The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Kingston Herald (Kingston, ON), April 2, 1844

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p.3 The ice is now out of the harbour as far as the Marine Railway wharf and store-house. The City of Toronto steamer was to leave Toronto today for Kingston, and may therefore be expected tomorrow morning.

To the Editor of the Chronicle & Gazette.

Sir, - As the opening of the navigation between Montreal and Kingston is drawing near, I beg to direct the attention of the owners of property who intend having it forwarded to Montreal or Quebec, and of the several Inland Marine Insurance Companies, to the very large amount of property which was lost and damaged last Fall by being shipped at Kingston on board of barges.

From the 11th of October to 16th November, there were wrecked or damaged fourteen barges, containing twenty-five thousand four hundred and thirty-two bushels Wheat - six thousand and ninety-one barrels Flour - one hundred and eighty barrels Pot Ashes - one hundred and thirty-five kegs Butter - Sixty one tierces Beef - and Thirty five barrels Pork, - Thus in a little more than one month property amounting to over thirteen thousand Pounds currency, has been lost or damaged. Whether the public will in future allow their property, intened for the Montreal, Quebec or Home markets, to be shipped in barges not towed by substantial steamers, and continue to place it under the care of those Forwarders, who have so carelessly exposed it to such risk, or have their property placed in charge of others who will pledge themselves to forward all property sent to their care in steamboats, or in barges towed by steamboats, of sufficient power, is a question for the owners to decide. But I would respectfully impress on the respective Inland Marine Insurance Companies the necessity of their making a difference in the rate of premium on property insured, and shipped on board of steamboats, or in barges in tow thereof, - and that shipped on board of barges not towed all the way to their destination. In every well regulated commercial community the amount of premium on property insured is always regulated by the class of vessels in which it is to be carried, and the season of the year in which it is shipped. If the risk of loss is fairly compared between property shipped on board of a well appointed steamboat, commanded by a man of character and experience, and that shipped on board of an open, unwieldly barge, managed generally by persons of another class in society, I think underwriters ought to be at no loss to form a proper estimate of the difference of risk, and regulate their premiums accordingly. Every person who gives this subject a moment's consideration will at once see that there should be a large difference on the rates chargeable on the two classes of conveyances. I respectfully submit that it is the duty as well as the interest of insurance companies, to put a stop as far as they possibly can, to the reckless waste of human life and property, which occur every year between Kingston and Montreal, by forwarders shipping property in barges, not towed by steamers all the way through.

Believe me to be respectfully yours,


Kingston, 28th March, 1844.

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April 2, 1844
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Kingston Herald (Kingston, ON), April 2, 1844