The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Black Rock Beacon (Buffalo, NY), 3 April 1823, page 2

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[extracted from an editorial article rebutting the second letter of a Mr. Thomas regarding the Black Rock harbor]

His "2d letter" dwells with particular emphasis upon what he supposes to be a false statement in the Black Rock harbor company pamphlet, relative to the depth of water at the mouth of Buffalo creek, after "the fall rains of 1822." With a view to controvert the position, he has propounded three queries, which he imagines if truly answered, must clearly establish its falsity. The first is--"Has Buffalo creek since the late rains, been bringing down new supplies of sand? Has the entrance of the harbor become obstructed since that period? What vessels of 50 tons discharged their cargoes in order to pass the bar?" As these queries all tend to one point, an answer to [the] third will be a satisfactory one to the whole.

The schr. Hannah, burthen 48 73-95 tons (as appears by a reference to the papers of the collector of this port) after the 'fall rains,' left the warehouse of Mess. Townsend & Coit, bound up the lake. After making several attempts to pass the mouth of the creek, without success, she returned to the warehouse, and discharged her cargo; after which she passed the bar, and anchored in the lake, where her loading was conveyed to her in boats and re- shipped. This is the only vessel below 50 tons, which has been obliged to "discharge her cargo."

The following cases however, furnish incontestible evidence of the insufficiency of Buffalo creek as a harbor; and although they are not called for by Mr. Thomas, we will gratuitously furnish him the information they afford, believing they have never been made known by those "directly interested in deceiving him."

The schr. Erie, of 78 tons presents a case like that of the Hannah, with the difference only that she was aground on this bar more than 24 hours losing a faire wind, in consequence of which detention she lost a trip. The schr. Red Jacket, of 53 tons burthen, but of a less draught of water than either of the above vessels, rested in the same place upon her "own gravity," about half a day. To these may be added the case of the schr. Beaver of 36 89-95 tons burthen.

...But these are not all the evidences which may go to establish his "disgrace." It has recently been discovered that the bottom of Buffalo creek above and near its mouth, is covered with sand, to the depth of more than one foot, as appears by an examination recently made near where the Steam Boat is laid up; a few rods above the junction of the little Buffalo creek. This fact will be verified upon oath, and we hope its weight will not be wholly lost even upon Mr. Thomas.

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Column 3
Date of Original:
3 April 1823
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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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Black Rock Beacon (Buffalo, NY), 3 April 1823, page 2