Passengers: San Francisco 1800s

Marcus Harloe

Born in Ireland, March 17, 1833
Died June 28, 1908

Captain Harloe was of English and Scotch ancestry, but was born in Ireland, near Dublin.

In 1847, Captain Marcus Harloe came to the United States.

In 1848, he shipped on the New World for Liverpool. In 1850 he rounded Cape Horn on the Wisconsin, a sailing vessel from New York bound for San Francisco. From San Francisco he shipped on another vessel.

Valley of the Sacramento Gold Region. 1848

In 1851, he was first mate on the river schooner Eagle, running between Sacramento and San Francisco. In 1852, he was first officer of the brig Walcott.

Having attained his majority, in 1854, Mr. Harloe became master of the schooner Louise, in the coasting trade, owning a quarter interest in the vessel, which he sold in 1856.

He then became half-owner in the schooner Black Prince, which he built, and of which he remained master until the fall of 1859.

On December 20, 1859, Captain Harloe went east and bought the schooner Wild Pigeon in Providence, Rhode Island, chartered a cargo from New York and sailed for San Francisco on March 20, 1860, via the straits of Magellan. In the cargo was the material for the steamer Salinas, the first vessel constructed by the Pacific Coast Steamship Company. After discharging the cargo at the foot of Third street in San Francisco, Captain Harloe put the vessel in the Mexican trade.

Sacramento Daily Union: On April 22, 1859, Marcus Harloe commenced a suit in the Twelfth District Court for divorce from his wife, Eliza Harloe. He charges adultery.

June 5, 1861, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

For Mazatlan and Guaymas

The well-known, fast sailing A 1 Schooner


Capt. M. Harloe,

Having a great part of her cargo engaged will sail as above on our about the 29th inst.

For Freight or Passage, apply to


Old NO. 56 Sacramento Street

May 21, 1862, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

THE TUG LAUNCHED. -- The new steam tug built at Elden's Landing, and owned by Mr. William Mighall, was successfully launched at 5-1/2 p.m. on Sunday last. She was christened with the historic appellative of Monitor, the ceremony being performed by Miss Ellen Barron. She will be commanded by Captain Marcus Harloe -- than whom a truer gentleman never trod a deck. On the wave he is every inch a commander, and on shore a prince among good fellows, and the observed of all the ladies.

When the Civil War broke out, he sold the Wild Pigeon and took charge of the tugboats Merrimac and Monitor in San Francisco Bay. He was elected harbor master of San Francisco in 1865, and served efficiently two years and nine months, when he resumed tugboating.

In 1867, Captain Harloe became identified with Santa Barbara County when he came to settle affairs of the estate of his father-in-law, Isaac J. Sparks, whose daughter Flora married Mr. Harloe, August 12, 1866.

In 1864 he shipped as master of the steam schooner Gussie, plying between Carpinteria and San Francisco.

July 20, 1866, Daily Alta California, San Francisco


of the


At Their Armory

Friday Evening . . . July 27

Committee of Arrangements

Lieut. M. Harloe, Sergt. Dan Winter, Henry Bristol

Reception Committee.

Capt. W. C. Burnett Lieut. R. G. Brush

Sergt. Wm. Flick Sergt. J. R. Boyce
Corp. C. A. Gathorne Fred Eaton
O. Sergt. W. W. Wilson Charles Rice

Floor Committee.

Lieut. M. HarloeThos E. Marks
Henry Bristol Sergt. R. C. Cooke
Corporal B. H. Horr  


For sale at Blake's Hat Store, Montgomery street; Mead's Hat Store, Montgomery street; Carrier & Winter's Picture Store, 620 Market street, and of the Committee of Arrangements.

From 1870-1873, he was master of the Commander of the Hooaday and Burnham line, and master of the Pacific Coast Steamship Co., as master of the Ventura and the Constantine.

In 1880, Gov. George Perkins appointed Captain Harloe Chief Wharfinger at San Francisco. He filled the position for three years, after which he commanded the steamer Santa Maria running along the coast and to the Sandwich Islands until he retired.

Captain Harloe held the highest license ever granted any master of vessels by the United States Government. This license permitted him to act as inspector or commander of ships in any ocean. Captain Harloe was an advocate of western progress and maintained close connections with maritime and civic matters until his death.

July 30, 1908, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

Captain Marcus Harloe, California Pioneer, Dies at Son's Home, Aged 75

Captain Marcus Harloe, a pioneer of 1850 and one of the best known veteran master mariners on the Pacific coast, died yesterday at the home of his son, John Harloe, at 2372 Broadway, aged 75 years.

In 1850, before he was 21. Captain Harloe brought the ship Wild. Pigeon from New York around the horn to San Francisco. In the early seventies he went into the service of the famous old Pacific Mail steamship company, and later he went to the Pacific Coast steamship company, when it was owned by Goodall, Kelson & Perkins.

Under Governor Perkins in the sixties, Captain Harloe was harbor master of the port of San Francisco. He was elected captain of the first battery of national guard artillery in the state and belonged to the first volunteer fire company in this city. He was a charter member of Excelsior lodge of the Masons and a Knight Templar.

About 15 years ago he retired from the sea to live with his family on his 14,000 acre ranch in San Luis Obispo county, and served in the state assembly. Captain Harloe leaves a wife and five children — Marcus, George, Archie and John, and a daughter, Cushie.

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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