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Steamship Captains Biographical Sketches

The Captain of a Transatlantic Steamship

Steamship Captains

General Information | Multiple Lines

Cunard Line

White Star Line

Inman Line

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National Line

American Line

Red Star Line

North German Lloyd

CGT French Line

  • Captain Julius Barre of the SS Werra, North German Lloyd (1886)
    Captain Julius Barre hails from Westphalia. He commanded the Werra until recently, but will soon assume charge of one of the company's new steamers now building.
  • Captain Samuel Brooks of the SS Arizona, Guion Line (1886)
    Captain Samuel Brooks, of the Arizona, is another example of the colossal captain. He is a man of powerful frame, but scarcely so tall as Captain Murray. He is about five years the senior of the Alaska's commander, and wears a full gray beard most becomingly. He is a man of distinguished appearance, who blends suavity with a dignity that never repels, but prevents intrusive familiarity.
  • Captain Richard Bussius of the SS Werra, North German Lloyd (1886)
    Captain Richard Bussius is commander of the Werra. Like Captain Barre, he is two years older than the Superintendent-Captain. He was born in Brunswick. He has a good voice, is fond of music, brimful of anecdotes, and is universally popular.
  • Captain Henry Condron of the City of Chester, Inman Line (1886)
    The Inman officers are all comparatively young men. Captain Condron, of the City of Chester, is about forty-two or forty-three years of age, and Captains Lewis, of the City of Richrnond, and Redford, of the City of Montreal, are perhaps still younger.
  • Captain T. Cook, Commodore of the Cunard Line (1886)
    Captain T. Cook, the present Commodore of the Cunard Line, is another type of the reserved man who does not familiarize with his passengers. He is never coarse; and will answer a simple question in a simple way. His voice is one of the low, quiet sort, but it has a solidness of sound about it that imparts an emphasis to his words.
  • Captain E. Frangeul of the SS La Normandie, CGT French Line (1886)
    And they are highly esteemed. This is especially true of Captain E. Frangeul, commander of La Normandie and Commodore of the fleet. Everybody likes him.
  • Captain Benjamin Gleadell of the RMS Celtic, White Star Line (1886)
    Captain Benjamin Gleadell is another illustration of the silent type. He commands the Celtic, and as its chief officer has distinguished himself for thorough seamanship and bravery, as he has frequently done during the many years he has been in the service of the White Star Line.
  • Captain R. W. Grace of the SS America, Commodore of the National Line (1886)
    The command of this fine steamer has been given to Captain R. W. Grace, who ranks as the Commodore of the line. He has been temporarily deprived of the guardianship of this youngest sea child of the National by her British Majesty's government, who have enrolled the Arnerica into the military transport service. It is expected that she will soon resume her usual sphere of existence as one of the monarchs of the Atlantic.
  • Captain W. H. P. Hains of the RMS Aurania, Cunard Line (1886)
    If you have ever crossed with Captain W. H. P. Hains, you will surely remember him. He is a tall, distinguished-looking man, with one of those faces that instantly prepossess you.
  • Captain W. H. P. Hains, SS Campania, Cunard Line (1897)
    When it comes to personal experience, however, one meets with the greatest possible difference. One man, before reaching command, has boxed the compass of adventures; another seems to step with the regularity of a minuet from one grade to another.
  • Captain Alphonse P.M. Perier d'Hauterive, SS Labrador, CGT French Line (1886)
    Captain Alphonse P. M. Perier d'Hauterive, of the Labrador, is not an ordinary-looking man. He is rather tall for a Frenchman, and wears a full beard. He is of slight frame, but it is his eyes which make him rather conspicuous.
  • Captain John Hedderwick of the SS Furnessia, Anchor Line (1886)
    Captain John Hedderwick, of the Furnessia, is different from both in appearance, and a sort of link between the two in his tastes. His strong right arm has escorted many a lady across slippery and rocking decks, and many of them will always remember the captain as a pleasant man. "Black Jock" is the familiar title he is known by.
  • Captain Peter J. Irving of the SS Republic, White Star Line (1886)
    Captain Peter J. Irving, of the Republic, is still another of the White Star's galaxy of quiet men, and yet he is the sort of officer that always favorably impresses those who meet him. He is scarcely more than forty years of age, but in that time has climbed the ladder, or perhaps it would be more applicable to say has mounted to the topmast of position step by step upon the riggings of merit.
  • Captain John C. Jamison, SS St Paul, American Line (1897)
    The American Line is comparatively a new departure, its inception dating only some two years back. But its newness is chiefly a matter of name, the International Steam Navigation Company and the Inman Line, of which it is composed, having been long in existence.
  • Captain C. H. E. Judkins of the Cunard Line (1886)
    Some of them never make friends, and others always do. Of the latter class many instances might be given. Of the former there has never been a better illustration in the service than the late Captain Judkins, of the Cunard Line. He was highly esteemed by the company, but the bane of nine-tenths of the passengers who crossed in his day. Anecdotes innumerable are told of him, and all illustrative of his singular gruffness of manner.
  • Captain C. W. Kennedy, RMS Germanic, White Star Line (1886)
    Captain C. W. Kennedy commands a sister ship, the. Germanic. None of the White Star captains look alike, and in some respects are as different as the sea and shore; but they are for the most part of the practical, serious mold, who rarely unbend to the average passenger's liking. They are all highly esteemed, however, as great sailors, and nearly every one has performed some gallant action and received a public reward.
  • Captain Francis S. Land of the SS City of Berlin, Inman Line (1886)
    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.
  • Captain Christoph Leist, Superintendent - Captain of North German Lloyd (1886)
    The captains of the North German Lloyd Line are well known now in three of the greatest nations of the earth, and the growing prosperity of this company will soon expand still more their modest fame. Their vessels touch three ports, German, English, and American, on each oceanic journey.
  • Captain E. G. Lott of the Cunard Line (1886)
    Captain E. G. Lott, another veteran officer of the Cunard Line, but now retired from service, was never harsh-spoken like Captain Judkins, but seemed almost equally averse to mingling with his passengers. He was a jolly-looking man, and usually wore a pleasant smile, which frequently emboldened passengers to address him.
  • Captain E. R. McKinstry, R.N.R., SS Germanic, White Star Line (1897)
    There is generally a good deal of similarity in the early training of commanders of Atlantic ferry-boats. But in the case of Captain E. R. McKinstry, R.N.R., we have a slight variation. His first experience was obtained on the training-ship Conway. Here he spent two years. On leaving the Conway he received an appointment as midshipman in the Royal Naval Reserve, " which," says Captain McKinstry, " means being twenty-eight days every year with the mess on the Eagle gunnery-ship."
  • Captain W. McMickan of the SS Umbria, Cunard Line (1886)
    The social sailor is Captain W. McMickan, of the Urnbria. A pleasanter companion one rarely meets. You may sit in his saloon and watch his merry eye sparkle while he rattles off tales of the sea by the hour.
  • Captain R. D. Munro of the City of Rome, Anchor Line (1886)
    Captain R. D. Munro is Commodore of the Anchor Line fleet, and commander of that great ship the City of Rome, which has grown to be known as the Leviathan of the Atlantic. His is the only vessel of the line which sails between Liverpool and New York. Glasgow is the home port of all the other Anchors.
  • Captain George Siddons Murray of the SS Alaska, Guion Line (1886)
    Captain George Siddons Murray commands the Alaska. He is a Scotchman by birth, and as big, robust a son of Caledonia as ever came out of the Highlands or Lowlands.
  • Captain Parsell of the SS Adriatic, White Star Line (1886)
    Captain Parsell, of the Adriatic. is unlike all the other commanders of Messrs. Ismay and Imrie's fleet. He has a distinct personality about him which makes one glad to know him and likely to remember him. His age is not so easy to guess as most men's, because when he smiles — as he frequently does — his face is as frank and merry as that of a schoolboy; but when he falls into a reverie and talks of his wanderings on icy seas so many years ago, you can't help thinking that this young - looking man must really be almost a patriarch.
  • Captain Hamilton Perry of the RMS Britannic, White Star Line (1886)
    The sea-captains, for the most part, are either one thing or the other—either of the jolly, genial type, or of the silent, retiring (I had almost said unsociable) sort. Occasionally one happens to be a little of both and not a great deal of either pattern of man. Such a one is Captain Hamilton Perry, who commands the White Star steamer Britannic.
  • Captain James Price, Port Admiral at Liverpool, Guion Line (1886)
    Some people say of the Guion Line that it is particularly fortunate in having such a staff of universally popular commanders. Captain James Price is distinctively an Atlantic veteran. He has crossed 'twixt shore and shore times without number. He has commanded all the crack "greyhounds" of the company, and has perhaps ferried ten thousand people over the wide stream.
  • Captain William G. Randle of the SS Westernland, Red Star Line (1886)
    Captain William G. Randle, of the Red Star branch of the American Line, commands the Westernland. The home port of his vessel, unlike that of his three brethren, Sargent, Urquhart, and Freeth, is New York. No, on second thought, this is not exactly the fact.
  • Captain S. Santelli of the SS Amerique, CGT French Line (1886)
    Captain S. Santelli is next in order. His ship is the Arnérique. Though holding a commission in the French navy...
  • Captain Redford W. Sargent, SS Indiana, American Line (1886)
    Captain Redford W. Sargent commands the American Line steam-ship Indiana, which runs between Liverpool and Philadelphia. The Indiana is only a freight-carrier now, but a few years ago she and her three sister ships, the Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ohio, were the only vessels in the ocean ferrying trade which sailed under the American flag.
  • Captain John J. Small of the SS Anchoria, Anchor Line (1886)
    Captain John J. Small, of the Anchoria, doesn't look like Captain Munro, but the same general description will fit both. He is of nearly the same age, of the same short, thickset figure, and has a weather-beaten complexion and grayish beard like Munro.
  • Captain James Sumner of the SS Egypt, National Line (1886)
    Next to him [Captain R.W. Grace] in order of seniority is Captain James Sumner, of the Egypt. There is nearly 1000 tons difference in the size of the Arnerica and the Egypt. The same relative difference of weight prevails in the case of the two commanders.
  • Captain Thompson, SS Georgic, White Star Line (1897)
    Captain Thompson of the Georgic, another of the White Star boats, but one that is chiefly engaged in the cattle trade, is in very general agreement with Captain McKinstry on one point. He believes in the much-maligned British sailor. The Georgic is the largest cargo vessel in the world, being of 10,000 tons burden, and carrying live-stock and cargo.
  • Captain Patrick Urquhart of the Lord Clive, American Line (1886)
    The English ships, however, which are chartered by the same company are officered by citizens of Great Britain. Captain Patrick Urquhart, of the Lord Clive, and Captain E. H. Freeth, of the British Princess, are subjects of the Queen. The company considers them both capable officers, and the traveling public goes a little further, and looks upon them as attractive men.
  • Captain Frederick Watkins of the SS City of Chicago, Inman Line (1886)
    The minute you set foot upon the deck of the City of Chicago you will like Captain Frederick Watkins. If you, as some people do, make the very first duty aboard ship to see what sort of a man you have for captain, and try the experiment of exchanging a word with him, you may rest assured you won't go away grumbling at his lack of courtesy when you have spoken to the Commodore of the Inman fleet.
  • Captain J. B. Watt, Cunard Line (1907)
    Capt. J. B. Watt has been appointed to the command of the new Cunard line turbine steamer Lusitania, which is one of the mammoth liners now being completed. Capt. Watt joined the Cunard company in 1873 and has passed through every grade of command. Among the vessels he has commanded are the Umbria, Etruria, Lucania and Campania.
  • Captain Wilhelm Willigerod of the SS Ems, North German Lloyd (1886)
    Captain Wilhelm Willigerod, who formerly commanded the Ems, and will control one of the three new steamers which Messrs. John Elder and Co. are constructing, is the oldest of this group of captains.
  • Captains Edouard G. Traub, De Jousselin, and G. A. M. S. De Kersabiec of the CGT French Line (1886)
    Captain Edouard G. Traub, of the St. Germain, Captain De Jousselin, of the St. Laurent, and Captain G. A. M. S. De Kersabiec, of the Canada, are the three remaining commanders of the French fleet.
  • The Captain's Work on an Atlantic Ocean Liner (1889)
    I will briefly describe one of my winter voyages on board the White Star steamer " Germanic," and the public can then decide if the life of a commander is as princely and luxurious as many seem to imagine.
  • The Great Atlantic Liners - 1895 Article by George Holme
    • Captain Cameron of the Teutonic.
    • Captain Parsell of the Majestic.
    • Captain Hains of the Campania.
    • Captain McKay of the Lucania.
    • Captain Watkins of the Pans.
    • Captain Jamison of the New York.
    • Captain Albers of the Fürst Bismarck
    • Captain Barends of the Augusta Victoria
  • Transatlantic Steamship Captain - Duties and Responsibilities - All In a Days' Work - 1901
  • The Captain of the Ocean Liner (1908)
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