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Merchants of Grain.
Merchants of Grain:
The Power and Profits of the Five Giant Companies at the Center of the World's Food Supply
California commerce, ships, shipping lines.
Dan Morgan
Details how a handful of families have controlled the worlds grain trade for centuries. A great piece for families that till the soil, but one that is even more important to the people who live in the city; and have no idea of the power and control that these families wield.
From Captain John R. Sutton: "I am a captain on Mississippi River towboats. I have pushed millions of tons of grain down the Mississippi River for years. But I never really understood the gobal impact of the world's grain company's until I read this book."

Ships by Philip Wilkinson.
Ships and Sailing

Great Shipwrecks of the Pacific Coast.Shipwrecks of the Pacific Coast.

Shipwrecks of the Pacific CoastSea Classics.
James A. Gibbs

Pacific Coast Shipwrecks.Sea Classics.
The Unforgiving Coast: Maritime Disasters of the Pacific Northwest
Sea Classics.
David Grover

The Clipper Ship Era
An Epitome of Famous American and British Clipper Ships, Their Owners, Builders, Commanders, and Crews, 1843-1869
The Clipper Ship Era.
Arthur Hamilton Clark


Greyhounds of the Sea: The Story of the American Clipper ShipSan Francisco waterfront commerce, ships, shipping history.
Carl C. Cutler
This is a rare and invaluable book for all who love the sea and ships.


The American-Built Clipper Ship, 1850-1856: Characteristics, Construction, and DetailsSan Francisco waterfront commerce, ships, shipping history.
William T. Crothers

Kindly

Coming to America.
Coming to America:
A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life
First Immigrants to America.
Roger Daniels

Ships arriving at the Port of San Francisco


Arrivals 1856

Please note: Generally, these merchant ship arrivals are included to give an idea of the volume and type of goods into early San Francisco. If you had the money during the 1800s, you could have anything your heart desired. Listings are by no means complete; names of passengers on these vessels are often unavailable.
Click here for lists of passengers arriving on passenger ships.

° 1846-1847 ° 1848 ° 1849 ° 1850 ° 1851 ° 1852 ° 1853 ° 1854 ° 1855
° 1856 ° 1858 ° 1860-1862 ° 1863 ° 1864 ° 1868 ° 1870s ° 1880s ° 1890s

JANUARY

The early days in San Francisco.
San Francisco, California
Panoramic map from the 1800s
(Quality images are available by clicking on the image.)

April, 1856

May, 1856

November, 1856

December 31, 1856, Sacramento Daily Union
Sacramento, California

In looking about our wharves the other day, I was forcibly impressed with the change that has taken place in regard to the character of our commerce within two or three years. There are now comparatively few large vessels in our harbor, either from foreign or Eastern domestic ports. In place of these, numerous small ranging from five to fifty tons are to be seen, which are mostly engaged in island commerce. As the productions of the State ore developed, means have to be provided for their transportation, so that the producer may realise from his labor by the exchange of his commodities for others which bis requirements may demand, or for cash.

In order to facilitate this, hundreds of small vessels have found employment. They are generally of light draught, and many of them can penetrate any river, stream or inlet where water can be found to the depth of a foot. They come here loaded with the productions of the farmers with grain, hay, vegetables, wood, charcoal, etc. These, together with some larger vessels that are employed in bringing lumber from the northern part of the State nnd from Oregon, and some others engaged in trading up and down the coast, make up the bulk of our commerce at this time.


The Mammoth Book of Life Before the Mast:
Sailors' Eyewitness Stories from the Age of Fighting Ships

Jon E. Lewis, Editor
Firsthand accounts of the real-life naval adventures behind the popular historical sagas of Patrick O'Brian and C. F. Forester. Twenty true-life adventures capture the glory and gore of the great age of naval warfare from the late eighteenth to the early nineteenth century -- the age of the French Revolutionary War, the Napoleonic Wars, and the War of 1812 -- when combat at sea was won by sheer human wit, courage, and endurance. Culled from memoirs, diaries, and letters of celebrated officers as well as sailors, the collection includes accounts of such decisive naval engagements as Admiral Horatio Nelson's on the Battle of the Nile in 1798 or Midshipman Roberts' on the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and also offers glimpses into daily hardships aboard a man-of-war: scurvy, whippings, storms, piracy, press gangs, drudgery, boredom, and cannibalism.

Life of a Sailor (Seafarers' Voices) Ships, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.Life At Sea.Ships, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.
Frederick Chamier
Chamier went to sea in 1809 as an officer in the Royal Navy. Like his contemporary, Captain Frederick Marryat, he enjoyed a successful literary career and is remembered for his naval novels. This book, his first, is usually catalogued as fiction, although it is an exact account of his naval experiences, with every individual, ship, and event he described corroborated by his service records. Told with humor and insight, it is considered an authentic account of a young officer's service. From anti-slavery patrols off Africa to punitive raids on the American coast during the War of 1812, Chamier provides details of many lesser-known campaigns. His descriptions of British naval operations in America, which reflected his objection to bringing the war to the civilian population, were highly criticized by his seniors.

The Nagle Journal: A Diary of the Life of Jacob Nagle, Sailor, from the Year 1775 to 1841Stories of the Sea and Ships.
John C. Dann

Great Stories of the Sea & Ships Sea Stories and the history of America.
N. C. Wyeth
Sea Stories and the history of America.More than 50,000 copies of this collection of high-seas adventures are in print. Not only does it showcase the fiction of such classic writers as Daniel Defoe, Jules Verne, and Jack London, but the entries also feature historic first-person narratives including Christopher Columbus’s own account of his famous voyage in 1492. Vivid tales of heroic naval battles and dangerous journeys of exploration to the stories of castaways and smugglers. The variety of works includes “The Raft of Odysseus,” by Homer; Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Mermaid”; “The Specksioneer,” by Elizabeth Gaskell; Washington Irving’s “The Phantom Island”; and “Rounding Cape Horn,” by Herman Melville. Eighteen extraordinary black and white illustrations by Peter Hurd add to the volume's beauty.

The Rebel Raiders
The Astonishing History of the Confederacy's Secret NavyShips, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.

James T. deKay
The Rebel Raiders.During its construction in Liverpool, the ship was known as “Number 290.” It was unleashed as the CSS Alabama, the Confederate gunship that triggered the last great military campaign of the Civil War; yet another infamous example of British political treachery, and the largest retribution settlement ever negotiated by an international tribunal: $15,500,000 in gold paid by Britain to the United States. This riveting true story of the Anglo-Confederate alliance that led to the creation of a Southern navy illuminates the dramatic and crucial global impact of the American Civil War. Like most things in the War between the States, it started over cotton: Lincoln’s naval blockade prevented the South from exporting their prize commodity to England. In response, the Confederacy came up with a plan to divert the North’s vessels and open the waterways–a plan that would mean covertly building a navy in Britain, a strategy that involved a cast of clandestine characters.