Captain Edward Babcock
Captain Edward Babcock, an old and widely-known lake mariner, was born in Painesville, Ohio, in 1833. He attended the public schools of his native town until 1847, when he commenced his lake career as boy on the schooner Nebraska, with Capt. Normal Richmond, the following season serving on the schooner Matt Root, and in the spring of 1849 shipping as seaman on his first boat, the Nebraska, with Captain Blanchard. On the 2d of July they came up to the bark Sunshine, which had capsized in a squall; the captain and mate were drowned, and the Nebraska picked up the captain's wife, the second mate and five of the crew. In 1850 Captain Babcock shipped on the scow I. C. Pendleton with Capt. David Becker, who lost his life a few years ago, his vessel having taken fire off St. Catharines, Ontario. In the spring of 1851 he shipped as seaman on the brig Iroquois; in 1852-53 in the scow E. L. Herrick; in 1854-55 in the schooner Nebraska, as second mate; in 1856-57 in the schooner Goodell, with Capt. Ras Herrington; in 1858-59 as second mate on the steamer E. B. Hale. In the spring of 1860 he was appointed second mate of the brig Iroquois, and remained on her until May 20, 1861, when she was laid up at Cleveland. Captain Babcock then enlisted in the Twenty-third O. V. I., serving with that regiment eighteen months, and participating in all the encounters in which it was engaged, including the battles at Island No. 10 and Vicksburg. In 1862 he was transferred to the navy, and was promoted to captain of the aftguard of the man-of-war Metacomet, a side-wheel, double-end steamer, which he joined at Mobile. He was with this boat in the engagements at Mobile and New Orleans, and remained on her until the expiration of his three years' term of enlistment, when he re-enlisted for another three years, being assigned boatswain to the man-of-war Michigan, under command of Captain Jewett. He served in that position until the close of 1866, and the year following was appointed boatswain of the revenue cutter Commodore Perry, Capt. D. O. Ottinger commanding, on which he remained two years.
In the spring of 1869 Captain Babcock shipped on the schooner Harvest Home. In 1870-71 he engaged in the fishing business out of Erie, Penn., and in 1872-73 he was again boatswain of the cutter Commodore Perry. In 1874 he joined the life- saving service as surfman, at Erie, remaining there two seasons, and in that time assisted in the rescue of the crews of the schooner Beels Thompson, which was burned off that port, and the barge St. Joseph. Removing to Cleveland, Captain Babcock there engaged in occupation ashore two years, but in 1878 he joined the Cleveland life-saving service as surfman, and during his connection with same participated in the rescue of the crews of the schooners Moonlight, Baldwin and Cossack. In the spring of 1879 he engaged in the fishing business out of the port of Cleveland, continuing same until, in the fall of 1884, he entered the employ of the Smith Tug Company as watchman, remaining there one year. The following year he engaged as night watchman for the three tug lines, the Black, Red and Independent, serving in that capacity about four years, following which, for another four years, he was watchman for the Red Stack line. In the spring of 1895 he entered the employ of the Cleveland Tug Company as night manager which position he yet retains.
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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.