The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 8 Dec 1856

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The Young Leopard, lately ashore on the Bar, has gone to pieces.

A vessel is ashore about three miles east of Toronto, the name of which is unknown.

The steamer Napoleon came in contact with the Railway Wharf in Burlington Bay, and sank.

The American schooner Ruby is also ashore on the Burlington Beach; loaded with wheat and flour.

From Captain McArthur, of Hamilton, we learn that the schooner Premier got one of her masts broken during the gale, and is otherwise injured.

The Annie Craig, with a load of corn and wheat from Toronto, is ashore near the Queen's Wharf but is not badly hurt.

The other craft was the Canadian, with corn from Oswego to Oakville. She was on a rock bottom, and rather favorably situated. No water had entered the hold, and arrangements have been made with the tug Page, of Oswego, to get her off.

Telegraphs were received at the Exchange on Tuesday from H.B. Bostwick, Esq., Port Credit, stating that two schooners were ashore west of that place. One was the Live Yankee, from Oswego to Erie with a load of salt and coal. She was in a bad position, and at latest intelligence the crew were in the rigging.

The gale of Tuesday night has proved very disastrous, and as yet many vessels known to be out have not been heard of. We have endeavored to obtain all the information possible, and regret that the International Line west is down, so that along the shore in that direction we have no dispatches.

A few yards west of the wreck of the Monarch, lies the schooner J.G. Beard, of Toronto, driven ashore during the gale. She has on board a cargo of 200 tons of coal from Oswego, the property of Mr. Beard, who also owns the vessel. She is stem on, and lies in a rather favorable position for ultimate safety. There is considerable water in the hold, which has come in through the cabin windows. Should the weather today be moderate, the vessel will be relieved of her cargo, and efforts will be made to get her off. Neither vessel nor cargo is insured. This is the first season of the Beard, and her chances of safety lie greatly in her strength.

Loss of the Lord Elgin - A telegraph was received yesterday stating that the propeller Lord Elgin was blown on shore at Long Point, near Kingston, during the gale on Tuesday, and that she had since become a total wreck. Her crew escaped, but every thing on board was lost. She left this port on Monday for Montreal with about 2000 barrels of flour belonging to Messrs. F.H. Heward, J. Heward, G. Laidlaw, F.A. Whitney & Co. etc., several lots of which are insured. The policies on the boat expired on the 31st, but it is possible one of those in the Etna, for $4,800, was extended beyond that time. She was owned by Messrs. Hooker, Pridham & Co., forwarders, Montreal and Toronto, and is valued at $16,000. She was built in Oswego in 1841, and was formerly known as the Syracuse. (copied from Globe Dec. 5th but no credit given)

The Monarch - It was discovered yesterday that the violence of the storm during Tuesday night and Wednesday had caused the hull of the Monarch to break in 3 places, and all hopes of getting her off are now at an end. Her engines will be saved, and that will be all. There is no doubt that had there been steam tug and pumps at this port, as there should be, the hull might have been got off on Monday and Tuesday, and a great deal of property saved - although great promptness was displayed by the North Western Co., in sending over their pumps and tug, yet time was consumed and little or nothing was accomplished before the violent gale precluded all possibility of success. We understand that a project is afloat to purchase a tug, for the use of the harbor in which event the Insurance Companies will provide steam pumps. A tug is badly wanted for towing vessels in and out of port, and we hope that success will attend the enterprise. The greater part of the machinery of the pumps, washed overboard from the Monarch has been recovered.

Port Hope, Dec. 4th - The bodies of the two unfortunate men who were drowned yesterday in trying to save the crew of the Niagara, have been discovered this morning, one a mile and a half east of the town, the other near Cobourg. An inquest is to be held this afternoon. The vessel is a total wreck, and her timbers are strewed along for several miles. A public meeting is to be held for the purpose of aiding the widow and orphans of the unfortunate Campbell, and to present the gallant volunteers, who rescued the crew, with a suitable testimonial.

Captain Slight - Referring to the sad accident by which Capt. Slight, of the Ann Jane Brown, was lost, the Port Hope Guide says:-

The schooners belonging to this Port will soon be laid up in their winter quarters. But the Ann Jane Brown will not be among them. Nor will the familiar face and honest countenance of her chief officer Captain Slight be seen among us, as in times past, during the coming winter. The last "watch" has been kept, and he and his mate Mr. Campbell are today sleeping in the bosom of the deep. The afflicted Mrs. Slight and her fatherless children will during the long winter nights when the storms are wailing among the moaning pines hard by their home, weep over the untimely fate of him who fills a sailor's grave. Ah! how little do we, who are surrounded by friends, whose fire sides tonight are enlivened by gentle tones, heed the blighted hopes of the sailor's widow, and the sailor's orphans.


The Wreck of the Schooner Niagara, at Port Hope

The wreck of this vessel on Wednesday last was attended with loss of life under singularly painful circumstances. In endeavoring to make the harbour, she struck on the shoal to the east of it, and immediately creened over. It was blowing a terrific gale at the time; and the frost was so severe, that every rope glistened like so much crystal. The hands first took shelter under the bulwarks on the quarter deck; but these were soon carried away, and they were obliged to take to the main sail boom, which was literally covered in ice. Hundreds upon hundreds of people were looking from the shore at Port Hope, about two hundred yards distant, at the painful and desperate struggle of the brave tars clinging to a spar as it was swayed about by the storm, and washed by the surf. At length a jolly boat with Capt. Woods of the Annie Maude of Port Hope, in command, put out to rescue the freezing and surfbeaten crew. A cheer rose from every voice as the boat gained the open water, and was gallantly cheating the waves to reach the schooner. But after repeated and most superhuman efforts to bring the boat alongside, she was obliged to abandon the attempt, lest she should be swamped. or dashed to pieces against the vessel. Tears dimmed every eye as the boat, which had again and again, until she was nearly filled with water, and was literally covered in ice, endeavored to "make fast," was seen making for land. The poor sailors, who were motionless during the struggle of the boat to reach them, again waved their hands from the boom, for one last effort to save them. The feelings of the hundreds of spectators at this time were wholly indescribable. In a short time however, another boat with a fresh crew put out, amid cheers which strangely mingled with the wild storm. Gloriously did they mount the swells, which now threatened to sweep the poor sailors off the boom. Wave after wave they crested, as hearts beat high that witnessed them, and as hopes sank and rose as they disappeared between, and anon rose above, the swells. At length they reached the schooner, and one vast cheer was heard as they made fast to the davits. The crew of the boat, with the exception of two men, climbed into the schooner to help the half frozen sailors off the boom. One was handed down, but ere a second could be lowered, a fearful swell almost hid the boat; another came and she disappeared; and the poor sailor who had just been handed down to what was his last hope of safety, was the only one of the three that was ever seen. He rose, struggled with the breakers, caught a rope, was hauled on the deck of the schooner, and was in a few minutes afterwards frozen to death. A cry of despair now rose from every one. The brave crew of the boat was added to the crew of the schooner; and wilder and wilder still raged the storm. From a point of land above the schooner a scow was set adrift, in the slender hope that it might float to her. It stranded in a few seconds afterwards. From the Grand Trunk wharf, which was to the windward, their best boat was also started off, but its fate was like their hopes - it soon sunk. At last a brave old skipper - honor to his name and to his heart - said he would make one more effort to save them, or he would perish in the attempt. Daring, desperate as was the resolve, his boat was manned by sailors and fishermen in a few seconds; and literally amid cheers and prayers, they pushed her into the boiling surf, the previous boats being too small to live in the sea near the schooner, this last was a large and heavy boat; and for a long time it was one dead struggle to keep their own with her. She rose nobly to the waves, but she made little or no headway. Every nerve of the brave crew was strained, but they could only defy the storm; they could not gain upon it. At last, as the cries of the friends of those who were on board the schooner were growing wilder on the beach and the poor sailors were seen freezing to the boom, there appeared a lull of a few seconds, and one vast effort brought the boat under the stern of the schooner. A cheer rose from her crew. Men, women and children as if they had all but one heart, broke out into a wild scream of ectasy and hope on shore. The poor frost-bitten crew were safely handed down into the boat, and as she crested the waves and bore them triumphantly to the shore it seemed as if all human sympathies were absorbed in one intense feeling of admiration of those who had behaved with all the generosity of sailors, and more than the nobility of most men. The name of the captain who commanded the last boat was Stephen Woods of the Annie Maude. He and his crew deserve far more than this trifling tribute to their heroism.


Liverpool, Nov. 15th - Perceiving in the paper published here an extract taken from your edition of the 18th ult., relative to the price of the Dean Richmond, and drawing a comparison from the sale of said vessel with what her cost was, a profit is set forth of $9,520; and fearing such statement would lead many others to follow the example set, of sending their vessels here for sale, our object in addressing you is simply to put the matter in its proper light, which you will perceive on going into figures gives a loss and not a profit. The vessel sold for 2,600 pounds, or say $13,000; she cost, as stated in your paper, $19,000; loss in dollars, $6,000.

We have no desire to check the feeling that is gaining ground, of sending vessels with grain cargoes direct, but, on the contrary, hail the enterprise with delight but would like your neighbors to know exactly how matters stand, or we shall soon lose the traffic so well begun; and we are sure you will do all in your power to put the transaction in its proper light, and conclude you have been misinformed in the present instance.

Before concluding, we say a word on the sort of vessels to send. The Dean Richmond had a sliding keel. This is an objection, and militates against the sale as it interferes with the vessel getting a class at Lloyd's and we would advise your neighbors sending forward their ships with fixed keels and copper fastened, not iron fastened; then the field becomes wide for purchasers, and the competitors you can bring to bear, the more likely you are to obtain better price.

Yours very respectfully, Cunard, Brett & Austen.

Another Vessel Chartered To Go To Europe From Chicago

[Chicago Press, Nov. 25th]

We learned yesterday that the British Canadian barque Chieftain has been chartered by parties in this city to go to Europe and back from this part early next season. She will take out wheat and bring back salt or pig iron. The price agreed upon for the voyage is $15,000 - a penalty of $2,000 to be incured in case of failure to carry out the contract.

This is no doubt but one of the many vessels that will leave this port for Liverpool next season. It no longer remains to be an experiment - it is fast approaching a regular business. It is but a very few years since it was "a nine days wonder" to see a Canadian vessel approach our city; and it will not be many years longer before Liverpool ships will grace our wharves as regularly as Canadian vessels now. We are but entering upon the dawn of a new era in the commercial history of Chicago. Let us hail it !

Imports - Dec. 6th - Barque Plymouth, Chicago, 17,084 bushels Indian corn, Walker & Berry.

Schr. Sinbad, Black River, 50,460 feet building plank, John Oades.

Barque A. Stevens, Chicago, 12,000 bushels wheat, 2,327 bushels corn, 144 bbls. flour, 51 bbls. tallow, Walker & Perry.

Schr. Water Witch, Toledo, 1,507 bushels corn, Walker & Berry.

Schooner Leander, Toledo, 9,990 bushels corn, Walker & Berry.

Exports - Dec. 5th - Schooner Sinbad, Ogdensburgh, 50,460 feet building lumber.

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8 Dec 1856
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 8 Dec 1856