Canadian History for Kids!
Sketches of Canada for October 8th!

Canadian History for Kids

The definition of the word HERO according to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary is a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities : a person who is greatly admired. William Jackman certainly fits into the definition of the word hero. On October 9th, 1867, Jackman saved 27 people stranded on a fishing vessel. This Canadian History for Kids, Sketches of Canada, looks at the heroic act of William Jackman.

This Canadian History for Kids article begins when Captain William Jackman was born in Renews in 1837. He entered the cod and seal fisheries as a boy with his father. He commanded sailing vessels on the Labrador and at the ice; between 1867 and 1876 he was in charge of Bowring Brothers’ sealing steamers Hawk and Eagle.

He had taken his vessel to Spotted Islands, Labrador for safety during fierce gales, and saw the fishing schooner Sea Clipper, with 27 persons aboard, run aground on a reef some 600 feet from the shore.

Without hesitating he swam from the shore for a distance of approximately 152 m (by some accounts, 365 m) and back again to rescue one by one, the 27 people aboard the fishing schooner.

Captain Jackman swam through heavy seas to and from the vessel 11 times to carry 11 persons to safety on his back.

Locals brought a dory, but the sea was too rough for its use. They tied coils of rope together. Jackman tied the end around his waist, swam out to the boat and tied the other end to the rail. With the rope and assistance from shore, he was able to swim back and forth for over two hours, until he had rescued all but one.

This Canadian History for Kids article continues when he reached shore with what he thought was the last person, someone said there was still someone aboard, the cook of the Loon, who had been injured in the collision with the Clipper. Jackman set out again.

For the 27th time, Jackman entered the violent waves. He reached the ship and found the woman lying in the water. Jackman managed to bring the woman to shore, but she died two days later.

The British Royal Humane Society awarded Jackman a silver medal. He died in 1877, aged 39. In Labrador City, the Captain William Jackman Memorial Hospital commemorates him.

And that’s this week Canadian History for Kids, Sketches of our Canada.

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Canadian History for Kids!