Thursday, May 13, 2010

1913 RPPC of Captain Mathias Johnson leaving Eastport Maine for San Francisco in Gig Whaleboat

Interesting Real Photo Postcard: "Capt. Mathias Johnson leaves Eastport, Maine Sunday Aug. 3, 1913, in gig whaleboat "George Washington" for San Francisco, California via Panama Canal."

Mathias Johnson was living at 222 Second Street, Perth Amboy, New Jersey, when he set out on his adventure.  According to one newspaper article, his parents were Danish.  Some newspaper articles:
  • August 28, 1913, The Day of New London, Connecticut - troubles off Marblehead, Massachusetts
  • September 6, 1913, The Day of New London, Connecticut - how he lost his first George Washington, in the September 6, 1913 issue of The Day, published at New London, Connecticut.
  • October 3, 1913, The Delaware Pilot - the journey as far as Maryland
  • October 20, 1913, The Wilmington Dispatch [North Carolina] - informative article about Captain Johnson and his adventure.  Search the page for his name, and the text will appear at the bottom.
  • October 24, 1913, The Gastonia Gazette [North Carolina]
  • March 28, 1917, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle - trouble for Mathias whose boat was discovered full of explosives, which police initially feared were to blow up Fort Totten, but Mathias explained were used in his wrecking business.
I don't know if Captain Johnson ever succeeded in piloting his open boat through the Panama Canal.  If you have additional information, please leave a comment or contact me directly.


  1. An article about his planned trip. Hope the link works.