Fire.--The following we issued in a slip, on Monday morning last. Since that time we gather[ed] no additional particulars of moment. A plaid cloak, partly burnt, was found in the boat's cabin, which may lead to the detection of the incendiary.
The Webster will again be in readiness to take the lake on the opening of navigation.
Steam Boat Burnt!--We had an alarm of fire about nine o'clock last evening, caused by the conflagration of the Steam Boat Daniel Webster, in the harbour. She was moored at the dock, in front of the store-house of Pratt, Taylor & Co. The Steam Boat Gov. Marcy lay immediately astern, and the Brig Indiana under her bows--all immovably fixed in the ice; while the wooden store-house was only at the distance of a few feet upon the shore. When we reached the scene, the Webster was burning furiously, both forward and aft,-- the centre around the engine not having yet kindled. The fire engines were placed upon the ice of the harbour, and attacked the flames simultaneously, at different points--which were finally quelled.
On visiting the Boat this morning, we find her inside work entirely destroyed, with decks, upper works, &c., engine considerably damaged--but the frame apparently uninjured. The amount of damage we have heard estimated at from six to eight thousand dollars--no ensurance. The Webster is owned, principally, by Pratt, Taylor & Co. of this city, Dows, Cary & Co., Albany, Allaire, New York, &c.; was new, and one of the swiftest boats upon the lakes.
The fire was the work of design--though no motive for the hellish deed is known. There had been no fire in the boat fore more than six weeks past, and it appears to have been kindled both in the forward and aft part at the same time. The incendiary was a most considerate scoundrel, for he chose a night so calm, that the flames rose perpendicularly. Had the wind been high, several of the steam boats and vessels, with a range of extensive wooden store-houses must have been destroyed.
The Steam-Boat New-York, also in port, has been twice fired within a few weeks, and in each instance, the fire went out, most fortunately, without damage, and before the fact was discovered.
Internal Commerce.--A convention composed of proprietors and agents of all the Tow Boats upon the Hudson River, of each line of boats upon the Erie Canal, of all the vessels and Steam Boats upon Lake Erie, and of all the lines of boats upon the Ohio Canal, which collectively form the great chain of transportation from the city of New-York to the Ohio River, has just closed its labours, in this city, after an active session of nearly a week. During this session such explanations and concessions have been mutually mad as will result in materially reducing the rates of transportation, particularly on property passing the Ohio Canal. On such property the arrangements are such as will meet the views of the Commissioners of the Ohio Canal, and, it is believed, secure the immense trade which must flow to and from the vast valley of the Ohio, to our favourite Atlantick city.
We view this convention as one in connexion with the progress of internal commerce, and its effects upon the Western Empire, as of more consequence than any which has gone before it, for any similar purpose, since the commencement of the Erie Canal. Its doings may be taken as a sure presage that, for the future, in whatever measures the eastern members of our commonwealth may propose to promote the general prosperity, they will always be promptly met by the generous and enlightened liberality of the west. We are fully informed that there has probably seldom been a convention of individuals whose separate interests have apparently been so various, and who have heretofore been so tenaciously jealous of each other, having passed a week in discussions, and finally separating in such perfect harmony, and unity of views. The convention embraced a mass of intelligence connected with the WEST, its prospects, and its present and future welfare, which, on no former occasion, has been assembled.