Passenger Lists: SS City of San Francisco


SS City of San Francisco

Various Dates in 1875, 1876, 1877
Captain James Iredell Waddell
Sailings between San Francisco, Hawaii, South Pacific, Panama 

Built in 1875; Wrecked 1877

November 27, 1875, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California

Arrival of the City of San Francisco

The Pacific Mail Steamship Company's steamer City of San Francsico, Captain James I. Waddell, Commander, arrived at this port yesterday via the Straits of Magellan and Panama.


She sailed from New York September 21, passed through the Straits October 22 and 23d, arriving at Panama on the 9th of November, and sailed on the 14th.


Per City of San Francisco -- Thos Bell, J. newman, G. H. Taylor, J. C. Hawley; Huntington, Hopkins & Co; Baker & Hamilton; Blake, Robbins & Co; H. M. Newhall; Helbing & Straus, C. M. Volkman & Co; Peterson, Rudderson & Co; M. C. Hawley & Co; Hawley, Dodd & Co; J. C. Tucker; W. T. Coleman & Co; Hale & Co; Lieut. Parker; Hon. A. Cochrane; Naval Storekeeper; Order.


Cornelius McLean, John Wallace, Captain D. S. Austin, Dr. C. W. Fitch,Frederick Seibel, wife and chidlren, Robert A. Jervis, Sidney James, Jacob Bohua, Gustave Hagner, William Trenzel, Ferdernand Graatz, Marie Colter and Albert Cook.

March 5, 1876, March 17, 1876, Daily Alta California

Ocean Steamers
Pacific Mail Steamship Co.
General Office - Wharf, Corner First and Brannan Streets

Steamship City of San Francisco, Captain Waddell, on March 27 at 6 p.m. or as soon thereafter as the mails from England arrive, for Honolulu, Kandavau, Sydney, Auckland, Port Chalmers.

April 3, 1976, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

Shipping Intelligence

Sailed: Steamer City of San Francisco, Waddell, Honolulu and Sydney

May 25, 1876 from the U.S.


C Ferguson, W Crake, Hendle and Manning. 
Third class- Messrs Ross, Elliott, Michael, Casey.

For Wellington-Captain Bower and wife; third class Mr Burke wife and sister.

For Lyttleton -second class : Miss McCadam.

For Port Chalmers-Cabin: Rev Coleman Creigh and Messrs Clows, Hall and Cuff.

June 2, 1876: Depart Sydney, Australia

June 9, 1876: Arrive Kandavau, Fiji; June 16th Depart Kandavau

June 17, 1876: Auckland, The City of San Francisco arrived this morning. She connects with theZealandia at Kandavau on the 13th. The latter left San Francisco on 25th May.

Passengers - C Ferguson, W Crake, Hendle and Manning. Third class- Messrs Ross, Elliott, Michael, Casey. For Wellington-Captain Bower and wife; third class Mr Burke wife and sister. For Lyttleton -second class : Miss McCadam. For Port Chalmers- Cabin: Rev Coleman Creigh and Messrs Clows, Hall and Cuff.

Cargo-For Wellington, 100 cases goods 25 bales hops; for Lyttleton, 2 samples, 25 bales hops; for Port Chalmers 25 pieces redwood timber, 50 cases salmon, 1 sample.

June 17, 1876: Depart Auckland, New Zealand

June 18, 1876: Arrive Napier, New Zealand

June 19, 1876: Arrival of The City of San Francisco at Napier The Evening Post. The R M S S City of San Francisco arrived at Napier last evening at six o'clock, making a very quick run of 31 hours from Auckland. She left again at 9 p m for the port, and should arrive here before dark this evening. We understand she will not be brought along-side. She proceeds South two hours after arrival.

June 19, 1876: Arrival of The City of San Francisco at Wellington
The Evening Post June 20, 1876: The R M S S City of San Francisco delivered the inward English Mail (from London, May 4) in this port at 8.30 p m yesterday, having been delayed by head winds on the run down from Napier, which occupied 23 hours, averaging only 8 knots per hour. Her previous run from Auckland to Napier, 31 hours (not 19 as stated in error by our morning contemporary, which would have involved a continued sped of 20 knots per hour) was, however, a very good one, averaging 12 knots. We may remark here that the new boats will have their work cut out to beat the performance of the ill-fated Mongol while employed on the temporary service. That steamer made the run from Wellington to napier in 14 hours, 20 minutes, averaging 14 knots, and from Auckland to Kandavu in 3 days, 17 hours, or at the rate of 13 knots per hour.

June 20, 1876: Arrive Lyttleton, New Zealand (Southbound)


June 20, 1876, The Press

Arrival of The City of San Francisco at Lyttleton

This magnificent steamer arrived 20th June 1876 at 2:30pm. The SS Moa was waiting with steam up and directly the signal was made that the mail boat was inside the heads, she started to meet her with agents, reporters and visitors on board. The Customs steam launch was first to reach the vessel and with commendable promptitude the mails were at once placed in that vessel , in order that the 3:20pm train might be caught to carry up the Christchurch portion to town. In spite however of the efforts used, the launch arrived a minute late but the mails were forwarded by the 3:30pm goods train, so that few minutes were lost. After discharging her inward cargo and taking on board a few passengers, The City of San Francisco sailed for her destination at 4 p.m. The steamer was beautifully clean throughout, and as on her first visit was much admired. We append a report of the trip from Sydney furnished us by the purser.


The SS City of San FranciscoJ. S. Waddell, commander, left Sydney June 2nd 3 p.m., fine weather up to 9th, when heavy squall, accompanied with rain, lightning and thunder set in, lasting three hours; 8am anchored in Kandavau; 2pm SS Australia came in, and left at 12 midnight; 12th frigate H B M Pearl came in; 4 p.m. Zealandia came in transferred mails, freight and passengers ; 5:30 p.m. Pearl left for Sydney; 13th 1:45am sailed from Kandavau in company with Zealandia; 16th strong breeze, very heavy sea; 17th at 3:15am arrived Auckland; left same day at 11am, arrived off Napier 18th at 6pm; left at 9:30pm after delivering receiving mails and passengers; 19th very heavy weather, strong head winds, squally , very high sea; arrived Wellington at 9pm; did not leave until 11pm owing to our being detained forty minutes by pilot, arrived Lyttleton, at 2: 30pm.

June 28, 1876: Depart Port Chalmers, New Zealand (Northbound)

June 29, 1876: Arrive Lyttleton, New Zealand (Northbound)

June 29, 1876: Depart Lyttleton, New Zealand (Northbound)

(The Press June 29, 1876) 

(Under contract with the N.S.W. and N.Z 
Governments for the conveyance of H.M 
The magnificent steam-ship, 
City of San Francisco, 
3400 tons, 
J J Wardell, Commander , 
is appointed to sail from LYTTLETON 
calling at 
Wellington, Napier, Auckland, Kandavu, 
At 4 pm sharp. 
A steamer will be in attendance upon 
arrival of 2:30 pm train from Christchurch, 
to convey passengers off. 
Passengers must obtain tickets before 
going on board. 
Lyttleton and Christchurch.

June 30, 1876, The Press:

This fine steamer was signalled at 2:30pm yesterday and arrived at 3 p.m. Quite a crowd of people went off to her in the SS Moa. The outward San Francisco mail consisted of twenty-two bags, an usually large one. The City of San Francisco left Port Chalmers at 8:30pm on Wednesday, and had strong NE gale in her teeth during the run up, arriving as above. She sailed north at 5:30pm last night.

August 16, 1876, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.SA.

Cleared: August 15, Steamer City of San Francisco, Waddell, Sydney, via Honolulu. Williams, Blanchard & Co.

November 3, 1876, Daily Alta California

Foreign Ports: Sydney: Sailed October 13th, steamer City of San Francisco, Waddell, Kandavau.

November 16, Daily Alta Califiornia

Sailed, Nov 16, Steamer City of San Francisco, Waddell, Panama

Exports from San Francisco to New York
Per City of San Francisco, November 16
Exports from San Francisco to New York
Per City of San Francisco, November 16
Borax, lbs 7048 Machinery, pkgs 2
Brandy, galls 621 Orchilla, bls 80
Base Bullion, lbs. 20,860 Old Brass, cs 10
Calfskins, bls 5 Rags, bls 47
Drugs,cs 11 Sugar, lbs 383,623
Effects, cs 4 Tobacco, pkgs 3
Glassware, cs 1 Tin, bxs 1
Hides, No. 1101 Wine, galls 14,589
Kip Skins, No. 232 Wool, lbs 66,334
Lead, lbs 252,417 Value $56,587
To England
Furs. cs 3 Wine, galls 25
Leather, rolls 38 Value $2705
To Germany
Wine, galls 52 Value $52
To Havana
Silk, bxs 3 Value $146
To Callao
Crockery, cs 1 Shrimps, bbls 51
Value $815
To Panama
Apples, bxs 15 Hay, bls 49
Bran, sks 13 Lumber, ft. 2500
Chinese Mdse, pkgs 93 Onions, cs 21
Flour, qu sks 48 Oats, ctls 11
Flour hf sks 620 Potatoes, sks 142
Flour bbls 6 Pulu, bls 3
Glassware, bbls 3 Value $3,144
To Central America
Agricultural Imp'ts., pkgs 14 Hardware, cs 1
Apples, bxs 27 Machinery, pkgs 1
Beans, sks 2 Macaroni, Bks 9
Bread, cs 1 Matches, cs 1
Bitters, cs 5 Meal, cs 1
Butter, cs 2 Onions, cs 4
Belting, rolls 2 Potatoes, bxs 31
Candles, bxs 200 Provisions, cs 31
Case Goods, cs 54 Saws, pkgs 2
Clocks, cs 2 Salmon, pkgs 8
Dry Goods, bls 22 Seed, sks 1
Flour, qu sks 6351 Trunks, No 10
Flour, hf sks 175 Tea, pkgs 21
Flour, bbls 100 Vegetables, cs 13
Furniture, cs 28 Valises, cs 2
Fire Crackers, cs 9 Wine, galls 542
Fruit, Dried, cs 7 Value $16,112
To Mexico
Beer, kegs 12 Iron, sheets 6
Boots and Shoes, cs 6 Lead, kegs 5
Chain, pcs 2 Matting, rolls 4
Clocks, cs 5 Machinery, pkgs 2
Dry Goods, cs 9 Provisions, cs 1
Effects, pkgs 4 Quicksilver, flasks 180
Fruit, bxs 100 Rivets, pkgs 20
Fancy Goods, cs 9 Shooks, pkgs 48
Grindstones, No 2 Wine, galls 44
Hardware, cs 3 Value $6,956

December 25, 1876, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

SS City of San Francisco arrived San Francisco December 24, 1876, 13 days, 19 hours from Panama and way ports. Passengers and merchandise to Williams, Blanchard & Co.


From Panama. The Pacific Mail Steamship Company's steamship City of San Francisco, Jas. I. Waddell commanding, arrived yesterday. She left Panama December 10th, 7:30 p. m. Arrived at Acapulco December 18th, a.m., sailed at 7:60 a. n. Arrived at Manzanillo December 17th, 9:30 a. m.; sailed at 10:30 a. m. Arrived at Mazatlan December 19th, 7:30 a. m.; sailed at 12:17 noon; and arrived in San Francisco December 24th.


New York, Etc., per City of San Francisco - 12 bls bagging, 50 cs axle grease, 25 do cider, 1843 do case goods, 2 do carriage, 225 do champagne, 2 do cigars, 50 bags cocoa, 613 do coffee, 336 bls duck, 222 pkgs dry goods, 315 do fruit, 23 do hair, 368 do hardware, 11 hides, 1 horse, 1924 bars 928 bdls 468 plates iron, 8 cs lead pipe, 12 do marble, 801 pkgs nails, 100 cs 1 bbl oil, 6 cs oil cloth, 5 do paper hangings, 256 quicksilver flasks, 19 pkgs riope, 32 do stationery, 276 do sewing machines, 23 bls shrimps, 1 do tobacco, 6 pkgs tinware, 30 cs wine, 12 cks zinc, 1322 pkgs mdse, $84,130 in treasure.


Mrs. C. Collins and daughter, W. F. Smith, Mrs. S. F. Dederer, Miss Alice Breeman, A. G. Mackay, William Elkin, Miss S. F. Hanaford, Thomas Savage, H. W. James, Mr. Bamber, Mrs. Kent and sister, F. B. Storer, John Dowley, William A. Whitwell, J. W. Carney, George O. Lawrence, Jas. S. Pratt, F. Fernandez, F. Soholtz, Mr. Skelding, H. H. Howard, James Lansing, Charles O'Doherty, Benj. P. Dow, S. E. Ryan, William Miles, C. H. Lord and wife, M. Crosby, C. B. Land, R. Dicksen, W. E, Bailey, wife and boy, Captain M. Dolan, Miss M. E. Putnam, Miss C. E. Putnam, F. L. Hughes, D. B. Allen and son, Miss Laham, W. H. Cilley, J. F. Allsop, Mr. James and 90 others.

January 20, 1877, Daily Alta California, San Francisco
Foreign Ports: Panama -- Arrived Jan 15th, steamer City of San Francisco, Waddell, hence Dec. 30th.

May 31, 1877, Daily Alta California, San Francisco


Map San Francisco Bay. Wood.
3-Dimensional Wood Map, San Francisco Bay, California

Waddell's assertion that he has repeatedly steamed over the spot on which the City of San Francisco struck, and his theory that the rock was thrown up by the earthquake of the 10th ult., when Iquique was destroyed, should be looked at with grave suspicion. Usually, navigators when off ten miles from shore, do not know their position within a quarter of a mile, and it is not likely that Captain Waddell would know exactly where his vessel did run on previous voyages. Neither is it likely that an earthquake that occurred more than two thousand miles from the place where he was wrecked, that was not felt on the upland of Mexico, and that did not alter the elevation of the rocks above the surface of the water, made any change in the submarine rock on which the steamer struck. The trouble was that Captain Waddell was running too close to a shore of which no careful hydrographic survey has been made; and this practice of hugging the shore has been the cause of most of the steamship wrecks on our coast. The Tennessee, the Sarah Sands, the Winfield Scott, the Northerner, theArispe, the Sacramento, the Yankee Blade and the Golden Gate, we believe, though our recollection in regard to the fate of several of them is not very distinct, were run ashore, and in some cases by gross mismanagement. The sight of the land may be pleasant to the navigator, and on account of the currents and winds the speed may be greater, but the open sea is the safer route.

June 1, 1877, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

Captain Waddell, of the wrecked steamer, and a few of the passengers, are coming to this city overland from San Diego.

June 26, 1877: The Court of Inquiry into the loss of the steamship City of San Francisco have rendered a decision depriving Captain Waddell of his certificate as Master for a period of twelve months.

July 15, 1877, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

The Waddell Investigation

The Waddell investigation before Supervising inspector Beninig was continued and concluded yesterday, and the matter taken under advisement. Capt. Waddell continued his testimony, varying but little from his previous evidence. Captain Connelly, of the Granada, Captain Lapidge and Captain Friel were examined. Their testimony was to the effect that in the laying down of the Tartar Shoal and Tartar Rock there was an ambiguity. They did not think that the City San Francisco had run upon the shoal, but upon the rock, which was much further offshore. They believed generally that Captain Waddell had steered correctly. The following letter from Captain Johnston, at Mare Island, was introduced in the evidence for the defense:

U.S.S.S. Hassler, San Diego, August 28, 1872

Prof. Benj. Pierce, Supt. Coast Survey, Washington, D.C.: However, I spent three days in examining Tartar Shoal, that being the most important, and, the position of which was less accurately defined than any other danger encountered by the steamers on the route, and I have the honor to enclose with this letter the result of the examination.

To the agents of the P.S.S. Company of Panama, I have given a memorandum of the latitude and longitude of the least water, a tracing of the new li ne from an anchorage on the shoal and such mark as will enable their steamers to clear it without going unnecessary out of their way. The Steamers have heretofore taken a tack from 15 to 18 miles from land when one of four miles is perfectly safe. Acapulco being in latitude 18 degrees, 50 minutes, 50 seconds N, and longitude 99 degrees, 52 minutes, 15 seconds W, an anchorage on the shoal is in latitude 18 degrees, 16 minutes, 31 seconds N, longitude 93 degrees, 25 minutes, 600 seconds W, determined by several observations of the sun and the mean of five chronometers, the errors of which were determined at Acapulco a few days after leaving the shoal.

The longitude of the shoal is not of so much importance as the latitude, because of the trend of the shore line in the vicinity of it. While there we experienced a heavy squall, lasting about an hour. Very respectfully, your obedient servant.

P. C. Johnson
Commander, U.S.N., etc

July 21, 1877, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

Adverse Report of the Inspectors -- They Suspend the Captain for a Year

The findings of United States Inspectors Freeman and Ellman, the Local Board for San Francisco, in the matter of the loss of the steamship City of San Francisco, commanded by Captain James J. Waddell, off the Mexican Coast, on the 16th of May last, about 9 o'clock A.M., have been made public. The report states:

"The testimony proves that the vessel was not running parallel with the Coast, but inclined toward it; that the steamer was under way not more than 45 minutes from the time of her striking until she grounded; that she grounded three to four miles off shore, and struck within nine miles of where the passengers landed; that she was running too near in shore; that she was near the locality of Tartar Shoal, as assigned in the survey made by H. B. M. frigate Tartar, and at the exact extent of that shoal is not laid down, we must conclude from the testimony that the steamship City of San Francisco struck on the Tartar Shoal."

The Inspectors further found that a proper lookout was not kept. They commend the presence of mind of Capt. Waddell, and the effective manner in which he handled his vessel, but suspend him as a Master of Vessels for one year, from May 16th last. From that Judgment the Captain appealed to Supervising-Inspector Bemis, whose findings are reserved.

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