VIPS in California during the 1800s


Note: There were several individuals named Sinclair in San Francisco during the mid-1800s. A few are noted here without having any idea of whether or not they are related. The name was relatively common.

Most prevalent in the news was Mrs. Catherine N. Sinclair, who arrived on the SS Panama on May 6, 1853 and who subsequently opened the "Metropolitan Theater" on December 24, 1853 (from the The Annals of San FranciscoShips, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports., copies of which are difficult to locate, but well worth the effort; at the time of this writing, The Annals of San FranciscoShips, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports. is available from by clicking the name).

Daily Alta California, May 10, 1853

Mrs. Sinclair in San Francisco May 10 1853.

December 24, 1853.-- Opening of the "Metropolitan Theatre." Theatricals, and especially that class of them in which music bears a considerable share, have always been largely patronized by the San Franciscnas. It was thought proper to have a more magnificant temple for dramatic and operatic entertainments than any hitherto erected in the city, and the "Metropolitan" accordingly was built and opened. This is one of the finest theatres in Americas, and is distinguished by the beautiful and chaste appearance of the interior. The house is built of brick. The management of the theatre was under the care of Mrs. Catherine N. Sinclair. She opened the splendid structure with an excellent stock company, among whom there immediately began to appear "stars" of the first magnitude, which have since continued in rapid succession. The prices of admission were--for the orchestra and private boxes, $3, for the dress circel and parquette, $2, and for the second and third circles, $1. The School for Scandal, in which Mr. James E. Murdock played the part of "Charles Surface," and Mrs. Sinclair, the manageress, that of "Lady Teazle," and the farce of Little Toddlekins, were the preformances of the evening.

Daily Alta Calfifornia, December 26, 1853

Amusements in the City of San Francisco.

Daily Alta California, Febraury 18, 1863


Per Caroline Read - Sinclair & Moody

Daily Alta California, April 30, 1861

C. R. Sinclair was on the list of People's Nominating Committees of 1859 and 1860.

Daily Alta California, December 1, 1874

St. Andrew's Day

The twelfth anniversary of St. Andrew's Society was celebrated at Pacific Hall last night. At nine, o'clock tbe Installation of officers, by Thos. Anderson, took place as follows: President, John Cain; Vice-Presidents, Thomas Ross and William Banks; Recording Secretary, Watson W. Topping; Financial Secretary, Allan Berimgeour; Treasurer, William Nicol; Librarian, P.K.Ryrie. Board of Relief-John Daniel, Colin R. Sinclair, Malcolm Fisher. Trustees -- Chas. Emalie (or Emslie), Robert Sutherland, David Patterson. Physician--Dr. W.F. McNutt. Chaplain--Rev. R. Scrimgeour. After the installation, dancing was indulged in, the programme comprising all the favorite figures. The attendance was large and select, and the affair continued delightfully through the night and into the wee small hours of this morning.

San Francisco Call, June 25, 1891


Colin R. Sinclair and wife (by attorney) to Michael Gleason, lot on. N. line of Union St., 154:9 E. of Taylor, e.25 x9x128:9 - $10

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Ships, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.

The Annals of San FranciscoShips, Shipping, Migration, World Seaports.

Frank Soule, John H. Gihon, James Nisbet

1855. Written by three journalists who were witnesses to and participants in the extraordinary events they describe. The Annals of San Francisco is both an essential record for historians and a fascinating narrative for general readers. Over 100 historical engravings are included. Partial Contents: Expeditions of Viscaino; Conduct of the Fathers towards the natives; Pious Fund of California; Colonel John C. Fremont; Insurrection of the Californians; Description of the Golden Gate; The Mission and Presidio of San Francisco; Removal of the Hudson's Bay Company; Resolutions concerning gambling; General Effects of the Gold Discoveries; Third Great Fire; Immigration diminished; The Chinese in California; Clipper Ships; Increase of population; and Commercial depression.  

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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