Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Benjamin Spooner Briggs

Benjamin Spooner Briggs
The Briggs family of Massachusetts had a long maritime connection. Benjamin Spooner Briggs spent most of his life at sea and was an experienced, hardy and able seaman. Because of his fairness and ability, he was respected by those who served under him.

Benjamin worked his way to eventually become a master mariner: He captained the brigantine Sea Foam, and in 1862 became master of the three-masted schooner Forest King. When he took command of the barque Arthur in 1865, he turned over command of the Forest King to his brother, Oliver Briggs, who was a frequent business partner and sailor.

Sophia Briggs

Briggs has been mentioned numerous times in conspiracy theories and fiction regarding the disappearance of the Mary Celeste, including the film The Mystery of the Marie Celeste (1935) starring Bela Lagosi (see it below). A fictionalized version of Captain Briggs was also seen in The Chase, a 1965 episode of Doctor Who, and was the protagonist of the 2006 computer game Limbo of the Lost.

In January 1884, Doctor Arthur Conan Doyle wrote J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement, a fictionalized account of the disappearance of the Mary Celeste which appeared in Cornhill Magazine. Though Doyle changed the spelling of the ship to MARIE Celeste, the story had three effects: It confused people regarding the facts of the case; it refocused attention on this decade-old mystery; and it brought attention to the article's writer.

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