Sea Captains: San Francisco 1800s

William B. Seabury

Several Captain Seabury's sailing during the 1800s. As they are sorted out, they will be separated to indicate which Captain Seabury sailed when.

Capt. William B. Seabury (1840-1906) was born in New Bedford, Mass., in 1840, and commenced his marine service at Philadelphia while a boy on a vessel in the Brazil sugar trade. He was employed on sailing vessels out of New York until 1864, his last ship being the Gertrude, of which he was first officer.

He then joined the steamship Ocean Queen of Commodore Vanderbilt's line as quarter- 
master and then as second and first mate. In I865 he occupied the former position on the steamship Baltic, running to the Isthmus, in December, 1873, subsequently joining the Grenada as first officer. Soon after her arrival in San Francisco in March, 1874, he was promoted to the captaincy of the steamship Arizona. In March, 1875, he was given command of the Citly of Panama, running north with her for four years, except for a few trips when she was relieved by the Constitution and Alaska, which he also handled, and was in command of the former when she was burned.

While in the employ of the Pacific Mail Line, he had charge of all the large steamers owned by that company and superintended the building of the steamer China, nearly every detail of her construction being left to his judgment. He took command of her as soon as she was completed and has run her since between San Francisco and China.

D. E. Griffith, mate and master, was first officer with Captain Seabury on the City of Panama, and ran north on the Dakota for about two years, commanding the steamship for a few trips during the absence of Captain Morse.

The Great Ocean: Pacific Worlds from Captain Cook to the Gold RushPacific Worlds from Captain Cook to the Gold Rush.

David Igler
Great Ocean.From Captain Cook to the Gold Rush.The Pacific of the early eighteenth century was a place of baffling complexity, with 25,000 islands and seemingly endless continental shorelines. But with the voyages of Captain James Cook, global attention turned to the Pacific, and European and American dreams of scientific exploration, trade, and empire grew dramatically. By the time of the California gold rush, the Pacific's many shores were fully integrated into world markets-and world consciousness. The Great Ocean draws on hundreds of documented voyages as a window into the commercial, cultural, and ecological upheavals following Cook's exploits, focusing in particular on the eastern Pacific in the decades between the 1770s and the 1840s. Beginning with the expansion of trade as seen via the travels of William Shaler, captain of the American Brig Lelia Byrd, historian David Igler uncovers a world where voyagers, traders, hunters, and native peoples met one another in episodes often marked by violence and tragedy.

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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