The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), Aug. 3, 1857

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p.2 Steamboat Disasters

The following sensible suggestions to prevent the recurrence of similar disasters to that of the Montreal, we take from the Quebec Morning Chronicle: -

"The risks to which life and property are exposed by the open violation of the laws, on the part of the proprietors of certain ferry steamers which ply between this and Point Levi, are not, since the burning of the Montreal, looked upon with the same concern as heretofore. Our city contemporaries of the Gazette and National have directed especial attention to the little or no regard to legal enactments paid by these steamboat owners and captains. The subject is one of vital importance, and the condition of the hundreds of small steamers which navigate the St. Lawrence, and the manner in which the Inspectors discharge their duty in reference to them, demand the most careful consideration and supervision of the Goverment. We have the authority of Mr. Gagnon, the inspector for this port, for stating that of forty steamers he has examined since his commission was renewed on the 20th inst., there are few that have complied with the requirements of the Acts of Parliament. Of the ferry-boats and tug-boats, especially, many had leaky boilers, were exposed to taking fire from the too close proximity of the woodwork, carried too much steam, and were unprovided with steam-gauges. Mr. Magnon has sent in his report to the Collector of Customs, and intimated to those who have disregarded the law, that unless they discontinue their neglect of its requirements forthwith, he will represent to the Government that their steamers are dangerous, and have them stopped from running, in conformity with the Act of last Session. This is so far satisfactory, but we hope to see the statutes further enforced, in the rigorous prosecution of all who contravene them, and the strict recovery of the penalties imposed. The authorities who have the power to carry out the intentions of the Legislature, have been too apt to sit down and await the event, without asking themselves whether the chance of accident or misfortune were to any extent within their own control. They viewed with no apprehensions the want, on board of all our steamers, of those very appliances which would have prevented the dreadful disaster of the 26th June, and their consciences will best tell how far they are indirectly responsible for that calamity. Let such indifference cease; a lesson has been taught in the sacrifice of two hundred and fifty human beings in our midst, and it is high time proper precautions were adopted, or those who omit them severely punished. The whole subject deserves a thorough investigation. There are hundreds of firemen and engineers employed on Canadian steamboats who know nothing even of the preliminaries of boiling water, let alone of a steam engine, and whose only knowledge of machinery has been acquired by a few months service as stokers. Yet tens of thousands of lives are annually at risk in steamboats managed by these ignorant employees. Surely, the wonder is not that - while our laws are allowed to remain a dead letter, while our Inspectors, generally, are incompetent and careless, and while our engineers are deficient in the knowledge of their business - so many accidents occur, but that they are so few."

Lighthouse at Charity Island - Lieut. Smith, Light House Inspector, gives notice of the completion of this lighthouse, which is forty feet in height.

The tower and keeper's dwelling are white, the illuminating apparatus is fourth order catadiotropic of the system of Fresnel. Placed at an elevation of 45 feet above the mean level of the bay, it should be seen from the deck of a vessel 15 feet above the water, under ordinary states of the atmosphere, 12 nautical miles.

This light will be exhibited for the first time on the night of the 20th August next, and on nightly thereafter, from sunset to sunrise, whilst the navigation of the lake and Bay remains open.

We learn from the Detroit papers that the barque Northern Light, capsized and sunk at Bear Creek, has been raised.

Royal Mail Through Line of Steamers - arrangement with G.T.R. - passengers can take train from Montreal to Kingston and catch up with steamer which left Montreal the day before. [Pilot]

p.3 Imports - Aug. 1st.

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Aug. 3, 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), Aug. 3, 1857