Captain John Maddock
Captain John Maddock is a sailor by inheritance and from environments. He was born to the music of the waves on Lake Champlain, at Whitehall, N. Y., October 3, 1833. His father was Cornelius Maddock, who sailed on salt water and on Lake Champlain, and died January 30, 1872, at the age of sixty-two years. His brothers were also sailors, Charles dying in 1875 and Cornelius in 1884, at Fairport (he was in the life-saving service there, and his death was the result of a long exposure the previous fall, in rescuing the crew of a schooner wrecked off Fairport, in Lake Erie).
When our subject was seven years old his father took him along with him on a little vessel he owned, and sailed on lake Champlain to keep the lad from being drowned as his mother could not keep him away from the water. The next year, seeing that John was bound to be a sailor, his father made him cook, and put in his spare time teaching the lad points about navigation. When John was fourteen, J. C. Pierce & Son built a large schooner of which Cornelius Maddock became captain, and John was left as captain of the little craft. She went ashore that summer and he then went with his father as mate. In 1849 John took command of the schooner Francis and sailed her until 1852, when his father took the schooner Forwarder to Lake Ontario and he accompanied him as mate, the family moving to Kingston the next season (1853).
The father built the schooner Mary at Sorel, in Quebec, and then sold her. Sometime later the Mary was lost near Oswego with all hands. In 1854 Cornelius Maddock, together with Calvin & Brick, of Garden Island, bought the three-master Quebec, and sailed her two years in the lumber trade, John Maddock being her mate. In 1856 his father sold out and bought the schooner Dexter Calvin, and sailed her until 1859, John still acting as his mate. Then John and his father as partners bought the schooner D. L. Couch, and sailed her until 1872 in the general lake trade. Six years of this time they carried lumber for David Whitney from Saginaw to Detroit and to Ogdensburg. In 1872 she was sold, and later went down in Lake Erie. In 1873, after his father's death, John went as mate of the Reindeer for Grummond, and remained there until the spring of 1876, when he went as mate of the Louise, but was soon made captain and sailed her until the close of 1877. In 1878 he went to Lake Michigan as mate of the schooner Topsy with Captain Rogers, an old friend from Lake Champlain. He remained there until 1880, when Capt. J. M. Jones bought the schooner Hercules, and John sailed her that season from Detroit to Georgian Bay. In 1881 he sailed the schooner Adventure for a Lake Huron stone company, carrying grindstones to Chicago. In 1882 he was captain of the schooner Columbian, owned by Captain Whipple. She went ashore at Point De Tour while Captain Maddock was asleep, and the owner's son was acting as mate on the deck. Captain Maddock then went to the Lake Huron Stone Company, as mate of the Harry Wesley. In 1883 he did his first steamboating as mate of the Mary Pringle for the Stone Company. His pay was less than before, but he figured that chances of a promotion were better on steamers. He remained mate of the Pringle through 1884-85-86, when he was made her captain. In 1887 there was a change in the stone business, and the company took the Pringle out of it and laid her up, and Captain Maddock was given command of the company's big schooner H. A. Kent. The next spring the company sold the Mary Pringle to a man who wanted to sail her himself, and Captain Maddock went as mate of her, but quit in six or eight weeks. Soon after Grummond bought her, and Captain Maddock again took command, doing wrecking. At the end of two months he quit her to sail the steamer Michigan for Flowers Bros., from Saginaw to Cleveland. He left her in October, and the next trip she was burned at Sandusky.
In 1889 young Jones bought the Sam Neff, and Captain Maddock went with him as sailing master, the steamer working for the government all the season on Spectacle Reef. That fall Colonel Ludlow, government engineer in charge of the work, was ordered to survey the North passage for lights, and Captain Maddock piloted the expedition of the Neff. They located the lights at White Shoals, Fitzsimmons Reef, Grays Reef, Squaw Island, and Suishaw Point. In 1890 Captain Maddock went with Captain Cummingham as mate of the steamer New Orleans, the Captain agreeing to get the steamer Fallow the next season for Captain Maddock. He was not successful, and Captain Maddock accepted the command of the Grace Whitney, one of the new two barges of the Baldwin. They laid up at Buffalo and Mr. Whitney asked Captain Maddock to keep ship that winter and sell the three barges, which he succeeded in doing. In 1892 Captain Maddock went as mate of the steamer Curtis with an old friend as Captain, so that his son could take the position of wheelsman in her. In 1893 Teagan Bros. bought the steamer Chauncy Hurlbut and tow, D. K. Clint, from the Sandusky Transportation Company, Captain Maddock and his son having an interest in her. He sailed her in the ore and coal trade, each boat carrying about 1,200 tons, his son being the mate. In 1898 he became captain of the H. S. Pickands, running from Ohio ports to Lake Superior. Since he began sailing as a boy, Captain Maddock has not lost a season. December 10, 1896, he left Detroit with the Majestic and took her to Milwaukee for Hurley Bros., and put new masts in her. The first locomotive taken to Upper Canada was taken to Toronto by his father in the old Forwarder.
On July 11, 1868, Captain Maddock was married in New Baltimore, to Miss Emma Barrett. She died some years ago leaving him with two sons: James Burton, who secured his papers as master in the spring of 1898, and succeeded his father as captain of the Chauncey Hurlbut; he sailed the schooner Clint for two years, and has been mate on steamers two years. Arthur, the second son, is now in California.
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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.