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for every person on board, besides such other provisions, stores, and live stock, as shall, by the master or passengers, be put on board, and in like proportion for shorter or longer voyages; and in case the crew of any vessel, not so provided, shall be put upon short allowance in water, flesh, or bread, during the voyage, the master or owner shall pay to each of the crew, one day's wages beyond the wages agreed on, for every day he shall be so put to short allowance, to be recovered in the same manner as his stipulated wages.(1)
1479. If the mate, or first officer under the master, and a majority of the crew of any vessel, bound on a voyage to any foreign port, shall, after the voyage is begun (and before the vessel shall have left the land) discover that she is too leaky, or is otherwise unfit in her crew, body, tackle, apparel, furniture, provisions, or stores, to proceed on the intended voyage, and shall require such unfitness to be inquired into, the master shall, upon the request of the mate (or other officer) and such majority, forthwith proceed to, or stop at the nearest or most convenient place where such inquiry can be made, and shall there apply to the judge of the district court, if he shall there reside, or if not, to some justice of the peace of the city, town, or place, taking with him two or more of the crew, who shall have made such request; and thereupon such judge or justice shall issue his precept, directed to three persons in the neighbourhood, the most skilful in maritime affairs, that can be procured, requiring them to repair on board such vessel, and to examine her in respect to the defects and insufficiencies complained of, and to make report to him, in writing under their hands, or the hands of two of them, whether in any, or in what respect she is unfit to proceed on the intended voyage, and what addition of men, provisions, or stores, or what repairs or alterations in the body, tackle, or apparel, will be necessary; and upon such report, such judge or justice shall adjudge and determine, and shall endorse on the report his judg ment, whether the vessel is fit to proceed on the intended voyage; and if not, whether such repairs can be made, or deficiencies supplied, where the vessel then lies, or whether it be necessary for her to return to the port from whence she first sailed, to be there refitted; and the master and crew shall in all things conform to such judgment; and the master shall, in the first instance, pay all the costs of such view, report, and judgment, to be taxed and allowed on a fair copy thereof, certified by the judge or justice. But if the complaint of the crew shall appear, upon such report and judgment, to have been without foundation, then the master, or the owner, or consignee of such vessel, shall deduct the amount thereof, and of reasonable damages for the detention (to be ascertained by such judge or justice) out of the wages growing due to the complaining seamen. And if, after such judgment, such vessel is fit to proceed on her intended voyage, or after procuring such men, provisions, stores, repairs, or alterations, as may be directed, the seamen, or either of them, shall refuse to proceed on the voyage, any justice of the peace may commit, by warrant under his hand and seal, every such seaman to the common jail of the county, there to remain without bail or mainprise, until he shall have paid double the sum advanced to him at the time of subscribing the contract for the voyage, together with such reasonable costs as shall be allowed by the justice, and inserted in the warrant, and the surety of such seaman (in case he shall have given any) shall remain liable for such payment; no such seaman shall be discharged upon any writ of habeas corpus, or otherwise, until such sum be paid by him or his surety, for want of any form of commitment, or other previous proceedings. Provided, That suffi
(1) Act 20th July, 1790, sec. 9. Gadner and al. v. The New Jersey, 1 Adm. Decis. 223.
cient matter appear, upon the return of such habeas corpus, and an examination then to be had, to detain him for the causes hereinbefore assigned.(1)
If any master or other officer, of any American ship or vessel on the high seas, or on any other waters within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States shall from malice, hatred or revenge, and without justifiable cause, beat, wound, or imprison, any one or more of the crew of such ship or vessel, or withhold from them suitable food and nourishment, or inflict upon them any cruel and unusual punishment, every such person so offending shall, on conviction thereof, be punished by fine, not exceeding one thousand dollars, or by imprisonment not exceeding five years, or by both, according to the nature and aggravation of the offence.(2)
Of the Protection of Seamen against seizure by a Foreign Power, &c.*
ART. 1480. The collector of every district shall keep a book, in which, at the request of any seaman, being a citizen of the United States of America, and producing proof of his citizenship, authenticated according to law,† he shall enter the name of such seaman, and shall deliver to him a certificate, in the following form: "I, A B, collector of the district of D, do hereby certify, That E F, an American seaman, aged years, or thereabouts, of the height of feet — inches, [describing the said seaman as particularly as may be] has, this day, produced to me proof, in the manner directed in the act, entitled, 'An act for the relief and protection of American seamen ;' and, pursuant to the said act, I do hereby certify, that the said E F is a citizen of the United States of America. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal of office, this day of―."(3)
1481. Such collector shall file and preserve the proofs of citizenship so produced and for each certificate so delivered, he shall be entitled to receive from such seaman, twenty-five cents.(3)
1482. In order that full and speedy information may be obtained of the
(1) Act 20th July, 1790, sec. 3. (2) Act 1st March, 1835, sec. 3,
(3) Act 28th May, 1796, sec. 4.
Sections 1, 2, 3, act May 28th, 1796, provided for the appointment of two or more agents, one of whom to reside in Great Britain, and the others at such foreign ports as the president might direct, for the purpose of inquiring into the situation, and to obtain the release of seamen sailing under the protection of the American flag, who had been impressed by any foreign power. These sections were limited to one year, and were revived for one year, by act 2d March, 1799.
†The language of the act is "producing proof of his citizenship authenticated in the manner hereinafter directed;" yet no manner of authenticating such proof is prescribed by the act.
seizure or detention, by any foreign power, of any seaman employed on board any vessel of the United States, the master of every such vessel, any of the crew whereof shall have been impressed or detained by any foreign power, shall at the first port at which such vessel shall arrive, if such impressment or detention happened on the high seas, or if within any foreign port, then in such port, immediately make a protest, stating the manner of such impressment or detention; by whom made, together with the name and place of residence of the person impressed or detained; whether he was an American citizen; and if not, to what nation he belonged. And he shall transmit by post, or otherwise, every such protest made in a foreign country, to the nearest consul or agent, or to the minister of the United States resident in such country, if any such there be; preserving a duplicate thereof, to be by him sent, immediately after his arrival within the United States, to the secretary of state, together with information to whom the original protest was transmitted: And in case such protest shall be made within the United States, or any foreign country in which no consul, agent, or minister of the United States resides, shall, as soon thereafter as practicable, be transmitted by such master, by post or otherwise, to the secretary of state.(1)
1483. A copy of this law shall be transmitted by the secretary of state, to each of the ministers and consuls of the United States residents in foreign countries, and by the secretary of the treasury, to the several collectors of the districts of the United States, who shall, from time to time, make known the provisions of this law to all masters of vessels of the United States entering or clearing at their several offices. And the master of every such vessel shall, before he is admitted to an entry by such collector, declare on oath whether any of the crew of the vessel under his command have been impressed or detained in the course of his voyage, and how far he has complied with the directions of this act. And every such master wilfully neglecting or refusing to make the declarations herein required, or to perform the duties enjoined hereby, shall forfeit and pay the sum of one hundred dollars. Such collector shall prosecute for any forfeiture that may be incurred under this act.(2)
1484. The collector of every port of entry in the United States shall send a list of the seamen registered under this act, once every three months, to the secretary of state, together with an account of such impressments or detentions as shall appear by the protests of the masters to have taken place.(3)
1485. Before a clearance be granted to any vessel bound on a foreign voyage, the master thereof shall deliver to the collector of the customs a list, containing the names, places of birth, and residence, and a description of the persons who compose his ship's company, to which list the oath of the captain shall be annexed, that the said list contains the names of his crew, together with the places of their birth and residence, as far as he can ascertain them; and the collector shall deliver him a certified copy thereof, for which the collector may receive the sum of twenty-five cents; and the master shall, moreover, enter into bond with sufficient security, in the sum of four hundred dollars, that he shall exhibit such certified copy of the list to the first boarding officer, at the first port in the United States at which he shall arrive, on his return thereto, and then and there also produce the persons named therein, to such boarding officer, who shall examine the men with such list, and report the same to the collector; and the collector at the port of arrival, (where the same is different from the port from which the
(1) Act 28th May, 1796, sec. 5. (2) Act 28th May, 1796, sec. 6.
(3) Ibid. sec. 7.
vessel originally sailed,) shall transmit a copy of the list so reported to him, to the collector of the port from which the vessel originally sailed: such bond shall not be forfeited on account of the master not producing to the first boarding officer, any of the persons contained in the said list, who may be discharged in a foreign country, with the consent of the consul, vice consul, commercial agent, or vice commercial agent, there residing, signified in writing, under his hand and official seal, to be produced to the collector with the other persons composing the crew; nor on account of any such person dying or absconding, or being forcibly impressed into other service, of which satisfactory proof shall be then also exhibited to the collector.(1)*
Of the Relief of American Seamen in foreign countries.
Master, in case of discharge of seamen in foreign country, to pay three months' surplus wages Consul, &c. to provide subsistence and passage for destitute mari
ners-masters of vessels quired to receive such seamen 1487 Additional allowance for carrying seamen-when made
ART. 1486. Whenever a vessel belonging to a citizen of the United States, shall be sold in a foreign country, and her company discharged, or when a mariner, a citizen of the United States, shall with his own consent, be discharged in a foreign country, the master shall produce to the consul, vice consul, commercial agent, or vice commercial agent, the list of his ship's company, certified according to article 1485, and pay to such consul, or agent, for every mariner so discharged, being designated on such list as a citizen of the United States, three months' pay, over and above the wages which may then be due to him, two-thirds thereof to be paid by such consul or agent, to each mariner so discharged, upon his engagement on board of any vessel to return to the United States, and the remaining third to be retained for creating a fund for the payment of the passage of mariners, citizens of the United States, who may be desirous of returning to the United
(1) Act 28th Feb. 1803, sec. 1.
A bond given by the master, conditioned for the exhibition of the list of his ship's company to the first boarding officer, at the first port of his arrival in the United States, and for the production of the crew, was held to be a valid bond under the act, although it was not expressed to be taken in pursuance of the act, and although it was not stated on the face of the bond, which of the obligors was the principal, and which the surety; and the declaration on the bond was held good, although it did not refer to the statute.—United States v. Hatch, and al., 1 Paine, 336.
An alteration in the bond, by one of the clerks of the custom-house, after its execution, for the purpose of rectifying it, but which did not affect its construction, was held to be the act of a stranger, and immaterial, and not to avoid the bond.Ibid.
The certificate of the consul to excuse the master, under the proviso of this act, must state, that the seamen were left in a foreign port with their consent. A certificate that they were left in a hospital unable to return, and that the master had paid for their maintenance, and left the amount of their wages, was held insufficient, and parol evidence of the consent of the consul or seamen inadmissible.Ibid.
The sum of four hundred dollars, in which the bond is to be taken, is intended as a forfeiture, and not as a penalty to cover such damages as may be assessed.—
States, and for the maintenance of American seamen who may be destitute, and may be in such foreign port; and the several sums retained for such fund shall be accounted for with the treasury every six months, by the persons receiving them.(1)
1487. The consuls, vice consuls, commercial agents, vice commercial of the United States, shall, from time to time, provide for the mariners of the United States, who may be found destitute within their districts, respectively, sufficient subsistence, and passage to some port in the United States, in the most reasonable manner, at the expense of the United States, subject to such instructions as the secretary of the state shall give. And all masters of vessels belonging to citizens of the United States, and bound to some port of the same, are required and enjoined to take such mariners on board of their vessels, at the request of the consuls, or agents, respectively, and to transport them to the port in the United States to which such vessels may be bound, on such terms, not exceeding ten dollars for each person, as may be agreed between the master and consul, or commercial agent. And such mariners shall, if able, do duty on board such vessels, according to their several abilities: but no master shall be obliged to take a greater number than two men to every one hundred tons burthen of the vessel, on any one voyage; and if any such master shall refuse, on the request or order of such consul, or agent, he shall forfeit the sum of one hundred dollars for each mariner so refused, to be recovered for the benefit of the United States, in any court of competent jurisdiction. And the certificate of such consul or commercial agent, given under his hand and official seal, shall be prima facie evidence of such refusal, in any court of law having jurisdiction for the recovery of such penalty.(2)
The consul, vice consul, commercial agent, vice commercial agent, may take for every certificate of discharge of any mariner in a foreign port, fifty cents; and for commission on paying and receiving the amout of wages payable on the discharge of seamen in foreign ports, two and a half per centum.(3)
1488. In all cases where distressed seamen of the United States shall be transported from foreign ports where there is no consul, vice consul, commercial agent, or vice commercial agent of the United States, the master or owner of such vessel in which they shall be transported shall be allowed such reasonable compensation in addition to the allowance now fixed by law, as shall be deemed equitable by the comptroller of the treasury.(4)