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Books and images are also throughout the site under various topics.

Annals of San Francisco.

The Annals of San Francisco

Annals of San Francisco.

Authors M.D. Gihon Frank Soule James Nisbet

If you purchase only one book about San Francisco's early days, consider this: it was compiled at the time from newspapers, documents, quotes, etc. It is about as direct as you can get of stories of San Francisco's history told though the eyes of the people that were there. That is not to say it isn't "tainted," but it is closer to the source than almost anything else you can find.

Artful Players: Artistic Life in San Francisco.

Artful Players: Artistic Life in Early San Francisco

Artistic Life in Early San Francisco.

Birgitta Hjalmarson

Light-hearted, humorous account of the Barbary Coast's art world from the Gold Rush years up to the 1906 earthquake and fire that almost completely leveled the city. Hjalmarson writes of how San Francisco's setting attracted creative people from all over the world. Artists include Alfred Bierstadt, George Inness and William Keith and lesser-known names. Highly recommended for libraries. ~ Library Journal

The Barbary Coast by Herbert Asbury.

The Barbary Coast: An Informal History of the San Francisco Underworld

San Francisco's Underworld.

Herbert Asbury
The author begins his narrative with the Gold Rush and writes about the influx of "gold-seekers, gamblers, thieves, harlots, politicians and other felonious parasites."

Cannibal Eliot and the Lost Histories of San Francisco.

Cannibal Eliot and the Lost Histories of San Francisco

Early San Francisco Stories from 1776 to 1906.

Hilton Obenzinger
A collection of stories from diaries, memoirs, interviews and other firsthand accounts of San Francisco history from 1776 to the earthquake and fire of 1906. Includes "The Demented Grin of Father Fernandez"; "Belle Cora and the Vigilantes"; a tale about "Charles Crocker, His Fence, and the Troubles of 1877". Mercury House, San Francisco, 1993

This is San Francisco.Ships, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.

This Is San Francisco: A Classic Portrait of the CityShips, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.

Robert O'Brien
O'Brien, a former San Francisco Chronicle reporter, wrote these stories of characters not often written about during the 40s.
Reprinted by Chronicle Books, 1994

Mark Twain in San Francisco.Ships, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.

A Selection of Books by Mark TwainShips, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.

including Autobiography, Life on the Mississippi, Adventures of Tom Sawyer, How to Tell a Story and Other Essays, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, The Mysterious Stranger, The Innocents Abroad . . .

Mark Twain's San Francisco (California Legacy)Mark Twain's San Francisco.

Edited by Bernard Taper

A selection of Mark Twain's stories between 1863 and 1866. Among Twain's counterparts during these literary years were Bret Harte, Ambrose Bierce, Henry George, the flamboyant Joaquin Miller, and Ina Coolbrith. They loosened the stricture of "proper" English by writing freely of the lusty life surrounding them in the raw West. Twain wrote his witty pieces for the "Call, Golden Era, Californian, Sacramento Union" and the "Daily Dramatic Chronicle," which was the original name of the "San Francisco Chronicle" when it was founded in 1865. 1963. 264 pages, illustrated.

Daniel Bacon Walking San Francisco.

Walking San Francisco on the Barbary Coast TrailSan Francisco's Barbary Coast.

Daniel Bacon

A colorful view and walking guide of the City for historians and tourists. Well-researched and written by a native San Franciscan. Bacon located the sites of many of the ships that were sunk after being abandoned along the waterfront when crew left for the gold fields.
Quicksilver Press, 1997

Historic Photos of San Francisco.

Historic Photos of San FranciscoHistoric Photos of San Francisco.

Rebecca Schall
From the 1906 earthquake to cable cars, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate Bridge, Historic Photos of San Francisco is a photographic history collected from the area's top archives. With around 200 photographs, many of which have never been published, this beautiful coffee table book highlights the historical growth from the mid 1800s to the late 1900s of the City by the Bay in stunning black and white photography. The book captures people, places, and events important to the history of this unique city, accompanied by historical analysis. Whether you live in The City or are visiting, you will value this work.

Wire Cable Railways and Cable Cars.

1887 Prospectus for San Francisco's Wire Cable Railways and Cable CarsSan Francisco's Cable Cars.

Pacific Cable Railway Company
In 1873, the first cable railway in the United States began operation in San Francisco. In subsequent years, the Clay Street Railroad was joined by many other operators throughout the U.S.A., including systems in New York and Los Angeles. The rise of the electric trolley made most cable car systems obsolete. Today, the only street cable car system in operation is the historic San Francisco Municipal Railway. Originally published in 1887 (line to copies below), this prospectus was prepared by patent holders in hopes of attracting additional operators and investors. The document describes the cable car system and its operation in text, diagrams and photographs, and presents a detailed list of patents. This easy-to-read reprint is presented in format, slightly larger than the original. However, care has been taken to preserve the integrity of the text.

China Tea Clippers

China Tea Clippers. China Tea Clippers. George Frederick Campbell: The history of the China tea clippers is examined, especially their struggle in the 19th century for economic survival in the face of the steamships. It also details the advances made in design, hull construction, rigging, sail plans and deck arrangements.

Spunyarn And Spindrift: A Sailor Boy's Log Of A Voyage Out And Home In A China Tea-clipperShips, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.

Robert Brown, Robert Taylor

The Tea Clippers: An account of the China tea trade and of some of the British sailing ships engaged in it from 1849 to 1869Ships, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.

David R. MacGregor

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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