WHAT IS A SAILOR'S DAY?
The Captain of the Schooner Hungarian Arrested, Charged with Discharging His Crew in a Foreign Port.
Captain Fulton of the schooner Hungarian, was arrested in this city, yesterday morning, charged with violating an act of Congress to prevent the abandonment of seamen in a port. The case is one of importance to vessel men and seamen, for the question involves much that is of interest to both.
As we understand the case, three seamen, Joseph Abbott, Charles Vaus and Charles Sewart, shipped on board the schooner Hungarian at Detroit, August 8th, and signed articles for the passage from Detroit to Georgian Bay, where the vessel was to load lumber, and from Georgian Bay to Oswego. The schooner arrived at Georgian Bay, Friday, August 14th, and Saturday, commenced taking in lumber at Severns' mills or Penetanguishine in Canada for Oswego, the curfew assisting in loading the vessel.
On Monday the 17th, the crew was called up at half past four, and at five o'clock was told to go to work by the mate, but the three above named refused to unless they were allowed an extra hour at noon. The mate reported the matter to the Captain and he ordered the men, the three, to go to work, but they refused, saying they would not work over 11 hours per day.
Finding that the men would not go to work, the Captain discharged them, and although first refused to pay them, he afterwards tendered their wages but they would not accept. The sailors made their way to this city, where they arrived last Thursday and gave their case to J.A. Hathaway, who, upon the arrival of the schooner at this port yesterday, got out attachments, had the Captain arrested and sent the necessary papers to Judge Wallace, asking that the schooner should be libeled.
The case has been examined by U.S. Commissioner Getty, who, after a final hearing, discharged the captain. The law defines that the forcing of seamen ashore in a foreign port, to be a criminal act, must be malicious and without justifiable cause, the penalty for which is a fine not exceeding $500, or imprisonment not exceeding six months, according to the aggravation of the case. As there are few captains who are aware of the law, the only wonder is that more of them are not arrested, for sailors are often discharged in the Welland Canal. We would not advise the seamen who have commenced proceedings against the Hungarian to remain ashore and wait for a final disposition of their case, as David Dall, the owner of the schooner will probably fight his case to the U.S. Supreme Court.