Feb. 15, 1909 (Monday)
CAPTAIN WHO RAIN BRITISH BLOCKADE TO GET FOOD TO THE BOERS DIES IN QUINCY:Capt. Henry J. Howes died yesterday "at the Sailors' snug harbor, Germantown" according to a report with a Quincy dateline in today's Globe. The paper referred to Howes as "one of the best-known, biggest-hearted and most fearless skippers that ever commanded a Yankee ship in the merchant marine service." The article gives an example of Howes' seamanship. In one of his last trips, he took the Sea Witch through a blockade off Delagoa Bay -- now known as Maputo Bay (shown above in 1990) during the Boer War. He was carrying flour for the Boers. He made it through the miles-long blockade even though all British ships were equipped with searchlights.
The Globe article says,
the appearance of the Sea Witch at anchor in the harbor in the morning caused consternation among the British naval officers who had charge of the blockade and the Yankee skipper became an object of ill-feeling on the part of the officers of the British service.
The British were puzzled that a sailing ship could achieve such a feat. A few years after the feat, a British naval officer "good-naturedly" asked Howes how he had done it. Howes, choosing to keep his secret, "laughingly replied that he sank his ship outside the British lines and sailed under water to the wharf in Delagoa bay, where he again came to the surface."
The Globe doesn't say when the blockade-running took place. The New York Times took note of it, briefly, with a mention in its Feb. 17, 1900, edition (which is shown here).