Monday, May 7, 2012

fun legal quote of the day: sailors be damned!

Justice Waite rules in Matthews v. Terry, 10 Conn. 455 (1835):
There is no doubt but that, for just cause, a parent may reasonably correct his child, a master his apprentice, and a schoolmaster his pupil. Yet that power cannot be lawfully exercised, by a master over his hired servant, whether that servant is employed in husbandry, in manufacturing business, or in any other manner, except in the case of sailors.
Sailors have a long and brutal history re: labor law. Richard B. Morris, for example, writes of the continued use of labor controls (imprisonment for contract breach, fines, etc.) on seamen into 20th century Maryland -- long after the use of indentured servitude (and of course slavery) had disappeared from the region.

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