Passengers at the Port of San Francisco: 1800s

SS Orizaba

Arrive San Francisco

April 20, 1857
SS Orizaba
J. H. Blethen, Commander
From Nicaragua/Panama


Arrival of the Orizaba

Ex-Governor Bigler Minister to Chile.
(By Wells, Fargo and Co.'s Express.)

The Nicaragua Steamship Company's Steamer Orizaba arrived from Panama yesterday afternoon, bringing dates from New York to the 23d of March, three days later than was previously received, and later news from Nicaragua. The following is her memorandum and list of passengers.

Orizaba's Boat Fired Into by Blanco's Troops.

About 9 o'clock, the Orizaba's boat, with the third mate and four of the men being on shore filling the water-boat. Col. Blanco came charging into town at the head of about one hundred Costa Ricans, and did not stop until they reached the wharf and hulk of the Transit Company. As soon as the alarm was given, the officer and men belonging to the Orizaba rushed for their boat. Louis Pish, who was assisting at the tank, Mr. Moodie and a sailor, who were at the Company's office, all made a rush for the steamer's boat, and by wading and swimming, succeeded in getting into it. Mr. James Small was not so successful, he plunged into the water up to his neck, lost his revolver, and was compelled to wade on shore and give himself up a prisoner. Geo. Robinson ran down to the hulk, closely pursued by the enemy, jumped into the water, and kept swimming around the bow until he was relieved by a boat from the St. Mary's.

They fired two shots at the steamer's boat, without doing any harm, and one at a sailor who was in the rigging of the Granada letting oose the sails, which ball passed over the Orizaba, within a lew feet of Capt. Blethen and Mr. Covert, Chief Engineer, who were standing on the wheelhouse.

The whistling of a Minnie is not very pleasant to those accustomed to it, and, as might have been expected, when the women and children heard the whizzing of the ball, there burst forth one spontaneous scream, and made a general stampede for the cabin and opposite side of the boat, followed by the more timid of the males. The Granada was at anchor about one hundred yards from the hulk. Fortunately, Capt. Faywoux had just got on board, (he having taken strip on the Orizaba to Panama and back for his health,) and Major Bradley who came with despatches for Gen. "Walker, but Lieut. Van Sleight, and a portion of the crew of the Granada, were on board the steamer.

Capt. Fayssoux slipped his cable and stood around the Orizaba, in the meantime clearing his deck and loading his two six pounders (the same which he used in blowing up the Costa Rican brig) while Major Bradley was busy loading the Minnie muskets.

Being ready, the Granada bore down within seventy-five yards of the hulk. Capt. Fayssoux at his guns and Major Bradley on the quarterdeck with his Minnie's; but not a head was to be seen as the schooner bore down for them; they run like a flock of sheep, behind a large rock, much to the amusement of the Orizaba's passsengers, and officers and crew of the St. Marys.

As Capt. Fayssoux was standing around to take another turn at them, Capt. Davis, of the St. Marys, hailed, and required him to lay too, as he wished to come on board. He did so, and after a short interview with Capt. Fayssoux, returned to his own ship and sent a Lieutenant and file of marines on shore . . . The allies say that they have Rivas surrounded by twenty-five hundred men, and announce their intention of starving Gen. Walker out.


The Nicaragua Steamship Company's new steamer Orizaba, J. H. Blethen, Commander, left San Francisco March 5th; March 12th arrived at Manzanillo, at which place we took in coal, stores, etc. and sailed for San Juan; and arrived on the 20th, and sailed same day for Panama, and arrived on the 22d. April 5th, left Panama with 430 passengers from New York per steamer Tennessee, she having touched at San Juan del Sur. President Walker and army were at Rivas, all in good health, with plenty of ammunition, provisions, etc. On the 23rd of March, General Moro, with 2,000 men, made an attack on Rivas at three different points. After a short engagement, they were driven back with great loss.

The cholera had broken out in the Allied Army, and they were dying at the rate of twenty-five per day. Left in harbor of San Juan the U.S. Sloop-of-war St. Mary's and Nicaraguan war schooner Granada. April 13th, arrived at Manzanillo, took in coals, and sailed next day for San Francisco.


Arrival of the SS Orizaba April 20, 1857.

~ ~ ~ ~

Early California: Rulers and Rebels, Landscape Paintings,

Chronicles (1535-1846), Destiny's Children,

Killing for Land, The Forty-niners . . .
Ships, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.

Reproductions of antique maps, magazines, posters, illustrations.
Frank Leslie's Illustrated Almanac

The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.



Kindly Kindly support our work.


DALevy @
164 Robles Way
Suite 237
Vallejo, California
94591 ~ USA

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.

Please inform us if you link from your site. Please do NOT link from your site unless your site specifically relates to immigration in the 1800s, family history, maritime history, international seaports, and/or California history.