The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), May 19, 1881

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p.2 ad - Public Holiday - Excursion to Picton on str. Hero.



The schr. A.G. Ryan has loaded 250 tons of iron ore for Charlotte.

The schr. Queen of the Lakes clears for Fairport with 421 tons of iron ore.

The schr. C. Gearing, from Oswego, with coal, is reported inwards this afternoon.

The tug Eleanor and barges, from Ironsides, arrived this afternoon. They brought in 252 tons of ore.

The schr. Bavaria cleared from Garden Island this afternoon. The tug Chieftain will tow her as far as the canal.

Swift's - Arrivals: Corinthian, from Montreal; Passport, from Hamilton; Armenia, from Ogdensburg; D.C. West, from Westport.

There has been an ice gorge at Fort William and the schr. Richardson is a complete wreck. She is owned by Messrs. Richardson & Sons, of this city.

Freight rates - Toronto to here 2 cents; Chicago, schr. Lem Ellsworth, wheat to Kingston 8 1/2 cents; Detroit, 6 cents on wheat to this port; Toledo, 5 cents on corn and 6 1/2 cents on wheat to Kingston.

The steamer Corinthian made her first trip up this season. She has received new bulwarks, promenade deck, wheel house and other improvements. She presents a handsome appearance.

Last evening the Hiram A. Calvin was towing out the Oriental when she ran across the Gleniffer's bows, carrying away her boom and bowsprit. The rigging of the Siberia was also injured. The damages will total probably $200.

The tug Swan, with four barges in tow, from Ottawa, broke a portion of her wheel. She was compelled to leave the barges at Newboro and come to Kingston for repairs. She grounded and was detained in the marsh for several hours.

The Montreal Witness says the Prince Arthur, one of the steamers intended to run on the new line, said to be about to be started between Cape Vincent and Montreal, at present lies in the canal at St. Gabriel locks, and is being fitted up with a new saloon and wheelhouse, and is also undergoing sundry deck repairs. The new fittings will cost about $4,000. Mr. Shearer expects to have the vessel ready by the 1st of June. The Prince Arthur is about the same size as the Corsican, and is built apparently with a view to speed, being very sharp in the bows. The company have two boats, the Prince Arthur and the Rothsay. The former will run from Montreal to Dickinson's Landing, connecting there with the Rothsay, which will run between the Landing and Cape Vincent. From present appearances this line will not prove a very formidable opposition to the Richelieu.

The St. Lawrence, says the Ogdensburg Journal, is not affected by freshets. A gale down the lake, however, will raise the water above the rapids from one to three feet. A gale up the river, holding the water back in Lake Ontario, will cause it to lower in the river to nearly the same extent. A gale down the river makes it easier for a steamer to ascend the rapids, while one up makes it harder. There are periodical rises and falls in the St. Lawrence. Sometimes these periods cover four or five years, sometimes ten years. About the beginning of the past winter extreme low water mark was reached. Since the opening of the river, the present Spring, the water has been steadily rising. Up to this writing it is about sixteen inches. From the head waters of Lake Superior to the rapids the average flow of water is about twenty miles a day. The waterfall during the winter over the sources of supply of the St. Lawrence river has been very heavy, hence we may expect high water in July. The local effects of winds will be in the same high water and in low water seasons.

Personal Mention - Capt. Crawford is in the city. He reports business not extremely brisk between Port Hope and Rochester.


The refusal of some thirty Scotchmen to man the Calvin Island timber vessels for which they had been engaged in Scotland by an agent of Messrs. Calvin & Son, was a matter of no small moment. As the men crossed to the city they became objects of considerable interest, and were interviewed by many who felt concerned in regard to the issue. The men certainly signed a contract, but they now repudiate it on the ground that they did not have the situation explained to them fully and did not know of the differences which existed between Messrs. Calvin & Son and the Sailors' Union. Mr. Crowley wishes it to be distinctly understood that he did not induce the men to quit the vessels to which they were assigned, that he first knew of their presence when four of them walked into his office, and asked to be made members of the Union. He reasoned with them and told them that it would be better for them to fulfill their engagement, but they declined. He was asked to see the others, which he says he consented to do. He found them, not on the vessel, but on the wharf at Garden Island, and used no violent and intimidating language. What the Scotchmen did was purely on their own responsibility, and really contrary to his advice.

Meeting Of The Sailors.

Last evening a meeting of the Seamen's Union was held in their hall. There was a large attendance. The meeting was called for the purpose of considering the case of Calvin & Son, who had imported thirty men from Scotland for their vessels.

Mr. C.W. Crowley first addressed the meeting. He stated that Calvin & Son were willing to pay the men Union wages until they could have refunded to them the $1,700 expended in bringing the Scotchmen to Canada; this amount included a half month's wages paid in advance to them in Glasgow. The men, on the other hand, stated to him that they were shipped under false pretences, and when Calvins wanted sailors again they would have to go to China for them. The men had asked the agent employing them if there was a strike, and he told them there was a scarcity of men. This they had found not to be the case. He (Crowley) told the new arrivals that they could be arrested as they had all signed articles on the vessels. He thought it would be wise at least to make the present trip. The Union, however, had gained a victory in securing for the imported Scotchmen the current wages.

A Resolution Passed.

It was unanimously moved and carried that a vote of thanks be tendered the Scotchmen for the manly way in which they upheld the cause of the Union, that when they were brought out to fill other men's places they quit work of their own accord.

During the evening Mr. Crowley received four messages for men to work on Calvin & Son's fleet.

Later Proceedings.

The Garden Island fleet are now shipping men at union rates. Two of the vessels have received the crews which handled them on their first trips of the season.

The Scotchmen have nearly all departed from the city. Some have gone to Cape Vincent, others to Toronto and the Welland Canal. Only eleven of them remained in the city at noon. It is possible that Mr. Calvin will lose the $1,700 which he expended in bringing the men out. The Union men contributed the sum of $57 towards the expenses of the departing seamen.

More About The Scotchmen.

There was considerable excitement at the office of the Sailors Union part of the day, but by two o'clock it had subsided. This afternoon eleven of the emigrants left for Cape Vincent. The names of some of the Scotchmen we append: George Robert True, John McLeod, Alex McMillan, Peter Colquhoun, David McLure, John McCormick, James Martin, Wm. McIntosh, Duncan McFinnes, James Miller, Thos. McRae, James McNeil, Donald McDougall, Wm. McDonald, John Campbell, James McBride, Duncan Sinclair, Alex McGregor, Geo. Caughie, Samuel Murray, Martin McLellan, John Kelly, Donald McJennis. In an interview with some of them they said that they were taken to Derry from Glasgow and thence by steamer to Montreal. They imagined they could make more in lake service than in sailing on the ocean, on which their wages ranged from $18 to $31 per month according to the length of the voyage. One of the Scotchmen shipped on the M.L. Breck bound for Fairport from Brockville with ore.

Removed To The City - Mr. R. Davis, shipbuilder, Wolfe Island, removed to the city, will soon open a yard at some convenient point. His work is good and in constant requisition.

p.4 County News - The new lighthouse at Long Point to be finished by June 1st.

Mr. W. Ruttan, Milford, has been appointed lighthouse keeper at Point Traverse.

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May 19, 1881
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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), May 19, 1881