The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), July 5, 1850

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p.2 Welland Canal - In stating a few days since the projected new cut from the Welland Canal to the mouth of the Niagara River, we misapprehended the facts in relation to the harbor at Port Dalhousie, the entrance to the Welland Canal. From subsequent information, we learn that the harbor at Port Dalhousie, has been made at large expense one of the best on this lake, and that the advantage of the Niagara harbor, 12 miles this side, consists of its being easier of access to vessels beating up, or coming out against a head wind. The new cut is petitioned for on the ground that both harbors will be necessary to the rapidly growing commerce of the canal.


It is said that facts have come to light rendering pretty certain that the fire caught from the oiling of the engine. The engineer states he had just oiled the engine - that his first discovery of the fire was through holes through the deck. It is also stated that the oil was a new kind, a chemical preparation and very flammable. If this be so, no further cause for the origin of the fire need be looked for.

The Cleveland Plaindealer of the 22nd gives us the following most painfully affecting incidents:-

"Thirty two bodies were found yesterday on the shore of Lake County near the wreck. Fifteen of the number were under the care of the wreckmaster, and those not identified were put in coffins and buried in the bank. Fifteen were recovered through the indefatigable exertions of J.W. Fitch, who with several gentlemen from this city are engaged in this humane work day and night; they were found in this county, but were taken to be buried in the burial ground purchased for that purpose.

An English gentleman, name not recollected, recovered the body of his wife and took her to Willoughby for interment. His wife and daughter, aged 16, were standing with him on the bow of the boat when she struck one holding each hand. They were all forced over, and he saw them no more. The body of the daughter has not yet been recovered.

An English lady, whose husband and five children were drowned, on Thursday evening died at the house of Mr. Wood, near the bank - she was brought ashore in a state of great exhaustation, and was delivered on Wednesday, of a premature child. Both were buried in one grave by kind and sympathising strangers.

A lady about twenty years of age, had on a black silk dress, with a linen overdress - found on her person, one silk pocket handkerchief and a set of heavy gold earings; on her right hand one heavy gold ring, on her left hand three rings on one finger. The heavy ring is marked on the inside W.P.W. from W.D.M. and J.L., 9th March, 1836.

A committee under the direction of the Mayor to pick up and find graves for the bodies are on the ground with help for the purpose.

Mr. Holly of Missouri informed us that when the flames were making rapidly toward the pilot house of the Griffith, he heard some one the mate, he thinks, inquire of the man at the wheel if he would "stand to his post." The man gave a hearty response of "I will!" This directed his attention to the wheelsman, and he watched his bearing; when the boat stopped, he stood there unmoved, firmly grasping the wheel, completely enveloped with the flames. Mr. H. supposed he must have been burned up. His body was found badly burned. It was brought to this city, and buried in Oakland Cemetery. The noblest of heroes, who could thus stand by his post and voluntarily throw away his life, in the hope of saving others from death, was Richard Mann, long a resident of this city. No tomb deserves a nobler monument than his.

To the Editor of the Tribune:-

Among the passengers lost on board the steamer Griffith, by the owners in not having proper securities against loss of life, was Mr. Benjamin Driver, who was travelling West on business, for Messrs. Moram & Haughwaut, Broadway. He was a native of Yorkshire, England, and much respected and beloved by all who knew him.

When shall we have some laws compelling steamboat owners to carry life boats, or something to give security to the travelling public?

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July 5, 1850
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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.
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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), July 5, 1850