Before She Was Lyman: Sarah Joiner in Royalton, Vermont

February 19, 2018 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Lyman Museum
276 Haili St
Hilo, HI 96720
small_1-Royalton Academy, 1856

Royalton Academy

Evening presentation:

On November 2, 1831, Sarah Joiner, age 25, a farmer’s daughter and teacher, married David Belden Lyman, 28 years old and a newly minted missionary, in the small rural community of Royalton, Vermont.  The two traveled by stagecoach to Boston, whence they embarked on the whaling ship Averick bound for the Sandwich Islands … and the rest is history, as documented in Sarah’s journal and the many letters (now in the Lyman Museum archives) that she and David wrote to friends and family left behind in New England.  But who was Sarah Joiner for the first 25 years of her life?  What prepared her for the formidable challenges of traveling thousands of miles—and six months by ship—to be missionary, wife, mother, and teacher in another culture and another country, thousands of miles from the home to which she would never return?  In this illustrated presentation, researcher/writer Bonnie Tocher Clause will “lift the curtain and give you a peep” (as Sarah herself once wrote) at what life was like for Sarah Joiner and the other girls and young single women—daughters, schoolgirls, and teachers—in Royalton, Vermont, during the early 19th century.  Starting with Sarah’s own recollections of Vermont in letters home to her sister, Melissa Joiner Hall, and childhood friend, Lucia Washburn Hazen, Clause draws on documents and images from Vermont archives to illuminate Sarah’s early life and those of her siblings, friends, and contemporaries.  She discusses the makeup of the Royalton community, where life centered on farming, school, and church, and where female education, both formal and informal, corresponded to the limited roles that women were expected to fill in rural New England.  Clause will emphasize the particular Vermont-bred values, both religious and secular, that Sarah brought to her work in Hawai‘i and maintained throughout her life in Hilo.  Finally, she discusses the “view from Vermont” of the world in the early 19th century and how maps, globes, and geography textbooks shaped Vermonters’ perceptions of the Sandwich Islands and Oceania.  Share this never-before-seen perspective on the young Sarah on either of two occasions:  Monday evening, February 19, or a “matinée” on the following afternoon, February 20.

Admission to these wonderful programs is free to Museum members, and $3.00 for nonmembers.  Please support the Museum by becoming a member, and enjoy all Saigo Series programs, all year round, at no charge!  Seating is limited; first come, first seated.  ON MONDAY EVENINGS ONLY, additional parking is available next door at Hilo Union School, Kapiolani St. entrance; park, then walk through our green gate in the rock wall

On Monday evenings, doors open at 6:30PM.  E komo mai!