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Port of San Francisco

Merchant Ships

Please note: 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, 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 passenger ship arrivals.

° 1846-1847 ° 1848 ° 1849 ° 1850 ° 1851 ° 1852 ° 1853 ° 1854 ° 1855 ° 1856 ° 1858 ° 1860-1862 ° 1863 ° 1864 ° 1865 ° 1868 ° 1870s ° 1880s ° 1890s

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
  • June 10: Brig Francisca, Lemoine, from Honolulu. Sailed from Honolulu on the 17th of May, heavy wind from N. E. up to Lat 35 degrees North. Assorted cargo to J. B. McClurg & Co., and to passengers on board. Passengers: Don Antonio Osio, family and servants, Mr. Lincoln and family, A. J. Ellis and family, R. T. Ridly, Esq., of this place, Messrs, Mitcheneu, Douglass, Maindreau, palmer and Story. Died on board the Francisca, June 6th, after a short illness, Isaac Lincoln (infant) in Lat 27, 80, N., Long 124, 25. Its body was committed to the deep on the 10th.
  • 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
December 31, 1856, Sacramento Daily Union
Sacramento, California Sutter and Gold Rush Sacramento. Author John A. Sutter, Jr.

In looking about our wharves the other day, I was forcibly impressed with the change that has taken place in regard to the character of our commerce within two or three years. There are now comparatively few large vessels in our harbor, either from foreign or Eastern domestic ports. In place of these, numerous small ranging from five to fifty tons are to be seen, which are mostly engaged in island commerce. As the productions of the State ore developed, means have to be provided for their transportation, so that the producer may realise from his labor by the exchange of his commodities for others which bis requirements may demand, or for cash.

In order to facilitate this, hundreds of small vessels have found employment. They are generally of light draught, and many of them can penetrate any river, stream or inlet where water can be found to the depth of a foot. They come here loaded with the productions of the farmers with grain, hay, vegetables, wood, charcoal, etc. These, together with some larger vessels that are employed in bringing lumber from the northern part of the State nnd from Oregon, and some others engaged in trading up and down the coast, make up the bulk of our commerce at this time.

Sacramento's Gold Rush Saloons.
Sacramento's Gold Rush Saloons:
El Dorado in a Shot Glass
Sacramento's Gold Rush Saloons. Special Collections.

Special Collections, Sacramento Public Library.
As early as 1839, Sacramento, California, was home to one of the most enduring symbols of the American West: the saloon. From the portability of the Stinking Tent to the Gold Rush favorite El Dorado Gambling Saloon to the venerable Sutter's Fort, Sacramento saloons offered not simply a nip of whiskey and a round of monte but also operated as polling place, museum, political hothouse, vigilante court and site of some of the nineteenth century's worst violence. From librarian James Scott and the Special Collections of the Sacramento Public Library comes a fascinating history of Sacramento saloons featuring the advent of all types of gaming, the rise of local alcohol production and the color and guile of some of the region's most compelling personalities.

The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers, and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.



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Copyright © 1998-2017. All U.S.A. and International Rights Reserved. D. Blethen Adams Levy.

Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; Maritime Library, San Francisco, California, various Maritime Museums around the world.

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