Passengers at the Port of San Francisco: 1800s

Ship Sir Charles Napier

Arrive San Francisco

May 21, 1852
Ship Sir Charles Napier
Captain Webster
From Panama

Sir Charles Napier was a fully rigged sailing ship of 638 tons, built 1841 and lost November, 1857. The cause of the wrecking was attributed to the innacuracy of the compass due to the quantity of iron and its placement on the ship.


Daily Alta California, May 22, 1852

Arrival of the Sir Charles Napier. - Dreadful Mortality.

The British ship Sir Charles Napier, Captain Webster, arrived

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Admiral Sir Charles Napier

Admiral Sir Charles John Napier KCB GOTE RN was a Scottish naval officer whose sixty years in the Royal Navy included service in the Napoleonic Wars, Syrian War and the Crimean War, and a period commanding the Portuguese navy in the Liberal Wars. An innovator concerned with the development of iron ships, and an advocate of humane reform in the Royal Navy, he was also active in politics as a Liberal Member of Parliament and was probably the naval officer most widely known to the public in the early Victorian Era.

Napier began a voluminous and indefatigable correspondence with the Admiralty on the urgency for naval reform, which lasted for the rest of his career. He sought to persuade successive civil administrations of the need for innovative ship-design and tactics, the development of steam ships and the use of iron in ship construction, the proper training of officers, and decent living conditions for ordinary seamen. He held that the use of the press gang and of flogging should be abolished, and that seamen should receive proper wages and pensions. In all this he was far ahead of his time. His advocacy had little effect: on the contrary, successive administrators considered him an eccentric nuisance. He had been interested in steam navigation since its beginnings, and began investing his considerable resources in a steam vessel service that would ply along the River Seine. In 1821 he financed and participated in the construction of one of the first iron-hulled vessels ever built, and the first designed to venture into open water. The Aaron Manby was named after the master of the Horseley Ironworks, Tipton, Staffordshire, where she was pre-fabricated to a design formulated by Napier, Manby and Manby s son Charles and then assembled at Rotherhithe on the Thames.

yesterday morning, 90 days from Panama, with 18 cabin passengers and 156 steerage. When out one week from Panama, the measles, dysentery and fever began to show themselves, and continued with more or less virulence for about three weeks in which time no less than thirty-six were consigned to the deep.

A succession of calms common near the equator, no doubt caused this great mortality, as the heat at that time was most excessive. Although the passage was ninety days from port to port, there were not thirty of them on which there was wind enough to keep her sails full. All appearance of disease left the vessel some weeks previous to her arrival in port.

The following is a list of the passengers who died on board; also the place from which they came:

Adley, black boy, Burke Co., 8th March, aged 23
Alec, black boy, McDowell Co., 8th April, aged 27
Baker, Z., Lumpkin Co., 3rd March, aged 35
Banks, T., Murray Co., 9th March, aged 45
Birt, A. K., Lumpkin Co., 30th March, aged 23
Birt, William, Lumpkin Co., 25th Mrch, aged 20
Buckelin, A., Grafton Co., 9th March, aged 38
Buckelin, S. (noted on lists in Louis Rasmussen's San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists, Volume I, but not in the newspaper)
Burns, M., Jackson Co., 6th March, aged 21
Carson, G., Lumpkin Co., 5th March, aged 26
Conley, A., McDowell Co., 5th March, aged 21
Conley, J. P., McDowell Co., 16th March, aged 20
Croane, W. J., Gordon Co., 3rd April, aged 19
Dawson, W. A., Gordon Co., 7th April, aged 30
Dickenson, E., New York, 13th April, aged 21
Finley, Jas., McDowell Co., 2nd March, aged 20
Grimble, Z., Gordon Co., 7th March, aged 35 (according to Rasmussen's lists, this is "Grindle")
Hamblin, James, Murray Co., Ga., 2nd March, aged 33
Harris, T., Jackson Co., 3rd March, aged 34
Kincaid, J. M., Burke Co., 24th Feb., aged 22
King, Jas, Boston, Mass, 3rd March, aged 30
Leck, A (noted on lists in Louis Rasmussen's San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists, Volume I, but not in the newspaper)
Loveless, A. D., Cass Co., 5th April, aged 22
McGuire, Jas, New Orleans, 2nd March, aged 45 (according to Rasmussen's lists, this is "J. Guire")
O'Neill, James, Jersey City, 13th March, aged 35 (Rasmussen's list has this as "James O'Niel")
Osborne, black boy, Burke Co., 10th March, aged 18
Qumlin, J. W., Cass Co., 28th March, aged 20
Reid, A., Cass Co., 13th April, aged 25
Ring, James (noted on lists in Louis Rasmussen's San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists, Volume I, but not in the newspaper)
Robertson, T., Gordon Co., 19th March, aged 25
Robinson, C. (noted on lists in Louis Rasmussen's San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists, Volume I, but not in the newspaper)
Rodgers, M., Cherokee Co., 1st March, aged 22
Rodgers, M., Cherokee Co., 1st March, aged 45
Rodgers, W., Penn, 5th March, aged 40
Rouse, E., Lumpkin Co., 15th April, aged 24
Sears, John, Gordon Co., 16th March, aged 22
Souley, A. (noted on lists in Louis Rasmussen's San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists, Volume I, but not in the newspaper)
Tuckelin, T., Grafton Co., 17th March, aged 20
Vincent, J., Cass Co., 4th April, aged 30
Walter, G. (noted on lists in Louis Rasmussen's San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists, Volume I, but not in the newspaper)
Walton, Jesse, McDowell Co., 2nd March, aged 46
Wickett, Boly, Gordon Co., 11th March, aged 23
Williams, M., Grafton Co., 2nd April, aged 29

Shipping Intelligence: Ship Sir Charles Napier, (Br), Webster, 90 days from Panama, 260 tons coal to Montefiore & Burgoyne. 217 passengers; 6 females; 36 died on the passage.


260 tons coal, to Montefiore & Burgoyne.


(Note: In the obituaries above, black men were listed with one name only. There are quite a few single names on this list, which may indicate that they are black men. It is worth looking into and we will attempt to find additional information. A few ships in California Coastal waters sailed with all-black crews.)

Daily Alta California, March 22, 1852

Passengers by the Sir Charles Napier, May 21, 1852. DAC 22March1852

Adams, S.
Ayers, J.
Ballard, P. M.
Ballew, J.
Bannister, W. D.
Barclay, W.
Baron, H
Beardon, W. C.
Beaver, J.
Berry, W. P.
Bird, N.
Brawley, W.
Bristol, John
Brown, C. and child
Bucklin, J.
Burns, E.
Calhoun, Ann
Cantrell, D.
Cantrell, J.
Carystone, Wm
Casoon, Wm
Cassady, P.
Chapman, H.
Clarke, Jno and child
Clarke, Thos
Clarkes, and two children under 12 years of age
Claunec, M.
Collett, W. (Is entered as W. Colllett)
Collins, B. Z.
Collins, E.
Conry, A.
Dalby, A.
Daniels, J.
Davis, J. M.
Denny, E. H.
Denny, Wm
Diamond, N.
Dickson, R.
Dobson, J.
Dobson, W.
Donahue, (Rasmussen noted "Dohahue")
Eden, Jos
Feeney, M.
Fetts, Wm
Flanely, P.
Ford, C.
Ford, Jas
Frazer, J.
Gause, Benj
Gedford, J.
Goldsmith, R.
Gregg, W.
Hand, J.
Harris, B.
Harris, T.
Harrison, W. C.
Hay, T.
Henderson, R.
Henry (last name unknown, indicating this may be a black servant)
Hicks, Wm
Horgan, C.
Horgan, R. L.
Howell, C. C.
Howell, H.
Howren, Jas
Ingle, J.
Irvine, J. D.
Johnstone, P. M.
Johnstone, R.
Kearns, A.
Kearns, M.
Kimball, J.
Kincaid, J. A.
Kincaid, J. B.
Kinner, J. L.
Labby, B.
Lang, E.
Langstone, Jno
Lawson, William
Ledes, Jno
Lewis, J.
Lott, H
McHaffy, (noted on Rasmussen's lists, but not in newspaper)
Marcus, W.
Martin, J. E.
Martin, Wm
Mathew, F.
Mathews, J.
Maun, Jas
McCarthy, J.
McDowell, Y.
McKenzie, Mary
Miller, C.
Mitchell, T.
Moglan, P.
Monday, John
Mulholland, John
Murphy, J.
Neighbors, J.
O Hara, D.
Pearce, E
Peoples, D. M.
Peoples, E. P.
Peoples, J. H.
Peter, Jos
Pinion, Wm
Potts, J.
Powers, J
Price, J. E.
Quinlan, C.
Raffhery, P.
Rarrett, W. J.
Richards O
Riddle, Jno
Roach, H.
Sergent, J.
Sheen, Jas
Shuttle, W.
Silver, J.
Simon, P.
Smith, A.
Spriggs, A. J.
Swiney, J. M.
Tabou, J.
Take, J.
Toulon, Ann
Waddell, W.
Walton, J.
Warlick, J.
Wedster, Jim
Wesant, F.
Wesant, Wm
Wiley, J.
William, M.
Winch, C.
Winch, F.
Wright, J.
Zerterfeur, P.

Editor's Note: In 1841, the Sir Charles Napier sailed from Liverpool, England to Sydney, Australia, arriving on April 10, 1842. When the Sir Charles Napier arrived in NSW in 1842 it was reported in the newspaper that she carried 234 bounty immigrants and 10 passengers. The bounty list contains 237 names including the name of a baby born to a married couple during the voyage. The names of 2 other babies born to single women during the voyage were not included but perhaps they were among the 8 children who died during the voyage. Also to die during the voyage were 2 adults and the Captain of the ship. The ship had sailed with Captain Huxtable in charge but he died of consumption 2 weeks into the voyage. 1st Mate Hayes was then promoted to Captain, and the ship arrived in NSW under the charge of Captain Hayes. Their story is here: William Lee (1799-1864)

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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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