AN INTERESTING CASE.
Masters, mates, sailors and cabin boys were in attendance at the police court this morning. It was quite evident there was a rousing case on the docket, as lawyers and captains were in constant consultation. Soon it developed that there was trouble between sailors and Capt. A. Welch, of the schr. Neelon, and Capt. R. Reid, of the schr. T.R. Merritt.
Seven sailors were languishing in the police cells and they had not been arrested on a warrant either. They were run in by order of the masters, who claimed that Messrs. Dandy, E. Mulleen, S. Shaughrau, G. Davis, Labore Turcotte, Dexter Eves and W. Graham had signed documents binding them to work on the boats for $1.25 per day. After doing this the men, regretting their agreement, would not ship. Then they were arrested under the Canada Seamen's Act.
After considerable deliberation the case was brought on, and J. Shaughrau was experimented upon. On hearing the charge he pleaded not guilty, and said that one of the crafts was unfit for sailors to sleep on. J. McIntyre defended the prisoners and said it was an extraordinary procedure to arrest the men without a warrant. He did not know, however, whether the defence really intended to proceed against the prisoners, or against only one man. The magistrate replied that one man would be tried first.
Mr. McIntyre said the sailors had good reasons for refusing to go on the boats. One of them, especially, was not seaworthy.
Capt. A. Welch - "Do you mean that my boat is not seaworthy? If you do I want to differ with you."
The evidence of Capt. Welch was heard. He said the schr. Neelon was one of the prop. Tilley's tow. He engaged Shaughrau to work on the vessel, under an agreement for a round trip between Kingston and Duluth. After he had signed, the prisoner accompanied other men to the forecastle. The captain went to Davis and told him that as he had shipped on the schr. Merritt, he would not be employed on the Neelon. When his companions learned that he would not be hired, they struck and would not work unless Davis was engaged.
Mr. McIntyre had the document, signed by the sailors, produced and he claimed it was unfairly made out. It was not drawn up in accordance with the act. Mr. Whiting, for the defence, admitted that the document was not perfect. The magistrate then summarily dismissed the case.
Mr. McIntyre asked for $80 penalty for false imprisonment. His demand was in accordance with the Act, but he did not press it.
The case was the first of the kind tried here under the Seamen's Act.
The tug C. Ferris, Oswego, brought a barge laden with coal to the city this morning.
Capt. Williamson, Ottawa, has sold the steamer Ida for $8,000 to a Toronto man. The vessel leaves for Georgian Bay next week.
John McFaul, engineer on the Reliance, has been arrested at Toronto charged with stabbing a man and cutting the nose nearly off his face. The wounded man is seriously injured.
Capt. Armstrong, of the schr. Ella Murton, carries, when ashore, a walking stick of oak from the keel of U.S. frigate Orleans. The Orleans was one of the vessels half built at Sackett's Harbor.
Arrivals: schr. Annandale, Charlotte, 399 tons coal; schr. Philo Bennett, Oswego, 177 tons coal.
Clearances: steambarge R. Anglin, Cape Vincent, 843 ties, 30,093 feet lumber, 60,000 shingles; str. Enterprise and consorts, Port Dalhousie, light; prop. Sir L. Tilley and consorts, Cleveland, light; schr. British Queen, Charlotte, 3,675 ties.