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VIPS in the Port of San Francisco

Born: September 16, 1822 in Troy, New York
Died: 1888 in Monterey, California


When he was fourteen, Charles Crocker moved to a farm in Iowa where he began working on several farms, a sawmill and an iron forge.

Crocker led a party of 49ers overland to California, arriving in 1850. After two years of little return, he opened a dry goods shop in Sacramento.

Arrived on the S.S. Pacific, March 7, 1853

Charles and Mrs. Crocker left New York in the steamship Star of the West for San Juan where they boarded the Pacific for San Francisco.

By 1854, he was one of the wealthiest men in Sacramento and had developed business relationships with Mark Hopkins, Collis Huntington and Leland Stanford. Together they were known as "The Big Four," and he joined them in developing the Central Pacific Railroad.

He was a dry goods merchant, construction chief, and when the Southern Pacific Railroad was purchased by the Central Pacific Railroad in 1871, it was reconstituted around the new owners and he was elected preisdent.

He was also president of the Contract and Finance Company, the construction firm of the Central Pacific.

Crocker hired thousands of Chinese laborers to help him build his Central Pacific Railroad's part of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Daily Alta California, June 3, 1886, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

Pacific Cable Railroad Company.

Articles of incorporation were filed yesterday by the Pacific Cable Railroad Company, who propose to acquire, introduce and maintain endless wire cable systems of street railroads, to buy, sell and maintain patent rights on roads already in operation and to acquire such rights in the future. Capital stock, $2,000,000, in $100 shares.

Directors: Leland Stanford, A. B. Hallidie, C. F. Crocker, F. F. Low, James Moffitt and J. L. Willcutt.

Sacramento Daily Union, February 21, 1890, Sacramento, California

The Crocker Estate.

Publications.History books.

Articles of incorporation of the Estate of Charles Crocker have been filed. The capital stock is $7,000,000, and the holders are Charles F. Crocker, 19,999 shares; George Crocker, $10,000 shares; William H. Crocker, 19,999 shares; Harriet V. Alexander, 10,000 shares; W.E. Brown, 1 share; Charles E. Green, 1 share, and Charles F. Crocker and W.H. Crocker, 10,000 shares.

(Details corrected on October 8, 2005 with notes from Norman E. Tutorow, Ph.D., author of The Governor: The Life and Legacy of Leland Stanford, Arthur H. Clark Co., 2004, Spokane.)


History books.

The Annals of San FranciscoHistory books.

Frank Soule, John H. Gihon, 1855

Publications1855. 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 Mission and 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.

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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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