The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 17 May 1897

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The steamer Murphy, light, cleared on Sunday morning for upper lake ports.

The M.T. Co.'s barge Cleveland is in Davis' dry dock undergoing repairs.

The schooner Lone Star arrived this morning from Trenton with wood for Crawford & Co.

The steamer Spencer and consort Pennington, light, cleared for upper lake ports this morning.

The Prescott elevator company expects to have its six new steel barges in commission next week.

The sloop Pilot, Big Bay, arrived this morning with 2,000 bushels of peas for Richardson & Sons.

The sloop Maggie L. arrived this morning from Picton with 3,000 bushels of peas for Richardson & Sons.

The steamer Niagara, light, from Kingston to Traverse City, passed up through the Welland canal on Saturday.

Nine barges were loaded with grain at Ogdensburg, N.Y., for the K. & M. F. Co. last week and others are being loaded this week.

The tug Thompson arrived from Montreal on Saturday night with eight light barges. She cleared again with four grain laden.

The schooner Barr arrived at this port this morning with 59,000 bushels of wheat - 50,000 for the K. & M. F. Co., and 9,000 for the M.T. Co.

The propellor Cuba, Toledo, lightened 11,000 bushels of corn at the M.T. company's elevators this morning and continued her trip to Montreal.

The steamer Outhwaite and consort Barr, Duluth, 104,200 bushels of wheat, arrived yesterday and are discharging at the M.T. company's elevators.

Capt. Donnelly inspected the hull of the Jessie Forward, Napanee, and reports her first-class in every respect and gives her permission to run from Trenton to Prescott.

The K. & M. F. company's tug Reginald was brought from Ogdensburg, N.Y., and pulled the schooner Emerald off Four Mile Point, where she ran aground on Friday night. The Reginald afterwards returned to Ogdensburg to take a tow of barges to Lachine, P.Q.

Alderman Stewart, manager of the K. & M. F. Co.'s local branch, states that one day last week seven vessels loaded with grain were lying outside the elevator dock at Prescott waiting for an opportunity to unload, and the elevator was full and several of the vessels had been waiting for a week.

A despatch from Port Colborne says: "The steamer Rosemount, Capt. Mawdsley, arrived this (Saturday) evening from Fort William, bound for Kingston, with 76,790 bushels of wheat on sixteen feet of water. She is lightering about 14,000 to allow her to pass down the canal. This is an unusual cargo for this class of boat." Capt. Gaskin says it will be the largest grain cargo ever brought into this port.



The Bonus And The Obstructionists Considered.

Kingston, May 17th - To the Editor:

We are all well aware that our city has often been termed a slow one-horse town; and while I feel disposed to resent the imputation I must candidly, not reluctantly, confess that there is too much room for the charge. This is owing mainly to the jealousy and covetousness of many of our own leading men of business; and it will never amount to anything else so long as they continue to exercise their selfish propensities in the manner they have since the proposal of the Mooers company to accept the $25,000 and build the elevator has been before the citizens. The offer of the council to give that amount has been a well-known fact of nearly two years standing; and it was supposed by the people generally that the M.T. company would be the most likely concern to take hold of it; but they would not touch the project because the bonus was not double what it was; and, I am credibly informed, the outside manager of that company here said they would get it too. But no sooner does another Kingstonian come forward and offer to accept the sum agreed upon and to do the work required than the Richardson Bros., backed up by the aforesaid manager, set up a strenuous and bitter opposition to the Mooers company to prevent them from being entrusted with the undertaking. Simply because they, having allowed the offer to slip out of their hands, and lost the chance which other people accepted, are now like dogs in the manger, annoyed with themselves and everybody else because of their own folly and shortsightedness, and are determined, if their obstruction can accomplish it, to kill the undertaking altogether, as they have lost it they are bound that no one else shall have it. And these are the men who have, directly and indirectly, fared well at the city's hands, in exemptions from taxation on the knitting mill, the cotton mill, the oilcloth factory, wharf and other property; some of them have turned out failures and others not the boons we were led to expect them to be. And now, just when someone else with more enterprise than themselves steps in and offers to go on with an enterprise that will prove a real benefit to us at less aid than they were holding off for and willing to take, they are doing their best to upset. Consistent and creditable conduct is it not? Worse than all we find about half our aldermen ranged on their side. Some through personal friendship for the obstructionists, and others through narrow, political partizanship as a reading of the list and debates in council clearly shows. Is the welfare of our city to be destroyed by such aldermen as these on such small and paltry excuses as are set up? I ask the citizens to keep a sharp eye on these members and give them to understand that when next they appear for re-election that there is no further use for them and relegate them to stay at home, and return men to fill their places who will more worthily represent them. Are such tactics as these exhibited in other places? Look at Toronto, for example. It is termed "hogtown" because of the efforts of all classes of its citizens put forth to secure every possible enterprise that looms up. Is that course not creditable to them? Should the same spirit not prevail here! If it did we would occupy a more creditable position than we do. Instead of one set of persons striving, through jealousy, covetousness and hatred towards another set, to prevent an enterprise worth having, from being established here because they do not have a controlling interest in it, there should be unity among all to help the thing along, free from begrudging feelings. But unfortunately the reverse is the rule here. In this very case I understand that one of the leading obstructionists, a grain man, made the boast a day or two ago, that unless he (or we, as he is said to have put it) got the controlling interest in this elevator scheme, the Mooers company would never be permitted to build and operate it, and if they did get it he would see that they got no grain to handle, as he controlled, or would control, all the grain coming into this port! Isn't that a creditable and beautiful spirit to entertain? Great man, isn't he? Very big indeed! All the grain! That is more vast than his estimate of his own importance, which is no doubt also very large!

Another specimen of bumptiousness on the same lines is that which appeared in your issue of the 13th inst., to the effect that "the gentlemen interested in the second elevator scheme had authorized the Whig to state that all opposition to the original project would cease from the moment that the Mooers' syndicate showed they had a bona fide list to the extent of $100,000 from persons whose financial standing was an assurance of sincerity and ability." And that in that event there will be no further struggle for the right to the bonus. Great condescension! Instead of this being a consistent policy, as you intimated, it is generally looked upon as a piece of the greatest presumption. What right have these "gentlemen" to come forward now and dictate the terms they are striving to establish on the council, with the view of thwarting the project, when they themselves failed to accept or refused to take the offer which the Mooers syndicate did accept, and which they might have had from the first without opposition or interrupting any kind had they taken hold when they had the opportunity? The idea is absurd. Has it come to this that this city is to be dictated to and swayed in the interests of two or three firms? Are our aldermen elected to represent these few selfish men or the citizens as a whole? If so, we might better have no council at all than that that representative institution should be made a farce of.

Of one thing these shortsighted people may rest assured, that if they succeed in defeating this undertaking they will never get the opportunity of going on with it, as, first of all, they would not take the amount offered because it was not twice as much, and are now sorry for having declined; and secondly, would not take it now had the movers or some one else not accepted it. That being the case, and because of their obstruction, they will never get the chance to build it either. There is no thanks to them in desiring to get hold of it now. They are not entitled to any consideration whatever, and should get none, for having acted in the narrow manner they have. Had a noble, generous and progressive spirit been shown, as there should have been, the work would have been under way by this time. A plausible objection to the endorsement of the plan is because the names of the proposed stockholders and their standing have not been presented to the council. What force should this contention have in face of the fact that the Mooers offer to erect the proposed elevator on a suitable spot, and pay for the work before accepting a single cent of the bonus. Are men going to spend $80,000 or $100,000 for the sake of gaining $25,000 of a bonus,and let the thing lie idle? It is ridiculous to think of such a delusion. No matter who the men are so long as the work is accomplished satisfactorily as it should be, and will be, in order to operate it successfully in the interests of the investors and the city as well. Compare the attitude of then mayor Wright and the aldermen then and now in the blast furnace project. They were willing and anxious to pay out of the proposed bonus $50,000 for certain machinery to that concern, the quality of which was unknown, except that it was plant which was lying idle and unrequired somewhere in Ohio, as soon as it was laid on the ground and before the necessary buildings were erected, on which a further and much larger amount was to be given later on, and the nature of which buildings was also unknown. We were to go it blind, and were assured all would turn out right. But on closer investigation it proved to be an empty bubble and all wrong. Now these same members insist on having the names and standing of these elevator men, although the two enterprises are entirely different in character, and not on parallel lines in any way whatever - the one, the elevator, being an assured thing before any money is to be paid over, while the other was an empty and bogus scheme, which would have been a ruinous undertaking and a dead horse on our hands, on which we would have been unable to realize; and yet these very members were then ready to squander our money blindly towards that, and are now raising picayune objections to this elevator scheme, an assured fact which will prove beneficial to us all, working men in particular, in order to kill it and to satisfy the whims of interested and disappointed aspirants. Watch the actions of these men tonight. The Richardsons know that their proposition cannot now be accepted, as it has not received the necessary ratification by the legislature at Toronto in regard to exemption from taxation. FAIR PLAY.

p.6 Snips - Called at Craig & Co.'s wharf on Sunday: steamer Persia, Montreal; steamer Ocean, Hamilton; steamer Cuba, Toledo.

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17 May 1897
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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), 17 May 1897