My name is Nancy Stead and I am the g-granddaughter of Washington Duckett, carpenter on the San Francisco on her ill-fated maiden voyage. He survived the wreck, but his brother, who was a waiter on the ship, did not. I am doing research on the wreck of the San Francisco and the subsequent rescue of her passengers.
The Three Bells was built in 1850 and owned by John Bell and his brother, as well as a third Bell, unrelated to them, hence the name. It was the largest iron ship then afloat. She was built on the Clyde at Dumbarton, Scotland, by William Denny and Brothers.
The Three Bells' officers were Captain Crichton, James Gibb, First Mate; John McLean, Second Mate; Adam Cairns, Carpenter; William Parmer, Steward; and Francis McClusky, Cook. there were also 21 seamen aboard. There were also sixteen passengers aboard.
Crighton's g-grandson, Richard E. Crighton, wrote an article about the wreck of the San Francisco, and his g-grandfather's part in the rescue in the Winter 1985 issue of the American Neptune, a quarterly journal of maritime history published by the Peabody Museum of Salem, MA, USA. At that time, Richard was in possession of the silver urn presented to Crighton by the merchants and citizens of New York City, a picture of which appears in the article.