Home Port ° 2017 ~ 2018 Ongoing Updates

Australia and New Zealand

New Zealand 1800s.

Mining Companies

News of the discovery of gold in California reached around the world. In addition to all other nations descending on the mines, several thousand Australian and New Zealander men, women and children responded to the lure. In 1849-1850, more than 200 hundred sailing vessels made the treacherous journey to California's Pacific Coast. Like all voyagers to the gold fields, they sailed in anything afloat: large ocean-going ships, barques, brigs, coastal cutters and schooners.

The first announcement of gold was published in Australia on December 23, 1848 in the Sydney Morning Herald. Coastal sailing vessels brought the news to Hobart, where it was published on January 9, 1849 and in Adelaide on January 27, 1849. It reached Auckland by December 2, Wellington on December 10, 1849, and Dunedin in the South on March 7, 1849.

By the end of January 1849, seven vessels -آ€آ” six from Sydney and one from Hobart - had sailed from Australia for San Francisco with 93 passengers, including six women and four children.

The sailing route and time from Australia to San Francisco depending on the wind and needs for replenishment of food and water. Ports usually included New Zealand, Tahiti, and/or the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii).

Among the early ships sailing for San Francisco from Australia and New Zealand were:


Columbine, 68 ton Schooner

Master: Sergeant tsg: 293 Rigging: schooner tsg: 293 Weight: 68 tsg: 293
Cleared Sydney, Australia October 18, 1849 for San Francisco. Passengers departing Sydney:

Shaw, Mr William tsg: 292,293
Grunton, Mr Thomas tsg: 292,293
Smith, Mr S tsg: 292,293
McKelliget, Mr R tsg: 292,293

(Source: Captain Barry Needham tsg:293 Ref: e-78424)

Deborah, 121-ton schooner.
Master: Andrew Bliss.
Agent: R.T. Ford, shipping and customs agent.
Sailed from Tahiti April 19, 1849 for San Francisco.
All of the crew, bar one, deserted on arrival in San Francisco. The one person had a bad foot; he was made mate. The mate worked on her return voyage to Oahu with a crew of Sandwich Islanders who were returning from the mines due to sickness. Each were paid $100.00. The crew after leaving Oahu were Sandwich Islanders, except for the mate, who was receiving a very high rate of wages. Cargo was 100 lb. gold dust. She left for the Sandwich Islands April 26, 1849 and arrived May 21, 1849.

(Source: Captain Barry Needham, tsg:282, 290, 292 Ref: e-77653)

Despatch, 139-ton schooner, built at Jersey in 1838. Owners: William Francis Plant and Andrew Bliss, Sydney master mariners. Loaded with cargo from Montefiore, Graham and Company: 200 iron pots, 245 casks of beer, 82 bundles and 10 packages of hardware goods; 13 packages of drugs, 50 bags of flour, 40 boxes of soap, 256 cases and 10 boxes of oilmen's stores, and tea, champagne, sherry, haberdashery, boots, shoes, hops and other articles. Sailed January 16, 1849, stopped at Tahiti, arrived Honolulu March 28, sailed March 31, arrived San Francisco April 25, 1849.
Master: William Francis Plant
One passenger.

Note: on July 30, 1850 a brig named Dispatch from Sydney, Captain Plant, is listed as arriving 85 days from Sydney with a cargo of 350 cheese, champagne, 40 cartons tea, 1 house, 2 beer engines, 1 galley, 6 safes, lime juice, 40 tons of coal, sugar, biscuits, herring and assorted merchandise. Passengers: Mr. Cowan and Mr. R.O. Reilly.

Duke of Roxburgh, 498 ton barque built at Newcastle in 1828. Captain G.P. Collard. Left Sydney, N.S.W., October 15, 1849; arrived San Francisco January 14 (91 days at sea) with 165 passengers.

Eagle, 23 ton schooner, (another report has her at 92 tons), built at Auckland in 1849. Sailed from Auckland. 182 days from Auckland to San Francisco. She may have encountered bad weather and blown off course as she called at the Mexican port of San Blas, from where she took 40 days to reach San Francisco. She sailed with sixteen passengers.

Eleanor Lancaster, 438-ton barque, built at Maryport in 1839, owned by London shipowner Robert Brooks. Left Sydney January 21, 1849. Arrived in San Francisco on April 2 (71 day passage), and the first of seven vessels to arrive in San Francisco from Sydney.

Agent: Robert Towns, master mariner.

Captain: Francis W. Lodge.
A few tons of cargo.
Cabin passage from Sydney to San Francisco in January cost 30 pounds and a steerage passage 10 pounds. Freight was taken on at 5 pounds per ton on weight or measurement. Upon arrival in San Francisco, her crew deserted, as was common then, and her captain used her along the Sacramento River as a grog shop and "hospital." She was moved to San Francisco and rented as a bonded storeship until March 1, 1850 for $700 per month. The captain complained that he had to pay his laborers "six dollars per day and three men do the work of one man."

52 passengers, including:
J.C. Catton, Clerk, Rowand, McNab and Company
Dr. Silver
Mr. Catten
Mr. John Longfield
Mr. & Mrs. Cronon
Mr. & Mrs. Lovell

Story Weather, Helmut Glassl.
Stormy Weather
Helmut Glassl

J. Mahood
R. Johnson
M. Josephson
W. Butterford
J. McKee
J. Wardell
C. McMillan
John Weir
John Shannon
E. Finch
J. Harrison
Joseph Holt, Jr.
W. Harding
W. Ward
G. Childs
Joseph Davies
John Davies
G. Adams
Simeon Raphael
James Fitzherbert
H. Priest
S. Barley
G. West
J. Jones
J. Bourke
A. Murray
A. McDonall
J. Wolfe
B. Slater


M. Barry
J. Realy
T. Coleman
G. Gurner
P. Murphy
Mr & Mrs Taylor and child

Eliza. Schooner, built in Australia, constructed by convicts at Port Arthur for the Government in 1834, purchased by a private merchant. Freight. No passengers.

Elizabeth, 22-ton schooner. Length 38'; beam 13'; depth 6'. Sailed from Auckland. Owned and commanded by William Talbot. 100 days from Auckland to San Francisco.

Elizabeth Archer, 338 ton barque built at Maryport in 1846. Master Charles Cobb. Left Sydney July 17, 1849; arrived October 6, (81 days) with 124 passengers.

Fame, 203 ton barque built 1815 in Quebec. Sailed from Sydney October 23, 1849, Master Joseph Bradley. Arrived San Francisco March 19 (147 days at sea), 15 passengers.

Flinders, 15-ton schooner. 1850 departure. 90 days to San Francisco. Flinders was the smallest vessel to leave Australia in 1850.

Georgiana, 25-ton cutter built in Sydney. Length: 40'; beam 13'; depth 7'4". Sailed from Sydney September 28, 1849. Arrived San Francisco 138 days later on February 13, 1849.
Captain Lawrence Johnson
One passenger: Harry Palmer, part-owner.

Harmony, 520 ship built at Whitby in 1809 sailed from Sydney on February 7, 1849. Captain John Smith Papps. Arrived San Francisco July 2, 1850 (145 days at sea) with 217 passengers.

Inchinnan, 565 ton barque built at Sunderland in 1844. Sailed from Sydney September 12, 1849, Master Henry Pearse. Arrived San Francisco December 1 (81 days) with 219 passengers.

Inez, 356 ton American ship, sailed for San Francisco February 18th 1849
Captain Jackson

Dr. Mayberley
Mr. J. A. Campbell
Mr. W. Harding
Mr. & Mrs. Turner
Mr. T. Smith
Mr. A. Remwick
Mr. C.S. Deacon
Mr. T. Lloyd
Mr. and Mrs. C A Morgan and two children
Mr. and Mrs. G. Appleton
Mr. H. Macpherson
Mr. A. Monegan
Mr. T. Foot
Messrs W & G Evans

John Munn, 638 ton barque. 1850 departure. 106 days from Sydney to San Francisco.

Lindsays, 219-ton barque. Sailed January 21, 1849. Arrived Honolulu April 23, sailed May 18, arrived San Francisco June 18, 1849 (148 days). Loaded with spirits, tobacco, rice, tea, coffee, suet, soups, split peas, lard, pork, tongues, grindstones, castor oil, corks, pipes, paint brushes, looking-glasses, boots, shoes, windowglass, nails, guns, paint, rope, copper, camp ovens, iron pots and candles. Three passengers. Upon arrival, she was condemned as unseaworthy and was beached to serve as a storeship.
Captain W. Mackenzie

Louisa, 307 ton barque, launched at Calcutta in 1834, recorded 68 days to San Francisco.

Louisa, 182-ton brig, built in Southtown, Suffolk, 1834. owned by John MacNamara. Captain W. N. Millton.
Sailed January 21, 1849 (another report indicates January 31, 1849). Arrived Honolulu April 14, sailed April 17. Arrived San Francisco May 7, 1849. Crew deserted upon reaching San Francisco. The captain had to pay wages of $150 per month to get enough men to sail her to Mazatlan to pick up passengers awaiting transport to San Francisco.
34 passengers:

Mr. J.H. Eccleston
Mr. S. Folk
Mr. J. Solomon
Mr. H. Jacobs
Mr. J. Lazarus
Mr. J. M’Eachern
Mr. R. M’Eachern
Mr. M. M’Laughlan
Mr. & Mrs. Caldwell and three children
Mr. Hogan
Mr. Downes
Mr. E. Byrnes
Mr. O. Murray
Mr. W. Butterfield
Mr. M. Gaunton
Messrs Stephens, Lindberg, Bocking, O’Neill, Fairy, Bingham, Wilson, Crawford, Frazer, H.J. Murray, J. Allman, Pergon, Sutton, and Cruickshank

Maria, 460 ton barque built at Yarmouth in 1846. Master Fred W. Plant. Sailed from Sydney, october 12, 1849, stopped at Honolulu December 17-December 22, arrived San Francisco January 15 (95 days at sea). 193 passengers

Phantom, 13-ton, single deck Cutter. Length 34'6", beam; 11'6"; depth 5'. Built at Sydney by Andrew William Reynolds in 1848 and owned by a Sydney landholder, George Pike. Sailed from Sydney Since she carried neither passengers nor cargo, she may have been sent to be sold once in port; however in June, it was reported in Sydney, Australia, that she had been seized by customs at San Francisco for a breach of port regulations. The outcome of the seizure has not been discovered, but she was sold shortly afterwards.

Plymouth, 86- ton schooner. First vessel to sail in a fleet of seven from Sydney. Left January 8, 1849, stopped at Tahiti, arrived in Honolulu on March 21. Remained in Honolulu for 21 days and sailed April 10, arrived San Francisco May 5, 1849 (117 days). Called at Tahiti and Honolulu enroute to San Francisco.
Captain George H. Gould; succeeded in command by First Officer J.F. Church.
No passengers reported.

Sabine, 175-ton American brig. Part-owner E. Kingsbury.
Sailed March 31, 1849 (another report indicates that the sailing was April 4, 1849). Arrived San Francisco in 88 days: July 1, 1849. On her return trip to Port Jackson, she was 61 days out from San Francisco. Her master, George W. Town, found it difficult to find five men in San Francisco to navigate her to Hawaii and had to pay $80 each for the run. At Honolulu, he was able to pick up a crew.
Master: George W. Town.
24 passengers.

Mr. E Kingsbury (Supercargo),
Mr. R. Sherman
Mr. M. Duchene
Mr. J. Donaldson
Captain Courtney
P. Gould
C. Sparke
A. Bicknell
J. Chapman
J. Simmons
A. Cameron
W. Shum
J. Mounton
J. Wright
J. Smith
J. Taylor
J. Morris
J. Hely
A. Gulland
G. Jones
W. Davis
H. Mark

Sea Gull, 62-ton schooner built by William and Samuel Charles, launched at Ultimo, Sydney, September 19, 1849. 66 feet long, 16.4 beam, 7 foot depth. She was coppered and copper-fastened with a spacious after cabin. Shares were held by Thomas Smith of Western Lea, Pyrmont. Sailed from Sydney on December 17, 1849 arrived San Francisco 105 days out from Sydney on April 1, 1850.
Captain R.H.A. Napper
Passengers numbered 21, including two aborigines.

Thomas Smith (with three sons)
George Smith.
G. Lumsdale
J. Lumsdale
A. Lumsdale
W. H. Howard

Seringapatam, 398 ton ship (another sources has her at 335 tons) built in Bombay in 1799, named after the 1798 victory by British troops over Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore, which finally gave the East India Company control over the south-west Indian state. Prior to sailing to America, she was continuously employed in sealing and whaling for 46 years (from 1801 to 1847). Sailed from Sydney on December 23, 1849, Captain Lovett. Arrived San Francisco March 18, 1850 (85 days at sea) with 158 passengers.

Star of China. 101-ton brigantine, built at the Manning River in 1843 by a Sydney shipwright, Robert Howie. 101 tons, 63.8 feet, beam 20 feet, depth 10.6 feet.
65 passengers.

Victoria, 589 ton barque built in Nova Scotia in 1848. Sailed from Sydney, N.S.W. on November 14, 1849, Captain John Carphin. Arrived Honolulu January 21, sailed January 16, arrived San Francisco February 18, (96 days at sea) with 272 passengers.

William Hill , 119-ton brig, built at the Clarence River, N.S.W., by William Phillips in 1847 for a Sydney merchant, Edward Smith Hill. Loaded with spirits, beer, tobacco, mustard, spades, saddlery, oil, paint, pickles, beef, butter, pork, wine and other articles, mostly in small quantities. 81 days to San Francisco. Sailed January 20, 1849. Arrived San Francisco April 18, 1849 (88 days at sea). She was unable to sell her cargo in San Francisco and sailed back to Tahiti with much of it intact.
Master: J. Macdonald.
52 passengers, including:

E.S. Hill
W. Hill

William Melville, 219 ton bark (British), built in Newport in 1844 left Tasmania March 30, 1849. Captain George Thomas. 116 days from Launceston, Tasmania. On May 13, 1850, sent a boat shore at Patersons' Group in search of water. The boat's crew were decoyed natives into the bushes on the pretense they would be shown water. They were attacked by a great number of natives. Two crewmen were killed: Francis Lacey of Hobart Town and Michael McSweeny of Ireland. Remainder of crew saved themselves by swimming off towards the ship and a boat sent to pick them up. Cargo: 110 opossum rugs, 1 horse (for Captain Thomas), 1 house for the Captain, flour, oats, rice, pickles, butter, bacon, medicine, tobacco, sugar, tea and onions.

Mrs. Thomas and Child
J. M. C. Brown
J. Poolwer
D. Ritchie
Robert Towart
Mr. Hodges
Mr. and Mrs. J. Smith
W. Mariner
W. Shepperd
W. Curlew
W. Mannington
D. Wilkins
F. Martin
O. Palmer
E. J. Beecraft
Mr. Lucey
Mr. Lipscombe
J. Love
Mr. Leary
D. McWaney
E. Coorley
J. Burke
T. Jenkins
R. Swain
Mr. and Mrs. French
S. Garasfork
T. Sharp
J. Crandon
D. C. O'Meara
R. Wood
R. Roberts
W. Crask

William Watson. 480-ton barque built in Dumbarton.
161 Passengers

Ship Passengers.

Brunel in South Wales.Brunel in South Wales:
Communications and Coal
New South Wales and Australia.
Stephen Jones

Brunel in South Wales:
Volume 3: Links with Leviathans
Brunel in South Wales.
Stephen Jones
Isambard Kingdom Brunel had strong associations with South Wales; chief engineer of the GWR at just 27, he was the same for the South Wales Railway Company, taking the railways across South Wales. This illustrated history focuses on Brunel's contribution to the maritime world, from his work on dry docks and shipping facilities to his steamships, including his 'great leviathan'.

The Fatal Shore
The Epic of Australia's Founding
Robert Hughes
Superbly researched and brilliantly written. The birth of Australia from England's brutal convict transportation system.

Charles Dickens' Australia.Charles Dickens' Australia.
Selected essays from Household Words 1850-1859
Book Two: Immigration
Margaret Mendelawitz
Starting as a court reporter, parliamentary newspaper columnist and theatre critic, he developed an instinct for injustice, humbug and charade. For 20 years he edited his own weekly journal, 'Household Words', later known as 'All the Year Round', publishing articles and stories designed to be interesting, entertaining, and educational. Dickens had a keen interest in Australia and fortuitously began publishing the periodical at a transitional moment, just before the heady days of the 1850s gold rush set the world ablaze. The discovery of gold drove a period of mass immigration, expansion into the hinterlands, and caused radical economic and social changes in an emerging nation. Of the nearly 3000 articles published in 'Household Words', some 100 related to Australia and have been collected in this anthology. Dickens saw Australia offering opportunities for England's poor and downtrodden to make a new start and a brighter future for themselves; optimism reflected in many of the articles.

A Merciless Place by Emma Christopher.A Merciless Place: The Fate of Britain's Convicts after the American RevolutionAustralia. A Merciless Place.
Emma Christopher
The fate of British convicts is a dramatic story-the saga of forgotten men and women scattered to the farthest corners of the British empire, driven by the American Revolution and the African slave trade. A Merciless Place captures the story of poverty, punishment, and transportation. The story begins with the American War of Independence which interrupted the flow of British convicts into America. Two entrepreneurs organized the criminals into military units to fight for the crown. The felon soldiers went to West Africa's slave-trading posts just as the war ended; these forts became the new destination for England's rapidly multiplying convicts. The move was a disaster. To end the scandal, the British government chose a new destination, as far away as possible: Australia.

Van Diemen's Land, New South Wales. Wyld. 1827

New South Wales. Map.

A Lady's Visit to the Gold Diggings of Australia in 1852-53. A Lady's Visit to the Gold Diggings of Australia in 1852-53A Lady's Visit to the Gold Digings of Australia in 1852-53.
Ellen Clacy
An 1853 account of a trip by Mrs Charles (Ellen) Clacy (1830-1901) to the Australian goldfields. Essentially a guide for prospective emigrants, with much practical advice within the narrative, this books sheds light on early Australian social history and hints at problems in the author's outwardly respectable life.

Among Australia's Pioneers
Chinese Indentured Pastoral Workers on the Northern Frontier 1848 to c.1880
Chinese Indentured Pastoral Workers, Australia, 1848 to 1880.
Margaret Slocomb
The almost simultaneous abolition of the slave trade and the cessation of convict transportation to the colony of New South Wales started a quest by the squatter pastoralists for alternative sources of cheap labor for their vast sheep runs. Over a period of five years, beginning from 1848, around three thousand Chinese men and boys from Fujian Province were recruited under conditions little different from the slave trade.Athor Margaret Slocomb focuses on the experiences of approximately two hundred of these Chinese laborers between 1848 and 1853.

True History of the Kelly GangTrue History of the Kelly Gang.
A Novel by Peter Carey

Winner of the 2001 Booker Prize.
Out of nineteenth-century Australia rides a hero of his people and a man for all nations, in this masterpiece by the Booker Prize-winning author of Oscar and Lucinda and Jack Maggs. Exhilarating, hilarious, panoramic, and immediately engrossing. This is Ned Kelly's true confession, in his own words and written on the run for an infant daughter he has never seen. To the authorities, this son of dirt-poor Irish immigrants was a born thief and, ultimately, a cold-blooded murderer; to most other Australians, he was a scapegoat and patriot persecuted by "English" landlords and their agents.With his brothers and two friends, Kelly eluded a massive police manhunt for twenty months, living by his wits and strong heart, supplementing his bushwhacking skills with ingenious bank robberies while enjoying the support of most everyone not in uniform.

Australia Sea Stories:
Fiction and Non-Fiction

Australian Mining Companies.
Australians: Eureka to the DiggersAusttralian Mining.
Author Thomas Keneally is a novelist, playwright, and nonfiction author who is best-known for the Booker Prize-winning novel Schindler's Ark, which was adapted into the movie Schindler's List. His other titles include the Penguin Lives biography Abraham Lincoln, American Scoundrel: The Life of the Notorious Civil War General Dan Sickles, and A Commonwealth of Thieves: The Improbable Birth of Australia.

Four Seasons of Mojo
An Herbal Guide to Natural Living
Stephanie Rose Bird
Useful ideas unrestricted by geographic borders, ethnicity, religion, or magical path. Included are recipes and concepts from the Caribbean, African American soul food, Buddhist Meditation practices, sacred Hindu rites, Old European traditions, Australian Aboriginal dreaming lessons, and Native American wisdom. "Four Seasons of Mojo" infuses ancient techniques, rituals, and methods from around the world to use each season''s inherent energies to supplement body, mind, and soul.

A Selection of Books about
Australian Mining Companies
Australian Mining Companies.

Australian Mining.
The Gold Rush
The Fever That Forever Changed Australia
Australian Mining.
David Hill
Australia's incredible gold rushes of the mid-to late-1800s produced tremendous wealth and ensured the financial survival of the struggling Australian colonies. They also tripled the country's small population, halted convict transportation, subverted the hierarchical British class system, laid the foundations of the Australian egalitarian ethos, and stimulated the democratic ideas that led to the establishment of the nation of Australia. David Hill recreates this monumental turning point in Australia's history using diaries, journals, books, letters, official reports, Parliamentary enquiries, and newspaper reports of the time, along with his own storyteller's skill of bringing the past to life from New South Wales and Victoria, up to Queensland and the Northern Territory, then down to Tasmania and across the great deserts of Western Australia.

The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.



Kindly Kindly support our work.


DALevy @ MaritimeHeritage.org
164 Robles Way
Suite 237
Vallejo, California
94591 ~ U.S.A.


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.

Please inform us if you link from your site. Please do NOT link from your site unless your site specifically relates to immigration in the 1800s, family history, maritime history, international seaports, and/or California history.