Russian Fort webinar, Sept. 10

WAIMEA — Commonly known as The Russian Fort, Pa‘ula‘ula or Fort Elizabeth, the place was built by Hawaiians as part of King Kaumuali‘i’s residential compound in 1816 and 1817, when Kaumuali‘i formed an alliance with Dr. George Anton Schaffer of the Russian-American Co.

The Friends of King Kaumuali‘i, in collaboration with the Historic Hawai‘i Foundation, present a virtual presentation Thursday, Sept. 10, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., with Dr. Peter Mills, a professor and author of “Hawai‘i’s Russian Adventure: A New Look at Old History.” He will present stories and considerations on interpreting and sharing a complex history of a significant site on Kaua‘i.

Pa‘ula‘ula, or the royal compound as described by the Friends of King Kaumuali‘i, has a complicated and complex history. The site where the Russian Fort Elizabeth sits is part of King Kaumuali‘i’s own kauhale, or village, and a highly significant wahi pana (legenday, celebrated or noteworthy locations).

Questions will be explored, such as: Why was the fort built? What role did it play on the international stage in the kingdom ruled by King Kaumuali‘i? What was the connection with the kingdom’s own intrigue and politics? How does the complexity of the history and the alternative narratives associated with this site impact the efforts to document and interpret it?

A question-and-answer session with Mills will follow the discussion.

Visit to register for the free webinar.


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