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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.

05 December 2017

❖ A REIGN OF TERROR ❖ 1914

LOTTIE BENNETT
141625
Schooner built at Hall Brothers Shipyard, Port Blakely, WA.
for the account of the builders, 1899.
170' x 37'.6 x 12.8'
566 G.t.
She had a checkered career after passing
from Hall ownership.

Photo from the archives of the Saltwater People Historical Society©

File Charge Against Schooner's Crew

Victim of a system of hazing which he says is practiced aboard the vessel at sea, beaten and tortured by officers and members of the crew, and finally driven ashore at Valparaiso under threat of death, was the experience of James Oliver, donkey engineer of the American schooner Lottie Bennett. This according to a complaint made by Oliver to the US commissioner of navigation, WA, DC, and forwarded to US Shipping Commissioner William Welsh of Tacoma for investigation.
      A reign of terror prevailed during the entire voyage with the mate acting the stellar role, according to Oliver in his charge filed against the officers of the schooner.
      That the troubles some time aboard the Lottie Bennett were in the nature of an international fray is shown in the roster of the vessel, as given by Oliver. He explained that the captain was a Swede, the mate a Russian Finn, and the crew consisted of two Germans, a Norwegian, an Englishman and himself.
      "I was the only American aboard and they all took turns to abuse me," said Oliver. "when I was not the butt of their jokes and the victim of their hazing practices, the Englishman was at their mercy.

      "They made the ship a perfect hell day and night. The mate, with a revolver in each hand, kept strutting about the deck and at all times wore brass knuckles ready to knock down any member of the crew who was in his way."
      Oliver states that on 6 April 1914, the Englishman, while at the wheel, was knocked down, both eyes blackened and his nose broken by the mate, who attacked him without the least provocation. He says that he and the Englishman were told they would be driven ashore at Valparaiso and threatened with death if they remained aboard after the Lottie Bennett reached the port on the Chilean coast.
      The Lottie Bennett has loaded here [Seattle] on many occasions. She is now en route from Valparaiso to the Columbia River.
Pacific Lumber Ships. Gordon Newell and Joe Williamson. Bonanza.
There is another Saltwater People post on the Schooner LOTTIE BENNETT HERE

1 comment:

  1. Whoa. This is tough reading. Whatever happened to this vessel?

    ReplyDelete

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