The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
St. Catharines Journal (St. Catharines, ON), January 21, 1847

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We extract the following from the Oswego Com. Adv. as affording some idea of the amount of commerce flowing through the Welland Canal. The conduct of our own government, or some of its officers, contrasts unfavorably with that of our neighbor's, for while the one is assiduous in supplying reports immediately for publication, the other neglects or declines to do so except when called on in parliament, and then not being in the way of the local press, are scarce known to the public, and if obtained their interest has thus in a great measure passed away. It is unfortunate, for such returns gives an impetus to industrial and commercial enterprise. The business on the Welland Canal was invariably published while it belonged to the Company, but now it is public property, and under the control of government, the returns are not obtainable. As the article particularlizes the principal items of commerce, we leave out the tabular statement appended, furnished by the collector of that port.

Canal Business For 1846 - The annexed table exhibits the amount of receipts and shipments, by canal, at Oswego during the year of navigation just past closed, compared with 1845. It will be seen that there is a very large increase in almost every article, as with of import as export. In the great staples of flour, wheat and corn, and in the items of lumber and shingles the advance in unparalled. A comparison of these articles separately, with the shipments of two proceeding years, will show not only that the present advance is larger, but that there has been a steady and permanent increase in each year.

1846 1845 1844
Flour, bbls. 471,318 379,383 346,842
Wheat, bus. 433,446 119,572 159,099
Corn, bus. 347,747 9,268 1,177
Lumber, feet, 26,418,166 18,215,109 22,323.535
Shingles, no. 4,467,500 1,806,000 1,050,900

The increase in the article of flour, as shown by this table, is 91.935 bls. or 19 per cent. This is a very handsome advance; but it falls much short of what it would have been but for the breach of the Welland Canal, which occurred in November, and the premature closing of the Erie Canal navigation. By these accidents the amount of shipments falls full 50,000 barrels short of what it would otherwise have been. In the article of wheat the increase over 1845 is 300 per cent; the shipments of corn are about forty times great than last year. On sawed lumber the increase is at the rate of 45 per cent.

The increase in the amount of tolls collected is about 20 per cent, although the average increase of the whole business of the canal is much greater. Had the rates remained as last year, the tolls on the same articles would have exhibited an increase of 35 per cent. A comparison of the tolls for the last three years show the following result:

1846 1845 1844
$165,865.56 $138,704.28 $133,444.30

On articles arriving by canal the increase is no less favorable. Of merchandise, the amount left exceeds that of last year by about 5,000,000 lbs.. The larger portion of this increase is in the single article of sugar, which under the law allowing drawback on certain articles of merchandise shipped for the Canadian markets is now finding its way in large quantities through this channel. The total amount of sugar received this year is 8,025,419 lbs., of which 4,497,615 was for re-shipment to Canada under the law of debenture.

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January 21, 1847
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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 Journal (St. Catharines, ON), January 21, 1847