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Barque Flora

On August 3, 1840, the ‘Flora’ left the Islands. “The Flora, is chartered by one of the mercantile houses at Honolulu, and is principally freighted with sugar and molasses, novel exports from the Hawaiian Islands to the United States, a distance of eighteen thousand miles. … There are twenty passengers in all, who, with the exception of two or three that are to be left at the Society Islands, are to constitute a community by ourselves for many a month, while roving the ocean, in the long voyage to our native land. …” (Olmstead)

Among the passengers were Hiram and Sybil Bingham (and family); Mrs Lucy Thurston and children; and Caroline Armstrong, 9-year-old daughter of missionaries Richard and Clarissa Armstrong). “The tide of contending emotions that agitate their hearts can only be imagined. With the thousand perplexities and cares attendant upon making preparation for so long a voyage and in separating themselves perhaps forever from a people that had grown up under their instruction, and to whom they had become tenderly attached, they were almost exhausted, and it seemed like a renewal of that depressing sorrow that attended their departure from their native land.” They first headed to Tahiti, then rounded Cape Horn – February 4, 1841 they came to anchor in the NE, US, six months from Hawai‘i.

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Going to “the land of our fathers”

“The Flora (a barque), is chartered by one of the mercantile houses at Honolulu, and is principally freighted with sugar and molasses, novel exports from the Hawaiian Islands to the United States, a distance of eighteen thousand miles. … There are twenty passengers in all, who, with the exception of two or three that are to be left at the Society Islands, are to constitute a community by ourselves for many a month, while roving the ocean, in the long voyage to our native land. …” Among the passengers were Hiram and Sybil Bingham (and family); Mrs Lucy Thurston and children; and Caroline Armstrong, 9-year-old daughter of missionaries Richard and Clarissa Armstrong.

“Mr. T(hurston) chose to stand at his post at Kailua, and send his family with mine, and trusted the arrangement for their children with Mrs. T., the Board, and private friends. Mr. Armstrong took my post at Honolulu.” (Hiram Bingham) “Time passes rapidly on, and brings near the day of our departure from the land of our childhood. Our family, which has so long lived together, is soon to be separated.” Upon arrival, young Lucy Thurston writes, “Brooklyn, Feb. 16th, 1841. “My Dear Father, We learn that a vessel is to sail for the Sandwich Islands in about a week, and I take my pen to inform you of our safe arrival in the land of our fathers.” Shortly after arriving, young Lucy Thurston ‘was taken sick’; she died February 24, 1841.

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