Sea Captains: San Francisco 1800s


George Simpton

San Francisco Bay. 1899.

Topographic Map. San Francisco Bay. 1899.

December 20, 1850: Regulations of the Port and Harbor of San Francisco: Eleven article relating to berthing of ships, etc., and signed George Simpton, Harbor Master. Office on Cunningham's Wharf. San Francisco. (From California Imprints: August 1846-June 1851.)

Board of Pilot Commissioners for the Bays of San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun

SIMPTON, GEORGE 1851 - 1851, 1854 - 1854
Shipmaster 1850-1851. 1861-1862 San Francisco Bar Pilot. 1851 Harbormaster, 1854 Port Warden, 1856-1857 U. S. Custom Service. Arrived San Francisco October 1849.

Reorganization of municipal officers resulted in the following:

  • May 1851: G. Simpton, Harbor Master
  • September 3, 1851: Annual election for the County of San Francisco. The following were the officials chosen . . . Harbor Master: George Simpton
  • January 1852: G. Simpton, Harbor Master

June 6, 1851, Daily Alta California
San Francisco, California

Notice -- Harbor Master's Office, 28th, March 1851. 
For the convenience of ship-masters, merchants, and others connected with Shipping, an Office has been opened at Messrs Hoff & Owner's store, on the wharf at the foot of Sacramento street, where all orders and applications may be left at any hour of the day.

The Harbor Master can be found at this office between the hours of 10 and 12M., and at the office on Cunningham's Wharf from 3 until 5 p.m., and at his dwelling on the wharf, foot of Broadway, at all other hours.

Geo. Simpton, Harbor Master.

July 14, 1851: John B. Ward, Marine Reporter for several papers of this City and a boarder of Capt. Simpton, Harbour master, told Capt. Simpton that in a crowd near Minturns he recognized T. Belcher Kay, this was communicated on the subsequent night to the attempt, as I have heard. I can produce Mr. Ward who I believe to be a man of veracity

(Signed) D. L. Oakley, No. 418. July 10th.
Papers of the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance of 1851

October 15, 1852, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California

LOCAL MATTERS.

More Harbor Difficulties. Messrs. David Saville and Colin Browne were yesterday arrested on the complaint of Capt. George Simpton, Harbor Master, for a refusal to comply with his instructions with regard to the removal of a certain vessel. The proceeding is instituted under the 4th and 5th sections of the Act, rerouting the duties of the Harbor Master, the former of which invests the officer with power to station and remove vessels not engaged in discharging cargo, and imposes a penalty of $300, to be enforced by the Recorder, upon all psrties refusing to obey his instructions. The defendants are owners of the ship Mallory, which was moored about 13 months sgo, on the line of Jackson street, outside of Drum street. In reply to the notice of the Harbor Master, to remove their vessel to a berth south of California street wharf, they state that she is on the government reserve, and that haying been there 13 months, they have a pre-emption claim to the properly. The case will be heard to-day.

June 27, 1860, Sacramento Daily Union, Saramento, California

Appointment for Pilots. Pilot Commissioners of San Francisco have appointed the following pilots under the new law: Capts. Nathan, Simpton, Morgan, Delavon, Kintzel, Flynn, Mayo, Wise, Connor and Mahan. Dibblee and Thomas protested, says the Alta, against the action of the majority of the Board, in relation to the appointment of more than ten pilots before the expiration of the terms of those holding under the old Board there being now twenty, and the law only providing for thirty in all. On this question, Mr. Dibblee resigned his position as President of the Board.

August 29, 1862, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, California

Charges Against Pilot Commissioners

Captain George Simpton and J. S. Dolliver publish affidavits this evening, charging the Pilot Commissioners, or some of them, with having received bribes through their agent, Captain Stephen Card. Simpton says he paid $500 to Card, on condition of receiving the vote of Commissioner R. P. Johnson. Dolliver says that Commissioner Hall called upon him and advised him to employ Card to secure an appointment for him. Nine of the old pilots, who are known to be competent, failed to get appointments. Further disclosures are promised.

January 22, 1865, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California 
Shipping Intelligence: Foreign Ports: Mazatlan - Sailed January 12th, steamer Zenith, Simpton, San Blas.

January 23, 1865, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California

The little propeller Zenith, of forty tons, built in San Francisco, for Captain Peters, is to be employed as a mail boat between San Blas and Mazatlan under Mexican colors. Captain Simpton, formerly Harbor Master of San Francisco, commands her. The Captain has changed his nationality also, and has become a subject of Maximilian. ~ X

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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.

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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.

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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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