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Sea Captains: San Francisco 1800s

Lieut C. H. Baldwin, U. S. Navy, sailed in and out of San Francisco as Captain of passenger steamers to and from San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. 

Ad for the SS Brother Jonathan, Captain C. H. Baldwin.

Among his sailings:

November 1, 1852, SS Brother Jonathan, Capt. Baldwin, of Vanderbilt's Independent Line, leaves on Monday.

March 20, 1853, SS Brother Jonathan, Baldwin, 13 days from San Juan via Acapulco.

August 16, 1853, SS Brother Jonathan, from San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

November 17, 1853, SS Sierra Nevada, from San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

November 18, 1854: Advertisements for the SS Uncle Sam  included: The Mountain Democrat, Placerville, California.

November 24, 1854: SS Uncle Sam, Captain Baldwin, cleared for San Juan.

Sea Captains.

December 21, 1854, SS Uncle Sam, Captain Baldwin, 11 days from San Juan, bringing 500 passengers.

November 18, 1861, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, California

Captain C. H. Baldwin, United States Navy, has been ordered to report at Washington.

February 20, 1864, Daily Alta California, San Francisco


A month ago the telegraph announced that the Vanderbilt had arrived at New York for repairs. At the time we did not suppose that this vessell could have been the Vanderbilt which had been sent ia pusuit of the Alabama. There is another Vanderbilt in the service a boat, for a long time before the war broke out, employed in tbe New Orleans trade, and the general opinion was that it was to her the telegraph referred.

The mail received by the Orizaba resolves all doubt, however, on the subject. The N. Y. Times announces that on Saturday, the 16th of of January, the U.S. steamerVanderbilt, Captain Baldwin, wbich had been for over a year in pursuit of the Alabama, had returned to that port for repairs. We have, then, only two vessels of war in the Chinese and Indian waters that is to say, the Wyoming and the Jamestown.

January 7, 1865, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California



C. H. Baldwin, now Commander Baldwin, came to California in 1846. He was for some time in command of the old fort at Monterey. Singular as it may seem, Generals Halleck, Ord, and Sherman, the latter than Second Lieutenant, were all with the former on duty at the same point. Shortly after the present rebellion broke out, Captain Baldwin went East and immediately took command of a gunboat attached to the Mississippi Squadron. With this he assisted in the capture of Forts Jackson and Philip, and participated in the grand naval fight before Vicksburg. Subsequently he was ordered home to take command of the powerful war-steamerVanderbilt. For two years and two months he scoured the seas in pursuit of the pirates Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. At times he almost "sighted" one or the other of them entering harbors just after their departure, and again by some counter order from Wilkes or accident to machinery, was disappointed in capturing a piratical rover.

Commander Baldwin returned home on the steamer Sacramento, after an absence of three years. Of course he was warmly welcomed by a multitude of his old friends, who have watched him with eager solicitude throughout his long and perilous career, not only on the water, but " under fire." This gallant officer will at once take command of the Ordnance Department at Mare Island.

August 19, 1869, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

Quite a number of changes have taken place among the officers attached to the Mare laland station during the past week. Surgeon David Kindieberger, who arrived some two weeks since as Surgeon of the Independence, has been ordered to the rendezvous in San Francisco, and Surgeon Grove S. Beardsley to the Independence; Paymaster K. C. Doran, lately attached to the Pensacolaas First Paymaster, has been ordered to the Independence, relieving Paymaster Frank C. Cosby, who is placed on wailing orders. Captain Chas. B. Baldwin has recaived leave of absence for three months and leaves for Europe, via tbe Overland route, this week, to bring back his family, who are now there.

September 13, 1871, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, California, U.S.A.

Washington, September 12th. Captain Baldwin is detached from the Mare Island Navy Yard, and ordered to the command of the Colorado in the Asiatic fleet.

September 23, 1871, Sacramento Daily Union

Naval Orders.

The Vallejo Chronicle of September 21st says:

The orders were yesterday issued which appeared some time ago in the Chronicle as rumors of changes about to be made. The changes are:

  • Detaching Capt. C. H. Baldwin, Executive Officer of Mare island, and ordering him to the command of the Colorado, the flagship of the Asiatic squadron.
  • Captain Hopkins is detached from navigation duty and ordered to the post vacated by Capt. Baldwin.
  • Capt. Phelps is detached from the command of the Independence and ordered to the position held by Capt. Hopkins.
  • Commander Low is ordered from the Mohican to the command of the Independence. 
  • Commander Hopkins has been ordered from the Cyanc to the command of the Mohican.

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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