Sunday, November 29, 2009

Canal and Maritime News 1829 / 1846 / 1850

Collected by Richard Palmer

The Wayne Sentinel,

Friday April 24, 1829

The Canal- We hail the re-commencement of navigation on the Erie
Canal with lively emotions. The day before yesterday, a boat
belonging to the line of packets, passed this place eastward. Since
that several others have passed, and revived in our minds
sensations , which, like the channel in which they floated, had been
for so many months past locked up in seclusion and repose. We
understand the necessary repairs have been made, and the navigation
is now open from Montezuma to Buffalo.

The impulse which this circumstance afford to life and activity in
business, furnishes a gratifying relief to the dull round and
listless turpitude of a long severe and tedious winter. The sound of
the bugle, and the "busy note of preparation," give life and add much
to the sources of hope and enjoyment.

We understand that the whole line from Buffalo to Albany, will be
open and in readiness for navigation by Tuesday next.

The Wayne Sentinel
Friday July, 21 1829

Imposition upon Travellers.

Having just returned from a tour into Pennsylvania, and having been
detained on my way home, through negligence and deception, by those
concerned in the conveyance of passengers from Geneva to Newtown, and
from Newtown to Geneva, by way of the steam boat Seneca Chief on
Seneca Lake, I feel it a duty I owe to myself and the public, to
state the manner in which I was detained.

I arrived at Newtown, on my way to Geneva on Friday, at noon
intending to take the Steam Boat Seneca Chief, that plies between
Geneva and the village of Jefferson at the head of Seneca Lake, on
Saturday; but from some cause or other, was not informed that the
Boat would not make her regular trip that day, until I had taken
seats for myself and two children, paid my fare, and was about to get
into the back that ran from Newtown to Jefferson, in connection with
the Steam Boat. In consequence of this gross negligence or design on
the part of the proprietors, I lost my only opportunity of reaching
Geneva that week, and was detained until Monday morning, when I took
the stage at 8 oíclock via Pen Yan, and arrived at Geneva the same
afternoon, whereas , had I taken the Steam Boat I should not have
arrived until the next morning at 7 oíclock, instead of the same day,
as stated in their advertisements. I mention this as one among the
numerous instances of their irregularities. The proprietors have
pledged themselves to the public that they will run "regular trips up
and down Seneca Lake each day (Sundays excepted)" On leaving Geneva
they vary their time of starting from one to three hours, as best
suits their own convenience. I could specify repeated instances and
the manner, in which travelers have been deceived and imposed upon:
but this I consider unnecessary at present. Fact will and shall show
for themselves if required. My reason for publishing the above are
not only to guard travelers against similar imposition, but with the
hope that the proprietors fo the Steam Boat (Messrs. J. B and R.
Rumney of Geneva,) will be induced to perform their trips with more
regularity, and consult the convenience of the public, upon which
they are and must be dependant for patronage.

Luther Howard.

Palmyra N.Y. July 23, 1829

The Sailors Magazine- Feb. 1846

We find in the Syracuse Daily Star, the proceedings of a meeting of
the citizens of Syracuse held on the 15th inst. To consider the
condition of the orphan and destitute boys who are engaged
principally as 'Canal Drivers' during the season of navigation. Hon.
Daniel Pratt presided, and addresses were made by Rev. Messrs. J. W.
Adams, Samuel J. May and others, relative to the condition and
necessities of this much neglected class.

It appears from facts elicited on this occasion, that there are about
5,000 boys engaged upon the New York Canals, one half of whom are
orphans; and nearly all of whom are destitute of a home on the
approach of Winter. Many of these boys are under twelve years of age,
but their extreme youth and hapless, unfortunate condition, are not
sufficient to exempt them from the most wanton wrongs on the part of
their employers. Most of them are precocious, as well in vice as
intellect, and the Canal is just the place to put them through all
the gradations of crime, from stealing a six-penny loaf or a bundle of
hay up to the most daring burglary, and even murder itself. Indeed,
in some instances they are instructed in theft, &c., by the captains
of these boats, who endeavor to give to those in their employ the
same kind of an education they have themselves received. At the close
of navigation, these 'drivers' are generally destitute of money and
comfortable clothing, and congregate at such places as Utica and
Syracuse, upon the line of Canal, and practice upon the community the
evil propensities which have been nourished and exercised upon the
Canal. They seem to be regarded as outcasts. They have no home- no
friends to advise or assist them- no instruction except in vice; and
the jail is often regarded by them as an asylum. Of the sixteen
hundred convicts who have been or now are inmates of the Auburn State
Prison, four hundred and eighty had been Canal Boys.

In view of these facts, a memorial to the Legislature, drawn up by
Mr. May, setting forth in earnest and eloquent language the condition
of these boys, was adopted by the meeting. The memorial asks that the
Legislature appoint supervisors or guardians of the canal boys, in
suitable places, by whom registers shall be kept of all the youth
under 20 years of age, who may be employed within their several
sections, without whose knowledge and permission no youth shall be
employed upon the canals; and to whose satisfactions all contracts
shall be made, and all accounts settled with these boys; and
establish, at convenient distances along the canals, houses under the
care of suitable persons, where those canal boys who have no home may
go, and be made comfortable, when not employed upon the canals; and
where they may receive such mental and moral culture as they may
need. In such establishments as we propose, in the charge of men and
women who would be interested in the work, and competent to perform
it, these neglected youth may be brought under improving, saving

The memorialists ask that in addition o these 'Homes', a 'House of
Refuge,' to be established at Syracuse, for the benefit of those boys
who maybe found guilty of petty crimes.

Syracuse Daily Star

Wed. Oct 12. 1850

From the Oswego Journal

Gale on Saturday Shipwreck

On Saturday, a gale of great severity from the north west threw the
lake into a perfect foam. During the afternoon, the waves dashed with
fearful violence over the piers and as a large number of vessels were
seen running before the wind down the lake crowds of people assembled
on the docks to see them enter the harbor.

We mentioned on Saturday that the Cincinnati from Toledo dragged
her anchors and came near being wrecked upon the ledge on the
easterly side of the harbor. A large number of schooners arrived
during the afternoon and evening, and as they came in between the
piers, where the surf was running alarmingly high, the greatest
anxiety was felt. Fortunately, no disaster occurred. The steamer
Cataract came up the lake about 4 o clock. She was obliged to run up
the lake a mile or two, as a schooner was in the way, and then came
about and entered the harbor, careening almost to her wheel house as
she ran between the piers.

The U.S. Revenue Cutter, Capt. Moore, arrived yesterday from a cruise
through the lakes. We learn from him, that when near Cape Vincent on
the 28th the Cutter boarded the schooner O. V. Brainard from Oswego,
the Capt. Of which reported the loss of a schooner, supposed to be
the Neptune, of Sackets Harbor, which was capsized and sunk in the
gale of that day between this port and the Ducks. All hands suppose
to be lost, as no boat was discovered to leave the wreck, from the
mast head of the Brainard. The gale was so severe, that it is feared
other disasters may have occurred.

We learn the lost schooner had seven men on board. She left this
harbor Saturday morning, heavily loaded.

No comments: