S. C. Reeves arrived as a passenger aboard the brigantine Henry in February, 1847, originating from Newburyport, Massachusetts. He was appointed in April as a pilot for navigating the channel along the Columbia River—the Oregon Territorial Legislature in 1846 had formed the Oregon Board of Pilot Commissioners, licensing pilots among whom Reeves was the first—and after arriving went to Astoria. In 1848, the Vancouver was wrecked on the Bar, and Reeves bore responsibility, falling under suspicion of conspiracy to plunder. He left for California, by way of the California Star, and, on the 26 December, 1848, returned in command of an American barque, Jóven Guipuzcoana. He returned with the ship to San Francisco in March, 1849. In May, 1849, in command of the sloop Flora, Reeves was ferrying passengers to the California mines, when the ship capsized in Suisun Bay (a tidal estuary northeast of San Francisco), drowning him.