The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), Oct. 8, 1870

Full Text

p.1 ad - Canadian Navigation Company - Royal Mail Through Line - The above line is composed of the following Splendid Upper-Cabin Steamers - str. Spartan, Capt. Kelley; Passport, Capt. Sinclair; Kingston, Capt. Farrell; Champion, Capt. Carmichael; Corinthian, Capt. Dunlop; Magnet, Capt. Simpson.

One of the Steamers of the above Line will leave the St. Lawrence Wharf, foot of Johnson Street, for Toronto and Hamilton, every afternoon (Monday excepted) at Half-Past Five o'clock. Also, one of the Steamers will leave for Montreal every Morning (Monday excepted) at Half-Past Five.

For Passage Tickets apply at the office of Folger & Bros., Ontario Street, or at the Lake and River Steamboat Office, St. Lawrence Wharf, foot of Jonhson Street.

Passengers going to the West can procure Tickets via Great Western, Detroit and Milwaukee and Michigan Central Railways, for Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Grand Haven, and also for all the principal points in the West, and also via Pacific Railroad to Utah, Nebraska, Colorado, Nevada and California.

A comfortable and convenient Waiting Room for Ladies and Gentlemen on the wharf.

C.H. Hatch, Agent Kingston, Oct. 1870

ad - For Picton, Belleville And Intermediate Ports - The Favorite Upper Cabin Steamer Bay of Quinte, D.W. Johnson, Master, leaves Carruthers' Wharf every afternoon at 3:30 o'clock. Returning, leaves Belleville every Morning at 5 o'clock.

C.H. Hatch, Agent Kingston, Oct. 5th, 1870

p.2 The Rideau Canal - The steam barge Nile continues to run between here and Ottawa carrying every trip heavy cargoes of general merchandise. Her captain, however, reports the navigation as being very difficult, even for his small vessel, owing to the low state of the water in the Rideau Canal.

The Bay of Quinte - This steamer for the remainder of the season has been placed on the route between Kingston and Belleville in lieu of the Rochester, changed to that of Oswego and Charlotte.


The case of Richardson vs Home Insurance Company was tried at the Fall Assizes, held at Picton on 5th and 6th October instant. The plaintiff, James Richardson, of Kingston, sued the defendant, the Home Insurance Company, of New Haven, Connecticut, for $3,000, being the amount of a policy of marine assurance effected upon the barque Waterwitch on behalf of himself as mortgagee and of Samuel Fraser, of Kingston, as owner. The Waterwitch was struck by a squall and foundered off South Bay Point on Lake Ontario, on the 24th October, 1869. The defendants, besides denying the interest of the insurers, alleged that the vessel was unseaworthy, and that she was lost by the fraudulent act of the captain and crew. The evidence of the captain and officers and of the crew showed that the Waterwitch was perfectly seaworthy and fully manned and equipped when she left Kingston upon her last voyage with a cargo of scrap iron for Cleveland. All went well until the morning of the 24th, when she was compelled by stress of weather to run into the anchorage at Timber Island. The weather seemed towards noon to moderate a little and the Waterwitch again put out to sea. About two o'clock the Waterwitch was struck by a sudden heavy snow squall from the south-west which knocked her over on her beam-ends. The captain attempted to put her about when she missed stays. The flying jib was then hauled down and the vessel came in stays and heeled over to starboard heavily. Apprehending something serious, the Captain sounded the pump, and finding a considerable depth of water, ordered the main hatch to be opened. The mate and two sailors jumped down into the hold, when they found the water four feet deep and rapidly increasing. The mate could not see where it was coming in, but thought it was coming in from forward. He then went aloft and reported to the captain the state of matters below. The captain ordered the boat to be lowered and the crew to get together their clothes, and put a sufficient stock of provisions aboard the boat. He then hoisted a signal of distress, which attracted the notice of the E.P. Dorr, a schooner a few miles distant. About half an hour after the accident the captain and crew, ten in number, cast off from the vessel in their boat, being afraid to stay by the ship any longer. They made for the E.P. Dorr, and boarded her in about half an hour. A short time after they saw the Waterwitch go down. The E.P. Dorr then ran into South Bay for shelter, the shipwrecked crew assisting to work her at her captain's request. This was all the direct evidence given for the plaintiff touching the actual cause of loss, the theory of the captain and officers being that the leverage of the centre board under the shock of the squall had strained or burst open the centre board box and let the water in with a rush. Several captains of the highest standing on the lakes were called for the plaintiff, and testified to having been in the neighbourhood at the time, and having experienced similar weather.

For the defence was read the evidence of two of the crew (those who went into the hold with the mate) taken under a commission at Buffalo, N.Y. These men denied the occurrence of any squall (although it appeared that they were below at the time.) They declared there was no adequate natural cause for the loss of the vessel, that the water came in from abaft and not from the centre box. They said no effort was made by the captain to save the vessel. They alleged various circumstances of apparent suspicion, such as shortness of provisions for the voyage, preparation by captain and crew, etc. (It is only fair to say that these matters were satisfactorily explained by the captain and officers.) It was elicited from these men on cross-examination that they had been brought to Buffalo by the insurance company and at their expense, that lodgings had been engaged for them by the agent of the company, and that they had paid nothing for their board during the whole winter. They denied, however, that they had received or been promised anything directly by the company for giving their evidence, and gave as their reason for going to Buffalo that they were afraid of violence at Kingston. By the evidence of these men the company attempted to insinuate foul play on the part of the captain and crew; but his lordship charged the jury to give no weight to their statements of the men.

The defendants also called the captain of the E.P. Dorr, who testified that he observed no squall on the day of the loss and that the weather was not stormy until after the loss of the vessel.

Counsel having been heard the judge charged the jury that there was no evidence of foul play, and that the only question for their consideration was as to the seaworthiness of the Waterwitch. The jury, after deliberating for half an hour, returned a verdict for the plaintiff for $3,090, the full amount of the plaintiff's claim.

Counsel for plaintiff, Mr. Britton and Mr. Machar. Mr. Bawden plaintiff's attorney. Counsel for defendants Mr. Anderson, of Toronto, and Mr. A.S. Kirkpatrick.

Fraser vs The Home Insurance Company - The facts in this case were the same as in the other, except that the policy effected by Fraser had, with the consent of the company's local agent, been assigned to the Hon. John Simpson, on whose behalf Fraser sued.

The defendants had been allowed to raise by their pleadings the same grounds of defence as in the other case, on condition of admitting the sufficiency of their agent's consent. At the trial they endeavoured to evade the effect of this admission, and perceiving the strength of the plaintiff's case, they applied for leave to withdraw their defences, and raise instead the question of their agent's authority to sanction the assignment. This, after some hesitation, the Judge allowed them to do, but in view of the new issue now raised, declined to force the plaintiff to proceed with his case on the spot, and postponed the trial, reserving the question of the costs occasioned by the defendants' conduct for the decision of the court.

The same counsel were engaged in this case. Macdonald and Patton plaintiff's attorneys.

Shipment of Cheese - About 1,000 cheese, weighing from sixty to seventy pounds each, are shipped weekly on the steamer St. Helen from Bay of Quinte ports to Montreal.

p.3 For Oswego and Rochester - The Favorite Upper Cabin Steamer Rochester will leave J. Swift & Co's wharf, Kingston, for Oswego and Charlotte (the Port of Rochester) every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoon at five o'clock. Returning, Leaves Rochester every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon. Direct transhipment from the Bay of Quinte Steamer made at Kingston without wharfage. In consequence of the extremely abundant and excellent crop of apples this year at Rochester, buyers will find the market there much the most favourable for purchasing. Oct. 5th


(Jan. 1, 1870 to Oct. 7, 1870 missing)

Jan. 1870 - missing

Feb. 1870 - missing

March 1870 - missing

April 1870 - missing

May 1870 - missing

June 1870 - missing

July 1870 - missing

Aug. 1870 - missing

Sept. 1870 - missing

(Oct. 8th to end of year available on microfilm at Queen's University - Stauffer Library)

Media Type:
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Date of Original:
Oct. 8, 1870
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Rick Neilson
Copyright Statement:
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), Oct. 8, 1870