The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Commercial Times (Oswego, NY), April 20, 1868

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A QUESTION FOR LAKE UNDERWRITERS - MALE VS. FEMALE COOKS. - The Buffalo Courier says the following is a literal copy of a letter recently received by a gentleman connected with the Board of Lake Underwriters. There is more truth than poetry - more sound sense than learning - in what the writer says. If we were lake Underwriters we should certainly try and put a stop to the practice alluded to. 'Playing and fooling with the cook' is about the last recreation that a captain should indulge in, and the last that we would be likely to indulge in if that useful functionary was of the male persuasion. But to the letter:


To _______

Excuse me although a stranger to you -- I take the liberty to write you on a subject may interest you. You are aware that very many of our vessel captains are employing woman cooks on their vessels. I would also stated the employment of such cooks is increasing by our Lakemen. Were I the owner of a Vessel I would not allow a woman cook upon my Vessel, for the following reasons.

I speak from actual knowledge. I have known two Vessels to be run upon reefs and become almost a total loss for want of a proper officer on deck which mite [sic] of prevented such calamity. Question where were the captain and mates? In the cabin Playing fooling with cook. If thar [sic] had of been a man cook, it is very likely that his ade [sic] would have been cald [sic] to assist in managing the Vessel.

You may ask what is to be done. Men can be got to due [sic] the cooking for the same wages that is pade [sic] to woman cooks. And in case of necesity [sic] you have got a man to help work the Vessel instead of taking the most valuable officer of the vessel to watch the cook instead of the Vessel.

You Sir the Board of Marine Underwriters at Cleavland [sic] have the means at your disposal to stop this at once by symply (sic) saying you will not insure any craft that has got a female cook on by so dueing [sic] ) save a large amount of losses.

Now Sir if what I have writen [sic] is worth any thing to you please make best use of it as you in your estimation or judgement may think proper. My statements are facts.

I shall be glad to hear from you if you think it proper to answer me on the subject you can do so by addressing to A. Waterman.

A. Waterman,

Buffalo P.O.

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April 20, 1868
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Richard Palmer
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Oswego Commercial Times (Oswego, NY), April 20, 1868