The Nationwide Hobo Body’s Ethical Code (1889)

This entry is part 6 of 10 in the series Communiques and Manifestos

Hobo ethical code (1889)

The Nationwide Hobo Body’s Ethical Code (1889)

Voted for by the hobo Tourist Union #63, during its 1889 National Hobo Convention in St. Louis Missouri; the Hobo Body’s Ethical Code was used as a set of laws to govern the Nationwide Hobo Body.

  • Decide your own life, don’t let another person run or rule you.
  • When in town, always respect the local law and officials, and try to be a gentleman at all times.
  • Don’t take advantage of someone who is in a vulnerable situation, locals or other hobos.
  • Always try to find work, even if temporary, and always seek out jobs nobody wants. By doing so you not only help a business along, but ensure employment should you return to that town again.
  • When no employment is available, make your own work by using your added talents at crafts.
  • Do not allow yourself to become a stupid drunk and set a bad example for locals’ treatment of other hobos.
  • When jungling in town, respect handouts, do not wear them out, another hobo will be coming along who will need them as badly, if not worse than you.
  • Always respect nature, do not leave garbage where you are jungling.
  • If in a community jungle, always pitch in and help.
  • Try to stay clean, and boil up wherever possible.
  • When travelling, ride your train respectfully, take no personal chances, cause no problems with the operating crew or host railroad, act like an extra crew member.
  • Do not cause problems in a train yard; another hobo will be coming along who will need passage through that yard.
  • Do not allow other hobos to molest children, expose all molesters to authorities, they are the worst garbage to infest any society.
  • Help all runaway children, and try to induce them to return home.
  • Help your fellow hobos whenever and wherever needed, you may need their help someday.
  • If present at a hobo court and you have testimony, give it. Whether for or against the accused, your voice counts!
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