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San Juan Islands, Washington State, United States
A society formed in 2009 for the purpose of collecting, preserving, celebrating, and disseminating the maritime history of the San Juan Islands and northern Puget Sound area. Check this log for tales from out-of-print publications as well as from members and friends. There are circa 500, often long entries, on a broad range of maritime topics; there are search aids at the bottom of the log. Please ask for permission to use any photo posted on this site. Thank you.

26 November 2011

Stowaway put ashore on San Juan Island ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪

The S.S. ALAMEDA
Alaska Steamship Co.,
 passing Turn Point Light, Stuart Island, WA.
Photo by Louis Borchers, Light House Keeper
His hobby was taking photos of every passing vessel,
prior to his death in 1923.
Notes from the late historian D. S. Egan, Edmonds, WA.
"On the bleakest shore of San Juan island, miles from the nearest habitation, without food or shelter, a 15-year-old boy, a stowaway aboard the steamer ALAMEDA, was put ashore by Captain Johnson on Friday.
      The boy was found in steerage soon after the vessel left Valdez and was put to work by members of the crew. All went well until Captain Johnson learned that he was aboard and determined to put him ashore before Seattle was reached.
      Several of the passengers who had learned of the boy's plight appealed to the vessel's master, offering to give double the amount of his passage if he were allowed to continue the voyage, but Capt. Johnson was deaf to their intrusion.
Aboard S. S. ALAMEDA.
Original photo postcard
Saltwater People Historical Society©

      In a life boat in charge of the third mate and two sailors, the boy was landed on the beach, and left to walk without food or money to the nearest ranch.
      Soon after the return of the lifeboat and when the passengers learned that the little lad was thinly clad and did not even have a coat, a meeting was called and resolutions protesting against the treatment of the little fellow were adopted. A wireless message was also sent to the Alaska Steamship Company advising them of the action of their employee.


Steamers docked Friday Harbor, WA.
GEORGIA and ROSALIE, undated.
Original photo, Saltwater People Historical Society©
   
The boy walked across the island to Friday Harbor and took the ROSALIE here at noon for Seattle. He claimed he bought a ticket through to Seattle, but lost it. He appeared to be well dressed and did not seem to have suffered from the experience.
      The stowaway, whose name is Albert Swan, reached Seattle Saturday morning, and is visiting an uncle there. It was learned from the crew that the boy refused to work and when reprimanded by the captain, used abusive language. According to the testimony of one of the passengers the captain was justified in putting him off the boat."
The San Juan Islander
Front page, 17 November 1911

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