Sea Captains: San Francisco 1800s


Captain N. H. Nielsen

July 14, 1901, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California, USA

Captain Nielsen Charged With Fraud.

United States District Attorney Woodworth filed a complaint yesterday against N. H. Nielsen of defrauding the United States by obtaining care and maintenance at the United States Marine Hospital for H. Johnson, whom Nielsen represented to be a sailor, whereas Johnson was only a barkeeper en shore. Nielsen, after his arrest, admitted the truth of the charge, but said that Johnson had formerly worked as a sailor for him on the schooner Queen, and being sick and penniless he had thought it only a pious fraud to deceive the hospital authorities into taking care of him.

November 16, 1901, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, Caliifornia, USA

Captain Nielsen in Trouble.

Captain N. H. Nielsen was examined yesterday before United States Court Commissioner Heacock on a charge of having made a false and fraudulent certificate whereby a sick sailor had been enabled to gain admission to the United States Marine Hospital, in which place the sailor afterward died. It was shown that the sailor had formerly been employed by the defendant, but that at the time he fell sick he was working as a barkeeper for a man named Swanson on Jackson street. The case will be submitted on briefs, the captain having admitted that the sailor was not employed as a seaman at the time the certificate was written.

November 20, 1901, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California, USA

Escapes Conviction on a Law Point.

Captain N. H. Nielsen of the schooner Queen was acquitted yesterday by United States Court Commissioner Heacock of the charge of issuing a false certificate to the effect that Edward Johnson had been employed by him as a seaman on board his vessel "between September 1 and November 20."

San Francisco Bay. 1899.

Topographic Map. San Francisco Bay. 1899.

This statement was false, Johnson being at the period mentioned a barkeeper for Swanson an the waterfront, although he had been previously a member of the crew of the Queen. On the strength of the certificate Johnson obtained admission to the United States Marine Hospital and received free medical treatment for about three months. Nielsen's counsel, Bert Schlesinger, admitted the facts, but raised the legal point that the issuance of the certificate was pot a violation of any Federal statute. Commissioner Heacock sustained the point and discharged the defendant.


Origins of Nielson/Nielsen

Recorded in many spelling variations and found throughout Europe and Scandanavia, this is a surname of ancient origins. An estimated eighty spellings include: MacNeill, O'Neill, Neal, Neale, Neil, Niall, Neill, or the patronymics Neals, Neilsen, Neilson, Nielson, Neelson, Nealon, and Nelson. The origination is from the pre-7th century Gaelic name 'Niall' meaning 'champion'. It is claimed that the personal name was 'borrowed' from Ireland by the Norse-Vikings, and introduced into Scandanavia as 'Njall', before being taken to Normandy by the 'Norsemen' in the 8th and 9th centuries. It was then 'returned' to the British Isles with the Norman Conquest of 1066, as Neil or Nell. Recorded in surviving ancient charters is that the O'Neil's were the chief clan of County Tyrone in Northern Ireland from the 10th century. In Scotland during the reign of King James Vth of Scotland, the Neilsons were the hereditary Lords of Bute. The first recorded spelling of the family name is supposed to be that of John Neilson, dated 1314, in the Royal Charter of Craigcatte, during the reign of King Robert of Scotland (1306 -1329). Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation.


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.

Merchant Marine License.

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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