Grant Donaldson, the young and efficient chief engineer of the Cambria and other boats, is a son of the late Capt. David and Kate (Faragher) Donaldson, and was born in Cleveland, April 14, 1868. He commenced sailing at the early age of twelve years, and for many years thereafter he sailed during the summers, and attended school during the winter months. His first experience was gained in the schooner Bailey, of which his brother, Capt. William Donaldson, was master. Later he spent some time on the schooner Barney Avery, Capt. John Law, and after this began firing on the harbor tugs in Cleveland, and during the time he was employed on the tug lines he served on nearly every boat of that class in Cleveland. Then he sailed for a time on the steamers Helvetia and Niaagara, becoming second engineer of the steamer Vienna in 1888. He remained on the Vienna two seasons, and then became second engineer of the Iron Chief. After a season on this vessel, he served on the Tuttle one season, on the Joliet two seasons, and also on the Corsica two seasons, becoming engineer of the Cambria in 1896. After laying up the Cambria he ran the steamer German late in the fall.
The nearest Mr. Donaldson ever came to losing his life while on the water occurred several years ago when he was experimenting with winter navigation. During the month of January he was on a scow loaded with wood which a tug was towing toward Cleveland. The scow was top-heavy and rolled over, precipitating everybody on board into the water and giving them a thorough wetting, as well as something of a fright. Happily no one was injured, and the tug picked up all the members of the crew without difficulty.
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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.