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I. Goodwin Hobbs

Ichabod Goodwin Hobbs, son of William and Sarah Elliott (Goodwin) Hobbs, was born March 13, 1843, at North Berwick, Maine. He began his preparatory studies at the Academy in South Berwick, Maine, and entered college at the beginning of the Fall term, August 24, 1860.

Immediately after graduating, in August, 1864, he entered the United States Navy, as Acting Assistant Paymaster. He was attached to the U. S. steamer Unadilla, and participated in both engagements at Fort Fisher, and later in the James River, at the fall of Richmond, Virginia. He was commissioned Assistant Paymaster in the Regular Service in February, 1867, and promoted to Passed Assistant Paymaster in September, 1868. For over three years he served in the home squadron on board the steamers Ascutney and Tallapoosa. During the years 1871-2, he was on duty in the Navy Department at Washington, D. C.

In June, 1872, he sailed from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on the U. S. steamer Tuscarora, for the Pacific Ocean, and returned home on the completion of the cruise, in September, 1875. Some very important work was done during that time.  Two lines of deep-sea soundings were completed across the Pacific; one from San Diego, California, to Yokohama, Japan, touching at Honolulu and the Bonin Islands, and on the return from Japan by the northern route, touching at the islands of Tanaga and Ounalaska, in the Aleutian group, and thence to Cape Flattery. Soundings were also made off and on the coast from Cape Flattery to San Diego, California, to determine the true continental outline, and also an additional line from San Francisco, California, to Honolulu. Nineteen thousand miles of deep-sea soundings were completed, and the deepest water ever recorded was accurately sounded, namely, five and one-quarter statute miles.

On returning from this cruise, he was attached to the U.S. steamer Despatch and cruised in the Mediterranean Sea, and was afterward stationed at Constantinople, near the close of the Turko-Russian war. Here he had the pleasure of lunching with the gallant General Skobeleff. While stationed here, he embraced the opportunity for a trip to the Holy Land. After an absence of over three years, he was detached from the Despatch and came home, visiting Paris during the Exposition, and also London, on the way. After "waiting orders'' for a short time, he was ordered to the Torpedo Station at Newport, Rhode Island, where he remained until September, 1882. In 1879 he was promoted to full Paymaster, which position he holds at present.

He was next ordered to the U. S. Steamer Juniata, and sailed from New York City November 28, 1882. I have received from him two long letters, giving very full and interesting accounts of his present cruise. Space will only allow of a brief abstract. He stopped first at Fayal for several weeks, thence to Gibraltar, Malta, Alexandria and Cairo, in Egypt; through the Suez Canal, calling at Muscat, thence up the Persian Gulf, and to Bussorah, a place eighty miles up the Euphrates River. From there be went to Bombay, Colombo, Madras, Calcutta, Rangoon and Singapore, arriving there just after the disastrous earthquake in the Strait of Sunda. There they received orders from our Government by cable to proceed to the Strait, and ascertain the dangers to navigation, and warn vessels. They surveyed the situation and found scenes of desolation and destruction. Aujer Point, a week before, had been a town of twelve thousand inhabitants, but now not a soul was left to tell the tale. It was an important place of call for all deep-water ships from Europe or America to China, for fresh water and provisions. It contained many large buildings, a telegraph station for cables, and an important lighthouse. After the eruption of Krakatoa, there came a tidal wave, forty feet high, which swept over the point, carrying everything down, not a tree or building being left standing. They anchored for two nights immediately under the island of Krakatoa, the cause of all this disaster. This island was 2,600 feet high, and it was split in two perpendicularly from the crater by the earthquake, one half disappearing in the sea, leaving a perpendicular wall 2,600 feet high on one side. It was still smoking when he was there, and he said it made him feel as though his little boy wanted to see him!

From there he went to Batavia, where they received orders to go to Hong Kong, China. On the voyage, they experienced a severe typhoon, which blew one of the ship's boats from the davits; but they weathered it safely, and arrived at Hong Kong October 2, 1883. Here they received orders to proceed immediately to Canton, China, to look after American interests. He writes me from Canton, under date of December 9, 1883, giving a full description of the place, and the warlike preparations being made by the Chinese.
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His future course will be to Nagasaki, Shanghai, Korea and Yokohama; thence to Australia, the islands of the Pacific, San Francisco and home, expecting to arrive in the Fall of 1885. He writes that they have everywhere been the recipients of the most
bountiful hospitality.

In his religious views, he is an Episcopalian. In politics, he is a Republican.

He was married June 28, 1882, to Miss Maud Hazard, of Newport, Rhode Island.  They have one child, Goodwin, born June 1, 1883.

Source:  "Memorialia of the Class of '64 in Dartmouth College" compiled by John C. Webster, Shepard & Johnston, Printers, 1884, Chicago 

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