Captain James B. Watts
Captain James B. Watts is a son of Matthew Watts, who died from exposure on Lake Winnepeg while a captain in the employ of the Canadian Government, having been lashed to the bottom of the yacht Keewatin for ten days and nights, in the month of September, 1890. The mother was Fairlina Brotchie, and her family were sailing men.
James was born in Collingwood, Ont., in 1861, and his first sailing was in 1876, before the mast on the schooner Kittie, in the lumber trade from Lake Huron to the Lake Erie Ports. The next season he was before the mast on the schooner Hannah Moore, and in 1878 was mate on the same schooner, going, in 1879, as mate on the schooner Seaman. In 1880 he was before the mast on the schooners Thomas Gawn, Riverside, Selkirk and other lake traders, until the close of 1884. During the season of 1885 he was wheelsman on the steamers Wm. A. Haskell and the Wm. J. Averill, from Ogdensburg to Chicago. In 1886 he shipped as second mate on the steamer India, and the next year, 1887, was made first mate on the steamer Vienna.
During the seasons of 1888-89 he was first mate on the steel steamer Cambria, until July 12, 1889. He then went on the steamer Havana as captain, and sailed her until the close of 1890, and in 1891 he went as master to the steel steamer Norman, and in 1892 joined the United States lighthouse tender Warrington, in the same capacity, but in July of that year he changed to the steamer City of London. The season of 1893 he passed ashore, excepting two months late in the season, when he sailed the steamer Briton. In 1894 he sailed the steamer R. P. Ranney. In 1895 he accepted the position of first mate on the steamer Briton, and during the season of 1896 filled the same berth on the large steel steamer Coralia. In 1897 he went as master on the steamer Briton, and now (1898) is holding the same position on the same steamer. He is still unmarried.
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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.