Albert Vinal Partridge

11 Mar 2016 12:59 PM | Debi Curry (Administrator)

“The body reposed in a black broadcloth casket and was wrapped in the national colors. … At the close of the service the remains were taken to the Northern depot and shipped to Mt. Auburn Cemetery where they will be cremated and afterwards brought to this city [Lowell, MA] for internment”. [1] 

These words, from the obituary for Albert V. Partridge, as printed on 17 July 1901 on the front page of the Lowell Sun newspaper mark the end of the career of a man who lived an interesting life. He was the son of Benjamin and Hannah Ames Partridge, and was born 5 October 1843 in Prospect, Maine. In August of 1865 he married Emma (1844-1873) and in 1875 he married Martha (1840-1914). He died on 15 July 1901 in Lowell, MA.

In various records he is listed as a sailor, gone to sea, a mariner, a master mariner, sea captain and in the 1900 Federal Census he is listed as a capitalist living in Lowell, MA where he was apparently one of the proprietors of the Merrimac House. [2]

One of the vessels on which he served as captain was the bark Emma L. Partridge, named for his first wife. Because all hands were saved we know that the bark Emma L. Partridge, on the evening of 9 September 1879, while on a voyage from Liverpool, England to Matanzas sank after striking a reef later identified as Silver Key Bank. The bark sprang a leak and the rudder was “unshipped”. Despite the pumps going all night the water was nine feet deep the next morning. Captain Partridge decided to abandon the vessel and cargo and with “great difficulty two boats were launched”.  The “small quantities of provisions clothing, etc.,” they took with them later needed to be thrown overboard during a gale.  They began to row in the direction of Turks Island, “some 65 miles to the westward”. The two boats were able to stay together, reach the island, and using funds provided by the American Counsel, pay for their return passage on the brig Tubal Cain. Thus Captain Partridge and all nine of the crew members were returned to the U.S., safe after this adventure. [3] [4]

Captain Partridge's cenotaph in Sandy Point Cemetery in Stockton Springs. ME is a “huge polished granite globe erected to the memory of a sea captain. On the globe is a map of the world, showing the various ports visited by Capt. Partridge in his sailing days. To be found are Boston, Valpariso, New Zealand and Liverpool, indicative of the exuberant life Partridge lived”. [5] This seems a fitting reminder of his world wide travels.


[1] “Solemn Service at Funeral of A. V. Partridge”, Lowell Sun (Lowell, MA), July 17, 1901, p. 1, Courtesy of Pollard Memorial Library, Reference Section.

[2] “Sandy Point Breezes”, Bangor Daily Whig & Courier (Bangor, Maine), Tuesday, August 19, 1890; Issue 196, NEHGS External database.

Captain Albert Partridge of Lowell, Mass., proprietors of the Merrimac House, with his family and servant, have come since the last breeze, and are stopping with Mrs. William Perkins.

[3] Bangor Daily Whig & Courier, (Bangor, ME), Monday, January 17, 1876; Issue 14; col A, By Telegraph Maine News.

“Belfast – 15 Jan  Launched from the yard of Henry McGilvery bark Emma L. Partridge [umclear; likely 400] tons, owned principally here and in Stockton, to be commanded by Capt. Albert V. Partridge of Stockton.

[4] “Seventy Miles in Open Boats Experience of the Crew of a Bark Wrecked at Sea”, St. Louis Globe-Democrat, (St. Louis, MO) Sunday, October 05, 1879; pg. 14; Issue 137; col C.

[5] “Unusual Gravestones Are Found in Maine”, Lewiston Evening Journal Magazine Section, October 9, 1976, p. 4A, microfilm Maine State Library.

Comments

  • 11 Mar 2016 1:17 PM | Debi Curry (Administrator)
    Thanks to MOCA members Cheryl Willis Patten (story) and Kate Gaudet (photos) for this wonderful story!

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