A Migrant Story - Captain Jack Angus

A schooner sails on a lake.
Captain John Angus sailed some of the best-known early schooners on Lake Superior.  Unidentified schooner pictured in the Sault Harbor ca. 1900.

Photo Courtesy Bayliss Public Library

"Yes, I have been on the lakes a great many years. I have commanded the Brewster, the Aster, and the Siskowit, and I opened the Algonquin and sailed it."
"A number of years of my life were spent on salt water. I made trips to Kingston, Jamaica; was for some time on the Collins line to Liverpool; and was with the Hayre packets. And while I am speaking of the salt water, I may say that there is far more danger on the lakes than on salt water. Many times I have headed a gale instead of running for shelter, while those who attempted the latter failed to reach harbor and went on the rocks." - attributed to Captain John D. Angus by the Ashland, Wisconsin Weekly Press (April 22, 1893)
Old LaPointe Lighthouse with a group of people standing in front of it.
Captain John Angus served twice as head keeper of the Old LaPointe Lighthouse from 1859-1861 and 1871-1875

Photo Courtesy Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Also known as Captain Jack, John Angus lived a a migrant story on the Great Lakes. Born in 1813 Albany, New York, he married Genevieve Bonneau, a Métis woman from Sault Ste. Marie. They traveled together, and their children's birthplaces chart their journeys throughout the Lakes' states: Cleveland, Ohio; Sault Ste. Marie, Lake Linden, L'Anse, and Ontonagon, Michigan; and Bayfield and LaPoint, Wisconsin. Along with piloting many of the vessels which made Great Lakes and Keweenaw maritime history, Captain Jack also served as a lighthouse keeper at LaPoint. He lived there through his retirement and was buried on Madeline Island, Wisconsin in 1894.

Last updated: January 4, 2018

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