The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Upper Canada Herald (Kingston, ON), June 11, 1834

Full Text

p.2 Extract of a private letter - discusses trip from Montreal by Enterprize and Rideau, mentions crowded conditions but it is the best route for Emigrants. [Montreal Gazette] (see C.&G. June 7th)

p.3 Various contradictory statements have appeared respecting the Rideau Canal. Its advocates publish every thing in its favour, their rivals every thing against it: no attempt is made to explain opposite accounts, or to show how far one class of facts preponderates over the other, and thus the public either take that side to which their interests lead them, or abandon, as hopeless, the attempt to obtain correct knowledge on the subject. We are friends of the Canal, but we will not praise it at the expense of truth, 'nor, which amounts to the same thing, will we present a partial, and therefore a deceptive view of the question. We believe that the generality of the passages by the Rideau have been performed in from four to five days from Montreal to Kingston, a few have been from 8 to 10 days. The reason of this delay in these few cases we believe to be this: - The Rideau route is in some places a succession of flooded ravines rather than the regular, even, straight water-way usually found in a Canal; consequently, the navigation in those places is intricate and difficult, and as it is only just coming into use, there was no person acquainted with the channel at the commencement of the season. Hence the Captains on the Rideau steam boats had to steer in a good deal of uncertainty; and sometimes, notwithstanding all their care, the boats were run aground, and troublesome delays were experienced. But these hindrances will seldom, if ever, occur again. - The conductors of the boats have gained a knowledge of the channel of the Rideau, and will be able to perform their trips with as little interruption as takes place on other steamboat routes. The canal is every way adapted to answer its destined purposes, - the boats are effective and comfortable - and now that the Captains of the boats have gained by experience a knowledge of the channel, they will be punctual.

Persons who can take the River line of boats and stages, will gain time by taking that route, as they will reach Montreal from Kingston in less than a day, and a half and return in two days. But for Emigrants, who, if they ascend the St. Lawrence, must come in Durham boats the Rideau route is greatly preferable. Coming from Lachine to Kingston in covered barges, they are preserved from frequent drenching rains from heavy dews by night, and a burning sun by day, and they will generally accomplish the passage in less time than by the River. A writer in the Brockville Recorder endeavours to create a prejudice against the Canal by saying that "Emigrants are exposed on the deck of a small steamboat, and the canal was unhealthy." The Rideau boats have covered decks - when they are filled, other passengers, if any, are brought on in covered barges - and for aught that appears, the canal is as healthy as Brockville is - if it were not, merely passing through it could affect no one's health. -For safety, comfort, and speed, the route by the Rideau is much to be preferred before ascending the St. Lawrence in Durham boats. For the public will bear in mind that the competition is not between the Rideau and the River line of steam boats and stages; if it were, all who could afford the latter, would prefer them, as being speedier, and, perhaps, giving better accommodations, but the competition is between the Ottawa and Rideau covered steam boats and covered barges, and the river durham boats in which passengers are cooped up like sheep in a pen, and are exposed to all weathers. For goods also, the Rideau is preferable, as they run no risk, and are undisturbed from leaving Lachine to arriving at Kingston. A week ago a barge entirely laden with tea for a mercantile house in Toronto, arrived here by the canal, and the tea was forwarded to its destination in better condition than any was received before.

There are four steam boats plying on the Rideau - the Enterprise, the Thomas McKay, the Rideau, and the Toronto; and the Margaret is ready to navigate the same route.

We have seldom found a more flagrant instance of dishonourable cupidity than has been brought under our notice in the following facts. Last Sunday fortnight the American Steam Boat, the William Avery took on board a number of English Emigrants at Kingston, and the Captain engaged to take them to Toronto. Instead of doing this, he took and landed them at Rochester, and, after staying there two or three days, they had to take a boat and come to Port Hope, and pass from there up to Toronto. But this circuitous route and consequent delays and expense, were not all the evil. By being landed at Rochester, the Emigrants had to pay the States heavy duties on all their goods, paying on a gun more than it cost in England. On the following Sunday the same Steamer was again here, and engaged other Emigrants on a similar promise of taking them to Toronto; but a respectable tradesman of the town happened to go on board, and hearing the statement, told the Emigrants that they were deceived as the Boat never went to Toronto. On finding this, one of the party said that he would go ashore, and made preparations for it; but when the Captain saw and heard this, he rung the bell, and pushed off the Boat immediately. This conduct is the more detestable because, if the Emigrants had been allowed to wait two or three hours longer, the William IV would have come up, and would have taken them to Toronto in gallant style. We hope that some of our Townsmen will attend the William Avery when she comes, and prevent her Captain from entrapping our countrymen in his toils. And we would request the Lower Province papers to notice this, and place the Emigrants on their guard before they arrive here.

Rideau Canal has been formed into 3 divisions for toll purposes, with schedule of tolls to be charged on timber.

p.4 ad for steamer Brittania, Capt. Jacob Herchmer.

Media Type:
Item Type:
Date of Original:
June 11, 1834
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Rick Neilson
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
WWW address
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.

Upper Canada Herald (Kingston, ON), June 11, 1834