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Merchant Ships in Port

Please note: 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, you could have anything your heart desired. Listings are by no means complete; names of passengers on these vessels are often unavailable.
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San Francisco



  • July 24: Barque Abby Baker, Captain Timothy Pratt, 260 days from Baltimore, Maryland via San Luis Obispo, California. Came out of Straits in company with the schooner Naomi from New York. On July 7, Captain Pratt, of North Yarmouth, aged 48 years, died after sickness of two months, was buried ashore at San Luis Obispo, California. Cargo: 131,955 feet lumber, 100,000 bricks, ale and wine.


  • March 5: Ship Chile No. 2, Captain Vue, 144 days from Havre, France. Was 92 days to Cape Horn. Off the Cape 14 days with strong westerly winds. Crossed the Equator in Pacific on February 11, 1860 in long. 108. Since then had variable winds. Cargo: Champagne, cement, wormwood, musical instruments, cheese. Passengers: Mdme. Even and daughter; Mr. Chedore; M. Chauvin.


  • August 12, 1860: Arrived Ship Mameluke, Pike, 143 days from Boston; mdse to Flint, Peabody & Co.
    Per Mameluke: Sailed from Nantucket Roads March 20th; was 22 days to the Equator; 66 days to the Straits of Le Maire; 21 days from 50 S in the Atlantic to 50 S in the Pacific, with strong westerly gales; was 113 days to the Equator in the Pacific; crossed in lon 119 W; have been 18 days N of 1st 30 N, with light, baffling winds March 25th, lat 40 N, lon 59 30 W, while lying to in a heavy gale, a sea struck the rudder with great force; parted the relieving tackles and wheel ropes; sprung the tiller badly, and also started the ends of the cross plan butting on the rudder case; started the two upper gudeons; was obliged to keep the ship under easy sail until the damage was temporarily repaired. June 12th, lat 53 S lon 78 W, carried the fore yard, sprung the lower foretopsail yard, and lost a new foretopmast staysail out of the bolt rope. June 23d, James Smith, seaman, a native of Amsterdam, while at the pumps, dropped down and died instantly -- supposed it was from disease of the heart. Aug 3d, lat 36 37 N, lon 138 30 W, spoke bque Naramissic, 234 days from Mazatlan for this port.
  • August 12 - Bque Naramissic, Manly, 33 days from Mazatlan; mdse to Lent, Sherwood & Co.
    Per Naramissic: The Captain wishes to report that neither himself nor his vessel have been one hour in the possession of the Mexican government. Part of his cargo (consigned to La Paz in Lower California) was forcible and illegally taken possession of in Mazatlan, together with some of his ship stores, and an iron safe containing about $1,000 of his money. After a month's detention, these goods and the money were returned to the Captain, which would never have been done had the government any legal claim. For this detention and damage, as well to the owerns as the master of the barque, he holds the Mexican government responsible, and shall prefer his claim upon them for the heavy damage by him sustained, and materially aided by the communications published in the Alta and Bulletin, eagerly translated by the Mexican papers.



  • May 4: German bark Elise Schmidt, Captain Kohler, 153 days from Hamburg, Germany. Was 87 days to Cape Horn, was off the Cape 8 days with fine weather -- crossed the Equator in the Pacific 118 days out, in Long. 106W. Since then had light winds and calms. Cargo: 100 tons coal, 6000 fire bricks, drugs, herring, wine, cigars, 5 tubs of leeches and assorted merchandise. Passengers: N. Rosenberg; M. Nunnenberg; Mr. Nunnenberg; A. Herz; T. Herz; P. Peters; T. Molliter (or Mollitor).
  • May 5: Bark Comet, Captain Smith, 18 days from Honolulu. Cargo: 500 watermelons (in transit for New York, 300 pumpkins, whalebone, 982 bullock hides, sugar, molasses and pulo. Passengers: E. Woodbury; Stephens Spencer; J.G. Harding; D.M. Weston, wife and son; Asa Anthony; C.G. Hopkins; Capt. George Kenworthy; Capt. P.S. Wilcos; E.G. Blodgett; Mrs. Karson and son; Miss Emily Emmes; J.P. Green; ? Broufatis; Frank Garamer; Warren Johnson; M. Evanhoff; W. Goodall and three children (Mr. Goodall is Collector of Customs at Honolulu): Jose Ma Mendoza; A. McPherson; C.H. Lewers, wife, child and servant; Miss Lewers; Mrs. M. Rogers; Capt. Bailey; James Patterson; Dennis Dexter; P.J. Becker; John Gately; E.D. Ensign; Mrs. Sequeira and child.


  • July 10: Barque Fanny Major, Captain Higgins, 32 days from LaPaz. Had northerly winds and thick fog all the passage. Cargo: 150 tons Brazil wood, 81 hides and 75 tons salt. Passengers: H.R. Dubin; M. Luss; J.H. Hibbetts; M. Fuller; L. Mason; C. Hughes; J.H. Fox; J.S. Young; Mrs. Swedara.
  • July 30: Ship Asa Eldridge, 146 days from New York; mdse to Geo T. Grimes. Memoranda: Per Asa Eldridge-Crossed the Equator in the Atlantic 26 days out; came through the Straits of Le Maire in 62 days; passed Cape Horn in 63 days, lat 58 S long 70 W; broke the bowsprit in Knight Heads, and washed off the figurehead, but got it on deck; kept the ship off before the wind, and secured the mast; sent down the foretopgallant mast and yards and hove the ship to; had heavy gales from the NW until we got the SE trades; crossed the Equator in the Pacific in long 113, from thence had head winds and calms; no NE winds; May 24th, lat 51 S. long 80 W, signalized ship Richard Busteed, bound East.
  • July 30: Fr ship Ile Marie, Latour, 165 days from havre, via Callao, 59 days. Mdse to V. Marzion & Co.
  • Schr Falmouth, Olmstead, 25 days from Acapulco via Manzanillo. Hides to A.G. Ramsdell



  • June 1: Ship Golconda, Captain Purington, 48 days from Hong Kong, China. Had fine weather in the China Sea. Since had light head winds and calms. Cargo: 45 baskets ginger; 1 stone mortar; 16,401 bags rice; 3,617 bags sugar; 33 bales paper and assorted goods. Passengers: E. Cox; L. Cox; O. Jackson; 387 unidentified Chinamen.
  • June 11: Bark Comet, Captain Smith, 18 days from Honolulu. Left Honolulu on May 24th with fresh trades blowing. The first six days had strong NE winds with squally weather. From June 1-6 had wind moderate with varying SE to W. Was within sight of the Farallones for 4 days with calms. Cargo: 1,356 kegs sugar, 146 bales pulu, 2 bales fungus, jams, corn, 200 watermelons, 500 pumpkins and assorted goods. Passengers: Mrs. William White, child and servant; Miss S. Dutcher; Miss J.E. Dutcher; E.P. Bona, wife and three children; E.M. Anthony; Mrs. W. Elliott; Miss G. Elliott; Miss Lizzie A. Allen; Joel Bean, wife and child; Thomas Long; H. Wilkins and eight unidentified Counsulmen.


  • July 12: Stmr Salinas, Sudden, 20 hrs from Salinas River. Product to Brennan & Co. 6 passengeres
  • July 12: Brig Curlew, Chapman, 41 days from Tahiti. Mdse to C.W. Brooks & Co. 3 passengers. Memoranda: Per Curlew-left Tahiti June 1st; crossed the equator June 9th, lon 147 30 W; passed 120 east of Owyhee; 17 days out, carried strong NE trades to lat 41 30, lon 158 10 W; since then had very light ariable winds, principally from the westward; last two days, moderate wind from NNW; had not wind enough to furl a royal for the last 16 days, until yesterday. Lat 41 25, lon 152 25 W, passed two ships steering for this port.
  • Brig Susan Abigail, Winding, 60 hours from Port Orford. Lumber to H.B. Tiehenor & Co.


  • December 23, 1862, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, California, U.S.A.

    Arrival from China
    Rescue of Mexican Families
    Arrivals from Honolulu and Sydney.

    San Francisco, December 22d. The screw steamer Scotland, of the British trans-Pacific line, arrived this evening from China, via Japan, in 27 days. She brings thirteen passengers. Two days out from Kanagawa she broke her steering gear, and had to be steered with tackles the entire passage. The former important political rumors are not confirmed.
  • The schooner San Florence, 18 days from San Quentin, reports that the bark Sarah Warren, from San Francisco, took off from the island of Guadalupe two Mexican families, nine persons in all, who had fled to tbat place twelve months ago. They were nearly starved, and dressed in goat skins.
  • Arrived Bark Yankee, in 20 days from Honolulu.
  • Danish bark Jorgen Lorentzen, 65 days from Sydney, brings dates to the 18th of October.

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; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; Maritime Library, San Francisco, California.

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