Passenger Lists: San Francisco 1800s


SS Sierra Nevada

Arrive San Francisco

May 6, 1853
Captain Tanner
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua


May 9, 1853, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, California

Our San Francisco Correspondence.

San Francisco May 7, 1853

The Sierra Nevada arrived last evening, from San Juan, with about five hundred passengers. The S. N. reports a collision with the Golden Gate, off Cerros Island, which would not have occurred had the former pursued the proper course, namely, in plain road language, keeping to the right as did the G. G. Mr. Purser Foster, with his usual imaginative qualities, states that the G.G. crossed the bows of the S.N. from some unaccountable motive, whereas she was only keeping her proper course, and the Sierra Nevada was not.

Two of the firemen of the Sierra Nevada were arrested last evening, and aken before the U.S. Marshall, for an attempt to blow up the steamer during her passage to this place. It appears that they let all the water to run out of the boilers, which was discovered just in time by the Engineer, to prevent an explosion. ~~ MARK.

May 9, 1853, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, California

Arrival of the Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada, from San Juan del Sud, arrived at San Francisco on Friday. Her dates are no later than those already received.


Steamship Sierra Nevada left San Francisco in company with steamer Cortes. April 1: passed the Cortes at 11 o'clock same evening, and arrived at San Juan April 12 11 days out. Passenger's embarked on the Atlantic steamer Star of the West, on Sunday, 17th, and doubtless arrived at New York on the 24th, in 23-1/2 days from San Francisco. Experienced fine weather after the first day. Left San Juan Del Sud April 23d, and arrived here Friday evening, with 555 passengers, all healthy no deaths nor sickness during the passage. Had strong head winds and heavy seas the last 7 days. Tuesday, 3d instant. 1 a. m. off Cerros Island, saw steamer's light bound down, which proved to be the Golden Gate, half point on our starboard bow; observing her presently to be drawing towards up until full near for safety, it blowing fresh and considerable sea running, put our helm to starboard in order to give her a berth, and from some unaccountable motive she crossed our bows, and had not our engines been instantly stopped on seeing her design, would have struck us by the forward rigging, but fortunately our bowsprit only was carried away, by coming in contact with her larboard quarter as she passed.

Left in port. U. S. sloop of war Portsmouth, Commander Dornin, last from Panama; officers and crew all well. Also, bark Laurens, Logan, discharging, soon to sail for Chincha Islands. Among the passengers by the S. N. is Gov. Lane and suite, on his way to Oregon to assume the Governorship of that Territory.

The San Francisco Whig says:

Great excitement had ensued on board, owing to the discovery by the Engineer of a plot to blow up the ship, by letting off the steam from the boilers. Two of the firemen, named Brofey and Scotty, were defeated in this attempt on the passage to San Juan, on the morning of the 7th of April. Nothing was said about it at the time, and on the return passage a similar attempt was made on the 24th and 27th instants. The fire was withdrawn as speedily as possible and the catastrophe prevented, though with the greatest difficulty. The men were allowed to go at large until the day of the steamer's arrival at this port, when they were put in irons, and are now in custody. The case will probably be speedily examined by the Recorder, when the full facts will be developed.


To J. K. Garrison.

May 8, 1853, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

Arrival by the Sierra Nevada May 8 1853 Daily Alta California.


May 7, 1853, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

500 passengers

Arrival of the SS Sierra Nevada May 7 1853.

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.

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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.

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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.

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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)
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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.

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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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