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VIPS in the Port of San Francisco

Alexandre Zins's travels in California include travel with French artist Leon Trousset.

Los Angeles Herald, March 12, 1876
Los Angeles, California

A Sketch of Its History and Construction
Erected to Vibiane, Saint and Martyr

The magnificent new Roman Catholic Cathedral in this city is receiving its finishing touches at the hands of the painters and carpenters, and as its construction marks a new era in the ecclesiastical history of this city we presume our readers will not object to an article giving some facts in relation to the history of this splendid structure. We have been at particular pains to procure the facts which we shall lay before our readers. . .


It would hardly be just to close this somewhat lengthy description without awarding a just meed of praise to those most immediately concerned in this important work, Mr. Kysor as the originator of the design and Mr. Mathews, his partner in his subsequent cooperation with him, which has been of the most cordial and agreeable character throughout, have added greatly to their already well established reputations, and can well afford to look with pride upon the result of their labors.

Mr. L. Messnier as Superintendent of the work has displayed an unflagging and persistent energy which entitles him to a high meed of praise. His share in the building of the cathedral will and must always be a source of satisfaction to him. For the past six months or more Mr. W. O. Burr, formerly of Oskaloosa, Jefferson county, Kansas, has acted as foreman of the carpenter work, in fact of almost all the details, and it is not too much to say that he has established for himself an enviable reputation as a faithful, intelligent and reliable workman, which will always stand him in good stead. The frescoing of the vault was done by Mr. Alexander Zins that of the altar space by Mr. Joaquin N. Amat, a nephew of the Bishop. Mr. Wm. Farrell of this city furnishes the gas fixtures. Nor must mention that the windows are the handiwork of a Californian, Mr. John Mullen, of San Francisco. . .

Sacramento Daily Union, September 21, 1887:
Post Office is holding letter for A. Zins, Artist.

Post Office Holding Mail for A. Zins.


The Annals of San FranciscoThe Annals of San Francico 1855.
Frank Soule, John H. Gihon, Jim Nisbet. 1855
Written by three journalists who were witnesses to and participants in the extraordinary events they describe. The Annals of San Francisco is both an essential record for historians and a fascinating narrative for general readers. Over 100 historical engravings are included. Partial Contents: Expeditions of Viscaino; Conduct of the Fathers towards the natives; Pious Fund of California; Colonel John C. Fremont; Insurrection of the Californians; Description of the Golden Gate; The Presidio of San Francisco; Removal of the Hudson's Bay Company; Resolutions concerning gambling; General Effects of the Gold Discoveries; Third Great Fire; Immigration diminished; The Chinese in California; Clipper Ships; Increase of population; and Commercial depression.

San Francisco, You're History!
Politicians, Proselytizers, Paramours, and Performers Who Helped Create California's Wildest City
Politicians, Proselytizers, Paramours, Performers.
California Performers.
J. Kingston Pierce
Seattle-based freelance writer Pierce presents a fascinating view of a variety of colorful people and events that have molded the unique environment of San Francisco. He chronicles historical highlights along with a focus on current issues. Pierce touches on the gold rush, earthquakes, and fires and introduces the lives of politicians, millionaires, criminals, and eccentrics. Pierce sparks the imagination in relating the stories of yesterday to today.

When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of SailWhen America First Met China.
Eric Jay Dolin
Ancient China collides with America in this epic tale of opium smugglers, sea pirates, and dueling clipper ships. Brilliantly illuminating one of the least-understood areas of American history, best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin traces our relationship with China back to its roots: the nineteenth-century seas that separated a brash, rising naval power from a ancient empire. It is a fable for our time, one that surprisingly continues to shed light on our modern relationship with China. The furious trade in furs, opium, and bêche-de-mer -- a rare sea cucumber delicacy -- might have catalyzed America's emerging economy, but it also sparked an ecological and human rights catastrophe. Peopled with fascinating characters--from Robert Morris: Financier of the American RevolutionRobert Morris, Financier of the American Revolution. to the The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong: Splendors of China's Forbidden City, who considered foreigners inferior beings -- this saga of pirates and politicians, coolies and concubines becomes a must-read for any fan of Nathaniel Philbrick's MayflowerMayflower. or Mark Kurlansky's Cod.Cod, the fish that changd the world. Two maps, 16 pages of color, 83 black-and-white illustrations.

Latin America, World Journeys, Discovery.The Age of Sail.Commodore Levy:
A Novel of Early America in the Age of Sail

(Modern Jewish History)

Irving Litvag
By all accounts, Uriah Phillips Levy, the first Jewish commodore in the U.S. Navy, was both a principled and pugnacious man. On his way to becoming a flag officer, he was subjected to six courts-martial and engaged in a duel, all in response to antisemitic taunts and harassment from his fellow officers. Yet he never lost his love of country or desire to serve in its navy. When the navy tried to boot him out, he took his case to the highest court and won. This richly detailed historical novel closely follows the actual events of Levy’s life: running away from his Philadelphia home to serve as a cabin boy at age ten; his service during the War of 1812 aboard the Argus and internment at the notorious British prison at Dartmoor;  his campaign for the abolition of flogging in the Navy; and his purchase and restoration of Monticello as a tribute to his personal hero, Thomas Jefferson. Set against a broad panorama of U.S. history, Commodore Levy describes the American Jewish community from 1790 to 1860, the beginnings of the U.S. Navy, and the great nautical traditions of the Age of Sail before its surrender to the age of steam.

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; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; Maritime Library, San Francisco, California, various Maritime Museums around the world.

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