SEAMEN'S FUND. By the act of July 16, 1798, a provision is made for raising
a fund for the relief of disabled and sick seamen: the master of every
vessel arriving from a foreign port into the United States is required to
pay to the collector of customs at the rate of twenty cents per month for
every seaman employed on board of his vessel, which sum he may, retain out
of the wages of such seaman: vessels engaged in the coasting trade, and
boats, rafts or flats navigating the Mississippi, with intention to proceed
to New Orleans, are also laid under similar obligations. The fund thus
raised is to be employed by the president of the United States as
circumstances shall require, for the benefit and convenience of sick and
disabled American seamen. Act of March 3, 1802, s. 1.
2. By the act of congress, passed February 28, 1803, c. 62, 2 Story's L. U. S. 884, it is provided, that when a seaman is discharged in a foreign country with his own consent, or when the ship is sold there, he shall, in addition to his usual wages, be paid three months' wages into the hands of the American consul, two-thirds of which are to be paid to such seaman, on his engagement on board any vessel to return home, and the remaining one- third is retained in aid of a fund for the relief of distressed American seamen in foreign ports. See 11 John. R. 66; 12 John. Rep. 143; 1 Mason, R. 45; 4 Mason, R. 541; Edw. Adm. R. 239.