The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), Feb. 10, 1820

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"A Comparison of the Arguments in Favor of the Grand Canal, With Facts"

But I proceed to that part of the route which extends from Oswego to Lewiston, a distance of 130 miles, on Lake Ontario. And here I am met by an assertion of a Committee of the Legislature, in 1817, that "the passage of Lake Ontario, is shown to be dangerous by the fact that many vessels and lives are yearly lost upon it," and by similar assertions reiterated in every report of the Commissioners where the subject has been mentioned, as well as in pamphlets, newspapers, and bar-room harrangues, until its dangerous character has become proverbial, and the effects of the delusions have been severely felt.

[Footnote to this statement]

The Mary (Trowbridge, master) in November, 1819, on her way to the Niagara, in a dark night, struck upon a reef near shore not known to the master, which made it necessary to run her ashore; and being obliged to sustain a heavy blow, before she could be relieved of her cargo, she bilged. The cargo, valued at $8,000, was damaged to the amount of $1,500, the vessel was valued at $2,500, the salvage $1,000 - making a loss of $2,500 on a vessel and cargo valued at $9,500.

The Julia, (Snow, master,) in 1815, on a return voyage from Niagara, without load or ballast, was upset in a gale and every soul on board perished. The vessel was driven ashore, but afterwards got off and repaired at an expense of about $1,000.

The Fair American, (Sweet, master,) returning from Niagara in ballast, was driven ashore in 1816, and lost, except her materials - the loss about $1,000.

These are the only accidents which have happened in twelve years, except those of such a trifling amount as underwriters would not be liable for. Allow the average value of each vessel and cargo to be $3,000, and each vessel to make 20 trips in a season (making no calculation for return freight) the aggregate amount of property at risk is $7,200,000 and the loss $4,500, something less than the 150th part of 1 percent!

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Feb. 10, 1820
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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), Feb. 10, 1820