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The design of the present publication is to exhibit 
the most important facts pertaining to the work of evan- 
gelizing seamen. Besides awakening in the benevolent 
public, generally, a deeper interest in behalf of this 
cause, it is hoped, especially, to aid pastors in present- 
ing it to their congregations, and to enable others 
" who have a mind to wwk " to engage in it intelli- 
gently and effectively. We bespeak from all who love 
the cause of the Redeemer, a perusal of these pages, 
and such aid in promoting this much needed charity, 
as its intrinsic importance may seem to them to de- 







^£trctar2 o.f Slmcrttan Seaman's ^limts %Sititt]a. 


S. Ilallet, Printer, No. 107 Fulton Street 





The first organized efibrts for the 
spiritual improvement of seamen date ! 
from the year 1779. At that time a 
body of troops was stationed in Hyde : 
Park, London, to preserve the peace 
of the city, which was endangered by 
political excitement. The state of 
morals among these troops was so de- 
plorable as to awaken the solicitude 
of some benevolent individuals of the : 
metropolis, and lead them to attempt ! 
a reform in the camp by the distribu- 
tion of the Scriptures. These efibrts 
resulted in the organization, in 1780, 
of " The Bible Society," the first ever 
formed for the express and sole pur- 
pose of circulating the Bible. The 
object speedily awakened an interest 
among the clergy and other persons 
of various denominations, and dis- 
courses were preached in many places 
in its behalf. The first of these was : 
from the very appropriate and signifi- 
cant text, 1 Samuel, IV, 7 : " And the 
Philistines were afraid, for they said, God 
is come into the camp. And they said, 
woe unto us ! for there hath not been such 
a thing heretofore.'''^ The design of the 
institution was soon enlarged to em- 
brace the seamen in the "British navy, \ 
and in the service of the East India \ 
Company, and subsequently all fisher- 
men and mariners ; and in 1804, its 
designation was changed to " The 

: Naval and Military Bible Society," in 
consequence of the organization of 
" The British and Foreign Bible So- 
ciety," which occurred that year, and 
which undoubtedly owes its parentage 
to the former. It is a very interesting 
fact, that all the modern enterprises of 
the church for the diffusion of the Word 
of God, had their foundation in this 
movement in behalf of those two 
needy classes of men — the soldiers 
and sailors of Great Britain. The 
Naval and Military Bible Society has 
prosecuted its labors with a good de- 
gree of efiiciency. During the first 
sixty years of its existence, it distri- 
buted about 360,000 copies of the 
Scriptures. It has ever been a popular 
institution among the higher orders 
in England, including the officials of 
both the army and navy. 


Though much good may have re- 
: suited from this early movement for 
I supplying sailors with the Bible, it is 
: manifest that it must have been alto- 
gether inadequate to meet the spirit- 
ual wants of this rapidly increasing 
: body of men. Nothing of consequence 
further, however, was done for this 
object till 1814. In that year com- 
menced a series of efibrts in their be- 
half, which at length matured into the 
: present system of operations for sea- 


men throughout the world. The in- 
strument raised up by Providence to 
begin this work, was very humble and 
is little known to fame, but deserves 
to be enrolled with the name of 
Howard and Raikes, as among the 
chief benefactors of the race. His name 
was Zebulox Rogers. He was a shoe- 
maker in slender circumstances, the 
son of a coal-measurer employed on 
board the colliers in the Thames. The 
manner in which he was first led to ; 
engage in the work is narrated by 
himself with great simplicity and 
modesty, as follows : — 

" Having had to labor much under 
strong convictions for sin during some 
months, and but little attention being 
paid me by professing christians from 
that day to the present, I have endea- 
vored to assist any persons I saw un- 
der similar religious impressions. In 
1814, 1 beheld a person weeping under 
a sermon in the Wesleyan Methodist 
Chapel at Silver Street, Rotherhithe. 
"When the service was concluded, I 
went to the chapel-door and spoke to 
him with much tenderness and sym- 
pathy, taking him by the hand. I 
found his name was Captain Simpson, 
of the Friendship brig. We soon be- 
came well acquainted together, and I 
took him to our class meeting. He 
came on shore, and inv'ted me on 
board his vessel the next voyage. I 
asked him if he thought his people 
would come into the cabin and let me 
pray with them. The captain said : 
' Go and ask them.' I went to the 
half-deck, and told them they were all 
wanted in the cabin. ' Cabin, sir !' : 
they said with surprise. ' Yes, all of 
you.' They all came. I read and 
prayed with them, and got the captain 
to pray also. We had one more prayer 
meeting that voyage ; and the next 
voyage when he came up we had ano- 
ther. The Hammond, brig, laid at the 
Friend-ship's quarter, and the captain 
invited me on Ixjard her to hold a 
meeting. From that time I went on 
until now." 

This first prayer meeting on ship- 
board, wa« held on the 22d day of 
June, 1814. The encouragement af- 
forded by the fayorable beginning led 

I to similar meetings on other vessels, 
mostl}- colliers from Shields and New- 
castle. Besides the Friendship and 
the Hammond, there were the Robert 
and Margaret, the Amphitrite, the 
Xeno, and the John. The captains of 
these vessels were pious, and in con- 
nection with Mr. Rogers, held gener- 
ally two meetings a week as they ar- 
rived in the river. After a time it was 
proposed to extend them to other ves- 
: sels, wherever a permission for that 
purpose could be obtained from their 
masters. The blessing of God mani- 
festly rested on these efforts, and they 
: began to attract the notice of the 

The Bethel Flag. 
It became necessary to adopt some 
signal to apprize the crews in the river 
on what ship the meeting was to be 
held for the night. During the win- 
ter of 1816-17, a lantern was hoisted 
: at mast-head for that purpose. As 
: the Spring advanced, and tlie hour ap- 
pointed occurred before dark, some 
other signal was found requisite. Mr. 
Rogers accordingly devised a Flag, 
having a blue ground, with the word 
Bethel in the center, and a star rising 
in the east, in red ; and the first one 
was made by his sister. It was first 
hoisted on Sabbath afternoon, March 
23, 1817, on board the Zephyr, Capt. 
Ilindhulph, of South Shields. To this 
device was afterwards added a dove 
with an olive branch. This was the 
origin of the well-known " Bethel 
Flag," from which religious meetings 
: for seamen have taken the name of 
: Bethel meetings, and churches and 
chapels both afloat and on shore, have 
been called Bethel churches, or sim- 
ply "Bethels." The appropriateness 
of the term apparent to all ; they 
are truly " God's houses," and have, 
like the place in which the patriarch 
wrestled, been often filled with the 
manifestations of Jehovah's presence 
and glory. 




The time liad now arrived when this 
work was to assume far greater dimen- 
sions and importance. Intelligence of 
these meetings was received by the 
Rev. George C. Smith, a Baptist cler- 
gyman then on a visit to London, who 
took occasion to attend one of them, 
and there made an appointment to 
preach on the next evening. To this 
gentleman is undoubtedly to be attri- 
buted the honor of having done more 
than any other man to awaken public 
attention to the wants of seamen. 
While Mr. Rogers should be regarded 
as the founder of the enterprise, and 
a very active and self-denying laborer 
therein for many years, still it was 
mainly due to the talents, the elo- 
quence, and the unwearied activity of 
Mr. Smith, that it was brought promi- 
nently before the notice of the chris- 
tian community, and at length caused 
to take its place among the organized 
and systematic charities of the age. 

Mr. Smith was born in London, in 
1782. At a very early age he became 
fond of reading ; and a residence of 
two years in the shop of a bookseller 
and publisher, afforded him abundant 
opportunities for gratifying his inclina- 
tion. .But the miscellaneous charac- 
ter of his reading, acting upon an 
excitable temperament, rendered him 
dissatisfied with his position. About 
this time he lost his pious father, and 
came greatly under the influence of a 
brother who was a sailor, when he 
imbibed a strong passion for a sea- 
faring life, and finally prevailed on his 
mother to consent to his going to sea. 
He was regularly indentured as an 
apprentice for seven years to Captain 
Clark, of the Brig Betsey, of Salem, 
Mass., and sailed for Surinam. On 
arriving at that island he was im- 
pressed into the British man-of-war 
Scipio. He remained in the naval ser- 
vice several years and became an un- 

I der officer therein. At length, how- 
ever, he was hopefully converted to 

I Christ, and abandoning the sea, enter- 
ed into the ministry of the Gospel, 

Iand was settled among the Baptists 
in Penzance, Cornwall. 
About 1809, Mr. Smith turned his 
attention particularly to the moral 
condition of the seamen in the British 
Navy, impelled thereto by his recol- 
: lections of the frightful immoralities 
which he had witnessed among them. 
; He preached to them at Dr. Rippon's 
: Chapel, in London, and made tours for 

! preaching in the open air along the 
sea-coast and through the country, 
besides distributing Bibles and reli- 
gious tracts. It was on his return 
from an extensive journey of this des- 
cription, in 1817, that he heard of the 
prayer meetings on the Thames under 
i the Bethel Flag ; and determined at 
I once, in company with Mr. Philips, 
I with whom he was staying, and who 
had become greatly interested in the 
\ work, to attend. An account of what 
I followed is given by Mr. S. in his own 
I words : 

" We went on board the Zephyr, 
\ Captain Hindhulph. I went as a pri- 
I vate character, and had much conver- 
\ sation with the pious captain. I re- 
I tired to a corner of the cabin; it was 
I soon filled ; and I heard about a dozen 
> sailors, to my utter astonishment, 
< in prayer, while Mr. Z. Rogers con- 
l ducted the meeting. I was so much 
affected, and so determined to promote 
I and extend this work, that I pressed 
I to the cabin table and addressed the 
I men with many tears, saying that I 
I also was a redeemed sailor. 
I " After prayer I proposed preaching 
to them the next night, which I did 
I on board the John, Capt. Robinson. 

I afterwards preached to hundreds of 
\ souls from the ships and the shore. 

At this time the idea occurred to me 
\ of establishing a floating chapel on the 
I Thames, and for two months after- 
! wards I continued to preach to sailors, 


and to advocate a floating chapel in 
all parts of London. In all these labors 
I was greatly assisted by Messrs. 
Philips, Thompson and Collins, of the 
Tract Societ}'. 

The newspapers took up the sub- 
ject, and called the public attention to 
aquatic preaching," as they called it, 
on the Thames. The Surveyor Gene- 
ral of the Custom House, I was in hopes 
would have assisted me in the floating 
chapel project, he being a pious, zeal- 
ous, and well-informed man, with 
whom I was well acquainted, but his 
avocations would not permit ; but he 
gave me much useful advice. Mr. 
Philips and myself being shortly after- 
wards in America Square, we called 
on Mr. R. H. Martyn, ship-broker, and 
I told him of my preaching on the 
Thames. He objected to this ; and I 
suggested the idea of a ship being 
bought and converted into a chapel. 
This he said was feasible, and I then 
laid before him all ni}^ proceedings and 
plans. He advised a prospectus and 
a meeting of friends for a Society. I 
entreated him to draw up the pros- 
pectus, and I would show it to those 
friends who had acted with me. He 
agreed to this, and in a few days sent 
it to me. I consulted Messrs. Philips, 
Thompson, Collins, Anderson, Cowell, 
Cox, and several others on the sub- 
ject, and returned it, saying it met my 
entire approbation. Arrangements 
were now made that Mr. Martyn, as- 
sisted by Mr. Philips, should bring 
some friends together and have a pre- 
liminary meeting ; and as I was going 
to leave London for the winter, I 
should write a tract I'or circulation, 
and continue to forward to a provi- 
sional committee all my ideas on the 
subject. Thus the work advanced, I 
wrote " The British Ark ;" Mr. Mar- 
tyn published it for the new Society, 
and distributed it as a ship broker in 
cofiee-houses and on the Exchange, 
and in every direction. He also wrote 
in the Public Ledger, and brought the 
first meeting together." 

The preliminary meeting was held 
February 15, 1818, which was well 
attended, and £50 was subscribed 
to further the object in view. Shortly 
after a ship was purchased, for a float- 
ing chapel, of 300 tons, at a cost of 

£700. On the 18th of March the gene- 
ral meeting was held in the London 
Tavern, and " The Port of London 
Societ}^" was organized — the first ever 
formed to provide the preaching of 
the Gospel for seamen. The newly 
purchased ship was visited, and Mr. 
Smith oflered the first prayer in it, 
and called on the shipwrights to join 
him in singing the doxology. In a 
few weeks she was launched and towed 
to her moorings, with very great joy, 
by multitudes who thronged to see 
her ; the flags in the river, at the re- 
quest of Mr. Rogers, flying in honor 
of the occasion. Mr. Smith preached 
on board during the succeeding year 
with great eloquence and success, as- 
sisted occasionally by ministers of 
other denominations. The services in 
the chapel were crowded, and large 
numbers gave evidence of being sav- 
ingly benefitted by them. 


In all these efforts to provide for 
seamen the regular ministrations of 
the Gospel, Mr. Smith was strenu- 
ously supported by Mr. Rogers, — not 
so much by pecuniary aid, or by per- 
sonal influence, for Mr. R. was but a 
plain laboring man, but by his untir- 
ing zeal and faithfulness in the mainte- 
nance of the Bethel prayer meetings. 
There were others also who efficient- 
ly co-operated with them. Mr. Jen- 
nings, a merchant of Rotherhithe, a 
Wesleyan local preacher and class 
leader, built in his garden what he 
called "The Temple," and gathered 
in there large numbers of sailors for 
religious instruction. At one time he 
had as many as 125 who were mem- 
bers of his classes, and between 300 
and 400 children in his Sabbath School, 
which was wholly sustained at his own 
expense. In addition to these, Capt. 
Simpson of the Friendship, on board 
which the first prayer meeting was) 
held, and Capt. Hindhulph of the Ze- 
phyr, and others were zealous and de- 



voted co-laborers in the same cause. 
All these, with the exception of Mr. 
Smith, were Weslejan Methodists. 
It is due to that denomination to say 
that this work in behalf of seamen 
was originated, and carried on for 
nearly three years by members of 
that church alone. 


The London Port Society was form- 
ed with reference to the wants of 
sailors on the Thames, and was there- 
fore a local institution. The success 
of its efforts induced Mr. Smith to 
turn his attention to other ports. — 
Through his influence a public meeting 
was held Nov. 12, 1819, Sir George 
Keith in the chair, and another soci- 
ety organized called "The Bethel 
Union Society," which in addition to 
the maintenance of religious meetings 
on the Thames, established a corres- 
pondence with other local societies 
which Mr. Smith caused to be formed 
in various ports of the kingdom. 

In 1820, Mr. S., indefatigable in his 
labors to promote the welfare of sea- 
men, commenced the publication of 
the " Sailor's Magazine," (of London). 
It was established at his own personal 
risk as to its support, and was con- 
ducted with great energy and good 
success for seven years ; when in con- 
sequence of some matters of dispute 
he relinquished it, and began in place 
of it the "New Sailor's Magazine." 
These publications were eminently 
useful in awakening a general interest 
in the cause of seamen, and engaging 
in its behalf the charities of the 
Christian public both in England and 

In 1825 was formed the "London 
Mariner's Church, and Rivermen's 
Bethel Union," the immediate object 
of which was, to provide a church for 
seamen on shore, especially on the 
north side of the Thames. Hitherto 
all the establishments in their behalf 
at London had been afloat, and along 

the southern shore of the river. The 
enterprise was highly successful. A 
church edifice was procured and Mr. 
Smith became the pastor. This church 
became the center of a very extensive 
system of labors, including Sunday 
Schools, Bethel prayer meetings, tract 
and book distributions, publishing of 
magazines, and open air preaching on 
the wharves, through all the quarters 
of the metropolis frequented by sea- 
men. He instituted also a very ex- 
tensive correspondence with other 
British ports, with America, India, 
and elsewhere throughout the world. 

The two first mentioned societies 
subsequently united, assuming the 
joint name of " The Port of London, 
and Bethel Union Society." The lat- 
ter took the name of the " British and 
Foreign Seamen's Friend Society, or 
Mariner's Church and Rivermen's 
Bethel Union." 

The benevolent efforts thus inaugu- 
rated in behalf of this long neglected 
class were eminently favored of 
Heaven. The work spread into all 
the principal ports of the empire, and 
was every where attended with the 
divine blessing. Mr. Smith, in a very 
noble and eloquent address to the 
King in 1828, petitioning for the abro- 
gation of an order then recently is- 
sued by the Lord High Admiral, pro- 
hibiting the free circulation of relig- 
ious tracts in the navy, states summar- 
ily the results at that time secured : 

" A signal universally recognised 
and called the Bethel Flag now in- 
vites our sailors to divine worship, in 
almost every port of the kingdom and 
of the world. Mariner's Churches 
and Floating Chapels are springing up 
in all directions throughout Great 
Britain and the United States of 
America. ' Numerous stations are oc- 
cupied for instructing sailors and fish- 
ermen, and watermen ; day and Sab- 
bath schools are established, reading 
rooms are hired, lending libraries are 
formed, an increased number of pious 
agents are going forth who are mces- 



santly laboring to promote religion I 
and morality among our marine hosts. < 
who have nothing but a bare mainte- I 
nance in return. Some thousands of ^ 
sailors have been savingly converted i 
to God ; nearly five hundred masters I 
of merchantmen have family prayers j 
on board, when weather will permit ; i 
and I have seen Admirals, Captains < 
Commanders and Lieutenants, who s 
are now become decidedly pious char- I 
acters, and anxious for the spread of i 
the Gospel. Ardently desirous of pro- \ 
moting the salvation of sailors, the > 
British and Foreign Seamen and Sol- I 
dier's Friend Society has labored in < 
season and out of season ; and did s 
your Majesty know the immense dif- > 
Acuities it has had to encounter, and i 
the waves through which it has been \ 
compelled to struggle, from adversa- ^ 

j ries — from pretended friends — from 

< treachery — from decided opposition — 
I from want of adequate funds — and 

!from a daily demand of more agents 
to carry on the work, — you would 
stand astonished at what by the bless- 
ing of God, it has acomplished." 

I It may well be doubted whether 

I any of the great enterprises of benev- 

t olence can show more cheering results 

> in so brief a period than this; especially 
\ in view of the smallness of its resour- 
i ces, and the few men of wealth and 

> influence connected with it. The work 
I in its commencement and progress 

< was visibly of the Lord, verifying as 
} of old that it was wrought " not by 
\ power nor by might but by His Spirit." 



Although the Bethel prayer meet- 
ings on the Thames which commenced 
in 1814, had been attended with much 
success, yei little was known of them 
abroad ; and no far as can be ascertain- 
ed, they had no direct agency in sug- 
gesting the first movements for sea- 
men in this country. The latter, no 
less than the former, had the merit 
of a spontaneous origin, or rather they 
were both the outgrowths of that ex- 
panding spirit of active benevolence 
which, under God, was then begin- 
ning to be developed throughout the 
Christian world. 

In May, 1812, a society was formed 
in Boston, called " The Boston Society 
for the Religious and Moral Improve- 
ment of Seamen." It had in view 
principally, the publication and distri- 
bution of religious tracts, and the es- 
lablihhmcnt of religious worship on 
btjard vcKsels. Practical dilliculties, 
however, were found in the accom- 



plishment of this work, growing in 
part out of the war then existing with 
Great Britain, and the Society soon 

; suspended operations. 

; In the summer of 181G some of tho 

' members of the Brick Presbyterian 

; Church, New York, Rev. Dr. Spring's, 

1 were in the habit of holding prayer 

' meetings in the lower part of the city, 

s in the hope of benefiting such classes 

\ of the population as did not frequent 

? public worship. Some of these meet- 

l ings in Water Street were attended 

^ by a few sailors, and other persons 

s connected with the shipping. This 

\ suggested the idea of appointing a 

> meeting specifically for seamen, and 

< the first one of the kind was held in a 

S house then standing at the corner of 

\ Front Street and Old Slip. The nieet- 

j ing was successful, and was followed 

"> by others of a similar character, which 

d awakened a considerable interest, and 

I led to a participation therein by chris- 



tians of other churches and denomi- 

The Rev. Ward Stafford, was at 
that time engaged in missionary la- 
bors in behalf of the poor in the city, 
and entered into these efforts for sea- 
men with much zeal. In December 
1816, the project was conceived by 
him of erecting a church for mariners 
in New York, and a committee was 
appointed to receive donations for 
that purpose. The way however was 
not then prepared for so considerable 
an undertaking, and the object was 
for a time postponed. But the inter- 
est which had been awakened in this 
class of men was not suffered to sub- 
side. On the 14th of March, 1817, 
" The Marine Bible Society of New 
York" was organized, designed to 
furnish sailors with the Scriptures ; 
and Mr. S. was largely engaged in the 
formation of similar institutions in 
other ports. This society continued 
its very useful eflbrts for many years, 
until it was merged in the New 
York Bible Society, auxiliary to the 
American Bible Society. 


In the spring of 1818, Mr. Stafford 
renewed his project for the establish- 
ment of a Mariner's Church, and at 
his instance a number of merchants 
and shipmasters held a preliminary 
meeting to consider the subject. The 
record of that meeting is of sufficient 
interest to be given in full : 

" New York, 16th April, 1818. 

" At a meeting of sundry persons at the house 
of Jonathan Little, Esq., to take into consider- 
ation the expediency and importance of adopt- 
ing measures for erecting a building fo^ the gratu- 
itous preaching of the gospel to that long neglected 
portion of our citizens, the Seamen; Jonathan 
Little, Esq., was appointed chairman, and Rens- 
selaer Havens, Secretary. 

Resolved, That it is expedient to make a faith- 
ful elibrt to accomphsh this desirable object. 

Resolved, That the Rev, Ward Stafford be ap- 
pointed a committee to draft an address on the 
subject to be distributed throughout the city. 

Resolved, That Mr. Lewis, Editor of the Com- 
merc.-al Advertiser, and Mr. Dwight, Editor of the 

Daily Advertiser, be requested to prepare and in- 
sert in their respoctive papers short pieces stating 
the deplorable condition of our seamen, and iSie 
benefits which would result from the accomplish- 
ment of the measure now proposed ; and that Jlr. 
Stafford be requested to prepare similar notices 
for the other public papers. 

Resolved, That this meeting adjourn subject to 
the call of the chairman." 

An adjourned meeting was held 
May 22, when Messrs. Little, Lock- 
wood, De Forest and Stafford, were 
appointed a committee to digest a plan 
of future operations. On the 5th of 
June they reported a constitution, 
which was ^.dopted and the society 
organized in form, by the name of 
" The Society for promoting the Gos- 
pel among seamen in the Port of New 
York." Mr. Little was chosen Presi- 
dent, and He man Avenll, Esq., Secre- 
tary. It was incorporated by an Act 
of the Legislature -of New York, in 
April 1819. 

It being impossible to commence 
operations iinniediately, Mr. Stafford 
M'as temporarily supported by appro- 
priations from the," Marine Missionary 
Society," to preach to seamen as he 
might find opportunity. Bis first 
meeting was held in a small school 
room in James Street. In DeceinbtTj 
the new society engaged " the upper 
room in Mr. Lindon's Academy in 
Cherry Street," as a place of worship, 
and appointed Mr. Stafford a regular 
preacher. This room was capable of 
accommodating 400 persons. The at- 
tendance was good, and the success of 
the effort very encouraging. In six 
months, more than 800 seamen called 
on Mr. S. for religious conversation, 
or to procure Bibles and tracts. Their 
language and conduct evinced that 
they appreciated in a good degree the 
efforts which were made in their be- 
half, and in some iastances pleasing 

\ evidence was given of saving benefit 

< having been received. 

FIRST mariner's CUURCU, 

I Encouraged by this success the Port 



Society ventured in February 1819, to 
purchase the land on which to erect 
a church edifice. The limited state of 
their funds, however, and the difficul- 
ty of obtaining assistance, delayed the 
erection of the building, which was 
not completed till the summer of the 
following year, the foundation having 
been laid October 4th, 1819. 

This edifice, the first Mariner'^ s Church 
ever erected^ was situated in Roosevelt 
Street, near the East Riv%r. It was of 
brick, fifty-nine by fifty-eight feet di- 
mensions, with galleries and a base- 
ment, and cost with the land sixteen 
thousand dollars. It was dedicated 
to the service of God on the 4th of 
June 1820, a day memorable in the his- 
tory of the seamen's cause in this coun- 
try. On that occasion was presented 
the novel spectacle of the union of dif- 
ferent denominations in the service of 
the same pulpit. Rev. J. M. Matthews 
of the Ref. Dutch Church, Rev. Law- 
rence Kean of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, and Rev. Dr. Milnor of the 
Episcopal Church performed the ded- 
ication services ; and ever since, there 
has been maintained a like freedom 
from sectarian prejudices, in the regu- . 
lar ministrations to seamen. Here a 
true Evangelical Alliance was exhibit- 
ed, a quarter of a century before the 
more pretentious organization under 
that name was conceived of. 

Rev. Mr. Stafibrd, the virtual found- 
er of this institution was engaged as 
the first preacher and pastor to sea- 
men, but continued only till the No- 
vember following, when he resigned; 
and the Society depended for a time 
on voluntary supplies from various 
dergymen in the city. 

In March, 1821, an engagement was 
made with Rev. Henry Chasp:, who 
was then acting as agent for a Wes- 
leyan Seminary in New England, to 
devote a portion of his time to labors 

\ in behalf of seamen. He visited them 
at their boarding-houses, distributed 
Bibles and tracts, and held frequent 
religious meetings, besides preaching 
occasionally on the Sabbath. But it 
was felt that these services were not 
enough, even though the pulpit was 
fully supplied, and that something 
like a pastoral work was indispensable 
to the desired measure of success. 
Accordingly, in January 1822, the So- 
ciety employed in this capacity Rev. 
John Truair, late of the Presbyte- 
rian Church in Cherry Valley, N. Y.. 
who was expected also to labor as far 
as practicable in raising funds. His 
salary was to be provided for by an- 
nual subscriptions by the friends of 
the cause. He continued in his post 
■performing his double duties as pas- 
tor and soliciting agent, with great ac- 
ceptance till August 1825. 

Meanwhile the Society receiving 
aid from the " United Domestic Mis- 
sionary Society," engaged in 1823, the 
whole time of Rev. Mr. Chase as mis- 
sionary to seamen ; and after the dis- 
missal of Mr. Truair, he was in April 
1826, appointed to succeed him as pas- 
tor of the Mariner's Church. In this 
capacity he served through a long and 
highly useful ministry of nearly thiity- 
three years, and died at an advanced 
age, July 7, 1853. His memory is 
precious to thousands of seamen who 
have been benefited by his labors. 


It will be seen from the preceding 
statement, that the first efforts for the 
benefit of seamen in this country, took 
a somewhat different form from those 
in Great Britain. Nevertheless, the 
inherent appropriateness of the Bethel 
prayer meetings, and the reports of 
their great usefulness on the other 
side of the Atlantic awakened a strong 
desire that similar measures should 
be adopted here. Inasmuch, how- 


ever, as the N. Y. Port Society was ) 
created for the specific purpose of 
maintaining a Mariner's Church, and 

was necessarily a local institution, it | 

was judged expedient to organize ano- < 
ther association, which, while acting 
in union with the former, should be 

distinct from it. Accordingly in May < 
1821, " The New York Bethel 

Union" was formed, with Divie Be- | 
thune, Esq., for its President, and Mr. 

Horace Holden, Secretaiy. The first \ 

prayer meeting on shipboard, was held | 
June 22d, an interesting account of 
which appeared in the first Report of 

the Union. \ 

On Friday, the 22d of June, 1821, for the first | 

time in America, the Bethel Fiag (n present from \ 

the London Bethel Union to the Port of NevvYork | 

Society,) was hoisted at the mast-head of the ship 5 

Cadmus, Capt. Whitlock, lying at the Pine-street i 

wharf. < 

In the morning of the day, the Committee were S 

apprehensive that they should have no hearers. > 

The experiment here was novel — the issue was by j 

many considered doubtful. They were told by sev- I 

era!, who are " wise in worldly matters," that a s 

guard of constables would be necessary to preserve I 

order. At first it was thought advisable to hold | 

the meetings in the cabin, to prevent the possibility I 

of disturbance. On arriving at the vessel, the deck | 

was found cleared, an awning stretched, and all \ 

necessary preparations for holding the meeting > 

there. At 8 o'clock the president opened the meet- < 

ing by stating the object and plans of the society, | 

and inviting the co-operation of captains and their \ 

crews in promoting the benevolent designs of the \ 

society. j 

The Mariners' (107) Psalm was sung with great ( 

animation and feeling, and seamen were immediate- \ 

ly seen pressing in from all quarters. After prayer | 

from an aged ^ea captain, (Capt. C. Prince) Dr. I 

Spring addressed the seamen : other exercises fol- ) 

lowed. The vessel and wharf were crowded — order < 

and solemnity prevailed throughout — every ear was s 

open, every eye was fixed. Tracts were distributed ) 

among the seamen, who received them with grati- | 

tude. Every circumstance was calculated to inspire I 

the Board with courage and confidence to go for- < 

ward." I 

This very auspicious beginning was 
followed by other meetings of equal 

interest through the summer and au- ^ 

tumn. Notices of two or three of | 

these are subjoined. \ 

" June 28. This evening the Bethel praj'er meet- \ 

ing was held on board the schooner Haxall, Capt. < 

Holmes, at Coffee House slip. The number of 5 

hearers assembled on the deck of the vessel, and < 

on the wharf, probably exceeded 200, utnoii;^^ whoii* 
we were pleased to see a number of merchttHtf, 
whose interest for the welfare of seamen wdl sniuJy 
be excited and increased by witnessing these sol- 
emn, orderly, and interesting meetings. 

Capt. Holmes addressed his brother comnnind- 
ers on the duty and importance of assembling their 
crews both morning and evening, and reading t>» 
them a portion of the Word of God, and engaging 
in prayer ; or, where this latter exercise was dis- 
pensed with, from any peculiar inability, the nail- 
ing of the Scriptures should never be o?ni(ied- 
We have since been informed of two captains whc- 
had never attended to the duties urged upon them 
so affjctionately by Capt. H., in the address i-.hova 
alluded to, that assembled their crews that very 
night, and, for the first time, read to them- a «h«ip- 
ter of the Bible and prayed with them. Two other 
captains, we have been told, have since followedl 
this excellent example. 

This day a large Lantern was presented to the 
Bethel Union to be hoisted at the mast-head ( f ves- 
sels as anight signal for Bethel Prayer Meetings. 

Friday, July 13tli. This evening we had a Bethel 
meeting on board the English brig Cambria, Capt. 
Jenkins. I cannot describe the blessed eflTects this 
meeting had upon all present. After many h\ni- 
dreds were collected, it seemed the Lord enclosed 
us in on every side : he made a hedge around us, 
so that Satan could, not come near us. The cap- 
tain of the brig led in prayer, and made a beauti- 
ful exhortation. The exercises were r-&rf<J>»'ed 
principally by ship-masters. Many who were pre- 
sent, when leaving the wharf, said to each other, 
it was good to be there !" 

Tuesday, August 21st. This evening the Bethel 
meeting was held on board the United States 74 
gun ship Franklin, Commodore Stewart, '.ying oft 
the Battery. A committee of the " Society ibr pro- 
moting the Gospel among Seamen,'" united with a 
committee of the Bethel Union, in an application to 
Commodore Stewart for the use of the ship, which 
was cheerfully granted, and barges were provided 
to convey to the ship the committees, several cler- 
gymen and citizens who, with officers, marines and 
seamen attached to the Franklin, composed a con- 
gregation of nearly eight hundred persons. The 
Rev. Dr. Spring opened the meetyig with prayer. 
The Rev. Joseph Eastburn, who preached to the 
seamen in Philadelphia, delivered a short, but most 
ap[>ropriate discourse ; and the Rev. Dr. Stough- 
ton, of Philadelphia, closed the exercises with 
prayer and benediction. The utmost decorum and 
solemnity prevailed throughout the exercises. 
Many of the seamen came up to Mr. East burn be- 
fore he left the ship, and thanked him in affection- 
ate terms for the 'many good things he had told 
them.' " 

As the winter approached, and it 
was no longer convenient to hold 
meetings on shipboard, the}^ were 
transferred to frivatc houses in the 
city. Thus, alternately, during sum- 
mer and winter, these most interestr 



ing services were continued for several 
years, until at length they becaiue so 
nearly identical with those held at the 
Mariner's Church, that the two organ- 
izations seemed no longer necessary ; 
and the Bethel Union was disconti- 
nued. It is, perhaps, not too much to 
say, that no association of so humble 
pretensions ever did more to confer 
saving benefits on needy souls, and to 
glorify God, than the New York 
Bethel Union during its brief exis- 


It is scarcely proper to omit, in con- 
nection with these efforts, a distinct 
notice of one of the most devoted and 
efficient laborers in them — Captain 
Christopher Prince. He commanded 
for man}' years a ship in the merchant 
service ; and, possessing a warm heart 
and devoted piety, he entered into 
whatever measures promised to bene- 
fit seamen, at once and with all his 
soul. He was especially active in the 
Bethel prayer meetings, where his 
prayers and addresses were often of 
the most impressive character. His 
stated reports of these meetings which 
were published, and from which the 
foregoing extracts are taken, show at 
once the most ardent devotion to the 
work, and indastry in its promotion. 
His name deserves grateful recollec- 
tion, as one of the earliest and most 
faithful friends of the sailor. 

j-eame/s savings' bank. 

The first practical suggestion of a 
savings' institution for seamen seems 
to have been made by the Liverpool 
Bethel Union, which took measures to 
establish one in that port in 182.'. A 
similar measure was proposed by the 
i:..ard of the New York Bethel Union 
iir their anniversary in January, 1824; 
a,nd waH subsequently laid before the 
New York Port Society, as a suitable 
agency to (levisc and carry it in*x) 
effect. Thia Society appoinUjd a cori- 

i mittee to act on the suggestion. Va- 
rious delays were experienced in ac- 

> coinplishing the object, and committees 

I were from time to time appointed till 

I February, 1820, when a charter was 

I obtained from the Legislature, and the 

\ present Seamen's Saving Bank went 

\ into operation May 11th of that year. 


I It was early felt that some channel 
was needed through which to commu- 
nicate with the public in relation to 
the work undertaken for the benefit 
of seamen. Arrangements were ac- 

; cordingly made in May, 1821, by the 
New York Port Society with the pub- 
lishers of the "Christian Herald," a 
monthly religious magazine, for a de- 

: partment in that work to be called the 
" Seamen's Magazine," filling eight 
pages. This was continued three or 
four years, ^'he New York Bethel 

: Union also commenced in January, 

: 1823, a little four page octavo monthly 
sheet, called the " Bethel Union Mes- 

; senger," which the next year was en- 
larged to sixteen pages, and named the 
" American Sailor's Magazine, and 
Bethel Union Messenger." In 1825, 

ithe two above Spcieties united in pub- 
lishing a weekly paper of eiglit pages 
octavo, named the " Mariner's Maga- 
zine," of which Kev. Mr. Truair was 
editor. None of these works was of 
\ long continuance. The latter ceased 
with the dismission of Mr. T. as pas- 
tor of the Mariner's Church; and no 
permanent publication was issued till 
' the commencement of the " Sailor's 
Magazine." in 1828, by the American 
Seamen's Friend Society. 

p:auly operations in otiiek pouts. 
While these movements in behalf 
of seamen in New York were in pro- 
gress, similar ellbrts were also begun 
in other ports. Boston, as alr eady in- 
timated, enjoys the honor of being the 
first in the world to organize an asso- 
ciation for this purpose, as early as 



1812. It was not till 1816, however, 
that anything effective was accom- 
plished. A Society was then formed 
which soon after employed Rev. Mr. 
Jenks as preacher to seamen. A sim- 
ilar movement took place in Charles- 
ton in 1819, another in Philadelphia 
in the same year, also at Savannah, 
1821, Portland and New Orleans, 1823, 
New Bedford, 1825, and at other im- 
portant ports about the same time. 
The general character of these opera- 
tions was much hke that of those in 
New York. Local Port Societies were 
formed to establish Mariner's Churches, 
Bethel Unions to conduct the Bethel 
prayer meetings. Marine Bible Socie- 
ties to provide the Scriptures for sea- 
men, &c. The following is a tabular 
view of some of the earliest of the 
Mariner's Churches, with the time of 
their establishment, and the names of 
ministers in 1831 : 

New York, 1820, Rev. Henry Chase. 
Boston, 1823, " W«l Jenks, D. D.* 

Charleston, 1823, " Joseph Brown. 

* Ceased in 1826 to be a Seamen's church 

Philadelphia, 1824, Rev. A. H. Dashiell. 

London, (Eng.) 1825, " G. C. Smith. 

Baltimore, 1826, " Stephen Williams. 

Boston, (Meth.) 1828, E.T.Taylor. 

Portland, 1829, « Robert Blake. 

New Orleans, 1829, '* G-ordon Winslow. 

Boston, (Mar. C.) 1830, " J. Greenleaf. 

From the " Mariner's Magazine" for 
1825, we learn, that there were then 
in existence 70 Bethel Unions, 33 Ma- 
rine Bible Societies, and 15 Churches 
and Floating Chapels for the benefit of 
seamen ; the Bethel Flag had circum- 
navigated the globe ; thousands of 
sailors had been hopefully converted ; 
and the cause had come to be recog- 
nized as among the important and 
most successful charities of the day. 

The period had now arrived when 
the work in this country was to take 
a more general character, and prepa- 
rations were to be made to supply the 
means of grace to our seamen in fo- 
reign ports. To efiiect these objects 
the American Seamen's Friend Society 
was organized; the history of which 
it is proposed to sketch briefly in the 
next chapter. 



The honor of originating this Insti- 
tution is due, chiefly, to the Rev. John 
Truair. He had been pastor of the 
Mariner's Church in New York for 
three and a half years preceding Aug. 
1825, and during the latter year had 
conducted the " Mariner's Magazine." 
In an editorial article under date of 
July 23d, the first suggestion, so far 
as we can learn, of a general Society 
for the welfare of seamen, appeared: — 
which, since it is interesting to see in 
what shape precisely a new enterprise 
of benevolence which afterwards at- 

tained dimensions of importance first 
presented itself, is worthy of preser- 
vation. After alluding to the other 
great enterprises then being under- 
taken for the advancement of Christ's 
cause he remarks : 

" But these are not the only efforts of Christian 
beneficeace. While this splendid machinery is 
extending the means of salvation to heathen 
tribes, while so many of the benevolent and zoa- 
lous are consecrating their e.nergies and their re- 
sources to extend the blessings of the gospel ta 
foreign shores, it is consoling to observe that a 
tender and tapulsive concern is beginning to 
operate in behalf of seamen. In many of our sea- 
ports, societies have been formed under the influ- 
ence of this feeling, and suflftcient has already been 



done to prove their utility and importance. They 
are yet however in comparative infancy, and have 
hitherto derived no support from the aids which 
have given strength and influence to their great 
contemporaries. Few in number and feeble in 
strength, they have been nearly overlooked amid 
the splendor and interest ol" these more conspicu- 
ous operations. Thus circumscribed in their means, 
and without concert of action, their usefulness must 
continue proportionably limited. With no certain 
or legitimate means of support, and depending up- 
on the precarious bounty of comparatively a few 
individuals, (for the Christian public is not yet 
awake to the importance of this cause,) these So- 
cieties, which are undeniably among the most im- 
portant institutions of this age of benevolence, 
must decline, and would probably soon become 
merely nominal. 

" In seeking for some means to prevent such a 
result and to extend the usefulness of these valua- 
ble associations, we have arrived at the conclusion 
that a general union, on the principle of the Bible, 
Tract, and other contemporaneous institutions, 
would secure the desired object; thus producing a 
concentration of effort, and a unity of action as 
well as of design. It can not be necessary to 
dwell upon the benefits of such a union, as they 
have already been conclusively demonstrated in 
the experience of other societies. It is our object 
at this time merely to throw out the suggestion in 
the hope that the friends of the cause generally, 
together with our editorial brethren, will take it 
kito consideration, and give us an expression of 
opinion on the subject The plan has been suc- 
cessfully tried by the friends of seamen in England, 
atid we can see no reason why we can not have an 
^'American Seamen's Friend Society and Bethel 

This suggestion was favorably re- 
ceived by the friends of seamen gene- 
rally. In September following a com- 
munication appeared in the same pub- 
lication, signed by om hundred and 
fourteen masters and mates of vessels, 
expressing a deep interest in the pro- 
motion of morality and religion among 
sailors, and a hope that the project 
of a National Society, on the principles 
of the other general institutions of be- 
nevolence in this country, would be 
carried into eflect. The plan having 
also been recommended by others in 
various parts of the country, a public 
meeting was held on the 25th Octo- 
ber to take action in the premises. — 
The official record of said meeting is 
as follows : 

" At a large and respectable meeting of the citi- 
i4:ut of New York held at the City Hotel on Tues- 

day evening the 25th inst. for the purpose of tak- 
ing into consideration the propriety of adopting 
measures preparatory to the formation ot an Amer- 
Seamen's Friend Society, pursuant to public no- 
tice, the Hon. Smith Thompson* was called to 
the chair and Johk R. Hurd appointed Secretary. 
The object of the meeting having been stated, and 
several letters from different persons in some of 
the seaports cordially approbating the design, be- 
ing read, the following resolutions were unanimous- 
ly adopted. 

On motion of Rev. Dr. JIacauley of the Presby- 
terian Church, seconded by the Rev, C. Gr. Somers 
of the Baptist Church, 

Resolved, That this meeting would regard with 
peculiar interest the formation of a National Sea- 
men's Friend Society to have the seat of its opera- 
tions in the City of New York ; and that we pledge 
ourselves to do all in our power to promote the 
highest prosperity, and the most extensive useful- 
ness of such an institution. 

On motion of the Rev. Wm. McMurray, D. D., of 
the Dutch Reformed Church, seconded by the 
Rev. Nathan Bangs, D. D., of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, 

Resolved, That the Christian public be invited to 
co-operate with us in the formation of such an in- 

On motion of Captain Brown, of the U. S. Reve- 
nue Cutter, seconded by the Rev. Benjamin Morti- 
mer of the Moravian Church, 

Resolved, That the following gentlemen, to wit : 
Hon. Smith Thompson, Richard Varick, Theodore 
Dwight, Wm. W. Woolsey, Rev. John Truair, 
Francis Hall, Rensselear Havens, Ntyah Taylor, 
Samuel Candler, R. Brumley, D. W. C. Olyphant, 
R. M. Blatchford, John B. Yates, George Douglass, 
Jeremiah Taylor, John R. Hurd, Anson G-. Phelps, 
and Silas Holmes, Esquires, be a committee to 
carry into eflect the views of this meeting. 

Agreeably to the arrangements of the meeting, a 
collection was then made to de'ray the expenses 
of the committee in the prosecution of the object 
of their appointment, which amounted to thirty-five 

The thanks of the meeting being votedl to Mr. 
Jennings for the use of the room, a motion to ad- 
journ was moved and carried. 

Smith Thompson, Chairman. 

John R. Hcbd, Secretary." 

The adjourned meeting was held 
Jan. 11, 1826, when a constitution was 
adopted and officers chosen. 

Rev. Mr. Truair was employed as 
tlje Agent of the Society. He visited 
some of the southern ports, collected 
some funds, and prepared, published, 
and circulated a highly animated " Call 
from the Ocean " in behalf of long ne- 
glected seamen. This powerful ad- 
dress excited in the minds of many a 

* Then Secretary of the Navy, U. S. 



new interest in this class of men, and 
a strong desire to rescue them from 
their slavery to oppressive landlords 
and vile companions. But at this time 
the attention of the christian public 
was much occupied by other subjects 
of interest and there seemed no room 
to obtrude the claims of the sailor 
successfully upon their regard. A 
small number of individuals retained 
the form of the Society, hoping to re- 
susciate it at a favorable opportunity. 

In May, 1828, a new organization 
took place in the Board of Trustees ; 
an Executive Committee was appoint- 
ed and a determination was formed to 
commence the work in behalf of sea- 
men without delay. The officers of 
the Society elected at this time were 
the following : 
Hon. Smith Thompson, President. 
Rev. Chas. P. M'llvaine, Cor. Secy. 
Philip Flagler, Rec. " 

Silas Holmes, Treasurer. 
Rev. Joshua Leavitt, Gen'l. Ag't. 
Executive Committee, 

Rev. John C. Brigham, 

Rev. C. P. Mcllvaine, 

Silas Holmes, 

Reuben Brumley, 

Rev. J. Leavitt, 

Timothy D. Williams, 

John Wheelwright, 

Philip Flagler, 

Jeremiah H. Taylor. 
Thus through great exertions was 
born into the family of American gen- 
eral charities an institution which if 
not boasting so much eclat as some, has 
at least the honor of supplying a va- 
cancy which no other does. It is the 
only society in this country which la- 
bors directly for the benefit of Amer- 
ican seamen away from our shores. — 
Local societies are sustaining various 
efforts in their behalf at home, and 
some other institutions extend inci- 
dental aid to them abroad, but the 
American Seamen's Friend Society 

^ alone, sustains establishments for the 

^ spiritual welfare of our seamen in 

•) other lands. It is the intermediate 

I link between the Foreign and Home 

\ missionary work of the Church, bind- 

\ ing the two in one chain of co-ope- 

\ rative fellowship through which the 

I gospel encircles the world. 

\ ING MAY, 1829. 

Sailor's Magazine. The first ob- 
ject to which the attention of the So- 
I ciety was directed, was the establish- 
ment of a permanent publication which 
should bring the enterprize they had 

> undertaken before the community, 
I and awaken a deeper and more gene- 
I ral interest both in it, and in the con- 
I dition and wants of seamen. At the 

< meeting of the Executive Committee 
I on the 14th of July, it was resolved to 
J establish a Monthly Magazine of 32 

pages, similar in character to the Lon- 
s don Sailor's Magazine ; and Rev. Messrs. 

Brigham, Mc Ilvaine and J. Brown, 
\ were appointed a committee to issue 
the first number. This appeared in Sep- 
s tember, and the work has been conti- 
nued without interruption to the pre- 
sent time. Probably no other agency 
\ has done so much to advance the ob- 
I jects of the undertaking, and kindle 

< through the country at large an inter- 
\ est in the cause, as the Sailor^s Maga- 
zine, now entered on its thirtieth an- 

\ nual volume. 

< General Agent. Upon the reor- 
\ ganization of the Society in May, the 
\ Rev. Joseph Brown, the Seamen's 
I preacher at Charleston, S. C, was en- 

> gaged for a few months as Agent. He 
labored \5ery assiduously in the cause, 

I visited several places, and exerted 

I himself to awaken the benevolent to 

\. do something for the sailor. At the 

; expiration of his appointment, the So- 

: ciety made choice of Rev. Joshua 

:| Leavitt, then pastor of the church in 


Stratford, Conn., as the General Agent. 
He continued to act in this capacity- 
till December, 1832 ; and to his energy 
and industry are the Society largely 
indebted for bringing them through 
the difficulties of the infant enterprise, 
and placing it on a footing of stability 
and prosperity. 

Foreign Chaplains. It was one of 
the leading objects of this Society to 
institute agencies in foreign ports for 
the benefit of our seamen there, and 
next after the establishment of the Ma- 
gazine it was the first loork undertaken 
to be done. In December, 1828, the 
Executive Committee having received 
several communications on the subject, 
opened a correspondence with the Se- 
cretary of the A. B. C. F. M., which 
led to a determination to send a chap- 
lain *as soon as possible to Canton. The 
following resolutions adopted in Feb- 
ruary ensuing, present the views of 
the Committee at that time upon the 
general subject. 

" The Executive Committee of the American 
Seamen's Friend Society have recently adopted 
tlio following resolutions as a sort of general ex- 
pression of their plans and determinations. 

1. Resolved, That in the opinion of this Com- 
mUtec the shortness of the time that sailors remaii. 
at home, and their unrestrained exposure to temp- 
tation while in our ports, forbid the hope of a very 
general reformation among them by means of do" 
mestic operations alone. 

2. Resolved, That it is the duty of the American 
Seamen's Friend Society to adopt measures for 
exciting and combining the exertions of pious sea- 
faring men of all ranks to extend the influence of 
Christian worship and instruction on board of all 
vessels at sea. 

3. Resolved, That it ia the appropriate province 
of the American Seamen's Friend Society, to insti- 
tute missiooR, and send out sea missionaries to 
those principal foreign ports, frequented by Ameri- 
can seamen, which are not furnished with gospel 
institutions accessibfe to our sea-faring brethrea 

4. Resolved, That relying upon the blessing of 
God and upon the support ol our lellow Christians, 
the Cornmiiiee are determined to institute a sea- 
Bo's-sion among some of the Spanish- American 
ports, and another in the port of Canton in China, 
and others in other ports, as soon as suitable per- 
Wins can be found to occupy those stations, and 
the neccKsary funds shall bo provi-'.ed. 

5. Resolved, That tiio Executive Committee res- 
pectfully and earnestly invite the co-operation and 
gMpport of all benevolent pcriions both inland and 

;! on the sea- board in these important undertakings, 
: either by the formation of auxiliary Seamen's 

Friend Societies, or by a direct contribution to the 

funds of this Society." 
< Attest, Philip Flaglex. 

s Rec. Secretary. 

Receipts and Expenditures. The 
; Receipts of the Society during the 
, year were, from sales of the Magazine, 
I 1^177 37. From donations, ^1,037 01. 

Total, ^1,214 38. The expenses were 
; ^2,150 44. 

second year. 1829-30. 
I The Sailor's Magazine under the 
I editorship of Mr. Leavitt, increased its 
I patronage till it became nearly self- 
\ sustaining. Its regular edition was 
\ two thousand copies, furnished to sub- 
I scribers at $1 50 per annum. 

Chaplain to Canton. The impor- 
5 tant object of sending out a " sea mis- 
> sionary," as it was termed, was still 
I kept in view. The attention of the 
I Society was first called to this object 
I by the Rev. Dr. Morrison, English 
I missionary at that port. The debased 
I moral condition of seamen visiting 
there, with others of the foreign popu- 
I lation had been frequently made by 
him the subject of remark in his let- 
ters. In 1827, he addressed an earnest 
I appeal to the A. B. C. F. M. for help; 
remarking incidentally that " the 
churches of the TJ. States have not 
yet sent to this land any christian mi- 
I nister either for the heathen or for 
I their own people." About the same 
time also, he sent a very feeling letter 
! to the Committee of the Bethel Union 
in London, in which he says : 

" A preacher is wanted at Wham- 
poa," (the anchorage for ships, about 
eleven miles from Canton.) " Some of 
: the Company's Captains read prayers 
: on board their own ships on Sundays, 
and Capt. Croker has read a sermon 
from Doddridge under the Bethel 
j; Flag ; all of which cheers our hearts 
: in these regions of idolatry and super- 
stition. Still a faithful and devoted 


minister for the fleet is greatly to be 
desired. The churches of the United 
States enjoy facilities for supplying 
one ; and I have, through a devoted 
christian here, written to America, to 
induce some man mighty in the Scrip- 
tures, full of faith and the Holy Ghost, 
to come among us for a season. Such 
at present is the condition of things in 
reference to the sailors." 

In the fall of 1829, a merchant of 
New York engaged in the China trade, 
expressed himself of sending 
out a missionary from this country to 
labor for American seamen and resi- 
dents in China, and ultimately if found 
practicable, for the introduction of the 
Gospel among the population of that 
country. Just then Rev. David Abeel, 
a promising young minister of the Re- 
formed Dutch Church was recom- 
mended to the Committee for that 
post. He was appointed accordingly, 
and embarked for Canton in the ship 
" Roman," on the I4th of October — 
the first chaplain for seamen ever sent 
from our shores. He had also a con- 
tingent appointment from the Ameri- 
can Board to enter into their service 
there, whenever he should seem called 
to it in Divine Providence. 

In reference to this undertaldng, 
the Executive Committee say in the 
Second Annual Report, — " When we 
consider that the introduction of the 
religion of Christ among the vast popu- 
lation of China and Japan, is the 
greatest and most difficult enterprise 
remaining for the church before the 
millenium, we can not but regard it 
as a token of good to the American 
Seamen's Friend Society, that God has 
permitted and called us to bear so di- 
rect and important a part in the early 
stage of this great work. The com- 
mittee joj'fully accept it as an intima- 
tion of the honor which may here- 
after come upon our infant institution, 
if its conductors are not deficient in 
faithfulness or ability to render it an 

efficient instrument in promoting the 
glorious triumphs of the Redeemer." 


In addition to this foreign work, 
the committee employed an intelli- 
gent layman, to visit the line of the 
Erie Canal, and explore the condition 
and wants of the boatmen engaged 
upon it. His report was an interest - 
ing document and created a deep im- 
pression that something must be done 
in their behalf. 

It was the hope of the founders of 
the Society to do something to secure 
the observance of public worship on 
board of vessels at sea. " To facili- 
tate this desirable object the commit- 
tee, in connection with the New York 
Port Society, prepared a new and en- 
larged edition of the Seamen's Devo- 
tional Assistant and Mariner's Hynj?is. 
It was a choice selection of near GOO 
hymns, with suitable forms of prayer 
for different occasions at sea. 

A memorial was presented to the 
Secretary of the Navy, U. S. on the 
subject of naval chaplaincies, recom- 
mending an increase both in the num- 
ber of chaplains, and also* in their sal- 


The receipts of the Society for the 
second year were from sales of Maga- 
zine ^1,159 78. Donations ^3,000 04. 
Total ^4,159 82. Expenses, ^3,876 88. 
3d YEAR.— 1830-1. 

Canton. Mr. Abeel arrived at Can- 
ton Feb. 16, 1830, and officiated thro' 
the ensuing summer as the chaplain 
of the foreign residents in that port, 
also among the American shipping at 
Whampoa. His appointment was de- 
signed from the first chiefly as an ex- 
perimental one, and though his ser- 
vice was brief, it was in this respect, 
in a high degree satisfactory. It 
demonstrated the practicability and 
usefulness of such labors in foreign 
ports, and decided the Board of Trus- 



tees to prosecute this work both at 
Canton and elsewhere as extensively 
as their resources would permit. Mr. 
Abeel, according to the understanding 
when he left this country, resigned 
his chaplaincy in December, and en- 
tered into the service of the A. B. C. 
F. M., and was long known as one of 
the most efficient and devoted mis- 
sionaries of that society. 

Other Stations. Applications were 
received from the Sandwich Islands, 
and from the JNIediterranean for the 
appointment of Chaplains, and it was 
determined to respond to them as 
soon as suitable men could be found. 

Internal waters of the U. S. In 
July, 1830, Rev. Gordon Winslow 
was employed to visit the Canals, 
Lakes, and Rivers of the West, and 
organize Bethel institutions there. — 
His tour was interesting and highly 
euccessful. Societies for the benefit 
of sailors on those waters were form- 
ed at Syracuse, Detroit, and other 
places, and several hundred dollars 
subscribed for the cause. It was the 
commencement of those operations in 
behalf of the sailors and boatmen 
which have since been successfully 
prosecuted, particularly by the Amer- 
ican Bethel Society at Buffalo, and the 
Western Seamen's Friend Society at 

Having completed his tour along 
the western waters, Mr. Winslow, by 
direction of the Executive Committee 
repaired to New Orleans where he 
labored through the winter, as minis- 
ter of the Bethel church in that port. 

Sailor's Home. A beginning was 
made towards providing funds for the 
erection of a house in New York de- 
voted to the interests of seamen. — 
Besides furnishing board for them, it 
wa.s contemplated to make it the cen 
ter of all the societies and agencies 
operating in behalf of that class of 

men. The sum of ^135 was contri- 
buted by a few persons for this ob- 
j ect. The receipts for the year includ- 
ing the ^135 above mentioned were 
^5,124 15. Expenditures 1^5,114 61. 
4th year.— 1831-2. 

Chaplains. The most assiduous en- 
deavors of the Board were employed 
to procure suitable men to send out 
to foreign ports. But the young men 
who were coming into the ministry 
had none of them turned their atten- 
tion to this field, and it was found im- 
possible to send out any during the 
year. Three however, were appoint- 
ed, to sail at an early date. 

New Orleans. Rev. Mr. Winslow 
was again sent to supply the Mari- 
ner's church in that important port. 
By his exertions a Seamen's Friend 
Society was formed there and a board- 
ing house opened under happy auspi- 
ces. A reading room and register of- 
fice were also opened which were 
productive of much good. 

Inland Waters. Rev. John Sayre 
was appointed in April to labor at 
Oswego in behalf of the sailors on 
Lake Ontario. His agency was great- 
ly blessed; " many captains and sea- 
men, with their families were led to 
religion," and a ver}^ favorable impres- 
sion was made among those employed 
in navigation throughout the Lake. 

Though the apparent operations of 
the society this year were small, they 
were not without importance. " They 
have been," says the Annual Report, 
" to a great extent of a new charac- 
ter. The field was large. Much 
ground was to be broken. Few la- 
borers were ready to enter into the 
service, and most of these were en- 
tirely inexperienced. Instruments 
were to be sought out and their at- 
tention directed to the subject. Pub- 
lic confidence was to be secured, and 
plans devised and circulated for ob- 


taiiiing the necessary co-operation. — 
It is obvious therefore that much ef- 
fort was to be expended in preparato- 
ry work. Of this nature, in a peculiar 
manner have been the labors of the 
past year. And in this respect, the 
committee are happy in expressing 
their belief that the society has made 
encouraging progress." 

The receipts of the Society for the 
4th year were ^5,670 94. Expenses, 
^5,541 23. 

5th year— 1832-3. 

Canton. Key. Edwin Stevens was 
ordained June 7, and sailed shortly 
after for Canton, where he arrived af- 
ter a voyage of 116 days. On his ar- 
rival he found fifty vessels in port and 
many more than he could use were 
offered for service on the Sabbath. — 
From 70 to 100 attended worship. — 
He commenced also a weekly service 
among the factories on shore. During 
his passage out, besides some serious- 
ness among the sailors, a fellow pas- 
senger, a physician, hopefully embra- 
ced the Saviour. 

Honolulu. In November Rev. John 
DiELL embarked as chaplain to Ameri- 
can seamen at the Sandwich Islands. 
He was accompanied by a wife of kin- 
dred spirit and carried out with him 
materials for erecting a chapel, with 
apartments for the residence of his 
family and a reading room for seamen. 
He also carried out a library for this 
object containing new books to the 
value of $500, besides large quantities 
of pamphlets and papers. 

Havre. In July Eev. Flavei. S. 
Mines with his wife sailed for Havre, 
France, and commenced a Station in 
that important port in behalf of the 
Society. He soon gathered a respect- 
able congregation in a small chapel 
rented and fitted up for the purpose, 
and was permitted to witness a dozen 
or more cases .of hopeful conversion, 

< two of them among shipmasters. A 
\ church was organized consisting of 
I twenty-four members, and a Sabbath 
I School established embracing fifteen 
\ teachers and twenty-five scholars. — 
> The prospects of the enterprise were 
I very flattering. 

I Inland Waters. Three of the 
I preachers on the western waters, un- 

< der the superintendence of the local 
I Societies were appointed and in part 
1 sustained by the Board the present 
\ year. 

I Secretary. Rev. Joseph Brown 
I was appointed Corresponding Secre- 

< tary of this Societ}- in place of Rev. 
: C. P. M'llvaine who had resigned. — • 
: Rev. J. Leavitt also resigned his posi- 
tion as General Agent, and Editor of 

; the Magazine. 

I The receipts of the year were iijQ,- 
881 14. Expenditures ^9,985 41. 
6th year. — 1833-4. 
\ Canton. Rev. E. Stevens. 
^ Havre. Rev. F. S. Mines.. After 
Making a very promising beginning 
in his labors, Mr. M. was, at the ur- 
I gent solicitation of the " French Com- 
l mitte" at Paris, released from the ser- 
I vice of the society to become the min- 
I ister of the Protestant congregation 
I of that city. 

Honolulu. Rev. J. Diell. Mr. D. 
I and his family arrived safely May 1, 
I 1833, and was very cordially received 
' not only by the foreign residents and 
I missionaries but also by the king and 
chiefs. The chapel and dwelling 
s house which had been sent out were 
I erected in August, the former 48 by 
30 feet in dimensions, and capable of 
I accommodating an audience of 500. 
I Smyrna. Rev. J. Brewer, Mission- 

< ary of the Am. Board at this place 
I performed a voluntary service in be- 
I half of seamen durnig the year. Two 
I hundred dollars were appropriated to 
j aid, in conjunction with an expected 


appropriation in England, in the erec- 
tion of a chapel for seamen. 

Batavia. Rev. Mr. Medhurst of 
the London Missionary Society labor- 
ed occasionally for the benefit of sea- 
men at this port. 

Con. Secretaky. He v. Joseph Brown 
the Cor. Secretary of the Society, died 
Sept. 6, and Rev. Jonathan Green- 
leaf, Pastor of thfe Mariner's Church 
in Boston, was appointed his successor. 

Society's House. Further pro- 
gress was made towards providing a 
building for the accommodation of 
the various agencies operating for 
seamen. A liberal subscription was 
made, a site was selected and pur- 
chased, ^9,000 paid, and the property 
mortgaged for the balance of ^10,000. 
TJie commercial embarrassments of 
the times however prevented an im- 
mediate completion of the undertak- 

Auxiliary Societies to the num- 
ber of forty- two had now been organ- 
ized, most of which made annual re- 
mittances to the funds of the Societ}^ 

Receipts, including ^7,550 57 for 
the Society's house, ^15,941 72. Ex- 
penses §15,715 22. 

7th year. — 1834-5. 

Canton. Rev. Mr. Stevens con- 
tinued his labors very faithfully and 
with encouraging success. Public 
worship was held on twenty two 
American ships, and in some of them 
foi" many Sabbaths in succession; in 
numerous instances also on board of 
Enf,iish vessels. The prejudices which impeded this work were begin- 
ning to disappear, and the labors of 
the chaplain were received generallj'' 
with great acceptance. 

Havre. Rev. David De Forest 
Ely succeeded Mr. Mines at this sta- 
tion, the latter continuing his services 
until Mr. E's arrival. A subscription 

was commenced for the purpose of 
erecting a chapel. 

Honolulu. Mr. Diell's labors were 
continued with evidences of the di- 
vine blessing. The chapel and read- 
ing room were ojjened and several 
seamen were hopefully converted to 
God. One of them had resided at 
the island 34 years, and had never at- 
tended any religious meeting in that 
entire period. 

Smyrna. Rev. Mr. Brewer conti- 
nued his services in behalf of seamen 
in connection with his missionary 

Havana. Rev. J. A. Copp was sent 
out in January as an agent of the So- 
ciety for the purpose of exploring that 
port with a view to the establishment 
of Bethel operations. The intolerance 
of the government alone formed the 
chief obstacle to so doing in a port 
visited by about 1,000 American ves- 
sels, and 10,000 American seamen an- 

New Orleans. Besides visiting 
Havana, Rev. J. A. Copp spent some 
time in this city to aid the friends of 
the cause in an effort to finish a Mar- 
iner's Church. 

Mobile Bay. Rev. Albert Wil- 
liams was appointed to commence a 
station in this important port of the 
South; and preached through the 
winter, sometimes to sailors and boat- 
men at the city, and at other times on 
shipboard in the Bay. The move- 
ment was favored by the citizens of 
Mobile, and a local society formed to 
aid in its support. 

Receipts ^12,152 87. Expenditures 
^12,242 5G. 

8th year. — 1835-6. 

The labors of Mr. Stevens at Can- 
ton, Mr. Ely at Havre, Mr. Diell at 
Honolulu, and Mr. Brewer at Smyrna, 
were continued as heretofore. 

Marseilles. Rev. Charles Rock- 



WELL had been sent out the year 
previous to commence a new station 
in this important port of the Mediter- 
ranean, but upon his arrival concluded 
to accept an invitation he had receiv- 
ed to remain as chaplain on board the 
U. S. frigate Potomac, upon which he 
had sailed. To supply the vacancy, 
Mr. Ely was now requested to remove 
to Marseilles, and Rev. Eli N. Saw 
TELL appointed to succeed him at 

Rio Janeiro, This station was now 
for the first time occupied. Rev. 
Obadiah M. Johnson was ordained as 
seamen's chaplain and arrived there 
Jan. 20, commencing bis labors with 
favorable indications. 

Lahaina. Two years since a read- 
ing room for sailors had been opened 
in this place by the missionaries re- 
siding there, and some special atten- 
tion given to the large number of sea- 
men, principally in the whaling busi- 
ness who resorted annually to the 
Pacific. The support of that reading 
room was now assumed by the Society 
and an agency in behalf of seamen es- 

Arrangements were also made with 
missionaries resident at Calcutta, 
Batavia, and Singapore for such la- 
bors for the good of seamen in those 
respective ports as they might be en- 
abled to render. 

Sailor's Home. The original plan 
for a house to accommodate the offices 
of seamen's institutions was enlarged 
to embrace a Home for the sailor also, 
and ^1,000 were subscribed by a be- 
nevolent individual for its erection 
provided the requisite amount should 
be raised before the close of the year. 
This was at once undertaken, an addi- 
tional lot of ground purchased, and a 
resolution passed to erect the building 
as soon as practicable. 

Receipts, exclusive of donations for 
the Home, ^13,047 00. Expenditures 
^13,365 76. 

9th year.— 1836-7. 

Canton. Mr. Stevens, according to 
an understanding when he left this 
country, resigned his chaplaincy and 
entered the service of the A. B. 
C. F. M., continuing however to per- 
form ^he usual labors for seamen, un- 
til a little before his death which 
occured at Singapore Jan. 1, 1837. 
After this event the station remained 
vacant till 1847. The pecuniary em- 
barrassments of this period, and the 
breaking out of the Anglo-Chinese 
war in 1839 were the chief causes of 
this suspension. Some efforts were 
made for seamen during this period 
by Mr. Abeel, and the other Mis- 
sionaries resident at Canton. 

Havre. — Mr. Sawtell's ministry at 
this port was much blessed. The 
Chapel was thronged with hearers, 
and a new and more convenient place 
of worship was found to be necessary. 
A building was procured on lease and 
fitted up for the purpose. A consid- 
erable number of seamen gave evi- 
dence of being savingly impressed by 
the truth. 

Marseilles — Mr. Ely at Mar- 
seilles was encouraged with similar 
success. Having obtained the consent 
of the authorities, he proceeded to en- 
gage and fit up a room for public wor- 
ship ; in which he was assisted by the 
English and American Consuls ay well 
as by many merchants, ship masters, 
and some others, who contributed near- 
ly enough to cover the expenses. 

The stations at Honolulu, Smyrna, 
and Rio Janeiro were continued as 

Cronstadt. — At the solicitation of 
Rev. Mr. Knill of St. Petersburg, 
and of the British and Foreign Sailor's 


Society in London the society deter- 
mined to establish a station in this 
important port of the North. Rev. J. 
C. Webster was appointed chaplain. 

New Orlea>s. — Rev. Harmon 
LooMis was commissioned by the So- 
ciety as seamen's chaplain at this port, 
and commenced his labors in January. 
The old Mariner's Church was taken 
down and preparations commenced for 
the erection of another. A tempo- 
rary chapel was provided, and a Port 
Society organized. 

Missionary efforts for seamen were 
continued at Batavia, Singapore, and 

Receipts ^10.561,66. Expenditures 
$14,803 63. 

10th year.— 1837-8. 

This was a year of unparalled pe- 
cuniary embarrassment, in which this 
Society in common with all its sister 
institutions was crippled in its re- 
sources and compelled to contract its 
operations. Mr. Ely of Marseilles, and 
Mr. Johnson of Rio Janeiro were re- 
called from their stations. 

At Havre, Mr. Sawtell labored with 
good success. He was much embar- 
rassed for the means of defraying 
the expenses of the new chapel, and 
at length made a visit to England 
where he was cheered with hberal 
sympathy and aid. The debts were 
extinguished, and the work was en- 
abled to be carried forward without 
further interruption. 

At Honolulu, the present year was 
signalized by the organization of the 
" Oahu Bethel Church." Nine per- 
sons resident at that place with the 
chaplain and his wife ei^tered into co- 
venant with God and with each other, 
and were constituted, with the aid of 
the missionaries, a distinct church. This 
was the first church organization es- 
pecially designed for seamen, which 
was gathered in foreign lands. Evi- 

dences of the divine blessing have 
rested upon it from its beginning, and 
many seamen have found a spiritual 
home within its fold. A considerable 
number were hopefully brought to 
Christ during the year. 

Lahaina. — The missionaries propos- 
ed to place the seamen's cause at this 
port on a more permanent basis by 
removing the old reading room, and 
erecting a new building, devoted to 
sundry purposes of the mission and to 
a reading room, chapel and vestry. A 
subscription was begun for the pur- 
pose of efi'ecting this object. 

Interesting reports were received of 
the results of labors for seamen at Ba- 
tavia and Singapore ; and some atten- 
tion was given to the work in Cadiz, 
Antigua, Cape of Good Hope, and 
Sydney. Mr. Webster continued his 
labors at Cronstadt, aided as before 
by an appropriation of £50 from the 
British and Foreign Sailor's Society in 

Sailor's Home. — Though owing to 
pecuniary embarrassments, and other 
obstacles the work of erecting the 
contemplated building was deferred, 
it was resolved to delay no longer 
opening a boarding house for seamen. 
Accordingly the house No. 140 Cher- 
ry St., was leased, and opened under 
the direction of Capt. R. Gelston, on 
the 10th October, for the reception ol 
boarders. 539 seamen were accommo- 
dated there up to May, 1838, of whom 
90 signed the temperance pledge, and 
38 deposited in the aggregate .^2,000 
in the Savings Bank, not one of whom 
ever deposited a dollar before. 

Ship Libraries. — The practice was 
commenced of furnishing vessels with 
libraries of books. During this year 
and the last 80 vessels were supplied 
in this way, most of them bound on 
long voyages. 

Receipts, including 1^1,083 49 for 



Sailor's Home, ^14,173 15. Expendi- 
tures ^15,452 84. 

11th YEAR.— 1838-9. 

The stations at Honolulu and Havre 
were continued as formerly. Canton 
and Marseilles still vacant. 

Calcutta Rev. James Penny 

was employed as chaplain here, in the 
joint support of this sdbiety, and the 
Calcutta Seamen's Friend Society. A 
Floating Bethel was provided, and a 
Seamen's Home opened. 

At Singapore. — A Sailor's Home 
was established, and regular services 
for seamen maintained by the resident 

The station at Cronstadt, — it hav- 
ing been ascertained that it could be 
more conveniently conducted by a 
British chaplain — was transferred to 
the British and Foreign Sailor's Socie- 
ty, assisted still by an appropriation 
from this society. 

Incidental aid was furnished to pro- 
mote labors for' seamen at Cape of 
Good Hope, Cadiz, Rio Janeiro, and 
Antigua. The whole number of sta- 
tions occupied in vvhole or part by the 
society the present year was fifteen. 

Another temperance boarding house 
was opened in New York for seamen, 
and the whole number boarding at 
the two during the year was 2,300. 

Receipts $12,651 11. Expenditures 
$11,137 86. 

12th year.— 1839-40. 

Honolulu, — Mr. Diell's health fail- 
ed him in the fall of 1838, and he was 
obliged to suspend his labors, his 
place being temporarily supplied by 
the missionaries residing in that city. 

The pecuniary embarrassments of 
the society induced the Board to ap- 
point Rev. Mr. Sawtell of Havre, fi- 
nancial secretary, to devote his time 
to the raising of funds. So earnest 
however was the remonstrance which 
arose from the American and English 

residents at Havre, against his remov- 
al, that the purpose of the Board was 
relinquished, requesting only his ser- 
vice in this country for a few mouths 
to assist in the raising of funds. 

At Cronstadt, arrangements were 
made to maintain a chaplain at the 
joint expense of the British and Amer- 
ican S. F. Societies, and Rev. Ezra E. 
Adams, was sent out in that capacity. 

At the other ports heretofore 
mentioned labors for seamen were 
continued either by this society, or by 
missionaries and others in correspon- 
dence with them. 

The funds of the society were 
much depressed at this time, and 
their operations were proportionally 
curtailed. The receipts for the 12th 
year were $9,397 67. Expenditures 
$10,372 89. 

13th year— 1840-1. 

Honolulu. Mr. Diell's health con- 
tinuing feeble; he was advised to take 
a sea voyage for his benefit. He sail- 
ed for Canton in April, 1839, and from 
thence to New-York. In January 
following he embarked for his return 
to his station. But a short time after 
his arrival sufficed to show him that 
his work there was done. On the 3d 
of Dec, 1840, he again sailed for the 
U. States, but he rapidly declined, and 
at length died at sea Jan, 18th, 1841, at 
the age of thirty two. The following 
testimony concerning him by Capt. 
W. L. Hudson of the U. S. Exploring 
Expedition will show something of 
his character and usefulness in the 
station he had occupied. 

"From all I can gather here, flir. DIell has 
proved himself a zealous and efficient laborer not 
only on ship board, but in the chapel, until com- 
pletely prostrated by disease. I cannot be mistak- 
en as to the judicious course he has pursued 
amongst the various classes of the shore commu- 
nity as well as with those of my own more tran- 
sient and migratory class whose only gatherings 
from the droppings of the sanctuary you well 
know are too much " like angel's visits few and 
far between." Mr. D, has won the confidenc e and 



affection of all wiUi whom I have made him a sub- 
ject of conversation, and my inquiries in relation to 
this worthy and truly pious man have been neither 
fe»' nor confined to any particular class. Tiiat his 
labors have proved a blessing to many there can 
be no doubt, and that he has continued to perform 
them beyond the period when prudence, a failure 
of strength and the exhaustion of his whole system 
nad admonished him of the consequences, is equal- 
ly true. But animated by the love of God and 
immortal souls he has felt and acted as one who 
was willing to fall a martyr in the glorious cause 
of reclaiming the homeless wanderers of the deep : 
and it may be truly said that he has ''fought a good 

Havre. Mr. Sawtell, during his 
visit to this country applied himself 
to the work of raising funds for a 
chapel at this station. His efibrts 
were successful, ten thousand dollars 
having been collected for that pur- 

Cronstadt. Mr. Adams pursued 
Lis labors under the joint direction of 
the British and American Seamen's 
Friend Societies, with considerable 
success. During the winter when 
navigation in the Baltic is suspended 
he labored in England in raising 

Sydney. This was a new station 
occupied for the first time, the present 
year. A Bethel Union had been form- 
ed 'there a few years previous, and 
application made by them for aid. — 
Rev. M. T. Adam, who had been a 
missionary of the Scotch Presbyterian 
Church at Benares, was appointed 
chaplain, and sailed for his distant 
sjtation in October. 

Sailor's Home. Three boarding 
Louses were now in operation in New 
York under the auspices of the socie- 
ty, one of them for colored seamen, 
and were accomplishing much for the 
spiritual good of the sailor. 

The property which had been pur- 
cha.sed some years before for the pur- 
pose of erecting a building to be call- 
ed the Sailor's Home, and to contain 
various offices for the benefit of sea- 
men, being thought unsuitable for the 

object, was sold, and the site of the 
present Home 190 Cherry Street, was 
purchased. A grant of $10,000 was 
made by the State in aid of the 
proposed institution, and arrangements 
were made for the speedy erection of 
the building. 

Rev. John Spaulding of Peoria, 111., 
was appointed Secretary of the Socie- 

Receipts for the year, $12,292 55. 
Expenditures $8,8G0 21. Bal. of debt 
still unpaid, $1,742 90. 

14th year.— 1841-2. 

Honolulu. Rev. Samuel C. Damon 
of the Andover Theo. Seminary,_was 
ordained and commissioned as chap- 
lain at Honolufu, and sailed for that 
port March 10, 1842. 

The joint support of the stations at 
Cronstadt and Sydney was continued, 
and extended also to the Cape of 
Good Hope. The Emperor Nicholas 
gave permission for the erection of a 
place of worship for seamen at Cron- 
stadt; and the corner stone of a chapel 
at Havre was laid. 

GoTTENBURG and Stockholm. — 
Two pious Swedish Sailors converted 
to Christ in New York were this year 
sent to their native countr}'- to labor 
in behalf of seamen. Their names 
were Frederic 0. Nelson, and Olof 
Peterson. They were a striking mon- 
ument of the grace of God in their 
own personal experience, and equally 
so in being raised up to a service of 
eminent usefulness in the cause of the 
Redeemer. They were commissioned 
by the Board to labor under the di- 
rection of Rev. Geo. Scott, of Stock- 

Sailor's Home. The present year 
is to be remembered for the comple- 
tion of this institution which for so 
many years had been in contempla- 
tion. The corner stone was laid Oct. 
14j and the building was finished rea- 


dy fox* occupancy in the spring follow- 
ing. Capt. Gelston wlio liad kept the 
two boarding houses under the direc- 
tion of the Society, removed to the 
new Home on the 1st May with 220 
boarders. Rev. Henry Chase was 
present and conducted family service 
on the first morning, and the house 
commenced its career of usefulness 
under the happiest auspices. 

15th Year.— 1842-3. 
Honolulu. Mr. Damon reached his 
destination on the 19th Oct., and en- 
tered on his work with cheering pros- 
pects. Dec. 3d, he reported two sai- 
lors as already rejoicing in hope of sal- 

Havre. The chapel for seamen was 
completed and dedicated to divine 
worship Nov. 27. The presence of 
God seemed at once to descend and 
fill the place. Seamen and citizens 
crowded to worship, and the Holy Spi- 
rit accompanied the preaching with 
his converting power. At this time 
Mr, Sawtell refceived a call to another 
department of labor, and through fear 
that he would leave them, the mem- 
bers of his congregation addressed a 
letter to the Board, an extract of 
which will show the character of this 
work, and the estimation in which he 
was held in that city. 

" But now that the erection of the American 
Church is the occasion of an unhoped for revival, 
such as your country has often witnessed, but 
which hitherto has been unknown in this place ; 
now that we see not only seamen of all classes, but 
numerous citizens of every rank in society crowd- 
ing to the church, anxious to hear the word of God 
expounded; now that numbers of Mr. Sawtell's 
hearers, wnose piety had till then laid dormant, 
suddenly awakened, to arise and set to work in 
the Lord's vineyard with an energy, which can 
only be the gift of the Holy Spirit ; when, gentle- 
men, we witness such effects of Mr. S.'s labors 
how can we remain silent. 0, that you could but 
see the changes produced in this place by the 
means of the man you have sent hither !" 

This appeal, for the time, was effec- 
tive, and Mr. S. remained at his post. 

{ Cronstadt. Mr. Adams and his 
\ wife, under the rigors of a Russian cli- 
5 mate, were compelled to retire for a 
1 season to the South of England, where 
he continued usefully employed in the 
j service of the British and Foreign Sai- 

< lor's Society. 

GoTTENBURG and Stockholm. The 
s two sailor missionaries laboring in 
I these ports were greatly blessed. " In 
] a single year, one of them is reported 
to have been instrumental in the hojK- 
^ ful conversion of more than a hundred 

< souls .'" In the cause of temperance, 
I and in the distribution of Bibles and 
\ tracts, they were eminently useful. 

< Cape Town. Rev. Dr. Adamson, 
I President of the S. African College, 
\ preached to seamen on shipboard, and 
: a chapel capable of seating 400 persons 

was erected. In these efforts the A. S. 
I F. Society co-operated with the South 
I African Instruction Society, and with 

< benevolent individuals- resident at the 
j Cape. 

s SvDNEY. Mr. Adam continued the 
I usual labors of a chaplain at this place. 

> A small appropriation was made in 
\ aid of the seamen's cause at Amster- 
dam, and appeals for help were receiv- 

j ed from Antwerp, Constantinople, Chi- 
\ na, Lahaina and Havana, 
s In the survey of the cause at home 
I and abroad, the Board say in their 
I Annual Report : " The last has been 
I the brightest year that ever shone 
\ upon the sea. Such results have ap- 
I peared as make angels and men glad. 
I The attempt to gather them, is like 
I drawing ashore the net cast by the 
s fishermen disciples on the right side of 
the ship. Even before they are ga- 

> thered and the number told, another 
I and another ship arrives, freighted 
I with new and rich moral treasures 

from the sea. The Holy Spirit has 
I descended on the sea and along its 
s shores." 


Receipts ^13,072 70. Expenditures ^ 
^10,846 52. 

16th Year. — 1843-4. ! 

This was one of mucli interest \ 

to the seamen's cause. The work was | 

prosecuted at the several stations with \ 

interest and unusual success. I 

At Havre, Mr. Sawtell resigned his | 
post, and returned for a season to this 

countr)\ Ilis place was supplied by > 

Rev. E. E. Adams, who had now re- \ 

covered from the effects of the climate | 
at the North, and who was received 

with favor at this important port. < 


still signalized for the remarkable dis- \ 

plays of divine grace in connection \ 

with the labors of Nelson and Peter- > 

son* Says the Annual Report : — ] 

" Whole districts of country have become tern- ) 

peratc through his (Nelson's) instrumentahty ; and ? 

the numerous Temperance Societies formed, num- \ 

her from 50 to 500 members each, \ 

During the season when there are few sailors in < 

port, we have seen him making a three month's j 

tour into the interior, traveling 533 English miles, ! 

mostly on foot through forests and mountains, snow ' 

and ice. He assumes not the title or office of a ; 

preacher, but that of a book pedlar, and in this ! 

humble capacity tells the story of the cross wher- ' 

ever he can find ears to hear and hearts to feel. — ; 

And these have not been wanting. In many histan- 1 

ces persons were converted to Christ in families ; 

where he tarried but a little season. In one place, : 

he left some 20 spiritual children, in another about ' 
50, and in four other places, about 200." 

Havana. Special contributions were 
made at several places to establish a 
mission to this very important port. 
But besides sending an agent to ex- 
plore the field, nothing was done. 

At Amsterdam, Sydney, and Hono- 
lulu, the work was continued as usual. 

The Board say in their Report : 

" A review of the labors of the Society the pa^t 
year alorig our shores and in foreign ports, reveals 
the most gratifying results. At every foreign sta- 
tion, we hear of more or less seamen brought to a 
knowledge of the truth ; while in some of our own 
ports, the Holy Spirit has descended like the dews 
upon Ilerrnon, like the dews upon the mountains of 
Zion. But the most striking illustrations of the 
mercy and grace of God have been witnessed at 
Bca. Away on the deep, God lias moved in a mys- 
terious way his wonders to perform. The ileck, 
the cabin, the forecastle, have become as occasion , 
required, the places of prayer, and praise, and ex- 

hortation ;— also, places where humbled and weep- 
ing sailors have sought their Saviour. * * * ♦ 
In cue vessel, we find five sailors recently born 
again. In another eight out of ten in the forecastle 
are praying and singing praise to God every morn- 
ing and evening. In another, ten hopefully con- 
verted to God in a fortnight. In another, seven- 
teen in a week ; and in several others, the entire 
crews, masters and officers, apparently new crea- 
tures in Christ Jesus. One of these claims to be 
" the happics: ship that floats ;" and another, — 
" heaven begun below." 

Receipts, including J$3,525 special 
donations to the Sailor's Home ^18,745 
78. Expenditures, including ^9,547 82 
for the Home, §19,963 36. 

17th year 1844-5. 

Rev. Harmon Loomis was appointed 
Associate Secretary. 

Eew changes in the stations occur- 
red during the year. The station at 
Sydney was discontinued, in conse- 
quence of the small number of Ameri- 
can seamen resorting to that port. 

At Lahaina where a limited work 
had for some years been conducted 
by the missionaries, a Seamen's Chap- 
el was now completed, and Rev. Lor- 
in Andrews appointed by this Socie- 
ty as their chaplain. 

In presenting their " summary of 
results" from the cultivation of this 
field the managers enumerate, "a 
general increased confidence in the 
practicability of the work with a cor- 
responding interest and energ}^ in pro- 
secuting it," " the manifest and most 
delightful progress of temperance at 
sea and on shore," " a greater regard 
for the Sabbath and its better obser- 
vance," " the fact that the sea is be- 
coming a field where fruits unto eter- 
nal life are matured from seed else- 
where sown," "an increased desire 
for the Bible," " and a signal outpour- 
ing of the Holy Spirit making many 
of the sons of the sea the sons of the 
most High." 

Receipts,l^l6,501 01. Expenditures, 
."^17,357 02. 

18th year. —1845-6. 
At Honolulu and Lahama the labors 


of tlie cliaplains continued witli good 
success. Mr. Andrews having been 
appointed a Judge by the Hawaiian 
Government resigned his charge, and 
was succeeded temporarily by the 
Rev. C. Forbes of the Am. Board.— 
About 350 whaling ships arrived in 
these ports during the year, having an 
aggregate of from 8,000 to 10,000 sea- 

At Havre, Mr. Adams in the last 
two years had within his sphere of in- 
fluence not less than 14,000 seamen, 
to some 3,000 of whom he preached 
the gospel, and distributed valuable 
publications. 4,500 tracts thus dispos- 
ed of were from his own pen, and 
printed mostly at his own expense. 
In addition to his efforts for seamen 
10 English and Irish laborers were 
hopefully brought to Christ. 

Mobile Bay. The attention of the 
Board was directed to this important 
port where from 50 to 80 vessels of 
the largest class were usuall}^ at an- 
chor through the winter, engaged in 
cotton freighting with some 15,000 
seamen. Besides aiding in the sup- 
port of the chaplain Rev. A. M'Glas- 
HAN, indpient measures were com- 
menced for providing a Floating Beth- 
el, to serve both as a chapel, and hos- 
pital in the bay. 

The Home work of the society 
continued much as in former years. 
The Sailor's Home in New-York was 
maintained with good success, and 
with the happiest influence. Many 
hopeful conversions were witnessed 
both here and in the Colored Sailor's 
Home, which was conducted under 
the auspices of the Board. 
Receipts from Collections ^17,236 43 
" Legacies 10,185 81 

" Mag. and Hymn 

Book 1,509.36 

^28,931 GO 

Expenditures - - 28,291 92 


19th YEAR— 1846— 7. 

Nothing worthy of very special 
mention occurred during the present 
year. All the stations were continued 
as heretofore, and applications for new 
ones were made. The Swedish Sai- 
lor Missionary at Stockholm retired, 
and another, Mr. A. M. Ljungberg 
(Youngberg) appointed to take his 
place. "Not one of our chaplains," 
remarks the Board, " has allowed the 
last twelve months to pass without re- 
peated thanksgivings to God for the 
obvious effects of divine truth on the 
hearts and lives of seamen." 

Receipts ^17,515 74. Expendi- 
tures ^18,908 72. 

20th YEAR— 1847— 8. 

Canton. — After ten years' suspen- 
sion, this very important station, the 
first occupied by this Society was re- 
sumed. Rev. George Loomis of Lima, 
N. Y., arrived at Whampoa Jan. 30. 
Accompanying him were 26 Chinese 
sailors who had come to New York in 
the Junk " Keying." They had ship- 
ped for Java, but having lost their way 
they found themselves after a voyage 
of 212 days in this port. Here they 
were found by a fellow countryman 
who could speak English, and taken 
to the Sailor's Home where they were 
cared for, supplied with the Chinese 
New Testament, enrolled their name? 
in Chinese characters as members of 
the Marine Temperance Society, and 
at length embarked in company with 
Mr. Lt)omis for their homes. 

Honolulu. — Mr. Damon reported 
an increased attendance of seamen at 
the Bethel, and its enlargement so as 
to seat 200 more hearers, — of the pro- 
gress of temperance and general im- 
provement among sailors and increas- 
ed encouragements in his work. 

Lahaina. — Mr. Forbes returned to 
this country on account of sickness in 
his family, and Rev. Townsend E. 
Taylor was sent out to fill his place. 



HiLO. — For the accomodation of the 
3,000 or 4,000 seamen annually resort- 
ing to this port, a Bethel Chapel had 
been erected, and Rev. Titus Coan, 
missionary of the A. B. C. F. M., and 
pastor of the largest Christian Church 
in the world, performed a regular vo- 
luntar}^ service in behalf of seamen. 

Havre. — Mr. Adams in consequence 
of the sickness and death of his wife 
was absent in this country for fceveral 
months. On his return he resumed 
the work amid encouragement of suc- 
cess, and several cases of inquiry 
among sailors ensued. 

Marseilles. Rev. Geo. H. Hast- 
ings sailed from New York, Oct. 9, to 
establish a station at this port, under 
a joint commission from the Am. S. F. 
Society and the Am. and For. Christ- 
ian Union. 

The labors of Nelson and Ljungberg 
were continued in Sweden with their 
usual energy and success. 

Bordeaux. Under the auspices of 
the Protestant Society of France, Rev. 
T. L. Schiep labored among the 4,000 
Protestant seamen resorting to this 
port, and was aided by an appropria- 
tion from their Board. 

Valparaiso. Rev. David Trum- 
bull, joint chaplain of the Am. S. F. 
Society and Am. and Foreign Christ- 
ian Union, opened a Bethel for ser- 
vice a:mong 4,000 seanofen annually re- 
sorting to this port. 

Havana. Rev. Jabies R. French 
Went to Havana in February to com- 
mence labors among the seamen visit- 
ng there. 

Rev. J. M. Pease was also commis- 
sioned to explore the other principal 
ports in the West Indies with a view 
to operations in them. 

Receipts, ^23,933 05. Expenditures, 
^23,900 30. 

21sT year.— 1848-9. 

Cj nton. Mr Loomis on his arrival 

commenced the labor of establishing 
a floating Bethel at Whampoa, in 
which both seamen and residents 
participated with much liberality. — 
His congregations on shore were large 
and attteutive. 

Honolulu. The labors of Mr. 
Damon are briefly described in the 
Annual Report as follows; "In his 
annual intercourse on ship-board and 
in his tetudy and reading room with 
from 6,000 to 10,000 seamen, of not 
less than ten different nations; in 
preaching to them the Gospel ; in dis- 
tributing among them Bibles, relig- 
ious books and tracts ; in issuing for 
them monthly 2,000 copies of the 
"Friend"; in maintaining an exten- 
sive correspondence with them and 
their friends; superintending an in- 
teresting Sabbath School; visiting 
weekly the sick in the two hospitals, 
and the deserters and mutineers in 
the common prison ; in keeping alive 
the subject of temperance ; in raising 
an average of ^1,000 per annum for 
is paper, and of late some $2,500 for 
the necessary enlargement of the 
chapel, it is obvious that he must be 
as busy as any sailor in a gale clawing 
off a lee-shore, or any minister of the 
gospel in his parish." 

Lahaina. Mr. Taylor with his wife, 
the daughter of Rev. Mr. Thurston, 
missionary, born on the Islands, reach- 
ed his station July 14, and entered 
upon his work with much energy and 

At Hilo, Mr. Coan still continued his 
abundant labors, preaching often to 
congregations of seamen equal in size 
to many congregations in New Eng- 
and. , 

Havre, Bordeaux, Marseilles. — 
Messrs. Adams, Schiep, and Hastings 
pursued their work at these several 
ports of France with good success, 
and with honor to the Society and to 



the country. Said the latter : " The 
character of our dear America is now 
the study of the old M^orld. States- 
men will judge us by our writings, our 
laws, and the statistics of government, 
but the common people on these 
shores will judge us by our navy and 
merchant service ; and earnest labor 
in behalf of our seamen is of unspeak- 
able importance in the great efibrt to 
evangelize these papal countries." 

Stockholm. Gottenburg. The mis- 
sions to these ports were prosecuted 
as heretofore. At Gothland, in the 
Baltic, a new mission was commenced 
by Mr John Lindelius, a sailor con- 
verted at New York by means of Bax- 
ter's Call, given him by one of the 
Secretaries of this Society. 

Havana. Mr. French found an am- 
ple field of usefulness in this port, al- 
though restricted by the intolerance 
of the government chiefly to efforts 
on ship-board. A reading room how- 
ever was opened on shore and many 
sick and dying seamen were supplied 
with the consolations of the gospel. — 
Mr. Pease at St. Thomas in addition 
to the regular duties of his mission, 
performed a journey of inquiry to 
Laguayra aud Caraccas in South Amer- 
ica, distributing the Scriptures and 
preaching, — the first Protestant ser- 
mons ever heard in those cities. 

Valparaiso. Mr. Trumbull labored 
as heretofore at this port under tlie 
joint direction of the Am. S. F. Soc.'y, 
and the Foreign Evangelical Society. 

New Orleans. Rev. C. M. Nickels 
the highly acceptable chaplain at this 
port was supported in part by this 
Society. The "New Orleans Sea- 
men's Home Association " was organ- 
ized for the establisment of a Home in 
that city. 

Mobile Bay. Mr. McGlashan re- 
ported several interesting conver,sions 

occurring among sailors under the la- 
\ bors of that station during the year. 
\ Sailor's Home. The Board con- 
s gratulated the friends of seamen on 
the increasing prosperity, and useful- 
ness of this institution. Capt. Ed- 
ward Richardson, to whose instru- 
; mentality the cause is largely indebted 
j in various ways, renewed his engage- 
; ment as its superintendent. To his ef- 
; forts is to be ascribed the leading agen- 
; cy in the establishment of the Home, 
; and under his successful management 
; great good was accomplished. Many a 
; homeless and friendless seaman, found 
; here a home and friend, and what is 
; more,was brought to the knowledge of 
! the " better friend" above. The num- 
I ber of boarders for the year was 3,635, 
j and for the seven years since its be- 
I ginning 25,554. 

; The receipts for the year were 
I $18,369 39. Expenditures, $18,497 90. 
I 22d year.— 1849-50. 

I The operations of the society were 

continued as in former years with the 

following exceptions: — 
\ Rev. Mr. Loomis resigned his post 
I at Canton, and was succeeded by Rev. 

Edward H. Harlow. 

< Rev. Mr. Pease, at the request of 
\ the Board, left St. Thomas to com- 
I mence a chaplaincy at Rio ^Janeiro, 
\ and the vacancy at the former place 
I was supplied by Rev. Thomas H. 
> Newton. 

\ Rev. Mr. Hastings, finding his way 
j hedged up at Marseilles discontinued 
s his labor there, and was appointed 
s chaplain to the U. S. Legation at 
I Rome. 

\ Capt. Richardson resigned his post 
5 as Superintendent of the Sailor's Home 
I in New York, and was succeeded 
therein by Capt. Matthew Sayre. 

< Receipts, $23,912 29. Expendi- 
\ tures, $23,706 93. 

30 twkxtt-tuird year. 

23d. year.— 1850-1. 
Canton. The floating Bethel wliich 

had been constructed under the aus- 
pices of Mr. Loomis was completed, 
at an expense of 1^6,000. It contain- 
ed a chapel with seats for 300 per- 
sons, a reading room and library of 300 
volumes, besides apartments for the 
residence of the chaplain. Services 
on shipboard were held for several 
Sabbaths at Shanghai, by the Rev. 
Dr. Bridgman of the A. B. C. F. M. 
with much acceptance. 

GoTTENBURG. Through the intol- 
erance of the Swedish Government, 
Mr. Nelson the indefatigable mission- 
ar}" to that country was compelled to 
cease his labors for seamen there. — 
He was thrown into prison, tried, con- 
demned, and banished from the king- 
dom for the sole crime of preaching 
and distributing religious books ! On 
the eve of his departure he wrote, 
" 1 am happy that I have been allow- 
ed to labor in my humble way in Swe- 
den, more than eleven years, Glory 
be to God ! Souls have been convert- 
ed through such an unpolished shaft, 
and not a fcv.' of those are already in 
heaven. I shall now commence at 
Copenhagen as soon as I am driven 
from Sweden. And it shall be my 
greatest joy to serve a society so 
eminently christian and above party 
feeling as the American Seamen's 
Friend Society. I will therefore with 
the help of God endeavor to give my- 
self more fully to the work of Christ 
among seamen wherever I come." 
During the period of his labors seve- 
ral million pages of tracts, and more 
than ten thousand copies of the Bible 
were distributed by him, and some 
hundreds of souls were hopefully 
brought to Christ. 

Havana. Mr, French, owing part- 
ly to his health, and parti}* to political 
disturbances in that port was compel- 


led to leave this station. lie labored 
: subsequently for seamen as an agent 
: in New England, and chaplain at 
I Portland, Me., till his death early in 
[ 1857. 

! Rev. Henry M. Parsons was sent 

! to Havana in his place. 

I No other changes worthy of note 

! occurred in the operations of the so- 
ciety during this year. In summing 
up the results of their work the 
Board speak of them as " fruits which 
the angels might covet the privilege 

I of gathering. Ample returns for all 
the bread cast upon the waters; 

I abundant encouragement to sow be- 
side all waters with a far more libe- 

s ral hand." 

Receipts, ^20,399 91. Expendi- 

I tures, ^20,446 57. 

24th YEAR— 1851-2. 
; The changes this year were the fol- 
;| lowing: — 

:| Rio Janeiro. Mr. Pease had been 
; compelled by the prevalence of the 
\ yellow fever in this port to return, 
I and Rev. J. C. Fletcher was appoint- 

< ted this year to take his place. 

\ Panama. A new station was com- 
s menced at the Isthmus, w^here in con- 
> sequence of the greatly increased 
I California travel several thousand sea-^ 
I men now resorted annually. Rev. 
\ Joseph Rowell was appointed chap- 
l lain to this port. 

San Francisco. Rev. IJli Corwin 
was sent to commence a station in 
;j this growing port of the Pacific. 
I St. Helena. An appropriation 
I was made by the Board to aid in the 
\ support of Rev. J. M. Bertram as a 
\ laborer for seamen at this Island. 

< Havana. A law of the Spanish 
I government requiring residents of 
5 more than three months to domiciliate^ 

I and making it indispensable as a pre- 
:| requisite that they professd them- 
selves on oath to be good ccUholics 


compelled Mr. Parsons to remove 
from this most important field. 

GoTTENBURG. After Mr. Nelson's 
banishment from Sweden, a sailor as- 
sociate of his, E- Erikson was appoint- 
ed colporteur and missionary in his 
place. Mr. N. retired to Copenhagen, 
and commenced his work there with 
his usual zeal and devotion. 

Keceipts, $23,417 00. Expendi- 
tures, $22,641 01. 

25th year.— 1852-3. 

The number of the stations and la- 
borers of the society this year — com- 
pleting the first quarter of a century 
of its existence — was as follows : — 





S. C. Damon. 
S. E. Bishop. 
T. Coan. 

E. H. Harlow. 
Panama, J. Rowell. 

Valparaiso, D. Trumbull. 

Rio Janeiro, J. C. Fletcher. 

Havre, E. E. Adams. 

Marseilles, M. J. Mayers. 

Bordeaux, J. L. Schiep. 

Copenhagen, P. 0. Nelson. 
Gothland, J. Lindelius. 

Stockholm, A. M. Ljunberg. 

GoTTENBURG, E. Eriksou. 

St. Helena, J. M. Bertram. 

St. John, N. B., E. N. Harris. 

The labors of these chaplains con- 
tinued much the same as in former 
years. The difficulties of the work, 
from a variety of causes, were pecu- 
liarly great, and the successes, though 
but moderate in amount, were all that 
could be expected. Not a few of the 
sons of the ocean were brought to 
Christ, and a general impression for 

good eflected on our commercial ma- 

The receipts of the 25th year were 
$24,263 99; expenditure $23,732 10. 
26th year.— 1853-4. 
Valparaiso. Rev. D. H. Wheeler 
acted as chaplain to seamen in this 
port during the year, Mr. Trumbull 
being principally devoted to the for- 
eign residents in the city. Mr. W. 
subsequently removed to Aspinwall 
on the Isthmus, and commenced a 
new station there. 

Callao. Rev. F. W. Bill was ap- 
pointed chaplain to Callao and the 
Chincha Is., but died shortly after en- 
tering upon his duties there. He was 
a promising man, and his death was 
much lamented. 

St. Thomas. Rev. Elisha Whit- 
telsey was appointed chaplain to this 
station in place of Mr. Newton, re- 

Copenhagen. The devoted Nel- 
son, who had labored here since his 
expulsion from Sweden, was now call- 
ed to conduct over one hundred of the 
persecuted Christians of his native 
country, — many of them the fruits of 
his labor — in a new exodus to a land of 
liberty. He arrived with his flock at 
New York, having had an interesting 
work of grace on the voyage among 
passengers and crew; and departed 
with them to the Western States, 
where he has since labored as a mis- 
sionary to his countr}' men. 

Mr. P. E. Ryding was appointed to 
succeed Mr. Nelson at Copenhagen. 

St. John, N. B. Aid was granted 
to support a chaplain in this port dur- 
ing the last year. $20,000 were sub- 
scribed by the citizens of the place, 
and $6,000 granted by the Provincial 
Parliament for the erection of a Sail- 
or's Home. 

Receipts $26,173 39. Expenditures 
$27,389 60. 



27th year.— 1854-5. 

28th year.— 1855-6. 
Few changes occurred in the work 
of the Society during *hese two 

The stations at Canton, Rio Janeiro, 
Bordeaux, Gottenburg, and St. Tho- 
mas became vacant. The operations 
at the remaining stations were pur- 
sued in the usual manner and with the 
usual success. 

The receipts of the 27th year were 
822,510 19. Expenditures §22,810 40. 
Receipts of 28th year, §22,254 39. 
Expenditures §21,567 73. 

29th year. — 1856-7. 

Rev. Mr. Spaulding resigned his of- 
fice as one of the Secretaries on account 
of his health, and Rev. Israel P. "War- 
ren was appointed as his successor. 

Havre. Mr. Sawtell, who had pre- 
viously served as chaplain at this port, 
returned thither sooc after the resig- 
nation of Mr. Adams, and was wel- 
comed to his former field with great 
cordiality. His labors have been high- 
ly acceptable and useful. 

Canton. After the departure of 
Mr. Harlow this station remained va- 
cant, except as occasional services were 
rendered by the missionaries, until 
the appointment of Rev. James C. 

Beecher, youngest son of Rev. LyiAan 
Beecher, D. D., who arrived at 
"VVliampoa September 3, 1856. He en- 
tered upon his labors with high ex- 
pectations, but the war between the 
English and Chinese commencing, he 
was obliged to flee from Canton to 
Hong Kong. The Bethel was burnt 
by the Chinese. Mr. B. commenced 
preaching at Hong Kong, and at the 
last accounts was just completing a 
new floating Bethel there. 

The stations at St. John, Copenha- 
gen, Gothland, Marseilles, Aspinwall 
Valparaiso, Honolulu, Lahaina, Hilo, 
together with Mobile Bay, and one or 
two home ports, were continued by 
the Society as heretofore. During 
the year also Rev Ola Helland labor- 
ed as a joint missionary of this Society 
and of the New York Port Society 
among the Scandinavian seamen of N. 

Sailor's Home. — Capt. D. Tracy 
took charge of the Home, May 1, 
1853. The whole number of board- 
ers from the beginning of this institu- 
tion, was, May 1, 1857, 50,093. Dur- 
ing the last year an interesting revi- 
val was enjoj^ed among the seamen 
boarding at the Home, in connection 
with 'jhe several Bethels in this city. 

Receipts for the year, §22,812 35. 
Expenditures §25,488 92. 



Thfe subject of providing good ) and converting sailors, it was found 
boarding-houses for seamen very > that their usefulness was greatly par- 
early forced itself upon the attention | alyzed by the deleterious influences 
of the benevolent wlio were laboring { connected with the boarding-liouses, 
in this cause. However successful j and other places of cliicf resort to 
might be the Bethel prayer meetings j tliis class of men in the large cities, 
and shipboard preaching in reforming j Many were prevented by them from 



coming within the reach of religious 
efforts, and many more who had been 
in some degree impressed by such 
efforts, were in these places, seduced 
again into their former habits of dissi- 
pation and vice. 


Few people not personally acquaint- 
ed with maritime affairs, have any 
very correct idea of that genus of car- 
nivorous animals which sailors fami- 
liarly designate " land sharks," a 
family described by neither Cuvier 
or Agassiz. They are the proprietors 
or agents of the boarding-houses, grog- 
shops, gambling dens, and brothels, 
which are supported in great part by 
preying upon sailors. When a crew 
arrives in port, and are paid off, they 
are surrounded by these pests, w^ho 
by artifices in which they are adepts 
persuade the men to go with them to 
their haunts. There they are plied 
with liquor, their hard-earned wages 
are inveigled away under the pretense 
of safe keeping, or exhausted by 
chaises for board, &c., ad libitum. 
Many of these houses are furnished 
with prostitutes of the low^est grade. 
Intemperance, licentiousness, profani- 
ty — every vice which ministeio to the 
depraved passions of men flourishes 
here with hot-bed luxuriance. The 
sailor who enters them is kept till his 
money, and perhaps his clothing, is 
gone, and nothing more can be got out 
of him — then, diseased in body and 
mind, he is turned into the street, or 
compelled at the u-ill of the landlord 
to ship himself for another voyage? 
while his advance w^ages are taken by 
his plunderers to add to their unholy 

In one instance a vessel returning 
from a foreign voyage, with only six- 
teen hands on board, had, before they 
could get on shore, thirty-two tavern 
keepers of the lowest grade come on 

^ board, to solicit the sailors to go witli 
I them to their houses. In another 
\ case, as a ship arrived from a success- 
ful whaling voyage, a landlord offered 
I a gentleman fifty dollars and a new 
coat if he would persuade the crew to 
take up their abode in his house. The 
gentleman very properly refused. 
I The landlord, however, induced most 
I of the men to go with him. In a few 
\ days nearly all had given him an order 
for their respective shares of the 
\ cargo, amounting to three hundred 

1 dollars each, and very few of them 
had anything to show for their eight- 
een months hard toil. It had been 
filched from them or squandered in. 
i consequence of drink. These are only 
samples of cases which might be ad- 
\ duced to any extent in illustration of 
\ these abuses. 

\ Of course it is not affirmed that all 
? sailor boarding-houses are of this sort. 
\ At the present time there are proba- 
\ bly over two hundred in all in the 
j city of New York, of which, perhaps^ 
I twenty or twenty-five are strictly tern- 
\ perate and respectable housos, or 
5 about 10 per cent, of the whole. It 
is supposed that the proportion is not 
greater in other sea ports of our coun- 
? try, and is undoubtedly much less iu 
\ those abroad. 


) It was to rescue seamen from the 
power of these landsharks that efforts 
I to provide Sailor's Homes wore mainly 
undertaken. These efforts were nearly 
I simultaneous in their beginning in this 
I country and in England. In the latter, 
\ the ruins of the Brunswick Theater, 
) at London, which had been destroyed 
I by fire, were purchased, and a building 
> erected thereon, which is still con- 
I tinued as an excellent vSailor's Home^ 
It is known as " The Brunswick Man- 
j time Establishment," Y*^ell-st., London. 
I Docks. 

\ The first successful movement of 


his kind in America was at Charles- 
ton, S. C, during the ministry of Rev. 
Joeeph Brown, the efficient friend of 
the sailor. The next was at Portland, 
and others followed successively at 
Boston, Baltimore, Providence, and 

It was one of the objects distinctly 
contemplated in the organization of 
the America Seamen's Friend Society 
to " promote boarding-houses of good 
character." At fii-st it was thought 
that this end might be secured by 
oflWiug inducements to existing land- 
lords to remove their liquor bars and 
conduiet their houses in a manner satis- 
factory to the friends of virtue. This, 
however, was soon found to be im- 
practicabte. The gains of the old sys- 
tem were too great to be oounterba- 
Unced by an}'- inducements which it 
«r*s in the power of the Society to 
present, and it was found necessary to 
establish new houses under their ex- 
etMiive control. At length the house, 
140 Cherry-street, was leased and 
opened, as heretofore stated, on the 
10th October, 1837, under the direc- 
tion of Capt. Roland Gelston. The suc- 
cess of this experiment was such that 
a second sioailar house was opened in 
November of the next year, in James 
Slip. The two houses were together 
capable of accommodating one hun- 
dred and twenty boarders. 

fii-ILOK'fi HOME. 

The evident good results which fol- 
lowed from these houses prompted 
soiAi after to a much jnore considera- 
ble undertaking. For several years 
the project had licen entertained of 
erecting a large building in which to 
establish the offices of all .Qie associa- 
. lions of)erating in behulf of seamen, 
and some funds had lx;en contributed 
for this purpose. The oriKiual plan 
wsl» now modified so as to .embrace 
.only a boarding-house of iunple dimen- 
sions. The money refjuisitc -for this 
.purpose was raised chiefly , m tUis.oity, 

j The proprietor of a large printing- 
I office generously bestowed ^1,000, as 
I a thank offering, for the preservation 

> of his establishment from fire, after a 
' conflagration had broken out in it. 

Liberal sums were contributed by sev- 
eral of the leading merchants. A loan 
; of {$10,000 from the Mariner's Fund 
s was procured from the State. The 
s house was completed and ready for 
I occupancy on the 1st of May, 1842. 
s This edifice— the Sailor's Home — 
s occupies two lots of land in Cherry 
I Street, being 50 feet in front and 175 
I in depth. The main building is 50 
[ feet square, and the wing in the rear 
; 25 by 120 feet; the whole being five 
[: stories high above the basement. It 
contains the usual apartments of a 

> hotel, and has accommodations for 
'•: some 250 boarders. Besides these 

there is a reading-room well furnished 
I with books and periodicals, and a 
[. chapel. The entire cost of the land, 

building and furniture was about 

^; 14,000. 

This establishment, under the ad 
ministration of its excellent Superin- 
; tendents, Capts. Gelston, Richardson, 
Say re and Tracy, has been instru- 
mental, under Providence, of accom- 
I plishing all that was reasonably ex-^ 
I pected of it. It has from the lirst had 
I many difficulties to contend with. The 
I jealousy and bitter hostility of the 
I land sharks have been ever arrayed 
' against it; in its early stages, threat- 
ening even physical violence against 
it and its inmates. The experiment 
being a new one,some things have had 

> to be learned by experience as to its 
I most efiicient and economical manage- 
I ment. Still it has held on its way of 
I usefulness and prosperity. The bless- 
/ ing of Heaven has ever rested upon 

it, and many it is believed have found 
it the gate of heaven to their souls. 
In their Annual Report for 1844, 
; the Board say : 

< " Tlio iiumbor of boardcrH within tlio year ending 

< tlic l»t inst. is 4,114. or tliCHC about ciglit-tcnthi 


have attended the weekly temperance meetings, 
iiiiil oiic-lialf the weekly prayer meetings held in 
the lioiise. An average of one-third have attend- 
oil at morning and evening family worship, while 
at least scvcn-teiiths have frequented the house of 
God on the Sabbath. It has been a most pleasing 
6ight on a Sabbath morning to see from one to 
two hundred, all trim and steady, turn out to hear 
the Gospel preached. More than half of the board- 
ers have given the Sailor's Pledge to abstain en- 
tirely from the use of intoxicating liquors, and so 
far as wc know, the pledge is almost invariably 
kept. Under such influence.* several of these men 
—how many the Lamb's Book of Life will show — 
have become new creatures in Christ Jesus. 
" On being introduced into the Home the men 
find themselves at once in the midst of the best 
men of their own class. If slovenly in their per- 
sons, they are constrained to adopt habits of neat, 
ncss. If profane and vulgar, their improper lan- 
guage is at once rebuked. If heedless and reck- 
less, they soon learn to be provident, and respect 
themselves. If intemperate, in a majority of in- 
stances, tliey have been reclaimed. If spendthrifts, 
in many instances they have listened to good ad- 
vice and saved their money, either by supplying 
their own necessities, or sending it to comfort the 
heart of some loved mother or friend, or depositing 
it in tlw Seaman's Saving Bank. More than $50,- 
000 have been deposited in the saving banks in this 
city within the past year, and $14,997 sent to their 
friends, by these boarders at the Home. If care- 
less on the subject of the soul's salvation, under 
the influence of the temperance and religious 
meetings, as they have heard one and another 
and another of their shipmates tell of their wan- 
derings from God, of their convictions for sin, of 
their deep distress turned into unspeakable joy on 
believing in Jesus, the tears have started down 
their weather-beaten cheeks-, and, like the fisher- 
men sailors of the sea of Galilee, they have straight- 
way left all and followed Christ. Others, awaken- 
ed by the conversation of a pious sliipmate, or the 
Bible in their rooms, have knelt by the couches 
furnished by the hand of female kindness, to con- 
fess their sins to God, and obtain pardon. Scores 
of living examples of temperance and godliness 
sufficiently illustrate the influence of the Home on 
its inmates." 

One interesting evidence of tlie use- 
fulness of this institution was found in 
its influence in diminishing crime in 
the city. The same report says : 

" The records of the Marine and Police Courts 
in this city furnish some eloquent facts on this sub- 
ject. Fn the former, suits against seamen for assault 
and battery have diminished at least two-thirds ; 
while in the latter, prosecutions against them have 
(llminished witliin a year or two at least fifty per 
eent Ca-es of larceny or stealing, on their part, 
are of very rare occurrence. Wilhm the year end- 
ing January 1st, 1844, 1,988 persons were brought 
before tho police court for the crime of intoxication, 
and not fifty of the whole number were sailors !— 

\ On an average, not one sailor a week out of 
here in a year, is brought before a court of justice 
charged with crime. A marvelous change whci'i 
we consider their previous habits, and their multi- 
; plied temptatior.s to sin ! A cheering compliment 
', and a rich reward to those who have e.xpended 
their time and money to promote the social and 
moral improvement of seamen, for in so doIn|' 
they have most eflfectually secured the general * 

Regular family devotions are held 
daily at the Home, at which all the 
boarders are invited to be present. A 
I weekly prayer meeting and a weekly 

> temperance meeting are also held, 
I which are generally well attended. It 

is very interesting to observe the walls 

> of the chapel hung with certificates 
I of membership in the Marine Temper- 
I ance Society, in neat gilt frames, be- 
longing to sailor^ who have there 
signed the temperance pledge, and 
gone to practice its principles amid the 
temptations of foreign ports. 

> It has from the first been the de- 
\ sign of the Board to make the Home 
\ as far as possible a self sustaining in- 
j st)tution. Many sailors however come 
\ into port in utter destitution, having 

lost by shipwreck, or other casualty 
all their resources. It would not 
comport with the designs of the So- 
ciety, or with the demands of com- 
mon charity to turn these away from 
its doors. The pittance of a few 
days board, and perhaps an article or 
I two of necessary clothing has been 
I furnished in such cases, till they were 
! able to procure a new shipment. The 
I aggregate amounts thus furnished to 

> sailors unable to pay for their accom- 
j modations, has in some years, been 
I large. The rent received for the use 
; of the clothing store connected with 
; the house, is appropriated to this ob- 
; ject, and now nearly equals it in 

; amount, leaving as an actual cost to 
: the Society, little but the repairs and 

other incidental expenses of the buikl- 


The whole number of boarders in 

the Lomes tinder tbe care of the So- 
ciety, and the number of shipwrecked 

and dc> 

titute seamen who have re- 

ceived charitable aid, 

are as follows : 




First fioilic opened Oct. 10, 1837. 



not reported. 





not reported do 

] 840-1 






Soilor-s Home opened May 1, 1842. 



not reported. 

184 ;-4 











not reported. 







18 !'»_//) 



\H:y^ \ 





















Total in 

S.H. 50,093 


< The number of boarders accommo- 
I dated prior to the opening of the new 
I sailor's home was not far from 7,500. 
3 The whole number of shipwrecked 
? and destitute assisted has probably 
^ been about 3,500. 


I Since 1838, this Society has also 

] aided in the support of a Home for 

\ colored seamen, an institution which 

^ has done much for the temporal and 

] spiritual welfare of that class. The 

<J number of boarders resorting thither 

^ has averaged about 200 per year. 





The American Seamen's Friend 
Society is the only institution in this 

country which embraces in its field of \ 

operations American seamen, wher- \ 

ever found, at home or abroad. Co- h 

operating with it, however, are nu- \ 

merous societies, some auxiliary to it < 

and some independent, which per- \ 

form a local work, chiefly in the places \ 

only where they are situated. Some \ 

brief notice of these is necessary to \ 

give any thing like a complete view < 

of the entire work as it is now car- i 

ried on in this country. i 


We classify as such those which are ^ 

connected with the Am. S. F. Society \ 

by mutual agreement^ specifying the 
nature of their connection, and tho 
particular mode in which they co- 
operate in the common cause. All of 
them are independent in the manage- 
ment of their own affairs. 

1. Maine Seamen's UxiOxV. 
This society was organized in 1849. 
Its efforts have been directed chiefly 
to the support of the Bethel and the 
Sailor's Home, at Portland, botli of 
which have been conducted with a 
good degree of success. The parent 
society has for some years made a 
small annual appropriation in aid of 
the Bethel. About GOO sailors have 
been accommodated yearly at the 




2. Boston Seamen's Friend Society. 

By its constitution this is " a Branch 
of the Am. S. F. Society." It was 
organized in 1828, the same year with 
the latter, and has pursued its course 
of usefulness uninterruptedly to the 
present time. It supports, 1. The 
Mariner's church, of which Rev. E. 
Kellogg is now the efficient pastor, 
and which consists not only of a house 
of worship but a regularly organized 
body of nearly one hundred members, 
mostly seamen. An interesting Sdb- 
bath school of 150 pupils is connected 
with it. 2. The Sailor's Home, 99 
Purchase-street, Mr. J. O. Chany, 
Superintendent. This was erected in 
1802, and is an excellent building for 
the purpose, accommodating nearly 
3,0(X) boarders per annum. The 
whole number received for the past 
eleven years is 23,394. An exten.sive 
tract and Bible distribution is carried 
on in connection with the church and 
the Home. 

By the terms of their agreement 
the Corresponding Secretary of this 
Kofiety, llev. S. \V. Hanks, is District 
SecreUry of the A. S. F. S. for Mawsa- 

chusetts. His labors for the cause 
J extend also into Vermont and New 
^ Hampshire. 

<[ 3. The New York Port Society. 

> This society is auxiliary to the A. 

J S. F. S. only as it receives from the 
latter a specified share of the collec- 
tions for the common cause m the 
cities of New York and Brooklyn, and 
as the two jointly maintain a mission- 
ary to the Scandinavian seamen who 
resort here in considerable number.';. 

The origin and early history of this 
society have been already recounted. 
Its efforts are principally directed to 
the support of the Mariner's .Church, 
corner of Catherine and Madison Sts. 
of which Rev. C. J. Jones, is pastor. 
Although regular public worship had 
been maintained by this Society more 
than thirty years, yet a distinct clmrch 
was not organized untill March 185G. 
It numbered at that time CO members. 
Since then, the influences of the Di- 
vine Spirit have been almost continual- 
ly enjoyed. Many sailors, notwith- 
standing the degradation and all the 
unfavorable influences to wliich, as a they are exposed, have been 



hopefully converted, raising the pres- j 

ent membership of the church (1858) | 
to about 250, the greater part of whom 

united on profession of their faith. | 

Three services for preaching are < 
held on the Sabbath, one of them in 
Norwegian, besides morning and af- 
ternoon prayer meetings, and the Sab- 
bath school, and a Bible class for > 
colored seamen. Several industrious | 
assistants visit the sailor boarding 
houses and invite as many as they < 
meet to attend. The forenoon of \ 
every week day is devoted by Messrs. I 
Jones and Holland, to the reception ) 
of calls from sailors for religious con- \ 
versation and prayer. The names of \ 
the visitors are entered in a book, \ 
words of afi'ectionate inquiry and coun- 
sel addressed to them, the temperance s 
pledge administered when practicable, 5 
and a package of tracts, a Testament 
or religious book placed in their hands. | 

Three regular weekly prayer meet- \ 

ings are held, one in Norwegian ; aiso i 

a teacher's meeting, on Saturday eve- \ 

ning. s 

4. Pennsylvaxia Seamen's Friend \ 

Society. | 

The operations of this association \ 

are confined mostly to the mainten- i 

ance of the Sailor's Home, 204 South \ 

Front-street. About 1,200 seamen i 

are annually accommodated here, and > 

share in all the advantages connected I 

with this excellent establishment. < 

By arrangement with the American | 
S. F. Society, during the past year, | 
the Secretary, Rev. Geo. Hughes, is S 
District Secretary of the former and ^ 
is employed in behalf of both in Penn- 
sylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and ' 
part of New Jersey. 

5. Mobile Bethel Society. > 

Ihe port of Mobile is second in im- \ 

portance in the south, only to New | 

Orleans. It is one of the great cen- 1 

ters of the cotton trade, having some \ 

s 25,000 seamen resorting thither annu- 

A Bethel Church and Sailor's 
I Home are sustained by this Society 
\ in the city, and in connection with 
: the American Seamen's Friend So- 
ciety, a floating Bethel and Hospital 
in the Bay. The shipping, owing to 
I the shallowness of the latter, for the 
] most part lie here, 15 or 20 miles from 
the city. The great importance of 
\ this station has induced the American 
I Society to grant to it a liberal support, 
i rendering it one of their principal 
s stations on our coast, 
s Rev. A. McGlashan, who has for 

> many years labored in this port, has 
I now a commission from the A. S. F. S. 
\ as Secretary for the Southern Statesv 
I 6. American Bethel Society. 

The early efforts of the A. S. F. S. 
to awaken an interest in behalf of 
\ sailors and boatmen on the Inland 
I Waters have been already mentioned. 
] These operations at length led to the 
I formation in 1836, of the American 
\ Bethel Society, located at Buffalo, 
< which became by vote, in 184C, " an 
\ affiliated Branch of the American Sea- 
I men's Friend Society." Its Secretary, 
s Rev. T. Stillman,is " District Secretary 
\ of the A. S. F. S. for Western New 

From fifteen to twenty chaplains 
I and missionaries are employed by this 

> society, chiefly upon the lakes, rivers 
I and canals in the State of New York. 
I A flourishing Bethel is sustained at 
I Buffalo. On the Erie Canal are mis- 
I sionary stations at Lockport, Brock- 
port, Rochester, Syracu5,«e, Utica, 
Schenectady and West Troy ; on the 

1: Northern Canal at Whitehall; also on 
5 the Morris, and Delaware and Raritan 
Canals in New Jersey. A chaplain 
I has labored on the Hudson River, and 
\ during a part of the year a colporteur 
I has visited among the canal boatmen 



in the vicinity of Coenties Slip, New 
York. The work which has been 
performed at these various stations 
has been peculiarly laborious and dis- 
couraging, but the blessing of God 
has obviously attended it, and hun- 
dreds of souls have hopefully been 
brought to the Saviour. 

At Albany an independent Bethel 
is sustained chiefly by residents of 
that city, and by Sabbath collections. 
Rev. J. Miles, Pastor. 

7. The Western Seamen's Friend 

This is an auxiliary of the Am. 
Bethel Society, and is located at 
Cleveland, 0. Its field is even more 
extensive than that of the latter, em- 
bracing the waters of the entire coun- 
try west of the State of New York. 

Bethels are maintained at Pitts- 
burgh, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Sandus- 
ky, Toledo, Detroit, Chicago, and St. 
Louis. Missionaries and colporteurs 
are laboring also on the Upper Lakes, 
on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, 
the "Wabash and Erie Canal, &c., &c. 
The whole number of laborers in the 
employ of the Society is something 
over twenty. 

An arrangement has recently been 
effected between this Society and the 
A. S. F. S., looking to a more active 
co-operation between the two, which 
it is hoped will increase the resources 
and efficiency of both. 

1. Salem (Mass.) Bethel. 

This is maintained by contributions 
from the churches and individuals of 
different denominations in that city, 
b}^ the Sabbath collections in the Be- 
thel, and the rent of a part of the 
pews and of the cellar. 

There is a Female S. F. Society in 
that city which raises a small sum 
annually for the relief of . distressed 
teamen and their families. 

2. Boston Port Society. 
This institution supports the Sea- 
men's Bethel, North-Square, which 
has long been under the ministry of 
Rev. E. T. Taylor, better known to 
all sailors as " Father Taylor." 

3. Boston Seamen's Aid Society. 

This is an association of.Ladies hav- 
ing in charge the Mariner's House, 
North-Square, and clothing store con- 
nected with it. About 1,800 boarders 
are accommodated here yearly. Char- 
itable aid is furnished to the widows 
and families of seamen, also to the 
shipwrecked and destitute at the 
House. Its income apart from the 
sale of goods at the store is about 
^1,000 per annum. 

4. Boston Baptist Bethel Society, 
supports the Baptist Bethel ; Rev. P. 
Stowj Chaplain. 

5. Free Church op St. Mary's for 
Sailors, Boston. 
This is an Episcopal " parish for 
Sailors," supported by " the free will 
ofl'erings of its friends." Rev. John 
P. Robinson, Rector. 

6. Marine Mission at Large ; 
an independent mission, conducted by 
Capt. T. V. Sullivan, Missionary, Bos- 

7. New Bedford Port Society. 

The Seamen's Bethel, Rev. M. Howe, 
Pastor, is supported by this society, 
and a Home, by the Ladies Branch of 
the same. 

8. Episcopal Society for Seamen, 
New York. 
Under the care of this body are two 
Floating Bethels, one in the East and 
the other in the North River, a " Mis- 
sionary at large," and the " New Sai- 
lor's Home," 338 Pearl Street. The 
average attendance at the Bethels is 
about 110 each. 800 seamen are ac- 
commodated annually at the Home. 
The operations of the Society are pro- 
secuted with vigor and success. 



9. Methowst Missions fou Seamen, 
New York. 

The missionary department of the 
N. Y. Conference sustains the follow- 
ing institutions : 1. The Swedish Float- 
ing Bethel, N. R., Rev. 0. G. Hed 
Strom, Pastor, Rev. Mr. Newman, As- 
sistant. 2. The Cherry Street Chapel, 
Rev. Wm. Corbitt, Pastor. 3. The 
William Street Bethel, Atlantic Dock, 
Brookljm, Each of these is flourish- 
ing, and is well sustained. The Swe- 
dish Bethel in particular has been 
greatly prospered. Ilore than 1000 
Scandinavians have been hopefully 
converted, and some 35 missionaries, 
raised up there, of whom three or four 
are now laboring in the Fatherland, 
and the rest among the Swedes and 
Danes of our own country. 

10. American Baptist Bethel Society, 
New York. 
For many years a Baptist Mariners 
Church has been sustained in Cherry 
Street, Rev. Ira R. Steward, Pastor. 
To give this increased strength and 
efBciency, the above Society was orga- 
nized in 1857. It has entered on its 
work with very encouraging pros- 

11. The Marine Temperance Society, 

New York. 

This organization was formed in 
1833, and has been eminently instru- 
mental in doing good to the sailor. 
More than 31,000 names are enrolled 
as members. 

Very efficient labors for seamen are 
also performed by the N. Y. Bible and 
Tract Societies in distributing among 
them the Scriptures and religious read- 
ing, and supplying vessels bound on 
voyages abroad. 

12. Bethel, Main Street, Brooklyn. 
Rev. Wm. Burnett conducts a ser- 
vice for seamen here, which is sustain- 
ed by contributions from friends in 
that city. 

13. The Eastburn Bethel, Phila- 

Rev. J. B. Ripley, Pastor. This is 
sustained by an Association named 
after the venerable Joseph Eastburn, 
one of the first preachers to seamen in 
that city. 

The Episcopalians and Methodists 
have each a Bethel in Philadelphia. 
14. Philadelphia Sabbath Association. 

This Society has a two-fold object, 
the promotion of the cause of the Sab- 
bath generally, and the missionary 
work on the canals. Six or eight mis- 
sionaries are laboring for the latter ; 
performing a much needed work among 
the thousands of boatmen employed 
on the lines of internal navigation in 

15. Seamen's Union Bethel Society, 

Sustains a Bethel and Seamen's 
Home. A Ladies S. F. Society affords 
relief for the shipwrecked and desti- 
tute at the Home. 

16. Sailor's City Bethel, Baltimore, 
Supported by the Methodist Confe- 

17. Bethel, Alex^indria, Va. 
Under the auspices of the Young 
Men's Christian Association. 

18. Seamen's Friend Society, Norfolk, 


19. Seamen's Friend Society, Wil}j;ing- 

TON, N. Carolina, 
Conducts a Bethel and Sailor's 
Home, the latter having about 700 
boarders per annum. 

20. Charleston Port Society, 
Charleston, S. C. 
This is one of the oldest societies 
for seamen in this country, and has 
ever prosecuted its work with much 
efficiency. A Bethel and Horn" are 
under its care, the latter accommoda- 
ting about 600 boarders j^early. 

21. Savannah Port Society, Savan- 
nah, Ga. 

Maintains a Bethel j and the Savan- 



NAH Female S. F. Society, a Sailor's 
Home. The latter has about 1000 
boarders annually. 

22. New Orleans Seamen's Friend So- 
ciety, N. 0. 
There is a small Bethel and a Sai- 
lor's Home in this city, but both of 
them are in a languishing condition. 
The cause very much needs a resusci- 
tation in this large and most impor- 
tant port of the South. 
23. Ladies Seamen's Friend Society, 
San Fbancisco, Cal. 

This society was organized in June, 
1856, the first on the Pacific Coast in 
behalf of seamen. It conducts a Home 
which though in its infancy, is full of 
promise for the future. 

A Bethel has been built, and has 
lately been transferred to the care of 
the American S. F. Society. 

The following table will give a sum- 
mary view of the cause in this coun- 
try, embracing the number of chap- 

lains, missionaries and colporteurs la- 
boring for seamen ; the places of wor- 
ship maintained, with the average at- 
tendance on each; the number of 
Homes in operation and their yearly 
average of boarders, and the ordinary 
annual receipts of each society. It is 
not intended to represent these state- 
ments as exact, — many of them are 
only estimated from the best data at 
hand. They may serve, however, as 
an approximate view of the cause, 
showing with sufficient accuracy what 
is done by the christian public in this 
interesting, and productive field of 

In the preceding account we have 
not included the hospitals for seamen, 
and other establishments, charitable 
or otherwise, of a similar character. 
There is a considerable number of 
these, and they are doing much to re- 
lieve the physical necessities, and of- 
ten to benefit the souls of those who 
" go down to the sea in ships." 




American Seamen's Friend Soc, 
Maine Seamen's Union, 
Boston Seamen's Friend Society, 
New York Port Society, 
Pennsylvania Sea. Fr'd Society, 
Mobile Bethel Society, 
American Bethel Society, 
Western Seamen's Friend Society, 

A. S. F. Soc'y and Connections, 


















$ 55,600 

* Ziclusive of amount received from A. S. F. 8. 



Salem Bethel, 






Boston Port Society, 





" Seamen's Aid SocietVj 




" Baptist Bethel Society, 
" Church of St. Mary's, 








" Mission at large. 




Bpflfnrd Port Societv. 






TInY<5f»nr>fll Sopiptv for Sea.. N. Y.. 





Methodist Missions, N. Y,, 
American Baptist Bethel Society, 






Eastburn Bethel, Philadelphia, 



PliilnrJplnTiifl Sfl,bbatli Association. 


Episcopal Bethel, Philadelphia, 



Methodist " " 



Seamen's Union Bethel, Baltimore, 






Sailor's City Bethel, " 





Alexandria Bethel, 


1 AAA 

Norfolk Seamen's Friend Society, 

Wilmington " " " 







Charleston Port Society, 





Savannah Port Society, 






New Orleans Sea. Fr'd Society, 




San Francisco Sea. Fr'd Soc, 




Total Independent Societies, 






Am. Sea. Fr'd Soc. and connections, 











* Exclusive of sales of clothing. 



There are peculiar difficulties in the 
attempt to exhibit the results of the 
work which has for more than forty 
years been carried forward for the 
moral improvement of seamen. Among 
all other classes, the fruits of such la- 
bors are gathered within organizations 
which give them at once both visi- 
bility and permanence. The mission- 
ary can point us to his church of con- 
verted heathen, to his Sabbath 
schools, temperance societies, institu- 
tions of education, and the like. These 
are tangible evidences of the work 

I done by him, and of the divine bless- 
! ing attending it. And these, once es- 
tablished, become efficient instru- 
ments of further progress. They 
> tend to perpetuate themselves, and at 
\ the same time to affi)rd a vast increase 
\ of power in aid of more extended la- 
bors among the surrounding masses. 

To a small degree only is this prac- 
ticable among seamen. Their ever- 
changing circumstances render perma- 
nent organizations among them near- 
ly impossible. When converted, many 
^ of them unite with the churches in 



their native town, or where their fa- 
milies reside, and many abandon the 
sea altogether, and no longer appear 
in any statistics pertaining to marine 
siSairs. Others who connect them- 
selves with Bethel churches, are soon, 
in their continual wanderings, lost 
sight of, so that the records of these 
churches give no evidence of the actual 
number of seamen professing Christ. 
The same thing holds true of Sabbath 
schools, and temperance societies, etc. 
Institutions of education, of mutual 
improvement, and the like, which 
serve as exponents of social progress 
in established communities, are in the 
nature of things not to be looked for 
among seamen. 

It is doubtless owing to this fact in 
part, that the seamen's cause has never 
acquired that prominence and eclat 
with the public at large, which are 
possessed by some other enterprises 
of benevolence. It can not point to 
such splendid visible achievements as 
the christianization of the Sandwich 
Islands, the regeneration of the Nes- 
torian churches, or the conversion of 
whole villages in India. And though 
it is believed that the actual fruits re- 
sulting from its efforts, in proportion 
to the means employed, are not infe- 
rior even to those, still because less 
apparent and sho wy^ they have attract- 
ed less attention and the cause itself 
has never been supported by the 
churches, as its intrinsic merits, and 
the actual amount of good achieved 
by it demand. 


The same causes, also, which render 
it difficult to exhibit accurately the 
results of these labors, operate great- 
ly to impede those labors themselves. 

A crew which is in port to-d'iy with 
an opportunity to attend divine ser- 
vice, may another Sabbath be a thou- 
sand miles away, and for many weeks 

or months, may not again be able to 
hear the preaching of God's word. 
During all this time, they are expos- 
ed to peculiar temptations — vile asso- 
ciates, vile conversations, vile books, 
vile examples in officers, tend to drive 
away all serious impressions, and 
strengthen them in habits of evil. 
Arriving in a foreign port, where save 
in comparatively few instances, there 
is no chaplain or church of Christ to 
care for them, they encounter all the 
vices that can corrupt and destroy the 
soul. Meanwhile, they are too oft 
subjected to abuse in almost every 
form, — beaten, plundered, cheated, 
preyed on by land sharks, and neglect- 
ed by those whom they serve, they 
become almost inevitably reckless and 
hardened It is in circumstances thus 
adverse, that the work of evangelizing 
seamen is necessarily carried on. The 
wonder is not that they are as a body 
degraded, but rather that any among 
them are reached by the Gospel, and 
brought to the feet of Christ. 

It is obvious from what has been 
said, that benevolent efforts for sea- 
men must be expended upon indivi- 
duals, rather than on the mass. There 
is not enough unity and coherence in 
the entire body, to permit of general 
measures designed to influence them 
directly as a whole. Individuals can 
be and are reached by tke saving in- 
fluences of the truth, and the aggre- 
gate number of these may be great, 
while the mass present few signs of 
improvement, and indeed may be ac- 
tually deteriorating. That aggregate 
amount of good has been very large ; 
eternity alone can disclose the whole. 

The following then may be men- 
tioned as among the most valuable 
fruits of these benevolent efforts. 

1. Seamen have come to be regard- 



ed as men having the rights, interests 
and destinies of other men. Once 
there was little protection for them 
either inlaw or public sentiment ; and 
for their souls, almost literall}'', no one 
cared. Now, though their rights are 
too often violated, it is without the 
sanction of the laws, and when expos- 
ed, it awakens the indignation of the 
community, as against any other crime. 
Much has been done both by legisla- 
tion and by benevolence to improve 
the condition of the sailor on ship- 
board, and to provide hospitals and 
asylums for him in sickness and old 
age. Especially come to be re- 
membered that he has a soul ; that he 
needs the benefits of religion as well 
as other men, and may be converted, 
and made an heir of heaven. 

2. The moral improvement of sea- 
men has-come to be admitted among 
the ]}yhUc and regular charities, of the 
church. It was much to secure for 
them a recognition as men — it is more 
to have gained for them a place in 
those benevolent labors of the Gospel 
which are the peculiar glory of our 
day. Not a few of those who daily- 
pray for the coming of Chris^'^'-^'tng- 
dom, forget not to add a,.r .^uest, that 
the abundance of the ^^as may be con- 
verted to him. numerous churches 
a stated time i^< assigned for collections 
in behalf of the cause. Local chapels 
are built and sustained in the seaports 
for their benefit. It is true, that the 
amouM of prayer and means bestowed 
on /fliis object, is far less than it should 
bf^^ but a good beginning has been 
r lade. We trust that the next twen- 
ty-five years will witness a great ad- 

/vance in this most deserving charity. 

/ 3. In many respects there have 
been important reforms in the habits of 
sailors. There is far less intemperance 
than formerly. Once the dail}'- spirit 
ration was served out to all seamen, 

j both commercial and naval — now, it is 
s believed, not an American merchant 
> ship can be found \vhich furnishes li- 
quor for the ordinary use of her crew. 
Even in the navy, where the spirit 
( ration is not yet abolished, very many 
seamen voluntarily decline to receive 
it. Th© temperance pledge has been 
signed, and faithfully kept by hun- 
dreds of thousands. Notwithstanding 
I the abounding temptations of every 
\ port, there are very many, both offi- 
I cers and men, who maintain habits of 
\ unimpeachable sobriety, and reap the 
I attendant blessings of health, of indus- 
I try and respectability. 
\ A similar reform has taken place in 
I habits of licentiousness. This is indeed 
still the one paramount vice of sailors, 
but it is by no means so prevalent and 
s unblushing as it once was. Prior to 
I the beginning of efforts for seamen in 
England, it was the custom there, 
when a man-of-war arrived in port, for 
I troops of abandoned women to flock 
j on board and take up their quarters 
there, with the open permission of 
both ofiBcers and the government, ren- 
S dering the ship literally a floating So- 
dom. Nothing of the kind, of course, 
would be tolerated now for a moment. 
I Many captains take their families with 
I them on their voyages, with the hap- 
I piest results on the morality and order 
I of the vrhole crew. 
I Profanity has greatly diminished. 
{ Once it was regarded as impossible to 
I command a ship without the help of 
I oaths. Now there are vessels on 
I which not an oath is heard in an en- 
< tire voyage. 

5 It is true, indeed, that these and 
I kindred vices still a':ound among sea- 
I men. We shall have occasion liere- 
? after to speak of this matter with 
greater particularity, to show their 
I disastrous influence upon the people 
J whom they visit in foreign lands, 



Notwithstanding this, however, it can 
not be questioned by any one conver- 
sant with the state of things forty 
years ago, that there has been a vast 
improvement in this respect during 
that period. Even if the great body 
of seamen show little evidence of 
change, it is still true that the num- 
ber of individuals who maintain an 
honorable reputation for morality, is 
very much, increased. 

4. As a natural result of this, there 
has been not a little change in their 
habits of economy and frugality . For- 
merly, seamen squandered their hard 
earnings upon their vices, with scarce- 
ly an exception. Consequently, when 
disabled by sickness, or casualty, or 
for any cause thrown out of employ- 
ment, they and their families were 
utterly destitute, and often exposed 
to the utmost suffering. And though 
carelessness and improvidence will 
probably ever be characteristic traits 
of the class, still many of them have 
learned to preserve their wages, and 
accumulated a snug little competence. 
The establishment of Savings Banks 
for seamen, has greatly conduced to 
this result. One in New York alone, 
has now on deposit about two and a 
half millions of dollars belonging to 
seamen. Similar institutions else- 
where have, doubtless, in the aggre- 
gate, a much greater amount. The 
value of these results not only as 
shielding the sailor against want, but 
also as elevating him in his own res- 
pect, and still further promoting habits 
of sobriety and virtue, has been very 

5. But the chief of all the fruits of 
benevolent effort for the men of the 
sea, is found in the conversion of souls. 
It was once regarded as nearly equi- 
valent to a contradiction to say, that 
a sailor was a christian. And when 
the first Bethel prftyer meetings were 

held on the Thames, and seamen were 
heard employing the language of de- 
votion and piety, it was a matter of 
pleasing astonishment, as when of old 
the deaf heard, and the dumb spake. 
By the blessing of God, it is now nei- 
ther a novelty nor a wonder. 

It is impossible, for the reasons al- 
ready mentioned, to give any definite 
statistics on this point. On our own 
Atlantic coast, there are from twenty 
to twenty-five organized churches for 
seamen, and perhaps as many more on 
our inland waters, and half that num- 
ber under the care of our chaplains 
abroad. The aggregate membership 
of these churches, is probably from 
six to eight thousand. If compelled 
to conjecture how many are connected 
with other churches in this or other 
countries, we might perhaps name an 
equal number for these. We speak 
now of American seamen only. This, 
however, is but mere conjecture, 
affording at best only an approxima- 
tion to the actual facts in the case. 

The history of God's work of grace 
among seamen, if it could be written, 
would be one of especial interest. 
Ti. '^r peculiar natural traits of charac- 
ter, their diversified and romantic 
course of life, and the vast variety ol 
circumstances which shape and modi- 
fy their experiences, all tend to give 
marked and peculiar features to their 
piety. The work of conviction in 
their hearts is usually deep and tho- 
rough. There is comparatively little 
self-righteousness to keep them away 
from Christ. The sailor knows, — too 
oft by a bitter outward experience 
of its consequences — that he is a sin- 
ner. He has generally few specula- 
tive difficulties to obstruct his course. 
Naturally frank and confiding, when 
he is made to see Christ as the reveal- 
ed Saviour of sinners, he is prompt to 
embrace Him. Nor is it a divided 



homage wliicli he bestows. He throws 
himself unreservedly at His feet. He 
is prompt in all the duties and sacrifi- 
ces which religion requires. He will 
pray, will t&lk with a brother sailor, 
will give, — -just as in his days of impe- 
nitence he sinned, — with all his heart. 
The annals of the Gospel can present 
no nobler specimens of a warm, gener- 
ous, self-forgetting consecration to 
Christ, than are often witnessed 
among seamen. 

The immediate instrumentalities 
which have been employed by the 
Spirit of God in their conversion, are 
similar to those which have been bless- 
ed to other men. Sometimes it is the 
reading of the Scriptures, or a tract, or 
a religious book, which has fallen in 
their way. Sometimes it is the preach- 
ing of the word in some service on 
ship-board, or in the Bethel which 
they have chanced to visit, some- 
times the afiectionate expostulation of 
a pious shipmate or friend. Shipwreck 
or a narrow escape from death, or some 
other of the remarkable providences 
in which a sailor's life so abounds, has 
often been the means of subduing his 
heart in penitence and gratU-^ide. In 
the hospital, when dis^Med by acci- 
dent or sickness, V; fias received the 
friendly counst^s of a chaplain, who 
pointed hin^** to the Physician that 
cures mor6 than bodily ills. In the 
Home, /te has found kindness, has 
come/ under the genial influence of 
christian society, and been led to form 
^w habits of sobriety, which ulti- 
jjmately ripened into a true and radical 
renovation of the heart. 

The ever changing circumstances of 
sailors, it is obvious, are unfavorable 
to revivals of religion^ at least to the 
same frequency and extent as are en- 
joyed in more stable communities. 
Conversions occur for the most part in 
individual cases only. Sometimes a 

5 work of grace has spread through an 
\ entire crew, and the beautiful specta- 
\ cle has been witnessed of oflBcers and 
I men together bowing themselves in 
I daily worship, and together entering, 
\ by public profession, the church of 
: Christ. Nor are revivals, notwith- 
standing the disadvantages referred 
to, unknown among sailors. Thewin- 
I ter of 1857-8 will long be remember- 
I ed for the work of grace extended 
through most of our seaports, in con- 
I nection with that more general work 
I which so remarkably pervaded the 
\ whole land. In numerous cases crews 
I arrived in port, even from long voy- 
\ ages, under manifest impressions from 
the Spirit of God, and their first act 
I has been to seek the place of prayer 
and religious instruction. In New 
I York nearly every one of the seamen's 
I churches received large accessions of 
members, and hundreds went to sea 
rejoicing in hope who had not oppor- 
I tunity to profess Christ before they 
I left. And no where, it is believed, 
I were there more of the features which 
I mark a genuine work of God's Spirit 
> — the solemnity, the sobriety, the in- 
I telligent assent to truth, and the pure 
j fruits of holiness in the life — than 
I were witnessed in this revival among 
j seamen. 

When we thus cast our eye over the 
results which, with the Divine bless- 
; ing, forty years of effort for this class 
; of men have secured, we are con- 
\ strained at once both to gratitude for 
the past, and hope for the future. 
\ These results indeed cannot be fully 
\ known till eternity presents us the 
I grand consummation of all the things 
of Time. Much as still remains to be 
\ done, the benefits already achieved 
\ in this great enterprise of christian 
' charity, will compensate a thousand 
fold the pittance of labor, of time, and 
of expense which they have cost. 





The work of evangelizing seamen, ^ 
in addition to the interest arising 
from the character and necessities of 
the men themselves, has a second as- 
pect of scarcely inferior importance, | 
growing out of the influence which 
.seamen, as a class, exert upon the 
world. It is due to a just estimate of | 
the cause, to take some notice of this 

That a body of men so numerous, 
so active, and having so free inter- \ 
course with every nation of the world, 
should wield an immense influence of 
some sort upon the world, is obvious 
at a glance. Conceive of a fleet of full 
HALF A MILLION OF MEN, and quadru- 
pling itself in numbers every twenty- 
flve years, sent forth from America ? 
alone, to visit every nation on the | 
*globe ; to bear our flag, emblem of 
freedom and Christianity, to every \ 
shore; and by example and direct > 
eff'ort, as well as through the trans- j 
actions of commerce to impress them- | 
selves upon the moral condition of all | 
people 5 — and we need nothing more to > 
show the magnitude of that power 
which they must exert, and the vast 
importance of making it a power for \ 
good, and not for evil. 

We know not how this subject can < 
better be exhibited, than by giving 
some examples of this influence, of | 
both kinds. I 


The history of the conduct of un- j 

principled sailors abroad presents a | 

dark chapter of human depravity, j 

Were not the facts attested by the most J 

unimpeachable authority, we migh* 
hesitate as to their truth. A sample 
of them is all that we shall give ; 
and that only because of a painful 
conviction, that without it, the chris- 
tian public can not know how urgent 
the necessity of labors for seamen, Hot 
only for their own sakes, but from 
regard to the honor of our country, 
and to the progress of the Gospel in 
the world. 

At the Sandwich Islands. 

Soon after Christianity had obtain- 
ed a footing at the Sandwich Islands, 
a law enacted by the chiefs prohibit- 
ed native females from visitmg ships 
for licentious purposes, as had been 
the custom undertheirheathen usages. 
This law was exceedingly obnoxious 
to many crews. The missionaries 
were regarded as the cause of the en- 
actment, and the greatest insults and 
abuse Tere heaped upon them in con- 
se^aence.'^ The following statement 
of what occuri*t:d, is abridged from 
Newcomb's Cyclopedia of Missions. 

"On otie occasion, the crew^^pf a whale ship 
marched to the liousc of a niission3ry in a com- 
pany, 40 in number, armed wiUi knivcsxinid witlia 
hiack flay flying, domandinji: with oaths and exe- 
crations that he should connent to tfceir domands. 
In another case, when the missionary was oi'.'>?i>;<- 
cd in worship on the Sabbath, in the sick-roon.'' of 
a cliiel", he was assailed by six or seven sailors bi'- 
loiifjin;^ to a schooner of our Navy, armed witli 
knives, demanding the repeal of tho law, and 
Ihreateninjf to tear down the house if it were not 
doric. After a scene of confusion, during which 
they broke nil the windows in front of the house, 
they were constrained to retire, when they directed 
their course towards the house of (he missionary. 
He, alarmed for his family, altemptfsd to reach his 
house before them by anf)tlu?r way, but fell into 
their hands, and very narrowly escaped with his 
life, rescued by. he natives. Tlie same evening, 
their commander tlead of restraining his crew, 



or apologizing for the outrage, called on the 
chiefs, and declared that the prohibition should 
come off ; that he was determined not to leave the 
Islands till the law was repealed. The head chief 
being sick, some of the others yielded to their 
fears, and a connivance at a breach of the law was 
the result. In the dusk of the evening of the next 
day, a boat with females passed along the harbor, 
and a shout arose among the shipping at the glo- 
reoMS victory they had obtained." 

Such scenes were many times en- 
acted at the Islands. On one occasion 
the Governor of the village was ab- 
sent, and the place was in charge of a 
female chief, who directed the women 
to flee with her to the mountains, 
which they did, — all the females from 
a town of 4,000 inhabitants, fleeing 
om the violence and lust of sailors 
from Christian lands ! 
At the South Sea Islands. 

The English missionary Williams, 
at a public meeting in London, said : 

" Only think what would be the effect upon 
your missionary stations, if every ship that visited 
them carried pious captains, officers and men ! In- 
stead of which, they come to our beautiful islands, 
looking forward to the gratification of every vile 
passion, and at times there is an inundation of 
wickedness brought upon us by them." 

At the Micronesian Islands. 

Eev. Mr. Doane, of the A. B. g. F. 
M., says : ^ • 

" I cannot close this communi'-ijiion without first 
making aa appeal for the jphinds west of us. The 
largest part of the population of the Caroline 
group is there, not l^ss, we have reason to believe, 
than sixty thou^nd souls. And the population 
upon these i/iTands has not yet been visited by 
ships, excej^ to a small extent. The inhabitants, 
we suppojte, are mostly free from a knowledge of 
foreign^ :<-ices. But this state of things cannot con- 
tinue/ Not many years longer will snch a people 
be found there. Ships are beginning to look in 
thCat direction for whales. Already the report is, 
^hat about many of them good sperm-whaling 
ground is to be found.. And when ships visit 
them, alas for the people ! Foreigners will make 
their home there, and will introduce their vices ; so 
that when we get ready to make a beginning, we 
shall find the people corrupted and wasting 

Rev. Mr. Snow, in a communication 
to the Board, after referring to the 

arrival of one vessel, the , and 

the scenes which followed, says : 

" I assure you, I have hardly ever had a more 
sinking feeling of utter despair for our people and 
our cause, than I experienced that morning. All 
the trying experience of the past four years came 
rushing in with such force, as to quite unnerve 

Eev. Mr. Sturges of the same mission, 
writes : 

" Shipping is upon us, and as we expected, the 
natives are strongly tempted. At this place there 
are four houses for the accommodation of beastly 
sailors, all kept by foreigners, the chief of whom is 
from New England. Not long since, one of my 
Sabbath congregations was much disturbed by the 
confusion attending upon the efforts of this man to 
take some girls who had fled from his premises. — 
He, and a company of kindred spirits, with loaded ' 
muskets pursued the fugitives, and captured them. 
This violent mode of getting victims for licentious 
captains and sailors, is now the only effectual one. 
This same man from New England, went two 
years ago, with a gang of natives, and shot down a 
fellow foreigner ! He has repeatedly threatened 
us, but the good hand of the Lord has suffered no 
evil to come upon our persons from him. Our hu- 
man natures are sometimes rather fretful, and we 
almost wish a man-of war would come to take care 
of such murderers ; yet we try to feel no anxiety 
about these matters, especially as we see how fast 
God is bringing the wretches to punishment, by 
means of one another. We hope and pray, that 
the fleet will be small this year. We find the na- 
tives so wild when two or three hundred sailors 
are let in loose among them, as to interfere greatly 
with our work." 

Rev. Dr. Gulick, missionary at As. 
cension Island, in a solemn appeal ad- 
dressed "To Christian owners of whale 
ships," says : 

" You may not be fully aware, that most of the 
ships which j'ou are interested in sending to thi? 
ocean, are the most disgusting of moral pest- 
houses. Not only are the sailors given to every 
crime, but the captains, with nearly all their oflS- 
cers, practice in these seas vices similar to those 
which brought righteous destruction on Sodom and 
Gomorrah. Several captains, whom Christians 
have engaged to take charge of their vessels in 
the Pacific, have thrown deadly obstacles in the 
way of the missionary work on this island. Your 
property and your agents have been active in pro- 
moting the basest intemperance. Some of your 
ships sell distilled spirits here on every visit, and 
some buy it. Your ships have, in our harbors, been 
so unblushingly peopled, from forecastle to cabin, 
with those who only gather there for sin, that I 
have visited them with the deepest loathing ; and 
what shall I say of the emotions of my family, as 
we have been obliged to pass in full view of such 
scenes 1 Some of your captains have assisted in 
the demoraUzation of some of our most promising 
pupils; and most of them stand as far yloof from 



the n^ssionary aud his cause as possible. Nearly 
all your ships brin*; to these shores muskets and 
powder, thus ftimishing fit iiistruuieuts to the pas- 
■^ions of this people, for murdering women and 
:bi!dren In so-called " wax," 

One hundred and twenty-eight vessels have 
touched at Ascension Island since the first estab- 
tisbmeot of this mission, in September, 1852 ; and 
the nine digits would more than represent the 
number of captains who have proved themselves 
Firtuous !" 

He urges also, that public attention 
in America should be called to these 
abuses : 

** The great body of Christians in the whaling 
porta of New England, should be awakened on the 
subject. Their responsibility is fearful, while they 
suffer themse Ives to have such an agency in dcso- 
.ating our beantiful Islands, and in peopling the 
regions of despair." 

At Canton. 

Rev. Dr. Parker in a letter address- 
ed to Dr. Reed, of London, says of 
seamen there : 

" Frequently some who come to Canton get in- 
toxicated and lie in the streets in the filth, or ex- 
posed to the scorching rays of the sun, the deri- 
sion of the idolaters that pass by. At such times 
it seems desirable to go backwards and throw a 
veil over the scene, and preferable to view the long 
queue and tawny complexion, than to sec your na- 
tion and religion thus represented." 

At Hong Kong. 

Rev. J. C. Beecher Chaplain of the 

A. S. Friend Soc, writes of Canton 

and Hong Kong : 

" There are no two ports in China which together 
would present so wide a field for chaplain labor. 
And I believe there are no two ports which to- 
gether can show the amount of licentiou.«ness and 
beaiitly degradation, which is so rife in this. The 
whole public street through which I walked to my 
chapel, is lined on both sides with brothels, and 
the sidewalks crowded with foul prostitutes. There 
is an unblushing effrontery to vice here that would 
Hhock any one not accustomed to it, and surely it 
ia enough to dishearten any ministor to think that 
every sailor he invites to his church mutt run the 
gauntlet of all these foul birds of j)rey before he 
can reach the chapel door." 

Jn Syria. 

Rev. Mr. Hebard, Missionary at 
I^init, J^ays : 

"1 am more an<l more convinced of the impor- 
Ubc« of teamen to the cause of missions. They 
• couiieclmg link between Christiana and the 
JMstben, anf), unkitgt converted, will scatter firo- 
braoda, arrowH, and death, ui>on the shores of every 
i^UaiKl and continent. Buch haa been their indu- 
cBce hiibcrto upon the heathen that much effort^ 

( on the part of the missionaries, is requisite to coun- 

\ ternct their pernic.ous example and lewd practices. 

\ The work of converting the world will be greatly 
impeded, unless the cliaracter of seamen is radi- 
cally changed. You might as soon th:nk of culti- 
vating a flower garden under the branches of the 
poisonous upas, as raise up plants of righteousness 
in the polluting and soul destroying atmosphere 

$ of seamen." 

I At Marseilles. 

Rev. Mr. Mayers, Chaplain of this 
\ port, says : 

"I cannot forbear referring again to the cap- 
tains in general :— their conduct is a great stum- 
bling block, doubtless, in the way of the seamen. 
Few are serious, the " many" walk the broad way — 
> avowed unbelievers, and even such as are at 

< home "professors," think, as many have admitted 
\ to me, that abroad, away from their families and 
) parlors, they may take license and follow a mul- 
1 titue to do evil. I need scarcely tell you, how 

< such conduct tells upon the crews, over whom 
s they tyrannize so frequently." 

I At Havre. 

I Rev. Mr. Sawtell, in an elaborate 

I exhibition of the abuses and degrada- 

I tion existing in American vessels, says: 

; " No gentleman from the United States, who has 
\ made himself at all acquainted with the unenviable 
I notoriety of our sailors in such ports as Liverpool, 
s London and Havre, if he has one spark of patriot- 
l ism or national pride, will not feel that something 
i ought to be done, and that speedily, to change the 
\ character of our seafaring men. Ho cannot but 
I feel, that their present character is a national dis- 
; grace. He must, ho does blush for his coun- 

itry as ho walks the streets of these cities, and 
listens to the oaths and curses, and horrible impre- 
cations—the bacchanalian songs and frightful how- 
lings in the streets, and in their drunken orgies, 
and then is told sarcastically, " These are your 
American sailors." Ah, there is here in Havre 
> a terrible significancy in those very words ; they 
grate harshly upon the ear— they are frightful 
sounds— the very utterance of those two words, 
" A7nerican sailors," makes the i^outest heart 
: quail, and decent women and children shudder, and 
; all move cautiously and warily, as if amid pit-falls. 
Yea, as if hovering around the very pit of hell." 

Mr. 'S. narrates a particular instance 
of maiming, as coming to his notice in 
the hospital, and recoi-ds the Englisli 
Surgeon who had care of it, as saying : 

"(), your American sailors are terrible follows, a 
constant terror to the police officers themselves, 
biting, tearing aid devouring each other, like so 
many wild beasts, keeping mo half of my tlme» 
mending and patching them up. Why don't you 
man your noble ships with a different and a better 
class of men t You Americans are Justly proud of 
: your ships, and proud of keeping them neat, and 
in fine trim— how docs it happen then, that as a 



nation, you do not take more pride in the appear- 
ance and character of the men that work themi" 
So thought I, but what could I say 1 What re- 
ply tiould I make? 0, with what poignancy and 
bitterness of soul, do we have to take such humili- 
ating and scathing interrogatories ! How does 
the blush of shame crimson the cheek of every true 
American as he sees with his own ej'cs herds of 
these filthy, ragged, swearing rowdies emerging 
from the dark dens and brothels of the city, howl- 
ing about the streets, a terror to all decent people, 
and theu notice the curling lip of scorn and con- 
tempt, as the passing stranger is informed, that 
they are nothing more than " American sailors" 
— a phrase expressive of the very essence of all 
that is degrading, loathsome, and frightfully wick- 
ed \n man. What a blot, what a stigma upon our 
national character. Is there any cure 1 can there 
be found a remedy for this plague spot upon our 
natiopal escutcheon"? " 

These extracts, — which might be 
multiplied to any extent, — are enough, 
and more than enough to show us 
what is the influence exerted, the 
world over, by wicked seamen. It is 
an influence which should make us 
blush for our country and our name. 
We would not indeed affix the stigma 
of such guilt upon our whole mercan- 
tile marine, for we know that nobler, 
and better men do not exist, than many 
who are attached to this service. Still, 
enough is undoubtedly true to awaken 
in every patriot and Christian the ut- 
most grief, and prompt to immediate 
and earnest efibrt for the improve- 
ment of our seamen. ^ Iiow long will it 
take to convert the world through the 
agency of missions, if the very shores 
on which Christianity is struggling for a 
footholdj are to be thus deluged with 
crimcF, perpetrated by natives of 
Christian lands, upon which even the 
h(^athen look with horror ? 


We gladly turn to a more cheering 
view. Small as is the number, compar- 
atively of pious sailors, and little as 
commerce has identified itself hither 
to with the progress of religion, we 
can still point to an amount of^good 
effected through this instrumentality, 
not only great in itself, but as show- 

, ing most impressively what may be 

I done by it, and what will be done 

< when the "ships of Tarshish" shall 
\ wait for Zion. 


\ It is not known that this celebrated 

< English navigator, was a religious man, 

< — yet there is reason to believe that 
I he was the instrument indirectly of 
\ the overthrow of idolatry in the Sand- 

> wich Islands, and the consequent pre- 

> paration for the introduction of Chris- 
I tianity. Says Mr. Newcomb, (Cyc. of 


I " Capt. Vancouver, who visited the Islands in 

I 1792, '93 and '84, gave the king much good ad- 

\ vice, as well as some valuable presents, and be- 

\ fore leaving, is reported to have said to him : 

5 ' There is a God above in heaven, and if you de- 

? sire to worship him, when I return to England I 

\ wilt entreat his majesty to appoint for you a cler- 

Igyman ; and when he comes you must renounce 
your tabu system, which is false— there are no 
earthly deities.' Kamehameha died May 8, 1819, 
a few months before the Missionaries sailed from 
Boston. * * He is said to have spoken to his 

i chiefs during his last sickness of throwing off the 

\ restraints of tabu when he should recover. The 

< testimony of foreigners residing at the islands had 

< been often given against the system " 

/ His son, who succeeded him, and his 

< favorite wife, with the concurrence of 
I several of the chiefs, at length took de- 

< cided ground in favor of the change. 

> Opposition was manifested by a portion 

> of the chiefs, — a war ensued, in which 
\ the party of the idolaters was defeat- 
\ ed, and the revolution was complete. 
\ " The Islands were without a religion, 

< waiting for God's law." 


\ It is a characteristic of sailors when 

\ converted, that they are prompt to 
engage in efforts for the conversion 
of others. Rarely is the light kindled 

I in them, to be put under a bushel. In 

j: every method of Christian instrumen- 

I tality, by example, and by direct la- 

; bor, at the Bethel, the Home, on ship- 

; board, and in the foreign port, there 

; is an aggregate amount of good accom- 

:' plished by them, surpassed by no 

\ others of the same number. 



Many pious sailors have devoted 
themselves exclusive!}* to the service 
of Christ as colporteurs, tract distri- 
butors, &c., and many have become 
ministers of the Gospel. In the win- 
ter of 185G-7, a common sailor, board- 
ing at the Home in New York, labored 
assiduously among the seamen at that 
institution and elsewhere, and in a few 
months was instrumental in the hope- 
ful conversion of nearly sixty souls 

Not a few of the most successful chap- 
lains now preaching the Gospel in our 
own and foreign ports, were first 
brought to the knowledge of Christ 
upon the sea. One such, who came a 
few years ago into New York before 
the mast, and was converted here, re- 
turned subsequently to his native 
land, where he is now preaching the 
Gospel with great success, and has ga- 
thered more than a dozen evangelical 
churches, embracing several hundred 
members. At the Swedish Bethel 
in this city, under the ministry of Rev. 
Mr. Hedstrom, himself a sailor, thirty 
^nissionaries have been raised up, who 
are laboring with their countrymen in 
this land, and three or four who have 
returned to preach Christ in the 


One oftthe most interesting methods 
by which good is accomplished through 
our seamen, is the distribution of 
evangelical books, particularly among 
Catholics. Under the auspices of the 
New York City Bible and Tract So- 
cieties, this work is now being prose- 
cuted very extensively. The follow- 
ing particulars furnished by Mr. J. S. 
Picrson. Marine Agent of the N. Y. B. 
S., will afford some idea of its impor- 
tance and success. 
emUjrant ships. 

About 250,000 emigrants annually 
come to this country from Europe. 
Large supplies of books are furnished 
to the vesJMfls engaged in this busincsK 

for distribution to the passengers dur- 
ing the voyage. One of the command- 
ers of long experience, gives a graphic 
description of the work of distribu- 

Do you ask me whether Catholics will take 
your books in yooil faith and read them? I wish 
you could be present some pleasant Sunday morn- 
ing, when I give them out, and see for yourself. I 
lirst look round among the passengers to find the 
right persons to help me ; and that is easily ascer- 
tained, by noticing who are the ones thatbnng out 
tlieir Hibles and Prayer-Books to read. At first, 
when the passengers gather around the package, 
the idea is that they are for sale. There is, con- 
sequently, a little shyness; but as the books. are 
examined, purses are drawn out here and there, 
and the question is, ' IIow much money. Captain 1' 
When I answer, ' Nothing ; these books are sent to 
you by good peoj)le in America, your friends,' you 
ougiit to sec the sensation, the expressions of won- 
der and delight, and the rush to get copied- It is 
hard work to make a decent distribution. That 
they should find, every man, something in his own 
language, surprises them. 'IIow is this, Capt. ^ 
are there Ilollariders in Ainerical Do the Ameri- 
cans speak German V Then you will see them gc 
lorward with the prizes, and string themselves in 
<;ron[)3 along the sides of the vessel, and on the 
forecastle, to read. And when they have been 
read, and re-read, and exchanged, those little 
books, believe me, arc stowed away carefully in 
their chests, to be preserved as invaluable me- 
mentos of the kindness of friends whom they have 
never seen, the first kindly greeting from the laud 
towards which were turned all their thoughts and 

Another captain writes : 

"The books and tracts have always been care- 
fully distributed, <,usually the first pleasant Sab, 
bath,) and so far as I had opportunities of judging- 
have always been read and preserved. It was no 
uncommon sight to sec from fifty to one hundred 
persons scattered about decks, and all attentively 
perusing whatever had been distributed among 
them. That they were carried away with them 
from the ship, is evidenced from the facf that in 
cleaning out the between decks, while mluiy old 
books, both French atid German, would be left ho- 
hind, 1 do not nsmember to have found any of I'ho 
societies' publications, with the exception ol a few 
tracts. No doubt many arc destroyed, but still I 
think that the larger part are carried away, and 
spread broadcast over the West. 

" My profession are not remarkable for jMety or 
veracity, yet I think that all |)r()miseH to distribute 
are generally kci)t, and that the books and tract.n 
reach those for whom they arc intended, and an; 
almost always road and preserved. The good 
which they may elTect cannot bo measured in titne, 
but surely in the great harvest day, we sluill kiiov 
if it has been in vain that we thus cast our broa'J 
upon the waters. Is it not ^ hopeful sign tl>u9 to 
lucc-t the Btiaiigcr on the world's highway, and 


place ill his hand the great Cliarter of human 
liberty'? It may Irccjueiitiy be done, but I have 
never seen a sailor destroy or throw away a Bible." 

The extent to wliich these distri- 
butions are carried, will be seen from 
the following table of emigrant ships 
supplied during the year ending Nov. 

249 vessels bound to Liverpool, 





























Total, 609 vessels ! 
Foreign shijys arriving in New York. 

A sample of the distributions on 
board these ships is the following : 

"Among the foreign shipping supplied this month 
is the Peruvian brig Julia, and the Chilian bark 
Centro America ; also some eight Italian ves els. 
Upon these last, however, I have been able to do 
but little, most of them being from Naples or 
Sicily, where the Bible is still a prohibited book. 

Upon the bark , from Palermo, I found an 

intelligent crew, generally desiring the Bible, but 
afraid to take it. The mate went through in lively 
pantomiiTie with a description of the search to 
which each man would be subjected on the ves- 
sel's return— shirts, boots, coat-linings, &c., for 
such revolutionary papers ; and expressed witlj a 
few significant gestures what the result would be 
if any were discovered— fetters on the wrists, per- 
haps a rope around the neck, or a musket brought 
deliberately to a level. I made the best arrange- 
ment possible under the circumstances, by giving 
to a bright sailoi-- whom the crew put forward as 
their spokesman, an Italian New Testament with 
a set of tracts, for him to read aloud to the others 
on Sundays, as long as the voyage lasted ; which 
plan wa% acquiesced In with a general expression 
ot satisfaction. A copy of the Bible was bestowed 
in a sirjiiilar manner, and cordially received by the 

capta^ii of the Neapolitan brig . As the 

voyage home is a long one, by way of Belfast and 
Constantinople, there will be some four or five 
nio(;(ths for the perusal of the volume, before it 
wi^: be necessary to part with it ; which can easily 
done at the latter place. 

/ " Rarely have I been more warmly welcomed 

tifian I was upon the Austrian bark , from 

jTrieste. 'There were but two of the crew on deck 
/when I came on board. These had no sooner 
iread fairly the title-page of the Italian Bible, than 
j they ran forward for their money, shouting as they 
/ passed the hatchway to their comrades at work 
/ in the hold, '■Sacra Bibbia! Sacra Bibbia!' This 
brought up ail hands ; and I was in a moment the 

centre ot a group of swarthy faces, reading aloud 
^ gesticulating and bargaining. Some were from 
.'■ Venice, and spoke proudly of the late revolution- 
; ary struggle there, in wliich they had taken part. 
' They were mightily pleased with the shrewd little 
' tract entitled, ' Why does your priest forbid you 
^ to read the Bible 7' My sales were seven Bibles 
; and eight Testaments. 

I " On the Portuguese brig Enrica, from Lisbon, 
I my sales were nineteen Portuguese Bibles ; and on 

< the bark Flor de Vez, of the same nation, Isold 
J thirteen copies, of which five were lettered on the 

> cover with the name of the purchasers, (all of the 
I crew,) and intended for family Bibles at home. 
( Also gave Testaments to three negroes on the 
\ Portuguese brig Honoria, from Duarte, on the 
\ Western coast of Africa. 

i "On my second visit to the Portuguese brig 
I Mattos Terciero with Bibles— my first and prepar- 

< atory visit having been with tracts — I was received 
\ most cordially by the crew ; one man putting his 
\ arm about me, and patting on the back, as I stooj)- 
) ed over my books, with an affectionate " Bom 
} homem !' I sold four Portuguese Bibles, and gave 
\ to such as had not money to buy, eight Testaments. 
I " Had most encouraging success upon a Brazilian 
I bark, of Rio, selling in three visits no less than 

1'^ eighty-eight Portuguese Bibles, and fifty Testa- 
ments. Almost each one of the crew bought one 
Bible, some two, and the black cook six copies. A 
passenger also purchased ; and the captain and 
mate took several dozen copies between them. I 
had the pleasure, also, of forwarding to the Amer- 
l ican Tract Society orders for more than one hun- 
\ dred of their bound volumes in Portuguese." 

The number of foreign vessels thus 
1 visited during the year, was 54. 

I Books sent to Catholic Ports. 
No part of this work of distributing 
evangelical books, is more interesting 
than that which is done through the 
\ medium of vessels visitiiig foreign 
I ports, especially in Papal lands. 

I " Of the reports I am constantly receiving of sue- 

\ cessful distributions at Roman Catholic ports, the 

< following may serve as a sample : The Swedish 
', mate of the schooiicr , from a port in Cuba, 

> says that an American cooper, who was passen{Ter, 
I took the Spanish supplies with him a hundred 
? miles into the interior, and on his return stated 

< that the greatest eagerness was manifest for them. 
\ On another vessel from Cuba, 1 learn that a Mr. F., 
\ a Spanish planter with an American wife, took 

> thankfully most of the package, to carry up to dis- 

> tribute on his large sugar estate. On a brig from 
} Cienfuegos, the mate speaks of a Spanish Testa- 
\ ment in the cabin being read quite through by the 

< custom-house officer in charge, before he left the 
5 vessel. On a Havana packet, the intelligent Por- 
I tuguese steward informs me that the Spanish Bible 
j he bought of me for a friend, he gave to a priest 
J there, on his urgent solicitation made privately 

< through a third party. From Captain B., of same 


Ykact and bible distribution. 

Tessel, I hav received $2 12, for Spanish Bibles 
eoU at Havana. Cai>taiii J., of the Danish brig 

, long itUeresled in this work, calls at the 

dcpositury to buy three Spanish Bibles for residents 
at Iliimacoa, Porto Rico. From the late capUiin 

of the brifr , I hear of French Testaments 

and tracts jrratcfully received at the French penal 
settlement of Cayenne, on the Spanish main. On 
another vessel, I hear of distributions in Italian 
and French, at Messma in Sicily, at Brest, a naval 
Elation in France, and in Constantinople — all in one 

"Captain S. of the bark , says that on a 

recent voj'age to a port on the south side of Cuba 
most of liis Spanish supplies went into the interior. 
'The people used to come down in the night for 
them,' he says. On another vessel, from Cuba, I 
hear of the captain's taking a trip to a town in the 
centre of the island and carrying the Spanish sup- 
plies with him. On passing another brig, also from 
tha south side of Cuba, was hailed by the mate 
with, ' Oh, Mr. Pierson, I am so glad to see you ! I 
have a long yarn to spin with you about those 
books you gave me to distribute last voyage. I 
never gave away any with so much satisfaction. 
I never saw such a demand for them. I gave a 
couple of Testaments to custom-house officers, 
and immediately I began to have calls for them 
from the sliorc. They came down like sheep ! I 
boanled the other American vessels in port, and 
collected what I could find ; but there was not half 
enough to supply all who wanted. Do see that an 
ample supply is sent by the next vessel going 

thither.' Captain L., oi" the bark , from Ma 

tanzas, brings me $1 75 for Bibles sold there last 
voyage. Says another captain : ' They are get- 
ting quite civilized out there by your books. I 
had to go up to your place and buy eight dollars' 
worth last voyage. Let me have a lettered Spanish 
Bible for the cabin of my new vessel, and I will 
pay you for it ' " 

" The following extract from a letter of a pious 
Swedish captain gives an account of the distribu- 
tion, at a Spanish port, of supplies placed in his 
hands by mj'self in January :— 

" ' I am astonished at the great hunger that is 
here shown after the Word of Oo«l, as also at the 
very great reverence and thankfulness with which 
Ihe books an ' ♦.racts have been received. Some of 
Ib^ pcopl- .16 back with presents of fruit; and 
one of then, gave me an image of the Virgin Mary^ 
to show me, as I suppose, that he was by no means 
withfiut »ome religion, ft is very hard, that 
scarcely two out of twenty of the working 
cUases here can read. Many of the htreets here, 
I am Borry to «ay, are occupitd on both sides by 
lewd women, and one day I thought it best to 
make a mibsionary tour through these streets. 
So I tofjk a large ijuatiti'y of tracts with me to dis- 
Iributf; among thern. All were .tiiken with deep 
Interest l»y them ; bnta»(I am very little at home 
in the BpaniHh I could say hut little to those un- 
happy creaturci! — only m>w the iced of the Word 
of 0'>d. • • • 1 gave a 8i»aniHh Bible to oue 
of I ho cuntom houiic rjfflcer*. When lie saw what 
tKK>lc it waa he l>ecame indew;rif>ably happy, and, 
with thankfulnefia clrifped hi» handa together, 
l«oke<) up to beaven, and praiaed God." 

" Supplied the ship , bound on a trading 

voyage to the Pacific ports of Central America. 
For three voyages now this vessel has done good 
service in conveying to those regions more than 
one hundred dollars worth of Spanish Scriptures 
and tracts. These the captain has taken in charge, 
selling or giving, as the opportunity presented, to 
the merchant with whom he had business, to the 
planter whom he was visiting at his farm far up 
among the mountains, to the village school in the 
interior, and sometimes to the village ' padre' 

" Was warmly greeted to-day by Captain C, of 
the bark Minnetonka, just returned from Mada- 
gascar and the East coast of Africa, and furnished 
by myself last year with a grant of Scriptures 
from the American Bible Society, for use in those 
remote regions. , To quote his expression, • every 
thing came in just right !' The French Bibles and 
tracts were given mostly on the coast of Madagas- 
car, at the French trading stations ; Portuguese 
Bibles, though not much in demand, were very 
acceptable gifts to a few Portuguese soldiers at 
Portuguese settlements on the African coast, near 
Mozambique and Zanzibar ; and the Arabic Tes- 
taments were given to a number of Mussulman 
Hindoos from India, on the same coast." 

January 18, 1858.— Captain of the packet brig 

, running regularly to a small port in Brazil, 

where there are no agents or missionaries of any 
of our evangelical societies, and no Protestant 
preacher, calls at the office of the New York 
Bible Society with some $25 received for Bibles 
sold there, last voyage, and with nine letters in Por- 
tuguese, ordering altogether 60 Portuguese Bibles, 
and 200 of the American Tract Society's Portu- 
guese Spelling Books, an excellent volume of some 
90 pages containing Scripture lessons, hymns, 
catechism, &c. This is a specimen of the trade 
that has been going on for several years in a 
smaller degree between the Bible and Tract So- 
cieties in New York and some of these smaller 
ports on that coast, originating in the circulation, 
by captains, of tracts and Testaments there, and 
now settled into a steady demand. Every vessel 
that comes from that coast brings requests for 
Bibles and good books ; and the fleld may be said 
to be white for the visit of the misi onary and the 
Bible agent, mainly through the voluntary colport- 
age of captains. 

The scope of these distributions in 
foreign Roman Catholic ports, by 
our American vessels is show.n by 
the number and position of the ports 
thus reached. Thus in the month of 
December, 1857, 101 vessels wore 
supplied, bound to ports as follows : — 


Xibara, ^ Havana, 
Matanzas, Cienfucgos, 
Car<lenaB, Trinidad, 
bagua la Grande, St. Jago. 



St. I'ierre. 



Point a Petre. 

St. Johns, 







Port au Platte, 



San Juan de Nicaragua. 


Cuidad Bolivar, 
Porto Oabello, 



Port an Prince, 
Aux Caves. 

Vera Cruz. 


Rio Grande, 
Rio de Janeiro. 




Callao, Acapulco. 



fliarseilles, , Alicante, 
Palermo, Constantinople, 
Cadiz, Smyrna. 

The following table will give a 
summary view of the number of ves- 
sels which have been employed in 
these benevolent distributions during 
the last three years : — 

Foreign ves- 


Vessels to 

sels in N. Y. 


foreign ports. 
















The importance of the work thus 
performed cannot well be over esti- 

mated. If the influence of ungodly 
seamen is deplorable, we can point, 
on the other hand, to more than 
which in three years past have gone 
from a single port to engage, more or 
less, directly in the service of Christ. 
Eternity alone can disclose the bles.s- 
ed results of this service. 

" Our object," says Mr. Pierson, 
" is not only to do good to the sailor, 
but to persuade him to use his un- 
rivalled facilities for doing good to 
others. We wish to give him the 
missionary spirit^ and to equip him 
suitably for his work. Much has 
been done in this direction, but to the 
eye of courageous Christian faith, it is 
only enough to show how much more 
can be done. Is it too much to hope 
for, that the time may come when 
almost every vessel sent forth by our 
Christian merchants, or accessible to 
outside preparation, will be, while it 
stays, a little center of light in every 
heathen or Roman Catholic port 
which it visits, doing something to 
spread abroad that light which we 
believe is, in God's own time, to cover 
the earth? And does it not seem 
proper, too, that the Christian mind of 
this city, which owes its importance 
and wealth to conunerce, should busy 
itself specially with the problem, how 
that commerce may be sanctified to 
the spread of the Gospel abroad, at 
those points from which this wealth