Hobo type. This written language for hobos was a system of symbols developed as a code to help them cope with a difficult lifestyle. Hobo signage was often written with chalk or coal and might include directions, information and warnings such as a dangerous dog or the homeowner has a gun. Three diagonal lines signified it was not a safe place, the cross indicated angel food, which was food served to hobos after a sermon, two shovels indicated work available and a cross with a smiley face with one corner meant the doctor was willing to treat hobos for free.
In 1889 at the National Hobo Convention, the Tourist Union #63 adopted a concrete set of sixteen ethical by-laws to govern the Nation-wide Hobo Body. Oh what a wonderful world it would be if we all lived by this Hobo Code.
1| Decide your own life, don't let another person run or rule it.
2| When in town, respect the local laws and officials, and try to be a gentleman at all times.
3| Don't take advantage of someone who is in a vulnerable situation, locals or other hobos.
4| 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 ensures employment should you return to that town again.
5| When no employment is available, make your own work by using your added talents at crafts.
6| Do not allow yourself to become a stupid drunk and set a bad example for locals' treatment of other hobos.
7| Respect handouts. Do not wear them out, as another hobo will come along who will need them more than you.
8| Always respect nature, do not leave garbage in your camp.
9| When in a community camp, always pitch in to help.
10| Try to stay clean whenever possible.
11| Ride your train respectfully. Cause no problems and act like another crew member.
12| Do not cause problems in a train yard, another hobo will be coming along who will need passage through the yard.
13| Do not allow hobos to molest children, and expose all molesters to authorities. They are the worst garbage to infest any society.
14| Help all runaway children, and try to induce them to return home.
15| Help all fellow hobos whenever and wherever needed.
16| 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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