Sea Captains: San Francisco 1800s

H. S. Ackley

June 2, 1885, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

Along the Wharves: Advices from Victoria state that Captain Ackley, who brought the Olympianup the coast, will resume command of the George W. Elder.

January 4, 1890, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

The State of California Reported All Safe. 
Under Sail.

There was a clapping of hands, and other unequivocal signs of rejoicing on 'Change yesterday when the following despatch was posted on the bulletin board, dated at Bowen' Landing:

"Steamer State of California; end shaft broken; ship disabled. Lifeboat No. 2 arrived at this place 11:30 A. m. and reported ship thave broken down in latitude 39 46' north longitude 126 45' west, and drifted southeast thirty miles up to 8 a.m. of January 3d. Send assistance as soon as possible. All well on board."

This despatch was received by Goodall Perkins & Co. from Chief Officer Charles Steven, who was in charge of the boat. The agents immediately sent it up to 'Change, to allay the uneasiness felt for the overdue steamer. The tugboat Vigilant was engaged, and left here at once to pick np the disabled vessel. It is just possible that the revenue steamers Rush or Corwin may have already picked up the steamer, or some other of the coasting steamers fallen in with her.

Captain Ackley is in command of the State of California and the company had every confidence in his ability to bring his ship in safely. It is thought that if everything goes all right she will come in some time to-day.

December 4, 1890, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

Portland Steamer In

The steamer State of California, Captain Ackley, fifty-five hours from Astoria, succeeded in crossing the bar last night at a late hour. She was a few hours behind time, having been obliged to lay outside the bar during the afternoon.

February 9, 1891, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

Arrival of the California.

The steamer State of California, Captain Ackley, arrived yesterday morning, fifty-seven hours from Portland, with the following cabin passengers : J. H. Jones, A. Houlton, A. Fish, H. Johnson, H. M. Kinsen, S. Feig. N. P. Wynne and wife, Miss Collinson, Miss Burrage, Mr. Shackford and wife, Miss Wise, Miss Chandler, R. J. Whelan, George Broughall, George L. Leng: and wife and daughter, H. G. Witherwax, J. Hollerin, H. Kalisch, M. Kalisch, Mrs. France, A. Dement, Julius Levy, C. Ritcliff, S. J. Strauss, L. M. Shumbacker, Mrs. Monroe, Miss Walton and sister, M. J. Connolly and wife. P. Betty, A. D. Brown; J. Simons, S. Glidden, M. Steinbach. T. S. Minelt, E. Dave and wife, H. McKown, J. Smith and E. Dave. There were forty-four steerage passengers.

November 27, 1896, San Francisco Call, San Francisco

The Successful Event Made the Occasion of a Jubilee.
Vast Crowds Cheer as the Magnificent Vessel Slides Into the Water.
Combines the Three Essential Qualities of Speed, Strength and Convenience.

EUREKA, Cal., Nov. 26. Today was a gala day in Eureka, the occasion being the launching of the new steamer Humboldt, successor of the steamer of the same name wrecked on Point Gorda in September, 1895. Large delegations came to Euieka from outside towns to see the new steamer glide from her resting place in the arms of mother earth into the embrace of her future guardian, old Neptune. Most of the owners are residents of this county and naturally much interest is felt here in the welfare of the new steamer. Consequently there was an immense turnout, and by 1 o'clock the bay was covered with steamers, launches, barges and sailboats, headed for Bendixsen's shipyard on the peninsula opposite the city.

Shortly before high water the wedges were driven home, and at 2:45 p. m. the last block that held her on the ways was knocked away, and settling into her cradle she started on her short run to her native element, amid the booming of cannon, the screeching of whistles and cheers from hundreds of throats, while the shipping all over the bay dipped their colors in salutation to Humboldt's new candidate for marine favors. The steamer was christened by Miss Lena G. Sweazy, daughter of Richard Sweazy, the managing owner.

In building the Humboldt the owners decided that she should possess three distinctive qualities speed, strength, and convenience. The two latter are assured, while experts predict that she will be a very fast boat. Captain H. S. Ackley, late commander of the steamer State of California, who is here on a visit to relatives, has made a thorough inspection of the steamer, and pronounces her a marvel of strength and beauty, of which Humboldt may well feel proud, and that if supplied with proper machinery she will be one of the fastest boats on the coast. The Humboldt will be commanded by Captain Samuel Bonnifield, well known all over the coast. She will be loaded with lumber and towed by the redstack tug Rescue to San Francisco, where she will be fitted with machinery. She will leave this port about next Tuesday.

The Authority to Sail.The Authority to Sail: The History of U.S. Maritime Licenses and Seamen's PapersThe Authority to Sail.
Robert Stanley Bates, George Marsh (Editor), John F. Whiteley (Forward) (Batek Marine Publishing, 2011; Nominated in 2012 for a Pulitzer Prize)
This book depicts important aspects of our maritime history as a result of original research done by the author, Commodore Bates, the holder of an unlimited master's license who has enjoyed a distinguished fifty-year career in both the Coast Guard and the American Merchant Marine.

The U.S. Coast Guard issues all Captain Licenses for U.S. Ports.
Note: Other countries have different regulations, i.e. the RYA (Royal Yachting Association), conducts certification for Britain and Ireland. As of 2011, they did not recognize the USCG certification; certification through their courses was required.

Master Unlimited is a licensed mariner in ultimate command of a vessel any gross tons. The captain is responsible for its safe and efficient operation, including cargo operations, navigation, crew management and ensuring that the vessel complies with local and international laws. All persons on board, including officers and crew, other shipboard staff members, passengers, guests and pilots, are under the captain's authority and are his or her ultimate responsibility. The STCW defines the Master as Person having command of the ship.

The Sea Chart
The Illustrated History of Nautical Maps and Navigational ChartsThe Sea Chart.
The Sea Chart.The Sea Chart.
John Blake
The sea chart was one of the key tools by which ships of trade, transport and conquest navigated their course across the oceans. Herein is a history and development of the chart and the related nautical map, in both scientific and aesthetic terms, as a means of safe and accurate seaborne navigation. 150 color illustrations including the earliest charts of the Mediterranean made by 13th-century Italian merchant adventurers, as well as 18th-century charts that became strategic naval and commercial requirements and led to Cook's voyages in the Pacific, the search for the Northwest Passage, and races to the Arctic and Antarctic.

Get Your Captain's License. Fifth Edition Get Your Captain's License. Fifth Edition. Charlie  Wing.
Charlie Wing
Considered the quickest, easiest, and least expensive way to prepare for the U.S. Coast Guard captain's ratings exams required for anyone who takes paying passengers on a boat, and useful for serious boaters who want to save money on insurance. 350 pages of seamanship and navigation tutorials. More than 1,500 questions and answers from the Coast Guard exams. Includes an interactive CD-ROM with all 14,000 questions and answers in the USCG database, so you can take an unlimited number of practice exams

The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.



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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

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