The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), Wed., Aug. 10, 1881

Full Text
Sailed By a Crazy Master.
The Captain of the Marcia A. Hall Attacking His Crew with an Axe - Pursued by Free Masons and Cats.

Last evening the mate of the schooner Marcia A. Hall, which arrived in the afternoon from Toronto, applied for the arrest of Capt. Maurice Fitzgerald, master of the vessel, representing that he was insane and had driven off the crew with an axe, threatening their lives. officers Chauncey and Connolly arrested Fitzgerald and committed him to the county jail, where he will remain for the present.

The mate says the vessel loaded partly at Toronto, and he took her up to Oakville to finish out, the captain, who had been drinking heavily, remaining at home and telling him to telegraph when he was loaded, but that perhaps he would not join the vessel unless he felt better. he telegraphed and Capt. Fitzgerald went up and took command.

They sailed at 8 A.M. Sunday, and it was soon found that the captain was in a bad way. He was first seen up the fore cross trees with an axe in his hands, threatening to kill somebody. Off Charlotte he became very violent, chased the men with an axe, and finally catching up an axe in each hand attacked the mate swearing he would kill him. He was overcome, disarmed and bound, so as to do no other harm.

He was full of crazy talk, declaring that he was pursued by the Free Masons who were going to kill him, and that myriads of cats were pursuing him. When they arrived here he was released, but again attacked the crew who dare not stay aboard with him. Capt. Fitzgerald owns the schooner. His wife was telegraphed, and the mate will probably take out the vessel, which is loaded for Hamilton.

There is no doubt of Captain Fitzgerald's insanity. He has had several such tears outside. Last season on a trip from Hamilton to Charlotte he became insane, and putting the vessel's boy in a boat and throwing in an axe, he jumped in, cut her adrift in a big sea and was soon driven out of sight. After several days they were picked up by another vessel. The boy almost perished from fright and exposure, and Captain Fitzgerald himself so prostrated that he became very ill and remained ashore some time.

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Wed., Aug. 10, 1881
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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), Wed., Aug. 10, 1881