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Shaping the Maritime Community for over 275 Years 

Founders:  William Starkey, Edward Cahill, Isaac Freeman, Richard Humphreys, Edward Freyer, Moses Bennet, Jonathan Clarke, John Cullum, Joseph Prince, and Abraham Remmick 


Number (unassigned) Captain John Snow (1742) became the first original member of the Fellowship Club, but was never issued a membership number as he died before the club incorporated as the Boston Marine Society.


Number 1, Captain William M. Starkey (1742) is the first recorded member. after incorporporation as the Marine Society following his original Fellowship Club membership. 


Number 179, Captain Hector McNeil, (1760) commanded the U.S. Frigate "Boston" during the Revolutionary War.


Number 234A,  President John Adams, honorary member (1769) went on to become the 2nd President of the United States. Although not a mariner, John Adams, became an honorary member.  At the time of his election to Society membership, he was a shrewd young lawyer with considerable influence in the colony. 


Number 269, Captain John Foster Williams (1776) commanded America's first revenue cutter.  As first master of the Revenue Cutter Massachusetts, he helped establish American sovereignty by enforcing tariffs on cargo importas and helped chart Cape Cod Bay.  The Revenue Cutter Service was the forerunner to the modern U.S. Coast Guard.  

Number 288, Captain James Magee, (1782) was a distinguished Society member who Commanded the Salem ship Astrea.  Captain Magee donated a ornately decorated Chinese porcelain bowl and pitcher to the Society in 1790, which was among the first pieces of its kind in America.

Number 292,  President John Quincy Adams, honorary member (1783)  went on to become the 6th President of the United States.

Number 354, General Benjamin Lincoln, honorary member (1790) was an Army officer serving in the Revolutionary War at the Battle of Saratoga and eventually became George Washington's second in Command.  He later put down the post war Shays' rebellion in Springfield, Mass, and served as the country's first Secretary of War. 


Number 472,  Commodore Edward Preble, (1799) commanded U.S.Naval Squadron at the Battle of Tripoli.  The United States was engaged in naval warfare with the city-state of Tripoli, whose corsairs were causing havoc amongst American merchantmen in the Mediterranean.  During what became known as the First Barbary War many of Prebble's methods were adopted as Navy-wide procedure.  During the final two and a half years of his life, Preble served as a respected senior adviser in naval matters to the administration of President Thomas Jefferson.  In 2002 the U.S. Navy commissioned the USS Preble, a guided missile destroyer, in his name.


Number 484, Governor John Hancock, (1800) was a patriot of the American Revolution. He served as president of the Second Continental Congress and was the 1st Governor  of Massachusetts. He is most remembered as a signer of the the United States Declaration of Independence

Number 723, Thomas Lamb, (1828) honorary member admitted March 3, 1828. Mr. Lamb served as the Society's treasurer for  54 years without compensation.

Number 728A, Nathaniel Bowditch, (1830) honorary member who profounding influenced navigation all over the globe. As  an American mathematician he compiled formulae and tables  to support ocean navigation.  His book The New American Practical Navigator,  published in 1802, is considered the foundation of modern navigation and is still used today. 

Number 758, Captain Robert Bennett Forbes, (1827) President of the Society. Forbes went to sea at age 13 and was a master at 20. In ten years of China trading he spent only six months on shore. Captain Forbes was the master of the "Great Republic," the clipper ship which Longfellow immortalized in his beautiful poem, "The Building of the Ship." Later Forbes served as master of the U.S. Navy's "Jamestown" when it delivered relief supplies to Ireland during the potato famine.  


Number 880, Senator Charles Sumner, (1839) was a lawyer and Massachusetts anti-slavery leader and Civil War era Senator, made famous for an 1856 Senate floor attack by Senator Preston Brooks which left Senator Sumner significantly injured.

Number 882, Captain F.W. Macondray, (1839) In March 1847, sailed U.S.S Jamestown from Boston to Ireland laden with goods donated to relieve the potato famine. (1846)


Number 930,  Captain Frederick Howes, ( 1841) was Master of Congress, a "medium clipper" built in 1859.  The ship design includes a double top sail rig which was invented by Howes.   

Number 1031, Captain J.D. Farwell, (1846)  sailed as Mate aboard the U.S.S. Jamestown to deliver famine relief supplies to Ireland.


Number 1291, Captain John Weston (1862) Master of Smyreniote.  

Number 1370, Captain R.G.F. Candage (1867) in 1879 presented the Boston Marine Society with its official gavel.


Number 1488, Captain W.F. Humphrey (1874) donated the Society's marble ashlar in 1880.


Number 1548, Captain Amasa Sears,(1876) Master of Smyreniote. (1876)

Number 2195, Captain Harold L. Colbeth, (1910) served as the Society's treasurer for 30 over years. He  served as the master of the 'Yale,' the famous express steamer which with the 'Harvard' gave overnight service between Boston and New York, In 1913, he became the first superintendent of the newly opened Cape Cod Canal and held the post until 1950. 

Number 2590, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, (1933) was the 32nd President of the United States.  He was always interested in the sea, was skipper of his own yacht, served as assistant secretary of the Navy.


Number 2710, Captain  Chester L. Jordan (1944) shipped on a square-rigger to Buenos Aires and worked his way up to first mate and chief officer on Isthmian Line ships sailing all over the world. He later transitioned to the Coast Guard where he served for 25 years.  In 1941 he was commander of the International Ice Patrol. During World War II he skippered the Navy tanker Big Horn.  He also served as Commander of the First Coast Guard District. 

Number 2769, Captain Soren Willesen (1947) Boston Marine Society past president. In 1916, he was second mate of the Edward Sewall, one of the world's biggest four-masted sailing ships of the time. During World War II he supervised the construction of over 200 Liberty Ships. 


Number 2925, President John F. Kennedy, (1963) honorary member who served both as a Massachusetts Senator and 35th President of the United States.   


Number 3067, Governor Edward J. King, (1981) honorary member and Governor of Massachusetts.


Number 3111, Captain Jacques Y. Cousteau, Phd (1985) PhD, honorary member who was a French naval officerexplorerconservationist, filmmaker, innovator, author and researcher who studied the sea.  Through his research and widely respected documentaries, he became a pioneer of marine conservation.    

Number 3184, Governor William F. Weld (1992) honorary member and Governor of Massachusetts.


Number 3187, Admiral John W. Kime, (1992) honorary member who served as Commandant of the Coast Guard from 1990-1994 during which time he oversaw the implementation of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 which revolutionize marine environmental protection and response in the United States and globally.  

Number 3231,  Captain Prentice Strong III (1992), while in command of the tanker Cherry Valley executed a daring salvage of a stranded tug towing a NASA fuel cell.


Number3411, Captain Richard P. Phillips (2012) while commanding Maersk Alabama, placed his life and safety at risk to protect the ship and crew during a violent pirate attack off the coast of Somalia. The ordeal was later chronicled in a book and film. 


Edward Preble


Robert Bennett Fobes

Thomas Lamb

Jacques Y. Cousteau

Presiden Franklin D. Rooevelt


Franklin D. Roosevelt

Nathaniel Bowdich

First Revenue Cutter



John F. Kennedy


John Adams


John Q. Adams


John W. Kime

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