Honolulu, the capital city of the youngest US state, Hawaii, has around 400,000 citizens. Croatians mostly moved here for work, or are among the group that has been coming over from Bosnia and Herzegovina in the last twenty years.

However, one Croatian lived in this city on a Pacific island much earlier. He was Captain John Dominis Gospodnetich, born on Brač in 1796. Dominis was a trader, and sailed between Boston and Honolulu in the period between 1820 and 1840. After the arrival of his son, John Owen, from his marriage with Mary Jones, the family settled down in Honolulu. Captain Dominis built a colonial style house in the center of the city, and didn’t live there for very long, as he was lost in a shipwreck, while on the way to Japan in 1846. His house would go on to become a residence for Hawaiian governors, and was named Washington Place, in honor of American president George Washington.


Washington place

Washington Place, the house built by John Dominis Gospodnetic Senior.


John Dominis’ son, John Owen Dominis (Boston, 1831 – Honolulu, 1891), married Hawaiian princess Lydia many years later, and thus became the prince of Hawaii. He was named the royal governor of the Ohau and Maui islands in 1868. The couple lived in Washington Place[1] until John Owen’s death in 1891. Not long after his death, his wife was crowned the last queen of Hawaii, Lili’uokalani. John Owen’s death preempted him from becoming king, thus leaving him as the last Hawaiian prince. The dynasty ended with them.


120px-Captain_John_Dominis                                 John_Owen_Dominis_(PP-71-2-022)

One the left is Captain John Dominis, and his son, John Owen Dominis, the prince of Hawaii, is on the right.



Queen Street, Honolulu; George Henry Burges, 1856.


stina                                        liliuokalani (1)

Honolulu, monument to queen Lili'uokalani, and her portrait.

[1] Eterovich, Adam. 2004. Prince of Hawaii was Croatian. The Ragusan Press. San Carlos, California.