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STEAM COMMUNICATION WITH FOREIGN COUNTRIES. Following is a review of established means of steam communication by sea between the ports of the United States and foreign countries. By the phrase "established means of steam communication" the design has been to include, first, steamship lines owning certain steamships which ply at stated periods between the United States and other countries, and, second, lines of communication of reasonable regularity, usually a freight service, established by steamship companies, charterers, or agents, making use of such steamships as are available for the particular service required. These vessels will change from time to time, the same steamship possibly making only one, two, or three trips on one "line" and then being employed by others. In such cases the effort has been made to give a reasonably exact view of the extent of the "line," nature of its service, and class of vessels employed, enumerating only enough vessels to convey this information, without giving all the steamers employed during the year. Such a statement can not be made with the certitude of official figures, but must observe a sense of proportion. The figures as to regular lines are approximately complete. The figures as to the second class of lines are full, but known to be incomplete. Beyond these two classes, steam communication between the United States and foreign countries is carried on by occasional steamships, chartered for single voyages as the conditions of trade and supply of freight may demand. For obvious reasons no effort to cover this field has been made, such trade lacking the regularity of service on which, as far as possible, the following review is based.
The Bureau expresses its appreciation of the prompt, courteous, and full replies made to nearly every request, by the officers, agents, and managers of steamship lines for the information on which, in the main, the tabulations are based.
Collectors of customs at all seaports were requested to address and forward to the president, secretary, or principal agent, resident at that port, of lines of steamships plying between that port and foreign countries copies of the following circular:
"TREASURY DEPARTMENT, BUREAU OF NAVIGATION,
"Washington, D. C., ▬▬▬▬▬▬,
"SIR: The Bureau of Navigation, Treasury Department, wishes to ascertain as fully as practicable and report the present means of communication by established lines of steamships between the ports of the United States and those of foreign countries. To this end you are respectfully requested to furnish information upon the following matters relating to your line:
"First. List of the steamships of the line plying regularly between American and foreign ports, with the nationality, gross tonnage, average number of crew, and approximate value of each steamship.
Second. Schedule indicating ports of regular clearance and entry of the line, with frequency of sailings and usual period of voyage.
"Third. Capital stock of the company. Is any American capital invested in the line?
"Fourth. A copy of any printed pamphlet or circular, prepared for distribution, giving information as to the line.
"Fifth. Such further information as can be furnished, consistently with private interests, bearing upon the inquiry."
Where information desired was not supplied directly, collectors of customs, daily and weekly sailing lists, Lloyd's Register, the Répertoire Générale of the Bureau Veritas, and the tonnage tax reports to this Bureau were consulted to make the review as complete as possible. No replies were received from Galveston and Mobile, which are accordingly omitted. The tonnage reports for the year from Galveston show that about 25 chartered steamships, chiefly British, in steady employment were needed to carry its trade to foreign ports, and that Mobile's trade, chiefly in fruit from the West Indies and Central America, required the steady service of 10 chartered steamships, mainly Norwegian. The direct replies from New Orleans were incomplete, but the facts have been in the main supplied from other sources named. Wilmington, Del., Newport News, Norfolk, Charleston, and Savannah have also a carrying trade direct with foreign ports by occasional chartered vessels, but its irregularity impedes a statement of it in lines of established steam communication.
The statements embrace 648 steamships, of a tonnage in round numbers of 2,000,000 gross tons and of a value in round numbers of $155,000,000, manned by 42,000 men. To determine the tonnage, capital, and men to meet the continuing requirements the year round of our over-sea steam navigation, additions must be made for the service afforded by steamships chartered for occasional voyages at irregular periods not included in these figures, and for omissions. An addition to the figures above of 300,000 tons, valued at $15,000,000 and manned by about 6,000 men, would be a
reasonably accurate statement of the steam tonnage in continuous employment required for our foreign trade.
Of these 618 steamships, 88 wear the American flag, and of these, 19 are foreignbuilt vessels admitted to American registry. A few are wooden vessels. Americans own a steam tonnage in foreign trade under foreign flags considerably greater than tonnage of a corresponding value under our own flag. The tables show 64 steamships under the British, Belgian, and Hawaiian flags, a majority interest in which is held by American capital. An inquiry into the facts of ownership borders so closely upon the line of governmental interference with private business that this Bureau has made no effort to push that inquiry, but has merely invited information on the subject, which in some instances has been freely tendered, as the tables indicate. The replies do not, however, cover the entire field, and doubtless other steamships in the lists besides those indicated by italics are owned and controlled by American capital. This is indisputably the case in the West Indian fruit trade and the petroleum export trade, both of which are inadequately covered by the following tables. Information as to ownership under foreign flags, which is of prime consequence to legislative solution of our shipping problems, doubtless would have been more freely furnished had there been no apprehension on the part of Americans engaged in foreign steam trade under the only conditions in which it appears to be possible, that their investments might subject them to newspaper criticism.
So long as the laws forbid Americans to put under the flag and laws of their own country their own shipping, purchased abroad, this Bureau has not deemed it feasible to put to shipowners the purely hypothetical question whether, if the laws were changed, they would avail themselves of their own flag and their own laws.
It is assumed that Americans prefer their own flag and the protection of their own Government, and that when they are unable to show that preference the laws require amendment. Attention is particularly directed to the fact that the purchase of steamships abroad by Americans has developed rapidly during the last five years, as indicated by the recent year of build of the vessels so owned.
The tables return 360 vessels under the British flag and 13 under the Belgian flag; but as already indicated the distinction of flag is misleading, American citizens owning nearly all the steamships under the Belgian flag and a considerable percentage of those under the British flag. Seventy-five German vessels, 33 Norwegian, 29 French, and 20 Dutch vessels are returned, and the remainder under various flags.
The summaries observe the following order: First, concise statement of the flag, capital stock, when given, American investment, general nature of service, and period of voyage of the several lines, arranged under each port geographically, beginning with lines to Great Britain, with which the bulk of our transatlantic trade is conducted; then Germany, France, and other European countries, Asia, Africa, and South America. Trade to Central American, West Indian, Gulf, and Caribbean foreign ports and to the British colonies of North America, which is essentially a coasting trade as a matter of navigation, though classed as foreign on account of political divisions, is placed last. The numeral before each line is for ready reference to the corresponding numeral in the table of steamships with which each line conducts its trade from the same port.
The table of steamships gives, first, the name of each vessel. Names italicized indicate that a controlling interest in the vessel is American. The letter (a) indicates a foreign-built vessel, admitted to American registry; the letter (b) a vessel built in the United States. The flag under which the steamship sails, its gross tonnage, material of construction, and year of build follow. An approximate statement of the number of crew and value of each vessel has been furnished in many instances. Where not furnished, the Bureau, on the basis of information furnished by other lines, the description of the vessel, year and material of construction, etc., gives in brackets an approximation of the total number of crew and value of fleet of each line. The purpose of this line of inquiry has been, not to ascertain the precise value of each vessel and the size of its crew, but to get some measure of the field for capital and labor which established lines of steam communication to foreign ports already afford. The estimates are to be taken with that qualification. It is noted, too, that the valuations owners put on their vessels differ widely, some placing high, some low values upon them. Such variations in the aggregate doubtless offset one another.
A table of registered steam vessels of the United States, not included in the tabulation, is printed at the end of this Appendix, so that the view of American steam vessels registered for foreign trade shall be complete.
NEW YORK TO GREAT BRITAIN.
1. International Navigation Company (American, British, Belgian flags).-Capital stock, ———, of which the controlling interest is American. Express, passenger, and mail service weekly to Southampton. Average period of voyage, under 7 days. (See also Philadelphia.)
2. Cunard Line (British).-Capital stock in round numbers $10,000,000 (see annual report in Appendix L). Express, passenger, and mail service weekly to Queenstown and Liverpool. Average period of voyage, under 7 days. (See also Boston.)
3. White Star Line (British).-Express service weekly to Queenstown and Liverpool. Average period of voyage, under 7 days. Also freight line.
4. Anchor Line (British).-Express, passenger, and mail service weekly to Moville and Glasgow.
5. Guion Line (British).—Biweekly express, passenger, and mail service to Queenstown and Liverpool. (This line was given up during the year.)
6. National Line (British).-Capital stock, $1,000,000. Weekly freight and livestock service to London, the passenger service having been abandoned. Average period of trip, 12 to 14 days. (This line is the pioneer line in carrying across the Atlantic meat in refrigerators and live stock, the Greece in March, 1876, having taken out the first raw meat, and the same ship in 1877 the first live cattle.)
7. Arrow Line (British).-Capital stock, $130,000, of which about $6,000 is American capital. Service, principally freight. Average period of voyage to Leith and Dundee, 10 days.
8. Manhanset Line (British flag).-Capital stock, $962,500; all American capital with the exception of one small interest. (See also Baltimore.) Service every 10 days to Bristol and Swansea, Wales.
9. Bristol City Line (British).-Semiweekly freight service to Bristol and Swansea and ports in the British Channel.
10. Wilson-Hill Line (British).-Service, chiefly freight, to London about every week, according to conditions of trade. Average period of voyage, 14 days.
11. Wilson Line (British).-Weekly service to Hull and fortnightly service to Newcastle, chiefly freight. Average period of voyage to Hull, 14 days; Newcastle, 16 days.
12. Allan-State Line (British).-Weekly service to Glasgow. (See also Philadelphia, Boston, Portland.)
13. Atlantic Transport Line (British flag).-Capital $3,000,000, almost exclusively American. Weekly passenger service to London. Average period of voyage, under 11 days. (See also Baltimore and Philadelphia.)
14. Sumner Line (American).—Irregular freight and cattle service to Liverpool by chartered steamships of various flags.
15. Lamport & Holt Line (British).-Freight service at varying periods to Liverpool. (See also New Orleans.)
16. Knott's Prince Line (British).-Freight service to British ports at irregular periods. Also to South American and West Indian ports by steamships changed and and dispatched according to the requirements of trade on the various lines of service.
NEW YORK TO GERMANY.
17. North German Lloyd (German).—(See annual report in appendix.) Express mail, and passenger service to Bremen, touching at Southampton, twice a week. Average period of voyage, 84 days. Freight service twice a month; average time, 14 days.
18. Hamburg-American (German). (See annual report in appendix.) Weekly express, mail, and passenger service to Hamburg via Southampton. Average period of voyage, 7 days. Weekly mail and passenger service to Hamburg; return via Havre; average period of voyage, 10 to 11 days. Semimonthly freight service to Hamburg direct; average period of voyage, 13 to 14 days. (See also Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Orleans.)
19. Union Line (German).-Fortnightly passenger and freight service to Hamburg. Round trip, 6 weeks.
NEW YORK TO FRANCE.
20. Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (French).-Capital stock, in round numbers, $8,000,000 (see annual report in Appendix L). Express, passenger, and mail service, weekly, via Southampton to Havre. Average period of voyage under 9 days.
21. Compagnie Nationale de Navigation de Marseille (French).-Capital stock, $1,500,000. Passenger and freight service to Marseilles and Naples, sailings depending upon traffic. Average period of voyage 18 days.
22. Nouvelle Compagnie Bordelaise de Navigation (French).-Capital stock, $150,000; partly American. Monthly freight service to Bordeaux.
23. Cyprien Fabre Line (French).-Fortnightly service to Marseilles (under 17 days) and Naples (under 18 days).
NEW YORK TO THE NETHERLANDS.
24. Netherlands-American Line (Dutch).-Capital stock, $1,680,000. Express, passenger, and mail service, semiweekly to Rotterdam and Amsterdam, calling at Boulogne. Average period of voyage from 9 to 14 days.
25. North American Transport Line (British flag, American charterers).-Freight service to Rotterdam every 10 days. Average period of voyage, 15 days.
NEW YORK TO BELGIUM.
1. International Navigation Company (American).-Red Star Line (under Belgian flag). Semiweekly passenger and mail service to Antwerp.
. Wilson Line (British).-Fortnightly service, chiefly freight, to Antwerp.
NEW YORK TO THE BALTIC.
[18.] Hamburg-American (German).-Scandia Line. Fortnightly to Christiansand, Gothenburg, Copenhagen, and Stettin. Average period of voyage, 15 days.
26. Thingvalla Line (Danish).-Capital stock, $536,000. Service every 10 days to Christiansand, Christiana, Copenhagen, and Stettin.
NEW YORK TO PORTUGAL AND SPAIN.
27. Linha de Vapores Portuguezes (Portuguese).-Passenger and freight service to the Azores, Oporto, Lisbon, and Cadiz. Round trip, 6 to 8 weeks.
28. Empresa Insulano (Portuguese).-Passenger and freight service to the Azores, Cape Verde and Canary islands, and Lisbon every 6 weeks. Usual period of voyage to Lisbon, 15 days.
NEW YORK TO THE MEDITERRANEAN.
[4.] Anchor Line.-To Gibraltar, Naples, Genoa, Leghorn, Messina, and Palermo. The service is not regular, but about once a fortnight. Steamers in this service load, according to freight offering, for Glasgow, Liverpool, or Mediterranean ports.
[17.] North-German Lloyd.—To Naples twice a month. Average period of voyage, 11 days, in conjunction with Hamburg-American Line. To Genoa twice a month; average period of voyage, 15 days.
[18.] Hamburg-American.-To Naples twice a month. Average period of voyage, 11 days, in conjunction with the North-German Lloyd Line.
29. Navigazione Generale Italiana (Italian).-Capital stock, $10,600,000 (see annual report in Appendix L). Passenger and freight service fortnightly to Gibraltar (15 days) and to Genoa (19 days).
30. New York and Mediterranean Steamship Company.-"Phelps Line" (British flag). American capital. Freight service to Mediterranean ports.
NEW YORK TO CHINA AND JAPAN.
31. Barber & Co. (charterers).-Freight service about once in six weeks by varying chartered vessels to Singapore, Hongkong, Shanghai, Hiogo, and Yokohama, via Suez, calling at Hodeidah and Aden.
32. Perry & Co. (charterers).-Same as above.
NEW YORK TO AFRICA.
33. Union Clan Line and American and African Line (British).-Alternate monthly freight service to South and East African ports by varying chartered vessels.
NEW YORK TO THE RED SEA AND EAST INDIAN PORTS.
34. Daniel Bacon (charterer).—Bimonthly freight service to Jeddah, Hodeidah, Aden, and Bombay by varying chartered steamers.
NEW YORK TO SOUTH AMERICA.
35. Red D Line (American).-Mail, express, and passenger service every 10 days to Curaçoa, Puerto Cabello, La Guayra. Average round trip, 23 days. Also freight line to Maracaibo (1 steamer); round trip, 30 days. Also 1 steamer connecting Curaçoa and Maracaibo, and 1 steamer connecting Curaçoa and La Vela de Coro.
36. Robert M. Sloman's Line (German).—Freight service monthly to Rio de Janeiro, Pernambuco, and Santos. Average round trip, 90 days. (See also Baltimore.)
87. Booth Steamship Line (British).-Monthly freight service to Para and Manaos; return via Barbados. Average round trip, 7 weeks. Also monthly freight service to Para, Maranhan, and Cera or Pernambuco, thence to London, and return via same ports to New York.
38. Red Cross Line (British).-Freight and mail service to various ports in Brazil, 39. Demerara Line (Norwegian flag, L. W. & P. Armstrong, charterer).-Freight service once a month to Demerara, British Guiana.
. Lamport & Holt Line (British).-Freight and passenger service every 10 days to Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro, and Bahia. Also Montevideo, Buenos Ayres, and Rosario at irregular intervals. The company owns 70 steamers, which are interchange from one service to another according to the requirements of trade. Knott's Prince Line. (See above.)
40. Norton Line (British).-Freight service semimonthly to Montevideo, Buenos Ayres, and Rosario; return via Rio de Janeiro.
41. W. R. Grace & Co., Merchants' Line (British flag).-American capital, $650,000. Monthly freight service to ports on west coast of South America.
NEW YORK TO CENTRAL AMERICA.
42. Pacific Mail Steamship Company (American).-Capital stock, $20,000,000. (See annual report in Appendix L.) Express, passenger, and mail service weekly to Colon. Average period of voyage, 7 days. See also San Francisco.)
43. Columbian Line (American; Panama Railroad Company, charterers).-New York to Colon every 10 days. Average period of voyage, 7 days. (See also San Francisco.)
44. Central American Steamship Line (James Rankine, charterer).—Fortnightly passenger and freight service to Jamaica, Belize, Greytown, and ports in Honduras and Nicaragua.
45. Merchants' Regular Line (R. Williams, jr.).—Service to Jamaica, Colon, Greytown, Bluefields, and ports of Nicaragua.
46. Nicaragua Line (Hurlbut & Co., charterers).-Fortnightly service to Bluefields
and Bocas del Toro.
47. H. Dumois & Co. (charterers).-Freight service, chiefly banana trade, to Baracoa and Gibara by chartered steamers, varying according to season and trade from weekly to bimonthly. (See also Boston and Philadelphia.)
NEW YORK TO WEST INDIES AND MEXICO.
48. New York and Cuba Mail Steamship Company (American).-Capital stock, $2,500,000; all but $300,000 American. Express, passenger, and mail service to Havana, Matanzas, and Central American ports. Also, fortnightly to Nassau, St. Jago, and Cienfuegos.
49. Koninklijke West-Indische Maildienst (Dutch).-Every three weeks to Haiti, Curaçao, Porto Cabello, La Guayra, Trinidad, Demerara, Paramaribo, and other West Indian and South American ports to Amsterdam.
50. Campañía Transatlántica Española (Spanish).-Passenger and mail service three times a month to Havana, Mexico, United States of Colombia, and Venezuela. 51. Atlas Line (British).-Passenger and mail service to Haiti and ports of United States of Colombia fortnightly; to South Haiti and Port Limon fortnightly; to Kingston, Jacmel, and Aux Cayes fortnightly. Also, special winter passenger serv ice to the West Indies.
52. Clyde's Dominican Line (American).—Fortnightly service to ports of Santo Domingo.
53. Clyde's Haitien Line (American).-Monthly service to ports of Haiti. 54. New York, Bermuda and West India Line (British).-Fortnightly passenger and mail service to Bermuda. Average period of voyage, under 3 days.
55. Bahama Steamship Company (British).—Capital stock, $80,000, of which Americans own one-fourth. Passenger and mail service monthly to the Bahamas.
56. Waydell & Co. (charterers).-Monthly service to Matanzas and north Cuban ports. Round trip, 16 to 20 days. Also monthly to St. Iago de Cuba and Cienfuegos. Round trip, 28 to 30 days.
57. New York and Porto Rico Line (charterers).-Fortnightly freight service to Porto Rico. Round trip, 4 weeks.
58. Trinidad Line (Christall & Co., charterers).-Freight service to Granada, Trinidad, and Demarara. Usually weekly by chartered vessels.
59. Quebec Steamship Line (British).-To St. Thomas, St. Croix, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Lucia, and Barbados.
Knott's Line. (See above.)
60. Munson Line (charterers).—Irregular freight service to Cuban ports, usually every 10 days by changing chartered vessels. Average period of round trip, 30 days. (See also Philadelphia and Norfolk.)