Passengers, Seaports, Captains
Arrive San Francisco
March 6, 1853
THE TENNESSEE'S LAST VOYAGE
Daily Alta California, March 8, 1853
Per steamship Tennessee: The T. left San Francisco Feb. 1st at 8 A.M.; arrived at Monterey at 5' P.M. same day, landed and exchanged mails; arrived Feb 3rd, at 7 P.M. at San Diego, landed mails and sailed at 7-1/2 A.M. arrived at Acapulco Feb 8, at 3 A.M., commenced coaling at 6 A.M. and sailed at 10-1/2 same day; arrived at Panama on the 15th Feb. at 5 P.M. Cortes arrived same day at 2 P.M. Left Panama on the 19th at 9-1/2 P.M. Cortes sailed three hours previous. Arr at Acapulco Feb 28th, at 7-1/2 A.M. Cortes and Pacific in port, sailed at 12-1/2 M -- Pacific three hours previous --Cortes one hour after; Feb 27th to March 3d, Cortes in sight. March 5th, passed the Pacific 3 degrees S.E. of San Miguel. Tennessee was at the Heads at 1 A.M. on the 6th, and went ashore 4-1/2 miles northwards of North Heads, at 9-1/2 o'clock.
The health of the Isthmus was good, and roads in excellent order. All passengers, mails, baggage and provisions were safely landed from the Tennessee, and there is every probability of the ship being got off with little damage. The steamer Confidence has been dispatched to Saucelito, to bring up such of the passengers as are at that point, and the Goliath has gone out to the Tennessee, to get her off if possible, and bring up the ladies and others that are there.
The passengers on board the Tennessee are all well, and have been so during the whole passage. There have been, however, three deaths arising from diseases of a prior nature.
Any of our citizens who may have friends and families on board, may rest assured that they are well provided for, and that everything in this casualty will be managed with the well-known energy of the P.M.S.S. Co.
With a little good luck, we hope to see the good steamer Tennessee soon afloat again.
Whole time down, 14 days and 8 hours; running time, 13 days and 22 hours. Time up the Heads, 14 days and 4 hours; running time 13 days and 22 hours.
Ship Far West arrived at Valparaiso from the coast, and unfortunately struck upon a small reef at the entrance of the harbor, but was got off without serious injury. Great praise is due to the officers and of the U.S. frigate St. Lawrence for the prompt and able assistance rendered by them.
There is insurance in Boston to the amount of $3,000 on the cargo and freight money of brigAmerican, of and from Newburyport for San Francisco, condemned at St. Thomas, and $4500 at the agency of an insurance company in Ipswich.
Ship Houqua has delayed her departure for San Francisco, to repair the damage done her cutwater by the Fulton ferryboat.
P.M. Steamer Tennessee Ashore. Passengers and Mails Safe.
Headline following day with the same story as printed above, with the following addition: One of the steam tugs, returning after having towed a vessel to sea, reports seeing the steamer at dark, lying head on, embedded about two feet in the sand, and in a perfectly easy condition. Captain Knight, with others connected with the underwriters, left in the Goliah.
Every requisite necessary both for the safety of the ship and the comfort of the passengers was put on board the tug, and with a little good luck we hope to see the good steamer Tennessee soon afloat again.
The excitement throughout the city yesterday afternoon, when it was ascertained that theTennessee was ashore, was very great, until the facts in the case were better known.
It appears that she went ashore in a dense fog, while trying to make the entrance, a fact which is not stated in the following memoranda from Pursuer Isaacs (refer to Memoranda. above.)
Condition of the Steamer Tennessee ' Arrival of the Passengers and Mails.
The following account of the Tennessee was had which made the ship one hundred miles from the Heads. A thick fog set in during the night, and nothing further could be seen. Steam was kept up until the distance was run by dead reckoning, when the ship was hauled up under an easy head of steam, for the supposed to be Mile Rock. The lead was kept going all the time, and gave soundings in sex and seven fathoms water.
Soon afterwards the land was near, which was taken to be the south Head, and steam was let on a little more. It was shortly discovered that the land was not the Head, and at the same time a ledge of rocks was seen immediately astern of the ship. To back her was impossible, as there was not room enough to turn in, but to acquire this room she was put ahead slowly towards the beach, when she took the bottom aft. The sea then swung her around, and she went broadside onto the beach. It was then discovered that she lay in Indian Cove, and that the land which had been taken for the Heads was the bluff of the Cove.
As soon as she went on, Mr. Dowling, the chief mate, jumped overboard with a line by which to haul a hawser ashore, and succeeded in his attempt. The ship now lies heeled off ashore, which fact gives additional ground to hope that she will be gotten off. She is perfectly tight, and although her copper is much chafed and rubbed off there is every reason to suppose that no serious injury has thus far been sustained by her. Her engines and all the apparatus are in perfect order, nothing as yet being displaced. The water is smooth, and in her present position there is a complete lee formed under her inshore side, assuring the safety of the lady passengers on her, who can and will be taken off with as much ease and security as if the ship was lying in dock.
The steam tug Goliah lies at anchor close by and will bring up the passengers and many of the goods in the course of the day. In the mean while the mails and express packages are all landed on the beach and the ship is being discharged with the greatest dispatch. Captains Mellus and Totten are present and are lending every aid to the comfort of the passengers and safety of the ship. Mr. Dowling, the Chief Mate, has rendered and is rendering very essential aid and making almost superhuman efforts for this fine ship and the interest of her owners. This gentleman has commended himself by his courage, promptness of action and presence of mind in a number of cases previous to the present one and stands deservedly high as an intrepid sailor in the estimation of all who know him.
Indian Cove, where the steamer lies, makes round nearly in the shape of a horseshoe, and is not more than two hundred yards in extend between the points that form it. It is a little isolated strip of sand beach, the surrounding coast being bold and rugged rocks, where if the ship had gone on she must have gone to pieces in a short time. It is therefore a most providential circumstance that spot.
The passengers erected tents and endeavored to make themselves as comfortable on the beach as circumstances would permit.
If the weather continues smooth, there is scarcely a doubt, that the Tennessee will be got off, as the water is bold to and she lies heeled off shore, besides which she is only bedded about three feet in the sand, is perfectly tight
The Confidence came up yesterday at about 1 P.M., with upwards of a hundred passengers, and at 2 o'clock the Goliah reached the wharf, having on board all the passengers that were left, with their baggage and trappings. The mail and all the express matter were brought up. The Goliah will return with the necessary appliances for assisting the steamer off.
We are told by Mr. Isaacs that the embarkation of the passengers, mails and baggage of theTennessee was accomplished in four hours, with no accident of any kind, although the surf was rolling in heavily at the time. Captain Mellus and his officers, aided by Mr. Cuyler, U.S.N., Mr. Rogers, of the Coast Survey, Captain Eyre, Thomas Gihon, Esq., D.H. Haskell, Esq., deserve most honorable mention in return for their invaluable assistance. These gentlemen, in connection with the officers, many times by personal risk and exposure succeeded in landing and dispatching the boats as they came on shore.
The Goliah on her return to San Francisco with the passengers, &, struck heavily on wreck of theAberdeen.
More on the wreck of the SS Tennessee
THE MAIL DELIVERY.
The mail by the Tennessee was received at the Post Office at half-past 3-o'clock yesterday afternoon, and although the largest yet made up for this State, was opened, sorted from the confused mass it presented, and a delivery made by 9 o'clock in the evening. It should be borne in mind by those who are inclined to complain at not getting their letters immediately on the arrival of the mail, that upwards of 200 large bags, containing some 70,000 letters and nearly as many papers, cannot be sorted and boxed before they are fairly in the office.
Nor can the Postmaster perform miracles, however willing he may be to accommodate the public. Thirty persons were hard at work in the distribution of this mail, in order to facilitate a portion of its delivery last evening ' an accommodation all must admit, and entirely gratuitous on the part of Mr. Moore. The Postmaster is not required to keep his office open after 5 o'clock in the afternoon, either for the delivery or reception of letters; and if we are not mistaken, he violates a regulation of the Department on the sailing and arrival of every mail.
Sacramento Daily Union, March 9, 1853
The following particulars, relating to the grounding of the steamer Tennessee, are copied from the Times and Transcript:
The moment the danger was descried, orders were given to back the ship, and though running slowly at the time, it was too late. As soon as it was found that she would not back from the shoal water, headway was again given to try, if possible, to clear it, but all to no purpose, the sea having almost entire control of her; a second and third attempt was made to back her.
During this critical time, the captain's presence of mind never forsook him.
The ship struck several times, and so heavily the first time that dishes were thrown from the table and broken. She rolled heavily for a short time. Almost as soon as she had struck, the first officer threw himself into the sea with a line, and swam for the shore; after reaching t it, he returned, in a nearly exhausted condition, to render that assistance which his position demanded. Shortly after she had stopped, she swung broadside on, with her stern nearest the shore, which was high and dry at low water. The confusion and excitement when she first struck was great, but order was promptly restored.
During the forenoon signal guns were heard, supposed to be fired by a vessel in distress, some 4 miles distant. From a cliff near which the Tennessee's passengers landed, a vessel was descried in the fog, but whether a steamer or not could not be made out. It was supposed to be the Pacific.
3 o'clock P. M The ship seems to have suffered but little damage as yet, with the exception of some injury to the engine, attached to the cylinder and piston.
4 o'clock. The piston and cylinder were seen moving with the roll of the ship.
4-1/2 o'clock. The ship was not leaking as badly as had been reported. No further damage has been learned.
As soon as the passengers were landed, sails, etc., for tents were brought from the ship, and the passengers, with the exception of about one hundred who had left for Saucelito, among whom were four ladies, were making preparations to adopt for a short time a camp life on the shore. Provisions, beds and bedding were also furnished in abundance.
Pacific Mail Steamer Tennessee Ashore Passengers and Mails Safe.
The excitement throughout the city yesterday afternoon, when it was ascertained that the Tennessee was ashore, was very great, until the facts in the case were better known. It appears that she went ashore in a dense fog, while trying to make the entrance a fact which is not stated in the following memoranda from Purser Isaacs. To the Alta we are indebted for the following summary:
The Tennessee left San Francisco Feb. 1st, at 8 a. m. Arrived at Monterey at 5:30 P.M. same day, landed and exchanged mails. Arrived at San Diego 3d at 7 A. M , landed mails, &c, and sailed at 7:30 A.M. Arrived at Acapulco, Feb. 8th. at 3 P.M. commenced coaling at 6 A.M. and sailed at 10 30 A.M. same day. Arrived at Panama 15th Feb at 5:30 P.M. Cortes arrived same day at 2 P.M. Left Panama on the 19th at 930 P.M. Cortes sailed 3 hours previous. Arrived at Acapulco Feb. 6th, at 7:30 A. M. Cortes and Pacific in port. Sailed at 12 30 M: Pacific 3 hours previous and Cortes one hour after. Feb. 27th to March 3. Cortes in sight. March 6th, passed Pacific 30 miles southeast of San Miguel. The Tennessee was at the Heads at 1 a. m, on the morning of the 6th and went ashore 4-1/2 miles northward of the North Head at 9 30.
The passengers, mails, baggage and provisions were all safely landed from the ship, and there is every probability of her being got off with little damage.
The steamer Confidence has been despatched to Saucelito to bring up such of the passengers as are at that point, and the Goliah has gone to the Tennessee to get her off, and bring up the ladies and others that are there.
The passengers that are on board are all well, and have been so during the whole passage. There have been, however, three deaths, arising from diseases of prior dates. Any of our citizens that have friends or their family on board may rest assured that they are well provided for, and that every thing in this casualty will be managed with the well known energy of the P. M. S. S. Co.
One of the steam tugs, returning after having towed a vessel to sea, reports seeing the steamer at dark, lying head on imbedded about two feet in the sand, and in a perfectly easy condition. Captain Knight, with others connected with the underwriters, left in the Goliah. Every requisite necessary both for the safety of the ship and the comfort of the passengers was put onboard the tug, and with a little good luck we hope to see the good steamer Tennessee soon afloat again. Her whole time down was 14 days 8 hours; running time, 13 days 8 hours. Time up to the Heads, 14 days 4 hours; running time, 13 days 22 hours. The marine reporter of the Alta furnishes a statement to that paper of the causes and manner of her going ashore, and renders a deserved tribute to the intrepidity and bravery of her officers and men.
The Confidence came up this afternoon about one o'clock, with upwards of a hundred passengers, and at 2 o'clock the Goliah reached the wharf, having on board all the passengers that were left, with their baggage and trappings. The mail and all the express matter were brought up. The Goliahwill return with all the necessary appliances for assisting the steamer off.
Daily Alta California, March 16, 1853
The P.M. steamer Tennessee, one of the finest and certainly the most profitable vessel in the employ of the Company, was run ashore during a thick fog on the morning of the 6th inst., and became a total loss. Passengers, mails and furniture, were saved. She was trying to make the harbor, after having performed one of the quickest trips of the season. The Tennessee was a favorite ship, and her loss is regretted by nearly every citizen.
(Right: Letter Sheet on the Wreck of the Tennessee from the March 234, 1853 Sacramento Daily Union.)
Passengers per Tennessee
March 9, 1853, Sacramento Daily Union
Accock, B. (Might be Babcock)
Anderson, W. and wife
Andrews, Mrs. and three children
Backburn, J. M.
Baker, A. J.
Barnett, S. D.
Barret, G. S.
Barry, Jno C.
Bird, E. J.
Bradstreet, G. G.
Bratling, S. and J.
Brayton, J. W.
Britton, B. H.
Brown, B. B.
Brown, C. P.
Brown, Miss M.
Brown, W. P.
Caen, J. R.
Chenerey, Mrs. and child
Clapp, S. E.
Clark, C. A.
Clark, E. V.
Clark, J. C.
Compton, J. D.
Coombs, J. W.
Cooney, T. N.
Dewey, D. S.
DeWitt, Alfred and boy (of San Francisco)
Dexter, Jno N., Jr.
Dorain, J. (Might be Dowin, who is listed in a separate article about the fate of the Tennessee)
Duer, Mrs. J.
Duram, J. D.
Edgecombe, J. H.
Evans, D. R.
Fairchild, C. C.
Fox, B. S.
Gallagher, S. K.
Galway, S. S.
Gann, J. M.
Ghuidan, T. B.
Gilman, Mrs. and two children
Green, Mrs. and three children
Hagan, A. J.
Hahn, Mrs. and three children
Harrison, J. H.
Harrison, J. L. (Note: G.W. Harison of New York is on another list)
Harrison, J. W.
Haskell, L. J.
Hayweod, A. W. (Might be Haywood)
Heath, E. O.
Hubbard, W. A.
Hughes, O. A.
Hurlburt, A (Note that the Cortes passenger list of March 5, 1853 indicates the arrival of an R. Hurlbut, and the death of a P. Hurlbert of New York who died on board of dysentery. It may be that they were traveling together ' it is an unusual name ' and were separated on the Isthmus)
Kenton, R. E.
Kindly, J. G.
Knott, S. W.
Lentil, D. C. (Might be Lentin, Lentir)
Lines, C. L.
Lines, Mrs. and four children
Loder, Mrs. and three children
Lott, Judge Peter (of Oregon)
Low, F. T.
Low, H. H.
Lyle, W. M.
Lyman, J. P.
Lyon, J. and two children
Madden, Mrs. A.
Mann, Mrs. and two children
Marooney, J. B.
Marsh, B. M.
Martin, J. W.
McCheney, F. (listed twice)
McKinsury, Mrs. and two children (Might be McKinbury)
McLaughlin, Mrs. and infant
McPurdy, R. (Might be McCurdy, McFurdy, anything ' one letter missing)
Miller, Mrs. H.
Miller, Mrs. W.
Miller, S. N.
Millett, C. S.
Moppoll, F. A.
Murphy, J. M.
Nerton, J. M. (Might be Ncrton or Newton)
O'Brien, Mrs. (Listed as Mrs. Brien, but could be Mrs. O'Brien as she was listed immediately after John O'Brien)
Ogden, G. (This may be Peter S. Ogden, Governor of Oregon, who was noted in a following article as a passenger of the Tennessee)
Orctt, C.S. (Seems as though it should be Orcutt)
Padou, W. S.
Parker, Mrs. and child
Patridge, C. M.
Pease, C. B.
Penniman, H. G. (of St. Louis)
Penniman, Mrs. C.
Penniman, Mrs. G.
Phillips, T. J.
Phipps, F. H. (Might be Shipps)
Pillrorck, Chas (This is the listing, but note that G. Philbrook also travelled on this steamer, so this may be a typographical error)
Pratt, Judge O. C.
Pratt, Mrs. and two children
Prince, L. M.
Putnam, Mrs. and child
Ragen, J. (Might be Ragan)
Rauels, S., wife and two children
Renney, F. M.
Richards, J. V.
Richardson, A. A.
Rogers, R., 2d
Roos, D. G.
Russel, E. A. (Might be Resel)
Russett, L. D.
Sample, and child (Unable to read first initial)
Scho, Mrs. and child (Might be Seho, Sehn, Sehn)
Shore, F. H.
Simes, J. and two children
Simes, Mrs. and child
Smith, E. C.
Smith, F. F.
Smith, Mrs. A.
Smith, Mrs. and child
Sorry, J. F.
Soule, G. O.
Spins, G. H. (Might be Spine)
Squires, S., Jr.
Stattius, J. W. (Difficult to read)
Stephens, D. R.
Stevens, J. H.
Stocking, F. W.
Straus, L. (Presumed to be Levi Strauss, founder of Levi's denim jeans)
Sunch, F. W.
Sweet, C., Mrs. Sweet and two children
Taylor, J. D.
Thomas, G. H.
Titcomb, J. M.
Van Conets, J.
Van Schaick, J.
Van Schalck, J.
Van Vankenburgh, J.
Vanderhoff, John H.
Vanderhoof, Peter A.
Walden, W. C.
Walker, D. M.
Walur, D. J.
Wood, Israel D.
Wood, J. D.
Wood, John W.
Wright, W. S.
Yates, C. H.