Captain Alonzo Carter
Captain Alonzo Carter, one of the most experienced of the ocean and lake navigators, was born in Belfast, Maine, in 1833. He attended the public schools for a number of years, and subsequently, after he commenced the life of a sailor, went to a school of navigation, where he also acquired the science of drafting and laying down vessels. In 1848 he began sailing in the full-rigged ship Bothnia, out of Bangor, Maine, bound for San Francisco, at which port he left her and joined the ship Flying Cloud for Honolulu, the Samoan Islands, thence to New Zealand, and Antwerp, Germany, the voyage occupying two years. In 1850 he joined, as third mate, the ship Golden Eagle, bound for Olio, Japan. During this voyage an incipient mutiny broke out among the crew, and in his efforts to discipline the chief malefactors Mr. Carter was so severely cut with the sailors' knives that he was confined to a hospital for six months. He still bears the scars of this savage attack. On his recovery he shipped on the schooner Howling Wind, of Scotland, bound for Yokohama to load for London. On his arriving at the latter port he was appointed second mate of the ship Golden Rule, bound for Melbourne, Australia, where she lay six months, discharging and loading for Liverpool, the voyage occupying eighteen months. In 1852 he returned home to visit his parents, and the following year he shipped as mate on the bark Growler, plying between Boston and Mobile Bay, where they discharged cargo and took on cotton for Cronstadt, Russia. The bark reached the Baltic Sea on May 1, discharged cargo and returned to Boston.
In 1854 Captain Carter shipped as mate on the bark Black Squall, for Rio de Janeiro, but she sprung a leak in the Doldrums and was obliged to put in at St. Thomas where the ice cargo was sold at two cents per pound. The vessel was condemned and sold and the crew returned to New York by the American consul. In 1855 he shipped as mate on the schooner Sea Gull, out of Rockland, Maine, transferring from her to a packet ship plying between Savannah and Havana, which in the fall of 1856 encountered adverse winds and became a total wreck. The crew were picked up by a British ship and carried to Charleston, S. C., from which port the Captain shipped on the schooner Melrose, and landed at Rockland, Maine. He remained at home that summer, engaged in building a vessel, the Isaac Cohen Hertz, of which he became mate, continuing thus until November, when he was appointed master, remaining in command until the month of June of the following year. In 1858 he was appointed master of the Fred Howell, formerly the Petrel, and after sailing her six months was promoted to the command of the fine brig Roseway Belle. His next vessel was the schooner Harper, with which he made one trip to the Windward Islands, then transferring to the Mountain Eagle, and later, by appointment, to the command of the Fred Howell. In 1861, on his last trip out of Savannah, with a cargo of sugar for New Orleans, he sailed with a Confederate clearance - the Civil war then being well under way - with cotton breastworks fore and aft on deck. He reached Boston in due time and then went into the coasting trade with the Fred Howell. In May, 1864, Captain Carter was appointed master of the new brig Dudley, owned by A. B. Morton & Sons, and engaged in transporting passengers and soldiers, fuel and forage for the army. In 1867 he returned home and had the Leila built, owning a fourth-interest in same; he sailed her that year and sold his share.
In the spring of 1868 Captain Carter came out to the lakes, locating in Detroit. He entered the employ of Capt. S. B. Grummond, with whom he remained fourteen years, as master of barges, also fitting out his boats and looking after repairs. In 1883 he went to Cleveland and purchased the schooner Venus, which he sailed four years, and the schooner Julia Willard, which he paid for in freights and sailed for three years. The Venus was lost on Lake Huron, Captain Thompson and all hands going down with her. In 1891 Captain Carter sold the Julia Willard and purchased the schooner Fitzhugh, which he sailed that season. He then went to New York and bought the schooner Daniel Brown, which he brought up to the lakes, sailed her one season and then took her back to New York and sold her. In the spring of 1893 he bought a fourth-interest in the schooner Owasco, with Jones & Co., and put her in the stone trade between Sandusky and Portland, Maine. That winter he engaged in the coasting trade and lost his vessel off Halifax, with a cargo of coal from Philadelphia to Montreal. His next purchase was the schooner Riverside, which he sailed the balance of the season of 1894. In 1895 he was appointed master of the barge Charles Wall, which berth he holds at this writing.
Captain Carter was united in marriage to Miss Orelia Carter, of Bristol, Maine, in 1859, and three daughters, Mrs. Herbert C. Walker, Annie M. and Azilla, have been born to them. They reside in Detroit, Michigan.
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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.