china plates, 2 china couches, cigar boxes, tea caddies, 9 writing desks, camphor trunks, axes, black tea, toweling."
Before settling in Hawaii, Captain Hackfeld had been a trader on the China Coast, sailing his own vessel. He was born near Dalmenhorat in Oldenburg, Germany, in 1815. He left Hamburg on November 28, 1848, on board the 156- ton Wilhelmine, and began a voyage that took him around the Horn and across the Pacific to Tahiti and finally Hawaii. Accompanying him were his wife Mary, and her young brother, J. Charles Pflueger. One of the crew members was his nephew, B. F. Ehlers. The vessel, carrying cargo valued at $8,394, arrived in Honolulu on September 26, 1849.
A trader of experience, Captain Hackfeld foresaw a growing demand on the Islands for manufactured goods from Europe and America. He had the advantage of knowing where to find them and how to have them brought to Honolulu. His first establishment was shared with one C. S. Bartow. But six weeks after it opened, Bartow had moved to other quarters and Captain Hackfeld's business was occupying the entire store.
Not long afterwards he joined with two other merchants, Swan & Clifford, in a retail store, but the partner. ship did not last long. After it was dissolved, Hackfeld continued the business alone, moving it in 1850 to a new location on Fort Street. The "Upper Store," as it became known, offered new goods from Boston and placed special emphasis on stationery and account books in its first advertisement. The name of Nahum Mitchell appeared as manager, assisted by young Ehlers. Because of the voluminous silk gowns worn by the chieftesses who congregated there, the natives called it "Mauna Kalika" or "Mountain of Silk." In later years it became B. F. Ehlers & Company. Today it is The Liberty House.