The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), Aug. 14, 1855

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p.2 Collision - The barque Merrimac was run into by an unknown vessel, at half-past eleven on Wednesday evening, off Thirty Mile Point, carrying away her jib-boom, bowsprit, and badly shattering her stem. Capt. Daggett, of the Merrimac, informs us that the vessel disappeared in about five minutes after the collision, and he knows nothing of her whereabouts, or what damage she sustained.

Another Collision, Almost - We learn from the mate of the schooner L.M. Mason, that the bark Canada came very near running that vessel down (only clearing her by about 10 feet) on the same night that she got foul of the brig Globe. The Mason reports that the Canada had no lights - that her jib-boom and other portions of her head gear had been carried away (the effects of her encounter with the Globe) and that she was going up the lake at a spanking rate. There is scarcely a day that we do not hear of violations of the law in regard to lights - not in isolated incidents, but frequently large fleets of 30 or 40 sail are met with in the night with not a single light visible. This state of things will continue until some Atlantic tragedy calls public attention to the fact, unless sooner attended to by those whose duty requires them to see the laws enforced - to be again forgotten in the course of a month. It is certainly not surprising that our marine losses figure up so enormously at the close of each season. [Buffalo Republic]

-a serious break in Rideau Canal near Hog's Back, 5 miles from Ottawa, will prevent boats from reaching Ottawa for 2-3 weeks..

A Large Pic Nic Party - on iron str. Firefly at Smiths Falls.

Sheriff's Sale - of engine and boilers of str. Montreal - seized in case of James Gibb and others vs William Sykes.

Iron Shipbuilding - 36 establishments building with iron on Clyde, near Glasgow. [Scientific American]

Custom House Difficulty at Rochester - Under the title of "Strange Proceeding," the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser of Thursday narrates a very singular position taken by the Collector at Rochester, which, if persisted in, would have a most embarrassing effect on the Lake Shipping. Our contemporary explains that by a United States Statute of 1792, a tonnage duty of fifty cents per ton was levied upon all foreign vessels entering our ports, whose capacity exceeded fifty tons; and a corresponding tax was imposed upon American vessels visiting the ports of Canada. This was in addition to the usual Customs fees for entrances, clearances, permits to land freight and passengers, and for certifying manifests, etc., - making in the aggregrate a very onerous tax. The inconvenience and loss attending this regulation were, of course, found to be very great; and some years ago, by negotiations betweent the two governments, Customs fees were abolished on both sides [of] the Lakes - and fixed salaries awarded to the Custom House Officers in lieu of their fees. It appears that this rule did not extend to the Atlantic ports of the United States, however, and that the fees still continue to be collected on the sea-board. After explaining the beneficial effect of the change of the system on the international commerce of the Lakes, the Commercial Advertiser proceeds:-

"In this eligible condition of things, and while the beneficial consequences of free trade are most sensibly felt, the business men on the border are startled by the attempted illegal exaction on the part of the collector at Rochester, which, if sustained by the Treasury Department, even temporarily - for Congress will of course enlighten any stolid official who undertakes to modify the revenue laws to suit his own purpose - will put an end to nearly all intercourse with Canada, embarass trade to an incalculable extent, and provoke retaliatory action on the part of the Canadian Government. The Rochester Collector has undertaken to revive the law of Congress repealed in 1851, and to collect the fees imposed by the old statute, to wit, for entrance and clearance, etc., $5.20 for every port on the lake, making a daily tax on the Ontario and St. Lawrence Steamboat Company of over a hundred dollars, or from $20,000 to $25,000 a season. This enormous charge would compel the company at once to withdraw their boats and lay them up for the season. A similar course would necessarily be adopted by a considerable portion of those engaged in navigating Lake Ontario, but nothing of the kind will be sanctioned by the Secretary of the Treasury; and the only result of the strange movement of the Rochester Colllector will be to embarass commercial men on Lake Ontario for the time, and ultimately bring upon himself the censure of the Department. We venture to say not another Collector on the frontier will fall into a similar error."

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Aug. 14, 1855
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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. 14, 1855