The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), April 5, 1854

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p.2 The business done at Keller's Wharf, Colborne, is immense - flour mills and lumbering; schooner Margaret is being lengthened there and soon will be ready for the spring trade.

City Council - Alderman Gildersleeve brought up the report of the special committee which was struck to enquire into the affairs of the Wolfe Island Canal Company and report as to gain or otherwise which might accrue to the city by the council taking additional stock in the canal. The following is the report, which was received with much satisfaction;

Your committee after an examination of the books, papers, and accounts of the Wolfe Island Railroad and Canal Company, and from information obtained from the Secretary of said Company, beg to report as follows:-

That the amount of stock originally subscribed and paid up in said company was 15,125 pounds.

That private individuals on the Canadian side of the line, have since subscribed the additional sum of 1,026 pounds, and the Watertown and Rome Railroad the further sum of 1,280 pounds, which will make the stock of the latter amount to 10,000 pounds; whereas the whole amount of the stock owned on the Canadian side is at present but 7,400 pounds; of which 2,500 pounds belongs to the City of Kingston, 1,000 pounds to the United Counties of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, and 3,900 pounds to private individuals, thus leaving a preponderance of 2,600 pounds owned on the American side of the line.

Your committee would further report that the sum of 12,493 pounds has already been expended towards the construction of the Canal including expenses of real estate, bridge, etc.; and to which are to be added 1,036 for interest, as also 2,353 pounds on account of payment for the Ferry steamboat, making in all up to the present time, a cash expenditure of 15,882 pounds. The liabilities for the balance of the said steamboat are 6,850 pounds, which have been arranged for by the debentures of the Canal Company, payable from one to five years.

The computed further cost for the completion of the Canal is 3,500 pounds, which will make the stock of the Company amount to 25,532 pounds. The interest on this latter sum at 6 per cent would be about 1,532 pounds; and to meet this, a negotiation is now on foot by the Directors of the said Company, whereby the said steamboat alone, should the negotiation terminate successfully, will produce to the Company by way of charter the sum of 1,250 pounds, leaving only 280 pounds of interest to be met by all the other resources of the Company.

That by an arrangement entered into with certain individuals on behalf of the Watertown and Rome Railroad Company, the dividends on the Canal stock are to be guaranteed at the same amount as those dividends which from time to time after the completion of the Canal may be declared upon the stock of the Watertown and Rome Railroad, which has never heretofore been less than ten per cent per annum, payable half-yearly.

Your Committee have great pleasure in reporting, that, in their opinion, should the said Canal be completed at as early a date as possible, and of the capacity originally intended, that it will be of the greatest importance to the trade and prosperity of the city, but that the expenditure instead of even being a primary pecuniary draft upon the exchequer of the city, will be a direct profitable investment.

Such being the impression of your Committee, and the other sources for procuring an increase of stock being for the most part exhausted, your committee would recommend that, on conditions, the Directors of said Canal Company do take at par the city debentures payable in not less than ten years with interest.

And funds being now required to prosecute the completion of the said canal and to bring it to a speedy finish, and to place the amount of stock in the said Canal Company owned in and about Kingston as nearly as possible on a par, as to amount, with the stock in said company owned by the Watertown and Rome Railroad Company. That this city do take the further sum of 2,500 pounds in said Wolfe Island Canal Company, on conditions that the said canal be made eight feet deep at low water mark; but, should said canal be of less depth than last aforesaid, that the city do take only the sum of 1,250 pounds; and that, for the purpose of securing that the said canal will be made of the said depth of eight feet, the Mayor, on behalf of the city, do subscribe at the present time, merely the said last mentioned sum, and the balance when the said canal shall be of the depth of eight feet, but not before.

And your Committee, in recommending the taking of the said additional stock would suggest, that notwithstanding there will be held by the Rome and Watertown Railroad Company 5,000 pounds more stock than the City of Kingston, yet, by means of this said additional stock, plus the amount of the other stock owned in and about Kingston, the whole of the said stock owned on the Canadian side will be only 100 pounds less than the amount of stock owned as aforesaid by the Rome and Watertown Railroad, and which latter sum of 100 pounds will at once be subscribed by private individuals in Kingston.

By thus being on a par with the Americans as the amount of stock, the City of Kingston will have a more tangible guarantee that its interests will be more thoroughly guarded in respect of the said canal than otherwise would exist.

O.S. Gildersleeve.

Wm. Rudston.

John Flanagan.

Arch'd J. Macdonell.

Ald. Gildersleeve, after reading the report, said that there were many points of information not contained in the report which he would be happy to give to any member who would ask for them. Before this report was formed he did not think the stock which he owned in the affair worth anything, but now he would not sell it less than par, since he was confident it would pay at least ten per cent.

Coun. Murdoch asked if the sum asked for would be sufficient to stone the sides, for it would be necessary to do so, since the constant action of the waves would bring the bed of the canal to its original state.

Ald. Gildersleeve said that the water was so much higher on the American side than on this, that it would prevent any such filling up.

Ald. Jackson said, that if this is made a good canal, it will make Kingston the terminus of the Rome and Cape Vincent Railroad; which, together with the trade of the proposed Macadamized roads and railways into the interior, will place us in a position to laugh at the Grand Trunk Railroad, which so contemptuously intends to give us the go-by.

Ald. Breden asked if Mr. Milner had fulfilled his contract. Certain portions of the canal were to have been finished at given periods, and if the first and second portions were not so completed, the directors should have sued the contractor's bail.

Ald. Gildersleeve said that Mr. Milner had not fulfilled his contract; but that the directors had kept strict account of it, and intended to sue the bail for all delinquencies.

The report was adopted unanimously.

April 6, 7, 1854


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April 5, 1854
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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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Daily News (Kingston, ON), April 5, 1854