The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Merchant (Propeller), 15 Mar 1873

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      A Good Record of an Iron Propeller - From the New York Nautical Gazette
      We invite attention to the following brilliant record of the iron propeller Merchant for a period of ten years, during which ten seasons of navigation the MERCHANT has traveled a distance of 305,000 miles, transporting a west-bound freight aggregating 50,369 tons, and an east-bound freight aggregating 125,161 tons, the latter composed as follows: 948,607 bushels of wheat, 1,128,483 bushels of corn, 128,035 bushels of barley, 1,410,728 bushel of oats, 246,461 barrels of flour, and 25,206,243 pounds of sundries, the estimated value of the west-bound freight being $10,073,860, and the actual value of the east-bound being $5,645,374, in all $15,719,234. The losses attending the transportation of this large value of property have been very small, the underwriters not having been called upon to contribute a greater amount than $2,000.
      The MERCHANT's gross receipts for the time mentioned were $634,035, and her expenses were seventy-four per cent. of those receipts.
      Capt. Albert Briggs has commanded her since she was launched. During his ten years of service he has not been absent from duty a single trip. He retires from her command for promotion, being appointed Fleet Captain of the Erie & Western Transportation Company's line of propellers running on the Western lakes, which company now owns the MERCHANT.
      The MERCHANT is now in dry dock having thirty feet added to her length, thus increasing her carrying capacity two hundred tons.
      Her iron frames and sides were found to be as good as when put on ten years ago.
      Detroit Free Press
      March 15, 1873 1- 9

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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Merchant (Propeller), 15 Mar 1873