Passenger Lists: San Francisco 1800s


SS Columbus

Arrive San Francisco

August 6, 1850 
Captain James B. Peck 
From Panama


August 6, 1850, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

THE COLUMBUS. This Steamship may now be looked for hourly. She was to have left Panama on the 15th of last month, and if she makes as good time upon this trip as upon her first, she may be confidently expected to-day. By this arrival we shall have probably two weeks later intelligence from the United States, and we hope news of the most cheering character to every Californian.

August 7, 1850, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

Two Weeks Later from the U. States
Cholera at Acapulco!

The fine, fleet steam propeller Columbus, Capt. James B. Peck, was telegraphed yesterday afternoon, about 5 oclock, and soon came up the harbor and stood but some distance opposite Clarkes Point, where she came to. Notwithstanding it was blowing very fresh, a number of boats from the shore reached her, but they were not permitted to board her.

After some delay our news collector boarded her and brought on shore one of the passengers, Mr. Mortimer J. Smith, who had kindly prepared us a synopsis of news items, with a list of passengers, of which we have gladly availed ourselves, and return him many thanks for his courtesy!

In consequence of there having been a number of cases of Panama fever on board, and having touched at a cholera port, Dr. Rogers, the Health Officer, ordered her into quarantine and prohibited intercourse with the shore. She came up, however, near the foot of Cunninghams wharf. Up to the time of our writing we believe Mr. Smith is the only gentleman who has succeeded in getting ashore.

The Columbus left Panama on the afternoon of the 17th of July, having been detained two days awaiting the arrival of the semi-monthly mail. She brings the mails from the United States of the 1st of July, which were brought to Chagres in the Falcon. Eight days out she put into Acapulco for fresh water, and was detained there two days. Thus it will be seen she had made the trip up in less than 20 days. Her qualities for comfort and speed are highly praised. On her trip she experienced a succession of head winds nearly all the time, and for the last three days has been compelled to content with a heavy gale of wind. Her captain and officers are highly commended also for the attention they have paid to their passengers. The C. brings up 300 passengers, including quite a number of ladies. She is consigned to Oliver Charlick, Esq.

The steam propeller Sarah Sands was steaming into Panama as the C. left.

The Tennessee was at Acapulco, and had been there two days when the C. arrived, and was still there when the latter left.

The Cholera was said to be in Acapulco, and the death of the Governor was announced from that disorder on the 23d of July. The C. passed the Isthmus 140 miles this side of Acapulco, on the 27th ult.

The steamship Republic, of Laws Line, arrived at Panama, on the 15th of July from New York, and the Northerner of Howard & Sons, on the 16th of July. The British steamer Equador and the West Point had also arrived. The three last named were advertised to leave for this port on the 20th of July, and the Republic the first of August. The American brig Republic, French ship Oceanic brigMary Holland and clipper brig Hungarian were advertised for this port with immediate dispatch.

Up to this time we have received no late State papers, but are informed that there is but little news. The admission of California was still unsettled, but the same belief that it could not remain unsettled much longer appeared to exist. This will be bad news to all of us, as we had expected by this arrival to have heard of some decisive action.

Edwin Forrest, the tragedian, and N.P. Willis, the author and editor, had a personal collision in the Washington Parade Ground, New York City. Forrest accused Willis of having seduced his wife, and then cowhided him. It was expected that Willis would challenge him, but he commenced a suit for damages.

We regret to learn that there was considerable sickness on the Isthmus, and that several deaths occurred on the Columbus among the steerage passengers, many of whom cam eon board in a debilitated condition. The following paragraph relative to the health of the ship, with the names of the deceased, was furnished us by Mr. Smith:

Many of the steerage passengers came on board the Columbus more or less sick with the "Isthmus fever," as it is called, and on our seventh day out from Panama, one of them, Mr. Joseph Webb, of Athens, Ohio, died, and the following morning another, Mr. Samuel D. Caldwell, of New Boston, N.H., also died, and both were buried at the same time in the "deep blue sea," the Rev. W.W. Brier officiating over their remains. On Sunday, the 28th, four more died, viz: Irving Garrett, Serbia, N.Y.; W.W. and James M. Dodge (brothers), New Boston, N.H.,; and F.H. Hall, Tressander, N.Y.; and the next morning another, Mr. Charles D. Jenks , Pox Sutawney, Jeff. Co., Pa., also died, and were all buried at sea, the Rev. O. Harriman, a clergyman of the Episcopal Church performing the funeral services. The ship surgeon, Dr. E. R. Smilie, gave all of the deceased the utmost attention that eminent skill and science could give, and Capt. Pratt and others rendered them all the services in their power, but all in vain; some of them were beyond the reach of medical help when they cam aboard, and the others imprudently partook of tropical fruit, &c., on shore at Acapulco, and for which they have paid the dear forfeit of their lives. Others of the sick are now entirely well or convalescent, thanks to an overruling Providence and the efforts of Dr. Smilie.

We regret to hear that Col. Manns splendid equestrian corps failed of success, and all his valuable property was seized and sold, and that the Col. was lying dangerously ill.

California. -- We find dates from Washington in the New York Tribune as late as the 28th June. In the Senate on the 24th of June.--

Mr. Douglas gave notice of an amendment providing that two new States to be called Sacramento and Colorado may be erected out of the territory of California, with the consent of that State, and States to be admitted upon an equal footing.

Mr. Soule moved his substitute for that portion of the bill relating to the State of California. Toc substitute proposed that the President shall issue his proclamation, declaring that California be admitted into the Union as soon as he shall receive evidence that she has in Convention assented to certain conditions, among which are her relinquishment of the public domain, and the restriction of her Southern limits to the Missouri line. It also provides that revenues collected in the ports of California, unexpected at the time of this proclamation, shall be paid over to the State of California. Also, that the country South between 36 and 30 North in Mexico, and between the Pacific and Sierra Nevada, shall be organized into a Territory, to be called South California, and that the same shall be admitted into the Union as a State, when ready, able and willing, with or without slavery, as her people may desire, and make known in their Constitution.


Abrahams, M. 
Alexander, William 
Allen, J. 
Askam, W. B. 
Asonson, S. 
Atkin, Andrew 
Baker, R. 
Baldwin, F. C. 
Ballard, A. S. 
Barrett, H. 
Beauvaise, G. 
Beauvaise, R. 
Bedlow, J. S. 
Belmont, A. H. 
Bergman, T. 
Bird, A. 
Blake, L.C. 
Blake, S. 
Boarman, J. A. 
Bond, L. 
Booth, O. 
Booth, William 
Bourd, Dr. J. 
Bradish, J. 
Brady, Thomas 
Brown, L. 
Brown, L.H. 
Brubaker, H. 
Bryre, Rev. and lady 
Buckmore, G.W. 
Bumstead, J. 
Burkey, Joseph 
Burnham, S. 
Chamberlain, N.S. 
Clark, H. Q. 
Clark, J. M. 
Clark, L. H. 
Clark, S. A. 
Cooley, H. H. 
Cooper, Joshua 
Copenhagen, L. 
Cozeman, T.M. 
Craig, F.J. 
Davis, H. 
Davis, Mrs. C. 
Davis, O.W. 
DeMariginy, Miss L. 
Dills, Jas. 
Dumartheray, F. 
Dusenbry, H. 
Dusenbry, J. 
Dutton, H. 
Eells, R. 
Eisenbach, J. 
Evans, J.S. 
Evarts, C.W. 
Evens, Mark 
Ferrell, William H. 
Ferstte, L. 
Finch, Miss E.A. 
Finch, Mrs. E.C., son and daughter 
Fitch, L. 
Forchheimer, A. 
Fretz, John 
Friedlander, S. 
Fulton, J.S. 
Gaillard, F. 
Gaillard, R. 
Gensler, S. 
Gilbert, J. 
Gillingham, R.P. and lady (These passengers are also listed in the Alta as being on board the Columbus on August 15, 1850 -- presumably she was leaving port) 
Goddard, W.J. 
Goodall, S. 
Goodwin, Mrs. E. A. 
Gordon, Mrs. P. 
Grant, Joseph 
Green, J. 
Gross, J. 
Gross, John 
Gutchalt, J. 
Hagler, Mrs. C. 
Hakerley, J. 
Hamill, J. 
Harriman, Rev. G. 
Harrold, J. 
Hart, George 
Hartman, J. W. 
Hasey, A.G. 
Hawkins, F.D. and lady 
Heberling, A. 
Heberling, H. 
Hodge, M.G. 
Horn, D.A. 
Hortetter, D. 
Houseman, H. 
Houser, W.C. 
Howald, J. 
Howard, W.T. 
Hoyt, C.W. 
Hoyt, Mrs. C.W. 
Humphrey, John 
Inglesoon, Charles 
J.S. Bird 
Jenkins, Dr. W. H. 
Jillard, Mrs. M. 
Jones, Henry 
Jones, Prescott 
Jordon, G.W. 
Jordon, S., Jr. 
Kern, John, Jr. 
Langdon, J. H. (Might be Langdou with an accent over the "o") 
Lawrence, L.L. 
Leighton, B. B. 
Lemoine, G. B. 
Leslie, A. 
Littia, J., lady, daughter and son 
Loague, M. 
Luco, G. 
Macaire, H. 
Mallory, D. 
Manchester, Burrell 
Marchesseau, A. 
Mather, George 
Mathews, T. 
Meyer, Joseph 
Meyers, M. 
Morgan, Eli 
Most, John 
Murphy, Daniel 
Murray, E. and lady 
Myers, L. 
Myers, S. W. 
Nelson, E. 
Newell, L. W. 
Nicholas, J. 
Nichols, Elam 
Osborn, G. W. 
Pagel, J. 
Parant, A. 
Patterson, F. 
Phalen, John 
Phillips, F. 
Polterer, Thomas J. 
Porter, R. 
Printiss, J. J. 
Rice, J. Q. 
Richardson, Justice W. 
Robinson, C J. 
Robords, J. 
Robords, Rev. J. 
Rochford, P. 
Roland, J. 
Sawtoll, L.L. 
Sawyer, N.K. 
Shaw, R. 
Shaw, William 
Shively, L.B. 
Shively, W.F. 
Sibson, J. 
Sill, D. and daughter 
Sill, Miss H. 
Smith, L.Y. 
Sowles, A.G. 
Spear, W.S. 
Spousler, F.R. 
Stanfield, B. 
Steele, E.A. 
Steele, Mumford R. 
Stevens, F.L. 
Stokes, C.J. 
Street, J. 
Stribling, J.E. 
Sweanson, C. 
Sweanson, O. 
Taylor, G.M. 
Tessier, Mrs. C. 
Thiomille, H. 
Thomas, B.W. 
Torrey, and lady 
Torrey, M. 
Torrey, Mrs. M. 
Underhill, J.J. 
Van Pelt, A. 
Vines, Miss J. 
Warner, A. 
Warner, G. 
Warner, J., Jr. 
Warner, Orson 
Wedekind, E. 
Week, L. 
Weitl, E. 
Westgate, A. G. 
Wetherby, T. 
Whatley, J. D. 
Williams, William 
Williamson, J. 
Winter, William 
Wolf, B. 
Wyttenback, J.

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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