The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), 7 Jun, 1868

Full Text

THE CASE OF THE VICTORIA. - The particulars of the case of the schooner Victoria, which was seized by the custom authorities at this port about a fortnight since, are as follows: It is claimed that the Victoria has been sailing under false colors, or either under American or British colors, as best suited her convenience. As near as we can learn the details, the Victoria arrived at this port in ballast from Kingston as a Canadian bottom. At that time Capt. Ripson had a register issued to the Victoria by the Canadian custom authorities. Shortly after this, Capt. Ripson applied for a clearance bill for Oswego with a cargo of wheat. He claimed that since the arrival of the vessel at this port she had been sold to American citizens, and that she was then owned in this country, and that she was entitled to the privileges of an undocumented vessel. Upon this statement a clearance was given him and the vessel sailed. As an American vessel, she was admitted to entry at the port of Oswego. Shortly after this the Victoria went to Canada, still under command of Capt. Ripson, and took on at Whitby a cargo of lumber, which was landed at Oswego, the lumber being entered at the Oswego custom house as coming in on a Canadian bottom. This spring the Victoria paid tonnage duty at the Oswego custom house as the "Canadian schooner Victoria," and Captain Ripson cleared the Victoria at the port of Port Colborne, Canada, as British built. He also claimed her at Duncan City (Michigan) as the Victoria of Oakville, Canada. On the 6th of May the Victoria arrived at this port and was entered as being British built, producing as evidence of her foreign character the same register which he had produced last fall. On the 9th of May Captain Ripson obtained a permit to load his sand ballast then stating that he designed taking a cargo of wheat to Oswego. Upon being questioned as to the ownership of the vessel, he said the Victoria was, and had for the past two years has been owned exclusively by himself and two gentlemen of Oswego, and he had experienced no difficulty in entering her as an American undocumented vessel when her arrived with an American cargo, and as a British bottom when he arrived from Canada ports with foreign goods, and further, that the Victoria all of last season, with the exception of her trip from this port to Oswego, ran between the ports of Port Whitby, Canada, and Oswego.

Under these circumstances the custom authorities were necessarily obliged to tie up the schooner for violation of revenue laws, and she now awaits a decision by the custom department. Orders were received here yesterday from Washington to stay proceedings in the matter and forward all particulars. [Milwaukee Sentinel, 5th.

Media Type:
Item Type:
Whether this was ever resolved or not, the VICTORIA was still listed as both a Canadian vessel and an American vessel when she was wrecked at Oswego, three years later. 
Date of Original:
7 Jun, 1868
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Dave Swayze
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), 7 Jun, 1868