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© The New Bedford Whaling Museum [William H. Tripp Collection T-532]

William H. Tripp (1880-1959). "Ready for Sea" bark Kathleen (deck view), ca. 1890. Glass negative, 5 x 7 inches.

Sailors and Boarders

About 60 percent of migrants from the South to the North were single adults for whom boarding was a perfect arrangement. More than half of all boarders were adult men, and in seaside communities they were largely sailors and dockworkers. Boardinghouses provided these men with more than food and shelter. Friendships formed among boardinghouse residents provided a network of support and assistance. In 1834, John Tidd, a regular resident of Arthur Jones's North End seamen's boardinghouse in Boston was jailed in New Orleans and was in danger of being sold into slavery. Upon learning of his predicament, Tidd's boardinghouse friends persuaded the Massachusetts authorities to intercede on his behalf.

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