The Legend Grows

After his shipwreck, Josiah Knowles achieved an almost storied reputation. Which is one reason why Captain Joseph Hamblin Sears, a major shareholder in Clipper ships that operated worldwide, asked him to command his flagship the "Glory of the Seas".

The ship was the wonder of the time, with a carrying capacity nearly double that of other vessels. Which meant that immense profits could be made, despite market fluctuations that would bankrupt other carriers. And so, as the great ship made port in any part of the world, with its skyscraper-sized masts, it struck awe into sailors, governments and citizens alike.

But what was the captain of this great ship really like, despite his worldwide fame? An eyewitness put it this way:

"When he first set foot on the Glory, he had just turned forty-one, and his six foot frame gave seamen the impression that he was no man to trifle with. Yes, he was every inch a two-fisted Yankee Skipper, but he also maintained a composed dignity, impressive to anyone he met."

Equally impressive however, were the results this captain achieved. Indeed, the profits from Glory became skyscraper sized themselves, as Knowles drove the ship on - from ports in Europe, to ports scattered throughout the Pacific. And during some of these journeys, he also managed to break two world speed records, that have never been equaled since.

Which is why he, and his great ship, have been the ongoing subject of books, historical literature and museum exhibits over the past 150 years.

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