From Discontent to Mutiny, continued

Most often mutinies or labor strikes took place far away from home when someone wanted a voyage to end. Fortunately, ships carried insurance, so loss of property was covered. However, the most serious event, when human life was lost, is a capital offense. Murder is a felony and should not be mistaken as part of the romance of the sea.

There were many different things to which a crew might object. Some of the contributing factors that made crew members unhappy, willing to unite and protest in hopes of effecting change included lousy food, bad drinking water, cramped living quarters, racial prejudice, perceptions of punishment, changing crew, unrealistic fantasies of faraway places and unreasonable captain control.

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image of fight

Martha's Vineyard Museum R. H. Dana