The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Packet Boats
Lyons Advertiser (Lyons, NY), 13 Apr 1823

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The navigation of the canal has recommenced with activity and spirit, and the superabundant produce of the country is passing rapidly to market. As the packets have not yet began their regular trips, the freight boats are many of them crowded with passengers, who have been waiting the commencement of navigation to avail themselves of this safe cheap and not unpleasant mode of traveling.

Packet Boats.

As our whole canal system is still in its infancy, it is not surprising that various and conflicting opinions should prevail upon every subject in any way connected with it, in the form of experiment; and under such circumstances, no method can tend more to elicit information, than open and free discussion. That the packet boats are pernicious to the canal, in some degree, we believe had never been denied; but whether the damage they cause to the banks, bear any proportion to the high duties levied upon them in the new tariff, seems at least problematical. If the object is to drive passengers entirely from the canals, the price of carrying them in freight boats would require to be much increased; and if only the safety of the canal, and the public revenue are regarded, we cannot but suppose the new regulations injudicious. The novelty of the work draws strangers from distant parts to view its splendor; and a passenger upon the "Grand Erie Canal," is often purchased at the expense of a long circuitous digression from the right line of the traveler’s journey. These circumstances should have their weight, and exercise their proper influence. If the packet boats are driven from the canals, the state revenue must sustain a serious injury by diminution , without, so far as we can discover, our obtaining any equivalent for the loss. We hope ere long to see such an alteration in the relative charges on packet and freight boats, as shall be judicious in itself, and enable the respective proprietors of each to compete upon fair and reasonable terms. This will give satisfaction to all parties, and enable every man to pass on the canal as he shall please, either in a packet, simply as a man; or; in a freight boat stowed with boxes and barrels, to be talked of by the ton, and known only by the "mark and number, as per margin" – — Buffalo Journal.

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Date of Publication:
13 Apr 1823
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Geographic Coverage:
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 43.10979 Longitude: -76.43105
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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Packet Boats