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

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The Brantford and Her Passengers

To the Editor Of The Daily News;

Sir: Observing in your paper of this morning a short paragraph relating to the Propeller Brantford, in which it is stated, "a good deal of panic was caused in the neighborhood of where the steamer was moored," you will, perhaps, allow me to remark, as an inhabitant of that neighborhood, that it is hardly fair to apply the word panic in a case of this sort, as no one can say that causeless consternation existed, when emigrants dying of Asiatic cholera were being landed at our very doors. It may be very well, for the sake of personal feelings, to avoid putting anything in print; but should evil consequences arise from this landing, the members of the Board of Health concerned therein, I hope, will be able to reconcile their consciences.

In no other community, calling itself civilized, would a floating Charnel-house be allowed to come alongside any wharf under the control of the authorities, much less land her dead (to be carted through the town) at a much frequented one, and then to move up higher - that is to windward - and disembark the sick, dying and well. I shall spare you a description of the scenes which were to be witnessed yesterday; but common humanity, I think, should compel the authorities to prevent, by all means at their command, a repetition of them.

I heard that the emigrants were not landed at Garratt's wharf (close to the hospital,) because there was not water enough for the Brantford. Surely this is a flimsy excuse; there is plenty in Lake Ontario, the steamer has an anchor, and plenty of scows are to be had. Whoever had the pointing out of a landing place must have been intent on finding out the most objectionable, for almost under the ship's bottom the pipe which supplies the city with water is deposited. The engine, far more considerate for the city health than the wise body lawfully entrusted with it, struck work, and did not pump until the removal of the vessel. The Daily News, however, makes no mention of this fact, although it alludes to the Foundry-men having bolted.

Perhaps, after all, the selection of Mr. Ford's wharf had some sense in it; for every body in the neighborhood is quite aware of the peculiar power it possesses in subduing all other smells, by sending out one of its own, so bad that one of the Propeller's crew was heard to say that of the two he would rather have the steamer's. But the filthy skins, from which this stink arises, the Kingston health officers may not think unwholesome, to be stored in the building on the wharf, although the Central Board of Health forbid such substances being kept within any town.

Publishing restrictions on apple-women, pig-keepers, and grog-sellers (never enforced) can be of little avail in preserving health, whilst many gross nuisances are suffered to remain in different parts of the place.

I have taken the trouble to write all this, in the hope that you may be induced to take such notice of the matters as you may conceive will be most likely to bring about a remedy.

Believe me,

Very truly yours, A.B. Aug. 3rd, 1854

Sault Ste. Marie Canal - Our readers will be gratified to learn that this important work is now progressing with unusual earnestness. The work upon the Locks particularly, is being pushed forward at railroad speed. The railroad cranes, under the supervision of Mr. Ashley, are placing the lockstone with surprising rapidity.

The excavation generally is now assuming the look of a Canal, and when finished will be a splendid work and an ornament to the country. For a few days past there has been a full supply of face stone, and we hope it will hereafter be forthcoming as fast as wanted.

The weather, thus far, has been favorable for the furtherance of a work of this kind. We have had but two or three days of a few hours only in each in which a man could not work with perfect comfort. In fact, for the past year the weather has been remarkably favorable, more so than ever before within our knowledge, during some seven years residence in this place. [Lake Superior Journal, 16th July]

-The bark Cataraqui, Capt. Hurst, of this port, arrived at Deal on the 20th ult.


To the Editor of the Daily News.

Dear Sir; Doctor Barker talks and writes a great deal about the necessity for inquests in cases of fire, but like many others neglects his duty, where there is a real necessity for it.

On a late occasion a steamer arrived here with five or six dead bodies on board, and it is reported that twenty or thirty deaths had occurred between Grosse Isle and this port.

Now, Sir, had the Captain of that vessel discharged his duty properly, he would have stopped at the first port, after the cholera broke out, in order to cleanse his vessel, and had he done so, there is no doubt in my mind, that he would thereby have saved the lives of many of his passengers.

Such cases in my humble opinion require the investigation of Coroners, Juries, and if our Coroners would act rather than grumble and complain, they would better discharge their duty, and the public have less reason to find fault with them.

Yours truly,

August 3rd, 1854 A Citizen

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Aug. 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), Aug. 4, 1854