1 Swift v. Clark, 15 Mass. 173; Johnson v. Sims, 1 Peters, Adm. 215; The George Home, 1 Hagg. Adm. 370.
2 Abbott on Shipping, pt. v. eh. 11, p. 558.
3 Hawkins v. Twizell, 5 El. & B. 883 (1856).
4 Ibid.; Anon., 1 Ld. Raym. 639; 12 Mod. 408; Appleby v. Dods, 8 East, 300; Jesse v. Roy, 4 Tyrw. 626; s. c. 1 C. M. & R. 316; The Juliana, 2 Dods. 504; Pitman v. Hooper, 3 Sumner, 286; Locke v. Swan, 13 Mass. 76; Moore v. Jones, 15 Mass. 424; The Cynthia, 1 Peters, Adm. 204.
5 Per Mr. Justice Story, Abbott on Shipping (Am. ed.), 448; Chancellor Kent, in 3 Kent, Comm. 190; Edwards v. Child, 2 Vern. 727.
6 Abbott on Shipping, pt. v. ch. 2, p. 552; Chandler v. Grieves, 2 H. Bl. 606, note (a); Williams v. The Brig Hope, 1 Peters, Adm. 138; Holmes v. Hutchinson, Gilpin, 448.
7 Robinett v. The Ship Exeter, 2 Rob. Adm. 261; The Beaver, 3 Rob. Adm. 92; Curtis on Merch. Seamen, 300, and cases cited; The Rovena, put a seaman forcibly ashore and leave him;1 or if the seaman leave the ship, because there are not sufficient provisions on board, or for cruelty, he does not lose his wages.2 But, although repeated acts of cruelty and oppression on the part of the master will justify a seaman in abandoning the vessel, yet a single act of assault and battery will not, although it exceed the bounds of moderation, unless, indeed, there be reasonable grounds of apprehension, that such acts will be repeated.3 In case a seaman die during the voyage, the better opinion seems to be, that his heirs and representatives can recover wages up to the time of his death, and no longer.4 Again, if, after the seamen are hired, the owner do not send the ship on the voyage, they must be paid for the time during which they worked on board the vessel.5 But if a seaman be incompetent to perform his duty properly, he is liable to have a deduction made from his wages, so as to conform the recompense to the worth of his sevices.6 And a loss to the ship or cargo, occasioned by his gross negligence, may be set off against his wages.7 But where a seaman might have been discharged in the course of the voyage for gross misbehavior, if the master refuse to discharge him, and leave him in imprisonment abroad, he will be entitled to his wages, until his return, after deducting from the claim his period of imprisonment.1 But in case his voyage is interrupted by the supreme authority of the state, as where the seaman is sent for on legal process, without any reasonable possibility of his ever being able to rejoin the ship on the voyage, the contract is held to have been dissolved from that time; and no further wages can be claimed.2
Ware, 309; The Nimrod, Ware, 9; Girard v. Ware, Peters, C. C. 142; Bush v. Alonzo, 2 Cliff. 548.
1 Girard v. Ware, Peters, C. C. 142.
2 The Maria, 1 Peters, Adm. 186; The Castilia 1 Hagg. Adm. 59; The Eliza, 1 Hagg. Adm. 186; Rice v. The Polly and Kitty, 2 Peters, Adm. 415; Ward v. Ames, 9 Johns. 138.
3 Steele v. Thacher, Ware, 91.
4 3 Kent's Comm. in lect. 46, p. 189, and cases cited; Armstrong v. Smith, 1 Bos. & Pul. N. R. 299; Carey v. The Kitty, Bee, 255. But see Natterstrom v. The Hazard, 2 Hall, L. J. 359. But see Cutter v. Powell, 6 T. R. 320; Beale v. Thompson, 3 Bos. & Pul. 425. The decisions are contradictory, some assuming that the wages for the whole voyage are recoverable, and some asserting that the wages to the death of the seaman are alone recoverable. Mr. Chancellor Kent, in his Commentaries (lect. 46, p. 196), gives the weight of his opinion in favor of the rule stated in the text. See, however, Walton v. The Ship Neptune, 1 Peters, Adm. 142; Sims v. Jackson, 1 Peters, Adm. 157, note; s. c. 1 Wash. C. C. 414. See Curtis on Merch. Seamen, 293; Sherwood v. Mcintosh, Ware, 109.
5 Wells v. Osman, 2 Ld. Raym. 1044.
6 Atkyns v. Burrows, 1 Peters, Adm. 247; Mitchell v. The Ship Oro-zimbo, 1 Peters, Adm. 250; Sherwood v. Mcintosh, Ware, 109.
7 The New Phoenix, 2 Hagg. Adm. 420; Brown v. The Neptune, Gilpin, 89.
§ 187. Where the seaman ships on a general trading or freighting voyage, without any limitation of time, or any certain destination or fixed terminus to the voyage, either the master or mariner may put an end to the contract at any port, provided it be not done at a time or under circumstances particularly onerous or injurious to the other party.3
§ 188. Seamen are bound to exert themselves to their utmost in the service of the ship, for the compensation agreed upon, and any promise of additional reward, made when the ship is in distress, for the purpose of stimulating their efforts to save her, are treated as void; especially if there be any unfair practices, or reluctance to do their duty, on the part of the sailors.4 Yet if the vessel be wrecked, and parts thereof and of the cargo be saved by the crew, they having performed extraordinary services as salvors, it seems that they would be entitled to receive salvage.5 Ordinarily, however, a seaman is not absolved from his duty to remain by the vessel, and give his best aid to her, in case of shipwreck; and it is only under very peculiar and uncommon circumstances, that a seaman whose connection with the vessel is not dissolved can claim salvage. Whether shipwreck constitutes an exception to the rule that wages depend upon the earnings of freight, so as to enable seamen who have saved the fragments of a ship to recover wages, as far as the value of those fragments will permit, is a much vexed question, but it seems now to be the inclination of opinion, that it does constitute an exception, and that wages may be recovered to the extent of the worth of the materials saved.1 Where the mariner's connection with the vessel has been dissolved de facto, as if the captain desert the vessel with his crew, without question he may then become a salvor and claim salvage in like manner as a stranger, but he loses all claim for wages.2
1 Buck v. Lane, 12 S. & R. 266.