The Maritime Heritage Project

World Harbors from The Maritime Heritage Project in San Francisco.

Ships arriving at the Port of San Francisco


Arrivals 1863

Please note: These arrivals are merchant ships, included to give a sense of the volume and type of goods into early San Francisco. If you had the money in San Francisco of the 1800s, you could have anything your heart desired. They are by no means complete, and they generally do not include passengers. Click here for lists of passengers.

° 1846-1848 ° 1849 ° 1850 ° 1851 ° 1852 ° 1853 ° 1854 ° 1855 ° 1856
° 1858 ° 1860-1862 ° 1863 ° 1864 ° 1868 ° 1870s ° 1880s ° 1890s

JANUARY

  • January 4: Steamer St. Louis, 1,621 tons. 14 days from Panama.
  • January 11: Barque Stad Assen, Captain Haverbuilt, 517 tons. 172 days from Liverpool. Freight value: $10,250: 40 tons Cannel coal; 7399 bars, 250 bdls, 325 plates iron; 780 bdls hoop iron; 3400 quicksilver flasks; 200 bbls soda crystals; 665 sks salt; 4 bbls plaster of Paris; 24 bags fullers' earth; 18 frames felt; 200 cs sauce; 50 cs bitters; 50 hhds ale; 50 cks bottled ale; 75 cs pickles; 10 puns whiskey; 2 hdds 2 csks 19 qr csks 8 octaves wine; 2 hhds 7 puns 1 bbl rum; 2 csks brandy; 10 pipes gin; 2 cs cigars; 8 bales blankets; 50 bxs oilman's stores; 112 cates earthenware; 6 csks nails; 3 csks 1 cs hardware; 8 bales carpets; 10 bales canvas; 123 bales 96 cs 8 pkgs mdse. Merchandise to Rodgers, Meyer & Co. Memoranda: Was 85 days to Cape Horn; was off the Cape 13 days with strong westerly winds; crossed the Equator in the Pacific Dec. 19th, lon 110 W; since then had N NW winds.
  • January 11: Barque Mary Nicholson, Captain Nennie. 258 tons, 79 days from Sydney, Australia via Otago, New Zealand, 64 days. 37 cases of tobacco. Merchandise to Macondray & Co. Memoranda: Had heavy gales from N.N.E. during hte first part of the passage; Nov. 19th, during a severe gale, blew away a close reefed maintopsail, washed all the spars off deck; drawing the ring bolts out of the decks and started the ship leaking; crossed the equator Dec. 31st, lon. 27 W. thence had strong N.E. winds to lon. 140 55 W; have been off this port three days in a thick fog; Br. barque Bella Marina left Otago, Oct 31st for Newcastle, to load for this port.
  • January 11: Ship Shirley Brown, 174 days from New York. Merchandise to William T. Coleman & Co. Memoranda: Was 46 days to the Equator, in the Atlantic, 82 days to Staten Land; off Cape Horn had moderate weather and southerly winds; crossed the Equator in the Pacific December 18th, lon 111 west; had much light weather all the passage. Nov 1st. lat 48.50 S, lon 64-1/2 W. was boarded from whale ship Ohio, of New Bedford, 5 months out, no oil. Nov 14th, lat 546 S. lon 72 W, signalized ship Elizabeth Cushing, for Bellisle, Dec 16th, lat 5 S, lon 108 W. was boarded from wh. bque Anaconda, of New Bedford, bound to the eastward.
  • Historical map of the City of San Francisco.
    San Francisco, California 
    Panoramic map
    (Quality reprints are available by clicking on the image.)
  • January 12: Ship Avon, 946 tons. 84 days from Manila. Freight value: $16,500. Sugar to Geo. Gordon. Memoranda: Sailed from Manila Oct 17th, 1862. Had strong N.E. monsoons all through the China Seas and up to lat 40 N and long 150 E. with a strong SW current. Passed Balinntang Nov 13th. Nov 6th, lat 19:30 N, lon 120 E, encountered a terrific typhoon, which lasted 18 hours, blowing away two lower top-sails; shifted cargo and did other damage to the hull and spars. December 22d and 23d, lat 44 30 N, long 179 E, was overtaken by a hurricane (cyclone), commencing at SE, and blowing for six hours from that quarter, and then suddenly shifted to SW, blowing with great fury; was compelled to scud, not being safe to heave to; the ship laboring and straining so badly and leaking so fast, was obliged to throw overboard part of the cargo to lighten her. At 11:30 A.M. on the 22d, while scudding on the lower fore and main topsails, the ship broached to, blowing both topsails and foretopmast staysails into ribbons, filling the cabin and houses with water, stove water casks and boats, and washed away the binnacle, broke the compass and other damages. Hauled the main spencer out to the lee rigging, and hove the ship. After the gale abated got the ship before the wind. Sounded the pumps and found five feet of water in the hold. Put all hands at the pumps, and after pumping seven hours without gaining on the leak, and the crew getting exhausted, hove over more cargo to lighten her. After heaving over about 80 tons, and 12 hours, hard work at the pumps, succeeded in getting the ship free of water. From long. 180 degrees to this port, had strong S.W. gales. On the 11th inst., at 11 P.M., while running in from the Farallones, under short sail, shipped a heavy sea, which swept the poop deck and the top of the house, washing both boats off the bearer, taking the lee one overboard and mashed up the weather one; stove in the skylights, filling the cabins with water and completely drenching everything in the after cabin; washed away the binnacle, and flooded the main deck fore and aft. Hove to and lay by until the morning of the 12th, when we made the land at Point Reyes, bearing by compass N.E. by E. distant 6 leagues. Made sale and stood in. At 5 A.M., Chas Avery, seaman, a native of Saybrook, Connecticut, died from dysentery.
  • January 13: Ship Flying Eagle, Captain Walden, 1,094 tons. 52 days from Hong Kong. Freight value: $15,718. Merchandise to Koopomanschap & Co. Memoranda: Had heavy easterly gales in the China Sea; since had moderate weather until the last two days; then had stormy N.N.W. winds; left ship Geo. Lee, to sail in 7 days; Br. ship Sardinian in 20 days; ship Romance of the Sea, uncertain.
  • January 15: Steamer Golden Age, 2,282 tons. Captain Hudson. 13 days from Panama. Passenger and freight to A.B. Forbes
  • January 20: Ship Victor, 746 tons. 58 days from Coronel, Chile. Freight value: $7,371
  • January 20: Ship Rising Sun, Captain Orr, 182 days from Boston. Merchandise to Geo. T. Grimes. Memoranda: Was 89 days to Cape Horn; was 44 days off the Cape, with strong westerly gales; crossed the equator in the Pacific Dec 22, lon 108 30 W; then had fine E.N.E. winds up to lat 30 N; since then had light winds and calms. Oct 21st, lat 59 11 S, lon 68 04 W, fell in with the Br. ship Windoro, Captain Flett, from Cardiff, for Panama, with coal, in a sinking condition and with loss of rudder; took off the officers and crew, numbering 30, and landed them at the North Chincha Islands Dec. 1st.
  • January 21: Ship George Lee, 647 tons. Captain Barstow. 54 days from Hong Kong. Freight Value: $8,487. Merchandise to order. Memoranda: Was 33 days to the coast of Japan with head winds; since then had fine weather; left at Hongkong for this port ship Romance of the Sea, in about 40 days (Note: Romance of the Sea Disappeared en route to San Francisco after having left Hong Kong 31st of December 1862); ship Sardinian, uncertain; ship Henry Brigham, hence, arrived at Hongkong 7 days previous to the sailing of the G.L.
  • January 21: Ship Messenger, Captain Woodside, 137 days from New York. Merchandise to Geo. T. Trimes. Memoranda: Was 40 days to the equator in the Atlantic; 40 days thence to Cape Horn; off the Cape had strong westerly gales; crossed the equator in the Pacific in lon 115 20 W; was 20 days thence to this port.
  • January 25: Steamer Sonora, 1,617 tons. 14 days from Panama.
  • January 25: Barque Cambridge, 295 tons. 125 days from Malaga. Freight value: $6,580
  • January 29: Steamer Hermann, 1,734 tons. 15 days from Panama.
Buy at Art.com
Sailing Ship with Cattle on Board
FEBRUARY
  • February 4: Brig Timandra, 173 tons. 32 days from Kanagawa, Japan. Freight value: $750
  • February 4: Barque Emily Banning, 282 tons. 33 days from Kanagawa, Japan. Freight value: $2,000
  • February 4: Ship Sardinian, 1.015 tons. 51 days from Hongkong. Freight value: $15,549.
  • February 5: Barque Frances Palmer, 303 tons. 72 days from Manila. Freight value: $4,500
  • February 6: Barque Catalina, 309 tons. 53 days from S.M., Guatemala. Freight value: $5,000
  • February 7: Ship Union, 603 tons. 139 days from Bordeaux, France. Freight value: $13,145
  • February 7: Ship Shawmut, 1,035 tons. 71 days from Newcastle, Australia. Freight Value: $9,310
  • February 7: Ship Charlotte Andrew, 356 tons, 63 days from Newcastle, Australia (or Sydney, N.S.W.). Freight Value: $3,150 and files of the Sydney Herald to December 3d, from which we glean as follows:

    A new colony is to be established in Northern Australia . . . The pleuro-pneumonia having appeared at Victoria, the importation of horned cattle was prohibited. . . The whole country was suffering from drought . . .The return of the gold yield for November was but 26,460 ounces — a decrease of 13, 558 compared with the same month the previous year. The return for eleven months, 1862, of receipts, were 554,376 ounces — an increase of 186,407 ounches . . . The Heloise, from San Francisco, with a cargo of lumber, arrived at Queenscliffe after a 52-day passage . .. Flour at Adelaide was quoted at £11 10s to £12 10s.

  • February 7: Steamer Constitution, 3,315 tons. 13 days from Panama.
  • February 14: Ship Henry Brigham, 1,068 tons. 52 days from Hongkong. Freight value: $6,622
  • February 16: Russian Barque Nahelmoff, 287 tons. 17 days from Sitka, Alaska. Freight value: $655
  • February 16: Steamer St. Louis, 1,621 tons. 15 days from Panama.
  • February 16: Ship Wild Hunter, 1,081 tons. 144 days from Liverpool. Freight value: $18,000.
  • February 17: Brig Josephine (No. 2), 260 tons. 115 days from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • February 17: Ship Imperial, 1,181 tons. 56 days from Hongkong. Freight value: $18,826.
  • February 18: Ship Kathay, 1,458 tons. 48 days from Hongkong. Freight value: $16,793.
  • February 23: Barque Marie, 415 tons. 120 days from Bordeaux, France. Freight value: $9,127
  • February 27: Ship Jasper, 570 tons. 134 days from London. Freight value: $12,375
Blethen-21March1863.MARCH
  • March 8: Barque Henry Miller, 433 tons. 70 days from Newcastle, Australia. Freight value: $3,619.
  • March 9: Ship Osborn Howes, 1,099 tons. 55 days from Manila. Freight value: $13,328.
  • March 11: Schooner Osprey, 73 tons. 85 days from Tigre Island. Freight value: $1,100.
  • March 12: Brig Sunny South, 221 tons. 59 days from S.J. Guatemala. Freight value: $3,000.
  • March 19: Barque Arrow, 252 tons. 86 days from Manila. Freight value: $8,000.
  • March 21: Ship Martin Luther, 984 tons. 132 days from Cardiff. Freight value: $17,637
  • March 22: Ship Bella Marina, 504 tons. 97 days from Newcastle, Australia. Freight value: $7,000
  • March 29: Schooner Giulletta, 218 tons. 45 days from Acajutia. Freight value: $2,600.
  • March 30: Barque Isabella Hercus, 569 tons. 172 days from London. Freight value: $11,000
APRIL
  • April 3: Ship Lotus, 660 tons. 56 days from Hongkong. Freight value: $3,058.
  • April 9: Barque John Howe, 359 tons. 74 days from Newcastle, Australia. Freight value: $4,100
  • April 15: Brig Everhard, 159 tons. 159 days from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Freight value $5,500
  • April 16: Barque Harriet, 334 tons. 145 days from Bordeaux, France. Freight value: $7,000
  • April 23: Ship Spirit of the Times, 1,206 tons. 56 days from Hongkong. Freight value: $6,712.
  • April 23: Barque Black Watch, 491 tons. 145 days from Glasgow, Scotland. Freight value: $12,615
  • April 29: Ship Mary Ann, 723 tons. 84 days from Newcastle, Australia. Freight value: $5,600
  • April 30: Ship King Lear, 1,971 tons. 71 days from Hongkong. Freight value: $28,832.
MAY
  • May 2: Ship Rattler, 1,121 tons. 67 days from Manila. Freight value: $13,000. Note: This is probably the clipper ship Rattler.
  • May 2: Barque Dollart, 311 tons. 158 days from Manila. Freight value: $5,000.
  • May 4: Ship Huntsville, 523 tons. 62 days from Coronel, Chile. Freight value: $7,000
  • May 5: Barque George Sand, 270 tons. 49 days from Foo Chow. Freight value: $5,000.
  • May 6: Barque Migrator, 354 tons. 99 days from Batavia. Freight value: $9,000.
  • May 7: Ship Lady Young, 478 tons. 102 days from Newcastle, Australia. Freight value: 5,050
  • May 15: Barque Glimpse, 483 tons. 85 days from Newcastle, Australia. Freight value: $3,500
  • May 21: Ship Torrent, 642 tons. 79 days from Newcastle, Australia. Freight value: $5,740
  • May 21: Ship Monsoon, 1,100 tons. 60 days from Hongkong. Freight value: $7,872.
  • May 22: Ship Old Colony, 899 tons. 56 days from Hongkong. Freight value: $9,318.
  • May 23: Barque Lota, 472 tons. 49 days from Hongkong. Freight value: $3,950.
JUNE
  • June 1: Ship Sarah Newman, 900 tons. 52 days from Hongkong. Freight value: $7,829.
  • June 1: Barque Constance, 350 tons. 88 days from Sydney, Australia. Freight value: $3,225
  • June 2: Barque Canton, 309 tons. 140 days from London. Freight value: $4,263.
  • June 2: Russian Barque Schelekoff, 200 tons. 22 days from Kodiak. Freight value: $1,064
  • June 9: Ship Elizabeth Kimball, 998 tons. 52 days from Hongkong. Freight value: $6,786.
  • June 11: Barque Fury, 378 tons. 120 days from Sydney. Freight value: $2,700
  • June 12: Barque A.A. Eldridge, 249 tons. 56 days from Shanghai. Freight value, $2,981.
  • June 13: Ship Washington, 1,198 tons. 55 days from Hongkong. Freight value: $8,626.
  • June 13: Russian Barque Naheimoff, 287 tons. 14 days from Kodiak. Freight value: $1,008
  • June 15: Brig Curlew, 227 tons. 60 days from Shanghai. Freight value: $2,232.
  • June 19: Barque Panama, 414 tons. 78 days from Newcastle, Australia. Freight value: $3,432
  • June 19: Barque Astrea, 243 tons. 161 days from Bordeaux, France. Freight value: $5,777
  • June 20: Ship Boanerges, 1,236 tons. 58 days from Hongkong. Freight value: $7,698.
  • June 25: Barque Early Bird, 525 tons. 109 days from Calcutta. Freight value: $7,000.
  • June 25: Ship Shirley, 910 tons. 59(?) days from Hongkong. Freight value: $8,297.
  • June 26: Barque Kutusoff, 415 tons. 90 days from Newcastle. Freight value: $4,200
  • June 27: Ship Dublin, 596 tons. 100 days from Newcastle. Freight value: $7,000
  • June 27: Ship Louis Gaveaux, 480 tons. 155 days from Bordeaux, France. Freight value: $8,622
JULY
  • July 4: Ship Buena Vista, Ayrea, 64 days from Hongkong. Merchandise to Kooopmanschap & Co. 273 passengers. (No lists found. Presumably most of the passengers were Chinese, and as the Chinese were ill-considered in the 1800s, lists were not printed. Because ship captains were required to provide passenger lists upon docking, the lists might be with California shipping records currently being stored in Washington, D.C.)
  • July 4: Ship Helios, Webster, 46 days from Hongkong. Merchandise to Koopmanschap & Co. 297 passengers
  • July 4: Barque Jenny Ford, McCarty, 11 days from Taekalet. Lumber to Pope & Talbot.
  • July 9: Steamer St. Louis, Hudson, 15 days, 17 hours from Panama. Merchandise and passengers to A.B. Forbes
  • July 9: Ship Chapin, Sheffield, 265 days from Boston, via St. Thomas 180 days. Merchanidse to C.L. Taylor & Co.: 300 tons 511 hhds coal; 206 tons pig iron; 250 staves; 600 dozen pails; 8 tcs 10 bbls 1051 bxs oil; 845 bdls iron; 68 coils cordage; 68 bxs axes; 10 bbls roofing material; 1 bdl paper; 249 bbls pork; 250 kegs cranberries; 1 piano; 5 melodeons; 36 bxs tin; 100 cs yeast powders; 50 cs salt; 10 cs furniture; 75 kegs spikes; 50 cs glassware; 1000 kegs syrup; 2 bxs tobacco; 50 bbls 643, 2377 bxs 1266 pkgs merchandise
  • San Francisco waterfront in the 1800s.
    Old Waterfront Scene, San Francisco, California
  • July 9: French ship Pretet de Mentque, Dunond. 146 days from Bordeaux, France. Merchandise to Morris Speyer: 592 qr cks 811 bbls brandy; 1222 cks 2734 cs wine; 1068 baskets 861 cs champagne; 60 pipes gin; 11 cs toys; 119 cs prunes; 19 cs perfumery; 62 cs liquers; 347 cs soap; 320 cs vermouth; 3 bales sponges; 13 pkgs absynthe; 1 cs silks; 1 cs cotton goods; 55 cks porcelain; 15 cs cigars; 3 cs crystals; 32 cs pipes; 5 pianos; 2 organs; 6 cs medicine; 4 cs herrings; 10 cs kirsch; 2 qr cks rum; 8 bbls port wine; 2300 cs oil; 115 crates crockery; 234 cs 19 pkgs 20 bbls 6 qr cks mdse.
  • July 9: Brig Blanco, Kelcher, 4 days from Coose Bay. 225,000 feet lumber to S. Perkins
  • July 9: Schr. Wm. L. Richardson, Goodrum, 34 days from Carmen Island. 150 tons salt to Master.
  • July 9: Schooner S.F. Blunt, Morgan, 24 hours from Albion River. 90,000 feet lumber to A.W. Macpherson
  • July 9: Schooner Cygnet, Ferguson, 10 hours from Bowen's Landing. 150,000 shingles to J. Coffin
SEPTEMBER
  • September 14: British Bark Margaret Puh, Captain Williams. 209 days from Liverpool, England, via Valparaiso, Chile, 73 days. Was 45 days to the Equator in the Atlantic, crossed in long. 21-14; from thence to 40S was 46 days; was 29 days off Cape Horn with heavy weather. Crossed the Equator in the Pacific on July 20, 1863 in long. 119-43W. Put into Valparaiso, Chile on June 29th for water. Left Valparaiso on July 3rd. Cargo: One coining press and machinery, ale, white wine, carpeting, window glass soda ash, soda crystals and assorted goods. Passengers: Dr. W. Wilson and wife; J. Hardigan.
  • The SS Chusan.
    Wreck of the SS 'Chusan', Ardrossan, 1874
  • September 20: German Barque Chusan, Captain Wagener. 162 days from Hamburg, Germany. Was 35 days to Equator in Atlantic; 82 days to Cape Horn, off Cape 234 days. Crossed Equator in Pacific on August 26th, was 47 days from Cape Horn to San Francisco. Cargo: 100 tons pig iron, 5 cases furniture, 2,436 empty demi-johns. Passengers: Charles Levy; A. L. Butanap.

The Oxford Handbook of Maritime Archaeology

Maritime Archaeology.

(Oxford Handbooks)
Editors: Alexis Catsambis, Ben Ford, Donny L. Hamilton
A comprehensive survey of the field as seen through the eyes of nearly fifty scholars at a time when maritime archaeology has established itself as a mature branch of archaeology. This volume draws on many of the distinct and universal aspects of maritime archaeology, bringing them together under four main themes: the research process, ships and shipwrecks, maritime and nautical culture, and issues of preservation and management.

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A Historical Dictionary of the U.S. Merchant Marine and Shipping Industry
Since the Introduction of Steam
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Details how a handful of families have controlled the worlds grain trade for centuries. A great piece for families that till the soil, but one that is even more important to the people who live in the city; and have no idea of the power and control that these families wield.
From Captain John R. Sutton: "I am a captain on Mississippi River towboats. I have pushed millions of tons of grain down the Mississippi River for years. But I never really understood the gobal impact of the world's grain company's until I read this book."

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Through a study of a record-breaking 89-day voyage from New York to San Francisco, the author recreates life aboard a 19th-century clipper ship. He tells of the role of the ship's navigator, Eleanor Creesy -- who was married to the captain and who helped chart a safe voyage through dangerous seas. Much of this book is based on primary source material: diaries, letters, and ship's logs.

"Master Under God"

San Francisco.San Francisco.
Captain Williams
Captains exercised absolute authority at sea and so were dubbed "Master Under God" by early insurance writs, agreements with ship owners and passengers and the Board of Trade.

The captain is responsible for its safe and efficient operation, including cargo operations, navigation, crew management and ensuring that the vessel complies with local and international laws, as well as company and flag state policies.

All persons on board, including officers and crew, other shipboard staff members, passengers, guests and pilots, are under the captain's authority and are his ultimate responsibility.

On international voyages, the captain is responsible for satisfying requirements of the local immigration and customs officials.Immigration issues can include situations such as embarking and disembarking passengers, handling crewmembers who desert the ship, making crew-changes in port, and making accommodations for foreign crewmembers.

Customs requirements can include the master providing a cargo declaration, a ship's stores declaration, a declaration of crewmembers' personal effects, crew lists and passenger lists.


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This is a rare and invaluable book for all who love the sea and ships.


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San Francisco waterfront commerce, ships, shipping history.

DVD bonus features include an audio reminiscence by Frank Junior Coghlan about the filming of The Yankee Clipper. An enclosed booklet includes detailed program notes by film scholar and U.S. Navy marine engineer John E. Stone and an essay about the scoring of The Yankee Clipper by organist Dennis James.

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