The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), April 4, 1884

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The Propeller Lines Controlled By Railroad Companies.

The season's arrangements of the various steamboat companies have been completed. The Chicago & Ogdensburg line is owned by the Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain R.R., and is made up of large new steamers, craft as large as the enlarged new Welland Canal. The Western Transportation has been bought by officers of the New York Central R.R., and the name changed to the Western Transit Company. The Anchor Line's connection is the Pennsylvania Central R.R. The Union Steamboat Company is owned and controlled by the Erie R.R. All the propeller lines between Chicago and Lake Erie and Chicago and Lake Ontario are in the hands of the railroads. In other words the railroads control transportation,

Both Lake And Rail.

No man could heretofore understand just why they reduced rail freights on grain to a rate they cannot carry it for by rail. Whatever the cause of this the effect is to ruin the prospects of lake vessels generally for a paying season and to deprecate the value of sail vessel property, and also the value of steam vessel property that is not owned by the railroads. A railroad official said: "The plan is plain enough. Can't vessel men make it out yet? Why the roads are in a position now to do the whole grain and coal carrying business, and they propose to do the most of it. Chicago has more grain in store now than she ever had before in any spring. Rail rates have been put down now so that no more sail vessels will be given cargoes of grain. As soon as navigation opens rail rates will be put up sufficiently so that shippers will send it forward by lake, and our railroad lines of propellers will be carry it off just as fast as shippers want to ship it. We are going to handle all the grain from Chicago, and God help the lake marine."

What Shippers Say.

Leading Chicago shippers agree that everything indicates the truth of the boast, and that the propellers would probably carry most of the grain, and keep rates so low that outside craft could not compete. Vessel owners said there was no doubt at all but that the railroads had entered into a general conspiracy to run the lake marine, and, owning all the propeller lines as they do this season, they can certainly do it. The propellers carry up cargoes of coal now, something they never did before, and the prospect for craft not owned by the roads was a very poor one. Of course the railroad kings would not always carry at such cheap rates. After they have ruined the lake marine and get the land and water carrying all into their own hands they will be in a position to "put the screws" on the public as they see fit. [Chicago Inter-Ocean]

p.2 Steamboats In Collision - Detroit, April 3rd - iron transfer steamer Michigan Central collided with transfer steamer Great Western.

p.3 An Understanding Reached - Rathbuns and the Oswego longshoremen have come to an understanding regarding the unloading of lumber vessels from Ontario. The rates range from 20 cents to 25 cents per M. A schedule has been prepared and accepted by both parties.

Rates of Insurance - The following are the insurance rates for vessels this year: On A 1 vessels, worth over $50,000, 6 per cent, and on A 1 vessels, all round, from 4 1/2 to 6 per cent. On A 2 vessels, from 5 to 8 per cent, and on B 1 vessels from 7 1/2 to 9 per cent. There has been very little done yet in cargo insurance, but it is understood the rates are named from Lake Ontario ports to other ports on the lake at 45 cents to 50 cents.

The Shoveller's Meeting - The non-union shovellers met last night. They had an enthusiastic meeting, and were hired by the M.T. Co., who have decided to recognize no Unionists.

The Union shovellers had a meeting also, last night, and elected their officers, but refused today to give their names. One of them gave a reporter the names of persons who once belonged to the Union but were non-Unionists, thinking that they would raise some fun. Another Union man was asked for the correct names but refused to tell.

Here & There - The str. Pierrepont will attempt to break her way through the ice to Garden Island next week.

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April 4, 1884
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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.
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), April 4, 1884