Nagle, Jeremiah
b. 1802
d. 1882
Jeremiah Nagle was born in 1802 in Cork, Ireland, to a Protestant family.1 He was a Master Mariner whose reputation in Canada was solidified by his highly regarded character and adept ability as a navigator and leader; however, in a letter attached to this despatch, Governor Douglas presents Nagle in a much less favourable character.2 In the despatches, Nagle is referred to as the owner of Thetis Island, but the CO staff imply that he never took possession of the island.3
Nagle began his extensive nautical career commanding ships in New Zealand and Australia, eventually proceeding northwest.4 His journey allowed him to stop on different continents, spend a few years in California, and finally, settle in Victoria in 1858.5 Upon his arrival, Nagle, alongside Governor Douglas, returned to California to encourage African-Americans to immigrate to Vancouver Island.6
Nagle lived a rather publicized life due to the nature of his role in the community. He acted as Harbour Master for the Port of Victoria beginning in 1859, and, in the same year, was appointed Justice of the Peace.7 His professional appointments as well as personal events were regularly documented in the media. One report in the British Colonist describes a horrifying scene in which Nagle was attacked by a group of Indigenous peoples and left in critical condition.8
Nagle was married and had a number of children. The number and location of Nagle's children is uncertain, though, in his obituary, the British Colonist mentions that two of his sons moved to California, and his daughter, who was married to Phillip Hankin of Cowichan, remained on Vancouver Island. His wife, Catherine Nagle, outlived him, but was described as feeble and bedridden at the time of his death.9
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