Captain George C. Burns
Captain George C. Burns, the efficient master of the Venezuela, has been closely connected with the marine of the Great Lakes for many years. In early boyhood his desire was to become a sailor and as time advanced it increased instead of diminishing, so that at the age of seventeen he began his marine career. His father, John C. Burns, was a captain for many years, having been in command of the Pembroke, Poland, William Wallace, Rob. Anderson, and C.N. Pratt, and is now living a retired life in Amherstburg, Ont., near the place of his birth. He is a son of Cornelius Burns, who was a soldier in the Canadian Army at the time John was born.
Captain Burns, subject of this sketch, began his earthly career November 12, 1860, in Amherstburg, Ont., where he spent the days of his boyhood and youth attending the public schools. His first season as a sailor was spent on the John Owen as watchman, and later he was before the mast on the Hattie Wells, Mary Lyon, Columbian and Polly M. Rogers. He was then wheelsman on the tugs Winslow and the William A. Moore for one season each, and served in the same capacity on the Crusader for four years; then served as mate on the same vessel for one season. This was followed by a like service on the Mary Pringle, Gettysburg, New Orleans, C.F. Curtiss and Louis Palhow, when, during the following season, he was given command of the Washburn, on which he remained for two years, going as captain of the propeller Toledo for the same length of time, after which he became master of the J. H. Pauly, and in April, 1897, brought the steamer Venezuela out new, which he is still in command of.
On January 7, 1884, Captain Burns married Miss Loretto Mahon, who has four brothers on the lakes: Albert, master of the steamer Amazonas; Walter, first mate of the steamer Marida; Joseph, second mate of the steamer Amazonas; and Michael, wheelsman on the steamer Marida. The Captain and his wife have two children: Miner J. and Loretto M., both at school.
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This version of Volume II is based, with permission, on the work of the great volunteers at the Marine Captains Biographies site. To them goes the credit for reorganizing the content into some coherent order. The biographies in the original volume are in essentially random order.
Some of the transcription work was also done by Brendon Baillod, who maintains an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research.