Passenger Lists: San Francisco 1800s


SS Sierra Nevada

November 21,1854
SS Sierra Nevada 
Captain James H. Blethen
From San Juan del Sud, Nicaragua


November 21, 1854, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, California

The News

Bv the arrival of the steamer Sierra Nevada, we have received seven days later intelligence fiom the Atlantic side.

The rumored capture of Sebastopol turns out to have been incorrect. There had been much fighting, however, and the allied forces had succeeded in routing the Russians. They (the allies) were, at latest advices, at the threshold of Sebastopol in fact, the city was invested. Meanwhile, the forces of the Czar had not been idle, as they had captured several vessels belonging to the enemy. The next news we get will probably be more exciting than any yet received from the seat of war.

Sir John Franklin.

The fate of the intrepid navigator, Sir John Franklin, appears now to have assumed some tangible form. It is confidently asserted that he and his brave companions perished of starvation in the Arctic regions in the year 1850.

Of domestic news there is little of importance. The returns of the elections heretofore published is confirmed as to its correctness. The majority for the Whig Gubernatorial candidate of Pennsylvania is, as will be seen on reference to our news columns, unprecedentedly great.

Our dispatches, as usual, teem with accounts of fires, casualties and disasters.

The Sierra Nevada brings a very large number of passengers, among whom are an unusual preponderance of women and children.

November 21, 1854, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, California

By Telegraph to the Union. 
Sevastopol not Captured!!

San Francisco, November 20.

The Sierra Nevada arrived this evening, twelve days from San Juan.


The steamer Sierra Nevada, J. D. Blethen, Commander, left San Francisco October 24th: arrived at San Juan on the morning of November 5th. Her passengers left Punta Arenas for New York in the company's steamer Northern Light on the 6th inst. The Sierra Nevada left San Juan on the night of the 6th inst. with upwards of four hundred passengers; among them are a large majority of returned Californians, and one hundred and forty-three females. October 29th, in the vicinity of Cape St. Lucas, saw three barges, one the Waverly, of Boston, making into the Gulf of California.

Foreign Intelligence.

by the Baltic of the blowing up of Fort Constantine, the sinking of ten Russian ships-of-war, the fall of Sevastopol, and the slaughter of twenty-five thousand souls, turns out to have been false from beginning to end.

The news by the Africa is more moderate and reasonable in its character. There had been continual fighting. The allied armies had established their base of operations at Balalkalara on the morning of the 28th, and were preparing to march without delay upon Sevastopol.

The Agamemnon and other vessels of war were in port at Balalkalara, where there are facilities for disembarking the battering trains. Prince Menchikoff was in the field with 20,000 men, and expecting reinforcements. The fortifications of Anapa had been burned by the Russians, and its garrison were matching to the scene of action.


New York, October 27th. The Cunard mail steamer Africa, Capt. Harrison, arrived at 3 o'clock p. m., Friday. She left Liverpool on Saturday, noon, 7th October. The great news brought

The allies were on the river Baalbeck, ten miles from Sevastopol. Indeed, Sevastopol was invested on the 27th. The cholera was very severe in the garrison at Sevastopol. It is stated that the city is provisioned for only three months, and that the crews of the fleet are already on three-fourths rations. The Russian steamer Tuman, of three guns, escaped out of Sevastopol on the 19th ult., and took two Turkish transports and carried them into Odessa. . .

The Austrian and French governments are engaged in a diplomatic correspondence respecting the future position of the Roman Catholic church in the East . . .

The Battle of the Alma.

The London papers of the 8th contain an extraordinary Gazette, with the despatches from Lord Raglan to the Duke of Newcastle, with the official report of the battle of the Alma. The struggle was a desperate one, and the loss of the British army was 26 officers, 10 sergeants, 2 drummers and 300 rank and file, killed 73 officers, 95 sergeants, 17 drummers and 1,427 rank and file, wounded 2 drummers and 10 rank and file missing. The loss of the French was not so great . . .

After the battle of Alma the Russians burned all the villages which they passed through. In their flight they left about 600 wounded behind them. Prince Menchikoff had returned to Sevastopol, where the Russians had shut themselves up . . . Eight thousand cavalry had been landed by the allies in the Crimea . . . Vice Admiral Dundas reports to his government that the Russians had sunk eight line-of-battle ships across the entrance of the harbor; eight sail of the line were moored east and west inside the booms, and three of the ships were heeled over, to give their guns more elevation to sweep over the land to the northward.

Fate of Sir John Franklin.

Exploration. In search of Sir John Franklin.

A telegraphic dispatch from Montreal gives us news respecting the fate of Sir John Franklin and his company. A letter received by Sir George Simpson, Governor of the Hudson Bay Company, from Dr. Rae, the celebrated explorer, dated York Factory, August 4th, 1854, conveyed the intelligence of the discovery of the remains of the intrepid navigator and his companions, who starved to death in the spring of 1850, to the northwest of Fox river. The information is regarded as perfectly reliable. The vessels were probably ground to atoms amid the ice floes of the Arctic region, and the unfortunate company, in endeavoring to reach the settlements of the Hudson Bay Company, after exhausting the scanty supply of provisions saved from the crumbling ships, laid down to perish.

Arrival of Emigrants.

On Sunday and Monday, October 22d and 23d, 9,354 emigrants arrived at the port of New York.

The Arctic Wreck.

Portions of the wreck of the Arctic had been passed at sea by Capt. Wheeler, of the bark Wallham.


November 21, 1854, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, CaliforniaPassengers by the SS Sierra Nevada, 21 November 1854.

Central America Map. 1862.

Immigration at the Golden Gate: Passenger Ships, Exclusion, and Angel IslandImmigration at the Golden Gate. Immigration to California.
Robert Eric Barde
Perhaps 200,000 immigrants passed through the Angel Island Immigration Station during its lifetime, a tiny number compared to the 17 million who entered through New York's Ellis Island.

Nonetheless, Angel Island's place in the consciousness of Americans on the West Coast is large and out of proportion to the numerical record. Angel Island's Immigration Station was not, as some have called it, the Ellis Island of the West, built to facilitate the processing and entry of those welcomed as new Americans. Its role was less benign: to facilitate the exclusion of Asians, starting with the Chinese, then Japanese, Koreans, Indians, and all other Asians.

The Children of Chinatown: Growing Up Chinese American in San Francisco, 1850-1920Children of Chinatown. 
Wendy Rouse Jorae

Family Skeletons: Exploring the Lives of our Disreputable Ancestors.San Francisco. Family Skeletons.
Simon Fowler, Ruth Paley
Most families have a skeleton. You may have already discovered yours via the grapevine or your own research. Or you may simply be intrigued by the dark side of our past. This popular history explores the behaviour of our disreputable ancestors from the unfortunate to the criminal, and introduces a host of colourful characters including 17th century witches, 18th century 'mollies' and Victorian baby farmers. Thematically arranged by skeleton, the text also describes how society punished and provided for its 'offenders' - as well as the changing attitudes that could ultimately bring acceptance.

Italy on the Pacific: San Francisco's Italian Americans (Italian and Italian American Studies)Italians in San Francisco.
Palgrave Hardcover)
Sebastian Fichera
San Francisco’s Italian immigrant experience is shown to be the polar opposite of Chicago’s. San Francisco’s Italian immigrants are shown as reintegrating into the host society fairly smoothly, whereas the Chicago group’s assimilation process broke down in dramatic ways.

Migration in World History.Migration in World HistoryMigration in World History. 
(Themes in World History) 
Patrick Manning
Drawing on examples from a wide range of geographical regions and thematic areas, noted world historian Patrick Manning guides the reader through trade patterns, including the early Silk Road and maritime trade, effect of migration on empire and industry, earliest human migrations, major language groups, various leading theories around migration.

Russian San Francisco (Images of America)Russian San Francisco. (Images of America)
Lydia B. Zaverukha, Nina Bogdan, Foreward by Ludmila Ershova, PhD.
Even before San Francisco was founded as a city, Russian visitors, explorers, and scientists sailed to the area and made contact with both the indigenous people and representatives of the Spanish government. Although the Russian commercial colony of Fort Ross closed in 1842, the Russian presence in San Francisco continued and the community expanded to include churches, societies, businesses, and newspapers. Some came seeking opportunity, while others were fleeing religious or political persecution.

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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