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By John Fry

The pains and tribulations of a Canadian company titan in the course of a desirable interval in 19th-century Quebec.

A brain at Sea is an intimate window right into a vanished time while Canada was once one of the world’s nice maritime international locations. among 1856 and 1877, Henry Fry was once the Lloyd’s agent for the St. Lawrence River, east of Montreal. The harbour coves less than his domestic in Quebec have been full of huge rafts of lower wooden, the river’s coastline sprawled with yards the place colossal square-rigged ships – many owned by means of Fry – have been built.

As the president of Canada’s Dominion Board of alternate, Fry was once on the epicentre of wealth and effect. His domestic urban of Quebec served because the capital of the province of Canada, whereas its port was once usually the scene of uncooked illegal activity. He fought vigorously opposed to the abduction of sailors and the damaging perform of deck loading. He additionally battled opposed to and overcame his own demon – psychological melancholy – occurring to jot down many send histories and essays on U.S.-Canada relations.

Fry was once a colorful determine and a reformer who interacted with the recognized figures of the day, together with Lord and girl Dufferin, Sir John A. Macdonald, Wilfrid Laurier, and Sir Narcisse-Fortunat Belleau, Quebec’s lieutenant-governor.

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Extra info for A Mind at Sea: Henry Fry and the Glorious Era of Quebec's Sailing Ships

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The Carpathia was sailing from NewYork to Rijeka on the Croatian coast when she picked up Titanic’s distress calls. Captain Rostron, a hero if ever there was one, made haste to reach the stricken super-liner, cutting off hot water and heating in order to put on as full a head of steam as possible. m. on Monday, April 15. Californian Less worthy of praise is the Californian, ironically belonging to another of John Pierpont Morgan’s buy-ups, the Leyland Line. The Californian, a one-funneler like many of her predecessors, made her maiden voyage on January 31, 1902, and was sunk by a U-boat in the Aegean in November 1915.

But the great éminence grise of the British shipping industry, Gustav Schwabe, had died in 1897, so the intelligent business muscle was no longer there to support or advise him. Morgan’s response, using the lines he’d already acquired, was to apply pressure by lowering fares. White Star, as Michael Davie points out in The Titanic: The Full Story of a Tragedy (see page 280), found third-class fares drop to a ridiculous £2. Morgan had the financial power to lose money in order to crush rivals; short-term loss meant nothing in terms of the ultimate goal.

Many shipowners cashed in on a boom trade and packed as many people on board as they could. The emigrants were almost exclusively poor workers, and the conditions they traveled in were dangerous and uncomfortable to say the least. Some owners importing cattle from America merely hosed down their ships after arrival at their home ports and reloaded them with emigrants for the return trip. But Ismay had a longer vision. indd 35 35 6/17/11 3:12 PM White Star Line Safety Regulations Safety was a high priority on Ismay’s ships.

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