The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Post and Tribune (Detroit, MI), Mon., 12 Nov, 1877

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INTERNATIONAL TROUBLES AT HAND. - As is well known, there has been considerable strife between American and Canadian tug owners concerning the rescuing of vessels on the shores of the respective countries. To say that the feeling has amounted to jealousy is to put it mildly. When a Canadian vessel goes ashore on the American side it boils the blood of a Briton to think that he cannot choose the tug he wishes to rescue his property, but when it happens that he cannot employ his own tug to help his own vessel, but must employ a Yankee one he fairly whoops like an Arapaho. So, when half a dozen American crafts lay themselves on the north shore of Lake Erie, for instance, and there are only two available Canadian tugs to do the rescuing, and no American tug take a hand in on pain of confiscation, Jonathon, prodded by Yankee spunk and Yankee interest, swears by the great American eagle that such things shall not be, not by a long shot, chain shot, or any other shot.

Thus the trouble has been brewing all season, until now it appears that a culmination is at hand. The schooner Almeda, as already reported in the Post and Tribune, was driven ashore last week near New Glasgow, on the Canadian shore of Lake Erie, while loading lumber lost by a wreck some two weeks previous. She is owned in Buffalo, we believe, and to attempt rescuing her was very tempting to tug owners hereabout. But would they dare do it in the face of repeated refusals from the authorities at Ottawa to allow American tugs to wreck in Canadian waters, and the same kind of decisions from Washington in regard to Canadian tugs?

This question got a practical answer on Friday night, when the tug Winslow, as was reported exclusively in the Post and Tribune, started out on a wrecking expedition under sealed orders. On Saturday it leaked out that the expedition was for the purpose of rescuing the schooner Almeda, ashore at New Glasgow, on the Canadian shore of Lake Erie. Here is boldness for you. The British Lion defied on his own homestead! The appearance of the Winslow at New Glasgow was telegraphed to various tug owners on the other side, and they in turn applied to Ottawa for protection from what they regard as equivalent to invasion. The Ottawa authorities promptly took the case in hand and during the afternoon a Canadian officer left Port Stanley on the tug Parker armed with the proper documents, to seize the Winslow. This was the latest phase of the matter up to Saturday evening.

The Winslow's crew, it was learned in Detroit, do not propose to let their boat be seized, and will only be driven from working at the Almeda by superior force. If force is used they are to use force in return, so that we have the starting of a nice little border warfare right at our doors. The progress of things will be watched with intense interest, but it is to be hoped that reasonable counsels will prevail and only a test case come out of the new construction of international law bearing on wrecking. The Canadian tug men, it may be stated, however, have got their bristles up, and sustained by repeated assurances from Ottawa that they will be protected in their rights, they are hopeful of driving the American tugs away, no matter at what cost or by what means.

Media Type:
Item Type:
This article is alittle overblown. WINSLOW skirted the law by towing in a Canadian lighter, which successfully accomplished the actual salvage work.
Date of Original:
Mon., 12 Nov, 1877
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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 Post and Tribune (Detroit, MI), Mon., 12 Nov, 1877