The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), June 1, 1863

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p.2 Rafts For Quebec - The steam-tug Hector left the bay yesterday afternoon with two rafts for Kingston, where she will leave them, and they will float down the river to the great timber depot - Quebec. The two tugs already here namely, Hero and Hercules, have more than they can do in the towing line, and the above tug, the Hector, has been brought over from Oswego to supply the deficiency of towing power.

The above from the Globe is an indication that the American tug Hector has been admitted as a regular trader in Canadian waters. It goes far to confirm the statement which we previously made that this and other American tugboats now trafficking in our waters have special privileges from the present Canadian government. No American boats were thus openly engaged in Canadian waters before last summer, when the government of which the American Howland was a member came into power. Mr. Howland has been before accused of unduly favoring his own countrymen, and here we have a fresh instance of his disposition to build up American trade at the expense of our own.

The way in which Mr. Howland contrives to do a good turn for his American friends is ingenious, and is worthy of the "great nation" of which he is a scion, albeit it is the height of rascality and deception. It needs only to be known to put a brand upon the Ministry for their complicity in such a nefarious business. It is this. The captains of the American tugs are furnished with a permit from Quebec, which is intended to be used only in case of seizure by any Custom House officer who acts up to his duty; and the captains are instructed to observe outwardly the forms of our Canadian law. Thus the Hector leaves Oswego with sufficient coal for her round trip, crosses over to Toronto, and is engaged to tow a raft nominally to Ogdensburg. She makes her way down the lake, hugging the Canadian shore, but unless actually compelled, avoids the risk of seizure by putting into any Canadian port. When the steamer arrives in the river off Ogdensburg, the tow is cut adrift and the tug enters the port, leaving the raft to be floated down to Quebec. The Custom House clearances are thus observed; but the spirit of the law is infringed. And our present government sanctions this evasion; and does everything to screen the guilty violators. The proper efforts of Custom House officials are frowned down. If an American vessel is seized upon the clearest proof, the owners have only to apply to the accessible Howland for an interference in their favor, and the steamer is ordered to be discharged under a bond which is never prosecuted.

These proceedings on the part of our government give a premium to boats owned by aliens, and must tend to check the building of steamboats by Canadian capitalists, thus injuring our shipyards and machine shops, and all who are directly or indirectly dependent upon them for subsistence. The American owners contribute nothing to our revenues, neither do their boats procure any supplies from our merchants or yield us any profit whatever. There is no excuse of reciprocity, for Canadian vessels are rigidly excluded from competing with American bottoms in their own coasting trade. The whole transaction is an injury and an injustice; and should be stopped ere further mischief is created.

If there is a demand for more tugboats to tow the increased number of rafts which are ready to be sent down to Quebec, what better incentive does a Canadian capitalist require than this very fact of demand to induce him to build or purchase additional boats? The expansion of our steamboat trade needs no better stimulus; yet this stimulus, by an act of treacherous suicide, is utterly removed, owing to the American proclivities of our present government.

-On Sunday evening last the tug John A. Crawford went outside of Chicago harbor, to bring the schooner Traveller into port, and had just got the schooner's lines aboard when her boiler exploded with terrific force. The boat sank immediately to the bottom.

Arrivals - 30; Clearances - 30.

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June 1, 1863
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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), June 1, 1863