Honolulu harbor was called Kulolia before foreigners came. The first foreigner was Captain William Brown of the English ship Butterworth, in 1794. He named the harbor Fair Haven. Other foreign captains started calling it Brown's Harbor. The name Honolulu was used some time after that.
Honolulu quickly became the most important harbor of Hawaii. At that time, sandalwood was a big export. Honolulu was also an important supply point for whalers.