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The welfare of seamen
|Dangers in the port|
Temptations on shore
With plenty of cash in their pockets, they always had plenty of friends. Many sailors off duty set out to have a good time, usually involving alcohol and women.
At best, seamen could simply blow their hard-earned wages in a drunken binge, and the friends would disappear as quickly as the money. At worst, they could be cheated, robbed or even murdered.
Writing in the 1850s, Augustus Sala described the perils faced by seamen in the port:
The situation was far worse for foreign seamen. Any seaman unable to speak English was even more vulnerable, while non-white sailors had to face blatant racism.