Augustus Jones, one of the pioneer shipbuilders on the lakes, was born in Essex, Conn., in 1782, and belonged to a race of sea captains and ship builders. The early part of his career was passed in New England, and during the war of 1812, when the British burned the ships in the Connecticut river, his vessels were destroyed. As a compensation the government granted him a tract of land at Black River, now Lorain, Ohio, and he started for the Western Reserve with an ox-team and covered wagon. No record is left of the perils and privations of this journey, but he certainly experienced all the hardships which pioneers were forced to endure when traveling to what was then the Far West. After a struggle of two years he had established a shipyard, built a log house, and made a home for his family, who then joined him. Mr. Jones worked at various points on the lakes, but retained his home at Black River until his death in 1841, at the age of fifty-nine years.
Mr. Jones married Saba Murdock, of Saybrook, Conn., a lady of education and refinement, who heroically endured her lot, and died from the effects of hardships incident to life on the frontier. Their children were: William Augustus; Benjamin Buel; George Washington; Frederick Nelson; James Madison; Maria, wife of Captain Whittaker; Fannie, wife of Capt. Joel McQueen; Mehitable, wife of A.C. Jones, clerk on a steamboat; and Marie Antoinette, wife of Sir Francis Drake, a descendant of the celebrated English navigator. For several years the father and sons were associated in shipbuilding, but after his death they established individual shipyards at Lorain, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Buffalo and Detroit. Altogether the Jones family was one of the most noted in the development of the lake marine.
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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.