User:Viriditas/Elizabeth McHutcheson Sinclair

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Elizabeth McHutcheson Sinclair
J. J. Williams, Portrait of Elizabeth McHutcheson Sinclair.jpg
Photograph taken by James J. Williams
Born (1800-04-26)April 26, 1800
Glasgow, Scotland
Died October 16, 1892(1892-10-16) (aged 92)
Makaweli, Kauai, Hawaii
Occupation Farmer, Rancher, Landowner
Known for buying Niihau ???
Spouse(s) Francis W. Sinclair
Children George, Jane, Helen, James, Francis and Anne
Parent(s) William (or James) McHutcheson and Jean Robertson

Elizabeth McHutcheson Sinclair (Glasgow, Scotland on April 26, 1800 - October 16, 1892)

Early life[edit]

She was known as "Eliza".[1] Her family name was sometimes spelled "McHutchison". She was born Glasgow, Scotland, one of six children of William (or James[1]) and Jean Robertson McHutcheson. Her father was a successful merhcant and the family was prosperous.[2] On January 13, 1824[2], she married Captain Francis W. Sinclair (1797-1846) of the Royal Navy, and by 1839 had three sons and three daughters. Captain Sinclair was a master navigator, best known for saving the life of the Duke of Wellington in rough seas while escorting him on his return from the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.[3][4][5]

disagreement (1800-1848 Beginnings. A History of Stewardship. Eric A. Knudsen Trust.)

New Zealand[edit]

The Sinclairs moved to New Zealand, arriving in 1841. They settled in Pigeon bay in 1843. In 1846, her husband and her oldest son George disappeared at sea during a business trip headed towards Wellington. Her husband was carrying all the family's cash and produce supplies[6] Eliza and her five children were left to survive on their own in Pigeon Bay.

With her children marrying and producing grandchildren, the Sinclair clan needed more land, and Eliza's son Francis helped plan a new voyage.[3] They sold their property in New Zealand and sailed to the Pacific Northwest of the United States with the goal of acquiring property in British Columbia.[3]

Pacific Northwest[edit]

In early June 1863, the Bessie arrived in Victoria, British Columbia on Vancouver Island. The Sinclairs found the land wild and undeveloped with thick forests making the effort required to clear land for agriculture close to impossible with their limited labor and resources. The new arrivals also found the Native Americans strikingly different than the Maori they were accustomed to in New Zealand. Eliza set her sights on California, but an acquaintanc named Henry Rhodes recommended that the Sinclairs avoid the rough oceans during the winter as it would make anchorage difficult. Instead, Rhodes suggested they sail to the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) where his brother lived in Honolulu. The Sinclairs agreed, and they boarded the Bessie one last time.[7]


At the age of 63 years-old, Eliza led 13 members of her family to Hawaii, arriving in Honolulu Harbor on September 17, 1863 on the vessel Bessie[8] captained by her son-in-law, Thomas Gay.[3] The 300-ton barque arrived fully provisioned, with Merino sheep, one cow, hay, grain, chickens, a grand piano, books, and clothing. Eliza was considered a "chiefess" by the native Hawaiians she and her family employed on the island of Niihau and in Makaweli on Kauai.[9] January 23, 1864

Two years later, she purchased the ahupuaʻa of Makaweli (Hawaiian: "fearful features")[10] on Kauai from Princess Victoria Kamāmalu for $15,000. On Makaweli's 21,844 acres her family fortune was secured through ranching and sugar production.[11]

Physically strong and active into her later years, she left an impression upon all that met her. Isabella Bird, on her travels to Hawaii, met Mrs. Sinclair and described her as, "A lady of the old Scotch type, beautiful in her old age, very talented, bright, humorous, with a definite character... though upwards of seventy she rides on horseback... as light in figure and step as a young girl."[12] She was acquainted with Queen Liliʻuokalani who described her as "one of my warm friends". [13]:196 Liliʻuokalani frequently stay at her home in Makaweli and listen to her advice on dealing with the Europeans and Americans.[14] The Sinclair and Gay families remain faithful to the monarchy during the Overthrow and openly deounced the Annexation of Hawaii,[15] although her son-in-law Knudsen was not as sentimental and joined the side of the annexationist.[16][14]

She became known to the Hawaiian as Sinikalea.[17] Affectionately know as "Mama."[18]

Later years[edit]


Francis Sinclair Sr. and Elizabeth McHutcheson Sinclair had six children:

  1. George Sinclair born ?, lost at sea 1846.
  2. Jane or Jean Sinclair born ? died 1916. Married 1849 Thomas Gay (d. 1865), four children and a stepson.[19]
  3. Helen Sinclair born ? died ?. Married ? Charles Barrington Robinson, ? children.
  4. James Sinclair, considered an invalid.[20]
  5. Francis Sinclair Jr. born 1833 died 1916. Married 1863 his cousin Isabella McHutcheson (1842-1900), ? children.[21][22]
  6. Anne McHutcheson Sinclair born March 7, 1839 died June 7, 1922. Married February 12, 1867 Valdemar Knudsen (1819–1898), five children.[23][24]

==Ancestors== SINCLAIR-Jamerson, clan

Isabella and her Husband = also simultaneously her blood relative Francis W. We're not the purchasers of one of many other islands = Niihau. Elizabeth Sinclair descendants = Sinclair Jerald Jamerson, Sinclair Janet Bush, Sinclair Leilani Jamerson, Sinclair Bryon Jamerson and Sinclair Melanie Jamerson. Mean while by phone the management of the island = one of two brothers have been notified by Sinclair Jerald Jamerson.


  1. ^ a b Novitz, 2010
  2. ^ a b Peterson 1984, p. 335-340
  3. ^ a b c d Daws, 1962
  4. ^ Stepien, 1988, p. 35.
  5. ^ Harrington, Daniel. (n.d.). Hawaiian Encyclopedia. <Biographies, Part 2 Glossary (M-S). Mutual Publishing.
  6. ^ Joesting 1984, p. 190
  7. ^ Tabrah 1987, pp. 97-98
  8. ^ Joesting 1984, p. 189
  9. ^ Joesting 1984, p. 144
  10. ^ Mary Kawena Pukui, Samuel Hoyt Elbert and Esther T. Mookini (2004). "lookup of Makaweli ". in Place Names of Hawai'i. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved October 12, 2010. 
  11. ^ [1] or [2]
  12. ^ Bird 1875, p. 305
  13. ^ Queen Liliʻuokalani (July 25, 2007) [1898]. Hawaii's Story by Hawaii's Queen, Liliuokalani. Lee and Shepard, reprinted by Kessinger Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-0548222652. 
  14. ^ a b 1846-1892 The Sinclair Family. A History of Stewardship. Eric A. Knudsen Trust.
  15. ^ Hale Kuamo‘o, College of Hawaiian Language and the Native Hawaiian Library, Alu Like, Inc. (2003). HAWAII HOLOMUA. Buke 3, Helu 149, Aoao 1. Ianuari 30, 1893. 30 Ianuali 1893 ULUKAU: The Hawaiian electronic library.
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ Bird 1875, p. 306
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ Indigenous Flowers of the Hawaiian Islands, Isabella Sinclair (1885)
  22. ^,+francis,+1833-1916%22&c_creatorauthor_logic=or
  23. ^ Peterson 1984, p. 335-340
  24. ^ 1867 Knudsen-Sinclair. A History of Stewardship. Eric A. Knudsen Trust.


Further reading[edit]

  • Knudsen Von Holt, Ida Elizabeth; Harold St. John (2005) [1953]. Stories of Long Ago. Advertiser Pub. Co/Daughters of Hawaii. ISBN 0938851020.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthor= (help).