The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), May 28, 1881

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The schr. Acacia is loading lumber for Oswego.

The str. Ontario made twelve miles in 63 minutes in running across Rideau Lake.

The schr. Jessie H. Breck is loading 421 tons of iron ore for Fairport at 80 cents f.o.b.

A new engine has been put in the str. John Thorn at Clayton, and other machinery has been added.

The Ferry Company will put on a boat to make daily trips to Alexandria Bay and Kingston.

The str. Flower City will run on the St. Lawrence river, between Cape Vincent and Alexandria Bay, in connection with the R.W. & O. R.R.

The Chicago Inter-Ocean pertly remarks that after a few more horrors like that of the Waubuno and Victoria, the Canadian Government will probably inspect its steam craft.

The steamer Hastings has been towed to the Kingston Foundry slip where she will receive the necessary repairs to her machinery. The carpentering work is still progressing.


Prop. Alma Munro, Toledo, lightened 4,100 bu. wht.

Prop. Lake Ontario, Chicago, lightened 4,500 bu. wht.

Prop. Scotia, Chicago, lightened 14,500 bu. wht.

Prop. Lincoln, Chicago,16,000 bu. wht.

Prop. Armenia, Ogdensburg, freight.

Prop. California, Cleveland, freight.

Tug Active, Montreal, four barges.

Barge Lisgar, Chicago, 20,000 bu. wht.

Barge Gibraltar, Chicago, 17,300 bu. wht.

Str. Passport, Montreal, pass. and fgt.

Str. Algerian, Hamilton, pass. and fgt.

Str. D.C. West, Westport, pass. and fgt.

Tug Carlyle and barges, Ironsides, 421 tons iron ore.

Barge Maggie, Chicago, lightened 4,290 bu. wht.

Str. Edith Sewell, Sackett's Harbour, light.


Tug Active, Montreal, five barges, carrying 90,000 bush. wheat.

Str. Gipsy, Ottawa, general cargo.

Lake Freights.

Freights of both kinds at Toronto are exceedingly scarce. 1 3/4 cents is still the rate on grain to Kingston.

Vessel men do not care to take coal to Hamilton from Oswego at the present low rates, and return to Kingston with grain at 2 cents.

Grain freights dull and nothing offering to Canadian ports from Detroit. Rates are nominal at 8 cents to Montreal, 5 1/2 cents to Kingston.

Lake freights dull at Toledo to Kingston, 5 1/2 cents on wheat and 5 cents on corn; and to Montreal 8 cents on wheat and 7 1/2 cents on corn by steamer.

A Correction.

To The Editor of the British Whig;

Dear Sir, - Permit me through the columns of your paper to correct a statement made by Capt. Booth, of the schr. Jessie H. Breck, concerning the Union's hours. He states that he was detained on Thursday evening by the sailors quitting work at 6 o'clock. I deny such a statement, for he would not have got unloaded if they had worked all night. He only broke cargo in the hold that afternoon, so that the sailors did not detain him. He is now laying here awaiting a cargo, and we don't hear him grumbling about it. As for upholding the Union I am satisfied he does so now, but this Spring he paid men off because they would not go the run to Hamilton and back for $10.

Yours truly,

Kingston, May 28th, 1881 C.W. CROWLEY, President.


A Coroner's Enquiry Begun.

Statements of the Engineer and Lessee.

London, May 27th - Pursuant to instructions from the acting Attorney General, Coroner Flock opened an inquiry respecting the steamboat accident. The two most important statements are the following:

Dougall H. Roberts testified: I was the engineer on the Victoria. She was coming back on the third round trip when the accident occurred.

By the Coroner - How had the boat behaved that day?

A. - As well as she ever did.

Q. - Did she receive any damage in the winter?

A. - Yes.

Q. - What?

A. - We put a chain through the planking to pull her on the bank. The chain cut the holes in the planks larger. These chains were placed in the forward part of the vessel. The injury done was below the water line.

By the Coroner - Do you know how the engine was secured? A. - The forward part was bolted down, and the whole was braced with a bevel brace running from the deck to the timbers that the boiler rested on aft. I did not work at placing the boiler, and cannot speak so positively about it.

Q. - Do you know whether the boiler shifted in drawing the bolt up? A. - No, but the boiler was shifted five feet this spring.

Q. - Were there many aboard on this trip? The witness appeared to enter into a mental calculation, when the Coroner continued: Were you crowded or not? A. - Yes, sir.

Cause of the Accident.

Q. - Were the people moving about a great deal? A. - No, sir; not a great deal. They seemed to get over to the south side out of the sun.

Q. - Did the boat list much or rock? A. - I can't say she rocked until the accident. She listed badly.

Q. - What do you consider was the cause of the listing? A. - The people on the side. She seemed to be straight from the time she left Springbank till we got to Woodland. The Princess was at the landing and the people went over to the side to see her. There seemed to be a foot of water on the starboard side of the dock as we passed the Louise. I heard no one speaking about life preservers, or anything of that kind, up to that time. The people began to ask me if there was any danger. I told them they would have to right the boat up. Some men were sitting on the railing with their feet on the seats, and although I asked them they would not move. I spoke to them one by one, and took hold of some. I got them moved then, but some of them walked back again, so I had to allow them to remain as they would not move. None threatened me, but some were abusive and others made light of my caution.

Felt Uneasy Himself.

Q. - Did you feel in any danger yourself on account of the way the boat was going? A. - Yes, sir, I did.

Q. - When did you begin to apprehend danger? A. - After we left Woodland Cemetery. When the accident occurred I was just coming out of the small engine room. She was going pretty quickly just before she went down. I came out of the room just as she was beginning to list over, and by the time I got through the main room it was hard to climb up. I heard a crash of the fastenings giving way. I heard no rush before I came out of the door.

Q. - What is your opinion as to the cause of the boat dipping over? A. - I have no doubt it was occasioned by the movement of the people.

Boiler Rolling Overboard.

Q. - Do you know where the boiler left the vessel? A. - I don't know. I did not see it go. As I jumped I heard the steam escaping, and it must have been at that time that the boiler left the vessel. If the boiler had kept its place I believe the vessel would have turned over bottom side up, for as soon as the boiler left her she righted. When I jumped into the water the side of the boat was high up. In a moment, it came down again, and I got on again. If the vessel had turned over I don't believe there would have been twenty-five people saved alive.

To Mr. Hutchison - The boiler and decks all went together to one side of the boat, and in that mass of debris the people were caught. I do not think there were more than 100 people on the lower deck. Perhaps 75 would be nearer the number.

To a juror - I sent five or six times to the captain at the wheel that he must right the boat, but I got no reply. I know that he received one of the messages. There was no ballast in the boat. The manner in which the captain was placed in being at the wheel rendered him absolute powerless to go around the boat.

If We Had Had A Wheelsman.

the accident might not have occurred, as the passengers would have paid more attention to him. There were points between Woodlands and where the accident happened at which the Captain could have beached the boat and landed his passengers. Had he been at liberty there is no doubt he would have done so.

p.3 Steamboat Jockeying - Hero and Armenia at Picton.

Demand For Carpenters - man from Detroit in town advertising for 20 ship carpenters (+ ad)

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Date of Original:
May 28, 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 28, 1881