Albert Moore, Jr. and the Wreck of the Commodore

Diary of Florence Claridge Moore (1899), copied by Bertha Ella Moore Fazekas, 1945, San Jose, California, Given to Daniel Thomas Moore (Syracuse, New York) by his cousin, Bertha’s daughter, Dorothy Whitney Fazekas Spivey on January 30, 1998.

Dorothy Whitney Spivey wrote to Daniel Moore in the cover letter:  “I have an old diary that my mother, Bertha Elba Moore, gave to me.  She had written down a few of her many stories in it…She was quite elderly when she wrote it and the writing is a little scattered.  I am sorry she did not write more of her stories down because I am afraid I do not remember very many of them myself.  I am now eighty four years old and some of my health problems have not helped my memory.”

 When my father Albert Moore (Jr.) was about 16 years old – he returned from a voyage he landed in New York and took passage on the steamer “Commodore” to go to his home in Maine.  He retired early and when he felt a big bump, he supposed it was morning and they were in Maine.  But this was not so – The ship had gone aground down near Montauk Point.  He dressed up fully and took his bags and blankets and went on deck – There was confusion; it was snowing – and cold – The officers rigged up a Breeches Bouy – but no one would ride it ashore and fasten it… so they offered 5.00 then 10.00 finally 15.00

The Steamer Commodore


Father collected that money.  That was a lot of money to a boy – so he went in and fastened the thing.  He was a nimble active boy and used to the life on the sea.  So they all landed, a pretty rough crowd of seaman except one young woman who was afraid of the men – and clung to Grandpa because he was a boy, but husky enough to protect her.  She had a couple of little babies and she and they were about half dressed.  He opened his pack and put his heavy pea jacket on her.  He cut up his blanket and tied up their feet – another blanket he tied around his waist and another around her waist – it covered their heads and he put the little boy on his back and carried him Piggy – back safe and warm under the blankets.The storm was awful and some of the men wanted the blankets, but he wa plenty tough and they kept them.  He had a knife -  They had to walk about seven miles to Railroad Depot.  A special train came out for the party – and her husband met them – He was very thankful to my father for the care he had given his wife and babies.

The New York Times covered the wreck The Commodore on December 29, 1866.

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