Captain James M. Carroll
Captain James M. Carroll is one of the oldest masters on the Great Lakes, and has been sailing in some capacity during the greater part of his life since he was twelve years of age. He was born in Quebec, Ont., June 15, 1821, and started the work of his life with very little common-school education. His father, John Carroll, was a Scotchman, and a farmer by occupation after he settled in Quebec. He died in 1831, and the mother, Margaret (Torrens), died when James was so young that he never knew her; she was born in Greenock, Scotland. Captain Carroll had four sisters; Rebecca, Jane, Helen and Margaret, and one brother, William, who was lost at sea off California in the early days.
Captain Carroll began his practical life as apprentice on the ocean brig Jessie, which carried timber from Quebec to Liverpool. He subsequently went to live at Sacket's Harbor, and shipped from there before the mast on the schooner General Washington, remaining a couple of seasons. Following that he was in other capacities in different vessels, and at the age of twenty years, in 1841, was made master of the schooner Pulaski, in which he owned an interest. Her capacity was two thousand bushels of corn. He was in this vessel two seasons, her trade being between Cleveland and Ogdensburg. He afterward loaded her hold full of corn, and then added a deckload of grindstones. His next service was as mate on the old propeller Chicago, the first screw-wheel propeller that plied the lakes. After a season in this employ he bought an interest in the schooner Kentucky, and was master when she went ashore off Presque Isle, Canada, with a cargo of wheat: no lives were lost, but the vessel was a total loss. Her capacity was four thousand bushels of corn. Captain Carroll next built the schooner Pierpont, and commanded her two seasons, until she was sold; she carried a cargo of sixty-five hundred bushels. He next built the bark Sonora, whose capacity was fifteen thousand bushels, and was her master two seasons. His next vessel was the G. D. Norris, a schooner built in Cleveland, her capacity being eighteen thousand bushels, and he was her master seven consecutive seasons; she was owned by S. T. Hooker, of Milwaukee. For three seasons after this he was master of the Schooner David Todd, and finished his marine life on the Ellsworth. In 1886 he gave up sailing, and bought an interest in the Buffalo harbor tugs Sarah E. Bryant and F. L. Danforth, subsequently selling them. In 1888 he was appointed captain of the life-saving station at Buffalo, but resigned the position two years later, embarking in the storage business. He was burned out May 13, 1890, and since that time has retired permanently from any active business.
Captain Carroll was married first at Sacket's Harbor in 1851, to Mary Parsons, who died about 1877. By this union he had two daughters, and one son, Albert, forty years of age, who is a resident of Buffalo and the general freight agent of the Erie Railway Company. The Captain's second marriage took place at Buffalo in December, 1887, at which time he wedded Mrs. A. I. Williams. They reside at No. 501 Plymouth avenue, Buffalo, New York.
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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.