Vincent D. Nickerson
Vincent D. Nickerson, a well-known marine artist of Cleveland, and now connected with the Cleveland Ship Building Company, has been connected with marine interests throughout his entire life. He was born October 7, 1843, in Euclid, Ohio, and when only a few months old was taken by his mother on one of the steamers commanded by his father. During the voyage a collision occurred, the jib boom of the brig Commerce crushing through the sides of the steamer into the state room where he was lying on a pillow. Passing under the pillow it lifted him up, and as the vessels separated carried him out over the water through the side of his father's ship, from which dangerous position he was rescued by Capt. Joseph Dunn, then wheelsman.
When he was only nine years of age his active service as a sailor began. He was employed as cabin boy on the schooner Mary, of which his father was master that season, and on which his brother, Andrew, was making his first trip as cook. On this voyage the latter was knocked overboard by the main boom and drowned while opposite Detroit. Vincent D. Nickerson continued on the Lakes for some time, sailing on the schooner Ellen White, the E.M. Peck, W.B. Castle and the steamer Fountain City. He afterward went to sea on the William B. Castle and was on the Valeria when that vessel was wrecked off the coast of Brazil, but repairs were made and the return trip successfully accomplished. Later Mr. Nickerson was connected with the bark American Union, the schooner Medbury, the Consuelo, the H.R. Newcomb and other vessels. He was also at one time mate of the steamer Cora, said to be at that time the fastest steamer running out of San Francisco, and for a time he was engaged in gold mining in Idaho. He also served in the United States Navy during the Rebellion. On leaving the lakes he turned his attention to artistic work, and engaged in making marine scenes for five years; and he then began constructing models and doing draughting.
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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.