The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), Aug. 23, 1856

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p.2 looking for vessel to take place of burnt Welland.

-three brass field pieces with ammunition waggons, etc. landed from str. Trenton on Shaw's wharf for use of Captain Jackson's Company of Provincial Artillery.

Burning of the Propeller Tinto

Adjourned Investigation

The Coroner and Jury met at the Court House on the evening of Thursday the 20th for the purpose of hearing further evidence. Thos. Kirkpatrick, Esq., appeared for the Crown; O.L. Mowat, Esq. for the owners of the Tinto.

Captain Charles Armstrong examined: - Is Lloyd's Agent; Agent for the underwriters at Montreal. Inspected the Tinto in the month of June. The Captain came to have her examined, with a view to have her insured. It was said her machinery was disarranged owing to her having struck on a rock; therefore the machinery was defective. Had seen her on the stocks at Sorel, and thought her seaworthy.

She could not be called a hot boat, as her boilers were unusually small, and remained below in an eleven foot hold. She then had three boats; one large and two smaller ones. The small boats were entirely too small. Did not know of any life-preservers; she was not intended to be a passenger vessel. The three boats were capable to hold the entire people on board. The small boats were capable to hold 25 persons each, the large one 50.

It is not the practice for freight steamers to carry life boats; I do not think there is a steamer from Hamilton to Quebec, on lake or on river, has her funnels cased with iron. From what I have seen it was entirely impossible that fire could have originated from a spark falling between the funnel and the boilers - particularly from what I learn in this case - the wind blowing fresh, must have sent the sparks beyond the vessel. I would not hesitate for a moment to insure the vessel. Do not think her master justified in going to sea with only one boat.

The great quantity of wood on board amounts to nothing. There was hose on board which could be used, the only trouble being to affix it.

Delaney, the mate, was re-examined. He swore positively that there was an iron casing around the funnels, which, he said, yet remains to be seen; here only, his evidence differed from what has been already stated.

The Coroner requested all others, save the Jury, to retire, when it was agreed: -

That the two persons deceased, whose names appear at the beginning of this inquiry, came to their deaths by the burning of the Propeller Tinto; and that the Captain and the Engineer were highly culpable in proceeding to sea, without having taken proper precaution to secure the lives of the passengers committed to their charge.

We have been told that such was the substance of the verdict.

In taking our leave of this painful subjec, we regret, that in the first case, it should have been deemed a weighty matter, whereas after three days' deliberations, it was suddenly brought to a close, and a verdict rendered, which could as well have been arrived at on the first occasion. We were totally unprepared for the winding up of the matter today, and can only think that Mr. P.M. Vankoughnet did not send forward the needful to prolong it - yet a little longer.

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Aug. 23, 1856
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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. 23, 1856