Very Important Passengers

San Francisco Gold Rush 1849.

Bell, Norris and Co.

I am searching for any information on Joseph Perkins Norris who came around the horn in 1849. He was involved in ship building and lived in Boston in 1846 (Norris, Joseph P., shipwright, house rear Sumner, near Border).

He returned to Boston by way of New York in 1851 and brought his wife and two young sons back to San Francisco by way of the Isthmus.

In 1854 he is listed as a partner in Bell and Norris, Shipwrights, in the San Francisco directory.

He was drowned or lost at sea in 1854 or 1855.

His widow married a partner by the name of Morgan and she died in 1859 leaving 9 and 11 year old sons as orphans. He might have been involved with Theophilus Norris who was a relative and listed in the 1850 San Francisco Directory.

LeCount & Strong's San Francisco City Directory for the year ending 1854

Joseph P. NorrisĀ 
Firm: Bell, Norris & Co. Shipwrights. Clay below Drum.

August 1, 1853, Daily Alta California, San Francisco

News of the City of San Francisco

The shipwrights and caulkers have struck for an increase of wages from $8 to $10 per day, and have succeeded, $10 being the wages now.

September 27, 1899, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California


Trouble Over the Reduction of Wages at Mare Island.

Mare Island Naval Shipyard.

VALLEJO, September 26. lt was reported at Mare Island today that word has been received by the Shipwrights' Association of this city that the wages of shipwrights at Mare Island must stand as reduced at $4.25 a day instead of $4.80, as formerly. It is also reported that the shipwrights have concluded to strike at the navyyard if the wages are not restored to the former schedule by the 1st of October.

Naval Order of the United States.

The Naval Order of the United States The Naval Order of the United States. has a history dating from 1890. Membership includes a wide range of individuals, many with highly distinguished career paths. When it was established, the Founders provided "that any male person above the age of eighteen years who either served himself, was still presently serving, or was descended from an officer or enlisted man who served in any of the wars which the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, or Revenue or Privateer services was engaged was eligible for Regular membership." Today, the Order is a "by invitation only" society, and includes men and women who have served or who assist in accomplishing its Mission, including research and writing on naval and maritime subjects.

The San Francisco Commandery meets the first Monday of each month in San Francisco, California and holds two formal dinners each year:

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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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