The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Tow Steamers on the Welland Canal
Oswego Commercial Times (Oswego, NY), 2 Mar 1861

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Tow Steamers on the Welland Canal. - The determination on the part of the Government to employ tug steamers on the Welland Canal in place of traction by horses, appears to have excited a terrible commotion in that neighborhood.

The parties engaged in the present trade complain that this sudden deprivation of their calling will entail heavy loss; that they have a large capital employed in it, which can only be disposed of at a sacrifice, and that the change will throw a number of persons out of employment. These are the necessary consequences of improvement - machinery drives out manual labor - steam supplants sailing vessels - and so in every branch of business, science overcome mere animal force.

Whether the change ought in this instance to have been made without some previous intimation to those whose pecuniary interests it may injuriously effect, admits possible question; but if the effect should be, as is probable, to diminish the cost of transport through the Canal, the welfare of the trade of the country imperatively calls for the improvement being carried into effect, and the Minister of Public Works deserves credit for the improvement being carried in seizing the occasion.

A monopoly, such as the present virtually is, mustn't be allowed to stand in the way of an object of such paramount importance as the extension of our transport trade. - Montreal Transcript.

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Date of Publication:
2 Mar 1861
Richard Palmer
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.042777 Longitude: -79.2125
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Tow Steamers on the Welland Canal