First Lahaina Then Honolulu

Because Laura stopped writing in her journal until Dec. 1870, most of what is known about the next period came from the family's memoirs, personal letters, printed media and from official documents found in state and national archives.

During the 1800s in the Sandwich Islands, both Lahaina and Honolulu were major ports in the global whaling industry with sometimes as many as 500 sailing ships anchored at their waterfronts during the season. It was logical that both ports became the bases of operation for Yankee whalers in the Pacific. Close to summer whaling grounds in the north and winter hunting near the equator, the climate was mild and natives were friendly. Fresh fruit, vegetables and water were plentiful. Supplies of clothing, sails and other items were stocked for sailors in ships' stores.

According to the customhouse records on file at the Hawaii State Archives, the Roman arrived in Lahaina on the island of Maui on March 22, 1869, and then departed March 25, 1869.

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image of lahaina

New Bedford Whaling Museum Benjamin Russell