Passenger Lists: San Francisco 1800s


SS Columbus

Arrive San Francisco

March 21, 1851
Captain M'Gowan
From Panama


24-1/2 days from Panama via Acapulco, Mexico. Experienced a succession of head winds which accounted for the unusual length of the passage. In coming up the San Francisco Harbor, ran aground on Tonquin Shoal, but was off again with the flood tide, without sustaining any damage. Left Panama on May 1, 1851.

Following passengers died during the passage:
May 9, 1851: At sea, on board, between Panama and San Francisco: Lucy Ann Newell, daughter of George P. and Emily C. Newell, aged 20 months.

May 14, 1851: At sea, on board, between Panama and San Francisco: Emily C. Newell, wife of George P. Newell, and mother of Lucy Ann Newell, aged 28 years.


90 packages of assorted merchandise.


Abell, Thomas
Acorn, W. H. 
Adams, J. W. 
Adams, William
Anderson, Hugh
Anderson, J. 
Anderson, Mr. 
Arnold, Elery
Ashley, John
Baird, W. L. 
Bangham, J. 
Barney, A. 
Bassett, J. M. 
Batterton, E. 
Batterton, W. 
Bean, Abilgail
Berant, B. 
Bidwell, J. 
Birdseye, Dr. 
Blankman, Mrs., two children and servant
Blethen, G. L. 
Bradt, G. 
Brasted, J. T. 
Bronberg, J. 
Bronson, P.A. 
Brown, W.C. 
Brown, W. H. 
Bryant, J. W.
Burns, Mary
Cain, John
Campbell, N. 
Carey, E. 
Carey, J. 
Carlton, J. 
Carter, John
Cazneau and child
Chadwich, G. W. and lady
Chapman, Master
Chapman, Mr., lady and two children
Claudman, A. 
Cobb, Mrs. H. A. and two children
Coe, Curtis
Coe, Mr., and son
Colwell, D. 
Copley, G. 
Dattlezwig, T. 
Davis, L. H. 
Davis, Thomas
Dikeman, H. 
Dodson, C. B. 
Door, Vallin
Dorsa, J. N. 
Dunn, Clarissa
Eaton, W.L. 
Field, F. 
Fisher, F. 
Fisher, George
Fisher, H. 
Fisher, Mrs. 
Fisher, Mrs. H., and three children
Fletcher, Isaac
Franklin, John
Freeman, Mr.
Gappy, J. 
Gibson, P. 
Gilbert, J. 
Gilbert, J. 
Giller, W. 
Gleason, John M. 
Goodrich, J. 
Gordon, John
Gordon, R. H. 
Gratz, T. 
Hamilton, J. M.
Hanford, J. 
Harris, Mrs. Phebe
Harrison, D. 
Harrison, J. 
Hatch, N. 
Hicks, J. 
Hill, Mrs. 
Hoff, Mrs., daughter and two children
Holy, E. 
Hopkins, Mark
Hopkins, Moses
Hought, Dr. 
How, J. 
Howell, George
Hunt, H. 
Jenkins, H. 
Johnson, P. 
Jones, J. 
Jones, S. 
Judson, C. 
Judson, H. 
Kerrish, J. 
Knowlton, N. 
Landrum, (or Dandrum ) 
Landrum, B. 
Landrum, W. 
Lannigan, P. 
Libby, William
Lindsey, C. R. 
Listerfeltz, J. 
Loud, W. 
Lowney, D. 
Marriner, T. A. 
Maston, P. 
Mateson, J. 
Mateson, M. 
McCormack, J. 
McLaven, F. 
McLaven, R. N. 
McNutt, George
Miller, Mr. 
Miller, Mrs., daughter and servant.
Monire, A. J. 
Morse, A. B. 
Mourey, Mrs. and son
Myers, J. 
Myers, L. 
Newell, Mr., and lady
Nicholson, J. 
Owen (or Dwen ), Sam
Palmer, G. 
Pascol, John
Pickett, Mrs., two children and servant
Pickett, R. 
Reid, H. 
Reppert, H. 
Rice, H. 
Roberts, F. 
Rogers, Mr., lady and servant
Rondold, S
Russell, John
Sage, Hy
Schmuir, G. 
Seymour, Mr. 
Smith, J. N. 
Smith, N. 
Stanley, W. 
Steadley, M. 
Steinheiser, D. 
Stevenson, W. T. 
Street, N. 
Sweet, J. 
Taylor, A. 
Taylor, A. C.
Taylor, Ronald
Teach, J. 
Templeton, H. 
Thomas, J. 
Thorne, Mr. 
Thorne, W. 
Thorpe, A.
Thorpe, William
Towner, D. 
Tyler, Miss. M. 
Vanaken, J. 
Vanwycke, Mr. and three friends
Vanwycke, Mrs. and family
Vitner, William
Waithall, Mr., lady, two children, two servants
Walker, A. 
Ward, D. 
Weaver, J. 
Weaver, S. 
Webb, Jr., J. 
Wheeler, Z. and wife
Wren, George P. and lady
Wright, H.

Entrance to the Golden Gate. 1800s.
Entrance to the Golden Gate 1800s.

Early California: Rulers and Rebels, Chronicles (1535-1846), Destiny's Children, Killing for Land, The Forty-niners. . .San Francisco 1849.

Gold Rush San Francisco Murders.Gold Rush San Francisco.
Black Fire: The True Story of the Original Tom Sawyer--and of the Mysterious Fires That Baptized Gold Rush-Era San FranciscoSan Francisco 1849.
Robert Graysmith
The first biography of the little-known real-life Tom Sawyer (a friend of Mark Twain during his brief tenure as a California newspaper reporter), told through a harrowing account of Sawyer's involvement in the hunt for a serial arsonist who terrorized mid-nineteenth century San Francisco. hen 28-year-old San Francisco Daily Morning Call reporter Mark Twain met Tom Sawyer at a local bathhouse in 1863, he was seeking a subject for his first novel. As Twain steamed, played cards, and drank beer with Sawyer (a volunteer firefighter, customs inspector, and local hero responsible for having saved ninety lives at sea), he had second thoughts about Shirley Tempest, his proposed book about a local girl firefighter, and began to envision a novel of wider scope. Author Robert Graysmith worked as an artist at The San Francisco Chronicle during the years of the Zodiac Killer; he wrote "Zodiac" and "Zodiac Unmasked" about those murders.

Isthmus of Panama Then and Now: Ship Canal, Cruising Panama, Panama Fever, A Year in Panama, History of the Railroad, Trees of Panama and Costa RicaIsthmus of Panama.
David McCullough

History of Gold Discovers, 1848-1875, Lewis Swindle.Gold Discoveries of Northern California Mines by Lewis J. Swindle.
The History of the Gold Discoveries of the Northern Mines of California's Mother Lode Gold Belt As Told By The Newspapers and Miners 1848-1875San Franciscio 1849.
Lewis J. Swindle
While in the U.S. Military stationed in Turkey in the eary 1970s, Swindle became interested in minerals and geology. In returning to the U.S. and during the 26 years he lived in Colorado, he spent countless hours in the mountainous terrain looking for, digging and collecting the minerals known to exist in the Pikes Peak Region. In moving to the California and the Gold Belt Region, he searched out the history of the gold in the region.

Rooted in Barbarous Soil. Gold Rush California by Kevin Starr.
Rooted in Barbarous Soil:
People, Culture, and Community in Gold Rush California

(California History Series)
Rooted in Barbarous Soil.
Kevin Starr
A mercurial economy swung from boom to bust, and back again, rendering everyone's fortunes ephemeral. Competition, jealousy, and racism fueled individual and mass violence. Yet, in the very midst of this turbulence, social and cultural forms emerged, gained strength, spread, and took hold. Rooted in Barbarous Soil examines gold rush society and culture.

The Age of Gold:
The California Gold Rush and the New American Dream
Ships, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.
H. W. Brands
California Gold Rush.Ships, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.“I have found it.” These words, uttered by the man who first discovered gold on the American River in 1848, triggered the most astonishing mass movement of peoples since the Crusades. California’s gold drew fortune-seekers from around the world. That discovery accelerated America’s imperial expansion and exacerbated the tensions that exploded in the Civil War. The Gold Rush inspired a new American dream — the “dream of instant wealth, won by audacity and good luck.” Brands tells his epic story from multiple perspectives: of adventurers John and Jessie Fremont, entrepreneur Leland Stanford, and Samuel Clemens — alongside prospectors, soldiers, and scoundrels. He imparts a sense of the distances they traveled, the suffering they endured, and the fortunes they made and lost.

San Francisco Memoirs: 1835-1851: Eyewitness Accounts of the Birth of a CityShips, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.
Malcolm E. Barker
In July 1846 San Francisco was a tranquil settlement of about 150 inhabitants. Three years later it was an international metropolis with more than 30,000 people thronging its streets. Recalled in this intriguing collection of personal anecdotes from those tumultuous times are the days when San Francisco Bay extended inland to Montgomery Street. Bears, wolves, and coyotes roamed the shore. The arrival of 238 Mormons more than doubled the town's population.

Skull in the Ashes.
Skull in the Ashes: Murder, a Gold Rush Manhunt, and the Birth of Circumstantial Evidence in AmericaSkull in the Ashes.
Peter Kaufman

More San Francisco Memoirs 1852-1899: The Ripening YearsSan Francisco Memoirs.
Malcolm E. Barker

Gold Dust and Gunsmoke
Tales of Gold Rush Outlaws, Gunfighters, Lawmen, and Vigilantes
Gold rush Outlaws.
John Boessenecker
A collection of true tales of villainy and violence during the California Gold Rush. How gold fever ignited a rush of families, but also prostitutes, feuds, lynchings, duels, bare-knuckle prizefights, and vigilantes.

The Trials of Laura Fair: Sex, Murder, and Insanity in the Victorian West
Carole Haber
Trials of Laura Fair.On November 3, 1870, on a San Francisco ferry, Laura Fair shot a bullet into the heart of her married lover, A. P. Crittenden. Throughout her two murder trials, Fair's lawyers, supported by expert testimony from physicians, claimed that the shooting was the result of temporary insanity caused by a severely painful menstrual cycle. The first jury disregarded such testimony, choosing instead to focus on Fair's disreputable character. In the second trial, however, an effective defense built on contemporary medical beliefs and gendered stereotypes led to a verdict that shocked Americans across the country. Carole Haber probes changing ideas about morality and immorality, masculinity and femininity, love and marriage, health and disease, and mental illness to show that all these concepts were reinvented in the Victorian West.

Embarcadero: Sea Adventures from 1849 to 1906Embarcadero. Sea Adventure from 1849 to 1906.
Richard Dillon
Tales of the colorful characters who went down to the sea in ships to and from the port of San Francisco.

Mud, Blood, and GoldMud, Blood, Gold.
Rand Richards
A year in the life of San Francisco: 1849. Based on eyewitness accounts and previously overlooked official records, Richards chronicles the explosive growth of a wide-open town rife with violence, gambling, and prostitution, all of it fueled by unbridled greed.

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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