A guide to the Captain William T. Thompson papers, 1848-1851, 1887
Processed by: Historic Documents Department Staff (Bailey).
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park2012
Building E, Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA 94123
A Guide to the Captain William T. Thompson papers
HDC0025San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, National Park Service
2012, National Park Service
Title: Captain William T. Thompson papers
Date: 1848-1851, 1887
Identifier/Call Number: HDC0025 (SAFR 13571)
Physical Description: 6 items
Repository: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Historic Documents Department
Building E, Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA 94123
Abstract: The Captain William T. Thompson papers (SAFR 13571, HDC 25) is comprised of a logbook, cargo manifest, letter from Rebecca Plummer to her mother, lineage of Abigail Low, newspaper clippings, and newspaper article from the Pacific dated 1887. The collection dates are 1848-1851, 1887. This collection is processed to the collection level and is open for use without restrictions.
Physical Location: San Francisco Maritime NHP, Historic Documents Department
Language(s): In English.
This collection is open for use unless otherwise noted.
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Note on Description: The descriptions in this collection guide were compiled using the best available sources of information. Such sources include the creator's annotations or descriptions, collection accession files, primary and secondary source material and subject matter experts. While every effort was made to provide accurate information, in the event that you find any errors in this guide please contact the reference staff in order for us to evaulate and make corrections to this guide. P lease cite the title and collection number in any correspondence with our staff.
[Item description], [Location within collection organization identified by Collection Number/Series Number/File Unit Number/Item Number], HDC0025 (SAFR 13571), Captain William T. Thompson papers, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
This collection was transferred from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.
The FALCON was a paddle steamer built in New York in 1848, by William Brown. The wood hulled vessel measured 244' x 30' x 21', and gross weight of 891 tons. Her home port was New York. She was built to serve Boston & New York to New Orleans via Savannah. After launching, the U.S. Mail Steamship Corporation awarded a contract to operate between New York and Chagres, Panama carrying mail and passengers. The Pacific Mail Steamship Corporation would operate the other side of Panama and up the California Coast. The FALCON was converted to a quarantine vessel in New York in 1859.
The GOLD HUNTER was a wooden hulled passenger vessel built in 1849 in Westerveldt, New York. The ship measured 172' x 25' x 10', and was of 436 gross tons. It arrived in San Francisco in April of 1850, and served between San Francisco and Sacramento. In 1851, it was chartered by San Francisco interests to run to Mazatlan and San Blas, and then onward to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. The GOLD HUNTER was later renamed the ACTIVE. On June 5, 1870, while working as a mail steamer and bound for Victoria in a heavy fog, the ship struck a reef off Mendocino, and was beached. All crew and half the cargo were saved, but the ship was lost.
The Captain William T. Thompson papers (SAFR 13571, HDC 25) is comprised of a logbook, cargo manifest, letter from Rebecca Plummer to her mother, lineage of Abigail Low, newspaper clippings, and newspaper article from the Pacific dated 1887. The collection dates are 1848-1851, 1887. This collection is processed to the collection level and is open for use without restrictions.
The rough log kept by Captain William T. Thompson is from several voyages of the FALCON between New Orleans, Panama, Cuba, Charleston, S.C., Havana, and New York during the period of December 2, 1848 to May 16, 1849. The entries for the voyages of the FALCON give comment of the superiority of it as a sailing vessel. Among the significant entries are: March 11, 1849 at Charleston, S.C. where they took on board two members of Congress and their families; April 29, 1849, Thompson's son's birthday, Thompson tells about his deceased wife.
The second part of the log is from the GOLD HUNTER during a voyage from San Francisco to San Juan del Sur during the period August to September 15, 1851. The entries mostly mention the weather, seas, course, latitude and longitude, and other vessels. There is also some mention of passengers by name and places. On November 11, 1851 at San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, the passengers and Thompson rode mules to Lago de Nicaragua where they boarded the steamer DIRECTOR and then the steamer ULWER to the town of San Carlos and the San Juan River. From there they rowed down the river, some passengers continued on to Grey Town and Thompson went back up the river. He gives excellent accounts of the trip and a storm. The entries end in mid sentence on November 15, 1851.
This is a collection of six items.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Falcon (schooner, 3m)
Pacific Mail Steamship Company