Incident of Sailors' Wrongs, 1873

September 1873. Sailors between stints on ships frequently stayed in boarding houses near the waterfront. The writer of an 1873 article in the Brooklyn Eagle describes how the manager of certain boarding houses, for a fee, provisioned sailors for their next voyage and shipped them out.  All too frequently, as is the case in this story, the manager failed to live up to his obligations and attempted to bundle sailors on to ships without the provisions they paid for.

"Another incident of Sailor's Wrongs"
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 25, 1873
While the writer was standing upon one of the piers of Atlantic Basin yesterday he noticed a wagon load of chests, mattresses, and toe other outfits for a cruise, drive up and commence unloading the baggage. Four men also got out of the wagon, and a glance was sufficient to shew that they were three sailors to the charge of a boarding house runner. A small boat came off from a vessel lying near by, the baggage was piled up in it, but the men hesitated about getting into the boat. An altercation sprang up between them and the runner, and drawing nearer, the writer found that the runner was trying, to get them shipped off, without fulfilling his engagement in providing some articles of their outfit. In conversations with one of the men, the writer learned that when he returned from their last cruise, he paid the boarding house keeper all that he owed him. He had boarded with him about seven days, had paid him his advance of $25 for the new cruise, and made an agreement for certain articles needed to complete their outfit, and now the boarding house mister was trying to ship them off and swindle them out of their money by s o t fulfilling his agreement. But the men absolutely refused to go aboard the vessel until they had received the things seeded. The runner, whose villainous face marked him as one of the worst of his class, swore and cursed soundly, but the men were firm. The tow boat was alongside, ready to take the vessel down to Quarantine, and the Captain finally compromised the matter by sending the men back to the boarding house after the missing articles, and agreeing to meet them at the South Ferry and go aboard the vessel at States Island Often the runners manage to ship the men to a drunken


Another Incident of Sailors' Wrongs

Another Incident of Sailors' Wrongs

Source: Brooklyn Daily EagleSeptember 25, 1873 View File Details Page


Sep. 25, 1873


  • Brooklyn Daily Eagle
    September 25, 1873

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