Home Port ° 2017 ~ 2018 Ongoing Updates

Clipper Ships and Windjammers

Clipperships in San Francisco.

Clipper Ships and Windjammers

Details and Images of Clipper Ships
° A to D ° E to G ° H to N ° O to R ° S ° T to Z

November 2014: Pages have been split alphabetically to enable faster loading.
Lists are incomplete; information is added as located and as time permits

West Coast Clippers (Built in San Francisco)

Annals of San Francisco 1852: Clipper ships

The Deep Sea Derby, 1852

The Fleet of 1857

Clipper Ships at San Francisco: T to Z

Clipper Ships at San Francisco
Thermopylae (tea clipper)
Thomas Watson
Three Brothers
Trade Wind
Westward Ho
White Swallow
Wild Duck
Wild Pigeon
Wild Ranger
William Mason
Winged Arrow
Winged Racer
Young America


Cleared from New York to California between January-December, 1851: Telegraph. 1068 tons.


Thermopylae was one of a series of vessels built by Walter Hood for the Aberdeen White Star Line and designed by Bernard Weymouth.

Aberdeen Herald, 22 August 1868:

"LAUNCH - There was launched, on Wednesday, from the shipbuilding-yard of Messrs. Walter Hood & Co. a composite ship of 1300 tons, owned by Messrs. George Thompson & Co., and commanded by Captain Edward, late of the Ethiopian. The ship, which was christened "The Thermopylae" by Mrs Hardy Robinson of Denmore, has been throughout constructed after the most approved principles, built of the most durable materials, and classed in the highest range of character at Lloyds. She is intended for the London and China trade."

All of George Thompson's Aberdeen White Star Line vessels were noted for their handsome appearance; green hull, gilded scroll work and white masts, yards and bowsprit. The Thermopylaehad a white and gold figurehead of the Greek hero Leonidas, the King of Sparta.

During her early career, she was presented with a statue of a golden cockerel, which was placed atop her main trunk, only to be stolen one night and discovered the next day at the top of her rival, the Taeping's main mast and restored to its rightful owner.

On her maiden voyage, Thermopylae sailed to Melbourne in just 60 days, pilot to pilot, via Shanghai and Foochow, breaking records on each leg of the journey - only steamers had previously matched such speeds.

In the 1890s, after more than two decades as a China tea clipper and then an Australian wool clipper, she was sold by her Aberdeen owners to a Canadian company. She was put on the rice and timber carrying trade between Rangoon and Vancouver. Despite shortened masts and being cut down to a barque rig in July 1893 and her crew reduced from 35 to 20 men, she continued to make speedy passages. On one occasion she crossed the Pacific in 29 days, a world record at that time.

In 1897 she was sold to the Portuguese Navy as a training ship and renamed Pedro Nunes, after a 16th century Portuguese mathematician and geographer. The vessel was converted to a coal hulk and finally sunk by gunfire as target practice on 13th October 1907.

Thomas Watson

March 7, 1852, Daily Alta California, San Francisco:
Arrived, March 6--Clipper ship Thomas Watson, Lyle, 113 days from Philadelphia. Mdse to J. B. Thomas.

Three Brothers

Clipper ship Three Brothers was built by Commodore Vanderbilt at a cost of $1 million and launched as the Vanderbilt, a side wheel paddle steamer, for transatlantic passenger service. During the Civil War, she was taken over by the Union Navy, which used her as a cruiser to hunt for Confederate commerce raiders and blockade runners. In 1873, after the war, the Navy sold her to George Howes & Brothers of San Francisco for $42,000. They took the machinery out and sold it for more than they paid for the steamer, and taking off her paddles made her into a three-masted ship, naming her the Three Brothers, after George, Henry and Jabez Howes.

Her first trip out of the Golden Gate was in October, 1873, Captain Cummings in command. Her cargo consisted of over 5000 tons of wheat, and every vessel in port was decorated in honor of her departure. Marine Artist W. A. Coulter's picture of the scene is at the Merchants Exchange. She was known as a fast and handy ship. She was scrapped in 1899.


February 21, 1851, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

Marine Affairs

Launched At East Boston, Mass., on the 21st of December, a superior ship of 1320 tons, called theTornado, owned by Daniel C. Bacon, Esq., and others. She is intended for the California trade, to be commanded by Capt. Hollis, late of the ship Somerset. This is the ship which it was at first intended should be called the Game Cock.

Cleared from New York to California between January-December, 1851: Tornado, 1802 tons

Trade Wind

The Trade Wind was built by Jacob Bell in 1851 and owned by Messrs. Booth and Edgar, and Messrs Wm. Platt & Son of Philadelphia. She made three round voyages to San Francisco, the first two from New York in 121 and 102 days and the third from Philadelphia in125 days.

August 23, 1851, The Daily Orleanian

LARGEST MERCHANT SHIP IN THE WORLD -- The new clipper ship, Trade Wind, was recently launched from the foot of Houston street, New York. The Trade Wind is the largest merchant vessel ever launched; her length is 235 feet keel, 265 feet over all (English measure,) 43 feet breadth of beam, 23 feet hold.

Shipping Intelligence

Feb. 1--Clipper Ship Trade Wind, W. H. Osgood, 121 days from New York; mdse to order, 1 passenger.

Spoken per Trade Wind -- December 3d, off Cape Horn, barque Sarah L. Ross, standing eastward.


The Trade Wind is a magnificent ship, of the following dimensions: Length, 244 feet; breadth of beam, 43 feet; depth of hold, 23 feet. She has a round stern and billet head. She is 2029 tons, and has on board 2800 tons measurement goods. She was 60 days to Cape Horn, 16 days off the Cape in heavy gales, and 18 days from the line to this port. Her greatest day's run on the passage was 293 miles She has had a pilot on board for two days, and has been off the harbor with light weather four days. She came to anchor inside of Fort Point.

The Trade Wind was repainted after discharging her freight and ready for a trip to Panama.

March 5, 1852, Daily Alta California
The clipper ship Trade Wind was at anchor opposite the outer Telegraph at sundown last evening. We learn the steamer Sea Bird went to her to tow her out clear of the heads. Clipper ship Trade Wind, Osgood, sailed for Panama.

June 26, 1854: Ships Trade Wind and Olympus came in collision at 11 o'clock, resulting in the loss of both ships and 24 lives.


November 19, 1851, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.

Our harbor was yesterday graced with the arrival of three beautiful clipper ships from the Atlantic States: the Syren, Capt. Silsbee, 141 days from Boson; the Eagle, Capt Farran, 128 days, and theTyphoon, Capt Salter, 107 days from New York. Passengers per Typhoon from New York: Rev. S. D. Gager, Missionary, Mrs. Gager and two children, for Oregon; Michael Spencer.

Westward Ho

In the port of San Francisco around January 31, 1853. Johnson, 163 days from Boston; mdse to Flint, Peabody & Co.

April 2, 1857, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California

COURT PROCEEDINGS -- April 1, 1857

BEFORE U.S. COMMISSIONER Monroe -- The crew of the clipper ship Westward Ho was up before Mr. Commissioner Monroe to-day, on a charge of desertion. They alleged, in defence, that they had signed shipping articles in New York city for the passage to this port, and that a few hours before the ship sailed they were required to sign other articles which they were not permitted to read; that, in the first articles, they only agreed to come as far as San Francisco; but in the second, it was agreed that they should stay by the ship for fifteen months. They say that their signatures to the second articles were obtained from them by fraud, the officers of the vessel alleging that the former ones were lost, and that the second were in all respects similar to the first. They also allege cruel treatment by the Captain and mates, and produce in evidence of this charge a boy who bears all the marks of ill-treatment, which they allege he received from the officers of the ship.

Mr. Turk appears for the seamen; Mr. Cook and Mr. Manchester, for the officers.

Mr. Commissioner decided that those who had signed the first and second articles should be discharged. Seven of the men were accordingly discharged. Four remain in custody on board the revenue cutter, and eleven are in the station-house awaiting the Commissioner's further action.


June 13, 1854, Daily Alta California, San Francisco
Clipper Ship Whirlwind, Burgess, 128 days from New York, with merchandise, to Wm. T. Coleman & Co.

White Swallow

Click for Additional Arrivals, Departures, News of White Swallow

Extreme clipper arrived in San Francisco on October 24, 1853, Captain Lovett, 149 days from Boston. In 1858, Samuel Gardner Wilder chartered White Swallow to carry the first cargo of guano to New York from Jarvis Island.

On February 6, 1866, the Sacramento Daily Union reported: The trial of the crew of the White Swallow on the charge of mutiny, in the United States District Court, is progressing, but will not be finished for several days. The testimony of the officers is positive as to the mutiny, but there are pretty strong indications of the fact that the scenes enacted on the Great Republic were repeated on the White Swallow before the crew rose and took possession of the vessel. On February 9, 1866, the Sacramento Daily Union reported that "the trial of one of the mutineers is progressing. It is the general opinion he will be acquitted and further prosecutions abandoned."

White Swallow's sailings include:

  • October 27, 1853: Clipper ship White Swallow, Lovett, 149 days from Boson with merchandise to Flint, Peabody & Co. 11 passengers. (From the Sacramento Daily Union, November 29, 1853)
    Received per White Swallow November 29, 1853 ad.
  • August 18, 1855, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California: Foreign Ports: Sailed May 29, American ship White Swallow, Gore, Hong Kong.
  • August 7, 1860, White Swallow arrived San Francisco 110 days from New York.
  • May 14, 1863: Ship White Swallow, cleared San Francisco for Howland's Island, in ballast.
  • July 12, 1864: Arrived San Francisco, ship White Swallow, 184 days from New York.
  • August 23, 1864, Daily Alta California: Ship White Swallow, outward bound, has anchored of Meiggs Wharf.
  • May 27, 1867, Daily Alta California. Consignees per White Swallow:
    White Swallow in San Francisco 27 May 1867.
  • December 2, 1868, White Swallow, Captain Knowles, cleared Hong Kong with cargo for Koopmanschap & Co.

Wild Duck

July 8, 1853, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

Shipping Intelligence

The Clipper Ship Wild Duck is loading at New York for San Francisco. She was built by Mr. Geo. Raynes, of Portsmouth. N. H and is well worthy the fame already acquired by Mr. R. for producing first class clippers. Her extreme length is 175 feet; breadth 34.6 feet; depth 20 feet; and she registers 860 59 95 tons. She is a sharp vessel and has great storage capacity for her class, and has been built in the best style of the art. Her timbers are heavy and all thoroughly bolted and fastened in the best manner. Her head has for an ornament a handsome figure of an eagle on the wing, and the stern, which is of a round form, is adorned with the figure of a sporting dog and some gilt scroll work. Her model is very handsome, and somewhat resembles that of the clipper Wild Pigeon, also built by Mr. Raynes. Her accommodations for passengers are very good, and she is fitted with all the modern aids for working ship, etc., that ingenuity has invented. She is loading in Mr. John Ogden's Pioneer Line. Her Commander is Capt. A.J. Hamilton, late of the Laconia, a very experienced navigator, and will no doubt make a very quick passage.

At New York, same date, the rates were steady, and but five full built vessels loading . . . The Wild Duck has some measurement goods at 50c, and 500 bbls flour at $2.75.

Wild Duck in San Francisco November 15, 1853.November 15, 1853, Daily Alta California, San Francisco


November 14--Clipper Ship Wild Duck, Hamilton, 130 days from N York; mdse to Hussey, Bond & Hale.


Per Wild Duck -- July 13, lat 36 lon 42, ship Arab, from Boston for this port. July 20th, lat 10N, bq Kremlin, 28 days from Boston for Honolulu.


Per Wild Duck -- Made the run from new York to Cape Horn in 65 days, where we encountered violent gales for 12 days, and have had light weather most of the time since. Crossed the equator Oct 20th, lon 115, and had light winds and calms. Have had skysails set for the last 40 days, and been within 800 miles of this port for 6 days.


Per Wild Duck - Hussey, Bond & Hale, Austin & Lobdell, J. D. Andrews, J. R. Louis, J. Atwill & Co, Cook Bro & Co, Case, Heiser & Co, Henricksen, Renike & Co, Main & Winchester, W S Coleman & Co, A Jacobi, Atwill & Co, G Howes & Co, Wm H White, W Hubbard & Co, G B Post & Co, Wells, Fargo & Co, Turnbull & Walton, Crocker & Bros, Gibbs & Co, Quereau & Johnson, Segrist & Bro, J Patrick, Forsyth & Reeves, O. R. Wade, Stoutenburg, Lambert & Co, C P Brisbane, L B Gostorf, W Steinhardt & Co, E Rosenbaum, A Bartol, Wood & West, and order.

Consignee Notices

Ship Wild Duck, A.G. Hamilton, master, from New York, will commence discharging this day (November 15th), at Long Wharf.

Consignees are hereby notified to call at our office, pay freight, and receive orders for their goods, without delay.

All merchandise, when landed on the wharf, will be at the risk of the owners, and all remaining on the wharf after 4 P.M. will be stored at their risk and expense.


SUGAR-Sales of 100 bbls East Boston. Crushed at 13c; 200 do do, ex Wild Duck.

SYRUPS-200 hf bbls New York, ex Wild Duck, sold at 80c; 200 bbls Stuart's Molasses, per same vessel, sold previous to arrival at 60c.

Wild Pigeon

Cleared from New York to California between January-December, 1851: Wild Pigeon. 996 tons.

Wild Ranger

Received per White Swallow November 29, 1853 ad.


The Willets, Captain Gates, arrived at San Francisco July 27, 1859, 111 days from New York. From San Francisco she went to the Sandwich Islands, thence to New Bedford, where she arrived March 2, 1860, making the fast passage of 87 days. At New York, Captain Barrett took her and was 163 days to San Francisco, thence 111 days back to New York, arriving Feb. 11, 1861. She then went out to China under Captain Henderson. She arrived at New York February 9, 1863, under command of Captain Williams, 96 days from Whampoa. Sailed from New York April 1, 1863, went to Shanghai and was sold there.

William Mason


November 3, 1853, Daily Alta California, San Francisco
Arrived. November 3--Clipper ship Windward, Whiting. 150 days from new York; mdse to Flint, Peabody & Co.

Winged Arrow

August 2, 1852, The Boston Daily Atlas, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

The New Clipper Ship Winged Arrow.

This is another of that beautiful class of vessels known as the medium between the extreme sharp and the packet model, and is as fine a combination of speed with good stowage capacity as we have inspected. She is 170 feet long on the keel, 6 feet longer between perpendiculars on deck, and 183 feet from the knight-heads to the taffrail. Her extreme breadth of beam is 36 feet, depth 22 feet, including 8 feet height of between-decks, and she will register about 1050 tons. Her dead rise at half-floor is 20 inches, rounding of sides 6, and sheer 2 feet 2 inches.

Her lines are rounded, and, as may be seen by her fore rake, her stem is nearly upright; but her sheer is carried boldly forward, which, combined with as easy and graceful flare, given her a beautiful bow. A large gilded flying dragon displays his length along the trailboards, and grins, with outspread wings, a flying arrow issuing from his mouth, and forms the termination of the head. The moulding of the planksheer forms the lower outline of the head boards, and makes a neat finish in the rear of the head. She has a narrow waist of three strakes, defined between the mouldings of the upper of the wale and the planksheer. Her stern swells boldly from the quarter timbers across, and from the arch bard to the rail, and is ornamented with gilded carved work, emblematic of her name. Instead of stern windows, she has patent circular air ports, with plate-glass lights. She is sheathed with yellow metal up to 17 feet forward, and a foot higher aft, and is painted black above. Inside she is painted buff color, relieved with white; has mahogany gangway board, and mahogany monkey rail stanchions, bright and varnished. Her deck-room is spacious, and well designed for working ship. The whole height of the bulwarks, including the monkey rail, is 5 feet, and she has a large house amidships, fitted for the crew, the galley, &c. She has also moveable houses over the hatchways, and a temporary house on the quarter deck, for a store-room and sail-room. Her cabin is under a half poop deck, with a house in front. This house contains two state-rooms for the officers, and also forms an ante-room to the cabin below. The cabin contains seven spacious state-rooms, and is wainscotted with plain branch mahogany, set off with pilasters, cornices, gilded mouldings, &c., and is furnished and fitted up with taste and skill. The tables, sofas, settees, &c., are all that could be desired, for neatness or comfort. The means of light and ventilation are of the best kind, in every state-room and the cabin. While speaking of ventilation, we may state that she has air ports below, ventilators along her covering board and in her bitts, and "Emerson's corresponding patent ventilators" fore and aft, communicating with the between decks and the hold.

She is well built of good materials. Her frame is of white oak, and her frames, ceiling, &c., of hard pine. Her keel is 16 by 30 inches, floor timbers in the throats, 16 by 12, and she has three depths of keelsons, the lower two 16 inches square, and the upper one only two inches less, the whole bolted with 1 copper and iron, the copper driven through, every floor timber and the keel, and riveted. Her floor ceiling is 4 inches thick, and over the floor heads the work is 10 inches thick, graduated to 7 inches within 5 feet of the deck, where there is a massive stringer of 10 by 14 inches, upon which the lower ends of the hanging knees rest. The clamps are 7 inches thick, and all her thick work is scarphed and square fastened, and extends the whole length of the vessel. The between decks waterways are 15 by 16 inches, with two strakes of 8 by 13 inches over them, and one of 8 by 12 inside of them, let into the beams, bolted through them and horizontally through all. The thick work above is square fastened and bolted vertically into the waterways. The ceiling above varies from 5 to 6 inches.

The upper deck waterways are 10 by 12, and the main rail and planksheer are each 6 inches, with stout oak stanchions, bolted in the usual style. The decks are 3 inches thick. All the knees, hooks, pointers and stanchions in the hold are of oak, and she has 8 hooks forward and 5 aft. The lower deck beams are 16 inches square, and those under the upper deck are 15 by 10, and the hold stanchions are 11 inches square, kneed in the wake of the hatchways, and clasped with iron elsewhere. The between decks stanchions are turned and secured with iron rods in the usual style. The lower deck hanging knees are of oak, with 15 bolts and 4 spikes in each, have 3 feet 3 inches arms, 5 feet 2 inches bodies, are sided from 9 to 12 inches, and are moulded 22 inches in the throats. The between decks knees are of nearly the same dimensions, but have two or three more bolts through them. The lodging knees meet and scarph in every berth. She has 5 transoms, the main one of which is 18 inches square, with stout transom knees. Her cutwater stem, apron, stern and rudder post are all very stout, and are bolted with copper up to the load displacement line, and above there with iron. Her garboards are seven inches thick, the bottom planking four, and her wales five by seven, square fastened with threenails, and butt and bilge-bolted with copper. She is seasoned with salt, and, as already stated, is most thoroughly ventilated.

She is a full rigged ship, has made fore and mainmasts, yellow pine topmasts and jib booms, and pole topgallant and royal masts, also sports a main skysail yard, rigged aloft. Her lower masts are white, her bowsprit and yards black, and her booms bright. She has all the iron work now in general use, about her masts, yards, bowsprit, and jibboom. Her mast heads are crowned with gilded balls, and altogether aloft she appears majestically beautiful. Her lower masts, commencing with the fore, are 74, 80, and 70 feet long; topmasts 42, 44, and 32; bowsprit outboard 26 feet; jibboom 18 feet; lower yards 66, 73 and 53; topsail yards 53, 59, and 42 feet, and the other spars in proportion. Importations per Winged Arrow February 9, 1855.In her outfits, such as ground tackle, windlass, capstans, boats, steering apparatus, &c, she is most substantially found. She was built at South Boston by Messrs. E. & H.O. Briggs, well known as the builders of the Southern Cross, and other fine ships, and she is not only well built, but beautifully finished. Mr. J.W. Mason ornamented her, Blanchard & Caldwell made her spars, and Capt. Brewster rigged her. Messrs. Baker & Morill own her, and she is now loading in Messrs. Glidden & Williams's line of San Francisco packets, and will sail of the 5th of August. A better or more beautiful vessel of her class has not yet been produced in this vicinity.

February 9: Daily Alta California.Clipper ship Winged Arrow, Bearse, 115 days from Boston. Mdse to Flint, Peabody & Co.

Memoranda Per Winged Arrow: Was 12 days off Cape Horn in heavy gales; made the run from 50 degrees in the Pacific to within one day's sail of San Francisco in 34 days; has been becalmed for the last six days; crossed the equator in 118 degree 30'; made the passage in 115 days; was in company with the clipper shipPampero from New York for San Francisco for three days.

Daily Alta California, February 21, 1855: Consignee Notices: Ship Winged Arrow from Boston. All claims against this ship must be presented on or before Saturday, Feb. 17th, or they will not be allowed. Flint, Peabody & Co.

Winged Racer

The Capture of the Amanda and Winged Racer.

BATAVIA, November 14th. 1863. 0n the morning of the 12th instant the officers and crew of the American ship Amanda (660 tons register) arrived here at the United States Consulate, reporting that on the night of Friday, the 6th instant, one hundred and twenty miles south south-west of Java Head, in the Indian Ocean, the Amanda was burned by the so-called Confederate steamerAlabama, Semmes commander. She had on board a full cargo of sugar and hemp shipped by Messrs. Ker & Co. of Manila and bound to Queenstown. Clipper ships.Ships, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports. After the crew of theAmanda were taken on board the Alabama the vessel was burned, and theAlabama steered for Sunda Straits, where she arrived at night-time and anchored close under the coast of Sumatra. When there, she was informed by a Dutch vessel lying at anchor, that the U. S. Steamer Wyoming was at Batavia, upon which she steamed on, always keeping close to the Sumatra coast, and finally running out of Sunda Straits, stood in near North Island on the 10th, and at 5 p.m. signalized the American clippership Winged Racer (770 tons register, Cummins, commander, which was owned by Robert L. Taylor. Esq., of New York, and had on board a full cargo of sugar and hemp, bound from Manila to New York, shipped by Messrs. Peele, Hubble, & Co. After distributing, her crew in three of the ship's boats, they were permitted to take such clothing, provisions and water as they wanted and the boats could carry, and the ship was burnt. Captain Cummins, who had his wife and child, went on board the British ship Julia bound from Shanghai to London, then at anchor not far off, and they were landed at Anjer. The Alabamathen put the crew of the Amanda into a boat in which they arrived at Batavia.

The Winged Racer sunk at half-past eight. When the Alabama was last seen she was steering far the northward. The U.S. steamer Wyoming left Batavia, on the morning of the 8th inst., for a cruise, having been detained at Batavia in order to repair her machinery. The Amanda was the first vessel destroyed by the Alabama since she left Cape Town.

By later telegram, the Alabama was cruising between North Island and Nicholas Point. The Wyoming had gone on a cruise to Christmas Island, supposed to be a coaling station for rebel steamers.

From the Java Times, November 13th.


Cleared New York for California between January-December 1851

January 20, 1851, Boston Daily Altas, Boston, Massachusetts

This another of that splendid class of ships which the growing trade to California has called into existence; and like the others, has been designed specially for speed, without particular reference to stowage capacity. But in the outline of her model, she bears little resemblance to any of the others we have described. Indeed, all the clippers embody the various ideas of speed, entertained by their several designers, and as "no two men think alike," neither do any of the clippers resemble the others in their particular details. The Witchcraft has all the airy grace of a clipper, combined with the imposing solidity of a ship of war. There is something substantial about her appearance, both inside and out. She is 180 feet long on the keel, 185 between perpendiculars, and 193 feet over all, from the knight heads to the taffrail -- has 39 feet 4 inches extreme breadth of beam, 22 feet depth of hold, and registers 1310 51 95ths tons. Her depth of keel, clear of the garboards, is 29 inches, dead rise at half floor 35 inches, swell or rounding of sides 6 inches, and sheer 2 feet.

Her keel is of rock maple in two depths, sided 15 inches and moulded 3 feet; the floor timbers are sided from 11 to 12, and moulded 17 inches, and she has two keelsons, each 16 inches square. The floor timbers are bolted alternately through the keel, and through the first keelson and the keel, with 1 inch copper, driven through and riveted; and the upper keelson is bolted with iron, of the same size as the copper, through every navel timber down blunt into the keel. She has two sister keelsons 12 inches square, cross bolted in the usual style. The ceiling on the floor is 4 inches thick, and commencing well down below the floor heads, and extending over them, she has 4 strakes of 12 by 14 inches, the lower strake of oak, and are all scarphed and square fastened with inch iron, and extend the whole length of the vessel. Above these there are four strakes of 10 by 12 inches, secured in the same style with 7/8ths of an inch fastening. The ceiling above, up to the deck, is 6 by 12 inches. From the commencement of the thick work in the hold up to the upper deck, she is all square fastened, and her fastening varies from 1 inch to 7/8ths of an inch. Her cutwater, stem, apron, stern post, stern knee, &c., are all bolted with copper up to her load displacement line. Her beams are of Southern pine, those in the hold are 16 inches square, and those in the between-decks 10 by 16. The hanging and lodging knees in the hold are of oak, and those in the body of the vessel, under the beams, have 6 feet bodies, and 4 feet arms, -- are sided 12 inches, and moulded about 23 inches in the angles, and have 18 bolts and 4 spikes in each. Of course towards the ends they vary in size, but still they are very stout. The knees in the between decks are of hacmatack, and vary little in dimensions or fastening from those below. Her hold stanchions are of oak, and vary from 12 inches to 10 inches square, and are kneed to the beams above and to the keelson below. In the between-decks they are of oak, 9 inches in diameter, turned and secured with iron rods through their centres. She has 7 hooks forward, and 5 aft, including the deck hooks; and in each end two of the hooks cross the cants diagonally, and connect with the beams. She has also pointers forward and aft.

The between decks are 7 feet 8 inches high, and their waterways are 15 inches square, the strake inside of them 9 by 12, dovetailed over the beams, and the strake over them 10 by 15. All these strakes and the waterways are cross-bolted, vertically and horizontally, and seem firm enough to last forever. The ceiling up to the deck is 6 by 11 inches, and the planking of both decks is 3 inches thick.

The upper deck waterways are 12 inches square, with two thick strakes inside of them, let down over the beams, and these and the waterways are cross bolted. Her bulwarks are 4 feet high, surmounted by a monkey rail of 20 inches, and her bulwark stanchions are of oak, very close together, and are well fastened.

Her garboards are 7 inches thick, the next plank 6, the third 5 which is graduated to 4 , the substance of her bottom. The garboards are cross bolted through the keel, and up through the floor timbers and the ceiling, and riveted, and the others are all square fastened. The treenails through them are of locust, and the bolts copper. Her wales are 5 by 6 , and extend up to within 18 inches of her planksheer. She has three narrow strakes of waist, which are defined by a moulding of the upper wale. Her planksheer, or covering board, and the main rail are each 6 inches thick, and are moulded outside and inside.

The frame is of seasoned white oak, and her scantling and deck frames of hard pine, and besides being thoroughly copper fastened, many of her treenails are of locust. In materials and fastening, she is certainly one of the best vessels of her class afloat. Her frame is seasoned with salt, and she has brass ventilators along the line of her planksheer, and all her bits. Besides these ordinary means of ventilation, she has two of Emerson's patent ventilators forward, and one upon the quarter deck, the last of polished brass. One of those forward draws up a column of air from the bottom of the hold, through a flue of ten inches in diameter, and the other an equal column from the between decks, while that upon the quarter deck blows down a column into the between decks. They are all constructed so as to exclude water, and will be kept in operation in all weathers. In seasoning and ventilation, she is as complete as a ship need be.

In model she is very sharp forward and aft, but has rounded lines. The whole rake of her stern is 5 feet; her sternpost is upright, and her stern curvilinear. Opposite the sternpost, over all, she is 27 feet wide, and her stern on deck extends 8 feet from the post. It is in depth about three feet below the line of the planksheer, and somewhat resembles the round sterns of ships of war. It is bold and massive in its outline, is ornamented with a huge serpent, which is represented in the act of uncoiling himself for a march.

Her head is long and rakish, and is ornamented with a tiger, represented crouched, ready for a spring. Along the trailboards and around the hawse-holes are ornamented with carved branches, which, together with her other ornamental work, are tastefully bronzed. The lines of her planksheer and main rail are carried forward in unbroken sweep, until they terminate in the head. Outside she is painted black from the copper to the rail, and inside buff color, relieved with white. She is coppered up to 17 feet forward, and to 18 feet aft.

On deck she has a small topgallant forecastle, the height of the main rail, with a capstan on it, and has in its after wings two water closets for the use of the crew.

The sailors' accommodations are below forward, and are beautifully fitted up, well lighted and ventilated. Her long boat, galley, &c., are secured amidships before the main hatchway, and as she has no houses amidships, but what range with the boat, her decks forward are very roomy. She has patent pumps, and abaft the mainmast a square iron tank her whole depth, capable of holding 4000 gallons of water. On the quarter deck she has a beautiful capstan; also four lever winches, two on each side, one forward and the other aft. Her windlass is a powerful machine and is strongly secured, and the chain lockers are in the between decks near the foremast.

She has a half-poop deck 45 feet long, and the height of the main rail. In its front, and partly overlapping it, is a house of 10 by 20 feet, and 7 feet high. This house forms a protection to the entrance of the cabin. The great cabin aft has eight state-rooms and two water-closets, and is splendidly finished with mahogany wainscotting and cornices, relieved with highly polished, dark wood pilasters, edged with gilding, and having imitation marble pedestals and capitals, edged with gilding. The transom is fitted as a sofa, and all the cabin furniture is of the choicest kind, tastefully arranged. For every state-room there is a deck and side-light, and over the cabin a large skylight. The forward cabin contains the pantry, and state-rooms for the officers, and is neatly painted and grained. Her accommodations throughout, forward and aft, reflect great credit on the liberality of her owners.

She has a patent steering apparatus, and is will found in boats and ground tackle, and has a liberal supply of stores. She is a full-rigged ship, and her masts rake, commencing with the fore, 1, 1 and 1 inches to the foot.

The clipper ship Witchcraft, built in 1850 for the California and China trade, arrived in San Francisco 44 days from Hong Kong, Captain Rogers, on May 17, 1852. Merchandise to Macondray & Co. 344 passengers: C. Woodbury and servant, B. C. Howard and 342 Chinamen in steerage; 8 died on the passage. On July 8, 1853, Witchcraft, Captain Dudley, arrived in 110 days from New York. Merchandise to Querreau & Johnson.

Messrs. Richard S. Rogers and W.D. Pickman, of Salem, own her, and intend her for the California and China trade. She is the largest vessel belonging to Salem, and one of the best and most beautiful that wears the stripes and stars. She is now at New York, and will there load for California. Success to her.

For her dimensions, refer to the Boston Daily Atlas of January 20, 1851, or Lars Bruzelius' site.


December 20, 1853, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California

Clipper ship Wizard, Slate, 146 days from New York via Rio Janeiro, 64 days. Mdse to C. Minturn. Spoken per Wizard: Oct 31st, lat 52 26, lon 74 W, Br clipper ship Pioneer, 56 days from Liverpool to Valparaiso, November 2d, lat 53 35 S, long 81 W, clipper ship Golden Racer, bound E. 
: Per Wizard: The Wizard was obliged to put into Rio Janeiro for a new bowsprit, having carried it away in a heavy gale. Left at Rio clipper ship Water Witch, Plummer, from Boston for this port. She was leaking badly, and would have to discharge all her cargo. The Wizard was off Cape Horn 3 days; crossed the Equator November 20th, long 116; most of the time have had light winds and calms until within the last 10 days, during which time have been beating to the northward in a heavy gale. Have been within 500 miles of this port for the last 10 days. The Wizardhas anchored off North Beach.

July 23, 1859, Daily Alta California
For Hongkong, Direct: To sail on the 15th instant. 

The A 1 Clipper Ship Wizard, J. G. Woodside Commander.

For Freight or Passage apply on board at Pacific street wharf, or to 
DeWitt, Kittle & Co.

Young America

Three Centuries of Seafaring: The Maritime Art of Paul HeeThe Maritime Art of Paul Hee.
Rick Carroll, Marcie Carroll (Authors/Editors)

Three Centuries of Seafaring. The Maritime Art of Paul Hee.

The Young America was built by William H. Webb of New York. She was launched in 1853, at the height of the clipper construction boom. She sailed in the California trade, on transatlantic routes, and made voyages to Australia and the Far East.

October 21, 1854, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California
Young America, Captain Babcock, arrived in San Francisco 110 days from New York. Merchandise to D. L. Ross & Co. Young America is anchored off Shaw's wharf.

Importations per Young America 1854.

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.