Passenger Lists: San Francisco 1800s

Obed F. Fosdick

A question from a visitor:

My 3x great grandfather, Obed F. Fosdick (from Nantucket Island in Massachusetts) arrived in California in 1849 during the gold rush on the "Henry Astor." He was 1st mate on this ship. I don't have any information about him following this voyage and until his death in early 1852 (prior to April 1). He reportedly died at sea, possibly en route to California, and in the South Pacific. This knowledge is based on the minimal information I have found.

I don't have any details about his death or any information about what he did after he arrived in California. I have a copy of a death announcement dated 4/7/1852 from the newspaper, National Aegis in a column titled "Later From California." I also have a death announcement dated 4/1/1852 in the newspaper, Springfield Republican in a column titled "Two Weeks Later From California." The notice of death gives no details regarding what happened. Can anyone help locate further information. He must have been on more than one voyage to and from California. I know that he was involved in whaling at one point and has been referred to as "Capt. O.F. Fosdick" as he's called in the death announcements. Thank you for any information you can provide.

By: Lynne Rinaldi

Editor's Response: During a quick search the following turned up:

Mining Companies

Henry Astor, (Astor Mining Company and the Sherbourne Company) from Nantucket, 12 MAR 1849 or 10 MAR 1849, 188 days to San Francisco, 16 SEP 1849. 378 tons, returned to eastern port.

Chase, John H., third mate

Coffin, Alix H., mate

Fosdick, Obed, second mate

Joy, George, master

Thompson, Isaac, physician

51 in company

May 23, 1851, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, California

Ad for sailing on the Undine with Captain Fosdick May 23, 1851.

June 1, 1851, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

Shipping Intelligence
Port San Francisco, June 1, 1851

Barque Undine, Fosdick, Panama - 100 passengers; W.H. Crowell

Fosdick (different first initial) is listed as a passenger on the SS Tennessee, July 21, 1851.

August 2, 1851, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

LIST OF LETTERS remaining in the Post Office at San Francisco on the 1st of August, 1851 includes: Fosdick, Obed F. Capt. (Partial list below.)

Letters held in Post Office 2 August 1851.

August 22, 1851, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, California

Marine Intelligence
Port of San Francisco

PANAMA, July 20.--Arrived Brig Undine. Fosdick, 50 ds fm San Francisco, with 100 passengers.

February 25, 1852, Daily Alta California, San Francisco: Captain O. F. Fosdick, of Nantucket, and late master of the whale ship Henry Astor died at sea on board the ship Emily three days out of San Francisco.

Captain O.F. Fosdick died December 3, 1852.

The Great Ocean: Pacific Worlds from Captain Cook to the Gold RushThe Great Ocean: Pacific Worlds.The Great Ocean.From Captain Cook to the Gold Rush.
David Igler
The Pacific of the early eighteenth century was a place of baffling complexity, with 25,000 islands and seemingly endless continental shorelines. But with the voyages of Captain James Cook, global attention turned to the Pacific, and European and American dreams of scientific exploration, trade, and empire grew dramatically. By the time of the California gold rush, the Pacific's many shores were fully integrated into world markets-and world consciousness. The Great Ocean draws on hundreds of documented voyages as a window into the commercial, cultural, and ecological upheavals following Cook's exploits, focusing in particular on the eastern Pacific in the decades between the 1770s and the 1840s. Beginning with the expansion of trade as seen via the travels of William Shaler, captain of the American Brig Lelia Byrd, historian David Igler uncovers a world where voyagers, traders, hunters, and native peoples met one another in episodes often marked by violence and tragedy.

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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