columbia: Hawaiian Laborers in the Pacific Northwest Fur Industry.” MA Thesis, Oregon State University, 1993. .
Frederick Gentz