The Maritime Heritage Project

Ship Passengers, San Francisco: 1846-1899

World Harbors and International Migration from The Maritime Heritage Project.

The Maritime Heritage Project.

Under Serious Reconstruction.
Due to new WWW and Google formatting guidelines, 18 years worth of coding on more than 2,500 entries is being updated, Also, lists of gold seekers, opportunists and immigrants sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s are going on a new site -- Ship Passengers. This may take awhile. Please stopover from time to time. Thank you.

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Artists in California, 1786-1940
Edan Milton Hughes

Edwin Deakin, California Painter.
Edwin Deakin: California Painter of the PicturesqueEdwin Deakin.
Scott A. Shields

Western Artists.
Lure of the West
Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Amy Pastan
Striking paintings and sculptures by artists who traveled west in the decades following the Lewis and Clark explorations, portray the expanding frontier from an array of compelling viewpoints: pristine wilderness, rugged landscapes, the Gold Rush, exotic Hispanic cultures of the Southwest, tribal Indian life, and romanticized views of the West as a place of primal beauty and spiritual values. Artists include Emanuel Leutze, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, Charles Bird King, George Catlin, Irving Couse, Olin Warner, and others.

California's Frontier NaturalistsCalifornia's Naturalists.
Richard G. Beidleman
This book chronicles stories of enthusiastic, stalwart, and talented naturalists drawn to California's spectacular natural bounty from 1786, when the La Pérouse Expedition arrived at Monterey, to the Death Valley expedition in 1890-91. Beidleman's engaging narrative describes the lives of botanists, zoologists, geologists, paleontologists, astronomers, and ethnologists as they camped under stars and faced blizzards, made discoveries and amassed collections, kept journals, sketched flowers and landscapes, recorded comets and native languages. He weaves together the stories of their lives, demanding fieldwork, contributions to science, and exciting adventures against the backdrop of California and world history.

Women Artists.
Independent Spirits: Women Painters of the American West, 1890-1945Women Painters of the American West.
Patricia Trenton, Virginia Scharff

Berkeley Bohemia Artists and Visionaries of the Early 20th CenturyBohemia Artists and Visionaries.
Ed Herny

Artful Players: Artistic Life in Early San Francisco
Birgitta Hjalmarson
With a handful of wealthy Gold Rush barons as patrons, an active community of artists appeared in nineteenth-century San Francisco almost overnight. A subculture of artistic brilliance and social experimentation was the result. Witness Jules Tavernier, hungry and in debt, accepting a stuffed peacock and two old dueling pistols in payment for a Yosemite landscape; Mark Twain as reluctant art critic, etc.


Artists of the WestArtists of the West.

Artists of the West.

Western ArtWestern Art and Artists.

VIPS in the Port of San Francisco

William Alexander Coulter

Born March 7, 1849, Glenariff, Ireland

Died March 13, 1936, Sausalito, California

William Alexander Coulter was born on March 7, 1849 in Glenariff, Ireland where his father was captain in the Coast Guard.

At age thirteen. the younger Coulter went to sea. For seven years his apprenticeship allowed him to learn every detail of the ships on which he sailed. He had a natural gift for drawing and color and during his off-duty hours aboard ship he sketched and painted.

After arriving in San Francisco in 1869, he worked as a sailmaker while continuing to paint in his leisure, and by 1874 was regularly exhibiting with the San Francisco Art Association. Coulter was for the most part self-taught except for a period of three years in the late 1870s when he studied in Europe with marine artists Vilhelm Melbey, Francois Musin, and Jacob Jacobsen.

Sausalito, California 1800s.
Aerial View of the Ferry Landing and North Shore in
Sausalito, Marin County, California

By 1890 he was living in Sausalito in a house that was just a few feet from the water.

He kept a studio in San Francisco at 325 Montgomery Street, which he shared briefly with Hiram Bloomer.

A prolific painter, from 1869 to 1936 he chronicled the shipping industry in San Francisco Bay as the waterfront artist for the San Francisco Call newspaper, capturing the vitality of the square-riggers, hay scows, tug boats, and schooners that sailed in and out of the Golden Gate. His pen-and-ink drawings appeared daily in the Call until the fire and earthquake of 1906 (which he also painted from the waterfront).

One of his most important commissions was done between 1909-20 when he painted five 16' x 18' mural panels for the Assembly Room of the Merchants Exchange Building. This room was the center of all the trading and maritime business of the day on the West Coast.

Captains and shipowners valued his ship portraits for their accuracy of detail.

Among his paintings of San Francisco Bay and ships in San Francisco Bay are:

View of Meiggs' Wharf
Matthew Turner's Nautilus
Donald McKay's clipper Glory of the Seas
W.F. Babcock
J. M. Colman
Three Brothers

Coulter died on March 13, 1936 at his Sausalito home having left a great legacy to California and the maritime industry.

Buy at
Clipper Ship Three Brothers, 2972 Tons
Largest sailing ship in the world

In 1943 a Liberty Ship was launched at the Kaiser Shipyard and named S. S. William A. Coulter.

A Liberty Ship in the Kaiser Shipyard.
Men Working on the Liberty Ships
Hansel Mieth

Four of the Kaiser Shipyards were located in the San Francisco Bay Area (in Richmond, California). Together, these four Kaiser Shipyards produced 747 ships, including many of the famous Liberty ships and Victory ships, more than any other complex in the United States.

Liberty ships were cargo ships built in the United States during World War II. Though British in conception, they were adapted by the U.S. as they were cheap and quick to build, and came to symbolize U.S. wartime industrial output. Based on vessels ordered by Britain to replace ships torpedoed by German U-boats, they were purchased for the U.S. fleet and for lend-lease deliveries of war material to Britain and to the Soviet Union via deliveries through Iran. Eighteen American shipyards built 2,751 Libertys between 1941 and 1945, easily the largest number of ships produced to a single design.