The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Weasel (Schooner), 1786

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" in 1887 an ordinance was passed regulating the navigation of the lakes by private sailing vessels and John Warren was appointed superintendent for its enforcement at Fort Erie. The progress of private shipbuilding had been considered of sufficient importance to make this expedient. The schooner WEASEL of fifteen tons had been built by John Askin at Detroit in 1786. And the sloop SAGUINA of Thirty-six tons, owned by Askin, Meldrum, and Parks, was launched at Saginaw Bay in the following year. The sloop ESPERANCE of twenty tons, was built by the same persons at the same place in 1788. These vessels were duly registered for the navigation of Lakes Erie and Huron."
      From Memorials of Fort Erie and early navigation on Lake Erie, 1761 to 1812
      By Brig. Gen. E.A. Cruickshank P. 62.
      . . . . .

The first report of the committee of the Legislative Council on inland navigation and commerce, dated on 19th January, 1789, contained information respecting the nature of the cargo carried by merchant ships on their first voyage, derived from the reports of the superintendents at Fort Erie, Detroit, and Mackinac.
"On the 20th of August, it stated,"the "Sagina" cleared out from Fort Erie for Detroit and, carried 11 cwt. shot and ball, 72 casks wine and spirits, (the gallons not ascertained), 123 boxes, cases, bales, and trunks, dry goods, the value not ascertained.
"And on the 21st. August the "Esperance" cleared from the same port and carried 1 cwt. shot and ball, 52 casks wine and spirits, the gallons not known,32 cases and bales dry goods.
"And on the 21st Sept. the " Sagina " again cleared from the same port and carried 21 cwt. shot and ball, 148 packages of dry goods, 78 casks wine and spirits, (quantity and quality not reported), 60 bars iron and steel.
"That the" Sagina" appears to have entered inwards on the 5th of August from Fort Erie 12,680 gallons of spirits, 82 bales," trunks, chests, and barrels dry goods.
"That on the 19th October the "Weasel" entered at Detroit 47 barrels fish from St. Mary Falls.
"'that on Sept. 12th. the "Weasel" cleared from Detroit for St. Mary Falls and carried 12 fusils, 16 gals. rum, 52 cwt. flour, 213 bushels Indian corn, 10 casks dry goods.
"And on Oct. 16th the "Sagina" cleared for Michilimackinac and carried 12 fusils,160 lbs. Power, 1,365 gals rum, 91 cwt. Flour and 101 packets dry goods.
      Memorials of Fort Erie and early navigation on Lake Erie.
      By Brig. Gen. E.A. Cruickshank p. 63.
      . . . . .

"The Chippewa made two round trips to Fort Erie before July 21, when she was fully armed and sent to Miami Bay, where she was stationed until until the end of August. The two gunboats, one of which was named the "Brazen" and the other the "Miami," were armed and ready for service by May 19, when they were reported "to look very smart and sail and work well" but no seamen were enlisted to man them. Ten days later one of them was sent on a trial trip to Miami Bay, whence she returned with a number of prisoners and deserters taken by the Indians. Both were subsequently fully manned and stationed at Turtle Island….

The "Felicity" made one voyage to Miami Bay with supplies in July and was then sent twice with a cargo of provisions to Mackinac, returning late in August, she was order to return in haste to Fort Erie.

About the middle of August when the danger of hostilities seemed most urgent, the sloop "Speedwell," owned by John Richardson of Montreal, the schooner "Swan," owned by James May, and the schooner "WEASEL," owned by John Askin, were hired by Colonel England as transports. The "Saginau" also owned by Askin and his associates, was constantly employed on Government service between Detroit and Fort Erie. Probably the most efficient merchant ship on the Upper Lakes at this time and for many years after, was the schooner "NANCY" built under the eye of John Richardson at Detroit in 1789.
      Memorials of Fort Erie and early navigation on Lake Erie.
      By Brig. Gen. E.A. Cruickshank p. 88.
NOTE:- The above is not dated but was in 1793.


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built, Detroit
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Weasel (Schooner), 1786