Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Balclutha Was Short of Men -- September 27, 2015

San Francisco Call, 07-July-1900.

William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper.   Balclutha is preserved at the San Francisco Maritime Museum at the Hyde Street Pier. 

Lively Times Over Stealing Sailors From the Ship Blackbraes.
The Balclutha Was Short of Men and the Blackbraes Loaned Her Some.
Runners Stole Them and the Fun Began.

There was trouble on the Hawaiian ship Baiclutha and the British ship Blackbraes a couple of days ago. One vessel loaned some men to the other to bend sails, and while they were at work they were stolen by the boarding masters. The mate of the vessel that lost the men made the round of the boarding houses and took his men aboard in spite of all resistance.  Then the boarding masters tried to rescue the sailors and there was a free fight in which many a skull was cracked and the runners got the worst of it.

The Blackbraes arrived here on May 24 after a passage that lasted nearly a year.  Not a man aboard has less than $300 coming to him and In consequence there were no desertions.

The Balclutha. will go to the Sound to load lumber fur Australia and was short of men. Captain Hatfield wanted his sails bent and being short-handed asked for the loan of a few men from the Blackbraes.

As soon as the men were at work on the Balclutha the runners appeared on board with several bottles of water front rye.  As soon as the whiskey got to work the men were ready for anything and willingly deserted when a run ashore was proposed.

When the mate of the Blackbraes heard that his men had been stolen he at once went ashore armed with a pistol. He made the round of the hoarding houses and inside of an hour had all of his sailors aboard the ship again. The next morning the boarding masters made a combined raid on the Blackbraes. but the mate and second mate, aided by the boatswain and carpenter, met them with belaying pins, and inside of three minutes the whole invading force was driven over the side, some of them much the worse for wear. Yesterday the Blackbraes went to Port Costa and there will be more trouble when she comes down. To-day the Balclutha will go to sea.

I took the photo of Balclutha on 19-October-2010.

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