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Naukane (before 1811 - c. 1840), also known as John Coxe and Coxe was a Native Hawaiian who traveled widely through North America in the early 19th century.

In 1811 the American Pacific Fur Company recruited 12 Hawaiians to work as labourers (known as kanakas) in the Pacific Northwest, transporting them in the Tonquin. In 1812 the company hired another 26 islanders and King Kamehameha appointed Naukane to join the group and look after the interests of Hawaiian labourers.

On the voyage to Fort Astoriamarker on the Columbia River Naukane was given the name John Coxe, because he resembled a shipmate on the Tonquin.

Soon after Naukane arrived at Fort Astoria David Thompson of the Montrealmarker-based North West Company also arrived. In July, 1811, Thompson and a group of Astorians began to journey up the Columbia River. The two parties traveled together until they reached the Columbia Gorgemarker, after which Thompson went on ahead. Before parting ways there was an exchange of some of the workers.Thompson allowed his employee Michel Boulard to join the Pacific Fur Company in exchange for Naukane, who Thompson referred to as Coxe. Boulard was a 40 year old voyageur who had worked with Thompson off and on for the last 11 years. Boulard, although weaker with age, was useful to the Astorians for his great knowledge of geography and native affairs. In contrast, Naukane was valuable to Thompson for his great strength. Naukane traveled with Thompson as far as Spokane Housemarker. There he was left with Jaco Finlay while Thompson continued rapidly on. Soon Naukane was traveling east as well, crossing the continent to Fort Williammarker (today's Thunder Baymarker, Ontariomarker) on Lake Superiormarker. From there he traveled by water to Quebec. In 1812 the ship Isaac Todd took him to Englandmarker. In 1813 he returned to the Pacific Northwest on the British warship HMS Racoon.

Naukane returned to Hawaiimarker in 1815. He moved again to the Pacific Northwest in 1827. He worked for several years at Fort Vancouvermarker and retired nearby. He died of tuberculosis sometime around 1840.

See also


  1. Asian North American History Timeline Project, explorASIAN
  2. online at Google Books

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