Passenger Lists: San Francisco 1800s


SS John L. Stephens

Arrive San Francisco

July 2, 1854
SS John L. Stephens
Captain R. H. Pearson
From Panama


The P. M. steamer John L. Stephens, R. H. Pearson, Commander, arrived at 3 o'clock this morning, bringing dates from New York to the 5th of June, New Orleans 6th, and from Liverpool and London to the 20th May.

Her news is of the highest importance.

Among the arrivals by the Stephens are Col. Henley Postmaster in this city; Hon. John H. Baird, John A. Morrison, Esq., with his lady. Edward Toby, Purser Geo. H. Davis, and other well known citizens of California. M. Strakosch, the celebrated pianist and composer, also arrived by the Stephens.


P. M. steamer John L. Stephens, R. H. Pearson, Commander, left San Francisco for Panama on Thursday, June 1st, and 7 o'clock P.M. 21, at 1 a.m., passed steamer Sierra Nevada for San Juan; 4th off Cerros Island, lost sight of her astern. 5th at 2 P.M., arrived off the harbor of Acapulco, were boarded by a boat from the Mexican man-of-war Santa Anna, and were informed that the blockade being again in force, we could not enter the port; detained four hours while communicating with this vessel, and proceeded on the voyage at 6 P.M. Not being able to enter Acapulco to obtain a supply of coal, the Stephens did not make her usual time thence to Panama. Arrived at Panama at 7 A.M., on the 14th; found in port steamer Yankee Balde, arrived four hours previously, she having passed Acapulco during the detention of the Stephens.

Left Panama, with the mails and 565 passengers on Saturday, June 17th at 3:30 P.M. Left in port steamer Yankee Blade, receiving her passengers, to sail in about two hours. The health of the Isthmus continues good. The Railroad is completed to within two miles of the Summit, and on this side nearly to the Cardenas River.

On the 23d at 6:30 A.M., arrived at Acapulco. Found in port U.S. ship Portsmouth, which arrived from Mazatlan on the 6th. Upon the appearance, on the 8th, of the Mexican blockading vessel, Capt. Dornin went outside and requested the commander to permit the steamers to enter the port for coal and provisions. On this being refused, he gave notice that the Portsmouth would convoy all American steamers in and out of Acapulco. The next day, the Mexican left for Mazatlan.

Acapulco again Blockaded

It will be seen by the following memoranda from Purser Goddard that the port of Acapulco is again blockaded by the naval forces of Santa Anna:

Acapulco Blocaded in 1854.


John L. Stephens Merchandise.


Passenger List for the John L Stephens 1854.

The Mammoth Book of Life Before the Mast:
Sailors' Eyewitness Stories from the Age of Fighting Ships
Jon E. Lewis, Editor
Firsthand accounts of the real-life naval adventures behind the popular historical sagas of Patrick O'Brian and C. F. Forester. Twenty true-life adventures capture the glory and gore of the great age of naval warfare from the late eighteenth to the early nineteenth century -- the age of the French Revolutionary War, the Napoleonic Wars, and the War of 1812 -- when combat at sea was won by sheer human wit, courage, and endurance. Culled from memoirs, diaries, and letters of celebrated officers as well as sailors, the collection includes accounts of such decisive naval engagements as Admiral Horatio Nelson's on the Battle of the Nile in 1798 or Midshipman Roberts' on the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and also offers glimpses into daily hardships aboard a man-of-war: scurvy, whippings, storms, piracy, press gangs, drudgery, boredom, and cannibalism.

Life of a Sailor (Seafarers' Voices) Ships, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.Life At Sea.Ships, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.
Frederick Chamier
Chamier went to sea in 1809 as an officer in the Royal Navy. Like his contemporary, Captain Frederick Marryat, he enjoyed a successful literary career and is remembered for his naval novels. This book, his first, is usually catalogued as fiction, although it is an exact account of his naval experiences, with every individual, ship, and event he described corroborated by his service records. Told with humor and insight, it is considered an authentic account of a young officer's service. From anti-slavery patrols off Africa to punitive raids on the American coast during the War of 1812, Chamier provides details of many lesser-known campaigns. His descriptions of British naval operations in America, which reflected his objection to bringing the war to the civilian population, were highly criticized by his seniors.

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John C. Dann

Great Stories of the Sea & Ships Sea Stories and the history of America.
N. C. Wyeth
Life before the mast.High-seas adventures showcasing showcases the fiction of such classic writers as Daniel Defoe, Jules Verne, and Jack London, and also historic first-person narratives including Christopher Columbus’ own account of his voyage in 1492. Vivid tales of heroic naval battles and dangerous journeys of exploration to the stories of castaways and smugglers. The variety of works includes “The Raft of Odysseus,” by Homer; Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Mermaid”; “The Specksioneer,” by Elizabeth Gaskell; Washington Irving’s “The Phantom Island”; and “Rounding Cape Horn,” by Herman Melville. Eighteen black and white illustrations by Peter Hurd.

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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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