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Captain Joseph Henderson was born in Charleston, South Carolina on September 9, 1826. He was a notable Sandy Hook Pilot in the New York harbor and along the Atlantic Coast during the Civil War.

Click here to see a Wikipedia article about Joseph Henderson.

Important Facts
September 9, 1826

Joseph Henderson was born in Charleston, South Carolina. Click on the census image to the right to see the actual 1865 and 1880 census information. Source: 1865 New York State Census and Joseph's 1878 U.S. Passport Application.

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1865 NY State Census
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According to the 1880 US Federal Census, Joseph's father and mother were both born in South Carolina. Source: 1880 US Federal Census.

1838 The silver spoon on the right, is believed to have belonged to Joseph Henderson. The spoon has been passed down as a family heirloom. The inscription on the back reads "Wm Carrington & Co." In 1830 William Carrington arrived in Charleston, South Carolina. Around 1838 he founded his own firm, W. Carrington & Co, which remained independent until 1872.

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Henderson - Spoon
Wm Carrington & Co.
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  Joseph was an orphan, raised by a mean Uncle. Source: Jerry Henderson, So Long, It's been good to Know You, page 1.  
1842 At sixteen, Joseph Henderson left Charleston, South Carolina to find passage to New York as a cabin boy on a ship traveling to New York City. Source: Jerry Henderson, So Long, It's been good to Know You, page.1.
Charleston Map

84 Queen, Charleston. SC
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1845 It was written in the New York Herald newspaper that "some men on South street remember him in 1845 as a pilot of some standing even then." Source: "Half a Century of Piloting", October 12, 1890, New York Herald.
1846 He was listed as "Henderson Joseph, mariner, 325 Front Street, New York City."
Source: Doggett's New-York City Directory, for - Page 184.
1846 When Joseph was twenty, he took out his first pilot papers and became adept in all branches of piloting. Source: Charles Edward Russell, "From Sandy Hook to 62°", 1929, page 148.
Fall 1847

At age of 21, Joseph was captain of his own schooner and a New York Sandy Hook pilot. Source: United States. Court of Commissioners of Alabama Claims, Goggle Books, 1882-85. v. 21.

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Angelina A. Weaver
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1848 Joseph Henderson was listed as a seaman at 325 Front Street and Angelina’s half brother, Maurice D. Weaver, was listed as Pilot at 309 Water Street and his home was also at 93 Roosevelt Avenue. Source: 1848 Doggett's New York City directory.
February 11, 1849

On the Sunday evening, the Rev. Edward Lathrop married Joseph Henderson and sixteen year-old Angelina Annetta Weaver at the Baptist Tabernacle Church on Mulberry Street, near Chatham square, in New York City. The marriage was announced in the New York Herald. Rev. Lathrop was from Beaufort, South Carolina, which is near where Joseph was born and raised as a child. Source Marriage announcement in the New York Herald, Feb. 13, 1849, page 4.

Go to Angelina's page Angelina

Marriage announcement

Joseph Henderson and Angelina A. Weaver
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1849-1850

At the age of 23, Joseph was listed as a Pilot living at 93 Roosevelt Avenue in New York City. Source: John Doggett, Jr. & Company, New York City Directory for the 1849-1850 edition.

May 12, 1850
Angelina and Joseph’s first child was a girl, named Sarah Rebecca Henderson was born in New York City. According to the Doggett’s New York City directory, the family was living at 93 Roosevelt Avenue. Source: The 1850 US Federal Census.

Sarah R. Henderson

October 15, 1850

The 1850 U.S. Census lists Joseph (23 - Pilot), Angelina A. (18), and Sarah R. (5 Mo.) living in New York City. It also lists Morris D. Weaver (28) as Pilot living in the same Ward. Source: 1850 Census, New York City, Ward 4; Microfilm Roll: M432, rool 536; Page: 278; Image: 558.

1852

Joseph was listed as a "Pilot" living on 90 Roosevelt Street, New York City. Roosevelt Street is in the New York City borough of Manhattan, running from Pearl Street southeast to South Street. Source: New York City Directory, 1852, Page 244.

New York Map

New York City map
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1852

Maurice D. Henderson was born in New York City. Source: The 1855 and 1860 US Census.

Maurice D. Henderson

Maurice D. Henderson

1853
Joseph was listed at 69 South Street, New York, N. Y., his home was in Brooklyn. 69 South Street was where the office of the Board of Commissioners of Pilots was located. Source: Mary Anthony Lathrop, Mary's Family Connections, 1979, pg. 99.
May 16, 1853
Joseph Henderson was listed as one of the pilots and owners of the pilot boat Elwood Walter, No. 7, belonging to the Merchant Pilot Association. The pilot boat was named after the president of the Mercantile Insurance Company, and was built by Mr. Edward T. Williams, of Green Point. Source: ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times, pg. 3.
September 13, 1853
Joseph Henderson was granted his license as a branch pilot on the pilot boat Elwood Walter. Source: Board of Commissioners of Pilots of the State of New York.


Joseph's Pilot License
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1854
Joseph and his family moved to Franklin Avenue between Willoughby and DeKalb Avenues in Brooklyn, New York.Source: Mary Anthony Lathrop, Mary's Family Connections, 1979, pg. 100.
1854
Joseph Henderson Jr. was born in Brooklyn, New York. He later married Minnie E. Duryea on January 6, 1876 in Brooklyn, New York. Source: Mary Anthony Lathrop, Mary's Family Connections, 1979, pg. 90.

Joseph Henderson Jr.

June 14, 1855 The New York State Census lists Joseph (28), Angelina A (22), Sarah R (5), Morris (4), Joseph (2) and Elizabeth Mcgrath (14 Servant from Ireland) living in Ward 7, Brooklyn, Kings, New York. Source: New York, State Census, 1855, Index and Images, FamilySearch: accessed 04 Oct 2013.
December 17, 1856
Joseph Henderson was listed as being a captain for the pilot boat, the George W. Blunt, No. 11. It was on this ship that he was said to have fallen from the masthead. Source: New York Daily Times.
January 21, 1857 Joseph Henderson was listed as being on the George W. Blunt, No. 11 anchored at Coney Island, hemmed in by the ice. A snowstorm was reported in Brooklyn and there were reports of shipwrecks on the cost and loss of life due to the winter storm. Source: New York Herald (New York, NY) Page: 1.
March 25, 1959

The Free Church of St. Matthew's on Throop Avenue, in the ninth ward of Brooklyn, was organized as a parish. It later became a real church with a frame building, forty-five feet wide by eighty feet long; in Gothic style, with a bell tower twelve feet square and spire one hundred and thirty feet high. It could seat four hundred and fifty persons. Source: The Free Church St. Matthew's founded in 1859.

1859 The Henderson family moved a few blocks East, to 983 Myrtle Avenue, at the corner of Throop Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. He was listed as: "Henderson, Jos. pilot, 69 South, h. Myrtle av. B'klyn. Source: New York City, New York 1859 City Directory - H.

Joseph's Signature (1878)
1859-1860
Joseph is listed in the Brooklyn directory as: "Jos. Henderson pilot, h. Myrtle av. c. Throop. Source: HEARNE'S 1859-60 BROOKLYN CITY DIRECTORY.
July 12, 1860
The 1860 US Census lists J. Henderson (32), Ann (29), Sarah (10), Myers (8), Joseph (6), and Cathe. Ross (21 - servant).
Source: 1860 US Census for 9th Ward District 1, Brooklyn City, County of Kings; Roll: M653_768; Page: 599.
1860
Mary Ann Henderson was born in Brooklyn, New York. She later married Charles S. Hendrickson in Brooklyn, New York. He was a wholesale fruit broker in downtown New York. Source: 1865 NY State Census, Ward Nine of Brooklyn, in the county of Kings, NY.

Mary Ann Henderson

February 1861

An amalgam bell was received from the New York pilots, at Sandy Hook and other furniture was provided by various friends and members of the St. Matthew's Church. Source: The Free Church St. Matthew's founded in 1859.

April 12, 1861
The American Civil War broke out between the northern and southern states.

October 15, 1861

Joseph Henderson was listed as being a pilot on the transport Arago. She departed Eastport, Maine and proceeded to the New York Navy Yard at Brooklyn, New York, where she received weapons. The Arago then joined the expedition destined to capture Port Royal, South Carolina. The information that she obtained provided the South Atlantic Blockading squadron with its most important base for the remaining years of the conflict. Source: The Evening World, October 08, 1890, EXTRA 2 O'CLOCK.

  The Arago was a schooner borrowed by the Union Navy from the United States Coast Survey during the American Civil War. She was outfitted as a gunboat and used by the Union Navy as a picket and patrol vessel on Confederate waterways. Source: USC&GS Arago (1854). In Wikipedia, retrieved May 5, 2016
1862
During the Civil War, Joseph did pilot work for the Federal Government in the Southern waters. His work for the government was so valuable, that he received not only thanks but unusual reward in bankable funds.
Source: Charles Edward Russell, "From Sandy Hook to 62°", Century Co., New York, pg. 148-153.
January 7, 1862

Joseph Henderson purchased a cemetery plot for his nephew, Maurice D. Weaver, which became the Henderson family plot; Lot 13244 section 88 at the Green-Wood Cemetery. Source: The Green-Wood Cemetery Catalog of Heirs 2993.

1862
Joseph Henderson was listed in the Brooklyn city directory as HENDERSON, J., pilot. Source: 1862-63 Brooklyn City Directory, page 189.
January 1863
Angelina A. Henderson was born in Brooklyn, New York. She later married Frederick Wilcox on November 24, 1880. She died early of tuberculosis. Source: 1865 NY State Census, Ward Nine of Brooklyn, in the county of Kings, NY.

Angelina A. Henderson

May 1863

Joseph Henderson is listed as having income at his residence on Myrtle and Throop. The total tax was 3% for 58.50 dollars.
Source: U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1863-1864, New York District 2.

1863-64 The pilot boat William Bell was built in Greenpoint, Long Island, N. Y. by Edward F. Williams. for Joseph Henderson, William Anderson, John Van Dusen, and James Callahan. She was about 118 tons and cost about $16,000. Source: United States. Court of Commissioners of Alabama Claims, Goggle Books, 1882-85. v. 21.
September 29, 1864

During the Civil War, the pilot-boat William Bell No. 24, ventured too far out to sea and was captured and burned by the Confederate raiding steamer the Tallahassee.

On June 5, 1883, Pilot Joseph Henderson was compensated for $6,170.31, as he owned 5/16 share in the William Bell. Source: The Tallahassee, Complete Rebel History of Her Depredations, the New York Times, pg. 1. and The William Bell, A New York Pilot Boat, the 1969 issue of The Log of Mystic Seaport, pg 17.

Pilot Boats
Confederate Raids on Pilot-Boats
1864-1865
Joseph Henderson is listed in the Brooklyn city directory as HENDERSON, Joseph, pilot, h. Myrtle Ave n. Throop.
Source
: 1864-65 Brooklyn City Directory page 186.
April 9, 1865
The Civil War ended - Confederate General Lee surrendered to Union General Grant.
May 1865
Joseph Henderson is listed as owning a piano and watch at his residence on Myrtle and Throop. The total tax was for 5 dollars. Source: U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918, New York, District 2; 1865.
February 28, 1865
Alexander Dawson Henderson Sr.. was born at 983 Myrtle Street and Throop Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. Source: Mary Anthony Lathrop, Mary's Family Connections, 1979, pg. 86.

Alexander Henderson Sr.

Alexander D. Henderson Sr.
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June 10, 1865
The 1865 NY State Census lists Joseph Henderson (40), Angelina (32), Sarah (15), Maurice (13), Joseph (11), Mary (5), Angelina (2), and Hannah (Alexander) Henderson (4 mo.). Joseph 's birthplace is listed as Charleston, SC. Source: 1865 NY State Census, Ward Nine of Brooklyn, in the county of Kings, NY.
November 3, 1867 Henderson was listed as one of the New York Sandy Hook pilots in the New York Herald in the article titled "Sandy Hook Pilots".

It talks about the duties, names of pilots and boats, rates of piloting, penalties and rewards, and the dangers encountered. The article goes on to say that pilots make from $1,000 to $2,000 per year. Source: New York Herald, Page 8.

1867
Joseph made a small fortune through investments and had various savings accounts in Brooklyn and New York banks. Source: Mary Anthony Lathrop, Mary's Family Connections, 1979, pg. 88.
March 6, 1867 The pilot boat William Bell, No. 24, lay a mile inside of the outer bar, full of water. She was a new boat built in 1865 and part owned by Captain Joseph Henderson 5/16th. The vessel was reported as a total loss. Source: New York Herald, page: 7 and the New York Evening Express, page 1.
March 16, 1867

There was a hearing to a committee of ship owners that were asking for a repeal or modification of the 28th By-law of the Board of Pilot Commissioners. Pilot Henderson opposed any change in the existing regulations. “Mr. Henderson claiming that a pilot who had, in the discharge of his duty, by going far out to sea to board a ship, was entitled to the privilege of taking her again out, instead of her being taken out by some velvet-footed stay-at-home, who might be a favorite and pet of the owner.”

 
1869
Joseph was listed in the New York City Directory as Henderson Joseph, pilot, 40 Burling sl. h Myrtle av. c Throop av. B'klyn. Source: New York City Directory, 1869.
December, 1869
Pilot Joseph Henderson offered his services to the master and owners, to pilot a steam vessel Tybee out of the port of New York, but they refused to employ him. They proceeded to sea without having on board any pilot of the port. Source: Court of Common Pleas of the City and County of New York, Joseph Henderson v. Paul N. Spofford and Others, page 361.
February 16, 1870

Because of the above incident with the vessel Tybee, a judgment wad made in the district court of New York City in favor of Joseph Henderson for thirty-eight dollars and eighteen cents, besides costs for fees for pilotage. Source: Court of Common Pleas of the City and County of New York, Joseph Henderson v. Paul N. Spofford and Others, page 361.

July 26, 1870
The 1870 US Federal Census lists Joseph Henderson (46), Angelina (38) living at home with their three daughters and three sons: Sarah R. (20), Morris D. (18), Joseph Jr. (16), Mary Ann (10), Angelina A. (8), Alexander D. (6) and Mary Mooney (25 - servant, b. Ireland). Joseph Sr. birthplace is listed as South Carolina and as Pilot. Brooklyn population in 1870 was 396,000. Source: 1870 US Census, 21-WD Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, Series: M593, Roll: 961, Part: 1, Page: 349A.
1870 Census

1870 Census
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1871

The above judgment with the owners of the vessel Tybee, was appealed in the case HENDERSON against SPOFFORD but the judgment was affirmed. Source: Reports of Practice Cases, determined in the Court of the state of New York.

May 1, 1872 Listed as "Henderson Joseph, pilot, 75 South, h B'klyn. Source: New York City Directory, Compiled by H. Wilson.
October 28, 1872 At 5 PM the brig Emily was sighted by Capt. Henderson of the New York pilot boat Pet, No 9. The crew came on board the pilot boat, which lay by the brig until 7 PM, at witch time the Emily capsized. It was not until the next day that the crew members were transferred to the steamship Italy, from Liverpool and brought to the port. Source: New York Herald, Oct. 31, 1872, page 10.  
November 5, 1872
Joseph Henderson spoke at a meeting of the Board of Commissioners of Pilots about how he and his boat Pet, No. 9, rescued the crew of the brig Emily. Joseph said: “Gentlemen: I respectfully report that on Monday Oct. 28, Block Island bearing north, forty miles distant, the pilot-boat Pet, No. 9, it blowing a gale of wind east by north-east, fell in with the bring Emily, from Jacksonville, bound to Boston, in a sinking condition, colors flying union down: went to her and spoke her; the master wished to abandon the vessel as the sea was making a clean breach over her and she could not float much longer.”

Joseph goes on to describe the condition of the boat and getting the crew and officers safely on board the Pet. His effort was acknowledged in a resolution, which granted that a reward be paid to the pilots for a sum of $250. Source: Nov. 5, 1872; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times, pg. 2.
New York Map

St. Matthew's Church
April 24, 1874

The County Court of Kings County filed a pursuance of judgment of foreclosure and sale of part or portion of a large piece of ground which Joseph Henderson and Angelina A. Henderson conveyed unto George A. Wilhelm, his heirs and assigns. Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle, pg. 4, May 13, 1874.

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Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Captain Joseph Henderson
1826 - 1890
1874-1875
Joseph was listed as "Henderson Joseph pilot, 309 Water, N. Y. h 983 Myrtle av" Source: 1874-75 Brooklyn City Directory.
1877
Joseph was listed in the New York City Directory as: Henderson, Joseph, pilot, h 983 Myrtle av. Source: New York City Directory, 1877.
February 3, 1877
Joseph Henderson was listed in an article for the Spirit Of The Times newspaper about the pilot-boat PET, which was number nine of the New York Harbor fleet. The article said "This week, in connection with a picture of the pilot-boat Pet and Captain Joseph Henderson, we give a brief sketch, the object of which is to explain how the business of these craft is conducted in the port of New York. Source: New York Spirit Of Times 1877 Jan-Dec.
Pet

Spirit of the Times Newspaper
Pilot-boat PET
Number Nine of the New York Harbor Fleet

June 17, 1878

Joseph was issued a U.S. passport to travel abroad to Great Britain and Europe with his wife, Angelina (46) and daughter, Mary Ann (18). The passport application describes Joseph as a man, age of 52, height 5 feet 3 inches, and eyes and hair gray. The passport lists his birthplace as Charleston, South Carolina. Source: U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925.

November 9, 1878 Mr. Joseph Henderson, Sandy Hook pilot of boat Pet, No 9, reported passing Nov. 7th, the wreck of the bark (sailing ship) Sarah, of New Bedford, Massachusetts, which lied directly in the track of vessels coming from or going to the eastward. Source: New York Herald, page 10.
1878
Joseph is listed as "Henderson Joseph pilot h 983 Myrtle av." Source: 1878-79 Brooklyn City Directory.
March 22, 1879

The New York Times had the following article about the Brooklyn Bridge:

THE OBSTACLES TO TBE BRIDGE VIEWS OF NEWYORKEERS—ITS SUPPOSED SHAKINESS-THE REGULATION OF PASSENGER TRAFFIC

There were glances of admiration bestowed by the inland members of the committee upon Capt. Joe Henderson, one of the oldest pilots around New-York, when that mariner reeled off a lot of nautical terms in his testimony. Even the Chairman, who has learned among many other things that there is no difference in the height of masts at low or high water, a point which he has persisted in raising several times, and which has always been settled as a joke at his expense—listened intently. The pilot described the increased difficulties in navigating the East River within the last quarter of a century, not the least of which is the bridge. Source: The New York Times, March 22, 1879.


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633 Willoughby Ave.
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June 12, 1879
Mrs. Joseph Henderson was on the committee in charge of a strawberry church festival that was given in the Sunday School room of the St. Matthew's P. E. Church on Throop Avenue. Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle, pg. 3.
1879-80
Joseph is listed as "HENDERSON Joseph pilot h 981 Myrtle av." in the Brooklyn directory. Source: LAIN'S 1878-80 BROOKLYN DIRECTORY .
June 4, 1880

The 1880 U.S. Census lists the entire Henderson family: Joseph (52) and Angelina A. (48) living at home with their three daughters, Sarah R. (30), Mary A. (20), Angelina A. (18), and three sons, Morris (28), Joseph (26), Alexander (15), and Barbara Stroller (20 - servant). Joseph Sr. was listed as "Pilot".

Maurice was listed as sailmaker, Joseph Jr. as broker, and Alexander at school. The census lists 'South Carolina' as the birth place of both his father and mother. Angelina's father's birth place is listed as Italy. Source: 1880 US Federal Census for 983 Myrtle Ave., Kings (Brooklyn), New York City-Greater, New York.

1880 Henderson is listed as a passenger (age 54) on the ship Devonia arriving in New York City in 1880. Source: New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891.
September 27, 1880 Henderson is listed with the New York pilot boat Pet No. 9 for ships arriving in the American Ports. Source: New York Herald, page 10.
1881
The Henderson family took up residence at 633 Willoughby Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. See map on right.

Brooklyn map

Brooklyn Map
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January 6, 1881 The New York pilot boat Pet No 9 and Joseph Henderson arrived at the port of Newport, Rhode Island. They put in for pilots and sailed back to the New York port. Source: New York Herald, page 10.
February 16, 1881 Joseph Henderson was listed in an article titled "Guardians of the Harbor". From a regular meeting of the Board of Pilot Commissioners, Pilot Henderson was granted permission to go to Boston on the steamer SS Otranto. Source: The New York Herald.
1881-82
Joseph is listed as "HENDERSON Joseph, pilot, 69 South N.Y. h 633 Willoughby av." in the Brooklyn directory. Source: 1881-82 BROOKLYN DIRECTORY
1882-84
Joseph is listed as "HENDERSON Joseph, pilot, h 633 Willoughby av." in the Brooklyn directory. Source: 1882-84 BROOKLYN CITY DIRECTORY.  
1876-1885
The schooner "Pet" was registered to Jos. Henderson from 1876 to 1885. The pilot ship was built in Charleston, Mass. in 1867. The Pet was 54 tons and was steered by means of a tiller. Source: Record of American and Foreign Shipping, 1881.

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January 23, 1883

The Brooklyn Eagle listed real estate transfers from a Martin H. Duane to Angelina A, wife of Joseph Henderson for property on Willoughby Ave for $8,100. Source: Real estate transfers, August 23, 1883, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, page 3 (left-side).

February 17, 1883 Joseph Henderson, John Van Dusen, William Anderson, and James Callahan petitioned the United States for compensation of their loss. On June 5, 1883, Henderson was compensated for $6,170.31, as he owned 5/16 shares in the William Bell. Source: The Court Of Commissioners of Alabama Claims, February 10, 1883.
May 24, 1883
The Brooklyn Bridge was opened to traffic on May 24, 1883. The Bridge Toll was 3 cents. Before the bridge was constructed you had to take a ferry between Brooklyn and Manhattan. Joseph was called upon as an expert seaman to determine the height of the water span of the Brooklyn Bridge. Source: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 9, 1890, pg 1.
Statue of Liberty

Brooklyn Bridge
1884-86
Joseph was listed in the New York City Directory as: Henderson Joseph, pilot, h 633 Wil'by av. Source: New York City Directory, 1884-1886.
Tuesday, June 16, 1885
Now 10 miles off the Sandy Hook lightship, a pilot boat ran close under the bows of an odd-looking, bark-rigged propeller. The New York Times read: "Liberty, Ahoy!". Pilot Henderson was quoted as saying: "She's got that big Liberty aboard." Source: The New York Times.  
Wednesday, June 17, 1885
The Evening Telegram had a front page article titled: THE ISERE - Bartholdi's Gift Reaches the Horseshoe Safely. It said "It was then learned that pilot boat No. 9 had spoken the Isere at ten o'clock last night. Pilot Henderson was taken aboard, but judged that the night was too dark for safe crossing of the bar. He, however, took charge of the stranger and stood off shore awaiting daylight. Source: The Evening Telegram.  
Thursday, June 18, 1885
In the newspaper article entitled, "ARRIVAL OF THE BIG STATUE - THE ISERE ANCHORED DOWN THE BAY," said that on "On Tuesday Pilot Boat No. 9 was sighted and Pilot Joseph Henderson was taken on board. The bar was reached about midnight, but the night was foggy, rainy and dark, and it was deemed best to anchor until daylight, when the bar was crossed and the vessel brought to her anchorage. " Source: The New York Tribune.  
Saturday, June 20, 1885
The New York Times had a front page article titled: WELCOMING THE STATUE - A BRILLIANT SCENE ON THE WATERS OF THE HARBOR. Joseph was expressly selected to escort the French Steamer Iséré, laden with the Statue of Liberty into the New York Harbor to Bedloe's Island. This event and Pilot Henderson's appearance was printed in the New York Times: "Old Pilot Henderson, who jumped from the skylight down on the quarter deck of the Iséré." Source: ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times, pg. 1.
Statue of Liberty

Welcoming the Statue of Liberty
1886-1888
Joseph was listed in the New York City Directory as: Henderson Joseph, pilot, h 633 Wil'by av. Source: Lain's Brooklyn Directory For The Year Ending May 1st, 1888, Lain & Company, 17 Willoughby Street, Brooklyn.
April 11, 1887

Joseph drafted his Will on April 11th, leaving his entire estate to his wife, Angelina and his six children Maurice, Joseph, Alexander, Sarah, Mary Ann, and Angelina. In case he survived his wife, Joseph appointed the Brooklyn Trust Company as executor. Source: Joseph's Will from the Surrogate Court, Kings County, New York. His estate was valued around $100,000.00. Source: Mary Anthony Lathrop, Mary's Family Connections, 1979, pg. 88.

Joseph's Will

Joseph Henderson's Will
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May 8, 1887

On Saturday afternoon, May 7, 1887, the steamer Martello left her dock in Jersey City laded with merchandise, bound for Hull, England. The weather was foggy. On Sunday, May 8, 1887, the Martello left Gravesend Bay and started for se in command of Captain Francisco E. Jenkins, and Pilot Joseph Henderson. The vessel proceeded down the swash channel and through Gedney's channel. The vessel's engines were stopped and Pilot Henderson was discharged 40 minutes before hearing the horn of the sailing vessel Freda A. Willey. The two ships collided about 1 3/4 miles from the Sandy Hook lightship. As a result of this incident, Henderson was listed in a U.S. Supreme Court libel for a collision between the American barkentine Freda A. Willey and the British steamship Martello. The suit said "Pilot Henderson has been a New York and Sandy Hook pilot for nearly forty-two years." The Freda A. Willey was free from fault. The Martello was at fault for too great speed. Appeal from the court was argued on March 15, 16, 1894 and decided on April 16, 1894. Source: THE MARTELLO v. THE WILLEY, 153 U.S. 64 (1894).

1888
He was on board the America pilot-boat during the great blizzard of 1888, when the vessel rode out the storm off Shinnecock Light. The Shinnecock Light was an important lighthouse on the south side of Long Island, New York. Source: The New York Herald.
November 29, 1888 A newspaper account titled: "Overdue Vessels Come In. Rough Weather Reported by all. Few, Of Them Seriously Damaged", which talks about not hearing from the pilot-boat Pet. no. 9. She had left port twelve days ago, and when last heard from was 300 miles east of Sandy Hook. She had a crew of six men and Joseph Henderson was in charge. Source: New York Herald-Tribune (New York, NY) Page 3.
March 19, 1889

Pilot Henderson, from the pilot-boat Pet, went aboard the British steamship Wingates to safely tow it to the Sandy Hook port. The steamship broke her shaft by the heavy seas off the east end of Long Island. Source: New York Herald-Tribune (New York, NY) Page: 4.

November 21, 1889
Joseph was commander of the pilot boat Pet, No. 9, which was lost in Newport, RI, harbor. "She dragged her anchor near Mackerel Cove, Rhode Island and drove ashore, proving a total loss. The agile Henderson escaped with his life." Source: Charles Edward Russell, "From Sandy Hook to 62°", page 151; The New York Times, page 3; The Brooklyn Eagle.
1890
Joseph was listed in the New York City Directory as: Henderson Joseph, pilot, 40 Burling sl. h 633 Willoughby av. B'klyn. Source: New York City Directory, 1890.
August 13, 1890
Joseph took the White Line passenger steamer Teutonic to sea on her first westward race across the Atlantic with the steamship liner City of New York. The race ended in victory for the Teutonic. The race from Queenstown harbor to Sandy Hook, took 5 days, nineteen hours. The Teutonic was a 9,984 gross ton ship, built in 1889 by Harland & Wolff, Belfast for the White Star Line. Source: The Evening Post, New York.

 Teutonic

Steamer Teutonic

August 21, 1890 Joseph was listed as the pilot on the liner SS Teutonic racing against the SS City of New York. Source: The New York Herald.
August 23, 1890
Joseph piloted the USS Baltimore to the ocean with the remains of Captain John Ericsson for the funeral in Stockholm on September 14. Ericsson was regarded as one of the most influential mechanical engineers and inventor. Source: The Evening Post, New York.

 Baltimore

USS Baltimore

October 4, 1890
Joseph left home on Saturday in good health and sailed to Sandy Hook on board his pilot boat American, No. 21. He became ill and was brought home to New York. Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Thursday, October 9, 1890, Vol 50, No 280, pg. 1.
October 7, 1890
On Tuesday, Joseph Henderson died (64) at his family home at 633 Willoughby Avenue, Brooklyn, New York of a strangulated hernia in the groin. He died from the shock of the operation. Source: Brooklyn Municipal Archives (Death Certificate No. 15592).

Death Certificate

Certificate of Death
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October 8, 1890
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper carried a notice of Joseph Henderson's death on Wednesday, stating that the "funeral services from his late residence, 633 Willoughby Av, Thursday evening, at 8:00 o'clock. New York and Sandy Hook Pilots are respectively invited to attend. Charleston and New Orleans papers please copy."
Source: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Wednesday, October 8, 1890, Vol 50, No 279, pg. 5.
October 9, 1890 The Evening World newspaper said:


PILOT HENDERSON DEAD

He Was One of the Oldest and Best
Known of the Sandy Hook Crew

"The flag on the New York and Sandy Hook pilots’ building, at 20 State Street, hung at half-mast this morning in respect to the memory of Capt. Joseph Henderson, one of the oldest pilots in the service, who died at his home, 633 Willoughby avenue, Brooklyn, yesterday morning of peritonitis.
Capt, Henderson was sixty-four years old and had been a pilot since 1845. He bad always been attached to the Sandy Hook station, and was regarded at one the shrewdest and most efficient men in the service.
During the war Capt. Henderson was a pilot on the transports Arago and Fulton, running from Newport News to Port Royal. He was attached to the pilot boat America No. 21, at the time of his death, and it was this craft that Capt. Henderson was caught in the memorable blizzard of March 1888. He lay off the coast ninety miles east of Sandy Hook, and safely rode out the storm off Shinnecock light. Capt. Henderson was a member of the
Sandy Hook Pilots' Benevolent Association and also of Hillgrove Lodge. No. 540, F. A. M. of Brooklyn. He speculated in real estate in Brooklyn years ago and accumulated a fortune of $100,000. He leaves a widow and three sons and three daughters. Funeral service will be held tomorrow evening at his late residence, and a delegation of his brother pilots will attend." Source: The Evening World., Extra 2 O'clock, Image 1.

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Captain Joseph Henderson
Green-Wood Cemetery
1826 - 1890
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October 9, 1890
On Thursday, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper carried a front-page article titled: "Captain Joseph Henderson Dead - An Old Pilot and a Long Resident of Brooklyn Passes Away". Click here to see the full length story. Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Thursday, October 9, 1890, Vol 50, No 280, pg. 1.
October 9, 1890
The Rev. Dr. Morrison of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church conducted the funeral services at the family home on 633 Willoughby Avenue.
Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Thursday, October 9, 1890, Vol 50, No 280, pg. 1.
October 10, 1890
Joseph was buried in the Green-Wood Cemetery at 500 25th Street in Brooklyn, New York at the family lot #13244 in section 88. Source: The Green-Wood Cemetery Web site.
October 12, 1890
Joseph's death notice appeared in the New Orleans Daily Picayune. It read: "DIED: HENDERSON - In New York city on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 1890, Captain Joseph Henderson, New York and Sandy Hook pilot age 64 years 29 days." Source: Archive of Messages for NYC-ROOTS Mailing List.


From Sandy Hook to 62
Charles Edward Russell
October 15, 1890
The Probate of the last Will and Testament of Joseph Henderson was signed by his wife and 6 children. Source: New York, Kings County Estate Files, 1866-1923 for Joseph Henderson.
1929
Charles Edward Russell published the book, "From Sandy Hook to 62°", which is about the Sandy Hook pilots including references to Joseph Henderson. Source: Charles Edward Russell, "From Sandy Hook to 62°", Century Co., New York, pg. 148-153.
Easter 1932
In the 1932 Easter Church bulletin, a Communion Service was listed as being given in memory of Capt. Joseph Henderson. Source: Church bulletin from the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew.

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Last update: Monday, January 2, 2017