SEAMAN. A sailor; a mariner; one whose business is navigation. 2 Boulay
Paty, Dr. Com. 232; Code de Commerce art. 262; Laws of Oleron, art. 7; Laws
of Wishuy, art. 19. The term seamen, in it most enlarged sense, includes the
captain a well as other persons of the crew; in a more confined
signification, it extends only to the common sailors; 3 Pardes. n. 667; the
mate; 1 Pet. Adm. Dee. 246; the cook and steward; 2 Id. 268; are considered,
as to their rights to sue in the admiralty, as common seamen; and persons
employed on board of steamboats and lighters, engaged in trade or commerce,
on tide water, are within the admiralty jurisdiction, while those employed
in ferry boats are not. Gilp. R. 203, 532. Persons who do not contribute
their aid in navigating the vessel or to its preservation in the course of
their occupation, as musicians, are not to be considered as seamen with a
right to sue in the admiralty for their wages. Gilp. R. 516, See 1 Bell's
Com. 509, 5th ed.; 2 Rob. Adm. R. 232; Dunl. Adm. Pr. h.t.
2. Seamen are employed either in merchant vessels for private service,
or in public vessels for the service of the United States.
3.-1. Seamen in the merchant vessels are required to enter into a
contract in writing commonly called shipping articles. (q.v.) This contract
being entered into, they are bound under. severe penalties, to render
themselves on board the vessel according to the agreement: they are not at
liberty to leave the ship without the consent of the captain or commanding
officer, and for such absence, when less than forty-eight hours, they
forfeit three day's wages for every day of absence; and when the absence is
more than forty-eight hours, at one time, they forfeit all the wages due to
them, and all their goods and chattels which were on board the vessel, or in
any store where they may have been lodged at the time of their desertion, to
the use of the owners of the vessel, and they are liable for damages for
hiring other hands. They may be imprisoned for desertion until the ship is
ready to bail.
4. On board, a seaman is bound to do his duty to the utmost of his
ability; and when his services are required for extraordinary exertions,
either in consequence of the death of other seamen, Or on account of
unforeseen perils, he is not entitled to an increase of wages, although it
may have been promised to him. 2 Campb. 317; Peake's N. P. Rep. 72; 1 T. R.
73. For disobedience of orders he may be imprisoned or punished with
stripes, but the correction (q.v.) must be reasonable; 4 Mason, 508; Bee,
161; 2 Day, 294; 1 Wash. C. C. R. 316; and, for just cause, may be put
ashore in a foreign country. 1 Pet. Adm. R. 186; 2 Ibid. 268; 2 East, Rep.
145. By act of Congress, September 28, 1850, Minot's Stat. at Large, U. S.
p. 515, it is provided, that flogging in the navy and on board vessels of
commerce, be, and the same is hereby abolished from and after the passage of
5. Seamen are entitled to their wages, of which one-third is due at
every port at which the vessel shall unlade and deliver her cargo, before
the voyage be ended; and at the end of the voyage an easy and speedy remedy
is given them to recover all unpaid wages. When taken sick a seaman is
entitled to medical advice and aid at the expense of the ship: such expense
being considered in, the nature of additional wages, and as constituting a
just remuneration for his labor and services. Gilp. 435, 447; 2 Mason, 541;
2 Mass. R. 541.
6. The right of seamen to wages is founded not in the shipping
articles, but in the services performed; Bee, 395; and to recover such wages
the seaman has a triple remedy, against the vessel, the owner, and the
master. Gilp. 592; Bee, 254.
7. When destitute in foreign ports, American consuls and commercial
agents are required to provide for them, and for their passages to some port
of the United States, in a reasonable manner, at the expense of the United
States; and American vessels are bound to take such seamen on board at the
request of the consul, but not exceeding two men for every hundred tons of
the ship, and transport them to the United States, on such terms, not
exceeding ten dollars for each person, as may be agreed on. Vide, generally,
Story's Laws U. S. Index, h.t.; 3 Kent, Com, 136 to 156; Marsh. Ins. 90;
Poth. Mar. Contr. translated by Cushing, Index, h.t.; 2 Bro. Civ. and Adm.
8.-2. Seamen in the public service are governed by particular laws.
, Ancient Mariner
, Davy Jones
, Flying Dutchman
, able seaman
, able-bodied seaman
, deep-sea man
, fair-weather sailor
, jack afloat
, sea devil
, sea dog
, sea god
, sea rover
, seafaring man
, water dog