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Captian Thomas Grafton Lambert

 
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Joined: 27 Nov 2007
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Location: Monterey County, California

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 2:42 pm    Post subject: Captian Thomas Grafton Lambert Reply with quote

CAPTAIN THOMAS GRAFTON LAMBERT. There are few names more familiar to the people of Monterey and adjoining counties than that of Captain Lambert: He belongs to a class of sturdy pioneers who came to California at a time when her future was very uncertain. It was before her mineral wealth had been developed or even discovered. The American flag had only a few months waved on the shores of the California coast. Her constitution had not yet been formed, and her individuality as a State of the Union was as yet unestablished. There are now comparatively few men living who took a part in those early-day scenes and events of California's infancy, and it is therefore fitting and profitable that appropriate and becoming note be made on the pages of history, touching the influences which directed the path of the men whose mature lives have made the past history of this coast.

Captain Lambert is a native of the Old Colony State of Massachusetts, born in Dukes county, January 10, 1826. His father, Thomas H. Lambert, was of New England ancestry, which dates back to 1662, when the founder of the family emigrated from England. His mother, Lydia West, was likewise of English extraction and a member of an old Massachusetts family. Thomas H. Lambert was a man of affairs. He served the public as Sheriff of Dukes county thirty-nine consecutive years. He was a man of intrepidity, undaunted courage and cool judgment, and left to his posterity a most honorable name.

Of his family, which consisted of three sons and seven daughters, Captain Lambert is the oldest, and the first one to leave his native State and deal in the uncertainties of life in the then almost limitless West. He had received a good common-school education in his native county, and inherited a strong constitution and many of the pronounced qualities of his sturdy father, and had developed a vigorous intellect. As opening the way to the gratification of a desire he had always felt for travel and seeing the outside world, he at the age of twenty-one years went to sea. He shipped on a New Bedford whaling vessel, the John Cogswell, and reached the Pacific coast in 1847. He remained on the coast, with but two brief interruptions, up to 1855, from which date he made the post of San Francisco his point of departure and return, and up to the year 1869 engaged in no other business than that of a mariner. From 1855 to the close of his life on the seas he was master of a ship, during which time he visited all the ports of the west coast, and likewise most of the seaports from Cape Horn to Southern China. His numerous and extended cruises took him from time to time to all the various important islands of the Pacific, and he captured whales in every sea and clime where they have been pursued by man.

In 1879 he abandoned the seas, located at Monterey, and established himself in the lumber trade,in which business he still continues.

No citizen has become more thoroughly identified with the material interests of this section of California business, civil and social, than Captain Lambert. Typically a business man, he has aimed to confine his energies in strictly business channels.

In political matters, he has been in a measure aggressive. A Republican in principle and action, he has persistently worked for and with his party, and, being a man of methods, broad information and forcible argument, has done his party valuable service. He has never sought political favors and never willingly became a candidate for any office. He was, without his own effort, nominated and elected to the office of Justice of the Peace of Monterey in 1878, and held the office for six years. The promptness and efficiency with which he administered justice is well known to be beyond reproach, and needs no comment.

Fraternally, Captain Lambert is a prominent figure on the coast. He was initiated an Apprentice in the order of Free and Accepted Masons May 5, 1862; has passed the various degrees of the order to the Knighthood, and is a member of the Watsonville Commandery of Knights Templar. He has for some years been a member of the Masonic Veterans' Association, and is now its efficient first Vice-President. He has served the order as a Master Mason since November 4, 1862, a period of almost thirty years.

Captain Lambert is a public-spirited and patriotic citizen. He inherited a love of liberty in its broadest sense, and in early life became imbued with the western spirit of progress. He is versatile in conversation, genial and courteous in manner, and eloquent as a public speaker. Not infrequently is he called upon to do the honors of public occasions, such as in the course of events naturally take place in dignified and historic Monterey. It is such men as Captain Thomas G. Lambert who have laid the foundation of empire in the Golden "West, have remained with it, fostering its interests, and must soon leave it as a proud heritage to the coming generations.

Source: A Memorial and biographical history of the coast counties of central California : illustrated : containing a history of this important section of the Pacific coast from the earliest period of its discovery to the present time, together with glimpses of its auspicious future, illustrations and full-page portraits of some of its eminent men, and biographical mention of many of its pioneers, and prominent citizens of to-day. Chicago; Lewis Publishing Co. 1893.
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Claire Martin
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