CREW STAYED ON WRECK.; Aged Skipper and Men Refused to Go Till Wreckers Arrived. STAMFORD, Conn., July 19. -- Lashed to the rigging of the 300-ton schooner Madagascar, which is a wreck on Cows Reef off Stamford, Capt. John Coleman, a seventy year old mariner from Calais, Me., and his crew of four men, remained aboard the ship more than thirty-six hours, when every lurch threatened to be her last. There were boats in whichin which they could have gone ashore, but they preferred to remain by the schooner, and did so until this afternoon when a wrecking tug arrived from New York. The craft left Calais, Me., a month ago and discharged a cargo of lumber in Branford, Conn. She then went to Port Liberty, N.Y. and loaded with coal. She was going back to Calais when, in a half gale on Saturday afternoon she listed to port, her bow went down in the water and a hole was opened in the bottom. The crew jumped to the pumps,but soon had to run her ashore. The gale died and Capt. Coleman and his crew decided that they would not leave her. The incoming tide rose over the cabin and drove the crew to the rigging. Late yesterday afternoon a terrific northwest storm broke and the schooner pounded hard. All night long there were squalls and the sailors up aloft had little hope of rescue. They remained, however, and today the relief came. (New York Times, July 20, 1909)
In the 1900 U.S. Census, captain John Coleman, 63, born July 1836 in Canada, parents born Canada, was living on Main Street, Calais, Maine, with Mary, 57, born September 1842 in Canada, parents born Canada; sail maker James, 35, born September 1864 in Canada; cook Charles, 25, born July 1874; farm laborer George,22, born Mary 1878; Marie, 20, born May, 1880, all born in Maine; and boarder Sarah Boyle, 7, born January 1893 in Minnesota, parents born Minn. John and Mary had been married for 36 years and four of their seven children were still living. John had come to the U.S. in 1850
In the 1880 U.S. Census, John Coleman, 41, born Canada, parents born Ireland, was living in Calais, Maine, with Mary J., 38, born Canada, parents born Canada; James, 14, born Canada; William, 12; Julia, 8; Charles W., 6; George, 3; and Mary, 5 months, all born in Maine.