A MIND AT SEA - HENRY FRY AND THE GLORIOUS ERA OF QUEBEC'S SAILING SHIPS
By 1855, Canada ranked among the greatest ship-owning and shipbuilding nations of the world. A vast dispersed flotilla of 7196 Canadian-constructed wooden ships sailed the oceans of both hemispheres. Quebec was the business centre of it all, one of the world's most important maritime trade, and that was where that Henry Fry settled about a century passed after the British forces ended France's failed North American empire. Two very decisive battles took place on the Plains of Abraham; Quebec city was overwhelmingly French-speaking, and the city would become so again. But for a few years in the middle of the nineteenth century, two of every five residents of the port city used the everyday language of English, and even more did so in business Shipbuilding and owning, and timber commerce — largely conducted by men like Henry through their British contacts — dominated the economic life of Lower Canada, while the city was its capital. At those times, shipping agents and brokers did not care too much about their business ethics. Many of them were quite well known for continuously charging really usurious fees in advancing money to the shipbuilders. They overloaded unseaworthy ships with timber to enlarge their profits and this was directly endangering the lives of the seafarers. Henry Fry was one of the notable exceptions. Beings very honest and generous, he did his best fighting against human rights abuses, "He was an outstanding figure in the martime history of Canada", wrote Basil Greenhill....
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