|Abner M. Godfrey was born in
1825 or 1826 in Maine. Sometime prior to 1859 he relocated to Mobile, Alabama
(above, during the war), for in that year's City Directory he is listed as a
stevedore, with lodgings at the Battle House Hotel. In the 1861 edition of that same
work, he is again listed as a stevedore, at that lodging at the boarding house of one
Silas Bower, on Center Street. His listing as a stevedore seems odd, however, for
that same summer, shortly after the Union blockade was declared, he sailed for England to
serve as a Confederate agent there.
mid-1863, Godfrey and his wife were living in Cardiff, where he served as a coal agent for
the Confederacy, purchasing good Welsh coal for blockade runners. In the fall of
1863 he was appointed to command the new runner Denbigh. Captain and Mrs.
Godfrey sailed in her on October 19 for Havana.
||Masters of ship
attempting to run the blockade faced considerable risks, but the rewards were very
high. The salary of a successful captain might amount to several thousand dollars in
gold for a successful round trip through the Federal fleet. It seems a safe
assumption that Captain Grodfrey amassed a small fortune during his command of Denbigh,
for after the war he purchased the Battle House Hotel in Mobile (left), the same hotel
were he'd rented lodgings as a stevedore just a few years before.
|Godfrey died on
October 14, 1869 of natural causes, and was buried in Lot 12, Square 19 of the Magnolia
Cemetery in Mobile (right).