Hugh McCann, one of four brothers and six sisters, children of Daniel and Annie (O'Rourke) McCann, was born at Dundrum, County Down, Ireland, January 1, 1865.
Mr. McCann began his sailing career when about fourteen years of age, going first as ordinary and afterward as able seaman on a vessel trading to the East Indies. Next going on the Carniolo as able seaman, he made two trips from Belfast to Brooklyn, Java and the Phillipine Islands and back to Liverpool, the voyages covering a period of three years and four months. Following this he went on the Lord Donnshire in the same capacity for a trip to Adelaide, Australia, taking fifteen months. The next two years he was on the steamboat Bell, on the Black Sea, and for the succeeding ten months went on the coast on the Express, following with about eleven months on the Bell Brake to Montevideo. He now commenced sailing on the Great Lakes, remaining five months on the Albacor, on Lake Ontario. Afterward he went before the mast on the F. L. Danforth, A. P. Beals, O. H. Hollaren, Savin and A. P. Nichols in the order named, his service in these boats covering a period of about two years, and in 1891 he went as lookout on the Philadelphia for that season. During 1892 and the first half of 1893 he was wheeling on the Wissahickon, finishing the latter season on the Conemaugh. The season of 1894 found him wheeling on the Grand Traverse, and the next on the Russia, finishing the last half as her second mate, which position he also held for the season of 1896. Mr. McCann was on the Conemaugh when she ran into and sunk the Brittania on Lake Huron, near Detroit, picking up all of her crew but one, who was drowned. He is a member of Local Harbor No. 41, Buffalo Harbor Lake Pilots Association, and resides at No. 10 Kentucky street, Buffalo, New York.
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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.