Captain Jacobus Janzen was in command in the period 1873 to 1877.
Sorting out his history is a real challenge as he does not appear in the HR files of the company.
IF THERE IS A NY FAMILY READING THIS AND YOU WOULD LIKE TO PROVIDE SOME INFORMATION AND HOPEFFULLY A PHOTO, PLEASE CONTATCT ME ON Captalbert1@aol.com, SO WE CAN IMMORTALIZE THE CAPTAIN AS BEST AS POSSIBLE.
What do we know thus far:
A challenge is to start with the last name: It has been spelled as Jansen, Janssen and Janzen. As there is no personal listing about him in the archives, we come across various spellings but we think Janzen is correct.
He joined as Chief Mate or First Officer, (or as we call it nowadays, Chief Officer or Staff Captain) under the command of Captain Hus for the maiden voyage of the ss Rotterdam (I). At that time the Holland America did not exist yet, it was still CV. Plate, Reuchlin & Co.
I assume that he joined the ship in Scotland to sail it over as Captain Hus had been there already for awhile to supervise the newbuilding. The ss Rotterdam (I) arrived in Rotterdam in September and docked at the Willemskade where it was visited by many people. This was in September 1872 and thus he must have joined the company shortly before.
On 15 October 1872 he sailed with the ship on the maiden voyage to New York. There is a letter in the company archives written by him which indicates that there were only a few first class passengers and only a few emigrants on board on this first voyage. Nobody was very much in the mood to face the North Atlantic when the autumn storms were starting while sailing on such a new fangled thing as a steamship.
He then made 8 voyages (nbr. 9 to 17) on the ss Rotterdam and during that time the company went public; became NASM (although everybody called it Holland America Line) and two more ships were added to the fleet. Captain Hus transferred to the first newbuilt and Chief Mate Janzen was promoted on 19 February 1874 to command the ss Rotterdam (I) He did not have much excitement during those trips and the only highlight was that on 23 July 1875 he could sail the ship directly into Rotterdam as the approach to the port had now been dredged to a sufficient depth.
Then when in 1875 Captain Hus took a shore side job, Captain Janzen was transferred on 24 July 1875 to the W.A Scholten, where he remained for the next 15 voyages.
Wages were 60 Dutch florins a month for a chief mate and 200 a month for the captain, plus a bonus of 2% of the voyage profit. When he transferred from the smaller Rotterdam to the larger W.A Scholten his wages increased to 250 florins a month. (a & b)
In 1880 Captain Janzen left the company and transferred to the Rotterdamsche Lloyd, a company which sailed from Rotterdam to the Dutch Colonies in the Far East. He made a number of voyages on the ships Drenthe and Overijssel.
Due to the Janzen/Janssen/Jansen being such a common name in the Netherlands (it is the 2nd most common name in the country) It is hard to find correct information.
This was Pieter 3, the son of Pieter 2, the brother of Captain Janzen. From the family (d) I have a photo and they assume that this is Pieter Janzen. It has been with almost certainty established that this photo was taken when he had left the company and became commissioner with the 4th. pilot District in Holland (basically the area West and South of Rotterdam) He passed away on 1 Aug. 1886 being 37 years old.(a)
Sailing list: (a)
xx. xxx. 1860 Captain Barque “De Vriendschap”
19 Feb. 1874 Captain Rotterdam (I)
voyage 9 to 17 then transfer to W.A Scholten in July 1875
24 Jul.1875 Captain W.A Scholten
voyage 8 to 22
At the end of voyage 22, 03 February 1878 he leaves the company and joins Rotterdamsche lloyd.
10 Apr. 1878 Captain Drenthe (to Dutch East Indies) return 09 august.
30 Aug. 1878 Captain Gelderland (to Dutch East Indies)
Then by 1880 there is a Captain J Janzen appearing as being captain on Swedish sailings ships sailing from Amsterdam to Hammerfest, but not proof that it is our captain tba.
(a) Authors archives.
(b) HAL Archives as held by the City Archives as held in Rotterdam.
(c) Information from Family
(d) via Laurens van der Laan.
Updated: 2020 dec 16. Published 2014 sep 21.