The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Upper Canada Herald (Kingston, ON), Dec. 4, 1838

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Whilst Her Majesty's armed steamboat Experiment, under the command of Lieutenant William N. Fowell, R.N., was laying off Brockville on Sunday evening, her commander received information that several armed vessels were ready at Goose Creek, for the purpose of embarking a large force to attack Brockville that night. At half past 10 P.M. a steamer was reported coming down the river on the American side, and as the merchant steam vessel United States had been absent for some days, it was expected that she was also employed by the Rebels. The Experiment immediately cleared for action, and soon after observed the steamboat steer for Brockville in the direction of the Experiment, until within half gun shot, (as she had carefully concealed all lights on board) when her engine was stopped, and after a few minutes, she bore away for Morristown, it was at the time so dark that the Experiment could not see the vessels (two schooners and some boats) she had in tow, which was made known to the commander of the Experiment at two o'clock in the morning, and also that the United States was full of armed men, and were proceeding to Prescott. The Experiment therefore lost no time in following, and found them lying at anchor on the American side, between Prescott and Ogdensburgh; soon after daylight, the magistrates of the latter place requested Mr. Fowell, not to fire into their waters, which was strictly adhered to.

At half past nine the United States moved towards the town of Prescott, when the Experiment took up a position which enabled her to fire on the "United States clear of the American waters," after a few sharp rounds towards Ogdensburgh, one of the schooners then weighed (the other being aground) and effected a landing of about 250 men and 3 pieces of Ordnance at a point about two miles below the town, which the Experiment could not attempt to prevent, as the United States was ready to throw all her force (said to be 800 men and several pieces of Ordnance) into the defenceless town of Prescott. Soon after this she came across again and steered direct at the Experiment, as if determined to carry her by force, but she did not find her reception better than before, and followed her companion to the point above mentioned, in the hope of leading the Experiment from the town, which now kept the United States between her and the point within range of (unreadable) United States landing her force, and ineffectually returned the fire from three field pieces. When off the point and having beat her back in three attempts to pass up for the town, the Experiment returned to abreast of the schooner, ashore, and soon after observed her in tow of the Paul Pry steamer, and steering towards the British shore; when fairly in our water, Mr. Fowell closed and gave them grape and canister, when running along side within 10 yards of the schooner (the Paul Pry having escaped into Ogdensburgh) 250 men laid down their arms with 5 pieces of artillery, and Mr. Fowell was in the act of taking her in tow when he observed that he was in shoal water, and the United States coming close on him to her assistance; he was therefore most reluctantly compelled to leave her, and place himself between them and the town for its defence; upon which both vessels renewed their fire, with doubled force, but rendered useless by the well directed fire from the guns and musketry of the Experiment. The schooner got into Ogdensburgh, with difficulty, and the United States, after a few more round shot in her hull and one 18 pounder through her starboard engine, followed to repair damages. The Experiment received no injury, except in the hull and rigging by musketry; which is entirely attributed to the well directed fire by Mr. Elliot, (son of Deputy Commissary General Elliot) and the steady conduct of the crew, 25, (officers, men and 2 boys.) [Montreal Herald]

Capt. Graham, R.N., commanding the Cobourg (armed) Steam Boat, has been cruising during the past week between Presque Isle and Windsor Bay, for the protection of our coast against any contemplated movement of the sympathisers in this quarter. This is an excellent precaution, and should be continued while the harbours remain open; so that the scoundrels may not have a chance of landing at any point in security. [Cobourg Star, Nov. 27th]

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Dec. 4, 1838
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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), Dec. 4, 1838