American Vs. Canadian Tugs - Certain Canadian tug-owners, in their anxiety to make out that they were supplied, at great expense, with necessary facilities in the shape of numerous powerful tugs, steam pumps, hawsers, chains, divers and diving apparatus, have gone so far as to state that they could attend any number of wrecks that might occur in Canadian waters*, from Lake Superior to the St. Lawrence, and were as well-prepared to render assistance to vessels in distress as United States tugs were. The improbability of the former assertion and the utter absurdity of the latter are shown in what follows:
The Canadian tugs are four in number, namely JESSIE, 90 tons burden; PRINCE ALFRED, 275 tons; H. R. MORTON, 162 tons; and MINNIE MORTON (Merton), 22 tons. Total tonnage, 549. Aggregate valuation according to marine register, $25,800. As respects working apparatus, there are two pumps at Windsor, one a 14 inch Worthington and the other a 12-inch rotary, two good lines and three or four fair ones, a divers dress which is fitted by an American diver when the occasion requires.
On the other hand, the American tugs doing business number thirty-nine, and are as follows: BALIZE, 259 tons, BALLENTINE, 73 Tons; NELLIE BOOTH, 24 Tons; BROCKWAY, 164 Tons; W. B. CASTLE, 107 Tons; CHAMPION, 263 Tons; COLEMAN, 42 Tons; CRUSADER, 198 Tons; FAVORITE, 51 Tons; GLADIATOR, 220 Tons; WM. GOODNOW, 141 Tons; HECTOR, 107 Tons; HERCULES, 61 Tons; LIVINGSTON, 291 Tons; L. L. LYON, 99 Tons; GEN. MCCLELLAN, 108 Tons; JOHN MARTIN, 126 Tons; MASTERS, 127 Tons; MAY FLOWER, 127 Tons; MOCKING BIRD, 125 Tons; FRANK MOFFATT, 214 Tons; WM. A. MOORE, 276 Tons; JOHN OWEN, 323 Tons; GEO. H. PARKER, 162 Tons; JOHN PRINDIVILLE, 248 Tons; THOS. QUAYLE, 202 Tons; RIVER QUEEN, 52 Tons; SATTELITE, 149 Tons; STRANGER, 57 Tons; SWEEPSTAKES, 205 Tons; TORRENT, 203 Tons; URANIA, 49 Tons; VULCAN, 249 Tons; WILCOX, 159 Tons; KATE WILLIAMS, 123 tons; WINSLOW, 238 tons. Total, 39 tugs with an aggregate tonnage of 6,173, and a registered valuation of $635,000. Of the above, either the LIVINGSTON, JOHN OWEN, MOCKING BIRD, CRUSADER or CHAMPION, exceed in registered valuation the total registered valuation of the four Canadian tugs. Besides the number of mentioned vessels, Detroit is supplied with eight or ten pumps and Port Huron two. Six submarine divers reside here, and hawsers, chains, etc., are to be found all along the river front.
Detroit Free Press
August 11, 1878
*At the time there were gunboat-enforced laws regarding the assistance or salvage of vessels in Canadian waters by American tugs, and vice-versa. It makes one wonder what the hubbub was about, since the American and Canadian tugs were actually not competing, as tugs on either side were competing among themselves.