The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Upper Canada Herald (Kingston, ON), May 13, 1823

Full Text

p.3 For the Upper Canada Herald.

At the late term of the Court of King's Bench in York, the Carlton (Carleton) Island Seizure case, which has been a subject of so much excitement here, and in the State of New York, was brought to a final decision. Upon a special verdict, stating the well known facts, which were offered although not received in evidence at the Kingston Assizes, but afterwards admitted by the Court, and specially found by the Jury, as agreed between the parties, the Court decided that Carlton Island was not a part of the Province of Upper Canada, and consequently, that the seizure made there by the Collector of the port of Kingston, under color of the authority of this Province, for an alleged breach of the revenue law of the Province, was unauthorized and illegal; and thereupon they awarded a Writ of Restitution, commanding the Collector to deliver the property so under seizure to Mr. Manahan, the claimant; which has accordingly been done, pursuant to the Writ.

Upon this result of the case, a new question arises, worthy of serious consideration, who is to pay the impost duty? The property thus seized and now restored, as officially stated in the information, was seventeen thousand pounds weight of manufactured tobacco, of the value of one thousand five hundred pounds, of the lawful money of this Province. The duty on the importation of that article was, and is three pence per pound, amounting to eight hundred and fifty dollars. That amount of revenue the Government ought not to lose. The owner is not bound by law or equity or honor to pay it, not having imported the tobacco, and having sustained damages to a much greater amount, in his personal trouble, and the fees, costs and charges of defence, loss of sale and interest, fall of price, of disappointment and derangement of business, and deprivation of the property itself, occasioned by having been detained almost two years in the Custom House cellar, although some of it is said to be in a very saleable state of preservation. He is barred from all legal remedy, by a revenue-law limitation, which protects the Collector against an action for such damages as a Jury might find just and reasonable. Thus shielded from liability for damages, the Collector, having by force and arms, against the will of the owner, and contrary to law, imported the tobacco from the United States into this Province, with the avowed intention of obtaining one half of its value for himself, ought now, in my humble judgement to account with the treasury for the impost duty, as well as for the costs of the prosecution incurred by his unauthorized seizure, and also the expense of the armed expedition from Kingston into the territory of the United States to make the seizure there, in open violation of the laws of nations, and to the amicable relation and good understanding existing between the two countries, by treaty and according to the declared dispositions of both governments.

If, because such a case was never expected to occur, no express statute has been provided to render a Collector responsible for the duties on goods thus imported by himself, the Legislature may, according to a recent example, pass an ex post facto law for this special purpose. There will be no need of a Board of Commissioners, to examine the party under oath, and to decide upon and ascertain the claim. The amount of the impost is a mere matter of arithmetical calculation; and, if there has been no actual "abstraction" from the treasury, there is certainly a "defalcation" of the public revenue, to that amount.

That such official importation of dutiable articles, without payment of duties is, in some respects, more prejudicial than ordinary smuggling, is a plain sentiment of


Custom House Office,

Kingston, 1st May, 1823.

Masters of Vessels and others concerned in the trade carried on with the United States of America, are informed, that the only articles which can henceforth be imported from that country in foreign crafts, are enumerated in Schedule A. of the Act of the Imperial Parliament 3rd Geo. IV, Chap. 119. Such other articles as are permitted to be imported, must be conveyed in British vessels.

Six cents per ton is chargeable on foreign vessels exceeding 50 tons measurement, coming into the harbours of this Province; and no tonnage duty is payable on those of smaller dimensions; and vessels belonging to subjects of this Province, trading with the United States, are by the laws of that country, admitted into their Ports upon payment of the like duty.

C.A. HAGERMAN, Collector.

(Schedule A - a list of permissable items, is included.)

Bay and River Steam Boat


Henry Gildersleeve, Master,

Will leave Kingston for the Carrying Place every Monday morning, 8 o'clock, and return to Kingston Wednesday afternoon, stopping at Bath, Adolphustown, Hallowell, Sophiasburgh, Bellville, and the Trent; leave Kingston for Bellville every Thursday morning, 8 o'clock; leave Bellville on her return, Friday morning, 8 o'clock, and arrive at Kingston in the evening; leave Kingston for Prescott every Saturday morning, 8 o'clock, stopping at Gananoque and Brockville - and leave Prescott every Sunday on her return to Kingston.

For Freight or Passage apply to the Captain on board.

May 12th, 1823.



The subscriber takes the earliest opportunity of informing his friends and customers in the Upper Province that he has established his Forwarding Business in Kingston instead of Brockville, as stated in his circulars, which the tedious and uncertain navigation between those places has rendered necessary. He has made arrangements with the proprietors of the Steam-Boat Frontenac, the Two Sisters, the Ann & Jane, and other vessels which will enable him at all times to forward Goods to any part of the Upper Province with the greatest despatch. STEPH. FINCHLEY.


Kingston - Mr. James M'Cutchon

Chippawa - Messrs. Gilb't M'Micking & Co.

Kingston April 4, 1823.

N.B. His prices will be the same as stated in his Circulars.

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May 13, 1823
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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.
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Upper Canada Herald (Kingston, ON), May 13, 1823