The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Sept. 28, 1882

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The prop. Scotia, from Chicago, with 5,141 bush. of wheat for lighterage, arrived last evening.

Two coal barges, with 300 tons of coal for Frost & Wood, Smith's Falls, passed down the canal this morning.

The wind, blowing up the lake, has prevented vessels from reaching this port. The strs. can only make headway against it.

The Department of Marine and Fisheries has cancelled the certificate allowing the steamer Emerald, now plying on the Georgian Bay, to carry passengers, also the steamer City of Toronto, running between Niagara and Toronto.

-match race between yachts Emma and Gipsy of Toronto indefinitely postponed.

p.3 Whats The News? - The Seamens' Union, at a meeting last night, raised the wages from $1.50 to $2 per day on the lake.

Not A Great Outrage.

A gentleman, who can vouch for all he says, explains that there has been no convict labour expended upon the schr. Oliver Mowat at the Penitentiary wharf as reported by a mechanic in last evening's issue. He states that the vessel has been loading stone, drawn, of course, from the Penitentiary quarry; that a break occurred on her deck, and that when repairs were undertaken the owner discovered that it would be cheapest and most satisfactory to remove the old planking, and replace it by new material. The convicts were not engaged in any shipcarpenter's work, but they were, during a halt between the deliveries of stone by cars, induced to help in throwing the old planking ashore to be taken possession of by the guards or any other officers connected with the prison. We make the explanation willingly, not desiring that any improper inference should be drawn from the complaint of a Portsmouth man.



Official Investigation at Collingwood.

The investigation into the loss of the Asia before Captain Scott, R.N., the Government Commissioner, has been commenced at Collingwood. Important testimony was presented regarding the steamer and her equipment; also the force and direction of the hurricane in which she foundered. The Manager of the Great Northern Transit Company was called and testified as follows:

I am manager of the Great Northern Transit Company, the lessees of the steamship Asia. Mr. Beatty, the President of the Company, signed the charter party. The boat has been employed for the Company for which I am manager since the 1st of July, 1882; I knew nothing of the Asia before we chartered her; as far as I could judge I considered her hull sound, although I never bored her, but she was always

Considered A Safe Boat.

I did not think the cargo she took on at this port was excessive. The book keeper told me it was from 85 to 100 tons when the Asia left this port; the Asia never carried any grain whilst in our employ; I was on board the boat after she was laden and noticed the manner in which her cargo was stowed; I don't usually go into the hold of our vessels, but on the 18th of September whilst the Asia was loading I went down into her hold to see how they were stowing the cargo, and what wood she had on board for her own use; I remarked to the second mate that they appeared to have a great deal of wood on board, and he replied they had four or five tiers forward besides what they had in the fire hold for immediate use; they had the wood forward for ballast to keep her nose down and steady her; I cannot say exactly what cargo was on the main deck, but noticed it was very light. I thought her properly stowed for the voyage when she left this port; I am not aware of the number of passengers on board when she was lost, the full complement of crew consists of from 22 to 24; can't say whether the Asia was short handed or not; the Asia had certainly three boats on board, each of which ought to carry about thirty persons; I do not remember the number of life preservers on board; the Asia also had as freight three red Ottawa boats and a Peterboro' canoe stowed on the main deck; she had also a large fishing boat in tow; she left this port at 5 o'clock on the evening of the 13th of September, the weather being fine, the wind I think being from the west. I made a trip to the Sault Ste. Marie and returned on board the Asia during the latter part of July of the present year; I noticed nothing peculiar about her steering, but understood that she steered very well; I never heard she was very leaking; I have been engaged in the steamboat business a number of years, and although I know nothing to the contrary why the Asia class of vessels should not sail without comparative

Safety On Our Inland Waters,

still if I were building new vessels I should have them built of broader beam and finer lines than the ordinary canal propeller, bearing in mind that our vessels must not be too great a draught on account of the shallow waters; some boats running from this port are unable to touch at a great many of the intermediate ports on account of their drawing too much water; I never saw the inspector's certificate, and am not aware whether it was on board the Asia or not; I am not at all aware of the number of passengers she was allowed by law to carry, but I understood from the daily papers that it was 400. Former members of the crew of the Asia were called and testified to her build and career, and one of them thought that her upper works showed signs of weakness and that as a rule the upper works of the steamers plying on the upper lakes are defective in construction. A former master testified that the lost vessel, when deep in the water, did not answer her helm as she should have done. The opinion was also offered by another witness that she was too high out of the water to be a good seagoing boat.

The Shortage Question - The Chicago Tribune thinks Canadians should not rob American vesselmen if they wish to retain the bulk of the through trade. Now, we plead quilty to our share in the shortage question, but are not the Americans also to blame? Mistakes have undoubtedly occurred, but the amount overrun at Kingston almost equals that of the shortage, and goes to prove that the error occurred in the Chicago weighing. So far as the duty was concerned, the Canadian Government has either to take the certificate of an American Customs officer or the word of a Canadian weighman, and naturally enough, gave preference to the latter. Now, however, they are willing to accept the Captain's affidavit, and what more can they do except present him with a chromo? Any shortages we hear of either at Kingston or Midland we will publish, so that at Chicago they may repair their scales. [Mail]

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Sept. 28, 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. 28, 1882