The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Post and Tribune (Detroit, MI), Apr. 28, 1883

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Almost the sole topic of conversation in marine circles yesterday was the escapade of Capt. James F. Bowen, master of the tug R. K. Hawley of Fairport, in running off with a Vermillion constable. The origin of the affair dates back to 1880, when the Hawley lost part of a valuable raft of oak logs in a severe storm on Lake Erie. The raft was owned by Sheldon & Thompson of Vermillion, and they attempted to attach the boat several times, but without success. Early yesterday morning the tug prepared to bring the old wrecking tug Relief from where it lay at Vermillion, to this port. The Hawley had moved a few feet from the dock with the Relief in tow, when a newly elected constable of the township sprang to her deck and commanded Capt. Bowen to put back. No attention being paid to him the officer went into the pilot house. Laying his hand on the wheel he repeated his demand, and said he had a writ of attachment on the tug. The captain ordered him to let go, asserting that while he was on the water he was accountable to no one except government officers. The constable gave the wheel a half turn by a violent jerk, and Bowen knocked him to the cushioned seat in the pilot house by a well directed blow from his fist. Catching the constable by the throat Bowen told him that if he did not go out of the pilot house he would treat him to more logic of the same sort. As Bowen was about to take the wheel again the constable renewed the attack, wrenching the captain's hand from the spoke handles, and tearing all the buttons off his overcoat. Bowen used his fists once more with good effect, and by main force pushed the officer to the deck. The tug continued out onto the lake and as soon as she was headed for Cleveland Capt. Bowen went on deck and interviewed his late assailant. The constable admitted that he might be in the wrong, but said he had only followed the directions given to him by Mr. Thompson.

Meanwhile the mayor of Vermillion, who had been apprised of the affair, telegraphed to Supt. Schmidt asking that Bowen be arrested as soon as he reached port. The Hawley arrived at noon and the captain was taken in charge by Detective Lawrence as soon as he stepped on the dock. He was escorted to the central station, but Capt. Robert Greenhaigh immediately signed a bail bond for his appearance in the police court this afternoon. He is charged on the blotter with assault and battery. The vessel men are unanimous in upholding Capt. Bowen's actions. - [Cleveland Leader.

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Apr. 28, 1883
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Dave Swayze
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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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Detroit Post and Tribune (Detroit, MI), Apr. 28, 1883