The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Syracuse Evening Chronicle (Syracuse, NY), 16 Aug 1855

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In a recent flying visit to this little city, nestled down at the mouth of the river that bears its name, and looking out on the bosom of the broad Ontario, we were very favorably impressed with its position as a commercial point and with the activity which prevailed in its miniature harbor and along its extended wharves. Oswego is undoubtedly an important point, and cannot fail to grow rapidly. The only drawback to its prosperity seems to be the long winters by which its business energies are shut up for about one half the year. But even with this clog on its advancement, it must be a point of growing interest.

Oswego is the farthest place east, communicating by canal with New York, and this fact gives its great advantage. Then it is on the lake, and not, like Rochester, several miles interior. It has a small but good harbor. It communicates easily with other important positions. It is the natural terminus of the great Collingwood route of Western trade. It commands the market of New York, of the New England states and of Lower Canada. It is the natural recipient of the trade of the West and of a great part of British America. These advantages are not transient but enduring. Reciprocity must force an immense trade into its lap, and the arteries of business which go out in the form of Rivers, Ball Road and Oswego stretch through New York, southward, to the Pennsylvania mines, eastward to the great emporium of commerce, and north east along the water of the St Lawrence. Oswego has therefore been for several moths the best wheat market in all the north. When prices began to fall, in New York it could ship to New England why they failed to New England it found a demand in Montreal and Quebec.

Its little harbor has more of commercial activity than any inland place that we have visited. When we were there several large and elegant steamers, connected, in one way or another with the lake trade, lay at its wharves. Some of these were water palaces, luxuriantly fitted up and possessing every convenience. The Collingwood line, only recently opened, goes across to Toronto thence by cars ninety miles north in a north west direction to the Georgian by, thence by steamboat through the straits of Mackinaw into lake Michigan to Chicago. Its business has grown most rapidly, and the steamers are crowded both with freight and passengers. We see no reason why Oswego should not continue to grow and its trade to increase.

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16 Aug 1855
Richard Palmer
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  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 43.45535 Longitude: -76.5105
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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