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News & Tall Tales. 1800s.

San Francisco Bay 1800s.

The October Emigration to San Francisco

January 14, 1850, Alta California, San Francisco, California

The Baltimore American gives a list of all the vessels which sailed from ports in the United States for California during the month of October, appended to which is the following general summary with regard to the emigration of that month:

The list comprises 19 ships, 16 barks, 17 brigs, and 13 schooners, in all 65 sail of vessels. The greater portion are ships of the largest class, but even by putting the average tonnage down at 300 tons, we have an aggregate tonnage of 19,500 tons leaving the Atlantic ports in the short space of one month for our distant possessions in the Pacific. The departure of California-bound vessels has become a matter of such common occurrence that, in many instances, the number of passengers is not given, and therefore the number who have left during the month of October, by the Cape Horn route, can only be estimated.

Allowing but twenty passengers to each vessel, which is a low estimate -- many of the larger vessels which lft eastern ports having been dispatched by large associations, who go out in them -- and we have a total of thirteen hundred persons. Besides these, during the month, the steamships Empire City, Crescent City and Ohio have sailed from New York for Chagres, and the steamships Falcon, Alabama and New Orleans, from New Orleans, for the same port, carrying together at least one thousand passengers. So that it may be safely estimated, that, during the month of October, at least twenty-three hundred persons have left the United States by sea, bound to California.

May 29, 1905, Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California


The following verses were written by Sir Collier, the proprietor of Collier's Weekly. He is now in San Francisco, where he penned the lines. They were copied by a friend who is now visiting in Stockton, and it was through him that they came into the hands of a Mail reporter. The verses have not heretofore been published:

There is lots of time to burn
Out in 'Frisco,
There's a devil of a lot to learn
Out in 'Frisco;
Where they make their human matches
To end with single scratches
And husbands mix their latches,
Out in 'Frisco.

There the red light is contagions,
Out in 'Frisco;
And their conduct is outrageous, Out in 'Frisco.
In the famous French cafes.
With their naughty little ways.
That's the place where Cupid plays,
Out in 'Frisco.

You get next at Sanguinetti's,
Out in 'Frisco;
Where the girls forget their pretties,
Out in 'Frisco;
And the blood-red native wine
Mixes up the clinging vine
And she calls you "Baby Mine,"
Out in 'Frisco

Next day you meet at Zinkand's
Out in 'Frisco;
And you hold the dear girl's hands.
Out in 'Frisco.
Dry Martini, then another,
Then she telephones to mother
She'll take dinner with her brother,
Out in 'Frisco.

If in Poodle Dog a crowd
Out in 'Frisco
Disturbs your nerves with noises loud,
Out in 'Frisco,
You will go just one floor up,
And in privacy you'll sup.
Close beside your buttercup.
Out in 'Frisco.

Or if in the elevator,
Out in 'Frisco.
In parlance of the waiter,
Out in 'Frisco,
You more quiet wish to be.
You will ask to stop at three,
Just to see what you can see.
Out in 'Frisco.

There you find the rooms en suite
Out in 'Frisco,
And the "outfit's" hard to beat
Out in 'Frisco;
But if your conscience becomes rife
Because it's another fellow's wife,
Just remember this is life
Out in 'Frisco.

When you finally cash in
Out in 'Frisco,
And you end this life of sin,
Out in 'Frisco,
They will gently toll a bell.
Plant your carcass in a den.
No need to go to hell.
You're in 'Frisco.

Stockton Evening Mail.

The Mammoth Book of Life Before the Mast:
Sailors' Eyewitness Stories from the Age of Fighting Ships

Jon E. Lewis, Editor
Firsthand accounts of the real-life naval adventures behind the popular historical sagas of Patrick O'Brian and C. F. Forester. Twenty true-life adventures capture the glory and gore of the great age of naval warfare from the late eighteenth to the early nineteenth century -- the age of the French Revolutionary War, the Napoleonic Wars, and the War of 1812 -- when combat at sea was won by sheer human wit, courage, and endurance. Culled from memoirs, diaries, and letters of celebrated officers as well as sailors, the collection includes accounts of such decisive naval engagements as Admiral Horatio Nelson's on the Battle of the Nile in 1798 or Midshipman Roberts' on the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and also offers glimpses into daily hardships aboard a man-of-war: scurvy, whippings, storms, piracy, press gangs, drudgery, boredom, and cannibalism.

Life of a Sailor (Seafarers' Voices) Life Before the Mast.Life At Sea.Life of a Sailor.
Frederick Chamier
Chamier went to sea in 1809 as an officer in the Royal Navy. Like his contemporary, Captain Frederick Marryat, he enjoyed a successful literary career and is remembered for his naval novels. This book, his first, is usually catalogued as fiction, although it is an exact account of his naval experiences, with every individual, ship, and event he described corroborated by his service records. Told with humor and insight, it is considered an authentic account of a young officer's service. From anti-slavery patrols off Africa to punitive raids on the American coast during the War of 1812, Chamier provides details of many lesser-known campaigns. His descriptions of British naval operations in America, which reflected his objection to bringing the war to the civilian population, were highly criticized by his seniors.

The Nagle Journal: A Diary of the Life of Jacob Nagle, Sailor, 1775 to 1841
John C. Dann

Great Stories of the Sea & Ships Sea Stories and the history of America.
N. C. Wyeth
Sea Stories and the history of America.More than 50,000 copies of this collection of high-seas adventures are in print. Not only does it showcase the fiction of such classic writers as Daniel Defoe, Jules Verne, and Jack London, but the entries also feature historic first-person narratives including Christopher Columbus’s own account of his famous voyage in 1492. Vivid tales of heroic naval battles and dangerous journeys of exploration to the stories of castaways and smugglers. The variety of works includes ��The Raft of Odysseus, by Homer; Hans Christian Andersen's ��The Mermaid; ��The Specksioneer, by Elizabeth Gaskell; Washington Irving's ��The Phantom Island ; and ��Rounding Cape Horn, by Herman Melville. Eighteen black and white illustrations by Peter Hurd add to the volume's beauty.

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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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