The Mayflower left Plymouth, England on September 6, 1620 with 102 passengers and about 25 carefully selected crew, arriving in the New World 67 days later.
She was a ‘sweet’ ship in that she had been engaged in the wine trade in the Mediterranean since 1616. She had also been engaged in fur trade with Norway and had experienced the storms of the North Sea, a most treacherous body of water.
The dimensions of the Mayflower were 90 feet in length (12 Feet more than a tennis court), 26 feet in width, with a tonnage of 180. Small as she was she was larger than the Discovery, which landed at Virginia in 1607. (NCMayflower-org)
Most of the passengers were of English origin seeking a new home free from religious persecution where they might retain their English identity and customs.
Not all the Mayflower passengers were Separatists. The Merchant Adventurers recruited a number of colonists seeking financial opportunity in the New World.
Others, such as Myles Standish, had been hired by the Separatists specifically for their expertise in certain areas. Standish was an English military officer hired by the Pilgrims as a military advisor for Plymouth Colony for military professional; he did not travel for religious reasons.
The roots of Congregational churches in America go back to the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth in 1620 and founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
The Pilgrims came from England to the New World seeking religious freedom at the time of the 16th century Protestant Reformation. The churches they established in New England became known as Congregational churches. (First Congregational Church Nantucket)
The coming of Henry ʻŌpūkahaʻia and other young Hawaiians to the continent had awakened a deep Christian sympathy in the churches and moved the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) to establish a Foreign Mission School and a mission to the Hawaiian Islands.
Among the other Hawaiian students at the Foreign Mission School were four Hawaiians, Thomas Hopu, William Kanui, John Honoliʻi and Prince Humehume (son of Kauai’s King Kaumuali‘i.)
When asked “Who will return with these boys to their native land to teach the truths of salvation?” Hiram Bingham and his classmate, Asa Thurston, were the first to respond and offer their services to the Board. (Congregational Quarterly)
“It is for no private end, for no earthly object that you go. It is wholly for the good of others, and for the glory of God our Saviour. … Your mission is a mission of mercy, and your work is to be wholly a labor of love. … “
“Your views are not to be limited to a low, narrow scale, but you are to open your hearts wide, and set your marks high. You are to aim at nothing short of covering these islands with fruitful fields, and pleasant dwellings and schools and churches, and of Christian civilization.” (Instructions to the Pioneer Company)
On October 23, 1819, the Pioneer Company of American Protestant missionaries from the northeast US set sail from Boston on the Thaddeus for the Hawaiian Islands.
There were seven American couples sent by the ABCFM to convert the Hawaiians to Christianity in this Pioneer Company. These included two Ordained Preachers, Hiram Bingham and his wife Sybil and Asa Thurston and his wife Lucy; two Teachers, Mr. Samuel Whitney and his wife Mercy and Samuel Ruggles and his wife Mary; a Doctor, Thomas Holman and his wife Lucia; a Printer, Elisha Loomis and his wife Maria; and a Farmer, Daniel Chamberlain, his wife and five children.
With the missionaries were the four Hawaiians.
After about 160 days at sea, on March 30, 1820, the Pioneer Company of American Protestant missionaries first see the Islands. Later that day, they learned the kapu was abolished, Kamehameha died and Liholiho was now King. They landed at Kailua-Kona on April 4, 1820.
Bingham designed the Kawaiaha‘o Church in Honolulu; it was constructed between 1836 and 1842 in the New England style of the Hawaiian missionaries and is one of the oldest standing Christian places of worship in Hawaiʻi.
I am a direct descendant of Myles Standish from the Mayflower.
I am a direct descendant of Hiram Bingham from the Thaddeus.
So, now, another 200 years later … What’s up for today?