The story of Helen, Laura and Prescott's trip back to Edgartown is known through newspaper articles and personal memoirs, but unfortunately not through Laura's journal.
The continental United States was undergoing rapid change because of the completion of a single rail line that connected east coast to west coast. The Jernegan children were about to take a ride through sections of the country they may never have imagined existed.
We took the Steamer to San Francisco and the Passage was eight days then stopped a week at the Hotel. We went to Golden
Gate Park and to the Seal Rocks, and then had some pleasant rides.
On May 1, 1871, Helen, Laura and Prescott departed Honolulu for San Francisco on the American steamer Ajax captained by R.S. Floyd. They were among a party of ten, including an editor, H.M. Whiting, and his wife. Helen was acquainted with most of them from her time in Honolulu. The trip took eight days.
Wikimedia Commons NYPL Robert N Dennis Collection