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Crew of Cambuskenneth

Taken from files of Emil P. Slovarp., Norwegian Vice Consul at Portland, Oregon. 1915

Names and data listed are as actually shown on Consul’s file.

Words in parenthesis are my own corrections and consents.

Thor Larsen Sole

No other information available.

John Anderson, A.B.

Gothenberg, Sweden, 42 years old, * Sept. 16, 1873, $25.00 per month.
This was John Albert Mattson, and he was a Swedish-Finn from Jakobstad, Finland. Signed on as a Swede to prevent possible deportation to Finland where he might have to serve under Russian colors.

Carl Johannesen, A.B.

Fredrikshald, Norway, 25 years old, * Mar. 31. 1890, $25.00 per month.
This was actually Erich Löffler, a native of Pöhlai in Saxony, Germany. He spoke perfect Norwegian and the fact that he signed on under the above name was the cause of a most interesting sequel almost 40 years later.

Gustav Magnussen, A.B.

Christiania (Oslo) Norway, 35 years old, * July 20, 1880, $25.00 per month.

Harold Dewey, A.B.

Great Barrington, Mass., 31 years old, * August 12, 1884, $25.00 per month.

Robert Wilson, A.B.

El Paso, Texas, 33 years old, * June 5, 1882, $25.00 per month.
The above two were on the starboard watch and I did not become too acquainted with them. They were likable chaps, good seamen and shipmates.

Werner Lurchner, A.B.

Lausanne, Switzerland, 28 years old, * Dec. 27, 1886, $25.00 per month.
This was actually Bruno Konze, 26 years old and a native of Hamburg, Germany. He is the one known as Bismarck in the narrative.

Johann Heinrich Löding, A.B.

Hamburg, Germany, 19 years old, * May 31, 1896, $25.00 per month.
This is Hein in the narrative and he came from Ostfriesland, Germany.

Johan Chr. Karlsen, A.B.

Drammen, Norway, 61 years old, * Feb. 19, 1854, $25.00 per month.
This was Old Ernie in the narrative and the oldest sailorman aboard the ship.

E.J. Kelly, A.B.

St. Louis, Mo., 45 years old, * Nov. 29, 1869, $25.00 per month.
This was unquestionably an alias. According to his age it can only fit John the Bosun, or Mike, the Brazilian sailor. There were only three Americans in the crew, Dewey, Wilson and myself.

Peder Olsen, A.B.

Christiania (Oslo) Norway, 39 years old, * Nov. 6, 1875, $25.00 per month.
This was the sailmaker who lived midships with me. Whether he was made sailmaker after coming on board, and his wages increased, I do not know.

John Brale, Ord. Seaman.

Smithheath, England. 22 years old, * Feb. 14, 1893, $20.00 per month.
This was Jimmy in the narrative. He and I soon traded jobs, Jimmy going aft as Cabin Boy and I on deck as Ordinary Seaman.

Carl Dessler, Ord. Seaman.

Hamburg, Germany, 18 years old, * Oct. 7, 1896, $20.00 per month.
This is Peedul in the narrative. Lost his life in the sinking of the small German cruiser Frauenlob during World War 1.

Carl Voelker, Ord. Seaman.

Berlin, Germany, 16 years old, * Nov. 12, 1896, $20.00 per month.
This was my shipmate, Erich Völker or Moses in the narrative. He came from the island of Rügen, off the German Baltic Coast and not Berlin. Also lost his life in the first World War.

Julius Haugaard, Second Mate.

Christiania (Oslo) Norway, 49 years old, * April 28, 1866, $25.00 per month. Could be that a second mate’s wages, at that time, only equalled an A.B.s'. On many ships they were not considered much more than an A.B.

Herman Nilson, Carpenter.

Falannd, Sweden, 26 years old, * Mar. 31, 1889, $35.00 per month.
Herman was a native of Kiel, Germany and not of Sweden. He also lived midships with me. In 1955 I learned that Herman still lived at Kiel and we enjoyed a long interrupted correspondence again until his death about one year later.

Magnus Hagen, Ord. Seaman.

Bergen, Norway, 18 years old, * July 4, 1896, $20.00 per month.
The only Norwegian Ordinary Seaman aboard the ship.

Alex Johnson, Cook.

Malmö, Sweden, 19 years old, * Jan. 9, 1896, $30.00 per month.
This is Adolph in the narrative and the only Swede in the crew. In 1955, I learned that he still resides in Malmö, and his actual name is Axel Wilhelm Jönsson. I wrote to him but received no reply.

Carl F. List, Cabin Boy.

Portland, Oregon, 17 years old, * Sept. 13, 1897, $20.00 per month.
This is me. After about one week at sea I traded jobs with Jimmy and went on deck as an Ordinary Seaman.

Of the twenty-two man crew aboard the ship, the above eighteen all signed on at Portland, Oregon, just prior to the ship's sailing. Accordingly there were only four men left of the crew that sailed with her to Portland from Cape Town, South Africa on a voyage of 112 days. These were the captain, the first mate, a young Norwegian A.B. named Johan Fjeld, and either John the bosun or Mike, the Brazilian sailor. Of the last two one must have been the fourth man that arrived with the ship and the other must have been the E.J. Kelly who signed on at Portland. Through correspondence in 1955, after uncovering the whereabouts of Fjeld and Nilson, neither could remember who the fourth man was and none of us could recall the full name of John, the Bosun. I rather feel that John the Bosun, whose first name was Richard, was the fourth man and that it was Mike, the Brazilian, who signed on as E.J. Kelly. The cook, to whom I have written two letters, has failed to answer my correspondence. All other efforts to contact former shipmates have brought negative results, and it may well be that Fjeld, the cook, and I in 1960, are the only ones left of the twenty-two men who sailed with the Cambuskenneth on her last cruise.

At least seven of the men in Portland all signed on under false nationalities, names or residence. This was nothing out of the ordinary, for at that time in 1915, it was not necessary to present a passport or verification of one’s birth or nationality. Shipping out on the old square-riggers did not involve such niceties or requirements. If a ship needed a crew, you were signed on with few questions asked.

Oldest seaman aboard was Johan Chr. Karlsen (Ernie) at an admitted sixty-one years although no doubt older. Youngest was Moses at sixteen years. The average age was a bit over thirty-two years.

The names in the consul’s record, including the data, are presented in the order in which they appeared. They were written in longhand by the individuals concerned and some of the writing was a bit difficult to make out.

I received quite a thrill, when on July 31, 1953, I was looking at the signatures of my former shipmates, written almost forty years previously, at the office of the Norwegian Vice-Consul, Mr. Emil P. Slovarp, in the Henry Building in Portland, Oregon.

Endre M. Cederberg was the Norwegian Vice-Consul at the time we shipped in 1915.