Flying Cloud beat the speed record twice for sails to San Fransisco during the Gold Rush period, succeeding in 89 days. The ship was built in McKay's shipyard in Boston. Capt. Josiah Perkins Creesy, Jr. ran the ship with his wife Eleanor serving as navigator. Her maiden voyage was June 2, 1851.
At the time of launching, Flying Cloud was the largest merchant ship in the world. She was 235 feet from bow to stern. She remains the most famous clipper ship in the world, know for her ability to sail swiftly. The Captain and his wife were residents of Marblehead, Massachusetts.
The original handwritten log of Flying Cloud's first voyage from New York to San Fransisco is in the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem.