The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Anecdote of the Capt'n of the Steamer "Illinois"
Buffalo Courier (Buffalo, NY), 7 Jul 1847, p. 2

Full Text

Anecdote of the Capt'n of the Steamer "Illinois".--Admiral Blake, so well known for his skill as a seaman, and who has no superior on the American waters, is a man of rare genius, and whoever gets the start of him under any circumstances, will be considered a curiosity. The following is a specimen of his Rough and Readiness:

A lady of great personal consequence, had condescended to take a passage on the Illinois, bound to Chicago. As she did not belong to that class of vulgar Americans who are addicted to the habit of early rising, her ladyship was generally found at the second table. It happened one morning that these distinguished personages were sitting directly opposite at the breakfast table. The captain, who cares as little about ceremony as he does for a gale of wind, reached out his knife, and was helping himself to butter, when he was interrupted by the lady whose delicacy was shocked beyond measure, and who cried out in a significant voice, "Water, carry off this plate of butter and bring me a new roll, for this dirty man has been sticking his knife into it!" Blake said nothing but thought the more. Pressently her ladyship reached forward her spoon out of which she had been sipping, and thrust it into the sugar bowl, when the admiral called out, "Waiter, carry off this sugar dish and throw it into the lake, and bring me a bowl of clean sugar -- this dirty woman has been sticking her tea spoon into it!"

Our informant says he tried to contain himself, but spilled his coffee on the dress of the lady who sat near him in the attempt, and made tracks for the door.--Southport American

Media Type:
Item Type:
Date of Publication:
7 Jul 1847
Personal Name(s):
Blake, Chesley
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Wisconsin, United States
    Latitude: 42.56308 Longitude: -87.81174
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Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Anecdote of the Capt'n of the Steamer "Illinois"