Captain Edward Hewitt
Captain Edward Hewitt, of Cleveland, Ohio, although barely past the half-century point in age, has spend nearly forty years as a sailor on the ocean and the Great Lakes. He was born in the little village of Warren's Point, in the North of Ireland on January 14, 1844, son of Thomas Hewitt, who was a farmer. Edward Hewitt commenced sailing in 1858, his first experience being as boy on the iron dispatch steamer Mystery, which was used to carry ammunition for the English during the Crimean war. His uncle, Capt. James Hays, was in command of the vessel, and he spent three years in her, the little steamer making regular trips between the northern coast of Ireland and Ardrossan, Scotland. At the expiration of his period of service in the Mystery, young Hewitt went to Liverpool, where he shipped on the steamer Arcadia, engaged in the Mediterranean trade. Within a period of twelve months he had made four round trips, touching each time at the ports of Gibraltar, Malta, Syria, Constantinople, Smyrna, and Alexandria, Egypt. At the close of the fourth trip he went on the full-rigged ship Helen Douglass, Captain McDougall, and made a voyage to Calcutta with a cargo of merchandise. The vessel brought a cargo of sugar, jute, cotton, etc., back to Liverpool, at which point Mr. Hewitt joined the ship Inkerman, of Boston, and made another voyage to Calcutta. The Inkerman received some slight injuries on the way out, and was compelled to go into dry dock in Calcutta. While her repairs were being made a terrific cyclone descended upon the city and made wrecks of a large number of fine vessels, but the Inkerman escaped damage by the storm and loaded a cargo of rice for Bombay, there being a severe famine in India at this time, 1863. There were other American merchantmen in that quarter of the world at the time, but their commanders knew that the Rebel privateer Alabama was cruising near the Cape of Good Hope, and they dared not start for home. The Inkerman therefore loaded with cotton, sugar, etc., for Liverpool, making the trip in safety.
Leaving the vessel at Liverpool as before, Hewitt shipped in the bark David Taylor, of New Brunswick, for a voyage to Buenos Ayres, from which point the vessel sailed around the Horn to Valparaiso, where he left her, joining a Chilean bark at Coquimbo. After remaining in this vessel, which was engaged in the copper ore trade, but a short time, he went to a Peruvian port and joined a French ship, the Nantes, for a trip to Havre, France. At this point he joined the ship Martha Cobb, of Maine, for a voyage to Cardiff, Wales, where he shipped on a square-rigged brig, and made several trips to Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Making his way thence to Liverpool he shipped on the bark Recife, which took a general cargo to Japan, and loaded at Yokohama with tea for New York; she did not reach her destination, however, until six months and twenty-two days, being given up for lost. On the way she stopped at the island of St. Helena, and Hewitt went on shore long enough to see the house in which Napoleon Bonaparte spent his last days. The Recife reached New York in April, 1867, and Mr. Hewitt proceeded at once to Buffalo, sailing on the lakes until October of the same year, during which he saw service in the schooners F.M. Knapp, J.I. Case and Reed Case. In October he went down the Mississippi river to New Orleans, where he shipped on the Pontiac for Havre with cotton, returning to the United States on a French bark. He spent two years on the Atlantic coast in the steamers Hercules and Allentown. Then he went to St. John, N.B., and shipped as second mate on the bark Harry Bailey, bound for Liverpool with lumber, and returning with a cargo of coal, which she left at Havana, Cuba, going from Havana to Pensacola, Fla., to get a cargo of hard pine for London. Leaving the Bailey at Liverpool, Mr. Hewitt joined the Inman line steamer City of Montreal, and made four trips between New York and Liverpool, his next berth being on the brig Stockton, trading on the Atlantic coast, on which he remained for some time. In 1875 he went to St. John, N.B., to be married, and he spent the three years following on shore, engaged in rigging new ships at St. John. Then he engaged as boatswain of the ship British Queen, making a voyage to Liverpool and back, and upon his return he removed to Cleveland, Ohio, where he was given the berth of second mate in the schooner Frank C. Layton. Later he served in the schooners Leonard Hanna and Camden, and was second mate, mate and master, successively, of the schooner Delaware, in which he remained five years. Then he sailed the schooners Richard Winslow and Minnehaha, was mate of the steamers E.P. Wilbur and George Spencer, master of the schooner San Diego, mate and master of the steamer Colgate Hoyt, and master of the steamer A.D. Thompson and the schooner Saveland, remaining in the last named vessel two and a half years. He took the yacht Nautilus, belonging to Benjamin F. Howard, of Duluth, to the World's Fair for its owner, commanding her that year, and he has since sailed in various boats, during the summer of 1896 being connected with one of the Euclid Beach Park boats of Cleveland.
The Captain married Miss Mary Elizabeth Wall, of St. John, N.B., and they have had children as follows: Joseph, John, Thomas, Mary, Francis, and Florence Delaware, who was born on the ship Delaware, which the Captain subsequently commanded. The family has a pleasant home at No. 213 Taylor street, on the West side, Cleveland.
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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.