Transcript for "Ferries," Frontier Guardian, 21 Mar. 1851, 1
Messrs. WHEELING, CLARK & CO., of Trading Point, have obtained a permit from the Government to establish a Ferry over the Loup Fork of the Platte, which, together with their ferries over the Missouri and Elk Horn Rivers, will enable the passing emigrant to proceed on his journey westward across the plains without obstruction or hindrance. We understand that their boats on all these streams will be in prime order to convey the earliest emigrants over. The North side of the Platte is decidedly the route every time for emigrants to take; and these streams having good ferry boats, every obstacle is removed. The South Fork of the Platte is so wide, and current so rapid, that none will talk about Ferries over it, except those who have never seen it.
For health, for grass, for water, for fuel, for a more even and level road, and for general comforts, the north route is the route to take.
It is generally the case, that when men know that they have choice and valuable articles for sale, they will ask a good price for them, knowing that their commodities are of a quality that will command a liberal price: but when their own consciences tell them that their articles are worthless, they cannot put on a face to ask much, if anything unless they are completely abandoned to falsehood. Mr. Martin, not being thus abandoned, cannot put on a face to charge anything for crossing emigrants at his ferry, from a consciousness that the emigrant will be the loser instead of the gainer. If Mr. Martin's route were the better of the two, he could not only secure all the crossing there, but get almost any price he might be pleased to ask for ferrying. Why then should he offer to cross the people for nothing? As a general thing, thus far through life, we have found that that which cost nothing in the start, cost us dearest in the end.
If the great masses of emigrants that have passed through this town, have caused us to send away and procure provisions by boat and by wagon, at a heavy expense, to supply them; and we have put on enough profit to cover expenses, and to live by the operation, we do not know why Mr. Martin should find fault with us because we have charged high prices heretofore. The country is now full of all staple articles, and we can assure emigrants that Kanesville and Trading Point, are prepared to furnish out-fits at moderate and reasonable charges. We cannot cross them for nothing; for it costs us something to keep up boats and to run them. We know that we are on the right track, and believe that we are entitled to a reasonable compensation for our labor and toil, and are confident that our eligible location, and superior route will secure to us the main tide of emigration.