The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 29 Sep 1877

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Such a fuss has been kicked up about the employment of American barges for the conveyance of grain from this port to Montreal that we deem it necessary to make explanation. Some days ago a great block of vessels arrived here, and a number of craft were reported on the way. The barge capacity was fully utilized, and to keep as much abreast of the rush as possible Mr. Stewart made application to the Government for permission to use two barges, of Canadian bottoms, but of American register. These were of signal service at the time, but before they could be used they had to be hauled out on the ways of the Marine Railway and caulked, besides being provisioned for a couple of round trips. But some people of Toronto held a meeting and protested against any such modification of the shipping law, on the ground, if we remember rightly, that the Canadian marine men were suffering from a depression of trade, and that, when a busy season did set in, they should be given the full benefit of it, and as a result the Government cancelled the previous permit sent to Mr. Mingaye, while in the meantime two vessels sailed for Oswego, two to Cape Vincent and three to Ogdensburg, the captains of them having waited here until they were tired for discharging. There is objection to the employment of American barges, but is it not preferable to the loss of trade, and especially when the resort to outside tonnage is simply to over tide an emergency? What amuses us most of all is the meddling of a little Toronto ring, the members of which know nought of what they complain, while they cannot be affected by the action of the Kingston forwarders. The barges here are fully employed, and when their supply is unequal to the demand it must be unprofitable to vessel owners as well as forwarders. The dictatorial spirit of Toronto is becoming intolerable.


Father Stafford, of Lindsay, writing to the Post, says of temperance on Garden Island:

It might be well to add a number of important facts in order to bring out in full significance the beneficial results of this total abstinence rule. Note the long time the firm have done business; not only have they accumulated wealth, but almost every person in their employment has become more or less prosperous, comfortably off or even wealthy. The people on the Island do not know poverty; and in almost every county in Canada, but particularly along the St. Lawrence, you will find well-to-do farmers or others who commenced under Calvin, and by saving their earnings were enabled to secure good homes. It is to be observed that although they have never sent anybody to the poor house or jail, the firm have long been generous contributors to the Protestant and Catholic poor houses at Kingston. People say that where there are sailors there must be whiskey; but this instance shows that the saying is not correct, for here are 65 vessels and a dozen steamers trading here. The chief pursuit of the people is rafting square timber for Quebec and staves for the West Indies. Sometimes a very large number of men are working sixteen hours a day, and even when the weather is cold in the fall, and they get wet up to the waist, but never taste a drop of liquor. They are given plenty of good beef and soup at dinner, and other meals are substantial, - and they do not want anything more. These men are English, Irish, Scotch, French; in fact of every nationality. There is no insurance required in this village; there are no lawsuits, no courts are held here, there being no business to be done; there is very little sickness - during the eight years I was on duty there there was not a single case of sickness. About half the population is Catholic. A most important fact is that there is not a child of school age not attending school on both Garden Island and Wolfe Island.

Is there anything like this in any other part of Canada? Or is there any argument in favor of total abstinence or prohibition stronger or more conclusive than these facts?

The Catholic population of Wolfe and Garden Island became total abstainers under Father Foley, who was priest in charge there between 1848 and 1860. Mr. Calvin made all in his employ total abstainers upon business grounds. This is where I first saw the practical advantages of total abstinence as compared with moderation.

In view of Garden Island, on the main land, stands Morton's famous distillery, the largest in its time in this country, and said to have produced the best and purest liquor. It has long been desolate; and has been the cause of poverty and misery to all who had anything to do with it. Mr. Morton could have retired from business at one time with a quarter of a million, but he died in poverty. The condition of his family and of those employed by him is in fact the very opposite of those in Mr. Calvin's employment.

p.3 Marine - Passed Through Welland Canal for Kingston - Shandon, M.J. Cummings.

Accident at Oswego - Oswego is a bad place for vessels to visit, especially those from Kingston. The Palladium says that as the schooner Havana, Capt. Ross, from Kingston, light, was sailing into the harbor under foresail and two jibs, her starboard quarter struck the west pier, swinging her head and staving in nine planks, smashing the ceiling, carrying away one of her bobstays and breaking three beams. The damage is about $1,000. Same night as the schooner John T. Mott, Capt. P. Cronley, was sailing into the harbour from Kingston, light, the wind suddenly veered to the eastward, and before the schooner could make over she struck the west pier, breaking in three planks and driving the chain plate a foot aft.

W.W. - bark Great West takes deals from upper lakes to Kingston at $5 per thousand.

- Filmore from Chicago to Kingston for 7 3/4 cents on corn.

- Canadian tug Prince Alfred, ex railroad ferry and ex-gunboat, said to have been sold to Kingston party for $7,500.

- str. Georgian, drawing nine feet water, struck in Gallop Rapids, lies in eight feet water.

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29 Sep 1877
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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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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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 29 Sep 1877