This Day in History
Flying Cloud

Flying Cloud Sails to San Francisco
June 2, 1851

From the eastern United States, multitudes of treasure hunters sought a way to the West. Thousands traveled overland; others braved the rough seas around Cape Horn to San Francisco.

The Flying Cloud, whose birth coincided with the discovery of gold in California, played a role in the history of that state. It was faster - and safer - to sail around Cape Horn than to go overland from the Mississippi. The Flying Cloud wrote a chapter, too, in the history of maritime Massachusetts, for it continued the famous China Trade inaugurated by Captain Gray in 1782, and brought both wealth and the Chinese culture to that most cosmopolitan of American cities, Boston. This painting commemorates the Flying Cloud’s voyage to San Francisco on June 2, 1851.

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All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.