The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Post and Tribune (Detroit, MI), 27 Oct, 1883

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A sailor named George Henderson was arrested yesterday by United States Deputy Marshal Odell, on complaint of Stephen Langston, captain of the schooner Mears, who charged him with "willful breach of duty tending to the serious damage to the vessel." Henderson was taken before United Sates Commissioner White for examination, found guilty, and bound over to the next term of the United States district court with bail at $500. This sum could not be furnished by the seaman, and he was accordingly put in jail.

The captain stated that on the 16th of this month the vessel and three others were towed down Lake Huron. A heavy gale was blowing at the time. When 40 miles from Port Huron and two miles from shore the tug gave out, the towline was cut and the Mears and the O'Neil collided and then separated. Henderson was at the helm and was given orders to stay there and keep it "hard up." Henderson left the helm, the captain says, and without any orders let go the main sheet and the mizzen sail, which caused the vessel to become unmanageable and to get into the trough of the sea, where the waves rolled over her and there was great danger of her foundering or the men being washed overboard. After letting the sails loose Henderson went back to the wheel.

The accused seaman had two or three witnesses that testified that he did what was right under the circumstances. Henderson says that neither the captain nor the mate knows anything about sailing a vessel; that if he had not let go of the sails there would have been another collision, and that alone saved the vessel. He said that for 28 years he had sailed both salt and fresh water, and had been all over the world. - [Cleveland Herald.

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27 Oct, 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), 27 Oct, 1883