The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Aug. 13, 1880

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Marine News.

Arrivals for the M.T. Co. - schrs. Marysburg, Port Dalhousie, 11, 188 bush corn; Oliver Mowat, Toledo, 16,443 bush wheat; Maggie McRae, Toledo, 19,600 bush wheat; Jane McLeod, Toledo 14,245 bush wheat; Morning Star, Oswego, 112 tons of coal.

Called at Swifts: Passport from Montreal; Algerian from Hamilton; Cuba from Ogdensburg; Armenia from Toronto; Magnet from Prescott.

Arrivals at other Places: schrs. Nellie Theresa, Toledo, 7300 bush wheat; Clara Youell, Toledo, 15,640 bush wheat.

Sailors Row - There was a serious row at Portsmouth yesterday afternoon. Information having been conveyed to the President of the Sailor's Union, Mr. E.J. Cochran, that a member of that now extensive organization was about to ship per schr. Senator Blood, contrary to prescribed regulations, he, a friend named Moat, and others went out to the Bay to make an inquiry into the circumstances. The vessel was boarded and an exciting conflict occurred, the crew of the schooner and the visitors having a violent hand to hand combat. There are two versions in regard to the origin of the dispute, and it is not an easy matter to obtain the facts of the case. The statement has been made to us, in the interests of the Union, that the President and his associates commenced an interview on the wharf with the sailor who had not complied with the constitution of the Union, to the effect that at each shipping port there must be an exchange of cards, which become the credentials or passports by which the holders status can be recognized wherever Unions are in existence. It is stated that when his card was asked for the sailor aforementioned invited President Cochran aboard and then assumed an offensive attitude which led to blows. The President having intimated to his friends on the wharf the nature of the occurrences on the vessel it was soon boarded by several of them, who also became involved in the fight, in which the mate was engaged prior to the arrival of the captain upon the scene of action. There was a lively show of fisticuffs, but the disturbance ceased when Captain Preston produced a revolver and ordered the decks to be cleared of all those who were not connected with the schooner. Another statement is made, somewhat different in details. The captain states that he did not see the origin of the ruction. He was in the cabin and had his attention drawn to the proceedings by his wife who looked out about the time the collision began. He raced out and into the thickest of the battle, and had a personal encounter with President Cochran and others, no ceremony being observed in the manner in which they made the attack and defence. Capt. Preston admits that he made a flourish of his revolver for effect, that he fired it once, but in the air, and not with the intention of wounding or injuring. The skirmish did not occupy much time, but while it lasted it was vigorous and productive of much feeling. Each party had numerous sympathizers. After the row the respective sides sought Justices of the Peace for the purpose of having the cases made the subject of judicial investigation. On the authority of Mr. Schroder, the Magistrate at Portsmouth, President Cochran and one Moat were placed on trial. The hall was densely packed, and the utmost interest was manifested in the proceedings. Mr. J. Mudie appeared for the prosecution and Mr. J. McIntyre for the defendants. While the Court was in session, and the case in progress, County Constable McLaughlin arrived at the Town Hall, and making his way toward Capt. Preston, arrested him for assaulting the Union men. The circumstance created quite a scene in court, the captain and his counsel demanding a sight of the authority upon which McLaughlin acted. Some of the audience made themselves heard, one person, who holds a representative position, becoming particularly conspicuous by his language and excited gesticulations. The preliminary hearing of the case lasted from a comparatively in the evening until 2 o'clock this morning, the spectators (whose sympathies were about equally divided) remaining until the close, when the presiding justice committed the defendants for trial. The sailors had many friends, but the villagers seemed to take the side of the complainants.

This morning Capt. Preston and his mate, Charles Rouse, were put on their defence before M.P. Guess, J.P. of the Township of Kingston. The capture of the mate was nicely done. He was in charge of the vessel as she lay at anchor, in Portsmouth bay. McLaughlin went out to the vessel in a yawl, and hailing Rouse desired him to make all haste in reaching the Town Hall, as he was wanted to sustain the Captain in some important particular. Rouse lost no time in obeying the summons. When they reached the shore McLaughlin made a prisoner of the subordinate officer, and caused him to feel somewhat uncomfortable by the unexpected surprise which was sprung upon him.

United States Consul Twitchell may make the case the subject of an official investigation. In some respects it would be justifiable.

Aground on Bones - The captain of an American sch. met a Whig representative today, and while speaking of the late delays at Portsmouth, sarcastically remarked "that one American vessel had remained there so long that she was now aground upon the meat bones that had been thrown out by the crew during their stay."

New Schooner - The new schooner Hanlan, built at Picton, is a neat little craft, 96' overall, draws 3 feet when light, 7 feet when loaded, and is 107 tons register. She is named after the champion and flies his colors, and was built this spring at a cost of about $6000. She is chartered to load grain from the canal for Kingston. She carries 7,500 bushels.

Drowning Accidents - a man overboard from Corsican; wife of Capt. Sherwood, of str. Norseman drowns at Charlotte - details.

Yachting Accident - Capt. H.A. Bolton of cutter Sea-Dove of Stella and Capt. Polley left Amherst Island for Bath, upset and rescued.

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Aug. 13, 1880
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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), Aug. 13, 1880