The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), March 30, 1876

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Captain Edmund Welch.

Yesterday Captain Edmund Welch, one of the oldest and at one time one of the most prominent captains on the lakes, died. Capt. Welch was born on the island of Newfoundland, in October, 1815, and being left an orphan at an early age, went to sea.

After spending some years on the salt water, he came to the lakes and to Oswego in 1835, and being a thorough sailor, was promoted to a captaincy in 1838. For many years it was the common belief among sailors that Captain Welch jumped the west pier with his vessel, the Charles Crooks, of this port, in the fall of 1843, but before his death he explained the matter.

The vessel broached to several times in entering the harbor, and narrowly escaped going ashore below the east pier. The night was dark and frequent and heavy snow squalls prevailed, making it almost impossible to see the piers or light at times. As the schooner neared the east pier she was caught by a succession of huge waves and carried inside the harbor, but not without damage, for she struck the end of the east pier with such violence that several of her planks were broken

Among the sailors on the Crooks at the time was John Baltes of this city. The only time the Captain ever beached a vessel was in the spring of 1849, when the schooner Albion, owned by Sylvester Doolittle, after breaking her centre board drifted ashore with anchor down three miles this side of Port Dalhousie. Although the vessel's stern was out of water when the storm subsided, the captain, his crew, and several farmers, whom he employed, went to work with such good will that the schooner was released and gone before one of Mr. Doolittle's propellers with pumps and other apparatus arrived at the scene.

Captain Welch was the Commodore of T. Wyman's fleet, and his word was law with the employer. He came out in the propeller Lawrence, of which he was part owner, and had the brightest future before him of any sailor on the lakes, but he fell through liquor and became a sad wreck. Some four or five years ago he joined the Priory of St. Paul, a temperance organization, and up to the time of his death was a faithful member. On shipboard he was looked upon by his sailors as harsh but still just. he recognized merit, and probably no man assisted more young sailors in gaining captaincies. In his palmy days he was charitable and ever willing to assist the needy.

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March 30, 1876
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Richard Palmer
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), March 30, 1876