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Portrait of Captain Francis Sayre, oil on canvas, 1850

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

This oil painting portrait of Captain Francis Sayre was completed circa 1850, with the artists identity being sadly unknown.


Francis Sayre was born to Francis and Hanna Sayre, with his father Francis Sr. being the great-great-grandson of Thomas Sayre - one of the founding fathers of Southampton itself. His ancestors came from from Leighton-Buzzard, Bedforshire, England around 1625, and would settle later in Lynn, Massachusetts.

At the age of 16, Francis Jr. was an apprentice to Elias Coombs, a carpenter living at 104 Fulton Street in Brooklyn. Francis Jr. would board at a house where the publication The Brooklyn Eagle would later be conceived, and would later return to Southampton to work for a few years leading into his interest in whaling.


In 1830, when he turned 23 years of age, he sailed on his first whaling voyage, telling his friends he wouldn't return until he was in command of his own vessel. During the course of his whaling career, he rose to the position of commander of the Good Ship Bayard of Greenport, secured a profitable voyage as mate of the Ship Hudson of Sag Harbor (with Captain McKerson in command), and sailed home with 2800 casks of oil stowed away on the Hudson.

Later in life, he found himself troubled with Rheumatism, but nevertheless remained a pleasant man to be in conversation with.




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