Sea Captains: San Francisco 1800s

Henry Wilson Young

Henry Wilson Young (aka Captain Young, H.W. Young) in the mid-1850’s was captain of the clipper ship Dashing Wave, which called on San Francisco.

Built in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1852 by Fernald & Pettigrew of Portsmouth. She was a vessel of 1,180 tons, 181.8 x 39.6 x 21.3, and was placed in the California trade by Samuel Tilton & Co. of Boston under Capt. John B. Fiske. (A separate report indicates she was 1239 tons.)

April 3, 1854, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, California.

NEW PAPER. -- The arrival of teh clipper ship Dashing Wave at San Francisco on Tuesday last, will in a few days place us in the possession of a large quantity of new paper, direct from the manufactory at the East. Hereafter our supplies will be received from time to time from the same source, rendering us independent of the California market. The material in question is manufactured on a special order.

On May 25, 1855, the Dashing Wave was reported due into San Francisco from Boston, Fisk, 99 days out.

June 22, 1855, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, California

RAILROAD FURNITURE, etc., In the Herald's report of the19th inst., we find the following: This evening, we have the arrival of two more vessels to report, the Dashing Wave, Captain John B. Fiske, from Boston and the Rocket, from Rio de Janeiro. The Wave contains, in great part, the material for stocking the Sacramento Valley Railroad, and time tables and locomotives, passenger cars and signboard signals, form the staple of her cargo.

The above material will soon be landed on our levee. Time tables, locomotives, passenger cars, and signboard signals, sound very railroad like.

Negotiations were in progress yesterday, for building a temporary house on Front street, below R, in which to place the rolling stock of the company as it arrives. We hope to see the first railroad locomotive ever put up in California soon under way.

September 1856-November 1857

The logbook of the ship Dashing Wave details a voyage from New York to San Francisco, Calcutta, and Boston (Sept. 1856-Nov. 1857). Home port was Boston; owners were Stephen Tilton & Co.; master was H. W. Young. It is a daily log that describes wind, weather, location, sightings of ships, crew members leaving the ship, damage to the ship, maintenance and repair of the ship, illness and death on board, port activities, discharging and taking in cargo (including coal, hides, linseed, sugar, and castor oil), passenger traffic, collisions with other ships, and disposal of damaged cargo. ~ Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts

November 17, 1856, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, California. Ad: Stationery By Package: Per Dashing Wave - 2 invoices of School Books.

January 11, 1857, Daily Alta California, San Francisco.

After some days interval, during which time we have had no arrivals, we are able to announce the advent of the fine clipper Dashing Wave, Captain Young, in 122 days from New York, with a full cargo of merchandise consigned to Messrs. W. T. Coleman & Co.

January 15, 1857, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California

Clipper Ship Dashing Wave, Captain Young,
from New York. -- This vessel will commence discharging on Monday Morning, 12th instant, at Market street Wharf.

Consignees are requested to call at our office, pay freight, and receive orders for their goods. All merchandise, when landed on the wharf, will be at the risk of the Consignees thereof, and if not removed before 4 o'clock, P.M., of each day, will be stored at their expense.


January 26, 1857, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

Ship Dashing Wave, Capt. Young, from New York. All claims against this vessel must be presented to Capt. Young, at our office, for settlement, on or before Saturday, the 24th instant, as after that date they cannot be allowed.

Wm. T. Coleman & Co.

February 5, 1857, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California: METALS - 12,000 lbs Yellow Metal, stripped from ship Dashing Wave, sold at auction at 13c.

February 20, 1857, Daily Alta California, San Francisco: Commercial Summary. Dashing Wave, for Calcutta.

In 1858, of the 90 clipper ships which cleared East Coast ports for San Francisco, Dashing Wave made the third fastest passage. Her 107-day passage was beaten only by the 100-day runs of Wright and Andrew Jackson.

February 25, 1858, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

On January 1, 1858, the Ship Dashing Wave, Captain Young, sailed from Boston for San Francisco.

She was 36 days to the Equator in the Atlantic, crossed in long 33 30; was 62 days to the Equator on the Pacific; crossed in long 111 West; was 49 days off the Horn with heavy weather; in a gale lost a whole suit of sails and done other damage; 22 days from the Equator to this port; had light winds most of the time; November 28th, passed ship Golden Horn lat 48 55, long 82 30, bound to the southward.

March 3, 1858, Daily Alta California, San Francisco: Vessels on the way from Eastern Domestic Ports to San Francisco: January 1, Ship Dashing Wave, Young, Boston.

April 19, 1858, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California

Per Dashing Wave— Left Boston January 1st; crossed the Equator in the Atlantic 23 days out; doubled Cape Horn; 0 days out; from there to the Equator in the Pacific, 30 days; was 56 days from the Equator in the Atlantic to the Equator in the Pacific; crossed March 9th, long 111 W; same day was boarded by a boat from the whaling barque Aurora, Marshall, of Westport; 350 bbls sperm as well. After crossing, experienced light and variable winds for several days; took the N.E. Trades in lat. 7 N, and carried them to lat. 28 N long, 135 W.; since then have experienced variable light winds and calms have been within 800 miles of this port for the last 17 days, with light contrary winds.

April 20, 1858, Daily Alta California, San Francisco: The following ships and barques are now in port: Dashing Wave, Young, Boston.

April 20, 1858, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, California, U.S.A.

Arrived -- Clipper ship Dashing Wave, Capt. Young, 107 days from Boston, with merchandise, including 875 barrels flour, to Flint, Peabody & Co. The trade to-day in flour has been dull and at former prices, from $14 to $16 for domestic, as per quality; 500 barrels of the 875 brought by the Dashing Wave were for a baker here, and the balance was purchased previous to arrival.

April 23, 1858, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California

Ship Dashing Wave, from Boston, Henry W. Young, commander, will commence discharging cargo on Monday, April 19th, at North Point Dock.

Consignees are requested to pay freight to the undersigned, and receive orders for their goods.

All merchandise will be at the risk of the owners thereof when landed on the dock, and all remaining thereon after 5 p.m. of each day will be stored at their expenses.

Flint, Peabody & Co.

Front street, corner Broadway

May 12, 1858, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

Shipping - Vessels Up.

For Honolulu, Direct
The Clipper Ship
Dashing Wave

H. W. Young, Master

Will sail on Friday, May 14th, or immediately after the arrival of the Mail Steamer, touching at the above port on her way to Calcutta.

For freight or passage, having excellent accommodation, apply on board, at North Point Dock, or to

Flint, Peabody & Co.
Corner Front and Broadway streets.

June 1, 1858, ship Dashing Wave, 1239 tons, Young master, owing to baffling winds was 14 days from San Francisco.

July 5, 1858, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

From Boston, arrivals 6; tonnage 6157; shortest passage by the Dashing Wave, in 107 days; average passage 139 days. (This was the fastest passage for that year.)

July 12, 1858, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, California

Later From the Sandwich Islands.

LAWYER STANLEY. -- We notice the arrival of the clipper ship Dashing Wave, from San Francisco, on the 1st of June, 14 days passage. She sailed again from Honolulu for Calcutta on the 5th. The fancy-lawyer, Stanley, of Sacramento, took passage for Calcutta on her.

Cruise of the Dashing Wave: Rounding Cape Horn in 1860

(New Perspectives on Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology)Cruise of the Dashing Wave. Philip Hichborn, William H. Thiesen, James C. Bradford

Cruise of the Dashing Wave.

Voyage to the edge of mutiny and murder. "Cruise of the Dashing Wave" recounts a harrowing 1860 clipper ship passage from Boston to San Francisco by way of Cape Horn, as recorded by Philip Hichborn, ship's carpenter, in his journal. On board the Dashing Wave, even the disagreeable food was a blessing as it distracted the crew from the oppressive cruelty of the elements. The weather and heavy seas of Cape Horn pushed the sailors to their physical limits.

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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