A single entry in the Fort Victoria Journal recorded “Our Steward Maaro & Kehow with two Kanakas from the Cowlitz deserted in course of last night & our interpreter with some Indians sent in search of them.” Entries on 29th and 30th April, 1850, in the Nisqually Journal identified “deserters from Victoria reported to be at Steilacoom, are Malo, Pake & two Islanders [Hawaiians].” “Maaro” is likely a variant of ?Malo?. As one of many Kanaka (indigenous Hawaiian) employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company, Maaro began his service in 1844 from O’ahu. From Honolulu, Maaro served as a labourer in the Willamette until 1847 when he moved to Cowlitz Farm. Before 1846, the HBC attempted to entice settled farmers from the Willamette area to relocate to Cowlitz, a district under management by the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, in an attempt to withstand American claims to lands north of the Columbia River. The Company’s inability to shift the Willamette farmers, or employ sufficient native Indians, led to a labour supply shortage and greater reliance on Hawaiian and French-Canadian labourers. In 1849, Maaro moved to Fort Victoria, where he remained until 1850, deserting on April 22nd, 1850.


  • Barman, Jean and Bruce Watson, Leaving Paradise: Indigenous Hawaiians in the Pacific Northwest. (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2006).
  • Duncan, Janice K., “Minority without a Champion: The Kanaka Contribution to the Western United States.” MA Thesis, Portland State University, 1972. open_access_etds/964/ .
  • Farrar, Victor J., “The Nisqually Journal, Continued from Vol. XI, Page 149, [April, 1850],” The Washington Historical Quarterly, Vol. 11, No. 3, (July, 1920): 218-229. http://journals.lib.washington. edu/index.php/index/search/titles?searchPage=174 .
  • Gibson, James R., Farming the Frontier: The Agricultural Opening of the Oregon Country, 1786-1846. (Vancouver: University of British Columbia, 1985).
Frederick Gentz