Table of Contents

Title Page
Captain H. L. Sanders
Captain C. M. Saph
Captain James M. Saunders
Captain H. L. Savage
Captain Henry Savage
John R. Schiebel
Captain Phillip Schied
Herman E. Schmidt
William Schoeman
James Scholes
L. Schreiber
William Schumaker
Captain Syd. Scott
C. L. Scoville
Frank Seiler
Captain Willett A. Session
Captain Joseph Shackett
Captain Harry L. Shaw
Samuel Shaw
Captain Charles P. Sherbno
Captain James Sheils
Captain A. M. Shephard
Thomas W. Sheriffs
Charles S. Shriver
Captain Seymour Shriver
Captain David Sidney
John L. Simmons
Thomas G. Simmons
Captain Cyrus Sinclair
John Skelly
Captain James A. Skiffington
Captain William G. Slackford
Edward Slater
William J. Slater
Captain Thomas Slattery
L. Sleno
Samuel M. Sloan
Captain E. Smades
Captain A. C. Smith
Abram Smith
Charles E. Smith
Edgar J. Smith
F. B. Smith
Frank A. Smith
Captain George W. Smith
John Smith
John H. Smith
Captain Joseph F. Smith
Captain P. Smith
Captain P. C. Smith
Samuel Smith
Captain William H. Smith
Captain James Snow
J.O. Snyder
Oliver J. Soleau
Captain William H. Solmes
John B. Souter
Louis Souter
James A. Southgate
George J. Spaulding
Captain E. P. Spear
James Spears
James Speir
C. E. Stacy
Alick J. Staley
Captain Daniel H. Stalker
Captain John W. Stalker
Captain Frederick C. Starke
Frank Steadley
Captain Francis M. Stenton
Captain Vere S. Stenton
E. A. Stephenson
Captain William Lyman Stevens
Alexander T. Stewart
David P. Stewart
Douglass H. Stewart
Captain James P. Stewart
Captain John Stewart
Captain John A. Stewart
Captain John N. Stewart
Captain Charles H. Stickney
John Stoalder
Captain Henry W. Stone
Captain John Stone
Captain Marshall Stone
Dennis Strulb
John A. Styninger
Lafayette S. Sullivan
Captain John Dean Sullivan
Captain Robert H. Sunderland
Captain Edward W. Sutton
Joseph F. Sutton
William Sutton
Captain David Sylvester
Captain Solomon Sylvester
Captain George A. Symes
Captain James B. Symes
William J. Swain
The Swain Wrecking Company
Captain Charles M. Swartwood
Table of Illustrations

Captain James A. Skiffington

Captain James A. Skiffington, of Detroit Michigan, was born in Cornwall Ontario, January 1, 1842. His parents were natives of Ireland, Patrick Skiffington, his father, coming from Tyrone, and his mother, Marie Skiffington, nee Smith from Dublin.

Previous to his life on the lakes Captain Skiffington busied himself for a time at farm work, and was engaged in a couple of stores. He began his lake career as fore-castle boy, and in a few years rose to the command of the fore-and-alt schooner, having filled before this event the positions of cook, deckhand, wheelsman and mate, and was also before the mast.

For the past twenty-two years, since 1876, Captain Skiffington has been in command of the steamyacht, now known as the Pilgrim, but was formerly the Truant, and ten years later, 1886, became commander of the Idler. He was in the boatbuilding and boat-livery business for a period of ten years, and was owner of the Wm. Lachapelle, a smaller steamer, most of the time. During these ten years Captain Skiffington saved at least fifty people from drowning in Lake St. Clair and the Detroit river. On some of these occasions he rescued people at the risk of his own life, but never thought of personal danger when in the noble duty of saving a life.

The Captain has had some narrow escapes during his career. In the season of 1860 he shipped as fireman on the propeller Gore, formerly the Protection and while on her a very severe storm rose on Lake Ontario, almost wrecking the Gore, and those on board narrowly escaped drowning. The top masts came down through two decks, the steering gave way, and the lifeboats were stove in by the water barrel breaking loose. Captain Nelligan, who was in command of the vessel at this time was lost overboard, but the others escaped safely.

In 1864 Captain Skiffington was married in Kingstown, Ont., to Annie G. Dowler. They had nine children (seven of who are living): Henrietta (deceased), Evaline, Alfred J., Hubert H., Winnifred, Vincent T. (deceased), Truman John, Harrie R. and Willow.


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Volume I

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.