The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), March 30, 1868

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p.2 Ferry To Cape Vincent - Watertown to make first trip tomorrow.

The Assizes - Before the Hon. Mr. Justice Wilson

Saturday, March 28th - Kinghorn vs British America Insurance Co. - This was an action brought by Mr. G.M. Kinghorn, of this city, against the British America Insurance Company, for value of services rendered to the schooner Jenny Rumble and cargo in December last, lying in the ice between Timber Island and South Bay Point, for which services the sum of $1,000 was claimed by the plaintiff. The defence replied that the agent of the company had made a special bargain with Mr. Kinghorn to pay the sum of $200 for such service, which amount the company was prepared to pay.

Plaintiff's counsel stated that the defendant had requested Mr. Kinghorn to send a tug to the schooner's assistance, which at first he hesitated to do, but subsequently sent the steamboat Pierrepont, which succeeded in reaching the schooner in a dangerous position, and bringing her as far as Snake Island, when the tug became disabled, and the steamer Watertown was then sent to the rescue on the following morning, and succeeded in bringing in the schooner to port. The plaintiff called Capt. J. Allen, of Cape Vincent, who stated that he was on the Pierrepont, when she went to the rescue, that she found the schooner at the place before named, and was unable to take her further than Snake Island from injuries received by collision with ice in taking her that distance. Andrew Miller was sent by Captain Hinckley, jr., to Kingston, for the assistance of the Watertown.

Andrew Miller, mate of the Pierrepont, corroborated the evidence, and further described the most serious injuries of the steamboat to be three or four of her timbers jammed, on her starboard side, her plates were also worn by the ice. He considered the Pierrepont could not have got back to Kingston but for the aid of the Watertown. He had to caulk the seams from the inside to prevent her from leaking to a dangerous extent. He was the man who went ashore on the ice; it was very rough at the time and the undertaking was dangerous. Capt. Hinckley, Jr., Capt. of Pierrepont, testified to having gone to the rescue of the schooner and to the condition of steamtug after arriving with the Jenny Rumble at Snake Island. It was a common practice to charge $100 for 24 hours service for a steam tug in summer time, $60 was a common practice in ordinary times. Had received $200 for going to Ogdensburgh.

Capt. Cournieu, agent of the Insurance Company, sworn. He considered it his duty to the company to send help to the Jenny Rumble. The company had no risk on the vessel, but about 1/4 risk on the cargo which was wheat; there were between 7,000 and 8,000 bushels aboard. He spoke to Mr. Kinghorn about sending assistance, and stated where he thought, from information in a telegram he received from Toronto, where the Jenny Rumble would be; found and chartered the steamer Watertown for that purpose. He pressed Mr. Kinghorn to name a price which that gentleman appeared unwilling to do, but at last asked him if $200 would do, witness agreed to that amount but remarked that if the schooner was not found, he (witness) hoped plaintiff would let him off easier. In answer to a question by a jurer, witness understood that plaintiff estimated all risks in bringing the schooner in for $200, and thought that that was the full value of the service. Witness went out in the tug Pierrepont and found the schooner, succeeded in bringing her to Snake Island. The reason the Watertown was not sent was that her wheels were found to require repairing on her return from the Cape, but Mr. Kinghorn put hands to work on her at once. It was understood that if the Pierrepont did not succeed and return that night the Watertown was to be sent on the next morning. He made a positive bargain for $200, and went out to see that a proper search was made. The risk of the company on the cargo was $5,700.

After the service Mr. Kinghorn asked him to pay $600; he thought he was joking, but finding him serious, offered him $400 rather than suffer the annoyance of a law suit, but Mr. Kinghorn was obdurate.

Capt. Hinckley, sen., of the Watertown, and William Anderson, seaman, on board the Jenny Rumble at the time, were sworn, but there was no special interest in their testimony.

Capt. Gaskin estimated the value of such service under the various circumstances of locality of schooner, and state of weather and condition of the lake at the time from $100 to $250.

Mr. Macdonnell, (Macdonnell & Mowat) for the plaintiff, and D'Arcy Boulton, for the defendant.

Verdict for the defendant.

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March 30, 1868
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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), March 30, 1868