Captain Jeremiah Murphy
Captain Jeremiah Murphy, whose service on the Great lakes is antedated by few, was born in Oswego, N. Y., March 6, 1826, and was one of three brothers, two of whom were engaged in marine service. His father, Jeremiah Murphy, Sr., was a native of Ireland, and died in Buffalo, N. Y., in 1838. Determining to devote his life to the vocation of a sailor, Captain Murphy, of this review, secured a position as apprentice on the schooner Eagle, whose full cargo weighed fifty tons. This was in the year 1844, more than half a century ago, when no settlers lived along the water route to Chicago. During the trip the ship's provisions gave out, and owing to the scarcity of settlements from which they might obtain food, the men of the crew were nearly starved to death before reaching the Mormon camp on Beaver Island. There, however, they were rescued from their perilous position by the inhabitants of the island, who exchanged groceries for a portion of the vessel's cargo of salt.
After tne years' service in various capacities, Captain Murphy at length was made master of the vessel Sampson and during the thirty years of active service before his retirement from marine life, he was in command successively of the schooners Tempest, Burgoyne, Caroline, Enterprise, Sorell, Burlington, Herald, Sylph, Thornton and Naragansett, the bark Masillon, and the schooners Charles Hinckley, William Grandy, C. G. Breed, Southwest and C. P. Williams. He exercised great care and judgment in the management of the vessels, and always had the confidence and respect of the vessel owners. In his early life he once shipped before the mast on the schooner Warren, the captain of which had a few hours before refused to accept James A. Garfield as a member of the crew. This was probably due to the fact that Captain Murphy had spent some time on the lakes, and had the appearance of a sailor while General Garfield had just come from the farm, and his ignorance of marine life made him ineligible.
On July 10, 1869, Captain Murphy was married to Miss Mary Alexander, a native of Scotland. Their children are: Herbert Edward, Alice Emily, Gertrude Isabella, Agnes Elizabeth, Edna Jerene, James Garfield and Marian. The Captain after a long, honorable and useful career, is now living retired in his pleasant home at No. 959 Wilson avenue, Cleveland, Ohio.
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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.