The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), June 26, 1879

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The Wrecking Question.

On the 30th of May last S.A. Murphey, of Detroit, wrote to Senator Chandler relating to the experience of the tug Owen in losing a raft on Lake Erie a short time previous, and her inability to recover it owing to the raft going ashore in Canadian waters and the tug being an American vessel. Mr. Murphey, aware of the general interest of the wrecking question and being directly concerned in the subject as relating to raft towing and wrecking, wrote inquiring what his rights would be should one of the tugs be situated similar to the Owen, and what protection the Government would give him in obtaining and maintaining the same. His letter was referred to William M. Evarts, Secretary of State, who replied as follows:

Department of State,

Washington, June 1879.

Sir: I have the to (sic) acknowledge the receipt of the letter of Mr. S.A. Murphey, of Detroit, referred to this department, in regard to the system of wrecking pursued upon the great lakes, and particularly with reference to the case of a raft in tow by the tug John Owen, which parted from the tug during a severe gale and went ashore, with over 2,000,000 feet of pine logs, upon Point Pelee Island, where those having the logs in charge were obliged to let them remain in great peril on account of the wrecking regulations of the Government until assistance could be obtained from Canadian sources, although American tugs were at hand. The system of wrecking as followed upon the lakes is one which deeply affects the country. Great interests are at stake, and this department, appreciating their importance, is now engaged in urging upon the Dominion Government a modification or abolition of the system in vogue among the Canadians. In December last an energetic remonstrance was addressed to Sir Edward Thornton upon the subject, and in the latter part of the following month he informed me that the Government of Canada would take the matter into serious consideration, and cause an investigation to be made with a view to perfectly understanding the situation and the remedy that ought to be applied. Of the result of these steps I have not yet been advised. The government, however, will continue to press the question until some satisfactory arrangement can be carried out. I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,


The most of the above is found in the closing sentence, which is reassuring in its tone, and betokens a right feeling on the subject of Washington. [Free Press]

p.3 Yachting Meeting - was poorly attended.

Vessel Case - Testimony is being taken by U.S. Commissioner Getty in the action brought by Mr. Barney of Kingston, owner of the schooner Sweet Home, totally wrecked at Oswego last season, against the owners of the tug Morey, Messrs. Papps & Cozzens, to recover the value of the vessel - $3,000.

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June 26, 1879
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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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British Whig (Kingston, ON), June 26, 1879