Maintaining the Family: Community Support for Merchant Sailors’ Families in Finland, 1830–1860
After the Napoleonic Wars, Finnish ship owners increasingly contributed to the global
trade by selling their tonnage capacity internationally. In spite of its
peripheral position as a Grand Duchy within Imperial Russia (since 1809),
Finland played an important part in the high seas trafficking during the late
age of sail, largely due to the ready availability of labour. In this chapter,
I study how the long-distance trade affected sailors’ families in Pori on
Finland’s west coast between 1830 and 1860. I show how boundaries of biological
kinship were crossed in housing arrangements the families made for ensure
social and economic security and how the community support dealt with families.
The chapter bases on qualitative close reading of the local officials’ documents.
- Rinnakkaistallenteet