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Title: Steam Navigation and Its Relation to the Commerce of Canada and the United States
Author: Croil, James
Language: English
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Author of “Dundas: A Sketch of Canadian History.”

With Illustrations and Portraits.

William Briggs.
Montreal: The Montreal News Company, Limited

Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada,
in the year one thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight,
by William Briggs, at the Department of Agriculture.

                              _This Volume
                     is dedicated by permission to

                 His Excellency the Earl of Aberdeen,
                         K.T., G.C.M.G., etc.,
                      Governor-General of Canada
                          from 1893 to 1898,
           a nobleman who will long be gratefully remembered
                     as the benefactor and friend
                 of all classes of the community, and
                        who, with his Consort,

                    The Countess of Aberdeen, LL.D.

                   will always be associated by the
           Canadian people with a period in their history of
                      great national prosperity,
            their joint efforts in furthering lofty ideals
                          having done much to
            advance the highest interests of the Dominion._


                         IN HONOUR OF THE MEN
                by whose enterprise, courage, and skill

                             ROYAL WILLIAM

               The First Vessel to Cross the Atlantic by
                 Steam Power was wholly constructed in
               Canada and navigated to England in 1833.
              The Pioneer of Those Mighty Fleets of Ocean
             Steamers by which Passengers and Merchandise
             of all Nations are now conveyed on every sea
                         throughout the World.

                              ORDERED BY
              THE PARLIAMENT OF CANADA, JUNE 13-15, 1804.

                           “ROYAL WILLIAM.”


When the history of the nineteenth century comes to be written, not
the least interesting chapter of it will be that which treats of the
origin, the development, and the triumphs of Steam Navigation—that
mighty combination of inventive genius and mechanical force that has
bridged the oceans and brought the ends of the earth together.

During the past few years several important contributions to this
class of literature have issued from the metropolitan press. Three of
these deserve special mention: (1) “The Atlantic Ferry; its Ships,
Men, and Working,” by Arthur J. Maginnis, gold medallist and member of
the Institution of Naval Architects, 1892; (2) “Our Ocean Railways,
or the Rise, Progress, and Development of Ocean Steam Navigation,” by
A. Fraser-Macdonald, 1893; (3) “The History of North Atlantic Steam
Navigation, with Some Account of Early Ships and Shipowners,” by Henry
Fry, ex-President of Dominion Board of Trade of Canada and Lloyd’s
Agent at Quebec, 1896. Each of these writers, in his own way, has
treated the subject so thoroughly and satisfactorily, the author feels
as though the wind had been taken out of his sails somewhat, and it is
not without hesitation that he has yielded to the advice of friends in
whose judgment he has implicit confidence, and ventured to follow in
the wake of such accomplished writers.

If I am questioned as to _motif_ I cannot better justify the rash deed
than by endorsing the sentiment in Byron’s apostrophe:

   “And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy
    Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be
    Borne, like thy bubbles, onward; from a boy
    I wantoned with thy breakers—they to me
    Were a delight.”

These pages are of a much less pretentious character than the
above-named books. They are but a compilation of materials more or
less intimately connected with Steam Navigation, gathered from many
sources, during many years, and now woven into homely narrative. They
necessarily contain much in common with these other writings on this
subject, but they are projected from a different standpoint and embrace
a wider field, supplying information not easily obtained, respecting
the far-reaching waterways of Canada, her magnificent ship canals, and
the vast steam commerce of the Great Lakes.

So numerous are the sources of information drawn upon, it is impossible
to make adequate acknowledgment of them all. The agents of Atlantic
lines of steamships were particularly obliging in their replies to
inquiries made of them. Without in any way making them responsible for
the use made of their communications, upon these my remarks on that
branch of the subject are chiefly based. Among other publications I
have consulted the “Transactions of the Imperial Institute,” London,
and of the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec; Government
reports emanating from Ottawa and Washington; also many pamphlets,
magazine and newspaper articles bearing on the subject, not to speak of
my capacious scrap-book and some well-thumbed note-books.

Additional authorities will be indicated as the narrative proceeds.
Besides these, grateful acknowledgments for valuable assistance are
due to Sir Sandford Fleming and Mr. George Johnson, F.S.S., of Ottawa;
to Messrs. Douglas Battersby, R. W. Shepherd, and the late Captain
Thomas Howard, of Montreal; to Mr. Archibald Campbell, of Quebec;
Captain Clarke Hamilton, of Kingston; Mrs. Holden, of Port Dover, Ont.,
and Mr. T. M. Henderson, of Victoria, B.C.; to members of the Boards
of Trade in Montreal, Minneapolis and Duluth; and to the following
clergymen: Rev. Dr. Bruce, of St. John, N.B.; Rev. T. F. Fullerton, of
Charlottetown. P.E.I.; Rev. James Bennett, of L’Orignal, Ont., and Rev.
W. H. L. Howard, of Fort William, Ont.

The illustrations have nearly all been made for this work: the
wood-cuts by Mr. J. H. Walker, and the half-tones by the Standard
Photo-Engraving Company, Montreal.

                                                         J. C.

   MONTREAL, _October_, 1898.


                CHAPTER I.                   PAGE
    THE DAWN OF STEAM NAVIGATION              17

                CHAPTER II.

                CHAPTER III.

                CHAPTER IV.

                CHAPTER V.
    STEAM TO INDIA AND THE EAST              142

                CHAPTER VI.
    STEAM IN THE BRITISH NAVY                166

                CHAPTER VII.
    THE ST. LAWRENCE ROUTE                   192

                CHAPTER VIII.
    STEAM ON THE GREAT LAKES                 244

                CHAPTER IX.

                CHAPTER X.


            STEAM VESSELS.
    ALBERTA                        285
    ATLANTIC                       105
    AUGUSTA VICTORIA               133
    BEAVER                         335
    BRITANNIA                       72
    CALEDONIA                      146
    CAMPANIA                        78
    CANADA                         226
    CHARLOTTE DUNDAS                32
    CLERMONT                        42
    COLUMBA                         38
    COMET                           35
    CORONA                         329
    CRESCENT                       191
    DUKE OF WELLINGTON             167
    EMPIRE                         255
    EMPRESS OF JAPAN               162
    GREAT BRITAIN                   62
    GREAT EASTERN                   63
    HORNET                         169
    JEANIE DEANS                    51
    JOHN S. COLBY                  363
    KAISER W. DER GROSSE           137
    LAKE ONTARIO                   230
    MAJESTIC                       119
    MANITOU                        271
    MILLER’S TWIN BOAT              31
    MISSISSIPPI STEAMER             43
    NELSON                         337
    NEW YORK                        47
    NIAGARA                         74
    NORMANNIA                      131
    NORTH-WEST                     273
    OCEANIC                        117
    OHIO STEAMER                    45
    PARIS                          107
    PARIS DINING-ROOM              109
    PARIS (_Stern View_)           108
    PARISIAN                       204
    PASSPORT                       327
    PENNSYLVANIA                   135
    PILGRIM                         16
    PRINCETON                      253
    PRISCILLA                       46
    QUEBEC                         311
    QUEEN CHARLOTTE                249
    QUETTA                         150
    RENOWN                         172
    RHINE STEAMER                   39
    ROBERT GARRETT                  49
    ROYAL WILLIAM                    8
    ST. LOUIS                      111
    SAVANNAH                        53
    SCOTIA                          77
    SIRIUS                          59
    SOVEREIGN                      317
    STANLEY                        352
    TEUTONIC                       174
    VANDALIA                       251
    VICTORIA AND ALBERT            184
    WALK-IN-THE-WATER              250
    WILLIAM IV.                    325

    AIRD, CAPTAIN              215
    ALLAN, SIR HUGH            208
    ALLAN, ANDREW              296
    BURNS, SIR GEORGE           93
    CAMPBELL, CAPTAIN          233
    CUNARD, SIR SAMUEL          93
    DUTTON, CAPTAIN            218
    GRAHAM, CAPTAIN            211
    HAMILTON, HON. JOHN        331
    LINDALL, CAPTAIN           223
    MACAULAY, CAPTAIN          227
    MACIVER, DAVID              93
    MCMASTER, CAPTAIN          197
    MCLENNAN, HUGH             296
    MOUNTSTEPHEN, LORD           4
    NAPIER, ROBERT              97
    NAPIER, MRS.                97
    OGILVIE, W. W.             296
    RITCHIE, CAPTAIN           216
    SHEPHERD, R. W.            322
    SMITH, CAPTAIN W. H.       194
    STRATHCONA, LORD             4
    TORRANCE, JOHN             308
    WYLIE, CAPTAIN             212

    CANAL LOCK, CANADIAN       264
    CANAL LOCK, U. STATES      278
    CUNARD TRACK CHART          90
    GRAIN ELEVATOR             289
    GREAT REPUBLIC, SHIP        26
    HORSE-BOAT                  29
    MAP GULF PORTS, ETC.       241
    SHIP OF THE DESERT         143
    WIND-BOAT                   70

[Illustration: “PILGRIM,”

Sister to _Priscilla_ of the Fall River Line, 1890.]



    _Ah! what pleasant visions haunt me
       As I gaze upon the sea!
     All the old romantic legends.
       All my dreams come back to me._

    The up-to-date standard—Old-time sailing
        ships—The clipper packet-ship—Dawn of steam
        navigation—Denis Papin on the Fulda—Bell’s
        _Comet_—Fulton’s _Clermont_—American
        river steamers and ferry-boats.

Travel increases in faster ratio than do facilities for
inter-communication. The prophecy surely is being fulfilled in these
latter days, “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be
increased.” It is estimated that at least 750,000 persons travel
yearly between Europe and America; 99,223 cabin passengers and 252,350
steerage passengers landed at New York from Europe in 1896. The
Cunard Line brought the largest number of cabin passengers, 17,999,
from Liverpool, and the North German Lloyd Line the largest number of
steerage, namely, 38,034, from Bremen.

Notwithstanding the wonderful development of railway and steamship
systems, means of conveyance during the summer months often fall short
of the demand. Passages by the more popular lines of steamships must
be engaged months ahead; in many cases the ships are uncomfortably
crowded. At such times sofas take the place of berths, and all the
officers’ rooms, from the coveted Captain’s cabin to the second and
third stewards’ bunks, are called into requisition and held at a round
premium. On Saturday, the 8th of May, 1897, no less than 1,500 saloon
passengers left New York for Liverpool on the great ocean greyhounds.
The travelling season is comparatively short, the competition is keen,
and the enormous expense of building, furnishing and running up-to-date
steamships renders it difficult to provide the requisite accommodation
on a paying basis. The up-to-date steamship must be built of steel, to
combine light weight with strength. It must have triple or quadruple
expansion engines to economize fuel. It must be propelled by twin or
triple screws, as well for the easier handling of the vessel as for
safety in case of a breakdown of machinery, and for attaining the
highest possible speed. Our ideal steamship must be able to turn quite
round in its own length, and to go through the water at an average
speed of at least twenty knots an hour. To attain these results, ships
of a very large class are called for—nothing short of from eight to
ten thousand tons burthen will come up to the mark. There are many
magnificent steamships in the North Atlantic trade and elsewhere but
as yet few have in all respects reached the up-to-date standard, and
even those that are such this year, a few years hence are certain to be
regarded as quite behind the times. There is no valid reason to suppose
that the process of development which has been going on during the last
fifty years in this direction is to be arrested at the close of the
century. The indications, so far as they can be interpreted, are all
in the opposite direction. The paddle-wheel ocean steamer reached its
zenith with the launch of the _Scotia_ of the Cunard Line in 1862. She
was the last of the race.

The wooden steamship, “copper-fastened and copper-bottomed,” etc.,
etc., is long since a thing of the past. The iron age, which succeeded
the wooden, has been changed to steel, and steel may change to
something else, and steam to electricity. Who knows? Mr. Maginnis,
who is himself an engineer and an architect, speaks with authority
when he says that, “Whether the improvements be in the ship or in
the machinery, gradual advances will be made in the near future.”
The thirst of competing steamship companies for conquest on the high
seas—at any cost—and the ambition of ship-builders to improve upon the
latest improvements, will not be satisfied with present attainments,
even if it can be proved to a demonstration that thousands of
additional horse-power and hundreds of additional tons of coal per day
would be required to increase to any appreciable extent the maximum
rate of speed that has already been reached. In the meantime some
idea may be formed of the possible saving in the consumption of fuel
when it is stated that, by a system of induced draught, discovered
since the last two Cunarders were designed, the number of boilers
necessary to generate steam enough for 30,000 indicated horse-power
may be reduced to little more than one-half, which, to put it briefly,
means a corresponding saving in space, weight and first cost.[1] In
fact, well-informed marine engineers do not hesitate to express their
opinion that the day is not far distant when Atlantic greyhounds may be
coursing across the ocean at the rate of thirty knots an hour, bringing
Queenstown and Sandy Hook within ninety-three hours of each other.

It is difficult to form a correct idea, from any verbal or pictorial
representation, of the elegance, the convenience and the comfort
attaching to the “Express Steamship.” Nothing short of a voyage or
voyages in one of these floating palaces would suffice to give an
adequate conception of their excellence. And yet, when all is said
that can be said in praise of the steamship, some of us “old stagers”
can look back, if not with lingering regret, at least with pleasant
recollection, to the days of the packet-ship, and even of the sailing
vessel of humbler pretensions.

Some of the early emigrant ships were certainly of a mean order, and
many emigrants suffered cruel hardships before they reached their
destination. It was not an uncommon thing for five or six hundred men,
women and children to be huddled together indiscriminately in the hold
of a vessel of from 250 to 300 tons, doomed to subsist on coarsest
food, and liable to be immured beneath hatches for days or weeks at a
time, without medical attendance, obliged to cook their own food, and
scantily supplied with water; and all this for eight or ten weeks at a

In one of his autobiographic sketches the late Bishop Strachan says
that he sailed from Greenock in the end of August, 1799, “under
convoy,” and such was then the wretched state of navigation, he did
not reach Kingston, by way of New York and Montreal, till the 31st of
December. In a letter before me an aged friend recites the story of
his adventurous voyage from Liverpool to Quebec, some fifty years ago.
The ship was a superannuated bluff-bowed East Indiaman, but counted
good enough in those days to carry five hundred emigrants across the
stormy Atlantic. When ten days out they encountered a hurricane which
drove the vessel out of her course. Her three masts fell overboard.
The cook’s galley and the long boat, the water casks, and everything
else on deck, vanished in the gale. The huge hulk rolled like a log
in the Bay of Biscay for several days, the passengers meanwhile being
confined between decks in horrible confusion. A passing steamer towed
them back to Plymouth, where six weeks were spent in refitting the
ship, each adult receiving ten shillings and sixpence per week for
board and lodging until the repairs were completed. After seven weeks
more of great discomfort “and tyrannical treatment on the part of the
captain,” they finally reached Quebec in 107 days after first embarking
at Liverpool.

My own experience of sailing ships, though fifty-seven years have
elapsed, is still fresh in mind and recalls some pleasant memories. My
first voyage to New York was from the Clyde in a new American ship,
commanded by one Captain Theobald, a typical New Englander, as fine
a man as one could desire to meet. The voyage was uneventful in the
ordinary sense of the term, but one’s first voyage in a sailing ship
is an event never to be forgotten. It was anticipated with peculiar
interest, and regarded with far greater importance than attaches to
crossing the Atlantic nowadays. So far from being monotonous, there
were incessant changes in sea and sky, in the dress of the ship, and
the occupations and songs of the sailors. One day the ship might be
bowling along beautifully, decked out in her royals and sky-sails, her
studding-sails and stay sails; next day, perhaps, she might be scudding
under reefed topsails before an easterly gale, pooping seas that washed
the quarterdeck and tumbled like a waterfall into the waist of the
ship. Occasionally, a “white squall” coming up would make things lively
on deck while it lasted. If becalmed in the right place we caught
codfish. For the most part, however, the familiar refrain of “tacks and
sheets” would be heard many times a day and in the night watches, as we
tacked this way and that way against westerly breezes, thankful if the
log showed that we had advanced on our course forty or fifty miles in
twenty-four hours.

My second voyage westward in a sailing ship was also a memorable one.
The Scotch captain of the good ship _Perthshire_, in which we sailed
from the Tail of the Bank, off Greenock, on June 19th, 1844, was very
unlike the Yankee skipper of the previous voyage. Captain S—— was
kind and attentive to his passengers, but not at all popular with his
crew. As I watched him taking the sun, the first day out, he said,
“Young man, you are going to be some weeks on board this ship, with
nothing to do but to eat and drink and sleep. Suppose you take a few
lessons in navigation? Here is a spare quadrant which you can use.”
I jumped at the offer, and very soon mastered at least the outlines
of the business. Much was learned in these six weeks—how to find the
latitude and longitude at sea; to ascertain the precise deviation of
the chronometer from Greenwich time, and of the compass from its true
bearing; to measure the trend and velocity of ocean currents, and,
failing solar observations, how to consult the moon and the stars. This
was not only interesting; it was a fascinating pastime. The captain of
a twenty-knot steamship has seldom need to “resolve a traverse;” he
steers a straight course for his destination, and can usually estimate
within a few hours, or even minutes, when he will reach it. It is quite
different with the master of a sailing vessel; after contending with
contrary winds and being driven out of his course for weeks at a time,
he must often wrack his brains before he can locate his exact position
on the chart. To be enveloped in dense fog in the near neighbourhood
of Sable Island for several days at a time, as happened to us on this
voyage, is a very perplexing position to be in.

For a slight offence Captain S—— would send a man aloft to scrape
masts in a gale of wind; for a graver misdemeanour he would clap him
in irons; had the lash been permitted, he would probably not have
hesitated to use it. As might be supposed, things did not go very well
in the fo’castle. At length a climax was reached, when the starboard
watch came aft one day and lodged a complaint. Getting little or no
satisfaction, they retired sullenly, went below, and refused to work
for a whole week. The working of the ship then devolved on the first
and second mates, the carpenter and the cook, with such of the cabin
passengers as could give them assistance. The steerage passengers,
siding with the sailors, would not touch a rope, and things even went
so far that one of them was placed in confinement for insolence. Some
of us were rather glad of the opportunity thus afforded of running
up the rigging and creeping through the lubbers’ hole without being
“salted.” When orders were given to shorten sail or shake out a reef,
we “lay out” on the yard in sailor fashion; but how much good we did on
such occasions will never be known.[2] At any rate, we counted it fine
fun, and it gave the _fiasco_ a touch of romance that we slept with
loaded pistols under our pillows. But the mutiny ended harmlessly when
the pilot came on board. One may cross the Atlantic nowadays without
any kind of “adventure” like that to adorn a tale, even without so much
as once speaking to the captain.

Not every one has the chance of seeing Jack in his citadel. I was
deputed by the captain to interview the strikers and endeavour to
pacify them. Armed with a copy of the shipping articles which the men
had all signed, and another formidable document printed in very large
type, I went down into the dingy cabin at the dinner hour. Such a
place as it was! I shall never forget it. It corresponded in minute
detail to Dana’s description of his fo’castle in “Two Years Before
the Mast.” It was devoid of furniture. There was not even a table to
place their food on. In the centre of the floor stood a dirty-looking
wooden tub containing a junk of boiled salt beef; near it was a pail
full of boiled rice and some hard-tack. The men, about a dozen of them,
sat each man on his sea-chest, using his jack-knife to cut and carve
with. There were no plates. Imagine the rest. The only grievance they
would mention to me was that they had been refused molasses with their
rice! Their mind was made up to stay under hatches till the pilot came
aboard. They would work for him, but not for the captain; and they
kept their word. As I was about leaving, the spokesman of the party,
pointing to the mess on the middle of the floor, said with a look
that constrained pity, “Mister, how would you like that for your own
dinner?” He had the best of the argument. It may be added here that
this voyage to New York lasted forty-two days, and the last entry in
my log is to the effect that we made as good a passage as any ship
from England, “beating the _Columbus_ packet-ship by two days!”

[Illustration: “GREAT REPUBLIC.”

Last of the Clipper Passenger Packets, 1854.]

The clipper “packet ship” was a vast improvement on the ordinary
sailing ship. It had just reached its highest point of development when
the ocean steamship first made its appearance. It was to the upper
strata of the travelling community, sixty years ago, the counterpart
of the express steamer of to-day. The packet-ship was built for fast
sailing, with very fine lines, was handsomely fitted up and furnished,
was exceedingly well found in eatables and drinkables, and carried a
great spread of canvas. To see one of these ships under full sail was
a sight to be remembered—a rare sight, inasmuch as all the conditions
of wind and water necessary for the display of every stitch of canvas
are seldom met with in the North Atlantic. They not unfrequently
crossed in fourteen or fifteen days. In winter they might be three
months on a single voyage, but their average would be from twenty-five
to thirty days.

There were many separate lines of packet-ships sailing at regular
intervals from London and Liverpool, and from Hamburg and Havre, to New
York, Boston, Philadelphia, and other American ports. Among these were
the famous Black Ball Line, the White Star Line, the Old and the New
Line of Liverpool packets, etc. The New Line was American, and of it E.
K. Collins, the promoter of the Collins’ Line of steamers, was the New
York agent. The ships were named _Shakespeare_, _Siddons_, _Sheridan_,
_Garrick_, and so forth, hence this was called the “Dramatic Line.”
It is refreshing to read one of their advertisements in the Montreal
_Gazette_, as old as November 20th, 1838:

         “These ships are of the first-class, upwards of 800
        tons burthen, built in the city of New York, with
        such improvements as to combine great speed with
        unusual comfort to passengers. Every care has been
        taken in the arrangement of their accommodation.
        The price of passage hence is $140, for which ample
        stores, including wines, etc., will be provided;
        without wines, etc., $120. These ships will be
        commanded by experienced masters, who will make
        every exertion to give general satisfaction. Letters
        charged at the rate or 25 cents per single sheet.

          ☛The ships of this line will hereafter go armed,
       and their peculiar construction gives them security not
       possessed by any other but vessels of war.”

                            E. K. COLLINS, NEW YORK.
                            WM. & JAS. BROWN & CO., LIVERPOOL.

The _Great Republic_, one of the last of the clipper packet-ships, was
built in the United States in 1854. She was a four-master of 3,400
tons, 305 feet long, 53 feet beam, and 30 feet in depth. She made the
run from New York to the Scilly Islands in thirteen days. She ended her
sailing career as a French transport ship, and finally was degraded to
a coal hulk. The largest sailing vessel afloat at the present time is
the five-masted steel ship _La France_, built on the Clyde by D. & W.
Henderson for French owners. She is 6,100 tons burthen, 375 feet long,
49 feet wide and 33¾ feet depth. Her fore mainmast is 166 feet high. On
her first trip from Cardiff to Rio Janeiro she carried 6,000 tons of
coal, and attained a speed of twelve and a half knots.


Paddle-wheels for driving boats through the water were used long
before steam-engines were thought of. They were worked by hand and
foot-power without, however, any advantage over the old-fashioned oar.
The horse-boat, in a variety of forms, has been in use for many years,
and is not yet quite obsolete. In its earlier form two horses, one on
each side of a decked scow, were hitched to firmly braced upright posts
at which they tugged for all they were worth without ever advancing
beyond their noses, but communicating motion to the paddle-wheels by
the movable platform on which they trod. For larger boats four or five
horses were harnessed to horizontal bars converging towards the centre,
and moved around the deck in a circle, the paddles receiving their
impulse through a set of cog-wheels. The “latest improvement” was on
the direct self-acting treadmill principle, the power being regulated
by the weight of the horses and the pitch of elevation given to the
revolving platform on which the unfortunate animals were perched.
Newcomen’s steam-engine had been invented and used for other purposes
eighty years at least, before it was applied to the propelling of
vessels. The modern steamboat is not an _invention_, but rather the
embodiment of many inventions and experiments, extending over a long
series of years by different men and in different countries.


One of the first actual steamboats of which there is authentic record
sailed down the River Fulda, in Prussia, in the year 1707. It was
built, engined and navigated by a clever Frenchman, Denis Papin,[3] who
was born in 1647, was educated as a physician, and became assistant
to the celebrated philosopher, Huygens, in Paris, where he published
a small volume on the mechanical effects to be obtained by means of
a vacuum. While this attracted the attention of _savants_, it had
little or no interest for practical men, and yet in it lay the germ
of the power that was to revolutionize the world. He went to London
with letters to the Royal Society, and was employed by that society
several years, during which he continued his experiments on atmospheric
pressure and the vacuum, and the power of steam. He was next appointed
Professor of Mathematics in the University of Marburg, from which he
removed to Cassel. He had seen the horse-boat in England, and the idea
of employing steam to turn the paddles took strong hold of him. He
had a boat built and fitted with a steam-engine, in which he embarked
with his family and all his belongings, with a view to making his
experiment known in Britain and exhibiting his steamboat. All went well
until he reached the junction of the rivers Fulda and Weser, where the
boatmen got up a hue-and-cry that their craft was endangered by this
innovation. In vain Papin protested that he merely wanted to leave the
country. On the plea that their rights of navigating these waters had
been infringed upon, they rose up _en masse_, seized the steamboat,
dragged out the machinery and smashed it to atoms. Poor Papin found his
way back to London a broken-hearted man, never to see the day when his
great discovery was to enrich the world.


From “Chambers’ Book of Days.”]

Fifty years later another experiment was made by Patrick Miller, a
banker in Edinburgh, aided by Mr. Taylor, tutor in his family, and
Alexander Symington, a practical engineer. Mr. Miller had a boat built
and fitted with a small steam-engine, for his amusement, on Dalswinton
Loch, Dumfriesshire. It was a twin-boat, the engine being placed on
one side, the boiler on the other, and the paddle-wheel in the centre.
It was launched in October, 1788, and attained a speed of five miles
an hour. The engine, of one horse-power, is still to be seen in the
Andersonian Museum, in Glasgow. Encouraged by his experiment, Mr.
Miller bought one of the boats used on the Forth and Clyde Canal, and
had a steam-engine constructed for it by the Carron Ironworks Company,
under Symington’s superintendence. On December 26th, 1789, this
steamboat towed a heavy load on the canal, at a speed of seven miles an
hour; but, strange to say, the experiment was dropped as soon as it was

[Illustration: SYMINGTON’S “CHARLOTTE DUNDAS,” 1802.

From “Our Ocean Railways.”]

In 1801 the London newspapers contained the announcement that an
experiment had taken place on the Thames, on July 1st, for the purpose
of propelling a laden barge, or other craft, against the tide, by
means of a steam-engine of a very simple construction. “The moment the
engine was set to work the barge was brought about, answering her helm
quickly, and she made way against a strong current, at the rate of two
and a half miles an hour.” In 1802 a new vessel was built expressly
for steam navigation, on the Forth and Clyde Canal, under Symington’s
supervision, the _Charlotte Dundas_, which was minutely inspected on
the same day by Robert Fulton, of New York, and Henry Bell, of Glasgow,
both of whom took sketches of the machinery to good purpose.[4] This
boat drew a load of seventy tons, at a speed of three and a half miles
an hour, against a strong gale of wind. Under ordinary conditions she
made six miles an hour, but her admitted success was cut short by the
Canal Trust, who alleged that the wash of the steamer would destroy the


Nothing more was heard of the steamboat in Britain until 1812, when
Henry Bell surprised the natives of Strathclyde by the following
advertisement in the Greenock _Advertiser_:

                       STEAM PASSAGE BOAT,

                          “THE COMET,”

                       FOR PASSENGERS ONLY.

       The subscriber having, at much expense, fitted up a handsome
     vessel, to ply upon the River Clyde, between Glasgow and Greenock,
     to sail by the power of wind, air and steam, he intends that the
     vessel shall leave the Broomielaw on Tuesdays, Thursdays and
     Saturdays, about mid-day, or at such hour thereafter as may
     answer from the state of the tide; and to leave Greenock on
     Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, in the morning, to suit the tide.

      The elegance, comfort, safety and speed of this vessel requires
    only to be proved to meet the approbation of the public; and the
    proprietor is determined to do everything in his power to merit
    public encouragement.

      The terms are, for the present, fixed at 4s. for the best cabin,
    and 3s. for the second; but beyond these rates nothing is to be
    allowed to servants, or any other person employed about the vessel.

      The subscriber continues his establishment at HELENSBURGH
    BATHS, the same as for years past, and a vessel will be in
    readiness to convey passengers to the _Comet_ from Greenock
    to Helensburgh.
                                               HENRY BELL.
      HELENSBURGH BATHS, _5th August, 1812_.

Bell’s _Comet_ was a quaint-looking craft, with a tall, slender funnel,
that served the double purpose of mast and chimney. Her length was 42
feet, breadth 11 feet, draught of water 5½ feet. She had originally two
small paddle-wheels on each side with four arms to each. The engine was
about three horse-power, and seems to have been the joint production of
Bell and the village blacksmith. The boiler was made by David Napier,
at a cost of £52. The engine is still preserved in the patent office of
the South Kensington Museum. The _Comet_ was lengthened at Helensburgh,
in 1818, to 60 feet, and received a new engine of six horse-power,
by means of which her speed was increased to six miles an hour. This
engine was made by John Robertson, of Glasgow.


From “Chambers’ Book of Days.”]

The _Comet_ did not pay as a passenger boat on the Clyde, and was soon
after her launch put on the route to Fort William, and continued on
that stormy route till December 15th, 1820, when she was wrecked at
Craignish, on the West Highland coast. She had left Oban that morning
against the advice of her captain, who deemed the boat unseaworthy and
quite unfit to encounter the blinding snow storm, in the midst of which
she went ashore. But Bell had over-ruled the captain. Fortunately there
was no loss of life. She was replaced in the following year by a larger
and improved style of vessel, called by the same name and sailed by the
same master, Robert Bain, who was the first to take a steamer through
the Crinan Canal, and the first to traverse the Caledonian Canal from
sea to sea by steam, in 1822. The second _Comet_ came into collision
with the steamer _Ayr_ off Gourock in October, 1825, and sank with
the loss of seventy lives. She was raised, however, was rigged as a
schooner, renamed the _Anne_, and sailed for many years as a coaster.

Mr. Bell was born in Linlithgow in 1767. The son of a mechanic, he
worked for some time as a stone-mason, afterwards as a carpenter, and
gained some experience in ship-building at Bo’ness under Mr. Rennie.
He removed to Helensburgh in 1808, where his wife kept the Baths Inn
while he was experimenting in mechanical projects. He was a man of
energy and enterprise, but like most inventors was always scant of
cash. Had it not been for the generosity of his friends, and an annuity
of £100 which he received from the Clyde Trust, he would have come
to want in his old age. He seems to have had steam navigation on the
brain as early as 1786, and had communicated his ideas on the subject
to most of the crowned heads of Europe, as well as to the President of
the United States, before he built the _Comet_. Mr. Bell’s memory is
perpetuated in an obelisk erected by the city of Glasgow corporation
on a picturesque promontory on the banks of the Clyde at Bowling, “in
acknowledgment of a debt which it can never repay.” There is also a
handsome granite obelisk to his memory on the esplanade at Helensburgh,
the inscription on which testifies that “Henry Bell was the first in
Great Britain who was successful in practically applying steam power
for the purpose of navigation.” The stone effigy of the man adjoining
his grave in Row churchyard was placed there by his friend Robert
Napier, whose fame and fortune were largely the result of Bell’s
enterprise. Mr. Bell died at his inn in Helensburgh, November 14th,

Fifty years later witnessed the full development of Mr. Bell’s ideal
in the _Columba_, then as now the largest river steamer ever seen on
the Clyde, and the swiftest. The _Columba_ is built of steel, is 316
feet long and 50 feet wide. She has two oscillating engines of 220
horse-power, and attains a speed of twenty-two miles an hour. Her
route is from Glasgow to Ardrishaig and back, daily in summer, when
she carries from 2,000 to 3,000 persons through some of the finest
scenery in Scotland. She is provided with steam machinery for steering
and warping her into the piers, and with other modern appliances that
make her as handy as a steam yacht. She resembles a little floating
town, with shops and post-office where you can procure money orders and
despatch telegrams And what is the _Columba_ after all but an enlarged
and perfected reproduction of Bell’s _Comet_!


[Illustration: “WILHELM KAISER” ON THE RHINE, 1886.]

The reputation of the Clyde in respect of ocean steamships and
“ironclads” has become world-wide. Some of the best specimens of marine
architecture are Clyde-built. Her own river steamers are the finest
and fleetest in the United Kingdom. The Thames river steamers, though
far inferior to the Clyde boats, answer their purpose by conveying
vast numbers of people short distances at a cheap rate. The Victoria
Steamboat Association, with its fleet of forty-five river steamers, can
carry 200,000 people daily for a penny a mile. The Rhine steamers and
those plying on the Swiss lakes are in keeping with the picturesque
scenery through which they run. Painted in bright colours, they present
a very attractive and smart appearance. They are kept scrupulously
clean and are admirably managed. Many of them are large, with saloon
cabins the whole length of the vessel, over which is the promenade deck
covered with gay awnings. They run fast. The captain sits in state in
his easy chair under a canopy on the bridge—smoking his cigar. The
chief steward, next to the captain by far the most important personage
on board, moves about all day long in full evening dress—his main
concern being to know what wine you will have for lunch or dinner
that he may put it on ice for you. The _table d’hote_ is the crowning
event of the day on board a Rhine steamer, _i.e._, for the misguided
majority of tourists to whom a swell dinner offers greater attractions
than the finest scenery imaginable.

The success of the first _Comet_ induced others to follow the example.
The year 1814 saw two other small steamboats on the Clyde. Next year
the _Marjery_, built by Denny of Dumbarton, made a voyage to Dublin
and thence to the Thames, where she plied between London and Margate
for some time, to the consternation of the Thames watermen. In 1818
David Napier of Glasgow went into the business, and equipped a number
of coasting steamers with improved machinery. At this time the _Rob
Roy_, claimed to be the pioneer of sea-going steamers, began to run
to Belfast, but being found too small for the traffic she was put on
the Dover and Calais route. In 1819 the Admiralty of the day had a
steamboat built for towing men of-war, called the _Comet_, 115 feet by
21 feet, with two of Boulton & Watt’s engines of 40 horse-power each.
This vessel was followed by the _Lightning_, _Echo_, _Confiance_,
_Columbia_ and _Dee_—the latter vessel having side-lever engines of
240 horse-power, with flue boilers carrying a pressure of six pounds
to the square inch, which developed a speed of seven knots an hour. In
1822 a large number of steam vessels fitted with condensing engines
were afloat. The _James Watt_ was built in that year to ply between
Leith and London. The largest steamer at that time was the _United
Kingdom_, built by Steele of Greenock, 160 feet long by 26½ feet wide,
having engines of 200 horse-power—as much an object of wonder in those
days for her “gigantic proportions” as was the _Great Eastern_ thirty
years later. In 1825 there were 168 steam vessels in Britain; in 1835
there were 538; in 1855 there were 2,310, including war vessels afloat
and building; in 1895 the number of steam vessels built in the United
Kingdom was 638, of which number 90 per cent. were built of steel.
In 1897 the number of steamers over 100 tons in the United Kingdom,
including the colonies, was computed to be 8,500, with a net tonnage of
6,500,000 tons.


Three years before Bell’s achievement on the Clyde, a clever American,
profiting by the experiments of Symington, applied his inventive
genius to perfecting the application of steam as a motive power for
vessels, and gained for himself the honour of being the first to make
it available for practical use on a paying basis. This was Robert
Fulton, a native of Pennsylvania, born in 1765, who commenced business
as a portrait painter and followed that profession for some years in
France and England. He invented a number of “notions,” among the rest
a submarine torpedo-boat, in which he claimed that he could remain
under water for an hour and a half at a time; but failing to receive
the patronage of any naval authorities, he returned to New York, and,
with the assistance of Mr. John Livingstone, had a steamboat built and
fitted with an English engine by Boulton & Watt, of Birmingham. The
_Clermont_ (after being lengthened) was 133 feet long, 18 feet beam,
and 7½ feet deep. Her wheels were uncovered, 15 feet in diameter, with
eight buckets, 4 feet long, to each wheel, and dipping 2 feet. The
cylinder was 24 inches in diameter, with 4 feet stroke of piston. The
boiler was of copper, 20 feet long, 7 feet wide and 8 feet high.

[Illustration: FULTON’S “CLERMONT” ON THE HUDSON, 1807.]

The _Clermont_ made her first voyage from New York to Albany, August
7th, 1807. Her speed was about five miles an hour. During the winter of
1807-8 she was enlarged, her name being then changed to _North River_.
She continued to ply successfully on the Hudson as a passenger boat
for a number of years, her owners having acquired the exclusive right
to navigate the waters of the State of New York by steam. The _Car of
Neptune_ and the _Paragon_, of 300 and 350 tons, respectively, were
soon added to the Fulton & Livingstone Line. Both of these vessels
were fitted with English engines. The _Paragon_ continued to ply on
the Hudson for about ten years, earning a good deal of money for the
owners. About 1820, while ascending the river, she ran upon a rock and
became a total wreck. Other steamboats were built for other waters, and
very soon there were steamers plying on all the navigable rivers of the
United States available for commerce. Mr. Fulton married a daughter of
Mr. Livingstone. He died in New York in 1815, at the height of his fame
and prosperity.

[Illustration: MISSISSIPPI STEAMBOAT “J. M. WHITE,” 1878.]

[Illustration: OHIO STEAMBOAT “IRON QUEEN,” 1882.]

The contrast between Fulton’s _Clermont_, or Bell’s _Comet_ and the
Atlantic Liner coursing over the sea at railway speed is very striking,
and scarcely less remarkable the comparison of the river steamboat
of to-day with these early experiments. America has developed a type
of steamboat, or rather types of steamboats, peculiarly its own. The
light-draught Mississippi steamers[6] bear little resemblance to the
Hudson River and Long Island Sound boats while the American steam
ferry-boat is a thing certainly not of beauty, but unique. Dickens
in his American Notes speaks of the _Burlington_, the crack steamer
on Lake Champlain in the early forties, as “a perfectly exquisite
achievement of neatness, elegance and order—a model of graceful comfort
and beautiful contrivance.” But Dickens never saw the _Priscilla_.
She was only launched in 1894, and is claimed to be “pre-eminently
the world’s greatest inland steamer—the largest, finest and most
elaborately furnished steamboat of her class to be found anywhere.”
The _Priscilla_ is 440½ feet long, 52½ feet wide, or 95 feet over the
paddle-boxes. The paddle-wheels are of the feathering type, 35 feet
in diameter and 14 feet face. Her light draught is 12½ feet, and her
speed easily 22 miles an hour, though the ordinary service of the line
does not demand such fast running. Her night’s work is 181 miles,
which she covers leisurely in ten hours. She cost $1,500,000. All the
interior decorations are very elaborate and handsome. In her triple
row of staterooms there is luxurious sleeping accommodation for 1,500
passengers. In the spacious dining-room 325 persons may be seated
at one time. The grand saloon is a magnificent spectacle, large and
lofty, superbly decorated and lighted by electricity. The _Priscilla_
has cargo capacity for 800 tons of freight. “Her machinery is not only
a marvel of design and workmanship, but it fascinates all persons
interested in mechanical devices.” It consists of a double inclined
compound engine, with two high-pressure cylinders, each fifty-one
inches in diameter, and two low pressure, each ninety-five inches in
diameter, all with a stroke of eleven feet. There are ten return
tubular boilers of the Scotch type, each fourteen feet in diameter and
fourteen feet long, constructed for a working pressure of 150 lbs. to
the square inch. The indicated horse-power is 8,500. The machinery is
principally below the main deck, leaving all the space on and above
this deck available for general purposes.

[Illustration: “PRISCILLA.”

Fall River and Long Island Sound Line, 1894.]

This floating palace was built at Chester, Pa., by the Delaware Iron
Ship-building and Engine Works Company. She is built of steel. Her
registered tonnage is 5,398 tons. Although so vast in her proportions,
the _Priscilla_ sits on the water as lightly and gracefully as a swan.
Painted white as snow outside, as nearly all American river steamers
are, she presents a beautiful, you might say a dazzling, appearance;
and she is only one of five magnificent steamers of the Fall River
Line, all substantially alike in design and equipment, running
regularly all the year round between Fall River and New York, with a
perfection of service that cannot be surpassed.

[Illustration: “NEW YORK.”

The latest Hudson River Day Steamer, 1897.]

This cut, kindly furnished by the owners, gives a faithful
representation of the exterior of a very beautiful Hudson River day
steamboat. The _New York_ is built of steel, 311 feet over all, breadth
of beam 40 feet, and over the guards 74 feet; average draught of water
6 feet. She combines speed, luxuriousness of furnishing and a beauty
of finish in all parts that has not been surpassed on vessels of this
class. She is capable of running 24 miles an hour. This boat and her
consort, the _Albany_, are claimed to be the finest day passenger river
steamers in the world. She is not crowded with 2,500 passengers, of
whom 120 may sit down together to an exquisite dinner in the richly
decorated dining-room.

A distinct class of steamboats peculiar to America is the ferry-boat.
In one of its forms it is to be found fully developed in New York
harbour, and serves to convey daily countless thousands of people whose
business lies in New York City, but whose homes are on Brooklyn Heights
or elsewhere on Long Island, or the New Jersey coast. The boats are
very large and very ugly, but do their work admirably, being adapted
for the transport of wheeled carriages of every description as well as
for foot-passengers. One of the sights of New York worth seeing is a
visit to the Fulton Ferry in the morning or in the evening, when the
crowds are the greatest. The _Robert Garrett_, which runs down the bay
to Staten Island, carries from 4,000 to 5,000 passengers at a trip, and
is said to be the largest steam-ferry passenger boat in existence. She
is owned by the Staten Island Rapid Transit Co., and cost $225,000.

Another type of ferry-boat is that which, in addition to carrying
passengers, is specially adapted for railway purposes. The best
specimen of this kind of steamboat is probably to be found on Lake
Erie, where a pair of boats, precisely alike, keep up regular
communication twice a day, summer and winter, between Coneant, Ohio,
and Port Dover, Ontario. They are named _Shenango_, 1st and 2nd. They
are each 300 feet long and 53 feet in width. On the main deck are four
railway tracks, sufficient for twenty-six loaded cars each containing
60,000 lbs. of coal. On the upper deck are handsomely fitted cabins for
1,000 passengers The ferry is sixty-five miles wide. Sometimes it is
pretty rough sailing, but these steamers never fail to make the round
trip in thirteen hours. They are fitted with compound engines, Scotch
boilers, and twin screws; they draw 12½ feet of water when loaded and
run twelve miles an hour; they are prodigiously strong, and can plough
their way through fields of ice with marvellous facility.



[1] “The Atlantic Ferry,” p. 175.

[2] If my recollection serves me aright, there were not more than a
dozen cabin passengers, and the only one of them who ventured aloft
with me was my now venerable friend, Mr. Robert W. Graham, of the
Montreal _Star_.

[3] “Denis Papin,” by Henry C. Ewart, in _Sunday Magazine_, 1880, p.

[4] Mr. Symington’s account of his interview with Mr. Fulton, as given
in the “Encyclopædia Britannica,” is as follows: “When engaged in these
experiments, I was called upon by Mr. Fulton, who told me he was lately
from North America, and intended returning thither in a few months,
but could not think of leaving this country without first waiting upon
me in expectation of seeing the boat, and procuring such information
regarding it as I might be pleased to communicate.... In compliance
with his earnest request, I caused the engine fire to be lighted up,
and in a short time thereafter put the steamboat in motion, and carried
him four miles west on the canal, returning to the point from which
we started in one hour and twenty minutes (being at the rate of six
miles an hour), to the great astonishment of Mr. Fulton and several
gentlemen, who at our outset chanced to come on board. During the trip
Mr. Fulton asked if I had any objection to his taking notes regarding
the steamboat, to which I made no objection, as I considered the more
publicity that was given to any discovery intended for the general
good, so much the better.... In consequence he pulled out a memorandum
book, and, after putting several pointed questions respecting the
general construction and effect of the machine, which I answered in
a most explicit manner, he jotted down particularly everything then
described, with his own observations upon the boat during the trip.”

[5] “The Story of Helensburgh,” 1894, p. 92.

[6] These cuts, copied from Stanton’s “American Steam Vessels,”
represent first class Mississippi and Ohio light-draught, high-pressure
river steamers. The _J. M. White_, of 1878, was deemed “a crowning
effort in steamboat architecture in the West.” She was 320 feet long
and 91 feet in width, over the guards. Her saloons were magnificently
furnished, and all her internal fittings of the most elaborate
description. She carried 7,000 bales of cotton and had accommodation
for 350 cabin passengers. Her cost was $300,000. She was totally
destroyed by fire in 1886.



    The _Accommodation_—The _Savannah_—_Enterprise_
        —_Royal William_—_Liverpool_—_Sirius_ and
        _Great Western_—_Great Britain_ and _Great
        Eastern_—The Brunels—The screw propeller.

Two years after the _Clermont_ had commenced to ply on the Hudson, and
three years before the _Comet_ had disturbed the waters of the Clyde,
the first steamboat appeared on the St. Lawrence. The _Accommodation_,
built by the Hon. John Molson, of Montreal, made her maiden trip to
Quebec on November 3rd, 1809, carrying ten passengers, in thirty-six
hours’ running time. In accordance with the usual custom, which
continued for many years, she anchored at night, so that the whole time
occupied in the voyage was sixty-six hours. If she ascended the St.
Mary’s current, she was towed up by oxen. The length of this vessel was
eighty-five feet over all, her breadth sixteen feet, her engine was of
six horse-power, and her speed five miles an hour. The _Accommodation_
was built at the back of the Molson’s Brewery, and was launched
broadside on. Her engine was made by Boulton & Watt, of Birmingham,
England. The fare from Montreal to Quebec by this vessel was £2 10s.;
children, half price; “servants with _birth_ (_sic_), £1 13s. 4d.;
without _birth_, £1 5s.” The Quebec _Mercury_, announcing her arrival,
remarked: “She is incessantly crowded with visitors. This steamboat
receives her impulse from an open-spoked perpendicular wheel on each
side, without any circular band or rim. To the end of each double spoke
is fixed a square board which enters the water, and by the rotatory
motion of the wheels acts like a paddle. No wind or tide can stop her.”


From “Mountain, Moor and Loch,” London, 1894.]

_The Savannah._—In the year 1818 there was built in New York, by
Messrs. Crocker and Pickett, a full-rigged sailing ship of about 350
tons, named the _Savannah_. She was intended to be used as a sailing
packet between New York and Havre, but before she was completed she was
purchased by William Scarborough & Co., a shipping firm in Savannah,
who fitted her up with a steam-engine of 90 horse-power, placed on
deck, and a pair of paddle-wheels enclosed with canvas coverings, so
constructed that they could be folded up and taken on deck in stormy
weather, and that tedious operation seems to have been gone through
pretty frequently in the course of her first voyages. Her maiden trip
from New York to Savannah occupied 8 days, 15 hours. She left Savannah
for Liverpool under steam, May 22nd, 1819, and arrived in the Mersey,
“with all sail set,” on June 20th, making the run in twenty-nine and
a half days. The whole time that the engine was at work during the
voyage is said to have been only eighty hours. “She hove to off the
bar, waiting for the tide to rise, at 5 p.m. shipped her wheels”—so the
record of the period runs—“furled her sails and steamed up the river,
with American banners flying, the docks being lined with thousands
of people, who greeted her arrival with cheers.” From Liverpool, the
_Savannah_ sailed up the Baltic to Stockholm and St. Petersburg. On her
return voyage, on account of stormy weather, the engine was scarcely
used at all until the pilot came aboard off Savannah, when the sails
were furled, and with the flood-tide she steamed into port. After
several voyages of a similar kind, the machinery was removed and she
plied for some time as a sailing packet between New York and Savannah,
and was eventually wrecked on Long Island in 1822.

Shortly after this the British Government offered a prize of £10,000
to the party who should first make a successful voyage by steam power
to India. The prize was won by Captain Johnston, who sailed from
England on August 16th, 1825, in the _Enterprise_, of 500 tons and
240 horse-power,[7] and reached Calcutta on the 7th of December. The
distance run was 13,700 miles, and the time occupied 113 days, during
ten of which the ship was at anchor. She ran under steam sixty-four
days and consumed 580 chaldrons of coal, the rest of the voyage being
under sail.

[Illustration: THE “SAVANNAH,” 1819.]

Eight years followed without any further attempts in the direction of
ocean steam navigation. There seemed to be nothing in these costly
experiments that would induce capitalists to invest their money in
steamships. Sailing vessels had crossed the Atlantic in much less than
thirty days, and had made the voyage to India in less time than the
_Enterprise_ took to do it. It would not pay! and had not scientific
men and practical engineers pronounced the idea of transatlantic
steamships as Utopian and utterly impracticable? “No vessel could be
constructed,” they said, “that could carry enough coal to take her
across the Atlantic by steam power alone.” Some of these unbelievers
lived to see the day when large ocean steamers not only carry enough
coal to take them from Liverpool to New York, but actually enough for
the return voyage also.


The _Savannah_ and _Enterprise_ were admittedly nothing more than
sailing ships with auxiliary steam power. In the archives of the
National Museum at Washington there is to be found the full history
and log of the _Savannah_, which proves conclusively that she was not
entitled to be called the pioneer of transatlantic steam navigation.
That the honour belongs to the _Royal William_, built at Quebec and
engined at Montreal, has been clearly proven. The evidence in support
of this claim is embodied in a report of the Secretary of State of
Canada for the year ended December 31st, 1894. From this it appears
that the _Royal William_ was designed by Mr. James Goudie, Marine
Architect of Quebec, and that she was launched from the shipyard of
Messrs. Campbell and Black at Cape Cove, Quebec, April 29th, 1831, in
presence of Lord Aylmer, the Governor-General, and a vast concourse
of people, Lady Aylmer naming the vessel with the usual ceremonies
after the reigning monarch, William IV. She was towed to Montreal,
where her engines of 200 horse-power were fitted by Messrs. Bennett
and Henderson. She steamed back to Quebec in the beginning of August.
She was built for the Quebec and Halifax Steam Navigation Company,
incorporated by Act of Parliament, March 31st, 1831. This company
comprised 235 persons whose names appear in the Act, among them
being the three brothers, Samuel, Henry and Joseph Cunard. Samuel,
the founder of the Cunard Line, was a frequent visitor at the Quebec
shipyard, and carefully noted down all the information he could get
from the builders.




This historic vessel was registered No. 2 in the port of Quebec. She
was rigged as a three-masted schooner, of 363-60/94 tons burthen, with
a standing bowsprit and square stern. Her length was 160 feet; breadth,
taken above the main wales, 44 feet; depth of hold, 17 feet 9 inches;
and width, between the paddle-boxes, 28 feet. She cost about £16,000.
The _Royal William_, commanded by Captain J. Jones, R.N., sailed from
Quebec for Halifax, August 24th, 1831, with twenty cabin passengers,
seventy steerage, and a good freight. She arrived on the 31st—six and a
half days from Quebec. Several voyages were made that year to Halifax
and the Gulf ports. Next year, owing to the prevalence of cholera,
trade was at a standstill, and there was nothing for the new steamship
to do. She was accordingly sold by Sheriff Gugy, at the church door,
in the parish of Sorel, for £5,000. In April, 1833, she was placed
under the command of Captain John Macdougall, a native of Oban,
Scotland. During May she towed vessels from Grosse Isle, and in June
sailed for the lower ports, Halifax and Boston, reaching the latter
place on the 17th—the first British steamer to enter that port. On her
return to Quebec, her owners decided to send her to London to be sold.
She sailed August 5th, arrived at Pictou on the 8th, and sailed thence
on the 18th, with seven passengers, a box of stuffed birds, one box
and one trunk, some household furniture, 254 chaldrons of coal, and a
crew of thirty-six men. The voyage to Cowes, Isle of Wight, was made in
nineteen and a half days. She was deeply laden with her coal, had very
rough weather, and had to run with one engine for ten days. A short
time having been spent at Cowes, painting the ship, etc., “she steamed
up to Gravesend in fine style—the first vessel to cross the Atlantic
propelled by the motive power of steam alone.”

The _Royal William_ was sold in London for £10,000, and was chartered
to the Portuguese Government as a transport. In 1834 she was sold to
the Spanish Government, and named the _Isabel Segunda_, and while in
this service was the first war-steamer to fire a hostile shot. In
1837 she was sent to Bordeaux, France, for repairs, but, her timbers
being badly decayed, her machinery was transferred to a new vessel of
the same name, while she herself terminated her brilliant career as a

Another steamer bearing the name _Royal William_ was despatched from
Liverpool to New York, by the Transatlantic Steamship Company, in
1838. This was a vessel of 617 tons, and 276 horse-power—the first
to make the westward voyage from Liverpool, and the first passenger
steamer to cross the sea. After a few voyages of doubtful success,
this steamer was degraded into a coal-hulk, and a much larger and
faster vessel took her place. This was the _Liverpool_—built expressly
for the Atlantic trade, with luxurious fittings for seventy or eighty
first-class passengers. She was a fine ship, of 1,150 tons burthen,
and 468 horse-power. She sailed from Liverpool, October 20th, 1838,
but had to put back to Queenstown on the 30th; sailing thence on
November 6th, she reached New York on the 23rd. After several voyages,
averaging seventeen days out and fifteen days home, she was sold to
the Peninsular and Oriental Company, and was finally wrecked off Cape
Finisterre in 1846.

In 1839 the late Sir Hugh Allan and several other Canadians made an
adventurous voyage in the _Liverpool_. Sailing from New York, December
4th, they had a succession of gales up to the 28th, when they were
scarcely half-way across the Atlantic. The chief engineer then reported
that unless things mended they would run short of coal. The chief
steward at the same time expressed grave doubts as to his provisions
holding out. A consultation having been held, it was resolved to change
their course for the Azores. They reached Fayal just as the last
shovelful of coal was thrown on the fires. Four days were spent on the
Island, during which time the passengers were treated to a round of
festivities. On arriving at Liverpool, they learned that the ship had
been given up as lost—not having been heard of since she sailed from
New York thirty-nine days before.

[Illustration: THE “SIRIUS,” 1838.]


The departure of these steamships from England to America in 1838
marks an important epoch in the history of steam navigation, inasmuch
as the practicability of establishing a regular transatlantic steam
service was now for the first time to be clearly demonstrated. As
the _Sirius_ made only one round voyage, there is little to be said
about her beyond admiring the pluck of her owners. She was a small
vessel of about 700 tons and 320 horse-power, built at Leith for the
St. George Steam-packet Company, and had plied successfully for some
time between London and Cork. She was chartered by the then newly
formed “British and American Steam Navigation Company,” of which the
famous ship-builder, Laird, of Birkenhead, was the leading spirit. The
_Sirius_ was despatched from London for New York, _via_ Cork, whence
she sailed on April 4th, with ninety-four passengers. She arrived in
New York on the 22nd, after a successful voyage of seventeen clear
days, being commanded by Lieut. Roberts, R.N., who was afterwards lost
at sea with the ill-fated SS. _President_, in 1841. The return voyage
was made in about the same number of days as the outward trip.

The _Great Western_, designed and built by Mr. William Patterson at
Bristol, for the Great Western Steamship Company, sailed from Bristol,
April 8th, 1838, in command of Lieut. James Hoskin, R.N., and reached
New York on the 23rd, making the run in fifteen days with a consumption
of 655 tons of coal and realizing an average speed of a little over
eight knots an hour. She returned to Bristol in somewhat less than
fifteen days. A fine ship she was, of 1,340 tons and 440 horse-power,
212 feet long, and 35½ feet beam. Her best run between New York and
Bristol was made in 12½ days,[9] a remarkable record for that time.
Altogether she was admitted to be a distinct success. She was sold in
1847 for £25,000, after which she sailed regularly for ten years to
the West Indies. In the meantime the owners of the _Sirius_ had built
a much larger boat, the _British Queen_, which made her maiden voyage
from Portsmouth in 1839. After making a number of voyages to New York
this fine ship was sold to the Belgians in 1841, chiefly owing to the
collapse of the company occasioned by the loss of a sister-ship, the
_President_, which sailed from New York, March 11th of that year, and
was never afterwards heard of.


The _Great Britain_, designed by Brunel, and built at Bristol by
Mr. Patterson, was the first iron steamship of large dimensions.
She was very large for her time, being 322 feet long, 48 feet wide,
and 31½ feet deep; her tonnage was 3,270 tons, and her engines
1,500 horse-power. As originally rigged she had six masts; she had
a six-bladed screw-propeller, 15½ feet in diameter, which made 18
revolutions per minute, giving her a maximum speed of twelve knots
an hour. A very handsome model, of prodigious strength, and a fine
sea-boat was the _Great Britain_. She commenced plying to New York,
July 26th, 1845, and was a pronounced success. On the 22nd of
September, 1846, on her outward voyage, she was stranded on the Irish
coast, and became deeply embedded in the sands of Dundrum Bay, where
she lay all winter, exposed to violent storms; but she withstood the
strain, was raised from her watery grave, was refitted and placed on
the Australian route, where she sailed successfully until 1882, when
her machinery was taken out and she closed her remarkable career as a
full-rigged sailing ship, when nearly fifty years old! and was finally
used as a coal-hulk at the Falkland Islands, where her remains are
still to be seen.

[Illustration: THE “GREAT BRITAIN,” 1845.]

[Illustration: THE “GREAT EASTERN,” 1857.]

_The Great Eastern._—The British Government having in 1853 advertised
for tenders to carry the mails to India and Australia, a number of
wealthy and scientific men formed themselves into a company called the
Eastern Steam Navigation Company, with a capital of £1,200,000, and
sent in a tender, but it was not accepted.[10] The company, however,
resolved to build a fleet of steamers, of which the _Great Eastern_ was
to be the first. Mr. Brunel, who had designed the _Great Britain_, was
selected as the architect, and Mr. Scott Russell, as the builder of the
pioneer ship. The proposal suited Mr. Brunel’s sanguine temperament,
and he recommended the building of a monster iron steamship, that
should eclipse all previous efforts in marine architecture, a vessel
that should run, say, to Ceylon at an average speed of fifteen knots,
and carry coal enough to take her out and home again. From Ceylon
smaller boats would continue the service to India and Australia. The
embodiment of Mr. Brunel’s magnificent conception was the _Great
Eastern_, skilfully wrought out, but destined to prove a gigantic

This extraordinary ship was commenced at Millwall on the Thames, in
May, 1854, and was completed in 1857, at a cost of nearly £5,000,000.
When ready for launching, her estimated weight was some 12,000 tons. As
no such load had ever before slid down the ways of a shipyard, every
precaution and appliance that skill could suggest were brought into
requisition. She was to be hauled down, broadside on, by an elaborate
arrangement of chains and stationary engines; but when the critical
moment arrived the ponderous mammoth would not budge, and it cost
something like £600,000 and constant labour for three months before
she reached her destined element. The _Great Eastern_ was 692 feet
long, 83 feet in width, and 58½ feet deep. She was reckoned at 22,500
tons burthen. Her four engines were collectively of 11,000 indicated
horse-power. She was fitted up in grand style to accommodate 4,800
passengers. As a troop-ship she could carry comfortably an army of
10,000 men in addition to her own crew of 400. She was provided with
both paddle-wheels and a screw-propeller. The wheels were fifty feet in
diameter, making twelve revolutions per minute; the four-bladed screw
was twenty-four feet in diameter, adapted for forty-five revolutions
per minute. Her estimated speed was fifteen knots, but her best average
never exceeded twelve knots. Her first voyage from Southampton to New
York was made in 10 days and 21 hours; the highest speed by the log was
fourteen and a half knots, and the greatest day’s run three hundred and
thirty-three knots. Her arrival in New York, June 27th, 1860, created a
great sensation. Fort Hamilton saluted her with a discharge of fourteen
guns—the first instance of a merchant vessel being thus honoured in
America. She returned home _via_ Halifax, making the run thence to
Milford Haven in 10 days and 4 hours. In May, 1861, she made another
voyage to New York, carrying one hundred passengers, but with no
improvement in her speed. On her return to Liverpool she was chartered
by the British Government to bring out troops to Canada. She arrived at
Quebec, July 6th, 1861, with 2,528 soldiers and forty civilians, and
during her stay there was visited by large crowds of people. Leaving
Quebec, August 6th, she reached Liverpool on the 15th. A couple more
voyages to New York, and her career as a passenger ship was ended. She
had been singularly unfortunate. Her first commander, Captain Harrison,
was drowned in the Solent by the upsetting of a small boat. On her
trial trip, by the bursting of a steam jacket, six of her crew were
killed and the ship was badly damaged. She had broken her rudder in
mid-ocean, and lay for days a helpless mass in the trough of the sea
during a gale of wind, rolling frightfully. Worse than all, she had
got on the rocks entering New York harbour, with serious damage to her
hull. The momentous question arose, What was to be done with her?

This leviathan of the deep was finally fitted up as a “cable ship,”
and for a short time did good service in that line. In 1865 she
had laid the second Atlantic cable to within a few hundred miles of
Newfoundland, when it snapped and disappeared in 1,950 fathoms of
water. Next year the _Great Eastern_ not only was the means of laying
a new cable successfully, but was the means of picking up the lost
one—a remarkable feat of seamanship and electrical skill. After laying
several other cables the big ship was tied up, never to go again. She
was eventually sold for £16,000 and broken up, a somewhat tragic ending
for such a triumph of engineering skill. But who can tell how much
the successful “liner” of to-day owes to the failure of the _Great
Eastern_? She came out ahead of time, and when the intricate art of
managing successfully the details of an ocean steamship had yet to be

Isambard Kingdom Brunel, born at Portsmouth in 1806, was the son
of Sir Mark I. Brunel, a French engineer, who attained celebrity
as the architect of the Thames Tunnel, and other important works,
in which he was assisted by his son, who also became famous as the
Engineer-in-Chief of the Great Western Railroad, in the construction of
which he adopted the broad gauge (7 feet), against the remonstrances
of Stephenson and other railway authorities, and which was eventually
changed to what has become the national gauge (4 feet, 8½ inches), at
enormous expense. Mr. Brunel died in 1859. It was his misfortune to
have landed on this planet about fifty years too soon.


Most people fail to find much resemblance, if any at all, between that
comparatively small-looking two or three-bladed thing that drives the
steamship through the water at the rate of twenty miles an hour, and
what is commonly known as a screw; but the discrepancy is easy of
explanation. Archimedes, who is credited with the invention of the
screw as a mechanical lever, little dreamed of the uses to which it
was to be turned two thousand years later. He is said to have employed
the screw in launching a large ship, pushing it into the water as is
now done by hydraulic appliances. By changing his fulcrum and making
the screw a part of the ship, the modern engineer has only reversed
the mode of applying propelling power; the principle is the same.
The effect produced by the screw in propelling a ship will be best
understood by supposing an ordinary screw of large dimensions to be
revolving rapidly in a trough full of water. It would then send the
water away from it with great force; but as action and reaction are
equal it would be itself, at the same time, urged in the opposite
direction with exactly the same degree of force. If we suppose it,
then, to be fixed in a ship, the ship will be pushed forward with the
same force that is exerted by the screw in pushing back against the
water. If the screw is made to revolve in the opposite direction, the
converse of this takes place, and the ship is pushed backwards by the
reaction of the screw.[11] The idea has long occupied the attention
of inventive genius. As far back as 1746, at least, the capabilities
of the screw as a motive power for ships have been tested by
experiments. In 1770 James Watt, who had so much to do with perfecting
the steam-engine, suggested the use of screw-propellers. In 1815
Trevethick took out a patent for one. Woodcroft did the same in 1826;
but it was not until ten years later that its utility was successfully

In 1836 Captain John Ericsson, a Swede, then residing in London, and
Mr. T. P. Smith, of the same place, almost simultaneously had each
small boats built for the purpose of testing the screw. Ericsson’s
boat, named the _Francis B. Ogden_, was 45 feet long and 8 feet beam,
and was fitted with two screw-propellers attached to the same shaft.
The first experiment made on the Thames was successful beyond all
expectation, for he towed the Admiralty barge, with a number of their
Lordships on board, from Somerset House to Blackwall and back, at the
rate of ten miles an hour. Smith’s boat was equally successful, the
immediate result being the formation of a joint stock company, called
the Screwship Propeller Company, who bought out Mr. Smith’s patent
and proceeded to build the _Archimedes_, a vessel of 237 tons, and 80
horse-power. Smith’s original propeller was a genuine screw, with two
whole turns of the thread, made to revolve rapidly under water in the
dead-wood of the vessel’s run. In the meantime, about 1838, Mr. James
Lowe obtained a patent for an important modification of the elongated
screw-propeller. This consisted in making use of curved blades, each
a portion of a curve, which, if continued, would form a complete
screw. The “pitch of the screw ” being the whole length along the
spindle shaft of one complete turn of the screw, if fully developed,
it was found that by reducing the pitch to a segment of the screw
and increasing the diameter, the propeller could be reduced to more
convenient dimensions.

The success of the _Archimedes_ at length induced the Admiralty to
make trial of the screw in the Royal Navy. The first _Rattler_ was
built in 1841, and fitted with a screw-propeller. In 1842 the United
States Government made a similar experiment with the _Princeton_,
and in the following year the French Government built the screw
war-ship, _Pomone_.[12] In each case the verdict was favourable to the
introduction of the screw in preference to the paddle-wheel. The second
_Rattler_, of 880 tons and 496 horse-power, was built and fitted with
a screw-propeller, and attained a speed of 9¼ knots on her trial trip,
September 5th, 1851. That settled the question in so far as the Royal
Navy was concerned. In the mercantile marine the _Great Britain_ was
the first ship of large dimensions in which the screw was adopted. For
many years there continued to be a strong prejudice against it, though
it was destined eventually to entirely supersede the paddle on the

In order to prevent the screw “racing,” which often occurs in heavy
weather, to the discomfort of passengers and the annoyance of
engineers, a system of raising and lowering the propeller has been
tried somewhat extensively in the navy and also in the mercantile
service, but it has been practically abandoned since the twin screws
have come into general use, by which the difficulty alluded to has been
largely overcome.



[7] “Our Ocean Railways,” p. 69.

[8] Sufficient importance was attached to this matter to cause
the two Houses of Parliament, in Ottawa, to order a brass tablet,
commemorative of the event, to be placed in the corridor of the Library
of Parliament. The tablet, of which a facsimile is presented in our
frontispiece, was unveiled with fitting ceremony by His Excellency
the Governor-General, on the occasion of the opening of the Colonial
Conference, June 28th, 1894.—_Vide_: “The Journals of the Colonial
Conference” (_Appendix_); “Journal of the House of Commons,” 1894;
“Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada.”

[9] Others say 10½ days.

[10] Fry’s “History of Steam Navigation,” p. 182.

[11] Encyclopedia Britannica, 8th Ed., Vol. xx, p. 657.

[12] “Our Ocean Railways,” p. 75.



This well-known line takes its name from Samuel Cunard (afterwards
Sir Samuel), a native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, who had for some time
been conducting the mail service between Halifax, Boston, Newfoundland
and Bermuda, and who had long been revolving in his mind the idea of
establishing a regular line of ocean mail steamers, but could not find
the necessary financial backing in his native country. Proceeding
to Britain, Mr. Cunard fortunately fell in with Robert Napier, the
famous Clyde ship-builder and engineer, who entered heartily into his
proposals and introduced him to George Burns (afterwards Sir George),
one of the foremost men in shipping circles at that time, and a man of
large means. Through him Mr. Cunard was introduced to David MacIver,
of Liverpool, who was of a kindred spirit. The result before long was
a partnership of these three with a subscribed capital of £270,000
sterling, and the obtaining of a contract with the British Government
for seven years to institute and maintain a steam service from
Liverpool to Halifax and Boston, twice a month during eight months of
the year and once a month in winter, for an annual subsidy of £60,000.
Subsequent stipulations made by the Admiralty were accompanied by an
increase of the subsidy to £80,000. At the end of seven years the
contract was renewed, but for a weekly service in summer, and twice a
month in winter. Saturday then became the regular day of sailing from
Liverpool, and New York was adopted as one of the American termini.
In 1848, when it was found that a weekly service was required, the
subsidy was increased to £156,000 per annum. In 1860, to facilitate
the despatch of the mails, the boats began to call at Queenstown both
going out and returning home, as they still continue to do. In January,
1868, a new mail contract came into operation, under which the Cunard
Line received £70,000 a year for a direct weekly service to New York.
In the following year Halifax was left out of the programme, although a
separate branch line continued to run to Boston as it still does.

[Illustration: “BRITANNIA,” FIRST OF THE CUNARD LINE, 1840.]

The original name of the company was “The British and North
American Royal Mail Steam-Packet Company,” but it soon took the
less cumbrous title of “The Cunard Steamship Company, Limited.” The
Cunard Line commenced its service from Liverpool to North America
on the anniversary of American Independence, the 4th of July, 1840,
superseding as mail-carriers the ten-gun sailing brigs of earlier

[Illustration: THE “NIAGARA,” AS A TRANSPORT IN 1855.]

The first fleet consisted of four side-wheel steamers, each 207
feet long, 34⅓ feet beam and 22½ feet deep. Their wooden hulls were
constructed by four different builders on the Clyde—the _Acadia_ by
John Wood, the _Britannia_ by Robert Duncan & Co.; the _Caledonia_
by Charles Wood, and the _Columbia_ by Robert Steele. All four were
built after the same model, closely resembling that of the _Great
Western_. They were all supplied with engines of the side-lever type,
by Robert Napier & Sons, 403 horse-power, nominal, with cylinders of
72½ inches diameter and 82 inches stroke. They burned about forty-four
tons of coal per day, and carried a steam pressure of 9 pounds to the
square inch. The _Britannia_, commanded by Captain Woodruff, R.N.,
sailed on her first westward voyage on July 4th, and after calling
at Halifax, reached Boston on the 19th, having made the passage in
14 days, 8 hours, including detention at Halifax. So great was the
enthusiasm in Boston, it is said that Mr. Cunard, who had come out in
the _Britannia_, received eighteen hundred invitations to dinner during
the first twenty-four hours of his stay in the city! From that time
until now the service has been maintained with marvellous regularity,
and the line has an unrivalled reputation for safety. During all
these intervening years the ships of the Cunard Line have crossed and
recrossed the stormy Atlantic without the loss of a single life. In the
early days of the service, the _Unicorn_, formerly of the Glasgow and
Liverpool Line, plied between Quebec and Pictou, N.S., in connection
with the Atlantic steamers, and is said to have been the first
transatlantic steamer to reach Boston, on June 2nd, 1840. The _Unicorn_
was commanded by Captain Walter Douglas—a great favourite with his
passengers—and the boat was a very fine one indeed.

The second contract, calling for weekly sailings, necessitated a larger
fleet of steamers. To meet this demand four new ships were built,
and took their places on the line in 1848, namely, the _America_,
_Niagara_, _Canada_ and _Europa_. Each of these was 251 feet long,
of 1,800 tons burthen and 750 horse-power. They had an average speed
of 10½ knots an hour. And so, from time to time, as the exigencies
of trade and the need for enlarged passenger accommodation demanded,
fresh additions were made to the fleet, each succeeding ship surpassing
its predecessors in size, equipment and speed. The _Persia_, built in
1856, was the first of the iron boats: the _Scotia_, in 1862, was the
last of the paddle-wheel steamers. They were both very fine ships of
3,300 and 3,871 tons, respectively, accounted the best specimens of
marine architecture then afloat. The _China_, launched in 1862, was the
first Cunard single-screw steamer. She was followed, in 1867, by the
_Russia_, the queen of ocean steamers in her day. Passing a number of
intervening ships, we come, in 1881, to the _Servia_, the first of the
line built of steel—a magnificent vessel, 515 feet long, 7,392 tons,
9,900 horse-power, and attaining a speed of 16.7 knots.

In the meantime important changes had been transpiring in the
constitution of the Cunard Company and its environment. The original
shareholders had been by degrees bought out by the founders, so
that the whole concern was vested in the three families of Cunard,
Burns, and MacIver. Sir Samuel attended to the business in London,
Mr. Burns in Glasgow, and Mr. MacIver in Liverpool, and never was
any business better managed than by these men and their successors.
In 1878 it was deemed expedient to consolidate the interests of the
partners by the formation of a joint stock company with a capital of
£2,000,000 sterling. The three families interested in the concern took
up £1,200,000 in paid-up shares. No shares, however, were offered to
the public until 1880, when a prospectus was issued, setting forth
the necessity for additional steamships of the most improved type,
involving a large outlay of money. The shares were readily bought up
and measures were taken to increase the efficiency of the fleet, which
had become at length imperative owing to the keen competition of rival
lines. This was inevitable.


The manifest success of the Cunard Company could not long continue
without exciting competition, and this followed in due course from
a variety of quarters; nor was it to be expected that they should
easily hold the supremacy of the sea against all new-comers. They had,
in fact, to contend vigorously for their laurels, and at successive
intervals had to retire into the second rank, but their determination
to regain and hold, at whatever cost, the championship has been well
illustrated in the newer ships of the line. The _Umbria_ and _Etruria_,
steel ships launched in 1884, having cost nearly two millions of
dollars each, were a decided advance upon any steamers then afloat.
They are 500 feet long, 57 feet 3 inches wide, and 40 feet in depth;
they are of 8,127 tons, 14,500 horse-power and are equal to a speed of
19½ knots an hour. They have ample accommodation for 550 first-class
passengers and 800 steerage. Each of them has made the run from
Queenstown to New York (2,782 knots) in less than six days. In nine
consecutive voyages the _Etruria_ (in 1885) maintained an average
speed of 18 knots. Her fastest voyage, however, from Queenstown to New
York, was made in August, 1897, when she was thirteen years old—namely,
5 days, 21 hours and 10 minutes actual time, the average speed during
the voyage being about 20 knots.


It helps one to understand the enormous cost of such vessels when it
is stated that the single screw-propeller weighs about thirty-nine
tons and costs $25,000! Splendid as was the record of these crack
Cunarders, they were surpassed by ships of the White Star and Inman
Lines. Something had to be done. An order was given to the Fairfield
Ship-building and Engineering Company on the Clyde to build two steel
twin-screw express steamships that should surpass all previous efforts.
The result was the _Campania_ and _Lucania_, launched at Govan in
September, 1892, and February, 1893, respectively. These sister ships
are splendid specimens of marine architecture. They are each 620 feet
long, 65¼ feet beam, and 43 feet in depth. Their gross tonnage is
12,950 tons; their twin screws are driven by triple expansion engines
of 30,000 indicated horse-power. Each engine has five cylinders and
three cranks. The low-pressure cylinders have the enormous diameter
of 8 feet 2 inches; the two high-pressure cylinders are 37 inches in
diameter, and the intermediate are 79 inches, with a stroke of 5 feet 9
inches. They are arranged tandem fashion, with a high-pressure cylinder
over a low-pressure cylinder, one at each end, and the intermediate in
the centre. At eighty revolutions (their normal speed) this enormous
weight is moved about 2,000 feet per minute. The crank shaft is
twenty-six inches in diameter, and each of the three interchangeable
parts weighs twenty-seven tons. The propeller shaft is twenty-four
inches in diameter, fitted in lengths of twenty-four feet, each length
having two bearings. The bossing out of the stern, as in the _Teutonic_
and _Majestic_, permits the screws to work without any exterior
overhanging bracket, as in other screw steamers. The central boss
of the propeller is made of steel; the three blades, weighing eight
tons each, are of manganese bronze. A new feature in the machinery is
what is called an “emergency governor,” which, in case of the shaft
breaking, or the screw racing from any other cause beyond a certain
speed, is designed to act automatically on the reversing gear and stop
the engines. These gigantic engines are started and reversed by steam.
Their height from the base to the top of the cylinders is no less than
forty-seven feet. There are twelve large boilers, with four furnaces at
each end, and made to stand a pressure of 165 lbs. to the square inch.
The two funnels are each twenty feet in diameter, and rise to a height
of 130 feet above the floor of the ship. The rudder is one large plate
of steel, 22 x 11½ feet in area and 1½ inches thick. With the steering
gear it weighs forty-five tons! On her maiden voyage from New York to
Liverpool the _Campania_ eclipsed all previous records, making the run
to Queenstown, by the long route (2,896 knots), in 5 days, 17 hours,
27 minutes. Her fastest eastern passage has been 5 days, 9 hours, 18
minutes, and westward, 5 days, 9 hours, 6 minutes. She has run 548
knots in twenty-four hours, and maintained an average speed of 21.82
knots an hour throughout an entire voyage.

Wonderful as the performances of the _Campania_ have been, they are
surpassed by her sister ship. The _Lucania_ made the western voyage,
from Queenstown to New York, arriving October 27th, 1894, in 5 days, 7
hours, 23 minutes, the fastest voyage between these points yet made.
Her daily runs on that occasion were, 529, 534, 533, 549, 544, 90—total
knots, 2,779. Her fastest eastward voyage (up to July, 1897) has been 5
days, 8 hours, 38 minutes; her best average speed throughout a voyage
was 22.1 knots an hour, and her highest day’s running is 560 knots. The
arrival and departure of these steamers at the Liverpool landing-stage
has come to be anticipated with almost as much exactitude as that of
our best regulated railways. The mails which they carry from New York
on Saturday morning are usually delivered in Liverpool on the following
Friday afternoon, and letters from London are delivered in Montreal in
seven days. By arrangement with the Admiralty, and in consideration
of an annual subvention of £19,000, the _Lucania_ and _Campania_ are
held at the disposal of the Government whenever their services may be
required as armed cruisers. Other ships of this line are also at the
disposal of the Admiralty without any specified subsidy.

Changes and improvements of very great importance to the travelling
community have taken place within the last few years, not only in
regard to the ocean steamships, but also in regard to facilities for
embarkation and landing, and this very largely owing to the lively
competition of Southampton and the inducements which it has to offer as
a shipping port. The dredging of the bar at the mouth of the Mersey,
so as to admit of sea-going vessels entering the port at any state of
the tide, is not the least important of the changes referred to. Until
quite recently ocean steamers had frequently to come to anchor six or
eight miles from the mouth of the river, and wait outside for hours
till the tide would rise. That obstruction has been removed, and now
the largest steamers can cross the bar at almost any state of the tide.
But that is not all. The tedious and discomfortable method of being
conveyed from ship to shore in a “tender” has also been done away with.
The wonder is that it was submitted to so long. The ocean steamship on
her arrival at Liverpool is now brought alongside the landing-stage,
and instead of being obliged to drive in a cab or omnibus across the
city a mile or more to the railway station for London or elsewhere,
the railway and the station have come down to the water’s edge, and
you pass at once from the ship to the railway train, and immediately
proceed on your journey. Passengers for New York may leave Euston
Station, London, at noon by a special train of the London and North
Western Railway, and find themselves on the landing-stage at Liverpool
at 4.15 p.m., the run of over two hundred miles being made, perhaps,
without a stoppage—looking for their luggage, as Englishmen are
accustomed to do, and astonished to learn that, by some occult system
of handling, and, most strange of all, without a “tip,” it is already
on board the ship!

Each of these ships is designed to carry six hundred first-class and
over one thousand second and third-class passengers. The accommodation
provided for them are of the most elaborate description. No expense
has been spared in the internal fittings of the ships. Everything that
science and skill and refined taste could suggest has been brought into
requisition. A more facile pen than ours describes the public rooms, as
we call them, as follows, in terms by no means too appreciative: “The
dining saloon is a vast, lofty apartment near the middle of the ship,
one hundred feet long, sixty-two feet broad, and ten feet high, capable
of seating at dinner 430 passengers in their revolving armchairs. The
decorations are highly artistic. The ceiling is panelled in white and
gold, the sides in Spanish mahogany, and the upholstering is in a dark,
rich red, figured frieze velvet, with curtains to match. There are
nooks and corners where small parties may dine in complete seclusion.
The forty side-lights are of unusual size. Fresh air is admitted by
patent ventilators in the roughest weather. For lighting, as well as
ventilation, there is an opening in the ceiling in the centre of the
room, 24 x 16 feet, surmounted by a dome of stained glass reaching a
height of thirty-three feet above the floor. The drawing-room is a
splendid apartment, 60 x 30 feet. The walls are ornamented with satin
wood, richly carved. The furniture is upholstered in rich velvets and
brocades. In the cosy fireplace there is a brass grate and a hearth
laid with Persian tiles. The ceiling is in pine, decorated in light
tones, old ivory prevailing, with not too much gilding. A Grand piano
and an American organ are also provided. The library, 29 x 24 feet, is
very ornate. It is suitably furnished with writing tables and writing
materials, and a handsome book-case filled with a choice selection of
books. The smoking-room, 40 x 32 feet, is decorated in the Scottish
baronial style. The whole tone of the room is suggestive of _otium cum
dignitate_. The ordinary staterooms are lofty and well ventilated, with
cunning devices for the saving of room and making things look pleasant
and comfortable. Then there are suites of rooms elaborately furnished
with tables and bedsteads and bath-rooms, and every conceivable luxury
of that sort, for those who are able and willing to pay for them.”
The accommodation for second-class passengers is in keeping with
that for the first. These, too, have their elegant dining-room, and
drawing-room, and smoking-room. Even the third-class can rejoice with
their neighbours in “the comforts of smoke.”

One of these ships, when carrying her full complement of passengers,
will start on her voyage provisioned somewhat on this scale: 20,000
lbs. of fresh beef, 1,000 lbs. of corned beef, 10,000 lbs. of mutton,
1,400 lbs. of lamb, 500 lbs. of veal, 500 lbs. of pork, 3,500 lbs.
of fresh fish, 1,000 fowls—400 chickens, 250 ducks and geese, 100
turkeys, 30 tons of potatoes, 30 hampers of vegetables, 18,000 eggs,
6,000 lbs. of ham, 3,000 lbs. of butter, etc., etc.; 13,650 bottles of
ale and porter, 6,650 bottles of mineral waters, 1,600 bottles of wines
and spirits, are frequently consumed on a single voyage.

The various vessels of the Cunard fleet between them carry on an
average 110,000 passengers per annum, besides 600,000 tons of
merchandise and 50,000 carcases of dead meat in refrigerators, over a
distance of one million miles annually. The _Campania_ and _Lucania_,
owing to the large space occupied by their machinery, only carry about
1,600 tons of freight each.

The order and discipline on board a Cunard liner is that of a
man-of-war. The vessels have been built under a special survey, and
combine in their construction the best known appliances, in cases of
fire, collision, or any other marine contingency, for the safety of the
ship and its living freight. The watertight bulkheads are sixteen in
number, and will enable the ship to float with any two or even three
of the compartments filled with water. The life-boat equipment and
service is ample and thoroughly organized. In short, everything is made
subservient to safety.

Some idea of the cost of running vessels of this size and speed may be
formed when it is stated that the daily average consumption of coal
is nearly four hundred tons, but when urged to utmost speed it would
be nearer five hundred tons. The crew, all told, number about 424, of
whom 195 are required to attend to the engines and boilers alone. In
the sailing department, from the captain to the lamplighter, about
sixty-five; in the steward’s department, including 8 stewardesses,
about 120, and in the cook’s department, about 45. These 424 persons
must be paid and fed at a cost of from $12,000 to $15,000 a month.
Each of the ships must have cost over $3,000,000, the interest upon
which, at four per cent., is $120,000 per annum; add the enormous cost
of provisioning the ship for perhaps six hundred cabin passengers,
who, for the most part, expect to fare more sumptuously every day
they are on board than they do at home; and one thousand intermediate
and steerage passengers, who must live like fighting-cocks; then
estimate, if you can, the cost of insurances, agencies, advertising,
port charges, pilotage; write off a reasonable percentage for wear and
tear; these put together represent an amount so formidable as to leave
a very slender margin for profits. At the last annual meeting of the
shareholders a dividend of 2½ per cent. for the year 1897 was declared,
which was considered a good showing.

Since 1840 the Cunard Company have employed no less than fifty-six
first-class passenger steamships in the Atlantic service alone. The
entire fleet at present consists of thirty-three ships, with a total
tonnage of 124,124, and 153,732 horse-power, and maintains regular
communication from Liverpool to New York, Boston, France and almost
every country in the Mediterranean. Excepting some of the ships
acquired by purchase, all the others were built to order on the Clyde.
In all these fifty-eight years the Cunard Company has only lost three
ships. Through the mistake of her pilot, the _Columbia_, one of the
first Atlantic fleet, ran ashore during a fog near Cape Sable, N.S.,
in July, 1843, and became a total wreck, but her mails and passengers
were safely landed. In 1872 the _Tripoli_, of the Mediterranean Line,
was wrecked on the Tuskar Rocks in St. George’s Channel, half-way
between Cork and Dublin, but no lives were lost. In 1886 the company
met with its severest loss by the sinking of the magnificent steamship
_Oregon_, recently purchased from the Guion Company. Early in the
morning of the 4th of March she was run into by an unknown sailing
vessel when about fifty miles from New York, and such were the injuries
she sustained she gradually filled with water and went to the bottom,
not, however, before the whole ship’s company, numbering 995 souls
were safely transferred to the _Fulda_ of the North German Lloyd Line,
which fortunately came up to the scene of the disaster in the nick of
time. Her bulkheads should have saved her from going under, and would
have done so, but for some unexplained obstruction to the closing of a
watertight door. As it was, the bulkheads kept her afloat long enough
to save the lives of all on board.

Among the famous captains in the forties were C. H. E. Judkins, James
Stone, William Harrison, Ed. G. Lott, Theodore Cook, Captain Moodie,
and James (afterwards Sir James) Anderson who commanded the _Great
Eastern_ on some of her cable-laying expeditions. Captain Harrison was
the first commander of the _Great Eastern_, and was drowned in the
Solent when going ashore from his ship in a dingy. Captain Judkins was
born at Chester in 1811; he entered the Cunard service in 1840 as chief
officer of the SS. _Acadia_: was appointed commander of the _Britannia_
that same year, and was successively master of the _Hibernia_,
_Canada_, _Persia_ and _Scotia_. He lived to be Commodore of the fleet
and retired from the sea in 1871, after having made more than five
hundred voyages across the Atlantic without any serious accident, and
being able to say that the Cunard Company at that date had lost neither
a life nor a letter. Captain Judkins died in 1876. He was a typical
British sailor. He could be exceedingly gracious, and when the mood
struck him he could be gruff. I remember making a voyage with him on
the _Hibernia_ in 1843, on which occasion he ran across from Halifax
to Liverpool under a cloud of canvas, with studding sails set low and
aloft most of the time, a dense fog all the way, but he picked up his
pilot off Cape Clear, just where he expected to find him, and went
snoring up the Channel, growling like a bear at the captain of a Dublin
steamer who would not get out of his way, and whom in his wrath he
threatened to send to “Davie Jones’ locker.” The voyage was made in
nine days and a half, I think, which was accounted a marvellous run in
those days. Captain Lott was one of the most genial of men and very
popular. He, too, was banqueted on the completion of his five hundredth
trip. It has been said of him that his good nature was occasionally
ruffled when liberties, unconsciously or otherwise, were taken with his
name; as, for example, when a worthy minister officiating on board took
for his text, “Remember Lot’s wife”; and again, when a rough sailor
complained in his hearing that his pork was “as salt as Lot’s wife.”

Sailors, as a rule, are not given to talk shop, and are quick to resent
idle talk in others. The story is told of Captain Theodore Cook that
one day when taking his noon observation, a cloud interrupted his
vision. Just then a passenger coming along said with a patronizing air,
“Captain Cook, I’m afraid that cloud prevented you from making your
observation.” “Yes, sir,” replied the potentate of the sea, “but it did
not prevent you making yours.”[14]

At the time of the “_Trent_ Difficulty,” as it was called, in 1861,
the _Australasian_ and the _Persia_ of the Cunard Line were chartered
by the British Government to bring out troops to Canada. On the 4th
of December orders were received to prepare the _Australasian_ with
all speed for this service; her fittings were completed on the 10th,
she took in her coal on the 11th, and sailed on the 13th with the 60th
Rifles. On the 5th of the same month similar orders were received for
the _Persia_, which sailed on the 16th with 1,180 troops, consisting
of 1st Battalion of the 16th Regiment and a detachment of sappers.
Captain Cook, of the _Australasian_, having encountered much ice in the
entrance to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, had to turn back, and took his
ship to Halifax and thence to St. John, New Brunswick, where he landed
his contingent. Judkins, on the other hand, brought the _Persia_ right
up to Bic and landed his men, but, the ice threatening to keep him
there, he quickly bolted for the open sea, leaving his boats behind him!

Of the more recent commanders, Captain W. H. P. Haines, late of the
_Campania_ and Commodore of the Cunard fleet, may be instanced as a
good specimen. A born sailor he may be called, inasmuch as he is a
native of Plymouth, whose father and grandfather before him followed
the sea and who himself has been sailing for nearly fifty years and
counts 592 voyages across the Atlantic. Captain Haines has always been
as noted for caution as for skill. It is said of him that “whatever
temptation there might be to make a fast passage, he would never
neglect to take soundings, nor rely on any patent apparatus, without
repeatedly fortifying its results by stopping his ship to get up and
down casts with the ordinary lead.”

To guard against the risks of collision with other vessels, the Cunard
steamers follow prescribed routes laid out for them, by which the
ships, both outward and homeward bound, are kept at a respectable
distance. In estimating the runs of the Atlantic liners from Liverpool
to New York and return, Daunt’s Rock, off Queenstown, and the Sandy
Hook lightship, twenty-six knots from New York, are regarded as the
points of departure and arrival; but as Daunt’s Rock is about 244 knots
from Liverpool, it follows that, to complete the voyage, a full half
day’s run must be added to the record as usually announced. It is also
to be remembered that the day at sea is longer or shorter according to
the speed of the ship. On a twenty-knot vessel going east the average
length of day is about 23 hours and 10 minutes; going westward it is
about 24 hours and 50 minutes. The difference of time between Greenwich
and New York is about five hours.

[Illustration: CUNARD TRACK CHART.]

The “express steamers,” as the fast ships are now called, of the Cunard
Line at present are the _Campania_, _Lucania_, _Etruria_ and _Umbria_.
These four constitute the weekly mail service, sailing every Saturday
from Liverpool and New York. The _Aurania_, _Servia_ and other vessels
perform a fortnightly service from the same ports, sailing on Tuesdays.
Five steamers are employed in maintaining a weekly service between
Liverpool and Boston, and about a dozen more are required for the
service between Liverpool, France and the Mediterranean.

The story of the Cunard Company would be incomplete without at least
a brief reference to its three founders, Messrs. Cunard, Burns and
MacIver, and Mr. Napier, the engineer, who was so closely identified
with them.



The late Sir Samuel Cunard was a son of Abraham Cunard, a merchant in
Philadelphia, and a Quaker, whose ancestors had come to America from
Wales in the seventeenth century, and who removed to Halifax, Nova
Scotia. There Sir Samuel was born, November 21st, 1787. His parents
were not in affluent circumstances; indeed he has been heard to tell
that, when a boy, he often went about the streets with a basket on
his arm selling herbs that were grown in his mother’s garden, to earn
“an honest penny.” In course of time, however, he became a prosperous
merchant and the owner of whaling-ships that sailed from Halifax to the
Pacific Ocean. How he came to identify himself with the Atlantic mail
service has already been mentioned, and little else remains to be said
about him. He was small of stature, but a man of rare intelligence;
a keen observer of men and things, and who had the faculty, largely
developed, of influencing other men. In private life he was one of the
most gentle and lovable of men. He married, in 1815, a daughter of Mr.
W. Duffus, of Halifax, by whom he had nine children. On March 9th,
1859, Her Majesty, on the recommendation of Lord Palmerston, made him
a Baronet, in recognition of his services to the realm and to other
countries in promoting the means of inter-communication. He was elected
a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1846. He died in London,
April 28th, 1865, leaving, it is said, a fortune of £350,000. His title
and his interest in the business were inherited by his eldest son, Sir
Edward Cunard, at whose decease, in 1869, the reins of administration
fell into the hands of his brother William, who married a daughter
of the late celebrated Judge Haliburton, of Nova Scotia, and who now
represents the company in London.

Sir George Burns was, in many respects, a remarkable man. He was born
in the Holy Land, a name popularly given to a “land” of houses in
Glasgow, in which five ministers resided, one of them being his father,
the Rev. John Burns, D.D., of the old Barony parish, who ministered
in that place for seventy-two years, and who died at the patriarchal
age of ninety-six. George was born in 1795. He commenced business in
Glasgow with his brother James, under the firm of G. & J. Burns & Co.,
a name that has ever since been famous in shipping circles. They began
steam navigation to Liverpool and Belfast over seventy years since,
and gradually built up a large and lucrative business. Many years ago
Mr. Burns retired and took up his residence at Wemyss Bay, on the
estuary of the Clyde, where he spent the evening of his days, and was
frequently seen sitting among his rhododendrons and laurels, watching
his steamers as they coursed up and down the Firth. He was created a
Baronet in his old age, May 24th, 1889. He died on the 2nd of June in
the following year, being succeeded by his son, Sir John Burns, of
Castle Wemyss, who is chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cunard
Steamship Company. Sir John’s elevation to the peerage, at the time
of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, when he assumed the name of Lord
Inverclyde, was regarded as a well-merited honour by his countrymen,
and in shipping circles generally.

Although he was a son of the “Father of the Church of Scotland,” Sir
George early in life contracted a liking for the liturgical service
of the Church of England, and eventually became an Episcopalian. “Sir
George Burns, Bart.: His Times and Friends, by Edwin Hodder; Hodder and
Stoughton, London,” is the title of an admirable biography in which is
to be found a fine portraiture of a man “diligent in business, fervent
in spirit, serving the Lord.” As a business man he is described as
“honourable in the minutest particulars, accurate in all his dealings,
faithful to every trust, tenacious of every promise, disdaining to take
the least advantage of the weakness or incapacity of any man.” There
is also much information in this volume, bearing on the history of the
Cunard Line, that is valuable and interesting, and of which we have
freely availed ourselves in compiling these pages.

David MacIver, a Scotchman, as his name implies, had lived a good many
years in Liverpool before his connection with the Cunard Company, and
had acquired a great deal of valuable experience in shipping affairs.
His first intercourse with Burns was somewhat singular in the light of
their future alliance. It was as the agent of an opposition line of
steamers, plying between Liverpool and Glasgow, that their friendship
began. A Manchester firm had started an opposition line, but they were
no match for G. and J. Burns, who eventually bought them out, and
secured a monopoly of the trade, except the small steamer _Enterprise_,
for which David MacIver was agent, and which the same firm cleverly
bought also. Not to be outdone, MacIver succeeded in organizing the
“New City of Glasgow Steam-Packet Company,” of which he became the
Liverpool agent. Determined, if possible, to drive his rivals from the
seas, it is said that he used to sail in the vessels himself, urging
his officers to increased speed. But it was of no use; the new company
were soon glad to accept offers for amalgamation, and from that time
MacIver and Burns became fast friends. Mr. MacIver had first-rate
executive ability, and as most of the working details devolved upon
him, he had a controlling influence in the Cunard Line while he lived.
The well-known firm of D. & C. MacIver were the managers of the line at
Liverpool, from its formation until the year 1883, when they resigned,
a Board of Directors assuming the entire control of affairs. David
MacIver, however, had died in 1845, when the Liverpool agency fell into
the hands of his brother and partner, Charles, whose able supervision
continued for thirty-five years.

Robert Napier was born at Dumbarton in 1791. After serving his
apprenticeship as millwright and smith, he went to Edinburgh, where
he wrought at his trade for some time, earning ten shillings a week.
Inspired by the old Scotch motto, “He that tholes overcomes,” he
stuck to it. Later, he entered the service of Robert Stephenson, the
celebrated engineer, and made his mark as a mechanical genius. At
twenty-four years of age he commenced business on his own account,
in Glasgow, where he gradually built up the large engineering and
ship-building business subsequently carried on under the name of Robert
Napier & Sons. The “Lancefield Works” and his Govan shipyards attained
world-wide celebrity. He constructed the machinery for the SS. _British
Queen_, and for the first four Cunard steamers, and for many others in
later years. He also received large orders for warships and transports
from the British Admiralty and from foreign governments. He built
several large ironclads for the Royal Navy. He made the engines for
the great three-decker, _Duke of Wellington_—all but the last of the
“wooden walls.” He built and engined the famous Cunarders _Persia_ and


Mr. Napier erected a princely mansion on the Gareloch, named Shandon
House, where his declining years were spent in retirement, but in the
exercise of unbounded hospitality, as the writer can testify from his
personal experience. Shandon House came to be like a museum containing
a rare collection of pictures and antiquities from almost all parts
of the world. Among his curios none was more highly prized than his
mother’s spinning-wheel, and the painting that he valued the most was
the portrait of his wife plying the same old-fashioned spinning-wheel,
with which she had been familiar from girlhood. Does it not seem like
the “irony of fate,” and a melancholy commentary on the transitory
nature of everything mundane, that this marvellous accumulation of
articles of _virtu_ was, shortly after Mr. Napier’s death, sold by
public auction to the highest bidder, and that his palatial residence
passed into the hands of a hydropathic company?

Having said so much about the Cunard Line, there is no need to dwell at
similar length upon any of the other transatlantic lines of steamers.
The history of the Cunard Line is the history of Atlantic steam
navigation. It commenced at a time when steam power had only been used
as an auxiliary to sails, but when that order of affairs was soon to
be reversed. The intervening years have witnessed the transition from
wooden ships to iron, and from iron to steel; from the paddle-wheel
to the single screw-propeller, and then to the twin-screw; from the
simple side-lever engines to the compound, and from the compound to
the triple and quadruple expansion engines of the present time. These
successive changes, common to all the other important lines of ocean
steamers, have resulted in greatly increased speed with economy of
fuel. But no one at all conversant with the subject supposes that the
limit in either of these directions has been reached. Her Majesty’s
torpedo boats can easily reel off their thirty knots an hour; why not
an express steamer?

The competition for the supremacy of the sea in these latitudes has
been both keen and costly, but greatly to the benefit of the travelling
community; and it has all along been conducted in an excellent spirit.
Circumstances have frequently arisen when it might have been easy to
take advantage of a rival, but when it resulted in acts of chivalry.
Sir John Burns has mentioned one instance out of many such that have
transpired: On a certain occasion the Cunard steamer _Alps_ was seized
in New York for an alleged infraction of the Customs laws on the part
of some of the crew, and before she could be released, security had
to be given to the extent of £30,000 sterling; when, “who should come
forward and stand security for the Cunard Company but the great firm
of Brown, Shipley & Co., the agents of the Collins Line!” Another case
in point is connected with the foundering of the Cunard SS. _Oregon_.
When the whole of the passengers and crew, to the number of nearly
a thousand, had been taken off the sinking ship, and landed in New
York by the North German Lloyd SS. _Fulda_, the question having been
asked what compensation was demanded, the courteous reply was speedily
received: “Highly gratified at having been instrumental in saving so
many lives. No claim!”[15]

The Fairfield Ship-building and Engineering Company is one of the
most famous of the many eminent ship-building firms in Britain.
The yards at Govan on the Clyde occupy an area of sixty acres of
ground, and employ from 6,000 to 7,000 men. The shops are fitted with
machinery of the most approved description, in which every requisite
of marine architecture has a place, where massive plates of steel
and iron are clipped, shaped and pierced with rivet holes as if they
were only sheets of wax or paper. Here have been built many of the
record-breaking ocean greyhounds, as well as armour-plated cruisers
for the Royal Navy. The _Arizona_, the _Alaska_ and the _Oregon_ were
built here, and were accounted marvels in their day. The _Umbria_ and
_Etruria_, the _Campania_ and the _Lucania_ have secured for Fairfield
a world-wide reputation. Ships for Sir Donald Currie’s Castle Line, for
the Orient and the Hamburg-American lines, not to speak of the Isle
of Man steamers, the swiftest coasting steamers of the day, have been
built at Govan. Under the name of Randolph, Elder & Company the firm
was founded, or rather reconstructed, by the late Mr. John Elder, a man
of consummate ability in his profession, who died in 1869 at the early
age of forty-five years.

The compound engine, by which steam is made to do double duty, is one
of the most important of recent improvements in marine engineering,
being the means of largely increasing the motive power and decreasing
the consumption of fuel. The successful application of this system
to ocean steam navigation is usually attributed to Mr. John Elder,
of the above-named firm, who introduced it in some of the steamers
of the Pacific Steam Navigation Company as early as 1856.[16] But it
did not come into general use until some years later. The Admiralty,
recognizing the importance claimed for the discovery, resolved to
test its value, in 1863, by sending three ships of similar size on
a voyage from Plymouth to Madeira, two of them being fitted with
the ordinary engines of the day, and the third, the _Constance_,
with Elder’s compound engine. The result placed the superiority of
the compound engine beyond question, and led up to the triple and
quadruple expansion engine which has revolutionized the ship-building
and shipping interests; hence the enormous cargoes carried by ships of
the _Pennsylvania_ type, with a moderate consumption of fuel and the
lowering of ocean freight rates.

Before taking leave of the Cunard Line, it may not be out of place to
mention that an employee of that line has the distinction of having
crossed the Atlantic more frequently than any other man. One is apt
to think of his own voyages—thirty-five or forty—as a tolerably fair
showing, but that is as nothing compared with other landsmen. On one
occasion the writer sat next to a fine old French gentleman from Quebec
who was then making his hundredth voyage; he was an octogenarian.
Some years later a Montreal merchant, nearly a quarter of a century
younger, informed me that he had crossed the ocean _one hundred
and eighty_ times! Taking his years into account, surely he must be
entitled to wear the blue ribbon. As to sailors, an English newspaper
recently offered a prize of £10 to the man who could prove that he had
crossed the Atlantic oftenest. The prize was awarded to Captain Brooks,
of Alaska, who had made seven hundred trips. In the meantime, however,
it transpired that the distinction was due to another “old salt,” whose
record far outran that of Captain Brooks, but whose modesty prevented
him from applying for the prize. The real champion is George Paynter,
well known throughout England and America as “the Old Man of the Sea,”
who recently completed his _eight hundred and fourth voyage_ across the
Atlantic. Paynter is the officer in charge of the wines and liquors on
board the SS. _Etruria_. He is one of the most remarkable men afloat
to-day. He has been forty-eight years at sea, of which forty-five have
been spent continuously in the service of the Cunard Company, and in
all that time he has never encountered either a shipwreck or a cyclone.
He is now seventy-five years old, hale and hearty as ever, and this he
attributes to his having given up smoking and drinking thirty-one years
ago, not having once indulged in either from that time until now.


[13] For at least a hundred and fifty years the Post Office Department
had maintained a fleet of armed mail “packets.” They had stations
at Dover, Harwich, Holyhead, Milford, Yarmouth and Falmouth, the
last-named being the headquarters of the fleet. During the time of the
American war, 1812-15, no fewer than thirty-two sanguinary battles were
fought with American privateers by the Falmouth packets, which, in a
majority of instances, successfully resisted their assailants.

[14] Sir John Burns in _Good Words_ for 1887, p. 261.

[15] Fry’s “History,” p. 240.

[16] The invention is claimed for Canada in Chapter X., under the
heading of “New Brunswick.”




The earliest formidable rival to the Cunard Line was the famous
Collins Line, founded in New York in 1848, and which derived its name
from Mr. E. K. Collins, its chief promoter, who had previously been
largely interested in sailing ships, and more particularly in the
splendid line of New York and Liverpool packets, popularly known as the
Dramatic Line. The Collins Line started with a fair wind, so to speak.
It was launched by a wealthy company, amid an outburst of national
applause, and was liberally backed by the Federal Government, with an
ill-concealed determination to drive the Cunarders from the seas. But
the illusion was destined to be soon dispelled, for, as Charles MacIver
put it in writing to Mr. Cunard, “The Collins Line are beginning to
find that breaking our windows with sovereigns, though very fine
fun, is too costly to keep up.” Disasters ensued. In ten years the
losses had become stupendous, and the enterprise culminated in a total

The Line began with a fleet of four magnificent wooden paddle-wheel
steamships, the _Atlantic_, _Arctic_, _Baltic_ and _Pacific_, each
282 feet in length, and of 2,680 tons burthen. They were built by
W. H. Brown, of New York, and combined in their construction and
machinery the then latest improvements. The passenger accommodation
was far superior to that of the Cunard steamers of the period. Each
of them cost $700,000, an amount so far exceeding the original
estimate that the Government had to make the company an advance. The
credit of the country being in a sense at stake, provision was made
for a liberal subsidy. $19,250 per annum had been the original sum
specified for a service of twenty round voyages, but that was found
to be totally inadequate, and the Government eventually agreed to
increase the subsidy to $33,000 per voyage, or $858,000 per annum for
only twenty-six voyages, which was more than double what had been paid
to the Cunard Company for a like service. The Collins Line, however,
promised greater speed than their rivals, and that counts for much in
popular estimation.

[Illustration: THE “ATLANTIC,” OF THE COLLINS LINE, 1849.]

The Line soon came into favour, and its success seemed to be assured.
The first voyage was commenced from New York by the _Atlantic_, April
27th, 1849. The _Arctic_ followed, making the eastward voyage in 9
days, 13 hours and 30 minutes; and the westward, in 9 days and 13 hours
from Liverpool. Thus they had broken all previous records for speed
which, added to their luxurious appointments, caused them to be loyally
patronized by the Americans. For a time they carried 50 per cent. more
passengers from Liverpool to New York than their opponents. The last
addition to the fleet was the _Adriatic_, in 1857, by far the finest
and fastest vessel afloat at that time. She was built by Steers, at New
York: was 355 feet long, and 50 feet broad; her gross tonnage being
3,670. Her machinery, which was constructed at the Novelty Iron-Works,
New York, consisted of two oscillating cylinders, each 100 inches in
diameter, working up to 3,600 indicated horse-power, with a steam
pressure of 20 lbs. to the square inch. Her paddles were 40 feet in
diameter, and, at seventeen revolutions per minute, gave her a speed of
thirteen knots on a daily consumption of eighty-five to ninety tons of

Owing to financial embarrassments, resulting from losses by shipwreck,
the company soon after broke up, and the richly-endowed fast line, that
was to drive the Cunarders off the ocean, itself came to grief. The
_Adriatic_ was laid up after making a few fine voyages, and finally
came to an ignominious end as a coal-hulk in West Africa. In September,
1854, the _Arctic_ collided with a small steamer, the _Vesta_, off
Cape Race, in a dense fog, and sank, with the loss of 323 lives.
Captain Luce went down with his ship, but rose again to the surface,
was picked up by one of the boats and landed in safety. Among those
who were drowned were the wife, the only son, and a daughter of Mr.
Collins, and many other prominent Americans. The loss of the _Pacific_,
which followed two years later, proved the death-knell of the Collins
Line. She sailed from Liverpool on June 26th, 1856, in command of
Captain Eldridge, with forty-five passengers and a crew of 141, and was
never afterwards heard of. The _Atlantic_ and _Baltic_ were sold and
converted into sailing ships.

Mr. E. K. Collins was a native of Massachusetts, where he was born in
1802. When a youth he went to sea as supercargo. Some years later he
joined his father in the general shipping business, and eventually
became head of the New York firm, celebrated for its magnificent line
of sailing packets. He died in 1878.

[Illustration: “CITY OF PARIS,” 1889.

Now (1898) a U. S. armed cruiser and renamed _Harvard_.]


This famous Line took its name from William Inman, a partner in the
firm of Richardson Bros., Liverpool, in connection with whom he founded
this steamship service in 1850, under the title of the Liverpool, New
York and Philadelphia Steamship Company. The line began with only two
steamers—the _City of Glasgow_ and _City of Manchester_—both screw
steamships, built by Messrs. Tod and McGregor, of Glasgow. These boats
having proved successful and profitable, and especially popular with
emigrants, their shipping port was changed from Philadelphia to New
York in 1857. In the meantime a number of high-class steamers had been
added to the fleet, each improving upon its predecessor, until the line
became famous for speed and comfort. The _City of Brussels_, launched
in 1869, was the first on the Atlantic to reduce the voyage to less
than eight days. This fine ship came to grief through collision with
another vessel off the mouth of the Mersey during a dense fog, January
7th, 1883. The Inman Line met with a number of other heavy losses. The
_City of Glasgow_, with 480 persons on board, and the _City of Boston_
both disappeared mysteriously in mid-ocean; the _City of Montreal_ was
burned at sea, but all hands were saved; the _City of Washington_ and
_City of Philadelphia_ were wrecked on the coast of Nova Scotia; the
first _City of New York_ and the _City of Chicago_ became total wrecks
on the Irish coast, the one on Daunt’s Rock near Queenstown, the other
on the Old Head of Kinsale in the same neighbourhood.

The _City of Berlin_, which came out in 1875, proved a great success,
but later additions, culminating in the new _City of New York_ and
_City of Paris_, gained this line for a time undisputed supremacy.
These twin-screw ships, built by J. & G. Thomson, of Glasgow, are
over 500 feet in length, rated at 10,500 tons, and 18,000 indicated
horse-power, and have developed a high rate of speed. The _Paris_,
as she is now called, made her maiden trip in May, 1889, in 5 days,
22 hours, 50 minutes. Her fastest westward trip was made in October,
1892, viz., 5 days, 14 hours, 24 minutes—the fastest ever made up to
that time. The _New York_ for some time held the record for the fastest
voyage from Southampton to Sandy Hook, made in September, 1894—6
days, 7 hours, 14 minutes. Both ships have met with mishaps: the _New
York_, going east, had one of her engines disabled, but completed the
voyage with the other, actually running 382 knots in one day with only
one engine at work. The _Paris_ had a much more alarming accident.
The breaking of one of her main shafts set the engine a-racing, and
before it could be stopped a rent was made in the ship’s hull, the
longitudinal bulkhead separating the engine-rooms was broken and both
engine-rooms were flooded. The other bulkheads, however, did their duty
and kept her afloat until a passing steamer towed her into Queenstown,
where the water was pumped out and she proceeded to Liverpool
unassisted. Her escape from destruction was marvellous: as it was, the
damage to the ship and machinery was enormous. On another occasion the
same ship’s rudder became disabled in mid-ocean, but by means of her
twin screws she was kept on her course and brought safely to port.
Since then she has limped across the Atlantic with one engine, owing to
a broken shaft.


From “Our Ocean Railways.”]


The Inman Line was the first to introduce the twin-screw in the
Atlantic service. It was also the first to place the comforts and
conveniences of steam navigation within the reach of emigrant steerage
passengers, and by so doing made a distinct advance in the cause of
humanity. In 1856-57 they carried no less than 85,000 emigrants.

The Inman Line passed from its founders in 1875, and became a private
limited company, which, in 1886, entered into negotiations with the
American International Navigation Company, better known as the Red
Star Line. At that time the fleet consisted of the _City of Berlin_,
_City of Chester_, _City of Chicago_, _City of Richmond_ and _City of
Montreal_. The _New York_ and _Paris_ hoisted the American flag in
1893, but the change consequent on their new registration and their
re-christening made no change in the name of the company.

In 1892 the company secured a contract for carrying the United States
mails, weekly, from New York to Southampton, in consideration of a
subsidy, amounting to about $750,000 a year. Southampton was preferred
to Liverpool as being much nearer London and as having exceptionally
good harbour facilities. The sea voyage, however, is about 200 miles
longer than from New York to Queenstown. In terms of their contract,
two magnificent twin-screw steamers have recently been added to the
fleet,—the _St. Louis_ and _St. Paul_, built on the Delaware by
Messrs. Cramp and Sons, of Philadelphia. They are claimed to be the
embodiment of the finest American skill and workmanship. Over 6,000
tons of steel were used in the construction of the hull of each ship;
their length over all is 554 feet, breadth 63 feet, depth 42 feet;
their gross tonnage is 11,000 tons and their engines are of 20,000
horse-power. They are designed to carry 320 first-class, 200 second,
and 800 steerage passengers, and the arrangements for each class are
unsurpassed. The main saloon is 110 feet long by 50 feet wide, with
seats for all her cabin passengers at one sitting. It is handsomely
decorated and finished in white mahogany, and is well lighted from the
sides and a lofty dome overhead. The drawing-room is in white and gold
and luxuriously furnished. The staterooms are roomy, well ventilated
and fitted up with every convenience necessary to comfort; there are
also suites of rooms, comprising bedroom, bath-room and sitting-room,
all elegantly furnished. These ships can carry enough coal, cargo being
excluded, to cross the Atlantic and return at their highest speed; and
at the ordinary cruiser’s speed of 10 to 12 knots, they can steam for
66 days without recoaling a distance of 19,000 knots.

[Illustration: “ST LOUIS.”

Now (1898) a U. S. armed cruiser.]

Although these fine ships have already suffered several vexatious
accidents, none of them have been attended with serious results. They
have not yet taken the laurels from the _Campania_ and _Lucania_, and
are not likely to do so, but they have made very good time on the
Atlantic. The _St. Louis_ made the voyage from New York to Southampton
in August, 1895, in 6 days, 13 hours, 12 minutes. The _St. Paul_[17]
made the run from Southampton to Sandy Hook, in August, 1896, in 6
days, 57 minutes. Their estimated speed in ordinary weather is 21 knots
an hour.

The entire Inman fleet consists of twenty-two ships—all of a high
class. They retained the graceful overhanging bow and ship-shape
bowsprit with its belongings to the last, but the new steamers of
the American Line conform in this respect to the prevailing fashion
of the straight stem, first introduced by the Collins Line as being
economical of space and every way handier in port. The use of sails
in full-powered steamships has been gradually declining for years,
and they will soon be a thing of the past. Heavy masts and yard-arms
seriously interfere with the motion of a twenty knot steamship, and
except in the case of a breakdown of machinery are seldom of any use,
and that contingency has been reduced to a minimum by the introduction
of the twin-screw.


originally owned by a Belgian company, is now incorporated with the
American and International Navigation Company, and maintains a weekly
service between New York and Antwerp and a fortnightly line from
Philadelphia to Antwerp. The fleet consists of nine steamships of from
3,000 to 7,000 tons each—the largest being the _Friesland_, built by
Thomsons, Glasgow, and rated at fifteen knots’ speed.


This was the first successful line of steamers running from Glasgow to
New York, established by Messrs. Handyside and Henderson, of Glasgow,
in 1856, though it was not until 1863 that this branch of their
business assumed much importance. Since then the trade has developed
rapidly, giving employment to a weekly line of steamers, and in summer
twice a week. The ships have large carrying capacity, from 3,000 to
5,000 tons and upwards, with good accommodation for passengers at
very moderate rates. Among these are the _Furnessia_ and _Belgravia_,
of over five thousand tons; the _Devonia_, _Anchoria_, _Bolivia_ and
_Circassia_, upwards of four thousand tons each, not to speak of the
_City of Rome_, a host in herself. This is one of the handsomest
ships afloat, and of large dimensions, being 546 feet long between
perpendiculars, and 600 feet over all; her width is 52 feet 4 inches,
and her displacement at 25 feet draft of water, 13,500 tons. She is
driven by three sets of inverted tandem engines of 10,000 horse-power;
her single screw is 24 feet diameter, and the screw shaft 25 inches.
She has ample accommodation for 270 cabin passengers and 1,500
steerage: was built in 1881 for the Inman Line at Barrow-in-Furness,
Lancashire, where all the above-named ships were also built, but as she
did not come up to the requisite speed she was left in the builders’
hands, and was taken over by the Anchor Line. She is not a slow ship,
having made 18½ knots on her trial trip, and has crossed the Atlantic
in 6 days, 20 hours, 35 minutes. From whatever cause, outsiders look
upon her as a sort of “white elephant,” unable to compete successfully
with the more thorough-paced ocean greyhounds. The entire Anchor Line
fleet consists of some thirty-five steamers. The company has had its
own share of losses by shipwreck, and more than its share of lives
lost. One of the most appalling marine disasters was the sinking of the
_Eutopia_ of this line in the Bay of Gibraltar, in 1891, from collision
with a man-of-war lying at anchor, resulting in the loss of 526 lives.


Although the National Line has not entered into competition with the
“greyhounds,” it is deserving of notice. It has been in existence since
1863, and has owned some fine ships, and at least one of high speed—the
_America_, built on the Clyde in 1883—a ship of 5,500 tons and 7,350
horse-power. She broke the record in June, 1884, making the run home
from New York in 6 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes.[18] She was soon after
sold to the Italian Government for a transport. The ships of this line
were among the first to have compound engines, and the first to have
refrigerators for the reception of dead meat, and among the first to
carry large shipments of live cattle. Years ago they brought out more
emigrants than any other line, but they seem to have gone out of that
business now, and the ships are run as freighters to London. Four of
the company’s ships have been lost—one lies submerged near Sandy Hook,
one foundered off Cape Finisterre, one was burned at sea, and the
fourth, the _Erin_, disappeared without anything having been heard of
her. The present fleet consists of eight ships, ranging from 3,750 to
5,300 tons.


As when a meteor shoots athwart the skies, emitting a blaze of light,
and quickly disappears, so was it with the Guion Line at the zenith
of its brief and brilliant career. It began in a modest way in 1866,
its promoters being Messrs. Williams and Guion, of New York—with a
branch firm in Liverpool—these being the owners of the famous Black
Ball Line of ships, built especially for carrying emigrants. They had
steamers built for themselves with marvellous rapidity, beginning with
the _Manhattan_ of 3,000 tons—an iron screw steamer built on the Tyne.
In 1872 there was added to the then existing fleet of eight powerful
ships, each having accommodation for 1,000 steerage passengers, a
pair of larger vessels, the _Montana_ and _Dakota_. Neither of them,
however, proved to be “record-breakers,” and both of them were
eventually wrecked on the Welsh coast, near the same place, in 1877 and
1880 respectively. The next additions to the fleet were the celebrated
_Arizona_ and _Alaska_, that for a time took the shine out of
everything else afloat. These marvellous ships were built by John Elder
& Co., of Glasgow. The former was over 5,000 tons and the latter nearly
7,000. Their engines, respectively 6,000 and 10,000 horse-power, are
said to have been the finest ever constructed up to that time; their
speed was then accounted quite phenomenal—seventeen and eighteen knots
an hour—reducing the time from Queenstown to New York to 6 days, 21
hours, 40 minutes. That was in 1883. The last ship built for the Guion
Line was still larger and faster than these. The _Oregon_ was 500 feet
long, of 7,375 tons, and 13,300 horse-power. In 1883 she still further
reduced the record to 6 days, 10 hours, 10 minutes. Soon after this the
company became involved in financial difficulties. “Record-breaking”
had not proved to be a paying business. The _Oregon_ passed into the
hands of the Cunard Company, and went to the bottom of the sea as
already stated; the _Alaska_ and _Arizona_ have lain rusting at their
moorings in the Gareloch for years past.


The Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, Limited—better known as the
White Star Line—commenced in 1869, and now occupies a position in
the front rank of the great steamship enterprises of the world.
It originated with Mr. Thomas Henry Ismay, of Liverpool, who had
previously been manager of the White Star Line of sailing clipper ships
in the Australian trade. In 1870 Mr. William Imrie, of the late firm
of Imrie, Tomlinson & Co., became associated with Mr. Ismay in the
management, when the firm took its present name, Ismay, Imrie & Co.
Mr. Ismay retired from the firm in 1891, after forty years of active
business life, but is still chairman of the White Star Line. Having
the financial support of a number of influential shipping men, plans
that had been long maturing took effect in 1869, when negotiations were
entered into with Messrs. Harland and Wolff, of Belfast, to build a
fleet of steamships which should combine the latest improvements, the
best possible accommodation for passengers, with a speed that would
assure fast and regular voyages. How well those conditions have been
secured all who have travelled by the White Star Line can testify.

[Illustration: “OCEANIC,” FIRST OF THE WHITE STAR LINE, 1871.]

The first ship of this line to appear in the Mersey was the _Oceanic_,
in February, 1871. It was at once seen by her graceful lines that she
was “a clipper.” Her machinery was the best known up to that time.
A new feature was that the main saloon and passengers’ berths were
placed as near midships as possible, and separate revolving chairs were
introduced in the dining-room (a great boon to passengers); a number
of other innovations served to attract the notice of the travelling
community, while admirable management on shipboard and ashore inspired
confidence in the line.

The original fleet consisted of six ships—the _Oceanic_, _Baltic_,
_Atlantic_, _Republic_, _Celtic_ and _Adriatic_—all about the same
size, close upon 4,000 tons each. In 1874 and 1875, two remarkable
vessels, as then accounted, were added to the fleet—the _Britannic_
and _Germanic_—by the same builders, with engines from Maudslay,
Son & Field. These boats are 468 feet long, of 5,000 tons and 5,000
horse-power. They easily made sixteen knots an hour, burning only 110
tons of coal per day, and were in every way so satisfactory they became
very popular. No higher compliment can be paid them than the statement
made in 1894 that “they had now been running regularly for twenty
years, giving complete satisfaction to the owners and to the public,
having still the same engines and boilers with which they started.”[19]
In those twenty years these two ships carried 100,000 cabin and 260,000
steerage passengers.


In the meantime the new Cunard steamers, _Umbria_ and _Etruria_, had
outrun the White Star clippers. Again an order was given to Harland
& Wolff for a pair of larger, finer and faster boats than they had
yet built. The magnificent twin screw steel ships, _Teutonic_ and
_Majestic_, filled the bill. The _Teutonic_ was launched in January,
1889. On the 7th of August she left Liverpool on her maiden voyage to
New York, having in the meantime taken part in the naval review at
Spithead, where she was inspected and admired by the German Emperor and
H. R. H. the Prince of Wales. She crossed from Queenstown to Sandy Hook
in 6 days, 14 hours, 20 minutes, then the quickest maiden passage on
record. The _Majestic_ was launched in June, 1889, and made her first
voyage to New York in April following, lowering the record to 6 days,
10 hours, 30 minutes.

These fine ships are each 582 feet in length over all, 57 feet 8
inches in width, and 39 feet moulded depth. Their gross tonnage is
10,000 tons, all to a fraction. They are twin-screw ships, each having
two sets of triple cylinders, 43 inches, 68 inches, and 110 inches
diameter, respectively, together working up to 18,000 horse-power. The
screw-propellers are 19 feet 6 inches diameter, and so fitted that they
overlap 5 feet 6 inches, the starboard propeller being six feet astern
of the other. They have each twelve double-ended and four single-ended
boilers, containing in all seventy-six furnaces. The steam pressure
is 180 pounds to the square inch. The piston stroke is five feet, and
the average revolutions seventy-eight per minute. About four thousand
tons of coal are consumed on the round voyage. Not only do these ships
combine in their construction and equipment all that is best in modern
improvements, but some of the most valuable of these improvements
originated with their builders, and have been largely imitated by

The whole service, food and attendance included, is unexceptionable.
There is ample accommodation for about 300 saloon, 170 intermediate
and 1,000 steerage passengers. As to speed, they “must have swift
steeds that follow” them. The _Teutonic_ has made the western voyage
in 5 days, 16 hours, 31 minutes. The _Majestic_ has done it in 5 days,
17 hours, 56 minutes. In ordinary circumstances the passenger who
embarks at Queenstown may safely calculate that six days will land
him in New York by either of these ships. They are not quite so fast
as the _Lucania_, but to gain the difference, say, of ten hours in
crossing the Atlantic, the Cunarder requires an enormous increase of
driving power—no less than 12,000 horse-power over and above that of
the other. The _Teutonic_ and _Majestic_ are under contract with the
British Government to be used as armed cruisers whenever their services
may be required, the company receiving an annual sum of £14,659 10s.
as a retainer.[20] Each of these steamers has accommodation for one
thousand cavalry and their horses, or for 2,000 infantry. They could
easily reach Halifax from Queenstown in five days, Cape Town in
twelve and a half, and Bombay, _via_ the canal, in fourteen days from
Portsmouth. They could even steam to Bombay, _via_ the Cape, 10,733
knots, in twenty-three days without stopping to coal.

The White Star fleet at present consists of nineteen ocean steamers,
ranging in size from 3,807 to 10,000 tons and upwards. Five of these
steamers are employed in the Atlantic weekly mail service, three keep
up a monthly line to New Zealand, four ply monthly from San Francisco
to Japan and China, the remainder are cargo boats of large carrying
capacity. A number of vessels built for this company have been sold to
other lines and are still running. The _Oceanic_, pioneer ship of the
line, after a few years in the Atlantic service, was transferred to the
company’s trans-Pacific line. On her sixty-second voyage in October,
1889, she crossed from Yokohama to San Francisco in 13 days, 14 hours,
4 minutes, the fastest voyage then on record across the Pacific. Having
completed twenty-five years of successful work she was sold and broken
up in 1896. But the name is to be perpetuated by the magnificent new
steamer now building at Belfast, which in point of size and speed is
designed to surpass any vessel at present afloat. The new _Oceanic_ is
longer than the _Great Eastern_.

Only two ships of this line have been lost. The _Atlantic_ was wrecked
on the coast of Nova Scotia, April 1st, 1873. She had left the Mersey
on March 20th, with 32 saloon, 615 steerage passengers, and a crew of
143—790 in all—of whom about 560 perished, including all the women
and children. What made the disaster even more deplorable, it was not
satisfactorily accounted for. The morning was dark and boisterous, but
not particularly foggy. Captain Williams had mistaken his reckoning,
and was rushing his ship incautiously too near the land.[21] The
_Naronic_ was a fine new cargo ship of 6,594 tons. She left Liverpool,
February 11th, 1893, bound for New York; but she never arrived there.
Two of her boats were picked up on March 4th, but no clue was ever
found to the mysterious disappearance of the ship.

       *       *       *       *       *

Thomas H. Ismay, recently retired from business, has all along been
recognized as the manager-in-chief and moving spirit of the White Star
Line, and a man of exceptional gifts and graces. Conspicuous alike by
his enterprise and culture, Mr. Ismay has given proof of true greatness
in declining honours that were easily within his reach. He might have
been chairman of the London and North Western Railway Company—the
greatest railway company in the world—but he would not. Several times
he might have been returned to Parliament, but he declined. His name
was confidently mentioned in connection with the Diamond Jubilee
honours. Sir Thomas Ismay would have sounded well, but he begged to be
excused, choosing to remain plain Thomas Ismay, of Liverpool, where
his beneficent character is known and appreciated at its full value.
The same may be said of the genial ex-captain of the _Majestic_, and
commodore of the fleet, Captain Parsell, in whose personality were
combined the culture of a gentleman and all the qualifications of
a good sailor. Captain Cameron, of the _Teutonic_, has been in the
service of the White Star Company nearly thirty years, having commenced
his career in the sailing ships. He is one of the most popular
commanders on the route.

       *       *       *       *       *

Messrs. Harland and Wolff, of Belfast, the builders of all the steamers
of the White Star Line, are one of the largest ship-building firms in
the world. They employ between seven thousand and eight thousand men
in their establishment. Sir Edward J. Harland, late head of the firm,
was a Yorkshireman by birth. He served an apprenticeship to engineering
at Newcastle, and studied the art of ship-building in the drawing
office of Messrs. J. & G. Thomson, Glasgow. He was a man of noble
presence, fine ability, and great enterprise. He had been Chairman of
the Harbour Board, Mayor of Belfast, High Sheriff of County Down, a
Justice of the Peace, and a member of Parliament. He was made a Baronet
by the Queen, in 1885, on the occasion of the visit of the Prince and
Princess of Wales to Belfast. Sir Edward died at his home, Glenfarne
Hall, County Leitrim, December 23rd, 1895, aged sixty-four years.

       *       *       *       *       *

The rates of passage by the Cunard, the White Star and the American
Line are nearly identical, and, all things considered, they are not
unreasonable. They are cheaper than the fares by the sailing packets
of sixty years ago. The ordinary rates for first-class passengers,
in summer, vary from $75 to $150, according to the location of the
stateroom, and the number of berths in it; from $40 to $50 for the
second-class cabin, and from $20 to $27 in the steerage. The winter
rates are somewhat less, say, from $75 to $150 in the steamers
_Lucania_ and _Campania_, and from $60 to $150 in other fast boats.
When the rush of travel is in full swing, say, from May to October,
rooms must be secured months in advance. Tickets may then be held at
a fictitious value, and those who will have _special_ accommodation
(suites of rooms, etc., etc.) must pay for it. A fellow-passenger with
me, in one of the New York liners, not long since paid—so, at least,
I was credibly informed—$3,000 for the single voyage for himself,
his wife, two daughters, and two servants. The difference between an
outside and an inside stateroom, in the busy season, may be $135 and
upwards. At such times a room to yourself is a luxury that means money.

What about ocean steamers racing? The question was raised in the
British House of Commons a few years ago, and elicited the answer that
there is no law in the statute book forbidding it. Are not these ocean
greyhounds built and subsidized with a special view to speed? Other
things being equal, the fastest boat draws most passengers. A competing
ship may be in sight or out of sight; it makes little difference.
There is a race going on all the same, and the palm is awarded to the
one that lands the mails in London or New York, as the case may be,
in the fewest number of hours and minutes. Probably ninety-nine out
of every hundred passengers on board the _Majestic_ on a certain day
in May, 1894, if placed in the witness-box, would swear that on that
day an exciting race took place on the high seas, which ended in the
SS. _Paris_ outrunning the _Majestic_, and dashing across her bows in
dangerous proximity! It was an optical delusion. Both ships, no doubt,
were doing their level best, and had they continued their respective
courses much longer, there is no saying what might have happened,
but, at the proper time, Captain Parsell blew off steam, slowed his
ship, put his helm down, and crossed the stern of the _Paris_. It was
beautifully done.

       *       *       *       *       *

And how about these so-called lifeboats, hanging in the davits, so
prettily painted, so neatly encased in canvas, and so firmly secured
in their places? That they are useful sometimes, the writer knows
from personal observation. On a recent voyage from Liverpool to New
York we ran into a dense fog off the Banks of Newfoundland. The steam
whistle gave forth its dolorous sounds all hours of the night, but
the ship rushed on at her accustomed pace. At 4.20 a.m. most of us
were awakened out of our slumbers by a violent shaking of the vessel.
Had we been near land we might have fancied that the ship was grating
along a pebbly bottom, but that could not be. Presently the engine
stopped, and a loud roar of steam from the funnels brought most of the
passengers on deck. It was a raw, damp morning, about daybreak, with
fog as thick as burgoo all around. You couldn’t see half the length of
the ship. Everything on deck appeared to be at sixes and sevens. Where
the after-boats had been ropes and tackles were swinging to the roll of
the ship; orders were being given from the bridge in peremptory tones,
a few sailors were hurrying here and there, yelling out their ready
“Aye, aye, sir!” Down goes another boat. Three or four had already
left the ship and disappeared in the mist. What is it all about? “Oh!
we have run down a fishing schooner and smashed it to smithereens.”
Listen! voices of men in distress are heard; they shout louder and
louder, and are answered, call for call, by the steam whistle. The
ship had overshot the scene of the disaster, but was brought back to
the spot by the instant reversal of her twin-screws—it was that that
shook the ship as if it would have shaken her to pieces. The boats came
in sight one by one, each to be greeted with a hearty cheer. Seven of
the eight fishermen have been rescued! One had left the spar to which
he had been clinging, thinking to swim for the ship, but he quickly
went under and was seen no more. The longboat came first with two of
the survivors; the life-boat came last, strange to say, full of water.
She had struck a piece of wreckage and stove in her bow, but the men
sat up to their waists in water—every sea washing over them—and plied
their oars as merrily as though nothing had happened. They brought two
of the fishermen, one of whom was too weak to grasp the rope ladder
hanging over the ship’s side, and was hoisted up by a cord passed
round his body, a pitiful object. Reaching the deck they took him up
tenderly and carried him below—to die in a few minutes. The remaining
six, some of them badly bruised, were well cared for. A subscription on
their behalf, added to the proceeds of a concert in the second cabin,
realized about £380 sterling, which would cover the loss of their
vessel and its cargo. The whole time occupied in the rescue was one
hour and three-quarters. It was cleverly done: and the ship sailed on.

A fine instance of coolness and sound judgment in a sudden emergency
has been related of Captain E. R. McKinstry, Lieut. R.N.R., of the
SS. _Germanic_, which collided with the steamer _Cambrae_ entering
the Mersey in a dense fog. The _Germanic_ had cut deeply into the
broadside of the other ship, and filled the opening she had made like
a wedge. Had the order been given to reverse the engine the result
would have been disastrous, for the damaged ship must have filled
and sank immediately, but with rare presence of mind the engines of
the _Germanic_ were kept moving slowly ahead, effectually preventing
the rush of water until every soul on board was rescued. Captain
McKinstry is a young man to have reached the top of his profession, and
has already given many proofs of his gallantry and pluck. On several
occasions he has risked his life to save that of others, notably during
the naval review at Spithead, in 1887, when he jumped from the deck of
the _Teutonic_ to rescue a drowning sailor. Another instance of fine
seamanship occurred recently on board the _City of Rome_, Atlantic
liner, which had a narrow escape from destruction by fire on her voyage
to New York with a large number of passengers on board. The coolness
and skill of Captain Young on that occasion merited the highest praise.
Mr. Wonham, of Montreal, one of the passengers, after describing the
steps taken to subdue the flames, and to provide for the safety of the
passengers and crew, concluded his narrative by saying, “I’m like the
American who came to Montreal to enjoy a toboggan slide. He would not
have missed the experience for a thousand dollars, but he wouldn’t go
through it again for ten thousand.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Leaving out of the count innumerable “tramps,” there are many lines
of steamships besides those already mentioned, keeping up regular
sailings between Britain and United States ports. The Wilson Line, of
Hull, has a fleet of about eighty steamers trading to all parts of the
world, with weekly services from Hull and London to New York, and
fortnightly from Newcastle and Antwerp. They also have a fortnightly
service from Hull to Boston. The State Line, now incorporated with
the Allan Line, has a weekly service from Glasgow to New York. The
_State of Nebraska_ and _State of California_ are large and fine
ships with excellent accommodation for passengers at low rates. The
Atlantic Transport Line, with its fine fleet of twin-screw steamers,
connects New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore with London every week.
The North American Transport Company has also a numerous fleet plying
between Norfolk, Va., and New York to Liverpool, Glasgow, Leith,
Rotterdam and Hamburg. The Arrow Line runs from New York to Leith; the
Manhanset Line, to Bristol and Swansea from New York. The Hill Line
plies between London and New York, and the Lord Line between Baltimore
and Belfast. The Chesapeake and Ohio Steamship Company sail their
ships from Newport News and New York to London and Liverpool. The
Blue Flag Line has regular communication with Baltimore and Glasgow,
Liverpool, Dublin, Belfast and Rotterdam. The Lamport and Holt Line
plies between New York, Liverpool and Manchester; the Bristol City
Line weekly between New York and Bristol, while another line makes its
terminus at Avonmouth. Barber & Co.’s steamers run regularly from New
York to Leith, and from Norfolk, Va., and Newport News to Liverpool
and Antwerp. The United States Shipping Company send their ships from
Norfolk to Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Leith and Hamburg.

Besides these there are many lines of steamships leaving New York at
regular intervals for Bermuda, West Indies, Trinidad, New Orleans,
South American ports, Mexico, Central America and San Francisco, via
the Isthmus of Panama.


The great volume of emigration from the continent of Europe, and
especially from Germany, has developed a correspondingly large
steamship passenger traffic. France and Germany have, for many years,
vied with each other as well as with the British shipping companies, in
providing accommodation suitable to the demand. The result is several
fleets of magnificent steamships little inferior in speed and luxurious
appointments to the British and American lines.


established in 1847, is the oldest of the German lines, and has now
attained large dimensions. It began with a small capital and a fleet of
three sailing ships. The average of their westward voyages from Hamburg
to New York was about forty days, and eastward about thirty days; and
they were accounted among the fast ships of their day. In 1867 the
company owned a fleet of ten large transatlantic steamers, several
smaller craft, a considerable amount of real estate and a commodious
dry-dock. In 1872 the fleet had increased to twenty-five steamers, and
a regular weekly service was maintained between Hamburg and New York.
The operations of the company at this time also extended to the West
Indies, South America and Mexico: but 1888 was the _annus mirabilis_ in
the company’s history, for it was then that a new departure was made,
by the construction of twin-screw steamers destined to rival in speed
and elegance the finest steamships afloat. In 1895 the company owned a
fleet of seventy ocean steamers and fifty-one river steamers, having
a combined tonnage of 339,161 tons. Among its steamers there are no
less than eighteen twin-screw passenger ships, all employed in the New
York service. The four express boats of the line at present are the
_Fürst Bismarck_, _Normannia_, _Augusta Victoria_ and _Columbia_, all
twin-screw ships of from 7,578 tons and 13,000 horse-power, to 8,874
tons and 16,000 horse-power.[22] Two of these were built at Stettin,
Prussia, one at Birkenhead, and one, the _Normannia_, by John Elder
& Co., on the Clyde. They have also a fleet of five large twin-screw
steamers, especially adapted for live stock and fresh meat. In ten
years, from 1881 to 1891, the Hamburg-American Line conveyed 525,900
passengers to New York, which was 50 per cent. more than either the
Cunard or White Star Lines during the same period. The capital of the
company is about $7,000,000, and its affairs are said to be exceedingly
well managed. It has paddled its own canoe without State aid from the
commencement, the only addition to its freight and passenger revenues
being a moderate compensation from the American Government for carrying
the mails from New York to Hamburg. The amount received for that
service in 1896 was $30,030.75. being at the rate of about 44 cents
per pound for letters and post cards, and 4½ cents per pound for other
postal matter.[23] The company is said to have in its employment a
permanent staff of six thousand employees.

[Illustration: THE “NORMANNIA,” 1890.]

The _Augusta Victoria_, on her first voyage, made the fastest maiden
trip then on record between Southampton and New York—7 days, 2
hours, 30 minutes. She has since made the run in 6 days, 19 hours,
19 minutes. The _Normannia_ has done it in 6 days, 10 hours, 45
minutes, and the _Fürst Bismarck_ in a few minutes’ less time. The
_Normannia_, built in 1890, was at that time claimed to be one of the
finest steamships afloat. She is 520 feet long and 59 feet wide. On her
trial trip she showed a speed of twenty-one knots. In addition to her
main triple expansion engines, she makes use of fifty-six auxiliary
ones, and is provided with a deck boiler, by which steam is secured
for her pumps in case of the main boilers being rendered useless by
such an accident as befell the _Paris_ a few years ago. Her passenger
accommodation is unsurpassed. The music room is described as a “marvel
of elegance.” The decorations throughout are by the best European

[Illustration: “AUGUSTA VICTORIA.”]

The line has not been exempt from marine disasters and loss of lives.
The _Austria_ was burned in 1858, when only sixty-seven were saved of
the whole ship’s company of 538. By the wreck of the _Schiller_ on the
Scilly Islands, in 1875, 331 persons perished. In 1883 the _Cimbria_
was sunk off the coast of Holland, with the loss of 389 persons. The
_Normannia_, on a recent trip, narrowly escaped collision with a huge
iceberg, but thanks to her good “lookout” and her twin screws, she
sheered off from the towering monarch just in time.

This company has recently added to its fleet one of the largest
freight-carrying steamers afloat. The _Pennsylvania_, built and engined
by Harland & Wolff, Belfast, has a carrying capacity of 21,762 tons,
with accommodation for 200 first-class and 1,500 steerage passengers.
Her length is 585 feet; breadth, 62 feet; draught of water when fully
loaded, 30 feet. She has two balanced quadruple expansion engines,
with five boilers, and carries a working pressure of 210 pounds of
steam. Her three-bladed twin screws, each weighing 9½ tons, make 76
revolutions per minute, developing a speed of fifteen knots an hour.
The _Pennsylvania_ left New York on her first voyage with a cargo of
18,500 tons measurement, said to be the largest cargo ever taken out of
New York in one ship, if not the greatest that any ship in any part of
the world has ever carried.


This company, founded in 1857, has its headquarters at Bremen, and
is also a very large concern, owning a fleet of eighty steamships,
with a total tonnage of over 225,000 and 200,000 indicated
horse-power. Among these are a number of very fine express steamers,
mostly Clyde-built and fitted up with all the latest improvements
in machinery and decoration. The _Kaiser Wilhelm II._, the _Havel_,
_Spree_, _Lahn_, _Trave_ and _Fulda_ are all well-known and favourite
ships on the Atlantic route. Besides maintaining a weekly service
between Southampton and New York, this company has a regular line
running direct from New York to Genoa, Naples, Alexandria and other
Mediterranean ports, and also lines running to India, China, Japan
and Australia. A sad disaster was that which overtook the _Elbe_ of
this line in January, 1895, when she was struck amidships by a trading
steamer, the _Crathie_, and sank in a few minutes, with the loss of 332
lives, only twenty-seven of the whole ship’s company being saved. In
December, 1896, the _Salier_, of this line, while on her voyage from
Bremen to Buenos Ayres, foundered off the coast of Spain, when every
soul on board perished, numbering about three hundred persons.


The largest cargo steamer afloat.]


The largest passenger steamer afloat; holds the Blue Ribbon for the
fastest voyage from Southampton to New York, the highest average speed,
and the greatest day’s run.]

Eight gigantic steamships are being added to the already numerous
fleet. Some of these have already been launched at Stettin, Germany.
The largest of these leviathans is the _Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse_,
which arrived in New York on September 26th, 1897, having made her
maiden voyage from Southampton in 5 days, 22 hours, 45 minutes, the
fastest on record. Her average speed was over twenty-one knots an
hour, and her daily runs as follows: 208, 531, 495, 512, 554, 564,
186; the total distance run was 3,050 knots. Not only has the biggest
ship beaten the Southampton record, but on her maiden trip she has
made the fastest single day’s run. This she did on the nautical day
ending at noon on the 26th, when she reeled off 564 knots. At times she
developed twenty-two knots. Her coal consumption, however, was heavy,
being nearly five hundred tons a day. She was commanded by Captain H.
Englebart. Her return voyage to Plymouth was made in 5 days, 15 hours,
10 minutes; her average speed was about 21.40 knots, and her daily runs
were 367, 504, 500, 507, 510, 519, 55; total, 2,962 knots.[24]

The _Kaiser der Grosse_ is 649 feet in length, 66 feet in width, and
43 feet in depth. She is rated at 14,000 tons burthen and 30,000
horse-power. She has quadruple expansion engines, working at a steam
pressure of 213 lbs., and turning her mammoth twin screws at the rate
of seventy-seven revolutions per minute, and is otherwise conspicuous
by her four funnels. Even the _Pennsylvania_ is thrown into the shade
by this new-comer. She is designed to carry 20,000 tons of cargo, and
from 1,500 to 2,300 passengers. She is the largest steamship afloat
at the present time, having larger carrying capacity than the famous
_Great Eastern_; but her supremacy will be short-lived, for the new
_Oceanic_, of the White Star Line, is still larger, and may prove
faster. To load this great ship entirely with wheat would require the
produce of a field of 40,000 acres, at sixteen bushels to the acre;
and to supply her full complement of passengers would depopulate a
good-sized town. The _Kaiser_ is essentially a new type of ocean
steamship—a magnificent experiment, which will be watched with great
interest in shipping circles everywhere, and one that is not unlikely
to set the fashion for ships of the next decade.


commonly known as the French Line, entered the lists of competition
in 1862, and has developed into a first-class marine service. The
early ships of this company were iron paddle-wheel steamers, which
were built by Scott & Company, of Greenock, but, owing to the
prohibitory duty imposed on foreign-built vessels, it was found to be
more advantageous to have them built in France, the more so as the
Government had introduced the system of giving large “construction
bounties.” This French company has now a magnificent fleet, comprising
upwards of sixty steamships. The Atlantic service employs six very fine
express steamers, _La Touraine_, _La Bourgogne_,[25] _La Bretagne_,
_La Champagne_, _La Gascogne_, _La Normandie_, all of them built in
France except the last named, which was built at Barrow-in-Furness,
in 1882. The _Touraine_ was built at the company’s building yard, at
St. Nazaire, in 1890. She is a steel twin-screw ship of 10,000 tons
net, and 14,000 horse-power. Her length is 520 feet, breadth 56 feet,
and depth 34½ feet. She has triple expansion engines, and is classed
as a nineteen-knot boat. She has made the voyage from Havre to Sandy
Hook (in July, 1892) in 6 days, 17 hours, 30 minutes, the fastest on
record between these ports, the average speed being 19.63 knots, and
the best day’s run, 501 knots. The company’s capital is said to be
$8,000,000, and its credit is good. The line is largely subsidized
by the French Government, and receives compensation from the United
States for carrying the mails from New York to Havre, the amount thus
received in 1896 being $32,806.86. Until the loss of the _Bourgogne_,
the most serious disaster that had overtaken the line was the wreck of
the _Ville de Havre_, in November, 1873, from collision with an iron
sailing ship, the _Lochearn_, which involved the loss of 226 lives,
eighty-seven being rescued. Besides the American business, which is
very large, the company has extensive trade connections with the
Mediterranean and the West Indies.


officially styled the “Nederlandsch-Amerikaansche Stoomvart
Maatschappig,” of Rotterdam, has a fleet of thirteen steamers, most of
them from the shipyard of Harland & Wolff, Belfast, and ranging from
3,000 to 4,000 tons each. They are very fine boats of their class, and
have attracted a fair share of the passenger traffic between New York
and Amsterdam and Rotterdam, sailing alternately for these ports every
week, calling at Boulogne-sur-mere. They carry the United States mails,
which do not seem to be very weighty, as the _pay_ only amounted to
$165.03 in 1896. The latest addition to the fleet is the _Spaarndam_,
formerly of the White Star Line (the _Arabic_), a fifteen-knot ship,
of 4,368 tons and 3,000 horse-power. The company, which commenced this
business in 1872, has a capital of $1,680,000.


dating from 1879, is a Danish enterprise, with a regular service
between Copenhagen and New York, consisting of five ships, the largest
of which is the _Amerika_, of 3,867 tons, formerly the _Celtic_,
purchased from the White Star Line in 1893. This line came into
notoriety in 1889 through the foundering of one of their vessels, the
_Danmark_, in mid-ocean. She had on board 735 souls. On April 5th she
was sighted by the British steamship _Missouri_, Captain Hamilton
Murrell. On April 6th, though a heavy sea was running, by an act of
heroism almost unparalleled, Captain Murrell threw some of his cargo
overboard, and in four and a half hours saved every soul by means of
boats and lines, landing some at St. Michael’s, Azores, and the rest at
Philadelphia. The gallant rescue was suitably acknowledged by public
testimonials from Britain and America to the captain, his officers and


[17] The _St. Paul_, _St. Louis_, _Paris_ and _New York_ have all been
taken over by the United States Government and fitted up as armed
cruisers, the names of the last two being changed to _Harvard_ and

[18] Fry’s “History,” p. 193.

[19] The _Germanic_ has since been overhauled and has now a set of
triple expansion engines, making her a seventeen-knot boat. In July,
1895, she crossed from Queenstown to New York in 6 days, 23 hours, 45

[20] Fry’s “History,” p. 180.

[21] A missionary of the Church of England, who ministered to a few
poor fishermen at Terence Bay, at the imminent risk of his life put off
to the wreck in a small boat and succeeded in saving the life of the
first officer of the ship after all hope of further rescue had been
abandoned, and when even the hardy fishermen forbade the rash attempt.
Mr. Ancient had formerly been attached to the British navy, and during
this heartrending scene acted the part of a hero in his efforts to save
life and to relieve the sufferings of the survivors. Captain Williams
was severely censured, and had his certificate suspended for two years.

[22] This was written before the Hispano-American war began; since
then several of these vessels have been employed by the United States
Government with a change of nomenclature.

[23] “U. S. A. Report on Navigation for 1896,” p. 104.

[24] Last April the great _Kaiser_ surpassed her previous record,
making the voyage from New York to Southampton (3,065 knots) in 5 days,
17 hours, 8 minutes, showing an average speed of 22.35 knots per hour.

[25] THE “BOURGOGNE” DISASTER.—Since the sinking of the _Eutopia_ in
Gibraltar Bay in 1891, no such marine disaster has occurred as that
which recently befell the SS. _Bourgogne_—a, tragedy in some respects
the most appalling that has ever been recorded. This vessel of 7,795
tons—one of the finest of the French line of steamers—sailed from
New York for Havre on the 2nd of July, 1898, with a ship’s company,
including passengers and crew, of 726 souls. Early on the morning of
the 4th, when about sixty miles south of Sable Island, during a dense
fog, and while running at the rate of some eighteen knots an hour, she
came into collision with the British sailing ship _Cromartyshire_, of
1,554 tons, and in a very short time foundered, carrying down with
her about 520 persons. Had it not been for her collision bulkhead the
_Cromartyshire_ must have sunk, too. As it was, she was badly damaged,
but hove to all day in the hope of picking up survivors. In the
meantime the Allan SS. _Grecian_ came up to the scene of the disaster,
the rescued passengers were taken on board, and the disabled ship
was towed into Halifax harbour. The survivors were the purser of the
steamship, three engineers, thirty of the crew, and 170 passengers—204
in all. Of the seventy-two ladies in the first cabin only one was
saved. Captain Deloncle, commander of the _Bourgogne_, was a lieutenant
in the navy, and a knight of the Legion of Honour, having under him a
competent staff of officers who appear to have done what they could
to save the lives of others. All of them went down with their ship
into the sailor’s grave. The loss of life was appalling, but even more
heartrending were the accounts given of the barbarous conduct of some
of the steerage passengers and sailors in the terrible struggle for

[26] Fry’s “History,” p. 309.



During the earlier years of commerce with India, the route from Britain
was by the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, and the Caspian, through
Persia, reaching India at its northern extremity. The sea route, _via_
the Cape of Good Hope, was discovered by the Portuguese in 1497, and
continued to be the great highway of commerce to the East until our own
times. Although circuitous, the Cape route was infinitely preferable
to that of inland seas and deserts infested by hostile tribes, to say
nothing of the advantage of reaching destinations without transhipment.

The importance of India as a field of British enterprise began with
the incorporation of the East India Company in the year 1600. From a
small trading company it gradually became a vast aggressive monopoly,
with a large standing army at its back, and a numerous fleet of ships
that served the double purpose of carrying merchandise and fighting
the French, or any other covetous enemy. In 1811, when the company
had reached the zenith of its power, it owned sixty-seven ships, each
armed with from 30 to 38 guns; thirty-one ships of from 20 to 28 guns,
and fifty-two ships of from 10 to 19 guns. The sea route to Calcutta
was over 13,000 miles, and not unfrequently a whole year was occupied
in making the round trip. In the days of clipper ships, however, the
single voyage was sometimes accomplished inside of one hundred days.


Lieutenant Thomas Waghorn, R. N., an English naval officer, applied
to the British Government for assistance in carrying out a project
he had conceived of opening communication by steam between Britain
and her great East Indian Empire. The result of his labours was the
opening up of the overland mail route, as it was called, consisting
at first of a steam service from Marseilles to Alexandria, thence
by camel and Nile steamer to Cairo, a caravan across the desert to
Suez, and steamers _via_ the Red Sea to Bombay and Calcutta. The next
improvement was the substitution of a railway for “The Ship of the
Desert,” in 1858, and the transmission of the English mails to Brindisi
instead of Marseilles, and finally, the construction of the Suez Canal
by Ferdinand Lesseps, the French engineer, at a cost of sixty million
dollars. The canal is ninety-nine miles long with a width of 327 feet
for 77 miles and 196 feet for the remaining 22 miles; the depth was
originally twenty-six feet throughout, but the canal is undergoing
progressive enlargement and deepening. The British Government in
1875 acquired by purchase shares in the enterprise to the value of
£4,000,000 sterling. By a convention signed in 1888, the canal was
exempted from blockade, and vessels of all nations, whether armed or
not, may pass through it in peace or in war.[27] The North German
Lloyd SS. _Frederick the Great_, of 10,500 tons register, which passed
through the canal a few months ago _en route_ for Australia, is the
largest vessel that has passed through it. The canal was first opened
for traffic in 1869.

By the overland route the distance from London to Bombay has been
reduced to 5,221 miles, and to Calcutta, 6,471 miles. The contract time
for the transmission of mails is 16½ and 18½ days respectively. Sir
Douglas Fox, engineer of the railway from Acre to Damascus, speaking
of the proposal to extend that road to the mouth of the Persian Gulf,
prophesied that in a few years the journey from Charing Cross to
India will be covered in eight days! It will be accomplished in about
the same length of time, _via_ Russia, when the great trans-Siberian
railway is completed. When that is accomplished, the actual running
time of an excursion around the world may possibly be reduced to thirty
days or even less.

       *       *       *       *       *

In preceding pages reference has been almost exclusively made to the
development of steam navigation on the North Atlantic; a brief allusion
must now be made to the effects produced on the commerce of other parts
of the world by the introduction of steam power. The Atlantic steamers
were probably the first to bridge the ocean; they are, perhaps, the
most numerous to-day; certainly they include some of the largest and
most magnificent specimens of marine architecture in existence, but
they are only a wing of the world’s fleet of steamships. There are
other great lines of ocean steamers performing services of equal
importance elsewhere, though with their history and their “records” we
are less familiar. An excellent summary of the lines of communication
with India, and the East generally, is given in “Whitaker’s Almanacks”
for 1896 and 1897, under the caption of “Our Ocean Mail.” Mr.
Macdonald, in “Our Ocean Railways,” devotes a couple of chapters to an
interesting survey of this branch of our subject.


commonly known as the “P. & O.” Co., is the second oldest steam-packet
company in existence. It had its origin in a small steamship
undertaking, started in 1836 under the name of the “Peninsular
Company,” to trade between Falmouth and Lisbon. Their first vessel was
the _William Fawcett_, a paddle-steamer of 206 tons, built in 1829. The
first steamer despatched for India by this company was the _Hindostan_
of 1,800 tons and 250 horse-power, about the year 1842. From that time
until now the history of the company has been a continuous record of
progress and prosperity They now carry the mails not only to India,
but to China and Australia, having in their service a magnificent
fleet of over sixty steamers, ranging from 2,500 tons to 7,560 tons,
and aggregating some 220,000 tons. The SS. _Caledonia_ is at present
the largest and fastest vessel employed in the Indian trade, and has
succeeded in landing her mails in Bombay within 12½ days of their
despatch from London. Their contract time for the delivery of mails
in Shanghai is 37½ days, and 35½ days to Melbourne, Australia. Over
$35,000,000 have been expended on the fleet of the P. & O. Company
in the last twenty years, and they are now building several steamers
of 8,000 tons for the mail service. Among the larger boats of the
fleet at present are the _Arcadia_, 6,670 tons; _Australia_, 6,901;
_Himalaya_, 6,898; _Oceanea_, 6,670, and the _Victoria_, 6,527 tons.
During the Crimean war, and at the time of the Indian mutiny, this
company rendered important services to the Government in the rapid
conveyance of troops and stores. The regularity with which the mail
service has been conducted is remarkable when the length of the routes
is considered. It is seldom that the mails are even an hour late in
being delivered. The ships combine all the latest improvements in their
construction, machinery and internal fittings.

[Illustration: P. & O. STEAMSHIP “CALEDONIA.”]

The P. & O. steamers leave London every Saturday for India, and
fortnightly for Australia and China. The first-class ordinary fare to
Bombay, Madras, or Calcutta by this line is £55 sterling; second-class,
from £35 to £37 10s. To Adelaide, Melbourne or Sydney, Australia,
first-class, £60 to £70; second-class, £35 to £40. To China and Japan,
first-class, £73 10s.; second-class, £42. The rates for special
accommodation are, of course, considerably higher.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Orient Steam Navigation Company was formed in 1877 by two
well-known shipping firms—Anderson, Anderson & Co. and F. Green &
Co. The first steamer to leave London under the flag of the Orient
Line was the _Garonne_, acquired by purchase, and followed by the
_Chimborazo_, _Lusitania_ and _Cuzco_. Two of these are now used
on exclusively pleasure cruising voyages in the Mediterranean and
elsewhere, while a number of large and powerful ships have been built
for the mail line. The _Orient_, built by Robert Napier & Sons,
Glasgow, in 1879, was the largest steamer constructed on the Clyde up
to that time. She was 400 feet long, 5,365 tons register, and with
engines of 6,000 indicated horse-power. Her speed was seventeen knots
on her trial trip. The latest additions to the fleet are the _Ophir_,
6,057 tons; _Orizaba_, 6,077; _Oroya_, 6,057, and the _Ormuz_, 6,031
tons. The _Ophir_ is 482 feet long, 53 feet beam, and 37 feet moulded
depth. She is fitted with triple expansion engines and twin screws,
and all the other modern improvements which go to make up a “floating
palace.” The company receives a subsidy from the Imperial Government of
£85,000 sterling per annum for carrying the mails, which are despatched
fortnightly from London calling at Plymouth, Gibraltar, Naples, Port
Said, Suez, Colombo, Albany, Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney, Australia.

       *       *       *       *       *

The British India Steam Navigation Company dates from 1855, when the
East India Company first took steps to establish a mail service between
Calcutta and Burmah. In 1862 the name was changed from the Calcutta and
Burmah Steam Navigation Company to that which it now bears. Since then
the business has greatly increased, and it now boasts of having more
steamers than any company trading to the East. Its fleet consists of
106 vessels with a total tonnage of about 270,000. They are nearly all
called by Eastern names, such as the _Golconda_, 6,036 tons; _Matiana_,
5,000 tons; _Okhla_, 5,283 tons; _Onda_, 5,272 tons, and _Obra_, 5,456
tons. The distance annually travelled by ships of this line counts up
to 5,000,000 miles. The sailings are about fortnightly from London to
Colombo, Madras and Calcutta. The fares to Madras and Calcutta are from
£47 10s. to £52 10s., according to accommodation. The first steamers
of the line—the _Cape of Good Hope_ and the _Baltic_—were despatched
to India _via_ the Cape. The _India_ of this line is said to have been
the first steamer to pass through the Suez Canal. In 1872 a contract
was entered into with the East India Company for a monthly service from
Aden to Zanzibar. Then a coast line was established from Bombay to
Calcutta, calling at eighteen intermediate ports, with a branch line
running up the Persian Gulf. In 1880 arrangements were made with the
Government of Queensland for a mail service that soon developed into a
large trade. At the breaking out of the mutiny in 1857, a detachment of
the 35th Regiment was brought up from Ceylon to Calcutta by one of the
ships of this line most opportunely. Again, in 1863, thirteen steamers
of this fleet were taken up by the Government in connection with the
Abyssinian expedition.

Some years ago the _Quetta_, of this line, on her voyage from
Queensland, struck a rock in Torres Straits and sank in a few minutes
with the loss of 133 lives. Among the survivors was a plucky young
lady, a Miss Lacy, who, after having spent twelve hours upon a raft,
attempted to swim ashore, and kept afloat in the water for twenty-four
hours without a life-belt or support of any kind, until she was picked
up by a boat from a passing steamer.

[Illustration: THE “QUETTA” GOING UNDER, 1890.]

The Clan Line, established in 1878, has a fleet of some thirty-five
ships, all rejoicing in the prefix of “Clan” to their names. They
are comparatively small vessels, the largest of them being the _Clan
Grant_, 3,545 tons; _Clan MacArthur_, 3,934; _Clan MacIntosh_, 3,985;
_Clan MacPherson_, 3,921, and _Clan Matheson_, 3,917 tons. They run
from Glasgow and Liverpool to Bombay; from the same ports to Colombo,
Madras and Calcutta; also to Cape Colony and Natal, Delagoa Bay, Beira
and Mauritius. The saloon fare by this line from Liverpool to Madras or
Calcutta is £45; second class, £30.

The Bibby Line has long been famous on the Mediterranean. It is
now the direct route to Burmah, and controls a large share of the
trade with Ceylon and southern India. It employs five of Harland &
Wolff’s first-class steamships—the _Staffordshire_, _Shropshire_ and
_Cheshire_, twin screw ships of 6,000 tons; and the _Lancashire_ and
_Yorkshire_ of 4,260 tons each. This line is the recognized route for
officers returning from India at the expiry of furlough. The sailings
are from Liverpool to Egypt, Colombo, southern India and Rangoon. Only
first-class passengers are carried. Fare to Rangoon, £50.

The Shaw, Savill & Albion Company, formed some thirteen years ago,
has been very successful. It has five fast mail steamers—the _Arawa_,
5,026 tons; _Doric_, 4,786; _Ionic_, 4,753; _Tainui_, 5,031, and the
_Gothic_, 7,730. Besides these they have a large number of cargo
steamers and sailing ships. The _Gothic_ is said to be the largest
steamship employed in the Australian trade, and the _Arawa_ the
fastest, having made the run from Plymouth to New Zealand in 38 days,
30 minutes; and from New Zealand to Plymouth in 35 days, 3 hours, 40
minutes—the fastest on record.

The Union Steamship Company of New Zealand advertises to take
passengers from Auckland to England, _via_ San Francisco, in
_thirty-one_ days! Saloon fare, £66; steerage, £32 11s. 7d.

The Anchor Line has two services to India: (1) from Liverpool to Bombay
and Kurrachee; (2) from Liverpool to Calcutta. The sailings in each
case are about once a fortnight. Though chiefly adapted for freight,
they carry a considerable number of passengers at low rates, say, to
Bombay or Calcutta, first-class, £45, and second-class, £30. The City
Line has also two distinct services, the same as the Anchor Line, to
Bombay and Kurrachee and to Calcutta. The fares are the same. This line
has a fleet of fourteen steamers, among the largest of which are the
_City of Bombay_, 4,548 tons; _City of Vienna_, 4,672 tons; _City of
Oxford_, 4,019 tons; _City of Calcutta_, 3,906 tons.

The Hall Line, from Liverpool to Kurrachee and to Bombay, calling
at Marseilles, sails about once in three weeks. The ships are all
about four thousand tons. The fare from Liverpool to Bombay is, for
first-class, £47 10s., and for second-class, £30. The Henderson
Line has sailings from Liverpool to Rangoon every three weeks, with
accommodation for second-class passengers. The New Zealand Shipping
Company has a fine fleet of steamers, from four thousand to six
thousand tons, sailing once in three weeks from London to New Zealand
ports, Tasmania and Australia. Fare to Auckland, £68, and to Melbourne
or Sydney, £72. The North German Lloyd Line has a monthly service from
Southampton to China and Japan, and also to Australia. Holt’s Line has
sailings once a fortnight to China, Japan and Australia from Liverpool.

There are various other lines of steamers in the Eastern trade, but the
above-named are the most important, unless we include the _Messageries
Maritime_ and the _Rubattino_ Lines, both of which are formidable
competitors for the freight and passenger traffic. The former is a
French line, which has been in existence since 1852, and has attained
a high rank. The fleet numbers about sixty vessels, many of them very
large, handsomely fitted and fast. They are noted for their elaborate
_cuisine_, which attracts a certain class of travellers, and though
their rates are somewhat higher than the other first-class lines,
they have long been very popular. The line to India has sailings from
Marseilles and Trieste once a fortnight. The Messageries Company
receives a very large subsidy from the French Government. The _Ville
de la Ciotat_, built for the Australian trade, is a magnificent ship
of 6,500 tons and 7,000 horse-power. The _Rubattino_ is an Italian
line, which has a numerous fleet of steamers, chiefly adapted for the
Mediterranean trade; but they have also a number of large vessels
sailing at regular intervals from Genoa and Naples to Bombay.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Eastern trade is enormous. The total exports from and to India,
Ceylon, the Straits, Labuan and Hong Kong amounted in 1889 to
$1,031,000,000. The exports and imports to and from Australia amounted
in the same year to nearly $526,000,000.[28] The net tonnage which
passed through the Suez Canal in 1894 was 8,039,105 tons.


The African Steamship Company is one of the oldest and largest shipping
concerns in the African trade. It originated in 1832 as a private
expedition by MacGregor Laird, of Liverpool, for the purpose of
exploring the Niger River. In 1852 the company received its charter,
and agreed to perform a monthly mail and passenger service to West
Africa in consideration of an annual subsidy of £30,000. The pioneer
ships were the _Forerunner_, _Faith_, _Hope_ and _Charity_. Year after
year numerous fine vessels were added to the fleet, among which are the
_Leopoldville_, 3,500 tons; _Assaye_, 4,296 tons; _Mohawk_, 5,658 tons,
and the _Mobile_, 5,780 tons. In 1891 this company amalgamated with the
Elder, Dempster Company of Liverpool, and now have regular services
from Liverpool to South-West Africa; from Hamburg and Rotterdam to West
and South-West Africa; and from Antwerp to South-West Africa.

The Union Steamship Company was first formed in 1853, with a fleet of
five small collier steamers. In 1857 a contract was obtained for a
mail service to the Cape for five years at £30,000 a year. The service
proved so satisfactory that the contract was renewed and extended.
The Union Line now carries the English mail to the Cape and Natal,
and also from Hamburg, Rotterdam, Antwerp and Southampton to Cape
Town, Port Elizabeth, East London and Natal, making calls at Madeira
and Teneriffe. The _Scot_, built for this company by the Dennys of
Dumbarton, is a fine ship of 6,850 tons, and has made the shortest
voyage on record from Southampton to Cape Town, viz., 14 days, 11
hours. The _Norman_, of 7,537 tons, one of Harland & Wolff’s steel
twin-screw ships, is the largest vessel employed in the South African
trade. The _Guelph_, _Greek_, _Gaul_ and _Goth_ are also twin-screw
ships, close upon 5,000 tons each.

The Castle Line, founded by Sir Donald Currie in 1872, has attained a
front rank in shipping circles. Since 1876 this line has carried the
Royal mails between England and South Africa. The fleet numbers some
fourteen or fifteen powerful steamers, of from 3,600 to 5,636 tons,
such as the _Tantallon Castle_, _Dunottar Castle_, _Roslin Castle_,
_Doune Castle_, etc. The voyage to the Cape of Good Hope, which used
to occupy from thirty to thirty-four days, is now accomplished by the
Castle Line in half that time. Until recently this company enjoyed an
enviable immunity from marine disasters, not having lost a single life
through mishap of any kind; but one dark and hazy night in June, 1896,
one of the best-known ships of the line—the _Drummond Castle_—while
attempting to sail through the perilous channel between the Island of
Ushant and the mainland, struck a sunken rock, and almost immediately
went to pieces, only three persons out of a ship’s company of 250
having survived to tell the tale.

       *       *       *       *       *

The British and African Steam Navigation Company, established in
1868, conveys passengers and mails from Liverpool to the west coast
of Africa. It has a fleet of twenty-four steamers, and maintains seven
distinct services. It is under the management of Elder, Dempster & Co.
The ships are from 2,000 to 3,000 tons register, and derive their names
from the rivers and ports which they frequent, _e.g._, the _Bakana_,
_Batanga_, _Loanda_, _Boma_, _Calabar_, etc.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Natal Line, from London to Natal, Delagoa Bay, and other East
African ports, was founded by Messrs. Ballard, King & Co. in 1879.
They employ a fleet of ten steamers, ranging from 1,600 to 2,750
tons—larger vessels being unable to cross the bar at Natal. They have
also a colonial service under contract with the Government of Natal,
from Cape Colony and Natal to Madras and Calcutta. There is also the
Aberdeen Line from London to Natal direct; the British and Colonial
Steam Navigation Company from London to South and East Africa; the East
African mail service of the British India Line, and the German East
African Line. The fares from London to Delagoa Bay vary according to
the class of ships, from 35 guineas by the Natal Line, to £67 10s. by
the British India Line.


The Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, the ships of which line sail
from Southampton to the West Indies, Central America, North and South
Pacific, Brazil and River Plate, was founded in 1839, and has a large
fleet of powerful steamers. The _Danube_, _Nile_, _Clyde_, _Thames_,
_Magdalena_ and _Atrato_ are all over 5,000 tons, with engines of
from 6,773 to 7,500 indicated horse-power. Among the smaller ships is
the _Trent_, a namesake of the historic vessel which was boarded by
the United States cruiser, _San Jacinto_, in 1861, when the seizure
of Slidell and Mason nearly provoked a war with Great Britain. The
West India and Pacific Steamship Company, with a fleet of seventeen
steamers, keeps up a good line of communication between Liverpool, the
West Indies, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean seas. The _American_
and _European_ are each 7,730 tons; the _Barbadian_, _Cuban_,
_Jamaican_, _Mexican_ and _Tampican_ are from 4,020 to 4,500 tons.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Pacific Steam Navigation Company, incorporated in 1840, conducts
a line of mail steamers from Liverpool to Brazil and River Plate,
continuing the voyage to the west coast of America _via_ the Straits of
Magellan. This company are the pioneers of steam navigation along the
southern shores of the Pacific, and between Europe and the West Coast.
They have also running in the Orient Line, from London to Australia,
four of their largest steamers, viz., _Orizaba_, _Oroya_, _Oruba_ and
_Orotava_, all over 6,000 tons. They have a large fleet of other ships,
such as the _Orissa_, _Orcana_, _Potosi_, _Liguria_, _Iberia_, ranging
from 4,000 to 5,000 tons each, and they are building others of large

Messrs. Lamport and Holt have a fine fleet, consisting of over sixty
steamers, running from Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, London, Antwerp
and New York, to Brazil, River Plate, and the west coast of South
America. A large percentage of their steamers are capable of carrying
between 5,000 and 6,000 tons of cargo, and have a speed of from 10½ to
12 knots at sea. They also carry a limited number of passengers. The
largest of their steamers are the _Canova_, 5,000 tons; _Cavour_, 5,500
tons; _Cervantes_, 5,000 tons, and the _Horace_, 4,000 tons. The Wilson
Line—Thomas Wilson, Sons & Co. (Limited), Hull—in addition to their
North American lines of steamers, have a fortnightly service to Bombay
and Kurrachee, a monthly service to Australia, and a line of steamers
running to River Plate ports, to suit the trade.

The fare from Southampton to the West India Islands runs from £25 to
£35; from New York, by the Atlas Line, $50; and to Bermuda, by the
Quebec Steamship Company, sailing from New York every Thursday, $25.


The idea of connecting the Atlantic with the Pacific Ocean by a railway
through British territory had long been a cherished vision of British
and Canadian statesmen, railway engineers, and travellers in the far
West; but owing to the vastness of such an enterprise for a people
of four millions, a “baseless vision” it continued to be until after
the confederation of the provinces in 1867. Twenty years before that
time, Major Carmichael Smyth, writing to “Sam Slick,” advocated the
construction, by convict labour, of a trans-continental railway through
British territory, and prepared a map on which the possible route of
such a railway was marked—almost identical with that of the Canadian
Pacific Railway.[29] Hon. Joseph Howe, in course of a speech made at
Halifax in 1851, said he believed that many of his auditors would
live to hear the whistle of the steam-engine in the passes of the
Rockies, and to make the journey from Halifax to the Pacific in five
or six days. Hon. Alexander Morris, in his lecture, “Nova Britannia,”
delivered in 1855, predicted the accomplishment of such an enterprise
in the near future. Judge Haliburton, Sir Edward Bulwer, Sir George
Simpson and other _savans_ had all prophesied after the same manner.
Sure enough, it was one of the earliest measures that came to be
discussed in the first Parliament of the new Dominion. Preliminary
surveys were commenced in 1871 by Sandford Fleming, chief engineer, and
the work of construction by the Government followed soon after. But it
early became apparent that Government machinery was ill adapted for
successfully dealing with a work of such magnitude, and one unavoidably
leading to political complications. It was therefore resolved to have
the road built by contract. Finally, in 1881, the Canadian Pacific
Railway Company was organized, the prime movers of the enterprise
being Messrs. George Stephen and Donald A. Smith, of Montreal. At
this time the Government had under construction 425 miles between
Lake Superior and Winnipeg, and 213 miles in British Columbia. This
company undertook to complete the railway from Quebec to Vancouver,
a distance of 3,078 miles, within ten years, for which they were to
receive $25,000,000 in money, and twenty-five million acres of land,
together with the sections of railway already under construction by the
Government, the entire railway when completed to remain the property
of the company. Such was the energy of the contractors and the skill
of their engineers, the railway was completed in one-half of the time
stipulated; for on the 7th of November, 1885, the last rail was laid
on the main line, and by next midsummer the whole of the vast system
was fully equipped and in running order. The opening of the Canadian
Pacific Railway was followed by an immense development of traffic.

The natural outcome of this was the inauguration of a line of
steamships from the western terminus of the road to Japan and China,
as well as to Australia. Sooner than might have been expected, three
very fine twin-screw steel ships were built at Barrow-on-Furness for
the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, under contract with the Imperial
and Dominion Governments for carrying the mails to Japan and China. The
ships are named the _Empress of India_, _Empress of China_ and _Empress
of Japan_.

The inauguration of the “Empress Line” was of the nature of a
magnificent ovation. The maiden trips of the three sisters were
largely advertised in connection with an all-the-way-around-the-world
trip, _via_ Gibraltar, Suez, Colombo, Hong Kong, Yokohama and
Vancouver, and thence by the Canadian Pacific Railway across the
continent and home again by any of the Atlantic liners, all for the
modest sum of $600. The proposal took readily, with the result that
the three ships had a full complement of cabin passengers, all of whom
expressed themselves as delighted with the arrangements which had been
made for their comfort. The first steamer, the _Empress of India_, with
141 saloon passengers, reached Hong Kong on the 23rd of March, 1891,
under easy steam, in forty-three days from Liverpool; leaving Hong Kong
on April 7th, she reached Yokohama on the 16th. She left on the 17th,
and, although encountering a very heavy gale, reached Victoria, B. C.,
in 10 days, 14 hours, 34 minutes, an average speed of 406 miles a day,
or just 17 knots an hour. The regular monthly service from Vancouver
to Japan and China commenced in the autumn of the same year. For this
service the company receives an annual subsidy of $300,000, and an
additional subvention of about $35,585 to secure their services to the
British Government whenever the vessels may be required as transports
or cruisers. The three ships are all just alike. They are painted white
and are beautiful models, with raking masts and funnels, and graceful
overhanging bows. They are each 485 feet in length, 51 feet moulded
breadth, and 36 feet in depth; gross tonnage about 6,000 tons each.
They have triple expansion engines of 10,000 indicated horse-power,
which with 89 revolutions per minute, and a consumption of only 170
tons of coal a day, drive the ships at an average speed of 17 knots
an hour. The arrangements and fittings for passengers are of the most
complete and even luxurious description. The saloons and staterooms are
tastefully decorated, handsomely furnished, and brilliantly lighted
by electricity. They have ample accommodation for 180 first-class, 32
second-class, and 600 steerage passengers, with capacity for about
4,000 tons of cargo. They cost about $1,000,000 each.

[Illustration: C. P. R. STEAMSHIP “EMPRESS OF JAPAN.”]

The distance from Vancouver to Hong Kong is 6,140 nautical miles; the
average passage is about twenty-two days. Yokohama is 4,300 knots from
Vancouver, and the average passage is from eleven to eleven and a half
days; but in August, 1891, the _Empress of Japan_ made the voyage in
9 days, 9 hours, 39 minutes, the shortest time on record, being at
the rate of eighteen and a half knots an hour. After a fairly quick
railway run across the continent to New York, and close connection with
a swift Atlantic greyhound, her mails were delivered in London in the
unprecedentedly short time of 20 days, 9 hours from Yokohama. This feat
astonished London, and gave rise to speculations of rapid communication
with the East hitherto undreamed of. Even with existing facilities, it
is now not only possible, but it is easy to go round the world by this
route in less than seventy-five days, and to do it in palatial style
for less than $1,000!

In connection with the Canadian Pacific Railway a line of steamers
commenced a monthly service in 1893 between Vancouver and Australia,
calling at Shanghai, Sandwich Islands, Brisbane, Queensland and
Sydney, N. S. W. The pioneer ships are the _Warrimoo_ and _Miowera_,
of about 5,000 tons each, which have so far given a very satisfactory
service. They receive a small subsidy from the Canadian and Australian
Governments as a means of developing trade and commerce between the
two countries, and as forging another link in the chain that binds
the colonies to the Mother Country. A third steamer, the _Aorangi_,
has recently been added to this line. The distance from Vancouver to
Sydney, direct, is 6,832 knots, and the voyage has been made by the
_Miowera_ in 19½ days, showing that with a fast Atlantic service and
close connections the quickest route from England to Australia will be
_via_ Canada.

Still more recently, the unprecedented rush of adventurous gold-seekers
to the Klondike has induced the Canadian Pacific Railway Company to
inaugurate another line of steamships to ply between Victoria and
Vancouver and ports on the northern Pacific coast. Two very fine
Clyde-built steamers have been placed on this route, the _Tartar_ and
the _Athenian_, of 4,425 and 3,882 tons, respectively. These vessels
are fitted up in first-class style, with excellent accommodation for
large numbers of passengers. With the exception of the Empress Line
of steamships to Japan and China, they are said to be much the finest
steamers on the North Pacific coast.

George Stephen, now Lord MountStephen, was born at Dufftown,
Banffshire, Scotland, June 5th, 1829: came to this country in 1850,
when he entered into business in Montreal, and was the pioneer of the
woollen manufacturers in Canada. He became President of the Bank of
Montreal and also of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which was completed
mainly through his Lordship’s energy. Sir George Stephen, Baronet—so
created in January, 1886—was elevated to the British peerage in May,

       *       *       *       *       *

Donald A. Smith, now Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal, who was
associated with Lord MountStephen in the construction of the Canadian
Pacific Railway, was born at Archieston, Morayshire, August 6th, 1820.
He came to Canada in 1839 on the Hudson’s Bay Company’s staff, and
eventually became Governor of that corporation. He has represented the
city of Montreal in the Dominion Parliament, is President of the Bank
of Montreal, and Chancellor of McGill University. He succeeded Sir
Charles Tupper as High Commissioner for Canada in London in August,
1896. He received the honour of knighthood from Her Majesty the Queen
in May, 1886, and was raised to the peerage on the occasion of Her
Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, in 1897. The gifts of both these gentlemen
for educational and philanthropic purposes have been upon a princely
scale, running up into millions of dollars.


[27] “Whitaker’s Almanack,” 1897, p. 543.

[28] “Our Ocean Railways,” p. 119.

[29] “Statistical Year-Book, 1896,” under Railways, p. 20.



The British Navy—Marine Distances—Sunday at Sea—Icebergs and Tidal

Great as have been the changes brought about by steam navigation
applied to commercial uses, the transformations of the navies of the
world have been even more remarkable. It seems almost incredible that
at the commencement of Her Majesty’s reign there were less than twenty
steamships in the British navy, and none of them over 1,000 tons
burthen. Of the 560 “sail” comprising the navy of 1836, ninety-five
were “ships of the line.” The largest of these were styled “first-rate
ships;” all of them wooden three-deckers, carrying 100 guns each, or
more. One of the most difficult problems the Admiralty of that time
had to solve was how to ensure a sufficient supply of oak timber for
ship-building purposes. Forty full-grown trees to an acre of ground was
accounted a good average; at that rate it required the growth of fifty
acres to produce enough timber to build one seventy-four-gun ship; and
as the oak required at least a hundred years to reach maturity, and
the average life of a ship was not much over twenty-five years, the
acreage required to produce the entire quantity was enormous. But the
prospect of an oak famine was speedily dispelled by the substitution of
iron and steel for wood in naval architecture.

[Illustration: “DUKE OF WELLINGTON” BATTLE-SHIP, 1850.]

Of the 689 vessels of all kinds constituting the British navy in 1897,
there are only about twenty-two wooden ones, and these are nearly all
used either as store ships or training ships, seldom, if ever, to leave
their anchorage. And so entirely has the paddle-wheel been superseded
by the screw-propeller, there are not left a dozen paddle-steamers in
the entire fleet, including the Queen’s yachts and a few light-draught
river boats. As already mentioned the compound engine was introduced
into the navy in 1863. The twin screw was first applied to the
_Penelope_ in 1868, and has since become universal in vessels of war,
the result of these improvements being a marvellous increase of power
and speed, with a great saving of fuel. Roughly speaking, a pound of
coal is to-day made to produce four or five times the amount of power
that it did in 1837.

Experiments had been made with steam power in the navy as early as
1841. In 1845 as many as nineteen sets of screw engines had been
ordered for the Admiralty, but it was not until some years later that
it came into general use. About 1851 the _Duke of Wellington_,[30] the
_Duke of Marlborough_, the _Prince of Wales_, etc., all full-rigged
ships, each armed with 131 “great guns,” were fitted with auxiliary
steam-engines of from 450 to 2,500 horse-power. The introduction of
iron armour-plating—first practised by the French towards the close of
the Crimean war—presaged the beginning of the end of “the wooden walls
of Old England,” and the disappearance forever of the beautiful white
wings that had spread themselves out over every sea.

[Illustration: TORPEDO DESTROYER “HORNET,” 1896.]

The _Warrior_, completed in 1861, was built entirely of iron, protected
at vital points by armour-plating four and a half inches in thickness,
which, at the time, was supposed to render her invulnerable. She was
the precursor of a class of enormous fighting machines, which, however
ungainly in appearance, have increased the sea-power of Britain to
an incalculable extent. But, alas, for the four and a half inches of
armour-plating! Developments in gunnery called for increased thickness
of protective armour. The rivalry betwixt gun and armour-plate, keenly
contested for years, has not yet been definitely settled; but when
ships’ guns are actually in use weighing 110 tons and over, capable
of throwing a shot of 1,800 lbs. with crushing effect a distance of
twelve miles, and, on the other hand, when ships are to be found
carrying twenty-four inches of protective iron and steel plating, it
seems as if the climax had been nearly reached. In the meantime the
insignificant-looking “torpedo destroyer” is coming to the front as one
of the most formidable instruments of marine warfare. Although only
about 200 feet long, with a displacement of perhaps 250 tons, they
have yet a motive power of 5,000 to 6,000 horse-power, and a speed of
from 25 to 35 knots an hour. Some of these destroyers are supposed to
be strong enough to deal a death-blow to a first-class battle-ship,
and all of them are swift enough to overhaul the fastest cruiser on
the ocean. The estimation in which they are held by the Admiralty is
apparent from the fact that already upwards of one hundred of them are
in commission, and many more are being built. Twenty-five destroyers,
it is said, can be built for the cost price of one battle-ship, and
in actual warfare there would be exposed the same number of lives in
fifteen destroyers as in one battle-ship.

Although no great naval battles have taken place to test the power
of the steam navy of Britain, it has been occasionally demonstrated
in the form of object lessons. The great Jubilee review of 1887 was
a magnificent spectacle, when there were assembled at Spithead 135
ships of war, fully armed and manned, and ready to assert Britain’s
sovereignty on the high seas. Two years later the exhibition was
repeated in the presence of admiring Royalty. In January, 1896, shortly
after President Cleveland’s threatening message to Congress, and while
strained relations with Germany had arisen out of complications in
South Africa, in an incredibly short space of time the famous “flying
squadron” was mobilized and made ready for sea and any emergency
that might transpire, without at all encroaching on the strength of
the ordinary Channel fleet. The recent naval review in connection
with Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, however, surpassed any previous
display of the kind, not alone as a spectacular event, but as a telling
demonstration of sea-power, such as no other nation possesses. On this
occasion 166 British steamships of war were ranged in line extending to
thirty miles in length, and this without withdrawing a single ship from
a foreign station; the only regret expressed on this occasion being
that not one of the old “wooden walls” was there with towering masts
and billowy clouds of canvas to bring to mind the days and deeds of
yore, and to emphasize the remarkable changes introduced by steam.

The following table published by the London _Graphic_ exhibits in
convenient form the numerical strength of the British navy at the
beginning of 1897:

                           │     │          │          │Officers│
        Classification.    │ No. │   Tons.  │  Horse-  │   and  │ Guns.
                           │     │          │  Power.  │   Men. │
    Battleships,  1st class│  29 │  377,176 │  355,000 │ 19,291 │ 1,301
        "         2nd class│  12 │  114,030 │   75,000 │  5,672 │   346
        "         3rd class│  11 │   77,820 │   57,600 │  5,487 │   365
        "         armoured │  18 │  136,960 │  116,000 │ 10,386 │   604
    Coast Defence,         │     │          │          │        │
        Iron-clads         │  16 │   61,410 │   30,460 │  3,211 │   209
    Total armored          │  86 │  767,390 │  634,060 │ 44,047 │ 2,825
    Cruisers, 1st class    │  17 │  157,950 │  278,000 │ 10,514 │   688
       "      2nd class    │  57 │  243,820 │  461,100 │ 19,346 │ 1,359
       "      3rd class    │  52 │  110,685 │  220,340 │ 10,994 │   927
    Gunboats, Catchers     │  33 │   25,940 │  113,300 │  2,935 │   203
        "     Coast Defence│  42 │   11,828 │    5,860 │  1,527 │   106
    Sloops                 │  22 │   23,305 │   28,000 │  2,764 │   318
    Gunboats,              │     │          │          │        │
        1st class (police) │  20 │   15,810 │   23,400 │  1,670 │   202
    Miscellaneous Vessels  │  24 │  112,712 │  202,300 │  4,998 │   318
    Torpedo Boats          │     │          │          │        │
        and Destroyers     │ 250 │   25,000 │  300,000 │  5,860 │   690
            Grand Total    │ 689 │1,494,440 │2,266,360 │104,855 │ 7,638

First-class battle-ships are vessels of from 10,000 to 15,000 tons
displacement, with steam-engines of 10,000 to 12,000 horse-power and
attaining a speed of from seventeen to eighteen knots. To this belong
the _Magnificent_, the _Majestic_, the _Renown_, the _Benbow_, etc.
The first three carry each four 12-inch guns, twelve 6-inch, sixteen
12-pounders, twelve 3-pounders, eight machine guns, and five torpedo
tubes. The _Benbow_ carries two 16.25-inch guns, each weighing 110
tons, in addition to her armament of smaller pieces. Second-class
battle-ships, such as the _Edinburgh_ and _Colossus_, are under 10,000
tons, and with 5,500 horse-power develop a speed of about fourteen
knots. Third-class battle-ships are represented by the _Hero_ and
_Bellerophon_, vessels of 6,200 and 7,550 tons respectively.

First-class cruisers include such well-known ships as the _Blake_ and
the _Blenheim_, each about 9,000 tons with 20,000 horse-power and
twenty-two knots speed. The _Powerful_ and _Terrible_, also belonging
to this class, are among the finest ships in the navy, each 14,200
tons, 25,000 horse-power, twenty-two knots speed, and having crews of
894 men. Additions to the British navy are not made arbitrarily, but
with due regard to the enlarged and improved naval armaments of other
countries, and with the determination to keep well ahead of all foreign
rivals. Accordingly we find that an order was given by the Admiralty
in 1897 for the construction of four additional battle-ships and four
large cruisers of great speed, the former to be of the _Majestic_
type, but with heavier guns, more efficient armour and higher speed,
at the same time of slightly less draft, so that if necessary they can
pass through the Suez Canal. The cost of a first-class battle-ship,
including armament, is about £700,000 sterling or about $3,500,000.
A first-class cruiser of the ordinary type costs £450,000, but the
_Powerful_ and _Terrible_, when ready for sea, are said to have cost
£740,000 each. The latest type of torpedo destroyer costs £60,000.
The largest projectiles used in the service (as in the _Benbow_) are
16¼ inches diameter, weigh 1,820 lbs., and are fired with a charge of
960 lbs. of powder. The average annual expenditure for construction
and repairs is between four and five millions, but in 1896 it reached
£7,500,000 sterling.


Flag-ship of Vice-Admiral Sir John A. Fisher, K. O. R., in Command of
the British North Atlantic Squadron, 1898.]

An interesting feature of the Diamond Jubilee review at Spithead, as on
former occasions, was the presence of representatives of the mercantile
marine in the garb of armed cruisers. By arrangements between the
Admiralty and the Cunard, the P. & O., the White Star, and the Canadian
Pacific Steamship companies, £48,620 were paid last year in the form
of subventions, the vessels so held at the disposal of the Government
being the _Campania_, _Lucania_, _Teutonic_, _Majestic_, _Himalaya_,
_Australia_, _Victoria_, _Arcadia_, _Empress of India_, _Empress of
Japan_, and _Empress of China_.

[Illustration: “TEUTONIC,” ARMED CRUISER, IN 1897.]

Many other mercantile steamers besides these are also at the disposal
of the Government, being subsidized, and the facilities for converting
them into armed cruisers at short notice are most complete, a reserve
stock of breech-loading and machine guns being kept in readiness
at convenient stations where the transformation can be effected in
a few hours. The armament of the _Teutonic_ when she appeared at
Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee review consisted of eight 4.7-inch
quick-firing guns, and eight Nordenfeldt guns. As an example of how
quickly a large auxiliary fleet might at any time be equipped, the case
of the _Teutonic_ is in point. Leaving New York on Monday, June 14th,
with her usual mails and passengers, she reached Liverpool on the 21st.
Between that and the 24th she discharged her cargo, was thoroughly
cleaned, took on her armour and full complement of naval officers and
men, and having on board a host of distinguished guests, was at her
appointed place in the review on Saturday, the 26th. Returning to
Liverpool, she laid aside her guns, and on the 30th sailed for New
York, as if nothing had happened. The _Campania_, which left New York
two days later than the _Teutonic_, also appeared at the review in
holiday dress, her only armament, however, on this occasion consisting
of a large detachment of members of the Houses of Lords and Commons,
among whom doubtless were many “great guns.”


A nautical mile, or “knot,” is about 6,082.66 feet; a statute, or
land mile, 5,280 feet; the knot is, therefore, equal to 1.1515 mile.
The circumference of the earth being divided geographically into 360
degrees, and each degree into 60 nautical miles, the circumference
measures 21,600 knots, equal to about 25,000 statute miles. Knots can
be readily reduced to statute miles by means of the following table:

    Knots  │   1  │   2  │   3  │   4  │   5  │   10  │   25  │   100
           │      │      │      │      │      │       │       │
    Miles  │ 1.151│ 2.303│ 3.454│ 4.606│ 5.757│ 11.515│ 28.787│ 115.148

When the _Lucania_ averaged 22 knots, she was running at the rate of
25⅓ statute miles an hour; her longest day’s run (560 knots) was equal
to 644¾ miles, about the distance covered by an ordinary fast express
train on the Canadian Pacific Railway.

The old-fashioned ship’s “log” is a piece of wood in the form of a
quadrant, loaded with lead at the circumference, to which is attached
a line of 120 fathoms or more. Allowance being made for “stray line,”
the balance is divided into equal distances by knots and small bits
of coloured cloth. The distance between each knot is the same part of
a mile that 30 seconds is of an hour (the 120th); the length between
knots should thus be a trifle over 50 feet. The number of knots run out
in half a minute (as measured by the sand-glass) indicate the number of
nautical miles the ship is running per hour.

Even express steamships do not always sail between given points exactly
as the crow flies. Various reasons lead to the selection of different
routes, and even when following the same route, the actual distance run
varies a little on each voyage. The Cunard Line, as a precautionary
measure, has four sharply defined “tracks” across the Atlantic—two for
the westward and two for the eastward voyages—one pair being used in
summer and the other in winter, or the ice season.[31] The northern
route, used from July 15th to January 14th, is considerably shorter
than the southern route, which is followed from January 15th to July
14th. The distances by these routes are given by the company as follows:

    Queenstown to Sandy Hook,  by  northern track  2,782 knots.
         "          "    "      "  southern   "    2,861   "
    Sandy Hook to Queenstown,   "  northern   "    2,809   "
         "          "    "      "  southern   "    2,896   "

Daunt’s Rock, Queenstown, being about 244 knots from Liverpool,
and Sandy Hook lightship 26 knots from New York, the distance from
Liverpool landing-stage to the dock in New York by the Cunard’s
northern track is about 3,052 knots, and by the southern track, 3,131
knots; from New York to Liverpool, 3,079 and 3,166 knots, respectively.
Captain W. H. Smith says that the shortest distance that can be made
between Liverpool and New York is 3,034 knots.

                     TABLE OF DISTANCES.[32]

  Sandy Hook to Antwerp                                     3,336 knots.
       "        Bremen                                      3,484  "
       "        Copenhagen                                  3,800  "
       "        Genoa                                       4,060  "
       "        Gibraltar                                   3,200  "
       "        Glasgow, _via_ North of Ireland             2,941  "
       "        Hamburg                                     3,510  "
       "        Havre                                       3,094  "
       "        London                                      3,222  "
       "        Naples                                      4,140  "
       "        Southampton                                 3,100  "
       "        Queenstown                                  2,809  "
       "        Liverpool, _via_ northern route             3,088  "
  Quebec to Montreal, by the river                            160 miles.
     "         "      by the Canadian Pacific Railroad        172  "
     "      Rimouski                                          180  "
     "      Belle Isle                                        747  "
     "      St. John’s, Newfoundland                          896  "
     "      Moville, _via_ Belle Isle and North of Ireland  2,460 knots.
     "      Liverpool, "      "           "         "       2,633  "
     "          "      " Cape Race        "         "       2,801  "
     "          "      "      "     and South       "       2,826  "
     "      Glasgow    " Belle Isle and North       "       2,564  "
     "          "      " Cape Race        "         "       2,732  "
     "      Queenstown, _via_ Belle Isle                    2,473  "
  Moville to Liverpool                                        190  "
  Halifax to New York                                         538  "
     "       Quebec                                           680  "
     "       St. John’s, Newfoundland                         520  "
     "       Liverpool, _via_ North of Ireland              2,450  "
     "           "       "  South        "                  2,475  "
     "       London                                         2,723  "
     "       Glasgow                                        2,381  "
     "       St. John, N. B.                                  277  "
     "       Portland, Me.                                    336  "
     "       Sable Island                                     169  "
     "       Boston, Mass                                     420  "
  St. John’s, Newfoundland, to Galway, Ireland, which
    is the shortest land-to-land voyage                     1,655  "
  Liverpool to St. John, N. B., _via_ North of Ireland      2,700  "
      "        Portland, Me.,    "    "         "           2,765  "
      "        Boston, Mass.,    "    "         "           2,807  "
      "        Queenstown                                     244  "
  Montreal to Halifax, _via_ Intercolonial Railroad           845 miles.
      "          "      "  Canadian Pacific Railroad          756  "
      "       Boston,   "  Central Vermont Railroad           334  "
      "       Portland, Me., _via_ Grand Trunk Railroad       297  "
      "       New York, _via_ Central Vermont Railroad        403  "
      "       Toronto,   "  Grand Trunk Railroad              333  "
      "          "       "  Canadian Pacific Railroad         338  "
      "          "      by water                              376  "
      "   Winnipeg, Man., _via_ Canadian Pacific Railroad   1,424  "
      "     Vancouver, B.C., "      "       "        "      2,906  "
  Vancouver to Yokohama, Japan                              4,283 knots.
      "        Shanghai, China                              5,330  "
      "        Hong Kong   "                                5,936  "
      "        Honolulu, Hawaii                             2,410  "
      "        Sydney, N. S. W.                             6,824  "
  Lech Ryan to Quebec, _via_ Belle Isle                     2,513  "
      "        North Sydney, C. B.                          2,161  "
      "        Halifax, N. S.                               2,330  "
      "        St. John, N. B.                              2,580  "
  Milford Haven to Quebec, _via_ Belle Isle                 2,587  "
      "        Halifax                                      2,353  "
      "        North Sydney, C. B.                          2,186  "


As far as circumstances permit, Sunday is observed with as much decorum
on shipboard as it is on shore; that is, on the British and American
lines. As for the continental steamers, the traveller may expect to
become acquainted with a continental Sabbath, which, in most cases,
means the ignoring of the day of rest altogether. On our Canadian
steamships, weather permitting, public worship is usually held in
the saloon, at 10.30 a. m. Sometimes there is an evening service as
well, but more frequently an impromptu service of song, much enjoyed
by the musical portion of the company, and that is frequently a large
proportion of the passengers—ladies especially. The order of service
is entirely at the discretion of the captain. In the absence of a
clergyman, the captain reads the morning service and the Scripture
lessons for the day from the Book of Common Prayer. If there is a
Protestant minister on board it is customary to invite him to take the
whole service; if there be more than one minister available, each of
them may be asked to take part in the service. On the New York liners,
as a rule, there is no sermonizing, no matter how many ministers may be
on board. The captain and purser read the morning service, or portions
of it; a couple of hymns are sung; a collection is taken up for the
benefit of the Seamen’s Home, or kindred object, and that is all. There
are, however, exceptions to this rule. When the captain is prevented by
his duties on deck from conducting the service, a clergyman, if there
be one among the passengers, is usually asked to assist. A deviation
from the rule is often made when a minister of outstanding celebrity
happens to be on board. Ministers like the late Dr. Norman Macleod,
or Dr. William M. Taylor, would invariably be asked to preach, no
matter what line they travelled by. The service-book of the Cunard
Company consists of selections from the Book of Common Prayer, with
the addition of a form of prayer prepared by the General Assembly of
the Church of Scotland, for the use of sailors and persons at sea. A
singularly beautiful prayer it is:

      “Almighty God, who art the confidence of all the
    ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon
    the sea; under whose protection we are alike secure
    in every place, and without whose providence we can
    nowhere be in safety; look down in mercy on us, thine
    unworthy servants, who are called to see thy wonders
    on the deep, and to perform the duties of our vocation
    in the great waters. Let thine everlasting arm be
    underneath and round about us. Preserve us in all
    dangers; support us in all trials: conduct us speedily
    and safely on our voyage, and bring us in peace and
    comfort to our desired haven.

      “Be pleased to watch over the members of our families,
    and all the beloved friends whom we have left behind.
    Relieve our minds from all anxiety on their account
    by the blessed persuasion that thou carest for them.
    Above all, grant that our souls may be defended
    from whatsoever evils or perils may encompass them;
    and that, abiding steadfast in the faith, we may be
    enabled so to pass through the waves and storms of this
    uncertain world, that finally we may come to the land
    of everlasting rest, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

The service-book also contains the Psalms of David in prose, and a
collection of 107 hymns, including four of the Scotch paraphrases. The
hymn most frequently sung at sea is the one beginning with “Eternal
Father, strong to save,” and next to it, “O God, our help in ages
past.” Evangelistic services of a less stately kind than in the saloon
are often held in the afternoon in the second cabin or steerage, and
are usually much appreciated; while in the evening the deck hands will
join with groups of emigrants in singing Moody and Sankey hymns, such
as “Revive us Again,” “Rescue the Perishing,” “Whiter than Snow,” etc.
It is often remarkable to notice how familiar people of diverse creeds
and nationalities are with these hymns, and how heartily they unite in
singing them.

A favourite text with preachers on shipboard is Rev. xxi. 1: “And there
was no more sea.” The theme, associated, as it is, with so many fathoms
of profundity, has yielded to many forms of treatment. I remember that
a young minister, my room-mate, by the way, on his first voyage out
from Quebec, chose this for his text, and that he launched out, as well
he might, on the charms of the sea in poetical flights of fancy. But
the while we were sailing in smooth water. When outside the Straits
he laid his head on the pillow and underwent a change of environment,
recovering from which, after many days, he vowed that should he ever
preach from that text again, he would have something more to say
about it. I remember, too, that an elderly gentleman—a Presbyterian
of the Presbyterians—was asked by the captain to preach one Sunday
morning. He readily complied, taking it for granted that he was to
conduct the whole service. Imagine his chagrin when an Anglican brother
unexpectedly appeared on the scene and went through the whole of the
long service of the Church of England. With the utmost composure,
_Πρεσβύτερος_ simply ignored the beautiful liturgical service,
commenced _de novo_, and went through the whole service afresh, in
orthodox Presbyterian fashion, to the surprise of the congregation and
the discomfiture of the waiters, whose time for setting the lunch-table
was long past.

A distinctive and pleasing feature of these Sunday services at sea,
especially in the larger steamships, which often carry more passengers
than would fill an ordinary church, is the heartiness with which
the representatives of various religious denominations unite in the
services. The lines of demarcation that separate them when ashore seem
to be lost sight of at sea. Casual acquaintanceship here frequently
ripens into closer friendship; people begin to see eye to eye, and
soon the conviction grows stronger that the doctrinal points on which
all professing Christians are agreed are much more important than the
things about which they differ. It would do some narrow-minded souls a
world of good to spend a few Sundays at sea.

The office for the burial of the dead at sea is very solemn and
affecting. In the days of sailing ships, when voyages lasted so much
longer, deaths from natural causes at sea were more frequent than now.
But the order of service is the same. The body of the deceased person
might be sewed up in a hammock—indeed, it usually was—or the carpenter
may have made a rough coffin for it. In either case it was heavily
loaded with iron at the foot. A stout plank with one end resting on the
bulwark forms the bier on which is laid the corpse, covered with an
ensign. The captain, the chief engineer, the ship’s doctor and purser,
with a detachment of the crew, and a few of the passengers, make up the
funeral party. Portions of the Church of England’s beautiful service
for the burial of the dead are read: “I am the Resurrection and the
life.” ... “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” ... “We brought nothing
into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” ... “Man
that is born of a woman hath but a short time to live,” etc. The
ship’s engines are then stopped for a few seconds while the service
proceeds—“We therefore commit his body to the deep, looking for the
resurrection of the body when the sea shall give up her dead.”

The ensign is removed. The inward end of the plank is raised, and
the mortal remains are plunged into the greatest of all cemeteries;
sometimes with scant ceremony, perhaps, but always impressing on the
mind of the spectator a deeply pathetic incident that will never be

    “And the stately ships go on
      To their haven under the hill;
    But O for the touch of a vanished hand,
      And the sound of a voice that is still.”


Icebergs and bewildering fogs, as has been already said, are a large
element of danger in the St. Lawrence route. The passengers who sailed
with me on the _Lake Superior_, from Montreal on July 1st, 1896,
will not soon forget the magnificent display of icebergs which they
witnessed on the Sunday following. From early morning until midnight,
for a distance of more than 250 miles, the ship’s course lay through an
uninterrupted succession of icebergs—a procession, it might be called,
on a grand scale of masses of ice in all manner of fantastic shapes
and of dazzling whiteness—travelling to their watery graves in the
great Gulf Stream of the south. Mountains of ice, some of them might
be called. On one of them a grisly bear was alleged to have been seen
sulkily moving to and fro, as if meditating how, when and where his
romantic voyage was to come to an end. The day was calm and cloudless—a
perfect day for such a marvellous exhibition. It might have been
otherwise, and how different may be imagined from reading what appeared
in the English papers a few weeks later—the account of a ship’s narrow
escape from destruction in this identical locality:

[Illustration: H. M. YACHT “VICTORIA AND ALBERT,” 1855.

2,470 tons; 2,980 h. p.: speed. 16.8 knots; armament, 2 six-pounders;
crew, 151 men.]

      “STRUCK AN ICEBERG.—The SS. _Etolia_
    on her voyage from Montreal to Bristol narrowly escaped
    destruction from collision with an iceberg twenty-four
    hours after leaving the eastern end of Belle Isle
    straits. A dense fog had set in, the lookout was
    doubled, and the engines slowed; presently the fog
    lifted, but only to come down again thicker than
    ever. In a very short time the lookout called out,
    ‘Ice ahead!’ The engines were promptly stopped, then
    reversed at full speed. Meanwhile the towering monster
    bears down on the ship and in a few seconds is on top
    of it. It was a huge berg, rising high above the masts
    of the steamer, which it struck with such a crash that
    some three hundred tons of ice in huge pieces came down
    on the forecastle. Fortunately most of it rebounded
    into the sea, but some forty or fifty tons remained
    on the ship’s deck. The ship trembled under the blow
    from stem to stern; her bows were smashed in, but the
    leakage was confined to the fore-peak. In this battered
    condition the _Etolia_ lay without a movement of the
    engines for thirty-six hours until the fog cleared,
    when Captain Evans had the satisfaction of proceeding
    on his course and bringing his passengers and crew
    safely into Bristol harbour.”

A still more serious disaster was reported on August 25th of the same
year (1896):

      “The captain of the steamer _Circassia_, of the Anchor
    Line, had a story to tell, on her arrival at quarantine
    early this morning, of picking up a captain and his
    twenty-two men on the high seas from three open boats.
    It was Captain Burnside and the entire crew of the
    British tramp steamer _Moldavia_, bound from Cardiff
    to Halifax with coal, who were rescued by the timely
    approach of the _Circassia_. During the dense fog over
    the sea on last Wednesday, the _Moldavia_ ran into a
    huge iceberg and stove her bows so badly that she began
    to fill rapidly. It was 5.30 o’clock in the afternoon.
    As soon as a hasty examination showed that it would be
    impossible to save his ship, Captain Burnside ordered
    the lifeboats provisioned and cleared away, and as
    soon as it could be done the steamer was abandoned and
    shortly afterwards sank. The lifeboats kept together
    and watched for a passing vessel, and thirty-five hours
    later the _Circassia’s_ lights were seen approaching.
    Blue lights were at once shown by the occupants of the
    lifeboats, and the _Circassia_ altered her course.
    When near enough, Captain Boothby, of the _Circassia_,
    hailed the lifeboats and told the men that he would
    pick up the boats and their occupants. Accordingly
    the davits’ tackle were lowered, and as each life-boat
    approached she was hooked on and raised bodily,
    occupants and all, to the deck of the _Circassia_.”

The icebergs of the North Atlantic are natives of Greenland or other
Arctic regions where glaciers abound. They carry with them evidence
of their terrestrial birth in the rocks and debris with which they
are frequently ballasted. The glacier, slowly moving over the beds of
rivers and ravines, ultimately reaches the seaboard, to be gradually
undermined by the action of the waves, and, finally, to fall over into
deep water and be carried by winds and currents into the open ocean. In
their earlier stages icebergs are constantly being augmented in size by
storms of snow and rain, and by the freezing of the water washed over
them by the waves. They are of all sizes, from a mere hummock to vast
piles of ice half a mile in diameter, and showing an altitude above the
sea of two or three hundred feet, sometimes rising to a height of five
and even six hundred feet, and that is scarcely more than one-eighth
of the whole mass, for a comparatively small portion only of the bulk
projects above the surface, as may be plainly seen by dropping a
piece of ice in a tumbler full of water. In proof of this, it is by
no means uncommon to find icebergs of ordinary dimensions stranded in
the straits of Belle Isle in seventy or eighty fathoms of water. Being
frequently accompanied by fog—of which they may be the chief cause—they
are often met with unawares, though their nearer approach is usually
discovered by the effect which they produce on the air and the water
surrounding them, suggesting to the careful navigator the frequent
use of the thermometer to test the temperature of the water where ice
is likely to be encountered. They are seldom met with below the 40th

Field-ice, covering a surface of many square miles, with a thickness of
from ten to twenty feet, is frequently fallen in with off the coasts of
Labrador and Newfoundland. Though less dangerous to navigation than the
iceberg, it is often a serious obstruction. Vessels that incautiously
run into a pack of ice of this kind, or have drifted into it, have
often found themselves in a _maze_, and have been detained for weeks at
a time, and not without some risk to their safety in heavy weather.

       *       *       *       *       *

TIDAL WAVES.—Notwithstanding elaborate treatment of the subject by
hydrographers, stories about ocean tidal waves are most frequently
relegated by landsmen into the same category with tales of the great
sea-serpent. Sailors, however, have no manner of doubt as to their
existence and their force. During violent storms it has been noticed
that ocean waves of more than average height succeed each other at
intervals—some allege that every seventh wave towers above the rest.
Be that as it may, there is no doubt that a sudden change of wind
when the sea is strongly agitated frequently produces a wave of
surpassing magnitude. Other causes, not so obvious, may bring about
the same result, producing what in common parlance is called a “tidal
wave.” This is quite different from the tidal wave proper, which
periodically rushes up the estuaries of rivers like the Severn, the
Solway, the Garonne, the Hoogly and the Amazon. In the upper inlets
of the Bay of Fundy, where the spring-tides rise as high as seventy
feet, the incoming tide rushes up over naked sands in the form of a
perpendicular white-crested wave with great velocity. The tidal wave
of the Severn comes up from the Bristol Channel in a “bore” nine feet
high and with the speed of a race-horse, while the great bore of the
Tsien-Tang-Kiang in China is said to advance up that river like a wall
of water thirty feet in height, at the rate of twenty-five miles an
hour, sweeping all before it.[33] The ocean tidal wave dwarfs these and
all other waves by its huge size and tremendous energy. The effective
pressure of such a wave being estimated at 6,000 pounds to the square
foot, it is easy to understand how completely it becomes master of the
situation when it topples over on the deck of a ship. Only once in the
course of a good many voyages has the writer been an eye-witness of its
tremendous force. The occasion was thus noticed in the New York papers
of the 2nd and 3rd of August, 1896:

      “The American liner _Paris_ and the Cunarder _Etruria_,
    which arrived on Saturday, had a rough-and-tumble
    battle before daylight on Tuesday morning with a summer
    gale that had an autumn chill and a winter force in
    it. The wind blew a whole gale and combed the seas as
    high as they are usually seen in the cyclonic season.
    The crest of a huge wave tumbled over the port bow of
    the _Etruria_ with a crash that shook the ship from
    stem to stern, and momentarily checked her speed; a
    rent was made in the forward hatch through which the
    water poured into the hold, flooding the lower tier of
    staterooms ankle-deep. The ship’s bell was unshipped,
    and it carried away the iron railing in front of it,
    snapping iron stanchions two inches in diameter as if
    they had been pipe-stems. The _Paris_, about the same
    hour and in the same locality, shipped just such a sea
    as that which hit the _Etruria_, but received less
    damage. It fared much worse, however, with the sailing
    ship _Ernest_, from Havre, which was fallen in with on
    the morning of the gale showing signals of distress.
    The French liner _La Bourgogne_, came to her rescue and
    gallantly took off the captain and his crew of eleven
    men, abandoning the shattered ship to her fate with ten
    feet of water in her hold.”

It is not often that a tidal wave visits the St. Lawrence, but in
October, 1896, the SS. _Durham City_, of the Furness Line, when off
Anticosti, was struck by a big wave which carried away her deck-load,
including sixty eight head of cattle and everything movable. It was
only one sea that did the damage, but it made a clean sweep.

By a figure of speech, ocean waves are frequently spoken of as running
“mountains high,” and the popular tendency is doubtless towards
exaggeration. The estimate of experts is that storm waves frequently
rise to forty feet, and sometimes even to sixty or seventy feet in
height from the wave’s base to crest.

[Illustration: H. M. SS. “CRESCENT.”

Presented by publishers of the “Star Almanac,” Montreal, 1896.

This outline represents one of the smaller types of British warships,
known as first-class cruisers. The _Crescent_ was launched at
Portsmouth in 1892, and cost £383,068. She is 360 feet long and 60 feet
beam. Her tonnage is 7,700 tons; her indicated horse-power 12,000, and
her speed 19.7 knots an hour. Her armament consists of one 22-ton gun,
twelve 6-inch quick-firing, twelve 6-pounder _do._, five 3-pounder
_do._, seven machine guns and two light guns. The _Crescent_ was for
several years the flagship of Vice-Admiral James Elphinstone Erskine,
on the North American and West Indies Station, and is consequently well
known in Canadian waters. She visited Quebec several times.]


[30] The _Duke of Wellington_ was 240.6 feet long, 60 feet beam, 3,826
tons burthen, and 2,500 horse-power. She was engined by Robert Napier &
Sons, Glasgow, with geared engines and wooden cogs, and made 10.2 knots
an hour on her trial trip in 1853. The _Rattler_, of 1851, was 179½
feet long, 32¾ feet beam, had geared engines of 436 horse-power, and
attained a speed of 10 knots.

[31] See also p. 90.

[32] Based on a compilation by Captain W. H. Smith.

[33] “Encyclopedia Brit.,” Vol. xvii., p. 581, 8th Ed.



    The Allan, Dominion, Beaver, and other Canadian Lines
        of Ocean Steamships—Sir Hugh Allan—A Fast Line
        Service, etc., etc.

Were it not that the St. Lawrence is hermetically sealed for five
months of the year, it would undoubtedly be a more formidable rival
to the Hudson than it now is. That great drawback, however, is not
the only one. The navigation of the St. Lawrence has always been
somewhat difficult and hazardous. The seven hundred and fifty miles
of land-locked water from Quebec to Belle Isle is notorious for swift
and uncertain tides and currents, for treacherous submerged reefs
and rocks, and shoals in long stretches of the river, for blinding
snow-storms and fields of floating ice in the lower reaches at
certain seasons of the year, for icebergs which abound on the coasts
of Labrador and Newfoundland, and for bewildering fogs. With such a
combination of difficulties it is not to be wondered at that shipwrecks
have been frequent; that they have not been more numerous must be
mainly attributed to good seamanship and an intimate knowledge of
the route. Nautical appliances and charts are very much better than
they were thirty or forty years ago. The efficiency of the lighthouse
system has been greatly increased, and, what is vastly important, the
masters of mail steamers are no longer restricted to time, but on the
contrary are instructed that whenever the risk of life or of the ship
is involved, speed must be sacrificed to safety.

The St. Lawrence route has some advantages over the other. It is nearly
five hundred miles shorter from Quebec to Liverpool than from New York.
Other things being equal, passengers by this route have the advantage
of 750 miles of smooth water at the beginning or end of their voyage,
as the case may be. For these and other reasons many prefer the St.
Lawrence route. It has become popular even with a good many Americans,
especially from the Western States, and will certainly become more so
if the contemplated “fast service” is realized, by which the ocean
voyage—from land to land—would be curtailed to three days and a half!

In the discussions that have arisen on the subject, the danger of
running fast steamers on this route has, in many instances, been unduly
magnified. Past experience tends to show that the actual risk is not
necessarily increased by fast steaming. Shipwrecks in the Gulf of St.
Lawrence during later years have been confined to cargo and cattle
steamers. Not one of the faster mail boats has been lost during the
last sixteen years. The chief difficulty in the way of establishing
a twenty-knot service for the St. Lawrence is that of the ways and
means. Would it pay? Certainly not by private enterprise alone, but the
favour with which the project is regarded by the Imperial and Dominion
Governments leaves little doubt that it will be accomplished in the
near future.

[Illustration: CAPTAIN W. H. SMITH, R.N.R.]

Captain W. H. Smith, formerly Commodore of the Allan Line, in command
of the _Parisian_, and who, from long service on this route, is
well qualified to express an opinion, states in his report to the
Government that he sees no reason why there should not be a fast line
of steamers to the St. Lawrence. “If,” he says, “the St. Lawrence
route is selected for the proposed fast line, there should be no
racing in competition with other large steamers, and the same amount of
caution must be taken which has been exercised of late years by senior
officers of the Allan and other lines trading to Canada; and it will be
absolutely necessary for the safety of navigation that the commanders
and officers of any new company should be selected from the most
experienced officers of existing lines.”

In 1853 a Liverpool firm, Messrs. McKean, McLarty and Lamont,
contracted with the Canadian Government to run a line of screw
steamers, to carry Her Majesty’s mails, twice a month to Quebec in
summer, and once a month to Portland during the winter, for which
the company was to receive £1,238 currency per trip, under certain
conditions, one of which was that the ships should average not more
than fourteen days on the outward, nor more than thirteen days on the
voyage eastward. The ships of the first year were the _Genova_, 350
tons; _Lady Eglinton_, 335 tons; and Sarah Sands, 931 tons. Their
average passages were wide of the mark. Next year the _Cleopatra_,
_Ottawa_ and _Charity_ were added to the line. The _Cleopatra_ made her
first trip to Quebec in _forty-three days_; the _Ottawa_ never reached
Quebec at all, but after dodging about some time among the ice at the
mouth of the St. Lawrence, made for Portland. The _Charity_ reached
Quebec in twenty-seven days. As a matter of course the contract was


The failure of the Liverpool firm to fulfil their contract opened the
way for Canadian enterprise, and the man who was destined to see it
carried out to a successful issue was already awaiting his opportunity.
That man was Hugh Allan (the late Sir Hugh), a man of intense energy
and force of character. The Allans came honestly by their liking for
the sea and ships. Their father, Alexander, was a ship-owner, and
himself the well-known captain of the _Favourite_, one of the most
popular vessels then sailing from the Clyde to the St. Lawrence. The
five sons were born at Saltcoats, in sight of the sea. Two of them,
James and Bryce, followed the sea for a number of years and reached
the top of their profession. Alexander took up the shipping business
established by his father in Glasgow, where he was afterwards joined by
his eldest brother, James, under the firm name of James and Alexander
Allan. Bryce, on retiring from the sea, became head of the shipping
house in Liverpool. Hugh, the second son, became a partner in the
well-known firm of Miller, Edmonstone & Co., afterwards changed to
Edmonstone, Allan & Co., Montreal. His brother Andrew joined the firm
some years later, when its name was changed to that of Hugh and Andrew
Allan. The three firms, in Glasgow, Liverpool and Montreal, had become
the owners and agents of a large fleet of sailing ships; but the time
came when it was evident that mails and passengers must be carried to
Canada, as elsewhere, by steam power.

[Illustration: CAPTAIN McMASTER.]

The opening of the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railway between Montreal
and Portland in 1852 was one of the most important events in the
commercial history of Canada. It gave Montreal a winter port; for as
yet neither Halifax nor St. John had any railway communication with
the western provinces. Given a good winter port, there seemed to be
no reason why a line of steamships should not be established to
ply between Liverpool and Montreal in summer, with Portland for the
winter terminus. The Allans, seeing that the time had come for a new
departure, succeeded in forming a joint stock company, under the name
of the Montreal Ocean Steamship Company. As its name implied, it was
virtually a Canadian enterprise. The principal shareholders, besides
the Allans, were Messrs. William Dow, John G. Mackenzie and Robert
Anderson, of Montreal; George Burns Symes, of Quebec, and John Watkins,
of Kingston. A few years later the Allans became sole owners of the
concern, which then became known as the ALLAN LINE.

       *       *       *       *       *

The first two steamers of the Montreal Ocean Steamship Company were the
_Canadian_ and _Indian_, built by the famous Dennys, of Dumbarton. They
were pretty little iron screw steamers, of about 270 feet in length,
34 feet wide, and of 1,700 tons burthen each. The _Canadian_ made her
first voyage to Quebec in September, 1854, but the Crimean war having
commenced, steamers of this class were in demand, and these two were
taken into the service and profitably employed as government transports
as long as the war lasted. In 1874 the _Sarmatian_ and the _Manitoban_
of this line were similarly employed to convey troops to the west coast
of Africa, to take part in the Ashantee campaign. On both occasions
they did excellent service.

When the Canadian Government next advertised for tenders for carrying
the mails, an agreement was made with the Allans by which they were
to receive £25,000 a year for a fortnightly service in summer and a
monthly one in winter. Two other boats, similar to the _Canadian_
and _Indian_, were built by the Dennys—the _North American_ and
_Anglo-Saxon_. The new service was commenced in April, 1856, by the
SS. _North American_, which arrived in the port of Montreal on the
9th of May. Two years later it was decided to establish a weekly
service, the Government promising an increased subsidy of $208,000
per annum. This implied double the number of ships; accordingly, four
others were built, the _North Briton_, _Nova Scotian_, _Bohemian_ and
_Hungarian_, all after the same model as the pioneer ships, but 300
feet long and 2,200 tons register. Their speed was from 11 to 13 knots
in smooth water, and even in heavy weather they seldom fell short of
8 knots an hour. Their average passages westward from Liverpool to
Quebec were 11 days, 5 hours; eastward, 10 days, 10 hours. The quickest
passage eastward was made by the _Anglo-Saxon_, in 9 days, 5 hours,
and westward, by the _Hungarian_, in 9 days, 14 hours. In the same
year (1859) the Cunard Line to Boston averaged 12 days, 19 hours going
west, and 10 days, 15 hours eastward. The average speed of the Canadian
steamers during the entire season of the St. Lawrence navigation
in that year was 9½ knots. At this time there were already twelve
different lines of steamships plying across the Atlantic, affording
almost daily communication between England and America by steam.

In 1859 the company represented that, owing to the depression in trade,
they were unable to continue the service, without further assistance.
The Canadian Government stood by this Canadian enterprise, and doubled
the subsidy in consideration of the increased service, which was
admitted on all hands to be a complete success. The new ships were
beautiful models and well adapted to the trade; but the company had
to learn from bitter experience how hazardous that trade was. To say
nothing of minor accidents, up to the year 1885 no less than fourteen
of their steamers had come to grief. Since that time, singularly
enough, none of this line has been lost, though many belonging to other
lines have been wrecked.

The _Canadian_, Captain Ballantine, on her first trip to Quebec, in
June, 1857, through the negligence of her pilot, was stranded on
South Rock, off the Pillar Lighthouse, forty-five miles below Quebec.
No lives were lost, but the ship defied every effort to float her.
The _Indian_, Captain Smith, bound for Portland, in December, 1859,
struck a rock off Marie Joseph Harbour, seventy-five miles east of
Halifax, and went to pieces. Every effort was made to save the lives
of the 447 persons that sailed in her, but twenty-three perished.
The _Hungarian_, Captain Jones, on the night of February 20th, 1860,
during a blinding snow-storm, struck on the South-West Ledge near Cape
Sable Island, 130 miles east of Halifax. Every soul on board, to the
number of 237, perished with the ship. The cause of this sad disaster
is not correctly known. The captain was one of the best seamen in
the Allan Line, but it has been stated that the light upon Cape Sable
was not exhibited that night, in consequence of the sickness of the
lightkeeper, who is said to have confessed this on his death-bed.

The second _Canadian_, Captain Graham, came in contact with a piece
of submerged ice, outside the Straits of Belle Isle, in July, 1861.
The ship was proceeding cautiously, but so hard and sharp was the ice,
a rent was made in the ship’s side below the water-line, and it was
soon seen that she was done for. This is how she went down, as told by
Captain Graham: “The wind had increased to a gale. About 9.30 a. m. we
came up to heavy field ice closely packed. We had been going half-speed
till we saw the ice, when we stopped altogether, then turned her head
to the west, steaming slowly through a narrow passage between heavy
ice on the starboard side and what appeared to be a light patch of ice
on the port side, which scratched along the bow for sixty feet. The
concussion was very slight, and I had no apprehension of any damage;
went below to see what was wrong, and found the water rushing along
the main deck and up the hatchway. The boats were ordered out, and the
ship headed for land full speed. She soon began to settle down forward,
taking a list to starboard, when the engines were stopped and the boats
lowered. Immediately after leaving her, the ship with a plunge dropped
five or six feet by the head, and then directly afterwards her stern
flew up in the air, and she went down head foremost.” The mail-master,
nine of the crew and twenty-six passengers went down with the ship.

The _North Briton_, Captain Grange, was wrecked in November, 1861, on
one of the Mingan Islands, north of Anticosti (the usual track for
steamers at that time). There was no loss of life. The _Anglo-Saxon_,
Captain Burgess, in April, 1863, was stranded in Clam Cove, three
miles from Cape Race, during a dense fog. A heavy sea rolling in drove
her farther on the rocks, from which she eventually slid off and sank
in deep water. The captain, some of the officers, and many of the
passengers and crew were carried down into the vortex of the ship, and
were drowned to the number of 238 souls.

The _Norwegian_, Captain McMaster, in June, 1863, was totally wrecked
on St. Paul’s Island, at the entrance of the Gulf. A dense fog was
prevailing. The passengers and crew, numbering about 420, were all
saved. The _Bohemian_, Captain Borland, struck on the Alden Ledges,
off Cape Elizabeth, near Portland, in February, 1864, when twenty
passengers were drowned. The _Dacian_ was wrecked near Halifax, April
7th, 1872. In the same year the _Germany_ went ashore at the mouth of
the Garonne River, near Bordeaux, France, and was totally wrecked, with
the loss of thirty lives. The _St. George_, Captain Jones, was lost
on the Blonde Rock, south of Seal Island, N.S. The _Jura_ stranded on
Formby Bank, at the entrance to the Mersey, in 1864. The _Moravian_,
Captain Archer, was wrecked on Mud Islands, near Yarmouth, N.S., in
December, 1881. The _Hanoverian_, Captain Thompson, struck a rock at
the entrance of Nepassey Bay, Newfoundland, and was totally lost, but
all hands were saved.

The _Pomeranian_, Captain Dalziel, a fine ship of 4,364 tons, in 1893
survived one of the stormiest Atlantic voyages on record. She sailed
from Greenock for New York, March 27th. After eight days battling
with a furious gale, when about twelve hundred miles west of Ireland,
she was well-nigh overwhelmed by a tremendous wave, which made a
clean sweep of the deck. The bridge, the chart-house, the saloon, the
steam-winch, the ventilators, everything between the foremast and
the funnel, were hurled overboard, a mass of wreckage. The captain
and a saloon passenger were so severely injured that both died in a
few hours. The second and fourth officers, who were on the bridge,
were swept into the sea and drowned, as were the rest of the cabin
passengers, one intermediate, and four of the crew—twelve persons in
all. Three of the lifeboats were carried away and two were smashed,
leaving only one available for service. The whole of the nautical
instruments, books and charts had gone overboard, the steering gear was
badly wrecked, and the only compass left was that in the steering-house
aft. The first officer, Mr. McCulloch, on whom the command now
devolved, seeing the crippled condition of the ship, turned her head
homewards, a thing not easily done in such a sea, and eventually
returned to the Clyde in a gale of wind.

[Illustration: “THE PARISIAN,” 1881.]

It is doubtful if there is another shipping company in existence
that would have withstood the strain put on the Allan line by such a
succession of disasters; but so far as outsiders are aware the Allans
never lost courage. They were bound to succeed in the long-run, and
they did. When ships could not be built quickly enough to take the
places of those that had been lost at sea, they bought of others ships
ready-made, meanwhile resolving to reinforce their fleet with larger
and in every way better boats than heretofore. The _Norwegian_ and
_Hibernian_, of 2,400 tons each, were launched from Denny’s yard in
1861. In 1863 Steeles of Greenock built for them the _Peruvian_ and the
_Moravian_, both very fine ships. The _Nestorian_ and the _Austrian_,
of 2,700 tons each, built by Barclay & Curle, Glasgow, are both good
ships now after thirty years’ service. The _Sarmatian_ and _Polynesian_
(now _Laurentian_), about 4,000 tons each, came out in 1871 and 1872,
and proved excellent boats. The _Circassian_, 3,724 tons, was launched
in 1873, and the _Sardinian_ in 1875. The _Parisian_, the finest of the
fleet, was built by Robert Napier & Sons, Glasgow, in 1881, and took
her place on the line the following year. She is built of steel, the
bottom being constructed of an inner and outer skin five feet apart,
the space thus enclosed being available for water ballast and also a
protection from the perils of collision. The Allans were the first
to apply this kind of build to Atlantic steamers, and were also the
first to build such steamers of steel. The general dimensions of the
_Parisian_ are: length over all, 440 feet; breadth, 46 feet; moulded
depth, 36 feet; with a gross tonnage of 5,365 tons. Her machinery is
capable of developing 6,000 indicated horse-power. Although she has
neither twin screws nor triple expansion engines, she has done her work
remarkably well, maintaining an average speed of about fourteen knots.
Her fastest voyage from Moville to Rimouski was made in 1896, viz., 6
days, 13 hours, 10 minutes, corrected time. Her best day’s run on that
voyage was 359 knots. Her career has been a remarkable one: in these
seventeen years she has not met with an accident, and is consequently
a very popular ship. She is fitted for 160 saloon passengers in the
most complete and comfortable manner, and there seems to be always room
for one more. On a recent occasion the _Parisian_ brought over 255
cabin passengers. She can easily accommodate 120 second-class and 1,000
steerage passengers. She carries a large cargo and is a very fine sea

The fleet of the Allan Line consists at present of thirty-four
steamers, aggregating 134,937 tons. In addition to the weekly line
between Liverpool and Montreal, regular weekly services are maintained
from Montreal, and also from New York, to Glasgow; the London,
Quebec and Montreal service is fortnightly in summer; there is also
a direct service between Glasgow and Boston fortnightly, and regular
communication between Liverpool, Glasgow and Philadelphia, as well as
with River Plate and other ports.

Some of the freight and cattle-ships of the Allan Line are large
and fine vessels, such as the _Buenos Ayrean_, 4,005 tons, built at
Dumbarton in 1879—one of the first ships ever constructed of steel.
The _Carthaginian_ and _Siberian_ are both 4,000-ton ships, specially
adapted for the cattle trade. The _Mongolian_ and _Numidian_, of 4,750
tons each, are model ships in the class to which they belong. A few
years ago the Allans acquired the State Line, plying between Glasgow
and New York. Two of these, the _State of California_ (5,500 tons) and
the _State of Nebraska_ (4,000 tons), are excellent ships with good
accommodation for large numbers of passengers. The two oldest ships of
the line in commission are the _Waldensian_ (formerly _St. Andrew_),
built in 1861, and the _Phœnician_ (formerly the _St. David_), built in
1864, both of which are still doing service in the South American trade.

The last of the sailing ships owned by the Allans was wrecked in a
dense fog near Astoria, at the mouth of the Columbia River, Washington,
U. S., on the 19th of March, 1896. The _Glenmorag_ was a fine iron
clipper ship of 1,756 tons register, built at Glasgow in 1876, and up
to the time of her final disaster had been exceptionally fortunate and
successful. Captain Currie, who commanded her, was widely known and has
a first-rate reputation as a sailor, but in an evil hour of a dark,
dirty night, when making for Portland, Oregon, he was startled by the
sudden cry from the man on the lookout, “Breakers on the port bow,”
and while in the act of wearing the ship around she went broadside on
the rocks. Two of the crew were killed and four injured severely while
attempting to get ashore.

It has been announced that the Allans have at present under
construction on the Clyde four magnificent steel steamships for the
Canadian freight and passenger trade. Three of these are vessels of
10,000 tons, and the fourth of 8,800 tons. All of them are to be fitted
with triple expansion engines and twin screws. The three larger ones
are each over 500 feet in length, with 60 feet breadth of beam, and
are designed to develop an average speed of sixteen knots, which means
that they are expected to make the voyage from Liverpool to Montreal
in about 7¼ days mean time—actually a quicker service for Canada than
obtains at present with 20-knot steamers _via_ New York. With ample
accommodation for a large number of passengers, these ships will
have room for 8,000 to 9,000 tons of freight and the most approved
appliances for the rapid handling of cargo.

Sir Hugh Allan of Ravenscrag, to whom Canada is chiefly indebted for
the magnificent Allan Line of steamships, was born at Saltcoats,
Ayrshire, Scotland, September 29th, 1810. He came to Canada in 1826
and entered into business as already stated. His whole life was one of
incessant activity. He was founder of the Merchants’ Bank of Canada and
its president, and the President of the Montreal Telegraph Co., and
many other important commercial institutions. Sir Hugh was knighted by
Her Majesty the Queen, in person, in July, 1871, in recognition of his
valuable services to the commerce of Canada and the Empire. He died
in Edinburgh, suddenly, December 9th, 1882, and was buried in Mount
Royal cemetery, Montreal. Sir Hugh was a man, very emphatically, _sui
generis_. Quick to arrive at his conclusions, he was slow to abandon
them; where he planted his foot there he meant it to stay. A keen and
enterprising man of business, he accumulated a princely fortune. To
those who knew him only on the street or in the Board-room he might,
perhaps, seem curt and brusque. His conscious power of influencing
others made him almost necessarily dogmatic and dictatorial, but in
private life he was one of the most amiable, kind-hearted and genial
of men. He was a staunch Presbyterian, a liberal supporter of the Auld
Kirk of Scotland in Canada, and in his younger days devoted much time
in promoting its interests.

[Illustration: _Sir Hugh Allan_.]

The brothers Bryce and James died several years before Sir Hugh.
Alexander died in Glasgow in 1892. Mr. Andrew Allan, now the senior
partner of the Montreal firm, was the youngest of the five brothers,
and is the only survivor of them. Mr. Allan was born at Saltcoats,
December 1st, 1822, and came out to Canada in 1839. He married a
daughter of the late John Smith, of Montreal (a sister of Lady Hugh
Allan). Mrs. Allan died in 1881, leaving a large family. Two of the
sons, Messrs. Hugh H. and Andrew H., are associated with their father
and with Messrs. Hugh Montagu and Bryce J. Allan, sons of the late Sir
Hugh, in managing the extensive business of the Canadian branch of
the Allan Line. Mr. Allan has filled many of the posts of honour and
responsibility formerly occupied by Sir Hugh, and earned for himself
the golden opinions of his fellow citizens.

The first four captains of the Allan Line were Andrew McMaster, of the
_Anglo-Saxon_, Thomas Jones, of the _Indian_, William Ballantine, of
the _Canadian_, and William Grange, of the _North American_. Captain
McMaster was born at Stranraer, Wigtonshire, in 1808. After serving
a five years’ apprenticeship on board the East Indiaman, _Duke of
Lancaster_, at the modest rate of £2 for the first year, and £20
for the full term of his indentures, he got command of the brig
_Sir Watkin_, sailing from Islay with 240 of the clan Campbell as
passengers. One-half of these were landed at Sydney, Cape Breton, and
the other half at Quebec. The hardships of the emigrants in those days
were excessive, as they had to provide their own food and bedding, and
were allotted places on the stone ballast to do the best they could
for themselves. In 1845 Captain McMaster was placed in command of the
clipper barque, _Rory O’More_, for which Edmonstone & Allan were the
agents. Leaving Montreal in the summer of 1846, owing to the lowness
of water the yards and topmasts were sent down and floated alongside,
while cables, chains and other rigging were put into lighters to enable
the vessel to traverse Lake St. Peter, drawing nine feet of water! His
next command was the ship _Montreal_ of 464 tons, at that time the
largest of the Montreal traders. In 1856 he was placed in command of
the first SS. _Canadian_, and successively of each new ship as she was
launched. In 1864 he retired from the sea, and entered the shipwright
business in Liverpool. He died in the Isle of Man in 1884.

[Illustration: CAPTAIN JOHN GRAHAM.]

Of the subsequent captains of this line I can only mention the names of
those with whom I remember having sailed and made their acquaintance.
None of them left a more lasting impression on my memory than John
Graham, the genial captain of the second _Canadian_, and of the
_Sarmatian_ when he retired from the service and the sea in 1885. It
was he who so often and so strenuously discussed the desirability of
throwing a dam across the Straits of Belle Isle that he actually came
to believe in it himself as a possibility in the near future, by which
in his estimation the climate of Canada was to be assimilated to that
of the south of France. That was his fad. But take him all in all, he
was as fine a man as one could desire to meet. He was a grand sailor.
When his examination before the Nautical Board was concluded _in re_
the loss of the _Canadian_, his certificate was handed back to him with
the remark, “Sir, you did your duty like a noble British seaman.” The
dangers incident to a seafaring life never disturbed his equanimity,
for he had long been ready to “go aloft” at a moment’s notice.

[Illustration: CAPTAIN JAMES WYLIE.]

James and Hugh Wylie were both quiet, unassuming men who understood
their business thoroughly. The former rose to be the commodore of the
fleet. On retiring from the command of the _Parisian_, the citizens of
Montreal honoured him with a banquet and an address, congratulating
him on his remarkably successful career. Hugh retired from the command
of the _Polynesian_ shortly after a serious accident that befell his
ship on the river, through the carelessness of his pilot. James was
noted for his caution, of which a somewhat humorous illustration was
given one dark night when the _Parisian_ was speeding down the Gulf
of St. Lawrence. Some of us were still pacing the deck, though it was
near midnight, when suddenly the engine stopped. To the uninitiated
there is nothing more alarming than that; but at this hour most of the
passengers were fast asleep. There followed a few minutes of profound
silence. The sea, until now as black as ink, had all at once become
white and glistering. Had we run into a field of ice? To the captain,
who was at his post on the bridge, and to the double lookout on the
forecastle it must have had that appearance; but it proved to be only
schools of herring or mackerel disporting themselves on the surface of
the water, causing a brilliant phosphorescent illumination of the sea.
It spread over a large surface and had all the appearance of field ice,
precisely where such danger is to be apprehended. The ship sailed on:
but none of us dared to ask then, nor next morning, why she had stopped.

Frederick Archer, Lieut. R.N.R., successively in command of the _St.
Andrew_, the _Manitoban_, and the _Moravian_, was made of sterner stuff
than the average sea-captain. It required more than one voyage to
become acquainted with him, but once in his good graces the passenger
was all right. He was the strictest disciplinarian of the whole staff.
Regularly as on a man-of-war, his sailors marched into the saloon
on Sunday mornings in their best rigs to attend divine service. In
the absence of a clergyman none could use the Book of Prayer more
effectively than Capt. Archer. He died at sea in the prime of life.

William H. Smith, Lieut. R.N.R., son of late Commander John S. Smith,
R.N.—one of the last surviving officers of the battle of Trafalgar—was
born at Prospect House, Broadstairs, Kent, England, in 1838. He served
as midshipman on board the _Calcutta_ in the Australian trade: entered
the Allan service during the progress of the Crimean war, and was
present at several of the engagements between the Russians and the
allied forces: went to Odessa with the allied fleets, and was serving
on board the _Indian_ when she received sealed orders to proceed to
Kinburn and lay buoys for the ironclads which bombarded and destroyed
the forts. Captain Smith’s first command in the Allan service was the
steamer _St. George_; subsequently he was master of the _Hibernian_,
_Circassian_, _Peruvian_, _Sardinian_ and the _Parisian_. He succeeded
Captain James Wylie as Commodore of the fleet, and held that position
for several years, until he resigned to accept the office of Chairman
of the Board of Examiners of Masters and Mates, Commissioner for
enquiring into wrecks, and one of the nautical advisers of the
Government. This office he still holds with headquarters in Halifax, N.
S. Capt. Smith was always very popular with the travelling community.
On leaving the service he was presented with a valuable set of plate.

[Illustration: CAPTAIN ALEX. AIRD.]

Alexander Aird, previous to joining the Allan Line, had been in command
of the _John Bell_ and _United Kingdom_ of the Anchor Line. His first
command in the Allan Line was the _St. George_ in 1864. Subsequently,
he was captain of the _St. David_, _Nova Scotian_, _Nestorian_,
_Scandinavian_, and, finally, of the _Sarmatian_. Of the last-named
ship he was very proud, and it was a feather in his cap that he brought
out the Marquis of Lorne and Princess Louise in 1878, receiving from
them a handsome recognition of his efforts to secure their comfort.
Owing to impaired health he retired from the sea some years previous to
his death, which took place in 1892.

[Illustration: CAPTAIN RITCHIE.]

Robert Brown, of the _Polynesian_, “the rolling Polly,” as she used to
be called, was the _beau ideal_ of a fine old English gentleman, than
whom none could more gracefully discharge the honours of the table. He
had many encounters with field ice off the coast of Newfoundland, but
by dint of his caution, skill and patience, he invariably came out
scatheless, though not unfrequently locked up in the ice for weeks at a

William Richardson, of the _Nova Scotian_ and the _Sardinian_, who died
not long ago, was an easy-going, kindly-disposed man, and a general
favourite. Neil Maclean, of the third _Canadian_, was a man of fine
presence and good address. Captain Joseph Ritchie who retired from the
command of the _Parisian_ in 1895, though not to be called an old man,
had spent forty-four years at sea. He was captain of the _Peruvian_
in 1882, when the twenty-five-foot channel through Lake St. Peter was
inaugurated; and again in 1888, in the _Sardinian_, he was the first
to test the increased depth to twenty-seven and a half feet. Ritchie’s
whole career was a most successful one. On retiring from the service he
was presented with a very handsomely engrossed address and a valuable
service of silver plate by his Montreal friends.


Joseph E. Dutton, best known as the captain of the _Sardinian_, was a
remarkable man, and frequent voyages with him led me to know him better
than some of the others. “Holy Joe,” as he was familiarly called, was
an excellent sailor, but had to contend with a good many difficulties.
At one time his ship lost her rudder in mid-ocean; at another time she
lost her screw. Once she caught fire in Loch Foyle from an explosion
of coal gas, and had to be scuttled. Dutton was a clever, well-read
man, and a born preacher. When he had on board some eighteen clergymen
going to the meeting of the Presbyterian Council at Belfast, he came
into the saloon on a Saturday evening, and coolly announced that if
they had no objections he would conduct the Sunday service himself. And
preach he did. He had the whole Bible at his finger-ends. I recall at
least one voyage when he personally conducted three religious services
daily—one at 10 o’clock a. m., for the steerage passengers; one at 4
p. m., in the chart-room, and one at 7 p. m., in the forecastle, for
his sailors. As to creed, he had drifted away from his early moorings,
and admittedly had difficulty in finding secure anchorage. He had, so
to speak, boxed the ecclesiastical compass. He had been a Methodist,
a Baptist, a Plymouth Brother, but with none of them did he long
remain in fellowship. Finally, he pinned his faith to the tenets of
“conditional immortality,” arguing with great ingenuity and earnestness
that eternal life is the exclusive portion of the righteous, and
annihilation that of the wicked. One of Captain Dutton’s last public
appearances in Montreal was on a Sabbath evening, in the Olivet Baptist
church, when he baptized seven of his sailors by immersion in the
presence of a crowded assemblage. He was a square-built, powerful
Christian. The way he collared these men and submerged them was a
caution. He gave each of them in turn such a drenching as they will
remember for a long time, and all with the greatest reverence; nor did
he let them go until he received from each a solemn assurance that he
would be a faithful follower of Christ to his life’s end. Not long
after this, Captain Dutton had an attack of Bright’s disease, which
brought him to an early grave. He was buried in Mount Royal cemetery,
where the monument, “erected by a few of his friends,” bears the

      “Commodore Allan Line. Lieut. R. N. Reserve. In memory
    of Captain Joseph E. Dutton, late of the R. M. SS.
    _Sardinian_. Born at Harrington, England, February 8th,
    1828. Died at Montreal, July 6th, 1884, aged 56 years.

      “‘Now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet
    appear what we shall be; but we know that when he shall
    appear we shall be like him.’—1 John iii. 2.”

There was a time when profane swearing used to be indulged in freely by
sea-captains and their subordinates. Happily the custom is going out of
fashion, though now and then a representative from the old school may
still be found. Captain Dutton was never addicted to swearing, though
his temper was tried often enough. On arriving at Rimouski in 1879,
after making the fastest voyage to the St. Lawrence then on record,
the _Sardinian_ had to lie at anchor for two mortal hours before he
could get his mails landed. One hour it took the tender to get up
steam, and another hour to get alongside the ship, owing to a strong
easterly breeze, which brought up a lop of a sea. All this lost time
Dutton rapidly paced the bridge to and fro with evident impatience. At
length, when the tender was made fast, he came down and mingled with
the crowd on deck, on the keen lookout for letters and newspapers,
when one said to him, jokingly, “Why did you not swear at the captain
of that tender?” “Oh,” said he, with a pleasant smile, “he is only a
farmer.” The provocation had been great, but the controlling principle
was greater and highly creditable to Dutton.

_Apropos_ to the subject of swearing was the story told by a
fellow-passenger—a deacon in the late Prof. Swing’s congregation in
Chicago. Dr. Swing had withdrawn from the Presbyterian Church, but
continued to preach in a public hall or theatre, drawing immense
crowds to hear him. Swing was a sensational preacher, who could extort
tears or smiles from his hearers at will, and not unfrequently his
random shots hit the mark. On one occasion, the deacon informed us,
he overheard the remark made by one of Chicago’s fastest young men to
a comrade as they were leaving the place of worship after listening
to a scathing discourse on the besetting sins of young men, swearing
included: “Say, Jim, I’ll be d——d if that is not the kind of preaching
that suits me.” This is a hard story, scarcely credible, but it
was told in sober earnest and in a tone that indicated that in the
speaker’s judgment an arrow had pierced the young man’s heart, and
that the shocking expression just quoted was, after all, neither more
nor less than his peculiar way of emphasizing the fact that he was


This line began in 1870 when a number of merchants, engaged in the New
Orleans and Liverpool trade, formed what they styled the “Mississippi
and Dominion Steamship Company, Limited,” under the management of
Messrs. Flinn, Main and Montgomery, of Liverpool, the agents in
Montreal being Messrs. D. Torrance & Co., of which Mr. John Torrance
has been for a number of years the senior partner. Their boats were to
run to New Orleans in the winter and to Montreal in summer. Their first
ships were the _St. Louis_, _Vicksburg_ and _Memphis_. In 1871 they
added the _Mississippi_ and _Texas_ of 2,822 tons. The Orleans route
was soon abandoned and the Dominion Line, then so called, confined
its trade to Canada, having Portland for its terminal winter port.
Gradually increasing the size and speed of their steamers they entered
into a lively competition for a share of the passenger traffic, and
soon became formidable rivals of the Allan Line, and for a number of
years shared with them in the Government allowance for carrying the
Royal mails.

In 1874 they had built for them at Dumbarton the _Dominion_ and
_Ontario_, each 3,000 tons; in 1879 the _Montreal_, _Toronto_ and
_Ottawa_, of still larger dimensions, were added. They next bought
the _City of Dublin_ and _City of Brooklyn_ from the Inman Line, and
renamed them the _Quebec_ and _Brooklyn_. In 1882 and 1883 they built
the _Sarnia_ and the _Oregon_, fine boats of about 3,700 tons each,
with increased power and midship saloons. In 1884 Messrs. Connal & Co.,
Glasgow, built for them the _Vancouver_, a very fine ship of 5,149
tons, having a speed of fourteen knots and excellent accommodation
for passengers. Although she has had several minor accidents she has
been, on the whole, a successful and popular ship. The most serious
misfortune that befell her was in November, 1890, on her voyage to
Quebec, when she encountered a furious hurricane in mid-ocean. Captain
Lindall, who had been constantly on the bridge for a long time, went
to his chart-room to snatch a few minutes rest, leaving the first
officer on the bridge. All of a sudden the ship was thrown on her
beam ends by a tremendous wave which completely wrecked the bridge
and swept the chart-room, with the captain in it, into the sea. The
quarter-master at the wheel was also washed overboard, and both he and
Captain Lindall were drowned. The first officer, Mr. Walsh, who had a
miraculous escape, took charge of the battered ship and brought her to
Quebec, where deep regret was expressed for the sad death of Lindall,
who was a general favourite and as good a sailor as ever stood on the

[Illustration: CAPTAIN LINDALL.]

The _Labrador_, 4,737 tons, launched from the famous shipyard of
Harland & Wolff, Belfast, in 1891, has also been a successful and
popular ship. She combines in her construction a number of the latest
improvements, and has attained a high rate of speed, with large cargo
capacity and a moderate consumption of fuel. Until the arrival of the
_Canada_, in October, 1896, the _Labrador_ held the record for the
fastest voyage from Moville to Rimouski—6 days, 8 hours. In August,
1895, she made the voyage from land to land in 4 days, 16 hours. In
May, 1894, she averaged 365 knots a day, equal to fifteen knots an
hour, her best day’s run being 375 knots, which was regarded as great
work considering the small amount of fuel consumed. In December of that
year she made the run from Moville to Halifax in 6 days, 12 hours.

Up to this point, however, the business ability and enterprise of the
Dominion Company had not been rewarded with financial success. For
years they had to contend with the general depression of trade, the
keen competition of other lines, and ruinous rates of freight. In the
autumn of 1894 the managers resigned, and the entire fleet of vessels
was sold to Messrs. Richards, Mills & Co., of Liverpool, at a great
sacrifice. The Montreal agency remains as heretofore with Messrs. D.
Torrance & Co., and under the new management the line seems to have
entered upon a career of prosperity.

The casualties on the St. Lawrence route to steamers of this line
have been numerous, but with a comparatively small loss of life. The
foundering of the _Vicksburg_, from collision with ice, in 1875, was
the most disastrous, involving the loss of forty-seven lives of
passengers and crew—including the captain—and a large number of cattle.
The _Ottawa_ went ashore about fifty miles below Quebec in 1889 and
became a total wreck. The _Idaho_ was wrecked on Anticosti in 1890;
the _Montreal_, on the island of Belle Isle in 1889. The _Texas_ went
ashore on Cape Race in a fog and became a total wreck. In September,
1895, the _Mariposa_, a beautiful twin-screw chartered steamer of 5,000
tons, was stranded at Point Amour in the Straits of Belle Isle and
became a total wreck, but the passengers and crew were all saved.

[Illustration: DOMINION LINE SS. “CANADA.”]

It very soon became apparent that the new management of the Dominion
Line was bent on a new departure. They lost no time in discarding
the smaller boats and replacing them with large and powerful freight
steamers having also limited accommodation for passengers. Of this
type were the _Angloman_[34] and the _Scotsman_. The latter is a fine
twin-screw ship of colossal strength, 6,040 tons register, with a
carrying capacity of from 9,000 to 10,000 tons of cargo, and an average
speed at sea of twelve to thirteen knots. In September, 1895, in
addition to a large general cargo, the _Scotsman_ left Montreal with
the largest shipment of live stock that ever left this port, consisting
of 1,050 head of cattle, 2,000 sheep, and 47 horses, all of which were
landed safely in Liverpool. But the latest addition to the fleet is
in advance of the _Scotsman_. The _Canada_, which sailed on her first
voyage from Liverpool on October 1st, 1896, is a type of ocean steamer
new to the St. Lawrence, and is designed to meet present requirements
by combining in one vessel the essential features of a first-class
passenger ship with so large a freight-carrying capacity as to make her
practically independent of subsidies. The _Canada_ is a twin-screw
steamer 515 feet long, 58 feet beam, and 35 feet 6 inches moulded
depth. Her gross tonnage is about 9,000 tons. Her triple expansion
engines are calculated to develop 7,000 horse-power with a steam boiler
pressure of 175 pounds. Her staterooms are perhaps the finest feature
of the ship—equal to any on the ocean ferry. Her maiden voyage was a
stormy one, but it easily surpassed all previous records from Liverpool
to Quebec. On her second trip she left Liverpool at 5 p. m. on October
29th, and reached Rimouski on November 4th, at 11.40 p. m., thus making
the voyage in 6 days, 11 hours and 40 minutes, and to Quebec in 6 days,
23 hours, 30 minutes. Her average speed on this voyage was about 16
knots an hour, and her best day’s run, 416 knots, equal to 17⅓ knots an


At a luncheon given on board the _Canada_ to leading members of the
Dominion Government, Mr. Torrance said that the Dominion Line had
been sold out to a company composed of men of tremendous energy and
enterprise, with any amount of money at their backs, and, after looking
at the matter in all its bearings, they decided that the time had come
for a forward movement. They determined to build the largest steamer
they could for the St. Lawrence trade. The _Canada_ was contracted for
by Messrs. Harland and Wolff, Belfast, as a sixteen-knot ship, and
on her trial trip made seventeen and a half knots. He believed that
she would average sixteen knots at sea, that she would reach Rimouski
in six and a half days from Liverpool, and deliver her mails at the
Montreal post-office within seven days. If that expectation comes to
be realized, as it is most likely to be, the arguments in favour of
a fast mail service between Canada and Britain will be materially
strengthened. Mr. Torrance added that the _Canada_ was built to carry
7,000 tons of cargo, that if she had a speed of seventeen knots she
would only carry 4,000 tons of cargo; if eighteen knots, she would
carry but 3,000 tons, and that with a speed of twenty knots it would
not be safe to calculate on her capacity for more than 1,000 tons of
freight: “in short, that the twenty-knot ship must be, virtually, a
passenger ship, and well subsidized.” The Canadian Government has not
been slow to back up private enterprise of this nature in the past,
and will doubtless continue to do so in the future. For reasons not
made public the _Canada_ was withdrawn from the St. Lawrence service
and placed on the route from Boston and Liverpool, where she has been
so successful that another vessel of the same class is being built for
that route. In the meantime other large vessels have been put on the
St. Lawrence route, the latest addition to the fleet being the _New
England_, having a tonnage of nearly 11,600 tons, fine accommodation
for a large number of passengers, and room for an enormous cargo.


This is an out-and-out Canadian enterprise, dating from 1867, under
the name of the “Canada Shipping Company, Limited,” when several
Montreal capitalists, among whom were the late William Murray and
Alexander Buntin, Messrs. Alexander Urquhart, John and Hugh Maclennan
and others, combined to originate a line of iron fast-sailing ships
to trade between Montreal and Liverpool. Having adopted for its
distinguishing flag the emblem of the Canadian beaver, the company soon
came to be popularly known as the Beaver Line, a line which, though
not remunerative to its originators and stockholders, is worthy of
honourable mention as having contributed in many ways to the interests
of Canadian trade and commerce. The company commenced with a very fine
fleet of five Clyde-built iron ships of from 900 to 1,274 tons each.
These were the _Lake Ontario_, the _Lake Erie_, the _Lake Michigan_,
the _Lake Huron_ and the _Lake Superior_. The ships were in themselves
all that could be desired. They were beautiful to look at, and made
swift voyages, but there was a necessary element of success wanting.
They did not pay. In fact, they began their short-lived career at the
time when the days of sailing ships were rapidly drawing to a close.
The important question of steam _versus_ sails had been settled.
The Canada Shipping Company must therefore retire from the business
altogether or avail themselves of the advantages of steam power. They
decided upon making the experiment, and gave orders for the building
of steam vessels to supersede the sailing ships. In the meantime the
_Lake Michigan_ was lost at sea with all on board, adding another to
those mysterious disappearances, of which there have been so many
instances—gallant ships and noble sailors setting out on their voyage
buoyant with hope, reporting themselves at the last signal station as
“all well,” but never to be heard of any more.



The _Lake Huron_ was wrecked on Anticosti. The year 1875 saw the first
steamers of the Beaver Line afloat. They were the _Lake Champlain_,
_Lake Megantic_ and _Lake Nepigon_, snug little ships of about 2,200
tons each, such as would pass nowadays for cruising steam yachts, but
much too small for cargo ships on the Atlantic, to say nothing of the
passenger business. The _Lake Manitoba_ and _Lake Winnipeg_, of larger
size and higher speed, were added in 1879, followed by the _Lake Huron_
and the _Lake Superior_. The last-named is a fine ship of 4,562 tons,
and credited with thirteen knots an hour. It was not long before three
of the steamers came to grief. The _Lake Megantic_ was wrecked on
Anticosti in July, 1878; the _Lake Manitoba_, on St. Pierre Island, in
the Gulf of St. Lawrence, in June, 1885; the _Lake Champlain_, stranded
on the north coast of Ireland in June, 1886. To keep up the weekly
line, the _Lake Ontario_, built at Sunderland in 1887, was purchased
at a cost of nearly $300,000. She is a vessel of about 4,500 tons,
with midship saloon, triple expansion engines, and a maximum speed of
thirteen knots. She is an excellent sea boat, with good accommodation
for one hundred cabin passengers. The ships of this line all carry
live cattle, sheep and horses, for which they are well adapted. The
Beaver Line led the way towards the reduction of transatlantic cabin
passage rates on the St. Lawrence route. It also introduced the custom
of embarking and landing passengers at Montreal instead of Quebec as
formerly. Unfortunately the line had not been a success financially. In
the winter of 1895 the boats were all tied up, the company went into
liquidation, and the entire fleet was sold at a nominal price to the
bondholders. During the following winter, however, the ships of this
line maintained a weekly service from Liverpool to St. John, N. B.,
receiving from the Canadian Government a subsidy of $25,000, and in
1897 the Beaver Line was awarded the contract for carrying the Canadian
mails, to be landed at Halifax in the winter months. The annual subsidy
for this service is understood to be $146,000. This arrangement,
however, is necessarily of a temporary nature, pending the development
of the long-expected “fast service.” In the meantime the Beaver Line
has added to its fleet the fine SS. _Gallia_, of the Cunard Line, and
the _Tongariro_, of 4,163 tons, formerly belonging to the New Zealand
Shipping Company. The service has thus far been satisfactory.

Captain Howard Campbell, of the SS. _Lake Ontario_, died very suddenly
on Sunday morning, April 3rd, 1898. The second day out from Halifax
towards Liverpool, he went on the bridge, sextant in hand, intending
to take an observation. While in the act of doing so he fell into the
arms of a quarter-master and died instantly. Captain Campbell had been
long connected with the Beaver Line. He was widely known as a skilful
mariner and a genial and accomplished man. He was born at St. Andrews,
N. B., and was fifty-four years of age.

       *       *       *       *       *

There are a number of other lines of steamships plying regularly
from Montreal in summer and from different Atlantic ports in winter.
They are chiefly cargo and cattle ships, with limited accommodation
for passengers. Among these are the Donaldson Line, with five ships
of from 2,000 to 4,272 tons, giving a weekly service to Glasgow and
Bristol; the Thomson Line, with seven ships to London, Newcastle and
Antwerp. The Johnston Line has regular sailings to Liverpool. The
Ulster Steamship Company, or “Head Line,” has five ships running to
Belfast and Dublin fortnightly. The Elder, Dempster Line has a fleet of
sixteen large freight steamers, ranging from 4,500 to 12,000 tons each.
Some of them are fitted with cold storage, and all of them have the
modern improvements for carrying live stock and grain; they maintain
a regular weekly service to London and to Bristol.[35] The Hansa St.
Lawrence Line plies to Hamburg and Antwerp; the Furness Line to Antwerp
and Dunkirk, and also to Manchester.[36] The Quebec Steamship Company
has regular communication with Pictou, N. S., by the fine upper saloon
steamship _Campana_, of 1,700 tons. The Black Diamond Line has five
ships of from 1,500 to 2,500 tons each, plying regularly in the coal
trade from Montreal to Sydney, Cape Breton, Charlottetown, P. E. I.,
and Newfoundland.

The export trade in live stock, which commenced here in 1874 with only
455 head of cattle, has now assumed large proportions. In 1897 there
were shipped from Montreal 119,188 head of cattle, 12,179 horses and
66,319 sheep, valued in all at about $8,700,750. The cattle were valued
at $60 a head, the horses at $100, and the sheep at $5.00 each. The
ocean freight on cattle was $10 per head, and on sheep $1.00 each.[37]


Ever since the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885, the
idea of instituting a fast service between Great Britain and the St.
Lawrence has been regarded with yearly increasing favour. Now it is
regarded as a necessary link in the chain that binds the colony to the
Mother Land, and indispensable if this route is to become Britain’s
highway to the East.

As early as 1887 the Canadian Government advertised for tenders for a
line of Atlantic mail steamers to have an average speed of 20 knots an
hour, coupled with the condition that they should touch at some French
port. The Allans, who at that time deemed a 20-knot service unsuited
to the St. Lawrence route, offered to supply a weekly service with a
guaranteed average speed of 17 knots, for an annual subsidy of $500,000
on a ten years’ contract. That offer was declined. About the same time
the English firm of Anderson, Anderson & Co. offered to provide a line
of vessels “capable of running 20 knots” for the same subsidy. This
dubious offer was accepted provisionally by the Canadian Government,
but it was eventually fallen from. Two years later another abortive
attempt was made, when the Government of the day voted $750,000 as
an annual subsidy for a 20-knot service; but nothing resulted. In
1894 Mr. James Huddart, of Sydney, N. S. W. (the contractor for the
Vancouver-Australian Line of steamers), entered into an agreement
with the Dominion Government for a weekly 20-knot service for said
amount of $750,000 per annum. For reasons that need not be explained,
this proposal also fell through. In 1896 the Allans were said to have
tendered for a 20-knot service on the basis of a subsidy of $1,125,000,
but the offer was declined owing to some informalities.

In view of so many failures it is scarcely safe to affirm that the
fast service is now assured. In May, 1897, however, it was officially
announced by the Canadian Government that a contract had been entered
into, with the approval of the British Government, whereby Messrs.
Peterson, Tate & Co., of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, agreed to furnish a
weekly service with a guaranteed speed of at least 500 knots a day. The
contractors are to provide four steamers of not less than 520 feet in
length, with a draft of water not exceeding 25 feet 6 inches. The ships
are to be not less than 10,000 tons register, fitted to carry from
1,500 to 2,000 tons of cargo, with suitable cold storage accommodation
for at least 500 tons. They are to be equal in all respects to the best
Atlantic steamships afloat, such as the _Campania_ and _Lucania_, with
accommodation for not less than 300 first-class, 200 second-class and
800 steerage passengers. The annual subsidy is to be $750,000, whereof
the Canadian Government is to pay $500,000 and the British Government
$250,000. The steamers are not to call at any foreign port, and the
company is forbidden to accept a subsidy from any foreign country. The
mails are to be carried free. The termini of the line will be Liverpool
and Quebec during summer, the ships proceeding to Montreal if and
when the navigation permits. In winter the Canadian terminus will be
Halifax or St. John, N. B., at the option of the contractors, who are
to provide a 22-knot tender of the torpedo type to meet each steamer
on her approach to the Canadian coast when required, and pilot her to
her destination. The contractors must deposit £10,000 in cash, and a
guarantee of £10,000 additional, with the Minister of Finance of Canada
as security that the contract will be faithfully carried into effect.

Twelve months having passed since the signing of the contract, without
any substantial progress having been made towards its fulfilment, a
new agreement was entered into in April last whereby the Government
granted Messrs. Peterson and Tate an extension of time, and introduced
several important changes into the contract. Under the new arrangement
the contractors were required to have a steamship company incorporated
by May 30th, 1898, with a substantial capital of $6,250,000, to have
contracts signed with ship-builders at that date for four steamships,
and to have two of them actually under construction. The 1st of May,
1900, was named as the time when the four steamers are to be ready to
go on the route and commence a regular weekly service. The preliminary
conditions attached to the contract appear to have been complied with,
and a company has been incorporated under the name of the “Canadian
Royal Mail Steamship Company, Limited;” but grave fears are entertained
that the necessary funds may not be forthcoming, and that the
long-expected fast service may be indefinitely delayed.

Sir Sandford Fleming, who has made a study of this subject, and
published his opinions respecting it in a series of pamphlets, is
not sanguine as to the success of the undertaking. “The conditions
imposed by nature,” he says, “are unfavourable for rapid transit by
the St. Lawrence route, and any attempts to establish on this route a
line of fast transatlantic steamships to rival those running to and
from New York would result in disappointment.” In the event of such a
service being instituted, Sir Sandford assumes that it would be almost
exclusively for the use of passengers, and suggests that the route
should be from Loch Ryan, on the Wigtonshire coast of Scotland, to
North Sydney, in Cape Breton. The distance between these points being
only 2,160 knots, the voyage might be made in 4½ days, while 30 hours
more would land mails and passengers in Montreal by railway. In this
way the average time from London to Montreal would be reduced to 6
days and 6 hours—36 hours less than the time usually occupied between
Montreal and London _via_ New York and Queenstown.

“In connection with the ocean service there might also be a line of
fast light-draught steamers to run to and from Montreal to Sydney and
the Gulf ports. In this way the people of the Maritime Provinces,
including Newfoundland, would share in the benefits to be derived from
the fast ocean service equally with those of Quebec and Ontario.” Sir
Sandford’s idea is to have the fastest ocean ship on the shortest ocean
passage, and by all means to avoid the Straits of Belle Isle, “the
saving of a few hours being insufficient to counterpoise the tremendous
risks to which fast passenger steamships, in navigating the Belle Isle
route, would so seriously and frequently be exposed.” It is claimed
that if this plan were adopted three ocean steamers would suffice
instead of four. Reference to the accompanying sketch-map, showing
the relative positions of Sydney, Newfoundland, and the Straits of
Belle Isle, with the existing lines of railway, will help to make Sir
Sandford’s proposal clear.

Among other proposals, an English syndicate recently offered to furnish
a 24-knot service between Milford-Haven, on the coast of Wales, and a
port in Nova Scotia, representing to the British Government that they
would be able to carry troops across the Atlantic in four days, and
land them in Victoria in six days more. But the 24-knot steamship has
not yet been launched.


(Kindly furnished by Sir Sandford Fleming.)]

Sir Sandford Fleming, K. C. M. G., LL. D., C. E., is one of Canada’s
most eminent civil engineers. He was born at Kirkcaldy, Fifeshire,
Scotland, January 7th, 1827, came to Canada at the age of eighteen, and
has ever since been identified with the progress and development of the
country. He was on the engineering staff of the Northern Railway from
1852 to 1863, and for the latter half of that time was chief engineer
of the work. He was chief engineer of the Intercolonial Railway, and
carried it through to a successful completion in 1876. In 1871 he was
appointed engineer-in-chief of the Canadian Pacific Railway; he retired
from that position in 1880 and was subsequently elected a director of
the company. He received the freedom of the Royal Burgh of Kirkcaldy
and the degree of LL. D. from the University of St. Andrews in 1884:
was appointed to represent Canada at the International Prime Meridian
Conference in Washington in 1884: at the Colonial Conference, London,
in 1887, at the Colonial Conference in Ottawa, in 1894, and at the
Imperial Cable Conference in London, in 1896. Sir Sandford has been
Chancellor of Queen’s University at Kingston since 1880. He is the
author of numerous scientific and other publications, is an active
member of the Royal Colonial Institute of London, and on the occasion
of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee was accorded the honour of knighthood.

       *       *       *       *       *

The conflicting rumours, which for many months have been in
circulation as to the inability of Messrs. Peterson, Tate & Company to
fulfil the terms of their agreement, have finally been set at rest by
the cancelling of the contract, and the Canadian Government calling for
tenders for a weekly steamship service for carrying Her Majesty’s mails
for a period of two years from the 1st of May, 1899, from Montreal and
Quebec to Liverpool, during the summer months, and from St. John, N.
B., and Halifax in winter. The time occupied in making the voyage from
Rimouski to Moville and _vice versa_, is not to exceed an average of
seven days. This is clearly a temporary arrangement and not an implied
abandonment of a faster service than already exists. The opinion,
however, in business circles seems to be gaining ground that something
much less costly than a twenty-knot service might for some years to
come meet the requirements of the country.


[34] The _Angloman_ was wrecked on the Skerries, in the Irish Sea, in
February, 1897. The crew were rescued, but the ship, with her valuable
cargo and a large number of cattle, became a total loss, though fully
covered by insurance.

[35] The SS. _Memphis_, of the African Steamship Company, but employed
by the Elder, Dempster Line, went ashore on the west coast of Ireland
in a fog in November, 1896, and became a total wreck. Ten of the crew
were drowned and 350 head of cattle.

[36] The Manchester ship canal is 35 miles long, 120 feet bottom width,
and 26 feet in depth. The docks at Manchester cover 104 acres and have
five miles of quays. It was estimated to cost £10,000,000 sterling,
but cost over £15,000,000 before it was completed. Arrangements are in
progress by a Manchester syndicate for the establishment of a weekly
line of steamships of 8,500 tons capacity, to be provided with cold
storage and the most approved equipments for carrying live stock.
The best modern appliances for loading and discharging cargo, grain
elevators being included, are among the attractions which enterprising
Manchester presents to the shipping trade of Canada.

[37] “Montreal Board of Trade Report, 1897,” pp. 52, 88.



    The History of Steam Navigation on the Great Lakes—The
        Construction of the St. Lawrence, the Welland, and
        the Rideau Canals—The Port of Montreal.

The waterways of Canada available for steam navigation are on a
magnificent scale. The main system extends from the mouth of the
St. Lawrence at Belle Isle to Fort William and the head of Lake
Superior—a distance of nearly 2,384 miles, and rendered navigable
without interruption by a series of ship canals. Proceeding four
hundred miles farther west, another long stretch of inland navigation
begins with Lake Winnipeg, 240 miles long, into which, at its northern
extremity, flows the mighty Saskatchewan, navigable for steamers one
thousand miles! Not to mention smaller streams, the rivers St. John
and Miramichi, in the Province of New Brunswick, afford 300 miles of
navigable water and float a large amount of shipping. Ships of the
largest size can ascend the Saguenay seventy-five miles. The Ottawa in
its several reaches is navigable by steam for three or four hundred
miles. Steamers ply on the Assiniboine, 250 or 300 miles westward
from Winnipeg. The Mackenzie River is navigable for a thousand miles.
The Fraser, the Thompson, and the Columbia rivers in British Columbia
contribute largely to the steam tonnage of the Dominion. The Great
Lakes,[38] commonly so called, are in reality great inland fresh water
seas, often swept by gales of wind and combing billows, and sometimes,
alas, strewed with wrecks. They have their breakwaters, lighthouses and
steam fog-signals as fully equipped as similar oceanic structures and
appliances. The Lake of the Woods and Lake Manitoba are each 100 miles

As early as the year 1641 a few Jesuit missionaries and fur-traders
had reached the rock-bound shores of Lake Superior in their canoes,
but it is not until some years later that history makes us acquainted
with the first sailing vessels that appeared on the lakes. One of the
earliest of these was a schooner of ten tons, built near where Kingston
now is by the enterprising French adventurer, La Salle, who had been
appointed Governor of Fort Frontenac, and had a roving commission to
explore the western wilds of North America. Accompanied by the famous
Recollet Father, Hennepin, and some thirty others, La Salle set sail
on the 10th of November, 1678, for the head of Lake Ontario. Finding
his further passage barred by the Falls of Niagara, he wintered in that
neighbourhood and had another vessel built at Cayuga Creek, a few miles
above the Falls. This vessel, which he named the _Griffin_, of about
sixty tons burthen, was launched in May, 1679, and was probably the
first to navigate the upper lakes. On the 7th of August the _Griffin_,
equipped with seven guns and a diversity of small arms and freighted
with a load of goods, sailed away for Detroit and parts unknown. The
Detroit River was reached in a few days, and Green Bay—at the head of
Lake Huron—some time in September, when she was loaded with furs and
despatched on her return voyage to Niagara, which, however, she never
reached, the vessel and cargo having been totally lost on the way. For
many years after the loss of the _Griffin_ the navigation of the lakes
seems to have been chiefly confined to bateaux, and up to 1756 the
construction and use of sailing vessels was largely, if not entirely,
confined to Lake Ontario. The first American vessel built on Lake Erie
was the schooner _Washington_, built near Erie, Pa., in 1797. After
plying on Lake Erie one season, she was sold to a Canadian and carried
on wheels around the Falls to Lake Ontario, where she sailed from
Queenston for Kingston in 1798 as a British vessel, under the name of
_Lady Washington_. In 1816 the whole sailing tonnage on Lake Erie was
only 2,067 tons. In 1818 the fleet on Lake Ontario numbered about sixty

It is not necessary to enlarge on the growth and decadence of sailing
vessels on the Great Lakes. Suffice it to say that the sailing vessel
had reached its palmiest days between the years 1845 and 1862. In
the latter year the gross tonnage of the lakes had risen to 383,309
tons, valued at $11,865,550, and was divided as follows: 320 steamers,
aggregating 125,620 tons; and 1,152 sailing vessels, aggregating
257,689 tons. Side-wheel steamers numbered 117, and propellers, 203.
In 1896 the entire number of sailing vessels on the Northern Lakes
(including Lake Champlain) was 1,044, and of steam vessels, 1,792.
Many in both of these classes were small vessels, including yachts and
barges: the number actually engaged in the transportation business
would be about 774 sailing vessels and 1,031 steamers over fifty tons
burthen—a large proportion of the steamers being from 1,500 to 2,500
tons burthen.[39]

Coming back now to the beginning of steam navigation on the Great
Lakes, we find that the first Canadian steamer to navigate any of these
waters was the _Frontenac_, built at Finkle’s Point, eighteen miles
above Kingston, by Teabout & Chapman, of Sackett’s Harbour, for a
company of shareholders belonging to Kingston, Niagara, Queenston, York
and Prescott. The _Frontenac_ was launched on September 7th, 1816. Her
length over all was 170 feet, and her registered tonnage, 700 tons. She
cost nearly £20,000 currency. The engines were made by Watt & Boulton,
of Birmingham, England, and cost about £7,000. The _Frontenac_ was
said to be the best piece of naval architecture then in America, and
her departure on her first voyage was considered a great event—“she
moved off from her berth with majestic grandeur, the admiration of a
great number of spectators.” Her maiden trip for the head of the lake
was commenced on June 5th, 1817. Her regular route was from Prescott
to York (Toronto) and back, once a week. She was commanded as long as
she was afloat by Captain James Mackenzie, a gallant sailor who had
previously served in the Royal navy. The _Frontenac_ eventually became
the property of the Messrs. Hamilton, of Queenston. She was maliciously
set on fire by some miscreants while lying at her wharf at Niagara in
1827, and was totally destroyed.

[Illustration: “QUEEN CHARLOTTE.”

Second steamer on Lake Ontario, 1818.]

About the same time the Americans had built a steamboat at Sackett’s
Harbour, N. Y., named the _Ontario_, a vessel 110 feet long, 24 feet
wide, and 8½ feet in depth, measuring 240 tons. The _Ontario_ made her
first trip in April, 1817, thus establishing her claim of precedence
in sailing on the lakes. She was built under a grant from the heirs of
Robert Fulton. On her first trip she encountered considerable sea,
which lifted the paddle-wheels, throwing the shaft from its bearings
and destroying the paddle-boxes. This defect in her construction
having been remedied, she was afterwards successful, it is said, but
her career is not recorded.[40] The Americans built another steamer
at Sackett’s Harbour in 1818, the _Sophia_, of 70 tons, to run as a
packet between that port and Kingston. In that year also the Canadians
built their second lake steamer, the _Queen Charlotte_. She was built
at the same place as the _Frontenac_, and largely from material which
had not been used in the construction of that vessel. She was launched
on the 22nd of April, 1818, and was soon ready to take her place as
the pioneer steamer on the Bay of Quinte.[41] The _Queen Charlotte_
was a much smaller boat than the _Frontenac_. Her machinery was made
by the brothers Ward, of Montreal, and she seems to have plied very
successfully for twenty years from Prescott to the “Carrying Place” at
the head of the Bay of Quinte, where passengers took stage to Cobourg
and thence proceeded to York by steamer. She was commanded at first by
old Captain Richardson, then for a short time by young Captain Mosier,
and afterwards, to the end of her career, by Captain Gildersleeve,
of Kingston. She was finally broken up in Cataraqui Bay; but in the
meantime upwards of thirty steamers were plying on Lake Ontario and the
Upper St. Lawrence, to some of which particular reference will be made
later on.

[Illustration: “WALK-IN-THE-WATER.”

First steamer on Lake Erie, 1818.]

[Illustration: THE “VANDALIA.”

From _Scriber’s Magazine_ for March, 1890.]

The first steamer on Lake Erie was the _Walk-in-the-Water_, built at
Black Rock, near Buffalo, by one Noah Brown, and launched May 28th,
1818. She was schooner-rigged, 135 feet in length, 32 feet beam and 13
feet 3 inches deep: her tonnage was 383-60/95 tons. Her machinery was
brought from Albany, a distance of three hundred miles, in wagons drawn
by five to eight horses each. She left Black Rock on her first voyage
August 25th, and reached Detroit, 290 miles, in 44 hours 10 minutes.
“While she could navigate down stream, her power was not sufficient to
make headway against the strong current of the Niagara River. Resort
was therefore made to what was known in the early days as a “horned
breeze.” The _Walk-in the-Water_ was regularly towed up the Niagara
River by a number of yokes of oxen, but once above the swift current
she went very well.” She made regular trips between Black Rock and
Detroit, occasionally going as far as Mackinac and Green Bay on Lake
Huron, until November, 1821, when she was driven ashore near Buffalo
in a gale of wind and became a total wreck. Her engines, however, were
recovered and put in a new boat named the _Superior_, in 1822. Soon
after this the first high-pressure steamer on the lakes was built at
Buffalo. She was named the _Pioneer_. In 1841 the first lake propeller
was launched at Oswego. This was the _Vandalia_, of 160 tons, said to
be the first freight boat in America to make use of Ericsson’s screw
propeller. She made her first trip in November, 1841, and proved
entirely successful. In the spring of 1842 she passed through the
Welland Canal, and was visited by large numbers of people in Buffalo,
who were curious to see this new departure in steam navigation, and the
result was that two new propellers were built in that year at Buffalo,
the _Sampson_ and the _Hercules_.

Soon after the introduction of steamboats, and because of them, when
as yet railroads were not in this part of the world, Lake Erie became
the great highway of travel to the western States, and it was not
long until magnificent upper cabin steamers, carrying from 1,000 to
1,500 passengers, were plying between Buffalo and Chicago. The writer
well remembers making the voyage in one of these steamers late in
the autumn of 1844, and that, owing to the tempestuous state of the
weather, we had to tie up most every night, so that the voyage lasted
nearly a whole week. The crowd of passengers was great, but it was a
good-natured crowd, bent on having a “good time.” Dancing was kept up
in the main saloon every evening till midnight, after which many of us
were glad to get a shake-down on the cabin floor.

[Illustration: THE “PRINCETON.”

First propeller on the lakes that had an upper cabin—one of a fleet
of fourteen passenger steamers plying between Buffalo and Chicago in
1845—had twin screws, and a speed of eleven miles an hour.]

The year 1836 marks an important era in the navigation of the Great
Lakes, for in that year the first cargo of grain from Lake Michigan
arrived at Buffalo, brought by the brig _John Kenzie_ from Grand River.
It consisted of three thousand bushels of wheat. Previous to that date
the commerce of the lakes had been all westward, and, curiously enough,
the cargoes carried west consisted for the most part of flour, grain
and other supplies for the new western settlements. In 1840 a regular
movement of grain from west to east had been established.

In the early years of the grain trade the loading and unloading of
vessels was a very slow and irksome business. As much as two or three
days might be required to unload a cargo of 5,000 bushels. In the
winter of 1842-43 the first grain elevator was built at Buffalo,
and a new system of handling grain introduced which was to prove of
incalculable benefit to the trade. The schooner _Philadelphia_, of 123
tons, was the first to be unloaded by the elevator.

The Canadian steam traffic on Lake Erie commenced with the steamers
_Chippewa_ and _Emerald_, plying between Chippewa and Buffalo; the
_Kent_, which foundered in 1845; the _Ploughboy_, owned by a company
in Chatham, and the _Clinton_, owned by Robert Hamilton, of Queenston.
A much larger Canadian steam traffic developed on Lake Huron. One
of the earliest passenger steamers on the Georgian Bay was the
_Gore_, of 200 tons, built at Niagara in 1838, and called after the
Lieutenant-Governor of that name. That boat, which had plied for some
years between Niagara and Toronto, was placed on the route between
Sturgeon Bay and Sault Ste. Marie. On Lake Huron proper, the _Bruce
Mines_ was probably the earliest Canadian steamer. She was employed in
carrying copper ore from the Bruce mines to Montreal, and was wrecked
in 1854. Shortly after, on the completion of the Northern Railway,
in 1854, the company, with a view to developing their interests,
entered into a contract with an American line of steamers to run from
Collingwood to Lake Michigan ports tri-weekly and once a week to Green
Bay. In 1862 six large propellers were put on the route. Later, a
line of first-class passenger steamers began to ply twice a week from
Collingwood and Owen Sound to Duluth at the head of Lake Superior.
Among the steamers of that line, which became very popular, were the
_Chicora_, _Francis Smith_, _Cumberland_, and _Algoma_. These in turn
were superseded by the magnificent steamers of the Canadian Pacific and
other lines elsewhere referred to.

[Illustration: THE “EMPIRE.”

Built at Cleveland in 1844; a notable steamer in her day, being the
largest, the fastest, and the most handsomely fitted-up vessel on the
Upper Lakes at that time; ran many years between Buffalo and Chicago.]

The commerce of Lake Superior developed long after that of the lower
lakes had been established. In the earliest records of the navigation
of this lake, a brigantine named the _Recovery_, of about 150 tons,
owned by the North-West Fur Company, is mentioned as being one of
the first to sail on Lake Superior, about the year 1800. It is said
that during the war of 1812, fearing that she might be seized by the
Americans, her spars were taken out and her hull was covered up by
branches and brushwood in a sequestered bay till peace was proclaimed.
She was then taken from her hiding-place and resumed her beat on the
lake until about 1830, when she was run over the Sault Ste. Marie
rapids and placed in the lumber trade on Lake Erie, under the command
of Captain John Fallows, of Fort Erie, Canada West. Another vessel,
the _Mink_, is mentioned as having been brought down the rapids at
an earlier period. In 1835 the _John Jacob Astor_, accounted a large
vessel in her time, was built on Lake Superior for the American Fur
Company, and placed in command of Captain Charles C. Stanard, who
sailed her until 1842, when Captain J. B. Angus became master and
remained in charge of her until she was wrecked at Copper Harbour in
September, 1844. Passing by a number of other sailing vessels we come
now to the introduction of steam on Lake Superior, and this, according
to the statement of an old resident at Fort William, is how it began.

The twin-screw propeller _Independence_, Captain A. J. Averill, of
Chicago, was the first steamer seen on Lake Superior. This vessel,
rigged as a fore-and-aft schooner, was about 260 tons burthen, and was
hauled over the Sault Ste. Marie rapids in 1844. Her route of sailing
was on the south shore of the lake. Another propeller, the _Julia
Palmer_, was in like manner dragged up the Ste. Marie rapids in 1846,
and was the first steamer to sail on the north shore. At intervals,
prior to the opening of the ship canal, several other steamers were
taken up the rapids, among which were the propellers _Manhattan_,
_Monticello_, and _Peninsular_, and the side-wheel steamers _Baltimore_
and _Sam Ward_.

Previous to the completion of the Welland Canal the transportation of
freight over the portage from Queenston to Chippewa had come to be
quite a large business, giving employment to many “teamsters,” for the
entire traffic between Lake Erie and Ontario at this point was by means
of the old-fashioned lumber-wagon. At the Sault Ste. Marie portage, Mr.
Keep informs us that “one old grey horse and cart” did the business
for a time, but as the volume of trade increased two-horse wagons were
employed until 1850, when a light tram-road was built by the Chippewa
Portage Company, operated by horses, which with a capacity for moving
three or four hundred tons of freight in twenty-four hours, answered
the purpose up to the time of the opening of the canal in 1855.


Before the construction of canals these great inland waters were of
but little value to commerce, the only means of reaching them being by
the bark canoe or bateau of the voyageur. The United Empire Loyalists
who came to Canada at the close of the American war were conveyed to
their settlements on the St. Lawrence and Bay of Quinte in the long
sharp-pointed, flat-bottomed boats of the period, called “bateaux,” by
a very slow, laborious and uncomfortable process. General Simcoe, the
first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada (1791-96), is said to have
sailed from Kingston to Detroit in his bark canoe, rowed by twelve
chasseurs of his own regiment and followed by another canoe carrying
his tents and provisions. Many still living recollect how Sir George
Simpson, Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, made his annual canoe
journeys from Montreal to the Red River country. Having “sung at
St. Ann’s their parting hymn,” his flotilla of canoes ascended the
Ottawa, breasted the rapids, and by river, lake and portage, after
many weary days, reached Lake Huron and the Sault Ste. Marie, thence
along the north shore of Lake Superior to Fort William and the Grand
Portage and by Rainy Lake and Lake of the Woods to Fort Garry. “With
the self-possession of an emperor he was borne through the wilderness.
He is said to have made the canoe journey to the Red River _forty
times_. For his distinguished management of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s
affairs and for his services to the trade of Canada, Governor Simpson
was knighted. He died in 1860, a man who would have been of mark

As early as A. D. 1700 a boat canal was constructed by the Sulpicians
to connect Lachine with Montreal _via_ the Little St. Pierre River.
The depth of water was only two and a half feet. About the year 1780
certain short cuttings with locks available for canoes and bateaux
were made at a few points on the St. Lawrence where the rapids were
wholly impassable. About the beginning of the century the Government
of Lower Canada, appreciating the advantages of improved navigation,
made liberal appropriations to that end, resulting in the completion,
in 1804, of a channel three feet in depth along the shore line of the
Lachine Rapids connected with short canals at the Cascades, Split
Rock, and Coteau du Lac, which were provided with locks eighty-eight
feet long and sixteen feet wide—small dimensions, perhaps, but at
the time regarded as a vast improvement, admitting of the passage of
“Durham boats,” which then took the place of bateaux, with ten times
their capacity. Two small locks had also been built at the Long Sault
rapids, above Cornwall. But at many points the aid of oxen and horses
was required, and for many years, up to the opening of the St. Lawrence
canals, indeed, the chief cash revenues of the farmers along the river
front were derived from the towage of barges up the swift water, in
many cases to the serious neglect of their farms. In the spirit of
the religion of the early voyageurs and boatmen, crosses were erected
at the head of the rapids, suggesting to those who had successfully
surmounted them to rest and be thankful; hence the name, still applied
to the district immediately above the Long Sault rapids, “Santa Cruz.”
Here, no doubt, stood for many years one of the holy crosses before
which, on bended knee, thanks would often be given for a safe ascent of
the rapids.

The mail service in these days between Montreal and Kingston was in
keeping with the times. It was undertaken by a walking contractor, who
with the mail on his back took up his line of march from Montreal,
gauging his speed to accomplish the walk to Kingston and return in
fourteen days.[43]

A good many years later it was a four days’ journey from Montreal to
New York by the most expeditious route then existing. Thus it was
advertised in the Montreal _Gazette_, November 25th, 1827:

    OF 1826 AND 1827. The only full and perfect
    line running between Montreal and Albany leaves B.
    Thatcher’s office, No. 87 St. Paul Street, Montreal,
    every day, passing through Laprairie, Burlington,
    Middlebury, Poultney and Salem to Albany, through an
    old-settled, rich and populous country, and mostly on
    a smooth gravelly turnpike. Through in three days,
    and fare very reasonable. Extras and expresses at a
    moment’s notice. Young, Swain, Esinhart and others,

The voyage of the Durham boat was a very tedious one, depending as it
did largely on a favouring easterly breeze in traversing the lakes and
quieter portions of the river, and on the dexterity of the boatmen who
wielded the “setting-poles”[44] in swifter water, as well as their
_luck_ in surmounting the rapids, where they were liable to be detained
for hours, sometimes for days, contending against the swift currents,
subject to the mishaps of grounding or being damaged by big boulders,
or, worse still, of being caught by an eddy or an out-current and swept
down the rapids, sometimes with the loss of the oxen or horses which
had them in tow, and in some instances with the loss of the boat and
cargo. Woe to the teamster who was not provided with a knife to cut the
rope in such an emergency!

The first Lachine Canal proper, for barges, was commenced July 17th,
1821, and was completed in 1825, at a cost of $438,404. Of this amount
$50,000 was contributed by the Imperial Government on condition that
all military stores should be free from toll. It had 7 locks, each 100
feet long, 20 feet wide, and with 4½ feet depth of water on the sills.
In 1843-49 it became a “ship canal” with 5 locks, each 200 feet long,
45 feet wide, and 9 feet depth of water, costing $2,149,128. The
recent enlargement, commenced in 1875, cost $6,500,000. By this the
locks were increased to 270 feet in length and 14 feet depth of water
throughout the canal.


The necessity of devising means to overcome the stupendous obstacle
to navigation caused by the Falls of Niagara had long been apparent,
but it was not until 1824 that work was commenced on the Welland
Canal which was to connect Lake Ontario with Lake Erie and the west.
This important work was completed in 1829, chiefly through the energy
and perseverance of the Hon. William Hamilton Merritt, son of a U.
E. Loyalist family, born in New York State in 1793. A man of great
enterprise; he had this project on the brain for years, but like Cunard
and his steamships, had difficulty in “raising the wind”—the people
and the Government of Upper Canada being at that time both alike poor.
He crossed the Atlantic, and, on the ground of military expediency,
was said to have secured a subscription of £1,000 from the Duke of
Wellington, which greatly aided him in the formation of a joint stock
company who carried the work to its successful completion. The original
locks were constructed of wood, 120 feet in length, 20 feet wide, with
7½ feet of water on the sills. The entire length of the canal was
twenty-six miles. This accommodated vessels carrying 5,000 bushels
of wheat. Half a million of pounds were spent upon it up to the year
1841, when it was assumed by the United Canadas[45] and immediate steps
taken for its enlargement. With locks 145 x 26 x 9, vessels loaded
with 20,000 to 23,000 bushels could pass from lake to lake. A second
enlargement (1873-83) increased the depth of water to twelve feet; and
a third, in 1887, gave the canal a uniform depth of fourteen feet,
admitting the passage of vessels with a carrying capacity of 75,000 to
80,000 bushels. When this depth shall prevail throughout the entire
system of the St. Lawrence canals, vessels of 1,600 to 1,800 tons
register will be able to bring full cargoes from the Upper Lakes to
Montreal, and to cross the ocean if their owners see fit.[46] In the
meantime the Montreal Board of Trade are memorializing the Government
to have the Welland enlarged so that the largest vessels navigating the
lakes may be able to tranship their cargoes at Kingston or Prescott
as they now do at Buffalo; in other words, to locate the ship canal
projected by the Deep Waterways Commission on Canadian territory
instead of on the American side of the Niagara River.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Rideau Canal, connecting Kingston with Ottawa, was undertaken as
a military work by the Imperial Government at the instigation and
under the personal superintendence of Colonel John By, of the Royal
Engineers, from whom the obsolete Bytown derived its name. A stupendous
undertaking it was considered at the time—126¾ miles long, with
forty-seven locks, 134 feet by 32 feet each. It was begun in September,
1826, and on the 29th of May, 1832, the works being completed, the
steamer _Pumper_ passed through from Bytown to Kingston. The limit of
this canal is a draught of five feet. Its cost is said to have been
about one million pounds sterling. It was transferred by the Imperial
authorities to the Provincial Executive in 1856.


The St. Lawrence Canal System, with a uniform depth of nine feet of
water, was completed in 1848. The canals are eight in number, viz.: the
Lachine Canal, 8½ miles; the Beauharnois, 11¼ miles; the Cornwall, 11½
miles; Farren’s Point, ¾ of a mile; Rapid du Plat, 4 miles; Galops, 7⅝
miles; the Welland, 26¾ miles, and the Sault Ste. Marie, ¾ of a mile—in
all 71⅛ miles, with 53 locks, and 551¼ feet lockage. In 1871 the
Government decided to enlarge the locks of the whole system to 270 feet
by 45 feet, and to deepen the canals to fourteen feet. These dimensions
were decided upon after consultation with the Boards of Trade of
Oswego, Toledo, Detroit, Milwaukee and Chicago; but so great has been
the increase of commerce on the lakes since then, so much larger are
the vessels now employed in the trade, and so keen has the competition
become in the transportation business, it is already apparent that the
limiting of the locks to 270 feet has been a mistake, and that before
the work in hand is finished there will be a call for locks of at least
double that capacity.

Under the new arrangement the Lachine Canal has two distinct systems of
locks, giving two entrances at each end. The Cornwall Canal has in the
same manner two sets of locks at its lower entrance, and has in other
respects been greatly improved. The Beauharnois Canal was not enlarged,
but, instead, an entirely new canal on the north shore of the river is
being constructed, fourteen miles in length, of the same dimensions as
the other enlarged canals, at a cost of $5,000,000. The total cost of
the St. Lawrence canals and river improvements west of Montreal has
been $29,000,000; of the Welland Canal, $24,000,000; the Sault Ste.
Marie, $3,258,025; of the Ottawa and Rideau canals, about $10,000,000;
and of the whole canal system of the Dominion about $75,000,000. The
total revenue derived from tolls and hydraulic and other rents for the
year 1895 was $339,890.49; 2,412 vessels passed through the Welland
during the season of 1894, carrying 1,008,221 tons of freight. The
quantity of freight moved on the St. Lawrence and Ottawa canals was
1,448,788 tons, and on all the canals over 3,000,000 tons, whereof the
products of the forest, 1,077,683 tons; agricultural products, 993,348
tons—the remainder being general merchandise and manufactures.[47]

The deepening of Lake St. Peter and other shallow reaches of the St.
Lawrence between Montreal and Quebec has created what may be called
a submerged canal, fifty miles long, three hundred feet wide, with a
minimum depth of 27½ feet, permitting ocean steamers of the largest
class now in the trade to discharge their cargoes in the port of
Montreal, which is undergoing enlargement at the present time at a cost
of many millions of dollars.

During the season of 1897 the number of sea-going vessels that arrived
at Montreal was 796, with a total tonnage of 1,379,002; 752 of these
were steamers, aggregating 1,368,395 tons. The inland vessels numbered
6,384, with a tonnage of 1,134,346. The sea-going steamers were
eighty-three in excess of the previous year, with a marked increase of
tonnage.[48] During that summer steamships of 10,000 and even 12,000
tons burthen were to be found loading and discharging cargo alongside
the wharves of Montreal.

The total value of merchandise exported from this port during the year
1897 was $55,156,956. The chief articles of export were as follows:

                                             _Quantity_.    _Value_.
    Produce of the mines                         ...      $  188,127
       "       "   fisheries                     ...         120,242
       "       "   forest                        ...       5,731,583
    Horses                        (Number)       12,179    1,205,941
    Horned Cattle                    "          119,188    7,151,280
    Sheep                            "           66,319      340,060
    Butter                        (Pounds)   10,594,824    1,878,515
    Cheese                           "      162,322,426   14,325,176
    Eggs                          (Dozen)     4,806,011      575,782
    Meat of all kinds             (Pounds)   16,377,806    1,345,894
    Wheat                         (Bushels)   9,900,308    8,415,261
    Indian Corn                       "       9,172 676    3,121,753
    Other grains
     (barley, oats, peas, etc.)       "      10,298,444    3,904,128
    Flour                         (Barrels)     891,501    3,120,253
    Apples                            "          175,194      350,000
    Manufactured and
         miscellaneous articles                ...         3,954,919



                    DIMENSIONS OF THE GREAT LAKES.
             │          │ Greatest │        │           │
     LAKES.  │  Length. │   Width. │ Depth. │ Above Sea.│   Area.
             │ (Miles.) │ (Miles.) │ (Feet.)│  (Feet.)  │(Sq. Miles.)
  Ontario    │    180   │    65    │   500  │    247    │    7,300
  Erie       │    240   │    80    │   210  │    573    │   10,000
  Huron      │    280   │   190    │   802  │    581    │   24,000
  Michigan ‡ │    335   │    88    │   868  │    581    │   25,600
  Superior   │    420   │   160    │  1,008 │    601    │   32,000
    ‡ Lake Michigan lies wholly within the United States.

[39] These figures refer exclusively to vessels belonging to the
merchant marine of the United States on the Great Lakes and are taken
from official reports.

[40] Mr. C. H. Keep, in his report on the “Internal Commerce of the
United States for 1891,” has given a graphic History of Navigation on
the Great Lakes, and is our chief authority for these notes on the
early American lake steamers.

[41] Robertson’s “Landmarks of Toronto,” p. 847.

[42] Bryce’s “Short History of the Canadian People,” p. 333.

[43] Hugh McLennan’s “Lecture on Canadian Waterways, 1885.”

[44] The setting-pole might be twenty-five feet long, heavily shod with
iron at one end and at the other fitted with a rounded knob. This pole
was dropped into the water at the bow of the boat, and the boatman
having put his shoulder to the other end of it, facing the stern, and
pushing with all his might, walked to the farther end, cleats being
fastened to the deck to give him foothold. By the time he reached the
stern the barge had advanced exactly its own length, when he withdrew
the pole, dragged it to the bow and repeated the process. Two or three
men on each side of the boat would be similarly employed, and so the
barge dragged its slow length along, much after the fashion of the
horse-boat, only that the horse tugged at a stationary post while the
men pushed from it.

[45] Kingsford’s “Canadian Canals” (Toronto, 1865) contains an
elaborate history of the Welland and the financial difficulties that
attended its construction. The Imperial Government seem to have
contributed some £55,555 towards it, while stock was taken in the
enterprise by individuals in the United States for £69,625, and by
English capitalists, £30,137. The first vessels to pass through the
canal are said to have been the schooners _Ann and Jane_ and _R.
H. Boughton_, in November, 1829. On the 5th of July, 1841, during
the first session of the United Parliament of Canada, Lord Sydenham
announced that Her Majesty had confirmed the bill for transferring the
Welland to the Provincial Government.

Mr. McLennan states that the first Canadian vessel to pass through the
Welland was the propeller _Ireland_, Captain Patterson.

[46] The schooner _Niagara_, built by Muirs, of Port Dalhousie, was
sent to Liverpool with 20,000 bushels of wheat about the year 1860.
Captain Gaskin, of Kingston, built several sea-going vessels, one
of which he took over to Liverpool himself and sold her there. But
experience has proved that vessels suited to the navigation of the
lakes will never be able to compete successfully with ocean steamships
of 10,000 tons.

[47] “Report of Dominion Railways and Canals, 1895,” p. 256.

[48] “Montreal Board of Trade Report, 1897,” p. 70.



    United States and Canadian Commerce of the Great
        Lakes—The Sault Ste. Marie Ship Canals—The
        Erie Canal—Transportation Business—The
        Elevator—Deeper Waterways Commissions—The Ottawa
        and Georgian Bay Canal.

During the last quarter of a century the commerce of the Great
Lakes—the United States commerce especially—has grown with a rapidity
almost exceeding belief. It has become enormous! At the present time
it is stated on competent authority that the steam tonnage of these
inland seas largely exceeds the combined tonnage of this character
in all other parts of the United States put together. Not to speak
of the vast amount of shipping employed in the iron, the coal, and
the lumber trade, the Lake Superior grain and flour shipments for
1896 were 121,750,000 bushels. The Lake Michigan grain and flour
shipments for the same year were 273,820,000 bushels, together making
395,570,000 bushels of grain and flour shipped in one year from these
two quarters! It is difficult to realize the magnitude of such a
statement. Mr. Keep, already quoted, in his report for 1890 puts it
strikingly when he says: “If the freight carried on the Great Lakes
in the United States coastwise and foreign trade during the year 1890
were loaded into railway cars of average size and capacity, the cars so
loaded would cover 13,466 miles of railroad track.” The Commissioners
appointed by the Canadian Government to meet with a similar Committee
appointed by the United States Government to consider the subject
of international and deeper waterways, preface their report by
alluding to the commerce of the Great Lakes in these terms: “It is
impossible to convey, within reasonable space, an adequate idea of the
extraordinary[49] development of inland water transportation on the
Upper Lakes—which for rapidity, extent, economy and efficiency has no
counterpart even on the ocean. More than half of the best steamships
of the United States are imprisoned above Niagara Falls, and more than
half of the tonnage built in the United States in 1896 was launched
upon the lakes.” This inland water commerce has built up twelve cities
on the southern shores above Niagara, five of which have over 200,000
population, and one of them over a million. Within these limits there
are twenty-seven dry docks, the largest of which is on Lake Superior
and is 560 feet long, 50 feet wide, and 18 feet depth of water. There
are sixty-three life-saving stations upon these lakes, ten of which
are Canadian. “Unusual prosperity has stimulated ship-building to
such an extent that there are now in course of construction at the
various lake shipyards, sixty-five vessels, thirty of which are steel
freight steamers which will average 400 feet in length and 4,000 tons
capacity—costing in all $9,000,000.”[50]

Up to a comparatively recent date the bulk of the lakes commerce was
done by sailing vessels. Every town of any importance had its little
fleet of schooners. As time went on, the vessels increased in size,
and eventually a very fine class of three-masted schooners, with some
brigs, barquentines, and even full-rigged barques, were employed in the
carrying trade. One of the largest of these was the barque _Utica_,
of 550 tons, which sailed on the Buffalo and Chicago route in the
forties. A few of these clipper schooners may still be met with, but
they are rapidly being supplanted by iron and steel steamships of great
size, such as the _Maryland_, the _Owego_, the _E. C. Pope_, and the
_Manitou_, representatives of fleets of first-class steamships, ranging
from 300 to 350 feet in length, over 1,900 tons register, with triple
expansion engines, a speed of from fourteen to sixteen miles an hour,
and a carrying capacity of 120,000 to 125,000 bushels of grain. These,
and many others like them, were accounted “queens” a few years ago;
they are fine ships still, but there are much larger and finer than
they now.

The _Manitou_ here represented is one of the finest ships of her class
on the lakes, built in 1893 by the Chicago Ship-building Company. Her
hull is of steel, length over all 295 feet, breadth of beam 42 feet,
and depth of hold 22 feet. Her average draught of water is 15 feet.
She has triple expansion engines, a single four-bladed screw propeller
13 feet in diameter. Her gross tonnage is 2,944 tons. She is handsomely
fitted up with sleeping accommodations for four hundred passengers,
has a freight capacity of 1,500 tons, and develops a speed of eighteen
miles an hour. Her route is between Chicago and Sault Ste. Marie, where
she connects with the Lake Superior lines. She cost $300,000.

[Illustration: THE “MANITOU,” 1893.]

The _James Watt_, the first of the Rockefeller fleet and the largest
steamship on the lakes, is 426 feet long, 48 feet beam, and 29 feet
deep. She cost $260,000, and will carry from 4,000 to 6,000 tons of
ore, according as she is trimmed to draw 14 or 18 feet of water. The
_Empire City_, owned by the Zenith Transportation Company, is of
the same dimensions, less one foot in depth. She is now the largest
grain carrier on the lakes, having capacity for 213,000 bushels. The
Minnesota Iron Company have a fleet of fourteen steamships, each
carrying from 100,000 to 180,000 bushels of grain. The Lehigh Valley
Transportation Company own a fleet of large and powerful steel freight
steamers which ply between Buffalo and Chicago. These are but a few of
the many transportation companies that do business on the Great Lakes.
As to the vessels at present employed in the trade, it is safe to say
that they are to be regarded only as the precursors of a still larger
class of freight steamers that will navigate these waters when the
contemplated twenty-one foot channel shall have been established from
Lake Superior to Buffalo. At present there is a navigable channel of
17½ feet all the way.

Many of the large steamers take a number of barges in tow, and in
this way enormous quantities of grain are sometimes moved by a single
shipment. The _Appomattox_, for example, with three consorts in tow,
recently left Duluth with a combined cargo of 482,000 bushels, or
14,460 tons of wheat. Assuming the average yield of that cereal to
be twenty bushels to the acre, this single shipment represented the
produce of 24,100 acres!

[Illustration: SS. “NORTH-WEST,” 1894.]

The Northern Steamship Company of Buffalo has perhaps the finest fleet
of steamers on the Great Lakes, consisting of eight steamships. Six of
these are steel freight and emigrant ships of 2,500 tons each. They
are named the _Northern Light_, _Northern Wave_, _Northern King_,
_Northern Queen_, the _North Star_, and the _North Wind_. The other
two, the _North-West_ and the _North-Land_, are exclusively passenger
ships, up-to-date in every respect. They are identical in size, being
each 386 feet long, 44 moulded breadth, and 26 feet in depth. Their
gross tonnage is 5,000 tons apiece. They have quadruple expansion
engines of 7,000 indicated horse-power. The boilers are worked at a
pressure of 275 pounds to the square inch, and use up 70 tons of water
per hour. The twin screws are 13 feet in diameter and 18 feet pitch,
make 120 revolutions per minute, and drive the ships at a speed of
from 22 to 25 statute miles an hour, as may be required. The bunkers
hold 1,000 tons of coal. A double bottom, 42 inches deep, extends the
whole length of the ship, and is utilized for adjustable water ballast.
Luxurious accommodation is provided for five hundred first-class and
forty second-class passengers. Nearly twenty-six miles of electric wire
are used in conducting the subtle fluid for 1,200 lights. The electric
search-light has one hundred thousand candle-power. The refrigerating
plant, besides creating ample cold storage, makes one thousand pounds
of ice per day for the ship’s use. The grand saloon is, in American
parlance, “a magnificent achievement.” The routes of these twin ships
is from Buffalo to Duluth, at the head of Lake Superior, a distance of
1,065 miles, each of them making the round trip in a week. The fare for
the round trip is $30 for transportation, meals and staterooms being
charged extra.

For many years two causes prevented the building of vessels of such
large dimensions as those just described for lake navigation. One of
these was the insufficient size of the lock at Sault Ste. Marie, and
the other was the shallowness of the water on the St. Clair flats
and at other points. The former difficulty disappeared in 1881 when
the first of the large locks was opened at the Sault; the second
difficulty was overcome by the Northern Steamship Company in the
peculiar construction of their vessels with a water ballasting system
that permits of sinking the ship to the depth required for navigating
the deep waters of the lakes and of floating them over the shoals and
bars that obstruct the navigation. This ingenious device, however,
can only be regarded as a temporary expedient, pending the action
of the United States Government, which contemplates the making of a
twenty-one foot channel at all points where the shallows occur. This
is a measure felt to be due to the lakes’ marine, which has already
done so much to develop the resources of the North-West, especially
the mineral resources, which would otherwise have lain comparatively
dormant. “The United States have expended some $12,000,000 in widening
and deepening channels, which has already been more than repaid by the
rapid development of commerce. The largest item in the lakes’ traffic
is the transportation of iron—the richest ores are now being mined
along a line of coast of one thousand miles, dotted with manufacturing

It helps one to realize the immensity of the lakes’ traffic to learn
that the number of vessels that cleared from the district of Chicago
in 1893 was 8,789, with a gross tonnage of 5,449,470 tons—actually a
larger tonnage than cleared from the port of Liverpool in 1892.[52]
The tonnage passing down the Detroit River from lakes Superior,
Michigan and Huron, during the seven or eight months of navigation,
is, by official statements, greater than the entire foreign and
coastwise trade of London and Liverpool combined in twelve months. It
is estimated by competent experts to be three times greater than the
foreign trade of the port of New York, and to exceed the aggregate
foreign trade of all the seaports of the United States by 10,000,000


To accommodate the vast volume of traffic emanating from Lake Superior
ports, magnificent canals have been constructed on either side of the
St. Mary River, which connects Lake Superior with Lake Huron. These
works, the most remarkable of their kind in existence, have reached
their present dimension by a succession of enlargements and a large
outlay of money. The first canal on the western or American side of
the river was constructed by a joint stock company formed in 1853, who
undertook to construct it for the State of Michigan upon receiving
therefore a grant of 750,000 acres of land. The work was completed in
1855, and from that date the commerce of Lake Superior may be said to
have had any appreciable existence. The opening of the canal was, as it
were, the opening of a sluice-gate through which a flood of commerce
was soon to roll.

The first canal cost about $1,000,000. It was a little over a mile in
length. Its width at the water line was 100 feet, and its depth 12
feet. There were two locks, each 350 feet long and 70 feet wide. The
growth of traffic and the increase in the size of the lake vessels
soon rendered it apparent that the canal must be enlarged. In 1870 the
United States Government made its first appropriation for deepening
the canal to 16 feet and increasing its lockage. A new lock was built,
550 feet in length by 80 feet in width, and 18 feet lift, at a cost
of $2,404,124.33. The work was completed in 1881. Its opening was
followed by an enormous increase of commerce—so much so that it soon
became quite inadequate to the traffic. A still further enlargement was
decided upon, and was completed in 1896, at a cost of about $5,000,000.
The new lock occupies the site of the two old locks of 1855, and is 800
feet long, 100 feet wide, and has 21 feet depth of water on the sill.
It is officially known as the St. Mary’s Falls Canal.

       *       *       *       *       *

So long ago as the close of last century the North-West Fur Company
had constructed a rude canal on the Canadian side, with locks, adapted
for the passage of loaded canoes without breaking bulk. Though late
of construction, a ship canal had long been in contemplation by the
Canadian Government, and the time came when, owing to the increase of
traffic, it could no longer be delayed. This great work was completed
and opened for traffic on September 9th, 1895, at a cost of some
$3,500,000. The Canadian lock is 900 feet long, 60 feet wide, 20 feet
3 inches depth of water on the sill, and 18 feet lift, affording room
for three large vessels at one time. The length of the canal proper,
between the extreme ends of the entrance piers, is only 5,967 feet,
but including the excavated channels of approach it is about 18,100
feet. The American canal is a little over a mile in length. The locks
of both are unsurpassed for their size and solidity, as well as for the
completeness of their mechanical appliances.

An official report, compiled by the Chief Engineer of the St. Mary’s
Falls Canal (United States), contains a detailed statement of the
commerce of that canal for each year, from 1855 to 1895, and goes
far to substantiate what has already been said as to the magnitude
of the lakes’ commerce. The number of vessels that passed through
in 1895 was 17,956, with a registered tonnage of 16,806,781 tons.
The number of sailing vessels was 4,790; of steamers, 12,495; and of
unregistered craft, 671. The number of passengers conveyed from lake
to lake was 31,656. As to the cargoes of the vessels, these are a few
of the chief items: 2,574,362 net tons of coal; 8,902,302 barrels of
flour; 46,218,250 bushels of wheat; 8,328,694 bushels of other grain;
107,452 tons of copper; 8,062,209 tons of iron ore; 740,700,000 feet
of sawed lumber; 100,337 tons of manufactured and pig iron; 269,919
barrels of salt—in all, 15,062,580 net tons of freight. The freight
traffic of the St. Mary’s Canal, in seven months of 1895, was more than
twice that of the Suez Canal, which is open all the year. During the
year 1897 it was much greater than in any previous year, the registered
tonnage being 17,619,933, the tons of freight 18,218,411, and the
number of passengers 40,213.

U. S. A.]

The gradual development of steam navigation on Lake Superior is shown
in a table of parallel columns, extending over thirty years. In 1864
the sailing vessels that used the canal were three times as numerous
as the steamers; but in 1895 the steamers were three times as numerous
as the sailing vessels, and they had increased enormously in tonnage.
The number of sailing vessels built on the Great Lakes in 1896 was
nineteen; in that year there were built _seventy-five_ steamers,
aggregating 75,743 tons register, and of these thirty-five were built
of steel, with a combined tonnage of 63,589 tons. The principal
ship-building yards on the Upper Lakes are at Buffalo, Cleveland,
Detroit, Bay City, Milwaukee, Chicago and Superior. At most of these
points there are plants for the construction of iron and steel vessels.
It is said that Cleveland is the largest ship-building port, and also
the largest iron ore market in the United States.

The transportation of iron ore, it will be noticed, forms a large
element in the commerce of Lake Superior. Not only is the ore found
in great abundance in that region, but it is the best in quality and
the most in demand of any in the United States. Over 100,000,000 tons
of this ore have been mined in the lake region within the last forty
years. Owing to its great bulk and weight it is nearly all carried by
water; the estimated capital engaged in mining and transporting the
ore to the 120 furnaces in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Buffalo and Chicago
is about $234,000,000.[53] But for the number and the size of the
steamers thus employed, and the facilities now in use for loading and
unloading them, the trade could not exist. The largest vessels in the
iron ore trade are regularly loaded in three or four hours; 2,500 tons
of ore have been loaded into a vessel of that capacity in an hour and


This great artificial waterway, lying wholly in the State of New York,
and under State management, connects Buffalo with the Hudson River at
Albany. Although of comparatively limited capacity, it is to-day the
most formidable rival the St. Lawrence route has to compete with in the
transportation of freight from the west to the seaboard. The Erie was
first opened for traffic in the same year as the first Lachine Canal
(1825). It was originally 363 miles long, with eighty-three locks, each
90 feet by 15 feet, and 4 feet depth of water.

The first enlargement of this canal was commenced in 1836 and completed
in 1862, at a cost of $44,465,414, making the entire cost up to the
last-named date over $50,000,000. It is now 351¾ miles in length, 70
feet wide on the surface and 56 feet wide at the bottom having 72
locks, each 110 feet by 18 feet, and 7 feet deep. The limit of the
canal for navigation, however, is only 6 feet of water, restricting its
use to vessels of 240 tons capacity, say, 8,000 bushels of wheat.

Navigation has hitherto been carried on by horse traction—the boats
running in pairs—and by small steam tugs towing three or four boats,
after them. The tug often pushes one boat ahead and tows the others
behind. In this latter way a load of 900 tons will be moved at an
average pace of about 2½ miles per hour while in motion. Including
lockages, the distance from Buffalo to New York may be covered in nine
or ten days. The boats are about 98 feet long and 17 feet 5 inches
wide. They make on the average about seven round trips in the season.
The average price received for the transportation of wheat in this
manner from Buffalo to New York is about 3½ cents per bushel, which
allows a fair margin of profit to the boatman.

Experiments have been made for the application of electricity to the
traction of the boats, with promise of further development. In the
meantime considerable importance is attached to the installation of
electric telephone communication from one end of the line to the
other, whereby instant communication can be had with the section
superintendents, the lock tenders and other officials. The system
is devised solely for the use of the canal officials, and will be
invaluable in sudden emergencies caused by accidents to the boats,
leaks, breaks, or other disasters that may occur and interfere with the
navigation of the canal.

For some time past western shippers have been testing the feasibility
of establishing a through line of transportation from the Great Lakes
to New York by way of the Erie Canal without the delay and expense
of transhipment at Buffalo. In 1895 this idea was worked out by the
construction of a fleet of steel canal boats, consisting of one steamer
and five consorts, by the Cleveland Steel Canal Boat Company of Ohio.
Several fleets of this kind have since been put in operation, and the
projectors believe that they have demonstrated the practicability of
thus carrying freight to the seaboard from any of the western lakes
at a fair margin of profit and in successful competition with the
railways. These steel barges have encountered severe storms on the
lakes without any serious damage to the boats or their cargoes. The
cost of the tug boat is about $15,000, and of each consort about
$6,000. The time occupied by the steel fleet from Cleveland to New York
has been from ten to twelve days.

The second enlargement of the Erie Canal, now in progress and
nearing completion, will afford greatly increased facilities for
transportation, by increasing the depth from 7 to 9 feet and doubling
and lengthening all the locks. There will be no increase in the width
of the locks nor in the length of the boats navigating the canal, but
two boats (which form a horse-tow) will be locked through at once, and
by the locks being doubled, side by side, no boats will have to wait
for others coming in an opposite direction. The cargo will be increased
by the greater depth of water in boats of the same size, more deeply
loaded, and the traction will be so improved that boats will run easier
and faster. The amount of freight carried on the Erie Canal—east and
west—in the year 1896 was 2,742,438 tons.[55] The amount transported on
the Welland Canal for that year was 1,279,987 tons.


Notwithstanding the large amount of money expended by the Canadian
Government upon its unrivalled St. Lawrence canals and the deepening
of its waterways, the volume of western traffic that comes this way is
as yet disappointingly small. The great bulk of the trade in western
produce, Canadian and American, finds its way to the seaboard in
American vessels by way of Buffalo, Oswego and Ogdensburg to New York
and Boston. What effect the deepening of the canals to fourteen feet
will have on this deviation from the “natural outlet” remains to be

From a statement kindly furnished by Mr. T. F. Taylor, Marine Inspector
at Kingston, it appears that the number of companies in Canada having
steamers and other craft engaged in the commerce of the Great Lakes
is twenty-four. Three of these go no farther than the head of Lake
Ontario, three extend their operations to Lake Erie, five to Lake
Huron, and thirteen to Lake Superior. Five steamers are employed on
Lake Erie, thirteen on Lake Huron, twenty-six navigate the waters
of Lake Superior. About one-half of these steamers are first-class
steel freight and passenger vessels of from 1,200 to 2,600 tons each.
A few of them pass through the Welland Canal and have their cargoes
transhipped into barges at Kingston or Prescott. Others connect with
lines of railway at Sault Ste. Marie, Owen Sound, Collingwood, Windsor
and Sarnia. Occasionally one or two of the smaller ones run through to
Montreal. Besides the steamers, there are employed in the lakes’ grain
trade twenty-one lake barges, each of 50,000 bushels capacity, and
fourteen tug steamers. There is also a fleet of about sixty-two sailing
vessels trading between the Upper Lakes and Kingston, and some sixty
or seventy barges employed in transporting grain from that port to

[Illustration: C. P. R. SS. “ALBERTA,” 1883.]

On the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway the company formed
a line of freight and passenger steamers of their own, consisting of
the _Algoma_, the _Alberta_ and the _Athabasca_. The _Algoma_ had
sailed the lakes previous to this under different names. The other two
are fine steel ships, built by Aitken & Co. of Glasgow, in 1883. They
are each 270 feet long and 2,300 tons burthen, fitted with all modern
improvements in their machinery and with excellent accommodation for
a large number of passengers. They commenced their work in 1884 and
have been very successful and popular. The _Algoma_ was unfortunately
wrecked off Isle Royale in Lake Superior in November, 1885, during a
fearful snow-storm that swept over the lake, when many lives were lost.
She was replaced by the _Manitoba_, a very fine vessel built of steel
at Owen Sound by the Polson Ship-building Company. The _Manitoba_ is
the largest Canadian steamer on the lakes, being 300 feet long and
2,600 tons burthen. By means of these steamers a regular and most
satisfactory summer service is maintained once a week from Windsor
and Sarnia, and twice a week from Owen Sound and Sault Ste. Marie to
Fort William. Their capacity for the transportation of grain is about
400,000 bushels a month.

The Montreal Transportation Company, founded in 1868, is the oldest
of the existing forwarding companies, and does the largest amount
of business. Their fleet consists at present of three steamers, six
tug-boats, six lake barges and thirty-two river barges. Two of the
steamers, the _Bannockburn_ and the _Rosemount_, are first-class steel
ships, built at Newcastle-on-Tyne, about 250 feet in length, 40 feet
beam, with a carrying capacity of 75,000 bushels of wheat. The lake
barges play an important part as “consorts” to the steamers. They
resemble in appearance so many large dismasted schooners, and serve
their purpose economically and well so long as they keep in tow, but
when they break loose, as they occasionally do when overtaken by a gale
of wind, they become unmanageable and are apt to come to grief. This
company with its present equipment handles about 250,000 bushels of
grain per month.

The North-West Transportation Company, dating from 1871, and otherwise
known as the “Beatty Line,” has two fine passenger and freight
steamers, the _Monarch_ and the _United Empire_, of 1,600 tons and
1,400 tons respectively, forming a weekly line from Windsor and Sarnia
to Fort William and Duluth, in connection with the Grand Trunk Railway;
they forward about 200,000 bushels of grain per month.

The Hagarty and Crangle Line, running between ports at the head of
lakes Superior and Michigan to ports on the River St. Lawrence, has
two large steel steamers, the _Algonquin_ and the _Rosedale_, on the
Upper Lakes, and the steamer _Persia_ which plies between the head of
Lake Ontario and Montreal. Hamilton has three “Merchants Lines” in the
Upper Lakes’ shipping business—Mackay’s, Fairgreaves’, and Thomas Myles
& Sons, owning in addition to other lake craft such fine steel and
composite steamers as the _Sir L. Tilley_, _Lake Michigan_, _Arabian_
and the _Myles_.

The Calvin Company’s Line, of Garden Island, Kingston, has four
steamers, four lake barges, and four tug steamers running between Lake
Superior ports, Kingston and Montreal. The Collins Bay Rafting Company
has on the same route three steamers, three lake barges, and two tug
steamers. The Jacques & Co.’s Line has two steamers running from the
head of Lake Erie and one from the head of Lake Ontario to Montreal.

The Great Northern Transit Company, with headquarters at Collingwood,
has four freight and passenger steamers—the _Majestic_, _Pacific_,
_Atlantic_, and _Northern Belle_—keeping up a well-appointed service
twice a week from Collingwood to Sault Ste. Marie, and having
connection with the Northern Railway to Toronto. The _Majestic_, built
at Collingwood, is a steel screw steamer, 230 feet long, 36 feet wide,
1,600 tons register, and cost $125,000. She has compound condensing
engines of 1,200 horse-power, and is fitted up internally with great
elegance. The North Shore Navigation Company has five excellent
steamers plying on the Georgian Bay and northern shores of Lake Huron
from Collingwood and Owen Sound to Sault Ste. Marie and Mackinac
Island, where connections are made with American lines of steamers to
Chicago and other ports on Lake Michigan. The steamers are the _City
of Collingwood_, 1,400 tons; _City of Midland_, 1,300 tons; _City of
Toronto_, 800 tons; _City of Parry Sound_ and _City of London_, each
600 tons.

Reference will be made hereafter to steamers plying on Lake Ontario and
the River St. Lawrence.


In the matter of transportation it may be interesting to learn how a
consignment of wheat is “handled” from the time it leaves the field
in Manitoba, where it is grown, until it reaches its destination in
Liverpool or London. When there were only a few hundred thousand
bushels to be sent to the seaboard, the means of transport were very
simple and primitive. It was carried on men’s backs from one conveyance
to another, and floated down rivers or shallow canals in small boats or
on rafts of timber. But when the thousands became millions the problem
of cheap transportation became a serious one. American ingenuity rose
to the occasion and invented the most marvellous of labour-saving


The farmer sells his crop of wheat to the grain-dealer, and carts
it, say, to Brandon, where the purchaser takes delivery of it at his
elevator. Let us examine this thing somewhat minutely, taking by
way of illustration one of the elevators belonging to the Canadian
Pacific Railway Company at Montreal. It is a medium-sized one, having
capacity for storing about 600,000 bushels of grain. The same company’s
elevators at Fort William and Port Arthur are much larger, having
capacity for 1,500,000 bushels. In Chicago and Buffalo there are
elevators of three millions of bushels capacity; but, whether larger or
smaller, in their main features they are all alike.

The elevator is a wooden structure of great strength. Its massive stone
foundations rest on piles imbedded in concrete. The framework is so
thoroughly braced and bolted together as to give it the rigidity of a
solid cube, enabling it to resist the enormous pressure to which it
is subjected when filled with 18,000 tons of wheat. The building is
210 feet long, 80 feet wide, and 142 feet in height from basement to
the peak of the roof. Including the steam-engine (built at the C. P.
R. works) of 240 horse-power, the entire cost of this elevator was
$150,000. It consists of three distinct compartments—for receiving,
storing, and delivering grain. On the ground floor are two lines of
rails by which the cars have ingress and egress. The general appearance
of this flat is that of a bewildering array of ponderous posts and
beams, shafting, cog-wheels, pulleys and belts, blocks and tackle,
chutes, and the windlasses for hauling in and out the cars, for a
locomotive with its dangerous sparks may not cross the threshold.
Beneath this, in the basement, are the receiving tanks, thirty-five
feet apart from centre to centre, corresponding to the length of the
cars. Of these there are nine, enabling that number of cars to be
simultaneously unloaded. This is quickly done by a shovel worked by
machinery, with the aid of two men, the grain falling through an iron
grating in the floor into the tank. The elevator has nine “legs.”
The leg is an upright box, 12 inches by 24 inches, extending from
the bottom of the tank to the top of the building; inside of it is a
revolving belt with buckets attached 15½ inches apart. The belt is
256 feet long, and as it makes 36 revolutions per minute, each bucket
containing one-third of a bushel, each leg is able to raise 5,250
bushels per hour.[56] A car is unloaded and its contents hoisted into
the upper regions in fifteen minutes. When all the legs are at work
30,000 bushels are handled in an hour.

The four-story house on top of the granary contains a number of
different mechanisms. In the uppermost flat the leg’s revolving
belt turns round a pulley and discharges the grain into a receiving
hopper on the next floor. From this it is withdrawn to the weighing
hopper, nicely balanced on a Fairbanks beam-scale, having a capacity
for 30,000 pounds or 500 bushels of wheat, which is weighed with as
much exactitude as is a pound of tea by the grocer. At either end of
this room there is a separating machine in which the grain can be
thoroughly cleansed by the removal of smut and dust. Underneath is the
distributing room, with jointed pipes leading to the storage bins, of
which there are one hundred, each 50 feet deep and 12 feet square,
calculated to hold 6,000 bushels each. The process of withdrawing the
grain from the bins, strange to say, is a repetition of that just
described. It must go down into the cellar, and up again to the attic,
and pass through the weighing machine and thence to the car, the barge,
or the ship. A car of 600 bushels can be loaded in three minutes. The
most singular part of the whole apparatus is the “carrier” by which the
grain is conveyed from the elevator to the vessel lying at the wharf,
260 feet off. The carrier is an endless four-ply rubber belt, 515 feet
long and 36 inches wide, upon which the grain is dropped and carried
to its destination. The difficulty of comprehending why the grain is
not shaken off that flat, rapidly revolving belt is not lessened by
the explanation given, that it is held in place by the concentrative
attraction of the particles in motion. But from whatever cause, the
grain clings to the belt, and may be carried in this way any distance,
and in all manner of directions, turning sharp corners and even going
over the roofs of houses if they stand in the way. The elevator in
question delivers by “carrier” from 8,000 to 10,000 bushels an hour.
There are over 50 such elevators in New York, only of much larger
capacity; Buffalo has 52, with a storage capacity of over 15,000,000
bushels; Chicago, 21; Duluth and Superior, 9 each. There are elevators
in Buffalo that can take grain out of a vessel at the rate of 25,000
bushels an hour.

A Duluth paper of May 21st, 1898, says: “Globe elevator No. 1 carries
the broom for rapid loading this year, and the record made yesterday
has probably never been equalled. The steamer _Queen City_ loaded there
yesterday morning, taking 185,000 bushels in 180 minutes.”

Now, suppose that an order has reached Brandon for a shipment of
220,000 bushels of wheat,[57] to be forwarded to Montreal _via_ the St.
Lawrence route. The initial cost of receiving, storing for a given time
and delivery from the Brandon elevator is three cents per bushel. It
must be hauled from Brandon to Fort William, a distance of 559 miles
by railway. The consignment is the produce of 11,000 acres and weighs
6,600 tons. It will load 330 box-cars, each containing 40,000 pounds.
As each car weighs about 25,000 pounds, the entire weight to be moved
by rail will be 10,725 tons. Until quite recently, twenty cars of wheat
made up an average train load, but with the powerful locomotives now in
use twice that number may be taken at a load. A safe estimate for this
particular shipment will be ten trains of thirty-three cars each, the
gross weight of engine, tender and train being about 1,100 tons.[58]
The cost of transport from Brandon to Fort William, at the summer rate
of 19 cents per 100 pounds, will be 11.40 cents per bushel. By means
of the elevator at Fort William it is transhipped to lake vessels. A
large propeller takes on board 70,000 bushels; the balance is stored
away in three barges containing 50,000 bushels each. The propeller
takes the trio in tow and proceeds on its long voyage of 1,200 miles
through Lake Superior, the “Soo” Canal, lakes Huron and Erie, the
Welland Canal and Lake Ontario to Kingston, in seven days. The cost
of transportation from Fort William to Kingston is from three to four
cents per bushel, and to Montreal two cents more. At Kingston floating
elevators come alongside the propeller and her consorts, and quickly
transfer their cargoes into lighters carrying from 20,000 to 30,000
bushels each.[59] The fleet of nine or ten river barges is towed down
the St. Lawrence, passing through the Cornwall, Beauharnois and Lachine
canals to Montreal, 1,940 miles from Brandon by this route. They are
laid alongside the ocean steamers in pairs, one opposite the forehatch
and the other at the afterhatch, and their contents are poured into the
big ship at the rate of 8,000 to 10,000 bushels per hour. The average
rate to Liverpool is about 5¼ cents per bushel, bringing up the total
cost of transportation from Brandon to Britain to, say, 22¼ cents per
bushel. The first shipment of wheat from Manitoba to Britain was made
in October, 1877.

Mr. Hugh McLennan, the president of the Montreal Transportation
Company, is also one of the most extensive shippers of grain in Canada.
No better illustration can be found anywhere of the man who is the
architect of his own fortune. Mr. McLennan was born in the County of
Glengarry in 1825. His father’s family came from Ross-shire, Scotland,
in 1802, and his mother’s family were United Empire Loyalists, who
settled in Glengarry at the close of the American War of Independence.

After serving some years in the hardware business in Montreal, Mr.
McLennan joined the mail steamer Canada, as purser, under Captain
Lawless. In 1850 he started business on his own account in Kingston,
as wharfinger and shipping agent. During that season he united with
some others in organizing a steamboat line to run between Kingston
and Montreal, in the furtherance of which enterprise he removed to
Montreal in 1851, adding the business of general shipping agent. In the
year 1854 he was joined by his elder brother John, when they entered
extensively into the grain trade, Mr. McLennan going to Chicago in
connection with that business. In 1867 he returned to Montreal, and
organized the Montreal Transportation Company, of which he has been
president to the present time.


Mr. McLennan’s name soon became identified with many of the leading
enterprises of the city, as well as in its educational and benevolent
institutions. He still continues his active connection with the
transportation and grain export business, and by reason of his
long connection has become an acknowledged authority in everything
pertaining to the past history of these important branches of Canadian
trade. He is an ex-president of the Board of Trade, and represented
that organization upon the Harbour Board for a quarter of a century,
resigning the position during the present season. He is a director
of the Bank of Montreal, a governor of McGill University, and of the
Montreal General Hospital, and is treasurer of the Sailors’ Institute.
He is also an active member of the American Presbyterian Church.

       *       *       *       *       *

A large proportion of the wheat grown in the Western States and in
Canada is made into flour and transported in that form to eastern and
foreign markets. Minneapolis, in the State of Minnesota, claims to
be the greatest flour manufacturing centre in the world. Its milling
capacity is said to be 54,800 barrels daily. Its actual output in
1895 was 10,581,633 barrels. Although Canada may not compare with
Minneapolis in its annual output of flour, she claims to have the
largest individual miller in the world, in the person of W. W. Ogilvie,
of Montreal. Mr. William Watson Ogilvie was born at St. Michel, near
Montreal, April 14th, 1836, being descended from a younger brother
of the Earl of Angus, who, some centuries ago, was rewarded with the
lands of Ogilvie, in Banffshire, and assumed the name of the estate.
His immediate ancestors belonged to Stirlingshire, Scotland, his
grandfather having come to this country in the year 1800.

The milling business now represented by Mr. Ogilvie was begun by
his grandfather, who, in 1801, erected a mill at Jacques Cartier,
near Quebec, and also one at the Lachine Rapids, in 1808. In 1860
he became a member of the firm of A. W. Ogilvie & Co., then formed,
whose transactions in grain soon became very extensive, resulting in
the building of the “Glenora Mills,” at Montreal, and others of large
capacity at Goderich, Seaforth and Winnipeg. On the death of Mr. John
Ogilvie, in 1888, Senator A. W. Ogilvie, having retired in 1874, Mr.
W. W. became the sole member of the firm, and has since proved himself
a man of marvellous executive ability. He went to Hungary to see
the roller process at work, where it came into use in 1868, and was
one of the first to introduce it into this country. He acquired by
purchase the famous Gould Mills in Montreal, at a cost of $250,000,
thus adding 1,100 barrels to his daily milling capacity, which, at the
present time, is about 9,000 barrels a day. The annual output of Mr.
Ogilvie’s mills is about 2,500,000 barrels. About 30 per cent. of that
amount is exported to different European countries; and, recently, a
demand has arisen in Japan, Australia, and even in the Fiji Islands,
for “Ogilvie’s Hungarian flour.” The balance is sold in all parts of
the Dominion. Mr. Ogilvie purchases between four and five millions of
bushels of wheat annually, and is rich in elevators, having as many
as sixty-nine of these for his own special use in various parts of
the country. In carrying on his extensive business he occasionally
charters whole fleets of lake steamers and barges, and it is said
of him that he is as fair in his business methods as he is generous
in his charities. Mr. Ogilvie is a director of the Bank of Montreal,
ex-President of the Montreal Board of Trade, and largely interested in
several of the leading commercial interests of Canada.


The enlargement of the St. Lawrence and Erie canals cannot fail to
prove advantageous to the inland shipping trade; but, so far from
solving the question of “cheapest transportation,” it seems rather to
have accentuated the demand for greater facilities of a like kind. The
cry for “deeper waterways” has been in the air for many years, but
never has it been louder than just now. The first enlargement of the
St. Mary’s Falls Canal in 1881, and the subsequent deepening of the
channels connecting the Upper Lakes had the effect, almost immediately,
of doubling the tonnage of vessels plying the lakes and of producing a
corresponding reduction in the rates of freight. The increase of the
commerce of the lakes, incredible to those who are not engaged in it,
and what appears to be its limitless future, have been keenly discussed
in conventions as well as on the floors of Parliament and Congress
for a number of years past, but it was only in 1894 that the movement
assumed an organized form.

At a meeting held in Toronto in September, 1894, there was formed
“The International Deep Waterways Association,” the declared object
of which was “to promote the union of the lakes and the high seas by
waterways of the greatest practicable capacity and usefulness; and
recognizing the supreme utility of such waterways’ development.” At
that meeting it was resolved: “That the depth of all channels through
the lakes and their seaboard connections be not less than twenty-one
feet, and that all permanent structures be designed on a basis not less
than twenty-six feet, in order that the greater depth may be quickly
and cheaply obtained whenever demanded by the future necessities of

On the 8th of February, 1895, it was resolved by the Senate and
House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress
assembled, “That the President is authorized to appoint three persons
who shall have power to meet and confer with any similar committee
which may be appointed by the Government of Great Britain or the
Dominion of Canada, and who shall make inquiry and report whether it is
feasible to build such canals as shall enable vessels engaged in ocean
commerce to pass to and fro between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic
Ocean, where such canals can be most conveniently located, and the
probable cost of the same, with estimates in detail; and if any part of
the same should be built on the territory of Canada, what regulations
or treaty arrangements will be necessary between the United States and
Great Britain to preserve the free use of such canals to the people of
this country at all times.”

By an order of Council dated at Ottawa, 14th December, 1895, Messrs.
O. A. Howland, M.P.P., of Toronto, Thomas C. Keefer, C.E., and Thomas
Munro, C.E., of Ottawa, were appointed Commissioners on behalf of the
Canadian Government to meet and confer with the Commissioners appointed
by the President of the United States on this important subject.

Several meetings of this International Waterways Commission have
been held, a good deal of money has been spent in preliminary
surveys, and reports favourable to the proposal, embodying much
exceedingly interesting information as to the amount and rapid growth
of the commerce of the lakes, have been submitted to the respective
Governments. The American Commissioners favour the construction of
a series of ship canals connecting Lake Erie with the seaboard,
suggesting that the minimum depth of navigable water should be 28 feet,
with canal locks 560 feet long and 64 feet wide. They present a choice
of routes: (1) “The natural route” _via_ the St. Lawrence to Montreal,
and _via_ Lake Champlain to the Hudson River. (2) _Via_ Lake Ontario to
Oswego and thence through the Mohawk Valley to Troy on the Hudson. The
latter would be entirely through United States territory; the former
would necessarily be of an international character, and preferable,
provided that satisfactory treaty arrangements could be effected for
the settlement of any differences that might arise between the two
Governments interested. In either case the construction of a ship canal
at Niagara Falls on the American side of the river is judged to be
necessary. The international route would involve a ship canal from some
point below Ogdensburg to near the boundary line on Lake St. Francis,
and thence through Canadian territory to Lake Champlain.

The Canadian Commissioners in general terms endorse the international
proposal as the one “which would give an opportunity of doing what our
canals were intended to do, but have failed to do, that is, to obtain
the maximum amount of the western trade for the St. Lawrence route.”
It is agreed that the class of vessels adapted to the Welland and St.
Lawrence canals, limited to a draft of fourteen feet, can never compete
successfully with the large United States vessels plying on the Upper
Lakes; and the fact that these large United States vessels are unable
to leave the Upper Lakes, “seems to embrace the whole ‘Deep Waterways’
question in a nutshell.”[60]

Regarding Montreal as a seaport and the natural outlet for the
commerce of the West, it is conceded that its harbour accommodation
must be largely increased, that it should be furnished with the best
known appliances for the storage and shipment of grain, and that the
navigable channel to Quebec be deepened to at least thirty feet and the
Welland Canal to at least twenty feet.

The project of enlarged ship canals to connect the Great Lakes with the
Atlantic Ocean is a magnificent one. Its advantages have been skilfully
set forth. There are no insurmountable engineering difficulties in
the way of its accomplishment, but it is still in nubibus. Apart from
the complications necessarily attending an international work of this
magnitude, it is not likely that it will be entered upon until the
results to commerce of the enlargement of existing canals in both
countries have been fairly tested.

In estimating the comparative merits of Montreal and New York, or any
other American port on the North Atlantic coast, it may be assumed
that the average summer rate of freight upon a bushel of wheat by
either route from the head of the Upper Lakes to Liverpool is almost
identical.[61] But it must be borne in mind that grain shipped _via_
Buffalo, whether by rail or canal, may be stored at the American
seaboard, to be shipped at any time during the winter that may be
desirable, thus placing the Montreal route at a disadvantage. The rates
of marine insurance are also said to be in favour of New York. Another
argument in favour of the route to New York _via_ Buffalo is that the
Erie Canal is open for navigation from three to four weeks later in the
autumn than the St. Lawrence canals, a fact of great importance to the
Western farmer who wishes to dispose of as much of his crop as possible
before the close of navigation.


This latest canal project is the revival of a proposal that was
entertained by the Canadian Government many years ago, and upon which
there was spent a good deal of money, but which was subsequently
abandoned in favour of the St. Lawrence route. Mr. Macleod Stewart,
ex-Mayor of Ottawa, and a man of great energy as well as of influence,
is the chief promoter of the present enterprise. At his instance a
company of British capitalists has been formed for the purpose of
constructing and operating a system of canals to complete a through
waterway from Montreal to the Great Lakes along the course of the
Ottawa and Mattawa rivers, Lake Nipissing and French River to the
Georgian Bay, Lake Huron—following precisely the track of the early
voyageurs. The chief advantage claimed for this route, from a
commercial point of view, is that it is by far the shortest that can be
devised from the Upper Lakes to the seaboard. Owing to the directness
of the route it would effect a saving in distance of 450 miles over the
Erie Canal route, and of 375 over the Welland and St. Lawrence route.

The total distance by the proposed route from Montreal to the waters
of Lake Huron is 430 miles, requiring, it is said, the construction of
only twenty-nine miles of canal, in addition to the existing canals,
to complete a through waterway adapted to the navigation of vessels
of 1,000 tons burthen and drawing ten feet of water. Assuming the
estimated cost not to exceed $25,000,000, it is represented in the
company’s prospectus as an investment holding out the prospect of
becoming a fairly remunerative commercial enterprise. It is further
advanced in favour of the immediate prosecution of the work, that
this route, being cooler and more sheltered than the lakes’ route,
would enable grain and cattle to be taken through in better condition;
that the rate of insurance would be less; that it would render
available immense natural forces in the waters of the Ottawa and its
tributaries; and, especially, that owing to its distance from the
international boundary it would, in case of war, be of the highest
military importance, and prove of great value as a means of defence
and of protection to our commerce. Provided that the necessary funds
are forthcoming, there are said to be no engineering difficulties to
prevent the work being completed in three years’ time. On the other
hand, it is alleged that a canal system limited to a draft of ten feet
would not meet the present-day requirements, and could not be expected
to compete successfully with one offering fourteen feet, even if the
distance to be traversed would be shorter. Grain merchants, East and
West, hold strongly to the opinion that the route which will bring the
largest class of vessels navigating the Great Lakes to the seaboard at
least expense is the route that will capture the trade. A ship canal
for the Ottawa route, having twenty-five to thirty feet depth of water,
with locks of 500 to 600 feet in length, would seem to offer many
advantages, though in the estimation of the Deep Waterways Commission
“its consideration is not now justified.”


[49] _Vide_ page 26 of said Report.

[50] “Buffalo Board of Trade Report, 1895,” p. 98.

[51] “United States Deep Waterways Commission Report, 1896.”

[52] “Chicago Board of Trade Report, 1895.”

[53] “United States Deep Waterways Commission Report, 1896.”

[54] “United States International Commerce Report, 1892,” p. 52.

[55] For these notes on the Erie Canal the author is chiefly indebted
to Kingsford’s “Canadian Canals,” Mr. Thomas C. Keefer, C. E., Ottawa,
and the Superintendent’s “Report on Canals in the State of New York,

[56] The latest improvement in this direction is what is called the
“Grain Sucker,” by which the process of loading and unloading cargoes
of grain is accomplished with astonishing speed. The new appliance
combines in its construction the main features of the ordinary
elevator, and causes the grain to go through all the different
movements above described, with this difference, that instead of the
leg with the belt and bucket, the grain is elevated to the top of the
structure on the principle of suction through a flexible pipe. The
air being drawn off by pumps from the vacuum chamber, the grain is
sucked up like water from a well. Machines of this kind, fitted with
any number of these pipes that may be required, are used at the London
docks, and are said to be capable of transferring wheat at the rate of
a hundred and fifty tons an hour—_Vide Strand Magazine_ for May, 1898.

[57] “The steamship _Bannockburn_ and consorts left Fort William on the
3rd instant loaded with 220,000 bushels of No. 1 hard wheat for Mr. W.
W. Ogilvie’s mills. This is the largest shipment that ever left the
port.”—_Montreal Gazette, June 5th, 1896._

[58] The weight that can be hauled by a locomotive depends largely on
the gradients of the road traversed. Winnipeg and Fort William are
nearly on the same sea level, but between them the line of railway
ascends and descends some 800 feet, limiting the drawing power of
a sixty-ton locomotive in certain sections to, say, 900 tons. On a
level road a large American locomotive will easily draw sixty cars
containing 1,000 bushels of wheat each, or a total weight of 3,000
tons. As with steamships, the tendency is to increase the size of the
locomotive. There is this difference, however: the weight and power of
the locomotive are limited by the strength of the rail upon which it

[59] Since these lines were written, three stationary elevators have
been erected at Kingston—one by the Montreal Transportation Company,
with a capacity of 800,000 bushels; one by the Moore Company, for
500,000 bushels, and one by James Richardson & Sons, for 250,000
bushels. The Prescott Elevator Company has erected one at Prescott
of 1,000,000 capacity, and still another has been built at Coteau
Landing in connection with the Canada Atlantic Railway system, with
500,000 capacity. All indications are that the enlargement of the St.
Lawrence canals is confidently expected to result in a large increase
in the Canadian grain trade and forwarding business. There are sixteen
floating elevators in Montreal harbour, capable of handling from 4,000
to 8,000 bushels of grain each per hour.

[60] The following paragraph, taken from the _North-Western Miller_ for
November 12th, 1897, doubtless reflects the opinion of the majority
of Western grain dealers in the United States, with whom the feeling
of sentiment for the “natural route” is of small account: “The steel
barge _Amazon_ left Fort William recently loaded with 205,000 bushels
of Manitoba hard wheat for Buffalo, indicating that the Buffalo route
is still at its best, and that the monster craft is cutting off the
Montreal route as effectively as could be desired by any rival.”

[61] We have good authority for quoting the rates of the summer of
1897 as follows: Duluth to Buffalo, 1½ cents per bushel; Buffalo to
New York, by the Erie Canal, 3½ cents; New York to Liverpool, 5 cents;
elevator charges, ⅞ of 1 cent; total, 10⅞ cents per bushel. Fort
William to Kingston, 3½ cents; Kingston to Montreal, 2 cents; Montreal
to Liverpool, 5¼ cents, including port charges; total, 10¾ cents per
bushel. In 1857 the average rate by lake and canal on a bushel of wheat
from Chicago to New York was 25.29 cents per bushel; now it is less
than 6 cents. The reduction in cost of transmission is due to improved
methods of handling freight, deeper channels, larger vessels and more
rapid conveyance.



    The History of Steam Navigation in the several Provinces
        of the Dominion and Newfoundland.


Among the names of those who were chiefly connected with the
introduction and development of steam navigation in this province may
be mentioned the Hon. John Molson, Messrs. John and David Torrance, and
George Brush.

The founder of the Molson family and father of the steamboat enterprise
in Canada came to this country from Lincolnshire, England, in 1782. Two
years later he returned to Britain and raised money on his paternal
estate to erect a brewery in Montreal. Subsequently he sold his English
property, which enabled him to complete the Canadian enterprise that
eventually grew into an extensive and lucrative business. Mr. Molson
was an excellent business man and did much to advance the commercial
and educational interests of his adopted country. He was President of
the Bank of Montreal from June, 1826, till his death, which occurred
in Montreal in 1836, in his seventy-second year. He was also an
influential member of the Executive Council of Lower Canada. His son,
the late Hon. John Molson, who inherited his father’s enthusiasm in
regard to steamboats and shipping, also took a prominent part in the
introduction of railways in Canada. The Molsons Bank and the William
Molson Hall of McGill University are fitting memorials of the family in

[Illustration: JOHN TORRANCE.]

The Torrances are a “Border” family. The late Mr. John Torrance was
born at Gatehouse, in the Shire of Galloway, Scotland, June 8th, 1786.
Early in the century he came to Canada, and before long established a
wholesale business in Montreal and founded the eminent firm of John
Torrance & Co. His elder brother Thomas had preceded him in Montreal,
and was at the head of a large and lucrative business, residing at
Belmont Hall, which he built, and which was at that time considered
a palatial mansion. On his removal to Quebec this fine property was
acquired by a member of the Molson family. Mr. David Torrance, a
nephew of Mr. John Torrance, was born in New York in 1805. He came to
reside in Montreal about the year 1821, and became a partner in his
uncle’s firm. He was a man of exceptional business capacity, energy
and enterprise, and did much to advance the commercial interests
of Montreal and Canada. In 1826 this firm purchased the steamboat
_Hercules_ and placed her on the Montreal and Quebec route, in the
double capacity of a tow-boat and passenger steamer—this being the
first step towards the vigorous opposition to the Molson line of
steamers that ensued. They were also the first in Canada to branch
out into direct trade with the East Indies and China. Mr. David
Torrance died in Montreal, January 29th, 1876. His son, Mr. John
Torrance, now the senior member of the firm of David Torrance & Co.,
was born in Montreal in August, 1835. He has had the Montreal agency
of the Dominion Line of steamships for many years, and is otherwise
extensively occupied in the shipping business. It may be added that
after the death of Mr. John Torrance, _primus_, in 1870, the name of
the firm was changed to David Torrance & Co., which it still retains.

Mr. Brush was a native of Vermont, born at Vergennes, in 1793. After
some time spent in mercantile pursuits, he engaged in boat-building
and navigation on Lake Champlain, and became captain of a steamer
plying between St. John’s and Whitehall. He afterwards had command of
some of Mr. Torrance’s steamers on the St. Lawrence. In 1834 he became
manager of the Ottawa and Rideau Forwarding Company, and resided in
Kingston until 1838, when he joined the Wards in the Eagle Foundry,
Montreal, of which he became the sole proprietor in 1840. Mr. Brush
died in Montreal, at the advanced age of ninety years and two months.
The following extracts from memoranda left by him are interesting and

“The steam-engines for the _Swiftsure_ (1813), the _Malsham_ (1814),
the _Car of Commerce_ (1816), and the _Lady Sherbrooke_ (1817), were
all made by Bolton & Watt, of Soho, England, who would not allow
more than _four pounds_ pressure of steam; and a hand-pipe was used
to feed the boilers by gravitation. The first steam-engine built in
Canada was in 1819, for the _Montreal_, a small ferry-boat, of about
fourteen horse-power, built by John D. Ward, at the Eagle Foundry. In
1823 the merchants of Montreal formed a stock company for the purpose
of building tow-boats. I was employed by that company to build their
boats. The first (the _Hercules_) we built in Munn’s shipyard, about
where H. & A. Allan’s office now stands. The _Hercules_ was fitted with
an engine of one hundred horse-power, built by J. D. Ward & Co., at the
Eagle Foundry, on the Bolton & Watt low-pressure principle. Under my
command the _Hercules_ commenced towing vessels in May, 1824, when she
towed up the ship _Margaret_ of Liverpool from Quebec to Montreal and
up the current of St. Mary’s—the first ship so towed up. Our company
also built the steamers _British America_, _St. George_ and _Canada_,
of about 150 horse-power each.”


“In 1838-39 the Imperial Government built a steam frigate here, called
the _Sydenham_. It was engined by Ward, Brush & Co., with a pair of
side-lever engines, and proved to be one of the fastest vessels in the
Royal navy of that time.”

Connected with Mr. Brush there is a good fish story, which is better
authenticated than some of that class that have passed current. A
pike-headed whale—the only one that is known to have visited these
waters—followed some vessel up from sea into the harbour of Montreal,
in September, 1823. Captain Brush rigged a boat and captured him with a
harpoon. He was a beautiful specimen, measuring 39½ feet in length, and
23 feet in circumference. His jaw-bones were for many years to be seen
overarching the entrance to Gilbault’s Gardens, and there are those
still living who remember having seen the carcase as it lay, far too
long for sensitive nostrils, on the river bank.

As already stated, Molson’s _Accommodation_ began to ply between
Montreal and Quebec in 1809—two years later than Fulton’s _Clermont_
on the Hudson, and three years earlier than Bell’s _Comet_ on the
Clyde. The _Accommodation_ proved a fairly successful commercial
venture, although Mr. Molson did not obtain a monopoly of the business
as Mr. Fulton had done. She was soon followed by the _Swiftsure_,
the _Malsham_, the _Car of Commerce_, the _John Molson_, the _Lady
Sherbrooke_, and other steamboats. The last-named was 170 feet long,
34 feet beam, and 10 feet in depth, with a sixty-three horse-power
side-lever engine. A much better service had now been instituted, for
up to about 1818 many preferred to drive all the way from Montreal to
Quebec in caleches over rough roads. Now, however, that the steamboats
had comfortable cabins, and canvas awnings over their decks, they
secured nearly all the through passenger traffic. About the year 1823
several powerful tow-boats were built, which also carried passengers.
After these the _Waterloo_ and the _John Molson_ of the Molson Line,
the _St. George_, the _British America_ and the _Canada_, owned by John
Torrance & Co., and other boats of larger dimensions, having better
passenger accommodation and higher speed, followed in rapid succession.
The _Waterloo_ foundered in Lake St. Peter, and was replaced by the
_John Bull_, a fine boat of 190 feet in length, but which was burned
in 1838. The _John Bull_ used too much coal to be profitable, and
the saying that she made most money when lying at anchor, arose from
the fact that, anchored off the city, she was repeatedly used as the
official residence of the Governor-General, Lord Durham. The _Canada_,
which came out in 1837, was 240 feet long, and was accounted the
largest and fastest steamer then afloat in the New World. In 1840 the
_Lord Sydenham_ (the former _Ontario_) and the _Lady Colborne_ ran
as the mail boats to Quebec. About 1845 several famous boats were
built—the _Rowland Hill_, Mr. Torrance’s _Montreal_, Wilson Connoly’s
_Quebec_, the _Queen_ and the _John Munn_—all upper cabin boats of
high speed. The _John Munn_ was longer than any previous, or, indeed,
any subsequent, river steamer on the St. Lawrence, being 400 feet in
length. Her boilers were placed on either guard, as the fashion then
was, and a huge walking-beam in the centre. She was too large for the
trade. After running a few years she was broken up, and her magnificent
engines were sent to New York. The _Montreal_, also a large and fine
steamer, was lost in a snow-storm near Batiscan, in November, 1853, and
was replaced by the _Lord Sydenham_, afterwards lengthened to 250 feet,
and renamed the _Montreal_.

The first iron steamers came into use on the St. Lawrence in 1843,
namely, the _Prince Albert_ and _Iron Duke_, which at that time began
to ply as ferry-boats to Laprairie and St. Lambert, in connection
with the Champlain and St. Lawrence railway service. These boats were
designed in Scotland, sent out in segments, and were put together by
Parkins, of the St. Mary Foundry, Montreal.

The Richelieu Steamboat Company, formed in 1845, commenced business by
running a market boat to Sorel. In 1856 they put two small steamers on
the through line to Quebec, the _Napoleon_ and the _Victoria_. About
this time Messrs. Tate Brothers, ship-builders, in Montreal, purchased
the _Lady Colborne_, renamed her the _Crescent_, and coupling her with
the _Lady Elgin_, started a fourth line of steamers to ply between
Montreal and Quebec. The business had already been overdone, and
this was the last straw that breaks the camel’s back. The opposition
had gone far enough when it had reduced the cabin fare to $1.00,
including meals and stateroom, and the steerage passage to 12½ cents!
The excitement that prevailed at this time was intense. The arrival
and departure of the boats at either end of the route were scenes
of indescribable confusion. Vast crowds of people assembled on the
wharves, while clouds of smoke issuing from the funnels and the roar
of escaping steam plainly indicated that the stokers were doing their
level best to burst the boilers. This vicious and ruinous opposition
was brought to an end by a tragic occurrence, the burning of the
steamer _Montreal_.

On a fine summer evening in June, 1857, while on her voyage from Quebec
with a load of over 400 passengers, most of whom were emigrants from
Scotland, who had just completed a long sea voyage, and were gazing
with interest on the shores that in anticipation were to offer them
happy homes, suddenly the cry of “Fire!” was raised. Clouds of smoke
burst out from between decks. A panic ensued. Groups of men and women
clung to each other in despair, imploring help that was not to be
found; then a wild rush, with the terrible alternative of devouring
flames and the cold water below. Two hundred and fifty-three persons
perished; and all the more sadly that the calamity was traced by
public opinion and the press of the day to “culpable recklessness
and disregard of human life.” A truce to ruinous opposition ensued.
An amicable arrangement was reached, by which superfluous boats were
withdrawn. The bulk of the passenger business fell to the Richelieu
Company, which continued for a number of years to do a lucrative trade,
paying handsome annual dividends to its shareholders.

In 1875 an amalgamation was effected with the Canadian Steam Navigation
Company (the old Upper Canada Line), under the name of the Richelieu
and Ontario Navigation Company, which has become one of the largest
enterprises of the kind in America, having a paid-up capital of
$1,350,000, a fleet of twenty-four steamers, and operating a continuous
line of navigation a thousand miles in length. The _Montreal_ and
_Quebec_, which ply between the cities from which they are named,
though more than thirty years old, still have a high reputation for
speed and comfort. They are each over 300 feet long, and have an
average speed of about sixteen miles an hour. They have each ample
sleeping accommodation for some 300 cabin passengers. They make their
trips during the night. Supper on board either of these steamers is an
event to be remembered.

The head office of the Richelieu and Ontario Company is in Montreal.
The General Manager is Mr. C. F. Gildersleeve. Mr. Alexander Milloy,
the Traffic Manager, who was born in Kintyre, Scotland, in 1822, came
to Canada in 1840, when he entered the Montreal office of the Upper
Canada Line of mail steamers, and continued his connection with the
company, amid all its changes, until May, 1898, when he retired from
the service.


The navigation of the Ottawa differed from that of the St. Lawrence
in that its rapids were wholly impassable for boats with cargo. The
necessity for canals thus became urgent. The original Grenville Canal
was designed and commenced by the Royal Engineers for the Imperial
Government, and was completed in 1832, simultaneously with the Rideau
Canal. It was enlarged by the Dominion Government a few years ago, but
it is not yet of sufficient capacity to allow the free passage of the
larger steamers on this route. Travellers are therefore subject to
transhipment at Carillon, and are conveyed by railway to Grenville, a
distance of thirteen miles, where another steamer is ready to convey
them to Ottawa. This little bit of railway is one of the oldest in
Canada, and is further remarkable as being the only one of 5 feet 6
inches gauge in the country. It was purchased by the Ottawa River
Navigation Company in 1859, and is operated only in connection with
their steamers, not being used in winter.


The completion of the Grenville Canal in its original form opened up
a new route to the West, somewhat circuitous, doubtless, but with
greatly increased facilities for the transportation of merchandise, the
immediate effect of which was to transfer the great bulk of west-bound
traffic from the St. Lawrence route to that of the Ottawa and Rideau.
About this time was formed “The Ottawa and Rideau Forwarding Company,”
by leading merchants in Montreal, with Mr. Cushing as manager. A few
years later the forwarding business became a lucrative one, and was
carried on by a number of prominent firms represented at Montreal,
Prescott, Brockville and Kingston. Chief among these were the Messrs.
Macpherson, Crane & Co., Hooker & Jones, Henderson & Hooker (afterwards
Hooker & Holton), H. & J. Jones of Brockville, and Murray & Sanderson
of Montreal. Messrs. Macpherson and Crane were easily the foremost in
the enterprise, for they owned a private lock at Vaudreuil and thus
held the key to the navigation of the Ottawa, and had complete control
of the towage until 1841, when Captain R. W. Shepherd, then in command
of the steamer _St. David_, belonging to a rival company, as the
result of a clever and hazardous experiment, discovered a safe channel
through the rapids at St. Ann’s, which put an end to the monopoly.

Up to 1832 the long portage between Carillon and Grenville was a
serious drawback to traffic, necessitating a double service of steamers
and barges, one for the upper and one for the lower reach of the
river. The first steamer on the upper reach seems to have been the
_Union_, Captain Johnson, built in 1819, and which commenced to ply the
following year between Grenville and Hull, covering the distance of
sixty miles in about 24 hours! On the lower reach the _William King_
began to ply about 1826 or 1827, at first commanded by Captain Johnson,
afterwards by Captain De Hertel. The _St. Andrew_ followed soon after.
In 1828 the _Shannon_, then considered a large and powerful steamer,
was built at Hawkesbury and placed on the upper route, commanded at
first by Captain Grant and afterwards by Captain Kaines.

At the height of the forwarding business on the Ottawa, Macpherson
& Crane owned a fleet of thirteen steamers and a large number of
bateaux and barges, which were towed up the Ottawa and through the
Rideau Canal to Kingston, the entire distance being 245 miles. The
flotilla would make the round trip, returning _via_ the St. Lawrence,
in twelve or fourteen days. The steamers engaged in this service
were mostly small, high-pressure boats—commonly called “puffers.”
At the first the noise which they made, especially the unearthly
shriek of their steam-whistles, scared the natives as well as the
cattle along the banks of the river. The passengers were usually
accommodated in the barges in tow of the steamers, but as time went
on a few of the “puffers” attained the dignity of passenger boats,
and, when unencumbered with tows, made the round trip in a week. The
writer well remembers making the trip in the early forties on the
_Charlotte_, Captain Marshall, and a very pleasant trip it was, the
chief attractions being the long chain of locks at the small village
of Bytown—soon to become the beautiful capital of the Dominion; the
big dam at Jones’ Falls, with its retaining wall three hundred feet in
thickness at the base and ninety feet high; the marvellous scenery of
the Lake of the Thousand Islands, and, as the climax, what was then the
novelty of shooting the rapids on a steamboat. Captain Howard informed
me that the first steamer to shoot the “lost channel” of the Long Sault
rapids was the old _Gildersleeve_ of Mr. Hamilton’s line, in command of
Captain Maxwell and piloted by one Rankin. That was in 1847, and was
considered a daring feat at the time, but it established the safety of
the new channel which has ever since been used by the larger passenger
steamers. No one, however, can form an adequate idea of the grandeur of
this raging torrent who has not made the descent upon a raft; though,
speaking from experience, this mode of shooting the “lost channel” is
not to be recommended to persons of weak nerves.

It is said that in 1836 a steamboat named the _Thomas Mackay_ plied
between Quebec and Ottawa, but its journeyings seem to have been
erratic and its subsequent history “lost in obscurity”—a phrase that
applies in some degree, indeed, to the early history of steam on the
Ottawa. The _St. David_ was the only steamer that could pass through
the Grenville Canal in 1841. The first truly passenger service on the
Ottawa commenced in 1842 with the _Oldfield_ on the lower route and
the _Porcupine_ on the upper. In 1846 the _Oldfield_ was purchased by
Captain Shepherd and others who formed a private company named the
“Ottawa Steamers Company.” The steamer _Ottawa Chief_ was built by that
company in 1848, but she was found to draw too much water, and in the
following spring was chartered by Mr. Hamilton and placed on the St.
Lawrence route. The _Lady Simpson_, built in 1850, was the precursor of
a number of excellent steamers that have made travelling on the Ottawa
popular with all classes. Among these were the _Atlas_, _Prince of
Wales_ (which ran for twenty-four years), _Queen Victoria_, _Dagmar_,
_Alexandra_, etc. The reputation of the line is well sustained at
present by the _Empress_, Captain Bowie, and the _Sovereign_, Captain
Henry W. Shepherd, both very fine and fast steel boats of 400 and 300
tons, respectively. Other steamers in commission and employed in the
local trade bear such loyal names as _Maude_, _Princess_ and _Duchess
of York_.

[Illustration: CAPTAIN R. W. SHEPHERD.]

Captain Robert Ward Shepherd retired from active service in 1853, when
he was appointed General Manager of the line. In 1864 the Steamers
Company was incorporated by Act of Parliament under the name it now
bears, the Ottawa River Navigation Company, of which Mr. Shepherd was
President as long as he lived. Mr. Shepherd was born at Sherringham,
County Norfolk, England, in 1819. He died at his country seat at Como,
Quebec, August 29th, 1895, having been for fifty-five years closely
identified with the progress of steam navigation on the Ottawa, and
having earned for himself a high reputation. His brother, Captain H.
W. Shepherd, who succeeded him in the command of the _Lady Simpson_
in 1853, is now the commodore of the fleet—the oldest and most
experienced captain on the Ottawa, who in all these years has not been
chargeable for any accident to life or limb of the many thousands who
have been committed to his care. The head office of the company is in
Montreal, Mr. R. W. Shepherd, a son of the founder, being the Managing

       *       *       *       *       *


As already mentioned in the previous chapter, the _Frontenac_ and the
_Queen Charlotte_ were the first two steamers in Upper Canada, launched
respectively in 1816 and 1818. In 1824 another steamer was built for
Hon. Robert Hamilton—the _Queenston_, of 350 tons—which was at first
commanded by Captain Joseph Whitney and plied between Prescott, York
and Niagara. The _Canada_, Captain Hugh Richardson, came out in 1826
and used to run from York to Niagara (36 miles) in four hours. The
famous _Alciope_, of 450 tons, Captain Mackenzie, appeared in 1828, and
plied with great _éclat_ between Niagara, York, and Kingston, under the
Hamilton flag.

The late Hon. John Hamilton, who for many years may almost be said
to have controlled the passenger traffic on the Upper Canada route,
commenced his connection with the steamboat business about the year
1830, when he built the _Great Britain_, of 700 tons, the largest
vessel then on the lake. After this there was a rapid succession of
steamers, and some very fine ones. The _Cobourg_, of 500 tons, Captain
Macintosh, came out in 1833; the _Commodore Barrie_, 275 tons, Captain
Patterson, in 1834. The _Sir Robert Peel_, 350 tons, one of the finest
boats then on the lake, was seized and burned on the night of May
29th, 1838, by a gang of rebels headed by the notorious Bill Johnson.
The _Queen Victoria_, Thomas Dick, commander, launched in 1837, was
advertised to sail daily between Lewiston, Niagara and Toronto,
connecting at Toronto with the _William IV._ for Kingston and Prescott.
“This splendid fast sailing steamer is fitted up in elegant style,
and is offered to the public as a speedy and safe conveyance.” The
_Sovereign_, 500 tons, Captain Elmsley, R.N., Captain Dick’s _City of
Toronto_, and the famous _Highlander_, Captain Stearns, began to run
about 1840. The _Chief Justice Robinson,_ Captain Wilder, the _Princess
Royal_, Captain Twohey, and Captain Sutherland’s _Eclipse_ were all
noted steamers in their day. The _Traveller_ and the _William IV._,
Captain Paynter, both powerful steamers, famous also for many years,
ended their careers as tow-boats, the latter being conspicuous by her
four funnels.

“These steamers, and others that could be named,” says one of my
informants, “bring to mind good seaworthy ships, fit for any weather
and commanded by able seamen. Nor was the steward’s department
unworthy of the vessels. As good a breakfast and dinner was served
on board as could be desired.” Such were some of the early steamboats
in Upper Canada more than fifty years ago, for which the public are
indebted to the Hon. John Hamilton, Mr. Alpheus Jones, of Prescott, Mr.
Donald Bethune, of Cobourg, and Mr. Heron, of Niagara, as well as to
Captains Dick, Sutherland and Richardson.

[Illustration: OLD “WILLIAM IV.,” 1832.]

Up to 1837 the lake steamers did not venture farther down than
Kingston, but about that time they commenced running through the Lake
of the Thousand Islands to Prescott. From that point the small steamer
_Dolphin_ sailed every morning for the head of the Long Sault rapids,
enabling passengers to reach Montreal the same evening. The route was
from Dickenson’s Landing to Cornwall by stage, thence through Lake St.
Francis by steamer to Coteau du Lac, thence by stage over a plank road
to the Cascades, where the quaint old steamer _Chieftain_ would be
waiting to convey passengers to Lachine to be driven thence in a coach
and six to Montreal. It was not until 1848, when the enlarged Lachine
Canal was opened, that the Upper Canada steamers began to run all the
rapids of the St. Lawrence as they now do.

In 1840 Mr. Hamilton had built a powerful steamer, the _Ontario_,
with the expectation that she might be able to ascend the rapids,
but failing in this she was sold to a Montreal firm and placed on
the Quebec route. The _Ontario_ descended all the rapids of the
St. Lawrence safely on the 19th of October, 1840, being the first
large steamer to do so. _Facile descensus!_ It is not recorded that
more than one steamer ever succeeded in ascending those rapids. In
November, 1838, the little _Dolphin_, after four weeks of incessant
toil, was towed up the Long Sault rapids with the aid of twenty yoke
of oxen, besides horses, capstans and men, added to the working of
her engine—the first and probably the last steamer that will ever
accomplish the feat. About this time the _Iroquois_, with one large
stern-wheel, was built for the purpose of stemming the swift currents
between Prescott and Dickenson’s Landing, but had so much difficulty
in ascending the river that at Rapide Plat and other points posts were
sunk at short distances along the shore to each of which she made fast
in turn until she recovered her breath.


The completion of the canals prepared the way for a larger class of
steamers between Lake Ontario and Montreal, and the “Royal Mail Line”
was accordingly re-enforced. The _Passport_ was built of iron on the
Clyde and brought out in sections in 1847, and is still in commission
and in good running order. The _Magnet_, also built of iron and on the
Clyde, and in which Captain Sutherland had a large pecuniary interest,
came out shortly after the _Passport_, and under the name of the
_Hamilton_, in command of Captain A. J. Baker, is now, in her green
old age, and with her hull as sound as a bell, performing a weekly
service between Montreal and Hamilton. The _Kingston_, since named
the _Algerian_, followed in 1855, and was first commanded by Captain
Clarke Hamilton, now of H. M. Customs at Kingston. About this time
the _Brockville_, Captain Day, the _Gildersleeve_, Captain Bowen, the
_Banshee_, Captain Howard, and the _Lord Elgin_, Captain Farlinger,
were well-known and favourite boats.

The fifteen years from 1840 to 1855 were the most prosperous in the
history of steam navigation on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence. The
Americans had at that time several lines of steamers plying between
Ogdensburg, Oswego, Rochester and Lewiston. Some of these were large
and very fine passenger steamers, such as the _United States_, the
_Bay State_, the _New York_, the _Rochester_, the _Lady of the Lake_,
the _Northerner_, the _Cataract_, and the _Niagara_. The Great Western
Railway Company had also a fleet of splendid steamers—the _Canada_,
the _America_, the _Europa_ and the _Western World_. At the breaking
out of the American civil war, most of these vessels and some others
were purchased by the United States Government and taken round to New
York. Their places on the lake are now occupied by numerous screw
propellers, chiefly doing a freight business, but many of them having
excellent accommodation for passengers also.

The opening of the Grand Trunk Railway in 1855 proved disastrous to the
steamboat interests. Mr. Hamilton, as well as many others, struggled
gallantly for a time, endeavouring to stem the tide of competition
with the new system of transportation, but about the year 1862 he was
obliged to retire from the business which he had created and carried
on successfully for thirty years. The steamers in which he had a large
personal interest were sold to a joint stock company, which was named
the “Canadian Steam Navigation Company.” Mr. Hamilton was appointed
General Manager of the new company; Sir Hugh Allan, President, and
Alexander Milloy. Secretary-Treasurer. A few years later Captain Thomas
Howard became Superintendent of the line, a position which he held
until 1881, when he was appointed Harbour-master in Montreal. He died
in Montreal on Easter Sunday, 1898. In 1875 the company united with the
Richelieu Company, as already stated.

[Illustration: “CORONA,” ON NIAGARA RIVER, 1896.]

_Lake Ontario._—The volume of steam traffic on Lake Ontario at the
present time, though not to be compared with that on the Upper Lakes,
is by no means inconsiderable. From the official “Report of Trade
and Navigation of the Dominion for 1895,” the arrival and departure
of steamers at eighteen ports of entry on Lake Ontario, either as
coasting vessels or as trading with the United States, was 17,558, and
an aggregate of 6,443,443 registered tonnage; to which must be added
the large amount of steam shipping that frequents the harbours on the
American side of the lake, as at Lewiston, Oswego, Sackett’s Harbour,
Cape Vincent, and that descends the St. Lawrence to Ogdensburg.
Niagara heads the list on the Canadian side with 3,198 arrivals and
departures, and 1,581,643 tonnage. Toronto, with 3,844 arrivals and
departures, counts for 1,569,123 steam tonnage; Kingston stands third,
with 3,563 vessels, and 882,414 tonnage. Hamilton is represented by
427,100 tonnage. After these come Belleville, Picton, Cobourg, Port
Hope, Deseronto and Port Dalhousie, in the order named, and eight other
smaller ports, each contributing its quota.

Toronto is largely interested in steam navigation. Not to speak of
numerous steam yachts, ferry steamers and tug-boats, it controls a
large passenger traffic. The Niagara Navigation Company of Toronto has
three very fine steamers running to Niagara and Lewiston—the _Chicora_,
_Chippewa_ and _Corona_. The _Chicora_ was built in England, as a
“blockade runner,” more than thirty years ago, but the civil war was
ended before she reached this side of the Atlantic. She is an iron
side-wheel vessel of 518 tons, with a rakish, Old-Country look about
her. The _Chippewa_, built at Hamilton, Ont., in 1893, is a very fine
paddle-wheel steamer of 850 tons, modelled somewhat after the Hudson
River boats, with a conspicuous walking-beam. The latest addition
to the fleet is the _Corona_, launched in May, 1896, from the noted
ship-building yard of the Polsons, Toronto, which takes the place of
the _Cibola_, a Clyde-built steel steamer, put together by the Rathbun
Company, Deseronto, in 1887, and which was burned at Lewiston in
1895. The _Corona_ is claimed by her owners to be “a model of marine
architecture, and one of the finest day-steamers in the world!” Though
only 277 feet long, and 32 feet beam (59 feet over the guards), she
carries nearly two thousand passengers. The hull is constructed of
open hearth steel. The engine is of the inclined compound condensing
type, and develops nearly two thousand indicated horse-power. The
mechanical fittings are all of the most approved kind, and the internal
arrangements highly artistic.

The Hamilton Steamboat Company has two fine powerful screw steamers,
the _Macassa_ and _Modjeska_, plying between Hamilton and Toronto. Both
were built on the Clyde, and have been very successful financially,
and also as seaworthy, fast sailing vessels. Kingston, which occupies
an important position at the foot of the lake and head of the river
navigation, owns a fleet of no less than forty-six steamers, and is the
headquarters of half a dozen steamboat companies, some of which are
largely interested in the Lake Superior trade, while others connect
Kingston with ports on the Bay of Quinte, Rochester and Cape Vincent,
N. Y., and Gananoque and the Thousand Islands. The _James Swift_ plies
between Kingston and Ottawa, _via_ the Rideau Canal. The _Passport_,
the oldest steamer now afloat in Canada, is registered at Kingston, and
was built, as already stated, in 1847.

[Illustration: HON. JOHN HAMILTON.]

The Hon. John Hamilton, whose name is so intimately associated with
the rise and progress of steam navigation in Western Canada, was
born at Queenston, Ontario, in 1802—the seventh and youngest son of
the Hon. Robert Hamilton, formerly of Edinburgh. One of the sons
founded the city of Hamilton, another attained distinction in the
medical profession. John devoted the greater part of his life to the
development of commerce between Montreal and the cities and towns
bordering on Lake Ontario, having his headquarters at Kingston. Mr.
Hamilton was a man of fine presence and highly accomplished; was called
to the Legislative Council of Upper Canada by Sir John Colborne in
1831, and to the Senate of the new Dominion, by writ of Her Majesty’s
sign-manual, in 1867. He was an influential member of the Presbyterian
Church, and many years chairman of the Board of Trustees of Queen’s
College, Kingston. He died in 1882.


The first steamer to ply on the Red River was brought in pieces
across the country from a tributary of the Mississippi, and rebuilt
at Georgetown, a small place some twenty miles north of the present
town of Moorhead. The boat was called, before its transportation, the
_Anson Northrup_, and was afterwards known as the _Pioneer_. She began
her career on the Red River in 1859, and in that year took a cargo to
Fort Garry. She was the joint property of the Hudson’s Bay Company and
Messrs. J. C. and H. C. Burbank & Co., of St. Paul, Minnesota. (A cut
of this steamer may be seen in a book called “The Winnipeg Country,”
published by Cupples, Upham & Co., Boston.)

The next steamer was the _International_, built at Georgetown, in
1861, for the Hudson’s Bay Company, at a cost of about $20,000. Her
length was 160 feet, breadth 30 feet, depth (from the water-line to the
ceiling of her upper saloon) 20 feet, and her registered tonnage was
133⅓ tons. She was found to be too large for the Red River navigation.
The same company’s steamer, the _Northcote_, commenced to ply on the
Saskatchewan about 1875. In 1878 there were running on the waters of
Manitoba seventeen steamers, among which were the _Manitoba_, _Dakota_,
_Selkirk_, _Swallow_, _Minnesota_, _Prince Rupert_, _Keewatin_, etc.

The Hudson’s Bay Company at that time owned a propeller which ran on
Lake Winnipeg to the portage at the mouth of the Saskatchewan, where
connection was made with the _Northcote_ and a steel-built steamer, the
_Lilly_. This company had also another steamer plying on the Red River,
named the _Chief Commissioner_.

Since the opening of the country by railways the navigation of the
Upper Red River and the Assiniboine has been of small account, but
below Selkirk there is still a considerable trade carried on. There
are at least half a dozen companies interested in the navigation of
these waters. The North-West Navigation Company runs three steamers,
the _Princess_, 350 tons; the _Red River_, 200 tons; the _Marquette_,
160 tons, and a number of barges. The Selkirk Fish Company owns the
_Sultana_, of 200 tons; the Manitoba Fish Company has the _City of
Selkirk_, of 160 tons. Besides these there is a numerous fleet of
steam-tugs and barges. In all there are some fifty steamers on these
inland waters. During the palmy days of Red River transportation the
leading name was that of Norman W. Kittson, at that time of St. Paul,
Minnesota, but formerly a trader of the old Red River settlement, who
was often familiarly called “Commodore Kittson.”


The pioneer steamship of the Northern Pacific was the _Beaver_, whose
history from first to last was a very romantic one. This vessel was
built at Blackwall, on the Thames, by Messrs. Green, Wigram and Green,
for the Hudson’s Bay Company, and was launched in 1835 in the presence
of 150,000 spectators, including William IV. and many of the English
nobility. Cheers from thousands again greeted her in answer to the
farewell salute of her guns when she sailed away for the New World.
The _Beaver_ was a side-wheel steamer, 101.4 feet long, 20 feet beam,
and 11 feet deep; tonnage, 109. Her machinery, made by Boulton & Watt,
was placed in position, but the paddle-wheels were not attached.
She was rigged as a brig, and on August 27th sailed for the Pacific
under canvas, in command of Captain Home, with the barque _Columbia_
as her consort. On March 19th, 1836, the _Beaver_ dropped anchor at
the mouth of the Columbia River, having made the voyage in 204 days.
In her log-book it is recorded on May 16th: “Carpenters stripping
paddle-wheels. At 4 p. m. engineers got up steam, tried the engines,
and found to answer very well; at 5 o’clock, came to anchor, and moored
in our old berth; at 8 o’clock all hands were mustered to ‘splice the
main brace’”—a nautical phrase used in reference to the custom, less
common now than then, of celebrating particular events by serving out
a liberal supply of rum. The _Beaver_ went into service without delay,
running up and down the coast, in and out of every bay, river and inlet
between Puget Sound and Alaska, collecting furs and carrying goods for
the company’s posts.

[Illustration: THE LAST OF THE OLD “BEAVER.”]

On March 13th, 1843, the _Beaver_ arrived at Camosun with Factor
Douglas and some of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s people to found the Fort
Victoria, and the first salute which echoed in what is now Victoria
harbour, was fired on the 13th of June, when the fort was finished and
the company’s flag hoisted.[65] “The old steamer _Beaver_,” as she was
called, continued her rounds under different owners with remarkable
regularity and success until the fatal trip in July, 1888, when she
went on the rocks near the entrance to Vancouver harbour, and was
totally wrecked.


It was fourteen years after the arrival of the _Beaver_ before much
effort was made at steam-boating in these waters. About that time
several small steamers were built on the Columbia River. In 1852 the
Hudson’s Bay Company had another vessel built at Blackwall: this was
the _Otter_, a screw steamer of 220 tons, with a pair of condensing
engines by Penn, of Greenwich, which took the first prize at the
London Exhibition in 1851. The _Otter_ left London in January 1853,
and arrived at Victoria five months later. The year 1858 witnessed a
boom in steam navigation, consequent upon the rush and wild excitement
of gold-seekers to the Fraser River and Cariboo. “The _Surprise_ first
woke the echoes in the grand mountain gorges in the wild regions of
Fort Hope with the shrill scream of the steam-whistle, and astonished
the natives with her wondrous power in breasting successfully the
fierce current of the now world-renowned Fraser. That wild and
unearthly yell of the imprisoned steam escaping into the free air of
heaven must have astonished the denizens of those mountain fastnesses
and startled man and beast into the belief that some uncanny visitor,
not of earth, had dropped in upon their solitude.” The _Surprise_ was
followed by a fleet of small steamboats built in the United States.
Among those were the _Ranger_ and _Maria_—mere steam launches of about
40 feet in length. The _Maria_ was brought up from San Francisco in
a barge. The first boat built in British Columbia was the _Governor
Douglas_, a good-sized sternwheeler which commenced to ply between
Victoria and the Fraser River in 1859. Among the other notable boats
were the Seabird and the _Eliza Anderson_. The former carried immense
crowds, but drew too much water for the river trade. The latter was
a side-wheeler, built in Portland, 140 feet long, and of registered
tonnage, 279. On her arrival at Victoria in 1859 she commenced a career
of money-making which has seldom been equalled. After these appeared
the _Umatilla_, _Enterprise_ and _Colonel Moody_, the last-named being
the fastest yet built for this route. All the light-draught boats
were then, as they are now, stern-wheelers. About this time another
and larger vessel arrived from London, the _Labouchere_, a side-wheel
steamer, of 680 tons register, 202 feet long, 28 feet beam, and 15 feet
hold. She continued running up north until 1865, when she was granted
a subsidy of $1,500 a trip to carry mails between Victoria and San
Francisco, but was lost on her first voyage. In 1861 more steamboats
were built than in any previous year. Nearly a dozen were added to
those already plying on the rivers and lakes, and the subsequent
progress in steam navigation was continuous. The entrance of mining
prospectors into the Kootenay country in 1886 led to the necessity of
increased transportation on the Columbia River, which has gone on
increasing until now on that river and the Kootenay lakes there are
some of the finest river steamers in the Dominion, fitted with every
comfort and appliance that experience can suggest. The development of
the coast wise trade has also led to the building of special steamers
both in British Columbia and also in England. The coal mines at Nanaimo
and the Comox district also find employment for a large quantity of
steam tonnage.[66] The aggregate amount at the four ports of Victoria,
Vancouver, Nanaimo, and Westminster for 1895 was: Arrivals, 1,496,409
tons; departures, 1,513,233 tons. There are at present registered in
British Columbia 161 steamboats with a tonnage of 24,153.

Besides the inland steamers there are coasting lines from Victoria and
Vancouver to Portland and San Francisco, and to Puget Sound and Alaska.
There are also four regular lines of steamships to Japan and China,
namely, the Canadian Pacific Steamship Company, with its beautiful
fleet of “Empress” steamers; the Northern Pacific Steamship Company;
the Oregon R. R. and Navigation Company, and the Nipon Yunen Kaisha of
Japan. There is also the direct line of steamers to Australia elsewhere
referred to. The number of vessels in the different lines is uncertain,
as they are increased by chartered boats whenever there is much freight


The harbour of Halifax is one of the finest in the world. It is easy
of access and open all the year round. It is nearly six hundred miles
nearer to Liverpool than is New York, and has therefore many advantages
to offer as a point of arrival and departure for ocean steamers. It is
the centre of an extensive local and coasting trade, in which a large
number of both steamers and sailing vessels are employed. The number of
arrivals of sea-going vessels in 1895 was 978, with a gross tonnage of
627,572 tons; the number of arrivals of coasting vessels was 3,651, of
which 496 were steamers, with a tonnage of 153,790 tons. The number of
steamers registered in the port is 55, with a gross tonnage of 10,912
tons. The steam tonnage which entered the port in 1896 was 212,085; the
clearances were 229,653 tons.

The first steamer to enter this renowned harbour was the _Royal
William_ (Captain John Jones, R. N.), from Quebec, August 24th, 1831,
which arrived here on the morning of the 31st and was welcomed with
great _éclat_. The trip was made in six days and a half, including two
days’ detention at Miramichi. The cabin fare was £6 5s., including
meals and berths. Having been built for this trade, the _Royal William_
made a number of successful voyages between Quebec and Halifax,
calling at intermediate ports previous to her historic voyage across
the Atlantic, which was to proclaim her the pioneer of ocean steam

The Cunard Line commenced to call at Halifax fortnightly _en route_ to
Boston, in 1840. The _Britannia_ was the first of that famous fleet
to enter the harbour of Halifax. This arrangement did not last very
long, however, for, on making New York their western terminus, the
Cunarders gave “the finest harbour” the go-by, never to return except
in cases of emergency. There are, however, some fifteen or sixteen
lines of steamers plying regularly from Halifax to Britain, the United
States, the West Indies, South America, Newfoundland, and Canadian
ports. During the winter months the Beaver Line, carrying the Canadian
mails, calls here weekly _en route_ from St. John, N. B., to Liverpool.
The Allan Line from Liverpool to Philadelphia, _via_ Newfoundland,
touches here once a fortnight going and coming. The Furness Line has
excellent steamers sailing fortnightly from London to Newfoundland
and Halifax. The Canada and Newfoundland Line also maintains a good
service from Halifax to St. John’s, Liverpool and London; the Jones
Line to Jamaica; the Pickford and Black Line to Bermuda and the West
Indies; the Musgrave Line to Havana. The Red Cross Line from New York
to Newfoundland calls here; besides, a number of coasting steamers
to Cape Breton, Newfoundland, Yarmouth, Bridgewater, St. Pierre and
other places call at Halifax, while the Canada Atlantic and Plant Line
supplies a direct route to Boston and all points in the United States.

Many “tramp” steamers call at Halifax with freight or for freight.
Many call for coal. Many a storm-tossed mariner is glad to make for
Halifax and to find in it a secure harbour of refuge, with all needful
appliances for refitting a battered ship. The whole coast of Nova
Scotia, indeed, is indented with harbours of refuge, which are the
resorts of large numbers of sailing craft. The graving-dock at Halifax
is the largest on this continent. It was completed in 1889 by a private
company, subsidized by the Imperial and Federal Governments and the
city of Halifax to the extent of about $30,000. It is 585 feet in
length, 89¼ feet wide at the entrance, and has 30 feet of water on the
sills. It is adapted for steamships of the _Teutonic_ class, but is 35
feet too short for the _Lucania_. A few months ago it had the honour
of accommodating within its walls the _Indiana_, one of the largest
of the United States ships of war, sent here for repairs. There are
three other graving-docks, the property of the Dominion Government, as

    At Esquimalt, B. C., built in 1886, 430 × 65 × 26½ feet.
    "  Kingston, Ont.,      "     1871, 280 × 55 × 16½   "
    "  Levis, Que.,         "     1887, 445 × 62 × 26½   "


The first steamboat in New Brunswick, the _General Smyth_, was launched
from the yard of John Lawton, Portland, St. John, in April, 1816. Her
owners were John Ward, Hugh Johnson, sen., Lauchlan Donaldson, J. C.
F. Bremner, of St. John, and Robert Smith, of Fredericton. This vessel
was run between St. John and Fredericton, making the round trip in a
week. She started from St. John on her first trip, May 13th, 1816.
She was a paddle boat. No official description of her is extant, as
the registry book of that date was burned in the great fire of 1877.
Later steamboats on this route were the _St. George_, _John Ward_,
_Fredericton_, _St. John_, _Forest Queen_, _Heather Bell_, _Olive_,
_Prince Arthur_, _David Weston_, _Rothsay_ (which afterwards ran
between Montreal and Quebec), the _Fawn_ and _May Queen_.

The second steamer, the _St. George_, was launched on April 23rd, 1895,
from the yard of John Owens, at Portland, St. John. Her owners were
John and Charles Ward, of St. John; Jedediah Slason and James Segee,
of Fredericton—the last-named being the first master of the vessel.
Her tonnage was 204-17/94; length, 105 feet; greatest breadth, 24
feet 6½ inches; depth of hold, 8 feet 6 inches. She had one mast, a
standing bowsprit, square stern, and was carvel built. She had a copper
boiler, and, like the _General Smyth_, made one trip each way between
Fredericton and St. John in a week. The _Victoria_, the first steam
ferry-boat between St. John and Carleton, commenced running September
5th, 1839.

The pioneer steamboat on the Bay of Fundy was the _St. John_, built at
Deer Island, N. B., in 1826. In her was placed the machinery of the
_General Smyth_. Her tonnage was 87-84/94; length, 89 feet; breadth,
18 feet; depth, 8 feet. Later boats on this route were the _Royal
Tar_, _Fairy Queen_, _Maid of Erin_, _Pilot_, _Emperor_, _Commodore_,
_Empress_, _Scud_, _Secret_ and _City of Monticello_. The steamers
at present running from St. John are: to Digby, the steel paddle SS.
_Prince Rupert_, 620 tons, having a speed of 18⅞ knots; to Windsor and
Hantsport, N. S., the _Hiawatha_, 148 tons; to Yarmouth, N. S., the
_Alpha_, 211 tons; to Grand Manan, the _Flushing_, 174 tons.

The first New Brunswick steamer to ply between St. John and Boston
was the _Royal Tar_, 256-90/94 tons, Thomas Reed, master, built at
Carleton in 1835. She was burned in Penobscot Bay, October 25th, 1836,
on her voyage to Portland, Maine, when thirty-two lives were lost; also
a whole menagerie with elephants, horses, etc. This service is now
performed daily by the International Steamship Company of Portland,
Maine, who have three splendid steamers on the route—the _State of
Maine_, 818 tons; the _Cumberland_, 896 tons, and the _St. Croix_,
1,064 tons. On the River St. John there are eight passenger steamers
and eleven tug-boats. A large number of tugs also ply on the harbour.
The number of steamers that entered the port during the year ending
June 30th, 1897, was 823, aggregating 609,319 tons. Of these, 359 were
ocean and 464 coasting steamers. The lines of ocean steamers plying
to and from St. John during the winter of 1897-98 were: the Furness
Line, to London and to the West Indies; the Beaver Line, carrying Her
Majesty’s mails to Liverpool, _via_ Halifax and Moville; the Allan Line
and William Thomson & Co.’s boats to London; the Donaldson Line, to
Glasgow, and the Head Line, to Belfast and Dublin.

Many advantages are claimed for St. John as a winter port for the
Dominion. In point of distance from Liverpool it has the advantage over
Portland of 80 miles, and over New York of 450 miles. Halifax is nearer
England by 200 miles, but the land carriage from the West is much
greater. St. John is the centre of an extensive lumber business. It is
connected with Western Canada by both the Intercolonial and Canadian
Pacific railways. The approach to the harbour is said to be free from
fogs in the winter months, and ice is altogether unknown in the Bay of
Fundy. Large sums of money have been expended during the last few years
in improving the export facilities, and the lieges of St. John see no
reason why this port should not become the Canadian winter terminus of
the coming “Fast Line.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Captain W. L. Waring, the Inspector of Steamboats in New Brunswick and
Prince Edward Island, claims that the invention and application of the
compound steam-engine, which has done so much towards the increase of
power and lessening the amount of fuel for its production, belongs
rightfully to Canada. Though experiments had been made in using steam
twice for the same engine, it was only in 1856 that John Elder, of the
Fairfield Ship-building Company on the Clyde, reduced it to a practical
success in Britain, and it was not until 1870 that it came into general
use. Captain Waring states that the steamer _Reindeer_, 129 feet 9
inches long, 13 feet 8 inches wide and 8 feet deep, was built by Thomas
Prichard at Fredericton, N.B., and launched April 20th, 1845, and that
she was fitted with compound engines, the diameter of the high-pressure
cylinder being 17 inches, of the low-pressure cylinder 32 inches, and
the length of stroke 4 feet 9 inches. “This,” says Captain Waring, “was
the pioneer steamboat with engines using steam the second time. For the
first four or five years she was not a success. While the principle
was good, the machinery was defective, and between the incredulity of
the people and the defects in the machinery she was near being laid up
as a failure. After a thorough overhaul, it was demonstrated on her
trial trip—the writer being on board—that she was a success, in proof
of which the owners of the steamers on the St. John River bought her at
an advance of four times what they offered for her in the fall.” It is
added that the _Reindeer’s_ machinery was placed in a new boat called
the _Antelope_, which proved a great success, being very fast. It was
next placed in the _Admiral_, where it now is, the original compound
engine of 1845.

_Honour to whom Honour!_ Mr. Barber states that the first steam
fog-whistle in the world was started on Partridge Island, at the
entrance of St. John harbour, in 1860, under the superintendency of Mr.
T. T. Vernon Smith. “The whistle was made by Mr. James Fleming, of St.
John, in 1859.”


The smallest of the provinces of the Dominion and the last to enter
Confederation, in 1873, has long been noted for its marine enterprise,
its ship-building, and its fisheries. As many as a hundred sea-going
vessels have been built there in a single year; but iron and steel in
these days have so largely superseded wood, this branch of industry
has greatly decreased in Prince Edward Island, which modestly claims
not much more than 2 per cent. of the registered steam tonnage of the
Dominion of Canada.

The first steamer to enter any port in Prince Edward Island was a
tug-boat, built in Pictou for the Albion Mines Coal Company, and
named after the then manager, _Richard Smith_. She brought over a
party of excursionists to Charlottetown, on August 5th, 1830, and
returned the same day. On September 7th, 1831, the famous _Royal
William_, on her first return voyage from Halifax to Quebec, called at
Charlottetown, but as the merchants of that place declined to purchase
the fifty shares of stock in the new enterprise, which they had been
offered conditionally, she called there no more. On May 11th, 1832,
a steamer named the _Pocahontas_, built in Pictou, commenced to ply
between that port and Charlottetown, about fifty miles distant, under
arrangement with the post-office authorities. This vessel was followed
at successive intervals by the _Cape Breton_, the _St. George_, the
_Rose_, and the _Rosebud_, the last three being owned on the Island.
A fine steamer, the _Lady Marchant_, owned in Richibucto, also made
Charlottetown a port of call. There were many periods, however, between
these steamers when communication with the Island had to be kept up
by sailing schooners, until about 1852, when a regular service was
commenced by the _Fairy Queen_ and the _Westmoreland_, between Point du
Chene and Summerside, and thence to Charlottetown and Pictou.

In 1863 the Prince Edward Island Steam Navigation Company was
organized, and the steamer _Heather Belle_, built in Charlottetown,
began the service in 1864, followed by the _Princess of Wales_, built
at St. John, N.B. The _St. Lawrence_ was added in 1868. With these
three steamers a regular service was maintained between Miramichi,
Richibucto, Point du Chene, Summerside, Charlottetown, Brulé and
Pictou, until the railway was opened to Pictou, when the service was
extended to Port Hood and Hawkesbury, on the Gut of Canso, and to
Georgetown and Murray Harbour on the Island. Again, on the completion
of the Cape Breton railway and the extension of the Island railway
to Georgetown, the service was changed to a daily route between
Charlottetown and Pictou, and Summerside and Point du Chene, as at
present. The new steamers, _Northumberland_ and _Princess_, are
scarcely surpassed for the work they have to do by any steamers in
Canada, and the company are able to show a record which is probably
unique—that during thirty-three years not an accident has occurred by
which a person or a package of freight has been injured.

Some years ago the North Atlantic Steamship Company was organized at
Charlottetown, with a view of establishing a direct trade with the Old
Country. The fleet consisted of one steamer only, the _Prince Edward_,
and as the enterprise did not prove self-sustaining, after having run
for several seasons the vessel was sold at a considerable loss to the


Prince Edward Island, lying in the southern part of the Gulf of
St. Lawrence, is separated from the mainland by the Strait of
Northumberland, which at its narrowest point is about nine miles wide.
Owing to the accumulation of ice by which this strait is obstructed in
winter, communication with the Island at that season of the year has
always been attended with difficulty and not unfrequently with danger.
For many years the only conveyance for mails and passengers in winter
was by means of open boats or canoes manned by expert boatmen. Latterly
these boats, most of which now belong to the Government of Canada, have
been greatly improved. They now make the passage never less than three
together, each manned by five able men, and the fleet under the charge
of an experienced ice-captain. If large ice-fields should be jammed
between capes Tormentine and Traverse, the crossing may be made without
putting the boats into the water at all—the men, assisted by the male
passengers, hauling the boats over the ice by straps fastened to the
gunwales. When the ice is good the passage may be made in three or four
hours. At other times lanes of open water occur into which the boats
are launched and rowed as far as practicable. If there is much “lolly”
to work through, this entails great loss of time and labour. Or the
ice may be very rough and hummocky, which makes the crossing difficult
and tedious. When overtaken by a snow-storm there is danger of losing
the bearings and of travelling in the wrong direction. There have been
occasions when parties have been out all night and nearly perished; but
since the Government has taken charge of the ferry better regulations
are in force. Each boat carries a fixed number of passengers and a
limited amount of mail and baggage. This, with carrying compasses,
provisions, and proper fur wraps, has greatly improved the service.

The ice attached to the shores on either side of the strait extends
about one mile, leaving seven miles for the ferry, but owing to the
run of the tide—about four miles an hour—which carries with it, to
and fro, huge masses of ice, often closely packed, the actual distance
traversed by the boat is greatly increased. Horses and sleighs await
the arrival of the boats at the board-ice on either side, when the
passengers and mails are conveyed to the boat-sheds. For about two
months every winter this boat service proves the quickest and most
reliable means of crossing, and it is likely to remain so.

At the time of Confederation the Dominion Government guaranteed to
provide the Island with a steam ferry service. The first effort to
carry out the agreement was made by employing an old steamer, the
_Albert_, to run between Pictou and Georgetown, but she had not
sufficient power to force her way through the ice. In the meantime the
_Northern Light_ was being built at Quebec—a vessel of considerable
power and extraordinary shape. She drew nineteen feet aft, and it was
intended that her keel, forward, should be above the water-line, but
owing to a miscalculation as to her displacement, it proved to be some
two feet below, and this spoiled her for ice-breaking; but on the Whole
she did good service from 1876 to 1888, although she was often “frozen
in,” and was for several weeks at a time fast in the ice when full of

The _Stanley_, which succeeded the _Northern Light_, was built in 1888
at Govan on the Clyde, after the model of similar ice-steamers in
Norway and Sweden. She has done excellent service, and her powers of
breaking ice and separating large floes must be seen to be understood
or believed. That she has not been able to keep up continuous
communication does not surprise those who know what the Gulf is at
some seasons of the year. She has made passages when it seemed futile
to expect it; and while she has been imprisoned in the ice for as
much as three weeks at a time, she has made the voyage from Pictou to
Georgetown—40 miles—in two hours and a half. During the season 1894-95
the _Stanley_ carried 1,600 passengers. Her earnings were $9,266.92;
the cost of her repairs and maintenance was $28,179.32.


The _Stanley_ is built throughout of Siemens-Martin steel. Her
dimensions are: length, 207 feet; breadth, 32 feet; depth, 20 feet 3
inches. She is a screw boat of 914 tons gross, and 300 horse-power,
and attains a speed of nearly 15 knots in clear water. She is so
constructed that she runs up on heavy ice, breaking it with her sheer
weight. At times she has passed through what is called “shoved ice,”
eight feet in thickness. She has good state room accommodation for
about fifty cabin passengers, and is in every way a very efficient,
powerful and staunch boat.

In the spring and fall of the year the _Stanley_ is employed in the
Coast Buoy service; in summer she takes her place in the Fisheries’
Protection fleet, and proves herself a smart and formidable cruiser
and a terror to evil-doers. She commences the winter mail service
from Charlottetown to Pictou about the first of December, and about
Christmas, when the Charlottetown harbour is frozen over, she takes
up the route from Pictou to Georgetown, at the eastern end of Prince
Edward Island. When she is imprisoned in the ice, as frequently
happens, the mails and passengers are taken by the open boats in
manner above described. From February 8th to April 12th, 1895, when
the _Stanley_ was laid up for repairs, the ice-boat service carried
3,497 mail bags, 458 pounds of baggage, 76 pounds of express goods, 9
passengers, and 77 “strap-passengers.”


In connection with the Lighthouse and Buoy service and the Fisheries’
Protection the Canadian Government employs fourteen steamers and
three sailing vessels. The aggregate gross tonnage of the steamers is
5,589 tons. Of these the _Stanley_ is the largest, after which come
the _Newfield_, 785 tons; the _Aberdeen_, 674 tons; the _Acadia_, 526
tons—all of Halifax; the _Lansdowne_, 680 tons, of St. John, N.B.; the
_Quadra_, 573 tons, of Victoria, B.C.; _La Canadienne_, 372 tons, of
Quebec, etc., etc.


The history of steam navigation in this province begins with the year
1840, when Her Majesty’s ship _Spitfire_—a paddle steamer—entered the
harbour of St. John’s with a detachment of soldiers to strengthen the
garrison. In 1842 the steamship _John McAdam_ visited St. John’s, and a
number of ladies and gentlemen made excursions in her to Conception and
Trinity bays, startling the natives by the sight of a vessel walking
the waters without the aid of sails or oars. In 1844 the Government
arranged with the owners of the steamship _North American_ to carry
mails and passengers regularly between St. John’s and Halifax. When
this vessel first entered the harbour, with her huge walking-beam and a
figurehead of an Indian, painted white, half of the population of the
city crowded the wharves to see her. She had made the run from Halifax
in sixty hours. Soon after this a contract was made with the Cunard
Company for a mail service between St. John’s and Halifax, fortnightly
in summer and monthly during the winter months. In 1873 direct steam
communication with England and America was established by arrangement
with the Allan Line for the conveyance of mails, passengers and goods,
fortnightly during nine months of the year and monthly during the
remaining months, though at a later date fortnightly trips were made
all the year round.

At the present time there are five regular lines of steamships sailing
from St. John’s—the Allan Line, the Canadian and Newfoundland Steamship
Company, the Red Cross Line, the Black Diamond and the Ross Lines.
Besides these, a steamer plies regularly between Halifax and the
western ports of Newfoundland; and two local steamers ply between St.
John’s and the principal ports north, south and west.

The total number of steamers registered in St. John’s is thirty-two,
with a gross tonnage of 9,272 tons. About 1,500 vessels arrive and
depart annually from the several ports of Newfoundland. The sealing
fleet comprises some twenty steamers, with a united tonnage of 6,230
tons, and crews numbering 4,680 men. The first steamers to engage
in the seal fishing were the _Bloodhound_ and the _Wolf_ in 1862.
The former arrived with 3,000 seals, and the latter with only 1,300.
The largest catch of seals recorded was in 1844, when 685,530 were
captured. The cod-fishing industry is carried on by sailing schooners.
The annual catch in the Newfoundland waters is about 1,350,000 quintals
of 112 pounds. But the total amount of cod caught in North American
waters is estimated at 3,700,000 quintals annually. Allowing fifty
fish to a quintal, we have the enormous number of 185,000,000 fish
caught every year. And still they continue to multiply and replenish
the sea!

As yet no steamers have been built in Newfoundland.


The total number of vessels on the registry books of the Dominion
on December 31st, 1896, was 7,279, with a gross tonnage of 789,299
tons. Of that number 1,762 were steamboats, with a gross tonnage of
251,176 tons.[72] The steam tonnage of the Dominion is divided about
as follows: Ontario, 41.1 per cent.; Quebec, 32.3 per cent.; British
Columbia, 10 per cent.; Nova Scotia, 7.9 per cent.; New Brunswick, 3.8
per cent.; Manitoba, 2.6 per cent.; Prince Edward Island 2 per cent.

The total number of steamers registered and enrolled in the United
States in 1896 (including steam yachts, barges, etc.), was 6,595
vessels, with a tonnage of 2,307,208 gross tons.[73]

The total number of steam vessels in the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland, over 100 tons gross, recorded in Lloyds Register
for 1896-97, was 6,508; their gross tonnage was 9,968,573 and their
net tonnage, 6,143,282. Including the British Colonies, the number of
steam vessels is 7,373 and their gross tonnage, 10,508,443 tons.[74]
Of these only about 420 are built of wood, 3,883 are built of iron and
the rest of steel.


According to Lloyds Register above quoted, the total number of steam
vessels, over 100 tons, in the world in 1897 was 13,652, and their
gross tonnage, 17,737,825 tons. The number of wooden steamers was
1,163; of iron, 7,099, and 5,390 of steel.

The British Empire owns 54 per cent. of the entire merchant marine
tonnage of the world, estimated by Lloyds at 25,614,089 tons gross; she
owns 62 per cent. of the entire merchant marine steam tonnage.

If to these figures were added the number of steam vessels in the
navies of the world, the grand total would be very largely increased.
The British navy alone would increase the number of vessels by 700 at
least, and the tonnage by more than 1,500,000 tons.


Reliable statistics are not easily found and are often accounted dry
reading. From a variety of causes, figures are peculiarly prone to err.
But whatever may be thought of the merely numerical argument which has
almost unavoidably been introduced in these pages, the indisputable
fact remains, that of all the triumphs of mind over matter in this
nineteenth century nothing has contributed more to the advancement of
civilization and the spread of Christianity, to the wealth of nations
and the convenience and comfort of the human race, than the marvellous
development of steam navigation which will ever be identified with the
history of the illustrious reign of Her Majesty QUEEN VICTORIA.


[62] Mr. John Ross Robertson’s “Landmarks of Toronto” (Toronto: 1896)
contains an account of nearly all the steamboats that have plied on
Lake Ontario and the Upper St. Lawrence from 1816 to 1895.

[63] From notes by Rev. Professor Bryce, LL. D., of Winnipeg.

[64] Mr. J. A. Thomson, Inspector of Steamboats for British Columbia,
furnished the information contained in these notes.

[65] Vancouver Island was at that time a British possession—leased to
the Hudson’s Bay Company. When the lease expired, in 1859, the Island
was made a Crown colony, and the old fort, with the large cattle farm
attached to it, became the site of the beautiful city of Victoria, with
its fine streets, electric railways, magnificent public buildings,
palatial residences, a population of 23,000, and real estate valued at
$20,000,000. The Island and British Columbia were made one Province in
1866, and entered the Dominion in 1871.

[66] Since these lines were penned the rush to the Klondike has given
an immense impetus to the steamboat business of British Columbia.

[67] From notes by Rev. Robert Murray, Halifax.

[68] The largest graving-dock in the world is said to be the one built
for the Clyde Trust at Govan, on the Clyde, and recently opened. It is
880 feet long, 115 feet wide and has 26½ feet of water on the sill. The
Clyde Trust are evidently looking ahead. There may be no ships of 850
feet in sight at the moment, but there is no telling how soon there
will be. The Govan dock is ready for them. In the meantime it has been
partitioned off into two parts by still gates, the outer division being
460 feet in length, and the inner, 420 feet.

[69] Information furnished by Mr. Keith A. Barber, of H. M. Customs,
St. John, N. B.

[70] Information supplied by Mr. W. F. Hales, of Charlottetown.

[71] By the kindness of Rev. Moses Harvey, D.D., of St. John’s.

[72] “Statistical Year Book of Canada, 1896,” p. 280.

[73] “Report U. S. Commissioner on Navigation, 1896,” p. 201.

[74] “Report U. S. Commissioner on Navigation, 1896,” p. 127.



The name and fame of the inventor of the screw propeller are less
widely known in Britain than in America, and in neither country,
perhaps, has full justice been done to his memory. As a mechanical
genius, he was one of the most remarkable men of his time, and did much
to promote the development of steam navigation.

Ericsson was born in the Province of Vermeland, in Sweden, in the year
1803. Coming to England in 1826, he entered into partnership with
Braithwaite, a noted mechanician, in London, and there and then entered
upon his remarkable career as an inventor. In 1836 he married Amelia,
daughter of Mr. John Byam, second son of Sir John Byam. Accompanied by
his wife, he came to the United States, arriving at New York, in the
_British Queen_, November 2nd, 1839. His wife, however, soon afterwards
returned to England, and during the rest of their lives, “by an
amicable arrangement,” the Atlantic rolled between.

Before leaving England, Ericsson had already patented a number of his
inventions. One of the first of these was a machine for compressing
air, a discovery which has since proved valuable in the construction
of long tunnels and in many other ways. The introduction of his system
of artificial draught was the key-note of the principle on which
rapid locomotion chiefly depends. He electrified London with his steam
fire-engine, but the conservative authorities would not countenance
“a machine that consumed so much water!” In 1829 he entered into
competition with Robert Stephenson, when a prize of £500 was offered
for the best locomotive. He came off second-best, but it was a feather
in his cap that his locomotive, the _Novelty_, glided smoothly over the
track at the amazing speed of thirty miles an hour! His experiments
with hot air occupied much of his time, and not without valuable
results. His forte, however, was in the construction of steam-engines,
of which he designed a large number, introducing many new principles,
some of which were destined to survive.

Ericsson’s first stroke of business in the United States made
him famous. The _Princeton_ war-ship (see page 69), built at the
Philadelphia navy-yard under his direction, and fitted with his screw
propeller, proved a great success, and gained him the favour and
patronage of the government officials. Soon after the completion of
the _Princeton,_ he embarked in what he then accounted the greatest
enterprise of his life—


With the financial assistance of several wealthy friends in New York,
Ericsson proceeded to build a large sea-going vessel, to be propelled
by means of hot air. It was a costly experiment, involving an outlay
of $500,000, the engines alone costing $130,000. The cylinders were
168 inches in diameter, with six-feet stroke. The machinery was in
motion within seven months of the laying of the vessel’s keel. On her
trial trip the _Ericsson_ attained a speed of eight miles an hour, and
subsequently as much as eleven miles an hour. The _Ericsson_ was at
once a success and a failure. She sustained the inventor’s theory as
to the power of heated air, _but_ so excessive was the temperature of
the air required to develop the power, the cylinders were warped out
of shape and some of the fittings were burned to a crisp. The costly
experiment was consequently abandoned. The caloric engine was replaced
by an ordinary steam-engine, and thus transformed the _Ericsson_ earned
her living for many years.


This further product of Ericsson’s fertile brain is in the form of an
armour-protected, semi-submerged steam vessel for war purposes, and
first came prominently into notice in connection with the memorable
contest which took place in Hampton Roads on the 9th of March, 1862,
between the _Merrimac_ and _Monitor_. The former was an old wooden
vessel refitted by the Confederate Government at Norfolk navy-yard,
and covered with protective armour to the water-line. The _Monitor_
was a flat iron boat resembling a scow, with nothing visible above
water save the flush deck, from the centre of which rose a massive
iron tower containing two guns of heavy calibre. The “cheese-box,”
as the _Monitor_ was contemptuously styled, held her own against the
_Merrimac_, which carried eleven guns. It was a drawn battle, but a
victory for Ericsson, and resulted in many other steam vessels of
this description being built for harbour and coast defence under his

John Ericsson died in New York on the 8th of March, 1889. _Vide_
“Ericsson and His Inventions,” in _Atlantic Monthly_ for July, 1862,
and “John Ericsson, the Engineer,” in _Scribner’s Magazine_ for March,


was invented and patented some years ago by Captain McDougall, of
Duluth, a long-headed and level-headed Scotchman hailing from the
famed island of Islay. The peculiarity of its construction consists in
its elliptical form, combining strength of hull, cheapness of first
cost and working, and large carrying capacity upon a light draught of
water. Having no masts, the whaleback is entirely dependent on its
steam-power, which in case of a breakdown or heavy weather renders
the vessel helpless and unmanageable; but, on the other hand, it is
contended that so long as she has sufficient water under her she is
practically unsinkable. She has no deck to speak of, and consequently
nothing to wash overboard save the waves, which play harmlessly over
her arched roofing. Her hold is, so to speak, hermetically sealed.
Though chiefly intended to carry freight, the capabilities of the
whaleback as a passenger steamer have been satisfactorily tested.
The _Christopher Columbus_, built on this principle, did duty as an
excursion steamer at the Chicago World’s Fair, and is now plying
regularly as a passenger boat between Chicago and Milwaukee—the
largest excursion steamer, so it is said, in the world, “having a
carrying capacity of 5,000, which number of persons she has comfortably
transported on a number of occasions.” The steamer is 362 feet in
length, has engines of 2,800 horse-power, and runs at the rate of
twenty miles an hour. A considerable number of “whalebacks” are now
engaged in the Upper Lakes grain and iron ore trade, all of them having
been built by the Steel Barge Company at West Superior.


From a photo presented by Mr. D. G. Thomson, of Montreal.]

The above cut is a faithful representation of a type of steamer
peculiar to the Upper Lakes, which, though somewhat odd-looking, is
said to answer its purpose well as a grain-carrier.

The latest addition to the fleet is the biggest vessel of her class,
and just now the largest grain-carrier on the lakes. This vessel, named
after the inventor, _Alexander McDougall_, is 130 feet in length over
all, 50 feet moulded breadth, and 27 feet in depth. Her double bottom
is five feet deep, giving her a total water ballast capacity of 2,000
tons. Her displacement on a draught of 18 feet is about 10,000 tons,
and she is able to carry the enormous cargo of 7,200 tons, equivalent
to 240,000 bushels of wheat. She is built of steel, and has quadruple
expansion engines. The only departure from the original whaleback
in this instance is the substitution of the perpendicular stem for
the “swinish snout” or “spoon bow,” which has called forth so many
uncomplimentary remarks, and which is much in evidence in our cut.

In 1891 the whaleback _Wetmore_ was the first of this class of vessels
to bring a cargo of grain from the Upper Lakes to Montreal and continue
the voyage to Liverpool, where she arrived safely on July 21st. From
Liverpool the _Wetmore_ sailed to the Pacific coast _via_ Cape Horn,
and while carrying a cargo of coal from Puget Sound to San Francisco
she was disabled in a violent storm, went ashore, and was wrecked.


The hull of the turret ship closely resembles that of the whaleback,
but instead of the “spoon bow” it has the straight stem, and is further
distinguished by a “turret deck,” so called, about one-third the width
of the vessel and extending over its entire length, at a height of
some five or six feet above the turn of the hull. This forms the
working deck, and towering above it are the bridge, the cook’s galley,
the engineers’ quarters, and other two-story erections, forming an
unship-shapely _tout ensemble_ of a most unprepossessing appearance;
and yet, this is the type of steamship at one time seriously proposed
by the contractors for the Canadian fast-line service! There are some
thirty-five such vessels afloat in different parts of the world, all
built at Sunderland, and most of them engaged in the coal trade, for
which they are said to be well adapted.

The _Turret Age_, which plies between Sydney, C.B., and Montreal during
the season of navigation, was built in 1893, and is owned by Messrs.
Peterson, Tate & Co., of Newcastle-on-Tyne. She is one of the largest
of her class, being 311 feet in length, 38.2 feet in width, and 21.6
feet deep. She is propelled by a single screw, has a speed of eleven
knots, and carries 3,700 tons of coal. Her capacious, unobstructed hold
and continuous hatchway permit of loading and discharging cargo with
marvellous rapidity, and she is said to be a fairly good sea-boat.


While Ericsson, Smith, Woodcroft and Lowe were busying themselves with
experiments for perfecting the principle of the submerged screw as a
means of propelling vessels through the water, another plan was being
devised which, for a time, excited much interest, and was very nearly
becoming a success. This was Ruthven’s water-jet propeller. It differed
from Ericsson’s in the singular fact that the actual propeller was
placed inside of the ship instead of on the outside. This propeller,
in the shape of a fan-wheel with curved blades, was made to revolve
horizontally and rapidly in a tank of water placed in the hold of the
vessel, fed from the sea through openings in the hull. The power of the
steam-engine was applied to expelling the water from this tank through
curved pipes with nozzles, on either side of the ship. In proportion to
the velocity with which the water was forced through these pipes into
the sea below the water-line, an impetus in the opposite direction was
given to the vessel. The nozzles were so constructed that they could
be turned easily towards the bow or stern, as occasion required, for
forward or backward motion. The first experiment with this appliance
was made by Messrs. Ruthven, of Edinburgh, on the Frith of Forth, with
an iron boat 40 feet in length, in 1843, when a speed of seven miles an
hour was attained. The _Enterprise_, 90 feet long and 100 tons burthen,
was built on this principle, and made her trial trip, January 16th,
1854, when she developed a speed of 9.35 miles an hour. This vessel was
intended for the deep-sea fishing, and the jet-propeller was suggested
in this case as being less liable to become entangled with the nets
than the screw or paddle. The water-jet system was also tried on a
Rhine passenger steamboat with some measure of success; but while the
theory was upheld, it seems to have failed in practice, because the
results in speed and in other respects were not proportioned to the
working power and the consumption of fuel. See _En. Britannica_, 8th
ed., vol. xx., p. 661.


Experiments with this style of river craft have been frequent on both
sides of the Atlantic without, however, being followed by substantial
success. So long ago as 1835, the _Rapid_, consisting of two hollow
cylinders, pointed at either end in cigar fashion, placed ten feet
apart, with a large wheel between them in the centre, appeared on the
Upper St. Lawrence, fitted with the steam-engine of the superannuated
_Jack Downing_. Her first trip down the river was also her last, for,
after many fruitless attempts to return, she was wrecked, and for a
time abandoned. Eventually, she was towed, by way of the Ottawa and
Rideau canals, to Ogdensburg, where she was refitted and plied for some
time as a ferry boat. A very pretty specimen of a cigar-boat built of
iron, with an elegant superstructure, the writer remembers having seen
on the Clyde more than half a century ago, but as to its career and
ultimate fate deponent sayeth not. A twin-boat steamer, reminding us of
Patrick Miller’s first attempt at steam-boating, propelled, however,
by side-wheels, may be seen any day during the season of navigation
dragging its slow length along on the ferry from Laprairie to the
opposite shore of the St. Lawrence, near Montreal.


The reader is requested to put on his thinking cap before endeavouring
to comprehend the brief reference now to be made to Mr. Knapp’s
“Roller.” On the 8th of September, 1897, there was launched from the
yard of the well-known Polson’s Iron Works Company in Toronto, an
enlarged model of the strangest craft ever seen—a huge innovation upon
all preconceived ideas of marine architecture. The exterior of the boat
in question, if it can be called a boat, has all the appearance of a
round boiler 110 feet long and 25 feet in diameter. The outer cylinder
is built of one-quarter inch steel plates stoutly ribbed and riveted,
and armed with a number of fins, or small paddles, the ends being
funnel-shaped, with openings in the centre. This is made to revolve by
means of two engines of 60 horse-power each, placed one at either end
of the vessel. An inner cylinder similarly constructed, corresponding
to the hold of a ship, remains stationary while the other is supposed
to be rolling over the surface of the water, regardless of wind and
waves, at railway speed. The modest calculation of the inventor is that
a steam vessel so constructed of 700 feet in length and 150 feet in
diameter, _ought_ to cover the distance between New York and Liverpool
in forty-eight hours! This model was built at a cost of $10,000. The
results of the trial trip on Toronto Bay have not been made public.


In June, 1897, there appeared on the Solent, at the time of the great
Jubilee Naval Review, a steam vessel furnished with a novel method of
propulsion, by which a speed far in excess of any previous record was
attained. In the opinion of competent experts this new application of
steam-power is likely to bring about in the near future a revolution
in steam navigation. The following account of this phenomenal craft
appeared in the Montreal _Star_:

                              “LONDON, July 5th, 1897.

      “The record-breaking 100-foot torpedo boat _Turbinia_
    has intensely interested the public here generally,
    and experts in marine engineering in particular.
    It is admitted that if the principle of the steam
    turbine invented by Charles Parsons and fitted in the
    _Turbinia_ can be extended to large ships, it will
    mark the greatest revolution in mechanics since the
    invention of the steam-engine itself.

      “Mr. Wolff, M. P. for Belfast, head of the famous
    firm of Harland & Wolff, of Belfast, and himself the
    designer of the White Star Liners, says:

      “‘I saw the _Turbinia_ at Spithead going nearly eight
    miles an hour faster than any vessel had ever gone
    before, and even then she was not being pushed to her
    full speed. She passed quite close to the _Teutonic_,
    on which I was. She dashed along with marvellous speed
    and smoothness.

      “‘I must say, however, that I felt more secure on the
    _Teutonic_ than I should have felt on the _Turbinia_,
    for you know they have not yet surmounted the
    difficulty of reversing the engine. She can go ahead
    forty miles an hour but can only reverse at less than

      “‘If Parsons can make a similar turbine engine
    practicable for big craft with proper reversing power,
    he will open a new era in the history of steam motors.
    But, although he has carried the economizing of steam
    to a great pitch for a turbine engine, still from my
    observation the waste of both steam and fuel under his
    system, if applied on a large scale, would be almost
    fatal. That there is a big future before his turbine
    engine for launches and other small craft I do not
    doubt, provided that he can get over the reversing

The _Scientific American_, in its issue of June 26th, 1897, says:
“Nothing more startling has ever occurred than the wonderful runs which
have recently been made by a little craft called the _Turbinia_, in
which the motive power is supplied by a steam turbine of the Parsons

Quoting from a paper read at a meeting of the Institution of Civil
Engineers in London, by the Hon. Charles A. Parsons, the inventor
of this new system, the advantages of the turbine system are thus

      “(1) Greatly increased speed, owing to diminution of
    weight and smaller steam consumption; (2) increased
    carrying power of vessel; (3) increased economy in coal
    consumption; (4) increased facilities for navigating
    shallow waters; (5) increased stability of vessel;
    (6) reduced weight of machinery; (7) reduced cost of
    attendance on machinery; (8) reduced size and weight
    of screw propellers and shafting; (9) absence of
    vibration; (10) lowered centre of gravity of machinery,
    and reduced risk in time of war.

      “The _Turbinia_ is 100 ft. in length, 9 ft. beam,
    3 ft. draught amidships, and 44½ tons displacement.
    She has three screw shafts, each directly driven by
    a compound steam turbine of the parallel flow type.
    The three turbines are in series, and the steam is
    expanded—at full power—from a pressure of 170 pound
    absolute, at which it reaches the motor, to a pressure
    of one pound absolute, at which it is condensed. The
    shafts are slightly inclined, and each carries three
    crews, making nine in all. The screws have a diameter
    of 18 in., and when running at full speed they make
    2,200 revolutions per minute. Steam is supplied from a
    water tube boiler, and the draught is forced by a fan,
    mounted on the prolongation of the low pressure motor
    shaft, the advantage of this arrangement being that the
    draught is increased as the demand for steam increases,
    and also that the power to drive the fan is obtained
    directly from the main engines.

      “Up to the present the maximum mean speed attained
    has been 32¾ knots, as the mean of two consecutive
    runs on the measured mile. These runs were made after
    about four hours’ steaming at other speeds, and the
    boat on the day of the trials had been fifteen days in
    the water. It is anticipated that on subsequent trials,
    after some alterations to the steam pipe, still higher
    mean speeds will be obtained.

      “It is believed that when boats of 200 feet in length
    and upward are fitted with compound turbine motors,
    speeds of 35 to 40 knots may be easily obtained in
    vessels of the destroyer class, and it is also believed
    that the turbine will—in a lesser degree—enable
    higher speeds to be realized in all classes of
    passenger vessels.”

Referring to the difficulty of reversing the engines of the _Turbinia_,
the _Scientific American_ adds, that “by using a system of ‘butterfly’
reversing steam valves, a motor has been constructed in which the
steam may be made to flow through the blades of the turbine in either
direction, the whole horse-power of the engines being thus available
for going astern.” Detailed drawings and descriptions of the _Turbinia_
and the new motor may be found in the supplements of the _Scientific
American_ (New York) for June 26th, 1897, and March 12th, 1898.


_Letter_ =“S”= _indicates Inland Steamer_, =“SS”= _Ocean Steamer._

  Aberdeen Steamship Line, 156.
  Acadia, SS., 73.
  Accommodation, S., 50, 312.
  Adriatic, SS., Collins, 105.
  Adriatic, SS., White Star, 118.
  African Steamship Company, 154.
  Aird, Captain, 215.
  Aitken & Company, steamship builders, 286.
  Alaska, SS., 116.
  Albany to Montreal, 260.
  Alberta, S., 284.
  Algoma, S., 255, 284.
  Allan, Alexander, 196, 209.
  Allan, Andrew, 196, 296.
  Allan, Bryce, 196, 209.
  Allan, James, 196, 209.
  Allan, Sir Hugh, 196, 208.
  Allan Steamship Line, 196.
  Alps, SS., 99.
  Amazon, steel barge, 302.
  America, SS., 114.
  Amerika, SS., 141.
  American Steamship Line, Lake Ontario, 327.
  Anchor Steamship Line, 113, 151.
  Ancient, Rev. W. J., 122.
  Anderson, Captain, 86.
  Angloman, SS., 225.
  Anglo-Saxon, SS., wrecked, 199.
  Appomattox, S., 272.
  Archer, Captain, 202, 213.
  Archimedes, S., 68.
  Arctic, SS., 104, 106.
  Arizona, SS., 116.
  Armed cruisers, 172.
  Armed mail packets, 73.
  Arrow Steamship Line, 129.
  Athabaska, S., 284.
  Athenian, SS., 164.
  Atlantic, SS., Collins, 104-106.
  Atlantic, SS., White Star, 121.
  Atlantic Transport Steamship Line, 129.
  Augusta Victoria, SS., 132.
  Australasian, SS., 88.
  Australia, SS., P. & 0., 147.
  Australia and Vancouver Steamship Line, 164.
  Austria, SS., burned, 134.
  Aylmer, Lord, 54.

  Bain, Captain Robert, 36.
  Ballantine, Captain, 200.
  Baltic, SS., Collins, 104-106.
  Baltic, SS., White Star, 118.
  Bannockburn, S., 286, 293.
  Barbadian, SS., 157.
  Barber & Company Steamship Line, 129.
  Barber, Keith A., 343.
  Barclay & Curie, builders, 205.
  Battleships, 171.
  Bay of Fundy, 188.
  Beauharnois Canal, 265.
  Beaver Steamship Line, The, 229.
  Beaver, The old steamer, 334.
  Belgravia, SS., 113.
  Bell, Henry, 36.
  Bibby Steamship Line, 151.
  Black Ball Steamship Line, 27.
  Black Diamond Steamship Line, 235.
  Blue Flag Steamship Line, 129.
  Bohemian, SS., 199;
    wrecked, 202.
  Boothby, Captain, 186.
  Boulton & Watt, engineers, 334.
  Brandon to Britain, 295.
  Bristol City Steamship Line, 129.
  Britannia, SS., 72, 74.
  Britannic, SS., 118.
  British and African Steamship Company, 155.
  British and Colonial Steam Navigation Company, 156.
  British Columbia, 334.
  British India Steam Navigation Company, 148.
  British and North American Royal Mail Steam-Packet Company, 73.
  British navy, 166, 175.
  British Queen, SS., 97.
  Brooks, Captain, 102.
  Brown, Captain, 216.
  Bruce Mines, S., 254.
  Brunel, Isambard, 66.
  Brush, George, 307, 310.
  Buenos Ayrean, SS., 206.
  Bulwer, Sir Edward, 159.
  Burial of dead at sea, 183.
  Burlington, S., 44.
  Burns, Rev. Dr., 94.
  Burns, Sir George, 71, 93.

  Calcutta and Burmah Steam Navigation Company, 148.
  Caledonia, SS., Cunard, 73.
  Caledonia, SS., P. & O., 146.
  Calvin Company, 287.
  Cameron, Captain, 123.
  Campana, S., 235.
  Campania, SS., 78, 174.
  Campbell, Captain Howard, 234.
  Canada, SS., Cunard Line, 75.
  Canada, SS., Dominion Line, 226.
  Canada Shipping Company, 229.
  Canadian, SS., 198-200.
  Canadian canals, 258.
  Canadian commerce on lakes, 283.
  Canadian Pacific Railway, 158.
  Canadian Pacific steamers, 160, 164, 284.
  Canadian Steam Navigation Company, 316.
  Canal tariffs, 303.
  Cape of Good Hope, SS., 149.
  Car of Commerce, S., 310.
  Carthaginian, SS., 206.
  Castle Steamship Line, The, 155.
  Celtic, SS., 118.
  Charity, SS., 195.
  Charlotte Dundas, S., 33.
  Chesapeake and Ohio Steamship Line, 129.
  Chicora, S., 255.
  Chieftain, S., 326.
  Chimborazo, SS., 148.
  China, SS., 75.
  Chippewa, S., 254.
  Cimbria, SS., sunk, 134.
  Circassia, SS., 186.
  Circassian, SS., 205.
  City of Berlin, SS., 108.
  City of Boston, SS., 107.
  City of Brussels, SS., 107.
  City of Chicago, SS., 107.
  City of Glasgow, SS., 107.
  City of Manchester, SS., 107.
  City of Montreal, SS., 107.
  City of New York, SS., 108.
  City of Paris, SS., 108.
  City of Philadelphia, SS., 107.
  City of Rome, SS., 113, 128.
  City of Washington, SS., 107.
  City Steamship Line to India, 152.
  Clan Steamship Line, The, 150.
  Cleopatra, SS., 195.
  Clermont, S., 41.
  Cleveland, Ohio, 278, 281.
  Clipper ships, 26.
  Clyde River steamers, 38.
  Codfish industry, 355.
  Collingwood and Owen Sound, 255.
  Collins, E. K., 106.
  Collins Steamship Line, 99, 103.
  Collision at sea, 126.
  Columba, S., 38.
  Comet, S., Bell’s, 34, 312.
  Commerce of Great Lakes, 268.
  Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, 138.
  Compound engines, 100, 345.
  Connal & Co., builders, 222.
  Continental Steamship Lines, 130.
  Cook, Captain, 86, 88.
  Corona, S., 330.
  Cost of running steamships, 84.
  Cramp & Sons, builders, 110.
  Crathie, SS., collision, 136.
  Crescent, H.M.S., 189.
  Crimean War, 198, 214.
  Cruisers, Armed, 172.
  Cumberland, S., 255.
  Cunard fleet, 85.
  Cunard Steamship Line, 73.
  Cunard, Sir Edward, 93.
  Cunard, Sir Samuel, 71, 91.
  Cunard track chart, 96, 176.
  Currie, Captain, 207.
  Cushing, Manager, 318.
  Cuzco, SS., 148.

  Dakota, SS., 115.
  Dalziel, Captain, 203.
  Danmark, SS., foundered, 141.
  Danube, SS., 157.
  Dawn of steam navigation, 28.
  Deeper waterways, 299, 302.
  Dennys, ship-builders, 154, 198, 204.
  Detroit River tonnage, 276.
  Devonia, SS., 113.
  Diamond Jubilee Review, 170.
  Dick, Captain, 324.
  Dickens, Charles, 18.
  Distances, Marine, 177.
  Dolphin, S., 325, 326.
  Dominion Steamship Line, 221.
  Dominion Steamers, 353.
  Donaldson Steamship Line, 234.
  Douglas, Captain, 75.
  Douglas, Governor of British Columbia, 336.
  Dramatic Line, The, 103.
  Draught, Induced, 20.
  Drummond Castle, SS., lost, 155.
  Dry-docks, 342.
  Duke of Marlborough, H.M.S., 168.
  Duke of Wellington, H.M.S., 97, 168.
  Durham boats, 260.
  Durham City, SS., 190.
  Dutton, Captain, 217.

  Early Atlantic steamers, 50.
  Eastern trade, The, 153.
  East India Company, 142.
  Elbe, SS., sunk, 136.
  Elder, Dempster Steamship Line, 156, 235.
  Elder, John, & Co., 100, 116, 132.
  Eldridge, Captain, 106.
  Elevator, The grain, 290.
  Emerald, S., 254.
  Emigrant ships, 20, 210.
  Empress Steamship Line, 160.
  Empire, S., 255.
  Empire City, S., 271.
  Enterprise, SS., 53.
  Ericsson, John, inventor, 67.
  Erie Canal, 280.
  Erin, SS., lost, 115.
  Etolia, SS., in the ice, 185.
  Etruria, SS., 77, 119, 189.
  Europa, SS., 75.
  European, SS., 157.
  Eutopia, SS., sunk, 114.
  Evans, Captain, 185.
  Exports from Montreal, 267.

  Fares to India and the East, 147, 153.
  Fairfield Ship-yard, 78, 100, 346.
  Farlinger, Captain, 327.
  Fast Line of Steamships, 236, 242.
  Fast service to Japan, 156.
  Favourite, sailing-ship, 196.
  Fawcett, William, SS., 146.
  Ferry-boats, American, 48.
  First compound engine, 345.
  First live stock shipment, 236.
  First lake propeller, 252.
  First steamer in Canada, 50, 312.
  First steamer on Lake Ontario, 247.
  First steamer on Lake Erie, 251.
  First ocean steamship, 54.
  First steam fog-horn, 347.
  First steel steamship, 206.
  First wheat shipment from Manitoba, 295.
  Fleming, Sir Sandford, 159, 239, 242.
  Floating elevators, 295.
  Flying Squadron, The, 170.
  Fox, Sir Douglas, 144.
  Francis B. Ogden, S., 68.
  Francis Smith, S., 255.
  Frederick the Great, SS., 144.
  Freight, inland rates, 303.
  French Steamship Line, 138.
  Friesland, SS., 113.
  Frontenac, S., 247.
  Fulda, SS., 86, 136.
  Fulton, Robert, 41.
  Furnessia, SS., 113.
  Furness Steamship Line, 235.
  Fürst Bismarck, SS., 131.

  Gallia, SS., 234.
  Garonne, SS., 148.
  Gaskin, Captain, 263.
  General Smyth, S., 343.
  Genova, SS., 195.
  German East African Steamship Line, 156.
  Germanic, SS., 118, 127.
  Gildersleeve, S., 320.
  Gildersleeve, Manager, 316.
  Glenmorag, ship, wrecked, 207.
  Golconda, SS., 149.
  Gore, S., 254.
  Gothic, SS., 151.
  Graham, Captain John, 210.
  Grain-sucker, 291.
  Grain elevator, 290.
  Grand Trunk Railway opened, 328.
  Grange, Captain, 209.
  “Graphic,” The London, 171.
  Graving-docks, 342.
  Great Britain, SS., 61.
  Great Eastern, SS., 62.
  Great Lakes, The, 244.
  Great Northern Transit Company, 288.
  Great Republic, SS., 26.
  Great Western, SS., 60.
  Great Western Railroad Line, 327.
  Grenville Canal, 318.
  Griffin, schooner, 246.
  Guion Steamship Line, 115.
  Gulf ports, Map of, 241.

  Hagart & Crangle Line, 287.
  Haines, Captain, 89.
  Haliburton, Judge, 93, 159.
  Halifax harbour, 340.
  Hall Steamship Line, 152.
  Hamburg & American Steamship Packet Company, 130.
  Hamilton, Captain Clarke, 327.
  Hamilton, Hon. John, 323, 331.
  Hamilton, S., 327.
  Hamilton Steam Navigation Company, 330.
  Handyside & Henderson, 113.
  Hansa St. Lawrence Steamship Line, 235.
  Harland & Wolff, 117, 123, 140, 151, 228.
  Harrison, Captain, 86.
  Havel, SS., 137.
  Head Steamship Line, 235.
  Henderson Steamship Line, 152.
  Hennepin, Father, 246.
  Hercules, S., 252, 309.
  Hibernia, SS., 87
  Hibernian, SS., 204.
  Highlander, S., 324.
  Hill Steamship Line, 129.
  Himalaya, SS., 147.
  Hindostan, SS., 146.
  Hooker & Jones, forwarders, 318.
  Hornet, torpedo destroyer, 169.
  Horse-boat, The, 29.
  Howard, Captain Thomas, 320, 327, 328.
  Howe, Hon. Joseph, 159.
  Howland, O. A., 301.
  Hudson’s Bay Company, 332, 333.
  Hungarian, SS., lost, 199, 200.

  Icebergs, 183.
  Idaho, SS., lost, 225.
  Imrie, William, 117.
  Independence, propeller, 257.
  India, SS., 149.
  India and the East, 142.
  Indian, SS., 142, 198, 200.
  Indiana, SS., U.S., 342.
  Inman Steamship Line, 107.
  International Steamship Line, 107, 109.
  Inverclyde, Lord, 94, 99.
  Ireland, propeller, 263.
  Iron steamers, 61, 314.
  Iron ore transportation, 279.
  Iroquois, S., 326.
  Ismay, Thomas, H., 116, 122.

  James Swift, S., 331.
  James Watt, S., 271.
  John Jacob Astor, sail vessel, 256.
  John Kenzie, brig, 254.
  John Munn, S., 313.
  Johnston Steamship Line, 235.
  Jones, Captain J., 66, 202.
  Jones, Captain Thomas, 209.
  Jones, J. & J., forwarders, 318.
  Jubilee Review, 170.
  Judkins, Captain, 86.
  Julia Palmer, propeller, 257.
  Jura, SS., stranded, 202.

  Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, SS., 136.
  Kaiser Wilhelm II, 136.
  Keefer, Thomas, C.E., 283, 301.
  Kent, S., 254.
  Kingsford, Historian, 263, 283.
  Kingston, Ontario, 331.
  Kingston, S., 327.
  Klondike, Steam to, 164.

  Labrador, SS., 223.
  Lachine Canal, 259.
  Lady Colborne, S., 314.
  Lady Eglinton, S., 195.
  Lady Elgin, S., 314.
  Lady Sherbrooke, S., 310, 312.
  Lady Washington, schooner, 247.
  Lahn, SS., 136.
  Lake Ontario, SS., 231.
  Lake St. Peter, 266.
  Lake Superior, SS., 231.
  Lakes, Navigation Companies, 270.
  Lakes, The Great, 244.
  La France, ship, 28.
  La Salle, explorer, 246.
  La Bourgogne, SS., lost, 138.
  La Touraine, SS., 138.
  Lamport & Holt Steamship Line, 129, 157.
  Lifeboats at sea, 125.
  Lindall, Captain, 222.
  Live stock exportation, 236.
  Liverpool landing-stage, 81.
  Liverpool packet-ships, 27.
  Liverpool, SS., 58.
  Lochearn, SS., collision, 140.
  Locomotives, 294.
  Lord Steamship Line, 129.
  Lord Sydenham, S., 314.
  Lott, Captain, 86, 88.
  Lowe, James, inventor, 68.
  Lucania, SS., 78.
  Lusitania, SS., 148.

  Magnet, S., 327.
  Majestic, SS., 119.
  Malsham, S., 310.
  Manchester Ship Canal, 235.
  Manhanset Steamship Line, 129.
  Manitoba, S., 286.
  Manitou, S., 270.
  Map of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, 241.
  Marjery, S., 40.
  Marine distances, 175.
  Mariposa, SS., wrecked, 225.
  Marshall, Captain, 320.
  Matiana, SS., 149.
  Maudsley, Field & Company, engineers, 118.
  Memphis, SS., lost, 235.
  Merchant Lines, Hamilton, 287.
  Merritt, Hon. William, 262.
  Messageries Maritimes Steamship Company, 153.
  Miller, Patrick, 31.
  Milloy, Alexander, 316.
  Miowera, SS., 164.
  Missouri, SS., 141.
  Moldavia, SS., 186.
  Molson, Hon. John, 307.
  Monarch, S., 287.
  Montana, SS., 115.
  Montreal Ocean Steamship Company, 198.
  Montreal, Port of, 266.
  Montreal steamer burned, 315.
  Montreal Transportation Company, 286.
  Moodie, Captain, 86.
  Moravian, SS., wrecked, 202.
  Morris, Hon. Alex., 159.
  MountStephen, Lord, 164.
  Munro, Thomas, C.E., 301.
  Murrell, Captain, 141.
  Mutiny at sea, 24.
  Macaulay, Captain, 227.
  Macdougall, Captain John, 57.
  Maclean, Captain N., 217.
  Macleod, Dr. Norman, 179.
  Macpherson, Crane & Co., 318.
  McIver, David, 71, 95.
  McKean, McLarty & Co., 195.
  McKenzie, Captain, 248.
  McKinstry, Captain, 127.
  McLennan, Hugh, 296.
  McMaster, Captain, 209.
  Napier, David, 35.
  Napier, Robert, 71, 96, 148, 168, 205.
  Napoleon, S., 314.
  Naronic, SS., lost at sea, 122.
  Natal Steamship Line, 156.
  National Steamship Line, 114.
  Navy, The Royal, 166, 175.
  Nestorian, SS., 205.
  Netherlands Steamship Line, 140.
  New England, SS., 229.
  Newfoundland, 354.
  New York, SS., 108, 111.
  Niagara Ship Canal, 302.
  Niagara, SS., 74.
  Niagara Steam Navigation Company, 329.
  Nile, SS., 157.
  Norman, SS., 155.
  Normannia, SS., 131.
  North Atlantic Steamship Company, P. E. I., 349.
  North American, SS., 199.
  North Briton, SS., lost, 202.
  North American Transport Company, 129.
  Northern Light, S., 351.
  Northern Steamship Company, 272.
  North German Lloyd Steamship Company, 134.
  North Shore Navigation Company, 288.
  North-West Fur Company, 256, 277.
  North-West Navigation Company, 333.
  North-West, S., 274.
  North-West Transportation Company, 287.
  Norwegian, SS., wrecked, 202, 204.
  Nova Scotia, 340.
  Nova Scotian, SS., 199.

  Ogilvie, W. W., 297.
  Oldfield, S., 321.
  Old Man of the Sea, 102.
  Ontario Lake Navigation, 328.
  Ontario, S., 248, 326.
  Ontario, SS., 222.
  Ophir, SS., 148.
  Oregon, SS., Cunard, sunk, 86, 99.
  Oregon, SS., Dominion, 222.
  Orient Steam Navigation Company, 147.
  Orizaba, SS., 157.
  Ottawa, SS., 195, 225.
  Ottawa and Georgian Bay Canal, 304.
  Ottawa and Rideau Forwarding Company, 310, 318.
  Ottawa River steamers, 321.
  Ottawa River Navigation Company, 318.
  Overland route, The, 143.
  Owego, S., 270.

  Pacific, SS., 104, 106.
  Pacific Steamship Navigation Company, 157.
  Packet-ships, 27.
  Papin, Denis, 20.
  Paris, SS., 108, 125, 189.
  Parisian, SS., 205.
  Parsell, Captain, 123.
  Passport, S., 327.
  Patterson of Bristol, 60.
  Paynter, George, 102.
  Penelope, H.M.S., 168.
  Peninsular and Oriental Steamship Company, 145.
  Pennsylvania, SS., 101, 134.
  Persia, SS., 75, 97.
  Peruvian, SS., 205.
  Peterson, Tate & Co., 237.
  Phœnician, SS., 207.
  Pioneer, S., 252.
  Ploughboy, S., 254.
  Polynesian, SS., 205.
  Pomeranian in a storm, 203.
  Pomone, French war-ship, 69.
  Postal compensation, 132.
  President, SS., lost at sea, 61.
  Prince Edward Island, 347.
  Prince of Wales, war-ship, 168.
  Princeton, war-ship, 69.
  Priscilla, S., 44.
  Provisions, Ships’, 83.
  Puffers, 319.
  Pumper, S., 264.

  Quebec Province, 307.
  Quebec and Halifax Steamship Company, 66.
  Quebec, S., 311.
  Quebec Steamship Company, 235.
  Queen Charlotte, S., 249.
  Queen City, S., 293.
  Quetta, SS., wrecked, 149.

  Racing at sea, 125.
  Randolph, Elder & Co., 100.
  Rates of passage, 124.
  Rathbun Company, 330.
  Rattler, H.M.S., 69.
  Recovery, brigantine, 256.
  Red Star Steamship Line, 112.
  Renown, H.M.S., 172.
  Republic, SS., White Star, 118.
  Richardson, Captain, 217.
  Richard Smith, S., 347.
  Richards, Mills & Co., 224.
  Richelieu Steamboat Company, 314.
  Rideau Canal, 264.
  Ritchie, Captain, 216.
  Robert Garrett, S., 48.
  Rob Roy, S., 40.
  Rockefeller Fleet, 271.
  Rosemount, S., 286.
  Royal Mail West Indies Steam-Packet Company, 156.
  Royal William, S.S., 54, 340, 347.
  Rubattino Steamship Line, 153.
  Russell, Scott, 63.
  Russia, SS., 75.

  Sail _versus_ Steam, 247.
  Salier, SS., lost at sea. 136.
  Sampson, propeller, 252.
  Sam Ward, S., 257.
  Sarah Sands, SS., 195.
  Sardinian, SS., 205, 217.
  Sarmatian, SS., 198.
  Sarnia, SS., 222.
  Sault Ste. Marie Canal, 276.
  Savannah, SS., 51.
  Scotia, SS., 75, 97.
  Scotsman, SS., 225.
  Scott & Company, 138.
  Schiller, SS., wrecked, 134.
  Screw propeller, The, 67.
  Sealing steamers, 355.
  Servia, SS., 76.
  Shaw, Savill and Albion Steamship Company, 151.
  Shenango, ferry steamer, 49.
  Shepherd, Captain H. W., 322.
  Shepherd, Captain R. W., 321.
  Ship-building, 279.
  Ship canals, 303.
  Siberian, SS., 206.
  Simpson, Sir George, 258.
  Simcoe, General, 258.
  Sirius, SS., 59.
  Sir Robert Peel, S., 324.
  Smith, T. P., inventor, 67.
  Smith, Captain W. H., 194, 214.
  Smith, Donald A., 159.
  Smythe, Major C., 158.
  Sophia, S., 249.
  Sovereign, S., 317.
  Spaarndam, SS., 141.
  Spitfire, H.M.S., 354.
  Spithead reviews, 173.
  Spree, SS., 136.
  Stanley, S. P. E. I., 351.
  State Steamship Line, 129.
  Steam Navigation in British Columbia, 334.
  Steam Navigation in New Brunswick, 343.
  Steam Navigation on the Ottawa, 317.
  Steam Navigation in Newfoundland, 354.
  Steam Navigation in Nova Scotia, 340.
  Steam Navigation in Prince Edward Island, 347.
  Steam Navigation in Quebec, 307.
  Steam Navigation in Manitoba, 332.
  Steam Navigation in Ontario, 323.
  Stearns, Captain, 324.
  Steel barges, 282.
  Steel steamships. First, 206.
  Stephen, George, 159, 164.
  Stewart, Macleod, 304.
  Stone, Captain, 86.
  Strachan, Bishop, 21.
  St. George, SS., wrecked, 202.
  St. John harbour, N. B., 345.
  St. Lawrence canals, 258, 264.
  St. Lawrence route, 192.
  St. Mary’s Falls Canal, 276, 278.
  St. Louis, SS., 110.
  St. Paul, SS., 110.
  Strathcona, Lord, 159, 164.
  Subsidies to steamship companies, 104, 111, 161.
  Subventions, 120.
  Suez Canal, 144, 149.
  Summary of Steam Navigation, 356.
  Sunday at sea, 178.
  Sutherland, Captain, 327.
  Swearing, Profane, 220.
  Swiftsure, S., 310.
  Symington, William, 31.

  Tartar, SS., 164.
  Taylor, T. F., 284.
  Taylor, Dr. W. M., 179.
  Tate Brothers, builders, 314.
  Thingvalla Steamship Line, 141.
  Thomas MacKay, S., 320.
  Thomson, J. A., steamboat inspector, 334.
  Thomson Steamship Line, 235.
  Thomson, J. and G., steamship builders, 108, 113, 123.
  Teutonic, SS., 119, 174.
  Tidal waves, 188.
  Tod & McGregor, engineers, 107.
  Tonnage on the Great Lakes, 276.
  Toronto and Steam Navigation, 329.
  Torpedo boats, 169.
  Torrance, John, 228, 308.
  Torrance, Messrs. David, & Co., 221, 307.
  Transportation companies, 284.
  Transportation business, 289.
  Trave, SS., 136.
  Trent, SS., 88.
  Trevethick, Engineer, 67.
  Tripoli, SS., lost, 86.
  Twohey, Captain, 324.

  Ulster Steamship Company, 235.
  Umbria, SS., 77, 119.
  Unicorn, SS., 75.
  Union Steamship Company, Africa, 154.
  Union Steamship Company, New Zealand, 151.

  United Empire, S., 287.
  United Empire Loyalists, 258, 296.
  United Kingdom, SS., 40.
  United States Shipping Company, 129.
  Up-to-date steamships, 18.
  Utica, barge, 270.

  Vancouver Island, 336.
  Vancouver, SS., 222.
  Vandalia, propeller, 252.
  Vesta, SS., 106.
  Vicksburg, SS., lost, 224.
  Victoria, B. C., founded, 336.
  Victoria Steamboat Association, 38.
  Ville de Havre, SS., lost, 140.
  Ville de Ciotat, SS., 153.
  Voyageurs, Early, 258.

  Waghorn, Lieut., 143.
  Waldensian, SS., 207.
  Walk-in-the-Water, S., 251.
  Ward & Co., 310, 311.
  Waring, Captain W. L., 345.
  Warrimoo, SS., 164.
  Warrior, H. M. S., 168.
  Washington, schooner, 246.
  Waterways of Canada, 244.
  Watt, James, engineer, 67.
  Welland Canal, 262.
  West Indies and Pacific Steamship Lines, 156.
  Whale captured, 312.
  White Star Steamship Line, 116.
  William Fawcett, SS., 146.
  William IV., S., 324.
  Williams, Captain, 122.
  Wilson Connoly Company, 313.
  Wilson Steamship Line, 128.
  Winter Ferry, P. E. I., 349.
  Woodcroft, Engineer, 67.
  Woodruff, Captain, 74.
  World’s Steamers, 357.
  Wylie, Captain, 212.

  Young, Captain, 128.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

Transcriber's note:

Illustrations have been moved so they do not break up paragraphs.

Old or antiquated spellings have been preserved.

Typographical errors have been silently corrected but other variations
in spelling and punctuation remain unaltered.

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