The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 22 May 1858

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p.2 trial over burning of prop. Forest City at Port Stanley.

-Schooner Capsized - All Hands Lost - prop. Wisconsin sees schooner Traveller upset off Point au Pelee. [Cleveland Herald]


Some remarks in the Daily Whig a few days ago about the Railroad through the city have attracted a good deal of attention, and a great many people now lean to the opinion that the Depot should be placed where the Whig suggests, down near the Cataraqui Bridge, the latter being removed and a steam ferry established in its place. Certainly such a change of plan would not only save an immense expense which will necessarily be incurred in purchasing the right of way through the city, as well as obviate what must prove no little nuisance, namely, the running of the cars through one of our principal business streets. There is also much to be said in favor of the plan from the fact that it would open for the accommodation of shipping what may be called the interior of one harbor at present shut up by the bridge a fine sheet of water every year becoming more and more an unhealthy swamp. As for the objection that a large amount has already been invested to the purchase of Shaw's Wharf, we are of opinion with the Whig so far that the money so invested will be easily realized again, and we may at the same time be allowed to remark that holding this opinion we cannot understand how the Whig can truthfully assert that the purchase of the property was a job. Under all the circumstances therefore if the proprietors of the water lots or the majority of them are agreeable, we should say by all means locate the Railroad Depot by the Tete du Pont Barrack, remove the Cataraqui Bridge and form splendid wharves where now it is only a noxious swamp. It would unquestionably be a great improvement to the city. [Commercial Advertiser]

Kingston - What Shall We Do With It?

The Daily News denies that Kingston is suffering by the decadence of its lake passenger and freight traffic, and takes us to task for saying so. It is well known that no newspaper in Kingston has been more public spirited than the Commercial Advertiser in maintaining the prestige of the good old city, whenever it has been slandered and depreciated unjustly, for which we have been more than once accused of puffing by our contemporay, who now considers it good service to lull the people of Kingston by asserting that only two or three citizens have left in consequence of the injury to the steamboat and forwarding interests, by the Grand Trunk Railroad. We entirely differ from the Daily News in the impotent puffing policy which it has assumed at this late hour of the day. It is no longer the duty of the press to hide from the citizens the true state of things; but rather by laying the danger in which their vital interests, as a commercial people, are placed, before them, incite them to the exertions necessary to meet the contingency. It has been denied that as many people as two thousand have left the city. We know not, of course, if exactly that number have actually left the city, but it is patent to all, that at the smallest estimate more than five hundred men connected one way or another with steamboats and forwarding establishments, nine-tenths of whom are married men, have been thrown out of employment since last year at this time, and giving to them an average of four in a family, (a smaller estimate than that allowed by the census,) would give 2,000 souls who, if they have not left the city, cannot expect to remain long in a place where there is no employment for them. The numerous empty houses, and the acres of burnt districts, some in the centre of the city, unbuilt upon, which stare one in the face on every side, confirm in a manner which we would gladly repudiate if we could, the assertion that a large number of the industrial classes have left the city. These are stubborn facts, which are not to be blown away like spider webs by the lolling breath of the Daily News, and it becomes the people of Kingston, and it is the duty of the press of Kingston, to look the evil boldly in the face, and instead of the latter putting a false gloss upon things, and singing the people asleep with a lullaby like children, a sleep from which they will awake ere long to find the city ruined and undone, it ought to ring the alarm in their ears and stir them up to exertions for the revival of their trade and the resumption of their position amongst the commercial people of Canada. The first step towards this desirable end, is to show them the real position in which the city is, and although we are aware that it may be taken advantage of by some of its jealous rivals to decry our city, let us only succeed in reestablishing the commercial and industrial energies of our people, and we can afford to laugh at all outside malignity. But how is this to be done? our readers naturally ask. We admit the difficulty of the question, and while invoking opinions from others of experience and information, which we will be happy to give publicity to, we will venture a few suggestions of our own.

1st - The city of Kingston is marked out by nature as a commercial mart: her harbor has not its equal, or, indeed, one at all approaching it on any of the lakes; in its noble bay the entire commercial lake fleet of Great Britain and the United States could lie safely at anchor. In this splendid harbor assuredly rests her future fortunes, and great they must undoubtedly be, when the shores of these lakes become dotted with large cities, towns and villages, and crowded with a large industrious population. But that day is not quite yet, and it is for us to take the initiative in nursing the infancy of what will some day be the giant commerce of Kingston. To this end something is demanded to be done to encourage the forwarders and steamboat proprietors, almost crushed by the mammoth opposition of a national company trading with national capital. We grant in all sincerity the great claims which the Grand Trunk has to the public support, and proud we are of it as a national work which does honor to our country; but we cannot conceal from ourselves the shameful injustice done to the steamboat proprietors and forwarding merchants by compelling them to contribute towards the support of an opposition to themselves, in fact to pay for their own ruin, which was certainly done, when the public revenue, to which they contribute largely to, was taken to build the Grand Trunk Railroad. Now, it is far from our intention to object to the latter investment on the part of the Province, and we hope and trust to see the noble road constructed across the continent to the Pacific, assisted by the Government and the energetic people of Canada; but we earnestly contend that the steamboat proprietors and forwarders are entitled to some consideration from the Government under the circumstances. If they have suffered loss and damage for the public good, the public are bound to indemnify them in another way, and it is our firm belief that an arrangement might be made to recompense them by promoting their interests, without injury either to the traffic or the travel upon the Grand Trunk Railroad.

2nd - Next in importance to the commercial, steamboat and forwarding business of Kingston, is her industrial interests. Having no rich agricultural country around her, or at least in her immediate vicinity, it behooves us, like the rocky and sterile New England States, to cultivate and encourage manufacturing and mechanical industry. Hitherto, under the one sided reciprocity tariff, enterprizes of this sort, however liberally and energetically conducted, have met with but poor success, and how could it be otherwise when our young manufactories are driven out of their own market, by the mammoth concerns which have grown up on the other side under the nursing of a series of years of strict protection. It is to be hoped, however, that the proposed amendments to the tariff, will soon remove this impediment to manufacturing industry, and we trust that Kingston will be among the first places to take advantage of it. Let the energies of our people be combined for a great effort, and we will be bound to say that a foundation will be laid of a manufacturing prosperity for our city, which will soon enable us to snap our fingers at the opinion of outsiders, regarding which we are so touchy at present. Let people abroad see our streets a busy hive of industry, and mechanics and capitalists will soon flock to us; instead of being a merely bolstered and patched up prosperity such as the Daily News wants to obtain for Kingston, it will be a prosperity which brings comfort, happiness and plenty, to tens of thousands of industrious people.

One other matter there is on which we believe the advance and prosperity of Kingston hangs. (discusses railroad to Ottawa Valley and on to Georgian Bay - would be cheaper than the Ottawa route or the Toronto and Georgian Bay canal.)

[Commercial Advertiser]

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22 May 1858
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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pd [more details]
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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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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 22 May 1858