1876Alfred Johnson made the first recorded single-handed crossing of the Atlantic in the dory Centennial.People and Communities, Economy and Industry, Maritime & Fishing Industry, Notable People

Alfred Johnson’s dory Centennial on display in the 1930s, c. 1930s. Alfred Bernard, Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Photo 22366
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Alfred Johnson was born in Denmark but emigrated to Gloucester at the age of fourteen. He was working as a doryman in Gloucester, when, over a game of cards with some friends, he was dared to sail from Gloucester to England in a decked-over dory. The vessel was named Centennial after the hundredth anniversary of American independence.

Johnson left Gloucester on June 15, 1876, and stopped briefly in Nova Scotia to make some adjustments. He arrived in Wales on August 12, rested for a few days, and then continued to his planned final destination of Liverpool, where he arrived on August 21, 1876. The vessel is now owned by the Cape Ann Museum.

“Alfred Johnson’s ‘Centennial.’ Cape Ann Museum, http://www.capeannmuseum.org//collections/objects/johnson-dory/. Babson, John James, and Samuel Chandler. History of the Town of Gloucester, Cape Anne, Including the Town of Rockport. Gloucester [Mass.] Procter brothers, 1860, http://archive.org/details/historytownglou00changoog.
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