The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Enterprise (Collingwood, ON), October 5, 1882

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The revocation of the certificates permitting them to carry passengers granted to the Emerald running on the Georgian Bay and the City of Toronto is a step which has not been taken too soon Globe, Oct. 2nd

The evidence of the Asia case goes to show that independently of the vessel being seaworthy or otherwise she was outrageously overloaded on her last and fatal trip - World Oct.3

The carelessness of daily papers in their editorial comments is well illustrated by the above extracts. In the same issue of the Globe which speaks editorially of the revocation of the Emerald's certificate an announcement appears in the news columns that the Inspectors of hulls and machinery have cleared the vessel as safe, and seaworthy and that her certificate is correct. The Company has been bitterly attacked on all sides, and many unjust things have been said of them, calculated to injure their reputation and business. The Globe can be sufficiently severe without descending to misleading or erroneous statements, especially as the Toronto paper never considers it necessary to retract its errors.

It is hard to conceive how the World fell into its ridiculous and hurtful blunder. It says the evidence goes to show that the Asia was outrageously overloaded on her last trip. This is outrageously false, and the evidence shows nothing of the kind. Indeed it has been shown that the boat had not a sufficient load to keep her well down in the water. We have paid careful attention to the evidence, and have seen the bills of lading, and it distinctly appears that the Asia had only about 100 tons of a load, while she was capable of carrying nearly 400 tons. As we have remarked there is field sufficient for just criticism, without introducing these falsities, which are misleading to the outside world as they are discreditable to the journals which produce them.


The question is frequently raised as to whether the present investigation into the Asia catastrophe, will result in any practical good. And the public have every reason to ask such a question for investigations have repeatedly been held in this country, which really accomplished nothing. It is probable, however that great results will come from Capt. Scott's impartial enquiry. The bulk of the evidence taken strongly condemns the odd style of canal boats which have been engaged for so many years and to such a large extent in our lake trade. The tophamper of the boats appears to be especially obnoxious to practical men, and many valuable improvements have been suggested. Capt. Scott, himself a man of varied and practical experience, expresses himself against the old style of boats; and in view of the almost universal condemnation they are meeting with it is probable legislation will be brought to bear by which nought but seaworthy boats of sound model , will be permitted to ply the lakes. This alone will be a great benefit gained from the investigation, and our Company can now place first-class boats on their line without fear of being ruined by the competition of inferior boats which of course are worked and do work cheaper than good vessels, In connection with the evidence it sounds remarkably strange to an ordinary unmoral to hear a seaman declare in one breath, as many of them do that this or that boat don't answer her helm in rough weather, and in the next to hear them vouch for the staunchness and seaworthiness of the boats mentioned...


...OWEN SOUND, Oct. 4 - The steamer Africa arrived here this morning from Sault Ste Marie. She brought down the body of Wm. Henry lost off the Asia. The remains were forwarded in charge of John Abery of Manitowaning to Mr. Henry's friends in Toronto. The body of the boy Fred Dancan, of Hamilton, was also found and buried at Manitowaning.

On receipt of the news that bodies were seen floating about by the Africa the company telegraphed their Vice President at Owen Sound, Mr. Keough, to send out a tug with proper appliances for the recovery of the dead. The Kendrick was accordingly engaged though up to the present writing nothing has been heard of her.

A FINE BOAT - It is reported that the Picton which fortunately wrecked before she got to Owen Sound, pounded to pieces on a sand beach in a moderate sea in less than half an hour. The old hulk was so near decomposition that she scarcely held any class in Lloyd's and yet if she hadn't met with accident she might by this time have been engaged as a floating coffin on the Georgian Bay.

OUR SHIP BUILDERS ABROAD - On Tuesday work was begun on the new steam fishing tug the Laura Macdonald. She will be 53 feet over all, and will carry a ten horse power engine. Mr. Alfred Morrill of Collingwood is her builder, and he expects to have her ready for her owner Capt. Donald McDonald in about ten weeks when the white fishing season begins. She will be well finished, and will doubtless be a credit to these waters and the town in which she was built. Mr. Morrill expects to finish the frames of two tugs - one considerably larger and one smaller than the above this season. One is for Alex Clark Collingwood, and the other is for shipment to Lake Winnipeg. - Meaford Mirror.

MANITOULIN - Mr John Simpson who is rebuilding the Manitoulin was in town Tuesday looking for carpenters to put up the boat's cabins. He finds men scarce at $3 per day. The boat will be ready in about three weeks and will recommence her trips.

REPAIRED - Our wide awake town contemporary thinks it probable the Northern Belle will be repaired by November the 13th. This must mean in case the boat meets with another accident for she left Sarnia yesterday at noon with 300 barrels of coal oil on board for Collingwood.

RECKLESSNESS - Capt. Foote was informed in Owen Sound that the Africa left that port for Sault Ste Marie with over 200 passengers on board. The report appeared in the Globe and Mail and no official contradiction has yet been made. Now here is a chance for investigation and if true for punishment.

THE HEROINE - Miss Morrison arrived in town on Thursday night last and since that time has been stopping at the residence of Mr. C. Moore. She is rapidly regaining her health and is daily visited by numbers of admirers. Miss Morrison is a young lady of medium size, and one can hardly realize that so comparatively slight a being could pass through the frightful ordeal she so courageously endured. At the enquiry she told her sad, pathetic story, in a modest unassuming manner, that added to the interest of as terrible a tale of human suffering and human endurance as ever was recorded. The story is well known by this time, and there is no occasion to repeat it. Last night Mrs Palin and other ladies presented Miss Morrison with a complete set of clothing the gift of some of our storekeepers.

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October 5, 1882
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Bill Hester
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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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Enterprise (Collingwood, ON), October 5, 1882