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Passengers, Seaports, Captains

San Francisco during the Gold Rush. 1849.

M. H. Leeds, Frances Helen, Schooner (Clipper Schooner)

Editor's Note: There were two vessels named Frances Helen running Northern California's coastline in the 1850s. Both were occasionally misspelled as Francis Helen or Helen Frances:

  • Clipper Schooner Frances Helen, Captain Leeds, arrived in San Francisco on March 30, 1850. She was noted as sailing between Hawaii and San Francisco and from San Francisco to Panama, in addition to running California's coastline.
  • Schooner Frances Helen, Captain Henderson commanded the Frances Helen along California's North Coast bringing in lumber, potatoes, etc.

Captain M. H. Leeds

March 30, 1850, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

Arrived: American schooner Frances Helen, M. H. Leeds, 157 days from Philadelphia. 8 passengers. Cargo of lumber to captain.

Tierra del Fuego near Cape Horn.

Cape Horn.

The Frances Helen reports having spoken, November 14, American schooner Harriet Lawrence, 21 days from Boston for this port. December 17th, lat 33 9 s, American bark Christians, of N. Providence, from Rio for Valparaiso. December 17, one of the crew of the schooner Frances Helen, named Jacob Barmore, of Leeds Point, New Jersey, was lost overboard by a blow from the spanker boom in tacking, and on the 10th February a second man (Samuel Gandy, Smithville, New Jersey) was lost overboard from the fore boom.

August 5, 1850, Daily Alta California, San Francisco: Schooner Frances Helen, hence, arrived at Humboldt Bay on 1st inst.

December 17, 1850, Daily Alta California, San Francisco: LAHAINA - Arrived November 15, schooner Frances Helen, 15 days from San Francisco.

September 22, 1851, September 29, 1851, October 2, 1851. Daily Alta California, San Francisco

Vessels Advertised

White & Co.'s Regular Line of Packets for San Juan del Sud and Panama.

Only Regular Packet of the 28th of September -- The new, splendid, fast sailing, clipper schooner Frances Helen, M. A. Leeds, master, burthen 250 tons, will positively sail as above, her regular day.

Persons about returning to the Eastern States would benefit themselves by examining the accommodation of this splendid vessel, as she is fitted up expressly for the comfort and health of passengers -- being well ventilated and provided for in the best manner possible. We guarantee to provide the best provisions that can be purchased in thi smarket -- of which there is a list on board of the daily fare, so that all engaging passage can see for themselves.

For further particulars, early application should be made on boad, Central Wharf, or to

WHITE & CO., Lower Buildings,
Central Wharf

Gold dust shipped and insured.

June 4, 1852, Sacramento Daily Union: Marine Intelligence, Port of San Francisco. Arrived: Schr Frances Helen, Leeds, 73 days from San Juan, via Acapulco, in ballast. To Neefus & Tichenor. 80 passengers.

Passengers per Frances Helen from San Juan del Sur: A. Jackson, C. Arthur, J. Cox, J. M. Sash, J. Baker, N. Baker, J. B. Cox, J. P. Richards, J. Beck, W. Kesler, T. J. Kepler, R. Hammer, J. Richards, W. Renose, A. B. Brooks, S. Underhill, B. Michael, J. Randall, O. P. Carnur, J. Williams, Isaac John, J. G. Leup, W. J. Cord, J. Sillerman, R. Hover, H. S. Root, W. F. Nealy, J. Nealy, J. Emerson, J. L. White, R. L. Marrus, P. Cunningham, J. Dixon, C. Meyer, W. Hohman, J. Saxon, J. Weller, J. L. Simon, J. Deal, B. Hecker, L. Howard, R. Griffith, B. R. Wells, F. Johnson, H. Powell. L. Bradbury, W. E. Gill, E. W. Hill, Mr. Barriere, Mr. Harris, Mr. Little, W. Christian, W. Lovell, Caaver, S. Levell, S. Ivey, A. Dean, A. Miner, J. Gay, B. Thebas, J. Cartther, F. M. Cooley, J. B. Cooley, A. Jagers, J. H. Frank, F. Frank, P. Lyman, W. Richards, E. Menderfield, Mr. Perriguere, J. Ames, H. Ames, G. W. Williams.

September 3, 1852, Sacramento Daily Union: Arrived Schr Frances Hellen (sp), Leeds, 2 days from Bodega.

December 1, 1852, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

Memoranda: We learn that the schooner Francis Helen, on her voyage hence for Oregon, was thrown on her beam ends, and was on the beach at Astoria repairing when she left.

December 29, 1852, Daily Alta California, San Francisco: 106 ft lumber. Consignees per Frances Helen - Neefus & Tichenor; J. Hopkins. Passenger: J. W. Baker.

February 9, 1853, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, California: Marine Intelligence, Port San Francisco: Arrived Schr Francis Helen (note spelling "Francis"), Leeds, 70 hours from Trinidad. Lumber to Neefus & Tichenor. 8 pasengers.

January 8, 1853, Daily Alta California: Cleared, Schooner Frances Ellen, Leeds, Trinidad; Neefus & Tichenor.

March 7, 1853, Sacramento Daily Union: Schr. Francis Helen, Leeds, from Port Ross. Produce to C. Myers.

April 19, 1853, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, Caliofrnia: Arrived April 17 Schr Frances Helen, Leeds, 4 days from Humboldt Bay.

October 25, 1853, Marysville Daily Herald, Marysville, California: Schr Frances Helen, Leeds, 3 days from Umpqua river. Lumber, Neefus & Tichenor. 3 passengers.

December 1854, Daily Alta California, San Francisco


Sandwich Islands. 1827.

The clipper schooner Frances Helen, Leeds master, will positively sail for the above port on Saturday, the 16th inst. For freight or passage, having superior accommodations, apply to the Captain on board, at Washington street Wharf or to

Neefus & Tichenor,
Stuart street wharf, or to
No. 99 Battery Street

Voyage to California, Sandwich Islands, Around the World. 1826-1829. Auguste Duhuat-Cilly.

December 17, 1854, Daily Alta California, San Francisco: Cleared December 16, Schooner Frances Helen, Leeeds, for Honolulu. William G. Badger.

February 25, 1855, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.: Arrived Sch. Frances Helen, Leeds, 21 days from Honolulu. Mdse to Neefus & Tichenor. Memoranda: Had light variable winds during the passage. On the 17th, experienced a heavy gale from N.W.; received no damage. Has been off the port for the last two days. Left in port sch. Vaquero, to sail in a few days; sch Th H. Allen, wtg cargo; sch Pontiac, to sail in a few days for Tahiti; sch. Mary A. Jones, to sail next day for this port. Cargo: 351 hf bbls sugar Sweetzer & Hutchings; 10 bxs oranges M. Freinbeck.

March 1, 1855, California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences: San Francisco Marine List - Schr Frances Helen, Leeds, Honolulu, 2 days. Mdse.

April 18, 1855, Daily Alta California: Shipping Intelligence. April 17 Arrived Schooner Frances Helen, Leeds, 6 days from Port Orford. 125 M feet lumber to Neefus & Tichner.

For Sale or Charter

The fine fast-sailing A No. 1 schooner

Frances Helen,

In perfect order for any voyage. Apply to

Wm. Burling,
Merchant street, near Battery.
Or to Capt. Wooley, on board, Steuart street, Howard.

Victorinox Swiss Army Officers Chronograph with Knife

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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; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; Maritime Library, San Francisco, California, various Maritime Museums around the world.

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