The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), Friday, April 18, 1851

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The opening of canal navigation has brought large numbers of boatmen and canal drivers into the city in search of employment, and horses, the motive power of this branch of inland commerce, are again called into active requisition along the line of this great thoroughfare.

Where all the canal boys come from is a mystery. In the fall when the great "Clinton ditch" closes up as tight as a drum, they are thrown out of employment, and disappear during the long winter; but in the spring, they swarm like bees - though unlike these busy insects, they are not noted for their industrious habits. They are readily distinguished from other boys, for there is something peculiar in the deportment of the chevaliers of the tow-path that makes them different from any other class of boys.

They are, in fact a community by themselves - avoided and despised by their fellow-youth. But after all the ridicule and abuse to which they are subjected, these poor canallers are a useful. and necessary class of people, and are, on the whole, about as moral as could be expected from the nature of their occupation, and the demoralizing influences thrown around them. Their moral destitution should rather excite our commiseration and sympathy than our contempt, and we rejoice to hear that well-directed efforts are being made in the western cities to improve their condition.

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Friday, April 18, 1851
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Richard Palmer
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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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Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), Friday, April 18, 1851