Forty Years Master: A Life in Sail and Steam (Marine, Maritime, and Coastal Books, sponsored by Texas A&M University at Galveston) (Hardcover)
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Winner, 2016 the John Lyman Book Award, sponsored by the North American Society for Oceanic History.
During Daniel O. Killman’s more than fifty years at sea, he was shipwrecked off Coos Bay, discovered gold in Alaska, was dismasted in a hurricane near Fiji, lost a rudder en route to Adelaide, had run-ins with bureaucrats, officials, and seamen, and found himself in court facing charges of murder, all the while remaining in impeccable standing with the owners of his vessels. His thrilling life at sea during the last decades of sailing ships and the emergence of steam vessels in the Pacific is chronicled in Forty Years Master: A Life in Sail and Steam.
Edited and annotated nearly forty years after Killman’s death by prominent Pacific Coast maritime historians John Lyman and Harold D. Huycke Jr., Killman’s memoir has been compiled by Rebecca Huycke Ellison from her father’s papers. Now with an introduction by maritime scholar Brian J. Rouleau and an afterword by David Hull, Killman’s rollicking narrative of storms, surly mates, bustling ports, and the business of navigating the high seas will entertain and inform scholars, students, and general readers interested in nautical and maritime history, late nineteenth–early twentieth century trade and commerce, and West Coast/trans-Pacific maritime history.
About the Author
Rebecca Huycke Ellison, the compiler of this work, is the daughter of Capt. Harold D. Huycke Jr. She lives in Everett, Washington.
"Forty Years Master fills a major void in documenting Pacific Coast maritime history--encompassing the years of about 1880 to 1920. Up to this point, this period has never been presented in written form adequately from a first person perspective from a man who commanded vessels; by a very discerning eye witness of that era, especially a sailing ship master who served in that capacity for many decades, not for one or two voyages before coming ashore to serve in a management capacity or in an entirely different field." — Michael Jay Mjelde, author of Glory of the Seas and Clipper Ship Captain and former editor of The Sea Chest.
— Michael Jay Mjelde
“Captain Daniel O. Killman relates his forty-year experience on the ocean frontiers during the transitional period when steam replaced sail as the mode of propulsion on the world’s merchant fleets. During most of his career, he operated in the absence of any authority except his own. Killman, a no-nonsense, single-minded, hardnosed master, found it necessary at times to enforce his will, and that of the ship’s owners, with his fist. This is a first-rate view of this era from the viewpoint of a merchant ship master and is a solid contribution to maritime literature.”—Robert M. Browning Jr., former chief historian of the US Coast Guard
— Robert Browning Jr.
"Forty Years Master is a brash, quite unexpected, and altogether wonderful blast from the past. This is a fresh, no-nonsense account of life under sail by a successful master mariner who was bold-as-brass, short-of-fuse, suffered no fools, and was always ready for a good, knock-down fight. It will quickly become a classic in a genre that is among the richest in literature."--W.H. Bunting, author of Live Yankees, Sea Struck, A Day's Work, Portrait of Port, and other books
— W.H. Bunting
“A powerful account of Pacific Coast history, highly recommended for any nautical collection or holdings.” — Midwest Book Review
— Midwest Book Review
“A fascinating glimpse into an age and a way of life long since forgotten… This is a fascinating and absorbing book…an excellent contribution to the maritime history of the era.”—The Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord
— The Northern Mariner/Le marin de nord