The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Argus (Kingston, ON), June 16, 1848

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Wednesday last was the day named for the launch of the Messrs. Platts' new Steamer built at Portsmouth, by Mr. Alt. At the hour appointed, the stays were knocked away, and the vessel made a beautiful run on the ways of about 100 feet, when she slowly stopped. This was a great disappointment, not only to those more immediately interested, but to the numerous assemblage of persons from Town, who had gone out to witness the launch. Yesterday, the steam-tug William IV, assisted by purchases on shore, jerked her off, and she now sits on the water like a "thing of life." The only way by which the stoppage can be accounted for, is, that the inclination of the ways being slight - about 5/8 of an inch to the foot -and the vessel having made a trifling sheer to the starboard side at starting, she became "ribbon-bound" from want of sufficient impetus.

A young lady broke a bottle of wine on the Steamer's stem at starting, and named her "The Comet."

The Comet is beautifully modelled, and most substantially built, and when furnished will be well adapted for the Lake and River Trade, as a freight and passage Steamer.

The Dawn - We understand that this fine steamer ran aground on Sunday night last, near Matilda. She has run twenty feet upon the shore, which has thrown her bow three feet above water mark. [Prescott Telegraph]


The Free Trader, one of the new class of steamers, whose construction is peculiarly, and we believe exclusively Canadian, reached this city on Saturday from Toledo. She is loaded with a cargo equivalent in bulk and weight to 2500 barrels of flour, or 250 tons, and with that cargo on board, passed many of the old steam traders on the lakes; travelling at the rate of ten miles an hour. Her cargo consists of Indian corn, corn meal, pork, tallow and lard, in great part for the account of the enterprising house of Young, Holmes & Knapp. We understand that she is to be forthwith reloaded for a return voyage to Chicago, with salt, fish, oil, and pig iron. The intention of her owners, Messrs. Hooker & Holton, is that she shall proceed from thence direct to Halifax. The trade which we may expect with the latter port, may be best understood from the following facts, which came to our knowledge on Saturday. A merchant in Cincinnati, struck with the facilities of the St. Lawrence route, for the distribution of the large supplies of salt fish required in the basin of Upper Mississippi, wrote to a house in Halifax with the view of establishing a trade by that route. He was referred to a firm in this city for the best information, and having visited Montreal in pursuance of his design, he has already ordered 500 barrels of mackerel, which are now being loaded for Toledo, whence they will go by canal to Cincinnati. We understand that there will be a saving of two months' time, besides a very large amount in freight and charges on the transmission of the fish by this route. Our readers will remember that a few days ago, we mentioned this trade in salt fish, as one that inevitably must find its way through our borders. At the time we wrote, the transaction above described had not taken place, though it had been determined by parties in town to make an experiment in that line of commerce. The concurrence in the views of the gentlemen in Montreal who had determined on that experiment, with the ideas entertained on the same subject by a merchant in Cincinnati, affords a striking corroboration of the justness of our opinion. We shall await the downward voyage of the Free Trader with great anxiety, in order to see how far she may justify the opinions we expressed on Saturday with regard to the steam navigation of the Lower St. Lawrence. We shall look upon it, besides, as the era of a new commercial connection with that outpost of British North America, the port of Halifax. [Montreal Herald]


Engines for the New Steamer Empire State.

Three of the largest boilers ever shipped on the Erie Canal, passed through this city yesterday, on their way to Buffalo, for the new steamer Empire State, now lying at that port. These boilers were manufactured in Philadelphia, and are each ten feet in diameter. Two of them, which were on one boat, weighed 156,000 lbs. and the freight on them amounted to one thousand dollars over tolls and towing. Two of them completely filled a boat, and before it could pass, some of the old bridges on the canal had to be raised.

The steamer Empire State is a splendid vessel. She has a 76 inch cylinder, with 12 feet stroke. She was built by Hazard, Tonteith & Sherman, of Buffalo. It is expected that she will be ready to run about the first of July, and will be able to make the trip from Buffalo to Chicago in two days and a half.

The Empire State will be commanded by Captain Hazard, an experienced and gentlemanly commander, well known to the travelling public. [Rochester American]

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June 16, 1848
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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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Argus (Kingston, ON), June 16, 1848