The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
St. Catharines Evening Journal (St. Catharines, ON), January 31, 1862

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A New Canal Proposed

The Chicago Tribune is troubled about the position of England at this moment, and is anxious that the West should be made independent of Canada by the construction of a new canal on the American side of the Falls of Niagara. Knowing the anxiety of our contemporary to secure new lake route for the traffic of the West, we are not astonished that it should try to use the existing feeling against Britain as a lever for the acquisition of another canal between Lakes Erie and Ontario. We cannot congratulate it on its prospects of success, however. It talks of the proposed canal as useful in time of war. "With such a war threatening us," it says, "what intelligent man failed to contemplate with regret and mortification the fact that the only communication between Lake Erie, the outlet of the immense chain of our Northern Lakes, and Lake Ontario, lies through Canada." Supposing that the Americans had such an outlet, what good would it do them? The proposed canal would run from above the Falls to Lewiston, and for miles above and below these points, vessels in passing would be exposed to land batteries on the Canadian shore to say nothing of fleets on the lakes. The canal would be of no use in time of war. But whatever the advantage of the work in peace or war, it is not at all likely that the canal will ever be built. The Tribune knows as well as we do, that Buffalo has no desire to establish a rival down the Niagara River, and that the Erie Canal and railway interests of New York State are opposed to the work. As Canadians we should have no cause to regret its construction. The Welland Canal will soon be crowded beyond its capacity, and if an American canal were dug, it would free us from the responsibility of enlarging our own work - a very onerous task with our finances in their present condition, and it would add enormously to the trade of the St. Lawrence canals and harbours. Chicago cannot, however, have the canal; it will get nothing from New York but he Erie ditch; it must seek for other routes through Canada and to secure them ought to do all in its power to maintain treaty obligations, and to keep up a good feeling between the two countries. - Globe

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January 31, 1862
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Peter Warwick
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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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St. Catharines Evening Journal (St. Catharines, ON), January 31, 1862