Sea Captains: San Francisco 1800s


James Carroll

Captain Carroll was born in Ireland in 1840 and came to America with relatives as a child.

His early marine experience commenced on the lakes, sailing out of Chicago from I857 to 1860. He then went to New York and started for China on the bark Haw Wa, built for a Chinese man-of-war. He sailed the coastal trade in the Orient for a year.

In 1862, he arrived at San Francisco on the clipper Swordfish. From there, he went to the Sandwich Islands and afterward to Cork in the ship Anglo-Saloon, commanded by Capt. John Caverley of San Francisco.

Following that he sailed to Liverpool and Boston and then for two years out of New York in the Trowbridge line for the West Indies.

In the latter part of, 1865 he shipped from the Eastern metropolis as second mate of the ship Rattler, bound for San Francisco, and on arrival began running north on the Montana.

He left the coastal steamer to sail to China as second mate of the bark Swallow. On his return, Captain Carroll entered the service of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company as second and first officer, remaining with them until 1869, when he returned to Holladay's employ.

In the fall of I87O he received his first command, the steamshipMontana, on which he had begun as a sailor four years before. From that time he remained continuously in charge of the Holladay steamships and those of its successor until 1878, when he took command of the big sidewheeler Great Republic, running to Portland as an Opposition Steamer. After the wreck of the Great Republic on Sand Island, at the mouth of the Columbia, Captain Carroll served as master on the steamer Alexander Duncan for a short time, and from her went to the Idaho, EurekaMexico, and various other steamships on the Alaska route.

Captain's Briar Pipe.

Captain Carroll is one the few men who have been fortunate in outside speculations while still remaining on the water. He had large holdings in Alaska, and when the proposition to purchase Alaska from the Government was made, Captain Carroll was one of the syndicate who stood in readiness to pay for the territory.


Make Money With Your Captain's License:
How to Get a Job or Run a Business on a Boat
Run Your Business from a Boat.

Run a Business on a Boat.Run a Business from a Boat.Author David Brown describes how to get a job on a boat or run a practical boat-based business, including fishing charters, excursions, dinner cruises, and water taxis. He also covers business issues, safety, marketing, liability, and Coast Guard licensing requirements. The author details the possible ups and downs and risks about running a boat-based business.


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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