Lt. Panton, removes his sword and asks to be shown the captain’s cabin. This is a symbol that he was not going to impress. Four seamen hide in a secret hole that was not visible from below deck. They are eventually discovered from the above deck and a stand-off ensues with swords and sabers probing the hidden hole. Corbett draws a line in salt on the lower deck and tells Panton based on trial testimony that : “ 'If you step over that line, I shall consider it as a proof that you are determined to impress me, and by the eternal God of Heaven, you are a dead man.' '
Learn how this initial confrontation escalates the conflict between similar legal systems and leads to the Boston Massacre.
Click here for the 350 year history of British impressment law.
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