" 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 Colonel Cruckshank
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 21 st 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 Falla.
"'that on Sept.12,th. 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 Colonel Cruckshank p. 63.
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