It seems, in January 1808, Kamehameha made arrangements with Captain Caleb Brintnall, Master of the Triumph out of New Haven, to take his 12-year old son and heir apparent, Liholiho, to New England for his education. However, Kaʻahumanu saw Kamehameha’s plan for the boy as a threat to her influence and political hold. So she sent an outrigger canoe with a mullet dinner out to Brintnall’s ship in Honolulu Harbor – a gift for the Captain and his officers.
In the Hawaiian tradition of ‘apu koheoheo (the poison cup) the fish had been basted with the deadly toxins of the keke (puffer fish.) However, Brintnall and most of his officers were on shore at Honolulu. Mix was the only officer on board who had dinner and then died from the poisoning. This may have changed the course of history in the Islands. Following this, Brintnall sailed on to Kealakekua and met ʻŌpūkahaʻia. He boarded Brintnall’s ‘Triumph’ in Kealakekua Bay and set sail for New York. ʻŌpūkahaʻia later inspired American Protestant missionaries to volunteer to carry his message to Hawaiʻi.