The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Sept. 26, 1882

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p.2 A False Report - story about body of lock-keeper McSweeney being mistreated is all lies.

p.3 Comparing Yachts - Capt. Cuthbert's opinion as to the results of the yachts Katie Grey and Emma is important, of course, but the record of the boats is of greater consequence. The Ontario knows very well that the Emma is the fastest second class boat that Capt. Cuthbert ever built, and she was considerably improved after leaving his hands.


The tug Active and consorts left Toledo on Sunday morning for Kingston with 80,000 bushels of wheat and corn.

Today a stiff northeaster prevailed. It will have the effect of making vessels seek shelter under Long or Gibraltar Points.

The rate on rye from Chicago to Kingston is 6 cents. This was paid the schr. Maxwell. Previous vessels only received 5 1/2 cents.

The steam barge Indian and consorts have gone into ordinary. They will be stripped, and, as soon as the new dry dock of Capt. Fraser's is ready, be hauled out and thoroughly overhauled.

The schr. Samana has been leaking considerably, and the Captain, as soon as he got through the Welland Canal, arranged with the tug W.A. Routh, to tow her from Port Dalhousie to Ogdensburg.

The tug Metamora and consorts, after delivering their cargoes of iron at Algoma Mills, will cross to Cheboygan and load lumber for Collinsby. This will be their last trip for the season. It will consume about a month.

Marine business is dropping off and the present prospects indicate an early closing of navigation. The price of grain in Great Britain, with an average crop there, makes the present demand light, and with the large crop on this continent heavy stocks will be carried over for spring shipment. A brisk business is then anticipated.

Within a few days Portsmouth has had the following arrivals: Schrs. L. Seaton, Toledo, 16,000 bush. wheat; A.L. Andrews, Chicago, 21,000 bushels wheat; Gibraltar, Toledo, 17,300 bush. wheat; R. Morwood, Detroit, 20,000 bush. wheat; Lisgar, Toledo, 22,700 bush. wheat; and the prop. Lincoln, 16,000 bush. wheat.

L.A. Murphy's wrecking expedition succeeded in bringing the wreck of the steamer City of St. Catharines safely to Sand Beach harbour. The hull will be patched and towed to Port Huron, where it will be delivered to the Jex Brothers, and others, who have purchased it from the Insurance Companies. The work of rescuing this wreck has been very difficult.

Relative to the schr. Prussia's demand for demurrage from the Grand Trunk at Brockville, it is claimed by the latter that they have no right to pay tonnage as the coal was consigned to P.D. Conger, Toronto, and is not their property until delivered. The delay is caused by the scarcity of carts. Besides a fleet of vessels reached Brockville about the same time, and they could not be discharged at once.

As has been explained, all foreign vessels must stop and report at Cheboygan before going into Chicago. American vessels with suitable cargoes must do likewise. The penalty for non-compliance (according to law) is forfeiture of vessel and cargo. In the fall it is a hardship for craft to stop and report at that place, and the suggestion is thrown out that vessels bound up might report at Detroit or Port Huron, thus escaping the delay and risk at Cheboygan, and this would be acceptable. Mariners should see the Customs authorities at Chicago, however, before doing so, or a document to this effect should be published and vessel men exempted from the danger of being seized for violations of the revenue law.


Schr. E.B. Maxwell, Chicago, 25,252 bush. rye.

Tug Bronson, Montreal, four barges.

Seamens' Wages.

It is said to be about time that the Ontario branches of the Seamen's Union advanced wages. In Chicago they have been advanced from $2 to $2.50 per day. The Ontario rate is still $1.50 per day. The cause of this is that some of the branches refuse to make an increase, holding that the freights are very low. In Kingston, however, this argument does not prevail as most of the sailors in port decline to board vessels making short trips. They prefer to go on vessels bound for the Upper Lakes. In selecting higher rates the men urge that the stormy season is upon them now, and that the figure is very moderate, considering the work that has to be done, the exposure and hardship, and the hazard of their calling. They have hard work, terrible exposure, long hours and always carry their lives in their hands.

Late Robberies Reported - William Owens, a sailor, complains that he was robbed last evening of $15 at an Ontario Street hotel. He declares that when he retired to bed he had the money (in bills) in his pockets, and that when he awoke and arose it was gone. He occupied the bed with another person, who, however, left at 5:30 o'clock.



Her Escape From Shipwreck - Experience On Lake Huron.

The Rev. A.A. Cameron, of the Baptist denomination, and recently of Ottawa, sends to the Globe the following interesting account of the Manitoba, caught in a hurricane on the Upper Lakes, and her miraculous escape from shipwreck.

"We left Southampton at 2 a.m. on Thursday the 14th inst. All the afternoon of Wednesday it threatened a storm. The clouds wore a vivid hue; thunder rumbled in the far distance. No storm signals, however, having been given, and no weather bulletins received, and only a light southeast wind blowing, our captain felt he could safely proceed on his course. After leaving port we steered a northwest course until 7 a.m., when a strong gale set in from the southwest. Captain McGregor now thought it advisable to make for Cove Island. After a short run the gale freshened so rapidly, veering to westward, that it was found impossible to keep the Manitoba on her course. We were rapidly drifting leeward. We had now no longer to

Battle With A Gale,

but with an infant hurricane. The most of the passengers are sea sick. Those who are conscious of the situation look deep anxiety, mingled with alarm. From 9:30 to 11 the storm raged with increased fury. The sky lights of the cabin are now breaking and the water pouring in on the carpet. Doors and windows are being smashed in every direction with every roll, while the roar of the hurricane, now a giant in strength, becomes terrific. At times the sun shone through the storm as if mocking our fears. It is now 11 a.m. The passengers are exhausted with sickness and distress, but fierce and still fiercer blows the wind. The Manitoba is now unmanageable. She cannot weather the head of Cove Island, the iron bands binding her are being snapped, the steam pipe has burst. To return to Southampton is to seek a deeper grave. The Captain has

Two Courses Open

for him; either to run his boat ashore and save all he could, else head her round to Pitch Channel, one through which a steamer was never known to pass before. He ventured on the latter. Breakers are now ahead, and roaring like Niagara. Would, with such a high sea running and the rudder chains showing signs of weakness, the Manitoba obey the helm? Not a moment was to be lost. The Captain hit on a lucky plan. "Set the mainsail." Away flew the sailors. In a moment or two it is hoisted. This lessened the pressure on the helm, and aided to head her round. It was the critical moment for passengers and boat. Eternity seemed to be wrapping his mantle about us. As the boat swung round she made one tremendous lurch; while amidst the creaking timbers, rolling baggage, breaking glass, and pitching furniture there went up from the awe-stricken passengers

A Wail of Despair

that was soon lost in the louder roar of the storm. The Almighty alone could now save us. Ceaseless prayers were being offered for his Divine interposition. Was He to answer? It seemed for a few moments all was lost. The breakers were within 300 yards of us. Every foot of the channel was treacherous. Those who were watching us from shore, perceiving our course, gave us up for lost. But just here the Galilean Christ took the helm. Through the storm and the dangerous channel we sped our course. Another half hour of awful suspense, and we are steaming into the natural harbour of refuge at Tobermorey. The crews of the steamers Metamora, of Montreal, (now in this harbor), the Wales, of Kingston, and the schooner Hotchkiss, of Collingwood, watched us from 10 a.m. battling with the elements, and were ready to hasten to our assistance on the hoisting of the first signal of distress.

After dinner (we dined that day at 4:30) the writer moved a resolution of thanks to Almighty God, and under Him to Captain McGregor, for our wonderful deliverance. On Friday evening at tea table an address (afterwards to be engrossed and framed) was presented to the Captain and signed by a committee on behalf of all the passengers.

Here & There - The Government has directed four practical engineers to make a survey of the boilers and machinery of the str. Richelieu, so as to arrive at a definite opinion as to the cause of the fatal explosion that took place on Thursday.

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Date of Original:
Sept. 26, 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), Sept. 26, 1882