As we research Shackfords in newspapers and books, Captain John William Shackford's name is mentioned frequently. As we see below, he led an adventurous active life (and this article only describes part of his life!)
JOHN WILLIAM SHACKFORD
John William Shackford was born 20 January 1839[i] in Eastport, Washington, Maine, the first child of William Shackford (1783-1870) and Mary Cutter Lincoln (1814-1867). By the time that John was born, his father who had retired from a very active sailing career to work in the mercantile trade[ii]. William probably shared many exciting stories about his travels as a sea captain with his children as three of his four boys pursued careers as sea captains (John William, Edward Wallace, and Charles Joseph) and the fourth (Eben Lincoln) became a merchant.
John followed his father's example and pursued a career on the sea. He left home when he was young (around 16) to serve as a cabin boy on the Cyclone as it traveled from Boston to Calcutta[iii]. At the age of 19 he was asked to testify in an assault case aboard the American ship Pam Flush[iv] and at the age of 20 we believe he was in prison in Ireland following an assault case.[v] He was back home in Eastport in 1860 with his father William, mother Mary, two brothers Edward Wallace, and Ebed Lincoln, his sister Mary, and youngest brother Charles Joseph[vi].
By the time he was 28, he was transiting the Atlantic as captain of the steamship Pioneer[vii] and soon thereafter received his seaman's certificate[viii] . His steamer routinely traveled from New York to Charleston to Liverpool[ix] and also traveled to Cow Bay[x] Nova Scotia[xi], Galveston[xii]. While master of this ship, he was sued for filling his seamen's sleeping berths with cotton and not providing his seamen with adequate sleeping spaces[xiii] and continued sailing the Pioneer until around 1872 when he became Second Officer aboard the British Steamship Oceanic[xiv]. While aboard the Oceanic, he helped rescue the crew of the Mountain Eagle during a massive storm. Shortly thereafter, Captain Shackford became master of the Steamship Illinois[xv]. (owned by the American Steamship Company) where he was recognized as an outstanding Captain by the passengers[xvi] as he captained the ship from Philadelphia to Liverpool with at least 160 passages without any accidents or complaints[xvii].
It was during this time of Captain John William Shackford's life when he met Edward Hugh Sothern's father with whom he had multiple adventures one of which is described in Edward's book The Melancholy tale of "me": my remembrances who we have to thank for this wonderful photograph of Captain John William Shackford. More about Captain John William Shackford in a future blog.
If you know more about Capt John William Shackford, we'd love to hear from you!
[i] Maine State of Maine, "Maine, Births and Christenings, 1739-1900," index," database, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 8 April 2013), MM9.1.1/F4CY-R6X : John William Shackford, 30 Jan 1839. Name: John William Shackford
[ii] Kilby, William Henry, Eastport and Passamaquoddy, 1982, Eastport, Moose Island, Maine, p. 449
[iii] Sons of the Revolution Pennslyvania Society, Annual Proceedings (The Society, 1906), 38-9; digital images, Google Books (http://books.google.com : accessed 9 April 2013.
[iv] "ASSAULT," The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 December 2013; Trove (trove.nla.gov.au : accessed 6 December 2013), Digitised newspapers and more
[v] "Ireland, Prison Registers 1790-1924," database, FamilySearch, Ireland, Prison Registers, 1790-1924 (https://familysearch.org: accessed 17 April 2013), John W Shackford prisoner, assault
[vi] 1860 United States Federal Census, Washington, Maine, population schedule, Eastport, Page 28 (penned), Dwelling 167, Family 191, William Shackford; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 August 2013).
[vii] "For Liverpool," The Charleston Daily News (Charleston, South Carolina), 5 February 1867; digital images, Library of Congress Chronicling America (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ : accessed 3 December 2013).
[viii] John William Shackford, Master in the Merchant Service, 1867, from Master's Certificates. Greenwich, London, UK: National Maritime Museum, Liverpool, England. Privately held by www.ancestry.com Masters and Mates Certificate
[ix] "For Liverpool," The Charleston Daily News (Charleston, South Carolina), 5 February 1867; digital images, Library of Congress Chronicling America (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ : accessed 3 December 2013).
[x] "Arrived," New York (New York, New York) Times, May 28, 1867; , accessed ); online archives (query.nytimes.com : accessed 12 March 2013).
[xi] Immigrant Ship, microfilm publication Film M237, Reel 282, List 649 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives, ), ; Steamer Pioneer, 25 June 1867, John W Shackford, Master of the Steamer Pioneer
[xiii] Immigrant Ship, microfilm publication Film M237, Reel 282, List 649 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives, ), ; Steamer Pioneer, 25 June 1867, John W Shackford, Master of the Steamer Pioneer
[xiv] A PERILOUS VOYAGE FROM LIVERPOOL," The Mercury, 13 June 1872; Trove Digitised newspapers and more (trove.nla.gov.au : accessed 21 April 2013).
[xv] "Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1945," database images, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1945 (: accessed 17 April 2013), Ship Master: J W Shackford; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1883-1945. Micropublication T840. RG085. Rolls # 1-181. National Archives, Washington, D.C
[xvi] "The Illinois and Her Passengers. Compliments to Capt Shackford and the Officers," Anglo American Times, 25 July 1874, page 14 of 32; Access Newspaper Archive (http://access.newspaperarchive.com : accessed ).
[xvii] "Gould's Fancy Yacht," Chester Times, 21 May 1883; Access Newspaper Archive (http://access.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 11 April 2013).
Sothern Edward Hugh, The Melancholy tale of "me": my remembrances (C. Scribner's Sons, 1916), 351-2; digital images, Google Books (http://books.google.com : accessed 8 April 2013
Copyright 2014 Joanne Shackford Parkes