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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Seaman's Friend Society

by Craig M. Stinson, 2006

The Seaman's Friend Society was organized by a number of prominent businessmen, women, and other citizens in the city of Wilmington to "improve the social, moral, and religious condition of the seamen." In 1853 the society purchased a home and chapel in downtown Wilmington along the Cape Fear River, intended to serve as an "economical, moral boarding house" and hospital. The society cared for nearly 500 sailors a year, providing a temporary home for the mariner who was weary from ocean travel and an environment in which he might successfully be "christianized." The Seaman's Friend Society ended in 1918.

Additional Resources:

Sprunt, James. "The Seaman's Friend Society." Information and Statistics Respecting Wilmington, North Carolina, Being a Report by the President of the Produce Exchange. Presented to its Members, April, 1883. Wilmington, N. C.: Jackson & Bell, Water-Power Presses, 1883. p.70- 71. (accessed August 29, 2012).

Jackson, Claude V. "Hospital Point or Mount Tirzah." Maritime history and survey of the Cape Fear and Northeast Cape Fear rivers, Wilmington Harbor, North Carolina. Volume 1: Maritime history. North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Division of Archives and History. 1996. p. 79.  (accessed August 29, 2012).

"Resolutions Concerning the Marine Hospital in or Near the Town of Wilmington in North Carolina."     Private laws of the State of North-Carolina, passed by the General Assembly at its Session of 1854-55. Raleigh [N.C.]: Holden & Wilson. 1855.  (accessed August 29, 2012).

"An act to extend the charter of the 'Seamen's Friend Society' at Wilmington." Private laws of the state of North Carolina passed by the General Assembly at its session of 1899. Raleigh [N.C.]:Edwards and Broughton and E.M. Uzzell.1899.  (accessed August 29, 2012).

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