John Shackford, the son of John and Deborah (Seaward) Shackford who had lost his father to the sea (age 29) when he was only three years old became a sea captain and unfortunately died at age 38 aboard the Brig Little Cherub. He left a grieving mother, wife, and six young children.
John Shackford’s obituary will bring tears to your eyes:
Died at fea, on board the brig Little Cherub, Captain John Shackford, of this town, an active, enterprifing, induftrious, worthy, honest Man. Society and Commerce, Navigation and trade, have loft a ufeful, refpected & valuable member, ornament, fupporter & friend–but what is their lofs, in comparifon with the indefinitely feverer lofs of an affectionate hufband, a fond father, a tender brother and a dutiful fon, his venerable, widowed mother, already fainting beneath trials peculiarly fevere, needs every confolation to ftrengthen dying fortitude; amiable partner, who hath borne feven sons, languifhes beneath this truly afflictive difpenfation; and fix of thofe fons are left in life, to mourn the lofs of a father, at thofe early periods of exiftence, when a father’s counfels are moft needed.
Is there a power, whofe lenient art can heal,
Thofe cruel wounds, which we are doom’d to feel?
Yes! Fuch a power exifts – Religion cries,
That God fhall wipe the tear from sorrow’s eyes;
Then to that God, addrefs your daily prayers.
And humbly caft on him, your varied cares;
His power, a father’s place can well fupply;
Nor will his goodness, any good deny;
There, may the orphan find a peaceful nest;
And the lorn widow tafte eternal rest.
“Died at sea, on board the brig Little Cherub, Captain John Shackford, of this town,” The United States Oracle of the Day (Portsmouth, New Hampshire), 7 June 1800; digital images, Godfred Memorial (infoweb.newsbank.com : accessed 24 September 2013), America’s Historical Newspapers
Parkes Joanne Shackford, “Mariner Monday – Captain John Shackford dies at sea aboard the Little Cherub May 1800 (Blog 227),” Parkes, Joanne Shackford, SHACKFORD Family History Blog 227, 15 December 2014 (http://shackfordgenealogy.weebly.com/shackford-blog/mariner-monday-captain-john-shackford-dies-at-sea-aboard-the-little-cherub-may-1800-blog-227 : accessed 15 December 2014).