The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Upper Canada Herald (Kingston, ON), Nov. 17, 1835

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p.2 meeting at Peterborough on opening navigation of the Rivers Trent and Otonabie. (almost a full column) [Cobourg Star]

p.3 The weather for the last week has ranged through greater and more violent extremes than are common even in Canada. On Wednesday we had a tremendous gale of wind from the south, which has caused great damage on the lake. The wind blew with extreme violence all day, and veered round by the west to the north, and on Thursday and Friday mornings we had slight showers of snow, with frost so keen that ice was formed an inch and a half in thickness. On Saturday the wind again flew round to the south, bringing rain on Sunday. Yesterday we had a gale from the south, and the temperature was mild and warm for the season.

We have copied from the Chronicle an account of some damage caused by the gale of Wednesday last, & we regret to find that the loss of property and life is still more extensive. The schooner Robert Bruce of this Port, is lost with the captain and three men. The American schooner Detroit fell in with the Bruce dismasted and no one aboard. Whether the captain and crew had been washed off the vessel, or had left her in the boat and foundered in the lake, no one knows. The Detroit attempted to tow her into a port; but after breaking several tow lines, the Captain was obliged to abandon the Bruce and secure his own safety. The Minerva-Ann and another schooner are sunk at the Credit, and the Birmingham, lately the Steam Boat United Kingdom, broke from her moorings at Oswego, and was driven ashore. $500 have been offered to get her off again, which we hope will be done. The owner had expended all his capital upon her.

Yesterday was the twenty-third anniversary of the Battle of Kingston, when the American Squadron, consisting of a Brig and six smaller armed vessels entered the Harbor with the intention of cutting out the Royal George, a twenty-two gun Brig, but were beat off by the batteries which were manned by the Provincial Artillery, aided by an Officer and half a dozen of the non-commissioned Officers and gunners of the Royal Artillery. The Militia of the District generally, were on the ground, ready to meet the enemy had they effected a landing. We think a day so glorious to Kingston, ought in future to be commemorated.

On the following day the Schooner Simcoe, Merchant Vessel, Capt. Richardson, the father of our respected fellow townsman Robert Richardson, Esq. was chased by the American Brig and four other armed vessels, but escaped through the Captain's superior knowledge of the navigation of the Lake, who ran his vessel between the main land, and a shoal off Wartman's point, the Americans were nearly getting on the shoal, but hauled off and left her. The Simcoe, however, had unfortunately received a thirty-two pound shot, between wind and water, and she sunk near the wharf. The Simcoe's crew consisted of a Captain, Mate, and four seamen, the Captain and Mate were English, and the four seamen were Canadians. This interesting chase was witnessed by thousands. [Chronicle of 11th]


[Chronicle of 14th]

On Tuesday morning the steam boat Cobourg left Toronto on her trip downward; the weather being then quite moderate she reached Cobourg on the evening of the same day; the weather still continuing the same, she left Cobourg at 10 o'clock, but had hardly gone ten miles when a heavy gale from the north-east began to blow, and continued to increase until 3 o'clock the next morning. The wind then suddenly chopped round and blew a perfect hurricane from the north west. At 4 o'clock saw a schooner on her beam ends, about half a mile from the Ducks, floating, it was in fifteen fathoms water. Two men were seen clinging to the wreck; one of the sufferers had a stick in his hand, at the top of which was attached a handkerchief, which he waved as a signal of distress. The state of the weather, however, was such that the Cobourg could render no assistance. The sea at this time was washing over the decks of the Cobourg in every direction, and breaking into the cabin through the deck windows. Captain Paynter was therefore reluctantly obliged to leave the unfortunates to their fate. The schooner, from the appearance of the hull, was supposed to be the Ontario, belonging to Oswego. A short time afterwards saw another schooner about two miles from the Ducks, also afloat on her beam ends, but no appearance of any living creature was seen about her; it was supposed all had perished. The Cobourg, for five hours, suffered the extremity of the gale, during that time her bows were almost constantly buried in the mountainous seas which foamed around her, and she shipped at intervals some heavy seas. On arriving opposite to Kingston, where she had to land 3 cabin and 15 deck passengers, such was the violence of the storm, that she could not possibly approach the port, she therefore had to carry them down with her to Prescott, and land them at Kingston on her return.

The passengers describe Captain Paynter's conduct throughout this trying scene, to have been every thing that could inspire hope and confidence among the ship's company, never having even for one instant left his post on deck while the gale lasted.

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Nov. 17, 1835
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Upper Canada Herald (Kingston, ON), Nov. 17, 1835