Captain Francis S. Land of the S.S. City of Berlin, Inman Line
If you are a believer in physiognomy, look at Captain Francis S. Land's portrait, and you will know him to be, as he is, a. man of the kindest instincts, and yet of the strongest force of character.
Possibly better than any officer who can be named in this sketch he illustrates the popular idea of the sea-captain.
He is a big man, of the hearty, robust type ; he looks a giant in his uniform. You say, as you gaze upon him, "Here's a man such as one looks for upon the sea ; he is approachable by a child, but he secures and retains the respect of every one."
He has hosts of friends, whom he has won by his geniality and retains by his high character. It is related that some such conversation as this once occurred, of which Captain Land was the subject:
" He's a splendid, warm-hearted fellow."
" Warm-hearted, did you say ? Why, he's the coolest man I ever knew. You ought to see him sometimes."
He is both. That he is warm-hearted, the average uneventful trip will show. That he is "cool," only becomes manifest upon certain occasions. A recent incident well demonstrates the fact. A few months ago Captain Land's vessel, the City of Berlin, collided with an iceberg. It was in the night-time, and no blame attaches to any one for the accident. The berg was almost as hard as the iron ship, and much larger.
Both opposing bodies were sadly damaged, and at one time affairs looked serious for the passengers aboard the steamer, but the gallant mariner with the anomalous name carried his boat through dangerous seas to the port of New York. A handsome watch and chain are his souvenirs of those trying days. They were presented to Captain Land, in the language of the gentleman who spoke in behalf of his fellow-passengers, " for being cooler than the iceberg."