Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 1.djvu/253

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Statute Ⅱ.


July 20, 1790.
Chap. ⅩⅩⅨ.—An Act for the government and regulation of Seamen in the merchants service.


Master and seamen to execute a shipping agreement.
1792, ch. 24.
1796, ch. 36.
1798, ch. 77.
1799, ch. 36.
Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That from and after the first day of December next, every master or commander of any ship or vessel bound from a port in the United States to any foreign port, or of any ship or vessel of the burthen of fifty tons or upwards, bound from a port in one state to a port in any other than an adjoining state, shall, before he proceed on such voyage, make an agreement in writing or in print, with every seaman or mariner on board such ship or vessel (except such as shall be apprentice or servant to himself or owners)Exception as to apprentices, &c.
1802, ch. 51.
1805, ch. 28.
declaring the voyage or voyages, term or terms of time, for which such seaman or mariner shall be shipped.[1] And if any master or commander of such ship or vessel shall carry out any seaman or mariner (except apprentices or servants as aforesaid) without such contract or agreement being first made and signed by the seamen and mariners,Penalties on the master for omission; the highest rate of wages at the place of shipping. such master or commander shall pay to every such seaman or mariner the highest price or wages which shall have been given at the port or place where such seaman or mariner shall have been shipped, for a similar voyage, within three months next before the time of such shipping: Provided such seaman or mariner shall perform such voyage: or if not, then for such time as he shall continue to do duty on board such ship or vessel;Proviso, as to performance of the voyage by the seaman.
1813, ch. 42.
1814, ch. 8.
and shall moreover forfeit twenty dollars for every such seaman or mariner, one half to the use of the person prosecuting for the same, the other half to the use of the United States: and such seaman or mariner, not having signed such contract, shall not be bound by the regulations, nor subject to the penalties and forfeitures contained in this act.

Sec. 2. And be it [further] enacted,Memorandum at the foot of the articles. That at the foot of every such contract, there shall be a memorandum in writing, of the day and the hour on which such seaman or mariner, who shall so ship and subscribe, shall render themselves on board, to begin the voyage agreed upon. And ifPenalty for a seaman neglecting to render himself on board at the time agreed upon. any such seaman or mariner shall neglect to render himself on board the ship or vessel, for which he has shipped, at the time mentioned in such memorandum, and if the master, commander, or other officer of the ship or vessel, shall, on the day on which such neglect happened, make an entry in the log-book of such ship or vessel, of the name of such seaman or mariner, and shall in like manner note the time that he so neglected to render himself (after the time appointed); every such seaman or mariner shall forfeit for every hour which he shall so neglect to render himself, one day’s pay, according to the rate of wages agreed upon, to be deducted out of his wages.[2] And if


  1. It seems that no stipulation contrary to the maritime law, to the injury of the seamen, will be allowed to stand, unless an adequate compensation be given to the seamen. Harden v. Gordon et al., 2 Mason’s C. C. R. 541. The Lady Waterstoff, 1 Adm. Decisions, 214.

    The crew of a ship who have signed articles for the voyage under a particular master, without any clause providing for the change of master, are not discharged from the articles by the dismissal of the master by reason of sickness or any other reasonable cause, and the appointment of a new master. They are bound to obey the new master. The United States v. Ruggles, 5 Mason’s C. C. R. 192.

    If the shipping articles are to the final port of discharge, the voyage is not ended until the cargo is wholly unladen. The owner may order the vessel from port to port, until the whole cargo is discharged. The United States v. Barker, 5 Mason’s C. C. R. 404.

    In the shipping articles used in the United States, though wages are designated by the month, yet the contract is entire for the voyage. 1 Adm. Decisions, 142.

    A seamen shipped for the voyage, without signing the articles, must be paid the highest rate of wages at the port within three months, and be subject to all the forfeitures imposed and fixed by the maritime law existing before the act of Congress. The Regulus, 1 Admiralty Decisions, 215.

    The shipping articles must declare, explicitly, the ports at which the voyage is to commence and terminate. Magee v. The Moss, Gilpin’s Rep. 219.

  2. To justify the forfeiture of a seaman’s wages for absence, under the provisions of the act of 1790, the entry in the log-book is indispensable. Wood v. The Nimrod, Gilpin’s Rep. 86, 212. Brower v. The Maiden, Gilpin’s Rep. 296.

    To receive mariners onboard after desertion, is a waiver or pardon of the forfeitures incurred previously. 1 Adm. Decisions, 163.