The Oregon Shanghaiers: Columbia River Crimping from Astoria to Portland

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Arcadia Publishing, Apr 8, 2014 - History - 160 pages
In the hardscrabble early days of Portland's seaport, "shanghaiing" or "crimping" ran rampant. The proprietors of crooked saloons and sailors' boardinghouses coerced unwitting patrons to work on commercial ships. Shanghaiers like James Turk, Bunko Kelley and Billy Smith unashamedly forced men into service and stole the wages of their victims. By the 1890s, these shanghaiers had become powerful enough to influence the politics of Astoria and Portland, charging sea captains outrageous fees for unskilled laborers and shaping maritime trade around a merciless black market. For nearly a century, the exploits of these notorious crimpers have existed mainly in lore. Now historian Barney Blalock offers a lively and meticulously researched account of these colorful and corrupt men, revealing an authentic account of Oregon's malicious maritime legends.
 

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Contents

The Gentle Art of Shipping Sailors
Can Anything Good Come from San Francisco?
The Grant Family of Astoria
Mr Lawrence Malachi Sullivan Comes to Town
The Palmy Days of Jim Turk
Pirates of the Port
The Shanghaiing of Darius Norris
Citizen Turk
Before the Blind Goddess
Events Leading Up to the Funeral of James Turk
A Confederacy of Crimps
Red Lights Burn Out in the North
The Unquiet Graves
A Tall Tale of Tunnels
Notes
About the Author

The Unfortunate Mr Beeby
The Arrival of Joe Bunco Kelley

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About the author (2014)

Barney Blalock's love of the Portland waterfront comes from the thirty-three years he spent working on the grain docks. He is the great-grandson of Oregon pioneers, and as such has had a life-long interest in local history. Blalock is the author of the Portland Waterfront History blog and "Portland's Lost Waterfront: Tall Ships, Steam Mills, and Sailor's Boardinghouses." He is a member of the Oregon Historical Society and the Oregon Maritime Museum and is a frequent lecturer and guest speaker.

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