Home ° 2017 ~ Ongoing Updates

Merchant Ships in Port


  • January 7, 1848: Brig Lady Adams, Hanna (or Hannah), from Baltimore, Capt. Rudd, U.S.S. Dale, Purser W. A. Christian, F. Dickinson U.S.N. and L. Coffin, J. Hobson and J. Lick.
  • January 8, 1848, California Star, San Francisco

    C.C. Smith & Co., New Helvetia

    have just received and offer for sale, a New and General Assortment of Dry Goods and Groceries for which they will receive in exchange Wheat, Corn, Rye, Barley, Oats, Horses and Mules, Beaver and Otter Skins, Pork, Butter and Cheese, Lard, Tallow, Hides, etc.

    New Helvetia, January 8, 1848.

  • January 19, 1848, Californian, San Francisco: January 17, 1848, Arrived port of San Francisco Brig Malek Adhel, Hall, from Monterey. (The brig was built for Mexico by William H. Webb, New York, 1840. She was captured at Mazatlan, Mexico, 6 September 1846 by Warren, Comdr. Joseph B. Hull in command. She was taken into the U.S. Navy and placed in service under the command of Lt. James F. Schenck. During the remainder of the war she operated along the lower coast of California. She was sold in 1848.)
  • January 26, 1848, Californian.


    The proprietors of the above establishment have received per recent arrivals, and now landing, TEN THOUSAND pounds Light Brown Havana SUGAR, they would particularly call the attention of their patrons to this article, being a clean bright Sugar and at a low price.

    100 boxes Muscatel Rasins of a splendid quality.
    Mackerel and Cod Fish, in quantities to suit purchasers.
    Coffe, Tea, Chocolate and Rice.
    1,000 pieces Fancy Prints, elegant styles and superior Fabrics.

    A few real Norwich Shawls, in which the most delicate colors are beautifully blended. Mandarine Satins and Silks will be sold low to close a consignment being well adapted for evening dresses.

    To particularize the vast quantity of goods now landing, and daily expected at this establishment would fill a volume, they would only therefore impress upon the public the necessity of an early call.


  • February 9, 1848: American brig Eagle, Lovett, 46 days from Canton. Passengers: Mr. and Mrs. C. V. Gillespie, and Mr. Cunningha.


  • March 16, 1848: Brig Sabine, Vincent, 167 days from Boston. Cargo general merchandize. Passengers: From Boston, Messrs Long and Badger, Mr. Holbrook, supercargo.
  • March 19, 1848: Brigantine Providence, Hinkley, 17 days from Sandwich Islands. Cargo general merchandise. Passengers: Mr. Tobin and lady, Messrs Wilson, Kittle Leait, Melville, Latham, Dreskill and Murray.


  • May 24, Californian: FOR THE SANDWICH ISLANDS! The Hawaiian schooner Mary, Belcham, Master, will sail for Honolulu in a few days. For freight or passage, having good accommodations, apply to the Master on board.


  • August 21: Hawaiian Brig Julian, Moran, for Honolulu


  • September 2, 1848: Hawaiian schooner Julian for San Francisco.
    George Allan departed Honolulu for San Francisco on the schooner Julian with a shipment of Company goods. The Julian, of Hawaiian registry, was chartered by W. Skinner and Co. of Honolulu, who made cargo space available to the Hudson's Bay Company. Allan's October 7 letter to the Honolulu Agency reported the successful sale of the Company's invoice of merchandise and remitted the proceeds, amounting to about $6,720 in gold dust. (Library. Manoa, Hawaii.)
  • September 16, 1848, Californian
    ARRIVALS. -- Our town is completely crowded with new comers, thirty five having arrived in one vessel, thirty in another and nineteen in another, while every vessel that comes bring more or less. Verily, gold is a powerful magnet. Among the passengers by the "Huntress," from New York, we notice Capt. Rufus Ingalls, of the Quarter Master's Department, Lieut. Norton, 1st Regt. N. Y. Volunteers, recently disbanded, and Mr. J. A. Sutter, Jr., son of the enterprising proprietor John Augustus Sutter of New Helvetia. The number of people in town renders all kind of lodging in great demand, and it is a moderate assertion to say that fifty persons are nightly without the comfort of a roof to sleep under.


  • October 23, 1848, Californian: Sailed: Schooner Julian, Moran, for Honolulu. 18 passengers. Passenger list not located. (J. Fuchs noted as being on board. - genform)
  • October 26, 1848: Schr Kamehameha III, Carter, 26 days from Honolulu, with passengers. Reports the Haalilio, Singapora, S. S. and the Honolulu to sail soon for this port.
  • October 28, 1848: Brigantine S. S., Taylor, 22 days from Honolulu with 40 passengers.
  • October 29, 1848: Schooner Honolulu, Newell, 18 days from Honolulu with passengers.


  • November 11, 1848, Californian: For several days past we have had unusually foggy weather, which no doubt prevents the arrival of the Southampton. Bark Undene (also spelled Undine), Andrews, Valparaiso, 47 days; cargo general merchandise. The Undine left New York in July last, got ashore with a cargo of merchandise for this place and Oregon, got on shore in the straits of Magellan; threw overboard part of the cargo, got off, and went to Valparaiso, where she was condemned, and the vessel and cargo sold.
  • November 11, 1848: Chilean ship Verginia 58 days from Valparaiso. Cargo general merchandize and 60 passengers.
  • November 12, 1848: The Hawaiian schooner Julian, Captain Moran, arrived at the Port of Honolulu 16 days fom San Francisco.


  • December 12, 1848: Hawaiian schooner Julian, Captain Moran, 16 days from San Francisco.
  • December 16, 1848: Chilean brigantine Valadora. 63 days from Valparaiso with flour &c. to Cross, Hobson & Co.
  • December 16th: California Star & Californian, December 16, 1848: Just as our paper was going to press the Hawaiian schooner Julian from Honolulu hove in sight, beating up the bay. Hawaiian schooner Julian, Moran master, with an assorted cargo to J. Bawden & Co.
  • December 19: American brig Malek Adhel, Hall master, 25 days from Mazatlan, with blankets and other Mexican manufactures to R. A. Parker. Reports the Cayuga and Swallow for this port soon.

Entrance to the Golden Gate Albert Bierstadt, 1872Entrance to the Golden Gate, Albert Bierstadt.

California Star & Californian, December 2, 1848

Entrance to the Golden Gate.

Our Consuls must be cautioned not to certify Invoices of Merchandize which, on arrival here, contravene the U. S. Revenue laws. Two instances have occurred this week, of our Collector making seizures, or having it in his power to do so, in consequence of our Consuls not being well advised relative to our Revenue laws.

Traders to this port must be more circumspect, particularly not to have their vessels less than thirty tons; not to bring more passengers on their vessels than the law allows, and not to import liquors, wine, ale, and porter, in small packages for as soon as we have the Revenue officers from Washington, who will be on the look out for spoils, any infringement of the laws will be strictly enforced, and appeals to any authority short of the U.S. District Court, or the Secretary of the Treasury will be of no avail. The first U.S. District Attorney and Marshal for this District will have an abundance of business, if parties importing goods here do not inform themselves better in reference to the U. S. Revenue laws.

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 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
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 relating the stories of yesterday to today.

When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of SailWhen 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, 16 pages of color, 83 black-and-white illustrations.

Latin America, World Journeys, Discovery.The Age of Sail.Commodore Levy:
A Novel of Early America in the Age of Sail

(Modern Jewish History)

Irving Litvag
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.

Kindly Kindly support our work.


DALevy @
164 Robles Way
Suite 237
Vallejo, CA 94591



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.

Please inform us if you link from your site. Please do NOT link from your site unless your site specifically relates to immigration in the 1800s, family history, maritime history, international seaports, and/or California history.