Shipwrecked in Paradise: Cleopatra's Barge in Hawai'i
Winner, 2016 Secretary's Research Award, sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution - awarded for author's contributions to research
The first oceangoing yacht ever built in America, Cleopatra’s Barge, endured many incarnations over her eight-year life, from Mediterranean pleasure cruiser to a Hawaiian king’s personal yacht.
The famed ship, at times also a Christian missionary transport, pirate ship, getaway vehicle, instrument of diplomacy, and racing yacht, wrecked on a reef in Hanalei Bay on April 6, 1824.
Obtaining the first underwater archaeological permits ever issued by the state of Hawai‘i, a team of divers from the Smithsonian Institution located, surveyed, and excavated the wrecked ship from 1995 to 2000.
The 1,250 lots of artifacts from the shipwreck represent the only known material culture from the reign of King Kamehameha II (Liholiho), shedding light on the little-documented transitional period from Old Hawai‘i to foreign influence and culture. Although Liholiho ruled Hawai‘i for only a few short years, his abolition of taboos and admission of the Boston Christian missionaries into his kingdom planted the seeds for profound changes in Hawaiian culture.
Richly illustrated, Shipwrecked in Paradise tells the story of the ship’s life in Hawai‘i, from her 1820 sale to Liholiho to her discovery and excavation.
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aboard American History anchor archaeological artifacts Barge’s Bingham boat bones Boston bottom brig Bryant & Sturgis Bullard cannon Captain chiefs Cleopatra’s Barge concretion contemporary copper hull sheathing copper sheathing Courtesy crew deck diameter dive edge example excavations fasteners Figure fragments furniture George Crowninshield glass Ha‘aheo Hammatt Hanalei Bay Harold Dorwin Hawai‘i Hawaiian Islands HMCS Library holes Honolulu Hugh Talman indicating intact iron Journal Ka‘ahumanu Kalanimoku Kamehameha Kaua‘i king king’s Lahaina Liholiho measured missionaries Museum of American O‘ahu original Peabody Essex Museum Photograph by Harold Photograph by Hugh Photograph by Richard Photograph by Smithsonian piculs piece preserved Princeville recovered reef Richard Strauss Rick Rick Rogers rigging rope royal yacht sail Salem salvage sand Sandwich Islands season ship ship’s shipwreck shore side Smithsonian National Museum stern stone surface Suter teredo teredo worm thick timbers trench underwater vessel voyage Western wood wooden wreck