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Abner M. Godfrey: Denbigh's First Master
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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.

By 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.

hotel1.jpg (31404 bytes) 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).

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What's New?

new.gif (977 bytes) John Newland Maffitt and the Galveston Blockade | Chasing a Fox new.gif (977 bytes)
new.gif (977 bytes) 2001 Field Crew | In-Kind Contributions  | How Much Coal? new.gif (977 bytes)
new.gif (977 bytes) Denbigh Wallpaper new.gif (977 bytes)


"An Extremely Fast Boat" | The "Mobile Packet" | A "Bold Rascal" | Denbigh Today
Denbigh's Crew | The Erlanger Loan | Birkenhead-Built: An Unrivaled Legacy
Denbigh Primary Source Documents | Galveston During the Civil War | Denbigh, Clwyd, Wales
The U.S. Coast Survey and the Blockade, 1861 | The Ship's Library: Recommended Reading
Running the Blockade Into Galveston: A Personal Narrative | Denbigh Day-by-Day
Denbigh Portrait | Official Number 28,647 | Valve Chest Animation (300kb) | Investors
Links of Interest | Denbigh F.A.Q. | Denbigh's Engines | Denbigh's Boiler
Feathering Sidewheel


April 27-28 Side Scan Survey | May 7-10 Site Mapping
June 16-17 Sub-Bottom Profiling | Site Mapping, July 9-12, 1998 | Dive Trip, October 18-30, 1998
Underwater Images | 1999 Summer Field Season | Denbigh Site Plan
Jerry Williams Speaking Tour | Denbigh Project Benefit Dinner |
Denbigh Artifacts | 2000 Field Crew | 2000 Field Crew Photo Album |
The Denbigh Wreck Site: A Quicktime VR Panaorama
Connecting Rod Recovery, July 22-24, 2000 | Modeling a Shipwreck
Credits & Thank-Yous

J. Barto Arnold et al. 1998-2000, The Denbigh Project, World Wide Web,
Institute of Nautical Archaeology, Texas A&M University, E-mail: (  
Monday, July 03, 2000 Revision.

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