The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Enterprise (Collingwood, ON), October 12, 1882

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The inquest on the body of the identified "unknown man" was continued last week and adjourned until yesterday, when it was reopened. It is painful to witness the levity shown in regard to the affair, but from the manner in which it is conducted, one does not wonder that the jury and people alike are almost disposed to consider the inquest a farce. Several of the witnesses examined were not questioned at all by coroner or counsel concerning the dead man, and as one of the jurors pertinently remarked, the inquest appears to be rather on the Asia than the "unknown man" .But lawyer and coroner will we suppose have a good bill against the Province for their very valuable services, and in the meantime the jurors and witnesses have to give their time to help swell the little account.


We all remember the outcry that was raised when the news of the Asia disaster flashed over the country and the indignant comments of people and press, when it was alleged that the Asia had on board over 100 passengers. But a week or more passed over and there appeared in the daily papers a report to the effect that the Africa had left Owen Sound for the Sault with 240 passengers on board, and at the same time an investigation was demanded. The report was not contradicted nor further attended to, and no investigation was held. A gentleman resident at Owen Sound has signified his willingness to take an affidavit that the Africa left port on the occasion mentioned with over 200 on board, and other witnesses can be found to testify to the same fact. This information was imparted to Inspector Meneilly while in this town, and that gentleman said the matter would have to be attended to. Was it? We think the suspicious silence which has since reigned in regard to the affair is sufficient answer. The Inspector went to Owen Sound and while he was there 240 men for Algoma Mills were billeted at the different hotels, and it is said went up on the Africa the next day in company with other passengers and the crew. Whether this is true or not we cannot say, but the first instance can, we believe be proved. Now who is responsible and will take action... The Africa is not a better boat than was the unfortunate Asia...

SIR - I beg to enclose $10 in answer to the Bishop of Algoma's appeal on behalf of the widows and orphans to those who lost their lives by the foundering of the Asia. I have been told that one good man who belonged to her was the father of eleven children. I will give more if the Bishop's appeal is not liberally responded to, and the Committee at Collingwood do not receive sufficient funds to enable them to do what they consider should be done in the sad circumstances.

Yours , etc.,



The other day a letter was said to have been picked ... the instructions of Mr. Cameron, the manager of the Canada Transit Company, to their captain. These alleged instructions are really splendid and are altogether in the interest of passengers. But were they really ever issued? Who picked them up? Where were they found? It might have been possible to write them out after the disaster to the ill-fated Asia soaked in a tub and then produced. Wes tell us more about how and where they were found, and then, if genuine how the captain disobeyed them so ... Toronto World.

For pure malignity and degrading suspicion of humanity we commend the above and it is painful exhibition of what depths our much boasted of Canadian journalism can descend to. Without exerting itself to obtain the true facts of the case, without passing to reflect on the probable consequences of the paragraph without regard or respect to decency or concern justice, the World basely grovels in a mass of disgusting insinuations which should not be allowed to appear in the columns of any reputable sheet.

If the Great Northern Transit Company did themselves justice, the World would ... a libel suit on hand. That the instructions were issued may be discovered from all captains of the line each of them being in possession of a copy , and that this has always been the practice of the Company can be proved.

Captain Savage instructions were picked up by the keeper of the Minx Island Lighthouse off his island, were given by him to Capt. J B. Symes, and forwarded by that gentleman to Mr. Cameron. "It might have been possible for one like the writer of the World's paragraph to perform the tub operation in a similar emergency but such work is impossible for the honourable body of men composing the Company. It is easy for unscrupulous writers to libel the memory of the dead, as the World does to Capt. savage in the concluding sentence, but the easiness of the deed does not palliate its cowardly cruelty in the eyes of those who have taken the trouble to enquire into the saddening facts of he catastrophe. If the seal of the World writer was submitted to a soaking process it might in time assume some of the ...influences of Christian ... and justice.

The Globe in giving a description of boats travelling on the Georgian Bay sated that the Northern Belle did not or is not allowed to carry passengers. This is every on acquainted with our lake knows is utterly false, as the Belle is licensed as a passenger and freight vessel. Our city contemporary must surely be aware of its error, and yet it makes no correction of the same. The action of the Globe in allowing this falsity to go abroad among its many readers without correction is both contemptible and unworthy of a great public journal.

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October 12, 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 12, 1882