Baby Peggy (Captain January), Hobart Bosworth (Jeremiah Judkins), Irene Rich (Isabelle Morton), Lincoln Stedman (Bob Peet), Harry T. Morey (George Maxwell), John Merkyll (Herbert Morton), Emmett King (Minister Elliott)
Jeremiah Judkins and a little five-year old girl he has named Captain January live on a island next to the fishing village of Fair Harbor, Maine. Jeremiah is an elderly man who has been keeping the lighthouse for many years. He and Captain January are saving all the money they get from selling lobsters so they can realize their dream of sailing the seven seas one day.
Captain January's favorite story that Daddy Judkins, as she calls him, tells her is about how she came to be his little girl. Ever so often Jeremiah recounts the story for her of a stormy night when a ship wrecked on the rocks near Fair Harbor and sank. He found her as a small baby in the surf and has cared for her ever since.
Because Jeremiah lives in constant fear that someone will come and take Captain January away from him one day, he only allows one person from the village to visit, and that is his friend, Bob Peet. Captain January loves Bob who brings her presents and occasionally takes her into the village to sell the lobsters she and Jeremiah catch.
In the village is George Maxwell, described in a title as "a power in the town's petty politics - between whom and Jeremiah Judkins there was a bitter enmity of long standing."
Maxwell enlists the help of the ladies of the local orphanage and goes to Minister Elliott to get the child taken away from Jeremiah. After a visit to the home, the Minister does not agree that the child should be taken away, much to Maxwell's dismay.
Jeremiah learns that he has heart trouble, and the doctor prescribes medicine and plenty of rest. One evening he fails to awaken to light the lighthouse. Captain January awakens and rushes to light it herself, but not before a yacht in the area has run aground. Maxwell and several other men arrive on the scene, and Maxwell uses the incident to support his claim that Jeremiah is not trustworthy.
The next day while Jeremiah is out tending the lobster pots, Maxwell and the ladies enter the house and try to take Captain January away. Just as they open the door to leave, Jeremiah walks in. Jeremiah is about to strike Maxwell when he suddenly has severe heart pains and sinks to the chair. As Jeremiah regains his composure, a man and a woman enter the door. They are the owners of the yacht and wanted to tell the lighthouse keeper that the yacht was not harmed and there were no hard feelings. The lady, Isabelle Morton, takes a sudden interest in Captain January and asks who the child belongs to. Jeremiah says the child is his. Soon the Minister arrives and, through a locket belonging to Captain January with a picture of her mother in it, it is determined the Mortons are Captain January's aunt and uncle.
Although Jeremiah swears he will never give Captain January up, the Minister convinces him it is for the child's own good, and he reluctantly agrees.
Captain January goes to live with her wealthy relatives in Boston but constantly cries herself to sleep because she misses Daddy Judkins so badly. Jeremiah sits idly much of the time staring out to sea, miserable without Captain January around.
One day, Jeremiah has Bob take a doll to Boston to give to Captain January for her birthday. Unknown to Bob, she slips out of the house and follows him back to the boat where she stows away for the trip back to Fair Harbor.
After discovering her, Bob takes her to Jeremiah, and a wire is sent to the Mortons informing them of what has happened. They arrive at the lighthouse, and all have a happy meal together. It is at this time that the Mortons realize how much Jeremiah means to Captain January, and they ask him to come live with them, too. As the movie ends, Captain January and Jeremiah are finally realizing their dream of sailing the seven on the Mortons' yacht
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