Alfred "Centennial" Johnson - by Rob Morris

Alfred "Centennial" Johnson - by Rob Morris

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During the summer of 1876 there was great excitement as America celebrated a 100 years of Independence. Across the country exhibitions and fairs were held as part of the celebrations.

In the fishing port of Gloucester, Massachusetts, 29-year-old schoonerman and halibut fisherman Alfred Johnson decided to sail across the Atlantic in a fishing dory similar to the one he used every day on the Grand Banks off Newfoundland.

Born in Denmark 1846 Johnson moved to America and found work in Gloucester. The huge loss of life within the fishing industry ensured there was always a job for immigrants who were leaving Europe in their thousands in search of a better life in the New World. By the end of the 1876 fishing season over two hundred brave Gloucester fishermen had lost their lives to the sea.

On 15th June 1876 Alfred Johnson left Gloucester, to the consternation of his fellow fishermen who believed his voyage would end in disaster. His dory aptly named the “Centennial” was painted in the colours of the American flag, red, white and blue. She sailed from the harbour proudly flying the Stars and Stripes from her mast.

Three thousand miles of ocean lay between Gloucester and Liverpool, his destination in the United Kingdom. Would man and boat make it safely across?

For further information and how to order the book of the remarkable story of Alfred Johnson please send email to the author Rob Morris.

UK Price £5.99 + £1.95 p+p

For International Shipments, please contact us by email for prices.

© Rob Morris