Sea Captains: San Francisco 1800s


Henry Cleaveland

(aka Henry Cleveland)

In 1848 Henry Cleaveland took over as master of the whaler Niantic and in May 1849, he was in Paita, Peru, as captain of the ship. 

He learned of the discovery of gold, sailed to Panama, picked up 249 passengers, charging $150 to $250 each, and arrived in San Francisco on July 5, 1849. 

Once the Niantic anchored, its crew left town along with the passengers.

Advertisement of the sale of the Niantic.

The whaler's owners pulled the ship ashore, dismantled its masts and rigging, and constructed offices and warehouses on her.

December 26, 1849, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

STORAGE In the Niantic Warehouses, foot of Clay street. The owners of the ship Niantic announce to the public of San Francisco, that said vessel is now ready to receive storage upon the most favorable terms. From the facilities offered of receiving and delivering goods, both afloat and on shore, with security against rain and fire, they confidently recommend these warehouses to the attention of the mercantile community. Terms of storage -- $1 per month per barrel of 196 lbs., or thereabouts; $10 per month per ton of 40 cubic feet. Goods are received and delivered from 8 a. m. to 5 p. m. Two large lighters of about 50 tons, to let.

Apply on board to GODEFFROY, SILLEM & CO.


Three Centuries of Seafaring: The Maritime Art of Paul HeeThree Centuries of Seafaring: The Maritime Art of Paul Hee.
Rick Carroll, Marcie Carroll (Author, Editors) Three Centuries of Seafaring: The Maritime Art of Paul Hee.
Great moments in seafaring history as depicted by internationally known maritime artist Paul Hee are collected in a handsome new art book, Three Centuries of Seafaring: The Maritime Art of Paul Hee. Old salts and armchair sailors alike--anyone who loves the sea and ships--will delight in this glossy art book, which features more than 150 color images of Mr. Hee's artful works in signature painstaking detail. Scenes range from battles at sea and famous shipwrecks to yacht races and peaceful harbors. Hee, master of past masters, documents not only moments in maritime history but also the artistic styles of three centuries of painters whose work depicts American and British ships of their day, from topsail schooners to the White Squadron.

A significant portion of book sales benefit the North Carolina Maritime Museum. The book is available in two formats: hardbound with glossy dust jacket ($49.95); and a signed, numbered slip-cased hardcover keepsake, commemorating the 300th anniversary of the 1709 founding of Beaufort, NC, ($79.95), home of Mr. Hee and of the museum.

Maritime art of Paul Hee. A self-taught artist and active octogenarian, Mr. Hee grew up by the sea on Long Island and spent World War II in the US Navy before becoming a Miami-based cruise ship executive.

He raced Ferraris and restored a historic ship, then retired to Beaufort to paint in the luminescent styles of past masters and to build classic model ships.

(Image: Bald Eagle, 1852, by Paul Hee.)

The Project

Maritime Nations, Sea Captains, Ships, Merchants, Merchandise, 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; Maritime Library, San Francisco, California.

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