Table of Contents

Title Page
Captain Edward Babcock
Captain George Francis Babcock
W. I. Babcock
Frederick A. Bailey
Captain Joshua Bailey
Captain Robert N. Bailey
Captain Thomas J. Bailey
Captain A. J. Bain
Captain Isaac Guilbert Bain
Captain Edward J. Baker
Captain C. R. Baker
Captain J. Baker
James W. Baker
J. A. Baldwin
Captain T.G. Baldwin
Horatio F. Bangs
Captain G. C. Barnes
William C. Barr
Captain John Barrow
Fred B. Barrows
Captain John L. Bartlett
Peter D. Bauld
William Baumert
James W. Beach
Oscar M. Beach
Charles Beatty
Richard Beaubien
Henry Beck
William G. Beckbissinger
Captain Daniel M. Becker
G. W. Beers
Thurman E. Beers
Harvey C. Beeson
David Bell
George M. Belloir
Captain W. H. Beltz
Captain Charles E. Benham
Captain W. P. Benham
D. C. Bennett
J. C. Bennett
James Bennett
Captain Fred G. Benson
Captain John G. Betke
Captain John M. Beverly
C. F. Bielman
Frank Bingham
A. D. Birdsall
W. E. Bishop
William H. Bishop
David A. Black
William A. Black
James B. Blair
Edward R. Blanchard
Joseph R. Blanchette
H. J. Blaney
C. Blauvelt
Robert S. Blauvelt
Henry Bloecker
Captain David Blom
Captain Frank Bloom
Charles A. Bloomer
Thomas J. Bluett
Adam G. Bohland
Captain George Bohn
George M. Bohnert
Captain David Bordeaux
Henry Born
Captain William A. Boswell
Captain Benjamin Boutell
Captain Thomas T. Boyd
Captain P. Boylan
George A. Brabant
George L. Brackett
Captain Thomas J. Brady
Fred A. Bradley
William E. Bradley
M. E. Brady
William Brake
Henry Braund
Samuel H. Braund
Patrick Brennan
Captain Julius Brett
Hiram Philip R. Brey
Captain John Bridge
Thomas W. Bristow
Engineer Peter Britz
John Broderick
J. P. Brogan
Captain Charles T. Bronson
Captain George E. Brooks
James William Brooks
Captain R. H. Brooks
Captain A. J. Brown
Alexander A. Brown
Capt. C. W. Brown
Captain Charles T. Brown
Charles W. Brown
Captain Frank H. Brown
Captain George H. Brown
Captain James E. Brown
Captain John Brown
Nelson Brown
Willis Brown
Hugh Buchanan
James Buchanan
Daniel Buie
Captain Dugald Buie
Henry Bullard
William Bullock
Captain Thaddeus F. Burbank
Henry B. Burger
James V. Burke
Captain William C. Burnett
William Ritchie Burnett
David Burns
Captain George C. Burns
M. J. Burns
Captain Riley M. Burrington
Captain F. O. Burrows
A. E. Bury
Captain Thomas Bury
Charles W. Butler
E. D. Butler
Captain F. G. Butlin
John Butterworth
Corey H. Buzzard
Irvin G. Buzzard
Captain Robert L. Byers
Captain James Byers
James T. Byers
Table of Illustrations

Captain William C. Burnett

Captain William C. Burnett, a well-known master of the lake craft, the principal part of whose marine life has been spent in the difficult task of handling tugs successfully, has many of the characteristics of his sturdy Scotch ancestors. He was born on the island of St. Vincent, one of the British West Indies, a son of John and Jeannette (Jackson) Burnett, the former a native of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, the latter born in St. Vincent and a descendant of the Jacksons, of Bristol, England. The parents became acquainted and were married, however, on St. Vincent, the father being overseer of an extensive sugar plantation there. Six years after that marriage, and when our subject was but six months of age, they removed to Bradford, Ontario, Canada, where they resided about twenty years, and where the father became station master for the Northern railroad, and it was here that the son, William C., acquired his public-school education.

When he was but ten years of age he ran away from home, and being a sturdy well-grown lad, he found employment as a ferry boy on Buffalo creek, his boat plying between the foot of Main street and the Richmond elevator, the scene of the earlier efforts of many of the lake captains. During the entire season of 1867 he was engaged as lineman on the tug Bryant. That winter he returned home and entered the employ of Thompson Smith & Sons, lumber dealers, and during the next seven years was engaged in different capacities on various tugs owned by that firm, towing and rafting on Lake Simcoe. During this period he acted as master or engineer, as occasion required, on the tugs S.H. Hathaway, Simcoe, Isabella and Victoria, all Canadian bottoms.

In the spring of 1877 Captain Burnett came to the United States, located at Cheboygan, Mich., and being still in the employ of Thompson Smith & Sons, accepted an engineer's berth on the tug Charles L. Decunick, a light-draft boat of peculiar construction, somewhat after the style of river steamers, but a good rafting boat. On receiving his American license he assumed command of the Decunick, and sailed her seven consecutive seasons. In the spring of 1885 he was appointed master of the tug George W. Wood, doing harbor tugging. During the winter of 1882-83 he superintended the construction of the tug Duncan City, brought her out new in the spring and sailed her seven years, doing a profitable business, and in the fall of 1890 he went to Cleveland, having been appointed mate on the schooner Wadena, on which he closed the season.

In the spring of 1891 Captain Burnett was made chief engineer of the lake tug Constitution, owned and sailed by Capt. John Lundy, passing two years towing on the Sault river. It was in the spring of 1893 that the Captain went to Duluth, where he entered the employ of Commodore B.B. Inman, as master of the tug Pearl Campbell, which, it will be remembered, was lost some time later, with all hands, off Keweenaw Point, Lake Superior. In 1894 he was transferred to the tug Joe Dudley as master, and sailed her two years. He then sailed the tug M.D. Carrington two seasons, and in the spring of 1898 was appointed master of the tug L.L. Lyon, remaining on her the entire season. He has seventeen issues of master's license, and fourteen of engineer's.

Fraternally, Captain Burnett is a Master Mason, belonging to the Blue Lodge, No. 283, Cheboygan, Mich.: a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Independent Order of Foresters. He makes his home when off duty at Cheboygan.


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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.