The Maritime Heritage Project

World Harbors and International Migration from The Maritime Heritage Project.

Dear Maritime Heritage Visitors: This season The Project is asking visitors to help keep the site growing. While ads for publications and prints that may help your research are included, and those ads bring in a few dollars per sale, we are now "officially" asking if you will kindly donate. If everyone reading this right now gave $5, it would help provide additional names and stories to the more than 100,000 ship passengers arriving in San Francisco during the 1800s. This Project is free and is accessed from every country around the globe. The 18-year-old Maritime Heritage Project (,, is basically a one-person operation developed and managed by the now 70-year-old great-great-grandaughter of Captain James H. Blethen, Master Mariner. Costs include equipment and research materials. The Maritime Heritage Project is special: it keeps alive our history of shipping, commerce and migration during an era when more people changed locations than in any other century. It is a resource where all can research ancestry and find heretofore "lost" family members. It is accessed from every country around the world. If you have visited our site and found it of value, kindly take one minute to keep it growing. Thank you very much. ~~ D. A. Blethen Levy


Arriving at the Port of San Francisco, 1800s



(The) Alleghanians: Monumental City, May 17, 1852
Arrowsmiths, Cartographers
William H. Aspinwall: 1855
Atwill & Co.

Charles L. Bache
Mr. Lewis Baker and Mrs. Alexina Fisher Baker: SS Pacific, February 5, 1852
The Batemen Children: SS. John L. Stephens, April 4, 1854
John B. Barrett, Editor, San Francisco Examiner
Ernest Bazin
Lieut. E. F. Beale
Bell and Norris
Albert Bierstadt
Isabella L. Bird
Madame Biscaccianti
Madam Anna Bishop, Brother Jonathan, February 2, 1854
Alma Blethen (Daughter of Captain James H. Blethen; Wife of Dr. Edward George)
Blethens in San Francisco during the 1800s
George Boole, Ship Owner, Ship Builder
Samuel Brannan: Brooklyn, July 31, 1846
William H. Brewer, in California 1860-1864
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
R. R. Buckelew, Californian Editor
Bummer and Lazarus
Charles Burke, Comedian: Brother Jonathan, March 26, 1854
David H. Burr, Cartographer
Sir Richard Burton

Charles Crocker and Chinese workers building the railroad.
Charles Crocker building the Railroad
with Chinese workers.


California Pioneers (The Society of)
E. P. Christy and his celebrated band of Minstrels, SS Golden Age, October 16, 1854
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
Cochituate Mining Co., Civilian, April 5, 1850
J.H. Coghill, Esq.
James Mudge Cole
Henry Comstock
William Copeland (Johan Martinius Thoresen)
William A. Coulter, 1949-1936
Charles Crocker
Patrick Crowley
J. M. Cunard: Barque Canton, July 28, 1851

Richard Henry Dana
Davis & Jordan
DeWitt and Harrison
The DeYoungs
George W. Dickie
Peter Donahue, Donohue's Iron Foundry
The Drumm of Drumm Street
"Lord" Darrell Duppa
Dupuy, Foulkes & Co., Wine Merchants from Germany: July 10 from Hamburg on the Brig Johanna Cristophe

William M. Eddy: US Oregon, June 13, 1849

Charles Snowden Fairfax
Capt Farragut, U.S.N.: SS Cortes, September 14, 1854
Bernardo Fernandez
John C. Fremont

John W. Geary: SS Oregon, April 1, 1849
Ghirardelli (The Chocolate Family)
E. Goddard
George Gordon, October 1849
George W. Gore
Gray's Harbor Commercial
Richard Graham, 1849

Richard Hakluyt
Agaston Haraszthy: 1856
Stephen R. Harris, M.D.: SS Panama, June 6, 1849
DeWitt and Harrison
Wiska Hauser: SS Brother Jonathan, February 2, 1853
Alexander Hay, Shipbuilder
Truman Head (California Joe)
George Hearst, 1850s
Sigismund Herrman, German Benevolent Society
Ben Holladay, West Coast shipping magnate
Moses and Mark Hopkins: SS Columbus, May 23, 1851
James M. Hutchings, "Hutchings California Magazine"
The Rich Men of San Francisco. Daily Alta California. 1865.
Theodore D. Judah: SS Pacific, May 4, 1854

Hawaiian Princes Kamehameha and Lehiliho: SS California, August 23, 1850
Thomas Keane
Denis Kearney

Thomas O. Larkin: Newcastle, April 1832
Madame Laurustinus
Mr. Lavenu: SS Brother Jonathan, September 20, 1853
William Alexander Leidesdorff
Frank Leslie's Illlustrated Newspapers
James Lick, Lick Observatory
Jose Yves Limantour
Capt. Francis J. Lippitt
J.M. Litchfield
Charles B. Loomis (and H. Loomis)
Charles Lux, Cattle Baron

The Marsh Troupe
Stephen Massett 1849
Thomas McCarty: 1852
Donald McKay
Henry Meiggs: Albany, January 11,1849
Samuel Merritt
Liet. W. Michler, U. S. A. SS Golden Age, October 16, 1854
Henry Miller, Cattle King
Lola Montez: 1853
Mormon Island Mining Association
Eadweard Muybridge

Charles Christian Nahl: 1851
The Newhalls: C. Newhall arrived on the S.S. Tennessee on April 14, 1850
Jonathan Nichols: Eliza, 1848
Charles Nordhoff: 1830-1901
Bell and Norris
Joshua "Emperor" Norton I

Theodore Payne: SS Panama, 1849
Archibald C. Peachy, Esq.
Charles M. Perkins
George Perkins, Goodall & Perkins
Madame Pfeiffer
The Phelans
Parley P. Pratt, Orion, 1822
General William H. Pratt, California, 1849


Mr. Ralston Agent, Independent Opposition Line
William A. Richardson, Orion, August 1822
Caroline Richings
James Roberts, Prospector
James (Sunny Jim) Rolph, 1869-1934
Francis Hanford Russel, Brig Osceola, August 4, 1849

Tom Sawyer
Mrs. Catherine Sinclair
John Sinclair
J. Smith
Jedediah Smith
Joseph F. Smith, Missionary
John D. Spreckels, 1853-1926
Leland Stanford: July 12, 1852, SS Independence from San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Stone Family, Shipbuiders: William Irving Stone, Frank Stone, Lester Stone
Maurice Strakosch: July 1, 1854, celebrated pianist arrives on SS John L. Stephens
L. Strauss (Levi Strauss): March 6, 1853, S.S. Tennessee, which sunk off the heads, but all passengers safely arrived in San Francisco
Adolph Heinrich Joseph Sutro (1830-1898)
John Augustus Sutter

W. H. Talbot
C. A. Thayer: SS California July 7, 1853
The Tobins: Richard Tobin, 1849 from Valparaiso; J. W. and W. Tobin, SS Tennessee, April 14, 1850; Mrs. A. J. Tobin, SS Panama, September 22, 1850; J. M. Tobin 1853; J. Tobin 1854
Leon Trousset, Artist
John H. Turney
Mark Twain

General M. G. Vallejo
The Vigilance Committee

William H. Webb, Ship Builder
Raphael Weill
Captain Whiting, Engineer, Fort Point, 1853
Frederick Whymper
Dr. F. P. Wierzbicki (and his "Advice to the Miner")
James R. Willoughby, on wrecked ship Independence, February 1853


Marquis Field Marshal Yamagata
Alexandre Zins, Artist

Recommended Reading

If you cannot find recommended books locally, consider the links provided to or AbeBooks
both of which have proven to be reliable on service and delivery.

The Annals of San FranciscoThe Annals of San Francico 1855.
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 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.

San Francisco, You're History!
A Chronicle of the Politicians, Proselytizers, Paramours, and Performers Who Helped Create California's Wildest City
Politicians, Proselytizers, Paramours, Performers.

California Performers.
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 telling of San Francisco stories of yesterday and relating them to today.

When America First Met China
An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail
When America First Met China.

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 RevolutionRobert 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 MayflowerMayflower. or Mark Kurlansky's Cod.Cod, the fish that changd the world. Two maps, and 16 pages of color and 83 black-and-white illustrations.

Latin America, World Journeys, Discovery.
The Explorer's Eye:First-Hand Accounts of Adventure and ExplorationLatin America, World Journeys, Discovery.
Fergus Fleming, Annabel Merullo, Michael Palin
During the eighteenth century, exploration entered a new phase; many more explorers were motivated by scientific inquiry rather than greed. Their job was to open new lands, but also to investigate the globe's mysteries. They were expected to make a full record of everything they encountered, and include pictures as well as words. Combining firsthand accounts with original images, The Explorer's Eye gives insight into who these people were, how they operated, and, above all, what they saw. Here you have Alexander von Humboldt braving the electric eels of South Africa, Robert Peary explaining the rigors of polar travel (and his wife giving her own slant), Umberto Nobile lamenting the loss of his Zeppelin in an ice floe, Jacques Cousteau examining the planet from under the waves . . .

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Recommended Reading

The Golden Gazette News from 1848 to 1857, California.
The Golden Gazette
News: 1848-1857
Hundreds of Events Reported from the Exciting Years Following the Great California Discovery of Gold
San Francisco 1800s.

Dudley T. Ross
Because of the poor cover image, "The Golden Gazette" seemed that it would be fair-to-middling. Turns out that it is a fabulous collection of news stories for anyone curious about the quirky and sometimes frightening episodes of San Francisco's early days: hangings (including women), fires, fleeing criminals, notes on theatrical stars, ship wrecks, ads for things like "Oriental Tooth Wash," impressive wheat crops shipping out of Martinez and Benicia, sheep prices, etc. His selection will please anyone wandering and exploring California on outings with family and friends on your own . . . and bring this book along.

Gold Rush San Francisco.
San Francisco in the 1850sSan Francisco 1850s
G. R. Fardon

To California by Sea:
A Maritime History of the California Gold Rush

James P. Delgado

California Disasters 1800-1900
Firsthand Accounts of Fires, Shipwrecks, Floods, Earthquakes, and Other Historic California Tragedies
California Disasters, 1890-1915.

William B. Secrest

California Gold Rush.
The World Rushed In
The California Gold Rush Experience
California Gold Rush.California Gold Rush Experience.
J. S. Holliday

Migration in World History
(Themes in World History)

Patrick Manning
Drawing on examples from a range of geographical regions and thematic areas, world historian Patrick Manning guides the reader through:
° Trade patterns, including the early Silk Road and maritime trade
° Effect of migration on empire and industry between 1700 and 1900
° The earliest human migrations
° Major language groups (illustrated with original maps)
° Examination of civilizations, farmers and pastoralists from 3000 BCE to 500 CE
° Various leading theories and debates surrounding the subject of migration.

Imperial San Francisco.
Imperial San Francisco
Urban Power, Earthly Ruin
Imperial San Francisco.

(California Studies in Critical Human Geography)
Gray Brechin

Rush for Riches.
Rush for Riches
Gold Fever and the Making of California

J. S. Holliday

The Chief
William Randolph Hearst

David Nasaw

The First Tycoon
The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt
T. J. Stiles

Millionaires and Kings of EnterpriseMillionaires and Tycoons.
The Marvellous Careers of Some Americans Whose Pluck, Foresight, and Energy Have Made Themselves Masters in the Fields of Industry and Finance

James Burnley

The Astors.
The Astors: 1763-1992
Landscape with Millionaires
The Astors.

Derek Wilson

Gold Rush and Riches.
All About America
Gold Rush and Riches

Paul Robert Walker

The Big Spenders.
The Big Spenders
The Epic Story of the Rich Rich, the Grandees of America and the Magnificoes, and How They Spent Their Fortunes
America's Super Rich.

Lucius Beebe

Tycoons and Millionaires.
The Tycoons
How Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, and J. P. Morgan Invented the American Supereconomy
Super Economy.
Charles R. Morris

Millionaires of a Day
An Inside History of the Great Southern California "Boom."

Theodore S. Van Dyke
Published 1890; Digitized.
U.C. Library



Coming to America.
Coming to America:
A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life
First Immigrants to America.
Roger Daniels

Your story begins as far back as you can imagine.