Archiver > LAFFERTY > 2000-06 > 0962400206

From: Jerri Burket <>
Subject: [LAFFERTY] Capt. James M. Lafferty, 1923
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 14:23:26 -0700

Posted on: LAFFERTY Obituaries
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Capt. Lafferty Dead; Last of Old Skippers
Veteran Mariner Dies Suddenly At Home in Southport At Age of 85
Southport, the old shipping center, and the Southport of today, was broken
when Captain James Lafferty, the sole survivor of the old clipper ship
days when Southport was a byword along the coast, passed away at his home
on Center street. Capn Jim, as he was known to the youngest and to the
oldest Southporters, was 85 years, four months and five days old when he

Death came suddenly Saturday morning. He had practically never been ill
before in his life, but Saturday morning he walked to the post office and
on his return stopped at a neighbors saying, he didnt feel well. He is
survived by one sister, Mrs. Celia Ryan.

Capn Jim was born in the house in which he lived at the time of his
death, on June 15, 1838. There were six sisters and two brothers, of whom
Mrs. Ryan is now the sole survivor, all being born in the Center street
home. His father was James Lafferty of Southport, and his mother was Frances
Elwood of Westport.

At the age of nine, he was bound out on a farm in Hulls Farms to Captain
Burr Hull. Here he did chores, and got what schooling he found an opportunity
to pick up, which was little. At 14, he decided to go to sea, and in order
to get enough money saved up, he worked for two years for Moses J. Taylor,
on the farm. At last, with the strength and ambition that 16 years extends,
the boy Lafferty shipped aboard the coasting schooner Eliza which ran
between a number of ports along the coast.

In 1858, he joined the crew of a 60 ton sloop, the Fairfield, which sailed
from Southport to Galveston, Texas, where the ship acted as lighter for
the large ocean sailing ships, which had to lighten their load to cross
the Galveston bar, at that time covered by only 15 feet of water.

When the Fairfield reached Galveston, Lafferty was made mate, although
he was but 20 years of age. He took out his licenses, and sailed various
ships along the coast, until the Civil War commenced, and it was during
this time that he had some thrilling experiences, beong on the vessel,
White Rock, which had a permit to run the blockade which had been established
by the Union navy.

For many years, he continued as a skipper, finally retiring to his home
in Southport, where he led a quiet life.

The funeral was held Tuesday afternoon, and burial was in Oak Lawn cemetery.
---The Fairfield [CT] News, October 27 1923

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