The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), Feb. 13, 1857

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p.2 Loss of Life On The Lakes and River During the Year 1856 - The general statement of losses on the lakes and river, during the past year, furnished by the Board of Lake Underwriters, and of which we published an abstract on Friday last, shows a fearful increase in the loss of life over the years 1854 and 1855. The number of lives lost by marine disasters during these last two years, being 119 and 118 respectively, while in 1856 they mounted up to 407. Of these 407 persons 85 were lost in Canadian vessels. The losses in property, on the other hand, have decreased 25 per cent, owing to the increased facilities for saving wrecks. The whole value of the property lost during the season was $3,038,874; and of this amount $426,650 belonged to the Canadians.

The contrast between the figures is startling. Had we a Humane Society in America, there is no doubt that their contemplation would be sufficient to galvanize that body into an indictment of the Provincial and State Governments on the whole of the frontier, for their culpable remissness in not providing those means which have been introduced elsewhere, for the purpose of saving shipwrecked crews. In other countries the preservation of life is the first object. In America, an utter recklessness of life is the prevalent characteristic; and the preservation of property is the principal care. The losses on property have decreased 25 per cent - and the season was unusually severe - but the losses of life have increased about 350 per cent. So reads the statement. Professor Kingston lately called the attention of the Canadian Institute to the feasibility of diminishing the number of shipwrecks, by heralding the approach of a gale through telegraphic agency; would it not be well for some other philanthropist to call the attention of the Government to the propriety of establishing life-boats, and other wrecking apparatus, at dangerous points? The necessity is great, not merely from motives of humanity, but from considerations of political economy. [Colonist]

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Feb. 13, 1857
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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), Feb. 13, 1857