The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 6 Aug 1878

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Last evening a representative of the Whig walked in and out among those engaged in the marine trade, and so far as he could ascertain, the times are without an encouraging sign, and future prospects are dark and disheartening enough. Vessel property is fast depreciating in value, and the decline is still going on. Even the timber trade, which last year appeared to be the only redeeming feature, has flattened out. Freights have become utterly unprofitable. At no time during the present season has the whole fleet of our river and lakes been in commission, and those that have been fitted out and put in service, are being gradually put into ordinary, their owners or captains having battled against adversity as long as they could, and finally capitulated with feelings of the most hopeless character. In fact, as one gentleman remarked, no vessel can afford to run now and pay her way as she should. Then what is to be the upshot? No one seems to know. One person held that no change can be expected until the railway magnates of the United States became somewhat settled in their policy. The railways in some instances are cutting their throats, and so long as the competition remains as it is at present no improvement is anticipated. Some of our mariners entertain the belief that Vanderbilt's negotiations for the control of the eastern roads will have a tendency to increase railroad freights, and that then lake charters will be made on a more encouraging basis. At any rate the vessel men are entitled to sympathy, as no property is at so much discount as theirs.

W.W. - Mattoon, of Oswego, reports that he cannot save any of the Ellsworth, sunk near Oswego.

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6 Aug 1878
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Geographic Coverage:
  • 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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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 6 Aug 1878