King Kaumuali‘i of Kauai decided to send his son Humehume (George Prince) to America, at least, in part, to receive a formal education. George was about six years old when he boarded the Hazard that ultimately sailed into Providence, Rhode Island on June 30, 1805 after a year-and-a-half at sea. Humehume was “discovered” and taken under the wing of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM). He was sent, along with Henry Ōpūkaha’ia and other Hawaiian youths, to be educated at the Foreign Mission School at Cornwall, Connecticut.
On October 23, 1819, the Pioneer Company of the American Protestant missionaries set sail on the Thaddeus for Hawai‘i – Humehume was with the missionaries; they finally arrived in Kailua-Kona on April 4, 1820. Then missionaries Ruggles and Whitney took Humehume home to Kauai. “May 3. Made Atooi at day-light this morning. … When we arrived at the house, Tamoree (Kaumuali‘i) and his Queen were reclining on a sofa; as soon as George entered the door, his father arose, clasped him in his arms, and pressed his nose to his son’s, after the manner of the country; both were unable to speak for some time. The scene was truly affecting, and I know not when I have wept more freely.”