Socorro Island

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Socorro Island


August 7, 1877 [SBDP]: “A private letter received from Mr. J. C. Johnson of Santa Catalina Island, states that he has secured a lease for twenty-five years from the Mexican Government of one of the Socorro Islands, situated about one thousand miles west from the Mexican coast. He intends using the island as a sheep pasturage, the first shipment of two hundred head having just been successfully landed. The schooner Surprise, which is used in the transportation of the sheep, will leave Santa Catalina again in a day or two with the second installment of two hundred head, and will continue her trips until some fifteen hundred sheep are landed on the island. The feed is reported to be luxuriant, and the enterprise of Mr. Johnson promises to be eminently successful.”


February 9, 1878 [SBDP]: “It is feared that the schooner Louisa Harker, commanded by Captain Anderson and manned by two sailors, has been lost at sea. She sailed from the port of Wilmington in August last for the island of Locoru [Socorro], which lies some 300 miles south of Cape St. Lucas [Mexico]. She was loaded with sheep to stock that island, and expected to be back in Wilmington in two months. The schooner Surprise has been chartered to sail in search of the missing vessel, carrying relief.”


March 26, 1878 [LAH]: “The Missing Louisa Harker. This schooner left Wilmington on the 15th of August last with a cargo of lumber and sheep for Socorro Island, off the coast of Lower California. She was fitted out for a three months voyage. It is now more than seven months since she left, and no tidings have been received except such as lead to fear that both the vessel and crew have been lost. Last January a letter was received at Wilmington from a person in Lower California, who reported seeing a small American vessel sink off Cape St. Lucas some time in November. Fears for the safety of the Louisa Harker led to the dispatch of a vessel in search of her. The Surprise, navigated by Captain Howard, D. Parsons and James Moey, was sent from Wilmington on the 7th of February; and she returned to San Diego yesterday. Captain Parsons and Mr. Macy report that they reached Socorro Island on the 21st of February, and stayed there for four days, and then sailed for Clarion Island, about 1,400 miles south, on north latitude 18º 21'. They ascertained that the Louisa Harker had landed her cargo safely on Socorro Island, but had left no record, and had sailed away with the expressed intention of going to the Gulf of California for seal. They have been able to learn nothing of her since, and have no doubt she has been lost. She sailed with three men, George Dayton, Wm. Anderson, and one other whose name could not be learned.—San Diego Union.”


March 30, 1878 [SBWP]: “The fate of the Louisa Harker is almost definitely determined by the Surprise, which vessel, in command of Captain Howard, went to Socorro island on the 21st ultimo, and found the former vessel had sailed from there with the avowed intention of going to the Gulf of California for seal. No trace of her has been found since.”


February 20, 1897 [LAT/SD]: “The schooner Wahlberg has sailed for the Lower Califoria coast, carrying a scientific expedition in charge of A. W. Anthony, the naturalist, who seeks specimens of birds and animals for the Smithsonian Institution. Professor T. S. Brandegee, one of the authorities on coast flora, is with the party; also R. C. McGregor of Stanford, E. A. Salisbury of Los Angeles, Col. Scott J. Anthony of Denver. The schooner will visit the Socorro and Clarion group of islands, 300 miles from Cape St. Lucas, and possibly Tiburon Island in the Gulf of California. The trip will last from six to eight months.”


1905-1906. Eight participants were in the California Academy of Sciences expedition to the Galapagos in 1905-1906 aboard the Academy. Enroute to Ecuador, the expedition stopped and collected on the Baja California islands of: San Martin, San Geronimo, San Benito, Cedros, and Natividad, in addition to San Benedicto, Socorro and Clipperton islands.



  • 1925. G. H. Banning. In Mexican Waters London: Martin Hopkinson & Co;, Ltd., 1925
Islands of Southern California (San Nicolas and San Clemente Islands; Guadalupe Island; Alijos Rocks and Clarion Island; Socorro Island; Las Tres Marietas Islands; Isabel Island; Las Tres Marias Islands; Carmen and San Josef Islands
[original in SCIF archives]


[original in SCIF archives]