The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), Nov. 27, 1849


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p.2 Custom House Seizure - A new broom sweeps clean; so runs the proverb; is this the explanation of the conduct of the officials of the Custom-houses along the States frontier? We have already mentioned the seizure of the Chief Justice Robinson in a very unwarrantable manner; we have now to record the seizure at Buffalo, of the Emerald. The cause of the seizure we find in the Hamilton Gazette, to be the following:-

"One of the parties on the vessel - the Steward we believe - brought over from the Canada side a few yards of cloth, which he handed to a tailor in Buffalo, to make into a garmnt of some sort. The work was done and the garment given by the tailor to the party, who took it on board with him, whereupon, the tailor laid information for smuggling, and the vessel was seized. We presume that the owners of the Emerald will seek redress in the proper quarter."

But no redress is to be had for the time lost and the trouble caused. Life and good behavior appointments would give less patronage to Presidents and more peace to the public. Or if with every new President there must come new officials to the humblest grades, there should come also new instructions to them not to ride on the top of their commissions.

Rumor adds a third steamer to the list of the seized. The London that plies between Port Stanley and Buffalo, is reported to be detained at Buffalo for some contravention of the Revenue Laws. The particulars we have not learned. In ignorance of them we can only lament the interruption thus given to business and the asperity of feeling necessarily arising from such conduct.

Capt. Dick has proceeded to Washington in reference to the detention of the Chief Justice. [Globe]

We noticed in our last the seizure of the steamer Chief Justice at Lewiston, in the State of New York, on a charge of smuggling. Capt. Dick could obtain no redress at Buffalo. Security to any amount was offered for the release of the vessel, but refused. Capt. Dick has therefore gone on to Washington to seek redress. The seizure of the vessel was an extraordinary act. It was done under an old Act of Congress, which, until then, was for a long period unknown at the Port, or considered obsolete, and neve acted upon. By this Act, spirits are not permitted to be entered in less quantities than 90 gallons at a time, it has been customary, notwithstanding, for parties on the American side, to introduce liquor in smaller quantities from Canada, for their private use, and this was permitted by Custom House officers on the United States frontier. In the present case, the liquors were purchased in this city, by a gentleman from Buffalo, sent across by the steamer Chief Justice, regularly reported at Lewiston, and entered, and the duty paid there, without any objection being made. The Officer of the Customs was himself ignorant at the time, that there was any law in existence to prevent the introduction of the liquor, and the officers of the steamer were still ignorant of the fact. The circumstance took place about ten days or a fortnight ago, and no notice was taken of it till Monday last, when the vessel was seized - the seizure being the first intimation the Captain had of any infraction of the revenue laws of the United States, having been committed by any one on board his vessel. This is rather sharp practice - a species of annexation by no means pleasant to the owners of the vessel, and discreditable to those by whom the act was committed. A knowledge of the circumstances should have induced them at once to give up the vessel, upon proper security being furnished, pending an appeal to Washington, for the decision of the Government on the point. If the Government at Washington are guided by the ordinary principles of justice, there can be no question that (after) a full disclosure of the circumstances the vessel will be restored to the owners; but in the meantime, they suffer great inconvenience and loss by the course pursued at Lewiston and Buffalo.

It appears that the steamer Emerald, which plied between Chippewa and Buffalo has also been seized. The circumstances, we are informed, are these:- One of the parties on the vessel - the Steward, we believe - brought over from the Canada side a few yards of cloth, which he handed to a tailor in Buffalo, to make into a garmnt of some sort. The work was done and the garment given by the tailor to the party, who took it on board with him, whereupon, the tailor laid information for smuggling, and the vessel was seized. We presume that the owners of the Emerald will seek redress in the proper quarter. [Colonist]

Note - The Chief Justice has been released - Editor Whig.

In a postscript to a portion of last Tuesday's paper, we noticed with much regret, a serious accident which occurred to the Iron steamer Magnet, on her downward trip from this port. While the Captain and passengers were at tea the mate on deck mistook a burning lime kiln on shore for Bond Head harbor, and making for it ran the vessel ran aground on the rocks. With considerable difficulty she was got off, and steered into Darlington Harbor, where with the assistance of the crew of the America, the cargo was got safely on shore, when the vessel sunk to the bottom. The passengers, about fifty in number, were all safely landed. Some of them returned to Toronto by the America, and others proceeded by land to Coburg. We are happy to find that the Magnet has been got up to this port, and that the damage she has sustained is not so very serious as was at first feared it would be, although it will involve the respectable owner, Captain Sutherland, in considerable loss. She can be easily repaired. The chief part of the pecuniary loss will arise from damage to the cabin and furniture while under water, there being only an iron plate or two broken, by the crash against the rocks. The Magnet was taken up to this port between Her Majesty's Steamship Cherokee and the steamer America, a force of sixty men being on board of her, pumping during the trip, which was performed in seven hours from Darlington. The freight of the Magnet was taken to Kingston the day after by the Princess Royal. [Colonist]

Steamer London - It is reported that the steamer London has also been pounced upon by the United States authorities under the pretext of some breach of the Revenue Laws. We certainly think that the simultaneous seizure of three British vessels by the American Custom House officers, at distant points, presents to us a most singular and mysterious appearance, more particularly when the peculiar manner in which the Canada was entrapped this summer is remembered. [Gazette]

p.3

Port of Kingston.

Nov. 24th - Lighter Buck Eye, Montreal, gen. cargo (in bond), Macpherson & Crane

Str. Lady of the Lake, Ogdensburgh, sundries.

Str. Ontario, Rochester, sundries.

Nov. 26th - Schr. Periton, Oswego, in ballast, Thomas D. Groven.

Schr. Richard Rush, Oswego, gen. cargo.

Schr. Hannah Counter, Cleveland, 46 tons 17 cwt. coal, Calvin, Cook & Co.

Schr. Tom Dick, Grindstone Island, 21 cords fire wood, James McSourley.


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Date of Original:
Nov. 27, 1849
Local identifier:
KN.5835
Language of Item:
English
Donor:
Rick Neilson
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), Nov. 27, 1849