San Francisco Stories During the 1800s

Steamshp Alabama

Placer Times, January 19, 1850


The first two numbers of a new paper established at Panama, called the Panama Echo, have been received at San Francisco. The following paragraphs are selected from its columns:

Among the passengers on board the steamship Alabama, which left New Orleans Nov. 14, we notice the arrival at this place of Hon. Bailie Peyton, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Chile. Mr. P, is a.orgpanied by an a.orgplished daughter, whose many amiable qualities will be a solace to him in a land of strangers. Having failed to reach here in time to procure a passage on the British steamer New Granada, which sailed on fhe 27th ult. he will remain in Panama until the departure of the next steamer, (the 27th inst.) when he will proceed to Valparaiso, and thence to Santiago.

The steamship Alabama, 900 tons burden. Capt. J. J. Wright, sailed fiom New Orleans on Wednesday, Nor. 14, at SP. M. She made the Balize by daylight, and Thursday morning she entered the Gulf stream in gallant style, and anchored off the harbor of Chagres on Friday morning, the 23d. She had on board 60 saloon and cabin passengers, 6 of whom were ladies, and 185 in the steerage nearly all of whom have arrived at Panama, bound for California.

At Chagres Capt. Wright chartered the littie steamer Gen. Herran, and ascended the river, having on beard some 200 passengers, (from the steamships Alabama and Crescent City,) as high up as within 6 or 7 miles of .orgona, when the boat grounded and could not be got off. The passengers procured canoes from this point. By 12 o'clock next day all succeeded in reaching Cruces in safety.

. . . The health of Panama is excellent. We hear of but few cases of disease, and those mostly owing to the imprudence of the persons afflicted.

The weather is delightful. We have real Italian skies, with a genial atmosphere; like the spring in the States, when the birds sing in the woods, and the "sound of the woodpecker is heard tapping the hollow beach tree."

It is estimated that there are at the present writing some 12 or 1500 Americans, Germans, French, Irish, &c. in Panama, all bound for California.

A.orgmittee of merchants recently held a meeting in Valparaiso, and adopted resolutions prolonging the privilege conceded to the P. S. N. Co. providing that "the privilege be continued for five years at least, said.orgpany binding itself to extend the line to Chiloe, with a monthly vessel; the Government reserving the right of contracting with other.orgpanies for the navigation of the straits of Magellan, and conveyance of the mails to the United States, Europe and West Indies. The.orgmittee r.orgmend to the Government to see that the treaty be duly and faithfully carried into execution by the.orgpany."

We are sorry to learn that the French ship Trois Freres, Capt. Cassin, was lost on the 7th of October, at Punta Arena, Central America. All the men were saved, and the captain and some of the seamen have just arrived in Panama.

March 27, 1850, Daily Alta California

. . . From the Panama Echo we make the following extracts:

Departures.--The steamship Alabama, Capt. J.J. Wright, arrived at Chagres last Saturday from new Orleans. The Alabama brought 160 passengers.

From the Sacramento Transcript January 15 1851.May 21, 1851
Daily Alta California

The Pacific Mail Steamer Tennessee, Capt. Geo. M. Totten, arrived at her anchorage in this harbor, at 5 o'clock, P. M. yesterday.

She left Panama at 5 o'clock, P. M. on the 1st inst, and has therefore made the passage in nineteen days. . .

The steamships Crescent City, Alabama, North America. G.orgia, Brother Jonathan, Mexico, Prometheus, El Dorado, and the English steamer Severn, had all arrived at Chagres previous to the sailing of the Tennessee, bringing about fifteen hundred passengers in the aggregate.

May 23, 1851
Daily Alta California


STEAMSHIP ALABAMA, from Minatitlan and Vera Cruz for New Orleans, ran ashore on the flats of Point-a-la Hache, as she was ascending the river night of 29th March, and had not got up to the city at last accounts.


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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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