The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), July 4, 1854

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To the Editor of the Daily News.

Dear Sir, - For more than a month the public mind has been excited about the comparative speed of the two fast boats on the Bay, and fierce are the wordy conflicts that take place daily between the respective friends of each. One would have thought the thing would have been settled ere this, but no, every day the race is renewed, and every day people's lives are endangered by the jealous rivalry of steamboat men. How is it to end? Every day brings accounts of collisions, of foul play, of threats and half formed resolutions of sinking each other. Are we so deeply interested in the comparative speed of the two boats - which after all may depend on the quality of wood, or the quantity of resin and tar used - as to be willing to risk our own lives, and those of friends and relatives, to gratify the envious, jealous or angry feelings of manager "this," who wants to keep the monopoly of the Bay, or manager "that," who wants "to give him a hard nut to crack." Twice during the week collisions have taken place, and the attempt to crowd each other on the shore, I am told, is quite a common affair. Is this state of things to continue? and how is it to end? Is it to continue until one of them is sunk or blown into the air, sending misery and death into scores of happy homes? Or shall public opinion at once put it down? If a couple of fellows on a market day, not having the fear of Neil Dow before their eyes, get drunk and race their horses through the streets of town or city, they are straightway "pulled up" before "His Worship," and punished for endangering the lives and limbs of Her Majesty's lieges, but surely there is far less danger in such scrapes than in the daily steamboat races on the Bay; and I would humbly suggest that, if there is no law in existence to punish steamboat racing, one of the first acts of the new Parliament ought to be, to pass one and the legislator who introduces such a measure, if sufficiently plain and stringent, will deserve well of the community.

We have surely seen enough of the effects of steamboat racing on the rivers of our neighbors across the lakes, not to desire to practice it here; therefore the sooner it is stopped the better; else, I ask, how is it to end?

Picton, July 1st, 1854. D.

Bark Jessie Hoyt - This fine new vessel arrived at this port on the 8th inst., with a cargo of 400,000 feet of lumber and 35,000 lath, from Saginaw - it being her first trip. The Jesse Hoyt was built during the last Winter at East Saginaw, Michigan, by Messrs. Smith and Whiting, ship builders at that place. She is the first large vessel built in East Saginaw, which her builders represent as the most natural place for ship building on the Lakes, from its accessibility to the best of timber. The following are her dimensions:- Length 148 1/2 feet; breadth of beam, 36 3/4 feet; depth of hold, 21 feet 5 inches. She contains four streaks of bilge keelsons, 5 x 10 inches; three streaks of arches, 2 x 12 inches; 2 streaks of clamps, 4 1/2 inches in width by 2 inches in depth, and is planked and ceiled with three inch material. Particular attention has been given by her builders in the selection of materials used, as well as in the building and fastening. They feel confident that as a business vessel, combining large burthen with light draught of water and handy working, she is not equalled on the lakes. The Jesse Hoyt is owned by Messrs. Hoyt, of New York, and Van Santvoord & Co. of Albany. She is 456 tons burthen, is commanded by Capt. C. McNeil, (late of brig St. Louis). She cleared last evening for Buffalo, with 18,000 bushels of corn, and will probably sail early this morning. [Chicago paper]

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July 4, 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), July 4, 1854