The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Aug. 15, 1882

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p.3 Whats The News? - str. Alexandria deck hand Thomas Morrisey drowns at Hepburn's dock, Picton.


"That was a sensible article in the Whig of last evening," observed a well-known and experienced Captain and vessel owner.

"Which, friend? That dealing with the shortage?"

"No, but that announcing the need of a Canadian Plimsoll whose aim it will be to secure the passage of legislation anant overloading, without which there'll be mourning in this country and much of it."

"How comes it that the overloading is a matter of comparatively recent date, that there was none of it last season?"

"It has only occurred since the opening of the enlarged Welland Canal, the vessels passing through which load deeper because there is 12 feet of water on the mitre sills of the locks whereas formerly the greatest depth was only ten feet. Some vessels are now arriving into port in a really dangerous condition. They were not build to carry the loads that are put into them, their upper works cannot resist the strain that should come upon their sides, and there must be many a catastrophe unless the present practice of some indiscreet master sailors is discontinued."

"Can the Underwriters not interfere?"

"I don't think so, not for this season at any rate. This thing has come as a surprise, and its development is equally surprising. The Insurance Companies are concerned about the overloading, realize that the outlook is alarming, but their classification is not as to capacity and they cannot interpose an objection to what they may dislike. You see the smaller vessels are now figuring at a disadvantage in the through trade. The prophecies of some of the shrewdest mariners are being verified - the grain trade will gradually and eventually entirely pass into the hands of those owning or chartering large craft or tow lines. The heretofore full sized canal vessels are thus being made to earn all the money they can while the chances to do so are theirs. But the overloading is not confined to the grain vessels, as any person who is as familiar with the harbour operations as I am."

"What remedy do you suggest?"

"I will this very day write to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, and call his attention to this matter. Let him suggest a remedy. I shall speak plainly of the danger to our shipping, and refer him for a corroboration of my statements to gentlemen whose representations can be accepted as reliable, and whose recommendations it will be well to act upon. There should be someone to inspect the vessels as they are for the purposes of insurance, and to mark them as the ocean craft are under the Plimsoll Act. Overloaded vessels, mind you, meet with accidents of the most lamentable kind. They are liable to go down mid-lake, and in stormy weather there may be none to tell the story."


The schr. Undine is loading ore for Fairhaven.

The schr. Huron cleared this afternoon for Charlotte with lath and ties.

The damage to the steambarge Kingsford can be made good for $300 or $400.

The little schr. Defiance, which several mariners thought was lost, has turned up at Port Colborne.

The schr. Bangalore, 23,000 bushels, and J.R. Noyes, 22,000 bushels of wheat, have arrived from Chicago.

New ship rates on grain from Chicago have been fixed by the Underwriters - to Kingston and other ports on Lake Ontario, 65 cents.

The schrs. Oliver Mitchell, George B. Sloan and Westside bring grain from Chicago to Kingston at 4 1/2 cents. They carry 22,000 bushels each.

The cargo of the barge Gaskin has been lightened to 29,000 bushels, and that of the Glenora to 30,000 bushels. These will be taken through the canals to Montreal.

The tug Glide arrived last evening from Oswego with 1,200 tons of coal in two barges. She cleared for Montreal with the coal and a barge carrying 19,000 bushels of wheat.

There is a very tarry substance upon the water at the foot of Queen street. It escapes from the Gas House, and is very disagreeable when it adheres to the sides of the vessels.

The Americans are vowing vengeance upon all who infringe the Customs' regulations. Two can play at that game, and several American Captains are now dodging this port as if they expect such a thing.

The Central Ontario R.R. intend to build permanent docks at Trenton for the shipment of iron ore, having abandoned the Weller's Bay scheme, since the Murray Canal is to be built on the Presqu'Isle route.

Last night a sailor named St. John, from the Canal, got his arm jammed at Garden Island between two sticks of timber, as they were being drawn out of the schr. J.R. Benson. One bone was splintered. Dr. Irwin dressed the wounds.

This morning the steamer Passport passed eastward en route to Montreal. At Brockville her shaft broke, an accident which has caused a cancellation of the excursion to Oswego and Rochester. The Magnet has taken the Passport's passengers to their destination. The accident is very unfortunate, as upwards of 200 persons wanted to go to Rochester tonight.

Aug. 16, 1882

not published - Civic Holiday

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Aug. 15, 1882
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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. 15, 1882