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Last Siting of Captain Herndon

By Land ~ Sea Discovery Group Staff

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Captain Herndon of the SS. Central America

Presented here is an article reprinted from the Sailors Magazine Vol 30 No. 5 January 1858. Published by the American Seamen's Friend Society, No 60 Wall Steet. New York.


A young man who was amoung the passengers of the Central America, relates the following: IN the night after the vessel went down, he was swimming in the water supported by his life-preserver, having some $4000 in gold attached to his person, which he had obtained in California. There drew near to him in the water a man belonging to Illinoise, who demanded of him his life preserver, threatening to take it by violence if refused. The young man demurred, and protested against the injustice of such a robbery. His assailant acknowledged it, but pleaded necessity. "I know," said he, "it is hard but I must have it - if you were my own father I would take it from you." It being useless longer to resist the youth unbound the preserver, and gave it to him. But a trretributive Providence was there - the youth was saved, the robber perished.

He continued swimming for a time without assistance, but at lenght his gold proving to heavy, he wa sobliged to detach his belts and let them sink, - the hard earnings of many months of toil. He states further that about midnight, Captain Herdon approched him, swimming. He cried out cheerfully, "Well my lads, how is ti with you?" After some conversation, Captain H. said as they drifted asunder, "If you are saved, report me, as having been near you at this time, and if I am saived I will do the same for you." This was the last seen of him.


This article was found by Jake Brouwer while searching through a collection of The Sailors Magazine.

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