Submitted by scott on Sat, 05/30/2020 - 10:52

The trip from San Francisco to Sacramento was made by river boat, Mark Twain choosing this type  of transportation rather than stagecoach not only for nostalgic reasons, remembering his Mississippi steamboat days, but because it was more comfortable, more scenic, and because the boat had a bar.


Lorch, Fred W. 1968. The Trouble Begins At Eight. Ames, Iowa: The Iowa State University Press.


The California Steam Navigation Company was formed in 1854 to consolidate competing steamship companies in the San Francisco Bay Area and on the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers. It was successful in this effort and established a profitable near-monopoly which it maintained by buying out or bankrupting new competitors. In response to the Fraser Canyon gold rush and economic growth in the Pacific Northwest, the company expanded to ocean routes from San Francisco north to British Columbia. Similarly, as California's economy grew, the company offered service from San Francisco south to San Pedro and San Diego. It exited these markets in 1867 when competition drove prices to unprofitable levels. While the California Steam Navigation Company was successful throughout its life in suppressing steamboat competition on its core Bay Area and river routes, it could not control the rise of railroads. These new competitors reduced the company's revenue and profit. Finally, in 1871, the company's assets were purchased by the California Pacific Railroad, and the corporation was dissolved.