Alexander Adams (Hawaii)

Captain Alexander Adams was a Scottish man who sailed under the British Flag just after the Great Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. He sailed on a British frigate called the Elizabeth. He arrived in Hawaii on a ship called the Albatross and upon arriving he made friends with King Kamehameha the Great. He served as the Honolulu Harbor Pilot for the King Kamehameha I in the early nineteenth century. [ [ Rob McClure Smith: Scots in Hawaii ] ]

Adams was born in 27 December 1780 in Arbroath, Forfarshire, Scotland and died in Niu, Oahu, Hawaii, in 27 October 1870. He was born to the John Fyfe, "The Earl of Fyfe" born in Abroath circa. 1754, and his wife Jean Adams, born in Abroath circa. 1758. It can be speculated that he followed his mother's surname. He started sailing from the age of 12 years old.

Leaving Scotland, aged 12, worked 4 years aboard the "Zephyr" belonging to Husson & Co. Newcastle on the Tyne River England. Age 16, left "Zephyr", joined "Calcutta" on the Lancaster for 2 trips. Drafted into Naval service aboard "Elizabeth" during the Great Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. [ Hawaiian Genealogy of Kekoolani and Other Familes - pafg14 - Generated by Personal Ancestral File ] ]

Possibly arrived in Hawaii 1809 or 1811. Anchored in Kawaihae Bay on 21 January 1816, aboard "Forrester". Purchased with Sandlewood, King Kamehameha the Great made trade with Adams, and Capt. Ebbetts. Purchase had to be done with the condition that Adams command the ship. The "Forrester's" name was changed to "Kaahumanu". It was mostly a cargo and dispatch vessel. Kamehameha placed the Hawaiian navy under his charge. He served for the Hawaiian Government under Kamehameha, and in 7 March 1817, King Kamehameha sent Adams to China on a Sandlewood voyage, crew members died while in route due to changes in climate. While in China, ordered to pay $3000, in port charges. Upon returning 5 October 1817, at Hilo, and hearing of the charges Adams had to pay, King Kamehameha ordered Hawaii do the same.

After 30 years of piloting, Adams retired, resided in Kalihi and was great host to many. Adams kept a journal which his notes were taken from and printed in Honolulu Star Bulltein 05-04-1935. The king gave Adams Niu valley (a valley a few miles away from Waikiki) on the island of Oahu in gratitude for his services to the kingdom. It was approximately convert|2500|acre|km2. The mountain to the ocean. Adams lived the remainder of his life in the Hawaiian islands, where he married three times and left many descendants. His first wife was Sally or Kale Davis, daughter of Isaac Davis Aikake. Two of his marriages, both sisters, were to King Kamehameha's adoptive great grand daughters, Sarah Ulukaihonua Harbottle and then to her sister Charlotte Oili Harbottle. Both daughters of Papapaupu (or Papapaunauapu, the adopted grand daughter of King Kamehameha) and John Harbottle, a Scotsman. He had 15 children and at the time of his death, 10 were still alive.

Adams is traditionally credited with sailing the first vessel to sail under the flag of HawaiiFact|date=February 2007 to China to sell Sandelwood for the King. Some traditions also credit him with designing the flag, though this honor has also been claimed for King Kamehameha I himself or another British sailor of the time, George C. Beckley, or both.

According to Alexander Adams memoirs, he was mistaken for a man of war by a British high ranking officer who then put him in charge of a ship. He admits to the mistake. After he arrived on the ship the Albatross in Hawaii which flew the American flag, he later refused to sail under the American flag once war broke out between England and America in 1812. He stood on the shores of Hawaii with John Young Olohana when the first Missionaries anchored off shore. He helped convince the King to allow the missionaries to come ashore and speak to the King. He takes credit for creating the Hawaiian flag. His reasoning for adding the British jack into the flag was due to the power of the British Empire at the time. He quotes "if we don't pledge allegance to Britain we may all perish". He was sent to Kauai by King Kamehemeha the Great to remove a Russian fort that had been set up. His words were "upon arriving they were soon dispatched". Upon gaining status in the Hawaiian Kingdom, whenever a ship visited from Britain's royalty, he received a visit from emissaries. He was given a gift by the Queen of England for each child that was born to him.

He had a home on Adams lane, a small lane in downtown Honolulu next to the Hawaiian Telephone company building, as well as in Niu Valley. He is buried next to his best friend William Auld in the Nuuanu Cemetery.

ee also

*History of Hawaii



* [ Web bio of Captain Alexander Adams]
*cite web
last = DiNanni
first = Sandra
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title = Web bio of Alexander Adams
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accessdate = 2006-11-19

* [ HAWAIIAN HISTORICAL LEGENDS, by William D. Westervelt, Fleming H. Revell Co., New York, 1923]

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