San Francisco Sunset, Aquatic Park
During the mid 1800s many a man enjoyed a beautiful sunset in San Francisco only to wake the next morning with a splitting headache on a ship bound for a year-long cruise. The business of crimping or shanghaiing was practiced by number of specialists including Shanghai Kelly, Miss Piggott, and Horseshoe Brown.

The formula for the knockout potions used on the unwary was said to have come from a local bartender named Michael Finn who learned the recipe from a New Orleans voodoo priest. Some 'Mickey Finns' contained ash or snuff, others used laudanum, and still others featured chloral hydrate. But I'm guessing the worst was probably the potions made with Glauber Salts, a horse laxative.

It wasn't unusual of to hear of a man being shanghaied two or even three times. Crimpers often threw the corpse of a dead man or two into the pile of unconscious victims in order to boost the fees paid by desperate sea captains. Occasionally a rat was sewn into the dead man's clothes to provide some movement.

One famous story was a Chilean crimper named Calico Jim who, one by one, shanghaied six policemen who had been sent to arrest him. When the policemen finally made their ways back to San Francisco they found Jim had fled. The policemen pooled their money and sent one man down to South America to hunt Calico Jim down. After several months the policeman found Jim on the streets of Calleo, Chile and shot him dead, firing six bullets, one for each of the shanghaied policeman.
[ MAP D-12 ]