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The Life and Times of Captain Adams Dodd
1836 - 1922

Adams Dodd is my great-grandfather. I became interested after reading his 650 autobiography. Adams Dodd was born in Craigy, near Saintfield, County Down, Ireland. Because of the potato famine, he was apprenticed aboard a barque at the tender age of 15. After 4 years at sea, Adams prospected for gold in Australia. After 6 years with minimal success, Adams came to California in 1861. He captained four ships, the Minnie G. Atkins, the Venus, the Howard, and the Vidette. In 1904, he retired from the sea and wrote 650 page journal (updated 9/98) taken from his own research and old log books.

Minnie G. Atkins

Adams scraped together enough money to buy a 1/8 share of this small schooner. Adams could not legally become captain or own the schooner until he became a citizen in 1867. One of the first voyages as master, Adams went to the Russian Territory, now known as Alaska. While there, he found an island previously uncharted. He named the half mile by two mile island, Atkins Island. In 1873, the schooner 'Atkins' was run into by the Schooner 'Laura May' and sunk.


The Venus was built in Point Arena in 1874. In 1876, the ship entered the Master Mariners Race on the San Francisco bay. The ship won first prize in her division. In 1881, the schooner parted its moorings near Navarro Creek and became a total loss.


The Howard is a two masted schooner built in San Francisco in 1881. A visiting Russian was so impressed with the schooner that he bought her to be converted into a yacht.


The barque Vidette was purchased with a group of investers in 1894. Adams Dodd was to be captain and part owner. She had twice the cargo capacity of the Howard and therefore made longer voyages. She often sailed from Puget Sound to Mexico carrying lumber.

Please sign the ship's log

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