The Maritime Heritage Project

World Harbors and International Migration from The Maritime Heritage Project.

Dear Maritime Heritage Visitors: This season The Project is asking visitors to help keep the site growing. While publications and prints to aid in your research are included (and bring in a few dollars per sale), the director is now "officially" asking if you will kindly donate. If everyone reading this right now gave $5, it would help provide additional names and stories to the more than 100,000 ship passengers arriving in San Francisco during the 1800s. This 18-year-old Project is free and is accessed from every country around the world. The Maritime Heritage Project (,, is basically a one-person operation developed and managed by the now 70-year-old great-great-grandaughter of Captain James H. Blethen, Master Mariner. Costs include equipment, research materials and time. The Maritime Heritage Project is special: it keeps alive our history of shipping, commerce and migration during an era when more people changed locations than in any other century in the history of the world. It is a resource where all can research ancestry and find heretofore "lost" family members at no charge. If you have visited our site and found it of value, kindly take one minute to keep it growing. Thank you very much. ~~ D. A. Blethen Levy


Ships arriving at the Port of San Francisco

Arrivals 1870s

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

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




The voyage which terminated a few days since in the safe arrival in this port of the ship Eastern Star, from New York, was a somewhat eventful one When off Rio de Janeiro the vessel's chronometer, the only one on board, broke. Captain A. Curtis, her Commander then made for the shore, and when the line showed fifty fathoms, he continued on his course, keeping an extra sharp look out. The Straits of Le Maire were safely navigated, and that most dreaded of points, the "Horn," was passed only four miles distance. Strong winds, that then set in, blew the ship one hundred miles to the eastward, and the weather all the time had been too thick to permit of taking a lunar observation. When, as he supposed, he was far enough to the westward, the Captain began to make his northerly running, and on the 10th of February sighted the island of Juan Fernandez.

Captain Curtis was then of course aware of his exact position, and from thence he ran by dead reckoning and by lunar observations; and crossing the Equator in 100 degrees he took the N.E. trades in 150 N., and sighted the Farallones within thirty minutes of the time he expected. The Eastern Star is a vessel of magnificent proportions. She brings a general cargo, and is discharging at the Mission street wharf. Too much praise cannot be given to Captain Curtis for bringing his ship safely into port. Many sleepless days and nights must he have passed in navigating the Eastern Star, under the difficulties in which he was placed.

Quality reprints available by clicking on the image.
Along the Waterfront, San Francisco, California



January 10, 1871 San Francisco Chronicle: By the arrival of the Moses Taylor from Honolulu, which connected with the Wonga Wonga from Auckland, we have New Zealand dates to December 7th and from Sydney to November 30th. The following is the list of passengers from Australia and New Zealand: Austrian Field Marshall Lieutenant Baron Jochnus, W.H. Wilson and wife, Thomas Henderson, Jr. Wm. B. Dyson, Dr. Jenkins, Miss Allen, F.L. Castle, Miss Rose Evans, G. Clarement, H.M. Hyndman, Mrs. Barton, A.J. Logan, A. Stevenson, Mail Agent, and twenty others. 

News brought in by the Moses Taylor: In native matters though there is no immediate danger of a general rising by the Maoris, there are not wanting signs of uneasiness which bode no good for the peace of the country. On the 27th of last month five natives, adherents of the Maori King, attacked a survey party at work on the boundary of the land confiscated after the war of 1863. Mr. Richard Todd, the chief of the survey party, was killed, and a half caste assistant was severely wounded. The natives surprised the party while they were at breakfast. Warning had been given the day previous, but the Europeans despised it. The cause of the attack is said to be surreptitious prospecting for gold on native land, of which the Maoris are very jealous, coupled with the surveys. Very recently a ch-rebel, Le Kooti, and his compeer, Kereopa, a chief, who killed the Rev. Mr. Volkner, ate his eyes and drank his heart’s blood, having reappeared in the neighborhood of the settlements on the east coast of the Province of Auckland. The settlers are on the qui vive. It is satisfactory to know that so far the Maori King hold aloof from these proceedings.

Buy at
Maori Fortified Village, or Pah 
Taranaki, New Zealand. Mid-1800s.

The Duke of Edinburgh was daily expected to arrive at Auckland from Australia, via New Caledonia, in the Galatea.

The Earl of Pembroke, who was cruising among the South Sea Islands, was wrecked. He was picked up together with the captain and crew by a passing vessel.

King Kalakaua visits President Grant, 1874.
King Kalakaua of the Sandwich Islands
visits President Grant, 1874

Daily Alta California, February 11, 1879


Shipping news from February 11, 1879.

Daily Alta California, February 20, 1879


Along the Wharves February 20, 1879.

Daily Alta California, August 14, 1879

Shipping Intelligence

Shipping Intelligence August 14 1879 DAC.

Daily Alta California, August 20, 1879


Along the Wharves February 20, 1879.

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Planning for your 2015 Ship Travel?
West Marine has everything you need, including holiday discounts!