The Port of San Francisco

Ship Arrivals

Please note: Merchant ship arrivals are included to give an idea of the volume and type of goods into early San Francisco. If you had the money, you could have anything your heart desired. Listings are by no means complete; names of passengers on these vessels are often unavailable.

Click here for passenger ship arrivals.

° 1846-1847 ° 1848 ° 1849 ° 1850 ° 1851 ° 1852 ° 1853 ° 1854 ° 1855 ° 1856 ° 1858 ° 1860-1862 ° 1863 ° 1864 ° 1865 ° 1868 ° 1870s ° 1880s ° 1890s


September 5, 1846, Californian: Arrivals since hoisting American Flag, July 9, 1846

  • July 31: American ship Brooklyn, 230 passengers from New York via S. Islands, landed passengers and freight, and sailed for Bodega, and will touch at Monterey.
  • August 26: American (Californian) Schooner Santa Cruz from Monterey and Santa Cruz; goes to San Jose to load and unload.
  • August 26: U.S. Transport Erie, Lieut. Commander Turner, 31 days from Honolulu, stores for teh squadron.


  • April 24, 1847: Barque Whiton, Capt. R. Gilson, for Oregon. Left New York November 15, 1846 for Oregon. Arrived San Francisco 148 days enroute to Oregon. Passengers: Rev. W. Roberts and family; Rev. J. H. Wilbur and daughter; E. F. Folger; C. L. Ross; Mr. Andrews; G. Wardell; Theadore McCall; Jas Wadsworth; Geo. Whitloy and Chas. Sexton.
  • May 30, 1847: Chilian ship Confederacion, Jones, 58 days from Valparaiso. Passengers: Messrs Vallejo, Townsend, Wooster and others.
  • June 1, 1847, Monterey: Columbus, Com. Biddle
  • June 1, 1847, Monterey: Congress, Com Stockton
  • June 1, 1847, Monterey: Warren, Commander Hull
  • June 1, 1847, Monterey: Portsmouth, Commander Montgomery
  • June 1, 1847, Monterey: Dale, Commander Selfridge
  • June 1, 1847, Monterey: Lexington (Transport), Lieut. Comd'g Bailey
  • June 1, 1847, Monterey: Erie (Transport), Lieut. Comd'g. Watson
  • June 1, 1847, Monterey: U. S. Prize Sch. Julia, Lieut Selden
  • June 1, 1847, Monterey: U. S. Prize Ship Admittance, Lt. Revere
  • June 10: Brig Francisca, Lemoine, from Honolulu. Sailed from Honolulu on the 17th of May, heavy wind from N. E. up to Lat 35 degrees North. Assorted cargo to J. B. McClurg & Co., and to passengers on board. Passengers: Don Antonio Osio, family and servants, Mr. Lincoln and family, A. J. Ellis and family, R. T. Ridly, Esq., of this place, Messrs, Mitcheneu, Douglass, Maindreau, palmer and Story. Died on board the Francisca, June 6th, after a short illness, Isaac Lincoln (infant) in Lat 27, 80, N., Long 124, 25. Its body was committed to the deep on the 10th.
  • July 3, 1847: Hawaiian Brig Euphemia, Russom, 30 days from Oahu, with passengers and mdse. Passengers: Hiram Grimes, lady, child and servant; Wm. H. Davis, supercargo; Mr. C. S. Lyman, and Mr. M. Griffin
  • September 1, 1847: Brig Everline, S. T. Goodwin, from Boston 28th January last, and 27 days from Honolulu, S.I. Passengers: S. T. Goodwin from Boston. Mrs. C. A. Goodwin, Newburyport, Mass; H. Clark, Sueprcargo, Boston, Mass. F. S. Jewett, assistant do do. Wm. Hendric and Jacob Frankfort from Honolulu.
  • September 24, 1847: Sch. Providence, Mitchel, 34 days from Honolulu. Passengers: John Dickson, Esq. and servant; John Ricord, Esq., late Attorney General S. I. Captain E. Von Pfister, William B. Morrison, C. E. Picket.
  • November 19, 1847: Brigantine Currency Lass, M'Lean from Sandwich Islands with an assorted cargo. Consigned to Robert A. Parker. Passengers A. G. Abell, Esq. (or A. G. Apell); J. G. Christie; Messrs Blancard; Goss, Hammond; Harris; and Dorset.
  • December 1, 1847: Ship Barnstable, Captain Hall, from leeward ports. Passengers: T. O. Larkin, Henry Mellus, H. F. Techermacher, E. L. Stetson
Birds Eye of the Village of San Francisco
M & N Hanhart Chromo Lithograph Co

M. & N. Hanhart was a London lithographic publishing house founded by Michael Hanhart (1788 1865) and Nicholas Hanhart. The firm's heyday is considered to have been between 1839 and 1882. They published a wide range of material including book illustrations and lithographic sheet music covers. Their best work was in the field of large chromolithographs. Hanhart used a complex layering of tint stones, to produce work unique in colouration and tonal values.

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.

Crowley Maritime.Crowley Maritime, San Francisco.Two Men at the Helm: The First 100 Years of Crowley Maritime Corporation, 1892-1992Crowley Maritime Corporation.
Jean Gilbertson.
Crowley Maritime started as a one-man operation, with nothing more than one 18-foot Whitehall rowboat to provide transportation of personnel and stores to ships anchored on San Francisco Bay. In the mid-1800s, the business was incorporated under the name Thomas Crowley and Brothers. Withing a few years, services grew to include bay towing and ship-assist services. By the turn of the century, Crowley's expansion continued by operating small barges to transport steel to Oakland and barrels of oil, ice, and other supplies to ships in San Francisco Bay. In July 1902, the San Francisco Call reported "The new launch Guide, owned by Thomas Crowley & Bros., made her first trip yesterday to the Farallon Islands and carried out her builders' highest anticipations. By 1912, Crowley had built a marine railway, dock and woodworking mill. Growth continues to this day.

A History of CaliforniaThe History of California.
Franklin Tuthill.
This comprehensive 19th century history of California, from its early times up to the Gold Rush was written "because there seemed to be a demand for a History of California which should sketch the main events of the country from its discovery to the present time. Beginning with Spanish priests, who enslaved indigenous tribes, millions rushed in and claimed the land after the Gold Rush. The material is abundant: log-books of ancient mariners; archives of the Government while the territory was under Spanish or Mexican rule; official reports and Congressional documents about the transfer to the United States; files of newspapers; scores of books of intelligent travellers; the oral evidence of natives, and early immigrants." These sources were the base materials for this publication.

When America First Met China:
An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail
When America First Met China.
Eric Jay Dolin.
Amazon.comAncient 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 rising naval power from a ancient empire. The furious trade in furs, opium, and bĂȘche-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 Revolution Robert 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 changed the world. Two maps, 16 pages of color, 83 black-and-white illustrations.

Atlantis; The Antediluvian World
Ignatius Donnelly.
The author and politician Ignatius Donnelly was born in Philadelphia on 3 November 1831. He was educated in the public schools of his native city, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and practiced. He went to Minnesota in 1857, was elected lieutenant governor in 1859, and again in 1861, and was then elected to Congress as a Republican, serving from 7 December 1863 until 3 March 1869. Besides doing journalistic work he has written an Essay on the Sonnets of Shakespeare, and his most enduring work, Atlantis, the Antediluvian World (New York, 1882), in which he attempts to demonstrate that there once existed in the Atlantic Ocean, opposite the straits of Gibraltar, a large island, known to the ancients as "Atlantis"; and Ragnarok (1883), in which he tries to prove that the deposits of clay, gravel, and decomposed rocks, characteristic of the drift age, were the result of contact between the earth and a comet.

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; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

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