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The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 9, 1864


Judges Field and Hoffman were occupied all day yesterday in hearing evidence in the case of Captain Josiah N. Knowles, of the ship Charger, indicted for manslaughter, in not stopping to pick up a sailor named Swansea, who fell from the royal yard arm of that ship, on the 1st of last April, during a voyage from Boston to San Francisco. From the testimony, it would appear that there was a heavy sea on at the time, and a stiff breeze blowing, and consequently it would not have been safe to send a boat after the man, while at the same time it would have been useless to shorten sail and put the ship about, because of the great length of time that would necessarily be consumed in the operation. Swansea fell one hundred and twenty feet, and one witness - the second officer of the ship thought he struck the "main channels" in his descent, and was a dead man when he reached the water. The Charger was on a quick trip, and was making over ten knots an hour at the time of the accident. The evidence was almost completed yesterday, and the arguments of counsel will be commenced to-day.

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