Passengers arriving at the Port of San Francisco

SS Yankee Blade

Depart San Francisco

June 1, 1854, Thursday
SS Yankee Blade
Henry Randall, Esq., Commander
For Panama

May 30, 1854, Daily Alta California


For New York, via Panama

The Splendid New Steamship
2500 tons, Henry Randall, Esq., Commander
will leave Jackson street wharf
On Thursday, June 1st, 1854, at 12 oclock, M.,

This new and magnificent ship was built expressly for this coast. She has all the late improvements of Ice Houses and Bath Rooms, is thoroughly and completely ventilated with large square ports, etc., etc., and is in every respect unsurpassable. Her Proprietors and Agents will spare no exertion to make the INDEPENDENT LINE superior to all others for comfort, safety, speed, and fair rates.

She will connect on the Atlantic with Vanderbilt's celebrated Steam Yacht


2,500 tons burthen. C. H. Minor, Esq., Commander, which is admitted to be the fastest steamer out of the port of New York. Passngers can rest assured of reaching New York ahead of all other lines.



Railroad at Panama.
Panama - Aerial View of the Colon Railroad

Most of the early travelers preferred to cross the isthmus via a safe and well-planned route through Nicaragua rather than through Panama, because the latter was a dense jungle swarming with malarial mosquitoes. However, Panama provided the narrowest barrier between the two oceans; In 1847, a group of New York financiers organized the Panama Railroad Company. In 1850, workers began laying track through Panamanian jungle roughly along the route followed by the present canal. Completed in early 1855, the first train departed from the Atlantic side for the Pacific on January 28. The traffic of freight and human beings moving both ways across the isthmus kept the Panama Railway busy until 1869, when the first transcontinental railroad was completed in the United States. However, the railway continued to carry a great deal of commercial freight destined for Europe or Asia until the Panama Canal was completed in 1914.

The Yankee Blade sailed from San Francisco June 1st at 6 o'clock P.M. and passed the Sierra Nevada bound for San Juan, the same night at 11 o'clock. The John L. Stephens, starting about 80 minutes after us, kept in company nearly 70 hours, when we lost sight of her on the starboard beam.

On the 4th, owing to a derangement of the force pump, we ran 14 hours with only one boiler. On the 10th, made the J. L. Stephens off the larboard bow, passed and lost sight of her the same night, and arrived at Panama at 2-1/2 o'clock the morning of the 14th, enabling our passengers to reach Aspinwall the same day, being but 11 miles mule travel on the Isthmus.

Sailed from Panama on the 17th at 9-1/2 P.M., with 400 passengers, and Wells Fargo & Co.'s and Adams & Co.'s Expresses. Encountered severe head winds nearly all the way, and arrived at San Francisco July 1st, 5-1/2 P.M.


May 31, 1854, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California

LIBERALITY. -- We learn that the agent of the Independent steamship Yankee Blade, have offered a first class free passage to the Atlantic States to the wife and children of J. H. Dunn, who was murdered some time since by Foley. They will leave in the steamer tomorrow, and with about $1800 in money, which has been generously subscribed for them here, since the sad event which robbed them of a husband and a father. These facts speak well for the liberality of the company and of our citizens.

May 31, 1854, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, California

MADAM ANNA THILLON -- The musical world of California will greatly regret to learn that the accomplished vocalist and actress Madam Anna Thillon leaves this State on Thursday. Her name is registered among the passengers by the Yankee Blade.

June 2, 1854, Sacramento Daily Union

DEPARTURE OF ANOTHER ACTRESS. -- We have heretofore alluded to the departure of Madame Thillon by the Yankee Blade, and we now chronicle that of Miss Susan Denin by the same vessel. The latter lady took her farewell benefit at the American Theater on Wednesday evening.

Panama Canal, California immigration, ship passengers. Panama Canal, California immigration, ship passengers. Panama Canal, California immigration, ship passengers. Panama Canal, California immigration, ship passengers. Panama Canal, California immigration, ship passengers.

Coming to America: A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American LifeHistory of Immigration in America.
Roger Daniels
A History of Immigration in America.This revised edition is an engrossing study of various waves of immigrants to the United States from the colonial era to the present. This is a useful book for anyone who has an interest in learning brief histories of most groups of immigrants to the United States. It also provides a theoretical understanding of the reasons for immigration. Though it is particularly useful in its examination of the pre-colonial and colonial periods.

Migration in World History (Themes in World History)Migration in World History.
Patrick Manning
Migration in World History.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 between 1700 and 1900
  • The earliest human migrations
  • Major language groups (illustrated with original maps)
  • Examination of civilizations, farmers and pastoralists from 3000 BCE to 500 CE
  • Various leading theories and debates surrounding the subject of migration.

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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