The first European explorers reached these heavenly volcanic islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean at the end of the 18th century. One, the famous British voyager James Cook, also found his final resting place there. The dynasty he founded reigned for almost the entire 19th century, gradually enrooting Western institutions — schools, churches, trading companies and taverns. In the last Hawaiian queen, Liliuokalani, was overthrown, and for five years the islands existed as a republic. But few know that in the early 19th century, one of the islands of the Hawaiian archipelago was briefly part of the Russian Empire. The first Russian explorers to reach Hawaii were sailors taking part in a round-the-world expedition in under the command of Captain Yuri Lisyansky.
Russians in Hawaii
Russian Fort Elizabeth
Skip to content. Four years ago, I went on a Hawaiian vacation. And when I happened to type two words into Google — "Russians" and "Hawaii" — I stumbled across a startling historical footnote. Asian labor was the backbone of the early sugar industry, but working the sugarcane fields was a brutal way to make a living.
For a group of Siberians, Hawaii was far from a tropical paradise
Fort Alexander built on Hanalei Bay also housed a small Orthodox chapel. Russian Fort Elizabeth eventually came under the control of Kamehameha supporters. Humehume tried to stage a rebellion in by attacking the fort. It was used as a base to capture him and keep the kingdom unified. It was abandoned in
The chieftain of the island, Kaumualii , seized the company goods on board. A simple mission led by an inexperienced but ambitious physician unfolded into a major blunder for the Company. His actions were not sanctioned by RAC governor Alexander Andreyevich Baranov , who gave no instructions beyond either regaining the lost company items or compensation for them in sandalwood.