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of receipts and expenditures from the date of my annual report of 1861, up to and including the month of April last.
With much care and labor I have made the following table B, showing the number and tonnage of each class of vessels that has passed through the Canal this season, by the month, that you can see which class ruins most regularly, and which, according to their number and tonnage, pays the most tolls, and which carries the largest amount of freight; and to furnish what we deem to be good arguments in favor of encouraging, by the reduction of tolls on steamers, the running of this class of vessels on this route.
for nago. Propel'rs. nage. Steamers. nage. ers.
Month. 1 744 1
786 1530 28 6856 20 10698 28 19991 87345 146 49336 18
98341 27 18812 77982 100] 29093 18 9960 25 17686
66739 135] 4.608 21 11677 24 17535 71820 100 32850 22 10849 29 20103 63808 29 8742 14
23 16198 32189 6 1310) 7 3 13 17 12776 17899 643|110595 121 | 65124 174
By this table it appears that the whole number of vessels, sail and steam, that has passed through the Canal this year is 838, with an aggregate tonnage of 359,612 tons. Last year there was 527 vessels, sail and steam, with a tonnage of 276,639 tons. The whole number of steam vessels this
is 295, with a tonnage of 189,017 tons. Last year the number of steamers was 295, but had a tonnage of 206,919 tons, or 17,902 tons more than the same number this year. This falling off in the tonnage of the steamers is in consequence of the burning of the "North Star” last winter, and there having been a steamer of less tonnage put on in her place. The whole number of sail vessels this year is 543, with a tonnage of 170,595 tons; the whole number last year was 232, with a tonnage of 69,720 tons. The number of steamers is just the same as last year, but with a less tonnage by 17,902 tons; and yet the tonnage of the steamers this year exceed the tonnage of the sail vessels, which are double the number and tonnage that they were last year, by 18,422 tons. That while you receive from 295 steam vessels $11,341 02, yon receive from 543 sail vessels $10,235 70. The 295 steamers pay over eleven hundred dollars more tolls than the 543 sail vessels. The sail vessels have carried during the season 140,000 tons, while the steamers have carried about 95,000 tons.
To be more explicit, the sail vessels, 543 in number, paying eleven hundred dollars less tolls, have carried 45,000 tons more freight than the 295 steamers; and if you count the time of the lock hands, and their time is valuable if spent upon the embankment, as it has been under my superintendence, it has cost the toll-payers nearly, if not quite twice as much to lock the above number of sail vessels that it has the above number of steamers; and still the sail vessels have earned, allowing the average price, four dollars a ton for transportation, one hundred and eighty thousand dollars more than the steam vessels; that is, the difference in the amount of freights would amount to that sum. It is claimed by those that oppose this policy of giving steamers the preference in the way of tolls, that the steam vessels carry passengers, and that this differ. ence is more than made up to the owners of steam vessels by the fare that they receive. Allow me to give you the facts, and then judge for yourself. The steamers have carried this year 8,468 passengers, as you will see by reference to " Table C." The fare to this place is $6, to Marquette $7, to Ontonagon $11. The average price per passenger then, would be $12. This would amount to $101,716 00. The steamers are still $80,000 behind the sail vessels in gross earnings. Steam vessel men can inform you far better than I can what it costs them annually for coal, &c., or how much more it costs to run a steam vessel than it does a sail vessel; but I am of the opinion, from what I do know, that sail vessel owners would not be willing to take the passenger receipts for the coming year, and pay the steam vessel's coal bills, say nothing about other extra expenses. The steamers have made altogether, 148 round trips this year, (the reason why there is only 295 passages given
in my account is, that one passed through without paying one way because she was disabled above,) and they burn from 130 to 150 tons of coal on a round trip; call it 140 tons. The coal costs from $4 to $7 a ton; say the average price is $5 50 a ton, and you will see that it costs the steam vessels for coal alone, $113,960.
It is also said by those opposed to giving the steamers the preference in the way of tolls, that steamers cannot afford to carry iron, and sail vessels must be encouraged in order to get the iron down. You will see by reference to table B, when sail vessels run in this trade, that it is at a time when they cannot get freights; or at least cannot do better any where else during the months of June, July and August. Steam vessels cannot afford to carry iron, simply because sail vessels can carry it cheaper, and always can and always will as long as they can carry one-quarter more freight than their enrolled tonnage, while steam vessels cannot carry more than one-third of their enrolled tonnage. For instance the Planet is enrolled at 993 tons and pays about sixty dollars every time she passes through the Canal, and never carries over 250 or 300 tons. Now, a sail vessel enrolled at 200 or 250 tons pays $12 or $15, and will carry 250 or 300 tons, as the case may be, and of course get just as much for carrying as the Planet.
The time is coming when the traveling public, at least, may feel as though steam vessels ought to be encouraged. The tonnage of this class of vessels is steadily but surely decreasing, while the other is increasing at the rate of fifty per cent. a year. The large increase in the number of sail vessels this year over last, has been in consequence of the rapidly increasing demand for iron and copper, and the very high freights on the same. Freights on iron last year were from 18 to 20 shillings a ton; this year they have been as high as $6 50 a ton. You will see by table C, that there has been exported during the season, 120,000 tons of iron and about 700 tons of copper, &c.; but this table is not altogether reliable, and for the following reasons: The law requires us to get a statement of cargo from each vessel that passes through the Canal, but does not provide for paying the clerks for this extra labor, and they too often forget to furnish such statement. They always promise to leave it on their return trip, but seldom, if ever do, in time for our Monthly Report.
I have carefully estimated the amount of iron, copper and general merchandize that has passed through the Canal this year as follows: iron, pig and ore, 150,000 tons; copper, 9,300 tons; general merchandize, 80,000 tons. The value of exports will not fall much short of twelve millions of dollars, and the value of imports not much short of ten millions of dollars. The iron and copper mines of Lake Superior were never in a more prosperous condition, and there is every reason to believe that there will be a larger increase of exports next year over this, than there has been this year over last, which is about fifty per cent.
I find upon a careful examination, that the whole number of vessels, steam and sail, that has passed through the Canal, owned in this State, is 284, with a tonnage of 180,006 tons, and have paid tolls to the amount of $10,800 36, while the whole number owned out of the State, judging from the place of their enrollment, is 554, with a tonnage of 179,606 tons, and have paid in tolls $10,776 36—very nearly equally dividing the tonnage, and therefore the tolls, between Michigan and all other States. Nearly all of the steam vessels in this trade are owned in Michigan, while a large proportion of the sail vessels are owned in Cleveland, Erie and Buffalo. The increase of sail vessels in this trade, owned in this State, this year over last is about eight to one, and if there is to be no preference given to steam vessels over sail, in the way of tolls, the people of this State should double that increase the coming year.
The first vessel, the City of Cleveland, passed through the Canal on the 27th day of April, and the last one, the Traveler, on the 27th day of November. There have been no accidents nor breaks that would amount to three dollars at any one time,
during the season. The slope-wall on th3 south side of the Canal, has been extended during the year to the high lands or natural embankment, and graded and covered with surface earth. I have built a fence in front of the locks, enclosing both of the Canal houses, and put down plank between the caping stones and snubbing posts in front of both locks. I intend the coming year, with the advice and consent of the Board of Control, to fence in the Canal grounds upon the south side of the Canal, at least as far up as the guard gates, (they are sufficiently fenced on the north side, by the river,) and grade the banks as fast as possible without employing extra laborers. These improvements will cost nothing but the price of the material, as the labor will all be done by the lock hands when not employed in locking vessels. The foundation of the north bank of the Canal, built by Clark & Holmes, has already worked out in several places. The slope wall upon the back or river side of this north embankment, was commenced about three feet from the water's edge, and about two feet above the sur. face of the same, upon a low sandstone foundation. It should have been upon a foundation carefully constructed with large and small boulders, and at least ten feet from the edge of the water.
There is but one way to save a portion of this wall, and of course, the embankment, and that is to haul in large boulders, and make a sort of breakwater in front of the present founda-' tion. This will have to be done during the winter, as the stone cannot be hauled there in the summer. This will cost about two hundred dollars, but will save an expenditure of two or three thousand dollars in a very few years. I did intend to pump out the lower lock next spring, and examine the braces and valves in the gates of the same. This, without doubt, should be done as often as once in two years, but I am unable to obtain a steam pump for two or three days for this purpose, for anything like a reasonable price, and shall therefore, endeavor to make the examination in some other way.