26 April 2010

Drowning by the Dock of the Bay

Poems of James McIntyre (Ingersoll, ON: Chronicle, 1889)

It seems they were forever fishing bodies out of Toronto Bay in the 19th century. Here's a small sad story from the 29 June 1886 New York Times in which authorities dragging the bay for one man found another.

The next day the paper used the the very same headline in reporting the death of a third man.

James McIntyre's young Montrealer of genteel form and dress may have been Henry Jaques, eldest son of Great Lakes shipping magnate G.E. Jaques, whose body was found floating in the harbour in May of 1873. Though initial reports drew attention to head and facial wounds as evidence of foul play, a coroner's jury found otherwise. According to the 28 May 1873 Montreal Daily Witness, his "features were much swollen and discolored from immersion in water", not as "the result of violence." Blame was instead placed upon the dangerous state of Toronto's Hamilton Wharf, from which, it was presumed, Jaques fell.


  1. How very poignant.

    The pressures of the modern world are nothing new it seems.

  2. Sadly, I think you are right.

    I found no mention of Mr. Hampton's suicide in any Toronto papers. One wonders, was this end so common that it wasn't worthy of note?