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Plant, Cornell Collection

Samuel Cornell Plant (1866 – 1921) worked as a mariner, and from 1900 onwards served as shipmaster, on Yangtze River steamers that worked on the 'upper river' between Yichang and Chongqing. In 1915 he joined the Chinese Mairtime Customs Service Marine Department as River Inspector on the Upper Yangtze. As well as his work for the Customs, he prepared a Handbook for the Guidance of Shipmasters on the Ichang-Chungking Section of the Yangtze River (1916). Early in February 1921 he proceeded on home leave, but died at sea. One Customs Service history stated that 'To Plant belongs the credit of having done more than any other man to make safe for steam navigation the dangerous upper reaches of the Yangtze'. A stone memorial obelisk erected near his former home on the Yangtze survives today. He also wrote Glimpses of the Yangtze Gorges (Kelly & Walsh, 1921) and trained hundreds of foreign and Chinese river pilots. Samuel Cornell Plant married Alice Sophia Peters (1872-1921) in Bandar Bushire, Iran, in 1894. See also the biography on Wikipedia and Michael Gillam's talk on Vimeo. Many of the post cards in the Cornell Plant Collection were sent or owned by Captain Plant himself. See photographs of Cornell Plant and of Alice Plant. 56 images. HPC ref CP-s.