Ships arriving at the Port of San Francisco
Please note: Generally, these merchant ship arrivals are included to give an idea of the volume and type of goods into early San Francisco.
If you had the money during the 1800s, you could have anything your heart desired. Listings are by no means complete; names of passengers on these vessels are often unavailable.
Click here for lists of passengers arriving on passenger ships.
September 5, 1846, Californian: Arrivals since hoisting American Flag, July 9, 1846
- July 31: American ship Brooklyn, 230 passengers from New York via S. Islands, landed passengers and freight, and sailed for Bodega, and will touch at Monterey.
- August 26: American (Californian) Schooner Santa Cruz from Monterey and Santa Cruz; goes to San Jose to load and unload.
- August 26: U.S. Transport Erie, Lieut. Commander Turner, 31 days from Honolulu, stores for teh squadron.
- April 24, 1847: Barque Whiton, Capt. R. Gilson, for Oregon. Left New York November 15, 1846 for Oregon. Arrived San Francisco 148 days enroute to Oregon. Passengers: Rev. W. Roberts and family; Rev. J. H. Wilbur and daughter; E. F. Folger; C. L. Ross; Mr. Andrews; G. Wardell; Theadore McCall; Jas Wadsworth; Geo. Whitloy and Chas. Sexton.
- May 30, 1847: Chilian ship Confederacion, Jones, 58 days from Valparaiso. Passengers: Messrs Vallejo, Townsend, Wooster and others.
- June 1, 1847, Monterey: Columbus, Com. Biddle
- June 1, 1847, Monterey: Congress, Com Stockton
- June 1, 1847, Monterey: Warren, Commander Hull
- June 1, 1847, Monterey: Portsmouth, Commander Montgomery
- June 1, 1847, Monterey: Dale, Commander Selfridge
- June 1, 1847, Monterey: Lexington (Transport), Lieut. Comd'g Bailey
- June 1, 1847, Monterey: Erie (Transport), Lieut. Comd'g. Watson
- June 1, 1847, Monterey: U. S. Prize Sch. Julia, Lieut Selden
- June 1, 1847, Monterey: U. S. Prize Ship Admittance, Lt. Revere
A San Francisco market place 1800s
- July 3, 1847: Hawaiian Brig Euphemia, Russom, 30 days from Oahu, with passengers and mdse. Passengers: Hiram Grimes, lady, child and servant; Wm. H. Davis, supercargo; Mr. C. S. Lyman, and Mr. M. Griffin
- September 1, 1847: Brig Everline, S. T. Goodwin, from Boston 28th January last, and 27 days from Honolulu, S.I. Passengers: S. T. Goodwin from Boston. Mrs. C. A. Goodwin, Newburyport, Mass; H. Clark, Sueprcargo, Boston, Mass. F. S. Jewett, assistant do do. Wm. Hendric and Jacob Frankfort from Honolulu.
- September 24, 1847: Sch. Providence, Mitchel, 34 days from Honolulu. Passengers: John Dickson, Esq. and servant; John Ricord, Esq., late Attorney General S. I. Captain E. Von Pfister, William B. Morrison, C. E. Picket.
- November 19, 1847: Brigantine Currency Lass, M'Lean from Sandwich Islands with an assorted cargo. Consigned to Robert A. Parker. Passengers A. G. Abell, Esq. (or A. G. Apell); J. G. Christie; Messrs Blancard; Goss, Hammond; Harris; and Dorset.
- December 1, 1847: Ship Barnstable, Captain Hall, from leeward ports. Passengers: T. O. Larkin, Henry Mellus, H. F. Techermacher, E. L. Stetson
The Annals of San Francisco
Frank Soule, John H. Gihon, Jim 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 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.
San Francisco, You're History!
Politicians, Proselytizers, Paramours, and Performers Who Helped Create California's Wildest City
J. Kingston Pierce
Seattle-based freelance writer Pierce presents a fascinating view of a variety of colorful people and events that have molded the unique environment of San Francisco. He chronicles historical highlights along with a focus on current issues. Pierce touches on the gold rush, earthquakes, and fires and introduces the lives of politicians, millionaires, criminals, and eccentrics. Pierce sparks the imagination in relating the stories of yesterday to today.
When America First Met China:
An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail
Eric Jay Dolin
Ancient China collides with America in this epic tale of opium smugglers, sea pirates, and dueling clipper ships. Brilliantly illuminating one of the least-understood areas of American history, best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin traces our relationship with China back to its roots: the nineteenth-century seas that separated a brash, rising naval power from a ancient empire. It is a fable for our time, one that surprisingly continues to shed light on our modern relationship with China. The furious trade in furs, opium, and bêche-de-mer -- a rare sea cucumber delicacy -- might have catalyzed America's emerging economy, but it also sparked an ecological and human rights catastrophe. Peopled with fascinating characters--from Robert Morris: Financier of the American Revolution to the The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong: Splendors of China's Forbidden City, who considered foreigners inferior beings -- this saga of pirates and politicians, coolies and concubines becomes a must-read for any fan of Nathaniel Philbrick's Mayflower or Mark Kurlansky's Cod. Two maps, 16 pages of color, 83 black-and-white illustrations.
A Novel of Early America in the Age of Sail
(Modern Jewish History)
By all accounts, Uriah Phillips Levy, the first Jewish commodore in the U.S. Navy, was both a principled and pugnacious man. On his way to becoming a flag officer, he was subjected to six courts-martial and engaged in a duel, all in response to antisemitic taunts and harassment from his fellow officers. Yet he never lost his love of country or desire to serve in its navy. When the navy tried to boot him out, he took his case to the highest court and won. This richly detailed historical novel closely follows the actual events of Levy’s life: running away from his Philadelphia home to serve as a cabin boy at age ten; his service during the War of 1812 aboard the Argus and internment at the notorious British prison at Dartmoor; his campaign for the abolition of flogging in the Navy; and his purchase and restoration of Monticello as a tribute to his personal hero, Thomas Jefferson. Set against a broad panorama of U.S. history, Commodore Levy describes the American Jewish community from 1790 to 1860, the beginnings of the U.S. Navy, and the great nautical traditions of the Age of Sail before its surrender to the age of steam.