The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Aug. 9, 1882

Full Text



The propellor Cuba, of the Ogdensburg Transportation line, started from Ogdensburg on Tuesday last, and left Kingston the same night with nearly 40 passengers and a heavy cargo of freight and merchandise. The weather at the time of the departure from the latter port was fair and continued so for some hours, until about half-past two on Wednesday morning, when the wind suddenly rose and culminated in a heavy gale, through which the vessel laboured heavily, and would doubtless have weathered it in safety, but owing to being heavily laden and the severe straining, a leak was sprung, which placed the lives of all on board in jeopardy. So serious was the danger that Capt. McCorquodale with praiseworthy reticence, not only withheld the knowledge of it from the passengers himself, but instructed those who were under him to the same effect. Quietly but promptly he then ordered

All Hands To the Pumps,

and under the supervision of the mate, Mr. Hugh Perry, they worked for hours with untiring energy and perseverence, but the water in the hold gained on them slow but sure. The Captain, fully alive to the awful danger in which his charge was placed, determined to run for Charlotte instead of Port Hope, and his engineers ably seconded his endeavours. It was an anxious but trying time but at last Charlotte was sighted, and a sigh of relief and thankfulness went up from the weary seamen who had labored incessantly at the pumps, and who could not hold out much longer. Then, and not till then, did the Captain acquaint his passengers of the state of affairs, and when safey was assured and they realized the extent of their danger, expressions of praise and gratitude were profuse. Both Captain and mate declare that they fully believed the vessel would have foundered owing to the volume of water which poured in on them, and but for the

Heroic Exertions Of The Crew

a terrible loss of life would have resulted. The passengers, recognizing the obligations under which they lay to Captain McCorquodale, his officers and men, drew up and presented him with a very flattering address, to which the Captain made a brief reply. The Cuba was originally intended to be a schooner, but before completion the design was changed and she became a propeller. In the alterations necessary to the change an addition was made which became displaced in the severe straining the other night caused by the heavy sea. The escape from foundering in 400 feet of water was indeed providential, and the passengers have every reason to feel grateful.

p.2 The Oliver Mowat has reached Toronto with the cargo of the sunken prop. Cuba. The schr. will load grain for Ogdensburg at Toronto.



The schrs. Norway and Gleniffer cleared from Garden Island this morning for Toledo.

The schr. A.G. Ryan is discharging 180 tons of coal at McMillan's wharf. It was taken in at Sodus Point.

The tug Conqueror's model is as great a wonder to the Americans as her power and speed - 16 miles an hour.

The prop. Shickluna, from Toledo, lightened 4,800 bushels of wheat last evening and went to Montreal.

The tug Champion cleared for Montreal with four barges carrying 65,000 bushels of wheat and 125 tons of phosphate.

Where is the little schr. Defiance? She left Toledo at the same time as the Grantham. Eight days afterwards she had not reported at Port Colborne.

The rate on wheat from Chicago here is from 5 7/8 cents to 6 cents. The schr. Shandon got the former; the Yankee Blade and J. Maria Scott were chartered at p.t.

Recently the schr. Jamaica was about 40 bushels short, but the Captain did not complain. He had the grain in the forepeak of the hold. It had been damaged.

We hope our Customs officials will be as exacting as the Americans in the matter of shipping formalities. There is no occasion for hair splitting, but above all it should not be one sided.

Chicago papers now complain that the Canadian vessel men cut the rates. The Canadians are a bad lot - robbers, beats and bummers, according to our American exchanges. Calling them bad names will not help the trade any.

The following vessels have arrived from Toledo and been discharged of wheat at Portsmouth during the past few days: Mary Lyons, 22,500 bushels; L. Seaton, 16,179 bushels; T.R. Merritt, 21,500 bushels; prop. Argyle, 18,200 bushels.

The St. Lawrence & Chicago Forwarding Company have been adding up the shortages and overplusses on the vessels discharged by them, and find that their weighing averages from one third to one half bushel more on the 1,000 bushels than that at Chicago.

The schr. Grantham, from Toledo, with 23,000 bushels of wheat, is discharging at the Montreal Transportation Company's wharf. She was consigned to the St. Lawrence & Chicago Company, but owing to the latter's lack of barges was transferred to the other Company.

At the recent yacht race at Point Claire, near Montreal, the yacht Maud won the first prize against eight competitors. The mainsail for this yacht was made by Oldrieve & Horne, and a Montreal paper says: "it is a credit to Canadian manufactures. In workmanship it compares most favourably with Boston made sails, and its general excellence has been a subject of frequent remark."

There was a very heavy gale on Lake Erie on Monday week. The lake was extremely rough and vessels suffered considerably. When the schrs. Huron and Grantham arrived here they entered protests against all damages. After the Huron had discharged her cargo some 400 bushels were found to be wet. The Grantham has not yet been discharged, so that it cannot be told whether she has any damaged or not.

The Oswego tug men are agitated because the Champion is engaged in towing vessels to Oswego from Kingston, but they need not complain, for a glaring breech of the Canadian Customs law was made a few days ago when the steambarge Starke towed the schooner Belle Hanson from St. Catharines to Portsmouth. Nothing would have been said of this infraction of our coasting laws were it not for the officiousness of the Oswego tug men in having the Conqueror seized.

On Saturday afternoon last there was a riot on the schooner Yankee Blade at Chicago which beats the Kingston outrage. The vessel had just loaded grain for Kingston and had a non-union crew of sailors aboard. Captain Lynch says that about thirty men came on to the dock to force his non-union crew off. A number of the men boarded the vessel and one of them stabbed at him with a huge knife, whereupon he struck the man with the butt of his revolver on the head. The police were telephoned for and the patrol arrived, whereupon the crowd dispersed. There were no arrests. Owing to the head winds and fog the Yankee Blade was still in port Sunday evening. Captain Lynch claimed to have the same crew aboard and felt confident of getting out of port with them.


Steam Barge Business' Shortage - How Accounted For.

Captains of American vessels do a great deal of blowing over the shortages, and in many instances they are themselves to blame for the discrepancies between the bills of lading and the deliveries, because they prefer to roam around about than see their cargoes correctly weighed. We have heard of an attempt to show that the Kingston forwarders were "grain robbers," but it utterly failed. Several days ago a vessel arrived and discharged her cargo, which fell short 100 bushels. The Captain made a great fuss over the deficiency, and the forwarders, to make the matter agreeable, offered to have the cargo reweighed at Montreal and accept the weight taken there. While the discussion was in progress an employee of the forwarder appeared and told the Captain that his men had stated that when the vessel swung up to the elevator at the loading port her hatch was not ready for the grain, and in consequence the first draft was dumped into the river instead of the hold of the vessel. The Captain denied the assertion, but finally admitted that he did not see all the cargo put in. He then paid for the shortage. In this way many of the heavy shortages may be accounted for. The errors are not made at this port as the American papers in their eagerness to hurt the Canadian route would like to make people believe.

Case Of The Business.

The Americans are making the most in their own interest out of the shortage question. The Chicago Tribune and two or three other papers are apparently determined to do all they can to induce grain dealers to send their grain via the Erie canal and other routes rather than by the St. Lawrence route, and they have seized the opportunity afforded them by the shortage question and are working it to its fullest capacity. They publish lists of the vessels which have been declared short at Kingston, and which have had to pay the duty, and they advise grain men to ship by the other routes. They are inclined to go further and make misrepresentations in their eagerness to defame the Canadian route. Some days ago the steam barge Business arrived at Kingston with a cargo of grain, which was unloaded by the Kingston and Montreal Forwarding Company. A part of the cargo was damaged, and was therefore not weighed out, and this was deducted as "shortage." It does not pay to pay the duty on dumped grain and allow it to go into consumption in Canada, so it is generally unloaded at some American port and sold there. In order to prevent smuggling, however, the master of the vessel is required to send to the Canadian Customs' authorities a certificate from the Customs' officer at the American port to the effect that the damaged grain has been left there. In the case of the Business, when the shortage was declared, the Tribune made a great ado over it, just as if it were a shortage which could not be accounted for, and which was made to pay the duty. This is not the case, as the following certificate shows that the damaged grain was landed at Oswego, N.Y. and that the affair was satisfactorily settled for all parties.:

Custom House, Kingston, 7th August.

To James Stewart, Esq., Manager of the Kingston & Montreal Forwarding Co.

Sir; - I desire to inform you that I am in receipt of certificate from the Collector of Customs at the Port of Oswego, U.S., dated 31st July, 1882, of the arrival of steam barge Business with 166 bushels damaged wheat, being part of the cargo of the above mentioned steam barge, laden at Milwaukee, 21st of July, 1882, for your Company, and damaged in transport. I remain yours,

(Signed) C. Hamilton, Collector.

The Government should, however, immediately remove the real grievances complained of, and thus deprive the United States journals of the opportunity of defaming our route.

An Explanatory Letter.

To The Editor of the Witness.

Sir; - You don't seem to catch the idea about American retaliation on the Canadian barley trade. It is not an increased duty on barley, but the imposition of a duty on all shortage, which is very large in American ports more particularly so from the fact that a very large quantity is loaded at lake points and when weather becomes unfavourable, vessels have to leave with what they have on board. Americans have as much right to charge duty on barley short delivered as our Government on American grain in transit, on which duty is charged on all shortages over 20 bushels. Your previous articles in reference to this shortage question are timely and doubtless will do good.


N.B. - A duty on shortage does not increase the cost to consumers. It is simply an unjust gain to either Government, more particularly so in our case.

Kingston, Aug. 4th, 1882 C.

p.4 Yachting News - Katie Gray, Gracie, Lady Agnes (formerly Gorilla) and others mentioned.

Media Type:
Item Type:
Date of Original:
Aug. 9, 1882
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Rick Neilson
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
WWW address
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.

British Whig (Kingston, ON), Aug. 9, 1882