Sailing in 1810 and 1831
A correspondent of the Morning Record of Buffalo writes as follows: "In view of the many records of dull times that one hears along the docks and in shipping circles generally, a reminder of the same kind of complaints which prevailed a half century ago, would not be amiss, considering the price of commodities freights are nominally fair. But let us go back, if you please, and take a view of times in the long past. In 1810 there were but ten vessels on Lake Erie, whereas in 1831 no less than a hundred were afloat along that lake, and the shipping which entered Buffalo aggregated 75,000 tons. The prices during that period ruled as follows: Lumber ranged from $12 to $15 per thousand feet, according to quality; shingles, per M, from $1.75 to $2.25; flour, superfine, from $5 to $5.25 per barrel; fine, $4.50; cordwood, $1.50 per cord; wheat $1 per bushel; and whiskey 29c and 31c per gallon. These prices rated the same in 1830-32. During the latter year business became somewhat panicky, in consequence of the first appearance of cholera in this country, which first broke out in Quebec in the month of June, and soon thereafter spread throughout the lake region, sweeping thousands from the face of the earth. There were seven steamers plying between Detroit and Buffalo in 1832: the Niagara, Captain Blake; the William Penn, Captain Wight; Ohio, Captain Calhoun; Enterprise, Captain Miles, Henry Clay, Captain Norton; Superior, Captain Pease; and Sheldon Thompson, Captain Walker, since which time, it is needless to add, change has been wonderful, both as regards size and number. Goods shipped from New York to St. Louis were twenty-five days making the passage, first by canal to Buffalo, thence by schooner to Chicago, thence in wagons to the rapids of the Illinois River, whence they were again shipped upon a steamboat to St. Louis."