Captain Thomas J. Green – Part II

13 Jun

ACCIDENTALLY SHOT. – The steamer North State left her wharf last Saturday morning at the regular hour, and while on her way to Wilmington Capt. Green was shot under the following circumstances:  A New York salesman, a Mr. Strauss, was examining his pistol when it was accidentally discharged, the ball passing through a wooden partition, a pair of pantaloons hanging against the wall, and lodging about an inch and a quarter in the fleshy part of Capt. Green’s leg, who happened to have his feet up on a table at the time.

The North State was turned around and Capt. Green brought home, where an examination proved the wound to be not dangerous, though it has caused him a great deal of pain.

[North Carolina Gazette – March 7, 1878]

An Accidental Shooting – Wounding
of Capt. Green, of the Steamer
North State – A Narrow Escape, &c.

Capt. T. J. Green, of the steamer North State, met with quite a serious accident on Saturday morning last about 10 o’clock.  The boat left Fayetteville for this place that morning, and had proceeded about fourteen miles in this direction, when one of the passengers, a drummer, took out a common brass-mounted pistol, the barrels of which would not revolve to suit him and was examining it, when suddenly the weapon exploded, the ball going through a partition which intervened between himself and the Captain’s office, which is located in the bow of the boat, also passing through the legs of two pairs of pants which were hanging up in the room, and entered the fleshy part of the thigh of Capt. Green, who, at the moment, was sitting in a chair with his feet upon a table.  Capt. G. immediately cried out that he was shot, and parties on board rushed to his assistance{.}  The boat was then turned back and steamed with all haste to Fayetteville, where the wounded man could receive the necessary medical aid.  The physician announced that the wound was not necessarily dangerous, though the ball had passed within about an eighth of an inch of an important artery, and that he had therefore made a narrow escape.  The ball penetrated the flesh about two inches, and at last accounts had not been extracted, owing to its close proximity to the artery referred to.  The patient, however, was doing as well as could be reasonably expected under the circumstances.  The misfortune is more to be regretted from the fact that Capt. Green has on more than one occasion previous to this been the victim of an accident of a serious nature.

The party who was the innocent cause of the accident appeared to regret the occurrence very much.  He said he was not aware that there was a room or office located forward of the partition toward which he had the pistol pointed when it exploded.

The steamer again left Fayetteville for this place at 3 p. m. on Saturday.

[Wilmington Star – March 8, 1878]

=-  Capt. Green, of the steamer North State, reports only twenty inches of water on the shoals at what is known at “The Cypress,” and says the water has not been so low before since 1866.  No rain of consequence has fallen up the river recently.

[Wilmington Star – October 7, 1880]


—  A telegram was received by Messrs. Worth & Worth, yesterday morning, to the effect that there had been a rise of about twenty-five feet in the Cape Fear, caused by the great thaw of ice and snow going on up the river, and that the water was still rising.

—  We learn that the steamer A. P. Hurt was under pretty good control when she arrived here yesterday morning, with not the slightest chance of her “cutting up any capers” to hurt, there being no less than five steamboat captains on board to keep her straight, to-wit:  Green, Worth, Garrason, Thornton and Watson.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Saturday, January 8, 1881]

—  The steamer North State, Capt. Green, arrived yesterday from the “Cypress,” having there exchanged cargoes with the steamer A. P. Hurt.  The Wave is on the other side of the shoals.

[Wilmington Star – July 28, 1883]

—  The steamer North State, Capt. Green, arrived here yesterday, being the first Fayetteville boat here in several days.  Capt. Green has had word from Capt. Worth, of the steamer A. P. Hurt, not to leave Wilmington again until he hears from him at Fayetteville.  In the meantime, however, the North State will make a trip to “The Cypress” with a quantity of freight for that place, intermediate points, and Waddell’s Ferry and Elizabethtown.  The freight for “The Cypress.” For Waddell’s Ferry, seven miles above, and for Elizabethtown, ten or twelve miles above, will be left at “The Cypress” and the persons notified by letter from the agents here to call and get their goods.  The river was still falling at last account.

[Wilmington Star – August 4, 1883 BRC]

— Capt. Thomas J. Green, so long in command of the North State, is now performing the same functions on the steamer Bladen, while Capt. Irving Robinson has assumed the command of the North State.  They are both familiar with the devious windings and uncertain tide of the coquetish Cape Fear and know how to handle a steamboat under any and all circumstances.

[Wilmington Star – January 18, 1884]


— The steamer Bladen, commanded by Capt. Thos. Green, which we stated a week or two ago was to be lengthened twenty feet, provided with a steel boiler, heavier engines, and other improvements, is now up for the desired changes and her trips will therefore be suspended until she comes forth in her new dress and equipments.

[Wilmington Star – March 28, 1884]

— The steamer Bladen, which has been off the line between this city and Fayetteville since the 25th of March last, undergoing certain alterations, improvements and repairs, has been launched from Capt. Skinner’s steam marine railway, and left for Fayetteville yesterday afternoon, the demand for freight room being such that it was decided to complete the work of painting her while running.  The present trip is not considered a regular one.  She will return next Wednesday night and clear on Thursday, and after the 1st day of July will run a regular schedule, leaving here every Tuesday and Friday and carrying the United States mail.  She has undergone very decided improvement, thirteen feet have been added to her length, while she has been provided with new steel boilers and heavier machinery.  Everything about her is new, including four nice state-rooms, saloons, &c., affording first class accommodation for twenty-passengers.  Capt. T. J. Green, so long and favorably known as first officer of the steamer North State, is still in command of the Bladen, and will be glad to see his old friends and as many new ones as may be pleased to called upon him.

[Wilmington Star – June 14, 1884]

Capt. T. J. Green has sold his interest in the steamer Bladen, and we are informed will retire altogether from the river, devoting his whole time hereafter to other business pursuits. Capt. Jeff D. Robeson will succeed Capt. Green in command of the Bladen.

[Wilmington Morning Star – Saturday, January 23, 1886 Vol. XXXVII No. 103]

The Steamer Bladen.

We learn that Capt. Jeff. D. Robeson, popular young river captain, is to take command of the steamer Bladen, Capt. T. J. Green designing to retire from the boating business and devote himself to other pursuits.  Whatever field Capt. Green may choose for his labors, he will doubtless find as many friends as he has on the Cape Fear, where he has been known and esteemed for so many years.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday, January 28, 1886]

–Fayetteville News:

… –We learn from Capt. Green that the Bladen Steamboat Co had to pay Sprunt & Son for the 112 bales of cotton shipped by Mr. R. M. Nimocks on her late trip when she was burned.  The Bladen Steamboat Company had the loss to pay yesterday which was promptly done to the amount of $4,150.  Captain Green says that after collecting the insurance on the steamer and on the cargo combined there will be only $2,000 left to the stockholders.  Therefore, our readers will observe that the stockholders lost about $7,000.

[Wilmington Star – March 3, 1886]

—  The new steamboat Cape Fear, under the command of Capt. T. J. Green, will start on her first trip to Fayetteville to day.  The new boat takes the place of the steamer Bladen, destroyed in the great fire in February last.  She is a light draft boat, about the size of the Bladen, and has accommodations for about twenty first-class passengers.  The Cape Fear was built at Capt. Skinner’s ship-yard in this city.

[Wilmington Weekly Star – July 30, 1886]


Vessels Wholly Engaged in Domestic


Few people have any idea of the number of steamboats, small schooners and other craft, tributary to the trade and commerce of Wilmington and plying upon the waters of the Cape Fear, Northeast and Black rivers, and along the coast to New River, Shallotte, Little River, S. C., and other places adjacent.  The total number of craft of all descriptions engaged in this local traffic and in river and harbor towage is forty-three—sixteen of which are propelled by steam.  And if to these are added the revenue cutter and the government steamers engaged on river improvements the total number is forty-eight.  Not the least among these craft are a number of flat-boats that make regular trips between this city and points in Pender, Bladen, Brunswick, Sampson, and Onslow counties, and carry from two to four hundred barrels of naval stores.

A carefully compiled statement of these vessels and boats, made by Capt. J. M. Morrison, of the Produce Exchange, is as follows:

Steamers engaged in river and harbor towage—Passport, Capt. J. W. Harper; Blanche, Capt. Jacobs; Italian, Capt. J. T. Harper; Louise, Capt. Woodsides, (mail boat to Smithville); Marie, Capt. Williams; Pet, Capt. Taft; Dudine, Capt. Bowdoin.

River steamers to Fayetteville—D. Murchison, Capt. Smith; Cape Fear, Capt. Green; A. P. Hurt, Capt. Robinson, J. C. Stewart, Capt. Bagley.

Black River steamers—Delta, Capt. Hubbard; Lisbon, Capt. Black; Excelsior, Capt. Burkhimer; Susie, Capt. Snell.

Flat-boats bringing naval stores—Cudger Larkins;, from Long Creek, Pender; Sessom’s from Beatty’s Bridge, Bladen; McIntire’s, from Long Creek, Pender; Pound’s, from Town Creek, Brunswick; Lon Johnson’s, from Beatty’s Bridge, Bladen; Littleton’s, from Town Creek, Brunswick; Johnson & Son’s, from Ingold, Sampson; Shaw & black’s from Clear Run, Sampson; Herring & Peterson’s, from Ingold, Sampson; Marshburn’s, from Shaken, Onslow.

Schooners of less than seventy-five tons.

—E. Francis, from Little River; Snow Storm, Little River; Minnie Ward, New River; Lorenzo, New River; William, Shallotte; Mary Wheeler, Calabash; Katie Edwards, New River; Argyle, Lockwood’s Folly; Stonewall, New River; Gold Leaf, New River; Fairfield, Smithville; Rosa, New River; Jos. H. Neff, Smithville; Maggie, New River; John Griffith, Orton, Mary and Ray, New River.

The Government vessels in port are the Revenue Cutter Colfax and the steam tugs Gen. Wright, Woodbury, Easton and Oklahoma.

[Wilmington Star – August 13, 1886]

From Up the River.

The steamer Cape Fear, Capt. Green, brought down a party of excursionists, about fifty in number, from Prospect Hall and other points along the river.  On their arrival here the party embarked on the Passport and went down to Smithville, returning about 5 o’clock in the afternoon, and leaving for their homes on the upward trip of the Cape Fear.

Capt. Green reports that he noticed an unusual commotion in the river and heard a faint rumbling noise Wednesday night, about the time the earthquake shock was felt here.

In Fayetteville, Tuesday night, the violence of the shocks drove people into the streets from their houses, exciting great alarm.

[Wilmington Weekly Star – September 10, 1886]

BLADEN STEAM BOAT CO. — We regret to learn that Capt. T. J. Green so long connected with the boating business on the Cape Fear River has been compelled on account of ill health to tender his resignation as Capt of the Str. Cape Fear.  Capt. Green was a model captain, always attentive, polite and cheerful, and his retirement is a severe loss to the Company and traveling community.  Complimentary resolutions were passed by the Stockholders,  expressing regret at his resignation and the necessity causing it.  Mr. R. H. Tomlinson, who has been connected with this company for the past two years under Capt. Green, was elected to fill the vacancy, he is in every way competent to discharge the duties.  He is a clever, genial gentleman  The same Agts. at Fayetteville and Wilmington are retained.

[Fayetteville Observer – February 10, 1887]

We learn from the Wilmington Messenger that Capt. Sam’l Skinner, of the Ship Railway, of that place, will commence at an early date to build a steamer to ply between Wilmington and Fayetteville, to be called the Green.

[Fayetteville Evening News – Tuesday, August 2, 1887]

We see that Capt. Samuel W. Skinner, for many years captain of one of our steamers, but at present engaged at Wilmington in repairing ships, &c., contemplates building a steamer to run between this place and Wilmington.  The Captain will be welcomed back.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday, August 4, 1887]

A New Steamboat.

Capt. Sam Skinner is building a steamboat at his shipyard at the foot of Church street.  This new addition to the river fleet will plough the muddy waters of the Cape Fear and run between Wilmington and Fayetteville.  She is intended for a freight and passenger boat, will be 110 feet in length, eighteen feet breadth of beam, and will have about the same freighting capacity as the Cape Fear or the Murchison.  It is expected that she will be finished about the first of January.  Capt. Green, the popular commander of the North State for so many years, will have charge of the new steamer.

[Wilmington Star – November 4, 1887]

The Cape Fear River Captains

“Capt. Alonzo Garrason, for many years one of the most popular steamboatmen on the Cape Fear river,” says the Wilmington Star, “but now a popular and prosperous merchant of Fayetteville reached here last night.”

What a good lot they have ever been, anyway, those delightful River boat captains!  His heart must indeed be a dull one which does not quicken its beats when the fine figures of Rush, and Wilkinson, and Hurt are recalled of those who are gone, and the good cheer and good company they presided over, in the cabins, in the winter nights.  And we never see one of the modern ones – Green, Albert Worth, Jim Smith, Garrason and Robeson – without feeling an impulse to embrace him for old times’ sake.

How the time slips by!  Veterans of the Independent and LaFayette companies will recall the May morning when the A. P. Hurt swung out into the stream, thirty-two years ago, loaded down with the young fellows who then made up the pride of Fayetteville, destined for the great war.  And that, by the way, was the only communication by stream conveyance that Fayetteville had with the outside world.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday, July 20, 1893]

Steamers Wrecked at their Wharves.

The steamers Cape Fear and A. P. Hurt were left high and dry on the banks of the Cape Fear at Campellton Sunday morning by the receding waters of the great flood. This most unusual occurrence created a great sensation in this city and from sunrise to sunset the streets leading to the river were black with people, some walking, some on horseback, some in private and livery vehicles, (run as during a Fair,) and many others on bicycles, all presenting a scene of the liveliest kind. The OBSERVER reporter was on the scene early and in an interview with the watchmen could learn nothing satisfactory, in fact they seemed disposed to give no explanation at all. Unusual precautions had been taken by the managers to prevent any such accident, and extra heavy and long hawsers had been attached to the bank so as to give the steamers plenty of play. Sunday morning found both boats aground, with the river 25 feet below and fast falling. The Cape Fear was lodged on a ridge and the weight of her machinery, etc., soon caused her to break in half and topple over. She is a complete wreck.

The Hurt was fortunately grounded square on the ridge and having an iron hull is very little, if any at all damaged.

The Cape Fear which is almost a total loss was valued at $7,500. She was owned by the Bladen Steamboat Company, composed of the following: A. H. Slocomb, R. M. Nimocks, and Mrs. R. H. Tomlinson of this city and Dr. Armand J. DeRosset and the estates of C. S. and Major T. D. Love, of Wilmington. The Cape Fear was built at Wilmington about 12 years ago under the supervision of Capt. T. J. Green, and has done good service on the Cape Fear ever since. She has been under the command of Capt. Irving Robeson for several years. The Hurt is on a bluff nearly fifty feet above low water and apparently intact. It is estimated that it will cost over a thousand dollars to float her. Experts say she will have to be placed in a cradle and a marine railway built to run her on—although we should think some simpler means could be devised. The Hurt, which is valued at $10,000, is owned by the Cape Fear and People’s Steamboat Company, composed of the following: Capt. W. A. Robeson, Col. W. S. Cook and Mr. J. H. Currie, of this city, and Mr. Duncan McEachern, of Wilmington. She was built at Wilmington, Delaware, in 1861, and was considered then a very fine boat. Both boats were under the management of the Cape Fear River Transportation Company of which Col. W. S. Cook is manager, with headquarters in this city. The loss of the Cape Fear and grounding of the Hurt is certainly a great disaster, but the present management are full of pluck and Col. Cook is now in Wilmington trying to secure steamers to take their place.

Of the three large and well equipped river steamers which were plowing the waters of the Cape Fear less than six months ago, not one is afloat, the Murchison having been burned to the water’s edge near Wilmington last summer.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday, January 17, 1895]

Descendants of Thomas J Green

Generation No. 1

1. THOMAS J1 GREEN1 was born Feb 1836 in VA2, and died Feb 1901 in Fayetteville, NC3.  He married JENNIE E WORTHAM4 1861, daughter of WM WORTHAM and ANN LAUGHTER.  She was born 03 Sep 1841 in NC5, and died 10 Jan 1911 in Cumberland County, Fayetteville, NC5.


Occupation: 1880, Boat Captain

Residence: 1900, Living next the Alonzo Garrason.


i.    SARAH F2 GREEN, b. 1861, NC6.

ii.    MARY A GREEN, b. 1863, NC7.

iii.    AGNES C GREEN8, b. 1867, NC9.

2.              iv.    ANNIE HUNT GREEN, b. 28 Nov 1870, NC; d. 05 Aug 1950, Cumberland County, Fayetteville, NC.

v.    ELLEN L GREEN, b. Sep 1872, NC10.

3.              vi.    THOMAS M GREEN, b. Feb 1879, NC.

vii.    ALBERT GREEN, b. NC11.

Generation No. 2

2. ANNIE HUNT2 GREEN (THOMAS J1) was born 28 Nov 1870 in NC12, and died 05 Aug 1950 in Cumberland County, Fayetteville, NC12.  She married W H WILLIAMS.  He was born in NC, and died in Cumberland County, Fayetteville, NC.


i.    MARY3 WILLIAMS, b. Cumberland County, Fayetteville, NC.


Residence: 1950, 1310 Summit Ave., Fayetteville, NC

3. THOMAS M2 GREEN (THOMAS J1) was born Feb 1879 in NC13.  He married IVAR PEARL GREEN.  She was born 1880 in NC.


Occupation: Dairyman


i.    FRANCIS D3 GREEN, b. 1904, Cumberland County, Fayetteville, NC.


1.  1870 United States Federal Census > North Carolina > Cumberland > Cross Creek.

2.  1900 United States Federal Census > North Carolina > Cumberland > Fayetteville.

3.  Obituary, Fayetteville Observer, February 28, 1901.

4.  Name from daughters’, Annie Hunt Green Williams, NC Death Certificate.

5.  NC Death Certificate.

6.  1870 United States Federal Census > North Carolina > Cumberland > Cross Creek.

7.  1880 United States Federal Census > North Carolina > Cumberland > Fayetteville > District 68.

8.  1870 United States Federal Census > North Carolina > Cumberland > Cross Creek.

9.  1880 United States Federal Census > North Carolina > Cumberland > Fayetteville > District 68.

10.  1900 US Census NC.

11.  According to his father’s obit, Albert Green was already dead and his father died on the same cot at his son had.

12.  NC Death Certificate.

13.  1900 United States Federal Census > North Carolina > Cumberland > Cross Creek > District 23.

The Cape Fear River Steamers

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Posted by on June 13, 2009 in The Captains


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