Keeper Bio: Tawes, John Hyslop

Captain John Hyslop Tawes

Date of Service: 1900 – 1907

1856:  Born January 24 in Accomack County, VA. to parents Henry & Elizabeth Tawes.

1872:  Capt. Tawes works in the coastal trading business with his brother, Capt. L. S. Tawes. He later ventures into deep sea shipping, trading to Europe, China, Australia, and other foreign lands.

1876: Captain Tawes sails to Havana, Cuba, in March, carrying a cargo of coal from Liverpool, England. The trip lasted 65 days at sea.

1884:  John Tawes Marries Virginia Marie Ximinez. They have 3 children.

1900:  In January, Captain Tawes sails to Halifax as the coast pilot on the Norwegian Steamer, Adria, under the charter of the West India Trading Company to load general cargo for a West Indian port.

1900:  In September, John Tawes is appointed to the position of mate on LV-71, stationed off Cape Hatteras, NC., known as Diamond Shoals.

1901:  In May, Tawes is appointed Master of LV-71, stationed at the Tail of the Horseshoe, VA., inside the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay. His annual salary was $1,000.

1901:  In 1901, Captain Tawes son, Montford Tawes, served on board the lightship as a seaman for six months.  He later joined the Navy and retired from the Naval Reserve at the rank of Captain.

1902-1904:  Captain Tawes, Master of LV-71, is stationed at Diamond Shoal.

1904:  Captain Tawes then leaves for Chicago, IL, where he will assume the position of Master of the new U.S. Lighthouse Tender, Sumac, in the Great Lakes region. His monthly payment is $125.00.

1905-1907:  On January 10, Captain Tawes is assigned as Master of the U.S. Lighthouse Tender, Dahlia. His monthly payment was $135.00.

1907:   Captain Tawes is detached from the U.S. Lighthouse Tender, Dahlia, and ordered to duty in New York.

1908-1912:  In May, John Tawes is appointed mate of the U.S. Engineer’s Dredge, Manhattan, for work on the Ambrose Channel in the New York Harbor.

1915:  John Tawes’s wife, Virginia, passes away.

1917:  John Tawes marries Lottie Lawson.

1917:  Captain Tawes, along with his wife Lottie, depart from the port of New York, in November on the schooner, Henry D. May. Bound for the Faroe Islands with food for the starving people of Denmark, he is forced to stop in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to examine the damage to his ship after battling severe weather. On December 6, “The Great Halifax Explosion” occurred as Captain Tawes came on deck from having breakfast. Luckily, his ship escaped serious damage. After multiple complications, Captain Tawes reaches his destination and arrives back in Nova Scotia in September.

1919:  Captain Tawes, along with his brother Captain L.S. Tawes, travels to Iceland aboard the schooner Henry May.

1920:  Captain Tawes sails to Havana, Cuba, as commander of the steamer, Saxon. This was his first trip back since 1876.

1924:  Captain John Hyslop Tawes dies on November 12, at the age of 68 in Crisfield, MD. He is buried at Loudon Park Cemetery, Baltimore, MD.

Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper Database, Baltimore Sun, Oct. 10, 1902, Baltimore Sun, Oct. 10, 1903, Baltimore Sun, September 28, 1918, Baltimore Sun, January 6, 1920, Baltimore Sun, February 1, 1904

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