The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 1 May 1908

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p.2 A Long Marine Case - The marine case in progress at the court is rivalling a murder case, as far as length is concerned. It has now proceeded four days. By the time the lawyers and witnesses are paid, the boat's value may be all covered.


As To Where the Damage Took Place.

The admiralty court sitting in the Buckeye State case was resumed on Thursday afternoon, and Capt. Hansen, of the Buckeye State, was again put on the stand. He continued his story of coming through the Cornwall canal, stating that after he had hailed the tug the third time and the captain had not taken any notice of him, the barge was near the other side. "He had so much headway," said the captain, "that he could not stop, and we hit the side." The tug must have been going about five miles an hour. The stem of the barge struck first, splitting the stem, and knocking it over to the port side. The cathead and rail were also broken, and the force of the blow listed the boat. The witness stated that the force of the blow was so great that he had to take hold of a board for fear of going over. The iron stem plate and the keel plate were broken. After the blow the tug pulled the barge into the lock and they locked together. When the boats came into the lock, a Mr. Jasper, who was on the tug, came aboard, and told witness that he was the owner of the tug, that he had a poor captain, and when the damages were fixed, that he (witness) was not go go too hard on him. Witness replied that he wouldn't. Witness said that he told Jesper that the barge handled easily and the accident was due to carelessness. Witness stated that Jasper told him that the tug did not have steam enough to check him over. The witness said that they proceeded west, and had not gone very far when the barge started to leak. He knew it was leaking as they sounded the pumps. The pumps were used for twenty minutes, and then used again when they arrived at the Landing, at ten o'clock that night. They left at five o'clock the next morning, and the mate was in charge of the pumps, which were used off and on during the trip.

Witness then told of entering the Morrisburg canal. The tug Emerson was lying below the lock at the south side, when the barge was pulled in under her own steam power. The barge was then drawing twelve feet nine inches. He stated that his waterline at this time was one hundred and seventy-nine feet, and it was impossible for any part of his stern to overhang any of the wall of the lock. In reply to Mr. Cline, the witness said that besides the two lockmen, the captain of the Emerson was the only man on the lock. He did not see the engineer of the Emerson on the wharf. The witness stated that they pulled out of the lock with their own power, having a line out on the north side. Two sailors were on shore with the lines, one at the bow and one at the stern. Witness stated that they had perfect control of the boat at all times, and at no time did the stern of his boat swing out. He could see the top step of the line of steps going down into the locks. Witness stated that a float about ten feet wide is placed in the lock to protect boats, and that the barge did not touch the float. He stated that the barge was not pulled out at the rate of a half a mile an hour.

In the evidence given on Wednesday, it was shown that the injuries to the barge were received in this lock by the barge running on the steps, but the evidence showed that the barge did not touch the steps at all, but received the damage while in charge of the tug Mary Ellen in the Cornwall canal. Witness, in reply to Mr. Cline, denied positively that the stern of his boat hit any obstruction, or bounded back, while going out of the lock at Morrisburg. Witness stated that a guard streak four inches thick runs all the way around his boat, and on the day it just touched the side of the bank. The witness said that at no time was his boat across the lock so that his stern touched the south side. He explained to the judge where the donkey engine and winch were placed on the barge and how they worked. The witness told in detail everything that happened in the lock and stated that at no time did he hit the bank.

The witness said that after leaving the lock, under tow of the tug Emerson, he found that the water was coming in so fast that he could not control it, and he signalled the tug to take him into shallow water. He was taken to the pier at Iroquois, and then the Jessie Hall took him and beached him. When he was beached he make a personal examination and found the same injuries as he saw after he hit the bank at the Cornwall canal. The pump from the Jessie Hall was put on and the water pumped out.

Mr. Cline passed over the following events and went to the time that the barge was put in the dry dock at Kingston. The captain said that he made an examination after the boat was docked, and found the stern broken, and twenty feet below was crushed in between two frames, and on the starboard side, twenty feet from the stem, one of the planks was crushed in. The piece of plank that was crushed was produced, and the witness explained where it was placed and how it was injured. Quite a little time was taken in examining the pieces of timber, by the judge and counsel.

The witness was again taken back to the accident in the Cornwall canal to describe the second time the barge hit the banks. He stated that when the barge hit the second time and listed over, if the wind wall was straight up and down the barge would not have hit to make the hole, but if there had been a projection it would have hit. When shown the photograph the witness said that the injury looked a little like the one he saw at first when he examined the boat, but did not show very clearly. The model of the barge was again produced and the witness was called on to describe where the hole was and how it could have been made.

The witness was again taken back to Cornwall. He stated that from Cornwall to Farran's Point there was a heavy current, and also after he left there as far as Morrisburg, there was a heavy current. The current after he left Morrisburg was very heavy, about the strongest of the three. He told of the diver going down at Morrisburg, and as a result of his examination he had the stem pulled off. He looked at the stem after it had been pulled off, and saw it was badly split. Witness told of all the small details that happened while at Morrisburg, and at six o'clock Mr. Cline concluded his direct examination. The cross-examination commenced at 9:30 o'clock this morning.



The sloop Laura D. is unloading pressed hay at the city wharf.

Swift's: schooner Keewatin cleared for Oswego; steambarge Robert McDonald from Oswego with coal; steamer Aletha down today.

The sloop Idlewild will clear for river ports, and load stone for Wartman's wharf, at Bath, which suffered great damage by the high water.

The Cape Vincent steamer will not make two trips a day to the Cape till June 1st. Monday is the only day on which the Cape steamer makes two trips.

Navigation has opened on the Rideau canal. The steambarge John Randall was the first vessel to arrive in Kingston. The vessel reached Richardsons' this morning, and will load grain for Washburn.

The schooner Jamieson could not clear for Oswego, last night, owing to the rough weather. Marine men stated today, that the weather was very rough on the lake, during the night. There was a strong north-east wind.

Many Kingstonians are leaving tomorrow for Toronto and other places to join the crews of the boats which they will sail on this season. Quite a number go to Toronto to join the crews of the steamers Toronto and Kingston. These boats will be fitted out immediately.

p.8 Could Not Land - The steamer Wolfe Islander did not go across to the island, this afternoon, as it was impossible to land over there, the waves washing right over the wharf. The boat awaited the wind to go down.


When the admiralty court was opened at ten o'clock this morning, Capt. Hansen was put back on the stand for cross-examination by Mr. King. In all probability this examination will take several hours. The witness was put through a rigid examination this morning concerning the first part of his trip. The M.T. Co. and Mr. Gogo (sic) for the tug Mary Ellen, are endeavoring to prove that the injuries to the barge were sustained in the Morrisburg canal, while the barge was pulling herself out of the lock, and the captain of the barge holds that the injuries were inflicted in the Cornwall canal while he was in tow of the tug Mary Ellen. Court adjourned for luncheon at one o'clock and was resumed at 2:30 o'clock. The evidence will likely be all in by Saturday noon.

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Date of Publication:
1 May 1908
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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), 1 May 1908