News & Tall Tales. 1800s.

Bridge to the Castle.

History of English

The Adams Sentinel
Robert G. Harper, Editor and Proprietor
Gettysburg, PA, Monday, January 20, 1849


The history of the future is clearly foreshadowed by the prevalence of our race and language. The English language is already spoken by a more numerous population than any other language.

Look at the table.

British Islands
Canada and Northern Provinces
West Indies, Guiana, and Bermuda
Australian Colonies and New Zealand
Africa Cape of Good Hope, Sierra Leona, and Liberia
United States
The French is spoken by about
The German,
The Russian,

Hindustan is divided into several distinct languages, through all are derived from a common stock the Sanskrit.

The Chinese are divided into a number of provinces, the people of which do not comprehend each other, though their written language is the same, and the Mandarin dialect is generally employed by the high officers of government.

From this tabular statement of the present, let us turn to the future. We know, by mathematical certainty, that unless some unusual dispensation of Providence occur, our own race in America, in 80 years, will number 240,000,000; and that there is nothing in human view to prevent their peaceable spread through the whole American Continent. As the French, Dutch, Swedish and Spanish have disappeared as far as the Rio Grande, so all others will vanish as far as Cape Horn.

Australia, the Sandwich, and other numerous Islands of the Pacific, a landed territory more extensive than the whole of Europe, will soon speak no other language than our own. There are eight distinct colonies upon New Holland, New Zealand, and Van Dieman's Land, and the emigration thither from the British Islands has reached as high as 19,000 in a single year.

Africa spreads out her wide fields, and the colony of the Cape of Good Hope, as fine a country as our globe contains, already numbers a quarter of a million of Europeans, and the prospect of their extending through the rich territories of the North, is almost indefinite very much in fact like our prospects on our own continent. In this connection we must not overlook the present and future emigration to Africa by the blacks of America. These numbers are more than eight millions! distributed as follows.

United States Free Slaves
United States Slaves
West Indies
Brazil and South America

The majority of these speak English. But a few days since the public was gratified with a letter from President Roberts, of Liberia, written in a highly commendable style, stating that his now adopted country has been recognized as an independent nation by England, France and Prussia. Liberia has already received 100,000 natives of the adjoining tribes, under the protection of her laws.

In connection with Sierra Leone, it extends 400 miles along the coast. And if at this early day, colonization to Africa has begun among the colored class, how much will the stream enlarge under the pressure of the dense population which another century will witness in our land. They will be as glad to return to their original country as we now are to remove to the West, or as Europeans are to cross the Atlantic.

Egypt, though nominally free, is fast forging a British dependency, being necessary as a thoroughfare to India. A Numerous English society is collecting at Cairo, and an English church is erected. Although France May extend her power over the Barbara States, it is plain, especially in view of the great colony of the Cape of Good Hope, that four-fifths of Africa will speak the English language. According to this calculation, the proportion of the whole arena of the globe over which our language will extend, is the following: 

North and South America: Square miles
Australia and Pacific Islands

The earth contains fifty millions of square miles, and by the above estimate, the English will be used over more than one-half of it to say nothing of its prevalence in Europe and Asia. In Asia, the British possess Hindustan, containing a million of square miles, and one hundred and fifty million of inhabitants. They have large territories in Farther India, between Burmah and Siam; they hold most of the Peninsula of Malacca; a part of Borneo; and Island on the coast of China; and Aden in Arabia. The latter guards the entrance to the Red Sea, as Gibraltar watches the Mediterranean.

Not only does it seem likely that our language will extend over more than half of the globe, but over by far the most fertile and productive half. And it is not generally known how immensely fruitful are the tropical countries, and what a numerous population they can support.

Belgium has 338 inhabitants to the square mile. Holland has 222, and exports provisions largely. If this can be done in a cold climate, where one half of the year lives on the products of the other half, what may we not expect from the regions which are fruitful the whole year? Probably the entire landed surface of our globe, when science shall be applied to agriculture, and when the principle of order and industry shall be every where prevalent, will support on an average 200 to the square mile. This would swell the population more than a hundred times greater than it now is and according to these speculations, our own expressive language will daily be spoken by more than one half of the entire number.

Newark Advertiser

Immigration at the Golden Gate: Passenger Ships, Exclusion, and Angel IslandImmigration at the Golden Gate. Immigration to California.
Robert Eric Barde
Perhaps 200,000 immigrants passed through the Angel Island Immigration Station during its lifetime, a tiny number compared to the 17 million who entered through New York's Ellis Island.

Nonetheless, Angel Island's place in the consciousness of Americans on the West Coast is large and out of proportion to the numerical record. Angel Island's Immigration Station was not, as some have called it, the Ellis Island of the West, built to facilitate the processing and entry of those welcomed as new Americans. Its role was less benign: to facilitate the exclusion of Asians, starting with the Chinese, then Japanese, Koreans, Indians, and all other Asians.

The Children of Chinatown: Growing Up Chinese American in San Francisco, 1850-1920Children of Chinatown. 
Wendy Rouse Jorae

Family Skeletons: Exploring the Lives of our Disreputable Ancestors.San Francisco. Family Skeletons.
Simon Fowler, Ruth Paley
Most families have a skeleton. You may have already discovered yours via the grapevine or your own research. Or you may simply be intrigued by the dark side of our past. This popular history explores the behaviour of our disreputable ancestors from the unfortunate to the criminal, and introduces a host of colourful characters including 17th century witches, 18th century 'mollies' and Victorian baby farmers. Thematically arranged by skeleton, the text also describes how society punished and provided for its 'offenders' - as well as the changing attitudes that could ultimately bring acceptance.

Italy on the Pacific: San Francisco's Italian Americans (Italian and Italian American Studies)Italians in San Francisco.
Palgrave Hardcover)
Sebastian Fichera
San Francisco’s Italian immigrant experience is shown to be the polar opposite of Chicago’s. San Francisco’s Italian immigrants are shown as reintegrating into the host society fairly smoothly, whereas the Chicago group’s assimilation process broke down in dramatic ways.

Migration in World History.Migration in World HistoryMigration in World History. 
(Themes in World History) 
Patrick Manning
Drawing on examples from a wide range of geographical regions and thematic areas, noted world historian Patrick Manning guides the reader through trade patterns, including the early Silk Road and maritime trade, effect of migration on empire and industry, earliest human migrations, major language groups, various leading theories around migration.

Russian San Francisco (Images of America)Russian San Francisco. (Images of America)
Lydia B. Zaverukha, Nina Bogdan, Foreward by Ludmila Ershova, PhD.
Even before San Francisco was founded as a city, Russian visitors, explorers, and scientists sailed to the area and made contact with both the indigenous people and representatives of the Spanish government. Although the Russian commercial colony of Fort Ross closed in 1842, the Russian presence in San Francisco continued and the community expanded to include churches, societies, businesses, and newspapers. Some came seeking opportunity, while others were fleeing religious or political persecution.

The Naval Order of the United States has a history dating from 1890. Membership includes a wide range of individuals, many with highly distinguished career paths.

The San Francisco Commandery meets the first Monday of each month at the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club in San Francisco, California and holds two formal dinners each year.

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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