The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Kingston Herald (Kingston, ON), Sept. 2, 1845

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p.2 The opposition - the formidable opposition to the Lake Steamboats has vanished almost as soon as it was announced. We did not think it would continue very long, but we certainly thought that it would make more than one trip to Toronto. Nevertheless it has all ended in smoke by the Highlander's making one trip to Toronto and back, a very clumsy sort of farce, after all the big words that were spoken. We find in the Montreal Transcript of Saturday an advertisement from 17 gentlemen who were passengers on the route when the Highlander was off, in which they complain most bitterly of having been put on board the Beaver at Kingston, having taken and paid at Niagara for their passage to Montreal by the Royal Mail Line. They say that the Beaver was so incapable of performing the duty assigned to her, that they did not reach the Coteau du Lac until three o'clock on the morning of the 25th ult., instead of at eight o'clock the previous night, making them seven hours behind the time, and that "the vessel was so overrun with bugs that not a single lady out of fifteen or sixteen could lie down in the berths, but were compelled with the rest of the passengers to take their rest on the trunks, or in chairs, or sit up the whole night." Therefore they warn all travellers against being imposed on in a similar manner. We suspect that this incompetency of the Beaver has had something to do with the sudden death of the opposition. But could the owners have known the state of that boat when they placed her in the Mail line? If they did, it was a disgraceful act, for she appears to be not fit to take passengers at all, at least not by night.

The Transcript notices our remark, that the steam boat business is overdone, or Mr. Bethune would not be constrained to buy up five boats in order that his own three may pay, and says - "The business carried on by the forwarders and common carriers on the St. Lawrence is of such a nature that an old tub which could steam five miles an hour might cause a great loss to the proprietor of the fastest and best built boat; the latter is therefore almost compelled to buy up the rotten craft." What has this to do with the matter? Mr. Bethune's line is on the Lake, where "rotten craft" and "old tubs" can do nothing; therefore the Transcript's remark is wholly inapplicable.

The Chatham Gleaner says that the loss of lives on board the Steamer Kent has been underrated. There were, as near as can be ascertained, 95 passengers on board, of whom 79 have been saved. The whole matter is to be judicially investigated, and from affidavits which he has seen the Gleaner thinks that the blame of the unhappy collision does not rest on those in charge of the Kent.

Some articles, supposed to have belonged to passengers on the Kent, have been picked up by Schooners passing down the Lake, and brought to Kingston. One is a large case containing linen, clothes, books, etc. and a sofa. The linen is marked J. Tuttle and Harriet Tuttle. Another is a large deal box containing chiefly Ladies' wearing apparel. The box is marked A.W. A Bible found therein has the name John Watson written in it. This Mr. Tuttle is supposed to have been of Harwich, Vermont; and Watson an emigrant. We trust that the investigation into this case will be prosecuted speedily and thoroughly, and be followed by an indictment of the man, or men, whose criminal negligence, if nothing more, occasioned so many lives to be lost.

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Sept. 2, 1845
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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), Sept. 2, 1845